05 March 2012

30 years ago today

"I was swimming in the pool with British actress Jacqueline Pearce," remembered Alex Gildzen, "when a policeman came down the steps from the upper bunglalows toward the pool area.  Jacqueline asked him if anything was the matter.  He said not to worry, but that someone had died.  Not much later, I was off to Schwab's for a paper, when I noticed a television news van pulling up Marmont Lane.  I didn't connect it with the report of the death.  By the time I had returned from Schwab's, however, the Marmont was surrounded. An officer stopped me at the front door. It was the first time in all the years I've stayed there that I had to show my room key to get back into the hotel.  I asked the young woman at the desk what was wrong.  She said only that there had been a slight disturbance.  The Marmont is famous for observing the privacy of its guests, but I found her remark a bit much, since the local stations were broadcasting live. I went immediately to my room, turned on the tube, and learrned that John Belushi had died.  Then I went out to the tower that overlooks the bungalows, where I would often go alone at night to observe the Hollywood lights, and watched the circus that was beginning."

Basten & Sarlot
Life at the Marmont (1987)

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