Sadly, flashing back to this city’s past isn’t always going to be beach parties and good times. Perhaps no crimes will ever stop the heart of Los Angeles the way the Manson murders did, and in honor of their 40 year anniversary, Los Angeles Magazine is currently featuring a web exclusive primer on Manson, including an oral history of interviews with the people involved.
Exactly forty years ago today – July 1, 1969 – a 34 year-old racist ex-convict and wanna-be folk singer named Charles Manson shot a black drug dealer by the name of Bernard “Lotsapoppa” Crowe in an apartment building that once stood where the Magic Castle Hotel now resides. As the story goes, mistakenly believing that he had committed murder and that Crowe was a member of the Black Panther Party, Manson expected retribution from the gang. So throughout the summer of 1969, Charles Manson orchestrated the grisliest murder spree in Los Angeles history partly in an effort to frame the Panthers and force the police to arrest them. With these murders, Angelenos were consumed with pure confusion and terror. The wealthy, the famous and the beautiful had suddenly become innocent victims of horrific, unsolved violence… and if the privileged weren’t safe, who WAS? Los Angeles filled with fear, and its collective perspective on the face of evil changed the second Charles Manson and his unique brand of scary entered their radar six months later. In December 1969, Manson and several of his followers were arrested. The trial began on July 24, 1970. On January 25, Manson was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. On March 29, 1971, Manson was sentenced to death. And there he remains, on death row.
The videos I’m including after the jump are in chronological order and, obviously, not for the faint of heart. They are as follows:
- Footage featuring original CBS news coverage of the Tate and LaBianca murders;
- News report filmed 8 weeks after Manson’s arrest with an eyewitness account of Spahn Movie Ranch;
- Charles Manson in all his crazy glory on the Today Show in 1994;
- A History Channel Series which followed the later lives of the people most affected (for the full 5-part playlist, click here);
- Diane Sawyer interviewing repentant and dying Family member Susan Atkins in 2008. (Atkins’ next parole hearing is set for September 2nd, 2009.)
FULL FILM AFTER THE JUMP! YAY!
In honor of the upcoming festivities celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Venice’s Historic Muscle Beach and the crowning of Mr. & Ms. Muscle Beach 2009, we would like to take this moment to present a true piece of Southern California movie nostalgia, the star-studded 1960′s beach classic… MUSCLE BEACH PARTY!!! WOOO HOOOOO!!!!
Okay, so it’s no Beach Blanket Bingo, I’ll admit… but if you have doubts about the cheesy, iconic goodness of this hormonal-teens-on-the-beach saga then dig this, chickies:
- The film was directed by William Asher, who besides being a driving force of the beach movie genre was the lead director on both I Love Lucy and Bewitched (he was also Elizabeth Montgomery‘s husband). All of which by default brands him as permanently awesome.
- The cast of this little flick included the following people: Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, Don Rickles, Dick Dale, Morey Amsterdam, Buddy Hackett, Dan Haggerty (aka Grizzly Adams), Bill Graham (!!!), Peter Lorre (!!?) and LITTLE STEVIE FRIGGIN’ WONDER (he’s towards the end).
What: Worldwide Photo Walk
When: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Where: Various locations – Chinatown, Echo Park, Malibu, Venice, Venice Beach, Silverlake, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Downtown, Claremont, Laguna Beach and Palm Desert
Do you love taking photos but your camera’s just sitting on the shelf gathering dust? Feel like exploring town, bonding with your fellow shutterbugs, but don’t know where to go? Scott Kelby (of Photoshop fame) is hosting his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk on July 18th. Scott describes it as “…a social photography event where photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.” and you can see him explain the event himself on the tiny video on this page. For people who feel like entering their best photo of the day into a competition, he offers small prizes for the winners.
There is a 50 person limit on each walk and they’re filling up fast so hurry to register. If you’re late to the game but still want to go, my guess is that the very last location to fill up will be Palm Desert, solely because it’s mid-July in Palm Desert and most people don’t like watching their cameras melt in their hands.
