Each Monday, your Crap Archivist brings you the finest in forgotten and bewildering crap culled from basements, thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets around Los Angeles.
America's Best Pick Up Spots!
Author:Eric Weber & M. Rob Frazier
Publisher: Eric Weber Press, Tenafly, New Jersey
Discovered at: Goodwill, Lincoln Heights
The Cover Promises: Women like these love the men who would buy this book. Also: “Over 900 action spots in 26 cities.”
“The truth of the matter is that you're lonely now. And you're horny now. Your left hand is always available as a mistress, but it's hardly good company.” (page 7)
“Try the UCLA Library . . . Don't do anything; just sit in a corner of the library and watch. Pick out the three co-eds you find most attractive and watch them . . . Now take out a watch. Wait until the second hand reaches 12 and start timing. Keep careful records. How long before one of them looks up from her book and starts looking around the library?” (page 135-136)
Having read in Life or someplace that there had been some kind of a sexual revolution, married horndog Eric Weber dared to accomplish what most red-blooded American twerps only dream of: somehow monetizing all his big talk about the sex he wasn't really having.
That led to his dubious 1970 book How to Pick Up Girls, which promised “Healthy young chicks like sex. Want sex. And, most important, will be glad to have sex with you if you only ask them.”
Soon, Weber commanded a hands-in-pants empire with follow-up books and his own publishing company. Because the '70s were deeply invested in proving that they really, really were the '70s, How to Pick Up Girls eventually became a TV movie starring Dezi Arnaz, Jr., Richard Dawson, and Abe Vigoda.
Nowhere are his ambitions more grand than in America's Best Pick-Up Spots. In its 319 dense pages, he and the mysterious “M. Rob Fischer” treat celebrate the many cities in which they almost certainly failed to get laid.
Weber and Fischer dash through the hotspots of 26 towns, hitting Denver (“The Broker does have a reputation for attracting golddiggers”), Minneapolis (the Rusty Nail at 5630 Lakewood is “Stewardess Haven”), and Washington, D.C. (“the end of the school term is a particularly great time to visit the Library of Congress to find young women.”)
In Los Angeles, they're somehow even more creepy and excitable. They start at UCLA, where they recommend horny dudes loiter and leer at . . .
The campus bookstore:
“If you feel you are older than 'college age,' browse through the graduate section, or look through the non-required books, and the students will just assume you're a teacher.”
The botanical gardens:
“The women don't grow on trees here, but you'll generally find a pretty nice crop from which to take your pick.”
And the University Research Library:
“I've found that graduate women are less easily immediately available but that they are usually more totally available when the are available . . . They have more experience, and are more likely to help you along to what you know you want and to what you may mistakenly feel they don't.”
Off campus, hook-ups get trickier.
“For the teeny-bopper set, there's always the Whiskey A Go-Go at 8901 Sunset. I'm afraid the days of the Whiskey may be numbered unless something changes drastically, so if you want to say that you were there, do it soon. The cover charges of from $2.00 to $3.50 just don't merit what you get inside and he young people are beginning to catch on.”
The authors enjoy the “do your own thing” ethos of the Bitter End West, once at 8409 Santa Monica, which is now ID Public Relations, the place nutters send their Sean Penn hate mail. But Weber and Frazier feared the Bitter End might “disturb” their less enlightened readers.
Here they walk you through it:
“Start dancing with the two women or three women who are dancing together over in the corner. Yes, there is a chance that they are into some kind of lesbian trip. Okay. That freaks you out. So ask someone who's sitting all alone in the corner.”
The Rainbow Room gets a pass:
“I have a feeling that most of the people who go to places on the Strip have 'given up,' but I didn't get that feeling at the Rainbow.”
Weber and Frazier often prefer the hunt outside of bars. Their approach at long-gone Tower Records (8801 Sunset) might not fly at Amoeba:
“A good time to stop here is on a Friday or Saturday night. The women who are here doing the late browsing are the lonely ones who have not managed to pick up a date for the evening. You might suggest going to your place or hers – whichever is more convenient – to listen to some of your new purchases, or, perhaps, just to share the sounds of silence together.”
You might pick up a John Cage fan!
“Be careful with your new acquisitions by the way. Always handle them with extreme care; if you happen to touch the surface, wipe gently with a soft, smooth cloth. Be careful when inserting spindle into hole. Remember: this is a delicate item which, with proper care and handling, can give you pleasure for many years to come.”
By the same logic, if you meet a girl at Meltdown Comics, be sure to board her, board her, and hunt down her variant editions.
Fellows fancying secretaries should idle about in downtown's Pershing Square.
“If you present a halfway decent appearance you will be a welcome alternative to the drools that these women normally find waiting for them in one of the few downtown areas where they can get some fresh (in L.A.?) air.”
The authors ask, “Why do the women come here if the park is infested with dirty old men?” The chance that they might catch the eye of a passing plutocrat, of course!
For Weber and Frazier, this presents an opportunity:
“If you are developing a paunch, pat it as you approach someone, clear your throat in a dignified way, and start talking about the dangers of 'all that fancy eating.' Let her jump to her own conclusions.”
Anyway, here's other local highlights:
Grand Central Market:
“The fabric stands, I noticed, are especially busy during the lunch hours, and it is nice to know that if you meet someone here, she'll probably be the kind of person who will be able to make you a sweater or something to keep you warm when she's not around.”
“The chances are that your success percentage will be higher here than in almost any other place in L.A.”
The Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel:
“When it becomes clear that she is not going to be 'discovered' that night, try to console her with a bit of dinner and a beer into which she can cry.”
Farmer's Market at Fairfax & 3rd:
“Most of these women, I suspect, were on diets and were teasing themselves with looking at the cakes. A friend of mine claims that he has met women in the St. Moritz by helping them stay on their diets. He says the most effective line he knows is saying: 'Don't give in to the temptation.'”
Los Angeles County Museum of Art:
“The Museum collection itself is not impressive, but the buildings are . . . The last time I was there, I followed a white haired dowager who was showing her young granddaughter the museum and all the things that she was supposed to be familiar with . . . When Grandma stepped into the ladies' room for a moment to relieve her ancient bladder, I asked the young lady whether she ever came to the museum by herself for enjoyment.”
And, hey, here's the fellas on San Francisco!
City Lights Bookstore:
“You may not be impressed by what you find on the shelves, but there are some nicely stacked items thumbing through some of the books. If you're the ambitious type, read up on some Ginsberg, and drop it into the conversation at the opportune moment.”
“Yes, Virginia, not only is there a Santa Claus, but there really is a NUDE BEACH . . . You do not have to be 6'4 and have 190 pounds of rippling muscles. No, you are probably not deformed. You are probably as 'big' as other men on the beach, and no, you will probably not get an erection. No one would mind particularly if you did, but, especially if you are the least bit apprehensive, you probably won't. But of course you're going to be somewhat nervous the first time, so bring a nice big beach blanket and if you start to get worried, roll over on your stomach.”
Eric Weber and M. Rob Frazier, ladies and gentlemen! They were to California what California's governor was to Rio!