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Rob And Katie’s Hollywood Hipster Punk Rock Saturday With Legs McNeil

Katie Summers and I had an interesting weekend. Let me tell you about it.

As we’ve discussed on the show, we’ve been in contact with people about developing a show for mainstream. It’s a show based on my life and my experience in prison. We’re taking elements from the books I’m written and the stories I’ve told on The Rob Black Show and putting together a production that will be presented to networks like A&E or E! or to Netflix. Things are going really well and I’m very excited about it.

Throughout this process I’ve come in contact again with a writer I knew from when he interviewed me for a book he wrote called The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry. The Other Hollywood was also a multi-part series that was shown on Court TV, which is now TruTV. He also wrote a book called Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. Before that, he founded a magazine aptly titled Punk. In fact, he is credited with coming up with the term punk to describe the genre. He is a former senior editor of Spin, the founder and editor of Nerve magazine and has a regular column in Vice that has over two hundred thousand readers a week. That writer is none other than Legs McNeil.

Needless to say, Legs McNeil is an icon of the punk scene. He has written about the Ramones, David Bowie, participated in many documentaries about all sorts of people that have appeared on everything from VH1 to the History Channel. Legs has a new book out called Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose. It’s a posthumous memoir of a girl who abused drugs and alcohol and died of cystic fibrosis. He and Gillian McCain, who co-authored Please Kill Me, compiled the material for the book. It’s a fascinating read and is receiving great reviews.

I have been talking with Legs about putting together the Rob Black book. A biography of my life with tales from my wrestling company XPW, from my obscenity case and time in prison. Prison based books are a hot item right now in the publishing world with the success of Orange is the New Black, so there is a lot of material that Legs and I think would make a great book. This could be very huge.

Legs had a book reading Saturday for Dear Nobody at Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard. It was a very high brow affair. It definitely wasn’t going to Porn Star Karaoke. It wasn’t an Allie Haze party where her husband beats someone up for bringing underage girls. This is real shit. Book Soup is an independent bookstore, one of the few left located right square in the Hollywood-hipster-I’m-super-cool-and-you’re-not area. It’s near the Viper Room and the Whisky. It’s a small venue with probably as many books as Barnes and Noble has squished into a tiny location. Books everywhere, upstairs, downstairs, there are so many books, it’s staggering. There were a bunch of folding chairs set up and a small stage with a microphone where the authors read passages from their book. Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader will be there in a couple of weeks to read from his new book. So this is a fairly popular place for authors to share their works that has a level of coolness that you don’t find at Barnes and Noble or something of that nature.

Katie and I show up at Book Soup and right away I feel the cool hip vibe emanating from the place. There are a lot of people I recognize. I have no idea who most of them are, but they look familiar. There were a lot of punk rock looking people. You know, skinny jeans and bandannas hanging out of their pockets. Poofy hair and makeup. Right away I feel out of place. Where are the girls who do anal? The college educated geniuses who sell rubber dicks? Where are all the classy people I’m used to hanging out with? That’s right, I’m around real people who don’t talk about ass to mouth and their latest latex dildo that’s selling like hotcakes.

A guy steps up to the podium to introduce Legs and Gillian who looks familiar. Everybody’s oohing and aahing about him, but I had no idea who he was. Turns out it was Michael Des Barres, an English dude who was in a band called The Power Station, an 80’s supergroup made up of Robert Palmer, Chic drummer Tony Thompson and the bass and guitar player from Duran Duran, Andy and John Taylor. They did that song Get It On (Bang A Gong) and Some Like It Hot. Big hits in the 80’s. I never listened to this stuff, but a lot of people there considered this a big deal. Des Barres was also on a TV show called MacGyver. For those of you who are too young, look it up. Big show in the 80’s. He was also in The New WKRP in Cincinnati and was married for a time to Pamela Des Barres, who wrote the book I’m With The Band: Confessions of a Groupie. Legs and Michael Des Barres are friends and Des Barres offered to moderate his book reading which was very nice of him.

