Eazy, A Story From Salvation

At the beginning of March 1996, I was asked to write for a hip-hop magazine called On the Run. The guy who created the magazine, Gary Daniels, was friends with everybody in the scene. One day he’d wander into work and say he was up all night doing backing vocals on Yo-Yo’s new album.

When he had his first staff meeting I told him I dug hip-hop, but I can’t write that style, that Source Magazine style. The readers would know I’m full of shit. I don’t call songs “joints,” and friends aren’t “peeps.” As the sole white guy on staff, he asked what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to write articles on what is affecting the community, stuff like how the Regan era introduced crack to the inner-cities, etc.

The staff meeting was at Angelina’s on Sepulveda in Sherman Oaks, great food.

A week or so later, Gary asked me at work if I had heard about “E?” I asked who’s E? He said Eazy E. I said, I know who Eazy E is, but we’re not on the first initial basis.

Gary said Eazy is in the hospital with the flu or whatever.

On March 26, 1996, we were supposed to meet for breakfast at the Denny’s on Ventura Blvd. Gary walks in looking haggard. I ask him what’s wrong, and he tells me that, “Eazy is doing really badly and people having been saying he has AIDS, not the flu.”

We sit, order and Gary pulled out his oversize text-based pager and yells, “Oh, my god, E is dead.” He jumped up and ran out of the restaurant.

I didn’t see Gary around for a few weeks. When he finally came back to work I asked him about the magazine and the deadlines and he was burnt-up. He just gave up on the magazine altogether.

I only met Eazy once. Back when he lived at The Summit in Woodland Hills, he would hang out a lot at the Topanga Mall. I bumped into him at the directory in the center of the Plaza. I looked over and this little guy was checking three pagers, he looked over, lowered his Locs and smiled. He said, “Too many women.” And walked off.

RIP Eric Wright

‪#‎michaelessington ‬‪#‎salvation




Scott Weiland, An Unpublished Story

Back in 2000 or 2001, I bought tickets for John Taylor at Billboard Live for my wife and her sister. They were old-school Duran Duran fans.

Once inside and seated in the balcony the reality of how sad this was hit. There were dozens of women in their late fifties and sixties, dressed like Duran Duran did in their Rio video. And many others with lunch boxes of the band.

The first band, the opening act, was a rap band. Four or five thugged out Armenian guys. While they performed, I saw a guy in a beanie walking around smiling ear to ear. Checking the band out from the balcony, then in front of the stage.

After a few minutes, I recognized him. It was Scott Weiland. I went over to talk to him. He had just got out of jail and put back on a little healthy weight. Turns out while in jail he met a few members of this rap band. They looked out for him while inside. Once out he agreed to manage them.

We shook hands and I wished him the best.

‪#‎michaelessington ‬‪#‎salvation



Kilt, An Unpublished Story

As I was dropping my son off at school one morning, I noticed one of his classmates, a young boy, was wearing a kilt.

Well, the 12-year-old in me went, “Hey, he’s wearing a kilt.” Now, in my school days, he would have been ridiculed and bullied. I know that’s wrong, but in the 70s everything was a reason to get your ass handed to you. But, luckily, it is a different time and different kids.

My son looked over at the boy and said, “Cool, now all he needs is some bagpipes.” No jokes about his manhood or lack of manhood, just bagpipes should accompany a kilt.

The boy is heading in the right direction.

‪#‎michaelessington‬ ‪#salvation



Movie Songs, An Unpublished Story

I don’t know if this happens to other people, but it happens to me a lot. I’ll be watching a movie or TV show and a song will come on, and I’m instantly digging it. I write down the chorus or title and I end up searching for it online or ask my buddy Scott in Boston (major music collector) if he can find it. 99.9% of the time he’ll send me the album or the song itself. I get excited, queue it up and — it sucks.

I don’t know if it’s because the music fits the scene so well that my brain thinks it’s a good song or what, but this has happened several times in the last month or so.

I need help!

‪#‎michaelessington‬ #salvation



A Million Little Pieces, An Unpublished Story

Since around 2003 or so, I’ve always had one or two extra copies of A Million Little Pieces in my room. I find them at book sales, thrift shops or an occasional garage sale. I always have people calling me asking for recommendations.

