Wednesday’s column (read it here) compiles three more literary(ish) references to the Inland Valley, the most startling being from Beat writer Jack Kerouac, who name-dropped Cucamonga in unique fashion. There’s also a mention by thriller author David L. Goldman, and another by humorist Dave Barry.
Would you like a little behind-the-scenes info? I wrote this column in February (!) for use during a vacation, but decided to sit on it because it seemed like a perennial. Didn’t need it during my June vacation, though, and decided because of the Thanksgiving angle that I might save it until then. Which I did, after rewriting the ending last Friday. Also, Wendy Leung having left for another newspaper job in April, “colleague” became “former colleague.” Otherwise, it was full steam ahead.
Some James Bond fan went to the trouble of compiling every cameo, fleeting glimpse and voiceover of co-producer Michael G. Wilson in the series, an impressive enough feat that I’m going to the trouble of sharing it here. Wilson is an alumnus of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont.
Fathom Events, the same company that re-presented “Lawrence of Arabia” earlier this month in theaters, on Wednesday will play “Frankenstein” (1931) and “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935). AMC 30 Ontario Mills and AMC 12 Victoria Gardens will show the double feature at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. Information can be found <a href=”http://www.fathomevents.com/classics/event/tcmfrankensteins.aspx”>here</a>.
Next up in the series: “To Kill a Mockingbird” Nov. 15.
In related news, “Nosferatu” will screen Friday at Bridges Auditorium in Claremont at both 7 p.m. and midnight, with live accompaniment. Information is <a href=”http://business.claremontchamber.org/events/details/silent-film-nosferatu-with-hobo-jazz-3451″>here</a>.
The subtitle is “The ’70s Pop Culture Box,” and this seven-disc set, with shag carpeting on the cover and CDs in such ’70s colors as Avocado, Burnt Orange and Harvest Gold, was put out by Rhino (the label) in 1998. It’s got 160 songs from the Me Decade. There are omissions, of course (no Stevie Wonder, no Elton John, etc.), most likely due to licensing costs, but a lot of one-hit wonders are here. It’s dy-no-mite.
I’ve owned this for a decade or so but recently played it through again and thought it was worth a blog post, under the assumption that many of you are in the proper age bracket to appreciate it. If you are, you’ll love it. (It’s out of print, but used copies can be had on Amazon, etc.)
One bonus is that short audio snippets of news or speeches appear now and then, most of them placed ironically. One about the first test tube baby comes before “Miracles” by Jefferson Starship; one in which President Nixon says he’s not a crook is followed by “You’re No Good” by Linda Ronstadt. Bracingly, Ford’s pardon of Nixon segues into “The Payback” by James Brown (“I’m mad!”). Heh.
50th anniversary screenings of the 1962 classic are taking place Thursday around the country, with two of them in the Inland Valley. You can see it at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the AMC 30 Ontario Mills and the AMC 12 at Victoria Gardens. More information about the screenings is here and a list of theaters is here. You can buy tickets here; price is $12.50 for either show.
I expect to attend one of these, schedule permitting. “Lawrence” is among my favorite movies. I’ve seen it twice before, both times at the Cinerama Dome/ArcLight, so seeing the movie has “event” status for me.
The movie lasts 216 minutes, or 3 hours, 36 minutes. Above is the trailer, and at 4:43, even it’s long.
That would be the Curbed LA blog and Millard Sheets, respectively. The blog is posting all week about the Pomona-born artist who had such an impact on Southern California art and architecture. Click on this link for what’s been posted to date, and keep checking back for more if so inclined.
So far there’s a photo tour of the former Sheets art studio in Claremont (now an optometrist’s office), photos and text about Sheets’ bank commissions and an image of his painting “Tenement Flats,” one of my favorites. Thanks to Bob House for the link.
Happy birthday to the avant-garde composer, who was born Sept. 5, 1912, died in 1992 and attended Pomona College his freshman and sophomore years. The college has several events planned this semester, starting with a John Cage Centenary at 7 p.m. Wednesday. If nothing else, the people-watching should be excellent.
Other events this fall include an organ recital, a lecture, an evening of music cheekily titled “Cage-o-Rama” and, in October, an orchestral concert that will include Cage’s famous “4’33″ — 4 minutes, 33 seconds of silence. Here’s the schedule.
Joel Bellman, now an aide to L.A. County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, has penned a great piece for LAObserved about working as a clerk at Rhino Records in Claremont from 1977 to 1980.
“The pay was modest – the first day, my wages included a second-hand copy of Neil Young’s ‘American Stars ‘n’ Bars’ – but I would gladly have paid them for the privilege. If there was ever a dream job, that was it.
“If you remember the film ‘High Fidelity,’ that was us. Yes, we, too used to run people out if we didn’t like their music, like the poor fellow who came in one day looking for a Village People album. ‘We don’t carry that kind of stuff,’ I sneered. ‘Why don’t you try The Wherehouse.’ And if they ever argued with us about our trade-in appraisal – they were dead. We almost bodily threw one grumbler out of the store – to the lusty cheers of the other patrons.”
My friends and I have been fascinated with the fellow we call the Dancing Man ever since seeing the grayhaired Energizer Bunny dancing nonstop in the balcony at the LCD Soundsystem concert at the Fox Theater in Pomona in June 2010 and then, a month later, spotting him shaking his moneymaker at the Swell Season/She and Him/Bird and the Bee concert at the Hollywood Bowl. One friend has spotted him on three other occasions in L.A. since then, always at concerts, always dancing.
Watching “Shut Up and Play the Hits,” the LCD Soundsystem documentary, at the Claremont Laemmle 5 on Wednesday night, a friend and I were delighted to see the man onscreen for two seconds, dancing away. A half-dozen people in the row behind us gave a gasp of recognition, as if they too had seen him before. (My friend, by the way, was the same guy who told the Dancing Man to sit down at the Fox. He feels bad about it.)
I had to find out more. Turning to Google, I made the hail-Mary move of searching for “LCD Soundsystem dancing man.” Because the Internet is amazing, the second result was the above video, titled “Old guy dancing before LCD Soundsystem show at MSG.” It is, without a doubt, the Dancing Man!
The YouTube viewer comments:
“I remember this guy, and everyone loved him. let him rock, let him be.”
“i love this guy! ive seen him at the xx, local natives, and almost acoustic christmas this year. gotta give him props for having awesome taste in music and some pretty badass dance moves.”
“I FREAKIN LOVED THAT GUY!”
If anyone can identify him or put me in touch with him, I’d love to interview him. I don’t care if he lives in Santa Monica or San Bernardino, he’s a legend who deserves a newspaper column.