Live Fast Die Young: Misadventures in Rock'n'Roll America
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fullest expression. But LAX was also to be where that same dream, of distant vanishing points sucked in over the windscreen of a two-seater, came within a hair's breadth of being snuffed out. Renting the car was Harland's job. I had no reason not to believe it was in safe hands: Joe's capacity for forward planning is the stuff of legend. We once made a radio programme featuring rock stars reading books, which required us to roam the backstage area of Reading Festival knocking on tour buses and
astonishment, the one adjoined to Elvis After Dark featured on its menu a Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, as if to say 'Here's what finally did him in, why not try it for yourself?' Joe looked up from his menu. 'Well, shall we?' 'No. No way. I hate peanut butter. I'll puke.' His bottom lip folded up in disappointment, then broke into a coquettish smile. 'It's what Elvis would have wanted.' 'You go ahead if you want to. I'd rather chew tin foil than eat peanut butter.' 'But we're in
twenty in a sweaty downtown jazz club. And LA is still in a hurry to get somewhere; Charleston arrived long ago and is relaxing on the porch with the papers and a gin and tonic. What a pleasure it was then, after a week overnighting in cheerless hotels outside dreary, identikit towns, to know we had at least one full day to explore an ancient, beautiful city which time had forgotten, to borrow the opening line of DuBose Heyward's Porgy, upon which Charleston folk opera Porgy and Bess is based.
Portobello, home of Hugh Grant's famous blue front door in Notting Hill , of Michael Caine's flat in The Italian Job , and the excellent Sarm West Studios where the Band Aid song was recorded. Then it's Edgware Road (The Blue Lamp, Pete Doherty's regular cell), Paddington ( A Hard Day's Night, The Long Good Friday ), Baker Street (Holmes, Holmes and more Holmes) and lastly, up to street level near the bottom of Regents Park (everything from Harry Potter to American Werewolf in London to
down Suwannee Drive a hundred times looking for Gram's old address, and it doesn't exist. There isn't a 1600 Suwannee Drive.' 'That's because they moved the old house across town,' said Billy Ray. 'And when they built the new one,' Dave went on, 'the front door faced the other way. So this house' – he gestured to the one we were parked in front of – 'is on Seminole Trail, not Suwannee Drive.' Courtney's jaw dropped. 'I used to live in that house.' Joe and I gasped simultaneously. 'Really?'