Andy Romanoff has been The Eye of Photography’s Los Angeles correspondent since its first days of publication. He has written about museums, galleries, festivals, and artists, always bringing his idiosyncratic viewpoint to bear.
But for all we knew about him it turns out there was much we had never suspected. Now he has revealed much in a memoir called Stories I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. Starting today we are going to publish a chapter a month from his tales of criminal life, drugs and parties, San Francisco in the sixties and Los Angeles in the seventies and eighties, his life in the underbelly and at the top of the movie business and always, always his love of photography.
A Few Nights in Jail at the Heartbreak Hotel
Sometimes life offers us unanswerable questions. In my family we call questions like that questions for god.
When I was a kid, Albany Park was the station they hauled us off to after we pissed off a cop or when they thought they could sweat something out of someone. On the nights we got busted, we’d sit in cells on cold steel benches waiting for morning when they’d give us a cup of black coffee in a bent tin mug, a baloney sandwich on white bread and a bored, “get the hell out of here,” from the jailer. Then we were free once again, standing on Pulaski seven in the morning and no way home. Every once in a while though, if they had reason to do more we’d leave the station in handcuffs, ride in the back of the paddy wagon down to County Jail for hearing and bail, but mostly it was crowd control, trying to keep the punks in line.
I was one of the punks for sure. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, living in and out of the house, out all night and always on the edge of something that could go wrong in a big way…
For more Stories I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You is available as an eBook or a printed edition here