Round I - Beginning my Adventures As A San Francisco Rock Journalist

Damn that Cameron Crowe! How dare he steal the title of the book I was destined (doomed!) to write since BIRTH! My starstruck mother even named me and my brother after Kim Novak and Kirk Douglas and had our announcements printed up like theater tickets, for God’s sake:

Arthur and Doris Goldberg present :



Directed by Doctor S. Gospe

August 27, 196? ,12:22 a. m.

at the Dr. Stork Theater Mt. Zion Hospital, San Francisco, CA Rm 474

Okay, so I’ve embellished the spelling of my first name and dropped half of my last and my roots lie beneath these blond locks, but I swear the stories I’m about to tell you are true. Utterly, un- abashedly the gospel truth. I’m about to drop as many names as Paul Thomas Anderson dropped frogs in MAGNOLIA. And contrary to what any of you have heard, you can’t copyright a title. (It was a movie, anyway, and this should be a goddamned novel and by the time I’m done...) Besides, it wasn’t my idea, it was the publisher of this little newsrag , who’s gonna plug my little gig at JAVA ON OCEAN (1700 Ocean Ave @ Faxon, Sat. Feb.17, from 5-7 p.m so if anyone has a problem take it up with him!!! And I won’t disclose anymore about that because chances are he’ll just make up the rest in his friggin’ cartoon, anyway! (You thought all THAT stuff was true??)
Now let me cut to the chase....

You CAN go home again - and it will REALLY fucking piss you off!!!!!!!

Especially when you have spent YEARS knowing and working with/for/around wildly successful, famous people - or they got that way after they worked with you - and after 50,000 carrots have dangled before you looking like it’s YOUR turn, IT’S STILL NOT! YOU’RE STILL NOT FAMOUS! YOU’RE STILL NOT SUCCESSFUL! AND THEY ARE! AND THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!!!!!! TV, AWARDS SHOWS, MAGAZINES,RADIO, MOVIES - AND YOU’RE NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And even though you’ve gone out of YOUR way to help everyone YOU know, hook THEM up with all YOUR contacts - hardly ANYONE does it for YOU!!!! Even though WE’D ALL HAVE MORE STUFF - everybody wins - but NOOOO!!!! THEY’RE SUCCESSFUL! THEY’RE FAMOUS!

AND YOU’RE STILL NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was born in San Francisco and grew up in Daly City ("Little Boxes On The Hillside and They All Look The Same" see, even THAT stupid town has a theme song ), but it’s been close to two decades since I’ve spent any more time here than the obligatory once a year holiday visit from L.A., N.Y., and most recently, Nashville. I’m back because my dad has been in the hospital seriously ill since Aug., my mom is, uh, my mom, and my overwhelmed siblings were freaking out - so I did the right thing and moved back into the house I grew up in. (Fun fact to know and tell #1:) My house is around the corner on the same street from where Patty Hearst was held hostage for two months by the SLA! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, straight back into hell, where this obsessive quest was born and bred, beginning with my 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Johnston, playing Peter, Paul & Mary songs for us on her guitar. I demanded an ax of my own and it was off to the races from then on.

My mom got me this hippie guitar teacher at Serramonte Music Center named Bill Brown who taught me songs like "Working Class Hero" by John Lennon that had the line "You’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see" ! I was 9! All my parents’ dreams for a "sensible, normal" life for their bright,overachieving daughter were trashed forever.Though I attempted to not brainwash myself otherwise many times over the years, it was too late. The bug had bit - the damage was done.. (Fun fact #2 : I had a song accepted into The John Lennon Songwriting Contest 2000! The winners were just announced last week. I wasn’t even a runner-up. "Imagine " that!!)

Years later, when I was waitressing at JEZEBEL, a trendy soul food restaurant in midtown Manhattan, Peter Yarrow (from Peter, Paul & Mary) came in for dinner and I marched up to the table and said,"I want to thank you for ruining my life!" Before he could call security, I proceeded to tell him how I could have been a doctor or lawyer or ANYTHING, but noooo, I had to hear THEIR music, and was never able to truly focus on anything else ever again! (except that stable career choice, ACTING, but we’re not there yet) Mr. Yarrow got up and hugged me and kissed me on the cheek and gave me his address and phone # and told me to send him a tape. We spoke on the phone a couple times and he sent me a letter on Peter, Paul & Mary stationery saying how he enjoyed my songs, "as the wheel turns and the stone throws" (???) I guess he must have "puffed the magic dragon" and forgot about me after that..

