on this day in 1984, “Jump” went #1

I first came to LA in 1984 for New Years to see Illinois play UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Don’t research the score of that game.

Two things struck me about that trip. Three really. The first was the weather was incredible. So much different than the frigid midwest. The other was the women were beautiful and they looked at me and used ESP to talk with me and compliment my raggedy afro and teenage acne.

But the thing that has stuck with me the most and I remember this clearly, was in the parking lot of our Marina Del Rey hotel, I was listening to KMET 94.7 FM and the DJ said, “now I have something very special here, and you won’t believe who it is.”

And he played “Jump.” And he was right, I did not believe that the best guitarist at the time had switched to synthesizers, which were roundly loathed in my high school.

People talk about when Dylan went electric. The audience called him Judas. Trust me when I tell you the burnouts of my school had harsher words for Eddie Van Halen smiling behind the keyboards of this tune. I hated it at first. Why hast he forsaken us? This was the peak of hair metal.

Fortunately when the full album was released it contained actual rockers like “Hot For Teacher,” “Panama” and “Top Jimmy” but even then we had an inkling that this might be the beginning of the end. How right we were.

Ironically, “1984” was my favorite record for a little while. Until I moved to L.A. that summer and I was introduced to SST records, and KROQ.

there is nothing you cant do

this month marks my 35th summer as a california resident

in 1984 i had a poster of madonna in a wedding dress on my wall,

the same one she would grind on at the mtv vmas

and tonight i watched Lizzo shock the world with a two note flute solo like no other

on the bet awards, at the microsoft theater,

an entire complex that didn’t exist last century

for the entire time that i have been here this is the one thing that i see every day:

you can do it

yes you

look at her

look at him

look at them

you can do it

yes you can

how will you do it

when will you do it

you dont have to do it

but youre doing something anyway

why not do it

you can do it

fuck it, do it

you can do it.

theres 500 places you can get a taco in LA

some guy, today, opened the 501st

you can do it

he can do it

you can do it

look at her do it.

its in the breeze its in the sky

there will be one cloud up there

and it will be shaped


crazy, terrible car chase, starring an RV, a woman, and 2 dogs

usually car chases are somewhat predictable: the dude (usually it’s a dude) drives around for a few hours, runs out of gas, party’s over.

it’s the exceptions to the rules that keep us watching. sometimes the dude gets lucky and escapes miraculously. sometimes the guy crashes into something unexpectedly. rarely but sometimes the proper use of a spike strip ends it.

and sometimes the cops bust with the sweet pit maneuver, spin the guy around and trap him.

speaking of pits, today a lady with two big pit bulls stole an RV and drove way too fast through the valley.

on a hairpin u turn in a parking lot she scraped off a good chunk of the passenger side

she hit two cars hard, and a palm tree.

halfway though one of her dogs worked his way through the smashed out window and jumped into the street and hobbled over to the sidewalk

it ended when she hit said palm tree while hitting a man in a car who was trying so hard to get out of the way.

she ran with her remaining dog to a high wall driveway fence that refused to open up for her and when the CHP grabbed her you could see bloody paw prints on the stairs.

it was shocking and sad and maybe a little too much to take when you saw the dogs with their big tongues and wagging tails.

they deserved so much better than this.

fortunately they are both well, the guy who got hit has a bunch of broken ribs, and the woman was arrested.

but will we ever find out why she did this, why an RV, and does this disqualify her from owning pets?

so many questions.

you’ll never feel at home in LA unless you keep moving

LA is huge.

imagine the biggest place you’ve ever been in and quadruple it.

that will just be the Valley, which you need to know if you are really to get LA.

then quadruple it again and you’ve got South Central,

which is where the secret soul of LA is. the actual heartbeat.

the fakers fly right over south central via overpasses or freeways , but if you live here long enough

and if you start meeting the right people you will go to a house party off Crenshaw

you will get your haircut on Florence,

you might even find yourself at a sample sale near Carson.

