Is the WYNDAM BEL AGE trying to get into the groove? Perhaps following in the footsteps of trendier sleepover spots around town like the Standard and W in Westwood, the traditionally low-key hotel opened up its doors and its rooms in a big way recently, playing host to the SENSORY CIRCUS fund-raiser for Red Road, a nonprofit organization that provides nature retreats for inner-city youth. The massive bash took over the hotel’s rooftop as well as the main and second floors, with mobs of trashy H-wood gals sporting Grade-C tit jobs and the guys who love ’em swarming from the main ballroom, where live acts such as JOHN BOY 9, CHOCOLATE COVERED WORLD, BOTTLE ROCKET and SEX WITH LURCH (pictured) played, to the rooftop pool, where models showed off the latest in teeny swimsuits. “Wow, she’s really working that bored look,” commented man-about-town
SHAW SMOAK, pointing out one girl whose bland facial expression looked as though she was collecting hours for court-ordered community service. “Wouldn’t it be fabulous if she really was?” One gal, evidently looking to start a sensory circus in her brain, assumed (wrongly) that the rapid-fire rundown on Red Road by one of the co-promoters meant that he was on some mighty good coke, and inquired where she could score a Saturday-night enhancement. As if ass-shakin’ to Sex With Lurch wasn’t enough.
Finding our way to ZION CITY’s underground I AM METAL party — what with its tricky map points and secret shuttles — was as complicated as getting to Cuba, but the rewards were rich. Zion City’s objective is to rouse us from our pods and create a fictional world in which we can realize our true selves, and so we showed up with bodies painted silver, which not only liberated our inner metal, but knocked $5 off the $20 ticket and allowed us to aspire to the local beauty standard — minor deities from performance artist ELIZA SCHNEIDER to our favorite Moontribe DJ, TREVOR, donned some variation on silver-wear. Choreographer DESIREE CASTRO apologized early and often for collisions with her silvery antennae, and the eerily graceful “Liquid Sculpture” she created for the Dream Theater Troupe consisted of three live shimmering bodies suspended from the ceiling on chains. (But Fabulous Monster’s director ROBERT PRYOR, gleefully defiant, sported a golden cape.) As the mayhem peaked with burly men pounding junk metal from the gaping maw of CHRISTIAN RISTOW’s 20-foot fire-spewing robot, and another freaky contraption hauled men by hooks that pierced their raw backs, we, dumbstruck, turned to Zion City impresario GRASSHOPPER for an appropriate adjective. “This,” he declared, “is epic.” We agreed.
The once lackluster monthly openings along Echo Park Boulevard’s emerging gallery row have finally become an art-tart scene rivaling Chinatown’s Chung King Road. At the most recent round of openings, those who could get a signal on their cell phones were busy calling friends to come and join them on the street (it was about the only place you could stand) with the likes of painter
LISA MURRAY, Luxe De Ville’s TOMMY CHIFFON, artist VINSULA KARA, the Ray Makers’ CHRIS and MICKEY CURTIS, author (and occasional Weekly contributor) LEWIS MacADAMS, and Velvet Hammers MARIA BASALDU and MICHELE CARR. At SHOW PONY, RACHEL DETROIT’s band CIVIL WAR, with Beachwood Spark AARON SPERSKE on percussion, got down — literally; they had to hunch over to fit into the tiny loft inside the gallery. Meanwhile, down below, Show Pony curator Kime Buzzelli was busy trying to raffle off (for a buck) a hickey she’d give, in honor of the exhibit “Teenage Lust and 10,000 Other Reasons I Almost Killed Myself.” Among the possible takers were actress JULIE DELPY, writer DIVIANA INGRAVALLO and New York Doll ARTHUR KANE. The then-still-campaigning ERIC GARCETTI (elected to the City Council a few days later) glad-handed, while pledging his unflagging support to the nascent Eastside art explosion. His favorite pieces were the beautifully blurry and color-saturated landscapes of photographer EMILY SKINNER, whose pics are on view at PINK GALLERY. We hope Garcetti’s vision for the 13th District will be more in focus than Skinner’s photos.
Jimmy, We Hardly Knew Ya
“Get drunk and be somebody!” is how TOP JIMMY would address the crowd at his shows, so it’s not surprising that his wake was Irish style, a drunken memorial that lasted almost 15 hours celebrating the blues rocker who died recently at 46 from liver complications after a lifetime of unrepentant hard living. With a bellowing vocal style that echoed such ’60s L.A. stalwarts as Canned Heat’s Bob Hite and the Doors’ Jim Morrison, Top Jimmy (pictured) epitomized the L.A. underground as it went through its Roadhouse Blues period in the late ’70s and early ’80s, when the future was uncertain and the end was always near. He influenced and inspired his peers in country- and blues-inflected punk-era bands such as X, the Blasters, the Gears, Los Lobos, the Knitters and the Gun Club. Intense highs such as jamming with Ray Manzarek and X at the Greek Theater and being immortalized in the Van Halen song “Top Jimmy” alternated with all-time lows like getting stabbed outside some creepy venue in East Hollywood. Jimmy (né James Koncek) lived harder than country legends George Jones and Merle Haggard combined! Among the many paying final homage at the ZERO-ONE GALLERY were X’s
EXENE CERVENKA and JOHN DOE, CARLOS GUITARLOS and JOEY MORALES from Jimmy’s band the Rhythm Pigs, Blasters JOHN BAZZ and BILL BATEMAN, ex-Plimsoul EDDIE MUNOZ, the Plugz’s
BARRY McBRIDE, Fear’s LEE VING, Bicycle Thief BOB FORREST, the Gears’ DAVE DRIVE, the Controllers’ KARLA MADDOG, GTO’s MISS MERCY, Midget Handjob’s KEITH MORRIS, legendary street performer WILD MAN FISCHER, the unStiff One TEXAS TERRI, the Mau Mau’s RICK WILDER, producer RUBEN GUEVARA, photog FRANK GARGANI, soundman DIRTY ED, artists ROBERT WILLIAMS,
BOB ZOELL, STEVE BARTELL and ED BOSWELL, bon vivant PAUL GREENSTEIN, galaboutown
TEQUILA MOCKINGBIRD, and Jimmy’s affable sister MARY ROSA KONCEK. The ashes are now on permanent display at the Zero. Jimmy, rest in peace, y’all.