think we all need at least one really nice positive thing about the
entertainment business every single day of the year, including weekends.
Sometimes it may be something simple, like a video that showcases
something fun and sometimes it may be a movie poster that embraces the
aesthetic we all want Hollywood to aspire to. Sometimes it may be a
long-winded diatribe. Sometimes it’ll be from the staff and extended
family of CHUD.com. Maybe even you readers can get in on it. So, take
this to the bank. Every day, you will get a little bit of positivity
from one column a day here. Take it with you. Maybe it’ll help you
through a bad day or give folks some fun things to hunt down in their
busy celluloid digesting day.
By Andre Dellamorte
What I’m Thankful For:
When the Rolling Roadshow came to Los Angeles, I went to see Jackie Brown. Originally set to be at the Del Amo mall, it got moved to a place near LAX, which was also amazing – the airplanes actually added something to the screening. Alas, I did not prepare myself for the evening – it was wicked cold because of the wind from the planes mixed with a chillier August than most (LA weather has been fucked this year). I ended up bailing early, but only after seeing Sally Menke. Had I stayed, I’m sure I would have embarrassed myself by saying “Hi, Sally” to her. I would have nerded, but as she passed away recently, I probably would have treasured that.
But two nights later the Rolling Roadshow was up in Bakersfield showing There Will Be Blood, and me and a gang of friends went up for the screening. It was there I met Tim League for the first time. He presented the film, and then was the host of an afterparty at a bowling alley. I remember saying to Devin Faraci – who some of you might remember as a one-time contributor to this website under the name Devin Faraci – “this is amazing.” And Devin told me “this is Tim at ten percent.” For the movie there was a milkshake drinking competition, a prop giveaway, and at the bowling alley we all became transfixed by a punching bag – imagine a bunch of nerds given a dollar to test their strength. Or don’t imagine – Photos here. It was free drinks and a great time in Bakersfield, and I could only imagine how much more awesome Tim League could get.
As of now I don’t want to see Tim at one hundred percent because of last night. An English friend of Chud (you might know him as Straxboy on the boards, or Giles in real life) was in town, so I took him to a screening of the amazing Johnnie To film The Heroic Trio, and afterward to The White Horse – a bar that is famous for serving hot dogs, cookies and chips to its intoxicated customers – with many of the people who watched the film . The screening of Trio was hosted by a friend of mine and presented by a friend of Tim’s. At a certain part our crowd at the White Horse thinned, and I didn’t know why. Then I found out:
Tim League had a karaoke bus parked outside.
I assume – I assume – this has something to do with the weekend’s release of Four Lions, but I don’t know for sure. It could have just been Tim. Giles and I made our way on the bus to say hello to some friends we knew who were already on it, and before either of us realized it the bus was moving while someone was doing “Gimme Shelter” and dying (the song selection was lacking). I asked another friend of ours what the gameplan was – I left my car in a spot I was not exactly crazy about dealing with in the morning and the bus’s final destination was Santa Monica – and was shouted down for even questioning what was going on. But the notion of taking a cab from Santa Monica back to the White Horse (pictures of 4 am swimming in my head), while barely awake and/or sober was something I didn’t want to deal with. The bus was stacked with cheap beer (Old Milwaukee, Pabst Blue Ribbon) and bottles of booze. I was still a little concerned, but after the terrible Stones Karaoke – as we drove down Sunset Boulevard – people couldn’t make up their mind what to sing. And that’s when I made my move: “We Are The Champions” by Queen.
Note: I am not a great singer. I mean, I can hit some notes, but with the mic on you never know. The thing is, though, if you’re on a bus in the middle of Los Angeles trying to rock out, you have to represent. And what I lacked in singing acumen, I tried to make up for by presentation. The bus liked it, though my friend Nick “Iced” me (I had to drink a slightly warm Smirnoff ice) for doing something so cheesy (he was happier to murder Brick House). Part of me – perhaps the sober part – was still a little bit freaking out because I didn’t know how I would get back to my car, but around the time we stopped on some random street so everyone could piss behind the bus (and we did), the spirit of things took hold. This was about having fun, and whatever baggage or whatever, it would all work out. I sat next to Tim and chatted after he did a stellar rendition of the song “Hot Crossed Buns.” There were exactly two girls on the bus, and neither would sing – I got Tim to agree to be a backup dancer with me for one – so one was pushed into doing “Thriller.” But as we came to realize, when it comes to Karaoke busing you just have to keep going. As we made our way back to the spot where a bunch of us were parked, a number of the somewhat kidnapped passengers disembarked. I was outside, near my car, and saying goodnight to friends when I realized that I could go home and be responsible or take my chances and go along for the ride. Tick, tick, tick.
Short version: I jumped back on the bus.
We kept going and singing and drinking Early Times and going and singing and drinking Jagermeister and singing and going and so on. At one point Tim passed me a bottle of rum and said “It goes down smooth.” This was my third shot from a big bottle of booze that night, and he was right, it tasted smooth. Which may have led me to search for some Doobie Brothers or Christopher Cross (I couldn’t find any worth doing), so my second number was Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” (I was looking for Elvis Costello, but whatever). I did okay, but Jeremy “Mr. Beaks” Smith killed Cheap Trick’s “Surrender,” which led to a whole bus sing-along. I looked over at Tim, and he had a mischievous smile on his face. He’s a diabolical motherfucker, that guy – I later told him I thought he was part satyr. But when you’re singing “Mommy’s all right, Daddy’s all right, they just seem a little weird. Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself awayyyyy!” on a bus on the middle of the highway, hey, everything is perfect.
What I’m not thankful for: my hangover.