Observations from a Grrr! Guy

Hard Rock | Joe Eszterhas | Dreamers

Nobody Ever Sweats in Sweats Anymore

There used to be a time when you would throw on a pair of gray Wilson cotton sweats — remember the ones with the drawstring? And you'd go outside and play or go to the gym to do some activity that actually made you sweat.

Not anymore.

These days, sweats are expensive duds designed more for their hip factor than their versatility.

Then again, nobody really "sneaks" in their sneakers either, so perhaps it's time we start looking for more appropriate names for our fashions.

I never really understood why a pocketbook wasn't really a book at all, but a bag. I know there's some logical reason we call them pocketbooks, but that reason has probably long since become an anachronism.

I hit the Hard Rock Casino in Vegas over the weekend, and sweats were in high fashion. Women wear them cut low, with some kind of an inscription on their behinds.

Guys wear those "sweats" that are made of some kind of swish-swish-swish material, and you can hear them coming from a mile away. But hey, they're expensive, so they must be nice. I guess.

There's also the "perfect jean" phenomenon happening among the '20s and early '30s set. These are usually Diesel or Lucky Brands, and they go for about $200. They too have some kind of pattern on the behinds, and are all pre-washed, pre-shrunk and pre-distressed.

These days, buying jeans is a lot like buying furniture.

Anyway, I am suspect of any of you gentlemen out there who just have to have the "right" pair of jeans for the Hard Rock or the bar at the Beverly Wilshire in Los Angeles. I really am.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not questioning your manhood. And I really don't see any wrong with trying to look good. But there seems to me a disproportionate amount of time and money being spent by men involving the perfect outfit for every setting.

I covered the MTV Video Music Awards in a suit. On my way over to Radio City, someone asked me why I wasn't wearing a pair of ripped jeans, motorcycle boots, and a patterned, wrinkled shirt hanging out?

"Because that's not who I am," I replied.

Be yourselves, gents.


And then there's Rehab, the most happening pool party since Dennis Kozlowski's $2 Million Greek bash.

Every Sunday at the Hard Rock, a few hundred of the most in-shape people in Sin City don their bathing suits and sport their buff bods and tattoos for everyone to see.

Early in the morning, I noticed a guy in the elevator wearing nothing but his bathing suit, no doubt ready for the big party.

I asked the guy if was going to rehab. He replied with an enthusiastic "F'ing A right, man!" I reminded him that the party didn't start until noon. It was 5 a.m. "It's never too early to be ready for Rehab, bra," he replied.

That's when I got on the phone to JetBlue and changed my flight from 5 p.m. to 10:30 a.m., and I got the heck out of Dodge. If there were ever a moment when I realized that I was too old to partake in the festivities, that was it.

And if you're wondering what I was doing awake at 5 a.m., I was still on New York time, and my ears were still ringing from the Guns N' Roses concert that I attended at The Joint, an intimate rock hall at the south end of the casino.

This place is extremely cool, and remarkably organized for a rock hall.

Being the Grrr guy that I am, I was fully expecting a repeat performance by Axl Rose of his disastrous MTV Music Awards appearance a few years ago.

I was shocked to hear the singer in excellent voice, and giving a high-energy performance. I was sure there had to be a back-up track involved, until he started ad libbing his more popular tunes, and I became a Axl convert.

Of course, this isn't the original Guns N' Roses, but with Axl at the helm and some pretty good rockers on guitar, bass and drums, these guys sound legit enough.

Phantom Planet opened for Axl.

My one Grrr! is when the lead singer said his next song was about Charles Manson, but then, with all the noise and a lack of elocution, no one could understand any of his lyrics anyway. That's OK. I'm not a Manson fan, so missing the meaning of the tune didn't make me lose any more sleep than I already was.

They did do a super-cool rendition of "Phantom of the Opera," however, and I really enjoyed their performance.

I'm a little amazed (or is it dazed?) at the triumphant return of the '80s hair bands. These guys are getting older, like Tommy Lee, Gilby Clarke and Jason Newsted of SuperNova, but they're still cool as rockers.

Welcome back, Axl. Good luck with the new GnR.

'the Devil's Guide To Hollywood'

Once again, a brutally honest book from Hollywood's bad boy is on bookstore shelves, and I couldn't put this one down until I read through the epilogue about "Sacred Cows."

If you want to know what you're in store for, read the epilogue first. It's one of those stories that is too good, too bizarre and too crazy to make up.

With anecdotes and the kind of advice anybody with a screenplay and a dream could and should use, "The Devil's Guide to Hollywood — The Screenwriter as God!" is chock-full of inside stories that will make your head spin.

Eszterhas, who battled throat cancer just a few years ago and lost most of his larynx in a life-saving (and changing) operation, has been on death's door. As the author of "Flashdance," "Basic Instinct," "The Jagged Edge," "Sliver," "Telling Lies in America" and five best-selling books, he's got what Hollywood likes to call "F-U money."

In other words, he's not afraid to tell it like it is, and here he takes some of the most revered screenwriters to task for doing anything for money, or for compromising their stories to appease a star or a movie studio.

"I think that, unfortunately, there's been a tradition of saying, um, do it for the money, don't care about it, don't put your heart and gut into it, and I disagree with that," Eszterhas told me in an interview for The Real Deal right here on FOXNews.com.

"If you care about what you've written and it comes from your heart, then I don't think you can tolerate someone changing it or saying 'you have to do it this way' without at least getting into a gigantic brawl that brings them to the wall."

"The Devil's Guide to Hollywood" is in stores now.

Video: Watch Joe Eszterhas Interview

Stupid Lit'l Dreamers

It's been awhile since we had a Stupid Lit'l Dreamer mention, so let me refresh your memories. Stupid Lit'l Dreamers are not stupid at all, but are naive enough to have a dream, and to work hard to make their dream become reality.

Two years ago, Marc Giller had his first book published, called "Hammerjack," and I featured it in the column and on The Real Deal Webcast. Giller has since written a sequel to the book, called "Prodigy," which is due out Sept. 26 from Bantam.

Giller was kind enough to mention me in his acknowledgements, but in an even cooler turn of events, named one of his main characters Straka. Hey Marc, do I live or die? I guess I'll just have to buy the book and see.

In return, I've asked Marc to provide a blurb for the back of the Grrr! Book as well.

More Stupid Lit'l Dreamers on the music scene, and I'm not just talking about the rockers from "Rock Star: Supernova" — whose lead singer position went to the awesome singer Lukas Rossi, or even that juggernaut "American Idol," which bows again in January.

I'm talking about some of the L.A. dreamers who pour their blood, sweat and tears into their music and work persistently toward a record deal, like the new band UltraViolet, found on MySpace.

These guys are reminiscent of so many great bands, it's hard to compare their sound to any of them, but because of the synthesizer, I hear a lot of the B-52's influence in some of the tracks.

According to their MySpace page, "ULTRAVIOLET is light. love. hunger. beats. change. an opinion. a motivation. world domination. no limitations."

UltraViolet just finished up their debut CD, "Fast, Cheap, and out of Control," and will be performing at the launch party, also on Sept. 26, at The Viper Room in West Hollywood.

Be sure to stop in if you're in town.

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