On our bike trip to Macon, I was introduced to my latest obsession: the movie "Iron Man". The movie is good to be sure, but the draw for me was the Tony Stark house. I love modern architecture and the house in movie is amazing not only because it houses a billionaire, is a compelling design on a very dramatic site, but it's just freakin cool. The C.G.I. masterpiece takes more than few ques from famous Frank LLoyd Wright apprentice; John Lautner. So began my obsession with all things Lautner. I have been scoring the net finding as many examples of his work as possible. I have developed a love of his later concrete houses. I have been tortured by the alarm clock as it pulls me by the neck, out of the dream homes, where I live my subconscious second life.
I have a personal connection to his work that I wasn't aware of until I discovered one of his California houses. It was featured in a Brian de palma film called "Body Double". Back in the golden era of 80's musical schlock rock, I did a record in Hollywood with my first real band. We (through a series of music biz underworld mishaps) made the acquaintance of Barry Whites manager. He agreed to sign us to his label when he learned that our manager (specializing in South American imports) had disposable funds. Before you could say: "wire transfer to a fictitious name" we were on a plane to Hollywood, reading about ourselves in several Florida periodicals. We stayed at Tony's (I know) house in Hollywood Hills and the scene that greeted me every morning, was the house designed by Lautner.
Over the next few weeks we made our record at the (then) famous Devonshire Studios. Crystal Gale was across the hall, the Daz Band was in studio C and in the main room was a bunch of rubes from Ft. Pierce. We really didn't get to play that much, as the rule of the day was to use drum machines and keyboards. I did get to sing on the track and over dub real cymbals, after getting in a heated argument with (famous arranger) Jack Schulman. He read his resume aloud to me, citing his work with Dianna Ross, Henry Mancini, Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, and countless other artists I hated. He stormed out, and I cut the overdubs. The engineer, who had treated us like punks up to this point, laughed for half an hour. He declared that I had "balls" and adopted us as friends for the rest of the project.
The weather, surroundings and the sight of that house, made me believe that anything was possible in that west coast fantasy land. I would look up imagining what it would be like to live in a house on a pole, and play music for a living.
For the eighteen days we burned through piles of untraceable cash. We ate next to Eddie Murphy at the Hard Rock Cafe, ran smack into Ben Vereen in a market, saw Carlos Santana channel God at the Palladium, and heard every shitty band in L.A.. The record we made was a huge flop and disappointed our fans, family and us on a biblical level. We returned home and hit the ground smoking like a tiny unseen meteor. It marked the begining of the end to my tenure in St. Lucie county, set up the greatest romantic heartbreak of my life, and nudged me toward Tallahassee...the place I played in some epic cover bands, met my wife, and started riding bikes.......(C'mon you knew the tie in was coming).