Now, I don’t want to overstate things. I wasn’t fully pimpin’. You can’t truly be pimpin’ if you’re constantly afraid for your life, can you? Probably not. There’s a certain decorum involved in the thuggin’ lifestyle. Something that I can’t truly grasp. It’s just not in me. I blame my mother for not raising me that way. For instilling in me values like decency and education. If it weren’t for her, I could be slappin’ bitches as I roll my kind of roll.
Instead, I was just a pasty dude in a caddy, driving scared.
I should clarify a few things, I suppose. This past weekend I shot a music video for a musician named Phil Hyland. It was directed by my friend Adam Hodge. A good time. Phil’s song is called “No Disguises.” It’s terminally catchy and hopefully will have no problem making it into a film or on television soon.
Anyway, I’m the lead in the “story” part of the music video. There are a few different types of music videos. The type I was in blends genres. It’s the kind where the band powers out their latest hit from some seedy, broken down building mixed with the interminable love story about a relationship in jeopardy.
I’m in the “relationship in jeopardy” part.
So I got to hang out in a house that I could never afford and pretend like it was mine. Which was nice. I had to do a couple “love” scenes. Which was a little awkward. And I got to eat free food and sample 5 kegs of beer.
Which, I didn’t do because I had to shoot those damned love scenes. You can’t be bloated in a love scene. I’m bloated enough without a belly full of Budweiser and roast beef sandwiches.
But perhaps the best part about the video shoot was the car.
Last night, if you happened to be in downtown Los Angeles at around 7:00, you might have seen me driving thorough the streets in a fire engine red, 1973 convertible Cadillac El Dorado.
Here’s a picture of one. Of course I didn’t take my camera with me last night, so I don’t have a picture of the car I actually drove. But here’s a good idea of what it looked like. Just picture it a bright orangy-red.
Evidently, this model was the Indy pace car in 1973 and apparently they factored this in when they designed the turning radius. I felt like I was driving a semi truck. You can’t really tell from the picture just how enormous this car is. It wouldn’t fit in a parking space. Literally, it took up one and a half designated parallel-parking spots.
But I got used to it after a while. I even began enjoying it. It’s a lot of car. And there’s something cool about driving that much car. Jumping back into the old Echo after the shoot was over made me feel like I was going to take a spin around the go-cart track.
But the thing is, the car was as big as a motor home, but it had less leg room than the Toyota in the back seat. It was surprisingly cramped in there. I don’t know how upwardly mobile gang-bangers do it. No wonder they’re so angry. It’s tough to look cool with your knees right up under your chin.
But let me tell you, this kind of car is not inconspicuous in downtown LA. The homeless guys all loved it. They would shout their “crazy” at me and wave their crazy arms. They were actually quite nice. Some of them would shout “Hollywood! Hollywood! Beverly Hills!” I don’t know exactly what that meant, but they were smiling when they did it, so that’s a good thing.
And lots of people honked at me. They waved. It’s amazing how much more popular I got driving a stupid gigantic car that needs a fresh tank of gas every half-mile.
That was the good attention. But I was a little worried driving downtown in the dark. Especially when I was driving by myself. Nothing says “kill me and steal my car” like a skinny, sweater-wearing white dude in a red convertible Caddy.
I’ll keep the Echo. No one wants to steal that. And I don’t have to plan my trips to the store based on how big the streets are.
Fun Fact: As a tribute to the inimitable Johnny Carson, here is a story from Anecdotage.com.
When Johnny Carson first signed on as host of "The Tonight Show" he was so swamped with interview requests that he compiled a list of ten answers - to which reporters were invited to furnish appropriate questions. The answers?
1. Yes, I did.
2. Not a bit of truth in that rumor.
3. Only twice in my life, both times on Saturday.
4. I can do either, but I prefer the first.
5. No. Kumquats.
6. I can't answer that question.
7. Toads and tarantulas.
8. Turkestan, Denmark, Chile, and the Komandorskie Islands.
9. As often as possible, but I'm not very good at it yet. I need much more practice.
10. It happened to some old friends of mine, and it's a story I'll never forget!
All over the country right now there are public schools filled with kids going “Who the fuck is Johnny Carson?!”
He was the best.