Our friend Tony Funches passed away on June 21, 2017. This week we’ll be posting some remembrances of Tony from the Doors Examiner archives, and today we have an excerpt from Tony’s “accursed book.”
Prefer A Feast of Friends to the Giant Family
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself-and especially to feel, or not feel. Whatever you happen to be feeling at any moment is fine with them. That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is.”
― Jim Morrison
Quite often, Jim Morrison’s ‘poetry pals’ would pop up at the office. We would cruise around Hollywood. We’d do the eat and drink bit, and we’d debate weighty issues of the day and different philosophies and philosophers.
Jim and I often bopped around Hollywood together. We got kicked out of different bars on several different occasions. One such bar was Bill Cosby’s place—he owned and ran the Cafe Figaro, located at 9010 Melrose Ave. (@Doheny Dr.), in West Hollywood. Cosby’s partner was Roy Silver.
“Da Bum’s Rush” began like this: Jim, me, and some assorted guys had been relaxing and just bumpin’ around Hollywood all day, window shopping for books, odds and ends, babes, drinks, a blast here and there. As evening began to fall, we were pretty mellow and relaxed. We fell into revisiting old topics we had often discussed: issues of social change, and the ravenous greed for POWER by the ruling elite.
Later that day, Jim and I wondered aloud where we would go next, as we rolled along in my ’64 VW Bug. We decided to go to The Cafe Figaro.
We walked in, sat at a table close to the fireplace, and a waiter soon appeared. We had already eaten, but were still thirsty, and Jim hit upon Sangria, as it fit the decor and theme of the place. Jim also noted that the place reminded him of Hemingway’s exploits during the Socialist Rebellion of The Spanish Civil War. We both saw the romantic notions of parallels to the USA’s upheavals and tortuous asccendance and the battle against the rise of fascism.
As we emptied glass after glass and pitcher after pitcher, our happy condition wrapped itself around the European Tradition of “Retiring The Glasses”, wherein the USED glass was traditionally SMASHED into the fireplace. So we smashed our empty glasses into the fireplace.
Apparently, THIS place didn’t subscribe to that notion, and the waiter withdrew. At the same time, a sturdy looking fellow nearby, who had been reading a newpaper he held up in front of himself, folded the paper, arose with his golf cap and cigar, strolled over to me and Jim, and tapped me on the shoulder.
“You and yer Buddy need to be leavin’, man,” was all he said. My MOTHER would skin me ALIVE if I disgraced her at Bill Cosby’s Restaurant, and I feared THAT far worse than anything else, so I gathered up Jim, put three C-notes on the table, and we waltzed out to my VW.
Jim declared, “S’Ok, Tony. I’ve Thrown MYSELF Outta Better Joints Than THIS!”
After about 3 seconds of deliberation, we concluded that we weren’t DONE yet, so we went to Barney’s Beanery, and got kicked out of THERE TOO! For doing the exact SAME thing! Irwin, the owner, had even less humor about it!
“You know I have ‘that light’ on the roof!” bellowed Irwin.
He had a bright red bulb on the edge of the roof, and when the switch was hit, the red light would alert any passing cops driving by that there was a problem going on—the threat of that light had previously caused us to behave ourselves.
Irwin continued: “So, not only am I kicking you two idiots out of here, but both of you are 86’d! For good! Don’t ever let me see you even walk IN this place again!”
10 years later, I did go back. And Irwin said, “What are you doing here? You’re 86’d!”
I replied, “Come on, Irwin! Jim’s been dead for ten years.”
To which Irwin replied, “Well, watch yourself!”
Understood. But he was talking to the only guy who could drink Jim Morrison under the table and STILL keep his ass outta jail!