I once met a guy who'd worked with David Lynch as a location scout on Mulholland Drive (2001). Naturally, I had questions. Who wouldn't? I mean, I don't know about you—well, I actually don't know anything about you because I don't even know who you are… or maybe I do? Regardless, I'm only using "you" in the generic sense, so don't take it personally. Anyway, David Lynch is easily one of the top five people who left an influential stain on my formative years and contributed greatly to my fascination with the disturbing underbelly of that which passes for happy, shiny, everyday normal life in America. But, to be honest, this is all neither here nor there in getting to the point I'm carelessly working toward.
I know shopping malls are still a thing, I mean, I think they are, but in the '80s these malls were the thing. They stormed into every city across the United States, leaving a huge urban footprint wherever they landed while simultaneously destroying the beloved Main Streets of America—you know, the place where all the quaint mom 'n' pop shops used to be before Captain Commercialism came to town and sucked everyone and everything into gargantuan indoor spaces that were considered architectural consumer marvels for the time. The future was so bright! Unless you happened to be George Romero, that is, who clearly saw the apocalyptic writing on the wall for our first world renowned civilization and satirized it ever so well in Dawn of the Dead.
You may know Jeff Tremaine as the big time Hollywood producer, director, and co-creator of the box office-smashing, 800-pound culture-besmirching gorilla known as the Jackass franchise, but I'll always know him as my former roommate who would spend hours holed up in the garage of our rental unit at 164 Manhattan Avenue in Hermosa Beach, CA, circa 1995, painting on gargantuan masonite canvases while listening to the assorted discs of the first Guided By Voices box set—aptly titled Box—the distinct memory of which instantly evokes the Robert Pollard vocals to "Hank's Little Fingers."
Every so often I'll stop and think, "What the fuck, dude. You're doing this all wrong," but that's entirely apropos for me and my mental Thunderdome, where I'll often go toe-to-toe with my own worst enemy: myself. The fact remains, however, that StrangeLove is indeed a very unconventional company and one I tend to treat more like an extension of myself and not some anonymous entity devoid of voice and personality. Not that this should come as any great surprise, I suppose, because it's long been the MO of my "career" ever since the pre-school days of Big Brother skateboard magazine.
This past Friday morning amid the flurry of announcements for Max's and Timmy's pro model debuts, my wife Donna asked if I felt like I was missing out by not being present at their respective events being held over the weekend. "Of course," I said, "but, you know… it just wasn't practical." Because Donna is kick-ass, she responded, "What's not practical? This has been a dream of yours. You should definitely be there." And just like that, 30 minutes later we were all booked up with a flight departing early the next morning for a whirlwind 48-hour celebratory trip back to the Midwest.