Discover more from The World of Tosh Berman
Tuesday, June 7, 2022
It is no secret among my friends that I look up to le Roi-Soleil as my man of choice in all good manners in life. I had an obsession with the Sun King from an early age, better known as Louis XIV. At the time, I lived in a single apartment on Martel in West Hollywood, which was a room with a small kitchen and even a smaller bathroom. Still, it was my first home away from the family, and I treasured my little spot as if it was my Palace of Versailles. Therefore I decorated the one-room apartment with images of Louis XIV and even chose furniture that was not a good imitation of furniture from that period. The fact that it looked fake made the surroundings more endearing to me.
At the time, I was employed in my first job, which was Licorice Pizza, a record store chain in Southern California. I would take a bus to Reseda boulevard and then to Sherman Way. At the time, I thought of the bus as my royal transportation. It was a bus with many stinky people, but to me, it was my palace. I made sure I sat in the very back and the middle of the aisle. I wanted the sense that everyone who entered the bus must come to me. Of course, all of this was an illusion, and part of the time, I knew that. But most of the time, I just forgot that fact and went on with the fantasy. The music I played at the store was usually baroque music. My favorite records were recordings by Jacques Champion de Chambonnières, Jean-Baptiste Lully, and François Couperin. The latter was my favorite of them all and was awarded the credit of being “organist du Roi, ” organist by appointment to Louis XIV. In the era of the Jam and the Sex Pistols, it was very hard at the time to find recordings of Couperin’s music. Nevertheless, I insisted on making a special section of his music in our bins at the time. We didn’t even have any classical music in stock as far as I can remember. And what made it even sadder was that at the time, I could only find one release that was in print at this time. “L’Espagnole, IV. La Piemontoise 1727” was released on the Telefunken record label out of Germany. My educated guess is that we were the only store in the San Fernando Valley that carried this recording, and only one copy at that.
I need to be honest with you; I wasn’t that popular with people around me. I kept my world private, and rarely did I share it with others or allow anyone to get close to me. I prefer the artifice of a representation of life to a real relationship. It reached a peak in my life when I would make love to girls, but only in front of a full-length mirror in my apartment. In a sense, I wanted to be in a movie of my own making. But alas, I have changed since then, and now I have not one single full-length mirror in my “now” humble home.