Flew to LA on the 6 AM direct flight, and caught a cheap shuttle to my hotel in Century City. Apparently, LA was in the 100s last week and only cooled down this week…and with only very few clouds in sight and a cool breeze, it was PERFECT weather. Was able to run down for a quick lunch meeting with Sarah Butterfield from Traffic Venue at Sasabune’s on Wilshire. The sushi was okay, just slightly better than Philadelphia, but it didn’t seem like they were making any great effort on the food. Deema wasn’t around, but I had enough to talk about with Sarah. Agreements to run a few more things, cross publish a few others, maybe some hosted offers here and there. Apparently she has one offer which is their mainstay, and does 4000 leads or so on it every day with $1 profit per lead. Not too shabby… but of course a little dangerous to have their mainstay be one offer. But they know what they’re doing.
Took a ride in Sarah B’s Beemer to Santa Monica. The Pier was beautiful, as were the women. But that’s another story. TOok in the beach a little bit, and listened to the street performers.. then took a walk around Ocean Blvd and down the Third Street Promenade. Spent a good chunk of time down there but had to go back to make sure I caught dinner. Dinner was at Kumo’s, and while it can be extremely expensive if you order the high end of the menu, there’s lots of choice which can make it an average cost dinner. I had an awesome 8 course meal with a Kobe beef centerpiece and man, was that beef all kinds of good. I had too much sake, but man, drunk or not, I knew the Japanese food there was pretty awesome. Slow night, as they only had a few people in there on a Friday at 630.
Got a glimpse of Slash, and saw Grandmaster Flash at a bookstore on Sunset where he was signing/presenting his new autobiographical book. Went a little farther down the street and made it by Whisky A Go Go’s, the Roxy and finally to the Key Club where I got to see Good with Grenades, The Stash and hellogoodbye as part of a Sunset Strip Music Festival gig. BTW, there’s supposedly this awesome Monday night thing at the Key Club which has 4-5 guys actively pretend to be 80s rockers and do a whole floor show that way. Sarah J says it’s awesome and we might have gone if I had stayed… but payments called. Anyway, hung out with the bassist of Good with Grenades a little bit, pretty cool guy. Was telling me about issues with touring, promoting themselves, etc. This must have been a pretty good gig for them, a little bit of exposure. Their CDs I think sold out pretty quickly. hellogoodbye had some tech issues, as their computer and keyboard both screwed up. This meant their entire set had to be acoustic. This actually improved a bunch of the songs and made them a lot more rocky instead of emo-y. The lead singer can sing fine at normal volumes, but sounds strained when he tried to belt louder… granted, I’m sure broken equipment is stressful and so is competing with the noise from everywhere (it was all set real loud). The set ended with Here (In Your Arms) with the whole audience singing along and finally him getting all the hot chicks to climb up on stage. Then all the others tried to follow and at the end of the set, half the place was on the stage. Yeah. End of concert right there, as some stupid people didn’t want to get off.
A couple more bars and back to the hotel. I walked a LONG way… down Doheny, down Santa Monica, all the way through West Hollywood through Beverly Hills back to Century City. Stupid me, I chugged a Heineken AND a coke before taking a shower and crashing. I was drunk and caffeinated… though being real tired nullified all that pretty fast. Early Saturday, I got to Rodeo Dr and took a look at the nice houses in the residentials right off of Wilshire and of course, the shops. The houses were way more interesting. I’m sure all super expensive. I saw a lot of Nikki and Paris Hilton lookalikes… some people need to find a different plastic surgeon or not try to look exactly like plastic. Lots of MILFs that I’m sure are super super golddiggers, and lots of tourists after 10 AM. I like to think I didn’t look like one. I dressed a step nicer than California casual and none of that douchebag sweater tied around neck garbage. Even for a preppy, there is absolutely no reason to wear one of those around your neck when it’s hot.
Spago’s for lunch with Sarah J from VintageMedia/WebTraffic2Go. Currently, my cutest affiliate network contact. Danielle ranks a close second. We spent 3 hours at Spago’s (Wolfgang Puck’s flagship that moved from Sunset down to 90210) and the food was amazing. Oysters and sashimi to share, and fish for me followed by a berry dessert with ice cream that was delicious. Though really, I didn’t pay much attention to the food as the conversation was pretty good. A lot of business areas covered, and I think I know her a heck of a lot better than I did before. Some sad stuff in her recent family history, but seems like she’s doing really well. She has a nice Benz, and drove me down to the W in Westwood Village by UCLA. That area is really hip in a college sort of way. She parked for a second just to pop up and shop the W boutique with me and take a look at the rooms… and it cost her $15 for a pretty short trip. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t too happy about that. I had no trunks so she brought me down to the Village for some. She spent more than 4 hours… I was kinda impressed. I hope we get some more biz going, of course, and that I get to see her in Boston or Vegas soon.
LA Filmfest in neighborhood. I met Ron Perlman in the elevator at the W – he was there for the closing night gala premiere and party for Hellboy II. That was a big deal, as I came to the party later and tried to get in but was booted. Lots of people, cameras, street blockage, etc etc. Instead, I had a pretty crap dinner at Lawry’s and then a makeup dinner and drinks at Geisha House. Melinda’s life must suck since she has to work so much on the weekends. Bah on lawyers… hope the money’s worth the pain. Geisha House had a LOT of fine chicks (not ashamed to admit I was watching) and was a pretty hip place. I expected the food to be ehhhh but it was actually pretty damn good. Toured the rest of Hollywood Blvd, saw the Chinese Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and then headed for some more boozing and schlepping at the bar at W. It felt good flashing my roomkey and passing a line of 40 people to go into the bar. Tons of people there, great DJ. This one bartendress had a dress on that looked like it was gonna fall off her cleavage any moment… I was actually concerned for her. Though can’t say I didn’t like the view. Didn’t know what Chambord was and made me gin and Cointreau. Blecch. Talked to a few cuties there, got rid of the rest of my free drink coupons on them and then headed to bed.
Day from hell. Morning was okay, Starbucks breakfast, lots of college cuties walkin around. Nice chauffered car to the airport, no problems… until I get to the gate and the flight is delayed two times and is almost totally canceled but makes it back on the list only for there to be no chance of me catching the connecting flight to Philly. With payments, I was hyperventilating. Long ass line to get a rep to help me out, and heard that I had a low possibility of getting on an overbooked flight leaving 6 hours later as no. 2 on the Standby list. I waited for what seemed like forever before the next flight came up. Thank god this family going to Boston took the get off the plane deal… she got 4 free RT tickets for her party, as well as First Class on an earlier flight to Boston that was direct. She earned 4 free tickets AND got home earlier, more relaxed and faster than she would have. I was jealous. With that, I just barely had a spot on the plane. And then I get back and realize I didn’t bring my keys. Whereupon a key dude drills the lock (the upper tough one) and replaces it with a new one. Expensive. I would have shopped but I was way too tired and had payments to do, so I just paid up and shuffled him away.
Lesson? Always bring keys, travel light and the W is a very nice hotel. I wanted more but there’s only so much excitement you can have on a short holiday. Maybe I’ll try the Wilshire the next time I’m in town, or one of the private hotels up in the hills… that’d be awesome. They won’t have the real Bat bike and Bat car that was parked in front of the Wilshire though. I didn’t take pics of it but it did seem pretty awesome. Some hotel employee was giving a talk on it.