Just when we think we're done with writing about Savages, Oliver Stone's shot-in-Laguna Beach movie that's made about $20 milion since opening a week ago, a new excuse comes along. And today, it's OC Weekly writer Nick Schou's cover profile piece on Savages author Don Winslow—click this link to read it.
Winslow, of course, provided the source material for Savages with his 2010 novel, also set in Laguna Beach. The crime writer, conveniently enough, also , a Savages prequel that as of this writing is at #35 on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
It's in Kings of Cool that Winslow sets several flashback-to-the-1960s scenes at our very own Taco Bell, on the corner of Coast Hwy. and Cleo St., where a character named Doc (a.k.a. "Taco Jesus") hands out free grub to his LSD-eating hippie disciples.
Winslow based these fast-food scenes on the true story of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, a cultish band of Laguna Beach drug smugglers who , using this same Taco Bell as its primary dealing hub. For research, Winslow used Schou's 2009 history of the group, Orange Sunshine: The Brotherhood of Eternal Love and its Quest to Spread Peace, Love and Acid to the World.
So it was fitting that Schou (who—full disclosure—was a colleague of mine when we worked together at the Weekly) would meet up with Winslow at the famously infamous Taco Bell, and open his profile in the restaurant's dining room:
"(T)here's a photographer nearby snapping pictures of Winslow. The fat guy working the cash register is giving him the stink-eye, and the restaurant manager is waving his arms in the air.
"I told you already—no photos inside the restaurant," the manager whines.
"What are you complaining to me for, dude?" an innocent Winslow asks. "I'm just trying to buy a taco."
Later ... Winslow tells Jean, his wife of 28 years, about his taco troubles. "We were taking pictures inside the Taco Bell," he explains. "Which seemed to upset Taco Bell to no end. They did not want us to shoot inside Taco Bell lest we reveal secrets."
But here's the story behind the story, one that might have made an even better intro to Schou's piece. That arm-waving manager, Christopher Andrews, is actually a huge Winslow fan, and happened to be on a break—in the middle of reading Savages for the second time—when he got called to bust up the unauthorized photo shoot with the author.
"I didn't recognize Winslow because I've only seen one picture of him," Andrews tells Patch. "Had he introduced himself and their intentions, I would have proudly welcomed them inside the dining room to take all the pics they desired. I probably would have bought their lunch with my own money as well!"
Or maybe the following account would've made a better intro to the Winslow piece, if Schou had been crunching down on Doritos Locos Tacos in the restaurant with your handsome Laguna Beach Patch editor on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 10.
That was when I witnessed a suspicious-looking, backpack-wearing gentleman who was lurking around the frequently-opening trunk of a black Mustang. Turns out others thought it a bit odd, too, and soon, several Laguna Beach police officers pulled into the Taco Bell parking lot and arrested 34-year-old Farid Rafael Trinidad of Laguna Niguel for possession of a controlled substance (Xanax), possession of marijuana for sales, and selling marijuana to others, according to Lt. Jason Kravetz of the LBPD. Bail for Trinidad was set at $25,000.
Not quite the return of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, but more evidence that we have the most interesting Taco Bell in the world ...