Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Deak Novel 3 Chapter 25 -- Brian Wilson


Chapter 25
Brian

On the liner notes for Hot Chick Beach the album’s producer is named only as Brian.  I’ve been asked a thousand times, in person and in the press: “Brian who?”  Here at last is that mystery explained. 
Jonesy had indeed drawn a name from a hat to choose the actress who would play opposite him and that was how Jackie came to play Tara.  Jackie was a new age free spirit from San Francisco, quite the opposite of Lizaveta, and she and Jonesy became very chummy, and so as we began filming we were all in fresh and fledgling romances with our respective leading ladies.
Less than a month after the Venice Beach slaughter, just a couple weeks removed from escaping incitement charges only by the grace of a fortuitous piece of film showing clear police consent for the concert, Desmond finagled a permit for us to film on the same beach by seducing a councilwoman.  He then rewrote the script to incorporate the footage of the Hell’s Angels massacre by simply inserting it immediately before the battle of the bands.  The film implied that the girls were fighting the bikers as much for self protection as to clear the beach and hear the bands play; and in their performances following the mayhem the bands were driven by the bravery of their beloved women to inspired heights of musicianship.
Between the film and our romance Tzarina and I were together most of the next few weeks, and became intimately acquainted.  She was from Piscataway, had gotten bored and took off on her motorcycle to look around the country and find herself.  She had spent a year in New Orleans, so we had much common ground there for conversation.  While in New Orleans the carefree flamboyance and the colorful local characters and all the parties and the parades had inspired her interest in fashion, and she meandered west on her motorcycle, through Texas, Vegas and finally to Los Angeles. 
Acting came to her naturally, and she had been practicing the craft since childhood, but she was not passionate about it.  It was the oddest thing—while most women were in LA supporting themselves by any variety of menial means to try and break into acting, Tzarina planned to use her acting abilities to support herself while she pursued her dreams in the fashion world.
When she had gained employment in the café her owner and boss became another star struck fan, and offered her use of a beach bungalow (another reason she didn’t want to give up her job at the café quite yet).  It wasn’t far from where we were shooting the film, and we ended up spending most of our time there.
One night we were sitting on the bamboo bench before the bungalow watching the sunset when we suddenly heard a guitar strum and a familiar voice sing:  I’m sweet on you like the morning dew on the blooming flowers, I want to drip into your slip, and bloom your bloomers with a shower.  The way you’re guarding your garden is so hard on me, And if I’m being too forward beg pardon me.   Tzarina…is the queen of…my heart….
“Hi Brian!” Tzarina said over her shoulder when he finished his song.
“Brian?” I asked.
The bamboo bench was situated across from a hammock chair that depended from a tree by a single rope.  The singer emerged from the dark carrying a guitar.  He sat down in the hammock chair and I recognized him at once:  it was Brian Wilson!
“Good evening, Tzarina.  Nice to finally meet you Deak.”  He swung forward and shook my hand.
“Brian Wilson!” the fan in me exclaimed.  Then I recalled the lyrics he’d just been singing to my girl, my heart flared with jealousy and I immediately tempered my enthusiasm with jealous suspicion.
“How do you two know each other?” Tzarina innocently asked.
“Brian Wilson is the musical brain of the Beach Boys,” I said.
“Why didn’t you tell me that?” Tzarina asked Brian.
“Because you didn’t seem to recognize me and I wanted you to like me for me, for the real me, not the face smiling at you from an album cover,” Brian explained.
“I was actually wondering why you weren’t famous already, since your songs are so catchy and you sing so well,” Tzarina observed.
“Songs?” I asked as a general question for either to answer.
“I met Brian when I first arrived here a couple months ago,” Tzarina explained.  “He lives nearby and walks this beach all the time.  And then when I started working at the café I found out he likes to go there too.  He was one of the first friends I made here.”
“She inspires me,” he said, then strummed and sang:  Tzarina is the queen of my heart…Tzarina is a beautiful work of art.  Then he stopped playing and said:  “See? I just made that up.”
“That was beautiful, Brian,” she said.  “All your songs are beautiful.  You’re the Beach Boys, now it all makes sense.”
He directed his attention to me and said: “I’ve been hanging around the beach while you’ve been filming.  I’ve heard the songs and I got hold of a copy of the script which I read.  Would you like to hear my thoughts?”
“Of course I’d like to know your thoughts,” I replied to him.
“As you know we have been kings of the beach for over twenty years—since you were a child—and we should have the opportunity to defend our realm,” he cryptically said.
“Your realm?” I answered.  “The beach?”
“That’s right,” he said.  “As it is you’re somewhat of an imitator riding my coattails—we created the beach sound.”
“An imitator?” I indignantly responded.  “No more than yourself.  I’m an innovator inspired by what came before me.  Music I’ve absorbed influences me just as it does you.  It all comes through us from the ether—you know that better than anyone.  What are you getting at anyway?”
“We want to be in the battle of the bands finale of the film,” he said.
“The Beach Boys!” I exclaimed.  ‘Great idea!  We could definitely work in a clip of you doing one of your songs!”
“That is a great idea,” Tzarina agreed.
I then realized something rather important, and said to Brian: “You do understand that according to the script the best I could offer you is to finish runner up.”
“About that,” Brian replied.  He paused and strummed a short progression.  “That was one of my thoughts.  When you rewrite the Beach Boys into the script change the ending so we have a real battle of the bands decided by the audience.  To make it as realistic as possible, let’s keep it real.  We can compete for Tzarina’s hand.”
I took Tzarina’s hand up and kissed it, then held it and replied:  “This hand?”
He strummed and sang his response.  As your name is not Nancy you’re just a passing fancy.”
“I really do like Deak a lot, Brian,” Tzarina said.
“You’ve liked others in the past and you’ll like others in the future—I like to see myself in that future,” Brian optimistically stated.  She remained curiously silent.  Brian looked at me and coldly challenged:  “You’re not chicken, are you?”
“It’s not a matter of bravado, it’s a matter of our making a film about our band culminating in the ending that we have already written which glorifies our band,” I explained.  “There are roles in the film for the bands that finish second, third, fourth and fifth but we are the predetermined winner.  That’s the point of having a script.”
“And scripts are rewritten,” Brian rejoined.  “It happens all day every day everywhere in Hollywood.”
“And ours was just rewritten and we are happy with the result which is finalized and what we are shooting,” I said.  “Would you write a film about the Beach Boys where they finished second to me in a battle of the bands?  If you’d like a role in a movie, I’m happy to offer you runner up in Hot Chick Beach.  If you want something otherwise, that’s for another time and place.”
“Just as I thought,” Brian ponderously replied.  “Let me show you something else.  Your theme song is lacking.”
“’Hot Chick Beach’?” I answered.  “That theme is tight—simple, catchy and rocking.”
“There’s an entire melodic underpinning missing, a couple planks out of place in the bridge and the chorus is hollow.  What you need to do is get a copy of ‘Be My Baby,’ by the Ronettes and play it one hundred times in a row.  I’m serious, go in your room, lay in the dark and play that record back one hundred times and you will hear what I can only try to explain with words.” 
“If you say so,” I skeptically replied.
Brian got to his feet and held his guitar.  “You think about the things I said,” he said to me.  “The lovely Tzarina’s not going to stay with a man who wilts in the face of a little heat, a man whose macho words precede the actions of a coward.  When she realizes all that and bores with you, me and my songs are waiting here on the beach.”  Then he turned to Tzarina.  “And good night to you, dear Tzarina.  When that sweet hand is free again mine is here waiting to take it.  I’m off now.  I get around, but to get around you’ve got to be around.”
“Bye Brian!” Tzarina replied to him.  “Have a great night!  We’ll probably see you tomorrow.”
“That was odd,” I said.
“He’s so sweet,” she replied, then hastened to reassure me.  “He’s too old for me anyway and right now I’m not interested in any men not named Deak and you’re the only one I know.”
We kissed and passionately made up for a fight we’d never had, then retired early to rise up early to film.  As we lay in the dark Brian’s words nagged at my restless mind.  ‘Hot Chick Beach,’ was a great song—the perfect theme.  What was he talking about? I asked myself. 
Several of Tzarina’s admirers at the café brought her a number of cassettes and a player, and she had a copy of the song in the bungalow.  We decided to do as Brian had said, and spent the next five hours playing ‘Be My Baby’ one hundred times.  It was a great song but not very complicated, and after several listens I had it memorized and was waiting for some mysterious epiphany.  I was skeptical, as was Tzarina, but we plodded on through listens thirty, forty, fifty…and at 5:06 in the morning we cued the song for the one hundredth time.
With the song echoing in my ears and etched into my brain I didn’t know what magical effect to expect, and the skeptic in me expected nothing, but as the music started and the Ronettes’ vocals kicked in a musical tapestry unfolded in my mind.  I was hearing two songs at once in stereo: in my left ear was ‘Hot Chick Beach’ and in my right ‘Be My Baby.’  Then my inner ears merged the two songs into one and I heard exactly what Brian had described:  the melodic underpinnings, the half finished bridge and the hollow chorus.  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
I was enthralled and aglow with inspiration, and immediately seized a guitar, sat out front of the bungalow and rewrote the theme song as the sun began to banish the night.  Tzarina sat and listened and offered a couple of suggestions and in twenty minutes the revamped version of ‘Hot Chick Beach’ was born.  With the new melodies, the bolstered bridge and the effusive chorus of one hundred women the revised version was now a sure fire hit.
I played it first thing for Desmond and Jonesy when I saw them on set and they agreed that it was much improved.  Tzarina was there beside me, and remained silent when I failed to explain specifically who had inspired the changes in the song.  As we played all day in the sand with cameras rolling I looked around for Brian in the crowds and passersby; and recalling my own experiences, had my eyes out for him in disguise, but I never noticed him. 
