A Journey into the Dark Heart of Burbank: A Day at Dark Delicacies

I saw black leather straps spiraling up her calves, like an animal-flesh double helix. She was bracketed with buckles up to her knees. Down past her ankles two inches of platform arced up like a black swan’s neck, and speared down into a spiked heel.

I was, once again, at Dark Delicacies.

Funnily enough, those shoes and calves belonged to the lady standing outside the salon next door to Dark Delicacies, though she looked like an ad for it. She solicited me as I walked passed “Want a facial?” But I was wearing my own turquoise spiked heels that day, and they function on momentum – the moment I stop I feel the pain of fashion, so I smiled and kept moving.

I caught a look at myself in the window glass outside, “I look like a Goddamn porn star!” I thought. This is relative, because don’t usually bust the spike heels and the tight busty blouse, but I was surprised at myself, pleasantly. Hey, it’s Halloween season, sue me.

So, we are at Dark Delicacies (hereafter referred to as D.D.) for the in-store signing of the Human Target double album. Bear does about 2 signings a year at D.D., and it always brings a happy, ghouly crowd. In fact, there was already a crowd when we got there.  You’d think they were a horde of horror fans, but actually the D.D. crowds are fairly diverse. When people step up to Bear’s table for him to sign a CD, they engage him on everything. Of course you get a lot of Battlestar Galactica questions, general film scoring questions, music gear questions etc, but there are a lot of random topics too. For instance, a dude just started talking to Bear about the band, Dethklok, and they totally bro’d down (guy bonded) about it for a good 10 minutes.

bros-with-guitar-(web)

bros-with-guitar-(web)

Even though there are a lot of black t-shirts, and a bookshelves with the word “SPOOKY” in giant block letters, D.D. features non-goth, culty subjects as well. Of particular interest to me is their collection of UFO related material. I first got into “visitor” and UFO literature (both classified as fiction and non-fiction, you be the judge) in 1987, when my dad and I were hanging around in a bookstore on Hollywood Blvd., near Las Palmas. I had already seen a show on “visitors,” the ones with the appalling almond-shaped black eyes, and ashy, pale skin. It really shook me, that show -  truth be told I lost a lot of sleep, but I was drawn to it too. Parallel to my musical beginnings, I began a personal odyssey into UFO culture and conspiracy. I read “Communion” by Whitley Strieber, and then, 2 years later (after I could sleep with the lights out again) I read all the sequels, and a bunch of other authors such as Bud Hopkins and Raymond E. Fowler (If you don’t know those names, you’re normal).

UFo&Roosevelt(web)

UFo&Roosevelt(web)

Some nights, walking home from Thai Ice Cuisine with my dad, dragging a microphone stand a foot longer than I was, I checked the skies for stars moving suspiciously. I checked my arms for odd scars. I deliberately scared my friend Zoe, by faxing her a copy of the cover of Communion, with that glassy-eyed, merciless, man-insect face on the cover. Then, I guess I got what I deserved when we went camping together, and we saw a helicopter rising over a black hill. We both rose up from our sleeping bags in curiosity, then stark terror, then stone-cold religion when we KNEW we were about to be abducted. Finally, after 10 minutes of “holy fuck! Turn on the flashlight! No turn off the flashlight!” the helicopter beat its blades over our tent, and we fell back onto our sleeping bags in relief. But, if I hadn’t been filling her head with all the crap I’d been reading, ONE of us would’ve been sane enough that night to think a little harder. Oh well. Hey, nobody got probed. That we know of.

Raya-antanna(web)

Raya-antanna(web)

Ok so back to D.D. - time to drop names.

Jon Steinberg, the producer / writer / creator of Human Target has just arrived in a boyish gray cap and matching hoodie. Bear, attired in a slick, black blazer, a red v-neck, and swept back shiny hair with a Max Headroom lift, looks like Jon’s agent. They sit to sign CDs, and bro down in general. To my left, filmmaker Kyle Higgins is shooting the shit with photographer, Andrew Craig - here today with his less super-massive black camera. Kevin Porter, Bear's assistant is here as well, sporting his aviator shades, crimson hair, and Texas charm. We all bro down about Batman.

darkdelicon3

darkdelicon3

darkdelicon4

darkdelicon4

(Click on each panel to embiggen. Very important pointers and dialog transcriptions!)

Well, the signing session is winding down now. After smiles, hand shakes, and bro-ing down on various “genre” subjects, 4 hours of sharpie marker vapors have made us all a little more vapid and floaty. The last of the black shirts leaves the store. Del, the owner (and rad guy) is tidying up...

Del(web)

Del(web)

(Del: Friendly store owner and...wizard?)

...and a tiny little girl comes up to Bear and nudges him. Bear swivels over, “Hi!” he charms down at her with a smile, and she bounces off.

And that’s the end of the day:

An inflated silver ghost balloon bumps and boos in a corner of the ceiling.

A capless, silver sharpie, stranded on the table, laments its withery fate.

Twisted collectable figurines stab the silence with motionless blades,

And me and my turquoise spikes stab the green rug on our way out the door.

turquoise-heels(web)

turquoise-heels(web)

Happy Halloween!

Raya Yarbrough

Singer, Composer, writer of absurd stories about LA, chanteuse on Outlander, BSG, DaVinci's Demons, & I used to date Dick Grayson.