Santa Monica, California
A welcomed day off today. Met up with my great pal Dennis St. John around 11; he lives about 5 blocks from where we're staying at the beach. We hung out at his place for a while and he rang up two old pals of ours that I hadn't spoken with in many years. The Mighty Hannibal is a legendary r&b singer that used to sing with Dennis' band in Atlanta in the 60s. I ended up playing on a number of Hannibal's records in the early 70s with Dennis. He's a serious soul singer and a deep catalogue legend. Check him out on Google. I hadn't spoken Han in close to 40 years and he sounded fantastic, still working and said he was going to die on stage. I told him I've died on stage a number of times since we'd seen each other last. The other old pal was Ken Fritz who managed Neil Diamond in the very early 1970s. Ken still sounds like he's 20 years old, full of optimism and enthusiasm.
We ended up down Main Street in Santa Monica for a very late breakfast at an omelette shop, fantastic. I came back to the hotel and exposed a couple of yards of white flesh to the sun on the sand at the shoreline. There's nothing like a southern California beach in the spring.
My brother Jon and his wife Leslie picked me up just past 7 then went on to get Dennis and drove to a stunning Cuban restaurant in Culver City called Versailles. How one comes about naming a Cuban joint Versailles is beyond me but that doesn't matter. What does matter is the food was majestically delicious. Their speciality is garlic roasted chicken, which three of the four of us had. I opted out for the roast pork. Unbelievably brilliant. If you are in the L.A. area don't miss it, there are several locations throughout the city but the one we went to was 10319 Venice Blvd. Just go there.
Back to the hotel and we piled in for a night cap at the bar. The problem is that various members of the band kept turning up and we had to order another drink until...lo and behold, we closed the bar down again. I felt like a stroll so walked Dennis back to his place then back again to our hotel.
A grand and restful day off.