Feel like conducting your OWN private photo walk? NOBODY’S STOPPING YOU! You could do that RIGHT NOW (unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I’d wait). Grab your camera. Dust it off. Go outside! Walk. Take photos. I’m willing to bet your photo walk will probably be more interesting than whatever you were doing.
If you’re traveling to LAX any time soon, the Trip Films video below might be a lifesaver for you, so check it out.
There are also many more great driving tips to be found at MyTrafficShortcuts.com (11/09 UPDATE: WHOOPS. LOOKS LIKE THE SITE IS DOWN)… not just to help you get around Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley, but also if you find yourself stuck in that pesky bumper to bumper gridlock from Sharjah to Dubai. Because wow, that’s a bear, ya know what I mean? (Nah, I’ve never been there either.)
Have your own shortcuts? Leave them in the comments… we want to know too!!!
Here’s today’s fun little flashback: a local news report on the California mod scene of the 1980s. Ahhh, Chuck Henry and Johnny Mountain were so hep.
What: Lisa Jack Photography Exhibit: Barack Obama: The Freshman
When: Until July 18, Tuesdays–Saturdays (10am–6pm)
Where: M+B Gallery 612 N Almont Dr, WeHo (310) 550-0050
Pinata delivery on Victory Boulevard in Valley Glen, Sunday afternoon. See full-sized image after the jump. (more…)
*Click on the thumbnail image below to launch a fun photo gallery of things we covet at Wacko!*
HERE’S THE CONCEPT OF “COVET THIS”:
1. We walk into a store spontaneously.
2. We pick out a handful of random things that catch our eye/s.
3. We take covert photos.
4. We post the images with silly captions for you to see.
5. YOU are possessed by an overwhelming urge to rush to said establishment and purchase said items (or shop for others), thereby helping small businesses to stay afloat during our troubled economy. :)
The Chosen Store: The beloved novelty emporium, Wacko/Soap Plant
The Location: 4633 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood/Los Feliz (323) 663-0122
Our Previous Customer Experience: My college friends and I used to excitedly drive all the way from San Diego to experience the glory of their Melrose store way back when. It’s a long-time sentimental fun favorite of mine for silly gift shopping. Wacko is an iconic shop of Los Angeles and I’m thrilled it’s survived when so many other stores haven’t. :)
Ever dream of going straight from work to your favorite local fishing hole to unwind… your loyal dog by your side? Unfortunately, although Andy and Opie Taylor’s fishing hole is right around the corner, fishing isn’t legal there. But if you feel like dropping your hook in the water tonight you can try skipping right down La Cienega to Kenneth Hahn Park. There’s a small, fully-stocked man-made pond right there — fully planted with catfish just three weeks ago. The catch limit is five fish per person per day and leashed dogs are welcomed. Quien es mas macho than taking home some fresh dinner you caught yourself? CATFISH. YUM.
Here are some tips on how to catch them. See pretty photos of your local catfish pond after the jump!
If you prefer natural stream fishing, there are plenty of places for that as well… they’re just a bit more of a drive.
Never been fishing before, but still dream of channeling Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It (sans near-drowning)? Doc’s Ski Haus in Santa Monica offers up far more than snowboards, they also hold introductory classes designed for the beginner to intermediate fly fisherperson. No fly-fishing experience is necessary. The cost is $60 dollars and it includes two one-hour classes:
First class (Wednesdays 6:30pm): You’ll learn knots that will last you a lifetime and the basics on flies;
Second class (Saturdays 9am): A casting lesson at Douglas park in Santa Monica.
As a promotion, Doc’s issues a $30 dollar credit from your tuition to spend on new equipment for your fishing trips.
