With the final episode of season two of CALIFORNICATION upon us, I'd like to channel character cop Debra Morgan from Showtime's exacting serial serial, that being Dexter. "If you have an earth-shattering, ball-crushing mindfuck of a secret, you have to tell"...
Ok, so the writers of Californication have spent the entire season lathering up the stereotype of "record producer Lew Ashby," played by actor Callum Keith Rennie. CKR slithered into the action out of nowhere much like Jimmy Smits on Dexter, both of whom became central to multiple story lines and whom both add and detract from their respective stars. There is much to admire about Lew's wonton character and much to scratch your balls about but I never considered Lude Lew in the Mötley Crüe 'Shout At The Devil' Tee to be anything other than a lazy script convenience. Perhaps it was and is but there's a distinct possibility that "Lew" might actually be based on a real life Lou, as in legendary producer Lou Adler. And, I'm sure it's purely coincidental but here's the Wiki 411 on Adler:
Raised in East Los Angeles, Adler grew up in a mixed Jewish/Mexican family. In 1964, Adler founded and co-owned Dunhill Records. He was President of the label as well as the chief record producer from 1964 to 1967. That summer he sold Dunhill for three million dollars to ABC Records. In June 1967 Adler helped to produce the Monterey International Pop Festival, as well as the film version, Monterey Pop. In 1967, the MIPF introduced a young black guitarist named Jimi to infamy.
Adler is the former manager of Jan & Dean, and was the producer of Sam Cooke, The Mamas and the Papas, Johnny Rivers, Barry McGuire, Scott McKenzie, Spirit, Carole King, The Weavers, Temptations (which he signed in 1968) and Cheech and Chong. In 1974, he helped to produce the American stage version of The Rocky Horror Show as well as the film version, The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In 1978, Adler directed the movie Up In Smoke, starring Cheech & Chong.
He has won two Grammy Awards in 1972 in the Record of the Year category for producing "It's Too Late" by Carole King and in the Album of the Year category for Tapestry (also by King).
Adler was known as a major playboy in the 1960s and 1970s, having been romantically linked to some of the world's most beautiful women, such as singer Jill Gibson, actress Tina Sinatra, actress Peggy Lipton, singer-actress Michelle Phillips and actress Britt Ekland. Lou Adler was married to actress and singer Shelley Fabares in 1964 and produced several of her songs. Today Adler is married to Page Hannah, the younger sister of actress Daryl Hannah.
Adler is best friends with actor Jack Nicholson and can often be found at his side at LA Lakers Basketball games. Adler is usually dressed in an elaborate fashion beside Nicholson causing interest as to who the man is. Adler is a lifelong friend of record producer Herb Alpert, formerly of the Tijuana Brass and partner of record label A & M Records.
Peter Fonda partly based his character Terry Valentine in The Limey on Adler, according to Fonda's interview on the DVD. He is also the uncle of former Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler (who is seen having a tough time coping on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. And I thought Axl had some tough years).
And if all that wasn't enough to whet your appetite for his destruction, Lou Adler is co-owner, with his son Nic, of the world-famous Roxy Theatre in West Hollywood. A vaunted rock club next to the Rainbow Bar & Grill on the Sunset strip...it doesn't get much more rock that that.
So, even if Lew is Lou, is it really an earth-shattering, ball-crushing mindfuck of a secret? Nah. Will the real Lew Ashby please stand up...