Thursday, June 6, 2013

Gold Star by Josh Evans


Star leaves the city for nowhere, she just needed to get out. Along the way she found a new circus to join, a collective of rock n roll royalty, the coolest music scene in the world up there in the Joshua Tree….

Purchase your copy at AMAZON


Evans was born in New York City, New York, the son of actress Ali MacGraw and producer Robert Evans. He has one son, Jackson, with his wife Roxy Saint, who was born in December 2010. He is also the nephew of the late producer Charles Evans, Sr., stepson of Steve McQueen, and the stepbrother of actor and race car driver Chad McQueen. He grew up in Los Angeles, California, graduated in 1989 from the private Crossroads School in Santa Monica and attended the University of California, Los Angeles.

While in college, Evans earned a scholarship at the 1998 Young Artist Awards. He went on to become a producer, director, screenwriter, and actor. Most notably, he acted as Tom Cruise's hippie younger brother in Born on the Fourth of July, which won a 1990 Golden Globe Award, and John Lithgow's psycho assistant in Ricochet.

'The Daily Press's Kevin Thomas called Inside the Goldmine, in whichEvans starred in 1994, a "meaningful look at a nihilist" and "the kind of film that could be made only by someone prepared to strive for self-knowledge."

About his independent film, The Price of Air, the Los Angeles Times review pointed out that "Evans also stars, giving a persuasive portrayal as the naive but likable slacker, Paul... ." He followed The Price of Air by producing and directing the 35mm Glam, which a Los Angeles Times review called "an edgy tale of Hollywood innocence, corruption."
Evans also wrote, produced, and directed the independent film, Che Guevara, in 2005. At a 2006 conference sponsored by UCLA's Latin American Center's Working Group on Education and Culture, Che was screened

