L.A.’s fast-moving ephemera: The freeway and roadway photos of Robbert Flick

  1. Robbert Flick, P2730297-352, 2011-2013
  2. Robbert Flick, P2810809-823, 2011-2013
  3. Robbert Flick, P2730297-352, 2011-2013
  4. Robbert Flick, “Along Central,” May 16, 2000 (Heading North looking West. Frames numbered N-S, 51-100 reading from upper left to lower right.)
  5. Robbert Flick, “Along Central,” May 16, 2000 (Heading North looking West. Frames numbered N-S, 901-950 reading from upper left to lower right.)
  6. Robbert Flick, “SV# 9703201 Along 7th Street looking South, between Alameda and Bixell,” 1997
  7. Robbert Flick, “SV97022802 Long Beach Harbor,” 1997

Spaghetti on the Pacific: 7 tangled freeway exchanges in the Los Angeles metro area

  1. "Highway #1," Intersection of Hwys 105 & 110 in Los Angeles (photo by Edward Burtynsky, 2003)
  2. The intersection of interstate highway 5 and state routes 22 and 57 in Orange County
  3. Intersection of the 110 and 105 freeways in Los Angeles (alt. view)
  4. The intersection of interstate highways 10 and 15 in western San Bernardino County
  5. Four Level Interchange of Arroyo Seco Parkway and Highway 101 in Los Angeles
  6. Interstate highway 10 cloverleaf at Garfield Avenue in Los Angeles
  7. Interstate highway 5 in Los Angeles (photo by Edward Burtynsky)

And then this happened….

And then this happened….


Ten Classic Architectural Icons of L.A.

  1. The Jack Colker Union 76 Station on Crescent in Beverly Hills
  2. The Capitol Records Building in Hollywood
  3. The Eames House (Case Study House No. 8) in Pacific Palisades
  4. The Watts Tower in South Los Angeles
  5. The Sixth Street Viaduct in Los Angeles
  6. The Chemisphere House in the Hollywood Hills
  7. The Stahl House (Case Study House No. 22) in the Hollywood Hills
  8. The Eastern Columbia Building in downtown Los Angeles
  9. Union Station in downtown Los Angeles
  10. Bob Hope’s home in Palm Springs

castelnou:

the central university library (san diego ca, usa)
designed by william pereira

Mmmmmm, William Pereira

castelnou:

the central university library (san diego ca, usa)

designed by william pereira

Mmmmmm, William Pereira


EIGHT PHOTOS: Los Angeles Cults, Communes, Specialty Stores, and Sects of the 1970s

  1. "Ya Ho Wha 13," a psychedelic rock band founded in 1973 by James Edward Baker, a.k.a. Father Yod, the spiritual leader of the cult/commune the Source Family. 
  2. "The Source Family," ca. 1973
  3. "The Rocky Horror Show," which premiered at Lou Adler’s Roxy Theatre in L.A. on March 24, 1974
  4. "The Big Blue Building on Franklin Avenue," which has served, since 1978, as the Pacific Area Command Base of the Church of Scientology
  5. "Suspected Manson Family Members Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkle, and Leslie Van Houten," ca. 1970
  6. "The first Trader Joe’s Store," built in Pasadena in 1967, sold to German corporate trust in 1979
  7. "Police exchange fire at the Symbionese Liberation Army hideout in L.A.," May 17, 1974
  8. "Film still from Over the Edge,” a cult film from 1979 that depicts a fictionalized true-life crime spree by a group of California teens


1969: When Ed Begley Jr. Met Charlie Manson

image

Ed Begley Jr. in 1969 — as (uncredited) Springfield College Student in The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes



On Marc Maron’s WTF Podcast this week, guest Ed Begley Jr. had this exchange with host Maron about wandering up to the Spahn Movie Ranch some time in 1969 and meeting an (in)famous laborer at the ranch: 

Marc: So you’re running around Hollywood, and you’re in the mansions with all of the freaks from the 70s.


Ed: Oh yes.


Marc: Did you ever run into Manson. (Laughs)


Ed: That’s interesting you should say. I actually met Charles Manson. I went to the Spahn Ranch in 1969…


Marc: Come on!


