Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tallie Cochrane Interview

I was fortunate to get in touch with exploitation and adult film actress Tallie Cochrane a few years before her untimely passing from cancer in 2011. She worked for directors such as Joe Sarno, Bethel Buckalew, Stephen Apostolof, and Al Adamson, usually playing tough little broads or mean dykes. She was married through the 1970s to the busy actor Patrick Wright, and they frequently worked together, eventually drifting over from acting into production. Drug problems pulled her away from the business, but she surfaced in the 2000s, doing voiceover work in Florida. Below you'll find most of the interview we did; she also knew actor/director Jack Starrett, and those memories will be saved for an upcoming bio of Starrett.

Where are you from and what was your life before movies?

I grew up in Alabama. My father was a doctor and administrator of the county hospital in Greensboro, Alabama (he had been chief of staff at the hospital up in Tuscaloosa until he retired), and my mother was old southern blueblood. My childhood was spent in theatre and dance, and I probably studied dance for eleven years and taught for three years with my teacher. I went to California quite by accident. I ended up the first bottomless dancer in the United States. It was just a fluke.

The opening night I went to a club where I'd come down out of the ceiling on a bed, at a place called The Extension; it was across the street from a place called The Phone Booth, and those two were the biggest strip clubs in Los Angeles. When I arrived all the girls in the back saw this very innocent little girl, and each one of them gave me pieces of clothing to remove, because I had nothing to take off. They all coached me on what to do and what not to do, and having a great background in dancing I figured I could fake a little bit. I remember when the bed started to come down I was looking through the crack out into the audience, which was packed, it was standing room only in the back. The bed landed on the floor and the crowd went crazy. I stood up in the this long gown and come-fuck-me heels, they were playing some great music, and everyone was smiling and cheering me on. But I couldn't get the dress off, I pulled and tugged on that zipper. So I sat down on the floor, took off my heels and threw them into the audience. They went crazy. I stood back up and ripped that dress off my body. The crowd went even crazier. By the time I had taken off the last garment I had my back to the audience. As I turned my head back toward the audience the whole front row stood up and cameras flashed, it was all media. The whole back row stood up and held up their badges.

I knew going in that I was gonna be a test case. I had to be arrested, and they already had an attorney and a bail bondsman, and it was all pre-arranged that I'd go in the front door and out the back. I didn't even show up for my trial, Carol Doda (the first topless dancer in the United States) showed up to represent those of us who were the test cases.

I was probably arrested a half-dozen times, and the person that did it was the same person every time. In fact, the last time that he did it he stopped and bought me dinner because I was exhausted and had been working like a dog for six months. When I started I was the only one, then they let me help them bring in other girls that I felt would be able to handle the situation. You had to be very careful how you dealt with your audience, or you could bring chaos to the room. Within that six months we had forty girls. We making like $2000 a week clear. This was in ’69.

My last night… I went to work, was getting undressed to go out on stage, and passed by the office and saw five or six guys in there. I knew all of them, they were the owners of all the different clubs where I worked; we had a circuit. I thought it was weird that they all knew each other. Curiosity was killing me and I started listening through the wall. They were all selling out to one man whom I did not know. He was saying the hell with providing us with a lawyer and a bail bondsman, and I was thinking to myself, Fuck you. I put my clothes back on and I left. I never went back. I went home and got my stuff packed together. I had met a wonderful man who I was married to for eighteen years [Patrick Wright], and he was leaving for Italy to work on a film in Alcase-Lorraine. He begged me to come with him and I didn't stick around to be taken down by this betrayal. So while I gone, sure enough several of the girls were arrested but it all ended up being thrown out.

How did you and Patrick meet?

He had just done his films with Russ Meyer, they were very good friends. I met him on my first film [I FEEL IT COMING?], we were in some big mansion and had a scene in a marble bathtub. I did a couple movies before leaving, but I don't really remember them.

So we lived in Italy for about a year and a half. I worked with the English Language Dubbing Association (ELDA), dubbing films of all languages into English. I had a great time doing that, I really enjoyed it. I did dozens of pictures. They just gave us reels, I don't think I ever knew what the titles were. I did a lot of mature women. I thought about going into radio, but I felt I wasn't disciplined enough.