After a long fabulous day of fun in the sun, Tzarina and I repaired to her bungalow for the evening.  I wondered if Brian would show up again, which made me a bundle of conflicted emotions.  I was jealous of him as a rival but his contribution to our song was significant enough to warrant credit as collaborator. 
We purposely sat out front of Tzarina’s bungalow to watch the sunset as we had the night before and déjà vu—just after dark Brian started singing from the shadows.  Tzarina’s smile at Brian’s voice made my heart flare.  I reminded myself that she smiled at everyone, and quietly listened to his song. 
When he finished he again seated himself in the hammock chair.  He remembered meeting me from the night before, but aside from that he repeated our conversation about putting the Beach Boys in the battle of the bands as if we were having it for the first time.
“He does sometimes repeat certain things,” Tzarina softly said to me.
I didn’t know what else to do, so I went along with it exactly as I had the night before.  The dialogue was virtually verbatim until he reached the point where he gave his thoughts on our songs, and I said: “I have to tell you, we took your advice and listened to ‘Be My Baby’ one hundred times and you were absolutely right.  May I?”  I motioned to his guitar, which he handed to me.  I played him the new version of the theme song; he just smiled and nodded his head as he listened. 
“That’s it, you got it,” he said.  “I love people who listen.”
“What else?” I asked.
 “Your song ‘Boardwalk Boogaloo’ is lacking in several places.  You’re missing a fill between the second chorus and the bridge, there are a number of places where a chorus could supply some backing vocals, and as a whole the song is lacking a certain syncopated oomph.”
“Should I listen to the Ronettes again?” I sincerely asked.
“Not for this song.  Phil Spector produced the Ronettes and you should listen to Phil for everything, but ‘Boardwalk Boogaloo’ cries Gershwin.  ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ of course, and ‘I Loves You Porgy’ and a few other standards are mandatory, but I would think eight hours of any Gershwin will be enough for you to figure it out.”
“Eight hours, you say?” I replied.  “I must confess myself ignorant of all things Gershwin.”
“Then you’re in for a real treat,” he said, rising to leave.  “And remember what I said about that battle of the bands.  You may win a battle of the bands in the little fantasy world of your film, but you can never call yourselves kings of the beach until you’ve dethroned the ones currently perched on the throne.  Let’s go head to head on stage with Tzarina’s sweet hand the stakes.”
I didn’t know what to say, so I mumbled: “It’s not my decision to make.  I mentioned it to the director and the other guys and they’re thinking it over.”
“Just don’t take the coward’s way out,” he answered, then disappeared into the night.
Tzarina was equally as interested as I to hear what eight hours of Gershwin might do to ‘Boardwalk Boogaloo,’ and since she didn’t have a note in her bungalow while I had a couple of old Gershwin albums back at Easytown, we decided to spent the night back at my place.  There were quite a few people hanging out, including Desmond and Jonesy, and Lola and Jackie and several others from the set.  We briefly said hello, fetched my two George Gershwin recordings from the wall of albums and repaired to my room and commenced to listening to them over and over all night.  At some point in the early morning my brain went voila!  I raced downstairs pulling Tzarina by the hand, we sat down at the piano and rewrote the song.  While incapable of playing a note, she nevertheless provided several invaluable suggestions. 
We finished the rewrite of the song just as Pierre was rising to start the morning.  In the midst of our creative fervor we played it for him; he loved it and continued to hum it as he went about his morning chores.  Jonesy and Desmond came downstairs with Jackie and Lola, and we played it for them. 
“They are great, but where are you getting all these new ideas for our songs?” Desmond asked.  I intended to demure again, but then Larry walked in.  I had been planning to speak with him that day, and there he was, so I asked him:  “What do you know about Brian Wilson?  I’m not referring to the Beach Boys.  Where does he live?  What is up with him these days?”
“He lives in the nearby hills with his live in therapist, a guy named Eugene Landy,” Larry replied.  “He’s had a lot of bouts with alcohol and drugs and mental health and breakdowns over the years.  From what I hear Wilson’s house is like a rehab center with a live in counselor, but I couldn’t attest to anything specific.  I just know the hearsay.  Why?”
With everyone present I confessed to what had been going on with Brian Wilson at Tzarina’s bungalow, and how Brian’s unpredictable musical suggestions were the true source of the changes I had been making that had been elevating the songs to new heights, completing them.  Then I explained how he had twice challenged us to be in a real battle of the bands, and I didn’t know what to do.  It was nothing short of muse intervention that was bringing Brian’s suggestions to our songs, but the blessing of that locked me into a no win bind.  If we did go through with a battle of the bands and for some reason the Beach Boys did win it would sink the film; and if we did go through with it and defeated the Beach Boys on stage, it would have been using songs Brian could claim to have co written. 
We filmed on Venice beach for almost two weeks.  I never once noticed Brian on or near the set, but every night he came round the bungalow singing to Tzarina, challenging me to a legitimate battle of the bands while then improving our songs by sending me on musical journey that stretched across centuries.  The main theme for the song ‘Drag Strip’ came from one of Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, which Brian had me listen to for twelve hours.  He sent me to the record shops scouring the racks in search of obscure surf records, and Mississippi blues, contemporary pop hits and old composers.  ‘Hot Rod Annie,’ for example, drew vocal ideas from the Archies and a chorus based on the chord progression of a Mozart piano concerto.  I never knew where he was going to send me with any particular song, but if anyone ever deserved a ‘producer’ credit without having set foot in the studio, it was Brian Wilson on the Hot Chick Beach album.
As he stopped by the bungalow every night to sing to Tzarina and to give me ideas to shape the next song on the record he also reiterated his challenge to a legitimate battle of the bands.  Tzarina explained that he occasionally repeated himself and was forgetful, but the idea was clearly fixed in his mind.  Tzarina reassured me repeatedly that she was not interested in Brian’s romantic advances, but that she also enjoyed his friendship and did not want to damage it by hurting his feelings.
Finally one night near the end of the second week of filming, Brian was emphatic about being included in the battle of the bands, which he knew to be up coming.  He had dropped by the bungalow at the usual time to sing to Tzarina, and shortly after he sat down she excused herself for a few moments to refresh herself.
Brian pounced upon the moments alone with me and boldly said:  “I know you’re almost done filming, and I want this resolved.  Tzarina is not going to stay with you forever, and we both know it.  I like girls a lot, and there are lots of girls, but right now my eye is still sweet on Tzarina.  Are you going to compete with us in a real battle of the bands with the very real prize of a lady’s hand?  Or are you going to take the coward’s path and stick to your own script?”
“I’ve mentioned it and received mixed response,” I lied, then immediately told the truth.  “I promise to discuss it with Desmond, Jonesy, the director and all the decision makers involved first thing in the morning, and I will guarantee you a definitive answer tomorrow night.”
Tzarina returned and Brian went on to bring up my song ‘Drag Strip,’ for which I needed to spend a night listening to any fifty different car songs and both New York Dolls albums.  Tzarina and I did just that later that night and were not surprised when I rewrote a new and improved model of the song.
Tzarina and I discussed it, the following morning I explained everything to Jonesy and Desmond and the director and all the girls and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the guys who were playing Cletis Diesel and the Truckstops, and we put our heads together and devised a plan.  That was Wednesday, and the filming of the battle of the bands was scheduled for Friday.  Red Hot Chili Peppers were to be given a full song, and then for the other bands we had scratched together a few Sunset Strip musicians to play the musicians in the losing bands.
The plan was to stage two separate battles of the bands.  The first one would take place earlier in the afternoon, and would be the actual finale of the film.  The second one would be toward evening, to satisfy Brian.  When he came around Tzarina’s bungalow that night I explained the details.
“After many long discussions this afternoon, here is how the battle of the bands is going to work,” I explained as he, Tzarina and I sat before her bungalow.  “We’re going to film late in the afternoon to capture the ambience of the twilight and the grandeur of the sunset.  The Beach Boys, or whatever collection of musicians you bring, will perform last, after Desmond, Jonesy and I.  Also, the producer is particularly fond of your songs ‘Good Vibrations’ and ‘California Girls,’ and has insisted that you use those two to conclude your set.”
“Those are the terms?” he replied, laughing.  “I take the stage last and have to play two of my best songs?  That’s like starting a football game with a thirty point lead, or giving me the first ten moves in a chess match.  What gives?  Is this alright with you?” he asked Tzarina.
“It sounds like fun,” she replied.  “I’ll go on a date with you if you win.”
He smiled, then looked thoughtful…suspicious.  “Who is judging? audience applause?”
“We’ll form a panel of judges by having each band choose two girls from the crowd,” I explained.  “We’ll start by measuring decibels of applause, and if that’s a tie we’ll resort to the panel.  Can you be there ready to play about five?”
“I wouldn’t miss it!” Brian cried, jumping out of the hammock chair and grasping his guitar.  “I’ll see you both tomorrow, and I’ll see you Saturday night too,” he added to Tzarina.
The following day was the final day of filming; we started early and shot the final take of the last scene around three.  We then got everyone to stick around for the staged battle of the bands by throwing a party. 
Brian arrived promptly at five with one of his brothers and several other musicians.  He presented Tzarina with a bouquet of flowers then excitedly busied himself with preparations for their performance.  The party had been roaring all day, so the huge crowd was in great spirits when the bands took the stage and the ‘battle’ commenced.
