Thursday, January 1, 2015

Deak the Third

1)   Redlands
2)   Mick Jagger's Birthday Party
3)   Reunions
4)   A Fruit Basket From the UMRK
5)   Dick Wipper and the Wick Dippers
6)   A Tongue Lashing for the PMRC
7)   The Lost Led Zeppelin Reunion
8)   The Sexadactyl Meets the Smiths
9)   Bumping Jennies
10)  Daphne Dumps me Onstage  
11)  Desmond Goes Missing
12)  The Battle For the Moon
13)  Lacey's Place
14)  The Pretty Kitty
15)  Sweetwater Fountain
16)  The Grand Opening, Graduation and Record Release Party
17)  Running the Appalachian Gauntlet
18)  The Premier
19)  The Defenders of the Moon
20)  Red Hot Chili Peppers 
21)  Hot Chick Beach
22)  The Venice Beach Surfboard Slaughter
23)  Tzarina and Benny
24)  Hot Chick Beach Auditions
25)  Brian
26)  Hot Chick Beach Album
27)  Litigation
28)  Left Coast East Coast Tour
29)  The Miami Airport Ice Cream Jingle Protest
30)  Elton
31)  Frank
32)  A Night at the Kitty
33)  Good Night Elton
34)  The Vegas Engagement
35)  The Board Room Brainstorm
36)  The Backward Twins
37)  Auditions and Contrition
38)  Principal Filming and the Pirouettes' Show
39)  The Final Shoot
Epilogue

Deak the Third picks up where The Second Book of Deak leaves off, at the Wembley Stadium site of Live Aid on July 13th 1985.  At the end of the second novel Deak suffered injuries to his hand and throat that very morning which prevented his scheduled appearance at Live Aid, and the third novel opens that same night when Deak receives a call from Keith Richards.  Keith is in Philadelphia, where he played the American Live Aid show, he heard about Deak's mishap and invites him to convalesce at his Sussex mansion outside London.  This is about the time Mick Jagger was apart from the Stones trying to become a superstar on his own, as evidenced by their separate performances at Live Aid.  Keith enlists Deak to help him reunite the Rolling Stones, and the first three chapters are a long adventure involving Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and David Bowie that begins at Jagger’s July 26th birthday party in London and lasts for several weeks and concludes in Deak's mansion with a Rolling Stones reunion.

The fourth through sixth chapters are about the censorship of song lyrics that was a hot topic of the day, and involve Deak meeting and befriending his Laurel Canyon neighbor Frank Zappa and joining in his battle with the PMRC (Parents' Music Resource Center) in the days leading up to Zappa’s September 19, 1985 testimony before a Senate Committee, headed by Al Gore, exploring the labeling of song lyrics.  A couple weeks before the hearing Deak and Zappa and Desmond record a few overtly suggestive songs including a single called 'Honkin' on Bobo' with the B side 'Weenie Waggin.''  The single goes to number one the week of the hearings, and after delivering his testimony Frank and Desmond and Deak don disguises and play a show as Dick Wipper and the Wick Dippers at a local Washington DC club, where they have a comical encounter with several senators and their wives.

Chapter seven takes place immediately following Frank Zappa’s testimony. Deak and his drummer Desmond Goodlove, aka the Sexadactyl, rehearse for a few days then fly to Inverness Scotland the last weekend of September, where they make their way a few kilometers south to a town called Foyers.  There they go to Jimmy Page’s mansion, Boleskine House, and proceed to trick the remaining members of Led Zeppelin into reuniting so that Deak can jam with one of his favorite bands.  I have posted the unpolished rough draft of The Lost Led Zeppelin Reunion here.

After writing that long opening section of Deak the Third I had temporarily exhausted my supply of Deak ideas and so I left him with Desmond at the Inverness airport on their way back to Los Angeles and turned my attention to the rewrite of my novel Captivity and the opening of another new novel.

A side note here.  A most interesting coincidence (to me anyway) produced the next chapter.  A friend posted a Smiths video on facebook.  I had loved the band and Morrissey passionately in the eighties and early nineties, when for some mysterious reason they disappeared from my radar.  I literally did not listen to the Smiths, nor even think about them, for twenty years.  So one Smiths video led to another and another and I rediscovered forgotten music that I love dearly.

