Editor's Note: This transcript was automatically transcribed, so mistakes are inevitable. You can contribute by proofreading the transcript or highlighting the mistakes. Sign up to be amongst the first contributors.
13 originals. At the close of the last episode, which was also the close of part two of this podcast, I read to you a letter written by Tracy's younger sister, Rachel, to the L.A. Times back in 2003 when Tracy's memoir, Underneath It All, was published.
It's a thunderbolt, and I'm worried that it might have missed you. So I'm going to pull from it a few key lines. I love my sister, but I hate what she's doing. Her book is misleading and self aggrandizing. Tracey's account contains factual errors and turns in an event being raped that frankly, I just don't think ever happened. My sister has hurt many people over the years with her deceptions and half truths. Sadly, she still does. As indictments go, it's a humdinger, basically, Rachel is declaring underneath it all full of it.
Full of it, about even so monumentally serious a matter as rape and all of a sudden the Tracy Lawrence story as told by the adult industry, which could have been dismissed as hopelessly biased, like, oh, yeah, of course, porn people are calling Tracy a liar to expose them as a lowlife scumbag that they are pushing nearly put them out of business appears vindicated because Rachel Kuzma, not a member of the adult industry, a member of Tracy's own family, i.e. someone who presumably isn't impelled by animus or revenge, is talking about Tracy in similar terms.
She's saying that Tracy Tracey's book, too, is chronically dishonest, if you use Rachel's letter to write off Tracy's version of the story, then this podcast so far has been essentially a non-fiction rendering of gone girl Gillian Flynn's pop sensation of a novel turn. David Fincher, pop sensation of a movie.
Think about it, the female protagonist, who at first seems to be a fragile and blameless victim, fighting for her very life as a parcel of evil men scheme to bring her down is revealed as a bold faced manipulator and borderline sociopath. These men, not her tormentors, but her patsies. Which makes this podcast, like Gone Girl, the most savage of comedies, because the scam Tracey ran isn't just cunning, isn't just masterful or expert, it is in its dark and warped way.
Funny. The adult industry, notorious for taking advantage of young women, has itself been taken advantage of by a young woman. Tracey has forced it into the role of aggrieved innocent. She has it clutching its pearls and muttering, Wow, I never. While someone fetches the smelling salts, an outrageous reversal of the accepted order, she is therefore not only the ideal nor heroine, the nay plus ultra of femme fatale, but the unlikeliest of feminist icons in the guise of prey of a weak and pretty girl.
She has single handedly almost wiped out a business. But the straight world sees a strictly exploitive run by predators for predators. Even better, she got away with it. Here's the thing, though, Ashley and I don't want to use Rachel's letter to write off Tracy's version of the story. We want to write off, or at any rate, put to the side both versions of the story treacy's and the adult industries. In our opinion, both are problematic and are problematic.
In the same way, there are too simple, too black and white. The characters in them are either pure villain or pure victim. In fact, they're the same story. The only true difference between them is that the villain in the first is the victim in the second and vice versa. They are above all else Tidey, which is why their answers to the question who read it out, Tracy feel somehow wrong or incomplete, solve the mystery without solving anything.
And besides, Ashley and I have been around the block enough times to know the tiny is a crook and a cheat solely for the movie's real life is always messier, always more complicated and ambiguous, always unresolved. A fucked up, snarled up rat's nest gangbang of mixed motivations and intentions. So what we'll do is this in part three, we'll start fresh, come out the material without an ax to grind or a narrative to promote. We're going to leave the Valley, go back to Redondo Beach, indeed, we're going to leave Tracey behind as well.
It's Nora we want to see.
I'm Lilianna, and this is Once Upon a Time in the Valley featuring Ashley West, part three, The Noah Kuzma's Story. Redondo Beach is our destination, but first, a quick stop in Steubenville, Ohio. Nora is 12 when she and her mother and sisters leave, but before they go, we want to convey some sense of the place because it's not any old town USA. It's drastic, masculine and muite, grim and grimy, stupid. Val is her unaffectionate nickname for it.
