Monday, February 19, 2007

Diamond Dogs

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Come out of the garden, baby....

I don't wanna write this post now. I don't feel like it. These things always take me forever to write, and my enthusiasm wanes whenever I look at my 'stats' link at the bottom of the page. Ninety percent of the people who view this blog, view it for '0 seconds'. But I know I have a handful of loyal readers, and I can't let you two down, now can I?
Wanna know a secret? When I write this, I think to myself, would Morrissey like it? Will David laugh? Will Jody like it? Will Erin? Will Scot contradict my memories? Is this something I would like to read? Will people think less of me? (I hope so!) Will I get arrested? Will I get an email from a Japanese animation company asking if they can turn this into a TV series? When all those questions are answered to my satisfaction, I feel I have written something worth reading.

The year of '87, when I was 20, was the year of Limelight. Oh, Limelight. Lime lime lime light light light. I loved that gigantic labyrinthine booze palace. Erin and I lived there that year; we went most every night. Limelight had an hedonistic reputation back then, and from the moment you walked in to the old refurbished museum and saw the living display cases and the outrageous staff, you knew you weren't an ordinary place. I loved it because there were so few boundaries. After spending years in a high school where I had to know exactly which hallways to avoid, and at what times, lest I get verbally assaulted or worse, to be able to drunkenly roam the halls of Limelight in lipstick and big spiked hair was just the cure I needed.

Last week's Grammys reminded of a story from my high school days that illustrates a point; I forever associate The Police with hatred. (Sorry, Sting.) One day my mother drove me to school in her '67 Jaguar two-seater. I asked her to stop at the north entrance, because it was nearest my locker. I usually had to take the back way into school, because the A-list clique hung out at the tables near my locker, so I had to kind of sneak up to it, without them seeing me. But because it was late afternoon, I thought it would be safe to enter the school that way; the clique would be in class. Well, they weren't. When I walked in, I stopped dead in my tracks, and they sat in stunned silence looking at me, because of the amazing car I just exited, and my beautiful mother waving to me from behind the wheel. After a second or two, a hail storm of pencils and wads of paper and sexual epithets (the norm if I came near them) rained down upon me as I raced the twenty feet the my locker. This was the day before The Police concert in Milwaukee, and they were sitting around talking about how excited they were to go. I pulled out my jean jacket, with my Jam pin stuck to it, from my locker, as I listened to their plans. The Police are OK, I thought to myself, but The Jam... .

I made a lot of clothes for Erin and myself that year, and Jody sure was mad when she found the sketches of designs I did for Erin. My dream was to become a famous designer. I spent hours ripping apart vintage clothes and putting them back together in modern ways, and creating my own designs. I did a few fashion shows at Limelight, and sold a lot, and did some work for a few local rock bands. When my sewing machine broke, I never got a new one, and I let my dream fade away.
My friend Marty's band was scheduled to play Limelight one August evening, and on the night of the concert, I got ready at Erin's place. I put a Robert Smith-like wig on her, and re-named her Carmelita Malbletto. (Laverne and Shirley fans will know what that means.)
Well, because of all the wigs and sewing and booze and glamour pills, it was very late when we got there, and we missed Marty's performance. We found them in the Dome Room, which wasn't easy, for the place was packed. I knew my friend Ava was working in the basement that night, and we usually did 'naughty' things down there, so I snuck away from Erin, because she would kill me if she knew I was doing more drugs.
I lost track of the time, and went to find Erin. The main bathrooms were in the basement, and in my haze, I thought I saw her go in there. The sudden bright light confused me, so I started yelling her name. Not really seeing or hearing anything, I dropped to the floor and crawled under the partitions of the long row of toilets, asking each occupant if they were Erin, and was met with screams of laughter, until I found her.
"Jesus! What are ya? Half nuts? What are you doing?" She yelled at me.
"I'm just trying to have a little fun. Let's hang out here a while. I ran into Kristin a few stalls over. Let's invite her in." I said.
We partied in the stall a while, and made our way back to the Dome Room.
It had cleared out by then, and we found a seat where we could survey the room. Someone started singing Happy Birthday loudly, and Erin said That voice sounds familiar...oh, it's Bryan Adams. A little later he sang along with Peter Gabriel's Sledgehammer, but the room was blase about it. We didn't ignore him per say, but no one fawned over him. I was secretly jealous all of my friends had met him, but I made no effort to talk to him. Soon he came up to us, and said something like you two look like the funnest people here, and we hung out for a while. He could not have been a sweeter guy.
"Hey, you guys want to come to my hotel for a party?"

Growing up in the conservative mid-west in the late 1970's, any mention of Studio 54 on TV sent me racing to watch it. To me it was a place for the creative and famous, conservatives be damned, and I couldn't wait to go somewhere like that. I found it for a while at Limelight. As I got older and read about the history of the club, and biographies on Capote, Liza, and Halston, it finally dawned on me many people ran there to fuel their destruction, rather than to celebrate what made them 'different' from the rest of the world. Even though the enviornment and people of Limelight was the exact opposite, but, contrastly, similar in some ways, to my not-so-distant high school days, I still could only hear the echos of past hatred through it's vast corridors, no matter how much I drank or ingested.
That reminds me of a Crowded House song....


Sarah said...

Did you party in Bryan Adams hotel room?

See you Saturday!

dirk.mancuso said...

The thing I love about your blog is that even though I don't know you, in my head it feels like you are telling me the stories one on one.

Does that make any kind of sense whatsoever? Probably not.

Moving on...I'm with Sarah: did you party in Mr. Bryan "Everything I Do (I Do For You)" Adams' hotel room?

Aaron said...

In my high school, it was the older burnouts and jocks who gave me shit. Of course, in our tiny school, the jocks were really the only A-listers, so I guess that makes sense. Of course, looking at my old pictures now, I understand why they laughed at me. I can't even keep a straight face...

I always thought Bryan Adams was cute (despite the skin troubles)...I thought Sting was cute, too (don't hate me). But I hated the Robin Hood song, and I hated "When You Love A Woman." I hate them as hotly and bitterly as I hated "My Heart Will Go On."

Johnny C said...

There should be a psychological term for blogging burnout. My friend Lorriane was doing a fantastic blog with tons of hits everyday, but she just took a break, she said if Lucy could take the summers off why couldn't she...

Regardless, keep writing, it seems cathartic, and someone needs to document this period of time in Chicago clubs.

BC said...

Thanks for the kind words.
Sadly, the Bryan story ends where I ended it. Erin thought we were too drunk to go and nixed it.
Please! I would tell you if there was more! Maybe.

David said...

We love you Corky! We want you to LIVE!

Aaron said...

Even though we're all just...BASTARD...PEOPLE!

Don't you just HATE...our whole...ASS FACES?! :-)

Aaron said...

Isn't this picture Anne Baxter? From which film?

Anonymous said...

I worked at the Limelight in 1986. I was one of the boys sporting combat boots, anxt and a black skirt. Insane days. Thanks for the memories.