The Back Lot was a noisy, gaudy example of what most people seem to imagine all Hollywood is after dark. But except for an occasional celebrated face, it might have been any night spot in any American city. It was a montage of hot music, drunken laughter, loud wisecracks and hostesses like lollypops in red, green and yellow wrappers. The music took the old sweet melodies and twisted them like hairpins. It was a symphony strictly from hunger, to which everybody beat their feet in a frenzy of despair, trying to forget luck that was either too good or too bad, festered ambitions or hollow success. It made me realize again how true jazz music was, how it echoed everything that was churning inside us, all the crazy longings raw and writhing.

Budd Schulberg, “What Makes Sammy Run?”

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