Ed: 68 or 69…


Marc: For what?!


Ed: My friend James… James Jeremias said “let’s go out to this ranch, my friend’s living in one of those rooms above the thing.” So we went to visit this guy… I can’t remember his name… And we visited him and hung out with him…. And he said I gotta go down to the main house, come down with me and maybe we’ll smoke a joint. So we went down to the main house and there was a guy there with some long hair. He was kind of in charge and we smoked a joint with him. His name was Charlie apparently, and so we hung out with him and some other people. It was the Manson gang! We hung out with the Manson gang, and then later learned who they were when the Tate-LaBianca murders occurred.


Ten Images of Los Angeles in January 1978

  1. January 2, 1978: At the Lion Country Safari in Irvine. (photo by Boris Yaro).
  2. January 24, 1978: Bob Hope and Milton Berle at the Kraft 75th Anniversary Special (AP photo files)
  3. January 1978: A young Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight at a party at Fiorucci (photo by Brad Elterman)
  4. January 1978: Image of Kenneth Bianchi, one half of the pair of serial killers who were known locally as “The Hillside Strangler” (photographer unknown)
  5. January 1, 1978: John Travolta and Olivia Newton John, during publicity tour for the movie Grease (photographer unknown)
  6. January 1978: Los Angeles River flood as a result of El Nino rains (photo by Clarence Inman)
  7. (March 1978): More El Nino effect rains in L.A. (photographer unknown)
  8. 1978: “Automotive Landscape #5” (photo by Anthony Hernandez)
  9. January 31, 1978: Annette Funicello at the taping of the ABC Silver Anniversary Celebration Special (photographer unknown)
  10. January 10, 1978: Fire at the Record Plant studios (photo by Ch. Stone)

What Dennis Wilson Would Have Looked Like Today

At age 69.


image


(*Image created by the Michigan-based photo retouching & manipulation company Phojoe)


God damn you, Aaron Eckhart….


Fifteen Musical Reasons Why You Should Go to California, Chronologically and Annotatively Presented

