Hollywood in Prague: Some History

Photo: Richard Avedon
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The Year 1988 A.D., 10:45 am, LA, California USA. I parked by a boarded-up gas station. As I stepped out onto the gravelled lot a tumbleweed blew past me.

I could see nothing on the horizon. This was the meeting point. It made me nervous. Nothing but wind and heat. My 1985 Delta 88 Oldsmobile radiated in the heat. I reached inside for the 20-pound Radio Shack Cell phone (the smallest available at the time) and dialled my contacts. In a moment two cars roared from some hiding place down the road and pulled into the parking lots tossing up dust and gravel in their wake.

Two plainly bad men stepped out of the cars. To my left was Phil "the face" Ramey and on the right Peter "the sleaze" Brant. Brant had nearly been killed the week before and had filed a $10 million lawsuit against Cher and her bagel-boy toy. Yeah, she had picked up this pencil-dicked freak at a bagel-stand off of Hollywood and Santa Monica.

Cher set him up in her house and bought him a brand new Ferrari supposedly because he ate pussy like a dog. Dog-tongue boy took offence to Peter taking photos outside Cher's house, so he ran over him with the Ferrari. Managed to crash the Ferrari but only scraped Peter. Peter, weighed down in photo equipment, had managed to scuttle away at the last second. Phil took blurry pictures of the whole sordid event so it was splashed on newspapers and TV stations around the country.

Ramey meanwhile had worn out his welcome just about everywhere. He is oily with a cartoon hooked beak nose, and carries $10,000 cash for bribes and emergencies. One such emergency was seeing Liz Taylor at the LA airport.

He walked to the counter and asked what plane she was on, got a ticket and followed her around the world in this manner. Finally in Hong Kong Liz asked him if he would f*ck off if she let him take some pics of her with her new boyfriend. He did. Did the picture on the Great Wall of China of her and Malcolm Forbes. Told me he made $200,000 off those snaps.

But what he is really known for is getting the shakes. There is never a scene he can't get to: Crawling in windows, renting helicopters, if it's paparazzi news he is the man on the spot always. He is the king. But he gets the shakes so most of his pictures are blurry. A fat sweaty Iranian with 10,000 dollars in his pocket making blurry pictures.

They tell me my assignment. It's been a secret. Even the location I am about to go into is a secret. Seems like Eddy Murray is porking some 16 year-old Spanish chick. Brant gives me the low-down and the address.

I get her name and am told what vehicle, a pink VW, she drives. Silence. Total silence. More tumbleweeds. Ramey explains the next part: "Peter will hide behind a car above her house. I will be in the bushes down the street. You drive up and ram her car. Don't "total it" just gently hit it. Then ring her doorbell and tell her you f*cked her car. When she freaks out bring her outside and trade insurance info with her and we'll make the snaps. After that get the hell out of there."

Well, it sounded like a good idea at the time.

That was then, that was LA. But this kind of thing doesn't happen in Prague. Or does it? Blesk is tabloid slime isn't it? But where are the celebs? Well they are swarming here - in their hives and other nooks and crannies. In brothels and after-hours drug bars.

And the thing is, it might be sort of cool to have a drink with Johnny Depp or Liv Taylor at the Marquis de Sade. But it's slowly going out of control. Prague is becoming LA. Look around folks. Tabloid papers rule the day - the Prague Boast runs this fluff as well. Cell phones: hello. Look how people are dressed - designer clothes.

Seen any of the new pubs in Prague One? Perrier, ventilation, .4 beers and cocktail bars? Windows, gardens: "Hey lets be seen." And while we are at it let's spend more money, let's have lots of specialty shops, solariums, call girls, drugs, and after hours clubs. Nowadays you even find Czech men in the fitness centers.

Sure the influx makes Mecca and the Marquis de Sade look cool, but what's the price? Personally I think the celebs are here to stay - Prague is cheap, as are the women. Ron Pearlman eats at St. Jacques (by the way his dentist did a great job on him after Stalingrad) as does Liv Tylor - who Matthew (the filmproducer Matthew) told me he used to sleep with her in 1988, when she was 14 or 15.

Rufus Sewell - that boy can drink and has a bottomless nose. He came to my favorite pub daily and got so tanked he left his script there three days running. Willis must know the infamousfake French Arab dealer of Prague 10 - a new supply of coke is in town and it's the best in years. Willis is bonking Eva Jasanova and bought a house in Malastrana. That means more delusions to follow and good biz for those at the Chateau.

Dave from the Full Monty was having fun till his wife showed up, Charlton Heston left his spleen in Karlovy Vary - you used to be able to get complete medical records with pics for only a small bribe. Wesley Snipes showed up at the airport with 200 pair of underwear and was stopped by customs because they thought he was a Nigerian underwear smuggler.

After he was popped in the eye by a Czech girl at Mecca for being an over aggressive Cerny, he then decided Czechs and whites were no good and posted a "blacks only" sign on his movie set trailer door.

Schwarzangger helped start the failed planet Stupidwood. Christopher Walken laid low. Liv tooled around by herself watching concerts such as the Tigerlillies while Depp had drinking guards when there, who drank as much as he did - god bless them all!

But, poor Matt Damon from Titanic was chased out by pubescent Russian girls and never returned. Well you can probably name more names and tell more stories than I can. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Trendy aside, so far Prague has not turned into a LA-type circus. Praha-de-da instead of LA-de-da?

I mean there aren't even any paparazzi yet... or are there?

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