The Black Earth V. 2 ___________________A T T R A C T I O N S___________________Draconis Blackthorne

~ Treasures of The Golden Pharaoh, The Endeavor, Goosebumps! | Hollywood Forever | Evergreen Cemetery | Vampira Exhibit | Elvira at Golden Apple Comics | Elvira's Sinema Seance, Big Top, Asylum | Memento Vivere | Devin Black Haunts | Labyrinth Park | The Devil Goes To Hollywood | Gumby Gallery ~

King Tut: Treasures of The Golden Pharaoh, The Endeavor Space shuttle, Goosebumps! The Science of Fear

California Science Center
700 Exposition Park Drive | Los Angeles, CA 90037 | website

As an extension of Walpurgisnacht celebrations, which usually stem from a week prior to a week after, I had the pleasure of traveling unto the USC Science Center wherein the prized Endeavor space shuttle & King Tut exhibit are being held, along with a couple of other interesting displays besides, such as a shadowmantic display on phobias and fears entitled "Goosebumps: The Science of Fear", which is of course a special extra attraction. planes
Wright Brothers era aircrafts and staggerwings on display above the foyer.

Located near the center of the city proper, on the outskirts of the USC campus this is within a sprawling property with several floors filled with resources. Upon entering, one immediately receives a sizable impression of a large poster depicting the exhibits presented within.

GOOSEBUMPS! Fear Exhibition

One descends into a black and dimly lit chambers, each dedicated to a different and stimulating fear to be understood and utilized Phobias to be traversed, with interactive exercises, from a little living room reminiscent to that from the Monsters opening, and otherwise where one could easily imagine a Horror movie scenario to take place. You are invited to sit on the couch, and are treated to a fun educational informational presentation on Anxiety. On the bookcase, a series of various subject matter which have held societal paranoias and the dark history from the despicable, misnomered "witchtryals" {to whit: the only real so-called "Witch hunts" are those enacted in a salacious sense!}, to the Halloween scare, pandemics, swarms of killer bees, cryptids, urban legends , complete with exhibits like figurines and art. The Chupacabra figurine, jack o' lantern bucket, and Marvel action figures are a nice touch.

Wherein one proceeds to a shadowmantical chamber when one form is projected into a screen accompanied by a tree and a large predatorial feline, which is supposed to attack one's shadow, ripping and shredding with jaws and claws {...for indeed, such is the order of natural law}; yet strangely, when I did so, the beast did not attack, but allowed Me to walk all the way to the other side unharmed, while others were summarily torn to shreds. Then on to a series of enclosures each focusing on another fear and phobia, all of which are rated according to response:

  • The Fear of Falling: Featuring a device wherein one may inject oneself therein to experience the sensation of descension.
  • Fear of Loud Noises: An almost virtual 'psychomantium', one stares into a darkened screen wherein one's reactions are recorded when a loud bang resounds after a low droning, preparing the listener for a shock.
  • Fear of Electricity: Enter a chamber awash in red light {which reminded Me of My very own Noctuary}, wherein a Jacob's Ladder there emanates its static climb. You are invited to slip your finger into a sleeve wherein you will receive a shock likened touching someone after walking across a carpet.
  • Fear of animals: Some of the most common phobias include that of arachnids, serpents, and scorpions. There is an arrangement wherein three terrariums have a tube connected to a subterranean segment beneath them, wherein the dreaded creature resides out of sight. You are invited to submit your appendage.

Overall , fun for personal discovery. The only addition I would included would be the use of animatronic characters narrating the sections herein, considering most of those running through there did not seem to bother reading the descriptions available at each station.


The rest of the attractions herein involve pure scientific dynamics such as infrared displays, architectural techniques, and running a lightbulb on a crank. Automotive wonders, from a solar craft traversing upon land, the aerodynamics of turbulence, windpower, and a videogame featuring maneuvering a boat across San Francisco Bay. endeavor_full

The Endeavor

There are three overall levels beginning from the third floor down, until reaching the King Tut and Endeavor attractions. Enlarged photographs are displayed throughout the museum's walls from the historic event of moving The Endeavor through the streets of Inglewood and adjacent neighborhoods complete with emotions and expressions accompanying them.


I was fortunate enough to actually touch the Mars Rover itself personally, which actually still had the Mars dirt upon the metal wheels still, and physically touching one of the chairs from the actual control room which navigated the Endeavors's missions throughout its explorations, for the benefit of science and civilization. Eventually one arrives into a virtual ritual chamber room surrounding in filmographic images of Nature and the seasons in flux, which was absolutely beautiful. All this chamber necessitates is an Altar near The central pillar whereupon a Baphomet should be projected for absolute perfection.

Truly, entering in the presence of The Endeavor one can certainly feel the essence of greatness in that craft, bringing forth emotions that become tangible.

