This is part 3 in a 4 part article series about our trip out to L.A. to see Jane’s Addiction. Look for the conclusion in part 4 tomorrow.
Thursday morning, my internal alarm clock woke me up around 7am PDT. So I proceeded to go through the pictures I took at The Bardot. I knew there were a ton of them; I just didn’t know how many turned out. Well in the end, I had well over 300 new pictures on the camera. Unfortunately, around two-thirds to three-quarters were unusable. Of course that left well over 80 that were okay, and after I took out some redundant images and personal shots, I had 75 to upload to JanesAddiction.org.
After uploading the pictures, replying to some forum posts and some other online business, Mike and I headed down to breakfast. This was really our first chance to reflect on the Bardot show, and the amazing time we had the night before. We solidified our plans to head to the library later, and discussed what eras we were going to focus our research on, but we had something else to attend to first, the posters we got the night before.
The biggest issue was how to safely pack and transport them. The posters are approximately 21″x29″ and printed on heavy stock paper. The paper is thick enough that rolling the posters up and shipping them in a traditional tube was not an option. Any significant rolling would destroy these things, and considering we each had a limited edition, signed and numbered poster, doing anything to compromise the quality of these posters was out of the question.
Initially we figured we could just stop by a post office Friday morning, before our flight to send these beauties back home. We knew there was no chance in hell of being able to carry the posters on board, and neither of us was comfortable checking them as luggage. So the solution was to find some boxes to wrap around the posters and mail them back home. That turned out to be a lot harder than it sounded.
First, we swung by the local post office to try and get some boxes, but they didn’t have any large enough. It also sounded like the way we wanted to ship them, that the US Mail wasn’t an option. We headed back to Hollywood Blvd to check some of the shops selling posters figuring that there might be a chance one of the shops would have a solution. We got a few helpful suggestions, but no solutions. What started out as a quick trip to get some boxes was turning into a bit of a headache, but of course it wasn’t like there was a chance in hell of us leaving these posters behind. Our savior came from a local shop on Sunset. The guy who was working there was confident that he had large enough boxes for our needs, so we headed back to the hotel to bring the posters to the shop. What? You thought we were carting these things all over Hollywood?
I think the guy at the shipping shop was surprised to see us back so fast. At this point we knew that we had to deal with these posters today. It had already been enough of an adventure finding a solution, no need to add on the stress of ensuring we would make our flight on top of that. The guy probably thought we were just a little bit nuts, and to be honest, he was probably right.
First we wrapped the posters in brown wrapping paper. Then stuck the paper inside the heavy-duty box, taping them down to ensure they didn’t shift around and that there was at least a good inch on all sides protecting the poster. After that came the tape. We didn’t wrap the entire box in tape, but pretty damn close. Also, since our boxes weren’t designed to ship, we added more cardboard and lots more tape to ensure that the slits were adequately protected from anything easily piercing into the package. Yeah, it is a little OCD, but again, we each had two rare posters, one of which was extremely limited edition. Diehard fans don’t mess around. In the end, it only cost us each about three hours and $25 to send these things home. Well worth it if you ask me.
With our Jane’s Addiction posters on their way, we head back to the hotel for a brief stop while we figure out the best way to get to the library. For the most part, my iPhone had been pretty good about giving us directions. Well, with the exception of it first telling us that The Bardot was four miles away from the Hollywood Roosevelt while we were in our room, before giving us the correct info from the street. Well, we had some technical difficulties this time around. Mike had been to the library a few years prior and knew there was a bus that would get us downtown and close enough to walk. So I pulled up what I thought was a bus line, and directions on how to get there. This ended up being a bit of a mistake, as it led us on a bit of a walk around Hollywood, and while we found bus stops, none of them had this mysterious Redline bus number on it. If you are familiar with L.A., then you know what our problem was.
We headed back to the Roosevelt to talk with the concierge to figure out how the hell to get downtown. As it turns out, L.A. has a subway system, and the Redline is part of it. That was news to both Mike and I. The directions my phone was giving me were right; we were just looking for the wrong thing. Good news is that the Redline made what we expected to be a 45-60min bus ride into a 15min subway ride and we were downtown in no time.
Mike wanted to make a brief detour to the, shall we say less than glamorous part of L.A. to check out what used to be a venue that in the book ‘Whores’, Eric Avery described as:
“Once we played some hellhole bar on Skid Row on the corner of 5th and Spring Street [downtown L.A.]. Charlie’s Obsession was its name. The whole area outside the club was like Dawn of the Dead. Several thousand unchecked crackheads and mental patients wandering homeless around a two-mile radius.”
I wasn’t as convinced as Mike was that this was necessary or a good idea. I’d seen crackheads in Detroit, and he’d seen crackheads in Cleveland, and I told him that the crackheads in L.A. were probably more of the same, just with better tans, but we went anyway.
That was short lived, and we decided that after our first encounter with a large angry man shouting obscenities into the air at no one in particular, that even in broad daylight, we were better off heading right to the library. It wasn’t until later that we realized we were right at the corner where Charlie’s Obsession used to be.
We got to the library around 4pm and headed into the basement archives. Amazingly I still had a cell signal, which was a relief since we were hoping to line up an interview with Steve Perkins that afternoon or evening. We submit our requests for some old L.A. Weekly reels that were missing from the library the last time Mike was in L.A. and some Music Connections from 1986 and 1987. After about a 20-30 minute wait, we had them in our possession and were excited with the anticipation of confirming some old Jane’s gigs and possibly finding evidence of others. This would be extremely short lived.
I had just finished looking through the March 1986 music connection when I got the news. Jane’s was taping something at the Guitar Center on Sunset at 6pm, and the Jane’s guys wanted us to be there. We now had an hour to get back to Hollywood from Downtown L.A.
Concluded in Part 4