I was not really planning to do the the LA segment in two parts but as I was writing it and subsequently since... I felt I left out some very important details to the story... so here we go again...
Music has been one of the most significant factors in my life... from listing to records on a portable turntable in my room to the AM radio playing in the car or on transistor radios at the beach... I've experienced all the innovations from high fidelity to stereo and boom box's and WalkMan to i-tunes... but the most important and life changing for me were and are live music... for me nothing else really comes as close to the feelings I get when I play the piano or guitar or hear a live performance of almost anything or anyone.
I'm really lucky because I've been an audience member and participant in some amazing performances....
The Hollywood Bowl
The Hollywood Bowl is probably one of the best if not the best chaparral amphitheaters in the world... the only place that has ever come close in my opinion is Red Rocks amphitheater in Colorado.... but in Hollywood I saw The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Sonny & Cher, Bob Dylan, Barbra Sreisand, James Taylor and Chuck Mangione but the high point of my listening and viewing pleasure was experiencing Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo in 'La Traviata'
Whisky A Go Go existed in West Hollywood at 8901 Sunset Boulevard from 1964 until 1982 my visits there were mostly but not entirely limited to the 70's
There I saw performances by... The Doors, The Byrds, Cream, Joe Cocker, Blondie and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers just to name a few....
But the shows I saw at The Troubadour at 9081 Santa Monica Boulevard are probably etched into my memory forever (even though for most I was slightly impaired from social and recreational use of... well you know... if those bathroom walls could talk would they have stories that I'll never tell)
The shows that stand out in my memory are Joni Mitchell's show and the time Daryl Hall and John Oates opened for Harry Chapin... other great shows included Linda Ronstadt, Neil Young, Carole King, Bruce Springsteen, Gordon Lightfoot, The Eagles, Kris Kristofferson, Neil Diamond, Carly Simon, Billy Joel and Harry Nielson.
Royce Hall at 340 Royce Drive at the UCLA campus had and still has some outstanding venues...
It was there that I saw... Joan Baez, Eric Clapton, Barry Manilow, Peter Paul & Mary, Frank Zappa, Phillip Glass and Leonard Bernstein and The New York Philharmonic.
I'm glad I have a very wide taste of music and I'm lucky that I have gotten to see so many live shows of some of my favorite people and groups... the last concert I saw was U2 in San Jose in 2008... so I'm really over due for another soon but truth be told I'm at a point in life I like the smaller venues with a few thousand less people... and that is why I miss the shows at Whisky and Troubadour so much... I was spoiled by those experiences.
The other thing that crossed my mind since last time is that celebrities then and now are often photographed in their homes... I guess a lot of fans like to see where and how the stars live... My privacy and personal life have always been and always will be a priority for me so I don't ever want my home photographed for publication I would feel like I was living on a sound stage or set... I said this over 40 years ago and I'll say it again now... if I ever become so famous...
that someone wants to do an interview with me I'm not going to do it in my home...
I'm checking into one of the bungalows at The Beverly Hills Hotel and ordering room service... and it's going to be a slumber party so the interviewer and photographer need to bring their jammies... or whatever they do or don't sleep in... but unlike 40 years ago I'll only go there if it's not s owned by the Brunei Investment Agency... otherwise I'll find someplace else to do the interview.
And finally... I was recently doing some publicity work for a project I worked on and saw someone that I have not seen for over 40 years... but first a little background I was a bit at odds with this person and made a promise to myself at the time after a very wearing and exhausting summer of working that I would never cry or loose a single nights sleep because of something that happened on the set of a movie or television show and would never ever be nervous during auditions... but most importantly I would never compete with anyone but myself... and now coming face to face with the person who was responsible for me making these promises to myself that I have not seen since Jimmy Carter was the president of the United States I was sad to see that my old nemesis had not aged well and that he had not been as successful as he once hoped... as I reflected on the number of people I have known over the years who would have been happy and delighted with this experience suddenly I was overjoyed that I never turned into one of those people... and with over forty years of water that has gone under the bridge and with all the highs and lows of life the one thing we both have in common now is that we are both happy... because in the end that is the most important thing and I'm glad it's the common ground we share... So at the end of all this... over time some things stay pretty much the same, some fade away but the important things evolve.