At the end of 1970 or so we landed in New York and rented a great little place down in the Village, exposed the wall down to the fireplace, set the place on fire and got evicted. We moved uptown to 45th and 8th, where we remained for the rest of our time there. We were right there in the hub of theater row, an eight-story building with a lot of hookers. I was scared to death, I mean horrified, I wouldn't go anywhere alone. I got to know a lot of the hookers and pimps in my building, a lot of them were from Alabama. After a while I was protected, it was great.

The agency

The lady living next door to me in New York, Linda Boyce, who was also an actress in T&A b-movies, was gonna marry a gentleman in the garment business and she didn't really want to carry that agency with her into the marriage, and was really gonna throw it away. At the time it was just simulated sex and T&A. I said, If you're going to throw it away, give it to me and I'll see if I can do something with it. I called everybody and said, I exist, Linda doesn't, call me if you need work. I called all the clients and said if you need people I have them. I was the only agency for two years.

Within about a week the industry went hardcore, and it was up to me whether to shit or get off the pot. I did give it some serious thought; I wasn't sure if that's what I wanted to do or not. I was afraid of the legality more than I was anything else. I wasn't sensitive about nudity or sex, I just didn't want to get caught up in some political machine that hung me out to dry. I didn't, I got very lucky, met some wonderful people and had some great experiences because of it.


Victor Peters/Petroshevic was wonderful. He was a European man, fat, bald, and jolly. I did a lot of casting for him. I don't remember the movie but I know Linda was in it.


Joe Sarno was a great character. He had a great memory. I really liked him.


Patrick and I did a live sex show once, for a week. I never knew it got filmed.


I went to interviews for parts all the time. This one came up with Troy Donahue, who was starring and doing the casting for the principals and leading lady. I went in for the reading and could tell he really liked what I had to offer. I went back for two more callbacks, and I got the role and joined the Screen Actor's Guild. That was my first legitimate SAG movie. I played the Susan Atkins part. I remember thinking, My God, I thought this was going to be a good film. I had done pornos I wasn't as embarrassed about. I did a dance with a fake snake off the top of my head. It was all poorly directed. Troy ended up taking over the directing and he couldn't do any better. I felt sorry for him, he was hoping for a comeback of sorts. An injunction was put on the film and it was pulled from theaters for years.


Harry, Patrick, and I produced, directed, edited, acted, and sold our only porno, a comedy, which was renamed. I would give anything to have a print. Georgina Spelvin was editing the dailies for us, that's where we met. She said, I think I can do this; that was the birth of Georgina Spelvin. We shot it in the tiny town of Greensboro, Alabama, at my folks' antebellum house while they were in Europe, they had no idea; one day that town will just die when they discovered what we did there. When we got there I called the sheriff to let them know I was there with some friends. We told them it was a pilot called The South Shall Rise Again. Of course, they went nuts when they heard that. Next thing I knew they were bringing us food, putting us on the cover of the newspaper. We put Dubatane over all the windows so we could film all night long. I put names on every bedroom door and everyone had gone to bed. I sent my soundman, Ritchie, a little Jewish kid with almost an afro hairdo, to the bus station, which was a gas station, to pick up a camera tripod head shipped overnight to us. At midnight in come these hillbilly deputized cops looking for drugs. Patrick and I were in this bedroom, and in comes this skinny little guy with his gun drawn, shaking just like Barney Fife. Patrick pulled up his pants, pushed him and walked down the hall to see who was in charge. They arrested my cinematographer, Luke, for having a corncob pipe. I called Buck, my godfather who was the mayor, to straighten it out. We're sure it got released, we just don't know where it went. When we left New York we left everything with Harry Reems. He got the editing finished and sold it outright, they took the negative. We don't know what title they released it under, something like Going Down the Other Side.

I had been very lucky getting all that money with the agency. Some undercover detectives picked up Harry and a whole bunch of other people. He called me from the D.A.'s office, they had them sitting in these little booths showing us footage of ourselves. He said, Is there any way to deny your own ass? They hadn't mentioned my name yet but they were coming; at the time I used the name Chic. I shook in my boots, and thought about it for three or four days, and decided it wasn't worth it.

Did you feel like outlaws at the time?

While we had the agency going, all the actors would meet and change vehicles maybe three times before going to a location. Everyone was that scared. After about six months of this I realized I was missing the boat. All of these producers from all over were calling me to get my work done. I ended up providing them the cast, crew, location, equipment, a place to stay, whatever they needed we were one-stop shopping. I had about four crews working all the time, and constantly avoiding being found.

