I sure had an oddball few days in Parsippany New Jersey at the Chiller autograph fest. I have to admit I did have some fun amidst the unique bunch of guests signing their names on various and sundry glossies and posing with endless smiles for thrilled strangers. Thank the saints that my Austin pal Roggie Baer met me at the Hilton (in the vast middle of nowhere-like an island unto itself) and helped me set up, hang out, and greet fans. It’s almost as if the rest of the world stops and you’re aboard the B-feature Love Boat sailing to parts unknown, very slowly.
To my immediate right was a long lost hero of mine, Mickey Rooney, (if you haven’t seen the film, ‘The Last Mile’, and only know Mickey as Andy Hardy, please go to Netflix and be amazed) who is now 89 and sort of propped up by his smiling wife Jan. I was there a couple of days and finally got the courage to ask if I might have a photo with him. It was Halloween and I was wearing devil horns, which he took great offense to. “Not with those horns on,” he said dramatically with a frown. Jan came to my rescue…”Oh Mickey,” she chided, shaking her head. He had long, long lines and I am sure his very old hand must have ached and throbbed, signing so many “Mickeys.” When Richard Dreyfuss arrived, he toddled over and hugged him tightly.
It was a great pleasure to have my longtime friend (and fellow groupie-she has a chapter in “Let’s Spend the Night Together”) Cassandra “ELVIRA” Peterson there to wave to across the crowded room.
The only time we left the premises was to have dinner with her at a fab Indian restaurant one evening – otherwise, as I said, it was a strange bulky Hilton floating through Nowheresville. It was grand to
meet some of my fans, and I enjoyed chatting about their personal rockin’ experiences. I sold a bundle of photos, which I also have here on the site for sale. The big sellers, of course, were the naked
hippie shots by the late great Tom Wilkes, but Robert Plant was popular as well!
Bowser from Sha Na Na was there (The GTOs used to dance with them on stage) Davy Jones from the Monkees too. When I met him (40 years later) and reminded him that we once hung out at his Hollywood Hills pad, he looked at me as if I might have 2 or 3 heads. Maybe because his very young new wife was observing. (Actually, I got high with him more than once, and Mickey Dolenz too) Linda Blair was a sweetheart and I actually got to meet Ann Margret, who was quite charming and seemed to have heard of me. Viva viva Las Vegas, baby!
I went looking for a fellow I was surprised to see on the menu, one David Johansen of the New York Dolls. I finally found him, pretty disgruntled and unamused in a small room filled with florescent lighting, making him appear craggier than ever. He still looked hot to me, dolls. A VIP in my rock & roll book! I gave him a copy of the GTOs album and 8X10(on sale here too!) and attempted to pay him the appropriate homage without groveling. Many years ago I read that he said the GTOs were his fave band. Perhaps he was kidding.
I did meet some kindred spirits and had a few Absoluts with some creative souls and all was right with this wacky world – Parsippany New Jersey, a place I will probably never see again.