Had an unusual day at work today. (The unusual seems to be getting more and more the norm lately.)
The morning and early afternoon were pretty uneventful. Even had one of four planned stops cancel at the last minute (as we were parking for the job), so we had a bit of time to kill before our 4:00 appointment. We went ahead and went to the client's apartment in Brentwood, and parked on the street waiting for him to arrive. The boss was in the truck working on the computer and I was standing outside on the sidewalk having a smoke. I heard a "THUMP-THUMP-CRASH!" sound and turned around just in time to see the back half of a car cross the sidewalk and disappear into some bushes about 100' away from me. We were on a level street, there was a curve where the car had disappeared into the bushes. The driver had gone straight where the road curved. The bushes along that curve were at the top of a steep hill that dropped off about 40' or 50' below the street. The parking lot for a private school was at the bottom of the hill.
I walked over to where the car had disappeared, as did a small group of people who came out of neighboring shops, only to look down and see a fairly new Mercedes laying on its side between two parked cars. I couldn't see in the car from where I was, but there were people in the parking lot approaching the car, so I didn't try to go down there and try to help. Someone was already on the phone calling 911, and within a minute or two we could hear the approaching sirens, so he positioned himself to stop the traffic and I moved to where I could direct the rescue crews into the the parking lot entrance. (Turns out the other guy was a neighborhood restaurant owner who also happened to be a Reserve LAPD officer.) Before long, I think they had every piece of fire and rescue apparatus on the Westside of LA crammed into the school parking lot.
Here's a shot of where the car went through the bushes and under the chain link fence. You can see a large eucalyptus tree on the right that the driver barely missed:
And here's what was at the bottom of the hill:
See the roof of the green building on the left? Notice the smear of fluids? The driver's side wheels used that roof as a ramp, which caused the car to do a 270ļ barrel roll before landing on the driver's side. As I told the cop who took my statement, there was apparently no braking at all...no screeching sounds before I heard the car go over the curb, and no skid marks on the pavement. The driver was an elderly man, so the cops were suspecting he hit the gas instead of the brakes when he got to the curve. Or there's a possibility that he had a heart attack or was otherwise incapacitated. I didn't hear (or ask) about the driver's injuries, but they did get him out and headed out in an ambulance fairly quickly.
Right after I took these pics (which was after most of the emergency vehicles had left), Perry and I watched the tow truck driver move the car on the left of the Mercedes out of its parking spot. We expected to see the whole side of the car munched, but from where we were standing, we couldn't even see a scratch.
After that drama was over, we finally met up with the client (a music exec/producer) and hung a few paintings for him. He also had a painting that he wanted us to take to his recording studio in Hollywood and hang there, so that was the next stop. (He stayed home...there were people to meet us at the studio.)
The studio was in the heart of Hollywierd in a nondescript building on Sunset Boulevard. We pulled into the back parking lot through an automatic gate and down a narrow drive (about 3" clearance for the truck's mirrors on either side). Here's the granite "stoop" at the entrance door, which is at the back of the building:
This studio has a long history, and it still actively used by a number of top acts. John McClain (our client) has worked with a lot of familiar names. (Michael and Janet Jackson, for example.)
When we went in, things were busy, with half a dozen people lounging around in the smallish "living room" of the studio, most of them playing around on Macbooks or smart phones, and a basketball game showing on the TV. (Perry said this was the first time he'd been there when there was any real activity. There was usually just one or two people around.) There was an adjacent kitchen where a cook was making some great-smelling jerked chicken. Perry and I hung the picture we delivered, and then ended up staying to hang another one. (A cool photo of Jimi Hendrix, which gave us fits because it had a welded steel frame that weighed about 60 pounds, and we had to mount it on a wall that was sheetrock on one side of the frame and sheetrock-covered brick on the other. I need to introduce Perry to Tapcon screws.)
While I was outside getting some hardware out of the truck for hanging the Jimi photo, a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce pulled into the parking lot, although I didn't pay much attention to who got out of the passenger side...just saw it was a nice-looking African-American woman. I also didn't pay much attention to her while she was hanging around with all the others there...Perry and I were just doing our thing in the adjacent office. Turns out she was Mary J Blige. Not real familiar with her music, but I definitely know her name.
The producer who was working there tonight (another John) was a nice guy. We chatted a bit about analog vs. digital recording, and he even gave me a lead for someone who can restore some old master tapes my band recorded back in the '80s. (As he was giving me their numbers and contact names, he said "These guys are good...they did all of Michael's tapes".) Had they not been in an active recording session, I would have asked for a studio tour. Maybe next time.
Then to top off the day, I got to back the truck out of the tight parking lot, and onto Sunset Boulevard at 9:00 on a Friday night. That's like backing a car onto the street in Times Square. There are no breaks in the traffic. Perry got out and stopped two lanes of traffic (including a Metro bus) so I could do it. I thought he was suicidal to step out into the street waving his arms and standing down a city bus.
So all in all, not a run-of-the-mill day.