Los Angeles. 1975. Curtains drawn at midday, Kraftwerk's 'Autobahn' plays quietly on the stereo as the room fills with the heady aroma of burning incense. The walls and floors of my luxurious apartment are bedecked with daubs of paint. Frantically scrawled symbols and arcane numerals designed to ward off evil spirits cover every available surface. They're not working. Tables shake, floorboards moan and impishly fitful light flits from candles that sigh and moan with the desolate grief of a million trapped souls. I'm so scared, so lonely; so frazzled I can barely face the few shorts steps out into the kitchen to put another vial of urine in the fridge.
Demons hate wee. Or so I'm told - that's why they're always trying to steal it, you see. It contains the essence of your soul, or so I'd read, so obviously you don't want that falling into the hands of some grubby little gremlin. Peppers don't agree with them either, - you know, red, green, yellow; those sort of peppers - so I've been stuffing myself with them too. Mind you, I'm not sure they agree with me either. They play havoc with your guts. In fact, last week I could barely keep my first bag of Aruldite down, my stomach was heaving so miserably from the pure cellulose diet. Sometimes I think it's almost worth being one of Lucifer's eternal concubines if it would mean a night off the can and no more fizzing and wheezing echoing around the bathroom as my poor, knotted intestines manfully attempt to break down the lethal stew of roughage-heavy vegetables and industrial strength adhesives on which I've been living for the past 6 months. Dark days.
But then a very good friend of mine took me to one side and said, Bob, take a look at yourself in the mirror. No, face on, you're like Flat Stanley from the sides. Come on man, pull yourself together.' And that's what I did. Out with the wee and in with the signed collection of Hermann Goering photos and the well known Berlin Transvestite with the big bazoombkas. And no more raw peppers. No, you'll find they're much more nutritious stuffed with a few button mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and some finely chopped garlic. Just drizzle that little lot with some extra virgin olive oil and roast in the oven for 25 minutes on a medium heat.
I've probably forgotten more than I could ever remember about my LA nadir. I get the odd flashback now and then, of course, but it's all behind me now, really. Next came my dramatic renaissance in Berlin and the rest, as they say, is history. But they were, for a while, very bad times indeed. Still, could have been worse, I suppose. At least I never made a record with Lulu...
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