Beer, Cigarettes and Has-Beens

Stumbling through 48 hours in Hollywood

Last night was the latter. My girlfriend isn't talking to me. After a long stretch of vicious silence, she tells me that I had abandoned Taver and her at the Teazser. I offer a feeble defense that I was too drunk and can't remember.

It was time to go, as it always is after two days in Hollywood.

We pull out from the Saharan, turning east on Sunset, heading for the 101. On KROQ, Aimee Mann is playing live, offering acoustic versions of songs from her surprisingly successful Magnolia soundtrack. A veritable poster woman for the abuses and injustice of the music industry, Mann explains the financial realities of the business. How artists can't make any money unless they're Britney Spears. Yet Mann somehow doesn't sound jaded. And she makes perfect sense.

We get to the 101 and ease into the long lines of slow-moving cars. We move toward I-10, that horrible highway back to Phoenix. And at this time of day, it is straight into the sun.

Contact Brian Smith at his online address: brian.smith@newtimes.com</b

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