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Photography

Thursday, May 3, 2007 - Sunset Faces

To the right, a study in blue - a face floating above the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.  It's kind of iconic, isnít it?

It's sometimes hard to get a feel for the Strip. It's not 1964 - the Doors are long gone, Jimmy Morrison at rest in that Paris cemetery, near Oscar Wilde.  Buffalo Springfield morphed in Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and disappeared long ago. Neil Young comes out of retirement to sing now and then, but he's an old man.  For what it's worth, there has not been a riot on the strip since 1966.

As for the really old days, Schwab's Drugstore at the Laurel Canyon corner is gone too. It was closed in 1986 and ten years later replaced with a fancy complex anchored by a Virgin Megastore, with a six screen movie place and a California Pizza Kitchen. F. Scott Fitzgerald had a heart attack at Schwab's in 1940, while buying a pack of cigarettes. Harold Arlen wrote "Over the Rainbow" by the light of the Schwab's neon sign. Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd used to play pinball in the back room. Gone.  The Trocadero Ballroom - the center of jitterbug in the thirties - is long gone too, as are its patrons, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Norma Shearer.  Bette Davis' fancy nearby apartment, however, is for sale now, if you miss those days.

The Strip has changed. Glance at the promotional material.

A study in blue - a face floating above the Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.

How about a study in red, white and blue - the other side of the Whisky, above Duke's Coffee Shop, which has been on the Strip forever -

Billboard above the Whisky on Sunset

The Roxy is still around - since 1973, when Lou Adler along with his original partners David Geffen, Elliot Roberts and Peter Asher opened it. The Rocky Horror Show first started here as a stage show, before it was made in that movie and the place was where the unknowns got their start - Bruce Springsteen, Nirvana, David Bowie and such.  The small "On the Rox" bar above the club was a regular hangout for John Lennon, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Keith Moon - and where John Belushi partied before he overdosed down the street at the Chateau Marmont, and died. Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention recorded an album downstairs. Now the Roxy reflects the big office building across the street.

The Roxy on Sunset

Parking is tricky at the Roxy.

Parking sign, the Roxy on Sunset

What's this about Thursday karma?

Marquee - Whiskey a Go Go, Sunset

Ah, the back end of it all (the back of the Whisky) - it's a Norma Desmond wall.

Rear wall - Whiskey a Go Go, Sunset

If you wish to use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me. And should you choose to download any of these images and use them invoking the 'fair use" provisions of the Copyright Act of 1976, please provide credit, and, on the web, a link back this site.

Technical Note:

Most of these photographs were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0.  Earlier photography was done with a Sony Mavica digital still camera (MVC-FD-88) with built-in digital zoom.

[Sunset Faces]

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 - Alan M. Pavlik