The band of ragtag musicians warmed up Cletis Diesel and the Truckstops, who warmed up Red Hot Chili Peppers, who warmed up for us, who warmed up Brian’s configuration of the Beach Boys.  Brian played with great confidence, constantly glancing and smiling and waving at Tzarina where she stood holding hands with me in the front row.  The moment Brian launched into ‘Good Vibrations’ we launched our plan.  Flea strapped on his bass, I my guitar, Jonesy slipped his saxophone over his neck, Anthony Kiedis and Desmond grabbed tambourines and we invaded the stage, entirely uninvited, and joined in the song.  As we played Desmond and Kiedis marched along the front of the stage dancing and banging their tambourines and stirring up the women in the crowd, and the moment Brian started singing ‘California Girls’ the Sexadactyl made an inimitable leap onto the stage.  Throughout the afternoon we had made specific arrangements with a number of beautiful women to surround Brian as he sang one of his signature songs.
When that song finished the stage was packed with willing musicians and a hundred women screaming for dance music and so we played a couple more songs that became a three hour encore. 
The whole affair turned into one of those spontaneous parties that achieves legendary status and is fondly recalled for many years after.  At one point a while after the music had stopped Tzarina and I were hiding in the shadow of some trees making out when Brian approached.  “That was a great gig!” he said.  “Great fun…great, great fun.  But we never decided a winner.”  I put my hands up and shrugged.  “I guess that was the idea.”
“Everyone there was a winner!” Tzarina optimistically said.  “It was a great night!”
“But you were the prize and you’re with Deak,” Brian said to her.
“Brian, you know what it’s like to have lots of fans,” Tzarina gently said.  “On a smaller scale in a different way I do too.  But out of the many I can only choose one, and for now that one is Deak.  You do understand?”  She squeezed my hand and looked at me adoringly.
“Of course,” Brian replied nonchalantly.  “You California girls come and go.  I learned that a long time ago.  You’ll inspire a couple songs about heartache and heartbreak and then tomorrow is a new girl.”
“There you are,” an attractive young woman said to Brian as she approached us.
“I’ve met one already,” Brian said.  “Tzarina, Deak, meet my new friend Rhonda.”




Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The fourth Deak novel -- Deak IV 1987: The Early Months


This is a synopsis, the table of contents and the first three chapters of the fourth Deak novel, Deak IV  1987: The Early Months.  If you are altogether unfamiliar with Deak, you may want to look at the beginning first.
At the end of the third novel, Deak The Third, Deak, Jonesy and Desmond were occupying rooms 201, 202 and 203 of a Las Vegas hospital.  The fourth novel, Deak IV  1987: The Early Months picks up with them at the beginning of 1987 convalescing in Deak’s Laurel Canyon mansion in Los Angeles.  They recover and record some songs with Frank Zappa, Deak’s neighbor in Laurel Canyon, and Adrian Belew.  Deak, Jonesy, Desmond and Adrian then go to Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch, where they get Michael’s chimpanzee Bubbles so jacked up on sugar and caffeine that Bubbles destroys Michael’s race track and twelve cars. 
While laid up in bed Deak, Jonesy and Desmond all wrote different projects.  Jonesy wrote a rock opera called The Enlightening Son, which they stage at the LA Opera House.  The full libretto and the details of the comically botched performance are described in chapters 4-7.
The master bedroom of Deak’s mansion is inhabited by two homosexual ghosts that immediately start pleasuring any and every man that enters the room.  Word gets out to the famous gay musicians and they start visiting Deak’s mansion for days at a time.  This includes Freddie Mercury and Elton John, who are both involved in story lines in the earlier novels.  Elton John spends over a million dollars redecorating the master bedroom, and then assembles a consortium of investors to build an addition to the back of Deak’s mansion, a separate entrance to the master bedroom, which becomes a sort of Mecca for gay men.  At this point in the novel Deak gives his consent and Elton constructs a lavish two storey three room extension around the master bedroom.  The addition becomes known as The Enchanted Tower.
The pretty boy heavy metal scene was in full swing on Sunset Strip in 1987.  Desmond starts hanging around with some metal heads, including members of Motley Crue and Poison.  One night they throw an impromptu backyard party at Deak’s mansion.  Two thousand metal heads show up and trash the place. Slash of Guns N’ Roses is among them.  Slash lived in Laurel Canyon for a while, and has always lived in that vicinity.  He and Deak have a history, and their conflict renews at the party.  To sate his angry thirst for vengeance Deak, Jonesy, Desmond and a fourth member of the band named Compton Ass Terry, form a heavy metal band called Juggernaut.  They release an album called Drop Forge Candy, and build an actual juggernaut, which they use to dominate and destroy the Sunset Strip heavy metal scene.
Compton Ass Terry is from Compton, and in 1987 Compton was infested with unemployment, poverty, crack and police brutality.  With the police using helicopters and armored vehicles outfitted with battering rams, and with the cops wearing military gear and bearing military weaponry, Compton had had deteriorated and become much like a war zone.  Deak, Jonesy and Desmond join Compton Ass Terry for a Friday night in Compton.  Deak witnesses all the violence Compton Ass Terry has been describing and also meets Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Ren, Yella and Easy E of Niggas With Attitude at their studio.  Deak is so filled with outrage at the police brutality he witnessed that he and Compton Ass Terry record the rap album, White Hoods in the Black Hood.  About this time Deak receives a letter co written by Mayor Tom Bradley and LA Police Chief Daryl Gates, who both profess to be long time fans.  Deak uses the letter to call Bradley and Gates and secure use of Ellerman Park in Compton to have a block party and performance to celebrate the release of their new album.  Deak even dedicates the album to Bradley and Gates.  Gates has no idea the album denounces police brutality, and is publicly humiliated when Deak sings the song, ‘Daryl’s Face is Whiter’ at the Ellerman Park party.  The album is a huge hit but causes outrage and uproar, with many accusing Deak and Compton Ass Terry of inciting violence against the police. 
To escape the constant paparazzi and reporters Deak, Compton Ass Terry, Jonesy and Desmond hastily decide to fly to Hawaii to film another of Desmond’s movies.  It’s called The Ocean Hole, and is a tale of underwater treasure, surfing down a maelstrom, a Russian nuclear submarine with its captain and his beautiful girlfriend, and a lesbian pirate ship.   They spend a month making the film and return to LA only to find the furor over White Hoods in the Black Hood has not died down.  They decide to release the songs they recorded with Frank Zappa at the beginning of the novel as an album called Head Spice.  They then flee LA and go on a hastily planned tour to promote Head Spice. 
Starting in Hawaii, all the main characters fall in love.  Deak meets and falls for Katrina in Hawaii.  Jonesy meets and falls in love with Mona in Los Angeles.  Desmond meets and falls in love with Annalise in Las Vegas.  Larry meets and falls in love with Faye in Cleveland.  And Compton Ass Terry falls in love with Jheri Curl in New Orleans.  Each new girlfriend joins them on tour as they criss cross America before flying to London to perform some dates in Europe. 
Because of a special request by Katrina, Deak’s tour schedule brings them to Berlin, Germany on June 12th, 1987.  That is the day Ronald Reagan delivered his speech demanding that Soviet president Gorbachev ‘tear down this wall’ separating East and West Germany.  As the tour progresses they receive a special invitation to perform for Ronald Reagan and his guests at a luncheon at the U.S. Embassy in Berlin.  Deak jumps at the opportunity and even writes a special song for the occasion.  Then comes the luncheon and they discover they’ve been duped.  Daryl Gates is present and seated to Reagan’s right.  Deak and the band perform one song but no one hears it because everyone is wearing ear plugs.
Then Katrina, Mona, Annalise, Faye and Jheri Curl reveal themselves to be CIA agents.  They all pull guns on Deak, Jonesy, Desmond, Larry and Compton Ass Terry and explain that their mission had been to humiliate Deak in front of Reagan’s friend Daryl Gates, and to compile secret government files about their activities.  The girls then escort them to a secret basement room in the embassy.  Deak and the band are supposed to play a sold out concert that night, but with Reagan delivering such an important speech that very afternoon, Reagan doesn’t want Deak to mock his speech or agitate the crowd at a large concert just hours later, and so the government detains them and announces that Deak’s concert is canceled.  And that secret room in the Berlin embassy is where they sit awaiting the commencement of the fifth Deak novel, Deak V  1987: The Final Months.

Table of Contents
1)            A Celebration of the Muffin
2)            From Studio to Zoo
3)            Bubbles Goes Berserk
4)            Jonesy’s Opera Obsession
5)            The Enlightening Son
6)            The Enchanted Tower
7)            The Performance
8)            A Headbangers’ Ball
9)            Smashing Slash
10)          A Mess and a Metal Lesson
11)          Juggernaut
12)          Drop Forge Candy
13)          The Drop Forge Candy Tour
14)          The Ocean Hole
15)          Compton Explained
16)          Compton Experienced
17)          White Hoods in the Black Hood
18)          The Block Party
19)          Hawaii
20)          A Conversation With Pierre
21)          Back in LA
22)          Head Spice
23)          The Head Spice Tour Kickoff Show
24)          Desmond Runs Away With the Circus
25)          Annalise
26)          Larry Falls in Love
27)          Homecoming
28)          I Ruin Jazz Fest
29)          Compton Ass Terry’s Rap Battle
30)          Five Girlfriends on a Plane and in Manhattan
31)          The Sightseers
32)          Drug Dealer, Warmonger, Terrorist, Traitor and Thief
33)          Lunch
34)          Detention


Chapter 1
A Celebration of the Muffin

Dearest Reader,
Welcome to the fourth installment of my life story and thank you for turning the cover.  For all who inadvertently or intentionally skipped ahead and landed here allow me to briefly recapitulate the ending of the first three volumes and I will simply continue on from there.
