Tommy Allstar is a tightly wound ball of energy.
More accurately, Tommy is a Hollywood promoter. And a damn good one. If you tried to get into an A-List LA party in the last 10 years, Tommy was probably behind the velvet rope. And he probably didn’t let you in.
I’m meeting Tommy at a Coffee Bean on Sunset. I pull up to the parking lot and do a double take when I realize there’s a valet.
For everyone who doesn’t live in Hollywood — yes, this is odd. Coffee Beans do not, in most parts of the civilized planet, offer valet parking.
And not only IS there a valet, you cannot park UNLESS you valet. Realizing the absurdity of this situation, I choose to gun it past the nonplussed attendant.
He gives me a look like, “Dude.”
I give him a look back like, “I’ll circle the block for an hour before I pay $8 to park at a coffee shop.”
…In all fairness though, I’ll probably come back in 6 months and think it’s perfectly normal behavior to valet at a coffee shop. In fact, I’ll probably scoff at lesser coffee shops that do not offer valet parking.
I stroll up to the door and glance around for Tommy – he’s blackberrying by the counter, mocha-frappacino in hand. Everyone in Hollywood is blackberrying.
Tommy is tall and lanky. His white v-neck tee contrasts sharply with his dark, short-cropped beard. He sports a plaid derby cap and Gucci shades, dark jeans and silver Nikes. He looks a lot like that director from Entourage who calls E “suit” and insists Medellin be shot entirely in Spanish.
Tommy Allstar is Queens Boulevard.
We sit down, and Tommy starts talking. Fast. I can barely keep up as paragraphs are hurled across the table in my general direction.
Tommy gesticulates passionately as he speaks. Names are dropped liberally, hyperbole is served al dente.
I suppose living in Hollywood for awhile conditions you to speak frenetically. Attention spans are short, and pitches are in long supply – if you can’t convince someone your project is the next best thing since Shia LeBeouf in 8 seconds flat, you might as well pack it up and head back to Arkansas.
Don’t get me wrong though, when Tommy talks, he’s magnetic. And his ideas are really, really interesting. Tommy used his promotion platform to springboard into the world of film and music several years ago. He’s put a couple reality shows under his belt and seems to have no fewer than 10 new film, TV, and music projects to tout at any given time.
He talks a lot about a project called Rock and Roll Revolution. The idea is to follow Velvet Revolver as they tour the country. At each stop, they’ll drop by a local club and audition 3 acts picked from MySpace. The winner gets to open Velvet’s arena show and stay on the bus until they’re dethroned.
Pretty cool idea. It’s like And One Mixtape Tour for rockstars.
Tommy’s business partner is Matt Sorum. Matt played drums for a small indie group a few years back called Guns N Roses.
Matt now wields sticks for Velvet Revolver. Tommy mentions there’s a movie premier going down this Saturday where Matt will be – “You should definitely meet him — he’s got a sick studio right around the corner. I’ll throw you on he guestlist,” he says.
Sweet, I say.
We finish up our drinks and make for the exit. Tommy pulls out his ticket, and I am suddenly face to face with the valet who was like “Dude.”
Note to self: I am not making friends in Hollywood’s parking industry.
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