Malibu Jason and the Temple of Doom
I’m wounded, still stoned, may be possessed, and have the heebie jeebies from tangling with mice and rats on a haunted film set in Malibu, CA over the weekend. Most of all I, had a blast with my friends, The Bogarts, who showed me a great time and reminded me that I’m not 30 anymore.
Jason Bogart, who I affectionately call Malibu Jason, is one strange cat. About 4 years ago when I was in LA and needed labor help for an earth plaster project, I placed an on craigslist and found Jason. I had maybe 50 responses to the ad. Most were qualified. Jason was not. I hired him anyway. On the surface, he was a Hollywood cliché. He and Mrs. Bogart moved from Detroit Michigan to a small apartment in Hollywood so Jason could make it big. Picture Axl Rose in the Welcome to the Jungle video stepping off the bus with a baseball cap chewing on a piece of straw. That was Jason. He was trying to break into acting. I was accustomed to this as any non-Hispanic laborer in LA is usually half-assing during the day as they troll auditions trying to be the next Brad Pitt. Yawn.
Jason was different – is different. From day one we hit it off and had fun on the job site. We have similar tastes in music and we love to laugh. He’s a first rate goofball and I enjoyed the spirit that he brought to the job site. He worked hard and I learned to trust him. That trust grew into something genuine and rare and it makes me pause for thought as to why people come into our lives – in this case against all odds and traditional methods. Jason is on a short list of people I would trust my life with or call if I needed help. How did that happen? How did a guy I shouldn’t have hired in the first place become such a good friend and earn my love and respect against every rule that normally would create this?
I don’t know. I could wax philosophical but it doesn’t matter. I’m just grateful that we continue to grow our friendship.
So, I went down to visit Malibu Jason and Mrs. Bogart; had some fun and of course weird things happen. Within minutes of my arrival, he brings out canisters of medicinal herbs – heavy ass shit. I’m relieved to see that the rolling paper is not pink. In fact, it’s large and brown. Apparently my old ass is about to smoke a blunt. I brace myself and go along for the ride. I try to be moderate but Jason is a professional and I want to be a good guest, so I partake and partake. Did I mention I partake?
Then the Peacocks show up and we go to the rock show at a venue on Malibu beach.
This requires a bit of clarification. The Peacocks are Tommy Peacock (real name) and his wife. Tommy Peacock is an LA rocker who makes the rounds throughout the clubs along the sunset strip. He’s good! Better than most of the crap you hear on the radio. Check him out on You Tube.
We drive down – hands in the 10 and 2 position driving well below the speed limit insuring safe arrival. We walk into the club and see Marilyn Monroe on stage singing songs I don’t recognize. I’m confused until somebody tells me that it’s her birthday. I’m still confused. Is it Marilyn’s birthday or the lady pretending to be Marilyn? I don’t know and really don’t care. Munchies have set in so we withdraw to the patio to mack down on some tacos and cocktails. The featured band is also outside in their entire hipster splendor drinking heavily in preparation for the gig. By the way, what is up with complicated yet shaggy facial hair and porkpie hats?? Anyway, Malibu Jason, Tommy Peacock and the feature band gather around a patio table and engage in a very important and impassioned conversation about why the rock group Sublime sucks. I’m at this point feeling irrelevant but hang on the best I can. I’m more interested in the shear awesomeness of the fish tacos. Truth be told, they could have served me sautéed shoe leather smothered in bloody entrails and I would have been happy.
The band gets the nod and we all stumble back into the venue to watch the rock show. I had low expectations stemming from the Sublime conversation that was less than sublime. I was pleasantly surprised – These guys rocked! Makes me think of how much talent is out there playing REAL music that doesn’t get to market. The band is The Reverend and the Doctor. They crushed some down and dirty blues – all original songs and very authentic. I would have enjoyed the show more if it were not for the sideshow of 2 women I can only describe as rabid attention whores. They represent everything I despise about LA; two women who took over the dance floor and made it all about them. They danced provocatively for the crowd as if the music was supporting their show. Uggh. People were there to see a Blues show. Strip clubs are plentiful in LA. WTF?
We went back to the ranch and broke out the bong. We shared ghost stories. Specifically stories that happened to the Bogarts while on the ranch over the last few years. I was picking up on some dark energy that was being amplified by the moonlit night. So we took a walk and summoned the spirits. Mind you, we are on a very famous film set that specifically chose this site for it’s dark energy. Is it a good idea to get stoned and create a séance on an already haunted property? Yeah it is! So we walked from house to house, all of which are used in the show to see what might happen.
We walk into one house and immediately see a dead mouse. Nice. We go to flush it down the toilet and see three more dead floaters in the toilet. The place smells terrible. After I adjust to the smell I see all kinds of voodoo shit everywhere and am thinking this will be a great place to kick back, get high and see what appears. So we do! With Voodoo décor as a backdrop and dried blood on the coffee table, we tell stories of past experiences while recording anything that might happen as we ramble on.
So, we go to the pool house and do the same thing. Right before I sit on the couch Jason tells me someone on the show was bludgeoned right where I was about to sit. I’m oddly comforted and sit anyway. We bust out the pipe and summon the spirits once again. We have interesting conversations that I can’t remember exactly. Then, just as I am launching into an explanation of a dark dream I had as a boy, the lights flicker something fierce. We are on edge at this point. The hair on my back and neck are standing on end and I have full on adrenaline pouring through my veins. So do the Bogarts. I share my dream and why it matters. The Bogarts listen. And we feel like we have succeeded in making some connection – albeit arguable.
Although this will not be fodder for a screenplay, we had a blast and I know I will come back for more. We will be prepared next time and make recordings and have a plan.
It’s very late and WAY past my bedtime so I say goodnight and head to my room in hopes of a good nights sleep. Not going to happen. The room fortunately had a bathroom. Unfortunately, the doorway is 6 feet high. I am 6’3”. Needless to say, there was blood and now a developing bump and scar on my head. I add this to the collection of trailer scars I have from bumping my head in the Airstream over the course of 18 months. If I ever go bald, I’m gonna have to address this. Some would say I am well on my way to bald. I ignore them.
In the early morning hours I wake up to a weird feeling on my leg. I thought it might be one of Jason’s dogs. I hear gnawing in the corner of the room and know I’m locked in the room with a rat. It sounds big. I try to ignore it. Somehow I get back to sleep with a bloody head and a rabid rodent in a small room in a haunted house. Could be worse I tell myself – but not much!
It ain’t for everyone.
I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Oh, more about Jason. He’s a big hippie. Oddly, he has a particular disdain for hippies even though he is maybe the most accepting and positive person I know – and a dyed in the wool hippie freak. Mrs. Bogart dropped the perfect description at some moment we were together. Jason is a hippiecrit. It was funny at the time. Check him out and toss him a like on Facebook. The Bogart Show. His art is delightfully disturbing. Deeply disturbing, twisted and wonderful. This is a picture he painted and gave me as a parting gift!
He is also currently having success with an upstart production company called Nat Productions that has already had a successful 5 city tour merging comedy with art. It is called Arts a Joke and featured Joey Diaz as the headlining comic. (Number one CD on I tunes). I don’t typically whore out for other people but I so believe in Jason and his vision that I would be proud to be a part of nurturing his success.
Check it out y’all.
Click “twg” below for stoned ramblings from voodoo house.
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Filed under: Tuesdays with Gooley
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