Ghost Hunting With Meg Myers
[Editor's note: Danielle Bacher usually has wild nights with rappers. Her subjects this time weren't rappers, but it was still a pretty interesting night.]
8:10 PM: I'm driving to meet singer Meg Myers and her producer Andy Rosen aka Doctor Rosen Rosen outside Meg's apartment in Echo Park.
Back story: The duo met via Andy's former manager two years ago and have been working on music ever since. They released the Daughter in the Choir EP in March and are composing new music for her first album with drummer Sam Gallagher and celloist Ken Oak. It will take at least another six months until it's finished. She says she wants to "make it fucking badass." (Here's more about her background.)
8:12 PM: My first impression: Meg is breathtakingly beautiful. She's 26, short, about 5'3" with deep brown eyes and clearly shy. She giggles, nervously touching her Blondie shirt with her left hand. Andy, 33, is wearing a black jacket with a flannel underneath. He's about four inches taller than Meg. He's quick-witted and has a great sense of humor. The three of us are standing in the drizzling rain.
8:13 PM: A raindrop lands on Meg's cheek, and she wipes it with the back of her hand. "Are you ready to go ghost hunting tonight?" Andy asks us. Meg laughs again: "Yeah, it's going to be pretty crazy."
8:14 PM: We hop in Andy's car. I'm riding shotgun. KDAY is playing faintly in the background. He's remixed artists like Eminem, Kanye West, the Roots and Drake.
8:16 PM: We arrive at Masa of Echo Park. It has a country kitchen feel with wooden panels lining the bar, and it's getting hotter by the minute. Seriously, it's like a fucking sauna in here. The frantic hostess tells us that it will be about a 30 minute wait. We contemplate eating somewhere else, but the deep-dish Chicago dough aroma saturates the dining area, and it is too good to leave.
8:18 PM: Meg takes out a Mad Libs pad from her bag and starts asking us to fill in adjectives, adverbs and plural nouns. We're coming up with really stupid words. Meg realizes that we are playing Mad Libs in the front of the restaurant and decides it's "too hipster" to keep playing.
8:24 PM: Meg excuses herself to go to the bathroom. Andy tells me that she's doing an eightball of coke in there. That's what usually happens when I go out for this column, but he's kidding.
8:58 PM: Meg and I sit down on a bench to wait for our table. Andy is Tweeting. She admits she doesn't love living in Los Angeles. She has been here about five years and says that it's a lonely city. She has a bunch of half-brothers and half-sisters and one blood brother scattered across the country. Her parents are divorced. Her former step-dad was abusive.
8:59 PM: Meg misses the isolation and beauty of the mountains in Tennessee where she lived until age five. She even wrote a song on her new EP that's inspired by the location (below). I ask her about her childhood as a Jehovah's Witness. "It was hard," she says. "We didn't celebrate birthdays, holidays or anything. But it was normal for me. It was all that I knew."
9:10 PM: "What if I have a meltdown right here?" asks Andy. "Do you think they will seat us faster?"
9:17 PM: We finally sit in the front of the restaurant near a window. We order an artichoke dip to start. Meg orders lasagna and Andy orders meatloaf. They both order beers. Andy pokes fun at Meg for pulling out a Mad Libs at the restaurant.
9:21PM: I ask Andy if more ladies hit on him because he's married and wears a wedding ring. He tells me he has no game to know the answer. But he says the key for men to pick up women is to have a cute puppy in the park or tell a woman that he is recently divorced or widowed. "Really?" asks Meg, laughing. "Widowed?"
9:23 PM: "Have either of you had an affair with a married man?" asks Andy. Meg says she participated in romantic cuddling sessions with a married guy. I ask Andy if he's ever been with a man. Before he responds, Meg interjects and says she likes when men have been with other men.
9:24 PM: Meg is drawn to older guys. She lost her virginity at 17 to a 28-year-old Cuban man. She broke up with him afterward because she thought it was weird and just wanted to be a kid. He was also emotionally immature. To top it off, he also had a 9-year-old son. Andy bursts out laughing.
9:26 PM: She goes on to explain that at 14 years old, she was dating a dude who was 18. He ended up living with her family for a year, but he was a thief. He would take cell phones from cars and come home with lots of stolen goodies. Her family kicked him out. Her last relationship was for three years, but they drifted apart because he was "lazy."
9:27 PM: She tells me that she's crazy and never satisfied. She's in a relationship again, but she's worried she may lose interest. She sips her beer.
9:28 PM: Andy tells us that men are "fucking idiots until they are at least 27." His wife told him that after 30 he had to stop playing Edward Fortyhands.