In 1978, while Nora was still living there, The Deer Hunter, starring Robert DeNiro and Christopher Walken, about a group of young men, steelworkers like her father Lewis came out. The first day of the movie is set in Clairton, Pennsylvania. Much of it was shot, however, in and around Steubenville. Nora, according to underneath it all, actually watched it being shot. We spoke to film historian David Thomson about the deer hunters location.
It's a very Working-Class conservative place. And don't forget the importance and the power of the scenes in the farmers or the foundry, whatever it is, the idea of sort of steel actually being made and this really very unusual portrait of hard white working class people.
They aren't the wonderful workers that you might see in, say, a Ford or a Capra film. You know, these people work hard. Republicans were even further to the right if you offered them something. These are not noble people. These are not people who whose lives are going to turn out well, whatever happens. And I think that people on the coastal strips simply don't know what life in the interior is like. Not the whole interior, obviously, but the dead, drab parts of this country, which are vast and are profound.
There are women in The Deer Hunter, Meryl Streep, for one.
What in the world of this movie is life like for them? David Thomson again. Well, the women, I guess, do what the men expect of them. They line up to be married. They will have children. I suppose they will probably be betrayed quite quickly and they'll accept that and will get on with it. They don't have much life, but neither does the man come to that. I mean, it's a portrait of a terribly barren life.
Patricia Brazened, Nora's mother, is a pretty close match to Thompson's sketch of a Steubenville woman.
She grew up in dire economic circumstances, multiple siblings, no indoor plumbing. She started having babies at twenty one after another before splitting with Lewis, a violent alcoholic. Tina Lucas, a childhood friend of Nora's, remembers her parents were divorced and her mom worked a lot.
So her older sister took care of them. I won't call them poor, but they were.
The last Steubenville bit of business we should deal with is the statement Rachel made in the L.A. Times that she doesn't believe Noah was raped at 10. Even sisters who are close can't track each other's every move. So how can Rachel possibly know what happened to Nora in the field that day with Ricky? She can't. And to be honest, it feels almost immoral to question Noah's claim to me, too. So maybe we don't question it. Maybe we just acknowledge the fact that Rachel does, while also acknowledging the fact that we don't see how Rachel legitimately can only Nora and Ricky know what went down that day.
Moving on, Steubenville is obviously a brutally unhappy place for Nora. It must be a tremendous relief that she boards that Greyhound bus headed to California, even if California means more of Patricia's boyfriend, the man Nora calls Roger Hayes in her memoir. You know, his initial impression of Roger is that he's kind of creepy, kind of nice, one of those aging hippie guys who doesn't realize that the 60s have ended. She's 11 when he starts masturbating over her as she sleeps.
Rachel. And that letter never cast doubt on his claims about Roger. And in light of the role Roger plays in Nora's later life, it seems highly unlikely that he wasn't molesting her. So, yeah, the creepiness of Roger is definitely a problem and harmful. But ultimately, I think it's the niceness of Roger that the even bigger problem and even more harmful, because she does come to regard him as a substitute father, something she's in desperate need of.
OK, Ashleigh, Nora hasn't invited us inside her head, but let's try to push her away in. Her dad hits the bottle and sometimes her mom, she can't depend on him to protect her. Plus, he's in Steubenville and completely out of the picture. And her mom works hard and tries but can barely fend for herself, never mind her daughter's. This is journalist Pat Jordan, who spent time with Patricia when he was writing a profile of Nora for GQ in 1990.
There was a report that the mother and the mother was the child. I mean, the mother was scared, flighty, fragile, not particularly attractive. Those at the mercy of whatever boyfriend she was with, she's a weak woman. I mean, she was many things a week was not one of them. She said she was abused by her mother's boyfriend. Right. I'm sure it could be because the mother was the kind of woman that would attract guys who want to abuse the mother.
