"Torn From The Nest" - To The Curb

To The Curb rockin' at full tilt at FM Station in North Hollywood.

To The Curb and company outside FM Station: (left to right) Band friend who simply went by the name of Black (196? - 2001), Billy, Xavier (half hidden by Billy), Jamie, Jamie's then-girlfriend Maria, me, band friend Jeff, and two band friends from Sweden whose names I apologetically don't remember.

To The Curb - The album cover that never was: Jamie, Billy, Xavier and me in the pool at the ruins of John McCormick's estate in Runyon Canyon Park in Hollywood. (Errol Flynn used to crash at the pool house.)

Billy, Xavier, me, and Jamie in Jamie's old apartment in Hollywood.

We recorded roughly a dozen songs over the years, one demo was done at Greg D'Angelo's (White Lion's drummer's) studio in Sherman Oaks. Jamie did the drumming on about half our recordings and I would do the other songs on the drum machine. I wasn't just the part time studio drummer for the band. As it happened, I was the only one with a fixed address and a phone most of the time so I served as the manager/booking agent for the band as well. We were the most productive during the first year or so, but things deteriorated rapidly after that. Billy's heroin addiction was becoming more acute and Jamie was getting very cocky and particular about what he wanted to do for the band and when. Our last gig with the full band was at the Coconut Teaszer on my birthday, Nov. 12, 1995.

The final gig with the full band at the Coconut Teaszer on Sunset.

After the show out on the Teaszer patio - Xavier and his longtime girlfriend Diana.

Jamie was kicked out of the band shortly thereafter and we attempted to carry on doing acoustic coffeehouse gigs while looking for a replacement drummer. Usually it was just Xavier and me doing the acoustic shows (most often at the Highland Grounds coffeehouse in Hollywood.) Unfortunately, Billy was turning into a frequent no show for all things band related. I was getting pretty disgusted with the situation at this point and my enthusiasm and faith in the project had been effectively undermined by the ridiculousness of not being able to do anything. When it got so bad that we couldn't even audition new drummers because of Billy's condition, I knew I had to go. Xavier and I played our last coffeehouse gig at Highland Grounds in early November of '96 and, sadly, To The Curb was done. Xavier was an exceptional lyricist and songwriter. He had enough angst and rebellious passion in his lyrics to be the voice of a generation, if only the generation could have heard him.

The last coffeehouse appearance Xavier and I did at the Highland Grounds
in Hollywood in November of '96.

Glam was completely dead everywhere in the world, except right in the heart of Hollywood where there seemed to be a sizable cult following for just about anything at any given time. When I first came to LA, the first band I caught live was The Zeros. The Zeros were a crazy purple-haired pop metal band that had released a few albums and had toured the States and Europe a few years earlier. Their stage show was quirky and energetic featuring the four piece group in bizarre vinyl outfits and thigh high dayglow Converse sneakers that were custom made for the band. (They had a Converse endoresment.) They were so popular in Hollywood that the famous Coconut Teaszer on Sunset Blvd. was painted all purple in their honor with the band logo prominently splashed across the front of the club. The band was a lot of fun and the songs were infectiously catchy. It was only natural that I gravitated towards this colorful and crazy group and I imagined that I would eventually become involved with them in some capacity or another. The Zeros were originally from Jersey where they were known as The Double O Zeros. As it turned out, an old friend of mine, Jim Morris of the New York band R.I.P. was now playing guitar for them (Zeros name: Jimmy Glitter) so there was yet another connection with the group.

Jimmy Glitter of Hollywood's Zeros.
(Formerly Jim Morris of New York's R.I.P.)

In time I became friends with Sammy Serious, the Zeros droopy-eyed frontman, and when things had gone from bad to worse with The Curb, we started talking more. As had been the case with so many of my other associations over the years, I was catching Sammy on the unfortunate backslide of his career. The first Zeros show I ever saw was the most heavily attended I would ever see. Each successive show would have a few less people in attendance than the one before. My friend Jimmy even quit the group when things started looking too dismal. When their bass player was dispatched from the group, Sammy gave me a call. I was still playing with The Curb at the time and I didn't know if I was up for the commitment of walking around with purple hair all the time. (It wasn't just something they sprayed in before a show, it was permanent hair dye.) I passed on the offer but soon Sammy was talking of doing a solo project - no purple hair required and slightly more serious music, but not too serious. We would ultimately do songs with such politically correct titles as: "Me No Speak No English", "Fuck Doll", and "Big 'Ol Whore."

Sammy Serious: The first gig at The Blue Saloon in North Hollywood.

When To The Curb fell apart completely, Sammy, myself, and drummer Mark Fox began rehearsing. We did our first gig on April 18, '97 in a small dive in North Hollywood called The Blue Saloon and began performing live regularly after that. In late '97, we recorded our first CD called "Sammy Serious - The Doctor Will See You Now". Mark and I were constantly entertained by Sammy. Mostly, we found Sammy to be a genuinely funny guy who was a great pop songwriter as well. He was an endless source of comedy material, in his music and in the stories of his life.


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