King Tut: Treasures of The Golden Pharaoh

The first time this exhibition came to town was in the 70's, which Dracovum adored everything about, and collected just about every little doodad she could that she found abouts. So when I heard that this attraction was returning, I felt it should be appreciated. Having had taken courses in Archeology, and a long-standing appreciation of the occulture in decorative themes to the utilization of certain archetypal personages, I had a special interest in investigating this compilation of treasures, which brought decided pleasures, again, to be in the presence of history. By far, besides the kanoptic jars, cartouches, segments of walls with hieroglyphs, Neter statuary, the splendid sarcophagus of the King Tutankhamen himself*, wrought in splendid gold.

All the exhibits are properly preserved in dimly lit quarters, with various furthering chambers, in a decent lighting intensity to display the given piece to experience its symmetry and detail in full. Without going into further detail, this is indeed a lifetime experience one should avail oneself of when and it it comes to your area.

* Though it has since been divulged as a small form of reference, that this boy king was indeed malarial, disabled, and inbred.
Hollywood Forever Memorial Park
Hollywood, CA

We decided to visit Hollywood Forever Memorial Park on this foggy morning. The resting place of many of those entertainers portraying archetypal characters throughout history, in a myriad of genres. A perusal herein will reveal that even in death, the show goes on...

With Paramount Pictures studios just 'round the corner, the marquee just outside the walls advertise for the forthcoming Day of The Dead celebration, which is quite a spectacle to behold, which is comprised of a parade of painted skeletons and ghouls, music, Aztec dancers, torches, incense burning, granting a primeval atmosphere overall. The resident Masonic Temple frequently acts like an auditorium, hosting everything from film viewings, rock bands, orchestras, performance artists, opera, art galleries, to vendors offering crafts as a token in the participation of this memento-mori experience. Most notable was Rosemary's Baby projected onto the mausoleum wall for movie night, which sometimes offers an all-night horror marathon. Considering their occupations, I somehow I do not think the permanent residents mind the multimedia displays at all.

The Masonic hall itself is an elegant structure inside and out, featuring a suspended "Eastern Star" within {'Lucifer's Pentagram', in My estimation, appropriately emitting a kaleidoscopic resonance}, with projections of light and sound upon the screen.

Spotted was the Hollywood Forever Cadillac hearse parked near the front, as if to state to the mortal observer, "Will this be your last ride?".

The grounds draw the eye towards the beautiful lake with sprouting fountains, occupied by swans, the occasional duck, and... Melek Taus! Throughout the grounds, one spots peacocks strutting about, and even a couple of cats. One little black & white fellow met Me at the Buddhist section {among the entrance of two guardian foo dog gargoyles, temple shrine, ornate spires, Buddha sits placidly amidst a stream and pond}, while a striped orange maincoon dwelled in the grass by the entrance; as a matter or fact, cats actually have their own corridor at Hollywood Forever cemetery, including black feeding bowls and water. There are even stone picnic tables and black iron swings here and there for an even more pleasant experience.

In the lawn between the mausoleum and the lake, is a veritable "Gravehenge" - five festooned monoliths positioned at the corners in a very familiar configuration, while at the end of a long "reflecting pool" flanked by spiral bushes, is the landmark Romanesque crypt of one Douglas Fairbanks, attended by another swan in repose. Gives the impression of a pool leading to a dioramic mansion.

Notable names to consider: To accompany the Vampira Exhibit at Wonderland Art Gallery, is Maila 'Vampira' Nurmi {take left at the information booth, then a right at the Griffith Gardens section, near Darren "Kolchak/The Night Stalker" McGavin; the ever-lovely Jayne Mansfield {cenotaph by the lake}; a statue of Johnny Ramone {cenotaph} displayed in his vital essence, complete with his sunglasses attached to the guitar; Mel Blanc, the voice of Bugs Bunny & various 'Loony Toons' characters, whose stone reads "That's All, Folks!"; Don Adams, whose most familiar characterization of Maxwell Smart holding shoe phone is engraved {Warning: this message will self-destruct in ten seconds!; & Cecile B. DeMille & family.

Finally, on the way around the Mausoleum, a series of small graves can be seen, some with balloons, toys, and in an ironic juxtaposition, a sign for a child care center just over the wall, from which the sounds of play can be heard.

Overall, Hollywood Forever is a splendid place to enjoy the theatre, the opera, a concert, observe nature, & even picnic with a loved one, surrounded in a placid, beautiful environment rich in showbiz history. ∞

Evergreen Cemetery
Los Angeles, CA.

There's nothing like a pleasant picnic at the cemetery, either in the early morning mist or near dusk, asserting that Life Is The Great Indulgence. This time, we decided on historic Evergreen, which contains such names like Lankershim, {Isaac Newton} Van Nuys [sic], & William Workman {see Workman's Ghost}, whose influence upon the development of the city have been honored to their nomenclatures from cities to street names throughout; and 'The Human Cannonball' Hugo Zacchini.

Located in the center of an unassuming neighborhood, the cemetery of course takes aesthetic prominence thereof, with graves from the magnificently ornate to simple plaques embedded into the black earth; and some much smaller markers are even edged up very closely to curbside.

