You have probably heard me say before that I believe the quality of your life is in the quality of your relationships. In the last several years this belief has been reinforced so deeply in me that it is no longer something I even question. It just is in my core and something that is embedded in my consciousness.
When I was a kid I used to go down the street to my friend Richard Garza’s house. He and his brother’s always had the best music collection and they also had cable and MTV. Richard’s father was this suave Spanish guy with some of the most amazing records in his collection. It was here that I first heard Agustin Castellon Campos known affectionately in the guitar community as “Sabicas” and I also heard the astounding guitar duo “Los Indios Tabajaras” from Brazil.
I still have both on a cassette that Richard made for me and I keep the cassettes in my safe I love them so much. You would never find these on CD. I am going to have my assistant Rina transfer them. Richard’s dad also had a subscription to Playboy magazine.
Man did we think that was cool.
We would go over after school and listen to music, play guitars and look at his dad’s magazines before he got home from work. Playboy magazine is an interesting caveat in the Sexual Revolution because women admire the magazine as much as men do. All of my past girlfriends used to check out the magazine as much as I did when we were growing up.
I think the only exceptions are “feminist” and as far as feminist go, well god bless them, but I haven’t met a lot of attractive and happy ones. Gloria Steinem a famous feminist is known for saying “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” And then she married a rich guy?
I remember one time I was hanging out playing pool with my friends. I was about 20 years of age and I saw this knockout walk into the room. Her legs were unbelievable, I went right up to her and told her exactly what I thought word for word.
She was in a bad mood because some guy had stood her up. I got her laughing and said you know “God has a sense of humor” He wanted you and me to meet let’s hang out. So I told my friends I was leaving and I was taking this girl with me. This all happened within 5 minutes so my friend Greg says to me “Eric, what in the hell did you say to her” I said to him, I told her exactly what I felt right there in the moment.
Anyway here I am we go back to the house I was renting in college and we go inside. The first thing she did as she walked into my house was grab the single Playboy Magazine I had on my bookshelf and start looking at the pictures. I am not the type of guy to hide the magazine because I feel that nudity is natural and beautiful, however it was “counter intuitive” to my psychology at the time that she would be that drawn to it. I will never forget that day as long as I live.
Me and my friend Allan where talking a lot about the power of visualization during the last week he was here. We both have “visualized” guitars that showed up in our lives unexpectedly. Me a Les Paul and Allan an SG. When I was a teenager I worshiped Joe Perry, Leslie West, Al DiMeola and Randy Rhoads whom all played Gibson “Les Pauls”.
I wanted one so bad, I used to lay on my bed and dream about it constantly. I even drew a picture of me playing one.
One day my guitar teacher from Texas Tom’s Music in Houston offered to sell a Gibson “Black Beauty” Les Paul to my mom for $175, an incredible deal. He needed the money and wanted me to have it. I still have it 25 years later.
Coincidence? I think not. It’s like that concept in the “Universal Law of Attraction” Be careful what you wish for you might get it.
So back to our story, I used to hang out at Richard’s house and look at those magazines. At the girls and the cars and the gadgets. I remember saying one day “I am going to go there and see it.”
Over the years I grew out of keeping up with the magazine but I have always enjoyed keeping up with Hugh Hefner and I especially enjoyed the documentary “Once Upon a Time” I always “visualized” going to the Mansion and it was great to see in the documentary; so did Hef. He just focused on realizing his dream until it became reality.
He was in a boring, lifeless marriage and he said to himself ‘This can’t be all there is” and he created a cartoon strip to escape and this cartoon strip evolved eventually into what is now known today as Playboy Magazine.
I strongly believe in self improvement and seeking to be the best I can be. Whenever my band would play gigs in cities in the US, I would often stay an extra day in town so that I could attend a seminar or conference on something. I attend a lot of speeches as well.
I have done a “mind mapping” conference in Austin. NLP conference in San Diego, Tony Robbins, Music Strategies with Tim Sweeney. You name it I have probably checked it out. In 2005 when I became single I attended a seminar after a gig in Chicago that was based on social dynamics and dating that was very well done. It was a small group of professional men that attended this because it was expensive. At the seminar one of the speakers stood out from the rest in my opinion. He spoke at the last day and I think a lot of people were just losing their focus and getting tired but the opposite happened to me. My ears perked up and I could tell as I often can that I must get to know this guy.
