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Another Fein Mess
AF Stone’s Monthly
June 2016

‘Round Town

5-6 Bye bye SAAB. Had to get rid of it after many years’ struggle.

It is a 1994, the last year of that body configuration.

It was fast, smooth and beautiful, it just refused to get 100% fixed. It spent 6 months in the shop, dying out five times upon its return. Even “never give up” me gave up.

The Breast Cancer Society now is its proud owner.

510 Successful crime novelist nee music publicist Robert Levinson packed the house at Skylight Books on Vermont Avenue, reading from his tenth book, The Stardom Affair.

Former Record World editor Spence Berland, with Levinson.

5-15 The Blind Boys of Mississippi packed Viva Cantina at noon for an off-book concert, thanks to sponsor Tom Kenny.

Blind Boys singer Sandy Foster rocks the house.

Pearl Harbour, my table mate, proudly displays the purse she manufactures.

5-27 Jimmy Angel and others pack the house at Viva Cantina in Burbank

Skip Heller

5-29 Ruby Friedman returns at the Federal in North Hollywood with new band and material. It was as explosive and compelling as we hoped.

Ruby baby

Post-Ruby relaxation at Chipotle with Saul Davis and Carla Olson.

5-30 My darling Diane’s birthday,

5-31 Porch destroyers come and knock mine down. It leaned about 20 degrees. (Then I sell the place, dammit.)

Readin’ Riters

* One disturbed reader - surely not the only - feels that I knock women more than men.

True, and I throw out many more. Women seem to be more willing to assume ‘everyone knows’ this or “everyone likes” that. I knock it when I spot it, but never check bylines first.

* When I went to J-school, it was hammered that you don’t run anonymous quotes (“said one of my teachers.”)

You must be able to back up generalities. Name “everybody” who knows this or that.

That applies, by extension, to “one witness said.” My god, people say all kinds of shit.

If you use one quote it means you agree with it. “One witness” may have bad vision.

These Are The Times Of LA

4-29 A studio’s sale to another makes front page headlines, with color pic of the owner. I know this is big news in some circles, but what is going on in City Hall that day? Couldn’t this argybargy be in Business? ....

5-1 A millionaire is building in the Santa Monica mountains. Not the front page news ...

5-6 Big coverage in the California section about a big rock where someone said Jim Morrison did something.

5-8 Nurses like Bernie - but some don’t.
It’s not unanimous.
“Some” question him?
Hot air in springtime ...

5-9 Front page hed blares that “Some” oppose Madeleine Albright’s appearance at a college. Is any speaker ever unopposed?

5-13 Reporting on sub-maximum pricing at a new Whole Foods outlet, Shan Li writes “This is not your mother’s Whole Foods.” Cliche-editors laid off? “The goal is to attract new shoppers,” in case you wondered ...

5-18 First anniversary of the Waco shooting? Which one? I've forgotten, and don’t need a reminder. Was there no current news to put in this half page? ...

Shal Li flat-out says it - The Gap is foundering because it has “bad fashion.” No photo of Li, to verify her chic props ...

5-19 Justin Chang, in Cannes, reports “media” audients’ boos. The film is the thing, not just your friends ...

5-22 “The T.A.M.I. Show,” the widely-unseen 1965 concert film, merits a third-page for the movie guy. Is it a film? The large photo of James Brown is 'suitable for framing' ...

5-27 A gay choir was scheduled to sing the national anthem at a baseball game, but someone accidentally switched on the normal recording. Accident? Newsies blew it up to a conspiracy ... Kim Wilsher in Paris, opens with “Deeply unpopular french president Francois Hollande.” That’s a neck-snapper ...

5-26 “Legislator faces more accusations.” His angry wife’s complaints are detailed. News stopped being fact-based years ago ...

5-28 Actor’s wife with bruised face says “He did it.” If not proven, can the actor sue the paper? He is defamed without proof ...

5-30 State news. The room where two angry religionists killed 14 people “was in disarray” according to this large urgent, bannered, color-photo’d (of a memorial) rehash of the San Bernardino shootings December 2. The six-month, 28th-day anniversary ...

Half page on an exhibit honoring Bob Dylan. You hardly hear about him anymore, unless you’re conscious, but it’s in NY so it’s news ...

5-31 The day AFTER Memorial Day, the California section front-page banners a half-page story that people the previous day went to cemeteries to honor the dead. A news holiday, also ...

6-3 “Activist is found guilty” shouts like an injustice. How about “Check skipper arrested, along with interfering jerk.” A woman left a restaurant without paying, and a Black Lives Matter “organizer” hindered her arrest. “Black people don’t pay” is not a recognized organization ...

