Friday, April 10, 2009

(Part 33) No One To Say Goodbye To, No One To Say Hello


I boarded the plane at London Airport (Heathrow, I think) and looked out the window at England for the last time. I hadn't had anyone to see me off and no one was waiting for me to arrive back in America. Other than looking like a "pop Star" I had become once more the boy from Tucson, Arizona via Geneva, Illinois who played songs he wrote on a guitar in his bedroom. I was leaving with nothing other than 2 failed records and 2 failed TV shows. I was the has been that never was. The big hype! Mr. publicity and not much else. It was a strange feeling to have done what I had done for the past nearly year and a half and to now be leaving as if nothing had ever happened. I had no idea at 20 years old what this all meant. I had no money other than about $20 on me and no plan for what to do when I got back to America.

No one on earth knew where I was at that moment and most likely didn't care, with the exception of my own family. I hadn't called anyone and asked for help, because I was too ashamed to. I believed that they thought I was doing great so I couldn't call and tell them I was coming back a failure. The use of the word failure has caused some people to scold me after reading what I have written. But "failure" is what I was. I hadn't succeeded at getting anywhere. I had just made a lot of noise and got my picture taken and my name printed. There was no hit record, no money, and no anything else. Hell I couldn't even find someone to take me to the airport. So if the word "failure" is out of place I'd like to know what else to put as it's replacement.

I had not succeeded and where I came from that is known as failing. I also learned "If at first you don't succeed, try try again." I had every intention of trying again. I didn't exactly know how, at that moment, but I believed that Bobby Jameson would always come up with something just like he always had. It was like some sort of magic to me. Something I couldn't explain, but something that I relied on no matter what the conditions around me looked like.

I landed in New York City many hours later and got off the plane. We had a layover till the next flight to L A so we were put up for the night at the Americana Hotel. After getting my room straight I went down to the bar to try and get a drink. People stared at me, because I looked the way I did and they thought, well you get it, they thought what they thought. I was dressed in a suit so I looked pretty good and had no trouble getting a drink at the bar. I was 20 years old, but no one asked me for any ID. As I was standing there two couples kept watching me and kind of whispered to each other and than laughed. I had no idea what they were saying, but eventually they came over to me and said, "You're one of them aren't You?" "One of who?" I asked. "Oh come on now," said this guy, "we know who you are." I started to correct him and tell him they'd made a mistake, but I stopped, because the guy wanted to buy me a drink. Hell, I didn't have any money and I still wanted to drink so I said "ok."

I was speaking with more of an accent than I had realized from being in England for nearly a year and coupled with the way I looked they had mistakenly decided I was an English "pop star". We were all getting along famously, but as I drank more my southwestern background and accent began to emerge. All of a sudden this guy starts accusing me of being a liar and tricking all of them into believing that I was somebody that I wasn't. It didn't do any good for me to explain they were just pissed off and insulted that I had duped them into believing something that wasn't true.

I landed in L A the following day. I arrived at LAX with zero fan fare. Nothing! No one to pick me up and no one to say hello. I will never forget it. Just this sense of aloneness like I didn't exist. Just another body pushing along through the nameless crowd to I didn't know where. I took a bus transport to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel for $3, because it was all I could afford. I wasn't going to stay at the hotel it was just the closest place to Sunset Blvd. that I could get to. Once there I got a taxi cab, another 3 bucks to Ben Franks on the Sunset Strip near La Cienega Blvd. I got out of the cab and told the guy driving I was broke and couldn't tip him as I paid the fare. He was a black guy and told me not to worry about it that he understood. I watched him pull away and then turned to look at Ben Franks. I had no money and no where to go. I had no one I could call and no plans. I was just there standing like a statue in the parking lot of that coffee shop. I didn't know what I was going to do or where I was going to sleep that night. I just stood there and didn't move for a long time.....

No comments:

Post a Comment