Setting up camp - Arriving in Hollywood Pt.3
Updated: Feb 15
After our first unsuccessful attempt at getting an apartment, we decided to give it another shot: We had seen a big banner advertising apartments for rent on a building just off Sunset and we called the number and made an appointment to view a one room studio for $500 / month. We made our way to 1114 N Clark Street and met Jimmy, the owner of the house. He was not interested in papers or anything other than a cash deposit of one month's rent. He said he would come round once a month to collect the rent in cash (so we didn't need to worry about getting a bank account!) and then he handed us the keys and BOOM! That was it! We were off the streets and had an apartment in Hollywood!! And we didn't even realise that it was on the very street on which Mötley Crüe had had their infamous apartment AND that is actually was the VERY HOUSE that Guns had stayed at when they crashed at Vicky Hamilton's apartment! Man, we would have loved that!!! We literally had arrived at the very core of where our heroes had forged their careers!
1114 N Clark St in the summer of 1996.
Unlike said heroes, we did not destroy the place and have the police come around constantly due to excessive parties... In fact, not a single party was conducted at 1114 N Clark St when we lived there - we guarded our place closely and kept a low profile. We were illegal immigrants, after all! Due to Jimmy's uncomplicated way of conducting business, 1114 N Clark hosted an interesting array of tenants: our direct neighbour was ex-Blondie guitarist Frank Infante. Some guy from Steppenwolf lived upstairs and was the only one to ever use the pool, floating around on an air mattress. Then there was a ground floor flat with the blinds permanently closed and people with TVs, car radios and the like going in and coming out shortly after without them... From the gallery in front of our apartment we could look into this dude's apartment and he'd always walk around naked and have a ton of hookers over - welcome to Hollywood!
By the driveway of 1114 N Clark St (Xavi's STILL wearing the sect-dudes shoes!!)
Our studio (which is nowadays going for a whopping $1600/month!!!) was a shoebox-type thing: One room with a massive sliding glass door, a little kitchenette and a walk-in closet. And a tiny bathroom. For us, it was more than enough: Before coming to LA we had spent a miserable February in an unheated rehearsal space and in London we had lived in a house share from hell... So we were super happy! Most months we managed to scrap together the rent somehow and if we didn't, we'd just hide behind our amps when Jimmy came around to collect it.
Summer 1996. Rehearsing at our apartment.
We of course had no stuff at all - Jimmy let us have an old (and flea-infested!!) sofa and we had a blanket we had bought when we were on the streets. We dealt with the fleas by sleeping with flea collars around our necks - if that's not punk rock, then what is??!! The fleas would still bite you from the knees downward, though, if you didn't curl up like a dog (we couldn't afford more than two flea collars, so we couldn't put another pair on our ankles...) The first things we bought were amps, of course, not household essentials! We used to cook beans in the actual tin they came in before Linda came round and gave us some cutlery and crockery and later that summer Sabú's mom visited us and got us some more stuff.
Mom bought us a pot and a pan!! Summer 1996.
So now we had pots and pans (well, one pot and one pan anyways!), we were set up to conquer Hollywood! All that we needed now was a drummer and a demo!
Listen to our soundtrack of these times:
Read on: https://www.the-lurxx.com/post/poverty-hunger-the-summer-of-1996