I was a pop music junkie from then on, and it wasn’t long until my real precocious ambition set in. I was in all the musicals,sang in cover bands that played at parties, and started auditioning for musicals in the city like BEACH BLANKET BABYLON and getting callbacks. In ‘79, I got cast in a rock ‘n roll musical comedy called BREAKFAST IN MARIN as "Sunny From Ohio", an innocent ingenue (which I was) who gets indoctrinated into the wild world of sex, drugs, rock’ n roll, health food and new age this, that and the other thing (which I did). It was a work in progress and so was I. The line between the stage and my life blurred. (The show was written by two San Francisco State graduates, Brenda Warren and Barbara Freidkin, William Freidkin’s [the director of THE EXORCIST] niece and one of the actresses was RobinWilliams’ college sweetheart at College of Marin and he had just broken up with her before she was cast - (and he became MORK)! (Fun fact #3: A year after BREAKFAST closed, I met Robin Williams when this guy I was dating, the male half of the SF comedy duo Rick ‘n Ruby, landed a guest spot on MORK & MINDY and he flew me down for the taping. I had a short, precisely styled hair-do (ala Sheena Easton), and when Robin was introduced to me, he immediately went into this gay, French hairdresser character and started cooing and fussingover my hair while he "styled" it. I played right along, acting like a spoiled diva and everybody laughed.For a minute, me ‘n Robin had ‘em rolling in the aisles, baby!) BREAKFAST IN MARIN played for a year at CHEZ JACQUES, a cabaret on Calif. and Hyde, and we won the prestigious "Cable Car Award" for best original musical in a small venue.

One of our many directors was Nick Di Noia,who was once one of Jennifer (SUMMER OF ‘42) O’Neill’s seven husbands. (Last I heard he was a choreographer at CHIPPENDALES in NY) (Fun fact #4: years later I would end up working as a waitress and playing music at a club in Nashville called DOUGLAS CORNER CAFE owned by a guy who is MARRIED to Jennifer O’Neill NOW!!! .) One of our bass players was Scott Tunis, who was in Frank Zappa’s band forever, God rest his soul (Frank’s, not Scott’s as far as I know). Regular audience members for BREAKFAST included Marty Balin ,who, unbeknownst to him, one of the characters was patterned after, if he wasn’t doing HIS "rock opera" ROCK JUSTICE , at the OLD WALDORF, our writers would have cast him in a heartbeat) and Huey Lewis and his band before they became The News, who came to see us several times. One night after the show, Huey called me over. "Hey D. C. !" (Huey and his band all called me ‘D.C.’ because: a) I lived in Daly City and b) their road manager, a crazy 33 year old Scotsman named J.B., insisted on chasing me, even though I was still a teenage virgin living with my mommy and daddy.

To this day , I don’t think anybody in that band knows my real name and Huey still calls me D.C.) "Hey, D.C. - come over here!" He opened his arms as wide as they’d go and said, "Someday you’re gonna be THIS big!" "Really??" I asked, believing he was Elvis. "Oh, yeah, I’m sure about it." When I went to see them open for Ambrosia, Toto, and the Doobie Bros. a week before their 1st album was released, Huey dedicated a song to me, "I WANT YOU" : "This one goes out to D.C.!" I went to see Rockpile open for Blondie in Berkeley and Huey said, "Hey D.C.!" as he walked by and jumped on stage to sit in on harmonica on "BAD IS BAD". Heady stuff for a teenage virgin living in Daly City. (And years later, I would meet Frank Infante from Blondie in LA ,while I was hanging out with a music critic from the LA Weekly named Johnny Angel in some dive bar and again in NY at a club I was playing at in the West Village and he was just a "guy hangin’ out in bars"...)