And in that profile, Noah speaks of Patricia with a mixture of pity and contempt, saying, maybe my mother had dreams. I don't know, she's sweet and loving, but not very ambitious. I just thought my hands and say, OK, mom, if that's how you want to live, I never wanted to be like my mother, Lily. How could Noah have faith in such a person? She couldn't. And Roger is, as we said, an ambiguous figure, half paternal, half predatory.
He is to a certain extent a provider. And he isn't, according to Tracey, rough or mean. His personality, in fact, is notable for its affability. And he's the one who actually gets Patricia and the girls out of dead ass dead in Steubenville. No small feat. And Nora is grateful to him for that. And though his treatment of her is periodically bad, even monstrous is confusingly bad and monstrous, he's not raping her in the traditional sense of the word.
No, his violation of her his rape of her is far subtler and more insidious. He's masturbating over her in the dark when she's barely conscious. And at 11, it's possible that he doesn't know what he's doing because she's a sharp kid and has a working animal instinct. She probably understands that it's sexual and wrong. But mostly, I suspect she's bewildered and upset by it. And yet it's conceivable that she's also in this moment discovering her power, this girl who must have felt all her life as if she had no power.
Her sexuality is something men want. And if she learns to control it, maybe she can learn to control them. It's a formative experience for her. I'd imagine maybe the formative experience or the formative experience. I want to share an observation made by Nora's future co-star, Herschel Savage, about the type of woman the adult industry tends to attract. This isn't to say that I agree with Hershel's observation, but it is relevant. The truth of the matter is most of the damage girls, which are a major percentage of the girls in the industry, are fucking hot.
I mean, whatever the reason that is, obviously, you know, using their sexual identity as a way to garner feelings of love and affection for men, which they obviously were starved of. And they become expert at it, you know, they learn how to please men. I would feel bad. I really would like, wow, this person's in so much pain. There was a bit of a conflict. But honestly, I mean, I couldn't have done the industry if I let that overwhelming.
It's hard for me to see Tracy that way. Her personality is so guarded, so armored, the women in her story bare their throats. Tracy would never do such a thing.
Remember, it's not her we're talking about now, not Tracy. And just because Noah doesn't display her damage doesn't mean it isn't their. I am here to once again tell you about hello, fresh America's number one, Melchett, Hello, Fresh lets you skip those trips to the grocery store and makes home cooking fun, easy and affordable. You get fresh, pretty measured ingredients and mouthwatering seasoned recipes delivered right to your door. There's something for everyone, including low calorie vegetarian and family friendly recipes.
Every week I have been using Hello Fresh for the last few months and I have no idea why I waited so long. The meals are healthy, they're easy and best of all, they are delicious. My kids love them. Hello. Fresh cuts out, stressful meal planning and grocery store trips so you can enjoy cooking and get dinner on the table and just about 30 minutes or even as little as 20 minutes with their quick recipe options for those of us with kids.
You know what a life saver that can be. Over 90 percent of ingredients are sourced directly from growers to ensure the freshest recipes are delivered to your door, you can keep your fridge stocked by adding extra proteins or sides. Hello, fresh offers. Contact free delivery for your milk, it for easy home cooking with the family. So don't wait. Go to hell. Oh, fresh dotcom. Slash the Valley Eighty and use Code Valley eighty to get a total of eighty dollars off including free shipping on your first box.
Additional restrictions apply. Please visit. Hello, fresh dotcom for more details again. That's hello. Fresh dotcom slash the Valley Eighty and use Code Valley eighty to get a total of eighty dollars off including free shipping on your first box. Nora, her mother and her sisters are just getting off the bus in Hollywood, Roger picks them up in that lime green fan of his and drives them to Redondo Beach, a town in the South Bay region of Greater Los Angeles.
And as drastic as Steubenville, if in an entirely different way, we should alert listeners, let them know that a role reversal is coming. Lily, I showed you around the valley. You'll be showing me around South Bay.
I spent a lot of time there this past winter, and I'll show you around with pleasure. So, yes, Nora is now in Redondo, more specifically in North Redondo, a classic wrong side of the tracks type neighborhood. Frank Baxter, a friend of Norris, conveys the poor but proud attitude that defined North Redondo, the intense feelings of tribalism.
