From a Childs Idol in a Poster on a Wall, To Best Friends

The story I’m about to tell is one of childhood dreams.  It just doesn’t happen, but it happened to me.  I was out one night with my girlfriend in Hollywood and we were about to go into the trendy, hipster spot on Cahuenga Blvd called The Beauty Lounge.  They served cocktails and did your toes.  We had no interest in having our toes done at midnight, but we had plenty of interest in cocktails and cute boys.  We were on the semi-crowded sidewalk when I who was coming straight toward me but my childhood idol, Leif Garrett.  Now I had been around my share of celebrities, rock stars and up and coming starlets, but Leif Garrett was the end all, be all!  I had every poster, Tiger Beat magazine and album that he ever posed for or sang for.  I think I was just tipsy enough to say, “Leif” as he walked passed.  That got his attention.  He told me later it was because I pronounced his name correctly.  Leif like the Viking, not Leaf not the thing that grows on trees.  We exchanged some verbal communication on the street which I cannot even remember and parted ways.  Moments later, as I was ordering my drink at the bar, Leif comes in and saddles up beside me.  I don’t really remember much about the conversation from that point forward, but I do remember we became fast friends after that.

He lived, as it turns out, around the corner from me and both having dogs, we would walk them together.  One morning, at about 4 or 5 am my doorbell starts going off from the street below.  I finally answer afraid my neighbors would be disturbed and it was Leif, whom I had just left two hours before.  He insisted on coming in and was not leaving my doorstep below until I let him in.  So, I did.  It turned into an all morning party fest.  One thing you have to know about Leif, he is severely underestimated.  The unfortunate thing about being a child star and molded into something you are not, you don’t have a chance later on of proving your talents and viewed as a true artist.  The sad thing is, he became a bit of a joke.  But he was so smart, so witty, so funny and such an amazing story teller.  We would sit captivated by his energy, humor and the stories, oh my God, the stories he had.  He had a band…I think it was called God Speed.  He gave me a T-shirt which I since have lost, but it was good, very rock and roll.  It was never lost on me how incredibly smart he was.

I remember his house.  That was the sad thing.  I think he had a lot of pain.  He lived with his mother in this house above a business…roofing business or something.  Two or three bedrooms that was straight out of the show “Hoarders”.  I remember one night sitting in this room all night, listening to him, smoking, etc.  He had some rough stories, and some hilarious stories.  He gave me a cross that night that he made from brass, twine, and charms.  I wish I still had it.  He had heart.

I remember one night he came over and he had been downtown in an alley trying to score when he ran into Robert Downey Jr. doing the same.  He said, “Robert is a mess.  I’d be surprised if tonight wasn’t his last”.   Another night we were up all night and I had to leave in the am to open my store at Fred Segal.  He stayed at my house with his/our friend Garin.  They kept calling me all day…”where are you”, “come back home”, “bring pizza”.  Oh my God!  So, finally I closed my store and headed home.  When I walked in I found the two of them laying on my floor, belts around their arms, foaming at the mouth.  I stood there for a second and exclaimed, “Great ANOTHER rock star OD’d on my living room floor”.  They couldn’t hold it and we all started laughing.

We shared a lot, and lost touch.  He called me Libra, I called him Scorpio.  I saw him years later on “Celebrity Intervention”.  I don’t know how he is now.  I hope he doesn’t end up a statistic, I know I miss him.

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