Gram was the happiest at Aces I’d ever seen him. Aces was an after hours country bar in the City of Industry. The place didn’t get going until 2:00 AM. By the time it was Gram’s turn to get up on stage, he was sprung.
If folks crowded the dance floor two-steppin’ with their ladies, you were home free. It was funny to see those rough and tumble guys sweet talking their girls while Gram crooned in the background.
“This old earthquake’s gonna leave me in the poorhouse…”
When you wandered out into the early morning light the merchants next door at the swap meet were just beginning to unload their trucks, laying out stuff on their tables and blankets.
Gram loved all these people and along with prowling the place for old records, he loved to talk to folks. We both loved that, just as much as life at home in the real world, Hollywood, that is.
I don't think the Chateau Marmont was real, they had this mad little guy as the receptionist, he was like Tony Perkins in "Psycho". Sometimes he'd answer the phone, sometimes he'd just let it ring.
The hotel was falling apart. It was like a high end boarding house with a story behind every door.
Gram and Tony Foutz lived there; Linda Lawrence and Julian Jones, Me and Denny Cordell, Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski, Donald Cammell, Graham Nash, lots of film makers and musicians in this wacky place with a gigantic billboard of the Marlboro man looming over it from it’s perch high atop the Sunset Strip.
Aces was ground zero country, if you can't sing, then “git” off the stage!
The painful drive back to LA - the brightly lit sweltering freeway choking with smog.
Trying to reach someone at the Chateau, well if that little dick at the reception desk wasn't going to answer, you'd have to use the stairs ( cause the elevator was always busy) and go and bang on somebody's door or drive over there and wreck your car trying to park in the garage. I wish I could remember that guy’s name, you'd bang on that bell and that smug little guy would be sitting right inside - watching TV.
Finally on the 30th ring .. "Shat- toe - mar---mont......!" If you weren't nice he wouldn't pick up the phone for another two days.