I lived on Marshall Fields and Green. They lived on Carnegie in Green. That's where I grew up with just being from our area. Everybody loved each other. We were all tight knit friends. I had every bank on every wall and every sidewalk pattern. I was on my skateboard with my friends, you know, rip all the way up, all the way down. So that's how we all piled around. There'd be like four guys and four girls, you know, stormed into the beach together and then showing up like on the north side of the Ramones, the beach pier.
One thing's for sure, it's a hell of a lot better to be broke and from a broken home in North Redondo than it is in Steubenville, if nor is new house is as much of a shithole as are old. At least she doesn't have to be in it that much, thanks to the world famous Southern California weather. And maybe her parents are busted up, but so are almost everybody else's. Nora Enrols and Lincoln Junior High. Just before graduating, she received an assignment from her English teacher.
This is Nora's classmate, Mike Bertino.
I remember her like writing this paper. It said, that's what you want to be at the eighth grade. She said she wanted to be a Playboy centerfold, was like, yeah, right there.
Wait a second, Noah said she wanted to be a Playboy centerfold in junior high school. She did. This would seem to indicate she knew what she was up to when she walked into Gym s agency a year and a half later, wouldn't it?
Maybe it definitely indicates that nude modeling was something she'd been seriously considering. But more surprising to me is that the class scoffed at her ambition. Mike explains. She was real homely looking, though, in the beginning in eighth grade, they made fun of rappers, she had like curly hair and she had to like Gene that was short pants with the cowboy boots. You know how we were not in it? Beach. Mike is a surfer and a wild man and a stone fox, the guy all the girls want.
I didn't see myself as being anything special, but our girls were chasing me home and shit like ripping my clothes or whatever, trying to punch me in the bathroom or some weird shit. My mom is tripping on the clothes, being ruined and everything that degenhardt to her. I don't even really come out anymore and say, fuck. And then summer rolls around. Mike is on the Strand, a bike path that runs along the shoreline of the Santa Monica Bay.
It's a big local hangout and it's where he spots Nora.
Her sister was there. And and then two other girls there was like there was four or five of them that were together. Their sister was kind of chubby. But she had she had she had issues like Turkey, kind of. But she wasn't she was like on the verge of going over a bit too big. I mean, you got denied by the one sister you're going to pray for the other sister, kind of similar bathing suits know the French cohabitees.
You just come out or whatever. So they all have one piece, one. But she was in two piece, I guess, a regular normal bathing suit, but she was just way better human being. She looks like a California girl, you know, like she just switched from being that little pick or whatever. She was in eighth grade to some growing extremities. So it's really hard to swallow.
Young last, Nora and Mike are immediately all over each other.
We start party and drinking like this Boones Farm shit or whatever it was called, the only Haertsch. Nora already has a boyfriend. He was this big dude.
He was older and everything. He was like a man, like, you know, and I was the surfer kid and I was like to tell that guy. It was like, I'm dating her now. I was like, crazy. He came from, like L.A. or something. He was like an Asian looking guy with a mustache. And, you know, they're using the martial arts and she was kicking everybody back.
But by the time, you know, he saw us coming from the beach or whatever, he got the picture and jumped up the next the to the on the other hit.
Mike already has a girlfriend.
My girlfriend was named, was denied even having a girlfriend.
Then it was like I was living with me, which means he and Nora really have to sneak around.
We were always having to dip and dive away from people. We would always be like some. You don't like the Fourth of July or whatever it was, whereas like there's people everywhere and we were just like, yeah, let's get out here and has that bombed out and. Bone down. I know that one with my ear chain tangled to. One of my favorite things about North author of people, is that they have their own language, their own cadences, a true native tongue, a bit like pulling people in that respect.