OTHER CURRENT FISH-STOCKED WATERS IN LOS ANGELES – Trout: Bouquet Canyon Creek, Castaic Lagoon and Pyramid Lake; Catfish: Alondra Park Lake, Belvedere Lake, Hansen Lake, Hollenbeck Lake, Lincoln Park Lake and Magic Johnson Lake. FISHING LICENSE INFO.
SOME PEOPLE JUST *WANT* YOU TO FAIL.
“Hey there, drivers on Fairfax! I’m a fancy sign the city paid for you to see! Yooo hooo! Look up here! I wanna tell you something… look up here! Come on… look up here! NOOOO! FOCUS ON THE ROAD, YOU IDIOT!!!! What is WRONG with you!? What the Hell were you looking up here for!? What are you trying to do, kill someone!?”
My very first memory in life, very literally, involved Sesame Street. I was a toddler who was getting too big for her crib and I wanted out. I actually remember looking through the bars of my little jail, deciding this was not working for me, climbing out, wandering down the stairs, turning on the television and plopping myself down to watch Big Bird. I also remember looking up at my mother and wondering what her problem was as she freaked out while I was sitting there enjoying myself very contentedly. I still look at her that way sometimes.
Point of the story… Jim Henson made stuff that was actually worth breaking out of jail for. So I’m looking forward to this:
Muppets™, Music & Magic: Jim Henson’s Legacy
Fridays in July at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre
“In conjunction with The Jim Henson Legacy and the Jane Henson Foundation, The Cinefamily pays tribute to one of the world’s most inspired and innovative film and puppetry artists, Jim Henson. A visionary TV producer and a world-class puppeteer, Henson and his team created indelible, hilarious, vulnerable and crazy characters like Kermit The Frog, Bert and Ernie, the Gelflings and the Skeksis, and The Swedish Chef (one of our personal favorites), and brought a unique combination of childlike wonder and adult sophistication to their groundbreaking work. This month-long series will explore all facets of Henson’s prolific output, including experimental work, rarities and some of his most beloved feature films.”
What: Opaque Restaurant
Where: Please note: the restaurant is no longer at the location shown in the video. V Lounge 2020 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica (310) 546-7619
Price: Not cheap. You might need to sell a filling or two, but nobody there will be able to see that they’re missing.
Details: If you’re looking for a unique place to take your favorite person on a particularly special evening (or perhaps you just don’t want to see someone’s face when you break up with them), consider a blind date at Opaque. Their menu isn’t cheap, but you’re really not just paying for the food (according to one Yelp reviewer: “Expect to pay $99 each before drinks and tip. The food is not $99 a plate great, but it is not bad. The experience makes up for it!”). The restaurant’s main concept (an idea which began in Germany in 2001) is to serve up fare that is intended to be consumed in pure pitch blackness. Yes, it’s exactly as it sounds. The dining room is kept completely light-free, so helping your food find its way from the plate to your stomach will become a bit more of a challenge than you’re used to. Quite logically, the waiters are all blind so the lack of visibility doesn’t bother them one bit. I must confess, I’m not exactly sure why there’s a dress code, however…
THE UNKNOWN ANGELENO column features three local tips and/or insights from random nice folks we meet during our daily travels. But today we don’t need no stinkin’ anonymity! Stand up and be proud, Los Angeles!
Name: Beth Lapides
Where we first met her: When she was hosting Uncabaret at the old Luna Park a million years ago. Ahhh, good times. (Although my eyeballs are still burning from some of those vintage Andy Dick appearances.) More currently, she’ll be performing her show 100% Happy 88% of the Time show at Writers Boot Camp on July 19.
Occupation: “Author, yogi, teacher, and alternative comedy guru”
Why we chose her: She admits she has a big mouth, and we have that in common. So we like that! Okay, now let’s see what she has to say… (after the jump)
I sure hope Erik Estrada and Kristy McNichol are feeling healthy. All you 1970s celebs might want to look into getting a thorough checkup soon. Clearly something is in the air and frankly, we’re awfully worried about you. It’s really bumming us all out. Please be well.
