Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Swag Bags

Yes, there was a line to exit because of the swag bags.  All in all, I’d have to say that the Atlanta bags were far and away better than what we acquired here.  If we were in the right place, then the swag consisted of Morrocan Oil Company shampoos and oils.  Large and heavy. Just perfect for air travel.  Apparently the real swag is available to those who are connected enough to get invited to the big time after parties...i.e., not us.

And then Tuesday Comes

Tuesday is the day we have to leave. Sigh.  Our flight isn’t until 2:20 so we manage to walk down to the Santa Monica Pier to check it out since it is in so many movies.  The Georgian Hotel overlooks the pier so I snap a photo for Kathryn in case she didn’t get one.

Then, it is off to Venice Beach to see the urban development project that apparently took about two years to complete.  According to Greg, the area  was very run down and used to be surrounded by 1,200 square foot shacks. Today, a series of canals and high-end housing abound.  Only a few refurbished shacks remain.   After a long enjoyable walk, it was off to a very late breakfast at 3 Square CafĂ© and Bakery followed by the long flight home, made longer by the loss of three hours.

Santa Monica Pier

End of a nearly 2500 mile long road.

View of the Georgian Hotel from the Santa Monica Pier

Fun and games at the Santa Monica Pier

Mike and Kathryn at the Venice canals

Random photo at Venice Beach that appeals to John

Winding it Up

Well we are officially back now.  The tux has been returned, the dresses are at the cleaners, and I am kicking back drinking coffee out of my I (heart) LA mug wearing my 53rd Grammy Awards commemorative tee.

At the moment, ultimate party band The B-52’s, Mexican pop star Alex Sintek, and a Grammy nominee are at work next door in the studio. It just doesn’t get any better than this.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Rufus Leaking Reporting

The paparazzi went wild when John and Jo showed up at Figaro's (And I thought they wanted my picture, what a silly goat I am).

Friday, February 18, 2011

Kevin the Metal Head

So where are my stories about Kevin and Rachel? It’s not like they were wallflowers in the corner.  As I think back on it, my Kevin stories are so specific that I’d have needed a tape recorder to repeat those.  Kevin is a doctor, making him an extremely detail oriented person. When he is not around, we refer to him as the Roc Doc.  One story involving him goes like this. We are driving through Hollywood, and Kevin says something like… "Did you see that car? It’s a new Bugatti Veyron. It sells for $2,000,000. The tires alone are $50,000 a set.  They tested it on a 13-mile straightway.  At full speed the tires will disintegrate in 15 minutes. Luckily, you will run out of gas in 14 minutes."  Who can remember that level of detail besides Kevin? I only remember it because I thought? Really, some random car on the road and he has all those facts running around his head?  It just made me want to point to another one and say, "Ok how about that one? What do you know?"  But, then I became enamored with Rodeo Drive, where John announced that his "credit card was trembling," and Kevin added, "Mine is melting!"

 Kevin's taste in music is vast. He is a huge Panic fan and loves late 60's early 70's classic rock: Zeppelin, Hendrix, CSNY. In fact his wife, Rachel, is in John's CSNY cover band, Deja Vu.  Kevin is also a metal head.  You should see the videos on his iPhone. At the pre-telecast, he notices Dave Mustaine from the band Megadeth.  John, Kevin, and Dave are talking.  Dave says to them, "I’ve been nominated nine times now, and no win.  And Kenny G, 21 nominations before he won."  He was trying to soften the blow of John not winning. I thought that was pretty classy. Nothing like the comfort of heavy metal to ease the pain.

Here is a video of Rachel singing with Deja Vu...

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Living Large in LA on Valentine’s Day

Monday morning we got up to go to Scott’s house in the hills.  We didn’t really know where we were going, but he said he was about five minutes up the mountain from Hollywood and Vine.  We are all thinking, what? It turns out he lives in an area called the Oaks, over where Kevin Spacey lives and Gina Davis lived.  Yeah. Overlooking LA and around the corner from the Hollywood sign.  He thinks nothing of it and insists he is in the “slum part.” We were unable to discern how exactly he was in a slum part.

After we picked up our jaws from the floor from checking out his view, he showed us the projects he has been working on.  He started with his work with Pancake Mountain. You wouldn’t believe the cast of musicians that have been on that show from George Clinton to the 2011 Grammy Award Winner for Album of the Year, Arcade Fire, to Panic. He also showed us some of his footage from a documentary he is creating about Vic Chesnutt. He started this project about five years ago with Vic. The interviews include some pretty heavy hitters including Peter Jesperson, Michael Stipe, and Billy Bob Thornton.  He is trying to finish the project to honor his friend as well as pay tribute to a musician who is rarely compared to other musicians.  Instead he is compared to great writers, like Flannery O’Connor and Henry David Thoreau. Vic was even honored by the Kennedy Center in his lifetime. That documentary is so beautifully done that I can hardly wait for its release.  Whenever that is… Scott? Maybe Rufus will tell us!

Remembering Vic from scott stuckey on Vimeo.

We lunched in Hollywood at Figaro Bistrot where several commercials have been shot, including the recent State Farm commercial.

After lunch we went to the Hollyhock House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.  After that we headed back to Santa Monica for a break.

The big plan for Valentine’s Day was to go to the world famous Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard for some live comedy.  According to Greg, that place was originated by Pauly Shore’s mother, Mitzi, who acted like a “den mother” for the comedians that came through.  I just love that reference. The implication of so much love, and not just a business. The list of comedy greats who got their start there is long. This opportunity came up because as it turns out, our friend Lisa Mende who lives in Athens used to be married to Dom Irerra, who now makes his home in LA.  Lisa is an actor and comedian in her own right.  She sets it up for us to be guests of Mr. Irerra.  In the meantime, I’m sure at the urging of his ex-wife, Dom decides to do a “short set” even though he isn’t scheduled to work that night because we are coming and we are important to Lisa. Lisa has arranged for complimentary tickets for our party of eight.  But now, we are a party of 10 because we have invited Scott and Christina to join us.  I don’t want them to pay, so we try to get ahead of them at the door to prepay the extra two in our party, wanting them to be none the wiser.  We explain what is going on, and the person in at the door, says something like, what are you kidding me, you are all guests of Dom. DOM. DOM.  Do you know who he is? I’m not going to be the one to explain to Dom that I took your money, yall all just come on in.  It was like a little comedy short right there.  All the comedians were great.  By the end of the night, tears were just streaming down our faces we were all laughing so hard.  Near the end of the set, Dom says, “I understand that Grammy nominated John Keane is here. I’d like to meet you before you leave.” He’d like to meet JOHN. It was great.  It was like the kingpin of comedy in LA was requesting an audience with JOHN.  Come to think of it, it sounded like less like a request and more like a summons.  The man was in his element after all.  So as Dom exits the stage, John pops up out of his chair to shake his hand and introduce himself, and Dom takes him to the back for a drink.  I’m sure it was great, but John missed one hilarious dude while he was gone. I just love calling him Dom, as though I know him personally.  On any given day, that man would have no earthly idea who I am.

Here is a song from Pancake Mountain...

The After Party

There must have been 3,000 people at the after party.  The Roots played. Afterwards, a loud thumping boom-boom music ensued that was too loud for conversation.  Numerous food stations were scattered throughout the convention hall. Each set had an Asian food bar, a shrimp and salad bar, and desert bar.  We ended up at a table with Dailey and Vincent, who were nominated for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.  We moved over to the Jazz bar, which was much more listenable both in music selection and volume.  But we were all exhausted. So we got in the line to leave.

Kathryn with Dailey & Vincent at the after party.