I’m sitting on the bed in room #634 of the Doubletree Guest Suites. I’m watching “The Big Idea With Donny Deutsch.” They’re discussing the American Idol scandal. The ferris wheel on the Santa Monica pier is blinking out of the corner of my eye.
I don’t know what else to say, or where to start, short of all that. I woke up early, ran on the beach, had a bunch of room service coffee and worked wifi in front of local news. Then I went into work. I was far more energized than yesterday, and actually caught myself running on and on and on at the mouth. (I just heard a woman say “erection” in a a Lavitra commercial. Oh. My. God.)
I’m drinking a $5.95 bottle of Double Tree Guest Suites water in attempt to stave off the inevitable four beer, one Grey Goose and tonic hangover. Matt and I went out after work. I elected The Library, my favorite pub on Main Street in Santa Monica, ‘cuz it feels like home, or as at home as this town can feel.
After The Library, Matt and I met Owen at The Brig in Venice. Apparently, the bar used to be something of a dive, but now it’s kinda’ yuppy (still, Owen walked in wearing jeans and a t-shirt and carrying his skateboard). Matt and Owen were disparaging the lost glory of the pre-Yuppy Brig when Owen said, “I should take you to Liquid Kitty.” And I was all like, “Liquid Kitty is over by UCLA, right? I went there the first time I came to L.A. Did you take me there, Matt?”
I was 25-years-old. I had just started at The MTV. It was June. I came to visit Matt and James, and record what would become the (largely unreleased) “Happy, Not Happy EP” with Steve Feldman (of “Crash Site” fame) in Palm Springs. Los Angeles was brand new to me. Matt and I sat on a bench at Griffith Observatory smoking cigarettes and eating Fatburgers. He pointed out neighborhoods — Brentwood, Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica — and helped establish the overhead view of L.A. that still guides me today.
Later that week, James took me to Liquid Kitty. It was dark. And it was smokey. And it was on a block full of gated store fronts. It was like going to a five star restaurant in a strip mall: incongruous. That’s about all I remember.
Anyway, that night, nearly ten years ago now, I wrote “Liquid Kitty.” I never quite finished it, recorded it, performed it, or spoke about it. Maybe for good reason. Or maybe it was oversight.
Liquid kitty had her eyes wide open
Still she didn’t know she was beholden
To all the hearts she knew that she had broken
She couldn’t get away
The melody popped back into my head as soon as Owen mentioned it. I tried to get back to it tonight on the guitar Matt loaned me for the week, but, alas, that last Grey Goose and tonic rendered me kind of, well, useless.
So I’m watching CBS Channel 2 news now, and they broke into the commercials break to show Chopper 2 footage of a police pursuit on The 10. L.A., baby.
I still love you, New York.