When Harry called I knew we were in trouble. I was the only person in the entire world who had that rolodex and knew all the actors, producers, and exhibitors. My life was worth a plug nickel. I was the one who could give the D.A. everybody. I knew the gangsters, the exhibitors, would be glad to cut my head off, and they would have. I had heard about unsavory characters but never had to deal with them until that came down, and I realized how un-valuable I could be and how dangerous my footsteps were at that point. I decided to throw in the towel, and packed my bags. We told our doorman, Joe, who we payed well, that we were visiting relatives. I got in a cab, and at 9th and 45th I saw three undercovers asking him if he knew me, they had a picture of me. I barely got out.

Patrick thanked him later. He had to go through the escape of all time to get out of that building. He spent about eighteen hours in the apartment with this guy banging on the door. They left this scrawny little guy with glasses out in the hallway to try and sweat him out of the room. That guy stayed out there thinking he could out-wait Patrick. Finally he left for the bathroom, and when Patrick was sure he was on the elevator, he ran down the hall and upstairs to our friend Shelly Carpell, who was a still photographer who did a lot of cheesecake. He dressed up like an old man with gray hair, and overcoat, stuffed cotton in his jaws, old raggedy shoes, and makeup. He went down in he lobby with three of those guys sitting there and Joe at the door. Joe looked at him and didn't say a word. They weren't sure, so that little scrawny guy followed him down the street from 8th to 9th. He got down around the corner and realized he had to keep playing the game. About two doors up there was an Irish bar, and he went in and sat down, watching Carol Burnett and Tim Conway. He acted like a goon watching the TV. The guy was next to him, looking back and forth at a picture to see if it was him. The bartender knew him, but just went right along with it. Finally, the guy left. Patrick was scared to get up, so he asked another guy to look, and the guy was standing in the middle of the bar. He went out again, and he was gone. Patrick got up and left, doing his little shuffle about a black down to the alley where he could see nobody was there. He hailed a cab and hopped in it. As he was going down the street he stripped to his street clothes, got off at Central Park and ran across the park to his sisters' around 85th. He spent the night there and called me at my folks' in Alabama. We met in Los Angeles.

Move to Los Angeles

We started over. Half our clients were from L.A., they would fly into New York and shoot. Don [Davis?] had been one of our last clients and met us at the airport. We went to his place, and he was in pre-production on a film. We went out to dinner, came back, then around 3:30 am there was a loud BANG BANG BANG on the door, and you knew it wasn't your best friend. Here come the police to try and bust him. They couldn't do anything to me except for the joint in my purse. I still didn't know if they had a warrant. I was out in no time, and it was dropped. I don't know how that came about.

Image courtesy Temple of Schlock:

Rene Bond and I were very good friends. We worked together so much. She married Rick Lutz, who was really easy to work with. She was a sweetheart. I liked Sandy Dempsey.


I loved working on that, it was silly. I loved working with Buck Flower, and Patrick was there. Peter Perry was the executive producer, and Bethel Buckalew (we called him Buck) was the director, they were different people. Sandy Carey was a sweetheart.

Cochrane romps it up with Sharon Kelly in SASSY SUE

I had a great time on that. Patrick played the coach, and he was friends with Richard Lerner, the director. He loved the way I worked with the girls.


A bunch of us were really messed up, someone brought a bunch of liquor to the set, that's all I remember. Maria Arnold was a dear friend. Patrick and I used to say that if we were to take a wife we'd take Maria.


I had fun on that, Andrew Prine was fun to work with. I remember working on a house that had a glass floor over a waterfall. Andy had so much to potential. 


They took us to a shut-down boy scout camp where we filmed that whole thing. A girl named Margie Lanier, who was new, was in that with me, she was a genuine klutz and had all of us laughing all day and all night. Steve Apostoloff would try and direct us moving around the woods by telling us to "move like spaghetti." He was such a joke. We had a good time.


I'm not sure if I met Matt Cimber on that or before that, but we became very good friends for a long time. In fact, he and Patrick took on a heavyweight fighter and were training him for a while. Rocky Cardullo was his name. He was really pretty and he was really strong. He was fast, and I was really impressed with this little guy. Matt told some wonderful stories about his marriage to Jayne Mansfield that I kind of carry with me. He remarried and ended up owning one of the Four Corners in downtown Las Vegas.


