This may be emblematic of Hollywood - a detail on the boulevard -
In the alleys behind Melrose Avenue, on the south side of the street, the walls are covered with what can only be considered professional graffiti, which may be a contradiction in terms. It is hardly spontaneous. It's very carefully done. Perhaps there's a local camber of commerce that commissions all this, so tourists from Iowa who wander back there will be amazed at the hipness of the neighborhood, and stick around and spend more money in the trendy stores. Perhaps the trendy stores all chip in to pay for the work. Or perhaps it is only the result of "people power" after all, and done on a whim, even if it seems a bit too slick to be whimsical. In the slanted winter light it begs to be photographed. Why argue?
Wednesday, November 8, 2006 - Hollywood Boulevard - what you see in the windows - draw you own conclusions about the place -
A Feel for the Place
Our Man in Paris, Ric Erickson, editor of MetropoleParis, offers a glance into graphic design with his weekly shots of the posters in the kiosks there. Click on the link and go to "This Week's Paris Posters" for examples of what Parisians see - what's hot, and how it is presented. You get a sense of what's going on there, and there are some startling images.
Ric covers Paris. Hollywood has a different flavor. Below are this week's Hollywood posters - or maybe more than posters.
Below - the east wall of the Whisky a Go Go - 8901 Sunset Boulevard, on the Sunset Strip, not to be confused the Whisky à Go-Go that opened in Paris in 1947. This one opened on January 11, 1964 - with a live band led by Johnny Rivers and a short-skirted female DJ spinning records between sets from a suspended cage at the right of the stage. When the girl DJ danced during Rivers' set, the audience thought it was part of the act and the concept of Go-Go dancers in cages was born. In 1966, the Whisky was one of the centers of the Sunset Strip police riots. The club was harassed repeatedly by the City of Los Angeles, which once ordered that the name be changed - claiming "whisky" was a bad influence. It was the "Whisk?" for a while. The Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield were regulars, and The Doors were the house band for a while. Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention got their record contract based on a performance at the Whisky. Jimi Hendrix came by to jam when Sam & Dave headlined. Otis Redding recorded his album "Live at the Whisky" in 1966 here. Then there were The Kinks, The Who, Cream, Led Zeppelin and so on. The next wave - The Runaways, X, Mötley Crüe and Van Halen, but also Blondie, Talking Heads, and Elvis Costello. Then came the "the godfathers of grunge" - Soundgarden, Nirvana and so on. Now this -
Aardvark's at 7579 Melrose Avenue - west wall -
Now playing at the Matrix Theater, 7657 Melrose Avenue -
Billboard, Hollywood and Vine