OVER the last year or so i've been lucky enough to hang out with james ellroy, self-proclaimed demon dog of american crime fiction, including a bizarre/memorable dinner at taylor's steakhose at which the author insisted i bring along some good looking women.
because he always seems to be on camera -- barking like a dog, offering off-color anecdotes and ethnic jokes, and generally acting out -- it was intriguing to follow him last week when an actual camera crew was on him.
ellroy was walking around LA's old-money hancock park neighborhood -- his teenage 'hood -- for a video doc playboy will post on its website... the video, like his new memoir/essay in playboy, gets at how the murder of his mother sent him on a tailspin and shaped his relationships with women. (the "relationships" in the hancock park chapter mostly involved stealing underwear and watching girls undress through windows.)
you can read all about it in my latest LATIMES piece. and it's playboy's april issue you want.
i remember moving to LA in 1997, the summer before the film "LA confidential" came out... everyone i knew -- film people, music people, book people -- was talking about the movie and how good it was. that sent me and a lot of other people into a fascination with the mad dog's work.
here is a piece i wrote last year about the weird inability of hollywood to match LA Conf with another good adaptation. ellroy's next novel is due this fall.
i welcome comments, especially, from anyone who's read the playboy stuff.