In November of 1986 my band consisted of Desmond, Jonesy and myself.  Desmond Bubba, who went by the name Desmond Goodlove, was my twelve-fingered (a condition called sexadactyly) drummer and unparalleled ladies’ man who truly deserved his stage name The Sexadactyl.  Mortimer Jones, who went by Jonesy, was my longtime friend and collaborator, a classically trained keyboard player, bassist and arranger extraordinaire.  I sang and played guitar and all other instruments.  Early that November we packed our gear and went to Las Vegas for three reasons.  First, we were scheduled to play an eight night stand at the Sands hotel.  Second, we were in Las Vegas filming our gangster movie The Backward Twins.  Desmond co-starred in the movie with Anthony Kiedis and Flea of Red Hot Chili Peppers.  Kiedis played Desmond’s murderous twin brother, a gangster hell bent on fratricide, and Flea played a Hollywood producer.  The Backward Twins also starred Frank Sinatra as the chillingly soulless mob boss Mo Cobb, who had ordered Kiedis to slay his brother, and we were in Las Vegas to shoot the climactic final scenes of our film.  Third, we were there to check on the progress of a business venture we had launched with Frank Sinatra, the eastward expansion of Desmond’s budding entertainment empire to Las Vegas, where construction had just begun on the Hotel Sexadactyl, for which Frank Sinatra held the gaming license.  I was accompanied on the trip to Las Vegas by my noxious, heartless, false, lying, vicious, vulgar, foul and filthy former lover Tzarina, a morally destitute, venom spitting, bloodsucking traitorous harpy with forked fangs who embodies the gnarliest fiend in hell, and who will make Satan shudder when she first arrives—nay, methinks she will whup the Devil mano a mano before anointing herself the Queen of Hell!
On the night of November 19, Desmond, Jonesy and I all suffered serious injuries in separate incidents just minutes apart, and within the same Las Vegas city block.  Desmond was shooting the final scene of The Backward Twins with his love interest co-star Lola Falonge.  What none of us had known until that moment was that Bennie, Lola’s manager who had originally forced us to award Lola the role at gunpoint, was also her husband.  Plagued by months of consuming jealousy Bennie snapped and shot Desmond in a passionate rage during the actual filming of the climactic scene.  The whole event was captured on film and Bennie remains in prison as I write.  At the same time, Jonesy was being stalked by his psychotic ex wife Lizaveta, the moody Hungarian concert pianist.  He had noticed her in the audience at several of our Vegas shows, and on the night of the 19th she stalked him all the way to his hotel room just a block away where she violently expressed her jealous rage with several dagger thrusts into Jonesy’s back.  And while my band mates were under attack, so too was I.  The pernicious, treacherous attempted murderess hag Tzarina had been cheating on me with Frank Sinatra.  She lured me up to the third story of the Sexadactyl Hotel ironworks with the promise of thrilling late night open air delights only rather to push me off, while Frank stood by her side cackling maniacally and waving to me as I fell.  If my ex, the vicious witch, had her way, my last sight of this world was supposed to be Frank Sinatra mockingly staring down at me as I dropped like a stone.  However Fate had a future in mind for me; I plummeted thirty feet and crashed through the roof of the construction site foreman’s trailer, and for a flash saw the foreman and two girls wearing only hard hats and hot oil before I slammed onto the floor, broke my back and went black.
Desmond, Jonesy and I resided in rooms 201, 202 and 203 of Desert Springs Hospital for several days before we were airlifted together back to Los Angeles, where we holed up to heal in Easytown, my Laurel Canyon mansion.  Our convalescence lasted two months and required the services of a battery of doctors, nurses and therapists, who all happened to be beautiful women. 
My lawyer and manager, as well as my oldest and most loyal friend in the world Larry Hymes, checked the Las Vegas property appraiser’s office and all of our names had been mysteriously scrubbed from any and all paperwork related to the ownership and construction of the Hotel Sexadactyl.  Since each of us had almost been killed that night we noted our many blessings, shrugged and wrote the loss off as payment for a valuable lesson.  Less than a week later we received a letter from attorney Milton Rudin on behalf of his long time client Frank Sinatra, sternly advising us that any attempts to use any of the footage of The Backward Twins for any reason would be met with the harshest reprisal the law and beyond could bring to bear.  Those were his exact words, ‘the law and beyond.’  During those two bedridden months all three of us at random hours saw the dark figures of strange men peering in our windows.  After lengthy discussion we concluded they were wise guys sent by Frank to intimidate us.  We were intimidated, and mutually agreed to forget the film, the hotel and everything Frank Sinatra, and to close the book on that chapter of our lives.
As our recoveries progressed, we were eventually able to sit up and play instruments.  I had both electric and acoustic guitars beside my bed which I laid across my chest to play; Jonesy had his bass and a compact Farfisa organ; and Desmond had some bongos on his lap and a small trap set beside his bed that he was able to lean over and play from bed for small stretches.
With nothing but time and pretty women around, we spent a lot of time carefully playing doctor with our nurses.  When our gorgeous caretakers weren’t wheeling us around and administering the physical therapy that was having dual and opposite effects—in making us all feel so much better they also offered up the temptation of never wanting to recover and leave the house again.
During that bedridden winter of recovery all three of us wrote voluminously.  I penned the first three volumes of this autobiography, and while I wasn’t working on that I was pouring forth scads of tunes, notes, loose lyrics and complete songs.  In two months, along with my eleven hundred page life story, I had also composed enough strong songs to fill two or three albums.  Meanwhile Jonesy composed his first opera called The Enlightening Son; and Desmond wrote a surfer adventure film set in Hawaii about lesbian pirates and Russian spies called The Ocean Hole.  Jonesy’s opera was performed, Desmond’s script was filmed, and my album recorded, all of which will be described in great detail in the coming chapters.
We recovered at roughly the same pace, so as we approached fully healed we made a pact:  we would not egress Easytown until the last of us felt fully restored and ready.  On a Wednesday in late January, Desmond awoke and declared himself to be one hundred percent again.  The following morning Jonesy proclaimed the same.  And the very next morning, Friday, I awoke feeling fully well.  We were rested and recharged and ready to return to the world.
The hospital retrieved the gurney beds, and we reluctantly dismissed our lovely battery of nurses and therapists.  We were ready to reemerge from hibernation into the energetic Los Angeles life and were about to ride to Sunset Strip for a celebratory breakfast when the loud doorbell dong bounced down the hall.  Jonesy, Desmond and I were eager to answer the door simply because we could; but Pierre, my housekeeper, chef and personal assistant was close by and reached it first.  Nevertheless we were standing beside Pierre in the foyer when he pulled the door to reveal Gail Zappa standing there with a basket of muffins in hand.  She stepped in and extended the basket to Pierre then asked how we were feeling.
At the beginning of our two bedridden months we were besieged by visitors and well wishers.  Easytown turned into a greenhouse with all the well wishing flowers our friends and fans sent.   Kiedis and Flea stopped by frequently, as did Compton Ass Terry, Larry and numerous other friends.  But it quickly became clear that our other male friends were ostensibly visiting to keep us company while they were actually there trying to pick up our nurses and therapists.  At first it was entertaining to watch everyone get shot down, but then as we became intensely engaged with our various writing projects their visits began to induce agita and we politely asked everyone to let us be for a few weeks.  However, we excluded Gail Zappa from that moratorium on visitors.
Once or twice a week, always on her way home from early morning errands, Gail dropped by Easytown to check on our progress and to bring us fresh muffins.  And not just any muffins—the most spectacular and exotic muffins imaginable, in flavors as wildly varied as Huckleberry Cider to Grapefruit with Strawberry Lime icing to Champagne with White Grape frosting.
Desmond proclaimed, “We are doing great!  And we’re about to feel greater as we always do after eating your mufins!”  He grabbed one at random and bit.
“What did you get?” Jonesy curiously asked as he reached for his own.
“Oh my God!” Desmond mumbled through his mouthful of muffin.  “Plum coconut with cream cheese filling.  It’s still warm.  What did you get?”
Jonesy bit his as I took mine.  “Oh my God!” Jonesy mumbled.  “Mango with white chocolate chunks….”
Pierre took his as I bit mine. “Oh my God!” I gushed.  “Asian Pear with a chocolate covered cherry center….”
Everyone then looked to Pierre who said, “Oh my God!  Apple filled pumpkin…is that papaya icing?”
“Very discerning Pierre,” Gail replied.  “Yes it is.”
“Now I know where Frank gets his inspiration for muffin songs,” I said.
“Yes, you bake the best!” Desmond affirmed.
“I don’t bake these muffins,” Gail replied.
“Well if you’re not baking them then where are you getting them?” Desmond asked as he happily munched.  “They are always warm and fresh when you bring them by.”
“I will tell you if you want to know because it is so amusing, but you are sworn to secrecy,” she solemnly stated.  “The most I could do if you do blab is to cut off the muffin flow and make you feel very uncomfortable at the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen and you wouldn’t want me to do either of those things.”
Frank and Gail Zappa and their four children lived about a mile from us in Laurel Canyon and the Utility Muffin Research Center, or UMRK, was the name of Frank’s massive home recording studio.
“Any words spoken in this room will never leave this room, isn’t that right?” I promised, looking individually at Desmond, Jonesy and then Pierre, who all nodded and vowed zipper lip.
Sufficiently reassured Gail stated, “Frank makes them.”
“Frank?” I cried.  “Everyone knows Frank’s idea of cooking is to turn on a stove and burn a weenie with his left hand while lighting a cigarette with the right.”
