(Excerpt from the book “HOLLYWOOD THROUGH THE BACK DOOR” by MICHAEL ST. JOHN
HOLLYWOOD—Dan Dailey invited me to a party in the Hollywood Hills, one he promised might be an eye-opener. I was curious and wondered exactly what he meant. I had never attended this type of glittering party before. The exotic atmosphere of the mansion was enhanced by Haitian music, backed with the haunting sounds of different drums, penetrating and even overpowering.
The light aroma of incense added to this almost hypnotic affect. The various rooms sparkled with actors such as Peter Lawford, Gail Russell, Steve Cochran, and Marlon Brando. As usual, there were an acceptable number of starlets floating about in the Olympic size pool. When Grace Kelly arrived, her escort was none other than Alec Guinness; they had both starred in “The Swan,” a film that marked the end of her Hollywood motion picture career. Just the sight of these two stars, energized the crowd: the king and queen had arrived.
It was very interesting to me that Grace Kelly’s screen image was that of a very sophisticated, somewhat cold lady who gave you the feeling of being unapproachable, and definitely untouchable. But when I observed her laughing, embracing many of the other actors and really melding in with everyone around her I understood that much of her publicity was created by the studio public relations department.
When Rock Hudson suggested a game requiring the player to portray a character they would like to be for a night, no one expected ‘Lady’ Grace to volunteer to become the famous stripper, Tempest Storm. Her performance brought the house down. When she finished someone yelled “You didn’t learn those moves in a finishing school in Philly!” She laughed and agreed.
Some Haitian dancers added to the celebration and the drumming bounced from the ceiling, affecting the mood of everyone in earshot. The scent of marijuana punctured the air, quickly affecting me. I soon felt unsteady, a bit dizzy and uncertain. I drank a large glass of what I believed was punch mixed with alcohol. It was cold and each swallow was satisfying. Munching then became a preoccupation. Colors in the room were suddenly richer, brighter.
I became acutely aware of people’s voices around me. I recognized that I was on the verge of becoming quite drunk. I didn’t know until much later, that one of the guests had put LSD in the punch bowl. Becoming more and more concerned, I felt the need to lie down. I wandered to the second floor of the mansion to find a secluded place where I might be able to pull myself together again. This simple action resulted in my opening my own Pandora’s Box, a parachute into hell.
Another voice was sounding in my head. It took full control of my being. I suddenly had the urge to run, to hide, and to escape. I found myself opening a door. Finally, a refuge! But when I entered the room I wasn’t prepared to find Gig Young along with a young western actor tied with a thin rope to actress Barbara Nichols.
The cowboy-type was kneeling on the bed facing the actress with his penis in her mouth. Gig was entering her from behind. The actress was giving no indication of protest. This discovery necessitated even more speed to find a corner, or any place, to lie down. Moments later, I forced open another door. The bed there was empty. As I approached it, I heard a moan apparently coming from an adjoining bathroom. I checked it out and found a small red light over the sink area.
The bathtub was built into the floor. The moan sounded again. My determination to find its source intensified. The discovery was shattering. One of the world’s greatest actors, Charles Laughton, was naked and lying close to the bottom of the tub, sucking on the penis of a mannequin. It was more than I could handle. I stumbled from the room, completely confused by everything.
Re-entering the hallway, I heard myself laughing. My head was spinning, and the only thing that was on my mind was escape. Where? I didn’t know. By the time I turned the knob to the next room, a strange voice had taken over. It was like walking through hanging gauze. I felt hands pulling me in the room.
The me that had suddenly become this new voice was not only permitting, but was helping to take off my clothing. I felt the naked bodies of men and women invading every part of me. My hands were being tied to something like a hook and it felt as if I was hanging from the ceiling. An invasion of hands, lips, and caresses from every direction danced about on my body as if it were their last meal. Then everything went dark.
When I woke up I was still naked and lying on a wet sheet. My body was sticky with half-dried semen. The strange voice had disappeared. I felt repulsed and threw up in a nearby trash can. I wanted to yell out for help, but I couldn’t make any sounds. Pains were shooting through my body; I had to get out. I quickly put on my trousers and rushed from the room to return to the lower level of the mansion. The lights had been shut off. A group of huge candles had been set up instead.
The Haitian dancers were still at it, but with one difference. They were nude. I looked around at the other guests and found that the women were also naked. They had painted faces around their breasts with lipstick. The men had tied brightly-colored feathers around their penises. Grace Kelly and Alec were nowhere in sight. When I was approached to join in the fun, I made an excuse and looked for a place of escape.
Then out of nowhere a voice asked, “Do you want to get the hell out of here?” I turned to find it was Rock Hudson who was fully clothed and wearing a big smile. “Obviously,” he said, “you had some of that infamous punch.” I nodded. He laughed and offered to give me a ride home. When I alerted Dan that I was leaving with Rock, he quickly told Rock that I was still jail bait and not to forget it.
I suggested that Rock should let me off on Sunset Boulevard where I could get a taxi back to the USC campus. He insisted that was out of the question and further suggested that I spend the night at his place where I could take a shower and rest up. He would then drive me back to my dorm on campus in the morning. As promised, Rock, after treating me to a helluva breakfast and some very wise advice about the business drove me back home. We remained friends until the day he died.