New York, New Yawk Times

4-10 Odd sub-hed: “Writers focussing on healthful eating have hit the London food scene. America is next.” Healthful eating? Ever heard of it? News to Marisa Meltzer ...

5-1 “Sunday Styles” front-page blasts that the mother of some tech genius is taking the fashion world by storm. A Von-someone walks up to her and says “You look so beautiful,” reports intrepid Laura M. Holson, who always gets her man ...

5-5 Prince report includes sources “a person with knowledge of the situation“ “congregants,” “Prince’s closest friends, relatives and associates,” apwkots again, “a person who worked with him and requested anonymity because of the nature of the case” (why the stretch?), “Officials” with the DEA,“ “people who knew Prince,” “local news media accounts,” “Concerned friends,” “some people,” “Associates,” “Other friends,” “police.” But some props were given - a named promoter learned of his death “as she was brushing her teeth.” Finally, a quote with bite ...

5-10 Jesse Bidgood, to bolster the legitimacy of charges against the Baltimore cop charged in the Freddie Grey “black mariah” ride, quotes unknown Shai Crawford who says she is excited about the trial. Is she the only person interested? Why did her quote make the cut? Is it Bidgood’s assumption of the cop’s guilt? Did no one speak in his defense? ...

6-3 A third-page obit for an ad guy who signed Michael Jackson to rep Pepsi. Was Advertising Age not publishing this day? ...

5-15 A woman succeeded in the “cruelly objectifying business” of modeling. Beautiful women are forced to sell their beauty! Someone should just hand them money ...

5-18 LA and NY Times marked anniversary of “Waco shooting”? “Waco’s bikers try to move forward?” No progress in a year? Was this a nation-shaker? ...

Misc News

“Thousands of people from around the world” were outraged at the killing of the gorilla who got hold of a child, yet not one offered to throw their kid to one. You’d think ...

Shooting at a rap concert - ho hum - renews the “racially-charged” debate on safety at such events. Who’s debating?

I don’t know how hard it is to turn a helicopter, but it must be gargantuan. Most times, when tv news says southbound traffic is jammed, the jam is flowing up. Compasses not work in the air?

Keep the old

* I once updated a 2008 Mac computer. (I still use it, but now mostly use the 2012.)

I’d stored a lot of songs, and learned a bitter lesson when it asked if I wanted to update iTunes. “Sure” I said. “Why not?”

I’ll tell you why not. Formerly I could look at, say, Beatles songs, highlight them in a block, and alphabetize them to see what songs I had.

New program? You can’t do that anymore.

Why? What was the harm? Too easy for the user?

* I recorded a 1950 Victor Mature movie 1 set in Las Vegas and wanted to check the cast in a 2013 Maltin 2. No listing.

Then I remembered the 1997 guide in the Goodwill 3 bag. The movie was listed. New movies are fit in by ditching unrespected old ones.

1 There is no Victor Mature history at the back like those of Cary Grant, Liz Taylor etc. Critical respect trumps popularity.

2 He can be found at old film festivals around town, in the audience. I don’t have enough objections to actually confront him. He’s alright.

3 Like many of my refs, this is out of date. Goodwill is for-profit, with a wealthy owner, so I donate only to local shops, or Salvation Army.

On The Road

How can a drivers window be blackened? For what reason other than criminal activity? ... LA. drivers like the ample two lane right-turn lanes the city provides. The stripe down the center does not separate lanes for one car to go forward and one to go right, because a car cannot turn right from a right lane. (That must be what they teach in drivers ed here) ... LA drivers are easy touches. When I look across the freeway divider at a mile-long line of facing traffic waiting to exit, there are always people at the front blocking the adjoining lane, gesturing “Let me in?” And they get in. Wouldn’t happen in Chicago.


Has “There’s No Excuse For Domestic Violence” been a big whopper-stopper? It invites discussion ... “Two minutes and counting” is a silly way of saying two minutes ... When a tv news mouth says something “is unclear” it means a reporter failed to learn something ... ALL words lengthen. It comes from tv, where time must be filled. A catch-22 is a catch. People say it to seem smarter but are dumber ... “In a word” quadruples the length of a thought without adding value ... Once, a political ad on tv would be words or narration on a screen, followed by the candidate saying “I approve this message,” to assure you that their opponent didn’t make up the ad. Today you have the candidate on camera speaking, and then, as if insane, assuring you they approve of what they just said ... A wild card has no certain value. It attaches to something valuable. If you have low cards in your hand, the wild card is next to useless ... In a Columbo: “Goya was the penultimate artist.” Second-best is pretty good, though I think the writer meant the best ... Why do reports say “three suspects” robbed the bank? They’re not suspects, they’re robbers ... More than once I’ve heard an angry person described as having a hard-on for someone. Sounds like love to me ...