FARRAH FAWCETT (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009) – I really love the Farrah commercial below… it’s like she’s up in heaven with the man of her dreams (who is hopefully nicer than Ryan O’Neal)… sitting in God’s hand on a big shaving cream cloud… rest in peace, oh Beautiful Queen of Feathered Hair.
MICHAEL JACKSON (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) – An insanely talented and very troubled human being, wherever he may be I sincerely hope from the bottom of my heart that Michael Jackson has finally found the peace and perfect nose he spent his life searching for. In my living room I have a photo he autographed for me in the early 90s… in tribute, I think I’ll go set his photo on my piano and then moonwalk backwards into the kitchen. Sha-mon!
The sixties were a kerrraaaaayzeee time… the hippies were taking over with their crazy druggie ways and there was no way dedicated Sargeant Joe Friday, lover of Los Angeles, was going to let that happen to the youth of His City without a fight. The LSD Story was the first episode of the 1967 season of Dragnet, and it’s more than a little ironic that it was the first episode they filmed in glorious technicolor.
Note: The address given for the vacant lot where Blue Boy saw the pilot light of creation and reality was here.
The Hollywood Canteen existed at 1451 Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood between October 3, 1942 and Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 1945
With Steven Colbert’s recent adoption as USO mascot, I thought it might be timely to revisit one of Hollywood’s biggest efforts to bond with our nation’s soldiers.
Throughout World War II, Americans were very much in the habit of making hospital visits, putting on shows at military bases, and serving doughnuts and hot coffee in canteens in an effort to boost the spirits of enlisted men. As many of them were enlisted themselves, the biggest stars of stage and screen were very much involved in the morale building as well. On American soil, the goal was set to give the servicemen an option to come to the celebrities instead of vice versa… and that was how The Stage Door Canteen Nightclub (located at the 44th Street Theater in Times Square) was born. The driving forces behind the creation of the USO‘s West Coast location, The Hollywood Canteen, were Bette Davis and John Garfield, along with legendary songwriter Jule Styne (FYI, he wrote more than a few tunes you’ve heard before). The Canteen was operated and staffed completely by volunteers from various aspects of the local entertainment industry. By the time the doors opened in 1942, over 3000 stars, players, directors, producers, grips, dancers, musicians, singers, writers, technicians, wardrobe attendants, hair stylists, agents, stand-ins, publicists, secretaries, and allied craftsmen of radio and screen had registered as volunteers. On any given day or night, actresses such as Ann Sothern, Hedy Lamarr and Linda Darnell could be found pouring coffee.
6/25/09 – Harold & Maude EXTRAVAGANZA!
6/28/09 – Free Food at Ruby’s Shake Shack in Malibu; Discounted Tickets for The Los Angeles Accordion Festival; Mondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque at Cinefamily
ALL WEEK: 6/22-28/09 – Bigfoot Drink Discounts
ALL SUMMER: Free food/drink specials at Arby’s
THURSDAY, JUNE 25th
A Salute to Hal Ashby – A HAROLD & MAUDE EXTRAVAGANZA!!!
Place: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills
Time: 7:30pm showtime, doors open at 6:30pm
Price: ONLY $5 for non-Academy members, $3 for Academy members
Note: YES, this fabulous Harold & Maude event is SOLD OUT, *BUT* a standby line will form on Thursday afternoon. Standby numbers will be assigned at approximately 5:30pm and any available tickets will be distributed shortly before showtime.