When I saw Huey ( and " the boys" as we called them) years later in N.Y.backstage at a concert, the sax player sang the theme song from BREAKFAST to me and Huey yelled,"D.C.!!!!" and when I told him I was now a songwriter, gave me his address and phone # and asked me to send him a tape. I got a letter from him too, saying "Keep breathin’, as the jazz cats like to say" (??) but I guess he got busy "Workin’ For a Livin’" and that was it. I did run into him in ‘99 in Mill Valley at the Depot, where he proceeded to tell me he hadn’t seen J.B. in a long time (like I had?) and when I told him I was living in Nashville and so was our friend Alex Call ( who wrote "Jenny 867-5309" for Tommy Tutone) he said, "They write too many songs in Nashville - they can’t all be good." I just sent him my new CD, haven’t heard back. But hey, he’s a big MOOOVIE star now. Doing a Smokey Robinson cover with that other big MOOOVIE star Gywneth Paltrow - hey, Huey, get one of MY songs in one of yer mooovies, wouldja????

In I980, I put together an act w/ a couple friends, (one of whom, this guy, Richie, played George Harrison in the original touring cast of BEATLEMANIA) and we were one of the winners of THE TUBES TALENT HUNT for "The Completion Backwards Principle" show at the Palace Of Fine Arts. I was a huge fan and thought Fee Waybill was the coolest frontman ever. We wrote a parody of the song "I’d Do Anything" from the musical OLIVER and called it "Anything For a Large Fee". We wore little tank tops with our "names " on ‘em: Lynn was "Lotta Cash", Cathy was "Moulah Rouge" , I was "Buxom Bucks" and Richie played the piano and threw sick props at us at, um, "appropriate"moments.Fee dropped down to his knees and bowed to us when we finished, and it was on all the local news channels . But when it came time to perform at the Palace, we were backstage waiting to go on, and their choreographer, Kenny Ortega, failed to have a piano set up for us ("I thought you used a tape!") and Vince Welnick, THE TUBES keyboard player wouldn’t let us use his. So these gay guys with giant paper mache heads went on instead and pranced around to canned disco music while we watched from the wings. Fee apologized but I was scarred forever..."Talk To YOU Later " , Fee!!! Talk to the hand, man!

You know what? I AM gonna have to write a book , because I have at LEAST 300 more stories like this and I haven’t even moved out of my goddamned house or lost my virginity yet and it’s over 2 pages and I have to get to LA, NY, Nashville and London and back home again!!! So many more names to drop, so little space left... NEWSFLASH!!! The illustrious editor of this wonderful newspaper has suggested a SERIES - thanks, Gene! (God only knows where THAT’LL lead...) Believe me, you’ll get your money’s worth ! Oh, yeah, it’s a free paper..

THE L.A. YEARS : the 80’s, man!

One of my first jobs was at a restaurant called THE GREAT AMERICAN FOOD AND BEVERAGE CO. on the corner of La Cien Kega and Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. (I think it’s a FAT - BURGER now.) Everyone who worked there, from the managers to the busboys (I was a cashier), had to be a musician, singer or songwriter (you had to AUDITION to work there) and when you weren’t doing your " service job", you performed. One day I sang for Diana Ross and Gene Simmons, who were there on an afternoon date (!!) with her kids. Other people who worked there: Eric Lowen and Dan Navarro,who wrote "WE BELONG " for Pat Benatar and Rickie Lee Jones did a stint there before me. Hey, I even knew Chuck E.Weiss "CHUCK E.’s IN LOVE" - he had a band called Chuck E.Weiss and The Goddamned Liars that played every Mon. night right down the street at a club called THE CENTRAL ,which is now the VIPER ROOM, owned by Johnny Depp, where River Phoenix died. And speaking of Ms. Jones, there was this girl who worked at the other GREAT AMERICAN in Santa Monica (there were two) who got a gig as Rickie Lee’s piano player before she hit it big years later...Vonda (ALLY McBEAL) Shepard, who now has the ultimate cover gig...

