July 25, 2010

The El Camino Visits Motel Bizarre

There is nothing left of The El Camino Hotel. Guarded by a 14 ft majestic brown stallion on hind legs the El Camino was a place that, as a child awed me. Only a block from the beach, it seemed Dad had taken us to a dream world. I was 3 yrs old and I loved the place. Now run down and boarded up it seems this place wasn't quite what it seemed to be. Police patrol the grounds constantly and the giant stallion is no longer in place. The science of a child's memory is nothing more than innocence. I look at the place today and think meth, prostitution, bums, and even more so our declining economy. But at age 3 this was my paradise, a memory that I often remember as being joyful.

So here I am now 26 yrs later browsing through photographs of old run down motels. I can't help but wonder the stories they carry and the memories they hold. Here are a few "Famous Motels"

The Lorraine Motel on 450 Mulberry Street in Memphis, TN was actually a motel, just like any other motel. But now, it is the site of the National Civil Rights Museum.
Lorraine Motel's place in history was reserved on April 4, 1968, when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated while he was standing on the balcony outside room no. 306. The assassin was James Earl Ray, who fired a single shot from the Morrow Building, a rooming house whose rear windows faced out towards the Lorraine Motel.
A few days before that, Dr. King, who was in Memphis to support garbage collectors on strike, had checked into the Lorraine Motel. But even before that fateful day, the Lorraine was one of the few go-to Memphis Motels for visiting celebrities and famous people, including Louis Armstrong and Nat Cole.
Memory Motel is a song from the Rolling Stones' 1976 album 'Black and Blue', which was said to be inspired by the Memory Motel & Bar in Montauk, Long Island, New York. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were staying at Andy Warhol's house in Montauk before their famed 'Tour of the Americas '75', when Jagger wrote the song.
The importance of the motel is magnified because the lyrics insinuate a one-night stand with the Hazel eyed Hannah at the Memory Motel. The actual Memory motel & bar in Montauk is still open for business, and offers 13 rooms in the center of Montauk's Historical Village.
It's heyday is long past gone, but it's still one of the hottest attractions in Montauk, with shows, live music, celebrity customers and an atmosphere more suitable for a swinging nightclub in New York City.

And of course ....The Bates Motel

And on to fictitious tales of truth at Motel Bizarre

“We wish you to feel at home while here. All equipment was carefully checked on your arrival. Your license number is on record here. Use hot water sparingly. We reserve the right to eject without notice any objectionable person. Do not throw waste material of any kind in the toilet bowl. Thank you. Call again. The Management. P.S. We consider our guests the finest people of the world.”
~ Lolita, Nabokov

Motels have always been a haven for the more adventurous types, and this high-minded book has the low-down on just that. Through skillfully arranged and photographed scenarios you will find yourself looking through the eyes of that “fly on the wall” you’ve always been curious about. The beds in Motel Bizarre may not talk, but we’ve done all the dirty work for you. Here’s entertainment for open minds and ticklish spines. Here’s lusty, merry recreation for unsqueemish men and women. Here’s life with apologies to none.

Motel Bizarre Available at Scapegoat Publishing

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