It Seems There’s No Road Hockey Played In Beverly Hills


One of the many streets in Beverly Hills where there is no road hockey being played

I dunno, maybe it’s the time of year, but I saw no road hockey games on any of the streets of Beverly Hills and Bel Air as we drove around for a couple of hours listening to the GPS lady tell us to go right and left and turn at 400 yards.

She took us to the house the Beverly Hillbillies were supposed to live in but of course didn’t really, this being Hollywood and such, but we couldn’t see a thing, and after googling it later, it turns out that the present owners just aren’t excited about folks stopping outside and gawking, so a big gate and high hedges hide the place.

Anyway, Ellie Mae Clampett is 77 now so things just wouldn’t be the same.

On an extremely sombre note, we also drove to Cielo Drive to see the site where Charles Manson’s evil family murdered Sharon Tate and her friends in 1969 in one of the true crimes of the 20th century, a crime that had two nations fascinated for more than a year. The house has been torn down (who would want to live there?), and the address numbers on the small street have been moved around to confuse the curious. Even now, back at the hotel, weird black vibes stay with me. I followed closely the news of the murders and the trial of those involved when it was happening, and have always had a morbid curiosity. I know I should be ashamed of myself for treating this like a tourist spot, but it’s something I wanted to do.

Our hotel, the Best Western Sunset Plaza, is right in the heart of the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, across the street from The Comedy Club, and right beside The House of Blues, which was the setting of the strange Phil Spector saga. Spector, legendary rock producer who worked on the Beatles Let It Be album and created the Wall of Sound in the early sixties with bands like the Ronettes and the Righteous Brothers, was in this House of Blues a few years back, picked up a waitress, brought her back to his mansion, and proceeded to shoot and kill her, although he says the gun went off accidently. Regardless, the eccentric genius is now serving a life sentence.

Luciena and I, before our big Beverly Hills tour, decided to eat, which we do sometimes, and so, in the name of music history, pulled into the Sunset Grill and ate cheeseburgers. The Sunset Grill had a lovely song written about it, named “Sunset Grill” of all things, written and recorded by Don Henley of the Eagles. (cheeseburgers – five bucks).

I also noticed, especially as we sat on the balcony of the Sunset Grill, that like Beverly Hills, there is absolutely no road hockey being played on the Sunset Strip. And I’ve yet to see a Habs jersey.

The capper of the day was a visit to the legendary Troubadour club, a place where John Lennon was given the boot for heckling the Smothers Brothers, where Glen Frey and Don Henley were introduced to each other and formed a group that became the Eagles, and where Bob Dylan and Elton John and practically every famous act from the last five decades played. Three bands rocked on this night, with the headliners being J. Roddy Walston and the Business, who absolutely wowed the packed room with their hard driving, ear rattling, guitar/piano-based sound.

We were also probably twice the age of everybody in there, which in a peculiar kind of way was just great.

12 thoughts on “It Seems There’s No Road Hockey Played In Beverly Hills”

  1. Dennis, the fact that Ellie Mae is now 77 boggles the mind. Does she still wear cutoffs and a rope belt, cause if she does she really ought not to. I can dig the Charlie Manson thingy tho, cause even if it was before my time I’ve read a lot of books about it, including my fave by Vince Bugliosi who was one of the prosecuting attorneys. I’d have probably checked it out too.

    The fact that there is no road hockey anywhere around there makes me think that (a) you can tell you’re not in Canada even without the GPS and (b) Canada is way cooler. No Habs shirts in LA? They ought to be damned ashamed of themselves IMO. Proof positive there’s no accounting for taste in this world.

  2. Hi Tyg. I have the Helter Skelter book also and saw Bugliosi not long ago on TV talking once again about the murders. I found being on that small curvy street and parking out where the murderers parked and all that extremely eerie. Today I’m going to look more for people wearing Habs jerseys. Thanks, Tyg. You understand where I’m coming from.

  3. I read that book too and saw the movie. It’s pretty impressive that they managed to convict Manson, when in fact he didn’t personally kill anyone.

    Dennis, are you heading over to the PCH/Malibu on this trip?

  4. Hi Moey, yep, Venice Beach and Malibu tomorrow. Whether or not we stay in Malibu or back to Sunset or up to Santa Barbara is still to be figured out. Moey, we’re having just an excellent time.

  5. just think……. if manson and phil spector lived in canada they would have been out years ago on parole probably with complete pardons……….. i don’t know about where you live but in toronto ball hockey on the street is illegal. maybe that’s why the leafs suck. no local breeding.

  6. “I put the Kings in LA because there are 500,000 ex-Canadians living in Southern California. They moved there because they hate hockey.” — Jack Kent Cooke, the first owner of the Los Angeles Kings

  7. Dennis, time to rehearse your movie pitch. You must be getting close to Tinseltown and that power lunch with the producer who’s going to make you and Gaston the biggest stars since James Dean and Gregory Peck.

  8. “Moey, we’re having just an excellent time”

    Dennis, you and I are in the know, it’s impossible not to. I want to retire there, sooner than later. On my last visit there was a small studio apartment on Laguna Beach on the top floor of a beachfront home. There was a for rent sign posted on the floor to ceiling windows, “For Rent – $1000.00 per month.” Am I there yet?

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