And speaking of Vonda Shepard, we used to go see her play (and I eventually played there too) at another club in Santa Monica called AT MY PLACE and some of the people in the audience to see HER included a new actress named Michelle Pfieffer and her then husband, Peter Horton, you know, that guy who used to be on THIRTYSOMETHING [with that sissy boy haircut -G.M.] and is now on that new GEENA DAVIS SHOW. Ah, THERE’S the ALLY MCBEAL connection!!!! Because Michelle is now married to David E. Kelley, the guy who creates and writes ALLY McBEAL. SEE??- VONDA knew famous people and worked her ass off and now years later SHE’S famous!!!!!! Vonda used to have this boyfriend named Michael Ruff who played there too and his guitar player was this guy who called me and asked me out and set up songwriting sessions - and stood me up, like ,three times!! He always seemed so sorry and had great excuses and he was so talented and nice, I cut him slack till I got sick of it. His name: W.G."Snuffy" Walden, which if you check out the " theme music by:" credits after almost every show on TV since 1990 from THIRTYSOMETHING to THE WEST WING , it’s Snuffy, Snuffy, Snuffy!!!! Say it with me now!

And NOW, Stargazers, allow me to take you down a few memory lanes of my days as a "serious actress", before I gave up that passion to completely surrender to my first addiction : MUSIC. I was in an acting class for a couple years called NEIGHBORHOOD PLAYHOUSE WEST - taught by a graduate student of Sanford Meisner in NY, who’s former students include Robert Di Niro, Al Pacino, and Robert Duvall. One of the"grad students" who was in MY class when he was in town, and the first actor I had to do an acting exercise with on my FIRST day in class was Jeff Goldblum, who wore a giant cowboy hat, dark glasses and had a full beard and I didn’t even know it was him until someone told me later - and some students who joined us after I started were: that groovy chick Michelle Pfeiffer (again!) She wore faded overalls, no make- up and looked like she hadn’t combed her hair in a week and was still drop dead gorgeous - and her sister Dee Dee ( Meatloaf’s VH1 movie wife) and the Segall Twins (Katey’s sisters). FAMOUS, FAMOUS, SEMI-FAMOUS & RELATED TO FAMOUS!!!!

BEFORE THEY WERE FAMOUS: Anybody remember Jim Carrey’s first feature film: "ONCE BITTEN", where he was a high school kid and Lauren Hutton played a vampire who kept trying to jump his bones?? Not ringing a bell? Well,watch the USA channel around Halloween, they always show it - and look for the scene at the high school Halloween dance with the all-girl band. Yep, that’s yours truly, playing BASS and mugging for the camera. We had trailers with our names on ‘em, I was in makeup with Lauren Hutton (who said "fuck" every 5 seconds) and they shot HOURS of footage of us, which added up to about a minute of screen time. But watch the credits and you’ll see my name under "THE BAND". Man....Anybody remember a short-lived TV series called SQUARE PEGS starring Sarah Jessica Parker (from my favorite cable show SEX IN THE CITY) as a total geek with horn-rimmed glasses??? I was in a scene where I was one of the track runners that they shot, like 9000 times at some high school in Compton, and I think I was doing speed that I got from my junkie boyfriend who was a chef at THE GREAT AMERICAN FOOD AND BEV. CO. and I think I got paid thirty bucks...

WHEN THEY WERE FAMOUS BUT MADE SOME UH, INTERESTING CHOICES: Some TV and feature films I was an "extra" in: "PERFECT" starring Jamie Lee Curtis as an aerobics instructor , John Travolta as a reporter from Rolling Stone, and Larraine Newman and Marilu Henner as hot-to-trot, loser chick gym bunnies. I actually WAS an aerobics instructor then (wasn’t everyone?) so I was a "featured extra". I still made thirty bucks.... "SHATTERED SPIRITS" : a made for TV movie starring one of my favorite actors ever Martin Sheen ( THE WEST WING - Snuffy’s theme!) as an alcoholic dad or a dad of an alcoholic teen ( I can’t remember EVERY detail, so take it out of my royalties!). Mr. Sheen was sitting on the lawn by himself between takes and I got up the nerve to go up to him and say something retarded like, "Hi, I’m Kimberlye Gold, and I just want to tell you how much I admire your work and what an honor it is to get to work with you today." I was an EXTRA!! And not even a " featured" one! Do you know he put out his hand and said, "Hi, I’m Martin", said asked me to sit down and chatted with me for a few minutes ! He actually said, "it is a pleasure to meet you ,Kimberlye, and I’m sorry we won’t be doing any scenes together today." Will somebody get rid of that clown George Bush and let the real Slim Shady PLEASE stand up!!?? I demand a recount!! Martin Sheen for president!!!!