“You are right, Frank doesn’t actually bake them, he creates recipes and oversees their assembly,” Gail clarified.  “Since you three have been abed a popular new bakery has opened up on Sunset called The Dough Shop.  Frank owns it; it is not only the secret location of the second Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, it is an actual Utility Muffin Research Kitchen.  Frank sometimes retreats there in the middle of the night when the bakers are preparing the coming day’s goods; he takes a break from the studio to clear his head, and to let the music mull.  He likes to wear a baker’s hat and to dip his hands in flour, but he lets the bakers do the work.  He hired two Mexican sisters who are pretty phenomenal, you have to agree.  Their names are Carmina and Rosalie.”  We mumbled agreement as we each eagerly started on our second muffin.  Desmond got key lime filled lemon poppy seed, Jonesy got vanilla Irish coffee with mint icing; I picked out a cherry frosted, honey filled banana macadamia; and Pierre got strawberry rhubarb with tapioca filling and orange frosting.  We broke and shared those as we had the first while Gail continued.  “Frank chooses the ingredients and the flavors of the icing then stands back and watches Carmina and Rosalie magically spin dough.  And when the muffins are baked he steps up and applies the fully charged icing anointment utensil.  He looks so cute and I tell him it would make a great photo for an album but he swears he will never be photographed thus attired.  He had no problem posing for a poster pooping with his pants around his ankles but he refuses to be photographed wearing a baker’s hat.  That’s Frank.”
“Frank has excellent taste in muffin variations,” Jonesy remarked, pushing a white chocolate chip into the corner of his mouth with his pinky.
Gail’s face lit up with an idea.  “Since you’re all healed up, what are you doing right now?” she asked.
“We were on our way to breakfast but we just ate it,” Desmond answered.  “What do you have in mind?”
“Frank and Adrian are up in the studio right now,” she explained.  “Frank is helping Adrian make a benefit record for a charity in Tennessee.  Chad, Ike and Ian were supposed to play on the recording but Chad has the mumps, Ike has the measles and Ian has mono.  Frank called a local studio and arranged for two musicians to replace them but they got in an accident on Sunset on their way to the house earlier this morning.  Frank told them not to bother and now he is a little irked as his plans for the day were ruined.  I haven’t been by to see you in over a week so it didn’t occur to me that you might be well enough to play.  This is perfect,” she announced.
Without a word she walked over to the phone, picked it and called home.  Two minutes later she hung up and said, “Now they are expecting you…unless you want me to call him back and cancel and really tick him off.”
“There is no need to threaten us with a day in the studio with Frank and Adrian,” I remarked.
“I figured as much,” she replied with a sly smile. 
We changed course and got into Gail’s car and she drove us to the Zappa home a mile away.

Chapter 2
From Studio to Zoo

Adrian was Adrian Belew, a savant guitarist Frank had discovered at a small club called Fanny’s in Nashville in 1977.  Once Frank showed the world how well Adrian could play everyone in the world wanted to play with Adrian. After a couple of years touring and recording with the Frank Zappa band, Adrian went on to play with David Bowie, Talking Heads, King Crimson and numerous other acts; and his singular guitar playing can be heard on a host of eighties hits.  He was particularly noted for his skill at making the instrument replicate sounds as varied and dissonant as horns, train rails and animal voices.
Adrian had also released several solo albums, with his affinity for the animal kingdom as one of his favorite musical themes.  His songs included ‘Big Electric Cat, ‘The Lone Rhinoceros,’ ‘Animal Grace,’ ‘Fish Head, ‘Ballet for a Blue Whale,’ ‘Tango Zebra,’ ‘Young Lions,’ and ‘Beach Creatures Dancing Like Cranes.’  Additionally he told us about a band called The Bears that he was rehearsing. 
Adrian was recording a single to benefit an animal shelter and ranch in his home state of Kentucky.  The ranch was a retirement reserve for unusable and unwanted show and race animals.  The A-side of the single was ‘Win, Place or Go,’ a lamentation about an older race horse that breaks its leg and is laying on the track waiting to be euthanized; and the B-side was ‘The Unsung Dolphin,’ another sorrowful song about a tragically mute dolphin whose voice was silenced by a metal can lodged against its vocal cords.
Adrian was a most affable man and we all clicked at once, personally and musically.  Jonesy sat down at the keyboards, Desmond at the drums, I played bass, Frank manned the soundboard and we had Adrian’s songs recorded by the middle of the afternoon.  We were having great fun and all eager to keep playing so I shared a few of the songs I had written while bedridden that would become the Head Seasonings album. 
We sounded so good together that we continued rolling tape and spent the next ten days in the Utility Muffin Research Kitchen recording Head Seasonings.  With five worthy musical egos including three world class guitarists—Frank Zappa, Adrian Belew and myself—one might have thought the studio could have become too small a containment, and that any symbiosis might quickly be strained by too many greater egos.  In fact the opposite was the truth.  We all put the music first and I was content and fully inspired to play bass on many of the tracks; and when there were guitar parts I felt I needed to play, Frank and Adrian understood and stepped aside or took over on bass. 
We finished recording the major tracks on a Friday evening in February.  All that remained was some minor production tweaks and the final mix.  We had agreed to meet at the UMRK the following morning at ten to begin that process when Adrian suddenly announced that he wanted to re-record all his guitar solos.  We groaned and Frank frowned, but then Adrian further explained that he just wanted to let them simmer for one more night and that he would be able to lay them down in one take the next morning.  He promised it would take no more than half an hour, if even that.  We revised the plan so that Adrian would meet Frank at the UMRK at nine to record his solos and Desmond, Jonesy and I would show up around ten to start on the mix.  We then strolled back to Easytown very satisfied with our latest effort, which we were certain would take up reign atop the charts.
I need to devote a paragraph to the Zappa children here.  Moon was the oldest, and at the time was 20.  Dweezil was 18, Ahmet was 13 and the youngest was 8 year old Diva.  They were all four very charming and well mannered, and since we were in their home they appeared at various and very random times, and caused Desmond, Jonesy and I to stifle many giggles.  When the children did pop into the studio or appeared when we were in the house they were frequently nibbling muffins which they held wrapped in napkins.  Desmond, Jonesy and I looked to each other (I envisioned Frank wearing a baker’s hat with his moustache and imperial dusted white) and we had to choke back our merriment.  Frank and Adrian caught us laughing several times and asked what was so funny.  We disguised the truth in lies.  Frank and Adrian knew something was up but we never cracked for fear of invoking Gail’s permanent scorn.
The following morning we returned to the UMRK and found Frank alone and consternated.  We were punctual but Adrian had not yet arrived.  We were all anxious to finish the album, but there was much that we could not do without Adrian’s new solos, so we did what we could as the morning ticked away and with it Frank’s patience.  He kept glancing at the clock and when it reached eleven thirty he started mutterings things like:  “I rescue him from a backwards, backwoods life going nowhere on the Nashville honky tonk dive circuit and this is how repays me?  If it wasn’t for me he’d still be a nobody in Nashville twanging at Fanny’s!”
We were all a bit intimidated and rendered reticent by the force of Frank’s growing frustration.  A few minutes before noon Gail called into the studio and told Frank that Adrian was on the phone.  Frank asked her to put the call through and turned on the speaker phone.
“Hey guys!” Adrian cheerily said.  “How is the mix coming along?”
“You tell us,” Frank scornfully replied.
“What is the matter?” Adrian innocently asked.  “You sound upset.”
“Are you planning to play the solos over the phone to capture a tinny effect?” Frank sarcastically asked.
“What are you talking about?” Adrian answered.  “I recorded the solos there this morning.  They are in a blue case in row G, shelf 4, slot 5.  I left you a note.”
“What are you talking about?” Frank repeated.  “What note?  How did you record the solos here?”
“I had an emergency come up and I couldn’t sleep anyway,” Adrian innocently explained.  “I stopped by your place about seven.  You weren’t there and Gail was out; Moon was still in bed, Dweezil was gone and Ahmet and Diva were getting ready for school.  Diva let me into the studio and I recorded the solos.  It didn’t take long just like I said, and I thought you would probably show up while I was there, but when I finished none of you had arrived yet, and Diva and Ahmet were off to school.  I wrote a note on a napkin telling you where I stashed the tape of the solos and that I’d call in about noon, which is what I am doing right now.”
“No note,” Frank answered.  “Hang on a second.”  He disappeared into his tape shelves. 
“He must have been icing muffins at The Dough Shop while Gail was out doing whatever she does in the morning!” Desmond whispered to Jonesy and me.  We softly chortled until Frank returned from his archive carrying a blue tape case.
“I have the tape in hand, where did you leave the note?” Frank asked Adrian.
“On the console in the studio,” Adrian answered.
Just then Moon stuck her head in the studio and said, “Hi Dad!  Hey guys!”  She bit the muffin she was holding.  “This cinnamon with candied apples muffin is really delicious,” she remarked.
“Let me see that,” Frank said to his daughter.
“See what?” she replied.
He walked over and carefully unwrapped Adrian’s note from her muffin.  “Where did you get this?” he asked.
“It was in the kitchen with the rest of the muffin napkins,” she answered.
“Never mind,” Frank muttered then turned back to the speakerphone.  “What is this emergency that disrupted the morning?”
“I was just getting to that,” Adrian replied.  “You guys should come out here, it’s great!”
Frank was bewildered. “Your emergency is great?”
“Where are you?” I asked.
“Neverland Ranch!” Adrian excitedly answered.  “Michael Jackson’s home!  Michael has a huge petting zoo here and he’s been having problems with some of the animals.  He found out that I was in town, and his management contacted me to see if I might be of assistance with some psychological issues he’s having with his chimpanzee Bubbles and some of the other animals.”
“Are you an animal psychologist?” Jonesy asked.