9:31 PM: Meg goes on to say that she gets really antisocial sometimes. Andy informs me that dudes trip over themselves to talk to her. He thinks she should tell them that she doesn't have time for them. But she's always nice and talks. "I care about people. I always stop to talk, even if I feel anxious," says Meg. Andy replies: "You care about a dude who stops you when you're going to the bathroom?"
9:33 PM: "Weird things happen in women's bathrooms. I've gotten girls' numbers before," says Meg. Andy tells us a story about his wife being on a flight and there was an older dude next to her wearing old man jeans who got a boner in his sleep. Meg: "I would jerk him off." We all laugh.
9:35 PM: Our food arrives. The meatloaf is wrapped in bacon and slathered with zesty tomato sauce. I don't even like meatloaf, but it looks so good. The lasagna is coated with a marinara. I get an enormous salad with spicy peppers and pizza crust underneath.
9:45 PM: The two have been writing songs in Andy's house. They are planning to get into the studio soon and make some more tracks. "There's been a lot of pain in my life," says Meg. "Music helps me escape a lot of it. I just feel so much. I know that sounds cheesy, but I'm always feeling." She takes another sip of her beer and continues: "When I feel really sad, sometimes I do like to bask in my sadness. But as long as I have an outlet to turn to it works. Otherwise, I'd just be an alcoholic or dead."
9:54 PM: We finish our food. I feel compelled to wrap mine up since I only had a few bites. I am convinced that we will be able to feed at least one homeless person.
10:15 PM: Before we go, I ask Meg what she thinks about religion. She tells me it's all bullshit. She's spiritual in nature, and she feels connected to something, but that's all she knows. We agree.
10:25 PM: We head back to Andy's car. It's barely raining at this point. Meg turns to me and says, "You know, maybe I'm sad because I feel like I'm not doing enough. I'm not helping enough people or something." I give her a ring pop.
10:28 PM: My built-in retainer falls out, because of my watermelon ring pop. I now have tons of glue just stuck to the back of my teeth. Awesome.
10:30 PM: Inside the car, Andy hands each of us miniature Crystal Skull vodka bottles. Meg's really excited.
10:32 PM: We're at the light right next to the restaurant where Meg is a waitress. Meg begins to read our Mad Libs out loud. She stumbles over the words, and Andy blasts the radio to drown out her talking.
10:44 PM: We pull up next to a chartered bus. I ask Meg what is something no one else knows about her. She responds, "Nobody? I have to take a shit right now." Andy laughs. "She has a penis. That's it."
10:46 PM: Before we are about to take a photo, a man inside the bus pops his head out. We are startled. I ask the man if the party bus has a name. He responds, "Yeah, the Party Bus." Here's the photo:
10:49 PM: We head into the Satellite on Silver Lake Blvd. It's Air Sex Night, which means people get up on stage and pretend to have sex to music. Andy's friend is one of the judges.
10:55 PM: Andy orders a Stella and Meg orders a Maker's on the rocks. We are all kind of weirded out by the men in the room. It's creeptastic.
11:00 PM: A girl named Becky is on stage getting air raped to Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Want to Have Fun." It's really disturbing. She has fake blood on her face and is slowly disrobing and writhing around on the floor.
11:15 PM: Andy notices a girl is tweaking out and touching her hair uncontrollably. "You think she's on something?" he asks. A second later, she walks on stage. Her name is Carol, and she gives a mean blowjob in front of the crowd. She pretends to sneeze midway through her BJ and everyone cheers. She's allergic to the air dick.
11:20 PM: A guy is attempting to stick his head in an air vagina.
11:30 PM: A girl walks on stage to Ace of Base and attempts to act out a guy having a premature ejaculation. She is very nervous. She finishes in about 30 seconds, and gets reamed by the audience and the judges.
11:42 PM: A fat guy in his late 20s is getting screwed in the ass by another man. He is having a massive orgasm on stage. It's very strange to watch. We can see his buttcrack.
11:45 PM: We head out. Andy has a $60 ticket on his car.
11:46 PM: We head to our next destination. Andy explains that he was always into producing and '80s synthesizers. He's obsessed with Tricky. He had a band called the Handsome Public in New York but ended it when he moved. He was doing a solo thing later, but he figured that no one wanted to hear a 30-year-old Jewish Justin Timberlake. He's interested in doing background vocals for Meg's records.
11:28 PM: We discuss Eminem and how brilliant his old shit is.
12:06 AM: We are in front of the allegedly-haunted Cat & Fiddle pub on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood. We're all ready for our ghost hunting experience. The Turtles' "Happy Together" is playing through the speakers.
