This is a photo (left to right) of an English roadie, (unknown) my sister, Dixie, me, and Quint, who was an Electric Prune; it was taken at the Classic Cat. I believe Quint was from Kansas City. His real name is Michael Weakley.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION... My sister, Dixie, and I went out to California from Champaign, Illinois. My name was Nancy Seaman back then, but a lot of people knew me as Simone, which was my stage name. I was a dancer at the Body Shop on Sunset Strip. Eventually, I became a stripper and gained notoriety as the first all-nude dancer on the Strip, so I've had about one second of fame. As a popular tourist attraction, I caused a few traffic jams in the area of the Body Shop for a while. I was even asked to be on the Johnny Carson show, but I declined because of the scandal I would have created for my family back home. Granny would have had a fit!
I also became a professional amateur, because I entered the contests every Wednesday and Sunday nights at the Classic Cat. I was Miss Topless California and I won the Miss Classic Cat contests several times. Sometimes I lost, and came in second to Margurite Zalud, but she was one of the greatest dancers I've ever seen in my life. I use to stand in the wings and stare when she was on, so losing to my idol didn't hurt too much. My other favorite dancer was Charlotte, who used to dance for Ray Charles.
When I first arrived in California, I was cruising the Strip in a '63 white Corvette, later on, I was driving a black Lincoln Continental with a "Groupies" bumper sticker in the back window, and later, I bought a '54 silver Jaguar sedan that had painted florescent flames coming out of the headlights. My cars were well-known on the Strip.
A lot of people knew me as Dixie's sister, and I was sometimes known as Cooker's girlfriend, but for awhile I was seeing John Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas. Later I moved in with Denny Doherty, the other papa. I was also going out with Taj Mahal for awhile, and Keith Carradine.
I hung around with the Tulsa people, mostly. Kay Poorboy and Francine Brockey were my two best friends. They went out to California, because they knew Leon Russell, so I ended up hanging out with the Mad Dogs and Englishmen people. I went up to Leon's house on Skyhill Drive quite frequently, mostly to see Francine or Kay. Francine was living there and Chuck Blackwell. Kay lived in one of Leon's closets upstairs. Lots of music at Leon's and parties.
I met a lot of great people through Kay and Francine. Francine was seeing Gram Parsons when I first met her. Kay was going out with Eric Burden, so I got to hang around with War; I was seeing Chas Chandler during that period. Later, when Kay was going out with Joe Cocker, I got to see some wild things go down with Joe. I was at a little club on the Strip one night with Kay and Joe-- Joe was on stage singing a song when he suddenly stopped, turned around and puked right in front of the base drum. Then he spun back towards the stage, grabbed the mike, and continued the song, still in sync with the music. He was a mess... Every time I hear the words in one of his songs, "I'm still standing here today...." tears well up in my eyes, because I'm sure we came close to losing him a few times. God bless him, though, for not dying on us.
I was at the Whisky almost every night, so I saw a lot of bands go through there. I was a regular and I got backstage, (which was not in back of the stage at all, it was upstairs behind the balcony) but I got in all the time. Sometimes, though, I didn't want to get in, because it could get too crazy up there. I had my limits.
One time I was sitting by myself at a table at the Whisky and I noticed that Led Zep was sitting back behind me a little ways, at a corner booth. Robert Plant eventually came over to my table and asked me if I would like to join them. When I turned around and looked back at the booth, I noticed two or three groupies underneath the table, so I passed on that invitation. I was no angel, but it was beneath me to be underneath that table.
I met Jimi Hendrix one night at the Whisky bar. We had an intense discussion about being purple, aka Sagittarian. I remember he made an extra effort to come over and say good-bye to me later that night outside the front door as we were all leaving.
Lots of strange stuff went down almost nightly at the Whisky. I saw Jim Morrison puke all over my girlfriend, Kay, back by the restrooms after she called him a "cocksuckin' old has-been." Later that night Jim was hanging over the balcony when the lights came on at the Whisky screaming obscenities about God and "his fucking son." The tourists were clamoring for the front door. And even later, as we were piling into John Mahall's Mustang, I noticed Morrison was out in the parking lot still cursing and yelling. I felt sorry for him and asked Kay if we could take him with us to Leon's where we were headed, but she had just been puked on, and was pissed! We figured he could destroy Leon's studio and equipment, so we left him there. That was the last time I ever saw Morrison alive.
I knew the owner of the Whisky, Elmer Valentine then. He called me one day and asked me to get a girlfriend and double date with him and a friend of his. When his friend turned out to be Steve McQueen, we declined because he had short hair.
I knew all the Whisky people in those days. The doorman, Arthur, seven feet tall, black and beautiful, approached me one time about "working for him." I declined. The Bracci brothers, Kenny and David, were both bartenders there. Sugar Bear didn't work there, but he was a fixture. He was a little midget who was also an actor. I never knew his real name, but I did see him pictured in a movie magazine once, because he had a part in some movie. They called him Sugar Bear in the magazine, too.
I used to go out with Jim Morrison when I first got to L.A. Anybody from Hollywood wouldn't think it was any big deal, but I have had some people insinuate that I made it up-- that I was lying. Morrison was just one of us, another Hollywood resident, so to speak. My sister and I met the Doors the first week we arrived in L.A. They were playing at the London Fog. We had tried to get in the Whisky earlier that night, but Dixie didn't have an ID, so we walked a few doors down and tried to get into London Fog. They had no problem letting us in, probably because the place was dead and they needed the business. The Doors weren't that well-known yet. Their popularity came shortly afterward, though--within a year.
I came to Nashville as a songwriter in 1994. I had been in furniture sales since 1985 prior to that. I thought, however, that I would pursue the songwriting for awhile. I'd been writing songs in my spare time for twenty-five years, so I had to at least try to make a go out of it. After being here for awhile, I lost momentum, due to the intense competition, and the inside information I learned about the music politics that govern the industry. There are some great writers in this town, several of my idols, but 99% of them are poor as church mice and I'm sick of living on the edge. I wanted a life that was solid and secure. I have since retired and spend my days trading penny stocks and my evenings writing songs. Weird combo, I know, but life now is less complicated, and a lot more rewarding.
The twenty years from 1970-1990 were rough. That was the worst part of the hangover, and there were times when I didn't think I would make it. I tried to take my own life three times, I was in and out of dead-end relationships-- most were abusive, I was in trouble and in jail and in the court systems more than I would like to admit. I lost count of how many times I was admitted to hospitals for mental treatment. When the fifth floor moved to the fourteenth and I had been in thirteen times, I lost count when the fourteenth floor moved back to the fifth; then I had several more admissions after that. I really had a hard time trying to figure out my purpose for awhile and what was ever going to become of me. To quote Guy Clark, a great songwriter, "I'd had all the freedom I could stand."
One of the first jobs I took in Nashville was at a health food store. When things were slow, I studied the nutritional books, and slowly, after taking the supplements that I had read about, I started ascending-- up and out of the dark "room" that I had been existing in for so long. I can say that today, everything seems to be fine. I know now that a lot of my mental problems were caused by deficiencies. My brain was not functioning properly along with other major organs. Good health is simply a balancing act. Poor health is either too much of something or not enough. Now, the debilitating mental anguish and physical illnesses are over. I wish a lot of people knew what I found out about nutrition and its relationship to happiness.
Nancy (AKA, R.D. Simone)
"He made the last connection
From Paris to heaven
That was his judgment call
He scored his big ambition
Big deal over nothin'
Then he floated down the hall
He floated down the hall...
R.D. Simone ©1993 Third Stone, First Rose