Tag Archives: Mulholland Hwy

One song to the next pulls me

One song to the next pulls me…

I coined the word punk@lullaby. It means that the whole time I was in the punk rock scene, from beginning to end, it was all about a song. One song to the next pulled me though the scene. Once that loud music got into my blood there was nothing like it. ~My Punk@lullaby, Journal One by Hudley Flipside.

Everyone is talking about our loss of Tom Petty. A guy whose songs play on the radio. I mean one cannot go by a day without hearing one of his songs. It wasn’t always that way. A guy from Gainesville, Florida that made it big. You can read his story. I will be focusing on one song that has magnified in my life. I am sure also too, all the good girl and bad boys of the San Fernando Valley.

Free Fallin’” is the opening track from Tom Petty‘s solo debut album, Full Moon Fever (1989). Ya one can hear it all the time.

It is a strange song because it always makes me embarrassed because he is singing about my life. That is what good song writing does. It is inclusive. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley! I grew up walking Ventura Blvd every day. I played in the Hills of Mulholland too! Loving Elvis and riding my horse were real! It all happened for me in the 1970s. Somehow this song and the lyrics especially speak of a punk edge, a drug edge… and that wildness.

The conflict between the good girls and the bad boys is real. In my life I did not stay home with a broken heart because I eventually joined the vampires on Ventura Blvd. I instead, ironically,  headed east with the bad boys. Yet I know what he is taking about.

I wonder how he knew so much about the valley for not actually growing up there. I guess some help from other artists he knew. Or found this insight hanging with friends and listening to their stories. He does dig deep into the experience of being a valley girl or guy. Anyone that grew up here as a kid all the way through to their teens has done some “free fallin’…over Mulholland.”

“I wanna glide down over Mulholland

I wanna write her name in the sky

I’m gonna free fall out into nothin’

Gonna leave this world for awhile”

Ya been there done that!! It is an amazing song for me and I always feel like he is singing about my generation! Us Valley Kids. Kind of like Social Distortion’s song Hwy 101,

“Listen to the boulevard, listen to the falling rain

I believe in love now, with all of its joys and pains

Sick boy, sick girl, looking nice dressed up on a Saturday night

Take a walk downtown for a while and chase the pale moonlight

I can still hear the mission bells and the train rolling’ through your town

Goanna leave this world behind, we’re Southern California bound.”

Chatsworth Tunnel

Chatsworth_Tunnel_27.jpg (936×960) waterandpower.org

I never went to a Tom Petty show or bought one of his records!  Social Distortion I knew like the back of my hand once. Both reached a place of musical fame. We should honor them for their generational symbol of something unique and different in this world. In music, however, they manifest in our life or culture as something special about a way of life. Both songs hold value in my life and tell a damn good story. One that we all can relate too. Especially if you have been there and experienced it personally.

 

Shelly and her Mare

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Shelly rode a beige mare, maybe a Palomino, but I forgot which breed, regardless she was a smart horse. Shelly and her horse lived in Burbank and came to visit. A horse trailer brought the mare over to stay with Sony in his corral.  That mare taught Sony how to get out of his corral. There were two wood posts that slid into two metal u supports, which secured the entrance to Sony’s corral. Shelly’s mare pushed under the two posts with her nose and sent the two horses free one summer day. After that, I had to secure the entrance with a nylon rope. Otherwise, Sony was found roaming the hillside on his own. He even charged up Canoga Ave once. He found his way home again. One thing I could always count on was; hay and oats were always on a horse’s mind.  Lucky for us the hills were open and wild, and not as many cars traveled the roads back then. We lived in the outback.

Shelly was not a fool, she was Sicilian, smart and manipulative and came from a broken home. Ruff and Shelly had a lot in common. They read a lot of books together and kept up with the news. Shelly told me once,

“If you read the back pages of any newspaper, Holly, you can find homicides, strange stories and unusual articles in any paper!”

Ruff, Shelly, and I rode miles together. We knew all the trails that lead to Mulholland Hwy. Sometimes we explored new places like Warner Center; when it was still farmland.  The fields of horses and farm animals, were one of my favorite places to visit. Riding on asphalt through the small city of Woodland Hills to get to Warner farms was a challenge. Letting the horses take dumps in unusual places was nasty. Yet, trotting away laughing together are some of my best memories. We were the Three Musketeers.

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Next to the pumpkin gardens, on Warner farms, we chased wild rabbits. Sometimes we visited the stables on Canoga Ave, near the 101 freeway. It was the early 1970s. We could look through all the old equipment that was still housed in big red barns.  I was enchanted by the large leathers that were used for Horse Drawn Buggies, but every type of thing that was used to groom a horse was there. Some of the items were over 50 years old or older. A few times we were invited to let our horses roam free in the large fenced glen. Then, we drank cool drinks and ate our home-made lunches.

Often, after riding a few hours, the three of us would go back to my home on Arcos Drive and make our crazy salads. Anything and everything went into those delicious salads. Tuna, tomatoes, olives, eggs, ham, and lettuce. We then made up a vinegar based dressing mixed with Good Food mayonnaise. We turned up the stereo while eating. The house loudly sang Elton John songs on that wild hill in the San Fernando Valley.