February 6, 2014
Today I just finished reading Audrey Wollen’s 'Erotics 2’ and was totally charmed by the book. I bought it at the Los Angeles Book Fair, an event put together by Printer Matter. For me, the only purpose for going was to get Audrey’s book. I was wishing I would see her at the fair, and have her sign my copy of the book, but alas, I missed her.
I think I first met Audrey when she was five or six years old. Lun*na and I were invited numerous times over to Peter Wollen and Lesile Dick’s home in Beverly Glen for dinner, and often we were entertained by Audrey. At the time, she was a very smart child, who appeared to be curious about the world. Now I believe Audrey is somewhere in her very early 20’s and she still appears to carry the same curiosity that made her such a remarkable child. Reading her first book I was struck with its sexuality, yet I was totally intrigued by how she wrote about her life. Or is it her life? I really don’t know the connection between reality and fiction. Nor do I really care, I am more interested in how the tale is told than anything else. And she can tell a tale quite well.
After reading her book, I took a walk around Silver Lake, where eventually I ended up at the Silver Lake reservoir. There was a small crowd of people there, honoring Ronald Reagan due that today is his official holiday in California and Wisconsin. It seemed appropriate to me that the weather is so chilly, and when I think of Ron, a cold chill comes upon me quite violently, that I find myself shaking. Through out my life I made an effort to ignore Reagan, in fact, I was in Japan when he made his famous speech to demolish the Berlin Wall.
As soon as I got back from the walking trip, I had a meeting with Pierre Brice, a French actor who is going to act as Apache chief Winnetou in a German co-production based on a novel by Karl May. I was contracted to write a script, and immediately I started to research Tom Mix, who used to live in the Silver Lake area. In fact, he had a ranch, down the hill from me, which is now Ralphs supermarket. I was thinking of taking an older Tom Mix film “The Son of the Golden West” and using its plot for the Winnetou film. So far Pierre played this character seven times, so right now, everyone involved in this production feels like this will be the final film in the series.
Writing an adventure tale or a Western is not all that difficult for me. I think what gives me a hand is that I don’t know a thing about the real West. The West to me is very much the TV shows like “Rawhide, ” “Walt Disney’s Zorro, ” and my personal fave “Wild Wild West.” In my mind I often think that the British TV series “The Avengers” is very much a Western. I don’t see a huge difference between James West and John Steed. Both characters are dandies, and they never seem to get dirty, even though they have numerous fighting scenes throughout their shows, they come off quite clean and hair in place. I dare to hope that life works out that way as well.