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Life Story: Stan the Man

This week’s instalment is, again, from the early Seventies. An old bandmate comes to visit, and gets introduced to Canyon life…

Stan the man. I haven’t thought of him in a long time. He was Lickety Split’s drummer, and also their fixer, a bit older than the rest of them, the guy that held it all together on and off stage. If there had been mobile phones in those days, he’d always have been on one. As it was, he was always in phone boxes, arranging the next gig. The others used to call him SuperStan, as in, “Hey, SuperStan! How are you no’ wearing your underpants outside your trousers?”

No wonder he fell out with the new management regime of bloodsuckers that moved in after the hit single. He was an unpaid manager before then, really. There was some bloke called Billy G, but he was always pissed.

Anyway. There he was, on my doorstep in L.A., looking off back down the track when I opened the door.

To read more, go here.


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Venus’s Life Story: The Chicano Moratorium

Funny how some stuff comes around again: with Trump’s rhetoric about building a wall between the U.S. and Mexico and making the Mexicans pay for it ringing in our ears, here’s the next instalment of Venus’s autobiography, as she tells of an encounter with a lesser known part of the anti-Vietnam movement: the Chicano Moratorium; and how a later classic image from the War inspired her song, ‘Girl in the Picture.’

To read an up to date Guardian article on how the real life girl in the picture is gradually overcoming the scars of that fateful day, follow this.

‘The Chicano Moratorium

The guy looked like a fish out of water. Literally. He was drenched from head to foot. He’d walked up into the Canyons from West Hollywood in the rain.

“You gotta come to this, really,” he said. Water dripped off his Zapata moustache onto the rug. “This is gonna be huge. The biggest anti-Vietnam march in L.A., period. Entiendes?”‘

To read more of Venus’s story, go here


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More from Venus’s Life Story: Josie

Next up in the still-fragmented autobiography that Venus has given us so far, is from early days in Los Angeles again, and an influential figure inspires a song…

“She Sees Round Corners

Man, how I hated that waitressing job. It was in a coffee shop on Mulholland Drive. I mean, looking back now, it doesn’t seem so bad, but that doesn’t matter, does it? Not when you’re there, when you’re in the moment.

So, sure, I can laugh at my younger self now, whining to my new-found mentor, Josie.

“Why is it the richest guys give the meanest tips and are most likely to hit on you?” I’d say to her.

“At least they still hit on you, honey,” Josie would say, and laugh that big, wheezy laugh. She didn’t own the coffee shop, but she might as well have. The real owner gave her the run of the place.

“Look and learn, listen and learn,” she’d tell me. She was about fifty, a big woman who made the best pancakes I’ve ever tasted, but it was the way that she picked up things about the customers that fascinated me.

“Those two are having an affair,” she told me one day, after a couple left the cafe. “Pure and simple. Both got out of the same car, but two sets of car keys on the table. Why would you bring your own car keys when your husband’s drivin’ you?””

To read more, go here