Entering through ornate black wrought-iron gates, Evergreen Cemetery is a maze of sections twisting and winding through Halloween-hued flora and fauna. Considering the primary eras of interments, besides the largely Caucasian occupants, and some African-Americans, there are also specific sections divided into racial designations such as Japanese, Chinese, & Armenian, with traditional gravestones of same. There is even a so-called "Potter's Field", which was intended to bury the city's nameless and/or indigent, yet the sheer numerage eventually compounded exponentially, so as to necessitate a Crematorium to be built on premises.

To the welcoming squawks of ravens, we found ourselves a nice shady spot 'neath a three-pronged tentacled tree to partake in repast and libation, in the company of our feline companions. Amusingly, Nero [pictured] decided to climb the nearby tree in pursuit of a squirrel who responded with a couple of generally aimed nuts.

A beautiful stone-cobbled Gothic chapel adorns the center of the park, reminiscent of Hammer Films, and on this fortuitous day, a funeral was taking place, allowing for a peek within the usually-closed edifice, revealing a delightfully gloomy observation, even with the three crystal chandeliers looming above, or the thick glass festooned in the arched windows, allowing for only minimal light interruption, glowing upon the dark wooden pews.

Interestingly, the cemetery also features a "walking/jogging track" encircling the property outside the gates, in a juxtaposition between the 'living' and the dead, although a constitutional within preferably provides for an invigorating & contemplative perusal. ∞

Addendum: At night, the cemetery assumes a total darkness mode, as if a black veil of shadows engulfs the park completely, where even light cannot penetrate. No streetlights reflecting from any surfaces, and even seems to be resistant to flashlights, as if a localized black hole has enveloped the property. No light can be perceived originating from the other side of the park, either. ∞

Viva Vampira!
Location: Wonderland Art Gallery, Hollywood, CA.
Event: Vampira Exhibit.
Date of Attendance: 6/29/XLVIII A.S.

This particularly wicked weekend has certainly been quite the active one, in the wake of the Solstice, seemingly all sorts of favorable opportunities have surfaced. So when we became aware of this event honoring Vampira, it was a natural gravitation.

We departed the Noctuary at sunset, prepared to see this exhibit honoring the character Maila Nurmi brought to life in Vampira, Gothic Vamp Goddess of the 50's forever emblazoned in the history of sinema, and the darkest temptations of men, and is indelibly the inspiration of other likened characterizations such as Elvira, Mistress of The Dark, even Lily Munster & Morticia in many respects. The sultry, seductive, vampiric witch aesthetic.

Many photographs are appropriately represented within ornate frames {although painted in a bright red}. The studio features nicely wallpapered walls, marbled floors, and a crystal chandelier illuminating the display. In one corner, a pair of vintage televisions glow, which would have ideally presented the show when currently airing. In another corner, her bat-rimmed glasses in a case, and in another corner, a splendid throne chair. In still another corner of the gallery, a coffin-shaped guitar case featuring an image of Vampira suspended inverse like a bat. Among the exhibits, the legendary Plan 9 From Outer Space performance {including a photo of Bela Lugosi getting a taste}, her letter to James Dean, a foray to the beach, attendance at several gala events, even a sketch of herself in her remarkable skull-shaven appearance phase, all done to gothic elegance. Quite the show woman, to be sure!

Overall, it was indeed nice to see an exhibit deservedly honoring this progenitor horror hostess in all of her dark dimensions from her inception in Hellyweird, Los Diablos, & thus, spreading her veritable wings, unto the black earth at large.

So if you happen to be in the area, the exhibit remains until Halloween. ∞

Elvira at Golden Apple Comics

Having enjoyed her Horror Hostess performances {and somewhat bawdy sense of dark humor, which was actually one of the reasons she was selected as representing the 'Belial' earth hellement as one of the sinematic Four-Crown Queens of Helloween} since Draclinghood with Movie Macabre & her subsequent films Elvira, Mistress of The Dark, & Elvira's Haunted Hills, which are a frequent pleasure, I had the opportunity to meet with Elvira this afternoon at Golden Apple Comics in Hollywood. A very pleasant, and beautiful lady, & most definitely an E.C.I. as well. I was pleased to receive her autograph which shall be placed within the DVD case containing the movies.

Then it was off to Pink's where she promoted her "Double-D Dog" {all vegetarian; probably tofu & soy, accompanied by two onion rings exemplifying the name}, very novel, although being quite the carnivore Myself, I would side with either the 'Hoff Dog' {basically, a krout dog, containing a mountain of pastrami, sauerkraut and Bavarian mustard}, an 'Ozzy Dog' {Nacho cheese, American cheese, grilled onions, guacamole & chopped tomatoes}, or a 'Huell Dog' {Chili, cheese, mustard, onions in one bun}.

Overall, a pleasing interchange in appreciation for what this actress has provided in jovial entertainment, preferential aesthetics & subject matter, topped with a hearty meal. ∞

Videos of the events
* Elvira Mistress Of The Dark signing autographs 7/1/2012.
* Elvira Mistress Of The Dark @ Pink's Hot Dogs in L.A. 7/1/2012.
ELVIRA's Knott's Scary Farm

Sinema Séance

This is much closer to the quintessential Mistress of The Dark. The Gotherotic elegance interspersed with the bawdy sense of humor. This performance harkens back to her first shows, and would like to see more of the type, perhaps with less 'rap' and more Rock, or even Burlesque.

