I'm wondering if many of you are aware of the movie Gringo which stars the infamous John Spacely.
John Spacely is probably known by New Yorkers who were out and about during the punk years (Nitebob?). Spacely was a semi-legendary junkie who was the (nominal?) publisher of Punk Magazine during their early years. There was a mural of him up in St Mark's Place for years.
It was originally put up for publicity for the movie Gringo (which at that time was being marketed as The Story of a Junkie) and only came down many years after the movies chance of fame and Spacely, himself, had died.
So anyway, I'm sitting here drinking wine and listening to The Wylde Rattz and when Hot Shot comes on I hear the refrain -
"...It's just like Spacely says..."
and it puts me in mind of Ron. John Spacely is mostly known as an annoying, panhandling, con artist, pool hustling junkie from his days in New York. But Spacely (who was from L.A.) was never a junkie in Los Angeles. He either hadn't gotten into it yet (he got into heroin in New York) or came back here to clean up.
Spacely was also a good friend of Ron's and later of mine. When Ron was in The New Order and living up on Sunset Blvd, Spacely was around. I don't know how they met but they already knew each other when I came on the scene. Times were tough and there was often little or no food to eat. Spacely, being the inveterate hustler that he was, could be counted on to leave the apartment and come back an hour later with two Hollywood girls who had money and a bag full of groceries and beer. I could recount stories of John Spacely's travails, hustles, cons, etc. for days.
Ron, Spacely and I used to hang out in the Hollywood of the mid-1970's; going to The Comedy Store or the Continental Hyatt House bar with Ron and I constantly amazed at how many fake names Spacely was known by and how he always knew somewhere we could go and drink for free. I wasn't even old enough to drink yet.
So, years go by and Spacely ends up in NYC and gets picked by Lech Kowalski to star in this movie about the dark underbelly of the junkie's world. It is Spacely being Spacely. The movie shows him trying to get money for a fix, finding the dope and going to shooting galleries to use. It's pretty gritty. He tells stories that he used to tell Ron and I, just updating details, etc. The movie is available through Troma on DVD.
Spacely died a few years after the movie was shot. He'd apparently gotten clean and was an "advocate" for a drug that would help addicts kick.
Ron and I used to talk at length about Spacely and joked that we were the only two people left on earth who remembered him fondly. I might be the only one left now.
Anyway, you should check out Gringo. Ron would have dug it. And if you don't have the Wylde Rattz tracks you really ought to find those, too. They are better than The Weirdness. Me? I'm going to get some more wine.