I was in Los Angeles from Memorial Day through Saturday. The main mission was taking in three and four meetings a day from prospective movie rights buyers for my book, The King of Sting.
I had been with the Eisner/Lorenz/Eastwood group these past three years. Clint Eastwood had decided to retire a couple years ago and was going to turn over the reins to fellow director / co-producer Robert Lorenz who was set to direct King of Sting for me and Eisner. Rob has been Clint’s right hand man for the past 15 years.
However, Eastwood decided last year that he would continue to direct movies until the end of his days. He then decided to make Jersey Boys and is now shooting American Sniper. Since Clint needs Rob’s help on these big projects that would force me to wait at least another year or two to shoot King of Sting. Clint had Rob direct Trouble with the Curve last year which, unfortunately, was not a big box office hit.
I was contacted by a young director named David Jung who is a hot new director with just one film under his belt. William Morris is all over the project, so I decided to join that group and move forward, thus all the meetings. This time out, I’ll write the script and produce with Jung. So hopefully in the end it’s a better deal for me. All our meetings went very well, so I believe we’re in good shape…we’ll see.
It was good to be back in LA but with meetings every day it was hard to see everybody I wanted to, but I tried. I did have an opportunity to connect with my old flame, Kansas City actress Sandahl Bergman. And she looked great. I was also able to have breakfast with Ron Hammity, my partner from the Champions Forever boxing film series – a good guy.
Then on Memorial Day I was the special guest for Talking Shit, a podcast starring Eddie Ifft (and formerly Jim Jeffries). We covered the usual banter about strippers, sex, drugs and the crazy comedy world. Complete with co-hostess, a porno star chick whose name I can’t remember. His studio is right next to Venice Beach, so you can imagine how wild it was down there on Memorial Day night. Fun stuff.
One of my best comedy buddies is TJ Miller.
And TJ is on fire, he stars and is the executive producer of the hit HBO show Silicon Valley. He’s also the lead in Universal’s Search Party out later this fall. But probably his biggest shot is co-starring with Mark Wahlberg in the new Transformers movie, out later this month.
Anyway, TJ invited me to a small get together, or so he said, for Tom Jones’ – yes, THAT Tom Jones – 74th birthday party.
It ended up being a who’s who of people in Hollywood at a huge party in a $30 million Beverly Hill mansion. The Arrowhead Stadium-sized home belonged to Jeff Franklin, the former executive producer of Full House. Present and playing the drums in Jones’ party band was TV superstar John Stamos; a good buddy of TJ’s.
My dinner table had the crew of the Howard Stern show including the show’s producer, Gary Dell’Abate. A middle-aged woman comic followed me around the party, having heard about Stanfords and wanting ta stand up gig. My entertainment attorney had to inform me that she was Kate Flannery, one of the stars of The Office.
Which brings me to Tom Jones.
While Tom’s hair is completely gray, he’s in pretty good shape for a guy in his mid-seventies. With Stamos on drums and other celebrities filling in in the party room of this gargantuan home, Jones blasted off a couple of his huge hits – even an Elvis song or two.
I gotta tell ya, the guy sings like he’s 25. And all the women there serving as bartenders, servers and hostesses looked like try outs for the Hawaiian Tropic Bathing Beauty contest – hot, hot, hot.
I went up to Tom in a quiet moment when he was on the patio smoking a cigar.
It went like this:
Me: “So, Tom when you wake up in the morning do you still think you’re 35?’
Jones: “Yeah for a minute, till I get out of bed, look in the mirror and begin to feel those aches and pains of not being 35.’’
Me: “Who’s responsible for all these gorgeous, part-time employees working your birthday party?”
Jones: “Mostly, I am. I probably did half of them and would have done the other half but I ran out of gas.”
It was quite a little shindig.
Oh, those Hollywood Nights…