The acrobatic zombie dancers are good at what they do, I suppose, but the choice in music tends to bring the production down to an almost ghetto level, but only while they are on stage, while Elvira brings all the balances together nicely. ∞

As an odd side note, it seems that during the time I was reacquainting Myself with the videos and recollection of events to compose the review, a fatal car crash occurred involving five people on their way back from Knott's Scary Farm where Elvira's Big Top takes place. ∞

Elvira's Big Top

Only two scant performances from the Hallow Queen per show this year, but it is interesting to see her explore other themes with the show. The Circus-Carnival act worked as well, and as a matter of fact, this year we have ironically seen much more of her than usual {not counting the choice magazines, of course}, but also a bit less in appearance, at the beginning and conclusion.

Considering the duration of these two other performers, the sword swallower and the contortionist {who gave Me a few salacious ideas...}, it seemed like it was they that were being showcased almost as much as Elvira - like she is being generous with her notoriety.

The rap bit stems from her performance in the first film, and was rather novel, but I would like to personally see more original songs incorporated instead of these pop parodies/modifications, for she is very well capable of it. ∞

Elvira's Asylum
Knott's Scary Farm

This year The Mistress of The Dark's show is themed to an assylum, with plenty of pleasantly salacious displays; Elvira is delectable as ever, an immortal beauty, including a nice little nurse's outfit with a slit up the side, in a sort of mini-skirt version of her dress, with a silver number for the final number; and of course, her ribald humor is always a treat loaded with double entendres.

The music for the show is primarily electronic and industrial themed, while the mental patients include a burlesque trapeze artist and several dancers, all of whom are reigned in by a fetishistic dominatrix nurse. The show definitely leans towards a sado-masochstic flavor this time around, but with no real interactive audience participation this time. ∞

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Covina Hills, CA

In a more somber vain, we had a visit to the cemetery this afternoon, accompanied by an urn of autumn leaves, another wishing to pay their respects.

I maintain that cemeteries are preferential parks {'memorial parks'} to that of common public 'recreation parks' to spend a delightful afternoon with a significant other for a picnic when visiting, also thus asserting the great dichotomy of life and death. Even whatever herd may be spotted are donned in black, and are quiet, well behaved, making for a much more pleasant experience. Ideally, the repaste would be the favored meal of the honored.

As I stood there with the graveyard winds increasing, I recalled the Lovecraftian quote "That is not dead which can eternal lie. Yet with strange aeons even death may die." {The Call of Cthulhu}, & "If I be dead, or seem to be, then death can not come to me." from the Danse Macabre parade witnessed this past Renaissance Faire. Poignant contemplations for the lover of life.

The Old Man & Grandma Christmas

We visited with a sterling gentleman, who was a marine, who received a 21 gun salute. He actually referred to Me as 'The Undertaker', and I believe he would probably refer to the photo as 'The Undertaker At Work'. Standing 6' 7", he was a man like Paul Bunyan; "as big as the land, as tall as the sky, truly one of a kind.", a 'they certainly don't make them like him anymore' type. He enjoyed being referred to "The Old Man", who could actually prop up a car like a jack, & carry a battery without a care. Somewhat like a MacGyver, though primarily focused with automotive & house ware, he could fix seemingly anything. He was a man of few words whose physical strength & determination were inspiring. Quite a character whose Ford truck matched his personality, and when the camper was attached, he took it all over this great land. His last great trip was to Mount Rushmore; an archival photo shows him in front of it, looking like he could have carved it himself!

The Old Man seemed a combination of John Wayne & Johnny Cash. I actually once burned a copy of "The Essential Johnny Cash" for him as a gift. The song The Highwayman reminds Me of his indelible 'spirit'. Requiescat in pace, Marine.

His lovely wife, a truly charming lady in all respects, who I cherishably refer to "Grandma Christmas", for that was her favorite holiday, and would go all out to present that magic for her family & friends, creating the total environment, with the sights, scents, and sounds of this yule celebration for anyone fortunate enough to have experienced it with her. The quintessential 'cookie witch' type with whom all in her presence would be charmed by her compassionate graces, with her long white hair swirled up into a bun. I had the bittersweet honor of being a pallbearer for her. Requiescat in pace, beautiful lady.

Both stones are perfectly located right next to each other underneath the shade of an evergreen tree. On this occasion, I dug out the overgrown remainder of a root system of grass, freeing the earthen vase to place her flowers, as well as wrenching his compartment open for a flag. Quite a sight, I'm sure. Apparently, recent rains had been quite propitious in the area, and this is the least that could be done. While extracting his we were met by a little slug nicknamed 'Seymour'. We also spotted a nice tiki balloon.

A funeral procession then came slowly slithering up the twisting road. The grieving participants attired in their finest accouterments, with some of the ladies looking particularly ravishing, I must say, supplementing the earlier observation.

