"One ship sails east, the other west, by the self same winds that blow;
it's the set of the sails, and not the rules, that decides the way to go"
Peter Stackpole took this picture of Errol Flynn up the
mast of the Sirocco, off Catalina on August 2, 1941
I have always wanted to set up my own web page as a tribute to Errol Flynn and his thirst for adventure. He inspired me to leave Everett, Mass. and come out here to Hollywood in order to try my luck at being an actor and eventually a filmmaker. In 1980 I met Tony Thomas, and we became very close friends and remained so until his untimely passing in 1997. He was truly a dear friend, and I miss him terribly. It was due to Tony's generosity that I was able to meet and get to know many of Errol's friends, family, co-workers, and others who knew him at Warner Brothers.
Between 1980 and 1987 I was constantly going up to Mulholland farm, taking pictures and bringing friends from Everett, Mass to see the place where Errol Flynn lived. When the estate went on the market I was able to take my wife into Mulholland House in April-May of 1987. We went up there anytime, night or day, almost as if we were the new owners. I took everyone I knew up there. At the time my wife Louise was eight months pregnant and my plan was to sneak up there at sunset and spend a romantic night in Errol's bedroom, alone with my bride. What a special night that would have been, but Errol seemed to say, "bad timing sport."
Sometime later, I got to know the new owner, who by April of 1988 had decided to demolish the house and sell off the land. I was there to see it happen on a sad day in May of '88. During the previous year, I had taken pictures of the house being renovated, and later as it was being torn down. It was when I was with Tony Thomas, and my boyhood friend Steve Florentine of Everett Mass., that I met Nora and Deirdre Flynn up at the house - or what was left of it. Meeting Nora, Deirdre and eventually Rory has been for me a great experience. They have treated me like family from day one, and that is something I will treasure always.
- Jack Marino / Filmmaker
Errol Flynn Slept Here: The Flynns, the Hamblens, Rick Nelson, and the Most Notorious House in Hollywood
Introducing GoodKnight Books from Paladin
At Paladin, we love to make history come alive for our audience, and not just Colonial American history, and not just with film and video. Paladin's staff includes filmmakers and also experienced writers, editors, and designers, so it was a natural that we should turn our attention to books about the history of Hollywood. In a few weeks, Paladin will release its first book under the GoodKnight imprint, and what a book it is.
Coming THIS MONTH—January 2009!
Errol Flynn Slept Here: The Flynns, the Hamblens, Rick Nelson, and the Most Notorious House in Hollywood spans the life and death of Mulholland Farm, the elegant—and infamous—mountaintop showplace built by Errol Flynn, swashbuckling star of Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, The Sea Hawk, and other classics of the silver screen. It's a story that spans five continents and includes Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan, Fidel Castro, Humphrey Bogart, Shirley Temple, Clark Gable, Billy Graham, Johnny Cash, Roy Rogers, the Rolling Stones, and—of course—the three owners of Mulholland Farm: wicked, wicked Errol Flynn; Christian singer, songwriter, and radio star Stuart Hamblen; and rock 'n' roll legend Rick Nelson.
On the 100th anniversary of Errol Flynn's birth, and the 50th anniversary of his passing, authors Robert Matzen and Michael Mazzone tell this remarkable story for the first time, with an entire volume devoted to a Hollywood home and the remarkable families that owned it.
Exhaustively researched, Errol Flynn Slept Here features:
• New interviews with people who lived at or visited Mulholland Farm, including cooperation from the Flynn, Hamblen, and Nelson families
• A photographic tour through the labyrinthian house and its grounds
• A glimpse into Errol Flynn's mind as he designed a home that included peep holes, two-way mirrors, and secret passageways
• Accounts of the wild parties that made the house legendary
• A reexamination of Mulholland's most notorious incident: the snatching of John Barrymore's body from Pierce Brothers Mortuary in Hollywood
• Sifting of the Warner Brothers Archives, which revealed new details of Errol Flynn's legendary battles with Warner Brothers mogul Jack L. Warner, and Flynn's bouts of depression that would lock him in his Mulholland Drive hideaway for weeks on end
• The first-ever examination of the 20 years spent at Mulholland Farm by songwriter and radio star Stuart Hamblen and his wife Suzy, who were the first significant owners after Errol Flynn's ex-wife, Lili Damita, took possession of the property
• A look at the tragic five years spent at Mulholland by rock star Ricky Nelson—a fan of Errol Flynn, Ricky Nelson is consumed by the oppressive and secluded Mulholland house
• Evolution of the Platinum-selling rock band Nelson at Mulholland Farm, as told by Ricky Nelson's sons, the founding members of the band, Matthew and Gunnar Nelson
• Multiple, credible eyewitness accounts of the most haunted house in Hollywood
• More than 200 photos in black and white and color, most of them previously unpublished
• A look at the architecture of this "California Colonial," including the blueprints of the original floor plan and its 1945 addition
Beautifully designed and printed in the USA, the 200-page, coffee-table hardcover Errol Flynn Slept Here: The Flynns, the Hamblens, Rick Nelson, and the Most Notorious House in Hollywood will be a sought-after addition to any motion picture library.
