Together, Like Lips & Kissing.

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Once there was a barefoot California girl who lived to lie on the beach. Hey little girl, check it out: maybe use some sunscreen. Stop wasting time being so dark. Keep what you write, even though it’s mostly self-indulgent beer-soaked nonsense. Tijuana is in a whole different country, don’t break the law down there again. Write more, let it bleed. Don’t be so afraid.

Half a world away, a drummer with a curious accent and rock and roll dreams had his sights set on making his way to L.A. Dude, listen: beware of your own hype. Never regret traveling oceans to play in bands and make albums. Stay close to your mother; she misses you. And the blonde hair? Ummm… lose it.

Twenty-one years ago, a down and dirty rock club opened in Hollywood. I met Eddie Van Halen there once. Eddie, if you’re reading this, you are a god.

The California girl ended up living and waitressing in Venice, where she had an unforgettable view of the sunset from her 3rd flow window. In 1991 that apartment was $1,050 a month. I have no guesses about how much it would go for nowadays… I’m guessing a small fortune. And it would be totally worth it.

The drummer came to L.A. He found a modest amount of success, and the chicks dug his exotic stranger vibe.

The Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine and The Red Hot Chili Peppers all played at the Hollywood rock club. Eddie Van Halen did not—he was there to see a show his wife was in.

L.A. girls seem to all end up doing one of the following: working on sets as a wardrobe assistant, teaching yoga or bartending. I’ve done all three. One day not long ago, I did all three on the same day. It ended up being a 19 hour work day. Cha-ching.

The drummer, being Australian and all, was always a very social person and made friends easily. He and his good friend opened a recording studio, the outside of which was painted purple. It was on the same block in North Hollywood as Circus Liquor.

The club was bangin’ every night of the week.

Eleven years ago, the wardrobe assistant/yoga teacher/bartender found herself between jobs. She called an old friend, the owner of the rock club, and humbly asked: “Could you guys use another bartender?” And she was hired. Her first night behind the bar was Halloween. She didn’t dress up.

The drummer-turned-sound-engineer also had a night job as the sound engineer in the same Hollywood club. Hot damn, he looked hot rewiring mic cables and doing sound checks! 

Some venues have dark corners and other dimly lit places.

Six and a half years went by. One night the bartender decided one night to have some fun.

The sound guy, who was always up for some fun, found himself more than slightly curious about the bartender.

The Foo Fighters did “Everlong.”

And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You gotta promise not to stop when I say when…

Her: “Wanna go make out in the DJ booth?

Him: “Hell yeah! Meet me up there in two minutes?

If you had to count the number of people who have hooked up at the club, it would take a year. There must be something witchy in the stagnant, beer scented, smoky air. That’s the only way to explain what happened next…

The bartender, when they kissed, she heard the angels sing.

The sound guy, when they stopped kissing for a moment to look at each other, he heard the gods high-five.

Do you believe in happy endings? Three and a half years later, the owner of the club married them in a sweet little ceremony this past New Year’s Day. And they haven’t stopped kissing since.

 

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Anne Clendening ♥

Anne Clendening is an L.A. chick, born and raised. She is a writer of creative nonfiction and other sordid tales of life, love and other L.A. adventures.

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