Davy's On The Road Again Ch. 12byoldhippie1949©
If you haven't kept up with the story, that's okay although I suggest you start at the beginning so you can keep your scorecard up to date. This story has all kinds of sex in all kinds of combinations so if you don't have permission from an adult to read it, get outta here.
It's only about an hour from L.A. to Santa Barbara, but it only took Amy about fifteen minutes to look over the folder of paperwork Danny gave her. She's that good understanding finances and contracts and shit like that. Me? Well, let's just say I understand it when it is explained to me...slowly.
"I'm pretty pleased the way they set up our partnership. It's straightforward and clear. It's easy to understand. You were right about Danny, he's really something."
"Danny is the best, Amy. Not only do I swear by him but lots of other people do, too. From Dylan to Paul Simon, Billy Joel and even Paul McCartney...if you can't trust anyone else, you go to Danny. Also, Danny and I go back to when we were both first starting out so there's a long bond there. Yeah, I really love him. Do me a favor, Hon, don't explain it to me now but when you do, explain it to me as though I'm an idiot, because with this stuff, I am."
"No, you're not. You're just not hooked into this, I understand that. You just concern yourself with creating your art and Danny and I will give you the freedom to do that. I like Danny and I trust him, too. But I have another bit of information for you. If I asked you how much you were worth, how much I was worth and how much we were worth together, would you have any idea?"
"Not a clue. And I don't really care as long as there's enough to do what I want to do and spread even more around to those who need it more than I."
"That's a pretty cavalier attitude...and very impressive. Once I came into money, I watched it all the time and it nearly drove me crazy."
"That's you, not me. That's why I defer to you to handle this stuff. I know that you can do it and I know that I can't. My brain just doesn't work well with numbers. Just ask my ex-wife."
"So what are we worth?"
"I'll make a wild guess based upon the lottery money I won and the coming Warner's award, I figure I'm good for about $200,000,000. I don't remember how much I put in trusts or how much I invest with, although I do know that I've been pretty hot lately with the precious metals I'm into. As for you? No clue. I know you have all that primo real estate but beyond that, beats me and really doesn't concern me."
"Well, you're off on your assets. According to all this paperwork, you're good for $275,000,000. I'm good for $450,000,000. So together, we're worth nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars!"
I damn near had an accident. "You are fucking kidding me, Amy. That's a hell of a lot of cabbage. And you advised me to go cheap the other day. Shit, Amy, we can't spend as much as we make in interest alone!"
"No shit, Warren Buffett! We'd better start giving more away or the taxman will eat us up. I'm going to have to talk to Danny about this...and I think we should buy up some more real estate."
"There is that property I want to buy near where Sagaponack meets East Hampton...ah, fuck it, I can't think about it now or I'll drive into the ocean, I swear. We're about a half an hour out of Santa Barbara, I'm calling Shadow."
"Wait a sec, I have another question. Tell me, what did it feel like when you found out that you won the lottery?"
"I'll be totally honest with this answer. I felt the same way as when you pulled up in front of Stevie and Sally's, got out of your Jaguar and we held hands walking up to their house. I knew that my life had just changed for the better."
"Oh, you lying charmer. You know just the right things to say to me. Now you can call Shadow."
I called and we set up a meeting at The Shoreline Cafe by Ledbetter Beach in an hour. I told him to look for Big Chocolate.
"So who is this Shadow character anyway?"
"Shadow? Shadow is a music legend. Shadow goes back to the early sixties and the Brill Building. He's also one of Danny's buds. Shadow co-wrote and produced some of the most famous recordings of the sixties like "Leader of The Pack," "(Remember) Walking in The Sand"...He discovered the Shangri-Las, Janis Ian, Vanilla Fudge, Laura Nyro, New York Dolls...oh, Jeez, too many to remember. He worked with The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Diamond, just about everyone."
"How did you get to know him?"
