A year or two ago, Bridget Jones' Diary was soothing the hearts of fat girls like a delicious Twinkie, and every sitcom season finale centered on the hero getting hitched (anybody remember Christina Applegate as Jessie?). It was easy ratings—and the lazy writers cynically assumed we would all turn out in our best garden-party hats to see: Would Monica marry Chandler? Would Rachel marry Ross? Would Ross marry that shrill, controlling British chick? (No, not the one from Weakest Link; a different one!) And what about Suddenly Susan? Who would be beside her at the altar? Judd Nelson? The salsa-hot photographer? Or that slab of manmeat from Silk Stalkings who in real life married Melrose Place's Josie Bisset?
At around that time, a cultural critic pointed out (good and sneeringly) that anyone paying attention to pop culture at the fin de millenne would assume the driving force of the universe was the marital prospects of middle-class urban white women in their 20s and 30s. And she was right. (Now would be a great time to announce that my homegirl Arrissia Owen is wedding her bloke, Nic Turner—who's darling!—at the end of October. She will be beautiful. And y'all missed out when you had the chance. Ha!)
But the fact that weddings became a sitcom clich long ago (about the time That Girl married Donald Hollinger) doesn't make a real-life wedding any less beautiful; the only event that can squeeze more tears from my pretty blue eyes is a good long-distance commercial. I love weddings! I do!
So when OC Weekly columnist (and confirmed bachelor, without the homosexuality that implies) Jim Washburn married hairdresser/photographer Leslie Smith on Aug. 25 at Corona del Mar's Oasis Senior Center, I stayed by the mother of the bride (whose own wedding dress Leslie was wearing to smashing effect; hubba hubba!) to record for you, the public, that she was really schnockered. God loves drunk, old Jewish ladies! L'Chaim!
There were lots of famous people representing: longtime friend of Jim (without the homosexuality that implies) Jonathan Richman stood about, looking weird and uncomfortable (the There's Something About Mary troubadour doesn't like to be around too many electric appliances; he once told me he often unplugs his refrigerator so it doesn't interfere with his magnetic field—or something). Richman is such a cult hero for songs like "Pablo Picasso (Was Never Called an Asshole)"—though to be honest, I prefer the Burning Sensations version of his song, off the Repo Man soundtrack—that Weekly music writer Chris Ziegler almost vomited with excitement at just hearing that Richman was physically somewhere in the county, most likely with his fridge turned off.
The guys from SCOW, a collective of musicians and social terrorists who extol the virtues of laziness and create non-events to promote their music, cooked 75 pounds of tri-tip for the reception, while their big-pupiled friend Aaron bummed cigarettes and followed groups of women into the ladies room; Laguna Beach painter (once named by the Weekly OC's Best Artist) Jorg Dubin married the pair, reading a sermon written by Jim that quoted Rilke and Clint Eastwood; and Chris Gaffney and the Cold Hard Facts(often named by the Weekly OC's Best Band) played Cash covers and their own bittersweet songs about your loser brother who lives in Fontana and has a kitchen for his farm. Get it?
It was a lovely afternoon, filled with potato salad and little bottles of soap bubbles. All our best love goes to Leslie and Jim.
From the senior center, we went up to Linda's Doll Hut for the El Dorados reunion, with my boyfriend-type person, Bob, changing in the car; apparently the El Dorados were a big deal back in The Day. But they hadn't played in 10 years, and I am not old, so I was ill-prepared for the smashing (and smashed) trio. But weren't there four of them? Sure, but singer/lead guitarist Bryan Doidge likes to make like he's Hank Williams III (or Hank Williams I, for that matter) and take off without a word to his band mates—before the set begins.
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Caroline Movement's opening set was Neil Young-wheezy followed by Replacements-moody rock & roll. The audience was buzzing trying to figure out who the band—of whom nobody had ever heard—might be. Whoever they are, they are fantastic. Watch for 'em.
And the El Dorados? They're dirty, dirty men (mmmm, dirt!)—and in this case, since they were Doidge-challenged, they were fronted by Bob, who was helped with the lyrics by Larry because Bob was too drunk to remember them.
They screamed through Johnny Thunders covers like "There's a Little Bit of Whore in Every Little Girl" and their own songs like "White Trash Weekend" (featuring the immortal couplets, "Fell down in the shower/I felt the power/Of a bottle of Night Train/Don't think I know my name") while people like producer Jim Monroe (Manic Hispanic and Joyride, we think) held up Linda's back wall. But the most delightful bit of the evening may have been seeing former LA Times music critic Mike Boehm, a portly married-guy type, playing air guitar. Wheedly wheedly! Whee!