My last acting memory was when I got to audition for a tale�$nt agency called TRIAD because somehow I had gotten an interview with an agent named Jenny Delaney who seemed to really believe in my "potential". It was my first serious audition for a major agency and this was one of the biggest ones in LA. Nothing like starting at the top with NO experience! I did a scene from the John Sayles movie BABY IT’S YOU (starring Roseanna Arquette), with a black guy from my acting class (it made it ‘edgier’ ,man), in front of the entire staff, like TWENTY FIVE agents - because they ALL had to want to sign you. It was a stellar performance - I cried and emoted like a real actress! But it was a hung jury - some wanted me, some did not. Jenny said she’d sign me in a heartbeat but it had to be a unanimous decision, because TRIAD was so big, so I should just "go out and pound that pavement" and she was sure I’d find the right agency. (I read in TV Guide that she’s Sinbad’s agent now - I have a story about HIM too, but it’ll have to wait, Sinbad fans!)) I walked out of her office and gave up acting. I still wonder sometimes if I should have stuck with it, if I would I have been the featured guest on my favorite show on BRAVO," INSIDE THE ACTORS STUDIO", discussing my acting technique and looking into the eyes of all those hungry students as I answered those lame questions that ultra-sincere, bizarre host guy always ends the show with,"What is your favorite obscenity?" FUCK!!! I chose music, goddamnit - and for the last FIFTEEN YEARS I have continued to WORK AND WRITE AND PLAY AND SING MY ASS OFF and have had HUNDREDS OF GIANT THINGS HAPPEN WITH HUGELY CONNECTED/ SUCCESSFUL/ yes, FAMOUS PEOPLE ON ALL SIDES AND GENRES OF THE MUSIC BUSINESS WHO LEAD ME TO BELIEVE ALL KINDS OF BULLSHIT!!!



And MAYBE I would have given up if:

A) It didn’t run through my veins and heart and soul and...
B) There IS no "B" - it’s the only logical explanation!!!

As a friend of mine in Nashville so perfectly described my "legacy" thus far:


Thank you for my little forum and I hope you, my San Francisco family will welcome me back to my hometown and come on out ‘n see me sometime...w/ special guest stars!!...

Coming attractions in upcoming SF HERALD "ALMOST FAMOUS" future installments LA, NY NASHVILLE and LONDON:

Richard Marx opening for and then stealing my band ! Star Search! "The Year of the Kevins"( Du Brow, OUIET RIOT, Cronin, REO SPEEDWAGON, the A&R guy from Atlantic Records)! GUNS ‘N ROSES! Joe Lynn Turner (Rainbow, Deep Purple)!Vanessa William’s A&R guy - and tons more major record label and publishing execs promising alot of major shit that didn’t come through! A Slew of Big Soap Opera Actors on both coasts! Robert Plant and Jimmy Page! Ray Davies! Julian Lennon! Collaborating w/ dozens of hit songwriters (Jennifer Lopez, Dixie Chicks, Whitney Houston, etc.) who never get our songs cut!!! Working as an in-house temp at the record labels in NY! GABRIEL BYRNE tracking me down when he was on Broadway! Marty Balin (again)! And the # 1 reason for this series: Getting a song on an Atlantic Records artist album in Nashville with another unknown writer - and then my unknown co-writer goes on to write"BREATHE" for FAITH HILL, the biggest song of the year !!!!!!!!!!!!!! INTERNATIONALLY!!!!!!! - and she gets a record deal of her own on MCA!!!! While I’M STILL WAITRESSING!!!!!! [And writing for the SF Herald for no money! - G.M.-]

And so much more, ladies and gentlemen......

If you’d like some evidence beyond this ranting, check out to hear a sample of my songs!!!

Or checkout a live acoustic set I did in London that my stalker, I mean the publisher of this newspaper found when he entered my name on an internet search by clicking on : 12 Bar Club!!!!

Stay tuned....

To read other articles by Kim Gold, click here!