Monday, February 05, 2007
In the early 90's L.A. Gangtsa Rap was in full effect. Dr. Dre's "The Chronic" album was breaking all kinds of records and defining a sub-genre of hip-hop. His videos were all over MTV, which is where I come in.
As a PA at the first MTV Beach House in the Hamptons I was a grunt. I did whatever ugly job no one else wanted to do. All for a whopping $75 a day. One day I was asked to drive into the posh town of East Hampton to pick up Dr. Dre's car.
At the time, his video for "Let Me Ride" was #1 on the channel. It was one of his many videos to feature his extensive collection of lowrider cars. For the uninitiated, a low rider is a 60's model American car refurbished and outfitted with hydraulics on each axel. You know those cars that bounce, lean and tilt? That's a lowrider.
It was being dropped off in town and I had to drive it back. I got a ride from an intern (yes, there was someone lower on the totem pole than me) and was dropped off on Main Street in the middle of a very waspy, Hamptony, snooty street/craft fair. The sidewalks were lined with vendors selling items I can only describe as "quaint." All the rich folk were out dressed like they just came from the Kentuky Derby. Wide brimmed sun hats, loafers etc.
I looked everywhere for the car but didn't see it. I knew the video very well so I expected the mint condition, hunter green convertible to pop right out at me. No deal.
Then I noticed the 18 wheeler. It was unloading an unfamiliar car down a long, steep ramp. That was when I knew the day was going to get weirder.
It seems that since filming the video, Dr. Dre decided to get the car repainted. How nice of him. He covered the mint, shiny green metallic paint job with a dark maroon one.
Oh, and I did mention the clowns and crack whores?
Yes, you read that right. Dre had a mural airbrushed over every inch of the car.
A mural featuring drunk clowns.
Drunk clowns and naked skanky women.
Drunk clowns and naked skanky women...smoking crack pipes.
Yup - clowns and big breasted ho's puffing on crack pipes. They were on the doors. They were on the hood. On the trunk. Not exactly subtle. These were huge, airbrushed murals, like the side of a traveling circus railroad car.
So I hop in the convertible and begin to drive back to the Beach House. Except, on account of the street fair, traffic is moving at 1 mile per hour. My foot isn't even on the gas. I am just coasting. Thank God, because I am now going slow enough for all of the rich, snooty Kentucky Derby people to get a nice, clean, unobstructed view of THE CLOWNS AND CRACK SMOKING WHORES on the side of my car.
People are screaming in disgust. Mothers are covering their children's eyes from the evil. "Mommy, what was THAT?" I am being bombarded with choruses of, "Shame on you!" "Pervert!" "Well I never..." "This is a nice town!" and..."look - boobies!"
Now traffic has stopped and I am stuck in an intersection. Cars in front and behind want to know what the rukus is so the town is gridlocked, with my little side show at the center of it.
At least it wasn't raining.
One by one I felt the drops. Oh shit. It's raining and I am in a convertible. Back then I was convinced that any little screw up would guaruntee that I would never work in the entertainment industry again. I pictured the interior of the car getting ruined and me asking, "Would you like fries with that?"
I started fumbling for the controls for the top. At least the rain will help dispurse the angry mob that has formed around the car.
Unless, the car with clowns and crack whores is bouncing up and down.
So now I am in this car, covered with drunk clowns and naked crack whores BOUNCING up and down at the oh so posh center of East Hampton. Families are running as if the strange flying saucer just opened its hatch and who knows what is going to emerge from the steam and eat their brains.
It was a long ride home.
As an end note, MTV has a mechanic double check the car before they gave it away. Liability and all. The mechanic said, "Thank God no one switched on those hydraulics. The pump lines are running right through a puddle of gasoline in the trunk. One flip of the switch and kapooey!"
That is only thing I could have done to make the day worse. Sit in gridlock in a clown crack car...and blow it up.
So in the end, they had me drive it to a junk yard and abondon it. They gave the winner 20k in cash in lieu of the death mobile. So, to this day, somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of a Hampton Long Island junk yard lies a classic car covered in clowns and crack whores.
at 6:50 PM