 Chapter Reveal

And then there were the clouds, she thought, openly wondering what it would be like if she could fly. No other girls that she knew of thought like that. But she did. It was in her nature to be curious. Maybe that's what led her into the darkness. It was certainly never her intention to be dark.
Those dark ideas kept flashing in her head. It was barren passing the downtown Ontario skyline with its run-down factories and an occasional fast-food joint shining some Peugeot shade of yellow everywhere. Even some crappy taco sounded good to her. She was starving. So fucking hungry.
What the hell was she doing there anyway? It was only a few nights ago that she was playing a gig at some half-full club. She really gave it a lot, but somehow it all felt wrong to her that night. And taking a pill from the one guy she thought had loved her only compounded things. She didn't love him, so in the laws of mutuality, how could he love her? It was as if she wasn’t even there. But the drugs kind of wiped that truth away. And there she was, trapped in some pseudo love affair with another musician.
He played a badass bass, though, and they both liked the same high -- or so she thought. But that wasn't working either. They fought a lot. This time was different. She really wanted to leave. It was the only way out.
She had a bruise on her face and blood coming from her lip. It was a fight for sure, but, by her way of thinking, she kind of deserved it. She had tortured the guy, other people, and anybody who got in her way. She was a player and always said, “Fuck 'em all.” That night, when she found herself lying on the floor in her own vomit, covered in red wine, looking up to him, it was different. Something had to change.
He was crying, whimpering, “Please.” She pushed his hand away and walked right past him. That's what she remembered.
I  - Going Past
The gleaming lights disappeared into an all-black desert. She cleaned her fingernails. A bald guy sat next to her. He spoke with a raspy voice into a headset as he looked at her. She thought, Who is he and why is he looking at me? Then, in an abrupt manner, he spat out, “You could use a fuckin’ rag.”
Somehow this man reminded her of all the places she’d been to along the way. He especially reminded her of her grandfather. They had the exact same voice. Was her grandfather, in this moment, really coming back through this strange man sitting next to her?
No. Impossible. Her grandfather wouldn’t be so brash. On the other hand… And her thoughts trailed.
With confidence, he looked at her and said, “I used to work for Ford, and if a person came in looking like you? Now, I don't care how pretty you are, it's not clean, darlin’.”
Ford. Was that a sign? Her grandfather loved Ford. He would take her out for drives on long, lazy Sundays. He never spoke against anything. But on those afternoons and early evenings when he talked of the land and told her not to tell anyone. Or he'd say, "Heck, tell ‘em all. This land here, all the land, you smell it. You see it. That's my god. The rest is hogwash." She thought it was funny. He always made her laugh, but here, it really sunk in.
God, she missed him, and maybe this man was him. Maybe this time she should listen.
“You hear this, what I'm listening to right now?” he asked her. “It's the word of God, the Lord and Saviour and hero.”
She tuned him out. It definitely wasn't her grandfather talking to her. Maybe just that one line, telling her to clean up was like him, but all the religion stuff? No way. Not her grandfather. As she looked out the window at the land, the windmills and open desert, she felt a release in her chest. The guy looked over at her again, still talking. But she’d since tuned him out and was silent.
Still, she thought, it would be rude not to at least answer him, because he was trying. When he told her about his time in Iraq and the places he'd been to, she felt for him. But, really, he just wanted to know about her.
“Where are you headed? "
She changed the subject, telling him, “I'm a musician.”
He clapped his hands and exclaimed, ”Of course you are!”
He leaned in close to her and pulled out a business card from his pocket with the words, “Bully's Blue Ray Bistro Bar. She studied the card. It was so mystical. Never before had she seen a card that looked so blue and gold.
"Earl runs it,” he said. “He's the best, and they’re looking for talent. Tell him Ford sent you. That’s my nickname.”
Ford. There it was again. Maybe this guy was her grandfather. The weird shiny-blue gold card suddenly held so much importance.
“I’m Star,” she told him. And in a gentlemanly way, he tipped his imaginary hat, shook her hand and said, "Nice to meet you, Star.”
II - Arrival
It was difficult for Star to go to that place, the place that she thought made her special, and so the dilemma caused her to dabble in -- actually abuse -- recreational drugs. But not anymore. The time where she woke up immersed in vomit scared her. But still, without knowing how to deliver the thing that everybody loved her for, she was lost. Back in high school, way in the past, she was the girl who had the pink hair, Goth, but hot at the same time. What she really loved was the music.
She had brought her bass and was hoping to get a bar gig. At the very least, she knew if all else failed she could get a gig in Vegas. But, fuck; it'd be better to make cupcakes in some small desert town than live that life. Who knows? Maybe this small desert town was the answer.
The train stopped by the intersecting railway tracks, windmills, and highway. She got off the train.
In the blur of those last few nights, she never thought about how she’d get off the bus or get a ride up into the high desert. It was another divine sign to her that Ford had offered her a ride. He had to get to Vegas, or somewhere along the way. She took the ride.
As religious as this guy was, he didn't say much. It was a long, stark, quiet ride. He mentioned his deceased wife. In a thoughtful sort of way, he reminisced. “She loved the stars here. First night we were together, 1960s LSD right here, and it was fun, let me tell you." Star could imagine what fun that would've been.
“I bet,” she told him watching him tear up as he got deeper into his memory. “Those were the times.”
Ford caught his mind slipping into what he saw as satanic habits of the beast, wanting a whiskey. Or better, even yet, he thought, Some carnal pleasure. Hell, violent. Something good! But he kept to himself, and turned up the sermon playing on his iPhone. Through his headphones, it stopped some of the filthy thoughts in his head. Not all of them, but it was enough.
The rest of the ride was quiet. Star’s heart beat fast. She could feel the road as it let up and up. A sudden elation filled her. She felt alive again.
Star got out of Ford’s car. She stood in front of a Western-style bar that had a shiny-blue Gold sign. Inside it was loud, very lit up, with sawdust on the floor. Where the hell was she? echoed through her mind. Fuck it. It’s what you make it.
To her, this was the beginning of a happy dream. At the first glimpse of any light inside the place, she saw Ryan, shredding it up on the stage, playing guitar in front of a drunken drifter crowd. And then it hit her. This is where she wanted to play. She didn't care who she sang to anymore. She just wanted to sing. Yes, she could bake cupcakes and make jam here at night, or maybe not, but she definitely felt safe. Fuck it, she thought. If it were up to her, she’d go right up there right now, but there were all these other fuckin’ people. Some little overly made-up bitch walked right up to her. She had a nametag sprayed on her tight-fitting black T-shirt that read, “Pinky."
“Five dollars, one drink minimum," Pinky said to her. Bitches like this girl used get their throats slit and shit. But now, since she had started reading The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, Karma would take care of this bitch.
Star smiled, humbly whispering, “Ford sent me to see Blue." Pinky checked her up and down, openly asking herself, practically aloud -- certainly enough to hear a disgruntled grumble -- Who is this bitch? Obviously not a whore, cause she’s carrying a guitar. Or is it? Maybe she’s a fake.
Pinky grinned at Star instead and told her, “Aw, hell, just let Earl figure it out. He always does. What's your name?"
Star looked at her. Maybe she should just fuck this bitch up, or at least tell her off. Something. You can’t let people walk all over you, especially this type of girl. But, no. Her newfound serenity took over. “Star Gold is my name,” she answered.
III - King of Rock
Star had heard of this guy Earl before. He was the king of rock and roll and he never left the desert. He had his own house, a ranch out there in the middle of Rocky Snake Hills. But who cared? All she wanted was something to eat. She was fucking starved and still tasting the sour hangover from the sick night before. Or was it two nights ago? She couldn’t remember.

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