Thursday, September 22, 2005

L.A. stories (part II, Sweet Torture)

My uncle Gabby took it upon himself to save me from the suburbian hell that is Orange County, CA. Yup, the same O.C. that spawned that dreaded tv show. This was the guy who would sneak me into bars when I was fifteen and beg the house band to let me jam with them. Sometimes they would let me, but most of the time I just sat there watching Uncle Gabby consume scary amounts of beer. He would drop by the OC on weekends driving over from LA in his old BMW, his John Lennon glasses, his Father Guido Sarducci hat and matching moustache. Sometimes he would bring company.

I remember one evening when he showed up with three spandex-clad, big-haired, zebra-print-wearing, mascara-dripping rockers: Dolores, Tiffany, and Nancy. Dolores reminded me of something from Prince and the Revolution (on acid). Tiffany and Nancy looked like they would be right at home vomiting on the stage in the front row of a Megadeth concert. They were a band. I had guitars and drums in my room. It was perfect. I had to call my friend Darren. Darren and I were in a band. It was perfect.

Dolores was the drummer and Tiffany and Nancy both played guitar, ala the Cramps. “Hey, what’s your band’s name?” I ask. “Sweet Torture,” they say straight-faced and proceed to jam. Dolores knows only one beat, and it’s not the beat that goes with the one song that the guitar players know. I don’t even think the guitar players were playing the same song. But whatever they were playing, they were into it and it was loud. I’m surprised my folks didn’t pull the plug on our little noise orgy. I look over at Darren. He’s either in pain or trying really hard to stop himself from laughing. I can’t tell. “Yep, Sweet Torture…” I think to myself, “…genius.”

The fun stopped when we ran out of beer. So being the gracious host that I am, I took Tiffany and Uncle Gabby for a beer run leaving Darren behind with the other two to continue their sweet torture session. I don’t exactly know what went down in my room after we left but there’s probably a porno movie out there that comes close to what I was thinking. It would be years later that I found something on the internet written by Darren on his experience. I don’t remember much of what he wrote, except something about sitting quietly in the corner praying for these girls to take his virginity. Darren was a great writer.

I would run into the members of Sweet Torture occasionally over the next few months. I vaguely remember Tiffany chasing someone around a pool yelling “Dick torture!” But the details are fuzzy. I ran into Dolores while she was working as a bar waitress. I haven’t seen Nancy since that day. I wonder where these folks are now. I recently found Darren again through the net and I hope he reads this. Uncle Gabby died years ago. I miss him.


Blogger Marc from Human Resources said...

I love the LA stories...

6:47 PM

Blogger BradH said...

LA Stories: putting the kitty in the microwave as we heard Joe's mom coming into the house just to bug her... playing hot potato with a real hot potato... bravely venturing up "Chinee Hill"... bad practice with a BB Gun... Being amazed with a Commodore Vic 20... Thinking the cover to "Dark Side of the Moon" was genius... Feigning Suicide at the Brea Mall just because Mrs. Kovac (7th grade English teacher for whom Joe wrote depressing death poetry about horses drowning) was there... Checking out the girls going in and out of the "Wet Seal"... Insanely using inappropriate political symbols on school papers instead of the normal 'checks' and then later finding out our teacher most certainly would have had a BIG issue with that... Using real people as target practice for martial arts throwing stars...

And all that was before high school.

11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How could I have waited until now to read this! Jeez, this is soo good. Man, I've got to agree -- the L.A. stories rock.

8:38 PM

Blogger MsEmeraldEyzz said...

People say I'm sweet,people say I'm kind, but they can't really see whats happening to my mind, mommy says I'm ideal, while boys say I'm devine, they can't really see, they see though they are blind.

I can kill with a smile
Come on and play with me awhile
My tongue is like a knife
You better not f*ck with me or your playing with your life

Yes it's Tiffany from Sweet Torture. Tiffany, Monica and Dolores. We never had a Nancy in the band my other guitar player was Monica.

check it out
Monica is on my top and she still ocasionally visits Gabby's grave site in Glendale.

Have you spoken to Dolores lately?

Those were some wild times..Dick Torture was at the pool party in Canoga Park. Some annoying guy was teasing me around the pool, so I just happen to stumble upon some S&M gear in Monica's guitar case or pedal bag...and oh ya it was on....cockadoodledo, dick torture, I think Monica and I were ready to show him what Sweet Torture was all about, he eventually ended up in the pool with our help, then ran and locked himself up in the guest house! We were right outside the guest house door, trying to lure him out. I presume he did not want any part of dick torture. Oh well!

Memories of Sweet Torture...only in L.A.


11:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:57 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

...btw, the absent band member (I) and Tiffany co-wrote the song "Sweet Torture", but I wasn't at the party that night, because at the time I was home introducing mom to the newest guy I was dating, and his name was Axl...

Kashmir ;o)~ xoxxx...

1:10 AM

Blogger JoeP said...

My bad. Sorry, Monica. Now I remember! God, those were good times. Good to hear from you again.

7:46 AM

Blogger monika said...

I never in my life thought I would be hearing from you...that is so freaky. Hey look me up on myspace( Those were some crazy days...things are much different now. I still go almost every year to vist Gabby...and that time is coming up in July around his birthday. I clean the tomb stone and take him flowers as he always brought me when he was alive. Gabby was a good friend. Keep in touch.

3:40 PM


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