Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Welcome to my new blog!
The story you are about to read was a spoken word piece i did for the 1999 compilation "Drinking From Puddles". My new memoir collection, Showgirl Confidential will be published in late September on Punk Hostage Press.

A book signing party for Showgirl Confidentialwill take place Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013 at Skinny's Lounge, 4923 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA, 6:30-9:30pm. The official launch party & reading is Wednesday, October 16, at Skylight Books,1818 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz,CA, at 7:00pm.
 Both events are free!

The Monsanto exhibit in all it's retro glory

These days, we cringe when we hear the name  "Monsanto" , because we all associate it with GMO crops and Round Up.  But to anyone who grew up in Southern California in the 1960's through the 1980's,  Monsanto had a  decidedly different connotation!


The Monsanto exhibit at Disneyland was apparently one of their first…back in the days before Anaheim was such an urban crush, when all there was to the Magic Kingdom was a space-age mono-rail, a few whirling teacups and the powder-blue sparkly stucco walls of “It’s A Small World”, it’s countenance rife with fifties-style clock faces
Monsanto was about the wonders of the future-it was a conveyor ride,you got in these little pods, private capsules, and went on a dramatic odyssey through a single fiber of polyester…or something.
There was a huge cheesy eyeball as you rounded a bend, and a booming voice like “Mr. Wizard” explaining that you’d actually shrunk to sub-minuscule proportions and were being viewed by a scientist through the lens of a high-powered microscope.
Yeah, right!
A little later on, there was a large Styrofoam snowflake dangling on nylon cord; most of the glitter it had been covered with had worn off. These were the two landmarks, usually the only two things anyone noticed…because Monsanto was synonymous drugs and sex.
Just say the magic word, “Monsanto” to anyone who grew up in Southern California
during the sixties and seventies and a fond, nostalgic look will come over their faces, while they remember their first kiss…or their first hit of windowpane…or the last of the half pinto of southern Comfort. They’ll sigh and think of  splitting a Quaalude followed by  a sweaty, ten-minute sessions of unbridled teenage lust with someone they just  met in line for the Matterhorn, or the first maniac twinges of LSD laughter.
Monsanto was definitely the place all deals were transacted,  the place relationships were nearly consummated, the place drugs took hold and  the place the one-hits you’d done in the parking lot kicked in for the duration.
It was the one place that the Disneyland Secret Police couldn’t see into-or at least, that’s the way rumor had it!
Monsanto was probably the singular most decadent place in Southern California, at least for those in the twenty-one and under age group. Everyone has a Monsanto story from those glory days before Space Mountain , before Captain EO, before Disney’s California Adventure.
This was b ack in the days when Disneyland was trying to be more than a theme park, but a fun educational  experience …and so manylearned the ropes in the darkness of Monsanto!  We had it down, man,we knew just how many seconds it took to finish off whatever you were doing  before the ride rounded the last bend and spit you mercilessly into the daylight.
Not too long ago, Disneyland was trying to streamline and modernize, and they tried to get rid of this huge talking statue of Abraham Lincoln. Public protest was widespread and loud -everyone wondered how Disneyland could be so harshso thoughtless as to remove a landmark like old Abe.
Finally, the powers that be in The Happiest Place On Earth had to relent – they left Mr. Lincoln Standing where he was even though most people just pass by him without a thought. But Monsanto…well, Monsanto, they just razed without any uproar at all-or at least there was no public outcry. One day it was there in there in all its Atomic Agestreamlined, hyperspace, worse-for-the-wear, impossibly outdated tacky modern grandeur and the next, it was gone.
Didn’t anyone remember?
Didn’t anyone care?
How could they get rid of Monsanto?
For a little while, the implications were terrible, heads shook in disgust. Monsanto was high art, it was like a secret clubhouse known to only a few hipsters. It was a closely guarded treasure that will, in this day and age of high-tech gloss super-special FX, CPG and neon art director’s scrawls never ever happen again.
Monsanto said a lot about the Baby Boom Generation: what the general public thought went on…and what really happened.


  1. Is it true that Orson Welles provided the voiceover narration? Loved that ride, especially on a hot day.

  2. My folks took us to Disneyworld in Florida in 1979. We stayed in the Contemporary Hotel, the one where the monorail comes right through the lobby. We stayed in the Monsanto Suite! I feel you on this.

  3. Love the stories, I started at the beginning and working my way through. I keep on having to stop reading and google locations to see what they look like today!
    Here's a video of the Monsanto ride on YouTube