A friend named Hy Pyke knew us from something we had done, and called me saying there was a wonderful role for me, and they're almost through shooting this movie, but they had a musical scene I'd be perfect for. Next thing I knew I'm doing "You're a Big, Brave Knight"; we found the music and everything. I got the record. That was shot somewhere out in the country near L.A. They built a windmill. Rafael Nussbaum was really sweet to me, and he was very attentive to all of his actors.


Michael Callie and Bob Levy. I was working on a film with Max Baer, Jr. doing script supervision and the producer's girlfriend had been on another film and hadn't been able to do the job so they hired me to do it. Something happened where they stopped production and she came back and wanted her job, and they let me go. Max Baer was a delight to work for, though. So I went home to discover that a film was being made in my house. I'm at home on a set, so I stumbled over the wires, walked in the house, and they said, Who are you?, and I said I live here. Within minutes I was in the film. There were about 14 or 16 actors that played all the roles. It was Robin Williams' first feature role, but he got edited out. He had been discovered by Michael Callie and was working for him at his chain of Laff Stop comedy clubs. Michael told us to go see him, he would blow us away. When we got there we just sat there with our mouths wide open, we were all just stunned with this magnificent talent. He had been brought into the film towards the end when were already shooting. He did a couple of scenes that weren't great, and Michael didn't want to do anything to bring down his career. Six months later he was doing Mork and Mindy. He came back and bought an antique DeSoto that Patrick had gotten me. He was very pleasant, sweet, and soft-spoken.

Did you know Uschi Digart?

Yes, I knew her very well, she was a sweetheart. She was very quiet. I had dinner with her a few times. She was very busy back then. I hooked her up with a few jobs. I have no idea what happened to her. She was an L.A. girl.


I wrote it. We filmed it in our house like everything else. We called in favors from everyone we worked with to get this together for no money. What I wanted to do was a spoof of the old beach movies. Patrick directed it, and he and I produced it.

Peter Perry released it.

What a... I don't even want to talk about that. He was an asshole. We used all unknowns in it. There was a girl, Sherry Hardin, who had never been in a movie in her whole life, but living in our house at the time, and was really smart. We gave her one of the leads. She turned out to be just great. I don't know what happened to her.

TANYA (1976)

I played an SLA member. That one was so goofy and tacky. We laughed all the way through it. It's another one we shot in my house. They billed me as Tally Wright, but there was no Tally Wright, I was always Tallie Cochrane. Nate Rodgers didn't exist, it was a Bob Roberts film.


I'm still in touch with Georgina Spelvin, we email every day. She's retired and happily married, living in Florida. We enjoyed making that film, with Carl Monson directing. He was wonderful, he inspired us to be silly and whackier than hell. The whole story is Tarz gets his dork bitten off by an alligator and we spend the whole film trying to get to Wango Wango country to get a dick transplant. Georgina played the great white huntress who had stolen some valuable jewels from the Wango Wango and was running from them. She has this trusty faggot friend Clive who's after Boy, and the gorilla's after me. We painted a horse to look like a zebra. Jerry Fine produced it. Carl was the best. We shot it in a Topanga Canyon near John Marshall's ranch. Patrick bought a six-week-old lion cub to give to me for our second wedding anniversary (we lived together for five years before we married). We slept with the thing but it turned out I was allergic to lion dander, so it went back. My girlfriend, Barbara Bourbon, bought a Siberian tiger and raised it at my house ’til it was nine months old.

Barbara was living at my house and was the star of THE PRIVATE AFTERNOONS OF PAMELA MANN with Radley Metzger. He had been a client of mine in New York, and just fell in love with her, and wrote that film for her. He begged and begged her to do it, and finally she said OK. Last I knew she was in Hawaii and created a restaurant directory to all the islands. Radley was great, a very Dapper Dan, more sophisticated than my other clients. I loved him, he was a great person who I trusted, and he treated us with the greatest of respect.


I made them hire me for hair and make-up because Patrick played a cop. I was fairly good at it. We shot it in Albuquerque. Patrick and I were in the middle of making the move from New York to Los Angeles, and we were staying in a motel in New Mexico. That film was a joke.