Now, question for Mike ANORO. Privacy is hard to come by. You can drink on the Strand and stuff. You have to get between houses and shit and get drunk, get cut whatever screen between these parts. We just had sex that I mean, wherever we went, we just did. I mean, it didn't matter. We just our kids have sex right there. Though they could get a bit of it at Nora's house, small as it is, thanks to her and Genuity, she had like a little room underneath her porch, almost like a fort or whatever.
If you were a guy, you make a for a girl. And she made like a little spot where you could kick it with just your laying on all these stuffed animals and shit like that was the padding. Because I remember I had a broken arm from the skateboard ramp and it was like I couldn't do I could I had to lay on my back. So it was kind of awkward.
But is this funny? Because it was like we just we'd get through whatever to be together for a minute or whatever. She would always make funny remarks. She was a cool person. She still is. It's only a matter of time before Tania catches them. The guy who I was skateboarding with at the time, he had like a station wagon and we got in the back of that thing, we were partying. We had a bunch of champagne tickled pink or whatever.
These were my from there. And the guy who drove the car, because if I gave it up that we were in the car and when she opened it, we fell out, the bottle broke. We, like, still back. Or I could just like a movie. It was so funny. It was like it was a bust, though. I got yelled out.
And entrepreneurship tonight is memories of Nora are unsurprisingly not fond. She just wasn't somebody that liked girls. I don't think she was kind of just all about the guys. I never really saw her much in school. She didn't really communicate with hardly anybody really standoffish, very kind of uppity and thought a lot of herself.
You know, tonight, Julia Kuzma sounds an awful lot like Ginger Lynn on Traci Lords. Yeah, Nora is as much of a man's woman as Tracy is. And by the way, Mike Pacino won't be the last guy that Nora and Nia tangle over tonight.
Again, the father of my children used to date her before he and I got together. I remember being at a park one time and he was with her and she was just kind of laying loose on her back, spread all over the car and, you know, just all under him and nobody else. She was just that way at a very young age.
Tonight is referring here to Ricksha. So summer's over. Nora starts her freshman year at Redondo Union High.
That's when she meets Rick. Also North Central Redondo and slightly older, a junior. They begin seeing each other. Here's Rick, she was quiet around me, but she was definitely game down for the crime, for whatever, you know, she was definitely sexual. Make no mistake. I mean, that part was definitely there. I mean, she had no problem with people being in the same room either. This is one instance that I remember that there are two other couples that were sleeping over and she had no problem, was not shy at all.
You know, according to Rick, Nora is fine with an audience. She's not, however, fine with Rick getting together with one of her sisters.
There was some competition between the two sisters. She passed out like got too drunk or something. And then I went over to the next bit, literally from one bed to the other. That's when she decided to throw my brother out, you know. Norah and Rick were doomed in any case when we were partying and drinking and stuff. She would go and have a cigarette or two. And I remember I remember this because it was kind of embarrassing that she wouldn't inhale the cigarette.
She just kind of hold it in her mouth after bumming a cigarette. And it just looked like it was not her smoking. You know, I'm saying she would be a chameleon.
She whatever her surroundings were, she would just blend in with it, you know, try to the version you just heard, Ashley was wreck telling it to me over the phone in a formal recorded interview. And it's a little subdued. He first told it to me that day we spent together in Manhattan Beach and the memory of Norah bumming a cigarette off one of his friends and then not inhaling got him worked up. I mean, he laughed at himself for getting worked up, but clearly at the time it put the shit out of him.
He was a tough guy and she was fucking with his tough guy cred. I find the story compelling as well, because it's one of the few instances of Nora or Tracy slipping up. So true, because once Nora ditched the bad haircut, the cowboy boots, she became a hot to trot Southern California bad girl, as if she'd been born to the role. Here, though, she flubs. You can see the good girl underneath. This is Mark Baxter on that good girl.
She sat next to me in this morning's class and she was really sweet and kind and gentle, almost like a hippie persona, but not a hippie persona. There was something really special about her that drew everybody towards her, you know, and her beauty mirrored her. She's a sweetheart. And this is Darren Lewis, a classmate of Norris nor Akazawa was completely fully developed when we are freshman in high school, I mean, every man on the planet would look at her when she walked by.