The Columbarium

Departing the grave site, we then made our way to the Romanesque Columbarium, containing marble and stone pathways within, leading to the garden behind the structure, featuring statues, as well as nooks with stone benches upon which to repose and reflect upon the fantastic panoramic view of some lovely homes on the hillsides & the valley below.

Finally, the return to The Noctuary through the shadowy winding hillsides during dusk yielded contemplative recollections and further indulgence. ∞

Labyrinth Park

Right to Left: Cross bridge, pass through 'gate' - Igloo {room enough to crouch low and/or sit cross legged; round room - crouching room; passing through the central "courtyard" on the right side, note the black spire; arrival at "jail" {barred room}; enclosed stair climb tower #2 onto 2nd floor platform & bridge which leads to climbing tower #1, leading down into secret passageways, low stoops leading to minimaze obstacles towards front of Labyrinth; 3rd far left tower contains external climbing rope and rope ladder.

I was recently reminded of this marvelous maze while watching an episode of Knight Rider entitled "Killer KITT" {though the park does appear in other episodes in several background shots as well as varying areas throughout the rest of the park like the playing field}. Known as The Labyrinth or Maze park, this is Sherman Oaks Park, now also known as "Castle Park".

This was a semi-regular Y Camp destination in remmus to spend the day, and otherwise just independently going year around, and it is great fun. I think the only thing I would foreseeably modify would be painting it stone gray or black {even "shades of black" - that is to say, various colors at their absolute darkest}, with or without textures.

Of course, the labyrinthine theme is reminiscent of HELLRAISER and LABYRINTH.

Passing across the bridge, one was sure to engage upon an adventure of epic proportions, by whatever land the imagination would conjure - it could be a castle, and one could be a knight; a monster inhabiting a haunted mansion; it could be a western towne a high noon, where one could be a Sheriff or desperado; it could be a pirate ship where one could be a buccaneer; perhaps even a space station, where one could be a character from STAR WARS, Star Trek, Flash Gordon, or Buck Rogers; maybe even a Noirsville as a detective or gangster.

There are varying sections throughout this labyrinth, with various levels or "stories", including a "jail"-like barred space with bench {however, this particular area tended to smell funny sometimes, like a lingering scent probably left over from hobos spending the night; otherwise, it was usually quite freshly cleaned early in the morning before arrival}, a tower to climb up and down within {with nice views up dresses}, various tunnels honeycombed throughout, other smaller bridges, additional 'hidden' stairwells, slides, climbing rope & ladders, false walls, all sorts of cubby-holes high and low in which to hide, watch, lay in wait, surprising playmates, even a central spire acting like a giant sundial.

A family could make an afternoon of it, reposing in the nearby grassy areas or roofed picnic tables. On the other side of the park is the baseball field and benches.

Seems a themed attraction was relocated nearby known as "Castle Park", yielding an enchanting ivy-covered castle structure, with minigolf, dragons, a moat, medieval decor, snackbar, while the former labyrinthine edifice was integrated into the recreational park a couple blocks away. ∞

Some Devin Black Haunts...

It has been said that The Devil has the best tunes, and I would agree - but one should know where to find them. Does 'He' lull with pan flute every now and then, calling one's gaze unto a hidden gem of a secret place to awaken the muses deep within? Verily, it must be so...

It is interesting to ponder what became of some establishments one would frequent once upon a timelessness. Even before moving out to the San Gabriel Valley, I frequented Auditory Odyssey, Licorice Pizza, and Rhino Records:

Auditory Odyssey {North Hollywood}: Located near Dracling haunts on Laurel Canyon Blvd. & Victory, practically across the street from Laurel/Valley Plaza, this front always intrigued Me. What initially caught My attention to this store was the large painting displaying an alluring naked woman on a black winged horse {sort of an 'evil Pegasus'}, along with the lettering and the black color of the store. Definitely stood out from the regular businesses near it. I remember seeing all sorts of great Metal LP's displayed in the shelves - particularly Cirith Ungol, Black Sabbath, KI⚡⚡ {right after they revealed their faces; although the 1st KI⚡⚡ records I ever purchased 'KI⚡⚡ Alive' & 'KI⚡⚡ Alive II' as a Dracling, were actually from the music section of a market, either "Market Basket" or "Alpha Beta"}, Iron Maiden {I would acquire "Live After Death" after the store had just closed one night while on My way out of town}, Judas Priest, others of a darker persuasion - and... The Mentors {specifically, "Get Up & Die" and "Live At The Whiskey A Go Go"; the first time I ever became aware of them - I would later be reminded when they were interviewed on KXLU by Spinoza Ray Prozak}. It was just pleasing to peruse therein, and may have been My first burgeoning with heavier music beyond rock.

Currently, the location recently housed a "smoke shop" named 'Dementia'*, which has also closed. Could the next occupants be Auditory Odyssey again? If so, I may make that My exclusive music store. ∞

* Ironically, even before the presentation of Uncle Fester's new girlfriend, I had named a lover 'Dementia', and appropriately so, considering she once complemented Me with a love letter written in her own blood.