That was last spring, and while in the bliss of hearing all this music fresh again, I naturally started toying with the idea of including an homage to the Smiths in the Deak, and started reading about the band's career.  Since the Deak adheres to actual chronology I looked up specifically what the Smiths were doing in the fall of 1985, and discovered that they went on a mini tour of the UK, and that on October 1st they played a theatre called Eden Court in Inverness, Scotland.

Say what you will, I found it freaky.  Of all places I had left off work on the Deak with he and Desmond standing in the Inverness airport on October 1, 1985.  Coupled with the fact that I have been to Inverness what followed was a no brainer, and I wrote the chapter called The Sexadactyl Meets the Smiths.

During the opening chapters involving David Bowie, Deak records with Bowie's band, which includes a gorgeous guitarist named Daphne.  She and Deak commence an affair and also record a few songs together.  One afternoon for fun she dresses Deak up like a woman and with Deak in drag they form a faux lesbian duo called The Bumping Jennies (Jennies being short for genitalia).  They have a hit a with their eponymous single 'Bumping Jennies,' but the success goes to Daphne's head and she breaks up with Deak onstage after a show one night.

Desmond has been expressing his dream of building an entertainment empire, so he buys a building on Sunset strip and starts renovating and redesigning the building as the Pretty Kitty Club with a Groupie Finishing School set up in the smaller building attached to the rear.  One night they meet a filmmaker named Lacey who has made a sci fi epic that she needs scored.  The film is called The Battle For the Moon and introduces a television series to be called The Defenders of the Moon.  Deak starts an affair with Lacey and agrees to write the music for her film.  

At the same time Deak, Desmond and Jonesy record and release a new album called Sweetwater Fountain and go on a brief American tour, the highlight of which is the complicated and sophisticated prank Desmond plays on Deak at his family reunion.  Desmond is from Kentucky, and his real last name is Bubba, and so they take a break from the tour to attend the thousand plus strong Bubba family reunion.  Much like the legend of Robert Johnson learning the blues by having the devil tune his guitar, Desmond convinces Deak that there is an old man in a cave in the Kentucky hills who guards the original country music song, and Deak spends several painful hours in the woods learning it.

After the short tour they return to Los Angeles and Deak is Lacey's date at the premier of The Battle for the Moon.  The film does well enough at the box office that one of the networks orders some episodes of the television show. Desmond has been itching to break into acting and is chosen for a starring role in the television show starring opposite Lacey.  Desmond isn't going to be able to pretend the love scenes with Lacey, and with Deak's blessing Lacey leaves off with Deak and takes up with Desmond while they're filming.   The show is not very good, and pretty quickly the only reason viewers keep tuning in every week is because Deak writes a new theme song for each episode.  He runs out of words that rhyme with 'moon', the show fizzles and Lacey ends up committing suicide by leaping from the O next to the H in the Hollywood sign.  Deak mutters 'I've got your H-O alright' as he identifies her corpse at the morgue.

A few days later Deak comes home late one night to find Desmond and two other men jumping off the second story roof of the house into the swimming pool.  Earlier that evening at the Pretty Kitty Desmond met their Laurel Canyon neighbors Anthony Kiedis and Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.  The three are obviously high, and Deak closes the roof to pool jumping and brings them inside and channels their energies into a rap/funk jam called Rhyme Time, which they later release as an EP.  Kiedis and Flea become friends with the band and reappear through the rest of the novel.  

Desmond holes himself up one weekend and writes the script for a beach film called Hot Chick Beach.  He then buys a warehouse a few blocks from the Pretty Kitty and turns it into a film studio called After Hours studio.

Jonesy reveals that his wife Lizaveta is losing her mind and their marriage is on the rocks.  She is a renowned concert pianist, and she has been writing a series of four piano concertos called the cliche 'Four Seasons,' which Jonesy has patiently been transcribing twelve hours a day for months.  He details her increasing madness, and after she tracks him down at Deak's mansion and bawls him out in the middle of the night, he finally files for divorce.

As soon as Desmond finishes the screenplay they all go to the Pretty Kitty to celebrate.  He brings a couple copies of the script and mentions it to some of the beautiful aspiring actresses who haunt the Kitty, and spontaneous auditions begin that night.  After closing they move to the warehouse and have the all night party that christens the studio with its name After Hours.  In the wee hours someone suggests a sunrise skinny dip,  and they pack up and head to Venice Beach.  There are still dozens of women left at the party and once at the beach, after the sun has come up, they decide to have an impromptu morning concert there on the beach.  They have a camera man film the event and hope to capture footage they can use in the film.

