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Robert Towne recalls some influences of the writing of "Shampoo": "I was going with a beautiful girl, a dancer – in fact, Fred Astaire’s last dancing partner (Barrie Chase). She was also an actress, but mainly a dancer. Anyway, she had been married, which I didn’t find out right away. I was twenty-three, and it was very unusual at the time for your girlfriend to have been divorced. She told me his name. Gene Shacove. I asked what he did. She said he was a hairdresser. It shocked the shit out of me, that such a beautiful girl would marry a hairdresser. Or that a hairdresser would marry a girl. Both were shocking. I asked what happened. She said, “Well, we’d been married about six weeks. He woke up one morning and said, ‘I don’t feel like being married anymore.’ I said, ‘What?!’ then asked what happened to him. She said he had a real successful shop. I asked if she ever saw him. ‘Yeah,’ she said. ‘Every week. He does my hair.’ They were still very good friends." Towne continues, "I went down there to pick her up one day. I walked in, and there he was with his hair dryer, going like a bee from one flower to the next. The most beautiful girls, one right after another. I could not believe my eyes. The only rooster in the hen house. It was a revelation to me. Then I found other guys, like Dusty Fleming, who did the same. A whole subculture of wildly heterosexual guys with a great sense of design, who worked on human heads instead of pieces of paper. I was fascinated by it, thought it was a terrific subject."