Tag Archives: Sunset Strip

West Hollywood Book Signing Event at Book Soup

24 Jul
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Crowd waits for Adam Novak sighting…

Thursday night I returned to Book Soup in West Hollywood where I held my Los Angeles book signing – this time as a bartender for another writer. Book Soup is one of the few remaining independent bookstores in Los Angeles and they hold weekly book signing events and if you have never been there, it is a must see in LA. The writer, Adam Novak posted a bid request on Thumbtack for a bartender, and he mentioned in the request it would be held at Book Soup. I put in a bid and mentioned that I had also held a book signing there.

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Adam Novak warmly greets his fans

The writer, Adam Novak, called me and asked me if I was “Rob Neighbors, the screen writer”. He said that he worked in the story department at William Morris agency for years and he remembers my name coming through there on screenplays. I told him, that yes, I was said writer. Do I feel bad that I am now a lowly bartender, who once had a promising screenwriting career?  No, I may get another shot at that, but I made some big mistakes along the way that derailed everything. One thing about it, I have never been envious or jealous of other people’s success. If other writers have great success, it means that it is obtainable. I make money as a bartender now, but that doesn’t define me. It is an honest living. Thank God I wasn’t good at raising money for movies, as my friend was, who is now doing 13 years in a Federal pen.

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Adam Novak looking tough

Authors Who Have Done Book Signings at Book Soup

  • Adam Novak
  • Sonny “Bones” Donato
  • Howard Stern
  • Rob Neighbors
  • Ann Margret

Adam Novak was doing the reading and book signing for his newest novel, “Freaks of the Industry.” He gave me a signed copy, and he signed it, “Keep on Protecting and Serving,” referencing my movie, “LAPD – to Protect and Serve.” I can tell Adam has a tremendous memory and pays attention to detail. I gave him a signed copy of my book, “Palm Avenue.” He read passages of his new book at the event and he is hilarious. He is a very skilled wordsmith, and the structure of his novel is different than anything I have seen before. I have started reading it and I am laughing out loud at something on every page. The book I’m sure is full of thinly veiled references to actual people in the industry. Writers walk a tightrope when they do this – Truman Capote wrote a send up of all of his society pals, and they ended up casting him out. He subsequently died a miserable alcoholic death. Hemingway did it too and he ended up blowing his brains out with a 12 gauge.  

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Truman Copote dressed for winter

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Ernest Hemingway with Cat

Anyway, back to bartending. I brought another bartender with me, because Adam wasn’t quite sure how many people would show up. He had a good crowd and we served wine, beer, and soft drinks. I guess they almost sold out of books, which is the goal. Adam was great guy to work for and know. I love Book Soup as a venue and I hope to return there many more times, as a writer, and God forbid a bartender (jk).

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Author Adam Novak and Rob Neighbors

Fourth of July Party in Villa Park

5 Jul
Shaking it up in Villa Park

Shaking it up in Villa Park

This year Independence Day fell on a Saturday and Shaken Not Stirred traveled to the community of Villa Park in Orange County to bartend a Fourth of July Party. I want to go on record by saying the Fourth of July is my favorite holiday. I love pool parties, hot weather, barbecues, and fireworks, and I especially love being an American and all that represents.  This party that I bartended in Villa Park was the classic fourth of July party, and there couldn’t have been a better day for it.

When I arrived, I was impressed by the home bar and pool area that the host informed me had just been completed after a lengthy renovation. I do many parties all over Southern California, and this had to be one of the finest home bars I have ever seen. Not one detail has been missed, including lighting, ice chest, 75” television, sound system, granite countertops, and liquor selection. They also had a grilling station just adjacent to the bar set up to feed an army. Behind the bar is a Bocci Ball court.

The pool was set to a temperature of 85 degrees, and the kids in attendance rarely left it. I served a variety of drinks including Cadillac Margaritas, Mojitos, Mai Tais, Pina Colladas, Cosmos, Dirty Martinis, Cuba Libres, wine, and beer. Lemon Drop Martinis proved to be the most popular drink of the day. We went through one and half 5 gallon kegs of Stella Artois, and a handle of Fireball. However, I didn’t see anyone over intoxicated. The host grilled genuine German Brauts from a local German Deli – we Americans can enjoy that!

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Genuine German Brauts for Independence Day

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

Refined gentleman enjoys a Cosmo

It was a great party spot, and I hope the hosts call me to bartend again. Great hosts and guests – It was a true pleasure to bartend and spend my favorite holiday in good company.  I had a good discussion with a young man from Holland, and a woman who emigrated from England. They both knew more about the Declaration of Independence than most Americans do.  They realized why America is important and stands out as one of the greatest nations in the history of the world. Sadly, many native Americans don’t seem to realize or even think about that.  Personal fireworks were still allowed in Villa Park and fireworks rang out all over the neighborhood as soon as the sun went down. Freedom rang!

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Guest enjoying Fourth of July

Next weekend I will be traveling to Montana to visit family and friends. I will also be doing a book signing for my novel, “Palm Avenue,”in my home town at Sheridan Stationery on July 11th. I will be doing my first Southern California book signing at Book Soup on the Sunset Strip on September 8th.  My next bartending event will be on July 18th in downtown Los Angeles.