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Hollywood Nocturnes

Hollywood Nocturnes

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
"Dick Contino’s Blues" in "Hollywood Nocturnes" takes us to B-List Hollywood in 1957—a time when movies were cheerful and dirty secrets lurked just off camera.
"Dick Contino’s Blues" in "Hollywood Nocturnes" takes us to B-List Hollywood in 1957—a time when movies were cheerful and dirty secrets lurked just off camera.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Jun 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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DICKCONTINO’SBLUESFromHOLLYWOODNOCTURNESByJamesEllroy
1.
Iwasbombing.Atombombing:sweatyhands,shakespending.Myback-upcombosoundedoff-sync—Iknewitwasme,jumpingaheadofthebeat.BIGROOMFEARgrabbedmynuts;headlinesscreamed:“ContinoTanksLacklusterCrowdatCrescendo!”“ContinoLaysPre-EasterEggatSunsetStripOpening!”“BumbleBoogie”to“Ciribiribin”—astraight-for-the-jugularaccordionsegue.Iputmywholebodyintoabellowsshake;mybrainmisfiredamessagetomyfingers.Myfingersobeyed—Islammedoutthe“Tico-Tico”finale.Contagiousmisfires:mycombocameinwithabridgethemefrom“RhapsodyinBlue.”Ijuststoodthere.Houselightssnappedon.IsawLeighandChrissyStaples,NancyAnkrum,KayVanObst.Mywife,myfriends—plusashitloadoffirstnightersoozingshock.“RhapsodyinBlue”fizzledoutbehindme.BIGROOMFEARclutchedmyballsandSQUEEZED.Itriedpatter.“Ladiesandgentlemen,thatwas‘DissonanceJump,’anewexperimentaltwelve-tonepiece.”Myfriendsyukked.AgeekinaLegionnairecuntcapyelled,“DraftDodger!”Instantsilence—bigroomloud.IfrozeonJoePatriot:booze-flushed,Legioncap,Legionarmband.Myjustificationriffstoodready:IwenttoKorea,gothonorablydischarged,gotpardonedbyHarrySTruman.
 
No,trythis:“Fuckyou.Fuckyourmother.Fuckyourdog.”TheLegionnairefroze.Ifroze.Leighfrozebehindasmilethatkissedofftwograndaweek,twoweeksminimum.Thewholeroomfroze.Cocktaildebrispeltedme:olives,ice,whiskysourfruit.Myaccordiondrippedmaraschinocherries—Isliditoffandsetitdownbehindsomefootlights.Mybrainmisfiredamessagetomyfists:kickJoePatriot’sass.Ivaultedthestageandchargedhim.Hetossedhisdrinkinmyface;puregrainspiritsstungmyeyesandblindedme.Iblinked,sputtered,andswunghaymakers.Threemissed;oneconnected—theimpactmademewah-wahquiver.Myvisioncleared—IthoughtI’dseeMr.Americadrippingteeth.Iwaswrong.JoeLegion—gone.Inhisplace,cutcheekbone-deepbymyrock-encrustedguineaweddingring:CiscoAndrade,theworld’s#1lightweightcontender.Sheriff’sbullsswarmedinandfannedout.Backstoppingthem:DeputyDotRothstein,200+poundsofbulldykewiththehotsformyfriendChrisStaples.Andradesaid,“Youdumbson-of-a-bitch.”Ijuststoodthere.Myeyesdrippedgin;mylefthandthrobbed.TheCrescendomainroomwentphantasmagoric:There’sLeigh:jukingthecopswith“DickContino,RedScareVictim”rebop.There’stheLegionnaire,glommingmysaxman’sautograph.DotRothstein’ssniffingtheair—mydrummerjustduckedbackstagewithareefer.Chrissy’sgivingBigDotawideberth—theyworkedalezboentrapmentgigonce—Dot’shadatorchsizzlingeversince.

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