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Breakfast in New York City with “Dapper” Dave:
So the first thing I do after sleeping on makeup FX artist Tom Lauten’s floor in his rented room in Larchmont, Long Island, is head into the Big Bad Apple to meet with Everitt, who has offered to take me to breakfast.
I arrive at the 8th floor of 475 Park Avenue South, and the sweet receptionist asks me to wait in the “lobby” (six chairs in front of her desk), “because Mr. Everitt is on the phone right now.” I wait for 10 minutes, then Dapper Dave appears and ushers me into the FANGORIA office.
This is it?
A tiny room with two desks shoved together and two electric typewriters and piles and piles of books and videos and stacks of stills? This is where the coolest horror movie mag—the only horror film publication at the time, 1984—is being published? (My 20-year-old head takes a tumble down a rabbit hole…)
Dave is cordial. Very welcoming. Informs me it’s time for breakfast.
We descend to the ground level and the slightly grungy diner next to the bank where I shall have the special privilege to cash my Fango checks every time I fly over from the UK and go rambling across the USA.
The man who hired me and made me Fango’s “British Correspondent” sits me down in his favorite seat. I stare out the window at a gray, potentially depressing weekday morning, but I don’t care. I am on my dream vacation: I have finally crossed the Big Pond and am in America (and more importantly, I am in New York City, a location I have craved to visit since I was 8 years old. It’s a bit of a heady experience).
Dave insists I order the pancakes. My waitress asks if I want bacon and eggs with said pancakes; I look at her with my jaw open: “Bacon and eggs with pancakes? Err…OK.” (Bacon and eggs are, of course, a traditional English breakfast—often accompanied by fried bread [bread cooked in the bacon grease—yes, very healthy], sausages, baked beans and fried tomatoes…but B & E with pancakes? I only had British pancakes once a year when my Mum would make these light, fluffy things you’d cover with sugar and lemon juice on Shrove Tuesday…)
Dapper Dave smiles at my clear confusion.
While we wait for breakfast to arrive, we get down to business and the next few articles he wants me to write.
History time: I made my first appearance in Fango’s pages with issue #26 (1983, although the story was sold in late 1982), a co-authored piece on the making of HOUSE OF THE LONG SHADOWS. For this article, I had interviewed former director turned writer Michael Armstrong (1969’s THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF HORROR, a.k.a. HORROR HOUSE, and 1970’s infamous MARK OF THE DEVIL), who’d scripted the Pete Walker-directed remake of a creaky old ‘30s movie, starring Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee and John Carradine. I didn’t get to do a set report (much to my sadness; I desperately wanted to meet Vincent, Peter and John), but Michael, the first real filmmaker I met at my first convention, gave me great quotes and the article sold. My next appearance in the magazine was issue #32, with a solo byline on my in-depth interview with Amicus producer Milton Subotsky, which led to me becoming British Correspondent…and the rest, as is said, is history.
But back to April 1984…
Dapper David Everitt made me laugh, commissioned another six articles and tried not to grin when my plate of pancakes and eggs and bacon was delivered to our table. These were not pancakes as I knew them, and the maple syrup he told me to pour over the slab of butter nearly gave me sugar shock.
After four mugs of coffee and trying to eat everything on my huge plate, I waddled after Dave back up to the Fango cubbyhole and finally met “Uncle” Bob Martin…but that’s the next blog, Fango Ghouls ’n’ Guys…
WHAT I AM READING RIGHT NOW
THE MAKING OF “TAXI DRIVER”–Geoffrey Macnab
DONALD CAMMELL: A LIFE ON THE WILD SIDE—Rebecca & Sam Umland
LOVE SONGS FOR THE SHY AND CYNICAL—Robert Shearman (FYI: Shearman is an award-winning British writer who works in TV and penned the teleplay of “Dalek,” one of the best episodes [if not the best] of the Christopher Eccleston DR. WHO season.)
Bloody Blogs -
Getting the Fear
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