LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, 1985: Gurl Thirty Six, Linda Trudnich, was desperately in love, again. Her passion, that exploding, expanding magnificence of hers, an omnivorous obsession she obeyed. The captivating catapult into equal parts Chaos, Eros and Porthos that let her walk in the clouds was as much a part of her as her lungs and heart.
Vital, life-sustaining and, barring accidents she was fantastically prone to: it would either be the failure of those organs or, the complete and utter destruction of her love, that would be the cause of her untimely death.
Linda Trudnich, force of nature
Gurl love runs deep. It not only seems to fuel the heart but, sometimes, before it’s ready, it can power an entire freakin’ universe, only to flare out in a nova of star jets before its time, slowly growing dim and dark.
Linda Trudnich, Gurl Thirty Six, was the first Gurl I ever met that I knew was going to die young.
She was the receptionist at SST Records, where Your Humble Narrator (YHN) was working. Linda was like everything every kid in the middle of nowhere, longing to be be right there, imagined the Gurl who answered the phone for the label should be.
Linda Trudnich, that special look
Arms flailing in akimbo arabesques, whether getting a cup of coffee, making 100 copies of a Zoogz Rift press release, answering the phone with a complete indifference or a 20 minute conversation about some artist.
Her legs simultaneously thrust her body either forward or, back, depending on her task, her pale skin with varying marks and notions sliding around in some demented 1950’s print summer dress.
Then, there was the hair. The shock of spiky attempts to communicate in some extraterrestrial language by the use of sprays and lotions. She was simply, easily and completely Linda, and she was born to be captured in youthful memory rather than restful repose.
Linda Trudnich, feats of strength
She, like most Gurls, never knows the force of their impact. Unlike feats of strength or thingies where you get “points,” there is no gauge to measure good works. Kind works. Selfless works engaged in by doing little more than being kind to others. Sadly, like other Gurls, she could never be kind to herself.
She was in that kind and breathless mode that morning, which is how everyone knew she was back in the stratosphere again.
An old obsession from Cerritos was back in her heart and soul and “this time…” “This time will be different.”
Linda was lavish with her stories and an old hand at the punk boys club, Little Rascals “No Gerls Aloud” bullshit. She had the air of ease that comes from an unexamined honesty and a sense of poise from the most casual of inner graces.
It boggles the mind and calls into question the existence of any futile and paltry notions of justice at how violently and relentlessly her heart went broken again and again.
Linda Trudnich, punk rock ethos
Los Angeles is a place where you can do anything if you are young, rich, sexy, smart and have a heart shattered into a million pieces. There’s booze, drugs, mindless sex, petty crime, anything one could want, except to get a lobby full of people who know you to respond to your soul searing screams about your broken heart and how badly you want to die. Punk rock…y’know?
There were times when her pain at the loss or lack of love and trust emanated from her body. Bare and radiant launches of energy looking for a match, only to rise beyond the stars and vanish. She always seemed ashamed and always acted surprised by every person she met.
Linda Trudnich, from a spiraling perspective
A few months yet before YHN would leave SST there was a perfect Hollywood show that would showcase the breadth of the operation. Everyone was very excited, especially Gurl Thirty Six, who would be getting all Linda’d up for this perfect date with her perfect love.
It was a great night for the artists, the fans and the promoter…of course, it was a wildly cool show for a small label like SST to pull off at the time. What wasn’t pulled off was Linda’s dream date. Instead, we ended up pulling her off the floor and into a safe place.
No matter how many wild excursions, no matter how deep what she went through seemed that night, the next morning she would be back at work, so perfectly timeless in honor and accountability she was heroic to YHN.
It was her strength of pride, a clutch of certitude and character that was complete in her. Linda never flinched from her choices. She made the most of her chances. Linda Trudnich was miraculous and perfect in her resolute Lindaness.
I heard from another Gurl of Linda’s passing. I missed her then and miss her now.
No hearts were broken in the writing of this piece.
YHN is Makar Devushkin, the pseudonymous dodge used by an interested bystander of the last gasp of rock and roll. Makar is a character from “Poor Folk” who is known for receiving letters from a Gurl that would haunt him forever. “It distresses me greatly to have to trouble you now, when you are in such dire straits yourself, but you are the only hope I have! Goodbye, Makar, think of me, and may God grant you success! As for my crying, that was just nonsense; I myself do not know why I am forever crying. My emotions are painful and exasperating.”
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