They use several beautiful women to bribe permission from the police there, word goes out like wildfire, including via Desmond's deejay friend's morning radio show on LA Hot Rock and by nine am there is a huge crowd of mostly women gathered on Venice Beach as Deak and Desmond and Jonesy begin to jam on a makeshift stage in the sand.  With the cooperation of the morning surfers they found gathered there, they place a ring of 25 or so surfboards around the stage as props for filming purposes.  A gang of about 100 Hell's Angels hears about the concert on the radio and roars in.  One of their leaders drives right through the band and grabs one of the microphones and announces that the Hell's Angels have arrived for a good time and the free women.  They drive their motorcycles over the surfboards, grinding them into the sand until they are totally splintered, then drive into the crowd of women and start molesting and grabbing at them.  Led by two courageous women, Joan the Bat and Blixie, the women pick up the surfboard shards and start attacking the bikers, who they outnumber ten to one.  Joan beats her kills to death with a broken surfboard while Blixie takes them out by shooting at their tires with a spear gun from behind a palm tree.  All told the women kill 23 bikers, hospitalize another 47, and the rest are followed by the traffic helicopters that had been diverted to the scene until all the bikers are apprehended.  

Following that bloody concert they lay low and hold formal auditions for Hot Chick Beach. Deak ends up selecting a very beautiful woman named Tzarina to play opposite him, and she becomes his girlfriend for the remainder of the novel.  When all the auditioning actresses have gone a gangster named Benny 'Nutsack' Squiggolucci brings in a beautiful actress named Lola Falonge and forces them at gunpoint to give her a contract as one of the stars.  She is a talented and beautiful actress anyway, so Desmond auditions her and agrees to have Lola as his co star.  Benny and his goon friend Giovanni also start hanging around the Pretty Kitty, where they futilely try to flex mob muscle.

Deak quickly learns that just about every man in the western hemisphere is attracted to Tzarina.  She is working as a cafe barista when they start filming Hot Chick Beach, and Deak visits her workplace only to discover her holding court before a coteries of admirers.  He is mystified by her powerful draw on so many men, but it only flares his jealousies and makes him want her more.  She lives in a beach bungalow, and one night while Deak and Tzarina are hanging out there Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys appears out of nowhere.  Brian is another of her many admirers, and he sings a song for her.  She met him when she first arrived and never knew he was famous, only that he regularly came around and sang for her and asked her for dates.  Brian has been furtively watching the filming and listening to the music.  He and Deak recognize each other immediately and become friendly rivals while Brian nonchalantly offers suggestions for Deak's beach songs.  Over the course of several evening visits to Tzarina's bungalow over a couple weeks, Brian offers musical suggestions that greatly improve every song on the soundtrack.  

The finale of Hot Chick Beach is a battle of the bands in the sand, and Brian challenges Deak to not only include Brian in the battle of the bands, but to let there be real judges, with the prize being Tzarina's hand.  Tzarina gracefully extricates herself from Brian's infatuation and gently lets him down.  He has so improved the music however that Deak actually atrributes a production credit on the album to simply Brian.

Once the film is finished and the soundtrack recorded they schedule a summer release in June 1986.  They also choreograph a beach concert, including lots of women, and Tzarina and Lola and a third actress opposite Jonesy incorporating scenes from the film into an elaborate stage show.  They schedule a summer tour of exclusively beach venues called the Left Coast East Coast tour.  They start at home then go down the California coast, on to the Gulf coast and around Florida and up the east coast.

Before they leave they meet a character named Compton Ass Terry, who was modeled after Terry Kennedy from the MTV show Viva La Bam.  He is mostly referred to as Compton Ass in the novel, simply because it still makes me giggle.  Deak and the others discover Compton Ass when they enter a club where he's deejaying and playing a remix of a Deak song that they've never heard, but that has the crowd absolutely rocking on the dance floor.  Compton Ass is flamboyant, cocky and street wise, and immediately becomes friends with everyone.  Desmond initially hires him as the deejay at the Pretty Kitty, but when he demonstrates a variety of business savvy, Desmond makes him manager while they go on tour.

