Is That a Banana in Your Pocket?

Photo by Tenaya HillsIt's a quarter past Entourageon Sunday, and Commie Girl is half a day's journey down the coast in Mexico, toasting the sunset as she double fists the dregs of a three-dollar bottle of merlot and a blended strawberry margarita—or an M. Giddy, as I imagine that MaryReillygal calls them these days. Sure, she's trapped in a trailer—no Internet, phone, SixFeetUnderor even her much-adored Gray'sAnatomy.But at least she's drunk.

In Mexico.

Me? Sober.

In SantaAna.

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So, last week, Becca decided she needed a holiday.And then she decided that she didn't have any time to write her column. And thenshe decided that she needed someone—ahem—to write it for her.

Which brings us now—and me, on Thursday, July 28—to the first floor of the Walker Building on Long Beach's Pine Avenue, where I nestled among the No, Really,Paul Frank Is My Friend For Seriousersat the launch for Frank's latest collection, PaulFrankforAndyWarhol.

It blew.

* * *

Justkidding!As a collection, Frank's is verily impressive and haute—surprising, considering how much I detest that stupid monkey. Of course, the banana—you know, The Banana—is everywhere: on wallets, on belts, even fashioned into a wrist bag. It was everywhere, too, at the party: wallpapered on the backdrop behind the digital photo booth, printed on banana-shaped balloons clinging to the ceiling, projected on one of the space's looming concrete walls.

But it's Frank's attention to Warhol's early sketches and drawings from when he was a graphic designer for fashion mags—simplistic illustrations of bugs, butterflies, lips and ladies printed onto sleek leather totes and wallets—that will likely leave both tweensand their moms drooling. Or something. But most people at the launch—myself included—seemed more interested in downing as many free cans of Sparksas possible than they were in gawking at sterile displays of not-yet-available-for-purchase accessories.

Either way, Warhol? Still dead.And Paul Frank? Bro's gonna get, uh, richer.Maybe?

* * *

Just kidding! Seriously, I'm looking forward to snagging at least a wallet and bag when they hit shelves this fall. So is Debbie Harry, who was also at the party, decked out in a teensy shimmery thing and chatting with someone. Okay, so she wasn't really so much "talking to someone" as just talking, period, and it wasn't really so much "Debbie Harry" as it was a clip of her from Downtown81projected on another wall. Still, you know: it was just likeshe was there. Basquiat, too.

In fact, intentionally or not, Paul Frank's people made an admirable attempt at turning the launch into a full-blown Factoryrave. Well, as Factory as you can get in a downtown Long Beach apartment building and minus all the drugsand nudityand haircutsand sleeping and sex and other niceties. There was a sundae bar (in tribute to another of Warhol's sketches, also emblazoned on a tote and the best piece in the collection), the aforementioned photo booth (15 Minutes of Fame, OMG!!!), some live footage of TheVelvets(projected on yet another wall, and purchased, sources say, from Costa Mesa's very own indie record store on the move, Third Eye Records; don't miss the free in-store show when BadDudesdrop by on Friday, Aug. 5), and, uh, lots of overplayed '80s music.

Like I said: it was admirable. Warhol, most assuredly, was either turning over or jumping up and down shouting "Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!" in his grave. You never can tell with these things.

* * *

Just kidding! By most accounts—well, save for one from the grizzled soul that is Chris Ziegler—the party was a smash, though it seems tough to go wrong these days if you mix retro kitsch, sundaes, free booze, an "Another One Bites the Dust"/"Hollaback Girl" mash-up and banana-in-your-pocket jokes and then throw in every scenester this side of the 710.

In just the first 30 seconds alone, I bumped into a very smiley JasonValdezfrom the Memphis Group—smiley for any number of reasons: Memphis' 10-year anniversary later this month; Detroit's Broadcastgig in October, the band's first stateside date; or perhaps Memphis Group's latest project (hint: rhymes with "bay gar").

Also seen: LAWeeklyphotog and freakbait Mark the CobraSnake; Long Beach It Girl, future mayor and owner of used bookstore/art gallery Open, S Reed; every single person who ever went to Catholic schoolin Long Beach; as well as local girl-nailer Joey Josh, local instrument-player Robfrom DaysEndand local instrument-genius-er Ikey Owens.

Not seen? Why, that would be Commie Girl.

But I did nurse a nice eight-hour hangover the next day.

She so owes me one.

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