Details: I love this movie. Always have. And if you have too, then check out the following details about this incredible event: it’s hosted by Cameron Crowe and Peter Bart; features a discussion with Ashby’s colleagues and admirers including Judd Apatow, Diablo Cody, Seth Rogen, Jon Voight and Haskell Wexler; and includes a performance by Yusuf (formerly Cat Stevens – !!!). On top of that, Ruth Gordon has been defrosted from her cryogenically frozen state and will be doing an Egyptian fan dance as Yusef performs the soundtrack from the film. Okay yeah, unfortunately I was only kidding about that last sentence (her fan dance would’ve been GREAT!) but I’m *not* kidding when I say that when everyone stops gushing over how insane and wonderful the movie is, they’ll be screening a brand new print of it from the Academy Film Archive. (Note: The Hal Ashby tribute continues through the end of June at the Linwood Dunn Theater, with The Landlord and Shampoo – June 26; The Last Detail and Coming Home – June 27; Being There – June 28)
SUNDAY, JUNE 28th
Ruby’s Shake Shack – MALIBU LOCATION GRAND OPENING
Place: Malibu Pier, Malibu
Time: Between 11am and 4pm only
Details: During the hours shown above, everyone who shows up will be treated to *FREE* burgers, fries, and shakes. Garden salads have also been mentioned. Official opening day is June 29.
Mondo Jerry Lewis Barbeque
Place: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 N Fairfax Ave, Hollywood (323) 655-2510
Time: See below
Details: To close out their Jerry Lewis retrospective–the first in LA ever!–Cinefamily is celebrating with a Jerrython, an all-day (and we mean it!) blowout of all the assembled rare Jerry footage they could find, including our own mash-up of our favorite moments… So, come early, get a couch, and settle in for hour upon hour of FLAVIN! with hot dogs and the JERRY!
Here’s an approximate itinerary (things might run 15-30 minutes over, give or take):
3-5:30 BBQing, and watching Colgate Comedy Hours with Martin & Lewis
5:30-6:30 Mondo Jerry mix of great scenes and rare clips
6:45-8:15: Cracking Up
8:30: Three on a Couch
10:30: The Big Mouth
Los Angeles Accordian Festival – SQUEEZE FEST L.A.
Place: John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East., Hollywood (323) 461-3673
Time: Pre-show picnic/party: 5:30 pm; Show: 7:30 pm
Price: Full Price $40, $30. Mention “NELA” for a 20% discount.
Details: “The LA Accordion Festival hosts SqueezeFestLA at the majestic outdoor John Anson Ford Amphitheatre, one of LA’s most underappreciated architectural gems. After making forays into music scenes from the parlor to the speakeasy for nearly 200 years, the accordion has also recently experienced a major comeback on the indie stage, expanding its modern influence. This evening, three very different groups showcase the rich, nostalgic sounds of the instrument: operatically infused, neo-boho cabaret act Vagabond Opera, Conjunto Los Pochos (the epitome of culturally complex Tex-Mex music), and Louisiana’s Feufollet. Visitors are encouraged to come early and picnic on the grounds, while local “accordion diva” Gee Rabe performs in the plaza before the show.” (SOURCE)
Oh, and as long as I’m looking for good deals to put into the events listing to help everyone survive financially during these tough times… I’ll just sneak this little tidbit in for ya. It’s not a local thing, I believe it’s nation-wide, but Arby’s is giving away FREE FOOD/DRINKS EVERY WEDNESDAY THIS SUMMER as follows:
July 1st – Free Regular Beef and Cheddar with soft drink purchase.
July 8th – Free Orange Cream Shake with sandwich purchase.
July 15th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
July 22nd – Free RoastBurger with soft drink purchase.
July 29th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 5th – Free Regular Roast Beef with soft drink purchase.
August 12th – Free Roast Chicken Club with soft drink purchase.
August 19th – Free FruiTea with sandwich purchase.
August 26th – Free Roast Beef ‘n Cheddar with soft drink purchase.
UPDATE 4/22: Thanks to Ryan for letting us know D+D’s Joke Center is no more. Basically, the lack of love took its toll on Denver Smith, the creator: “…hopefully i can do another show somewhere less stressful. i’m still afraid i’m going to have a heart attack from doing that show. which isn’t very fun. it was just too stressful for me putting that show on every week in a place where the regulars and even employees (not Cheazer) reminded me regularly that they don’t like it. Even when there was good crowds and stuff. i love putting on shows and think i’m pretty ok at it, especially when doug and i did it together, but doing it alone every week was just really getting to me. and the guy who was filling in for Cheazer last night really made me lose it on account of he was very rude. i just can’t keep doing that right now. i want to live!”