When they fly into Miami for their shows there it is after a several day vacation in Treasure Island.  They are met on the tarmac by a large group of very angry mothers and their children holding protest signs, one of which reads:  MUSICS  -- Mothers United Slamming Ice Cream Songs.  In keeping with the novel's absurd nature, there are a couple scenes in Hot Chick Beach involving an ice cream truck.  Deak has always had a fascination with ice cream truck jingles, and over the years had written quite a few, and so innocently selected his favorite for a few seconds of background music during one of the scenes of the film.  But underhanded ice cream truck drivers across the country have discovered that Deak's mesmerizing jingle so hypnotizes children that they pester their parents relentlessly for money only to happily over pay for popsicles that are just frozen water.  The mothers bring out an ice cream truck there on the tarmac and give a demonstration, and Deak immediately signs an infringement order against all use of that song, apologizes to the mothers and gives them free tickets to that night's show.

Before leaving on the tour Deak receives a call from Elton John, who'd heard about frisky ghosts in the master bedroom from Freddie Mercury and wants to try it out.  Deak tells Elton he's welcome any time, and when Deak calls home to Pierre from Miami he finds out that Elton arrived a few days earlier, and is absolutely mad about the master bedroom.  At the time Elton was married to his only wife, Renate Blauel who he married in 1984.  The story line in the Deak is that Elton is confused about his sexuality, and he finds his true gay self in Deak's master bedroom.  Elton is so elated that he goes shopping every day and has already filled Deak's mansion with gifts of artwork.  Over the course of the weeks that he stays there crates and crates of artwork pile up everywhere as Elton pours through money like water.  He even pays to renovate Deak's mansion--to the extent that he tears a side off the house to be able to install a baby grand piano in the master bedroom, which is on the second floor, so he can compose while being tugged.

The tour continues up the east coast, then they fly west to northern California and make their way south back home to Los Angeles for a few day layover before taking the Hot Chick Beach show to Vegas for ten shows.  While in Vegas Desmond plans to scout locations for a second Pretty Kitty club.

On August 12, 1986 Frank Sinatra was part of a charity concert at the Universal Theater in Los Angeles.  It was hosted by Placido Domingo and was a benefit for the people still homeless after the deadly 1985 Mexico City earthquake.  Deak, Desmond and Jonesy come off the road at that same time and go the Pretty Kitty to celebrate their short break before heading off to Vegas.  Pierre meets up with them there, and explains that he's on his way to the benefit concert.  Tzarina gets very excited, and explains that she has always been a huge Frank Sinatra fan, and that he was all her father played while she was growing up.  A phone call is made, and they all receive tickets and complimentary backstage privileges.  They enjoy the concert and afterwards go backstage to meet Frank.

Frank and Deak are very well acquainted.  It is not mentioned in the synopsis, but there is a chapter in the first novel in 1966, when Deak is six years old, and after his burgeoning Bourbon Street popularity raises music industry eyebrows, his parents decide to formally launch his Deak and the Ducks career with a week long Vegas engagement.  This is the time that Frank Sinatra and the rat pack are still going strong in Vegas, and having heard of Deak they are anxious to meet him.  Even though Deak is only six, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. take him out after his show and introduce him to the worldly pleasures of cigarettes, booze and women.  Frank sends one of his mistresses to deflower Deak, and she becomes so enamored that she leaves Frank to spend the week in Vegas with Deak.  Frank becomes very angry with Deak for stealing his mistress, and the chapter ends with the rat pack very pissed off at Deak.

Deak and Frank see each other again in the eighties, and while there are no hard feelings, Frank insists that Deak still owes him a woman, and jokes that he still holds Deak's marker for one.  So when they meet again the night of the 1986 benefit concert Frank does what every man does when he first sees Tzarina--he goes gaga.  He immediately insists that's the woman he wants to square him with Deak.

Everything from here on builds toward the climax of the novel.  I did extensive research into Frank Sinatra's mob ties, and that is the arc of the final segment of the novel.  After the meeting backstage at the Universal Amphitheater, Desmond invites Frank to join them for a night at the Pretty Kitty.  Frank accepts the invitation and off they go.  The night at the Kitty chapter is a long one involving Frank, Deak, Desmond, Jonesy, Tzarina, Larry, Compton Ass, Lola, Pierre, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, Nutsack and Giovanni.

