My story begins back in January of 1986. Just months earlier, I had moved to Los Angeles from Austin, Texas and was searching a second job to suppliment my part-time bartending job. I was looking for that second bar job when I remember asking myself, "If I could tend bar anywhere I wanted, where would that be?" I didn't really know L.A. that well and so I wasn't really aware of what was available out there. One day, on my way to my part-time bar job, I noticed, like I had on a number of occasions before, the logo of the Playboy Bunny on a high rise building on Sunset Boulevard. That's when it hit me! Why don't I go apply for a bartending position at the Playboy Club? Why not? Wouldn't that be cool to bartend at the Playboy Club as a single male? I didn't know any better and I was just young and ignorant enough to have no fear to apply at The Playboy Club!
I got the address and made my way over to Century City where the club was located before it closed in June of 1986. Was I nervous as I made my way up the steps of this building complex? Yeahhhhhhhh! I figured mid-afternoon would be the best time to apply for a job at a place like The Playboy Club because I probably wouldn't be allowed access during their open hours because of its club rules. I didn't know any better. I was "fresh off the truck from Texas"! When I pulled myself together, I noticed two large wooden doors with the Bunny logo on them. I took a deep breath, grabbed the door handle and pulled! Locked! DAMN! I noticed a buzzer next to the doors. I took another deep breath and pressed the buzzer and waited... and waited and waited. Was anyone going to respond? I was about to turn face and run when the doors began to slowly open. Woah! Like "The Wizard of Oz" shhhit! Or it was like the genie emerging from his bottle... or... whatever! A portly middle-aged gentleman stuck his head out from behind one of the big wooden doors and said, "Can I help you?"
I introduced myself and informed him that I was there to put in my application as a bartender. It was strange that this portly man was checking me out head to toe and he wasn't trying to hide it. I should explain this element so my story will make better sense. My physical structure at this point in my life was impressive since I had been competing in bodybuilding contests back in Texas over the past few years. One of the main reasons for me moving to L.A. was to weight train at Gold's Gym in Santa Monica and learn the craft of bodybuilding. I was about 220 lbs. of pretty solid muscle mass at that time and standing 6'3". I was a fairly large man but over time, I soon learned that I was quite small compared to the professional body builders who worked out at the Gold's Gym in Santa Monica. They were very large muscular men AND women!
O.K. back to the story on that first day. The gentleman behind the door invited me into the lobby of the Playboy Club. Once inside, we then made our way to an empty dining room area and he told me to have a seat and said he would be right back. At this point, I didn't know what was going on. It was like I was sitting in a vacuum on another planet. Does that make sense? No? Good... because it didn't make sense to me, at the time... either! I'm sitting at a table inside The Playboy Club and waiting for a mysterious portly man to submit my bartending resume! The same portly gentleman returned about five minutes later with his clipboard in hand who introduced himself as the manager of The Playboy Club. REALLY? The manager? He sat himself across from me and while gazing at my muscled arms said, "I'm really sorry but we haven't needed a new bartender for the past twenty years. All the bartenders that currently work here have been working here since we opened our doors over twenty years ago! I'm like... DUH! You can imagine why." I'm now thinking, "Then why did this little fat guy invite me into the club to speak with him?" He then began explaining that very point. He said he noticed my physique and asked, "Have you ever worked security of any kind?" I hadn't really worked a security position before but I worked the front door of my own little bar down in Texas so, I answered, "Yes, in Texas at a bar down on Sixth Street." Hey! It's the Playboy Club and I sensed where this guy was going and it didn't take a rocket scientist to notice he was looking at my physique BIGTIME! I knew this type of behavior from men who "swam in the other lake"... if ya know what I mean. ! It was now slowly beginning to make sense to me. BAM! This male manager was NOT gay! He probably needed a security guy! Duh! He stared at my body and figured I just fell out of the sky and came here to be his new security guard! He proceeded in explaining to me, "Our lead security guard just left this past weekend and we're looking for a replacement." He failed to mention that within six months from now The Playboy Club was planning to close down for good! Did he just FORGET to mention THAT part? The club was now without a security guard for the final six months the club was to be opened. I learned all this later and I just played along with the manager as he asked me, "Do you have any martial arts skills or special training?" I'm thinking, "No" but I quickly answer, "With guns like these... (as I raise my arms in the air and shoot a "front double biceps pose") ...who needs special training?" The manager is staring at my arms as we both begin lightly laughing at the sametime. I got him! I didn't get a bartending job at The Playboy Club that day but I was now the NEW... Head of Security at The Playboy Club in Los Angeles, California! I was just hoping they didn't have too many fights at this club because when it came to actual fighting? I wasn't a fighter! I could talk pretty big BS and because of my size, I could physically hold anyone down so they couldn't move and hit ME! Why do you think I became a "muscle head" in the first place? People would look at me and think to themselves, "Wow! That guy could probably tear me a new asshole! I don't want to mess with him!" That's why I never got into fights! When I was five years old, the six year old across the street pushed me off my bicycle, kicked my ass and made me cry... and from then on, I did everything I could to scare away bullies and "lifting and training with weights" did that for me! As big as I was, I could just squint my eyes like Clint Eastwood and guys would run! HA!
