Angelyne has been a fixture in LA lore since the early 1980’s when billboards of her and her pink Corvette popped up faster than mushrooms after a summer rain. From the second I saw them I, like almost everyone else, wondered who the ultravixen with the two cantaloupes and fancy car was and what she did to loom above the landscape as frequently as palm trees.
We met in 1986, perceived from the outside to be a very hot period for me but actually one in which I was in a constant state of creative depression trying to figure out how to combine my music, art and lifestyle and create at the level I knew I was capable of as opposed to writing a song to get on an artist (I didn’t care about) album or doing a painting to match someone’s couch. The only place I could express myself in a multimedia way was when I threw parties. I’d score and emcee them, hand make everything from invitations to signs and souvenirs, pump bad movies through my then twenty eight tvs, make up games that involved paint, glue and supreme use of mind and imagination, serve junk fantasy food i.e. I’d walk the plank to make these parties a supremely unique childlike meets hi art experience.
I also handpicked my guests like peaches, jamming together the hi and lo of Hollywood – Joni Mitchell next to The Del Rubio Triplets, Clive Davis, my first boss after I graduated college and shepherd of careers like Whitney Houston’s, Barry Manilow’s and Alicia Keys’, next to Seymour “Shagman” Heller, Liberace’s manager for 37 years. I knew that Angelyne would be the cherry on top of my guest list sundae if only I could meet and invite her.
I can’t remember the exact circumstances of finally meeting but, thank God, Angelyne had heard about my parties and was dying to come. She quickly became a staple at Willis Wonderland. Her attendance was always preceded by a phone call demanding that the pink Corvette have a nesting spot directly in front of the house despite the fact that I continually told her the valets yelled at me because they needed that space for cars to pull up in. At my Tourist Trap party she was supposed to debut her new single, Flirt”. I played the track on a cheap cassette machine but we had to abandon the performance when she forgot the words. To make up for this, she led a pilgrimage of 300 guests out to her pink Corvette so one by one they could climb up on the hood and pose with her for an autographed Polaroid.
That same year I landed in the ‘Vette, riding shotgun, hyperventilating as we tooled around the city watching person after person’s mouth fly open and fingers point at the couple of shades darker than Pepto Bismol pink car and the unmistakable shock of platinum blond hair inside it. Next trip I made it inside her condo, no small feat as Angelyne is very private, surrounded by a small and very tight cocoon of devotees, uber protective that their star remain high atop her pedestal away from the scruff and bother of everyday life. The place was fluffy and pink, filled with self portraits, many of which were on velvet, my favorite paint genre, and pet birds, free to fly amidst the pink accoutrements. It was clear that this was a girl with a passion to surround herself with only that which interested her, something I can totally relate to.
I tend to go into work comas and not see people for years unless I’m collaborating with them or they’re in my teeny tiny family group of friends who go out spontaneously. I never make phone calls and I hate checking my machine. Email/text only. But every couple of years, Angelyne calls and it’s the one call I take. In 2004, she called and invited me over to her new place. It was even pinker, fluffier and more fabulous than the last. No birds this time but a little dyed pink dog available to rent and a gorgeous water view. She asked me to interview her for her new magazine, Hot Pink, when she was thinking of running for President. She did, in fact, run for Governor of California against Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003 and even made it on Leno because of it. Our presidential interview never came out but she did do a big feature on Bubbles and me in the first issue of Hot Pink.
The last few times Angelyne and I have gotten together I’ve taken photos of her, a real honor as being so protective of her image not many people get to snap the shutter. Each visit she insisted on baking me brownies, my favorite food. There are four questions I get asked constantly: 1) What’s the significance of the 21st of September (referring to the opening line in my song, September” by Earth Wind and Fire), 2) What’s Oprah like? (referring to the producer of my musical, The Color Purple, 3) What’s Angelyne like? and 4) What does Angelyne do?
I won’t answer the first two here as they have nothing to do with Angelyne but as to #3, she is very shy until she knows and trusts you, which hardly ever happens. Many people take this for rudeness or weirdness but to me she has only been sweet, outrageous and incredibly generous, the kind of friend who gives you a gift, oftentimes handmade, every time she sees you. As to #4, she IS Angelyne and in Angelyne’s book that is a full time job. And seeing as if you’ve ever been to LA and haven’t seen or heard of Angelyne you must be dead I would say she does a pretty good job of it.