In the summer of 1987, Claudine Regian came out to Los Angeles to stay with Patrick and so we had to move out of our cockroach-infested, dinky one-room apartment on Yucca Street into a slightly more spacious environment. We found a two-story apartment building on Las Palmas Avenue, just south of Sunset Blvd. It had two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a bathroom, a living room and a balcony.
The apartment building was owned by Mitzi Shore, the celebrity who founded the Comedy Store on the Sunset Strip about a mile from us down the boulevard to the west. Her son was Pauly Shore the actor who had about 5 minutes of fame as a comedian in the late 80’s early 90’s. He starred in Encino man and had an MTV video named, Lisa Lisa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlnoIKaPTSY
We couldn’t complain about the apartment, the price was right and we finally had our own rooms and some privacy for a change. It was an interesting location. There was a hooker hotel on the corner of Las Palmas and Sunset that rented rooms by the hour. We would have hookers and johns walking and driving by our place all the time.
Fortunately we were on the second floor. The balcony gave us a bird’s eye view of all the “entertainment” passing by. There was a small parking lot in the back with a long wooden rickety stairway that led up to the back door of our apartment.
I remember one hot summer night, the police chased a suspect right up that stairway into our apartment. We had the back door wide open to catch a breeze. The cops started banging on my bedroom door.
Before I could say anything one cop came in and started shining a flash light all around the room. When they saw that I didn’t have any weapons and was alone in bed the cop said, “you better get your friends up now.” I jumped up out of bed and heard the cops banging on Patrick and Claude’s locked bedroom door and yelling “I said OPEN UP THIS IS THE POLICE”. Patt & Claude weren’t responding and the cops were ready to smash it down when I called out to Patt “you better open the door right now or the cops are coming in!”
Meanwhile in our living room, Eric Scheda had just moved out from Buffalo and was sleeping on the carpeted floor. The police brought up their K-9’s and one of the dogs made a bee-line for Eric. It was barking and snarling frantically, just inches from Eric’s head (the only part of his body exposed from the sleeping bag). Eric must have looked like a hot-dog in a bun to the K-9 that was salivating uncontrollably at the thought of Eric’s head in its jowls. All throughout the questioning, the dogs were desperately straining to bite Eric’s face off. The cops were stubbornly convinced their suspect was somewhere in our apartment and that we were covering for him. It took more than a bit of effort to convince the police that Eric was not the one they were chasing and to call off their relentless killer-dogs. I remember one cop asking me, “do you ALWAYS leave your back door open in the middle of the night?”. I said, “Yes, when it’s midnight and 95 degrees indoors!” I guess it was hard for them to fathom that we couldn’t afford an air-conditioned apartment.
We had a few low-key “music rehearsals” at Las Palmas, although our downstairs neighbors couldn’t stand it when we did… which was funny considering they were four young guys who played in their own rock band called “Unstoppable”. I saw them a few times live. Their music was like a cross between Wild Cherry and Jimi Hendriix. We used to joke around and say that the band name should be “Un-listenable”. We affectionately referred to their lead guitarist as “Butt-Plug”, and i can’t recall his real name.
Those guys would shout at us up the stairway and then repeatedly ram a broom handle against the ceiling in an effort to stop us from playing… but we didn’t care, we were determined to practice and get ready for what was coming next… Parousia performing in the Los Angeles clubs on the Sunset Strip and for that, we had to practice our songs as often as we could. In a sense, we were the ones who had become unstoppable.
One day we were rehearsing and my good friend Jennifer Raye was there. We played her favorite Parousia song, “Tiffany” (from our TURNAROUND E.P. released October, 1987). She sat on the floor next to me and when the song was over I asked, “Did that sound at all like the recording?” She said without hesitation, “That was way better than the recording”.
We had lots of party’s at Las Palmas; we figured if we were going to build a following here in L.A. a good way to do it was to throw big Hollywood parties with free alcohol and food (a technique we used back at the Chamber in Buffalo). It worked; we had the place packed with people each time. Our parties were uniquely themed to maximize the fun.
Our first party was a “hat” party. Everyone had to wear a hat and if you didn’t bring one, we supplied it. We had a “Jungle” party too, where we filled the apartment with small trees and leaves and everyone had to come appropriately dressed (or undressed).
We played games like “pronounce the East Coast County,” where Patt would hold up sheets of paper showing complex Indian names of Western New York counties like, “Scajaquada”, “Cattaraugus” and “Salamanca”. Mind you, our guests were diverse and from every country you could think of, so try to imagine how comical it was for someone from Cambodia, (who has no history with the American North East Indian culture) to phonetically decipher the word. The person who pronounced the word most correctly got a cool prize.
Besides rehearsing and hosting eclectic parties, we began to write new music and created a dba: The Original Music Organization”. We mailed out our existing songs to prospective record companies to anyone we could get to agree to a solicitation from us.
In 1987, if you sent a recording unsolicited, there was a 95% chance you would get it back in the mail unopened stamped “unsolicited material. Return to sender”. Record companies didn’t want to get accused of stealing anybody’s material or idea. They had to grant permission for you to send them something to listen to and that wasn’t easy to do.
Meanwhile we were STILL trying to convince Garth Huels to come out to Los Angeles to be a part of the rebirth of the band but he was in his own legal embrolio with the NY sheriff’s Dept. and it was not looking hopeful for a reunion anytime soon. It looked like we would have to forge on with Parousia as a four piece band.
All in all we had a good time at The Las Palmas Apartments and had a good run of productivity and creativity there but after about a year we had to leave suddenly when Mitzi shore decided she wanted to use the apartments to house her comedians who were coming in from out of town. She paid us about $2,000 to move and we found a really nice three-bedroom, two-bathroom house for rent on Berendo Street on the East end of Hollywood just North of Barnsdall Art Park.