Absolutely. Drop dead gorgeous. But it is very quiet in class, very quiet, and she kind of minding their own business pretty much, she always reminded me of being wholesome. I never looked at her in high school and said, oh, God, I want to. You know what? I treated the way she looked back then, so I put chalk on my hand, slap girls on the ass that were wearing dark pants so they could see my handprint.
But she was one of the ones that I wouldn't do that to because of her demeanor and the way she looked, Ashley, I feel like I need to say something for the record on both our behalves.
We're not trying to reduce nor to simple categories.
Good girl versus bad girl. Or I guess I did just that a minute ago. That was tongue in cheek.
But more than that, we're not trotting out sex gossip from her junior high and high school days for fun or sport. We're trying to make a larger point here. The newest sexual reality was different from Tracy's sexual fiction. In her memoir, she presents a young teen self, a sexually naive, of course, she wrote about her experiences with Ricky and Roger Hayes.
Those, though, were nonconsensual. And as far as a part of that, she chose had sex with willingly. There's only one, she says, and that's her high school sweetheart, the boy she calls Dean Weatherley. And it's the dean that she effectively loses her virginity is the passage from underneath it all. I was a sophomore when we started going all the way. The first time was on our one year anniversary. We had sex that afternoon and it wasn't nearly as awful as the first time.
I was drunk enough to feel brave. He was gentle and it didn't go on for very long, going all the way.
The language is using its middle class, prissy, proper white bread. The customs are to making the guy wait for a year, being relieved when it doesn't go on for very long. That's not Nora or North Redondo yet was boning down. We're indeed. Oh, and by the way, Dean Weatherly does exist, except his name is Chromatically. And we'll get to try. Just not yet.
We're all spending more time at home than ever, and that means finding new ways to have fun. One way Ashley and I have fun when we aren't working on the show is by playing best fiends. Best friends is the perfect game. If you love solving challenging puzzles and as a listener to Once Upon a Time in the Valley, it's likely you have an interest in complex things. Breastfeeds gives you a fun way to have some socially distant competition with your friends.
The way it works is simple match blocks with the same color to solve a level. Each level has its own goal, like, say, collecting a certain number of items and you don't even need an Internet connection to play. No wi fi, no worries. When taking a break from working on our show, we like to compete against each other and we aren't alone. The game has already been downloaded 100 million times. Phosphenes is a unique and exciting puzzle game, and my favorite part is that the game updates monthly with new levels and events so it never gets old.
Each puzzle level is unique and there are over 4000 of them, so we have plenty of options to keep us interested. So engage your brain with fun puzzles and collect tons of two characters. Trust us with over 100 million downloads.
This five star rated mobile puzzle game is a must play download best for free on the Apple App Store or Google Play. That's friends without the ah best beans. Change is always a constant, but these days it feels like there's something new to grapple with every day, we may be adjusting to this new normal, but it's still stressful and it's important to talk about it and seek support. Talk space online therapy is here to give you that support because we all need it right now, matched with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your device and reach out 24/7 whenever something on your mind you'll hear back five days a week.
Talk space is a fraction of the cost of in-person therapy. But with talk space, you can send unlimited messages to your therapist and they'll engage with you at least five days a week. That means you never have to wait to share what's on your mind. Talks face therapist have experience treating depression, anxiety, substance abuse, trauma, relationship issues, food and eating and much more, and talk space secure and private using the latest encryption technology to store client information.
The bottom line is that we all need someone to talk to and talk space wants to give the ways and support we deserve at a price we can afford. As a listener of this podcast, you can get one hundred dollars off your first month on talk space to match with your perfect therapist. Go to talk space dotcom or download the app. Make sure to use the code the Valley to get one hundred dollars off your first month and show your support for the show that the Valley and Talks Face.com.
So Nora was a wild girl by most reckonings, but not by the reckonings of her time and place, and that's the other point we're trying to make.