Desmond knows Frank's biography quite well, and recounts how Frank had a Nevada gaming license in the early sixties which was stripped from him after well known mobster Sam Giancana was seen in Frank's Cal Neva casino.  Frank's gaming license was reinstated in 1981 when he was given a principal role in management of Caesars Palace.  Desmond's entertainment empire expansion include dreams of a Vegas hotel called the Hotel Sexadactyl, which would also houses a casino, a full size theater and of course the Pretty Kitty Vegas.  Frank gives a speech on the importance and greatness of power and Desmond seizes that to get Frank dreaming about regaining his power.  

Anthony Kiedis and Flea arrive specifically seeking Deak and the others.  The night they had jammed together a few months earlier they had casually tossed around ideas for a mob film about Anthony Kiedis and Desmond playing twin brothers, since the two look so much alike.  It was all chatter while they were taking breaks the night they recorded Rhyme Time, but Anthony and Flea have developed the idea.  Since Desmond is anxious to make a followup to Hot Chick Beach, and planned to write a script when he returned from Vegas anyway, they begin playing with the ideas right there at the table.  They also start suggesting writing a role for Frank to play a mob kingpin.  With the ideas of co owning a hotel and casino and theater he could play in any time, as well as starring in a mob film, Frank gets excited about both projects before the evening finally concludes, although he does warn that they are going to need a lot of money to get a casino running in Vegas.  Deak notices Benny 'Nutsack' Squiggolucci and his sidekick Giovanni lurking in the crowd.  He points them out to Tzarina and explains who they are.  Then Desmond starts whispering in Lola's ear until she finally smacks his face and storms off.  He goaded her into breaking up with him by asking for her mother's telephone number, and if she would be willing to give her mother a reference for him.

Deak and Tzarina head back to his mansion where she starts asking prying questions about his finances.  It's not the first time, but this time she gets a little more probing.  Deak's attitude is that he has so much money he doesn't care about it.  She suggests he put Jonesy and Desmond on payroll since he writes the lion's share of the music, but he insists he's perfectly happy with the equal three way split that will continue.  They then go upstairs to say good night to Elton John.  He's delighted to see them, and shows the million dollar make over he gave the room.  He then tells Deak he wants to buy the mansion and offers up to 200 million dollars for it.  Tzarina frowns as Deak turns it down, and Deak reassures Elton he's welcome any time to stay for as long as he likes.  Elton sighs and admits that it's time to go back to England and confront Renate with the truth so they can both move on with their lives.  There are crates of artwork piled all over the mansion, inside and out, and just before saying good night Deak suggests Elton contact Placido Domingo and get rid of the artwork with a charity auction.

Two days later they take the Hot Chick Beach show to Vegas for a ten night engagement at the Tropicana.  Deak notices Jonesy's ex wife Lizaveta in the crowd at five different shows, but doesn't say anything to Jonesy until after the last show.  Jonesy is unconcerned, speculating that she probably got a job working in a Vegas orchestra pit and was dating a fellow musician who happened to be one of our fans.

Meanwhile Tzarina shares Desmond's interest in real estate, and in expanding his entertainment empire, and they spend their days looking at hotels Desmond might buy.  After four or five days he comes across a nightclub for sale that will make the perfect Pretty Kitty Vegas.  It is part of a large parcel including the adjacent lot, and Desmond has an epiphany one afternoon, and decides to build his own hotel rather than buy an existing one.  He consults with Deak and Jonesy, and Frank Sinatra, and all agree that is the best course of action.  On the night of the final Vegas show Tzarina takes Deak somewhere romantic and proposes to him.  She wants to get married immediately in Vegas, and then again in Los Angeles for their friends.  He is shocked and surprised, and says no.  He knows he doesn't want to stay with her forever, but he still wants to keep her in part because he has what every other man within five hundred miles wants.

Deak and everyone return home to Los Angeles then almost immediately load in a van and drive to Frank's Palm Springs retreat.  In the van are Deak, Desmond, Jonesy, Pierre, Compton Ass, Anthony Kiedis and Flea, with Larry driving.  They are going to brainstorm with Frank about their various characters and plot ideas.  When they finally arrive they are greeted outside by Frank's wife Barbara who pours them iced tea then gives them a tour of the grounds before leading them inside to where Frank awaits.  He's in a large room that could accommodate a large party, and includes a large screen for movies.  Frank is in the corner seated near a bar and in the middle of a conference table with his back turned.  He greets them in character and never breaks.  He is Mo 'Throatsaw' Cobb--Cobb being short for Chairman of the Board.  When he spins in his chair to face them his cheeks and jaw are made up with razor scars, and there is a particular nasty gash scar in his throat from an attack he survived years earlier.  It is a comical scene as Frank never stops being Mo, who is a loose cannon of a capo, while going around the table and asking everyone his character's name and characteristics.  In the end they swear loyalty to Mo Cobb with a drink of grappa as the whole scene is a spoof of a typical gangster meeting.