I worked on Friday and Saturday nights at my new job at at The Playboy Club in Los Angeles, California and had my part-time bartending position in the Valley on the week nights. I was set! A few months into this new and exciting job, the club announced that they would be closing its doors within a few months. I'm like..."What?!" I just got this peach job a couple of months ago and now they are announcing that they're closing after twenty something years?! All the Playboy Bunnies were freaked as were all the other regular employees, some whom had worked there since the club opened in 1971! The friggin' Playboy Club is shutting down? It now made sense to me. I now knew why I was hired as their security guard. All the other security staff members left long ago for new positions elsewhere. The last security agent who was the Head of Security and a tenth degree Black Belt was the last to go and couldn't stay through to the closing. I received that honor and I am actually glad I got to be a part of the closing ceremonies of The Playboy Club in Century City on June 1st,1986.
At the closing party, Hef attended with all the Bunnies and Playmates of past and present hanging all over him. My last night at The Playboy Club in Century City was something to remember. I was like a small young kid in a candy store but without any money! I didn't care! I just wanted to look at all the candy! It was at this closing event that one of Hef's business associates walked up to me and out of the blue asked if I would be interested in... get this... if I would be interested in working security for Hugh Hefner at THE FRIGGIN' Playboy Mansion in Holmby FRIGGIN' Hills! What do you think I said? I was worrying all night that I no longer had my second job which was about the coolest second job a single guy could have and then... Bam!
This secret dude... who was to me... a random business associate... slowly meandered over my way and introduced himself and BAM and out of no where he asked, "Are YOU bonded?" I was like... "Bonded?" WHAT? "BING!" My consciousness awakened... Shit! That's it! I KNEW IT! I knew it was too good to be true! They can't hire me because I'm not friggin' bonded! I'm thinking... "Bonded?! I didn't even know what being bonded was! What the heck does that mean, BONDED?!" I answered "no" without even knowing what it was! The gentleman responded by telling me, "Aw... don't worry about it. We'll get ya bonded." That was a relief and I didn't even know why I was... relieved! They did get me bonded and it wasn't any big deal. They just did a background check on me to make sure I didn't have a criminal record. I was only arrested once in my life for stealing a pack of ham from a 7-11 convenience store when I was intoxicated at the age of 19 but it was wiped clean from my record because the police chief knew my dad. Can you imagine how bad I would have felt if I was not allowed to work at The Playboy Mansion because I was arrested at the age of 19 for stealing a pack of ham slices from a 7-11 at four in the morning... intoxicated? Wow! There would have been some EPIC irony in there somewhere, I'm sure!