“The better way to say it is that I have a reputation as a whisperer,” Adrian explained.  “You guys should take a break and come visit.  It’s only two hours drive and we could spend the rest of the day and maybe have dinner here.  There are three thousand acres including an amusement park and a train that circulates the entire grounds.  It’s really beautiful and there are animals everywhere!  Michael has got giraffes for God’s sake!  I just took my first giraffe ride; you could be taking yours in a couple of hours.  There is an elephant and tigers and countless smaller animals.  Take the afternoon off and we’ll work on the final mix tomorrow with clear heads and fresh ears.”
“Let’s go!” Desmond announced.  “In fact, let me restate that:  I’m going, who’s coming?”
Jonesy and Frank and I looked at each other.  “I want to go and I think a few hours away would be a good idea,” Jonesy finally said.  Frank responded with a cockeyed frown.
I thought back on my three year long and entirely unwanted feud with Michael.  I thought about how he resented and hated me because he thought I was deliberately trying to overshadow him when I returned to the public eye at the Motown anniversary party where he debuted the moonwalk; and catching Desmond kissing his sister Janet backstage that same night only fueled Michael’s ire.  I thought about the time Michael sabotaged my guitar and dampered the mood of a Boston show.  I recalled the hissy fit Michael threw the night he, Prince and I all coincidentally attended the same James Brown show at the Beverly Theatre and Michael didn’t like the fact that James Brown called me up onstage last instead of Michael.  I recalled how Michael’s chimpanzee Bubbles fell in love with me when he first set eyes on me outside the Malaga Airport in Spain, and how Bubbles clung to me and I had to coax him to let go and return to his mommy Michael.  I recalled how Michael immediately blamed me when he learned I happened to be in the audience the famous night his hair caught fire filming the television commercial.  I recalled us mocking Michael in his fat suit disguise as he went around proselytizing for the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  I recalled how our paths crossed in New York City in the summer of 1984, when we were on tour simultaneously with the Jacksons, and Michael’s frantic chase after our helicopter in the skies of Manhattan when he mistakenly thought we were his brother Jermaine.  I recalled having my face professionally made up to bear exact resemblance to Lionel Ritchie, and perfecting my impression of Lionel’s speaking and singing voices; and I recalled my nerve wracking collaboration with Michael while pretending to be Lionel Ritchie when we co-wrote the song ‘We Are the World.’  And finally I remembered the glorious afternoon where Michael and I finally ended our feud and blissfully made up in the VIP section of the Wembley Stadium portion of the Live Aid concert in July of 1985.  Michael had sounded most sincere then when he said all was forgiven and forgotten and that he welcomed my friendship.  I hadn’t seen him in the eighteen months since that evening at Live Aid in London, and I wondered how he would react when he saw me.  After brief consideration I was certain he would receive me warmly.  “I too would like to go to Neverland, for several reasons,” I finally said.
Frank wasn’t the least bit angry.  “I’ve had it in my head to do this today and now I want it done today, so if you don’t mind Frank Zappa overdubbing Adrian’s solos and starting the mix of your album, you boys are free to go on your field trip to Peter Pan village.  Gail will make you peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the ride if you ask nicely.”
“I can’t think of a better pair of hands to leave my album in,” I said to Frank. 
Frank cracked a sincere smile and we told Adrian we were leaving at once. Desmond, Jonesy and I then thanked Frank and Gail, took our leave and sped north to Neverland.

Chapter 3
Bubbles Goes Berserk

Desmond drove the car; I sat in the back behind Jonesy.  While they played the music and chatted I drifted off into my thoughts.  Going to see Michael felt almost like a first date, yet I was strangely calm.   I had not seen him since Live Aid, and had done nothing since that could have possibly offended him; I was confident that he would receive me warmly, and started rehearsing the words to hint at a possible collaboration.  However, cool as I was in my mind, I did ask Desmond and Jonesy three times if I looked presentable.  They laughed and told me Bubbles was going to go gaga over my designer tee shirt.
We were expected and the gate opened at our approach.  We were halted by a guard who warmly greeted us.  “Park you vehicle anywhere over there then feel free to have a look around.  You’ll find you’re never far from snacks and refreshment.  Your friend Adrian is expecting you.  He’s out with the animals.  If you go behind the main house and walk toward the amusement park you’ll definitely find them.  Welcome to Neverland and have a wondrous experience.”
I leaned forward and put my face to the window behind Desmond.  “What about Michael?” I anxiously asked from the back.  “Is he here today?”
“I’m afraid Michael is away recording his new album for the next few days, but his home is your home, and Michael said for you to treat it as such,” the guard affably replied.
I was both disappointed and relieved that I didn’t have to be acutely worried about my every word and action, and was free to relax and enjoy myself.  Desmond quickly took a shot at my unashamed, unabashed love for MJ when he said, “Don’t worry, I’m sure you and Michael will be sucking face soon enough.”
I took a playful shot at the side of his head then we exited the car and started wandering around.  Neverland was a spectacular place--placid, peaceful and exquisitely gorgeous.  The main house was enormous, with a massive clock tower on the third storey.  There were beautifully trimmed flowers everywhere and enormous expanses of neatly manicured lawn.  There was a huge swimming pool and a large outdoor kitchen and dining area.  We wandered admiringly through those parts then headed toward the amusement park in the distance.  As we walked we were on the constant looked out for Adrian but saw him nowhere.
We reached Neverland’s midway and were gazing at the Ferris wheel, the merry go round and the other rides when Desmond started telling us about his childhood dream of working as a carnie.   We suddenly heard three whistle toots; we turned our eyes to the sound and saw the train approaching. 
There was a small scale railroad that wended throughout Neverland.  The colorful cars of the train were about five feet tall and could comfortably accommodate several people each.  We wandered toward the track and as the train approached we saw two arms sticking out the same side of the locomotive and waving at us.  I discerned two figures sitting one behind the other, and while I quickly recognized Adrian, I could not make out the features of the smaller dark figure seated before him.  Then the train drew closer and I not only recognized the conductor, I knew him very well.  It was Bubbles.  He recognized me too, and was smiling and clapping excitedly and pointing at me while driving with no hands.  He was wearing a blue pinstripe conductor’s hat and matching designer overalls.
As they eased to a stop beside us Adrian was leaned over Bubbles and explaining how to brake the train.  The moment Bubbles had successfully halted the train he deftly leaped out and did a cartwheel that landed him directly facing me.  He smiled then reached up his long arm with his palm out.  I gave him five high.  He dropped his hand near the ground and I gave him five low.  Then he stood up and faced me with his arms at his side.  I shrugged and looked back in confusion.  He pointed at me then back to himself, by way of saying ‘imitate me.’  He dropped his hands to his side again.  I did the same.  He bent his elbows and extended his forearms straight out.  I did the same.  He jumped into my arms, embraced my neck and kissed me on the lips.  Then he smiled and laughed and squealed with delight as he rolled back and forth in my arms. 
After our brief reunion Bubbles returned to the ground and gave Jonesy five hive and five low followed by a four twist handshake.  He then approached Desmond to do the same, and when Desmond held his hand high Bubbles’ face took on a puzzled expression.  He pulled Desmond’s hands down for inspection, and counted out Desmond’s fingers.  Bubbles then counted my fingers, Jonesy’s fingers, Adrian’s fingers, his own fingers and returned to Desmond.  He counted them again, wiggled the extra pinkies then fell to the ground and pitched a fit of hysterical laughter.  Bubbles’ antics were hilarious enough in their own right, but now he was compounding that with a contagious belly laugh and all we could do was join in.  It took Bubbles five full minutes to calm down Desmond’s extra digits so we could exchange greetings with Adrian.
“So what’s going on with Bubbles?” I finally asked Adrian.  “He seems happy as can be.”
At that moment Bubbles opened the door of the first car behind the locomotive and motioned for us to enter.  It was open air like a convertible and seated four.  “I guess I’ll explain that on the train,” Adrian answered.  We stepped aboard and seated ourselves.  Bubbles resumed his place in the conductor’s chair, engaged the engine and the train started slowly rolling. 
“So did you get inside Bubbles head and sort the spaghetti?” Desmond asked. 
Adrian chuckled and replied, “If only it were so easy.  There are several powerful dynamics trying to maintain a delicate equilibrium in Bubbles’ developing psyche.”
“What exactly is going on?” Jonesy asked.
“In a word, puberty,” Adrian answered.  “Bubbles is growing up and Michael is in denial.  It is a classic example of maternal stifling.  Michael built Neverland to compensate for the childhood he never had.  Michael went from the cradle to the stage, with the few years between spent rehearsing songs and mastering dance steps with his brothers under threats of violence from their father Joe—threats that occasionally escalated to actual beatings.  That is why Michael built Neverland—to celebrate childhood by replicating the home of the eternal boy Peter Pan.”
“Did you know the Peter Pan story is blatantly racist?” Desmond interjected.
“I am aware of those elements of the story,” Adrian replied.  “Anyway, Michael is subconsciously trying to impose everlasting childhood on Bubbles, which is simply impossible given time and nature.  Michael has replaced Bubbles’ mother and is trying to rear a mama’s boy that will never leave his side.  Michael’s mothering is smothering and Bubbles can’t breathe.”
“We are talking about a creature native to the jungle growing up in the milieu of a human household,” Jonesy remarked.
“In the milieu of the very unusual and very large Jackson family no less,” I added.
“That is the first problem, and a major one at that,” Adrian answered.  “But Bubbles has been here for several years now and is adjusted, so we have to address that reality rather than any hypothetical.”
“What is mommy Michael doing or not doing, and what troubles are they causing Bubbles?” Jonesy asked.