Rob Reiner hired me to pull a little joke on Pat McCormick at the Big Brothers convention in Beverly Hills. I went in and played this dumb hooker character who went on stage and said I was waiting in the room all this time and where had he been? He loved it. I did the title song, and I played Aunt Gloria, the story lady, which I kind of modeled after Billie Burke, the Good Witch, from THE WIZARD OF OZ. I used my mother's very southern, aristocratic voice, and I'd sit down and tell these stories which segued into the actual scenes. From that I ended up meeting the people I would be with for two years: Bob and Savah Vern and Harvey Rubens, and the four of us created a comedy, standup, and music group, and we called ourselves Whizbang, and we're the ones who did the title song. We rehearsed for a year and did nothing with it, just a couple of appearances. But the rehearsal led me to songwriting, and I cut an album of my own around 1981.

Was the album ever released?

No, it was weird how it went down. I was cutting the album with a wonderful man, Willie Hutch, who had been Barry Gordy's right arm man, a producer who produced The Four Tops, The Supremes. He discovered me and offered to produce my album with me. I came up with the ten best cuts that I wanted to do and he thought were worthy of doing, and I arranged them with my guitar player, Jimmy Taylor, who played the lead, the rhythm, and bass guitar, he used to be with Graham Nash and Grand Central Station. Jimmy introduced me to Willie Hutch. I went with him to a session he had to do on somebody else's album. One thing led to another and Willie heard some of my stuff and went nuts. The sad truth is that I ended up on drugs. At the end of all the years on drugs, I got on a plane and left Los Angeles, that's why I left the face of the Earth. Obviously I cleaned up and went on. I finished cutting the album but we hadn't finished mixing it (four of the ten songs were mixed). I have all of the masters, I just haven't finished the mix myself.

Willie Hutch (1944–2005)
Is it a soul record?

Yes, but it's also got some country. We called it funkabilly, because it's really got the black undertones, but it's got country; it's a little more sophisticated than twangy country, it's a southern mix. I tried to find Willie; I went out to Los Angeles a couple years ago to Patrick's wake, but I couldn't find him. I remember now that he lived in Chatsworth and that's where his studio was that Barry Gordy had built for him, and that's where we recorded. But there was no listing. I checked everywhere except death records trying to find him and I don't know where he went. I had called him about ten years back, and said, Aww baby, I just wanted to hear your voice and talk to you, and he said Oh my god, what are you doing, tell me you've got some new songs. He loved my songs. I wrote everything, music and lyrics. I just discovered myself working with that group, and each of us took it with us when we split. Bob Vern went on to law school, but right after he passed the bar he died. Harvey Rubens was the electronics geek of the century, and invented noise reduction components. There wasn't anything Sony made that didn't have his components in it. In other words, he made some money. Saba, who had been Bob's wife, continued in the theater and film industries and does mostly comedy theater.


I just bought a 16mm print of it and sent it to a lab in L.A. There's a strange ownership thing on that. Tony Bowers and his father Bill Bowers wrote and produced it, and sold it to me, Patrick, and our friend, cinematographer Michael Molihan. Next thing we knew Monte Markham claimed he bought it and was going to release it on TV. We called the station and threatened to sue. I play Markham's girlfriend, the waitress at the local cafe, and I sang the title song. It's a good little movie, a comedy western. It was never distributed to theaters.


Steven Paul's mother, Dorothy Koster, had been our agent. Her husband, Hank Paul, had been a very successful mogul on Wall Street. He was the executive producer who raised the money, and backed their son who had been a little filmmaker since he was little. I played a hooker in New York, and all my scenes were with Elliot Gould. Patrick and I produced it. They fired me about three-fourths of the way through for speaking up at them disrespecting Patrick. Elliot was wonderful, he was at Patrick's wake, they became very close friends. He had some out-of-school tales to tell about Barbara Streisand.


I played a surgeon, my scenes are almost gone. I worked with Jerry Lewis, but that scene was cut. He was wonderful. What a generous man. In the middle of this film I had to have back surgery, and I was devastated by it, and Jerry had the prop department make a get well card shaped like a clapboard and everybody signed it for me, and he sent several dozen roses. At the end of filming Jerry comped flights, meals, and hotels to come to Vegas and the telethon.

DAN'S MOTEL (1982)

Jerry Barish was a childhood friend of Patrick's who was a wannabe filmmaker all his life. I sang four or five of my songs on camera. He won a lot awards at Cannes and Sundance for that thing.


