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A Fan's Tribute to Vampira

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From my dear friend, musician and LAist reader, Jaime Pina:

Vampira (real name Maila Nurmi) has haunted me since i can remember. Her elegant pictures from PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE in FAMOUS MONSTERS and other horror mags burned themselves into my brain. As a teenager, me and my associates in the kiddie horror punk band LOS CREMATORS de Santa Maria would drop LSD timed to peak at whatever late-night hour one of the Los Angeles stations would be broadcasting Edward D. Wood Junior's film and we would all stare in disbelief at how beautiful and sexy this woman appeared. When we went to Hollywood to see punk shows we would all have crushes on the "vampire woman" that modeled their looks closely on that of the original "Cool Ghoul" herself.

Some time later i moved to Hollywood and began haunting all the great clubs that were around at the time. I went to the Anti-Club on Melrose to see the MINUTEMEN and was pleased to find that Vampira would be appearing earlier in the evening reading from her forthcoming "tell all". She spuns some great yarns about "old Hollywood" and James Dean and the beatnik scene, and she looked great, dressed like a wise conjurer. Many times after that I would see her in Hollywood... sometimes in stores, at horror conventions and sometimes just walking around Hollywood Blvd.

I saw her early last year on Hollywood Blvd. She was about to step off the curb and I was coming toward her on my bike. I slowed down, knowing who she was, but she stepped back up and said, "that would be so embarrassing to be run over by a bicycle." I assured her that i had no intention of harming the great lady but she insisted that i go first. She never got the breaks people like me would have liked to have seen her get. She lived in poverty for so long, but was always kind to people like me, her loyal fans, when out and about.

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- Jaime Pina, reprinted with permission

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