Order it from the publisher at the special online price of $34.95—$5.00 off the $39.95 retail.
(International customers, please email us before ordering.)
Read what they're already saying about Errol Flynn Slept Here
“I never thought at this stage I would discover a new volume on the incomparable Errol Flynn that presented a vast collection of intriguing photos and information that, to a large degree, have not been previously available in book form. But Errol Flynn Slept Here accomplishes just that—and in a particularly engaging manner.”
— Rudy Behlmer, co-author of The Films of Errol Flynn and author of Inside Warner Bros.
"I'd spent all my years since trying to put those days behind me... Those awkward late teen years are difficult for everyone under the best of circumstances- even if you'd found yourself living in a modest cookie cutter house in an Ozzie and Harriet neighborhood at the time. I, on the other hand, found myself struggling to learn who I was and was going to grow up to be while sequestered at the Mullholland Farm- the place that time (and I felt hope) had forgotten.
Designed to keep a prying public and press at bay, the 'Flynn House' (as I called it) positively oozed a desperate isolation that probably required all of those storied orgies once upon a time to even feel habitable.
At that time in my life, the fact that it was as quiet as a coffin, and removed enough from life so that no one could hear you scream made it a great place to rehearse my first band... And a lousy place to get stuck when your parents are divorced, your remaining parent is perpetually on the road, and you're still too young to drive. The only things left to keep me company were the ghosts of what once were quite happy times (or so I hear) and the very real ghosts that liked to sit on my bed and hold me down so I couldn't move.
Living at that house made me realize that I love people above and beyond things- and that no big house will ever feel like a home unless there is life, love, and togetherness within it's walls. And that is the path I pursue to this day, and for this, I must be grateful to The Mullholland Farm.
This book does its job too well for my liking. It puts me right back there, and I never want to go there again. But I'm glad I read it... And I'm glad I was reminded of the fact that a house is just a pile of stones and sticks, no matter how famous it is. It's the love in side it that can turn any man's hovel into a castle, and the lack of it that turned one man's castle into this man's prison."
— Gunnar Nelson, son of Rick Nelson and founding member of the platinum-selling rock band Nelson
"Thanks for documenting a place impossible to describe without this book. An Interesting and totally creepy read that was akin to taking a trip back into the darker recesses of my adolescence...I actually went back and felt the house...smelled that pinewood den...saw the linoleum checkerboard dining room floor. The attic. That insanely deep swimming pool...the thoughts of the parties hosted at the house where the luminaries of Hollywood 's Golden Age cast away their inhibitions...saw my bedroom where I rehearsed my first real band and forged my musical dreams... relived my parent's divorce and my father's last days. I have to admit- I feel strange after the visit back to 3100 Torreyson Place- I am at the same time saddened by the thought of what could have been combined with the bittersweet reality of what was. It admittedly was a big part of my life. "
— Matthew Nelson, son of Rick Nelson and founding member of the platinum-selling rock band Nelson
“The authors researched an area that has not been written about often: Flynn's homes and particularly his famous Mulholland House. The book also covers who else lived at Flynn's house. This volume is a fresh look at the times of Errol Flynn, a view that fans and historians will equally enjoy as they view new facets of Flynn's life.”
— Marc Wanamaker, film historian and president of Hollywood Heritage, Inc.
"There have been many books written about Errol Flynn, some of them pretty good, but none to approach this newest from Robert Matzen and Michael Mazzone. These authors seem to understand him perhaps best of those (many) who've tackled this most enigmatic of subjects. They don't shrink from aspects of Flynn that are dark, even disillusioning for many of us who've admired him, but neither do they revel in that which must be told in order to get the clearest — and rest assured, this book is all of that — realization of who Flynn was and what brought him to places high and low. I'm still not believing the man lived but fifty years! I read and wondered how one person could take so much out of a single lifetime. Such cosmic matters had not troubled me from previous Flynn readings. Is it just that I'm older and wistful for having lived a by comparison uneventful life, or is this a book so accomplished as to finally put Flynn in a perspective long overdue me? I suspect it's Matzen and Mazzone who finally brought it all home for this lifelong fan, and for that, I'm eternally beholden. Where insight, humor, and compassion have seldom been vested in treatments of this great star (and actor, by golly!), here's a rich account with all of them in abundance. Errol Flynn Slept Here is a man's life viewed through the portico of a dream home he loved and lost. Read it and chances are you'll come away wishing to have lived in a place half so fascinating."
