Oct. 11th (HOLLYWOOD)
Going to Hollywood is a dangerous high-pressure gig for most people, under any circumstances. It is like pumping hot steam into thousands of different-size boilers. The laws of physics mandate that some will explode before others--although all of them will explode sooner or later unless somebody cuts off the steam.
I love steam myself, and I have learned to survive under savage and unnatural pressures. I am a steam freak. Hollywood is chicken feed to me. I can take it or leave it. I have been here before, many times. On some days it seems like I have lived at the Chateau Marmont for half my life. There is blood on these walls, and some of it is mine. Last night I sliced off the tips of two fingers and bled so profusely in the elevator that they had to take it out of service.
But nobody complained. I am not just liked at the Chateau, I am well-liked. I have important people thrown out or black-listed on a whim. Nobody from the Schwarzenegger organization, for instance, can even get a drink at the Chateau. They are verboten. There is a ghastly political factor in doing any business with Hollywood. You can't get by without five or six personal staff people--and at least one personal astrologer.
I have always hated astrologers, and I like to have sport with them. They are harmless quacks in the main, but some of them get ambitious and turn predatory, especially in Hollywood. In Venice Beach I ran into a man who claimed to be Johnny Depp's astrologer. "I consult with him constantly," he told me. "We are never far away. I have many famous clients." He produced a yellow business card and gave it to me. "I can do things for you," he said. "I am a player."
I took his card and examined it carefully for a moment, as if I couldn't quite read the small print. But I knew he was lying, so I leaned toward him and slapped him sharply in the nuts. Not hard, but very quickly, using the back of my hand and my fingers like a bullwhip, yet very discreetly.
He let out a hiss and went limp, unable to speak or breathe. I smiled casually and kept on talking to him as if nothing had happened. "You filthy little creep," I said to him. "I am Johnny Depp!"
Outside on the boulevard I saw a half-naked young girl on roller skates being mauled by two huge dogs. They were Great Danes, apparently running loose. Both had their paws on her shoulder, and the gray one had her head in its mouth. But there was no noise, and nobody seemed to notice.