I interviewed James Ellroy, the great American noir novelist, at LA’s venerable Pacific Dining Car in April 2001. We were there to discuss his latest book, The Cold Six Thousand, but wound up tackling a myriad of subjects over our three hour lunch. Ellroy sported a snappy fedora that I said would have looked great on Meyer Lansky. He barked a laugh and removed it, displaying his bald pate. When he looked at my full head of 33 year-old hair, his eyes narrowed: "That thing on your head real or a rug?" "Real," I replied. Ellroy exhaled for what seemed like a full minute, then murmured: "Cocksucker." We were off and running.

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