Delightful Gehman Stocks Rock ‘n’ Roll Witch Stories (Excerpt)

Fullest of disclosures: Delightful Gehman is, for essentially the most section, the explanation this author and editor discovered her trail to the LA Weekly. Amongst a mountain of alternative fantastic L.A. tune and tradition credit, Gehman was once the primary author of the Weekly’s notorious choice scene column referred to as LA Dee Da, which irreverently chronicled the tune, artwork and membership scene in L.A. from 1980-1993. (Learn “The Low L.A. Dee Da Lifestyles“ for a primer on its historical past). Like such a lot of others who have in mind the column fondly, it left a profound have an effect on on us via shining a gentle at the decadence and dynamicism of the underground, which in the long run influenced tradition generally, and now not simply in L.A. We needed what it represented and in the long run, we were given it.

Since the ones days, this choice Hollywood icon has persisted to file the creativity and loopy characters who make issues occur in Los Angeles, however extra so, she’s led how you can affect everybody herself with new choices– from witchy burlesque displays (Belle, E book & Candle) to a riotous punk rock podcast (The Satan’s Tune) to a number of books (together with The Abdominal Dance Guide, Showgirl Confidential: My Lifestyles Onstage, Behind the scenes And On The Street, John Doe and Tom Desavia’s Underneath The Large Black Solar: A Non-public Historical past Of LA Punk and Extra A laugh within the New International: The Unmaking and Legacy of L. a. Punk).

From frontwoman (The Screaming Sirens, The Ringling Sisters and Honk If Yer Attractive) to skill booker (punk landmarks Cathay De Grande and Raji’s) to journalist to her reinvention as a certified abdominal dancer, burlesque performer and tarot reader, Princess Farhana, Gehman hasn’t ever stopped developing, commenting or conjuring, and her newest e-book Rock & Roll Witch: A Memoir Of Intercourse Magick, Medicine And Rock’n’Roll (Punk Hostage Press) supplies a spell-binding new take a look at her thrilling, eccentric and regularly eerily enchanted lifestyles.

Prematurely of Delightful Gehman’s e-book signing occasions this week on the Resort Shangri-L. a. in Santa Monica and The Inexperienced Guy retailer in North Hollywood, we percentage an excerpt from the e-book right here.

Pleasant Gehman's Rock n' Roll Witch

Delightful Gehman’s “Rock n’ Roll Witch” e-book duvet (Courtesy Punk Hostage Press)


Again within the days ahead of cable, native tv ran previous movement footage all evening lengthy; because the Film Capital Of The united states, Los Angeles was once a goldmine on this enviornment. There was once all the time an arbitrary clutch bag of flicks. You by no means knew what would come on, however it was once almost a ensure that although you believe you studied simply as soon as every week, you’d get a large and sundry training in movie historical past. My favourite was once Motion pictures ‘Til Crack of dawn on KTLA Channel 5. Maximum nights, their picks had been so disparate, it didn’t make any sense in anyway. There was once completely no curating; it was once like an worker on the station took some tablets, had a couple of pictures, closed their eyes and randomly picked the flicks via taking part in Movie Cannister Roulette.

Within the overdue 1970’s in the course of the mid ‘80’s, they’d run the whole lot from classics like Rebellion With out A Purpose or The Postman All the time Rings Two times interspersed with suspense motion pictures like Play Misty For Me or Hush, Hush Candy Charlotte.  Some nights, there’d be 1960’s socio-dramas like To Sir With Love, starring Sidney Portier and rock icon Michael Des Barres as a sizzling Cockney hooligan. They’d play beachy B films like How To Stuff A Wild Bikini and ridiculously unhealthy 1950’s horror motion pictures similar to Plan 9 From Outer House or The Mind That Wouldn’t Die. It was once the very best overdue evening leisure for anyone-who, like my buddies and me- had gotten house from a celebration or membership wasted on beer, weed and prescription tablets bought from shady characters on Hollywood Street.

The one paranormal stories I’ve had with motion pictures each concerned my lifestyles lengthy bestie Child Congo Powers. Earlier than he turned into a well-known guitarist with iconic bands like The Cramps, The Gun Membership and Nick Cave and The Unhealthy Seeds, he was once my common spouse in crime. We’d take Greyhound buses around the nation to hang around on New York’s Decrease East Aspect, going to CBGB and Max’s Kansas Town. We had been additionally roommates at two other LA punk homes; 909 Palm Power, close to The Whisky, and  the notorious Disgraceland, in central Hollywood.   Child and I cherished the similar tune, books and flicks, and our shared surreal humorousness was once all the time at the identical web page. One evening at 909, we had been frying on acid when teenage songwriter Kari Krome referred to as The Runaways’ manufacturer Kim Fowley and informed him to come back over. Horrified, Child and I in point of fact didn’t need to see him… so we took all of the cutlery drawer out of the kitchen cupboard and absconded to our room, barricading the doorway with our beds. When Kim Fowley arrived, he banged on our door, loudly tough to be let in, whilst Child and I slid the whole lot from butter knives to  large butcher’s meat cleavers in the course of the cracks within the doorjamb, hollering at him to stick away.

When we were given evicted from 909 in 1977, and a yr ahead of Child and I moved into Disgraceland, he had a room-well, a closet pretending to be a room- at The Wilton Hilton. The rambling two-story Craftsman space was once additionally a infamous Hollywood punk space. The kings of The Wilton Hilton had been Tomato Du Lots and Tommy Equipment of the LA scene’s maximum respected however under-recorded band, The Screamers.