12:07 AM: We meet Ashlee Gardner, the owner of the pub. She is sitting next to Linda Silverstein and Sarah Scarlata with their ghost techie Nicole Lovett. The three are involved in Ghost Girls Los Angeles. They are a paranormal research team specializing in capturing video and audio evidence of the supernatural.
12:10 AM: Sarah asks me if someone in my life has just passed. I get kind of freaked out because no one has. She apologizes.
Meg Myers (left), Andy Rosen (middle) and Linda Silverstein (right)
12:15 AM: Linda explains to me that the Cat & Fiddle has been haunted for a long time. This place is actually where she formed her ghost-hunting group in January of last year. Gardner's father passed away inside the bar, and his ghost still present today. She claims that Humphrey Bogart got shot in the Casablanca room in the pub. That's where we're heading now.
12:20 AM: The lights dim, and we are seated around a table in the middle of the room. There is an EVP detector present to measure any ghost noises. Linda instructs us to stand up and hold hands. This is a process called "white lighting," so that none of the ghosts can harm or haunt us. She tells us to surround ourselves with peace and love.
12:45 AM: Linda says that one of the ghosts -- a bitter old woman -- hates her. She hangs out in the kitchen and has pushed her multiple times.
12:58 AM: The room is silent. Linda looks over to me and asks if I lost my Grandma Judy. I did lose my Grandma Judy at 13. It's not so much that she guessed my grandma passed, but that she guessed her name was Judy. This freaks me the fuck out.
12:59 AM: She tells me that my grandma was a brilliant writer and that I need to find her writings in an attic in my old house. She also tells me that my grandpa is present. I am wearing my grandpa's ring this evening.
1:00 AM: Meg looks over to me completely disturbed.
1:10 AM: Eva Gardner, Ashlee's sister, walks in the door. She's a co-owner of the pub and bassist in Pink's band. She's very involved in the hunting process and joins our group.
1:30 AM: Linda is in tune with Meg's past. She asks her multiple questions about why some of her brothers and sisters are happy and why most of them are really sad and crying in her visions. She pulls Meg aside and tells her that her brother who passed away is here with us right now.
1:32 AM: Meg walks over to me with tears in her eyes. I ask her if she is okay. "Yeah," she says. "Linda told me that my brother wants me to keep pursuing music and that he understands how hard it is for me." Andy just listens.
1:45 AM: We enter another room in the pub, where apparently a glamorous, green-eyed actress ghost named Vivian is, wearing a red dress. She says that she was in a John Wayne movie. She's really excited that I'm writing about her because she feels as though she failed in her career. The only two people who see this encounter are Linda and Sarah.
1:48 AM: Linda gets up and stands by the door. She tells us that the ghost is in her body right now and starts dancing around. It's bizarre. Meg looks at Andy and laughs to herself.
Sarah Scarlata (middle), Nicole Lovett (right) and Lovett's husband using devices in the haunted kitchen
2:15 AM: We enter the kitchen. It is pitch black and feels really cold. I am scared. Sarah calls the mean ghost a bitch.
2:30 AM: We leave the bar. A homeless man comes up to Meg and me. He asks if he can have a hug from both of us. He says that he hasn't kissed a woman in a year and that it makes him sad. Neither of us kiss him, though we do give him the hug.
2:40 AM: We jaywalk across Sunset Blvd. to the church across the street. There are about 20 homeless people in sleeping bags. We walk up and distribute my food from dinner.
2:42 AM: Meg thanks me for allowing her to aid someone in need. She says she's been missing that for a long time.
3:30 AM: Andy is skeptical about the ghost stuff, but thinks it's pretty crazy that she talked to our relatives. He drops us off outside Meg's apartment.
3:31 AM: We walk inside. There is a futon as soon as you walk in the door. Her upright bass and guitars are lying across a chair. There are clothes everywhere. Her pet rat is in the kitchen. She takes it out and places it on her shoulder.
3:38 AM: She sits down at the piano that Andy bought her and plays a new song called "Home." It's only halfway done. It's one of the most beautiful songs I've heard in a long time. Her voice resembles Fiona Apple with a spooky edge.
3:40 AM: "I hope you liked it," she says, blushing. The song is about someone trying to find a home, but not knowing where it is. She stands up and heads to the kitchen. "It still needs more, but at least you felt something, right?
4:00 AM: I head home. I think I keep seeing ghosts in my rear view mirror. I look down at my grandpa's ring and turn on some music, a Genesis mix CD of all things. "Man in the Corner." Halfway through the song, it starts skipping repeatedly. Eerie!
Meg Myers will be performing at the Viper Room on Monday, December 3 and the Troubadour on Wednesday, December 12
See also: *Doing Drugs, Lots of Drugs, With Myka 9
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