We produced that one, and I got to be a ghoul. I always loved horror movies. I climbed in a casket and they made me up to look white. Patrick had to leave the room. THE HORROR STAR was the regional title. Ferdy Mayne was wonderful, we became close friends.


I had somehow met James Hong, and he and his partner (who had produced some hardcore) decided I was an up and coming starlet. They came and asked if I would star in this movie. James said it was probably the only time I would produce anything, and he wanted to say he was the one who discovered me, and for that I'll always love him. I still see him every week in some movie or TV show. It was a spy-themed non-X sexploiter where I played an operator who overhears something. While were trying to shoot James' partner had it out and they split up. Rick Cassidy was one of the guys I knew who did hardcore and softcore, and could also act.

You worked with a lot of adult male actors. What kind of guys were attracted to the business?

The guys who worked in my agency were a stereotype of what you might call mens' men. There was nothing about them effeminate. They were all very masculine and sure of themselves. I would know just chatting with them whether or not they should get involved. Harry was like that loud and clear. He never once said I could do it, I knew he could do it. Same with John Holmes, Rick Lutz, and on and on. You knew they knew what they were doing.

Did you know John Holmes?

I knew him well, he was one of the guys in my agency. He was a little cocky and self-assured, but he had earned the right, I suppose. He was real well-endowed and bragged about it. He would somewhat cry in his milk about the fact that he was too big and most women couldn't accommodate him, and that was very distressful to him. He really loved coke.

CLUB LIFE (1986)

We did production. Tony Curtis had a weird little clause in his contract that required we provided him with his cocaine throughout the production. I had two dealers that would fly in, go from room to room to take all the orders, fly out then come back to deliver and do it all over again. If I didn't do that then my crew would be out on the street trying to find drugs locally, end up getting busted, they'd come to my set and definitely find drugs there and shut me down, then I have to go to my backer, hand him his change and say I'm sorry, and I would never produce again.

EMANON (1987)

Reluctantly I went to work with the Pauls one more time because they were offering me a real acting role that had meat to it. I played a villainess, a backstabbing designer in the garment business. I loved it, it was great. That was the very last film I ever did. I saw it years later and hadn't remembered anything I done, because I was so fucked up on coke. Yet I liked what did, I was good!  If I hadn't been on drugs I would have had a bigger role. I really fucked up my life doing that to myself. We spent 18-hour days for six or eight months in a run, and we didn't have a day off. We were in pre-production, or post- with a 120-man crew who were all on drugs. I had these dealers who would just show up and give me an ounce of cocaine, which I never did for years. I was so exhausted one night and someone had me try some. Next thing I knew I was on a rollercoaster. I lost my acting career, my writing career, my producing career, my singing career, my husband, my home, everything by walking away. I got on an airplane with a suitcase and I never went back. They told me at the hospital in Alabama that I was probably no more than a week away from being dead. That was in 1984. Patrick had to sell our house without me there; we remained together over the last couple of years but we had somewhat parted. When I left him I had already met Les. He came with me and we became general contractors, based on my producing experience. I ran the office and he ran the field. We ended up going down to Miami for a job we couldn't refuse, after Hurricane Andrew. It was wonderful. We made a pile of money and retired here in Panama City. Patrick passed away around Christmas, 2004.

Did anyone in town see any of your movies?

No they didn't, and I didn't tell anyone anything. I merely mentioned SWEET SAVIOR 'cause it was advertised and everyone knew about it, but no one saw it 'cause it was pulled so fast. I told them I was working production. We moved to L.A. right after that.

The house in Pasadena

Everybody loved our house in south Pasadena. We had this old Catholic church that had been turned into a home on an acre of land ten minutes from downtown L.A. Ozzy Osbourne shot his Diary of a Madman cover in my living room. It's a 60-foot room with and 18- and 25-foot ceilings. Eddie Munster did his video in my living room. We had parties with 200 or 300 people at a time. Those were the days. I produced a musical show at Gizari's, a Halloween special where I had Bobby Picket come in and do "Monster Mash," and there was a young group in the neighborhood that did backyard parties, and they were so good I hired them to come and perform. They were Van Halen. They rehearsed in the basement of Les' mother's bar. Snotty Scotty and the Hankies was the house band. Van Halen rented out the basement.