LA goes all the way to Long Beach and inside the weirdest dead ends of downtown.

everyone hikes Runyon, but if i was the failing New York Times and their laughing stock of an LA bureau here’s what i would do:

there is a stretch of LA from Santa Monica to DTLA thats as wide as Pico to the south to Sunset to the north.

i would refuse to run any stories from that stretch an zero from downtown.

i’d also ignore anything happening in the upper crust of Malibu, Manhattan and Redondo Beaches.

why? because unless we are talking about crime, 90% of so-called news and features by the mainstream press happen in that narrow band.

the Pulitzer Prize winning Jonathan Gold is beloved in LA because he uses the entire canvas, not just the same beaten path

he ventures, he explores, he speaks Spanish, he talks to people of all skin colors and religious beliefs.

LA is the home of more religions than any other city in the world.

it is the 2nd largest Spanish speaking city on the planet.

if all of your sources and all of your stories are about white folk, if all of your touchstones and goals and ideals are based in Caucasian ideals of the 1960s

then you aren’t really telling the story of LA of today.

i once dated a girl from canada who was blown away that so many billboards and handmade fliers were in Spanish

and how many brown skinned people there were on the streets

and Asians

and Jews.

she said, this isn’t what it looked like in “Clueless”.

if you truly want to cover this city, and most of all, if you really want to love this city, you have to move out of West Hollywood

you have to break up with your boyfriend,

you have to stop taking taxis

and most of all you should start driving for Lyft.

then you will start to see the real story that is this beautiful city of angels.

would i leave LA? sure.

jackie johnsonwhat would i miss?

all my friends,

this incredible weather.

jackie johnson.

good tacos.

good soul food.

my complete wreck room.

my little cats.

my landlord who never calls me back.



little joy, good luck, 4100, canters

hollywood blvd

rodney on the roq

grand central market

venice, santee alley, mr. ramen

the all you can eat section of dodger stadium

amoeba, the bowl, the greek, the roxy

don antonios, laurel canyon, the original tommys

jilada, kogi, the mondrian

melrose, crenshaw, ventura, isla vista, home, botegga louie, that ramen place in pass sass  took me to.

midnight tacos, neptunes net, el compadre

the vista, hollywood forever, vegas, the ace, house of pies, prado

shortstop, tuk tuk thai, arclight, chez jay, natalee thai


5 barbers no waiting, randys donuts, z pizza, angel city brewery

the cerritos library

huntington hospital, three clubs, blossom

and zuma

you have eight thousand followers

gardener watering artificial grass

theres a lot of artificial things in LA. so many we dont even notice any more.

malls, boobs, butts, lips, hips, friendships, beliefs, flavors, colors

and yes, grass.

we have a drought here in California. worst one in years. the rain just teases us.

it rained on my mommas head early this year during the red carpet at the Oscars

and since then: nothing of any significance.

so the artificial lawns replace grass all over town.

it’s actually not that bad once you get to know it.

and you dont have to water or mow it.



im procrastinating going out there in the world


it’s super slow to drive. yesterday was ok. but only made like $100. must double that today.

was thinking about just going to the airport and back 10 times and see if i can make $200.

but then i think, is that any way to live?


is sitting around playing last years version of NBA 2k any way to live either?

what is the way to live? lots of my friends have kids, theyre doing whatever the kids wanna do.

thats the furthest removed thing that i remember from my childhood, and i loved my childhood!

id go to the movies but ive seen everything.

not true. still must see:

american sniper, nightcrawler, all the foreign films, and snowpiercer.

maybe i’ll do that tomorrow.

today we eat lunch and drive.

we love tacos so much in LA that today there was a traffic jam

taco man

a tagger had gotten trapped spraying graffitti on a sign above the 5 freeway

and he didnt wanna give himself up to the cops so he just sat in the small space

between the sign and the overpass.

the cops couldnt get to him because of some fencing put there to prevent taggers!

so they shut down the freeway and set up a cushion for the tagger to jump

but the guy wouldnt move: for hours

so apparently some guy had all the fixings for a taco stand so he set one up.

first customer talked crap about it on yelp.