Banana Man

The real party was in the back yard

Brian the Banana, and Andrew as Elvis
  • Brian the Banana, and Andrew as Elvis

The Saturday before Halloween, I had over 50 party invitations. Folks in Murrieta said they'd prepare a guest room for me. Another invite enticed me with strippers on stripper poles. I chose five parties to visit, eliminating ones that were too far away, including one down south, where border patrol agents were hosting 500 people in an empty house. I'll write about the three best Halloween bashes in upcoming weeks. I arrived at Gerald's San Carlos home around 7:30. His house had Halloween decorations everywhere, and Gerald was dressed as a pirate. His band, 3PieceUnit, was setting up their amps and speakers downstairs. I asked if the neighbors would complain about the noise. Gerald told me you couldn't hear the music from outside. "Besides, my neighbor on that side is deaf."

The set-up downstairs included a bar, where you could watch the band from (if your ears could take it). Gerald made me a drink he called "the three-way" -- Malibu rum, Apple Pucker, and 7-Up.

One guy arrived in green make-up and a ripped shirt. I asked if he was the Hulk, and he said no. (I hate guessing a costume wrong.) The woman with him was dressed in leather and held a whip. She said, "He's my slave." She told me that she usually throws the Halloween party and that it takes her a month to decorate. This year, she donated her decorations to Gerald's party.

A guy came in dressed as Elvis. I told him that he looked more like Chris Isaak. "I get that a lot," he said. When he was talking to a guy in a banana outfit, I said, "Get Elvis some peanut butter and he's set."

The banana sat behind the drums. His band was called The Blue Shift. When I asked the name of the band, Gerald jokingly said "The Blue Shaft." When they played, I couldn't hear the people I was talking to. I started to have this conversation with a stocky black guy. When he told me that he was a musician, I guessed bassist or drummer. He said he plays guitar in a heavy metal band called Benedictum. They've opened for Guns 'N Roses and Tool and have played in festivals around the world. The last thing I heard him say before the band went into a surf song was, "I'm the obnoxious loud guy at parties."

There was an elaborate set-up for the bands -- a video screen above them flashed images and colors. There was more room upstairs, and you didn't have the music right in your face. It was like watching the bands from a balcony.

A pregnant nun came over and looked at the Star of David around my neck. I told her that I was "Jew Hefner." When I walked in, someone had asked, "Are you Super Jew?" I guess it looked as if the huge Star of David I made from Popsicle sticks and aluminum foil could deflect bullets. I wore a yarmulke, pajamas and slippers, and a smoking jacket. I had a Playboy sticking out of my pocket and a pipe in my mouth. One guy said, "Dude, you have everything but the eight bunnies around you." When another guy grabbed my Playboy to look through it, he asked if there were any hot women inside. I showed my age when I said, "I didn't look at it yet. I saw on the cover that there was an interview with Tenacious D that I was looking forward to reading."

As we were talking, I heard a guy say, "Oh, yes, I can see a boob!" I looked up and it was a guy who had his chest sticking out of his shirt. Some people did see boobs, though. Someone who had done some pornography on-line showed up, and a crowd gathered to watch him with his date in the back yard. I felt bad for the band, who didn't realize why the crowd had shrunk.

Nick, Adriana, and Gerald

Nick, Adriana, and Gerald

A guy named Greg brought a bottle of tequila that he said a woman in Mexico makes herself. A woman dressed as a cop said, "What's in there?" and sounded like a real officer. Although I'm not much of a tequila drinker, it was one of the better tequilas I've tried. After three shots, I was buzzed. So when Gerald mentioned food in the other room, I went to have a bite. The talk in the kitchen was about how you get the taste of tequila out of your mouth. Greg said bananas work great. I looked to see if the banana guy was around.

Greg was wearing a wolf mask over his face. He said he's used it for 20 years because he's able to drink through it. He left to let his dogs out, and I asked if they got freaked out by his costume. "They know the sound of my car. And they know my smell. They know it's me, no matter what is covering my face."

A few women were dressed up in outfits with wings on their backs. As one walked by me, I was brushed with a wing. I asked her how often that happens. "Until I take them off," she said.

There was a Filipino couple dressed as a king and a princess. The guy was a coworker of Gerald's. I was told they call him Cinderella because he always leaves the parties by midnight. I thought about it later, and wondered if he was supposed to be Cinderella when I thought he was supposed to be a king.

Greg made the mistake of telling me that he works for Rock Stars Guitars. I had seen their website. They sold a Hendrix guitar for half a million dollars. He told me about the FBI sting in 2001 and how they asked him to help when a company was found selling forged sports memorabilia. He said after 9/11, the FBI seemed to lose interest in the forgeries. I told Greg I was surprised that I never saw the guitar Pete Townsend threw out to the crowd at Woodstock being auctioned off. "That's because his manager got it back," Greg informed me. "You can even see that in the [video] clip. Usually, [Townsend's manager] went into the crowds and got the guitars back. I work directly with him, and we can verify if someone is selling a real guitar of Pete's or not."

I asked him if he could score me a deal on any guitars. He laughed and said, "We just had one of Keith Richards's. We sold that for $690,000." I opened up my wallet, figuring I'd have enough for one of his guitar strings or a pick.

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