After I got home from the conference I was on a roll. After a 7 year relationship I found my new freedom exhilarating and I had confidence that was through the roof. I found myself in situations I thought were not even possible and frankly I just kept pushing the envelope to see what was possible. You would not believe what is possible if you just go for it. More on that later.
Because I am in the music business I am in Los Angeles alot. I have a lot of dear friends there and I consider it kind of a home away from home. I like the energy of the nightlife there and I love the fashion and the food. Some of the best Japanese food on the planet. Try “Sushi Nozawa” in Studio City.
So I looked this speaker up and I found that he lived in LA. I arranged a “one on one” with him where I paid him for his time and I basically sat down and interviewed the guy on a variety of topics I was interested in regarding female psychology, social dynamics, multiple relationships, monogamy, why people do what they do, etc, and it was fascinating.
Afterwards we would go out in Beverly Hills and just have a blast getting to know people and taking over an entire club sometimes in the process. As a musician I am used to being somewhat of a performer so this opened my eyes to more of an intense spectrum. Especially since I was in Los Angeles which is one of the most “socially dynamic” cities in the world. I learned a lot in a very short amount of time.
I ended up becoming friends with Nick and we stayed in touch. He loves music and picked up the guitar recently and is studying voice. He is also a very savvy businessman which is something we have in common and something that I respect and look for in developing friendships with people.
So he offers me the opportunity to attend a party at The Playboy Mansion with him earlier this year and I went. I had always daydreamed of checking that place out and I can definitely say it was on my checklist right up there with visiting Rome and Prague and a few other places to see what it’s like. So let me walk you through it:
You can’t drive up to the place as “Beverly Glen Dr.” is a private drive. So the way they do it is they have you on a VIP list and you meet at a underground parking garage called Century Park East.
Once you show them your drivers license and they determine you are on the list and that you are who you say you are; They put a wristband on you and stamp the inside of your wrist with a little Playboy bunny. From there you are ushered on to a shuttle bus that takes you to the mansion.
Once you walk around the back you basically walk into Fantasy Land and the whole thing is just a bit surreal. The grounds are impeccable and everything is manicured and just spotless.
The party I was there for was a musicians “celebrity auction” for Breast Cancer awareness. (Cute eh?)
They throw the food out there and everything is done first class. There is an open bar and everyone is very open and eager to talk with you and meet.
It is funny, I found girls there in 3 categories:
1. The Playboy girls-very nice and outgoing, you can tell they are paid to be there and they do their job well. They are generally wearing body paint and they have incredible bodies with really bad boob jobs. (I am not a fan of boob jobs or plastic surgery for that matter)
2. The “wanna be in Playboy” girls- they have generally been invited to the Mansion by some wealthy guy or they sent their photo in and got an invitation. They always say that they are in Playboy and will mention some month. As it turns out they were on the website as the “cyber girl” of the month and there is a small thumbnail photo of them on the website that was up for a week. It’s OK the whole thing is kind of cute. I was just as caught up in the fantasy and the aura of the place as anyone else that wasn’t a regular. These girls are all wearing lingerie.
3. The “has been in Hollywood too long” girls. Unfortunately these “birds” should have left the nest a long time ago. They have “trout mouth” (too many collagen injections) and fit the mode of what many call a “cougar” The plastic surgery is a mess and these boob jobs are just plain “horrifying”.
They also have the most “balls” of the 3 groups and well, I’ll just be blunt: they walk around naked!
You just kind of walk past them and go “damn girl” and just keep moving. It’s a very funny scene.
With all that being said here are some photos with a few brief captions and I will get to the part 2 in a few days. The story behind the scenes and the amazing perspective of a professional photographer I met that has worked for Playboy for 30 years. I love older guys that have been around the planet for several years. You can learn so much by just listening to their stories.
This is the control panel inside the Grotto where they communicate with the Mansion. Isn’t it retro? It is so 70’s I love it! It looks like something straight out of a Bond movie. It still works and everything! I contemplated hitting the intercom and ordering a martini “shaken not stirred”
So stay tuned for part 2 where I will tell what happened and all the extremely interesting things I learned while I was there. I met some interesting people as well and a lot of what is happening there is not what you would think.
Follow your dreams and live your life with passion!