My friend Myron and I were sipping good, smoky whiskey at the Smog Cutter in the Thai Town section of East Hollywood, while listening to various Burmese chanteuses chirp out ballads on the jukebox. We began the night by bench racing, but ended it by arguing about IndyCar sensation Danica Patrick and female racecar drivers.
Myron is a drag racing writer and is a geeky, greasy-haired academic type with Clark Kent-type cheaters. His goofball nerdiness is mitigated by penchant for pop art t-shirts. Tonight he was wearing a white cotton t-shirt featuring a photo of a vintage Barracuda Funny Car doing a burnout. Through the copious clouds of smoke, the garment is emblazoned with the motto: “I’d Rather Be Frying the Baloneys.”
Or this one?
Out in time for Christmas?
“The sun didn’t care about stink. It didn’t care about money. It didn’t care about beauty. It didn’t care about tranquility. It was oblivious to its own reflection glimmering off the placid water, even if the ocean was the only element that could salve an otherwise stifling atomic fury that spoke of the new, inexorable radiation. I drove in to see Toshiro Kamiokande at his post-opulence palace in the Palisades, on an October Tuesday before noon in the heat of an all too obligatory Indian Summer. The planet was melting. The yellow fireball in the sky hadn’t yet crested, yet its sting cracked paint and melted the molded faces of gorgeous people stuck in traffic in West Los Angeles. When beauty gets sticky, it gets macabre and smells of chemicals and decaying flesh. The sun didn’t care about pulchritude either.”
“Remembering Lions Drag Strip Last Drag Race …And the Night the Music Died.” Drag-strip journalist Cole Coonce collates the thoughts and memories of drag racing superstars who partied as hard as they raced on the night Lions Drag Strip was shuttered.
Among those quoted are luminaries like Don “the Snake’ Prudhomme, Tom “the Mongoo$e” McEwen, “TV” Tommy Ivo and Ed Pink.
From the article: “Lions Drag Strip’s undoing was that America changed in the ’70s, and too much was no longer enough for some people. Hip capitalism was passé, and the new ethos became making as much money as you can—and who gives a damn about the neighbors and what they think? No more free lunches, ma’am. Like Mike Kuhl was to his Top Fuel engine: Just flog it until it dies. You’ll either win or leave a trail of absolute carnage. Or both. ‘Who cares? It’s behind you!’ Yes, 1960s drag racing, if not the 1960s in totum, died that bleary-eyed night in December, 1972. Cold and stoned.”
Read the article here: http://www.carcraft.com/dragtimes/1342_lions_drag_strip/
Drag-strip journalist Cole Coonce grabs a ride and chases the greatest spectacle in nitro-burning: the Bakersfield Cacklefest. Top Fuelers and AA/Fuel Altered galore!
Read “Night of the Living Nitromaniacs” in Car Craft’s Elapsed Times:
As a way of saluting what is great about being free in America, this July 4th weekend Tar Hole Dimedrop is giving away gratis copies of The Ketamine Sun, Part 2: A Slow-breathing, Slumped-over Queen Poisoned by an Asp Spitting Hydrochloride. In this second installment of Cole Coonce‘s LA punk noir novel The Ketamine Sun, studio detective Blackie Carbon has been hired by a Japanese business magnate to clean up his tawdry daughter’s sordid web of designer drugs and amateur adult films under her nom de smut “Cremora Creamer.” Carbon finds Cremora’s sex tape and tracks down her pornographer, only to walk into a grisly crime scene when searching for the original copies.
This installment is the gritty follow-up to the initial offering, The Ketamine Sun, Part 1: Cremora Creamer, The Betamax Malaprop and A Newtonian Bang, which is also available at the Amazon Kindle store.
Show your appreciation for being free in America and get your copy this Independence Day weekend.
Part 3 of The Ketamine Sun goes live on Amazon in two weeks, July 17, 2013.