22 November 2013

The Rock Star, The Poet, The Dead Past, And Me

Woke up this morning to find that my wonderful friend Courtney Love had lost her phone; that the NY Times columnist Frank Bruni found it; and that his assistant, the lovely Isabella Moschen, saw my name in Courtney's phone, remembered I had dated her uncle, remembered I was a "celebrity psychic"(I love that phrase- it makes me want to run right out and purchase red flocked wallpaper) -and-voila!-mystery solved.
Courtney gets her phone back, Frank Bruni gets to be a hero (he already IS my hero: go read "Born Round"), and Isabella and I, who were bit players in the New York Magazine piece that Joe Coscarelli wrote for his "Intelligencer" column all of this celllphone superstar serendipity- found ourselves blinking in the unexpected spotlight when the whole thing went viral. Not just viral..by the end of the day, the piece had gone QUANTUM. Courtney Love's cellphone! Found by a respected New York Times columnist! SWho was obviously really pleased, in a sweet, even slightly starstruck way!
 It's fun, and as evanescent as the dew on a kitten's whiskers for those of us who AREN'T Courtney, so us non rock stars shan't take it too  tseriously..but still,honestly, FUN. (Grazie, Universe!)
Meanwhile, I got one jillion hits on my Facebook page, with people asking how and why Courtney Love had me on her phone. So:

Here's the delightful and- for those of you who only believe what you read in the media, and don't have the pleasure of knowing the Lady herself- probably rather surprising backstory.
For example, would you have thought that the world's most famous diva, would have befriended a non famous chick, because of shared interests in 19th century poetry and Buddhism?
-Nope, didn't think so. Read on, my little lily blossoms...read on!

Courtney Love and I met 5 or 6 years ago, when my then-fiance was directing a play in Santa Monica. Now, many people direct plays, and some direct them in Santa Monica, but very few of the aforesaid worshippers at the altar of Thalia (who is, I hope, Goddess of the Theater- I would google it, but I can't be arsed, frankly)- have the good fortune of having discovered a riveting young actor named Sawyer Avery to star in it. Sawyer Avery played a high school kid who had an unfortunate dislike for his high school classmates, and an even more unfortunate affinity for guns. And Sawyer Avery could ACT. I don't mean "act pretty well for a 16 year old." I mean: he could seriously and indubitably act his intense, charismatic, 16 year old James Dean-ish butt off. Sawyer's father is also a hugely famous Hollywood genius, which is possibly why Oliver Stone and Courtney Love showed up to see my then-fiance's play, as said exfiance was friends with Oliver, and had worked quite successfully with him, in the past. But they stayed to see Sawyer. (Also, the exfiance was terrific, and the play was quite wellwritten.) 
Courtney and Oliver made quite an entrance..they walked ACROSS the stage (which was level with the floor, so it was actually completely understandable)..but it WAS after the play had STARTED, so frankly, it was kind of seriously badass. 
Also, Courtney's reputation at the time did not prepare me for the shock of how genuinely beautiful she is. -And this isn't a "friend of a star/must kiss ass" insincere compliment: I grew up around a ton of famous folks, and it's nice, but not compelling, the fame thing...so when I say she is genuinely, Carol- Lombard-beautiful in person, I mean just that. Flawless skin, huge green eyes, tall, with the elongated, almost stylized, slender figure of a 1940s model: wide shoulders, narrow hips, long legs. Anyway, the show went well, and was so entertaining that people actually managed to tear their eyes off the several seriously A List famous folk in the audience, for minutes at a time. -What was also interesting to me, sitting in the audience, was that, although there were people in that audience who were  so famous the folks in the adjoining seats actually physically burst into flame? It was La Love that every single person, was talking about, staring at, and pointing to. Such is the mystery of charisma.

Later, at the beginning of the seriously VIP afterparty, Courtney and I caught each other's eye, and we each,respectively, made the same mental note: "hmm, that seems like someone I'd get along with. Don't know why." -and then, we each  kept walking. Much later on, she mentioned that she'd liked me partially because I wasn't that young, wasn't that skinny, was idiosyncratically sttractive but not plastic surgery gorgeous...and my guy was a serious, goldplated catch...so what, she had wondered at the time,was UP with that? Could it be that, in LA, someone actually loved someone else for her MIND?  [Note: ( -Actually, he kinda did, and, as in most doomed relationships, we had a really, really good time-until we really, really didn't. -Anyway..)
She also made a mental note that my beyond Adonis boyfriend, might have a lot more substance than one suspected, if he could both write and star in a good play, AND have enough gravitas to not have the Young Trampy Girlfriend.
Courtney and I were somehow standing back to back at the party, in the middle of a scrum so tight that no one could move, or even figure out HOW to move. Then I felt someone tap me on the shoulder, in a friendly, impatient way. I turned my head--all that COULD be turned, in that claustrophobic party mob- and saw Courtney, close up as smooth faced as the dream of na porcelain doll. She was talking to someone, and also seemed to be snapping her fingers in a futile effort to remember something. Maybe that girl I saw before might know, know, was apparently her decisive thought, because her next move was to say to me,"Hey. What was the name of that poet? You know--19th century, English, wanted to be Shelley, died in an attic of arsenic at 18, killed himself, you know...Thomas something...Thomas, uh..."
"Thomas Chatterton," I supplied. "Killed himself over a plagiarism fraud, 1824." 
"Right! Right! Thanks..." she said, and turned back to her friend.
How, and why, she was talking about Thomas Chatterton - a poet even more obscure than he was deceased, which was saying something- at a party in Los Angeles- the world's MOST ahistorical city- was never explained. But it established a bond of sorts, and later that night we wound up talking enthusiasticallyfor a long time- we had shared passions for Buddhism, 1920s and 30's films, vintage couture, and scurrilous gossip. I was delighted to find that she had a mordant, dry, very British wit, and an eidetic memory...she could remember stuff thet Miss English Major here, had totally forgotten. In fact, she was really fucking smart. When at last the party wound to a close, and those of us who WEREN'T doing cocaine were starting to yawn (yup, neither she nor I partook- I have never seem her take drugs) she said " Great meeting you..Hey, I have an idea! Come chant with me..I'll have my driver pick you up at 2 tomorrow."
I limped home, my Louboutins having won their fight with my now warped-into-submission toes, and thought, "well, that was cool.Who knew? Live and learn."
[Note: I made a mental note, from that night on, to regard everything I read in entertainment media, as "guilty until proven innocent"..in other words, I stopped being a credulous consumer of gossip.-Except the British gossip mags, which are awesomely awesome and who cares if they're true?]

Dawn broke. And tomorrow came and went, but no driver, so I figured, "Well, that woulda been fun, but..oh well."
Went to sleep and, at 2 AM, the phone rang.
"Errrroo?" I answered..I am not a girl who wakes up easily.
"Miss Lyons? This is Courtney's driver...I'm here to take you to the Chateau."
"Roo..err..hey, what?? It's 2 AM!"
"That's right. She asked you if two was okay."
"Darlin, I must get my beauty sleep. Let's try again later," I said...and fell asleep before my head hit the pillow.

So the next day I went to see her at the Chateau Marmont. To be continued....