It was Labor Day weekend and Bad Lt. was showing at the Sheridan Opera House, it was afternoon and sunny out, the Opera House was the smallest venue and the most difficult to get into, Bad Lt. was a world premiere with the stars in the house, I have my Nikon R-10 Super in my hand and I am dressed in what I think is a normal fashion, black jeans, black boots, black shirt, black leather 1920’s long motorcycle touring jacket with Hands Off Cuba button, and there is a red-haired woman with flared bell bottom flood pants with vertical black-and-white stripes, big black hat, big bag, and I am taking movie footage of her, she approaches me and sez “you look like the only guy in Telluride that can score me some heroin.” I say I know nothing about acquiring heroin and all I know is Maybe you can buy it on the street in Denver, but Denver is an 8-hour drive away, she says “you gotta car, will you drive me to Denver to score some heroin?” I say I have a car but I really want to watch this film Bad Lt. She sez “I wrote this movie and I am in it, come with me I’ll get you in.”
so in 5 minutes I went from no chance of getting in to being escorted in ahead of the pass holders ahead to the VIP’s into the empty opera house into whatever seats I want, she sez we can sit in the box with Harvey Keitel but I tell her those are the worst seats in the house almost side stage, so we sit down six rows from the front right in the middle, every seat in the theater fills up In minutes and there is one seat next to us and one seat in front of us and Oliver Stone walks in with his wife and there are no two seats together, so I say “Mr. Stone I got this,” I say to a stranger can you get up and move over here so Mr. Stone can sit with his wife and a guy sez sure, he gets up and moves back one row and Oliver Stone and his wife sit down in front of us, he says “thanx!” And I say “Mr. Stone this is Zoë she wrote the film we are about to watch, and I am Tom,” he says “nice to meet you Zoë, thanx Tom maybe we could take you guys out after the film,” so we are about to go on a wild ride, Stone is laughing his ass off at all the outrageous behavior in the film and all the over the top swearing.
After the film, he says “you two want to have dinner with us, I really like the film,” So I say to Zoë “I can’t ditch my friend John he has to come with us or I can’t go,” he is meeting me next door at the Steaming Bean so in the few blocks to the restaurant, the “Fluer De Mal” or somezing we pick up, John, Harvey and Mrs. Keitel and Katherine Bigelow and by the time we sit down at the restaurant, it is me and Zoë, Oliver Stone and wife, Harvey Keitel and wife, Katherine Bigelow, Bruno Bossio, and four or five stragglers, dinner, drinks and revelry for three hours with lots of swearing on Stone’s part he was drinking, smoking doing shots and eating, after at least an hour I say the first words to Harvey Keitel that I have said all nite, “you know this is not the first time we have had dinner together,” “Do tell!“ he says “where was it?”
11 years ago my first sushi at the Imperial Gardens on Sunset you sat down next to me and we spoke for an hour-and-a-half, “great restaurant!” He exclaims laughing, drinks food people are leaving all I can think of is who will pay, because dinner and drinks for 13 wasn’t cheap, Stone and I started a discussion later he said “I would like to continue our conversation again soon, Tom!” A guy came by the table and said he would like to pay the tab for the whole table if Oliver would only let him
Sleep on his couch because there isn’t an empty room in town, he said he offered $500 to sleep on the couch in the lobby next door and they said “No,” I was invited back to Stones’ house but refused and went back to Zoë’s condo where she shot heroin all night in front of me and Robert Richardson while she regaled us with stories of crime and the life of an international supermodel dealing with heroin addiction, at 5 or 6 a.m. I figured out Richardson was the director of photography on The Doors film and we talked about my connection to that project going back 10 years before filming, in the morning he asked if he could read some of my poems, Zoë wanted me to pass notes to Jim Carroll as they both had been crushing in each other for years, five years later M. F. said there’s yr friend Oliver Stone why don’t you say hi and see if he remembers you, Haha, I said “Hi Oliver! “ and he said “Tom, how’s Zoë is she still on the stuff?” And made a spike in the vein gesture, I told him Zoë was good, she died two years later at around 37 of cocaine abuse, at the time of her death in Paris she was supposedly clean from heroin for three years…. Rip Zoë Lund.
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TOM PETERS was born in Detroit, attended Texas Christian and Central Michigan universities, graduated Naropa Institute. He also has made films, acted in films, television, and music videos. He runs the Beat Book Shop in Boulder, Colo. and curates and hosts the longest-running weekly open poetry reading in the world, every Monday since 1987. Films of him reading at The Denver Art Museum with Allen Ginsberg are broadcast on PBS. Peters has performed with members of The Laughing Hyenas, Mule, Negative Approach, L7, Sonic Youth, DeVotchka, A Tribe Called Quest, and Architects Office, among others. He has read with Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky, Jack Micheline, and hundreds of other poets.
Peters has shared a stage and opened for The Flaming Lips, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The Beastie Boys, The Smashing Pumpkins and the bands mentioned above. His performance at Lollapalooza was said to be “the first time a poet of his generation engaged a crowd of that size (30,000 people) in a positive manner.” The poet Robert Creeley said of Peters as a poet that he is “the real thing.”