I just got back from California 2 weeks ago. I'll post pictures in a bit. I'm at work so my hands are full...shit!
She should've been a son
Yeah then I'd be fuckin' everyone
So I was right. The trip was just as phenomenal as I'd imagined it'd be. Now it's my mission to move there. More so, because two special people live out there and are encouraging me. I was in the place where my favorite artists live/lived, Long Beach, California, with two people I was in love with at one point in my life. People I could still love. It was surreal being with them BOTH together like a family with her KID out in this beautiful endless spacious place with succulents, cacti, palm trees, and whatever other desert shrubs I could be learning the names of. There we all were in a land with seals, seagulls, sand, friendly people, laid back people, bikers, skaters, surfers, artists, hippies, punks, normies, regular nuclear family oriented people, and lovers....not well...you know. New Yorkers. Sure, plenty from New York come there, but they leave New York behind. They shed that awful tired, polluted and poisonous skin when they come out west. My lips wouldn't stop pealing in Arizona. We found a place called Bronx Pizza in San Diego. Sandy eggo! I only talked to one guy there. He was from Astoria so he said. When you walked in you teleport back to New York, because all those caricatured maps are hanging up with framed photos of Italian boxers and actors, the 6 train was painted above toward the ceiling, Yankee symbols were everywhere...but enough about New York being in San Diego!
After I flew into Phoenix where Jesse picked me up, we spent some time in Sedona where he camps out in an empty quiet place off some road where you can awake to coyotes howling in the middle of the night. He showed me Flagstaff, a quaint college town, with lots of spiritual healing crystal shops. Met up with Ambrose, who I haven't seen in about 3 or 4 years since he moved. (another New Yorker gone out west. Actually he left first.) We then saw Prescott. Reminded me of an old western cowboy town, but not entirely. It was a pleasant little place, and not too touristy. Had to drive over a mountain to get there, Mt. Mingus. The roads were so winding I was a little nervous, but mostly because the speed limits are much higher it seemed. Way less traffic than home, too. So free and open! After we hung out by a lake in the woods we made our way for California.
We traveled into the night. I felt like I was Pee Wee in that part where he hitchhikes and takes turns with the ex-con, but then falls off the cliff due to the roads being so twisty and turny! It wasn't as cold as they'd said in the desert, but maybe it was cause we were in the car. I made Jesse take us to the Cabazon dinosaurs for no reason lol (the dinosaurs Pee Wee spends the night in with the waitress, Simone) Finally got a motel and then we headed for Sandy Eggo. As we checked into a Motel 6, by the airport, with lots of planes flying low right over our heads, I asked the man helping us where locals get their pot. He explained that we would need a medical card. The dude was most likely bored and happy to get away from his desk and get it for us. Probably profited a little bit. All's well. We thought it was fully legal and recreational already, but that won't be until another year. So, we gave him some cash and he brought us some medical Indica right to our room. (Room service!) Got a little stoned and went to a ritzy place in SD called La Jolla. That's where we saw a swarm of seals hanging out on gigantic rocks in a cove on a beach. Only thing I could see polluting the water was some kelp. We got some tacos (it was Taco Tuesday) and swam a bit, right up with the seals almost (danger! shark attack!) and the water was freezing, but the weather was pretty hot. We felt like we were more seedy people than ritzy so we drove around San Diego and went to a neighborhood called Ocean Beach. There was a nice beach where people could let their dog roam free and watched the surfers try to catch a wave. We were admiring all the little beach cottages and wondered how much it would cost to live there. After checking out a Whole Foods or something to that effect and a liquor store we went back to relax. We were pretty tired from all the driving and lack of sleep. We went to bed and rose early, and went to a record store called MTheory. I hadn't splurged on cd's and buttons in a long time! Now my hat is covered with them. We were on the road again headed for the LBC! Which is such a cool neighborhood. It feels like being in a nicer tropical Throggs Neck sometimes, but it's unique on its own. Stayed in a place called Long Beach Motel which wasn't too shabby. Checked out a couple of Sublime spots, like the mural that is relatively new (like two years old) done by an artist named Jonas Never, DiPiazza's, which we were too early to go in, drove passed Fern's Cocktails (where Date Rape was shot) I wanted to go in, but the forces were against me. I guess parking was tough, and we were too busy meeting up with Jack Maness! I hit him up on Facebook, since we've been FB friends for years and he knew I was coming. Told me to meet at a bar called Joe Jost's. In case you don't know, he sang on the Rivers of Babylon track off 40 oz to Freedom. He pulled up behind Jesse's car and handed me a DiPiazza's T-shirt, and a joint. Before we entered Joe's he walked us a little down the street and pointed out where STP was filmed and how they all lived together in an apartment there and turned it into a recording studio. He said perhaps the same Chinese cashier at the convenient store across the street still works there haha He shared a tale of how he took showers with Brad and they both sang together out the window haha and told me he never spoke about that to anybody else and how I probably shouldn't mention it to anyone. I contained my super fandom and didn't try to bombard him with too many questions. He is a human being. A simple man (title of his solo album that came out in 2010, which I bought and downloaded) who works a normal job. He told me about his former depression, and how he got over it. We discussed the late Chris Cornell's recent suicide, how it still blows his mind that Sublime was a phenomena that was thankfully "captured" in time, and working for people like Kathy Griffin, fixing her water pipes or something all over LA, Hollywood and the Beverly Hills. I asked him if he'd be at Westminister (where Brad's headstone is) in the morning. He said he had to work, but that we'd see him later on probably. He bought us some beers and pickled eggs, we hugged and departed <3.
That morning we searched for Onn's Junior Market (mentioned in the song April 26th, 1992) and it seemed to have moved a little down the way since then, but we hit up a different liquor store (which are so awesome out there. like really boozey bodegas) bought some forties to take to the place. What another surreal experience. Sitting at a grave with Sublime fans I had met only on the internet previously, Opie Ortiz (who I met in Brooklyn at a Perro Bravo show before I left. Showed him my blender tattoo (the one he drew for the Sinsemilla boot) and told him I was flying out to go to LB), and Troy Dendekker, who Brad married a week before he died and the mother of his son, Jake. These guys, Reid and Peter brought the van! THEE van. Like the van that smelled like Lou Dog inside. I got to be in it and drank my 40. I was pretty shy, but I know if I move there I could make this a regular thing. We hung around, people sang and played guitars, smoked, drank, and took pictures. I said bye and then we drove onto Redondo Beach and had ice cream.
The next day I decided to get drunk, because the liquor stores out there are cool. Picture walking to the corner deli or bodega in NYC, but with booze behind the counter. You can pick up beer, liquor, and snacks all in one place. I regret it though because we went to see Perro Bravo perform and Long Beach Dub Allstars made a surprise appearance, and Jack Maness sang along with Opie and I wasn't even there for it. I mean we showed up, but I was pretty much like, "WHAT HAPPENED? Last thing I remember...." was actually meeting up with a guy named Chris Bauer, friend of the band today and back then. He was a punk who I believe served in the military around the time Sublime was touring and such...he gave me the Badfish vinyl and told me not top open it. Well, I couldn't help myself. When I got home I wanted to see what was inside.