L.A. police have it busy. Yesterday I watched a 17 squad-car shakedown.
We finished up practice at Zoom Zoom Zammy's and realized our van had been graffitied. Ugh. It was a hot. Later that night I decided that I really needed six individually packaged beer drinks, so I began my walk up the Sunset hill from Micheltorena Street to Echo Park. The crown jewel, the Qudditch cup, the final destination was the little mini-mart next to Burrito King (a simultaneously hideous and delicious food stand open really really late on weekdays.
After two weeks of practice in this heat (and several shows), I don't know how I found the strength to climb that hill in my flip-flops. It's a good 3/4 mile. And about half way there, I realized that a helicopter had been circling me for several minutes. This wouldn't have been odd, except that it was 1:00 am and I hadn't seen a car pass in several minutes.
Maybe he's a traffic monitor? [The helicopter spotlight comes on.] Scratch that. I was just about to cross Coronado Ave when a Caddilac Escalade comes cruising across the intersection through the red light, at a mere 5 mph. More copcars than I've ever seen at once follow him. He stops in front of me, doesn't get out. Copcars stop too, and lighthouse that is making the racket in the sky is so bright that I don't know how us "good" guys are supposed to see anything. Guns guns guns. Also, some cop shouts at me to get the hell out of the way, which I gladly did. But my curiosity got the better of me, so I stopped thirty or so yards away and sat on a fire hydrant, watching for a good 20 minutes as the cops (I stopped counting at 21) held the dude on the concrete and searched his truck. I asked a cop nearby who managed to have kept his gun holstered what was the deal...
"Dude, kidnapping suspect, Bro."
I promise, those are his exact words. I continued my walk to Burrito King.
It's funny, because last Friday I watched the prequel to this mayhem. I played a show at Berbati's Pan (back in Portland) and, afterwards, loaded my gear into the truck on 3rd and East Burnside. I watched the cops keep a guy face down on the concrete for 5 - 10 minutes. I'm really not trying say anything specific about a police-policy that arrests people with a foot in their back. It's just unnerving.
OK, so here's the update: as I mentioned before, I'm here with Crosstide in L.A. We played the Mint last Wednesday. We play the Echo tomorrow. We set up a studio of sorts in the hottest practice known to man. We went to the beach today. I am about to melt. Our well-dressed hostess Logan hasn't been the least bit hostile the entire I've been here. It's all accomodation. Thank you thank you thank you. And thank you to Matt and Rian, who broke here futon, wrestling for rights to Logan's bed. She has a boyfriend, unbeknownst to each.
Here are some pics taken by Erick Alley. (*note* Our van got graffitied.)