"I first met him before I signed a deal. He helped me with my first album. In the seventies, he dropped out of music and disappeared of the face of the earth. Nobody could find him. Everyone figured he was dead. Turns out he was a bad drunk, broke and living in the gutter. I bumped into him in the mid-eighties at Joe Allen's. He was slumped over the end of the bar. I called Danny to tell him and the next thing I know, he's in Betty Ford, drying out. He's been straight ever since. But get this, since everybody in the business thought he was dead, they never paid him any royalties. When he got out of Betty Ford, Danny filed suit against a conglomerate, who owned all his music through acquiring other labels and catalogs. Danny had a study done to show that once an hour, somewhere in the world, some radio station was playing "Leader..." and they won the suit. He got about 50 mil which he promptly distributed to his daughters and to Betty Ford. Shadow is a real special person. These days, he tweaks records before they become hits. His quiet and under the radar but he's there. And I love him because he's real."
I found the Cafe and parked. Amy and I took Santo out for a stretch until I saw the Brooklyn Cowboy walking toward me. We hugged. Shadow rolled his eyes at both Amy and Big Chocolate. His rugged good looks and deep, scratchy baritone hadn't changed in the few years since I'd seen him. I introduced him to Amy and I could see that she was quite taken by him.
"Da-vy Har-per. How you doin', man? Hiya, Santo. Remember your Uncle Shadow? He looks like you've been spoiling him. That's good. So I know what you've been doing these days because I talked to Danny a couple of weeks ago and I checked out YouTube...really quality stuff. Nice goin', guy."
"Wait a second, Shadow." I dialed up Danny and handed Shadow the phone. They had some quick small talk because Danny was on the golf course. They promised to speak during the week. We sat down at an outside table as Santo curled up under my feet.
"So tell me something good, my friend." he said. "Although, I can tell that it's all good...your beautiful lady...some kinda wheels...and you, dear lady, I can see that you are treating my dear freind well. Thank you."
Amy blushed. "Yeah, Shad, everything is better than good. Amy and I are traveling the country in those wheels and life these days are fun. How 'bout you?"
"Can't complain. The good Lord provides...It's good to see you happy, Davy."
"Likewise, Shadow. I have a project for you if you want it. I need your gift."
"Gift, humph! Lucky is more like it. But, I'm intrigued. Shoot, I'm all ears."
"Well, actually, there are a few projects. First of all, Danny and I beat up Warner's and I got all my masters back. I want to clean them up, remaster them and rerelease them under my own brand. I also want to record new versions of them with all my friends. I also want to release new material. I have a whole bunch of new songs..three new tracks I just recorded that I'll lay on you.. I want you involved in all projects - to oversee and tweak as the Executive Producer...but I have another project specifically with you in mind. I want you to take the remastered old stuff and turn some of them into Shadow Morton productions...just like we wanted to do back in 1965. Turn them into cinematic widescreen productions. Complete freedom. Do your thing."
"Easy boy, easy boy. You're talking a lot of money here."
"Right. So what I want to do is tie you up with a consultant's fee - say one hundred thou - and put you to work. You and Danny can work out all the details nd everything that follows. Waddya think?"
"I think I like this. I think I like this a lot. How soon do you want to get moving on this?"
"Like right now. Let's shake hands on this and we'll go back to the bus. I'll write you a check and give you a CD of what I have now. You just start dreaming. When I have some more tracks for the new music project, I'll send them to you. When Danny dupes the masters, I'll have them sent to you and you can start in on them at your own creative pace. Maybe we'll start sneaking out some tracks this summer."
"Alright. I'll start to do some investigative work, I have to find a studio that I can work with."
"How about Ocean Way on Sunset Boulevard? Nah, that place is too busy and I want to control the media on this for as long as I can. Oh. I know...better yet, Shangri-La in Malibu. That's where I recorded these new ones."
"I like Ocean Way, it's okay. I have a little place I like here in Santa Barbara but I don't think they can handle this. If you can get Shangri-La, I'm very fucking impressed."
"Shadow, it can be done and it will be done." We clinked our soft drinks, finished up and made our way back to the bus.
"I can-not be-lieve this ve-hi-cle. This is something spectacular. Fucking impressive." I handed Shadow a CD while Amy wrote him a check. He folded it and placed it his beat up denim jacket. He sat down in the recliner. "Now I have a favor to ask of you."
"You know that Betty Ford Clinic maintains a fund to provide car for those who cannot afford their services...and that place is expensive. I've been raising money for the last few years to keep this fund deep. About 45% of the people getting treatment get financial aid. So maybe you'll do a benefit for the fund...maybe in Palm Springs or wherever. Think about it."