  1. Francis Bernard Silverwood (lyrics), Abraham Franklin Frankenstein (music) — “I Love You California” (1913, a.ka. the California State Song)
  2. Al Jolson — “California Here I Come” (1924; originally written for the 1921 Broadway musical Bombo, which starred Jolson — and later became a hit for him, and others, in 1924, this song is often considered the unofficial state song, despite a 1951 legislative resolution designating “I Love You California” as such) 
  3. Glenn Miller Orchestra w/ Tex Beneke — “I’m Headin’ For California” (composed 1944; released 1946, this was Glenn Miller’s last composition and was autobiographical — after living with his wife Helen on a citrus ranch in Monrovia in 1941 Miller had planned to return to Calif. after the War’s end)
  4. Ronny and the Daytonas — “California Bound (1964; an attempt by a nascent Nashville surf band to capitalize on national fascination with all things Califonrian. Interestingly, band founder Bill Justis was essentiallin helping bring form the Beatles, as his song "Raunchy" was the first song a young George Harrison played with future bandmates John and Paul.)
  5. The Rivieras — California Sun” (1964; another hit by another one-hit wonder, The Rivieras’ version, which reached #4 on the Billboard charts actually was a cover, written by Henry Glover and Morris Levy in 1961, first covered by New Orleans R&B artist Joe Jones, and then covered by Annette Funicello in 1963. Incidentally, Morris Levy later became a record company exec who, among other things, founded the Sugar Hill Records label that put out the unofficial first rap record, “Rapper’s Delight.”)
  6. The Mommas and the Papas — California Dreamin’ (1965; perhaps the most popular of all of the go-to-California songs, “Dreamin’” was written by one of the papas, John Phillips, in 1963 while he and his wife Michelle were living in New York; after the Mommas and the Papas signed a contract with Dunhill Records, Phillips gave the song to the label, and label star Barry McGuire, of “Eve of Destruction” fame, was first to record the song, with the Mommas and the Papas singing backup, who would later record the song using the same musical arrangements.)
  7. Carole King — Back to California (1971; this was the last track included in King’s third album, Music)
  8. Led Zeppelin — “Going to California” (1971; a down-tempo, folksy departure from the rest of the song on the band’s fourth album; “Going to California” reportedly is about the singer/composer Joni Mitchell, who was the subject of an infatuation by band members Robert Plant and Jimmy Page; of course, around the same time, the Canadian-born Mitchell was in the throes of her own love affair with Southern California, as exemplified most in her folksy composition “Ladies of the Canyon,” not to be confused with the Mommas and Papas 1968 track “Twelve Thirty (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon”).)
  9. The Dead Kennedys — “California Uber Alles” (1980; a song stemming from the depths of California’s deep existential moment, “California Uber Alles” is the essential uber-ironic statement of all that made California both great and terrible in the 20th century, as filtered through the teen-angsty 2nd Gen punk of the mid-1980s.)
  10. Neil Young — California Sunset (1985; a decade after the collapse of the California Dream of the middle part of the last century, Neil Young, on his fourteenth studio album, was in a nostalgic mood, both musically, in the roots-music style of the album, and in pondering the California home—”land of beauty, space, and light/land of promise, land of might”—that he had once excoriated for environmental crimes in songs like “After the Gold Rush.”)
  11. LL Cool J — Going Back to Cali (1988; a golden-age of hip hop certified golden hit, the song’s lyrics relish the darker allure of the So Cal dreams of the 1980s and beyond; the song’s themes were elaborated on by the Notorious B.I.G. in his 1998 track of the same name.)
  12. Jo Dee Messina — Heads Carolina, Tails California (1996; written by Nashville functionaries Tim Nichols and Mark D. Sanders, this song was the biggest hit, reaching #2 on the U.S. Country Charts, on the eponymous debut album of Jo Dee Mussina; interestingly, a lesser hit on the album was a song that referenced the California-transplant L. Frank Baum, and warned of the terrible allures of California: “You’re Not in Kansas Anymore.”)
  13. WIlco and Billy Bragg — “California Stars (1998; in 1992, the daughter of Woody Guthrie, Nora, contacted the British singer-songwriter about writing music for some of the thousands of complete sets of lyrics that her father had written, but not recorded as songs, between 1939 and 1967; Bragg in turn contacted the band Wilco to ask for their participation in a recording project, and, as a result, Bragg and Wilco produced an album of song, called Mermaid Avenue, that included this paean to the Golden State. where Guthrie lived and works in the 1930s.) 
  14. The Wallflowers — Back to California (2005; a song written by the son of long-time California transplant, Bob Dylan, it includes the chorus: “Let’s move back to California/Let’s make a promise, baby/Let’s both be there/Put our feet deep in the sand/This garden’s only got four corners/Back to your trenches, back to California.”)
  15. And the rest: Carolina Liar — California Bound (2008); Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard — “California Zephyr" (2009); Redlight King — “Drivin’ to California" (2011)

The Decline and Fall of the (Little) Pontiac GTO —
An American Failure Story in Pictures and Words, PART I

1. In 1964, when America’s automobile industry was at its peak, producing the sexiest, most coveted cars in the world, the Pontiac division of General Motors proudly announced it had developed "7 New Series" of cars for the American consumer. Among the 7 new series was the Tempest series, which had a base price of around $3,000-$3,200 ($22,291.36–>$23,777.45 in 2013 dollars), and among the options for the Tempest Series (in addition to the two-door coupe, hardtop coupe, and convertible styles) was the GTO package. which cost an additional $296.