All the real estate and gaming license paperwork are completed in Vegas, and construction begins immediately on Hotel Sexadactyl.  

Desmond takes all the ideas from the brainstorm and writes a screenplay called The Backward Twins.  Frank Sinatra told them how he got his start in music working for the mob, back when they owned all the clubs, recording studios and told the deejays what records to play.  So he writes the story of the twin brothers, Mickey and Marky Fontana.  Mickey is played by Anthony Kiedis and takes to a life of crime in the streets where his daring criminal exploits quickly reach the attention of Mo Cobb.  On the other hand Marky is played by Desmond, who is a drumming prodigy.  He joins a band with me and Jonesy--Jonesy and I pretty much play ourselves in The Backward Twins, and concentrate on the soundtrack, an album of original Italian dinner songs.  Mickey is ruthless and quickly rises to become Mo's lieutenant.  Marky joins a band that starts playing the circuit of clubs Mo controls.  When Marky's band's success takes off beyond where Mo can control Marky, Mo feels betrayed and becomes murderously furious with him.  His irrational mind misplaces his rage at Marky with Mickey, since they are twins, and he orders Mickey to kill his drummer brother.  Mickey doesn't have the stones to do it, and so hires a thug named Bruno for the hit.  That is the crux of the The Backward Twins story, though there are other story lines.  Tzarina plays a librarian who works for the mob, smuggling drugs and money and guns through the library inside hollow books.  Compton Ass and Pierre take control of the Compton music scene and Flea plays an unscrupulous record producer working with Mo.  

About the time they are preparing to start filming, Deak is knocked off the top of the charts by his ex wife Podi and his ex bassist Ricky.  At the end of the first novel his wife Podi, a musician, divorced Deak and took up with his bassist Ricky Venunziano.  Roughly five years have passed in that time, Podi and Ricky have been diligent in pursuing their musical dreams, and they finally realize a number one hit with their song 'Even Avenues' by their band called the Pirouettes.  Deak had treated Podi terribly at the end of their marriage, cheating on her with her bassist Charise in her girl band on the same night their infant son Isaac died of SIDS.  Deak sends Podi a note sincerely congratulating her and Ricky's success, while apologizing again for all the pain he caused.  She surprisingly responds with a warm note.   In her note Podi mentions that for some reason the Pirouettes are hugely popular in South America, so after their current tour concludes with two Vegas dates they are flying there for a tour.  Deak notices that she will be in Vegas at the time they will be there filming The Backward Twins, and offers her and Ricky use of the Duck, the military transport plane he refurbished to be a flying penthouse with a recording studio that he usually takes on tour.  Ricky remembers flying in the Duck from his days playing with Deak, and he and Podi accept the offer, so Deak has the plane serviced and sent to Vegas.

They hold auditions for The Backward Twins, and among those who turn out is Nutsack.  He auditions for the role of a gangster and is great.  He's very natural for obvious reasons, so they give him the role of Bruno, the thug Mickey hires to kill Marky.  Around this time Tzarina starts randomly disappearing and leaving notes for Deak to meet her in such and such semi public place, where she tears off his clothes and they make love to a heightened thrill.  Deak finds her new game incredibly exciting.  

In addition to being the primary author, Desmond also directs the film, and the filming was scheduled logically.  The majority of the scenes took place in Los Angeles, so we filmed those first; then there were several scenes in Mo Cobb's house, which were filmed at Frank's retreat, and then it was on to Vegas to film the final scenes.  About three stories of steel framework have already been erected of the Hotel Sexadactyl, and Desmond incorporated that into the film.  They shot a scene there with Mo Cobb making big Vegas promises to Mickey as they stood on the temporary sheet metal floor of the building under construction overlooking Sin City at sunset.  Then because of timing, they decide to all take a break and go to the Pirouettes show, and then return to film the final scene of the film, where Bruno shoots Desmond in the green room of the Pretty Kitty Vegas.