My first day at The Playboy Mansion consisted of a tour, an incredible TOUR of the grounds! This was after I arrived at the mansion grounds in my old beat-up green '67 fastback Mustang. Driving my car into THIS compound was like driving up to the front door of that castle at Disneyland in a very fast rotten pumpkin! Ya know?! Once I parked my car out back, WAAAAAY out back and then checked in, I was given a personal tour of one of our biggest American icons of today... The Playboy Mansion! At the time, this was the biggest eye opening event I had ever encountered in my life because I was still pretty young! The tour itself was an experience and a half, no doubt. I grew up in a family in the slightly economically depressed farming area labeled as The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. We didn't have places like the Playboy Mansion "where I BE from". We had... swimming in the irrigation locks and skiing the levees behind a pick-up truck! The Playboy Mansion was like existing in one of Salvador Dali's paintings on HALLOWEEN in AMSTERDAM on Friday, the 13th! It's just "unreal" reality and the beginning of a reality which infiltrated my existence from that point on!
This incredible tour began with the mansion grounds, the monkey cages, the bird aviary and the large man-made lake out back filled with those expensive Japanese fish called... Koi? Large peacocks were also roaming the large front and back yards freely. My guide and I walked the parameter of the grounds and viewed the tennis courts and then entered into the party/game room which was a building not connected to the mansion. I don't really remember the name people called this little peek-a-boo hide-a-way but I called it the "Party Palace". What else could you call a place like THIS?
"O.k., now sit back and get comfortable because I'm going to describe this layout to you, right now!"
This fairly good-sized bungalow was situated off the front grounds of the main house. I remember the bungalow being partially over-grown with nature as we entered through the front door of the main game room area. This large room was filled with old Playboy pin-ball machines and equipped with a nice pool table centered in the room. It took me a while to check everything out. I was allowed to take my time, too! It was so much like a small... Playboy MUSEUM!
We then strolled back into a small bedroom in this 3 or 4 room bungalow floor plan. This was the RED room. Everything in THIS room was... RED! The bed was round and... RED! The carpet was... RED! The walls were... uhhh... RED! It was a sight to see, a room all in... (wait for it... wait for it...) friggin' RED!!!
Right next door was another small bedroom. THIS was the BLUE room and guess what? That's right... the same as the RED room but all in BLUE! I KNOW! O.k., so, I've seen the main game room area and the two colorful bedrooms with circular beds. What's next?! Well, this next room took me a little bit by surprise... a bit???! When entering The Orgy Room, that's right! "THE ORGY ROOM"! That's what us security guys called it. I don't think that was what Hef called it, though. I'm sure he had a special name for it! This room is colored all in gold! Of course! Your first step into this room will awaken you! The floor is like a huge soft high grade mattress encased in a very soft rich fluffy gold carpet. There were nice soft gold pillows lining the four walls of this room.There was no furniture or things to get into your way when you come home from a very long day of having sex with Playboy Bunnies! You could just open the door to the ORGY room and fall over into bed because this room was just one big really soft GOLD BED! The layout was well thought out, no doubt... because if you laid down on the floor in THIS room, you would notice that the lower half of this room... was covered in mirror. YEP! MIRROR! This mirror covered the lower walls of this square room... behind all the soft gold pillows leaning against it! It was the perfect ORGY room even if you had never seen one before! It was well thought out and probably measured 12' by 12'. It's probably 10 by 10 or smaller but at the time I viewed it... my eyes were probably at a higher trajectory of fascination and disbelief! The low positioned mirrors allowed you to check out what everyone else was doing in this Orgy Room while you were doing what you were doing and all without moving your head. Mirrors are great, huh?! Think about it...
After the tour, I was led back to the mansion and instructed as to what my particular job duties would be each day. I'm like... "Cool... a job description! That will help!"... I remembered thinking. You could imagine what I was wondering concerning my particular job duties!!! I would walk around the grounds with my little walkie-talkie, reporting back to base camp that... "Everything is safe and all IN ORDER and all the Bunnies are safe from any Predators! No problem! I can do that! HA!"