2. In 1964, the Pontiac GTO package included: a 389 cu V8 engine rated at 325 bhp at 4800 rpm with a single Carter AFB four-barrel carburetor and dual exhaust, chromed valve covers and air cleaner, 7-blade clutch fan, a floor-shifted three-speed manual transmission with Hurst shifter, stiffer springs, larger diameter front sway bar, wider wheels with 7.50 14 redline tires, hood scoops, and special GTO badges. Also available was a four-speed gearbox ($188); metallic brake linings, heavy-duty radiator, and limited-slip differential ($75 the lot); and a 348-bhp 389 engine ($115

3. The GTO was the creation of of Pontiac engineer Russell Gee, an engine specialist; Bill Collins, a chassis engineer; and Pontiac chief engineer John DeLorean. After General Motors banned factory involvement in auto racing in 1963, the heads of Pontiac turned its attention to improving the street performance of its cars, and the GTO was a key project. With the nation’s young, speed-obsessed drivers in mind, they promoted the GTO as a special high-performance model (an approach that Ford was mirroring at the same time with the development of its own sporty Mustang model). Initial production of the Pontiac GTO, however, was limited by management to just 5,000 cars.

4. The Pontiac GTO’s name, which was DeLorean’s idea, was inspired by the Ferrari 250 GTO race car. GTO is an abbreviation for Gran Turismo Omologato, (“Grand Tourer Homologated”), which means officially certified for racing in the Grand tourer class. It goes without saying that a number of racing purists were cheesed off an Pontiac’s effrontery. Pontiac redesigned the GTO in both 1965 and 1966, adding 3.1 inches to its length in the first year and refining its brakes, antisway bar, and dashboard. In the second year, designers added more body flourishes and curves and gave the car a distinctive “Coke-bottle” look. Also, in 1966 the GTO became, for the first time, its own separate model series independent of the Tempest model. In these early years, sales of the GTO exploded to 75,342 in 1965 and 96,946 in 1966.

5. One of the keys to the GTO’s popularity was GM’s clever marketing, which was based around the ideas of youthful vigor, as reinforced in advertising that called the car a “genuine tiger” and a “nimble tiger,” as well as by a focus on hip, youthful musical sound, as evident in a 45-rpm “GeeTo Tiger” single that GM released in 1965—on one side were sounds of a supposed GTO road test, and on the other side was a "GeeTO Tiger" song performed by "The Tigers." Later, GM used a Paul Revere and the Raiders song in its "The Judge" commercial of 1969, and a “GTO Rock” song in a 1970 commercial. Ironically, GM’s marketers may have hit on the idea of using hip, youthful rock music to push the GTO by accident. Even before the car took off in the popular imagination, in 1964 an erstwhile surf band from Nashville, Tennessee—Ronny and the Daytonas—had embraced the new Pontiac option package in their seminal 60s-car-meets-surf song, "LIttle GTO." At least GM’s team was smart enough to know a good thing when they heard it.


To be continued….


Cool GIFs of scenes from old Disneyland, courtesy the My 70s tumblr.

(via boomerstarkiller67)