“Michael’s repressive insistence that Bubbles remain a baby boy has resulted in sexual confusion and inhibition,” Adrian explained.  “Bubbles has discovered his sexual impulses and the art of self gratification but he didn’t understand the changes his body was undergoing because Michael never explained the birds and the bees to him.”
“Then let’s go pick him up a chick chimp that he can start banging like a drum!” Desmond exclaimed.  “In fact, if there is a chimpanzee store nearby I’ll go buy him one now, or two or three so he can have his choice and choose them all!  And while I’m out I’ll root up some girls for us, we’ll pick up some supplies and fire up that barbecue and have a pool party!  How does that sound?”
Bubbles suddenly squealed with glee, leaned back and slapped Desmond’s hand.
“Are you kidding?” Adrian responded.  “If we brought Bubbles a mate Michael would lose him forever and would absolutely flip!”
“Never mind that idea then,” Desmond said.  “It was just a thought and we’ll go find a party later.”
“Anyway, Bubbles and I have been having a great ‘cool uncle’ play date that we both greatly needed,” Adrian continued.  “And we already had the chat that Michael has been avoiding.  I also taught him how to operate the train, which you can see he is enjoying immensely.  He really wants to drive the mini stock cars at the race track in the amusement park but Michael still refuses to teach him and I don’t think he would approve of me teaching Bubbles without permission.  Hey, while you’re here, do you want to ride a giraffe?  It’s a rare opportunity and a load of fun.”
We had noticed the giraffes wandering around along with the other animals which included llamas, tigers, orangutans, alligators and a pair of camels.   There were also dozens of dogs and cats and the air was filled the songs of ten thousand exotic birds, including parrots and flamingos.
“You explained the birds and the bees to a chimpanzee?” Jonesy asked incredulously.
“Well he doesn’t read, so that was the only way,” Adrian drily answered. 
“How on earth did you communicate sexual impulses to a chimpanzee?” Desmond inquired.  “They don’t speak.”
“Of course they speak!” Adrian retorted.  “They have arms and legs, hands and feet, genitals and hair just like us.  They also have vocal cords, and vocal cords are used to speak.  You just have to know their language.”
“And you speak their language?” Jonesy skeptically asked.
“Of course I do!” Adrian responded.  “How else could I tell him?  It’s just like learning Spanish, French, German or any other foreign language.  Take my song ‘The Lone Rhinoceros’; I didn’t write those lyrics, they were dictated to me.”
“By a rhinoceros?” I said. 
“Of course, the same who wrote and sang the original,” Adrian answered.  “The song is sung from the point of view of a rhinoceros because it was originally written and sung by a rhinoceros.  Technically my version is a cover.”
By his facial expressions Desmond was particularly skeptical so I blurted a challenge to Adrian.  “Tell Bubbles to smack Desmond in the head a couple times.”
Adrian made his voice sound more like his guitar, and his throat emitted guttural sounds that perked Bubbles ears.  Moments later the chimpanzee took off his conductor’s cap, leaned back and used the cap to whack Desmond twice in the side of the head.  We all laughed with Bubbles squealing loudest of all.  We were nearing a stable when Adrian said something to Bubbles and the train gradually slowed and stopped.  He then pointed out the tall airplane staircase hidden in some trees we hadn’t noticed.  “That is how you mount a giraffe,” he explained.  “By the time we take one more slow loop around Neverland the giraffes should be ready to ride.” Adrian alighted and asked the two stablemen to saddle the giraffes.
We remained seated in the train and witnessed a most extraordinary sight.  While Adrian was talking to the stablemen, dozens of animals appeared out of nowhere and from every direction and boarded the train.  It was like a scene from a film:  dogs, cats, ferrets, squirrels, rabbits, ducks and geese filled the cars behind us.  Adrian returned moments later and soon was covered with the animals that were crawling over his lap and vying for his attention.  He was absolutely buried in furry creatures and he leaned back and made his voice sound like his guitar imitating animals again; the animals very orderly climbed off his body and took seats in the cars behind us, although several nestled at his feet, and a cat reclined across his lap.   Once everyone was settled Bubbles resumed the train ride.
As we wended through Neverland Adrian continued to describe what he had encountered.  “Just like us, many of these animals are happy while others are suffering for various reasons.  They have similar problems, which are often heartache resulting from romantic entanglements.  Here comes the perfect example,” he explained, pointing to the three approaching llamas that caught and boarded the slow moving train.  “Louie and Dewey are brothers, and Lola is the only female llama in Neverland, so Louie and Dewey have to share her.  Needless to say, the brothers’ bickering is constant while Lola wallows in her power.”  We watched as the pair of brother llamas head butted and spit at and kicked each other.
The train continued its slow trundle and we saw trees full of exotic birds—parrots, macaws, kingfishers, cranes and peacocks, as well as ostriches on the ground.  “Now these two are truly and happily in love,” Adrian remarked while pointing at the orangutans that had trotted over and hopped onto the train.  “While coming up on our right is the Neverland lonely hearts club, Mr. Tibbs and Gypsy,” he added, pointing to the ram boarding the train and Gypsy the elephant who was too big and could only watch.  “Gypsy was a gift from Elizabeth Taylor. Michael is on the active lookout for partners for both.”
“Are Muscles the boa constrictor and Madonna the albino python still around?” I asked, more to flash my knowledge of Michael’s menagerie than from genuine curiosity.
“They are probably lurking in the water near the alligators that they fight for whole chicken dinners,” Adrian explained.  We were still several hundred yards from the stable but we could see the four giraffes in the process of being saddled.  Three minutes later Bubbles eased the rolling zoo to a stop near the stable, where we and about two hundred animals disembarked.  Bubbles then hopped out of the locomotive, doffed his cap and dramatically lowered into a grandiose bow.  I was thirsty, so I stepped over to the water fountain next to a soft drink dispenser and a machine filled with snacks.  I slurped some water and returned to watch as the animals neatly filed up and walked by Adrian, rubbing against his legs before dispersing back into Neverland.  While we were mesmerized with the animal parade none of us had noticed that Bubbles had slipped away.  I happened to glance over my shoulder and saw him with his lips wrapped around the grape soda fountain dispenser, sucking it down his throat as fast as he could empty it from the machine.  I tapped Adrian’s shoulder and pointed it out; Adrian hurried over and peeled Bubbles’ mouth from the nozzle.
“Michael warned me to watch his sugar intake,” Adrian explained as he stood there holding Bubbles’ hand.  “Bubbles is naturally hyper and Michael said it only takes a little sugar to set him off in an uncontrollable spastic fit.  Since we’re riding the giraffes now and there are only four, the stablemen are going to take over babysitting Bubbles.”  Bubbles waved goodbye to us as one stableman led him away while the other led us to the airstairs whence we mounted the giraffes.
There were two males and two females, and all four giraffes had names.  I was riding Jabbar, Desmond was riding Rambo, Adrian was atop Annie Sue and Jonesy was mounted on Princess.  As we adjusted our balance to the awkward saddles the giraffes slowly strode forward. 
“These giraffes told me a very interesting story about their romantic conflicts this morning,” Adrian explained.  “Rambo and Princess are mates who had children and were here first.  Jabbar and Annie Sue are also mates who had children and arrived here several months after Rambo and Princess.  When Jabbar and Annie Sue arrived the two couples became friendly, being the only giraffes here, and after a few weeks Rambo and Princess broached the idea of swinging.  Jabbar and Princess agreed to such an encounter, and after a festive dinner of fermented foliage they switched partners for the night.  Rambo and Annie Sue loved being with each other and suggested they continue swinging; but Jabbar and Princess did not hit it off so well, and were not interested in each other nor in sharing their mates.  So Rambo and Annie Sue have been caught trying to wander off with each other while Jabbar and Princess follow them around like hawks.  The tension is very real between these giraffes.”
I was riding Jabbar who was making me unsettled and nervous.  Desmond was in front of us on Rambo, and Rambo kept looking back at Jabbar with fierce, glaring eyes.  I sensed imminent confrontation and braced myself.
“I’ll tell you what advice I’d give them if I spoke giraffe,” Desmond confidently said to Adrian.  “I would tell them that they are old and here to die, and that they could start dropping dead any day and so to eat, drink, be merry and make love and enjoy their remaining time.  Since they’ve all nibbled each other’s fig leaves already anyway, who cares if Rambo tups Annie Sue while Jabbar taps Princess?  They need to get over it and enjoy what’s left of their lives before they switch to a diet of dirt daisies.  And you can quote me,” Desmond concluded.
Adrian started making strange giraffe sounds, and Rambo, Desmond’s mount, whipped his head around and glared so harshly at Jabbar that I suddenly felt very real fright at a twelve foot height.  Rambo took two steps forward then swung his neck like a whip and smashed Jabbar’s head with his own.  Desmond and I clung for life while the two beasts lined up side by side and started slamming into each other and smashing each other’s necks with their heads.  I was clinging to Jabbar when Rambo suddenly changed his aim and rammed me with his head, swatting me off Jabbar’s back like a pillow; I sailed eight or ten feet before landing with a painful thud.  Jabbar retaliated by using his head to swat Desmond from Rambo’s back and then the two giraffes went at each other in full combat, kicking and head butting and body slamming until they were exhausted. 
Desmond and I landed near each other and watched the epic battle together from behind a tree while Jonesy and Adrian backed their giraffes up to view the brawl at a safe distance.
“Maybe free love isn’t such a good idea,” Desmond reconsidered.
“I think you may be onto something,” I answered.  “Perhaps your takeaway should be thinking things more thoroughly through before letting thoughts leave your head simply because they sound good in your mind.”
“I promise to take that under advisement someday,” he responded.
