The T-shirt and jeans hang from his frame like billowy drapes. His hair is red and cropped close. His sneakers are black and clunky.
While whipping his hands across his guitar, he leans into the microphone and bares his teeth.
Filling the small, beer-reeking room is something that sounds distinctly like rage:
"Some say that we're lunatics . . some say that we're freaks."
At this moment in a small dark club in Hollywood, some are saying other things.
They are shouting for the red-haired guy to get off the stage, to give it to the real musicians.
"Go home!" they scream.
Todd Marinovich stares into the smoke and does what he has done, in one form or another, to Larry Smith, to Al Davis, to the entire NFL.
He clenches his left hand into a fist. He raises it high above his head.
He unfurls the middle finger and shakes it long into the night.
Where once there were Raiders, now there is Scurvy.
The rock band features Stoner on drums. Chimes on vocals. Machine on lead guitar. Marco Forster on bass.
And a former NFL quarterback on rhythm guitar and vocals.
No nickname. Just Todd, a 25-year-old who has once again traded an opportunity at sports stardom for the chance to be himself.
He has done it before. He disappeared for a year of surfing, painting and partying after he was released by the Raiders in 1993.
But last spring he resurfaced and signed a contract to play football in Canada, where he lasted three weeks before suffering a knee injury.
This winter, the knee repaired, football awaiting, he has changed directions again.
A friend taught him to play serious guitar. He convinced several Orange County buddies that they could make this music together.
Scurvy was born, founded and funded by the wealthiest weekend rocker in the Southland.
Finally, it seems, Marinovich has traveled to a point of no return.
From his shockingly thin appearance to his extraordinarily mellow demeanor, he has not only escaped his former life, he has inexorably altered it.
"Yeah, right now, when you look at what I'm doing, I guess you'd have to say that there isn't much chance I would play again," Marinovich said. "That could change, but right now. . . ."
He says this with no trace of bitterness. He speaks softly and graciously.
Apparently at peace with himself, one of the area's most recognizable football heroes is having a blast making music and watching jaws drop.
"You should see the people that come up to me during performances and look at Todd and say, 'Geez, is that really him?" said Doug Krone, the manager of the group.
And can this really be his life?
Where once there was a $2.25-million contract, now there are nightly gigs that pay Marinovich $60. Minus his expenses for beer, food and cigarettes,
Where his teammates once had shoe contracts, now they have tattoo endorsements. Stoner's right arm was decorative enough to convince a Lake Forest shop to make him a spokesman.
"I love this," Marinovich says.
Where once there were first-class hotels and national television, now there is a Marinovich-owned warehouse in Laguna Hills where Scurvy practices until the early morning, its members squinting to see each other through the smoke and dim light.
Where once he was known for his long red hair, now that hair is cropped, military style. And it is not always red. The other week it was black. A couple of weeks before that, blue.
It appears he has lost much of his muscle too. He is down 25 pounds from his playing weight of 220. His only knee rehabilitation occurs on a faded machine that he has owned since high school. It sits in the corner of his warehouse and doubles as a clothes repository.
"At this point, I just want to be able to get the knee well enough to play basketball and surf again," he said.
Where once there were perfectly manicured fields and thousands of witnesses, now there are clubs with bars on the windows and drunks on the floor.
Scurvy has played only about a dozen gigs, usually leading off for a popular local band, Standing Hawthorn. Club owners say they like Scurvy's old-time rock 'n' roll sound. Fans show their appreciation in a different way.
In Marinovich's previous life, it was a good day if he was not hit. Here, it is a good day if he \o7 is \f7 hit, by one of the crazies in the audience who show they like his music by knocking each other over while "slam dancing" in front of the band.
It was such a good night recently at Bob's Frolic Room III that the weak-hearted were diving for cover.
"Cool, huh?" Marinovich said.
His friends agree. From out of his past at high school and USC, they appear at his performances, crowding around the front of the stage for a truly unusual sight.
Imagine that, they say. Todd Marinovich actually enjoying himself.
"For the first time, he is living life on his terms," said Maili Bergman, a friend from USC who attended his hourlong show at Bob's. "It's great that he's finally doing something he loves."