VERDE HITS "THE OC": A TOUR DIARY
show's lead guy Seth (Adam Brody) hires Cobra Verde to play the 18th birthday
party of his friend, Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie). Ryan is a big Journey fan. But
Seth prefers that other arena-rock dinosaur, Foreigner. So he hires Cobra Verde
- Petkovic, vocals; Mark Klein, drums; Tim Parnin, guitar; Ed Sotelo, bass;
Frank Vazzano, guitar - to play Foreigner's slow-dance anthem "Waiting for
a Girl Like You."
Feb. 2, 2006
p.m. Even my
modest Midwestern roots can't save me from the ultimate Hollywood trap:
narcissism. It isn't because "The OC" flew us out here to be
on the show. Or that they put us up in this luxurious hotel. It's the water - so
soft that it transforms limp, frizzy hair into something bouncy and luxurious.
Everything here is geared toward making you look good for TV.
p.m. On the
show, we play party-hearty arena-rockers. We sure aren't living it. Instead of
trashing the hotel, we're watching a show about squirrels on Animal Planet and
waiting for The Call from wardrobe. The phone rings: "OK, we're ready,
3 p.m. We're driving around the parking lot of a Home Depot,
looking for "OC" HQ.
Frank: "I thought she said they're located by an Office Depot."
John: "I thought she said Home Depot."
We pull up to a warehouse. "This must be it," I say. A guy in a Home
Depot uniform who asks if we're looking for a gas grill proves me wrong.
"See, told you."
John: "Maybe this is it."
A beautiful tall, middle-aged blonde who looks like she could play one of the
moms on "The OC" walks out of Home Depot.
John: "Mark, you've always said that the moms are hotter than the daughters
on "The OC."
Frank: "Yeah, but I don't think she's on the show. She's carrying a bag of
p.m. We find
the studio, a sprawling complex where "The OC" and other shows such as
"The Abyss" are shot. After wandering around for 45 minutes, we end up
in "The Abyss" studio.
Tim: "Well, it makes sense - where are we anyway?"
4:30 p.m. Finally, we find the place. "We thought you guys
got lost," says our wardrobe supervisor.
John: "For a while, we thought we were on 'Punk'd.'"
She shows us racks of '80s threads, from trench coats to sleeveless tops to
those floppy boots seen in Flock of Seagulls videos. She then pulls out a photo
of Foreigner from their trench coat era. "See, we were thinking something
like this - something rock 'n' roll, like Joey Ramone."
Frank: "I thought the Ramones and Foreigner were on opposite sides."
John: "I don't think it matters in Hollywood."
We're back in our own clothes partying in a retro Hollywood hole-in-the-wall.
The bartender looks like a white Fred Sanford.
Thursday Feb. 3, 2006
a.m. Mark and
Tim take the initiative to get everyone up.
Mark: "We're supposed to be ready to go when they are."
Well, they aren't - so we spend the day waiting and watching TV.
p.m. It's The
Call. Minutes later, a white "OC" van takes us to the studio. We show
the guards our passports, driver's licenses and social security cards.
"They're afraid of terrorists here," says the driver.
greeted by Wardrobe Woman. "OK, we're doing away with the all-trenchcoat
look," she says. She hands Tim a sleeveless zebra T and a gaudy blue
belt. Ed gets a yellow vest that looks something a weird fisherman would wear.
Mark and Frank get jeans, T's and Converse high tops. I get a turquoise blue
top, red jeans and a dog collar.
that totally works," says Wardrobe Woman. An "OC" guy hands us
some forms. One minute into the Screen Actors Guild and I'm already going to
hair and make-up.
p.m. A man
rolling around on a medicine ball pops up to greet us. "You guys look
great - I don't have to do anything," he says. Upon closer inspection,
our stylist decides otherwise. "I have to do something, so it doesn't look
like I didn't do anything," he says. Ed has his hair slicked back. The
rest of us have our hair fluffed.
should try red Ken," the stylist says.
"Who's he?" I ask.
"No, one word: Redken," he says. "It's a conditioner; your hair
will love it."
p.m. Back in
our dressing room. Our babysitter, Jonathan, pops in: "Hey, want to check
out the junk food buffet or dinner?" He leads us to two trailers in the
parking lot that serve salmon, prime rib
to chicken, you name it. "Man, this is like living next to a
Ponderosa," I tell him. You can't even
be a smart ass here; everyone is too cheery to be bothered. Our babysitter takes
us to the cafeteria, where a large movie screen plays the newest episode of
Tim: "Man, turn the channel - I want to watch the Cavs game."
Our babysitter: "I don't think we get that station."
p.m. After a
few raids of the junk food buffet - it has everything from gummy bears to jelly
beans, Peppermint Patties, Snickers, Twizzler, sour candy, chocolate and a weird
peanut thing -- my stomach is bit woozy. I can't think about it, though --
because we get we The Call. The faux club we're playing looks snazzier than most
real clubs. The OC folks even made posters that say "COBRA VERDE sings
"Hi, nice to meet you, my name is Adam," says the show's star, Adam
Brody. "Cool to have you guys."
The director breaks in: "OK, so first you guys play very quietly while we
film the dialogue. Then we'll film you playing with the sound up."
In other words, we lip-synch to the song, which we already recorded in
Cleveland. A sound guy hands us earwigs - little electronic devices you put in
you ear so you can hear the song without having to play it through the speakers
. Mark tries twirling his drumsticks, quietly. The extras - almost all of them
tall, thin and blond - dance, shake and jump around.
Tim: "It's like they've conducted a breeding experiment and these are the
p.m. A break
in the action - just in time to eat again, which seems like THE thing to do
while waiting. This time, a taco stand pulls up. So does actor Peter Gallagher,
who plays the dad on "The OC."
Peter: "Man, you guys know how to put on a show - even to THAT song.
John: "You must be a Journey fan?"
Peter: "Actually, both were pretty bad."
John: "Yeah, but Kansas is the worst."
Frank: "No way. It's Styx, definitely."
Peter: "I think the worst might be, oh, what was their name. . . You know,
"All Out of Love"?
a.m. We hit
the stage for the final take. It's late; even the extras look haggard. The
director pops up: "OK, let's run through the whole song." Adam
Brody and Rachel Bilson - his girlfriend on and off the show - take their places
in front of the stage to slow dance.
Then Peter Gallagher waves and yells to the stage: "Hey, now I remember:
Air Supply. They were the worst band ever."
The song kicks in and it doesn't matter who was the worst or the best. We're
actors and we have a job to do. And while it might not land us an Emmy, it beats
shoveling snow in Cleveland.
Foreigner guy really belts out the chorus -- "Waiting for a Girl
Like You" -- on the original like it's some act of desperation. Somehow, I
couldn't see Frank Sinatra doing that.
it that the worst arena-rock bands were named after geographical
Styx, Chicago, Europe, Asia, Boston.
still maintains that Styx was the worst band ever. I actually find them a lot
funnier than Kansas.
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