MOVIE MONSTERS I’VE KNOWN AND FED!
October 28, 2008
“Freddy Kruger, Frankenstein, Jack the Ripper were all customers at Genghis Cohen, the Hollywood restaurant I named and hosted, which is why I kept a sharpened chopstick on me at all times! It was really a trip to walk in at night to start my shift and see Anthony Perkins (“Psycho”) at one table, his eyes darting around the room, and Robert Englund (Freddy Kruger), at another, smiling about the fortune in his cookie.
My friend Allan Rinde, who owned Genghis, had a strict rule that one customer could never be seated in a booth, which was meant for three or more people. This rule, of course, went out the window whenever Peter Boyle (“Young Frankenstein”) came in by himself . Even though he was married to one of our friends, this didn’t give him any special privilages…it was the look of madness in his eye! One night Allan, walked in and saw Peter sitting in a booth, by himself. He got pissed off at me and asked me to move him to smaller table. I told Allan I was going on a break, so he went over to tell Peter himself. He came back told me that it was “okay, this one time” and asked if I ever noticed that strange look in his eye. I smiled and said, “yes”
Christopher Walken (“The Dead Zone”), was another customer who could sit wherever he wanted. I knew he could kill me with one blow, and eat me for dinner if he so desired, but he was a good guy!
We had our share of the “Scream Queens” come in, Barbara Shelly (“Dracula, Prince Of Darkness”, “Village Of The Damned”), Barbara Crampton (“Re-Animator”), Michelle Pfeiffer (“Witches Of Eastwick”, “What Lies Beneath”), and Jobeth Williams, who starred in “Poltergeist”.
I remember seeing “Poltergeist”, a few years back at a cineplex with a racially mixed audience. When JoBeth Williams’ character goes back into the house she knows is possesed to take a shower, almost the entire audiences screams, “DON”T GO BACK…DON’T GO BACK ” punctuated by a shrill “YOU STUPID BITCH!” from a nine or ten year old little blonde girl, sitting with her stoner parents.
A few years later, when JoBeth Williams became a regular customer, I asked her a personal question. “WHY DID YOU GO BACK INTO THE HOUSE?” “Because it said so in the script.”, she replied matter of factly. Since then I’ve used that line, whenever anyone asks, “Why’d you do something so stupid?” or “How could you act so ridiculous?” “Because it said so in the script!” No one ever laughs, but I don’t expect them to.
Director Tim Burton (“Nightmare Before Christmas”, came in quite a bit and so did Johnny Depp, whom he directed in “Edward Scissorhands”. The first night I met Johnny, we talked about music. Then I asked “Can I see the tattoo?”
The tattoo I was talking about was a hot topic in all the tabloids. When Johnny broke up with Wynonna Ryder, he altered a tattoo he had on his arm that said “Wynonna Forever” to say “Wino Forever”. When he rolled up his sleeve and showed me, I knew he was cool!
It was about this time that I had begun working with 3- dimensional acrylic fabric paint to create a new look for myself. I started enhancing old Hawaiian Shirts with 3-dimensional acrylic paint…which patrons bought right off my back! It wasn’t long before I had a profitable little sideline. Inspired by our “horrific” clientele, I started painting Monsters and ghouls on the back of denim and leather jackets.
Soon I had all sorts of people buying my clothes including, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey, Jr., J.D. Nicholas of the Commodores, Pam Tillis, Patti Dahlstrom, Sammy Davis, Jr. James Caan, Val Garay, Steve Cropper and Luthor VanDross. When I started using glow-in-the-dark paint on my creations, I would dim the lights then go into the kitchen and get a blast of flourescent light. I’d walk back into the restaurant, hand out fortune cookies and sell the glowing jacket right off my back!”
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2011 by Artie Wayne https://artiewayne.wordpress.com/about-artie-wayne/
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