Stephen was now living at the El Cortez with Jon Marr, who had gotten engaged to the red-headed Carol. Stephen disliked her immediately and immensely. In fact, Carol would refuse to go into the apartment if Stephen was there with a girl, which was most of the time. So he would traverse the city on the bus and stay on the couch at Michael Japp’s then go back to Santa Monica on the weekends, without a girl, as not to rock the boat with Carol. Jon did end up marrying Carol and Stephen was soon completely out of the picture at the El Cortez apartment. He would be spending more time now in West Hollywood on the weekdays and on the weekends he would hang out with Michele Hormel (chili heiress) who also had an apartment in the El Cortez.
There was a scene between Stephen, Michael and his wife, Ciri. Michael and Ciri had lent Stephen some money, I think it was $500—he took his prized vintage Telecaster as collateral with the stipulation the money had to be paid back by the first day of spring. Stephen had gotten a job in a restaurant, or more of a sandwich shop, where the owner was a narcoleptic. He was seeing a beautiful French model at the time by the name of Stephanie who moved to Las Vegas. I don’t know how Stephen got together with her, but for a guy who is marginally good looking but extremely talented he had some of the best looking girlfriends I ever had the pleasure of knowing. Stephanie would come visit him one weekend and the next weekend he would take the bus to Vegas while his guitar lay in waiting for the spring equinox. The owner of the restaurant had a daughter who was being advised by the same psychic that Nancy Reagan used. While Stephen was in Vegas, the restaurant or sandwich shop was robbed, and a piece of crap stereo was stolen. After consulting the psychic, the daughter was told Stephen was the thief and he was fired on the spot. He tried to plead his case telling them the psychic was full of shit and besides, he wasn't even in town. They were adamant about it, since Nancy Reagan's psychic couldn't be wrong, or at least that's what they thought. He said good riddance to bad garbage and went back to Michael and Ciri's on the twenty-first of March with five hundred bucks in his hand. When he got there Ciri took the money and Stephen stood in the doorway waiting for them to retrieve his guitar. Ciri said that spring in 1977 fell on the twentieth of March, not the twenty-first and he was a day late. They kept the guitar.
Not too long after that Michael would divorce Ciri or she divorced him and it was all for the best. Personally, I never liked the woman and was appalled that a person could be so unscrupulous as to steal a guitar on a technicality. She was only interested in (it appeared to me) money and status. Michael was too sensitive a guy to be involved with a barracuda like Ciri. It was the booze and drugs that were clouding his judgment.
Michael got sober a few years later and remained that way until his untimely death in 2012 from the dreaded disease of brain cancer. He was one of the best singers I had ever heard, and it really is a shame that he never realized his full potential. He did have a few songs covered by “The Baby’s” (one co-written with Chas Sandford) and another tune or two recorded by Paul Stanley from “Kiss”. He released an album called “Dreamer”, the year before his death, which can be found on I tunes—it is a darned good record. Go buy it.