Licorice Pizza {North Hollywood, CA}: Located a mere two blocks from Victory Blvd. Elementary, where I attended grades 1-5. It acquired its name from an Abbot & Costello skit. I purchased most all of My Hard Rock/Heavy Metal albums here, such as Mötley Crüe's 'Too Fast For Love' & 'Shout At The Devil', Twister Sister's 'Under The Blade' & 'Stay Hungry', RATT's 'Out of The Cellar', and possibly 'Eye of The Tiger' by Survivor - more of the mainstream music until venturing into Auditory Odyssey. Although it was in this store that I first became acquainted with that iconic demonic image of 'Abominog' on the cover of the Uriah Heep album.

I would eventually also acquire tapes from an ad in a magazine where you could purchase one tape for 99¢ to receive something like ten additional tapes, which started off My cassette collection.

I recall this establishment resembling more of a pop-type place where one could acquire some of the 'basics', as it were, and true to the name, always had a large jar full of free licorice available for customers.

'LP' was eventually bought out by 'Sam Goody' {didn't care for them much}, who themselves were bought out by Musicland, then Bestbuy. The location is now the site of an optometrist's office. ∞

Rhino Records {Westwood, CA}: Before moving out to the San Gabriel Valley to discover The Private Eye, I also inspected this place, where I acquired Venom's "Welcome To Hell", "Black Metal", & "Possessed", as well as Running Wild's 'Gates To Purgatory', 'See You In Hell' by Grim Reaper {as the title track was playing on the in-store speakers, "We're gonna' need a lyric sheet for this one!" was overheard}, and 'Fuck Like A Beast' by W.A.S.P. At the time, the store had a very "indie" feel to it, carrying all sorts of music for the alternative listener, from Metal to Punk, Death Rock, to comedy and Jazz albums. Before The Private Eye, this was the only place I could find any of the "extreme" material I was searching for. Of course, subsequently also acquired on cassette and CD. ∞

The Private Eye {113 College St., Covina, CA}: Probably My all-time favorite record store, which was part everything in the dark metal genre, and occult shoppe. The diabolical atmosphere, black stone walls bathed in red and black lights, posters displaying horror and hellish imagery from bands to infernal art, black shelves filled with a plethora of nefarious LP's and cassettes, magazines, a several choice books, including The Satanic Bible, The Satanic Rituals, and Necronomicon, displayed behind a glass case featuring a skull, spiked gauntlet, and pentagram / Baphomet jewelry. Upon another wall, shirts of one's choice bands. Behind the register, the large black goat head shrouded in a hood. The ever prevalent scent of incense and burning candles.

Probably one of the major reasons why I liked it there so much, like a veritable second Lair, besides the obvious collection of items, was because it did resemble My own Noctuary.

When a notable band {such as Venom, Slayer, Exodus, Bathory, Celtic Frost, Megadeth, Possessed, et al} was playing a local venue that night or soon thereafter, they would often stop by The Private Eye for in-store autograph signings, and were always met with an enthusiastic greeting. I was pleased to possess many autographed albums.

At the time, I acquired many a tape, record, and shirt here {actually most of My Black/Death/Thrash Metal vinyl collection and tapes} some patches, posters, and back patches {or "armor"}, and also including My very first Baphomet medallion.

I was regaled with tales of Christians daring to enter the store with attempts at conversion, to shoplifters who were thrown out by the collar, if not beaten until they exited the store. Good riddance.

According to one source, the store closed soon after an alleged domestic dispute between the so-called "hippie" owner and his 'girlfriend' transpired, resulting in his incarceration. Another allegation is that one shoplifter was beaten badly enough to merit litigation. From recollection, the business owner of the store was often unseen in the back room, while the employee {whom I remember being just one; a very amicable fellow who shared many similar interests} tended the register every time I entered there.

It eventually closed and was replaced by a hair & nail salon. Oddly, since then, the street was renamed from 'College St.' to "Italia St." on one side of Citrus Ave. where The Private Eye was, and "Cottage St." on the other, like someone was/is trying to hide these devilishly delightful segments of nefarious history. ∞

Wild Rags {Montebello, CA}: A bit larger than The Private Eye, and also catering to the "glam rock", "hair metal" genres besides Death, Thrash, etc., they also sold a wider assortment of clothing - ergo, the term "wild rags" {which is said to basically mean "slut clothes"; although along with the spandex, there was also the leather, studs, and spikes}.

I also rented some videos from here, including Venom's "The Seven Dates of Hell" Tour, "Alive In '85", and "The Ultimate Revenge" {featuring Venom, Slayer, and Exodus}. Quarthon of Bathory was also in-store here once, along with several bands that the company integrated towards a record label, also by the name of Wild Rags ['Records'].

Eventually, the owner Richard Campos was said to engage in unscrupulous business practices and bootleg shenanigans, along with reselling some merchandise at new prices, reusing clothing, among other distasteful actions, and thus, the IRS took possession of the store and all property therein {he probably also squelched on taxes}, selling off the contents; while Campos has since disappeared.