Poor guy. :(
D+D’s Joke Center is a *FREE* comedy night that happens 9pm every Tuesday at The Big Fish in Glendale. Although the video makes it seem otherwise, rumor has it that well-known comics occasionally show up to do sets right alongside locals getting their start in front of the heckley dive bar crowd… but you didn’t hear that from me.
The video at left is a This American Life web episode on the show.
The Big Fish 5230 San Fernando Road, Glendale (818) 244-6442
Hard breaking disaster photos are always difficult to view. Ecology aside, it’s disturbing that the original caption of this vintage image downplayed the senseless tragedy seen here by patronizingly referring to the victim as “pretty lady.” Tsk tsk. This poor girl is clearly in pain and fighting for her life… and I, for one, thank God the heroic lifeguard with the pornstar ‘stache was there to save the day and clean off her adorable little feet.
The UCLA Digital Collections portal contains tens of thousands of great images. Go check out the site and you’ll be entertained for hours.
*Click on the thumbnail below to launch a photo gallery of Zoe’s hike through Tree People’s Coldwater Canyon*
My dog Zoe and I have been exploring the canyons lately. I hate to admit that despite living in L.A. for decades, up until now I’ve never really spent quality time venturing through the hills. Now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to stop. When there’s nature to discover just five minutes away, it’s a shame to stay indoors… especially since exploring the hills is free (unless you get one of those infamous stop sign tickets). One thing for certain… people who lament the lack of wildlife and trees in Los Angeles haven’t spent much time making effort to look for them. There are plenty, and close by.
So the other day I drove up to the TreePeople campus and Zoe and I went for a leisurely sunset walk. Certain parts of the trails were more populated than others, but for the most part it was very peaceful… I sat at a picnic table for a few minutes to listen to the birds, and within moments I spotted a family of deer just feet below me. FYI, one thing about Coldwater Canyon is that it can be whatever you want to be, a workout or a leisurely stroll. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting lost unless you start blazing your own trail… the paths are easy to follow.
Other web sites have already spent quality time discussing what the Park has to offer, rating the trails, and exploring the wonderful good deeds of Andy Lipkis and the great folks at TreePeople (who maintain the park and are definitely unsung heroes of Los Angeles). No need reinventing the wheel, so I’m just going to share a photo gallery from our relaxing walk and hopefully inspire you to check out the canyons for yourself. And be sure to bring your pup… a tired dog is a good dog! :)
I’ll totally admit it… I’m a sucker for tilt-shift photography.
Every once in a while I’m going to post silly-SoCal-themed videos/cartoons that strike my fancy, just because I’m wacky that way. In today’s “Flashback Matinee” we’re celebrating the moment ol’ Jed Clampett loaded up the truck and moved to Bever-lee. Mind you, a big part of me wishes he would’ve stayed put in the hills he loved and kept on hunting possum… if only because maybe then Jethro wouldn’t have ended up putting this kinda crap together. But nephew aside, Jed Clampett was salt of the Earth and we were lucky to have him living within our city limits. And the funny thing is, in reality I think he just moved to the wrong neighborhood… if he’d just located the family just a smidgen more north and found a place in one of the canyons, he could’ve happily spent his days shooting all the possum he wanted. Ellie Mae would’ve had all sorts of baby deer and such to adopt and I’m sure there would’ve been some good hiding spots for Granny’s still. Hell, she could’ve opened up a nice little hidden prohibition-style speakeasy up there. People would’ve flocked to it.
So all of that said, in tribute to Jed and ol’ Granny I’m now going to call it a day and go take a dip in my ce-ment pond. Later, Los Anguleez.http://www.veoh.com/videos/v6536590yywG9BjT