Photo by Jeanne RiceBy 9:30 p.m., the place was crawling with cops. Led by a deputy chief, the Irvine police officers patrolled the Crazy Horse Steakhouse in the Irvine Spectrum in pairs, or even pairs of pairs. This was in addition to numerous red-shirted security guys hired by the Crazy Horse.
This impressive mobilization last Thursday, Feb. 6, wasn't part of Attorney General John Ashcroft's latest terror alert but a move to counter an expected riot of alcohol-and-testosterone-fueled partygoers, all juiced up for a “Sniff-Off Contest” involving eight bikini-clad women. And the founder of this feast, the man so subversive, so dangerous, so “sordid” the Irvine PD supposedly banned him from the stage? Jim Trenton, a.k.a. “Poorman.”
Yeah. That Poorman. The jock who invented Loveline, only to get fired from KROQ. The guy tossed off KDOC/Channel 56 for appearing onstage wearing nothing but a baseball cap over his crotch. The Newport Beach resident who three years ago had to purchase a half-hour block of time each night on all-Asian broadcasting Channel 62 to air his Bikini Beach TV show—a show he mostly shot at his own house.
In hindsight, it's funny the Irvine police were so scared of Trenton they detained him outside the Crazy Horse at 10 p.m. After warning him that if he went anywhere near the stage they'd haul him off to jail in handcuffs, they tasked a security guard with following him throughout the venue.
Of course, it's remarkable the steakhouse shelled out $7,500 to sponsor the thing and then thought they could squeeze a $10 cover charge out of each customer. Perhaps they were taken in by contract language like the following:
“Poorman's Bikini Beach has a well-established list of several hundred potential attendees including many celebrities,” read the contract. “In addition they have strong connections with various media and paparazzi to further sensationalize the grass-roots promotion of the event.”
I really hope the term “various media and paparazzi” wasn't referring to little ol' me. In any case, it's unbelievable that the Crazy Horse, cops and Trenton all expected “1,000 to 1,200” to attend. A thousand people?! To see Poorman!? There were maybe 50 people inside when the fuzz strong-armed Trenton.
The event plan that put the Irvine PD on maximum alert was for Trenton and his “Bikini Brigade”—a group of about eight bikini models who appear on Poorman's Bikini Beach, now airing on KDOC—to host and serve as judges for a “Sniff-Off Contest.” The event was to promote AXE, a European deodorant recently made available in the U.S. and marketed with advertising slogans like “With AXE, you no longer have to worry, 'Do I smell okay?' Now you can worry about things like 'Which of the triplets left her bra in my car?'”
The whole thing was, to say the least, convoluted.
“For the sniff-off, contestants would be presented onstage to the audience and the members of the Bikini Brigade,” read the Jan. 21 contract between Post Modern Television, which puts on Trenton's show, and the Crazy Horse. “Brigade members would then sniff contestants and rank them by level of offensive body odor. Then the Brigade would spray each contestant with AXE Deodorant Spray and each contestant would again be subjected to a sniffing. Then the brigade would vote to determine the winner (the one whose body odor was the most improved by the application of AXE). The winner would then be announced to the public the following morning on KIIS FM radio by Rick Dees and the Poorman.”
And the prize all these odorous guys were competing for? According to the event contract, the winner got “a trip to a private island off the Florida Coast to spend a weekend in a mansion with Poorman and hip-hop superstar Nelly as well as Andrew WK and DJ Z-Trip.”
There's no question the event, as laid out by Trenton, was silly. But it was also clearly harmless—clearly, that is, to all but the Irvine PD and the Spectrum's overlords at the Irvine Co.
“The event is not as Irvine Co. intended,” said Lt. Dave Freedland, the Irvine PD's public information officer. “The whole atmosphere that the Irvine Co. wants is a family-type event. The way this was set up, it didn't meet that.”
Freedland denied Trenton's involvement was an issue. “This is about how the promotion was set up,” he said. “It had to be in accord with the laws of the Spectrum.”