“I like reading, but I don’t know what to read.”

I always suggest A Million Little Pieces, for two reasons. One, some of these people are going through similar situations and I know they’ll relate. And secondly, the sparse writing style of the first chapter will draw them in instantly.

On occasion I’ll have someone say:

“Isn’t that the book Oprah said was fake?”

To which I reply:

“If anything a few incidents might have been exaggerated, but any book written about addiction by the addict can’t be scrutinized. How are you really supposed to remember what you did to the exact detail while running around town huffing gasoline and smoking crack? No one faulted Hunter S. Thompson for not actually seeing bats in Barstow.”

When I buy these copies, I usually throw them under my mattress to keep them flat and so I don’t lose them. I’ve had a few people hit me up and ask, what books I “have under the mattress?”

Another book I hold onto is Kite Runner. It’s more for people that aren’t addicts but complain about their quality of life. I’ll tell them I got something for them. It’s a bit heavy but definitely topical.

So, if we’re talking one night and I say, “The best first chapter in the last twenty years — I might be sending you something by James Frey.

‪#‎michaelessington‬ ‪#‎salvation



Poison, An Unpublished Story

Back in 1986, I got invited to the record release party for Poison’s Look What the Cat Dragged In by Enigma Records. I don’t recall it being a very personal invite, probably a postcard in the mail.

I wasn’t going to go, but I ended up reconnecting with an old high school friend and she wanted to hang out. So, I mentioned the Poison thing she said it sounded like fun — so we went.

As much as I can remember about the trip to the Whisky is this, she drove hypersonic and most of the drive she had a joint dangling from her lips. I was pretty sure we were going to get pulled over. We didn’t.

Now, anybody that was around the Strip back then knows the behavior of any guy that was in a band was that of an egotistical drunken frat girl. Dumb jokes filled with sexual innuendo and bullshit bravado.

I tell you all that to tell you this when we got to the Whisky there was a line halfway around the block. I stepped to the front of the line and told the girl in the box office, I had an invite and just as I did that CC Deville Poison’s guitarist ran into the office and yelled, “Hold all my calls and charge everybody double,” in his high-pitched New Yorkish accent. I looked at him and pointed to his picture (lower left corner), and said: “You know, if we were in prison I’d probably fuck you.” His face dropped, he stared at me for a second and bolted from the office. The people in line were busting up, except for the girls; I heard a lot of, “Why would he say that to CC?”

My friend and I made our way into the world-famous Whisky and looked for a place to hang out. The rest of the night CC avoided me. And every time he’d do any of his over the top yelling or twirling his feather boas around I’d point at him and nod.

Shortly before we left Bret Michaels, Poison’s vocalist and former Pamela Anderson playmate came over and asked me, “What’s the deal with you and CC? Are you trying to fuck him?” I laughed and said, “No, I thought he looked like Suzanne Somers in the picture so I thought I’d yank his chain a bit.”

Bret laughed and gave me a beer. As I left I made a point of staring at CC and pointing. Silly kid.

#michaelessington #salvation



Muhammad Ali, An Unpublished Story

Random Thoughts

Sometime in the 80s, there was a sports shop in the Valley that had cut a deal with Muhammad Ali. Ali would sign a few things every month and they’d split the profits.

I came home bummed, they had gloves, robes, trunks and I couldn’t afford any of it. My mom went to the shop a week or two later and asked if she could buy a signed picture. The shop owner contacted Ali and a day or so later my mom bought this and stuck it away until that Christmas.

One of the few things that I’ve always had. Most of my belongings have been lost, sold, stolen or given away. Ali has always moved with me.

#michaelessington #broken



Van Halen, An Unpublished Story

Random Thoughts

I got a phone call last week from one of those well-known punk rock stars. He said he read on my Facebook page that I went to the Van Halen taping in Hollywood for the Jimmy Kimmel show.

I said, “Yeah, I got tickets and my brother and I went.”

He said, “That’s cool that you put that out there.”

I asked what he meant.

He said. “Well, you know with punk rockers — you never know who’s going to get their panties in a bunch. Like, “Hey, you’re a punk writer; you’re not supposed to go to a metal show!”