Tracy Lawrence comes out of Nora Kuzma and Nora Kuzma comes out of the 80s and comes out of SBN Redondo Here's Mike Baxter and SBN Redondo. Mating Rituals.
So it's impossible to just have like one girlfriend when they had so many friends. We like sitting like in a place like this playing quarters and stuff like that and all of a sudden there's little eye contact going on. And then the girl would be like, oh God, I don't want to be with him because of his girlfriend. And they don't realize that the girlfriend don't care. She's not true, but she's got friends crawling all over. What do you do and you want to hang out at the beach for like 15 minutes, we were outdoor sexual people, we had more sex outside probably than inside because we're taking care of anybody anyways, you know what I mean?
Like. It's no parents, no rules, no problems. My mom would be like, now I'm going to be gone for a couple of days. Mike's going to be like the older brother's over that. So all his friends would be there, my friends would be there. The furniture would go out into the front yard. The band would be playing and be like all day. I mean, that was kind of how it was.
It's an adult free world, what teen wouldn't want to live in Redondo? But maybe there's a little more to it than that. Maybe there's a lot more to it than that, because somehow during this period, this little podunk beach town becomes the secret psychic center of America's youth, covertly and mysteriously transmitting its spirit and emotions to young receptors across the land.
Mark Baxter, again, you got to remember the Southern California guys like me and the rest of us, we set the trends for the entire country when it comes to surfing, skating, backyard fighting, everything that goes into that world that we're a part of. We really do feel like we've dominated all the made all the surfing, all the pro skating, too. So we're always trying to outdo everybody that was around us. And the Redondo girls were no slouches in the trendsetting department either.
Thirty six, twenty six, thirty four. Basically, that's what the whole school was full of blond hair like like all the girls, like the surfer skater, punk rocker type tough kids were attracted to.
These girls weren't just attracting the surfer skater tough kids, these girls were everyone's type. This is the era of California girls. David Lee Roth, cover of the Beach Boys tune and the wildly popular 1985 video that accompanied it. Filmed just miles away in Venice, an ode to bikini clad beach bunny hardbodies. The whole country was wishing they could all be California girls and Baywatch babes, the whole world.
Baywatch was huge in England feature Baywatch babe Brandi Ledford was one year behind Nora at North Redondo Union High.
Here's Mark Baxter and Brandy.
Oh, God, she was flawless. Brandy was my girlfriend for a minute, just for a minute, though. Maybe less. That's the farthest creature herself, Randy Ledford. Here's Brandi and what it meant to be a South Bay girl, the way the Kardashians, everyone wants to look like them now.
You know, with their lips and their butt, Jackson and hair. That was so true for Baywatch. It really was Pam and Gina, Nicole, all those girls. We all wanted that look. And but I just grew up looking like that Opie shorts, dolphin short. I wore those clothes every day just to go to school, to go to the beach, to go to the park, to go to drill team rehearsal.
And then there's the South Bay music scene, here's Mark Baxter going down to the beach. The place was full of the toughest guys, you know what I mean? And the skateboarding was going on. It looked like frickin like a circus down there. And the place was packed with the hottest chicks man packed with the hottest chicks, of course, all the glam rock, heavy metal. I mean, we're talking people taking bus rides all the way from D.C., Virginia, New York, coming to Hollywood.
And then, of course, they would just start migrating south. And once they got into Manhattan, Hermosa Beach, that was it. They didn't need to go any further because that's where we were all at. This is Michelle Davilla in North Redondo Girl. Everything was just one big party around here, you know, bands and parties, and they would just throw a lot of backyard parties and stuff, so. You know, bands like Motley Crue, Rat, Dalkin, they were locals, so.
Could be, though, that motley crew with its hairspray and eye makeup and pretty boy lead singer failed to perfectly express the mood and sensibility of the North Redondo boys, even if the band was local. Here's Mark Baxter music works on our Tisia Jack Russells spot.