To Child and me, Tomata and Equipment had been previous– as of their overdue twenties- and we idolized them as a result of their startling appears to be like: shit like actual 1950’s leather-based jackets festooned with chains, vintage directly jackets from a psychological asylum and gravity-defying hair that stood directly up, courtesy in their hairdresser roomie  Chloe Pappas. Additionally they had an excellent rock’n’roll pedigree. They’d had a band in Seattle referred to as The Tupperwares, along side Eldon Hoke (the given identify of a pre-Mentors El Duce) and drummer Invoice Reiflin, who later went directly to play with Ministry, amongst others. Tomata and Equipment’s maximum glamorous roommate was once beautiful redhead Fayette Hauser, a founding member of the licentious San Francisco primarily based theatrical drag-cabaret The Cockettes. For a New York stint within the early ‘70’s, Fayette and Tomata had a theatrical comedy troupe that performed at puts like CBGB , with then-unknown locals bands The Ramones and Blondie opening for them.

The Wilton Hilton had its personal wild historical past, too. In keeping with Tomata, within the 1920’s it were the Hollywood love nest of William Randolph Hearst and his lifelong silent film superstar mistress Marion Davies. Right through the 1930’s, Paramount had used the home as a dormitory for his or her contract participant starlets. It appears, within the early the 1960’s, Pamela Des Barres’ wild all-girl, all groupie band The GTO’s lived there, adopted via a Satanic cult transferring in throughout the early 1970’s. This gave the look to be showed via the very best ritual circle burned into the ground in Equipment’s room… to not point out that the downstairs neighbor’s canine was once continuously digging up cat skulls from the again backyard. When The Screamers moved in, the home was once already creepy. The partitions at the staircase main as much as their 2d tale condo had been flat black, with a big secure inbuilt on the foot of the stairs, crowned via a framed blow up of the quilt of Paris Fit from August 5, 1962 proclaiming “Marilyn East Morte!”.

Smartly into the wee hours one night time, Child, Brad Dunning- who went directly to develop into The Gun Membership’s drummer- our buddy Chuck Fulton and I had been putting out at The Wilton Hilton, smoking insane quantities of weed and looking at Motion pictures ‘Til Crack of dawn. John Huston’s darkly sexual psychodrama Reflections In A Golden Eye starring Elizabeth Taylor and Marlon Brando was once flickering around the display of a television set that’d been salvaged from the trash. Liz was once in the middle of sauntering up the steps nude when she paused to humiliate Brando, asking in supercilious whisper,

“Son, have you ever ever been collared and dragged into the road…and been thrashed via a unadorned girl?”.

Simply then, the economic smash interrupted. It was once all the time ten mins of deranged commercials from native automotive broker Cal Worthington.

“Heeeeere’s Cal Worthington…and his canine Spot!”. From time to time, Spot was once if truth be told a canine, however he was once regularly a tiger, hippopotamus, seal, or another wild animal. Even supposing the commercials had been fun-especially when the late-night audience had been wrecked on hoochiewana – making Few minutes Pop appeared like a greater thought, so Child and Chuck beat it into the kitchen.

Mins later, whilst Brad and I watched Cal Worthington flying in the course of the air together with his toes strapped to the wings of an vintage biplane, smoke began drifting in the course of the hallway. Understanding Child and Chuck  could be too stoned to control the Herculean job of creating immediate popcorn, we headed to the kitchen. Issues had been beneath regulate, however the smoke within the corridor was once getting dense, so Brad and I made a security take a look at. The opposite rooms had been wonderful; not anything out of the unusual, however once I opened the door to Equipment’s room, oily black smoke billowed out. Oddly, there have been no visual flames or warmth within the room, so I walked in. Thru  thick haze,I checked the closet- not anything on hearth. The Dormer home windows going through the road had been all open. I regarded out of doors; it wasn’t coming from the road. Then it hit me: Not one of the smoke was once blowing out the window! How may this a lot smoke come from a room the place not anything was once burning?

Creeped out from what I’d simply witnessed, I returned to the hallway, the place Brad swore he’d simply noticed two white cats screeching across the nook from Equipment’s room ahead of working down the steps. Shaken, we went again to the room the place Motion pictures ‘Til Crack of dawn was once on; Child and Chuck cheerfully introduced us Few minutes Pop nonetheless sizzling from the stovetop.

Discussing this episode a long time later, Brad and I went over each conceivable reason for the smoke with out arising with anything else logical. We knew The Screamers by no means owned cats; as soon as once more, Brad mentioned they had been ghosts, however  that still regarded “roughly opaque” so he concept they could’ve if truth be told been actual…till they light out whilst trotting down the steps. After all, either one of us hooked up the ghost cats to the circle burned into the ground of Equipment’s room-and the entire pussycat sculls the neighbor’s canine had dug up from the again backyard.

Rock n’ Roll Witch via Delightful Gehman e-book signing events at Resort Shangri-L. a., 1301 Ocean Road, Santa Monica; Tuesday, June 7, 7-9 p.m.; and at The Inexperienced Guy Retailer, 5712 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood; Sunday June 1. Each loose.  You’ll additionally acquire the e-book right here.



Updated: June 6, 2022 — 8:09 pm