After living through the hunger summer of 1996, we secured basic funding from our moms - they both came to visit, saw how happy we were in L.A. and decided to help us out! Xavi's mom used to send us cash in the mail, wrapped up in carbon paper which would stain the bank notes with black ink - once we actually couldn't get one accepted at the supermarket cos they thought it was a forgery! We also found a job at a record store on Sunset Strip. This store was run by a dude who made a lot of money buying up derelict properties in the Hollywood Hills, having a bunch of illegal workers fix them up while living in them rent free and then selling them on with a nice profit. The money he made he invested in his two big hobbies: bootleg records and cocaine. The shop we worked at was basically a front for him selling bootleg vinyls. He'd even done some time for this before, but somehow it was just his passion... Our job was to look after the shop, sell stuff to the occasional customer and create an online catalogue of all the bootlegs he had for sale. He paid us in cash and sometimes in CDs and a pretty decent rate at that! The only problem with him was that he sometimes was pretty out of it and then he would accuse us of being wasted on the job... Our druggie times were over by this time and we were always sober at work but that was hard to explain to some raging coke head...
Hollywood kids! 1996.
In any case, with our food secured and some money to spare, we could finally invest in the band! Through an ad in the "Recycler" we quickly found a drummer - Mike was not really what we wanted (slightly square, short hair, a bit older) but he had his own kit, a pick up truck and he was straight edge and reliable. He also had some money and was willing to pay his share of rehearsal room rental etc. He was just not a very good drummer. But reliability and transport are two massive upvotes, so he ended up staying with us for over a year without ever becoming a real band member, though.
With Mike and his pick up truck in front of our rehearsal room.
One of the few copies of "Tunes..." that we have left!
This demo was well received and did its job - it got us gigs! It caught the attention of Tim Yasui of Spiders and Snakes who at the time was putting on a monthly glam night at the Coconut Teaszer. We met up, he liked us and we became a staple band on these nights. On February 23rd we played our first gig in L.A., at the legendary Coconut Teaszer. Seeing our name up on that billboard was incredible! An absolute flash of "Oh my God, it's really happening!!"
What was really funny was that we had no idea at the time that Lizzie Grey (from Spiders and Snakes) was actually the dude who had played in London (the band) with Nikki fuckin' Sixx (who we absolutely idolised) and who co-wrote the Crüe's Public Enemy No.1 - we would have probably been kind of psyched to play on one bill with this guy. These were the baby years of the internet - information was so much harder to come by!
We never really considered ourselves a glam band at all, we just felt that what was left of the glam scene was a nice, welcoming scene which for some reason embraced us. Lately we've been reconsidering and wondering if we were maybe more glam than we thought... See below. Looks pretty glam to me!