The two stablemen had seen the commotion and rushed toward us in a truck.  They alighted and flung two long ropes around the giraffes necks and pulled on them like leashes until the two beasts had exhausted their aggression and calmed down.  In the meantime Jonesy and Adrian had both dismounted and we watched with the stablemen as Rambo and Princess went off in one direction and Jabbar and Annie Sue in the other.  We then climbed into the back of the truck and the stablemen drove us back to the stable. 
“Where is Bubbles?” Adrian asked when we had arrived.
“He’s around nearby,” one of the stablemen answered.  “He’s on a sugar high so he’s bouncing off the walls somewhere.   He’ll appear by dinnertime at the latest—he always does.”
“What I really want to do is to drive those mini stock cars on that funky track,” Desmond announced.  “And I’d really prefer to race against one or all of you so I can experience the glorious thrill of victory while doing so.”
“I’d like to race one of those cars,” Jonesy replied.  “Will one racer do?”
“Make that two,” I corrected.  “I’ve had the corner of my eye fixed on those cars all afternoon.”
“Let’s make that three,” Adrian added, “which triples your odds of losing.”
“There are no odds given on sure things,” Desmond confidently rejoined.
We hurried back toward the amusement park with a couple hours of daylight left to enjoy it.
The race track was a funky, curvaceous layout, more for skill and entertainment purposes than serious speed and racing.  One full lap was little more than a quarter mile and contained four 180 degree turns.  Nevertheless it was a race track and we hopped into four of the twelve cars that were parked in a nearby neat line.  We turned a couple laps to get a feel for the course, then Desmond passed me, Adrian passed Jonesy and it quickly turned into a very serious race.  We were bumping and jostling around each corner and sometimes scraped doors while passing on the straight ways. 
About the eighth time we circled the track I noticed Bubbles approaching in my periphery.  I circled the track again to see that he was near a tree holding a stack of chocolate bars in one hand and huge bottle of cola in the other.  When I came around again he stuffed half the chocolate in his mouth and washed it down with several copious gulps of soda.  And when I came around again the chocolate was gone and he was sucking the last drops of cola from the bottle.  I tried to calculate how much sugar he had swallowed in about a minute and concluded that he had just ingested close to a shipload of sugar.  I watched Bubbles bound away as I was suddenly alerted by Jonesy nudging his car into mine.  Adrian and Desmond were just ahead of us and I started laughing and gunning for Desmond.  Jonesy’s car was in my way, and he and were jostling cars at twenty miles an hour when a fifth car suddenly sped across the infield and smashed into my driver’s side rear, ramming my car’s rear end into Jonesy’s door.  After recovering from the initial shock I looked over my shoulder to see Adrian and Desmond racing side by side on the long backstretch.  The car that had crashed into me was crumpled and crippled, and I couldn’t recognize the driver’s face behind his helmet, but he shifted his car into reverse, accelerated the limping vehicle across the short infield and directly into Adrian’s driver side rear, which rammed his car into Desmond’s in the next lane.
All of that was followed by a sudden silence as we literally watched the dust settle.  Then a crash helmet flew out of the window of the instigator’s car followed by the instigator himself: Bubbles.  He climbed out and atop his car, triumphantly pounded his chest then raised his arms and commenced to belly laughing.  His gloating lasted but a few moments then he sprinted across the infield and bee lined to the parking lot holding the other seven cars.  Bubbles jumped into one, pointed it toward the track and opened it full throttle.   He made for the closest car, which was Jonesy’s.  Both of our cars had been disabled, so Jonesy and I hastily climbed out the windows and ran for safety.  Bubbles changed direction and playfully pursued us for a few yards before changing his mind again and turning toward Desmond and Adrian.  They climbed out of their cars and fled exactly as we had, escaping just moments before Bubbles crashed into their cars again.  Then Bubbles revved and backed his car across the infield and smashed it back into mine.  That disabled his vehicle, so out he jumped and sprinted straight for the parking lot again.  Meanwhile the four of us had gathered at the relative safety of a tree to watch.  I had just remembered the emergency phone line to the main house, and ran to it and picked up the receiver.  Bubbles saw what I was doing and ran to me.  He ripped the receiver from my hand, and then from the phone.  He tossed the silent receiver on the ground and ran to get a fresh car.
“Maybe one of us should walk up to the house and tell the stablemen what’s going on here,” Adrian suggested.
“Feel free,” Desmond responded.  “I’ve never seen anything like this, I never will again and I’m not moving.”
No one volunteered so we thought in a different direction.
“I think he’s overdosed on caffeine and sugar,” I speculated.  “I caught a glimpse of him just a minute before he crashed the first car he wrecked into me.  I watched him inhale a brick size sandwich of chocolate bars and a gallon of cola in about eight seconds.”
“A jacked up sugar high would definitely explain his behavior,” Desmond said, “unless he got into Michael’s medicine cabinets and is on something stronger.”
“I just had an idea,” Adrian offered.  “There are five cars left.  When Bubbles gets into the fifth we can each take one of the other four and at least spare their destruction.”
“That is a good idea,” Jonesy concurred.
A one chimpanzee eight car pileup is a once in a lifetime sight to behold, and we bore witness in wide eyed astonishment.  When Bubbles had disabled and utterly destroyed seven cars he ran toward the fifth of the remaining functional vehicles and deftly slid in.  He made the engine roar then sped straight toward us, then veered and pulled up beside.  He stuck out and wagged his tongue while flipping us the bird. 
Adrian spoke to Bubbles chimpanzee speak; Bubbles interrupted him with a brief answer then laughed and sped toward one of the three smouldering heaps of crumpled metal and shattered glass that he had created. 
“What did you just say to him?” I asked Adrian.
“I started to tell him this is not a smash up derby when he interrupted me,” Adrian explained.
“And what did he say?” Desmond asked.
“He said, ‘It is now!’”
We hastened to the parking area in the hope of sparing the remaining four cars from Bubbles’ vandalizing madness. 
“What are we going to do, play ‘keep away’ from a chimpanzee with four cars as the objects?” I asked as we trotted.  “Are we going to drive around avoiding him until he drops from exhaustion or we run out of power?  That could take hours!”
“Maybe we should drive the cars up to the house and simply explain what happened,” Jonesy suggested.
“That’s probably the best idea,” Adrian agreed. 
We reached the four remaining cars just as Bubbles had rendered immovable the one he was driving.  He saw us entering the four cars and broke a furious sprint toward us.  We started turning the cars toward the main house when Bubbles caught the one Adrian was driving and clung to the open window.  Fearing for Bubbles’ safely Adrian immediately stopped the car whereupon Bubbles climbed onto the door, placed his feet across the open window, ripped Adrian from the race car and flung him six feet like a rag doll.  We later learned that Adrian had been driving Michael’s car, which was why it was so much faster than the rest.  Bubbles climbed in where Adrian had been seated, and since I happened to be driving the nearest car to him, he wheeled around and aimed directly at me.  It took him all of five seconds to catch my slower car, which he disabled by ripping off my front fender and bending the wheel with his bumper.  He immediately sped away from me toward Jonesy, who literally stopped and put his hands out the window in surrender.  Bubbles waited for Jonesy to climb out and move to safety before t-boning the empty car.  Desmond was behind the wheel of the last remaining car, which he boldly turned and aimed directly at Bubbles.  Desmond didn’t flinch, and repeatedly revved the engine while awaiting Bubbles next move.  Bubbles leaped out of his car and charged the few yards toward Desmond on foot.  Bubbles climbed up onto the door and was about to pull Desmond out of the car the way he just had Adrian when he suddenly stopped and fell to the ground.  He landed with a loud thud then lay still.
Adrian, Jonesy and I ran to them.  “That’s just great,” Desmond muttered when we reached them.  “Michael Jackson’s chimpanzee just dropped dead and I’m going to be blamed.”
“I don’t think he’s dead,” Adrian said.  He knelt down and checked Bubbles’ pulse and breath.  “His breathing and pulse are both fine, I think he’s just asleep.”
“I think he got really high on the sugar and caffeine and this is the crash,” I offered.
We paused and listened as Bubbles started snoring.
“One of the crashes,” Jonesy corrected, spreading his arm o’er the widespread scene of destruction.  There were five distinct heaps comprised of eleven crumpled cars; and one lone vehicle that remained untouched and intact.
“What are we going to do?” Adrian said.  “What am I going to tell Michael?  I am the one who taught Bubbles how to drive.”
“I don’t know about that,” Desmond answered, “but it’s starting to get dark and I say we get the hell out of here!”
“I wouldn’t mind that at all,” Jonesy agreed.
“Michael is going to hate me again,” I complained.
We started a hurried walk toward our car and Adrian said, “Can I get ride back to LA with you?  Michael sent a driver for me and it would so much easier to get out of here now.”
“Of course,” Desmond answered. 
We reached the stables and the two stablemen were still there.
“Hey guys,” Adrian said.  “I think Bubbles had a little too much sugar.  He’s sleeping down by the racetrack.”
“Thanks, we figured that,” one of them answered.  “There are five pints of his favorite ice cream missing and he cleaned out two cotton candy machines.  It also looks like he drank two or three pots of coffee.”
“He goes on caffeinated sugar benders every now and then,” said the other.  “Though they are getting more frequent and we think he’s developing a problem.  No worries though; we clean up after him all the time and he’s never made a mess that we can’t handle.”
“Your self confidence reassures me,” Adrian answered.  “We had a magnificent day, thank you for everything.”
Jonesy, Desmond and I all voiced our admiration and gratitude then we hurried to the car and fled Neverland.
It was a long, quiet ride to Laurel Canyon.  I sat in the backseat with Adrian, who spent the whole ride staring out the window while repeatedly saying, “What am I going to tell Michael?”