Various Nicknames of Former L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty (and their explanations)
Travelin’ Sam — Perhaps his most popular nickname, Mayor “Travelin’ Sam” Yorty was so called during his three terms in office because of his penchant for traveling to exotic places—Europe, the Far East, Mexico—on so-called official visits of state. (According to Yorty’s New York Times obit, Travelin’ Sam was known for “seemingly spending as much time away from Los Angeles as within the city.”)
Airplane Sam, Suitcase Sam — (See above explanation.) According to a political nemesis, even when he was in town Yorty was barely present. “He was no more than a part-time Mayor. Most of the time [he] wouldn’t arrive until mid-morning, and then he was gone by mid-afternoon.” –Tom Bradley
Shoot-From-the-Lip Sam — Something of a classically old-style politician, Yorty was known for controversial positions on a range of issues, for his use of his city’s racial anxieties—particularly after the Watts Riots of 1965—to keep a base of support among the city’s white, mostly midwestern-born electorate (Yorty himself had been born in Nebraska), and for simply speaking the most unexpected sentiments. A good example of this latter tendency was the infamous “Yorty’s Chortle” incident. In 1966, after easily winning  another four-year term in office, Yorty told the press that his competition was so inept during the campaign he couldn’t resist chortling on election night: “If I had been my own opponent, I could have done a better job at finding fault with my record.”
The Maverick Mayor — Yorty gave himself the nickname “The Maverick Mayor,” citing his unconventional and controversial opinions and stances as justification. Yorty did begin his career as a liberal Democrat (in the 1930s, when pretty much every ambitious pol was such) and ended it as conservative Republican (in the 1980s, when every pol was such). Famously, however, Yorty alienated his own party, perhaps damaging his chances at future offices, by supporting, as a Democrat in heavily Democratic L.A., Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960. “Sam did what was unexpected,” said Joy Picus, a longtime L.A. City Council member. “Sam did what would get him attention.”
Mad Sam Yorty — “Mad Sam” was an early nickname for the lifelong politician. In the 1930s, when Yorty was still in his twenties, he was elected to serve in the California State Assembly as a reform-minded liberal Democrat who advocated state ownership of public utilities and strong labor unions and earned the open support of the Communist Party of the United States. Opponents pounced on these facts, branding the rising local political star a Communist, and labeling him “Mad Sam,” during his unsuccessful bid for the mayoral nomination in 1938 and for the U.S. Senate in 1940.
Scrappy Sam — Beyond his three terms of office as the Mayor of Los Angeles, “Scrappy Sam” Yorty was a perennial seeker of higher office like the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, California Governorship, and even the U.S. Presidency (in 1972), and through all of his races and offices he never gave ground easily or graciously. In perhaps his biggest loss, against the challenger Tom Bradley in the1973 election for Mayor of Los Angeles, Yorty’s concession speech—his last hurrah as a viable politician—was anything but conciliatory. In it, Yorty scolded his critics and pointedly warned all those Angelenos who voted against him (whom he said were suckered by a “racist” campaign), saying he was “the last moderate mayor of Los Angeles” and that the city “is going to the left.”  
Saigon Sam — After challenging the incumbent California Governor Edmund Brown in the lead-up to the 1966 election (while serving in his second term as Mayor of L.A.) Yorty made a sharp shift to the right politically by joining in the celebrations for the eventual winner of that election, Republican Ronald W. Reagan. Further snubbing his former party and political supporters, Yorty made a trip to Vietnam that year in support of American troops there, thereby earning the nickname among liberals “Saigon Sam.”
The Reform Republican — Yorty was ousted from the Mayor’s office after three terms by Tom Bradley in 1973. Afterward, Yorty made regular appearances on TV, including his a homespun local talk show called The Sam Yorty show. In 1981, Yorty attempted to unseat his political rival, Mayor Tom Bradley, by refashioning himself as a “Reform Republican” and revisiting the racial themes of his last two election battles against Bradley (in 1969 and 1973). Yorty’s “reform” messages were less than subtle. “Black people,” he said during the election, “are really racist. They vote for black people because they are black.”
The (Ninth) Worst Mayor Ever (*knickname unofficial) — In his book The American Mayor, in which he surveyed a wide range of urban historians and political scientists, Melvin Holli rated Mayor Yorty the ninth worst big-city mayor between the years 1820 and 1993. Affecting Yorty’s rank in the survey may have been the fact that the U.S. Civil Rights Commission condemned the mayor for his general insensitivity toward minorities and his “gross negligence” toward the heavily African American city of Watts, which led, in 1965, to one of the worst urban riots of the decade. Additionally, in 1966, liberal senators Abraham Ribicoff and Robert F. Kennedy both lambasted Yorty for his failures with his local black population and with the situation in Watts. 

Various Nicknames of Former L.A. Mayor Sam Yorty (and their explanations)

  • Travelin’ Sam — Perhaps his most popular nickname, Mayor “Travelin’ Sam” Yorty was so called during his three terms in office because of his penchant for traveling to exotic places—Europe, the Far East, Mexico—on so-called official visits of state. (According to Yorty’s New York Times obit, Travelin’ Sam was known for “seemingly spending as much time away from Los Angeles as within the city.”)