"There's nothing to think about. Of course, I'll do it."
Amy piped up, "Shadow, can we make another donation? Can I write you a check for another hundred thousand? Is that enough?"
Shadow looked dumbstruck. Clearly, he was at a loss for words and he's eyes teared up. "I can't believe this. I shouldn't be because you were always generous to a fault, but this is just incredible. The people at Camp Betty will be as dumbfounded as I am right now." He got up from his seat and hugged me and then Amy. "You are helping do God's work, you know. Bless you both. Bless you, bless you both."
Amy wrote the check to the Betty Ford Center Foundation. Handing the envelope to Shadow, he wiped his eyes. "I feel like this is a sign and I believe in signs. God is speaking through you two and I am humbled. I promise you that this money will save lives and I cannot thank you enough. I promise you that we will make music that will change the world for the better. You have my word. I love you both."
"I love you, too, Shadow, which is why we're here in the first place. You call Danny later, he's flying back to New York tomorrow. Here's his number and he and Kathy are staying at the Wilshire. Here's all my contacts, too. Let's keep in touch, okay?"
As we watched Shadow's motorcycle roar away, Amy and I looked happily at each other. We knew that we had just done something very good and very powerful. We looked at each other and smiled.
"I feel so good right now," she said. "This can only turn out well. You were right, Davy. He's a very special person. His beautiful soul just drips from him."
We headed north past Morro Bay toward our first overnight stop near San Simeon. The road was easy and the views from the Pacific Coast Highway couldn't have been more beautiful. We pulled into Hearst Park by the ocean and stared back at Hearst's castle sprawling along the hill.
"You know, Davy, I have no desire to take that tour. I don't want to see the results of someone's outrageous greed. I mean, he raped and pillaged the world to fill that castle."
"I agree. I have no interest either. I'd rather tour the Citizen Kane set."
"I've never seen that movie."
"Really? I'm one of those who thinks that Citizen Kane is the greatest film ever made. I even have it on DVD somewhere around here."
"Good. I have an idea. Since it's still early, let's go out on the beach for a swim. Then we'll have dinner on our rooftop terrace. Then we'll snuggle in and watch it."
"That's a plan!" Let's go for a dip!"
This part of the bay was flat and level with a long stretch of beach heading north to cliffs and outcroppings. That part of the beach was boulder strewn and dramatically beautiful. With Santo, we walked along the flat part. A sign read "This is a Clothing Optional Beach." Although there were very few people on the beach, and they were quite a distance away, it hadn't occurred to us to skinny dip. Suddenly, it seemed obvious. We stripped off our clothes and threw them into a pile on our towels. Santo left his dog suit on as the three of us ran into the surf. We were laughing and splashing each other - mainly because I loved watching Amy's tits bounce around. The salt water wasn't to Santo's liking so he ran out of the water and happily rolled around in the sand. Amy and I swam a bit and then turned and viewed the shore. The view of San Simeon was quite impressive but the cliffs to the north were even more majestic. Finally, hand in hand, we made our way back to the towels. There was no one else on the beach or within sight as we strolled back to the bus. I hosed the sand off Santo and dried him down the best I could. I tethered him to the bus and went inside to shower.
Amy was already in the shower. I could hear her laughing as soon as I entered the bus. When she saw me, she shouted for me to get in. "This is the greatest shower. This is fucking great!" I had to admit that with all the shower heads spraying at me, it was dynamite and I, too, started to laugh. "Let's see," she said, "if I turn this head in this direction, it gets my ass. Oooh. That's nice. I like this. Now, I'll turn arounddddddddd...wow!" "Now, how do you turn on the steam?"
"I think I'll read the directions first," I said. It surprised me that she agreed. We turned it off and stepped out to dry off. There was just enough room to towel each other. I left her to blow dry her hair while I put on my shorts and a ratty old Grateful Dead tee. I stepped outside to check out the upper deck. Santo was sitting in the sun and not very happy so I went back in and opened the slideouts and the awning. As the shade covered him, he quieted down. I brought his water bowl out and handed him a Milk-Bone.
