Joe’s Little Box in the Sky . . . .

I’ve read some of the books about the eighties and the “Hollywood Scene”, and sometimes it seems that all that comes through are the stories of 12 naked girls in a hot tub. I’m not saying that it didn’t happen, but if that’s all you read, you can’t imagine what it was like. Because some of the stuff that happened—well, probably couldn’t be imagined. This is one of those stories . . . .

Before Joe Cristofanilli joined Sin he was in Ratt, and some of the guys lived in a tall building on Sunset, which they aptly named Ratt Mansion West and there are enough stories about that place to fill several books on its own . . . but this happened after. I think the photo posted is the right building, someone jump in if I got it wrong.

Anyway, at some point, everyone had moved out but Joey, and the building was bought by Rod Stewart (at least that was the rumor) and they were going to turn it into condos.

Anyone who was actually there will remember two things; Top Ramen and Renters Rights. To this day, if you sneak up behind an 80’s rocker and shake a bag of Top Ramen he’ll probably start having convulsions. . . . it was all anyone could afford. Renters Rights was a group you could go to, that would file legal paperwork for you if you were being evicted. And at some point everyone was evicted.

So, Joe goes to Renters Rights and they file the paperwork to stop him from being thrown out of the apartment building–where he is now the only tenant. And the builders . . .

Respond by tearing the entire building down to the steel girders, except the floor, four walls and roof of Joe’s apartment! So imagine a steel framework and way up near the top, a little box is hanging in mid-air, with one elevator–which they had to leave–and a little strip of floor from the elevator to the apartment.

Every afternoon, Joe would leave his little box in the sky, tiptoe along a hanging sidewalk to a disembodied elevator and go do whatever. And every night, ride it back up to the little box in the sky. I have no idea how long this lasted . . . probably months. You can’t make this stuff up!

Anyway, not long after that, I met Joe and he joined Sin, which later became Jag Wire and, for a short time, Mother Mary.

P.S. If Rod Stewart reads this, and he was one of the owners . . . no hard feelings, man. Everyone was broke at some point 😉

Joe and the Ratt Mansion West story


About vincentgilbert

Musician (keyboards), composer and computer technician, with a whole lot of road wear. I'm sharing memories of the Hollywood metal years, touring with The Cult and a lot of projects that I've worked on between 1978 and into the future.
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