9. The Helter Skelter Book
Call me creepy, but ever since I found out when I was young that I shared a birthday with this short little weirdo, I have been fascinated by him. Vincent Bugliosi, the attorney who put away Charlie and his murdering family, penned this definitive book about the events that lead up to the famous blood baths and what is bittersweetly known as “the end of the 60’s”. Helter Skelter may have been a Beatle’s song about an amusement park slide but Manson took it a little further and terrorized our city of Los Angeles over two nights, influencing his drugged-out (and daddy-issue having) minions to commit multiple murders. “Write something on the wall. Make it witchy.” You can’t make this stuff up.
8. The Peal Jam song “Black”
If you haven’t wallowed in self-pity to this song, you are really missing out. Or your heart hasn’t been thoroughly stomped on yet. It’s dark, depressing, and brilliant. And it makes me want to get a new tattoo.
7. The Shipwreck Dress
6. The Winchester Mystery House
Poor, grieving Sarah Winchester. It’s the late 1880’s, her infant baby is dead, her husband dies of tuberculosis, and she has nothing left but $20 million dollars. What does she do? She adds on and on and on to her house in San Jose because some wacky psychic told her it would keep the bad spirits away. Now it’s an eerie monument to crazy with 160 rooms, staircases that go nowhere, and ghostly sightings. 38 years of never-ending construction. By the way, her middle name of Lockwood was my grandmother’s maiden name, and now I wonder if we are related.
Check it out: The Winchester Mystery House
5. Deep Fried Shrimp Heads
My new favorite thing about going for sushi. It seems a little weird at first, But these crunchy little things are awesome, eyes and antennae and all. Not all places have them, but I love ’em at Midori on Ventura Blvd.
4. Six Feet Under
There once was a family that lived in Glendale, California in the funeral home that they owned and operated. I say it like that because these characters were so well written, fleshed out if you will, that they seemed absolutely real to me. They’re crazy, disfunctional, and authentically fucked up as a family unit. And yeah, it’s creepy – every episode starts with a death. I won’t even tell you about the series finale but I sobbed like a grieving widow. R.I.P.
3. Drexl Spivey From True Romance
Oh Gary Oldman. Is there nothing you can’t do? You make me believe that your drug dealing, pimping, racial boundary crossing Drexl is actually kinda HOT. The dreads, the lazy eye, the scars. And he lives in some kind of hellish cracked-out hooker den. I can’t imagine a sicker scenario than this guy as my pimp. “Yeah, I know I’m pretty… But I ain’t as pretty as a couple a titties.”
2. The Cover of Wish You Were Here
I know there are more controversial albums covers than this, like the Beatle’s one with the bloody dead babies for Yesterday and Today. But Pink Floyds 1975 Wish You Were Here just gets to me. What exactly is going on here? One man is standing upright, looking normal as can be, the other one is bending over on fire. So many interpretations. I once was in an art gallery in San Francisco that was selling a large print of this image, I believe signed by the artist, Storm Thorgerson. It was $2,000. I want it. It’s fantastic.
1. The Exorcist
It’s hard to imagine a movie these days that has people so frightened out of their minds that they are actually throwing up in the aisles. That’s the kind of story you hear about when The Exorcist came out in 1973. It was a horrific phenomenon, I believe meant to be seen on the big screen, which I dared to do during a re-release about ten years ago at The Chinese. What is scarier than a little girl named Regan actually possessed by the devil? Talk about good vs. evil. I once worked in a club where you had to take an elevator up. We had an Exorcist party, and we papered the elevator with upside-down Bible pages, and I thought that was scary. This has got to be the most fucked up movie ever. Oh, and nice crucifix scene.