I climbed the rear ladder to the roof and slid the flooring panels out. They easily fit into the framing rack. I stepped up onto the deck and surveyed the awesome view. I pulled the bimini rack up and opened it. It covered the deck like a huge umbrella. The deck flooring was a bit hard and uncomfortable so I went back down to scout up a blanket. Amy was sitting by Santo and blow drying him. Santo seemed to be laughing and clearly, he was loving her attention as she brushed his short hair. I smiled as she cooed to him and told him how handsome he was.
"Let me take over," I said. "You check out the upper deck. I need something to put on the floor, though."
"Wait a sec," she said. She started opening the lower bins until she found a large square remnant of green carpeting. "I remember that Elon said he'd leave me a large piece just for that purpose. He also gave us a foldup table and chairs." Amazed, I took the stuff and brought it up to the roof. When I finished, I looked at it and it was pure luxury.
I climbed back down as Santo scampered into the bus behind Amy. Amy was checking out our dinner menu. I pulled the dog feeder out and filled the bowls. I took Santo a few minutes to figure out that this was his new dining room but when he did, he finished his bowl quickly.
"For dinner tonight, how would you like Pasta Carbonara, a salad, a little garlic bread and vino?"
A half hour later, she passed me our dinner through the pass-through hole. We dined al-fresco on our rooftop terrace as the sun set slowly into a kaleidoscope of blues, reds, purples and orange. It was something to see. And, oh yes, dinner was superb. We sat up there as the night descended and enjoyed the dramatic vista.
We closed it down and I passed her the stuff. I just finished stowing the carpeting when a California State Patrolman pulled up. I was afraid we'd be kicked out of our perfect parking spot but he was very amenable. "Ordinarily, we don't allow anyone to sleep over after dusk but this is about the coolest bus I've ever seen and since there's no one else here, where's the harm. Please make sure you leave no debris when you leave in the morning." He seemed to be angling for a look inside so I guided him in. Amy was just finishing up and about to close up the galley. The cop's eyes bugged out as he roamed around the bus. He wished us well on our vacation and drove away muttering to himself. I kind of liked his reaction.
While I closed up the bus and drew the screens, Amy set up the bedroom so that the bed tilted up facing the large screen. I found Citizen Kane and after rolling a couple of joints, I walked in. She had the bottle of wine and two glasses on the side table.
"Wait until you feel this bed, Davy. Did you know that Elon fitted it with 1500 thread count Egyptian Cotton sheets?"
"I don't even know what that is but I suppose it's a good thing." I sat down on the bed and instantly I knew. It was very comfortable. It was even better than that. "I don't know how to describe this, Amy."
"I already thought that thought and the best description I came up with is that it is to die for. It's drop dead."
I nodded. She was right again. We sipped the wine and toked up as the movie started. It didn't pass my sense of irony that we were watching this movie with Hearst's Castle behind us. If you listened closely, you could hear Hearst spinning in his grave. As the movie progressed, I kept pausing it and pointing out important aspects of the film: the sled that the child Kane plays in the snow with; that this was the first film where room sets had ceilings; the "Citizen Kane" shot from low looking up making the character appear more imposing; the "chambered nautilus" scene; the bird (is it an albatross?) that flies through the party scene signifying the end of Kane's rise and the beginning of Kane's descent, as well as other tidbits. I was glad that Amy was not annoyed. To the contrary it made her more interested in the film. As the final scene began and we followed the camera through the warehouse all the way to the boiler and the music swelled, she was astonished as the sled, "Rosebud", was tossed into the flames.
She loved the film and immediately saw the Spielberg homage that framed the end of Raiders of The Lost Ark. She asked how I knew so much about the film and I told how I took a course in college that spent a full semester deconstructing Welles masterpiece. I explained how Hearst buried the film through his newspaper network and it died at the box office. It wasn't until nearly a decade later that the film was declared the work of a genius but it was too late for Welles whose career never recovered. While he did have several brilliant films after Kane like The Magnificent Ambersons and The Stranger, it was too late and the damage was done. Amy sat fascinated and, I could tell, edified. We closed up shop and fell asleep quickly in our 'drop dead' bed.
Sunrise and ready to move up the coast. We were both well rested after sleeping on a perfect bed. Amy took Santo out for her morning constitutional and I made a phone call for a little surprise. Before long, I was sipping coffee as we drove north. When I saw the turn-off, Amy asked where we were headed.
"I have a little surprise for you. Have you ever heard of the Esalen Institute?"