When Deak reaches the Pirouettes show he asks everyone and realizes that no one has seen Jonesy all day.  He had called a couple times throughout the afternoon, and just assumed that Jonesy was off with a showgirl somewhere.  Near the end of the Pirouettes show Tzarina vanishes to refresh herself, and a few minutes later a mime approaches Deak and holds out a note.  Tzarina has instructed him to meet her on the third floor of the Hotel Sexadactyl.  He heads there and notices a candle burning, which arouses him.  He climbs the scaffolding as Desmond and the others are in the Pretty Kitty preparing to shoot the last scene.

He follows the light of the candle, and Tzarina whispers to him out of the shadows.  He approaches and she lightly touches his lips with hers, then knees him in the groin.  He doubles over.  The name Tzarina is Russian for 'queen,' which Deak asked her about when they first met.  She explained then that the name was given to her because her father thought of her as a princess, but with Deak laying there doubled up in agony, she reveals that she is a queen--a mob queen.  

She stands over Deak mocking him and inching him precariously closer to the edge of the sheet metal floor.  She explains that she learned martial arts at the same time she studied acting in London, and that her latest roles had been Marla in Hot Chick Beach and a rock star's girlfriend.  Deak doesn't know how to fight, and is terrified of her ominously patient advance.  He sees the evil in her eyes as she explains how she's finally accessed his money, and only needs him dead to get at it.  Deak is terrified for his life, and decides to swing his hands and grasp a girder in such a way that he can crawl underneath the temporary floor and hope some other avenue of escape presents itself.  But after he leaps and grabs the girder, while in midair he panics and changes his plan and throws his right hand under the girder and clasps his fingers together above the girder.  He's too afraid to let go of his grip and clings with all his might.  Tzarina realizes his helpless situation and taunts him.  They hear a sudden gunshot, then hear Desmond scream about being gut shot.  As Deak worriedly observes that line is not in the script, Tzarina explains that her brother Benny just killed my drummer Desmond in a horrible accident when a loaded gun was inadvertently substituted for the prop gun.

Then Frank Sinatra, in character as Mo, steps out of the shadows and slowly approaches Tzarina and Deak.  Tzarina reveals that she is now with Frank, who explains, as Mo of course, that in the old days when the mob wanted someone out of a deal they simply took him out and his name quickly vanished from any and all paperwork.  With Desmond and Deak out of the way Jonesy will be easy pickings and the casino will be all his.  He then produces a marker from his pocket, which he drops on Deak's white knuckles proclaiming them square  It falls for several moments, then clatters ominously in the dark below.

Mo is having a cocktail and enjoying Deak's terror, but Tzarina is anxious to be done with it.  She grabs a heavy iron worker's bar, brings it toward me and says that if I happen to survive the fall she'll make sure I never play guitar again.  She then takes aim at Deak's fingers.  In a split second Deak realizes that if he can't play guitar he doesn't want to live, and releases his grip.  He falls through the roof of the construction site foreman's trailer.  He's with two women and all three are naked and wearing yellow hard hats smeared with lotion.  

The next Deak remembers is waking up in the hospital with Compton Ass staring down at him.  He explains that Deak is in room 203 of the Desert Springs hospital with a broken back and fractured skull.  He also explains that Desmond is in room 201 recovering from the gunshot Deak heard.  Compton Ass then explains that Jonesy is in room 202.  When nobody saw him at all that day Larry went to the hotel and the manager checked his room and found him lying on the bed covered in blood with Lizaveta dead on the floor with a knife plunged into her heart.  She left a cryptic suicide note.  Compton Ass then explains one more tragedy--the Duck crashed in the Andes and Ricky, Podi and their entire entourage are dead.  Compton Ass then explains to me that the press is speculating that I rigged the plane to crash because I was jealous of their taking over number one from me on the charts, and that our absence from the public eye was fueling such speculation.  

After a week or so they all relocate to Deak's mansion and Deak hires a bunch of beautiful nurses and physical therapists to keep them very comfortable while they convalesce together.  In the epilogue Deak explains that while recovering in bed he wrote this three volume autobiography, Jonesy wrote his first symphony and Desmond wrote three screenplays.  Deak concludes by asking the reader to give him a couple years to experience more life and he should have another tome or two to add to his adventures.




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