Monday, July 21, 2008
Corner of Sunset Blvd. and Horn Avenue in West Hollywood with Shoreham Towers in background
My friend Terri reminded me to tell the reader how old I was when this happened, and I agreed that was something I needed to do. It was 1969, and I'd started making records in 1963 with "Let's Surf/Please Little Girl Take This Lollipop." It's only about a six year period I have covered so far.
I was 19 years old when I recorded "I'm So Lonely/I Wanna Love You" for Tony Alamo, so I was just a kid. Five years later I felt a hundred years old, and was still only 24, and a full bore addict alcoholic.
I went up to the apartment on Horn Ave. to talk to Ed Durston after Timmy Rooney told me Ed was in the apartment when Diane jumped from her 6th floor kitchen window. I also wanted to see Jimmy George, who lived below the apartment where Nancy and I had lived with Ed.
From what I'd learned, Jimmy had actually been outside his apartment, and seen Diane falling to the pavement below. At first he'd thought someone was playing a practical joke and had thrown something out the window, but then realized it was a person.
He didn't know at first it was Diane, and he'd seen her hit the ground. He was in shock, but ran over to where the person hit the pavement, and that is when he realized it was Diane. He told me he could not do anything for her, and it made him feel like an asshole.
He said she was still alive when he reached her, and that she looked up at him but couldn't speak. He said she was bleeding a lot from her head, and he wanted to help her, but didn't know what to do. I knew Jimmy, and he was a happy go lucky guy, but on this day he was broken in a way that is hard to describe, just broken.
I tried to tell him there wasn't anything he could have done, but how do you tell somebody that, after what he'd seen. He was the only one on the planet who had seen it; how the hell did I know how he felt, or what it was doing to him? It was the last time I ever saw him, and to this day I still don't really know how that may have altered his life.
When I got to Ed, he was doing better than Jimmy, but he still looked like he'd been through the ringer. I asked him, "What the fuck happened Ed, what the fuck was going on?" He looked up at me from where he was sitting and said, " I don't know man, I really don't know. We were just there, the two of us," he said, "talking a long time about life. You know, like half the night, and everything was OK. Then she just started acting crazy."
"Whatta ya mean Ed, crazy how?" I asked. "Well, we were sitting on the couch, and she got up and went out on the balcony, and just started climbing up on the railing like she was gonna jump off. I ran out there and drug her off, and pulled her back into the living room, and pinned her down on the floor and said "What the fuck are you doing Diane? What the fuck is wrong with you?"
Ed was ringing his hands as he told me the story. He was having a lot of trouble going over that night. "So did she tell you what was wrong?" I pleaded. "No," said Ed, "She told me she was just screwing around and everything was OK and to let her up because it was just a joke." Ed kept rubbing his hands together like he couldn't get them clean. He just kept rubbing them together.
He continued on, "I made her promise me that if I let her up she wasn't gonna do anything crazy, and she said, "I promise." "I let her up, and she said she was going to go in the kitchen and get a glass of water, and I said OK." Ed looked like he might start crying at any second, and I didn't blame him, because it was too awful to comprehend.
"She walked into the kitchen and I turned around to watch her and she just climbed up on the countertop by the window over the sink. I ran in the kitchen and tried to grab her, but she just went out the window before I could get there." He paused for a moment, as if to get his courage up and said, "I had a hold of her ankle man, I had her by the ankle, but I couldn't hold her, I just couldn't hold her man."
I stood there in front of Ed with this crystal clear picture of Diane's kitchen in my head, with her going out the window, and Ed trying to hold her by the ankle. I just broke down and cried like a little boy. I just couldn't believe that it had happened. I stood there in front of Ed crying, for I don't know how long. I just sobbed, because there wasn't anything I could do about it either.