She’s the Angeleno’s Angeleno. The first that ever succeeded in being famous just for being herself and plastering it literally everywhere that mattered. Chances are, your favorite A-List celebrity adores her, and has a minor freak-out if/when they meet her. She is A n g e l y n e, and she is legend.
See that? This is how she promoted herself - the old school way. Before smartphones, apps, and “influencers”. The legend goes a little something like this: one day in the super-early 80s, Los Angeles woke up, went outside, and was surprised to see a smattering of billboards had popped up seemingly overnight, each of them featuring Angelyne posed ever-so-sensually, with her name emblazoned across each one. This created a minor media frenzy. Who was this woman? Why her? How can we interview her? Although cryptic, the campaign was meant to promote her first album (more on that in a bit). Consequently, because this woman and her manager had the audacity to create her own media moment rather than waiting around for someone else to do it, she was rewarded with small film roles, interviews, photo shoots, notoriety, and fame.
So what’s the relevance here? Why am I writing this? Because yours truly won a chance to take a free ride with her in her pretty pink Corvette!
When you walk into Ozzie Dots in Hollywood, you’ll find a receptacle on one of the counters, encouraging you to fill out a form for a chance to take a ride. Names are not pulled on a regular basis, however. Only when she might have a gap in her schedule, which doesn’t happen often. So it’s very serendipitous when you receive a text from Angelyne’s personal secret agent man congratulating you on winning a free ride with her. I was in Canada, at dinner, when the text came through, and I couldn’t believe it… but then again, I could. It’s so very surreal, and there’s no other word that can sum up life in Los Angeles.
So on the afternoon of April 15th, I met with secret agent Scott Hennig at the Coffee Bean on Vine and Sunset.
Sweet antici... pation.
His function is to coordinate a lot of her in-person meetups, let riders know what to expect, and put them at ease. We had a great conversation about Angelyne, her staying power, and the kind of character one must exhibit in order to maintain success in this town. Keyword: graciousness.
Scott Hennig shows off his published drawings of Angelyne.
After a short while, in walked the lady of the hour. Heads turned. I couldn’t hold in my grin.
I really wanted to ask her some interview-style questions, but nothing came to me. So I went with this: why does she do this whole “win a free ride” thing? Short answer: so that by the end of the ride, the rider has become an Angelyne disciple.
So what does that even mean? Simply that you and I, in every moment, are fully present, showing up as our full and total true selves, as a positive example for others to follow. And then the people watching us do it for themselves, and then on and on. So now I understand what the woman has been doing all these years, and why people like me have such a positive reaction to her.
In every moment, she’s telling the truth of herself, and it supports her. I love it.
After our chat we headed to her pink Corvette and hit the roads of Hollywood. The drive was epic, and I can’t think of a single moment in my life that I was bathed in so much pink. She trades her Corvette in for a new one every few years, just so you know. Next, she put on her second album “Driven to Fantasy”, and I was was blown away by what I heard from the stereo.
Album cover for Angelyne's first record, "Angelyne" (1982)
Album cover for Angelyne's second record, "Driven to Fantasy" (1986)
YOU. GUYS. If you love Vanity 6, The B-52s, new wave, post-punk, then you’d LOVE this record. It's seriously so good. Unfortunately, it’s been out of print for a long time, so even if you wanted a CD, it would be something like $50 or more. She has no plans for streaming at the moment. I’m crushed, cause I’ll tell you now; “Flirt”, “Kiss Me LA”, and “Skin Tight” are absolute BANGERZ and I’d love to add them to the playlist of any show I’d be MCing. Right now, I’m fantasizing about planning and producing a version of The Function that’s like a listening party for her album.
Our ride came to an end, and she let me off on a corner convenient for me to catch the train to my next engagement.
Don't sass us, we'll sass YOU! Special thanks to Scott Hennig for capturing this photo of me with Angelyne.
Having the opportunity to converse with and enjoy the hospitality of a living Hollywood legend was peak Angeleno, and no drugs or alcohol were involved. And since that day, I really have been making more of an effort “come come out of hiding” and really show up in a visual way. Not to people-please (fuck y’all, and fuck pretty), but to send a signal to certain people out there, who may run across me, and may find comfort in my appearance. It feels strange for me to even type those words, but the proof is in the pudding; I’ve encountered lots of trust, non-creepy smiles, and gifts out of nowhere ever since making the conscious effort not to hide.
Hiding is easy. Showing up is brave. Let’s spread bravery. That’s how we can be disciples of Angelyne.
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