All the wars we won, but we're still walking home
Don't give me your reasons for all my bad intentions
New York...LA...hey man, you know it's all the same
Last call, everyone go home
And take all the LA rain in
Because it won't fall too much more this year
The summer's gone, but I'm still right here.
...and of course, it had to be Hotel Roosevelt. I think everything happening in that hotel that night was so typical LA the lobby was a microcosm of the entire city.
It started with a text message. Scratch that, it started the week before at a high end company party. We met a 'producer' who was also a swing dance instructor and professional surfer...and coincidentally was 120% full of himself. He kept name dropping and swearing he was a big deal. I kept thinking I'd believe it when I saw it.
Then came the text message, 'Roosevelt on Thursday. Danny Masterson's Party. You guys want in?' I was beyond skeptical, but I figured the worst case scenario would be a night in Hollywood, a photoshoot on the walk of fame and a fast food run on the way home.
We get to Hollywood Blvd, to the hotel that's been there since the 1920s. To get into the hotel lobby we had to smooth talk glorified bell boys...to get into Teddy's Lounge we had to be on the list, to be on the list we had to know 'Max', to say we knew 'Max' we had to get past a bouncer who's been rated by Rolling Stone as one of the top ten toughest doormen in LA...even though she was a woman smaller than I am.
Inside everyone 'knew' everyone...even though they didn't really. Our friend 'Max' was in the 'VIP Section' with a bottle service bill that costs more than my rent, apparently was barely 19 and had no problem using his real ID. He was also there with a man who was definitely old enough to be his dad...which is something I'll never quite understand. In her glory days the bartender dated Adam Levine and appeared half naked in Maroon 5 music videos...and is still living on 14:59 of her 15 minutes by letting everyone she serves know of that fact. We kept meeting people in the 'music business who just need a better studio' or 'trying to make it in the industry, looking for their big break' which to me means pseudo socialites with no real job which means they're allowed to party on Thursday nights.
Thursday is Jazz Night at the Roosevelt. The 'producer' kept promising us it was going to be a good time, great bands and amazing entertainment...but the entire time I felt like I was stuck in a Humphrey Bogart movie---only with less classy girls and boys who won't walk you home unless there's something in it for them.
The 'producer' who got us in apparently didn't come with any friends, wasn't planning on meeting anyone there, was actually planning on hanging out with us all night and was clearly into my roommate. I avoided third wheel syndrome by ducking into the lobby, a room so dimly lit I think it actually made my eyes worse, furnished with sleigh beds and filled with middle aged people simultaneously taking shots and doing drugs. No really. Joe Sixpack was doing lines off a drinks menu 10 feet in front of me. In a hotel lobby.
If this isn't real LA life than I have no idea what is. It's a subculture of a completely different nature, separate from California and even more distanced from the rest of the country. The bouncers, the socialites, name dropping people you've never even met, dedicating a good portion of each night out to get to know the bouncers to guarantee your ticket back in, the sketchy promoters, the 'industry people' only ever happen in this city. It glitters alright, but I'm definitely iffy on the golden part.
In any case, the night ended up with us wandering around Hollywood, a photoshoot on the walk of fame and a fast food run on the way home. I guess there are worse ways to end a night.