As Katie and I are standing in the back of this very crowded room watching Legs read passages from Dear Nobody and Please Kill Me, we’re watching various people stroll in, many of whom I recognize. One was the guitarist from Courtney Love’s band Hole, Eric Erlandson. We also saw Patty Schemel, who was the drummer and had a documentary called Hit So Hard about her life and battle with addiction. I see a lot of people who are familiar and I’m thinking, “Wow, this is pretty cool.” Again, nobody’s selling dildos and Mark Spiegler’s not there asking if I wanna shoot Bobbi Starr. So it was kinda neat.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a guy sporting dreads with a tall thin girl who I think looks like Liv Tyler, but it’s not. They look important, but I don’t know who they are. They stand next to us. After the reading, Legs goes in the back to sign autographs and Katie and I mill around outside mingling. The guy with the dreadlocks and the girl come outside and Katie says, “That looks like the girl from Mad Men.” I said, “I thought she looked like Liv Tyler.” Katie says, “No, she looks like the lead character who plays Don Draper’s wife, Megan.” Her real name is Jessica Pare. “She looks like Jessica Pare from Mad Men. I’m gonna go tell her she looks like the girl from Mad Men.” Before she could do that however, they ducked into a waiting car and sped away to the after party dinner.

We were also invited to the after party dinner, so we got into a car with Legs and were driven to downtown LA to the Toy Factory Lofts, next the National Biscuit Company Lofts. We go to the top floor where the party is being held. The place almost looks like a military installation. Cement floors and huge steel doors. We walk into the penthouse and there are about sixty people there. Extremely hip rocker types, not one of whom sold rubber dicks and completely devoid of skanks who will give blowjobs for $200. Legs introduces us to Patty Schemel and a few other people. We meet so many people that I have no idea who they are but they seem important and are thrilled to be in the company of the man who invented punk. We also see the dreadlocked guy and the girl who looks like the girl from Mad Men.

After a while, we all sit down to dinner and Katie and I check out all of the interesting familiar looking people who we have no idea who they are. After dinner, we go up on the roof to check out the LA skyline. Katie gets her phone and says, “I gotta check something out.” She looks at her phone and goes, “It IS her! It’s Jessica Pare from Mad Men!” I though it was just some girl who looked like Liv Tyler. So the girl who plays Megan from Mad Men was hanging out at a party we were attending. That was pretty cool. Apparently her boyfriend is in some band that is extremely popular in Canada. We go downstairs, but Jessica has already left. I tell Legs and he goes, “Oh yeah, that’s Jessica and her boyfriend John Kastner of the Asexuals, Doughboys, All Systems Go… he’s huge in Canada.” The boyfriend, because he’s in punk bands, looks at Legs as an idol of the punk rock journalism scene. So we saw a famous Canadian punk rocker and the Mad Men girl.

We stayed for about another hour or so and met some more musicians, actors, journalists and comedians. A lot of different people. We got our picture taken because there was paparazzi there. After a while, we said goodbye to the great Legs McNeil, said goodbye to our new cool punk rocker celebrity friends and left.

That was our Saturday. We got into the car and drove back to the reality of rubber dicks, assfucking, VOD, Clips4Sale and all of the wonderful things in our world. All in all, a pretty good evening. It was exciting and interesting to be in that environment. I said to Katie, “This is what Hollywood and rocker type people do when it’s not a big premiere. A little event at an independent bookstore and then a small get together with rockers and celebrities where you have to have a special invite and it’s at a famous someone’s penthouse.” It’s not Brad and Angelina, but seeing the Mad Men girl was pretty cool. So was seeing the people from Hole and the dude from The Power Station. (I mean, he did perform at Live AID.) Meeting a few actor people was nice. At the end of the day it was pretty cool.

Again, it beats a few porn parties that I’ve been to where a girl is getting fucked in her ass in the bedroom and for 20 bucks you can join in. It beats hanging out with Derek Hay and Mark Spiegler with them begging you to put their girls in a superhero movie. It beats hanging out with Susan Colvin or Nick Orlandino discussing rubber vaginas imported from China.

I must thank Legs McNeil again for a fine evening and providing that excitement and change of pace. Hopefully, the Rob Black books will become extremely popular as will the Rob Black TV shows and Katie can hang out with the girl from Mad Men and they can go shopping.

Follow Rob Black on Twitter @RealRobBlack Email: [email protected]


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