I replied, “Shit, I’m a music fan. I post stuff about Kiss, Johnny Cash to Kool Moe Dee. If my punk-card was going to get pulled — they would have done it long ago.”

He laughed, and then we talked about his band until the call got cut off. As it should be.

#michaelessington #broken



Homeless & Poetry, An Unpublished Story

Random Thoughts

In 1994 or 1995, I went through a break-up which led to a search for new employment and new housing. In other words, things went bad quick.

I slept on a friend’s floor for a couple of days, and then I took the couch at my brother’s place. As I got my bearings and confidence, I put the feelers out to everybody and anybody that knew of housing and/or employment.

Finally, one day a girl I worked with in the 1980s at a record shop called and said that her boyfriend was managing a Kinko’s and they needed somebody to run the computer department during the midnight shift. Perfect! As it was, I couldn’t sleep anyway. Break-up, money, one-year-old daughter, on and on, the brain never turned off.

One morning I’m sitting behind the counter at the computer department working on a press release for Michael Jackson’s parents Katherine and Joe Jackson when a very dignified African-American walks up. He asks if he could have a cord to plug his laptop in to the printer. I give it to him. He shoots off a couple of pages. Comes back, pays for the prints and hands me the cord.

This went on for a few months, cord, prints, pays, and leaves. One day, curiosity gets the best of me, I walk over and ask what he’s working on. He tells me he’s a poet and he’s putting together some pieces about his time in Vietnam.

I told him that I had been writing poetry since the early 1980s, then asked if he could look it over sometime. He agreed.

My new poet friend came in a week later. He walked up to me and handed me a book he made of 5 or 6 of his poems. Each one a disparate style, modern, traditional and a sonnet.

I went over and took out a notebook I had of my writings, similar to what I write now, but a bit too heavy on the metaphors. He looked everything over and made comments, like, “This one reads like a song,” and “This is good, but take out the “I,” tell the story without it being in the first person.” Really cool perspectives. Then he said to go to the local bookshop, find the poetry section and buy the first author I recognized. The point was to find my own voice. Don’t write poetry like I think it should be, don’t imitate Shakespeare.

I wandered over to Barnes & Noble. I looked and looked; finally, I see a book by Jim Morrison called The Lords and The New Creatures: Poems. I bought it, read it and moments later declared it as the worst piece of shit I ever read.

I rewrote most of my poetry based on my friend’s suggestions. When he popped up a day or so later, I showed him my updated work and told him that Jim Morrison’s poetry was horrendous.

He read through my latest poetry, offered a few more pointers, and then he asked, “Have you read much Bukowski?” I said, “Not really. I saw Barfly in 1987.”

He nodded, and said, “OK, there’s a book you have to buy. I’d give you my copy, but I probably gave it away already. When you get off work, go to the store and buy Bukowski’s Love Is A Dog From Hell. That should point you in the right direction.”

That man was author Clyde Wray; he has always been an inspiration and a friend.

‪#‎michaelessington‬ ‪#‎broken‬



Robin Williams, An Unpublished Story

Random Thoughts

Back in 2002, shortly after Robin Williams did his On Broadway special for HBO my wife took me to the Universal Amphitheatre to see him for my birthday.

The two things I remember most about the night. The first thing was the table in the middle of the stage. It was a circular table, approximately five feet around. And it was filled with water bottles, absolutely packed, not even an inch of space. Robin would do five or ten minutes of rapid-fire, manic comedy, grab a bottle drink it in one gulp and throw it on the ground and continue. There had to be close to a hundred bottles of water and at the end of the night he finished them all and the table was empty.

The second thing I remember was my wife and I talking in the car on the way to the Amphitheater about the allegations of Robin stealing skits from other comics. As we were leaving the place, I said to my wife, “How could you tell if he had taken your skit. He wasn’t like Bill Cosby; he didn’t take thirty minutes to tell a story. He told five in three minutes. How could you tell if he mentioned your story?”

End the end of the show the stage was a mountain of plastic bottles and his clothes were drenched and pasted to his body. I don’t think I ever saw a performer work harder than he did that night. RIP

‪#‎michaelessington‬ ‪#‎broken‬