Angel loves and the devil hates…

Super 8 film and music by J. Murf, via Brass Tacks Press

Excerpted from ‘My Years in America’ by Vito Michelini

Topanga Beach, Calif. Oct. 31, 1983

Dear Guido,

Let me tell you about this place… visualize a busy, fast, five-lane highway… as you look south the Pacific Ocean is on your right… and out on the waves surfers in black wetsuits dip and swirl like blackbirds waiting to ride the Perfect 10… the beach itself, the sand is dirty brown and littered with beer cans, pop bottles, candy wrappers, condoms, thongs, broken glass, bikini tops, popsickle sticks, roach clips… you scale a scrubby incline infested with lizards and snakes to the highway… the Pacific Coast Highway… and you wait for a brief gap in the traffic and run across the five lanes to the other side… avoiding a dirt road that leads down to the Snake Pit, a hippie settlement of busted trailers and tarpaper shacks, home to drifters, drug addicts, artists, poets, thieves, psychos (Manson once stayed here), and a 14-year-old Lolita named Angel Love… and you end up in front of Georges Market, Hawg Heaven as it’s called…

Hippie days Topanga Beach
George’s Market. Photo: Gil Kaufman

...the center of this universe… the rich and the poor congregate here… movie actors stop for booze and fast food on their way home to Malibu, 16 miles up the highway… the guy who played Luke Skywalker stops by in his Jeep, the blowjob recipient in Deep Throat pulls up in his yellow Rolls Royce… we are all one here… the beachbums, the rich and infamous, the scroungers, the lowlife, the slime from the Pit, the Angel Loves and the devil hates motherfuckers…

Hippie days Topanga Beach

…you walk a few paces behind Georges Market and enter the world of the Topanga Beach Motel, a collection of red and white bungalows, the only reasonable weekly-rate motel in the area, and the sometime location for movie shoots, porn flicks mostly with names like Beach Bungalow Gangbang and Pussy Hangs Ten… and there I am, in one of the bungalows, with a window looking out onto the Pacific Coast Highway and Georges Market and the big blue beautiful Pacific and the blackbirds in wetsuits… America! I’ve never been happier. Please try and get on the next boat, amico.


Hippie days Topanga Beach
Pacific Coast Highway, Topanga Beach. Photo: Nile Hight

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