Monday, April 6, 2009



I wasn't writing songs on the 11th story ledge of the Continental Hotel in 1971, I was writing my obituary as I gazed out over the concrete below. There was no stardom, no clever words left in me on that day, just a sickening need to kill off the memories of what went wrong. The smiley faced kid with a guitar and a song for every occasion had been transformed into a full on addict alcoholic with a death wish.

I began noticing people on the outdoor decks of the homes that covered the hills and looked down on the Continental Hotel on Sunset Strip. I was becoming the freak show of the day in very short order for those who lived in the area. Don't get me wrong, I was was the one who decided to take the action I did, but there was something odd about watching them watching me, as I sat perched like a bird on the hotel ledge. I wondered if they wanted me to jump or not? I expect it was a combination of both. You know, wanting to see it, but not wanting to see it at the same time. Hell I didn't fully understand it myself. Part of me wanted to just quit fucking around and do it, and another part of me was saying,"Now wait a second." I was torn between the two powers for hours, as I refused to respond to various voices urging me to come off the ledge.

By this time, the L A Sheriff's Department had taken control of the hotel and shut off access to me. A helicopter circled above and various news media began surrounding the hotel. On the floor below me the L A Fire Rescue Team was contemplating throwing a rope around my dangling legs and pulling me down to the floor they were on, but decided it was too risky and that they might lose me in the attempt. This was captured on news footage from inside the room with the Fire Department and later shown on TV.

My incredible level of psychic pain kept me doggedly attached to the ledge ham strung by my own determination to end my life. It is one thing to decide to jump off a building, it is quite another to actually be on one looking down from 11 stories and do it. I cried, as I thought about Diane and how she had thrown herself from the 6th story window of her apartment. I cried for my father, who had gassed himself to death in his own car in his garage. I was amazed at the level of their conviction to carry out those acts, as they had done, and that I was now facing on that day in 1971.

About that time I was startled by the voice of someone yelling at me from my right. I turned to see a guy hanging half way out of his hotel room window with a camera in his hand. "Go ahead man," he yelled, " I got you covered all the way down." "Go ahead," he shouted again, with a big smile on his face. The guy was about 15 or 20 feet from me with half of his body hung out the window. I stared at him dazed and realized he wanted me to jump and was egging me on. About that time some force from behind him yanked his ass out of the window and I could hear very loud yelling coming from the window. It was the L A Sheriff's. they had kicked in his door and hauled him off. I began yelling and crying hysterically at the window where he had been an screamed, "Yeah, fuck you you asshole, go fuck yourself." I became highly agitated and animated and moved my body to the very edge of the ledge. "You wanna see me jump you asshole? You wanna see me die? Ok man, you fuckin' asshole I'll jump, fuck it."

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