— John McElwee, proprieter of the popular blog, Greenbriar Picture Shows
Contact: Robert Matzen & Mike Mazzone
You can send an email to Paladin Communications at email@example.com.
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U.S. Mail: Paladin Communications, P.O. Box 112614, Pittsburgh, PA 15241-2614
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW at the special online price of $34.95--$5.00 off the $39.95 retail.
(International customers, please email us before ordering.)
At Paladin Communications
I want to introduce to you Mr. Steve Hayes, who knew Errol Flynn and many of the great stars of Hollywood's Golden Age. These two brand new books will make perfect additions to your Errol Flynn and Hollywood Book Collections!
I would like to take this time to thank Mr. Steve Hayes for allowing me to be a small part of his wondeful books. I really enjoy having the privilage of putting a statment on the back cover of these wonderful and fun books.
GOOGIES Coffeeshop to the Stars VOL 1 & 2
by Steve Hayes
Ever wonder what it was like back in the forties and fifties, mingling with famous movie stars on the Sunset Strip; to ride beside James Dean in his Porsche Speedster, zipping around the curves of Mulholland Drive; to stay at Errol Flynn's house and sleep in the bedroom with the infamous hole in the mirrored ceiling; share a secret with Marilyn Monroe; act in a movie with Alan Ladd or Lana Turner; race motorcycles with Clark Gable on Ventura Boulevard; paint Rita Hayworth's house; be invited to tea by James Mason; go to the Hollywood Bowl with Jayne Mansfield and Louella Parsons; hang out with Flynn and countless other stars at the sordid Garden of Allah?
Well, I did all those things and more, much more. As a fledgling actor, part-time house painter, parking attendant, "snoop" for the Fred Otash Detective Agency, and manager of Googie's, a celebrated coffee shop next to Schwab's drug store, I was in the catbird seat, privy to all the gossip, brawls and excitement that nightly took place at the Mocambo, Ciro's, The Players, Crescendo, Villa Nova and other glamorous night spots along the Strip. Known as the "playground of the stars," never a night went by on the Sunset Strip that one didn't rub elbows with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, Duke Wayne, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth and numerous other high profile celebrities.
It's a fascinating era that has disappeared forever. And I was there in the thick of it. And now you can be, too.
Because I've written it all down, exactly as it was... Steve Hayes
REVIEW - GOOGIES Coffeeshop to the Stars:
Excellent! A refreshing and touching book!, September 13, 2008
By Thomas P McNulty (Illinois USA)
Steve Hayes serves up a deluxe memoir in two volumes with "Googies: Coffeeshop to the Stars" (Bear Manor Media, $24.95). Arriving in Hollywood in 1949 with dreams of becoming a movie star, young Ivan Hayes embarked upon an odyssey of self discovery and adventure that no screenwriter could have dreamed up.
This remarkable memoir is loaded with anecdotes, none of which I'll repeat here because I hope you'll support this author and purchase both volumes. Suffice it to say, in these pages you'll encounter Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, Alan Ladd, Lana Turner, Ernest Hemingway and even Aldous Huxley among many others.
For a decade Steve supported himself as an actor, manager of the Googies coffeeshop adjacent to Schwab's Pharmacy, and by taking jobs as they were offered. Along the way he met and often befriended many of Hollywood's popular stars. His insight into these personalities goes against the grain of what you'll normally encounter in books where the allure relates directly to the geek fan base salivating for more celebrity gossip. What Steve Hayes has accomplished is the creation of a memoir lacking in egotism and animosity. What I appreciate is this man's honesty when talking about his successes and failures, and his unabashed look back at an era he knew was ending even as he experienced it. There is an underlying tone of sadness, but without being maudlin. I was particularly taken by his sensitivity when talking about his marriages, girlfriends and friendship with the stars he encountered. For example, his view on Clark Gable is right on, and ultimately heartbreaking. Ditto with Flynn, Ladd and others.
He devotes ample space to Errol Flynn, a man that Hayes admits remains his idol, but he avoids the idolatry as well as the gossip. No truer portrait of Flynn has hitherto been published. Here is Flynn the writer, the caring father, the raging alcoholic, the talented actor, the man's man who took care of his friends while sometimes also letting them down. First hand accurate accounts have always been scarce and that's what makes "Googies: Coffeeshop to the Stars" such a valuable resource for fans and scholars alike. Steve Hayes wrote it down the way it happened and the result is a smorgasbord of insight, layered with a generous portion of compassion. That's a rare and delectable combination.
