XRCO Part 1: Ironman and Popcorn Schrimp

XRCO 2008

New Location, New Logo, Familiar Results

XRCO 2008 was an ushering in of a new era in many ways. After moving to Hollywood last year, the show found a new home at Highlands nightclub on Hollywood Blvd. Nestled in the Kodak Theatre complex, home of the Oscars, Highlands was a great location for the event. More on that later. Let’s get there first.

I believe this is my sixth XRCO Awards in the seven or eight years that I have been a voting member. I’ve had some great times at these and one night I’d just as soon forget. I was scheduled to get there early for dinner with Mike John, Tim Von Swine and Allie Foster. We decided to meet up at Hamburger Hamlet for a burger and a beer. I was heading up Hollywood, making pretty good time when all of a sudden the cops have the street blocked off. No big deal since the parking structure was I looking for was accessible from a side street. I make the turn and head up the little street just south of Hollywood. It’s packed with pedestrians waiting in line for something. The two block drive took close to ten minutes because it was a free for all in the street. As I got close to the structure which is right across from the Roosevelt Hotel (which I believe was the location for one of my favorite animal rights debates) I saw a stage set up in the parking lot. The mob was milling about and waiting in line to see someone play. When I parked my car I found out that Def Leppard was playing there as part of the Jimmy Kimmel show. From where I was parked I could see the stage and part of me thought about hanging out and catching a free show before heading over to the XRCO Awards.

I walked out onto Hollywood and it was a mob scene there as well. Right across the street at Grauman’s Chinese was a line of limos, press and all the usual red carpet stuff. On my side of the street, the sidewalk was packed with onlookers. There was barely enough room for me to squeeze on by. To my surprise, Hamburger Hamlet was gone. In it’s place I found a suitable substitute though, a fine family eatery that goes by the name of Hooters. I waited inside, but the traffic created by this perfect storm of mainstream fun caused Mike to run late. Yeah, having a beer and watching the Celtics on TV at hooters is a pretty tough way to spend time, but I managed to make it through.

By the time Mike, Tim and Allie found a place to park, they were on the opposite side of Hollywood and would have had to bring Allie the long way around in her heels to get some chicken wings. Instead they had me head over to their side. There was a nice steak house not far from Highlands so we sat down outside, watched the line for the show and enjoyed a quick bite. I gave Mike his 2007 RogReviews Critic’s Choice trophies as well as one I had made for him five years ago for a movie he made while still at Diabolic. (Come to think of it I have Loni’s trophy still.) We watched the stars walk by and talked about the business while downing a couple of a beers, some split pea soup and delicious popcorn shrimp. If the steaks are as good at that place as the soup then I have to go back for a big ole slice of New York Steak.

We made our way up to the front door of Highlands and it was clear from the start that this was a different event than in past years. The red carpet area was nicely set up and there was a media room set up for more photos. Things were just as nice on the inside of the club. It was a spacious main room with lots of light, a fair amount of seating and two bars to keep the lines short. As is always the case, the music inside was way too loud. I’ve never quite understood why the music has to be blaring before an event. It was tough to hear, but with a beer in one hand, I did the best I could to catch up.

I ran into Bono first. He was predicting another good night for Bree Olson and Hillary Scott. Not much of a stretch there. Indeed it was a big night for both blondes and anyone who has seen their work knows why. I ran into Tom Byron and asked him about this newest Seasoned Players movie. It is an all star cast filled with legendary performers. I wasn’t sure if I had received a copy, but when I checked at home, I do have it so look for a review very soon.

Mark Wood was standing near the bar talking to Christian. It’s become a running joke that Mark has been Unsung at XRCO for so long that he’s now actually Sung. So when does he get a nod for Best Male Performer. I’ve met Christian twice now. I honestly don’t know why anyone would want to start a beef with this guy. He’s freaking huge.

I was distracted from my conversation by the lovely Aurora Snow. She’s been out of LA for a little while and looks fantastic. I met her friend for the second time. We originally met at XRCO five years ago when Aurora was supposed to be my date, had to shoot instead and showed up with this love brunette at her side. (That was a bad night my friends, bad on many levels.) Aurora is going to be doing some video blogging for the site and I am allowed to start bugging her for the first effort this weekend.

The Awards were hosted by Gina Lynn and Carmen Hart. They kicked the show off and seemed to keep it flowing pretty well. Like so many venues, Highlands has a sound system that works fine if you’re right in front of the stage, but as I drifted back to the bar for more beer it got difficult to hear.

Stormy Daniels was named “Mainstream Adult Favorite” beating out Tera Patrick and Ron Jeremy for the honor. “Upload” took home the award for “Most Outrageous DVD Extras.” I’m not quite sure what makes them outrageous. I gave the bonus package an A when I reviewed the movie. They are quite impressive, but the award isn’t for “best” it’s for “most outrageous.” I wonder if some of my fellow voters have seen some of the BTS clips on JM Productions movies. Some of that shit is just fucked up. You can’t take your eyes off of it.

More coming later including my introduction to my next future ex wife…..


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