The building remains with only the outline of a female on the outside of the edifice. ∞

Hot Rocks Records {Azusa/Covina, CA}: This was originally located between the infamous Shangri-La strip Club on Azusa & Arrow Highway on the border of Azusa & Covina, and the "Taco Hell" fast food outlet within a parking lot inlet with several other businesses, featuring all dark metal genre music, where I purchased Bathory's 'Blood, Fire, Death'. This location was relatively short-lived, and eventually relocated to 'Old Town' Covina, widening their genre collection to include 'Classic Rock' and 'New Wave', probably to stay in business.

It has since gone defunct and replaced by a photography studio. ∞

Tower Records {West Covina, CA}: As a retail store, I recall when they made the transition from selling tapes to CD's. This location was situated not too far from The Noctuary at the time, so I would once in awhile take a Nocturnal Constitutional thereunto for some desirables.

Among the cassette albums acquired there prior, Danzig 1-6, Type O Negative "Slow, Deep, & Hard", "Bloody Kisses", "October Rust", "Headless Cross" by Black Sabbath, Deicide's "Deicide", "Legion", "Once Upon The Cross", Morbid Angel's "Altars Of Madness", "Blessed Are The Sick", "Covenant"; The Electric Hellfire Club's "Kiss The Goat", "Antichrist Superstar" by Marilyn Manson, and every King Diamond & Mercyful Fate release up to Voodoo.

They also sold books, magazines, and videos. They had a whole bibliography section. I bought The Black Flame there, The Nose magazine with Magus LaVey's interview, the RE/Search Modern Primitives book including Magus LaVey's interview, Seconds Magazine {w/ Magus LaVey}, even The Secret Life Of A Satanist by Magistra Blanche Barton, The Devil's Notebook and Satan Speaks.

The last ever item I purchased there was the 'MMV' collection by Venom. Just prior to that, 'Master of Reality' by Black Sabbath, Tenacious D, and The Doors' 'Waiting For The Sun" on CD as a gift for someone who has owned that album in every other format.

As a side note, I tend to keep receipts and insert them into the item I purchase, just to keep a record. Additionally, as a matter of fact, when you order through their website now, a receipt with the logo is included, much like purchasing the item over the counter, which provides for evocative stimulation. ∞


So after The Private Eye and Wild Rags closed, it became Tower Records for choice musical selection, even though it has since become an online store exclusively, and with the choices provided, remains preferably so with very few exceptions {like Dark Realm Records in Downey, CA; I'd rather frequent a store like this!}, considering it was a personal experience to actually peruse the aisles either by Myself or with an acquaintance, which contributed to the Draconian Devilution. ∞

The Next Devilution

Dark Realm Records

Dark Realm Records {Downey, CA}: Currently relocating from the former lair in Downey to another in the city, this is the closest to The Private Eye yet, and will probably become My primary source for Dark Metal musick in the near future upon the opening. The aesthetics are very similar, the look and feel, black on black, gloomy, decorated with not only the multimedia preferences, but softly-flickering amber candle bulbs on black chandeliers. In many respects, it seems like The Private Eye is back, larger. We shall have to see if there are Occult offerings also available, bibliography, perhaps statuary and supplies, & the scent of incense.

Owned by members of the band Sadistic Intent {those actually involved in the 'scene'}, the original store featured red carpeting with black walls and a long dual-sided black rack filled with CD's from this genre, posters on the walls, and a large pentagram behind the register. The outside featured the DR logo above the doorway, flanked by a display of skulls, gargoyles, and demonic decor, granting the establishment a definite dominant {black} mass-like effect. It has been compared to Norway's "Helvete", and I will add The Private Eye.

I expect this devilution to expand upon the first, to become darker, more hellish, more 'evil'... ∞

The Devil Goes To Hellywood

I decided to take a trip to Hollywood recently to test the subway system I was hearing so much about. Though the preferred mode of transport is a private vehicle, I found it punctual and efficient. Specifically, the 'Red Line' from the Pershing Square station to Hollywood & Highland, to acquire a carton of indulgent fumigation at the destined tobacco shop. Thus, in My leather trench coat, sunglasses, and skull earbuds, I was off on this urban adventure.

Pershing Square

On the couple of occasions I passed through this courtyard, I haven't noticed anything too untoward, as some others have mentioned. There is an animal area with dirt covered in a layer of sawdust for pets to relieve themselves {better there than on the street}, a couple of entrances located on either side of the square leading down into a subterranean garage, as well as a couple of elevators.

Prominent architecture featured herein is a purple tower comprised of a left isosceles triangle combined with a vertical rectangle, into which is a red sphere stationed in a square tunnel on top is inserted. However, I personally do not acknowledge this location as a "park" per se, for it is after all, mostly comprised of cement, a few overly-trimmed trees, bushes, and small patches of shaved grass, with various 'artistic' structures, murals and statues, notably a nice simulacrum of Beethoven.

Prior to the needless "renovation", Pershing Square was an actual park set in nature which would be the consideration for supplantation in the middle of a downtown area amongst the skyscrapers, the way it used to be.

Events held here include a remmus "concert series" and an ice rink in Winter. Personally, I hold no interest in the 'music' typically played here, although a classical concerto would be considered; the ice rink is too small, and both are overcrowded. From time to time films are shown al-fresco, although like the concerto contemplation, a favored film may be considered beneath the night sky, if in the mood.