Oh, if I only knew! My job host and I began walking up the large stairwell located in the main foyer region of the mansion. YOU READY? Once upstairs, we stopped in front of a door which I was told was... Hugh Hefner's bedroom. I'm like... Hugh Hefner's what?! His bedroom?!!! Can you imagine what goes through your head when someone tells you that information while your standing in front of Hugh Hefner's bedroom at The Playboy Mansion?! Come on! I'm thinking... "I wonder what has happened in THAT room?!" Everything which you could imagine... was probably not even half of what has actually happened... behind THAT door! Usually the imagination alone can make a place seem much more than it really is... but this room was more than likely just the opposite of that! One's imagination could probably not even get THAT imagination close to what has actually happened in THERE and I'm RIGHT HERE outside the door to THIS?! Woah!
My Security Guard Guide Guy...(say that three times FAST...) informed me that I would be at THIS door at 3:00p.m. sharp each and every day to check in the CLEANING CREW! The whole time I was being explained this... I was like... to myself, I was like... I was like... "WHAT?... GET OUT!" THIS was all delivered by ME as... a "WALKING ZOMBIE" because of my own disbelief of those exact monents! Once the cleaning crew was checked in, I would then enter Hef's bedroom, lock the door behind me and then observe the cleaning crew clean Hef's bedroom and then check them OUT of the room one by one after the cleaning was completed. I remember thinking... "I can do that!" It was now 3:00p.m. and the cleaning crew was forming outside Hef's bedroom door to enter his room. I was given a clip board and pen to began checking off the names of this cleaning crew as they entered Hugh Hefner's personal bedroom one by one! I'm sure I looked pretty official with my pen and clipboard in hand and everything... Inside my head, I'm like telling the cleaning crew of five to GET IN THE ROOM!!! I want to get in there and check THIS room OUT! If anyone had a choice to check out anyone's bedroom IN THE WORLD, I'm sure Hef's bedroom would be at the top of THAT list!
Once the crew entered the room, I quickly locked the bedroom door behind me as instructed. Once inside, I began slowly roaming around this wonderland. That was my job until the cleaning crew had completed with their cleaning duties. It was after the cleaning staff had all been checked into the room, I began performing my own security duties. I walked around this large bedroom slowly shaking my head back and forth in disbelief at everything in sight, for that was my job or that was what I told myself. HA! That makes sense, no? I was hired to make sure Hef was secure so, I'm like... o.k., check it all out! The cleaning crew was buzzing around doing their cleaning chores so, I just walked around stunned! I'll tell you, a mind can really roam to some pretty far away places in Shangri La while hanging out in Hugh Hefner's bedroom! For starters, the room was huge! Hef, at the time was dating and I'm guessing here, a verbally abused young lady with the "Electra Complex Issue" of: I NEED ATTENTION" from my father! THIS young lady wasn't a stable individual and more than likely had some serious daddy issues. If you're going to have serious daddy issues as a woman, who better to care for you than Hugh Hefner! I remember the first time I had actually seen this particular well-built "psycho bitch", slash girlfriend... naked! Yes, NAKED... as she walked down from Hef's bedroom one morning and down the spiral stairwell, across the foyer and right in front of me like I wasn't even THERE and then into the kitchen buck naked! Did I mention the well-proportioned naked part? I now understood why I was told that there would be no security guards fraternizing with any of the girls on the grounds! They didn't say we couldn't look so, I looked... I performed quite a bit of "looking" on my new security job here at The Playboy Mansion! I, at least felt like I was doing a good job of observing! DUH! It wouldn't surprise me if they found out that all security agents at the Playboy Mansion actually possess higher degrees of observation skills than all other security agents in other security jobs. NO DOUBT!
It was my job to keep my eyes opened and to be aware. I was successful keeping my eyes opened in front of and behind all... female guests and there were quite a few of them at the Playboy Mansion and most were naked! I would even take time to make sure the grounds and security check points were periodically checked. One of these check points was the sunbed room. This check point was the pay-off room for all us security guys! Think about it. You walk into a small room next to the Playboy Mansion Pool Grotto and you see a naked female body tanning in a sunbed. O.K.... the best part? The girls always wore those plastic eye goggles and they're always listening to their Walkman's! They can't see you and they can't hear you and they're naked! What's better than that when you're a single male security guard?! Oh, and did I mention that most, if not all the sunbed users were Playboy Playmates? Rough job, huh?
