LOS ANGELES, December 1985: Legal Weapon was introduced to Your humble narrator (YHN) by Shelly (See Gurl Thirty) almost as soon as he had a phone number in town.
That cool, immediate bonding indulged in by only the young, made for fast friends and faster partners-in-crime. Plans were hatched and plots were planned to get to the toppermost of the punkermost or, a headlining gig at The Palace, post haste.
A couple months later Brian and YHN were playing a game while waiting for Gurl Thirty Four, Kat Arthur, to get home.
Kat and Brian were long-time lovers-in-arms and permanent cohorts in Legal Weapon.
Legal Weapon play “Guess the Rock”
We were playing “Guess The Rock,” where the first lumps of freebase we had ever seen were mixed-in with bone-white aquarium pebbles. If you made the right guess, you got to take a hit of that Richard Pryor shit.
The “rocks” were a gift from Hunt Sales, who was looking to produce Legal Weapon’s demos for A&M Records. We were waiting for Kat to get back from the taco stand at Hollywood and Western; a sleazy, fairly dangerous hangout for pimps, pushers and edgy actors looking for porn work during the day.
It was an absolutely Dante-esque scene ‘roun midnight, which was right ‘roun the time Kat left, fuming, in a cloud of malice and seething intent.
Kat huffed off after she got a phone call that her current nemesis, a protegee’ of the Gun Club’s singer, who had spray-painted “Kat is Fat” on the side of her mint, ’59 Cadillac, had been spotted there; wasted and demanding carnitas.
Kat from Legal Weapon goes on a mission of vengeance.
A live-wire, exploding inevitable product of California Kulture, Kat was equal parts Bessie Smith, Dorothy Parker, Veronica Lake and the Fabulous Moolah as she went out that night with the express intention of kicking ass.
Brian shrugged as Gurl Thirty Four walked out the door and after a minute or two, called their roadie Annie and asked her to keep an eye out since she lived in the skeevy apartments just up the block from the taco joint.
Kat and Brian lived in an insanely cool part of old Hollywood just down from Valentino’s manse and across the way from where Carole Lombard had her assignations with Clark Gable.
The upstairs apartment was occupied by Charles Bronson’s strung-out son, who would later OD in a final act of defiance against his “asshole father.”
After almost the entire first album by the Saints played, the phone rang with jangling portent. Brian answered and his face stopped moving and his fingers dropped to the box that was always underneath where he sat on the sofa.
He pulled-out the pistol, looked at YHN and said. “We gotta go, Kat’s hurt.”
Legal Weapon misfire – Kat gets a beatdown
Brian tersely says that Kat is beaten and bloody in the back seat of her car. He says this and various scenes of blind revenge on the perpetrators in a Jack Webb “just the facts” drone.
The radio was blaring random blasts of AM static interspersed with the holy roller, Pentacostal fever dreams of sin and redemption, as the stars on Hollywood Blvd. flew past the windows. YHN got more and more freaked out.
It is quite one thing to secretly identify with Pony Boy and squirm in solidarity with Linda Blair getting the plunger for being “Born Innocent,” from the comfort of home.
It was quite another thing to be hurtling through an undreamed of reality in a teeth-grinding cocaine haze, alongside a pistol-packing, part criminal, part choir boy with glints of murder in his eyes.
When we pulled-up, Kat lay across cavernous back bench of the Caddy. Her eyes were swelling and her nose had guacamole stained napkins stuffed in each nostril to staunch the flow of blood.
Brian asked if Annie was there and Kat replied “yeeeahhh, she’s in line. I need another taco” and proceed to pass out.
After Annie came back with Gurl Thirty Four’s tacos, she told us what happened.
What happened to Kat of Legal Weapon
Kat had screeched-up just as Annie arrived. She said that Kat looked around for Tex and screamed her name a couple of times. An old pachuco told her to keep it down and Kat told him to fuck off.
With that, two heavy mascara, maximum Boyle Heights chollas that were with him snort “puta” and it was on.
It was over, fast, the result laying bloody and passed out, with her hands stilled tightly balled into fists in the back seat of her DeLoreon-finned beast.
YHN got behind the wheel of Caddy with it’s now snoring passenger and followed Brian back to their home, where the “game” continued for a daze or two.
After getting home and henceforth, YHN remains struck by the tenderness and understanding between these two.
Legal Weapon licks its wounds
Brian carefully tended to Kat’s needs and wounds and she tended to tell him to fuck off and to go get his guitar.
She told YHN to get the tape recorder because she had an idea for a new song for Legal Weapon.
That’s the amazing thing Gurl Thirty Four taught YHN about the nature of a rocking relationship.
It all comes down to each side knowing no matter what happens if something happens, it doesn’t matter if you have flaws and demons, you’re there for each other and you’re there to be better, together.
No pistols were brandished in the writing of this piece.
YHN is Bruce Delamitri, a character from “Popcorn” who is known for making a comfortable living in Hollywood and for his love of mindless vandalism with just a sprinkling of Droogie ultra vi. His successful navigation of the eventual chaos that arises from this besotted attitude is mostly due to the fact that, in the end, no one ever takes responsibility.
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