Other than that, the resident security guards are helpful if you need directions, and the derelicts keep to themselves.

Train Station
Pershing Square / Hollywood & Highland

Going Down? Accessing the train platform is a nice long walk down either stairs, escalators, or elevators, while passing through the turnstile where one may place a "tap card" upon an elevated surface to pass through. Amusingly, the old "mark of the beast" notion comes to mind. It tends to be windy and cool in these subterranean caverns, due to the trains pushing the naturally cooler air underground to and fro. Fortunately, the ETA on the next train is usually no more than 10 minutes, so one can be quickly on their way. Exiting back up to the street also proves to be a stroll through the station and upon either stairs, escalators, or via an elevator.

Selecting this mode of transportation will bring one amongst the herd, who by and large mind their own business, as most are glued to their devices. However, some instances can be rather amusing, if not mildly irritating. Case in point:

On one occasion, an individual resembling a vagabond with disheveled hair and carrying a guitar boarded the train car, and began regaling all present with a spontaneous performance and on the spot lyrics, including being homeless and smelling like it, as well as following his dream. On another occasion, just as the doors closed, a voice projected throughout the car requesting change, not some positive transition into some productive state of being, but begging for money. One derived the uncomfortable feeling of being in church with the donation plate being passed around.

Walk of Fame

The station is discreetly obscured from the main 'Walk of Fame' thoroughfare as passengers may blend in seamlessly with the shuffling tourists. A sudden flurry of activity into the thick of this attraction where the sidewalk is literally paved with golden stars. Across the street is Grauman's Chinese Theater, with the Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum nearby, Madame Tussaud's Gallery, and halfway upon turning the corner down Highland Avenue, is The Hollywood Wax Museum. Street performers play familiar showbiz tunes, while costumed characters like Darth Vader & Batman roam and pose alongside Spiderman, Catwoman and others, for photo souvenirs in front and around the Chinese Theater.

Of note: a Polaroid photo with Darth Vader and Myself as a Dracling was taken, which he even signed the back. Another note: as I walked by Grauman's once, one of the costumed characters pointed over to Me and said "Alright! The Matrix!", which was amusing, and when I looked over at him, his face suddenly became very serious and apologized.

Highland Cigarettes Tobacco Shop

There can be only one! Possibly the best prices in Hell-A, with an attentive & friendly staff. Great extensive hours, open even on xmas, perfectly located down the street between Hollywood & Sunset, to offset the crowds. You even receive a complementary lighter with a carton purchase. ∞

Gumby Gallery
Citrus College. Glendora, CA

It is amusing to Me that this exhibit will be at an academic institution I attended, wherein I took several classes and lasses in Small Business Management, Web Design, Anthropology, Psychology of Religion, Geology, Electronic Music, and Humanities.

Well, I had not known the show's studio was actually in Glendora before this news. Though I've never been too interested in Gumby, Davey & Goliath and the iike, just seeing it in passing once in awhile, I certainly do appreciate the animation techniques employed. I Am quite amused by Mr. Bill and Moral Orel*; after all, the sublime works of Harryhausen, Mad Monster Party {Rankin-Bass}, and Tim Burton {Nightmare Before xmas, Corpse Bride} is most enjoyed.

I had a Hulk rubber toy, an Evel Knievel action figure that bent in all sorts of ways, and of course, My favorite Stretch Monster. Since the word is even in the name, there should be a Gumby chewing gum in existence.

Also not surprised that Davey & Goliath was produced there too, considering Azusa Pacific University** {or APU} next door. But as far as Glendora is concerned, besides choice courses I choose to take at Citrus, I'm more inclined towards Rubel Castle, an inspiring tribute to a man's obsession, imagination, determination, and eccentricity.

The last time this place was in the media was when "The Man Show" filmed one of an ongoing series of skits there about "Beer Boy" trying to pickup girls, which does make for a hellarious segment. I recognize the girl at 1:33 as being in Humanities class, who sat behind Me - she was a cute little goth sort whom I wouldn't mind playing 'graveyard' with - she actually confided in Me about that confrontation, asking Me "What does 'does the carpet match the curtains?'" meant; when i explained it to her, she seemed understandably shocked saying, "...but it was a little kid..." And let's just say that whether they 'match' or not, they complement each other very well either way. In her particular case, the black combination goes perfectly well with dark red.

If I was currently attending, I probably would take a gander, otherwise, I know a cute little "Satan's Cheerleader" that perhaps may. ∞

* Maybe "Oral" would be more appropriate, considering the predispositions of blindlight clergy. ** As in "pee-yew!, someone left a crucified corpse here! This way out the street for mine-d!" When one walks eastward towards North Citrus Avenue or westward towards Barranca across campus, one will eventually see APU's huge cross at a distance supplanted into their football field - however, from one's perspective, a wall partially obscures it, to grant the amusing impression that it is instead a large inverted cross!, and it just looks better that way. I also find it amusing that their logo displays a trapezoid.

Plus, we all know what happened to Gumby...

RxIxP Glen Gumberson.


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