Sunday, 27 March 2011
Hooray for Hollywood.......
With the death of the divine Liz Taylor hot on the heels of Jane Russell, it really is the end of an era. Beautiful though Angelina, Julia, Kate and the rest maybe, they don't come close to Hollywood glamour in it's heyday; the impossible perfection of so many stars sparkling on the red carpet at galas, parties and premiers or heads up, hands down in the cement on Hollywood Boulevard. The diamonds and pearls, ribbons and bows....and that's just the pets...... defined the period of out-of-this-world-extravagance, no hair out of place, no nail un-painted, no-lip un-slicked with red. These people were not like us and that's why we loved them.
Being a devotee of the movies, the best bit about living in LA 17 years ago, for me, was the set. I'd seen this back-lot so many times in so many films: Mulholland Drive, Sunset Strip, Hollywood Boulevard, and now it was me behind the wheel, cruising along PCH, heading for Malibu. I was living my dream. And it looked the same....but different. The white washed villas, the palm trees and bougainvillea, the blue skies and 24 hour diners, still staffed by waitresses with white aprons: Sherry, Cherry and Annie-May from Idaho, pens poised.....
"How d'you like your eggs?"
They tap-danced through the menu.
"Whole, wheat or rye toast?"
Still waiting for Cecil-be-the-man-from-the-movies to sit at their table and make their day. Now, hitting 60 will it ever happen?
The movie, 'Swingers', depicted my life in La-La land perfectly. Once at a party in the hills I watched a band called Zebra-Crossing, infamous Brit boys lead by the too-beautiful Charlie, an early Russell Brandian chap, dressed in a tu-tu, hugging the mic. He sang, we danced and then a total stranger started kissing me. For hours. Up against the rail of the deck, the lights of LA sparkling behind his head. He was 24. I was not. His name was Peter. He was South African.
"What man?" he said, when I pulled the err-South-Africa-face, "It's cool, Mandela is free."
"Ecstacy", he murmered in my ear.......It took awhile for me to realise it was something he was on rather than how I made him feel.... The party was in a house Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall used to live in. In all the parties in all the houses in all the Hollywood Hills, it was always Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's house. They sure did move around some.......
Top tip:Instant glamour: head-scarf, sunglasses and lipstick....it's the way forward.