Ol’ Suspicious me

I bank with American Bank 0, but there’s not much activity on my account.

I went to the AB on Olive in Burbank to cash a $400 check I’d been given. There are a couple of ABs around Hollywood, too, but each are a struggle to park. This Burbank outpost had a big empty parking lot.

My bank balance was below $400. It was a personal check. The woman says “I’ve never seen you here before.”

I knew this wasn’t a welcome. I said, “and I’ve never seen you.” I was not hostile with her, since I have long led a life of suspiciousness.

I studied each of her utterances as to how it might be designed to reveal my illegitimacy, and parried.

We both were frustrated.

0 Not the real name. I started in 1977 with one bank, and it changed names six times as each was swallowed by the next.


I’m in a dry climate, but bagels are gooey. That is, they arrive from the oven like rubber, or rubbery. When you unfreeze one, it resumes its rubberiness.

Maybe they have to add water for the dry air here. Ancient Jews were desert dwellers, too.


* Wasn’t “Now” a silly title for that Rolling Stones album? It was untrue the day after it was pressed ... Doris Day’s “Secret Love” was a lesbian anthem ...

* Some of my album covers have tears, corrosion, on the spine, which I attributed to a cat getting at them. But some of the ones up high are ratty too. Now I think that since LP covers were folded flat, then a few dozen years of the record stretching the width caused the edges to pop ...

* The recent death of Guy Clark is a great loss. I loved the man and the music ...

* Zep is being sued by Randy California’s family for appropriating their song for the opening to “Stairway To Heave.”

I thought I had their get-out-of-jail card. When Randy was on my tv show, I asked him about it and he said “Yeah, I know, it’s alright.”

Someone in the Zep organization heard about this and inquired with great interest, but when I checked the tapes (Randy was on twice, once with Spirit, once alone) it wasn’t there.

I guess we spoke of it before the taping.

Things that ain’t

In baseball, a “pitchers duel.”
(See “gyp.”)

Don’t let it bleed

When I got my parents to buy me a black t-shirt at age 10, my mother told me not to wear it to bed.

“I don’t want you sleeping with anything black” she said.

I’m pretty sure she meant it might rub off onto the sheets.

Who you calling a pedant?

Sometimes when someone says something important, I say “I could care less.” It means I care a lot.

Thank you very mush

When my friend dearly wanted an Elvis license plate, she found that every possible one was taken.

She took my advice and got ELVI5.

Peripheral fright

Reading at night by lamplight, with a stack of white papers to my left, I feared bugs were crawling on it.

My peripheral vision’s good.
My ‘floaters’ were moving as I read.

Insult to injury

After a friend dried out from cocaine, she sued her record company employer for maintaining an atmosphere that promoted drug-taking.

The judge ruled the company innocent, and said “It is my opinion that you have been abusing cocaine during the trial.”


That “grace note” struck me too, as I’ve been accused many times of being on drugs.

I was, but I quit coffee in 1985.

Cleaning out

I am more than terrified of moving.

I live in the hills of Hollywood in a near-silent environment.
2065 Watsonia Terrace is heavenly.

Though the Hollywood Bowl parking lot east of Highland is near, the house is soundproofed. I have two adjoining neighbors. There’s six houses in this cul-de-sac.

The 2-car garage has room for two more on the driveway. The rooms are large and beautiful.
Giant ceiling beams.
All mod cons.

I typed a ‘diary’ starting in 1987. The 1988 entry is 1400 pages. Reading it now for the first time, one prevailing theme is leafblowers blasting noise into my apartment and cars alarms detonating nightly. These are not anomalies, they’re just city life in this town.

Nobody can see that I’ve calmed down in the past 17 years of peaceful home residence, but I have.

Apartment life is gonna kill me.

Culture clash

A friend asked me about life in Chicago as a kid.
He grew up in northern California.

We talked about clothing, me saying the West Side Story tight black pants, narrow tie, fuschia shirt style was well received in Chicago and he said not so much in his farm community.

“But you wore jeans to school, didn’t you?” he said.

When in movies I saw kids in school wearing jeans, I assumed it was a Hollywood dream, to appeal to kids.

Chicago was a formal and ‘moral’ place.
I couldn’t get away fast enough.

Cum feel the error

The kid at the record store looking at ‘70s UK rock band albums said “What kind of music does shlar-day do?”

- 57-

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