You've heard of him, the singer for Great White. And Jack knew everybody in the glam rock world and in the back room where they had just all the massive parties and some of the things that they would say, like, no, Mark, you and your friends are not allowed back here. You guys frickin destroy everything, man. We're more like putting holes in walls and socking people to phasing-in blood on everything. Could be that mark in the north, Redondo boys wanted music as savage and reckless and free as they were music that was a step beyond glam rock and heavy metal music that ran on rage, testosterone frenzy and flamboyant music.
That wasn't music at all. But one long primal scream, hardcore punk rock in case punk rock wasn't hardcore enough for you. And it's a homegrown phenomenon. Born and bred in South Bay, Ricksha remembers. Punk rock came through here like like a freight train.
It was all about us, all kinds of like just crazy bands that were coming out of here all at once. And it just took over like that. You know, it's kind of just like a.. Anything authorities. That was what was appealing is like we're not listening to it anymore, you know? Get a figure like parents back then, we're into like putting hands on kids in the world that we grew up on, when we get to an age when we're 13 or 14 years old and all of a sudden we're fighting back now, the music and everything just angled right.
Talk to us. You know, it was so it was tailored for us, you know?
This right here from this all this, yeah, this used to be all the back side of the church. In January, Mark Baxter took me on a tour of South Bay, showed me the hardcore punk rock hotspots, including the church since turned down a pretty little bistro type restaurant in its place.
He walked all the way around it. And then that's where the whole setup was, where the bands would be playing ways to do black flag circle jerk germ's. That was like the scariest place to go, just down that little strip right there on that alley, because that's where all the Mohawks and the shaved heads were and all the broken bones and the fighting was going on. But I used to say welcome to hell. And it had a giant hole and you climbed in the hole and all the windows and doors were boarded up and you could just hear punk rock coming out of it.
So, no, it's gone from the hinterland, the Styx, Steubenville, Ohio, where nothing ever happens and nothing ever will to the white hot cultural center. Right. She's off to the side. For starters. Hardcore punk rock is not unisex music. It's mostly a guy thing made by guys. Listen to big guys. And then there's her geography. Here's Mark Baxter on the South Redondo kids.
They drove Mercedes and BMW and they were all you know, they lived in big homes, you know, just immaculate lifestyle stuff that these are the kind of people that pulled into our school. The South Redondo rich girls couldn't upscale Nora's demeanor and beauty. She couldn't compete with them because of money and status. You know, at school, the two groups north and south eye each other warily across the economic divide, like the misfits on Misfit Island.
Good looks and charm, sure. But we weren't driving Mercedes and our parents weren't doctors and architects.
But the divide wasn't quite so vast for the North Redondo boys. They were surfers, rebels, outlaws, and the poor boy, juvenile delinquent figure has always had about him a dark and musky clamor, a sexual cachet. His glory is his defiance, but there's really no female equivalent to him. Poor and defiant girls are typically viewed as sexually exciting, but also as unsavory and possibly unclean as trash, basically disposable. And the pain of rejection of having the class you will sneer at you is, I think, sharper for the poor girl than it is for the poor boy and is felt more keenly, especially if the poor girl in question is intelligent and sensitive and Nora is both.
Nora is about to get a great consolation prize, though, to love next time on Once Upon a Time in the Valley night time to go to lay on the sand and look at the stars and go swimming in the ocean late at night.
It was just me and her. We would do everything, everything together. Inseparable, inseparable. This has been a presentation of C 13 originals, a division of Caden's 13 executive produced by Chris Corporan and me LILIANNA, directed by Zach Levitt, created and written by me, produced by Ashley West, edited and mastered by Chris Bazil, Bill Schulz, Harry Kraul and Ian Maat. Theme Music and original score by John Goodman. Production, Engineering and Coordination by Sean Cherry and Terence Mallon.
Bowen Field Recording by Rich Burner Artwork, Marketing and PR by Kurt Courtney, Josephine and Francis and Hilary Duff. Once upon a Time in the Valley is hosted by me and Ashley West. Thanks for listening.