John Lennon’s Epiphone / The Roxy / The Viper Lounge

Today my younger son and I went to Musician’s Friend, a freaking warehouse of a joint down in the East Bottoms, to find a hard case for his guitar. He has an Epiphone similar to what John Lennon played, with a wide hollow body finished in red. Beautiful instrument. Curious thing is, my boy plays like he’s 21–and he’s only 15. Kid’s a natural, as his teacher tells me. He practices all the time, is dead-serious and yet in a light way. Fully intent on making it in the music world. Knowing what I went through as a writer, and how the odds are similar, I keep my counsel for now. Also there are legions of phonies, dopeheads and parasites in rock n roll, and those people often destroy the art, whether they’re corporate leeches or “hip” sycophants; he has to stay above that. We’ll take it one year at a time.

Later we stopped by the gallery to buy coffee for the chicks at the interior design place, Terbovich, down the block. I’d promised them, and anyway they’re always so sweet. Later we got on the web to check out Sunset Strip. My son wanted to know about The Roxy, The Whiskey, The Viper Lounge, all those joints. Sure their history is interesting, but insubstantial compared to what the music’s supposed to be about. Still he’s very curious. Maybe I’ll take him someday. I remember what those places were like in the 80s–big hair on both the dudes and chicks, coke everywhere, more decadence than talent. Interesting to observe, but very destructive. I ain’t in a real hurry to take him.

Much later we had a damn good game of football with all of my son’s buddies. They’re mostly musicians, but decent with a pigskin. Everyone played well, everyone made tackles, broke tackles, and everyone scored (I made sure of that). I like a game when we all leave the field muddy, winded, and every person feeling like a winner.

Tonight? My wife and I head to a friend’s for a New Year’s Eve party. My older son, 17, will be holding the fort at our house. Yeah he’s having a party. Yeah I’ll pop in for a surprise visit. I ain’t stupid. No one’s leaving my place drunk.

What’s this got to do with art and literature? Nothin. But it was a nice way in which to end the year. Now for a bit of bourbon, then some champagne, then mischief later. Art again on Monday. Much to discuss.

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