Tuesday, April 7, 2009

MONDAY, JULY 21, 2008


My friend Terri reminded me to remind the reader how old I was when this all happened, and I agreed that was something I needed to do. It was 1969 and I had started all this record making in 1964, so it was only about a five year period that I have covered. I was 19 years old when I recorded "I'M SO LONELY" for TONY ALAMO and I was just a kid. 5 years later I felt a hundred years old and I was still only 24 years old and a full bore addict alcoholic.

I went up to HORN AVE. to talk to Ed Durston, after Timmy Rooney told me he was in the apartment when Diane jumped from her 6th floor kitchen window a few days earlier. I also wanted to see Jimmy George, who lived underneath where Nancy and I had lived with Ed. From what I'd learned, Jimmy had actually been outside his apartment and had seen Diane falling to the pavement below. At first he'd thought someone was playing a practical joke and had thrown something out the window, but then realized it was a person. He hadn't know at first that it was Diane, but had seen her hit the ground. He was pretty much in shock, but he ran over to where the person had hit the pavement then realizing it was Diane.

He told me that he could not do anything and it made him feel like an asshole. He said she was still alive when he reached her and that she looked up at him, but couldn't speak. He said she was bleeding a lot from her head and he wanted to help her, but didn't know what to do. I knew Jimmy and he was a happy go lucky guy, but on this day he was broken in a way that is hard to describe, just broken. I tried to tell him there wasn't anything he could have done, but how do you tell somebody that, after what he'd seen. He was the only one on the planet who had seen it, how the hell did I know how he felt or what it was doing to him? It was the last time I ever saw him and to this day I still don't really know how that may have altered his life.

When I got to Ed, he was doing better than Jimmy, but he still looked like he'd been through the ringer. I asked him, "What the fuck happened Ed, what the fuck was going on?" He looked up at me from where he was sitting and said, "I don't know man, I really don't know. We were just there, talking for a long time about life, you know, like half the night and everything was ok and then she just started acting crazy," he said. "What kind of crazy?" I asked. "Well, we were sitting on the couch and she got up and went out on the balcony and just started climbing up on the railing like she was gonna jump off and I ran out there and drug her off and pulled her back into the living room and pinned her down on the floor and said what the fuck are you doing Diane, what the fuck is wrong with you?"

Ed was ringing his hands as he related this story to me and was obviously having trouble recounting the event. "So did she tell you what was wrong?" I pleaded, "No!" said Ed, "she told me she was just screwing around and everything was ok and to let her up, because it was just a joke." Ed kept rubbing his hands together like he couldn't get them clean, so he just kept rubbing them together. He continued on, saying, "I made her promise me that if I let her up she wasn't gonna do anything crazy and she said I promise. I let her up and she said she was going to go in the kitchen and get a glass of water and I said ok." Ed looked like he might start crying at any second and I didn't blame him, because it was all too awful to comprehend.

Ed continued on, "She walked into the kitchen and I turned around to watch her. She just climbed up on the countertop, by the window over the sink, and I ran into the kitchen and tried to grab her, but she just went out the window before I could get there." He paused for a moment, as if to get his courage up and said, "I had a hold of her ankle man, I had her by the ankle, but I couldn't hold her, I just couldn't hold her man." I stood there in front of Ed with this clear picture of Diane's kitchen in my head with her going out the window and Ed trying to hold her by the ankle and I just broke down like a little boy, I just couldn't believe that this had happened. I stood there in front of Ed for I don't know how long and just sobbed, because there wasn't anything I could do about it either.

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