I remember one day, up in Hef's bedroom, early in my employment, I was waiting for the final cleaning lady to exit the bedroom. I decided to check out Hef's bathroom area only to see in his closet hundreds of his "famous silk pajamas" hanging perfectly in line... in every shade of color! I then made my way over to the bed to began checking out Hef's bed and video set-up, too. The mirror on the ceiling and the infra-red cameras in each corner of his canopy bed were pointed directly at... well, you know! Think about that one for a while! If you were Hugh Hefner, would you have this set-up? Sure you would! It was wild! After checking out the bed system, I looked out the window of Hef's bedroom. I could see the pool outback. I picked up a pair of binoculars by the window before I could even wish I had a pair of binoculars to pick up. Did I tell you that bathing suits were always optional for the girls when they frolicked in the pool at the Playboy Mansion? I found myself alone in Hef's bedroom staring out his window at his naked Playboy Bunnies swimming in his pool. I was now the only one in the room except for Juanita who was in the bathroom a couple of doors away cleaning stuff. I'm checking out the "pool-tail" from Hef's bedroom window. I think I hear a door unlock as I'm examining the butt of a naked Miss January through Hef's binoculars. Do you truly believe that a male security guard is going to remove his bulging eyes from a set of binoculars that are zoomed up the butt of a naked Miss January to check on an unlocking sound of some sort? After Miss January rolled off her raft and into the pool, I set the binoculars on the window shelf and turned around to see Hugh Hefner walk into his bedroom! Shit! "Hello Mr. Hefner." Did he see me checking out his babes at his pool with his binoculars out his window of his bedroom? Woah! I still don't know to this day if I was busted and whether Hef was just cool and let it slide or if I actually put the binoculars down in time to escape his notice. I think Hef actually busted me and didn't want to embarrass me. This was the first time that I was one on one with Hef. He didn't say anything back to me that day but hey, I couldn't blame him for not wanting to speak with a 6'3" 220 pound muscle head standing in HIS bedroom, using HIS binoculars, looking at HIS Bunnies... out HIS window, at HIS pool-tail!
Now, this next story was the only other time Hef spoke directly to me face to face. It was my last day of my nearly one-year employment run at... The Playboy Mansion. It was a quiet slow day with no bunnies running around to protect and I was kickin' back in the screening room of the Playboy Mansion watching the Sunday afternoon football game. Was I supposed to be there watching football or was I supposed to be combing the grounds? I wasn't too worried about that because it was my last day on the job! I was finished with my time at The Playboy Mansion! Why? I'm not really sure.
This sreening room was dark and if someone came to the door of the room, they wouldn't be able to tell if someone was in the room unless they queried out loud because this room was dark. I'm "kickin' it" in the back of the room with my legs propped up, feeling safe and watching the football game on my last day of work at the Playboy Mansion! That's cool... until the side door slowly opens and in walks Hef as he asks out loud, "Who's winning?" Wow! Can this guy see me? No way! Can this guy see in the dark? Do I answer? I give in and answer, "Denver by seven." Hef slowly closes the door and walks off. I'm like... what the heck was that all about? Maybe he had money on the game and just wanted to check on the score. Maybe he had done this a hundred times with other security guys in the past. Just when I was about to attempt to put some logic to it... the side door of the screening room opens again and Hef says, "You think you should be out checking the grounds?" I'm now thinking to myself, "This guy can see in the dark or what?!?" Hef was gone by the time I exited the room so, he would have no idea who answered, "Denver by seven" or did he and did I really care at this point? What? Hef is going to fire me on my last day for watching a football game in his screening room? I'm gone anyway. If he could see in the dark then he would know it was me, the same guy with the binoculars at HIS bedroom window gawking at HIS Playboy Bunnies in HIS pool in HIS backyard! Was I happy about leaving my job at The Playboy Mansion? No, not really but I knew I could make a lot more money tending bar AND parts of my anatomy would no longer be blue. I always held the utmost respect for Hef while working for him and even more so in hindsite and as time has passed... Long live Hef! Hef is a MAN'S MAN and that's the biggest compliment I can offer a male.