Steve Hayes has a big heart that complements his talent - he's a successful novelist and screenwriter - and forgive the cliché, but I couldn't put his book down. He was there at the tail end of a Golden Era, sparkling with talent, sex appeal, hard work, humorous escapades, tragic loss and epic voyages, but it's no mistake that section three of volume two is titled "The Decline of Camelot."
The book is prefaced by a short but fascinating piece titled "I Remember Googies" by John Saxon. "Googies: Coffeeshop to the Stars" offers an authentic look back at a bygone era and we can be thankful the author is such a splendid raconteur.
Kudos to Steve Hayes for taking the time to pen such a heartfelt and fascinating memoir.
Buy your copies here:
Read "Googies, Coffeshop To The Stars"
Posted by Tommy Garrett on Oct 26, 2008 - 6:32:57 PM
Googie’s was a Hollywood hotspot that seemed to disappear, but for film fans and movie buffs, don’t despair. There is an excellent, well written and researched couple of books about the famed locale that leaves nothing to the imagination. The author is Steve Hayes. For those of you who don’t know him, but should, the British-born man explains that he first arrived in Hollywood in 1949 and moved there permanently in 1950. He was an actor for a decade or so, and he helped support himself by parking cars at Hollywood’s glamorous Sunset Strip nightspots as well as managing Googie’s, a coffee shop next to Schwab’s.
During which time, the author befriended stars like Errol Flynn, Tyrone Power, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner, Lana Turner and Robert Middleton. He says that they all influenced his life and gave him material for his autobiography. The author has also written movies and television.
Volume One starts out with the foreword by the legendary John Saxon, who was as famous for his looks as his acting skills. Chapters one and two are lead ups to some of the most fascinating stories of any book I have read in months. I thoroughly enjoyed his first meeting with the horror icon Bela Lugosi. Mr. Lugosi by this time was becoming an older man and had been typecast as a scary character in his movies. But it was also the author’s opinion of Jayne Mansfield that impressed me most about his knowledge. Jayne has been a bombshell, a sex symbol, but few people, other than those close around her, realized that she was actually very smart and a very loyal person. She did, however, as the author points out, never met a camera she didn’t like. I like his quote from Jayne, in which she uttered, “I wish I had been born thirty years earlier, because the movie stars of the twenties and thirties wore exotic costumes like Theda Bara and Gloria Swanson and Pola Negri. They lived in luxurious mansions, walked around with leopards on leashes, threw wild extravagant parties that lasted for days and were treated like Cleopatra. Oh my God, Steve, how incredible that must have been!”
Both volumes are filled with incredible stories by the author explaining his incredible interactions with some of Hollywood’s '50s and '60s royalty. That although the stars of that era thought the previous era icons were elegant and beautiful and fun. Today we long for the era that Hayes describes in such organic and yet exciting details. The author’s book is planned out in small chapters, each filling your mind and your heart with the love and admiration of yesteryear.
Though this author speaks wildly and with admiration of Hemingway, I find myself feeling the same way reading his books. Hayes is extremely talented and like Hemingway, he has a style that is forthright and yet leaves a lot to your own imagination. Though this book is thoroughly researched, it isn’t opinionated and the author had no axe to grind with any of the subjects. This is rare in today’s writing.
"Googies, Coffeeshop to the Stars" is a must-read for anyone who has ever wondered what movie stars and icons are like when they don’t think anyone is around to tell on them. Yet Steve Hayes does so with respect.
Googie’s is a Bear Manor Media publication.
Tony Thomas - 1928 -1997
"Jack Marino's Salute to the Fabulous Flynn" is
Dedicated to the Memory of my dear friend Tony Thomas
Attention Errol Flynn Fans: I am in the process of making some changing to my site "Jack Marino's Salute to the Fabulous Flynn" I am planning to redesign this entire site and add some rare personal photos with lots of new information.
In the meantime, I have deleted some pages and I am going to add new ones along with some of the writings of my late friend Tony Thomas, which was my original plan. For the time being, I am helping to promote Mr Steve Hayes' book GOOGIES and soon there will be another book coming out on Errol Flynn. I was asked by the authors if I would promote their new book on my site.
I am also, looking for anyone out there in the LA area who is an Errol Flynn fan and knows how to use FLASH. I can't pay anyone but I have ideas to make this the most visual web site on Errol Flynn out there. You can use this site as your resume to promote your work as a Flash designer. IF anyone is interested in working with me on their first FLASH site you can contact me at the e-mail above if you want to build something unique.
Additional acknowledgments go to Mike Mazzone, William Donati, Dave DeWitt, Brian Twist, Tom McNulty and Trudy McVicker for permission to use photographs from their personal collections throughout this Fabulous Flynn web site.
©2001 Jack Marino Web Designs