  • Airplane Sam, Suitcase Sam — (See above explanation.) According to a political nemesis, even when he was in town Yorty was barely present. “He was no more than a part-time Mayor. Most of the time [he] wouldn’t arrive until mid-morning, and then he was gone by mid-afternoon.” –Tom Bradley
  • Shoot-From-the-Lip Sam — Something of a classically old-style politician, Yorty was known for controversial positions on a range of issues, for his use of his city’s racial anxieties—particularly after the Watts Riots of 1965—to keep a base of support among the city’s white, mostly midwestern-born electorate (Yorty himself had been born in Nebraska), and for simply speaking the most unexpected sentiments. A good example of this latter tendency was the infamous “Yorty’s Chortle” incident. In 1966, after easily winning  another four-year term in office, Yorty told the press that his competition was so inept during the campaign he couldn’t resist chortling on election night: “If I had been my own opponent, I could have done a better job at finding fault with my record.”

  • The Maverick Mayor — Yorty gave himself the nickname “The Maverick Mayor,” citing his unconventional and controversial opinions and stances as justification. Yorty did begin his career as a liberal Democrat (in the 1930s, when pretty much every ambitious pol was such) and ended it as conservative Republican (in the 1980s, when every pol was such). Famously, however, Yorty alienated his own party, perhaps damaging his chances at future offices, by supporting, as a Democrat in heavily Democratic L.A., Richard Nixon over John F. Kennedy in 1960. “Sam did what was unexpected,” said Joy Picus, a longtime L.A. City Council member. “Sam did what would get him attention.”

  • Mad Sam Yorty — “Mad Sam” was an early nickname for the lifelong politician. In the 1930s, when Yorty was still in his twenties, he was elected to serve in the California State Assembly as a reform-minded liberal Democrat who advocated state ownership of public utilities and strong labor unions and earned the open support of the Communist Party of the United States. Opponents pounced on these facts, branding the rising local political star a Communist, and labeling him “Mad Sam,” during his unsuccessful bid for the mayoral nomination in 1938 and for the U.S. Senate in 1940.

  • Scrappy Sam — Beyond his three terms of office as the Mayor of Los Angeles, “Scrappy Sam” Yorty was a perennial seeker of higher office like the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, California Governorship, and even the U.S. Presidency (in 1972), and through all of his races and offices he never gave ground easily or graciously. In perhaps his biggest loss, against the challenger Tom Bradley in the1973 election for Mayor of Los Angeles, Yorty’s concession speech—his last hurrah as a viable politician—was anything but conciliatory. In it, Yorty scolded his critics and pointedly warned all those Angelenos who voted against him (whom he said were suckered by a “racist” campaign), saying he was “the last moderate mayor of Los Angeles” and that the city “is going to the left.”  

  • Saigon Sam — After challenging the incumbent California Governor Edmund Brown in the lead-up to the 1966 election (while serving in his second term as Mayor of L.A.) Yorty made a sharp shift to the right politically by joining in the celebrations for the eventual winner of that election, Republican Ronald W. Reagan. Further snubbing his former party and political supporters, Yorty made a trip to Vietnam that year in support of American troops there, thereby earning the nickname among liberals “Saigon Sam.”

  • The Reform Republican — Yorty was ousted from the Mayor’s office after three terms by Tom Bradley in 1973. Afterward, Yorty made regular appearances on TV, including his a homespun local talk show called The Sam Yorty show. In 1981, Yorty attempted to unseat his political rival, Mayor Tom Bradley, by refashioning himself as a “Reform Republican” and revisiting the racial themes of his last two election battles against Bradley (in 1969 and 1973). Yorty’s “reform” messages were less than subtle. “Black people,” he said during the election, “are really racist. They vote for black people because they are black.”

  • The (Ninth) Worst Mayor Ever (*knickname unofficial) — In his book The American Mayor, in which he surveyed a wide range of urban historians and political scientists, Melvin Holli rated Mayor Yorty the ninth worst big-city mayor between the years 1820 and 1993. Affecting Yorty’s rank in the survey may have been the fact that the U.S. Civil Rights Commission condemned the mayor for his general insensitivity toward minorities and his “gross negligence” toward the heavily African American city of Watts, which led, in 1965, to one of the worst urban riots of the decade. Additionally, in 1966, liberal senators Abraham Ribicoff and Robert F. Kennedy both lambasted Yorty for his failures with his local black population and with the situation in Watts.