Monday, January 16, 2017

                                                          SMOKE & MIRRORS
      In two short months the Paradise Ballroom had gone from the most anticipated new club in L.A. to an over-budget project on life support. Deals were being made - I'll pay you $100 now and another $100 the end of the first week - and rumors of bribes to city inspectors were circulating. No one knew what to believe. With the arrival of Nick Casey - the genius from New York -what started out as an open door to creative freedom was about to slam shut.

Tuesday April 4, 1972
Tonight we met with Nick Casey at the Ballroom. Long curly hair, dark glasses, Alex Cord fine features. Talks with his long, artistic hands. Recorded every word on tape. Paranoid, coke. Girl walked in and he said, "What's your name? They're so many". She gave her name, sat down and watched us. Jerry (Brandt) felt guilty and split. Nick insists that people audition for him. Wavy Gravy and the Hog Farm, etc. He's seeing lots of theater groups. We're suddenly, after two months, one of many. Even the Children's Theater is one of many. Joan Nielsen lost her job because Dante was jealous of her relationship with Blue. Victor can't decide if he wants to be a man or a woman. It's like running full speed ahead and having someone stick his arm out and jam it into your chest.   

We persevered.

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