Thursday, May 26, 2016

Los Angeles Doors Tour Part IV

When I visit Los Angeles, I enjoy the warm weather, meeting up with my cousins, and watching classic films on the big screen. However, the highlight for me is my annual Los Angeles Doors Tour!

I have found most of the places the Doors hung out in Los Angeles. The two that eluded me are The Topanga Corral which was the inspiration for, "Roadhouse Blues" and the home Jim lived in on Kings Road. 

Unfortunately, The Topanga Corral is no longer standing. It burnt down in the 1970s, rebuilt, then burnt down again. If there was something left I could justify trekking out there, but not for an empty lot.

I found out about the Kings Road location only recently. Jim had purchased a property on the advice of his accountant to reduce his tax liability. Tony Funches, a former bodyguard, remembers going there with Jim a few times. Jim never intended to live there, having a, "few crates and a lamp of two." Tony cannot remember the number on the residence. I stumbled across a forum on the mystery home and one person who worked for a real estate title company spent hours and hours pouring over real estate records with no success. He speculated it was listed under another name as he could not find any connection to Jim Morrison ever owning a house on Kings Road.

Home The Doors lived in 1966.
8826 Lookout Mountain Ave. - home 3 of The Doors members lived in 1966

This location in Laurel Canyon is the house Jim, John and Robby lived in 1966. It was here Jim feeling depressed went for a walk and came up with the lyrics for, "People Are Strange".

Another view of 8826 Lookout Mountain Ave.
I walked from the corner of La Brea and Hollywood Blvd to Laurel Canyon Blvd in Part III. When I could not walk any more because I was running out of room to walk safely, I found a cab who took me to the Country Store. This time I drove from Hollywood Blvd. to Laurel Canyon. I was blown away by how steep and narrow the roads are. How does a delivery truck or fire engine navigate these hills?

Morrison Hotel album photo shoot location
1246 South Hope St. - Morrison Hotel
This is the location of the, "Morrison Hotel", cover shoot for the album of the same name. It was shot by Henry Diltz who also shot the locations on Brooks Ave. in Venice.

Pershing Square, downtown LA
Here things got murky. I was looking for 300 5th St. This would be the location of the Hard Rock Cafe. I was looking for street numbers to determine where the Cafe would be. Unfortunately they are not clearly marked so I walked to the next block. I took this photo thinking the Cafe resided on this block and the building had been demolished. Consulting Google Maps, it looks like I was at 300
West 5th St. not 300 East 5th St. I was on the wrong side of Main St! Hopefully next time I can make it downtown and find the original Hard Rock Cafe.

JIm Morrison's rooftop home
14 Westminster Ave. - Now the Morrison Apartments.

This is the building Jim lived on the roof in June of 1965. As I have mentioned before this location is important because it is here Jim "heard a concert" in his head thus spawning the lyrics for the first two Doors albums. This what the front "Door" looks like. I was waiting around to see if the manager might pop out to ask questions about Jim's time living here. No luck!

Dios mio! I don't think even Jim could afford these 2016 rents. After all he did live on the penthouse level for free.

A better view of the roof.

Harry Diltz Venice Beach photo shoot location of The Doors
30 Brooks Ave.
We go back to Brooks Ave. This is the location at number 30. As you can see the white "doors" are covered.

Harry Diltz Venice Beach photo shoot of The Doors
50 Brooks Ave.

A fence stands in the spot the guys posed for the shoot at number 50 Brooks Ave.

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance
Cabot Cinema

Before I left for LA, I was on Robby Krieger's website and noticed he was on tour and going to make an appearance near my home the week after I got back from LA. I immediately purchased a ticket for only $55 and started counting down the days.

This was truly one of the highlights of my life! Meeting John Densmore in 2013 was a great experience, but this was the music of The Doors being played live by the guitarist of The Doors. It was surreal that I was at the closest I would ever get to a Doors concert and twenty-five percent of The Doors was on stage in front of me. The auditorium was filled to capacity and everyone was singing along. Waylon Krieger, Robby's son, was filling in for Jim. 

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance

The picture is a bit fuzzy. He was wearing a shirt with a white body and under the harsh white lights it completely washed him out in the photos I took. 

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist live performance
Fuzzy picture of Robby, sorry!

When the lights changed to color, I started snapping away! A sign on the "door" to the cinema stated, "Absolutely no photography during the performance". I looked around during the show and everybody was taking photos! So I did the same, thinking when will I get this opportunity again?

Robby Krieger, Doors guitarist up close
Robby up close!

I waited an hour after the show ended to see if I could catch a glimpse of Robby. A crowd had gathered in front of the parking lot where his ride was parked. He took a few minutes to greet the people waiting as he left. As he went by me he shook my hand!

Here is the playlist from the show (I arrived late and missed the first five songs):

Wild Child
When The Music's Over
Peace Frog
Waiting For The Sun
Riders On The Storm
20th Century Fox
The Changling
Maggie M'Gill
LA Woman
Touch Me
People Are Strange
Light My Fire

Thursday, April 16, 2015

GQ Style: What To Wear Now Spring/Summer 2015

Sorry about the blurry picture!

After a terrible winter, the most snowfall was recorded since 1891, spring is poking its head up from the 5 feet of snow on the ground.

GQ has released its latest edition of what to wear now for spring/summer of 2015. 

The following are some of the topics covered:

Khaki suits - in 9 varying shades to choose from with a handy chart to accessorize with

Cotton ties - narrow and bright.

Washed out jeans - disgusting! What's next, pleats?

Flight jackets - a modern fit on a vintage jacket. However, looking at the pictures it seems the once hip jacket has now been reduced to an updated version of the Members Only jacket. As true flight jackets were only available in nylon in certain colors, the new versions now available in different hues and fabrics no longer resemble their hipper older brother.

Army style watches - the modern versions stay true to their heritage by keeping the defining factor: the green (olive) nylon strap. My pick is the Shinola, made in Detroit, sporting a black face with white numbers for a respectable $675.

Combining navy and brown - when you pair a navy suit with brown shoes you are telling the world you know what the f*ck you are doing. Elegance is defined as a navy three piece suit, white french cuff shirt, white linen pocket square, brown shoes, brown suspenders (braces), gold cuff links and a gold or yellow tie. Pairing khakis, white button down shirt, and a navy wool v-neck sweater is the casual version. 

Slides - a.k.a mandals. I never been a fan of these. The only options for casual summer footwear is a driving moc, loafers, flip-flops, and my personal favorite, barefoot.

Push for double breasted - this has been an ongoing topic for the last 2 years. Both Esquire and GQ have been pushing for this jacket model to return. This model is fighting an uphill battle because of what it was, not what it has become. Back in the 80s and 90s, it had a baggy fit, with linebacker shoulder pads, and a deep wide open front. Now along with the single breasted model, it is cut much slimmer, has less padding the shoulders, and closes higher in the front. Unfortunately it is only a small faction of fashionistas who are listening and not the masses. You first have to find a retailer that carries them. Forget about the major retailers; it is mostly luxury brands, such as Armani, Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, and Bruno Cucinelli. 

White dinner jackets - a proper dinner jacket should always be off-white, have a shawl lapel, besom pockets, and unvented. 

I'll be back to review the Fall/Winter edition...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

House of Cards Season 3: Everyone is Hungry

House of Cards Season 3 (Source)


Season 2 ended with Frank capturing the ultimate political prize, ascending to the Presidency of the Untied States of America.

Season 3 begins, not with Frank, but with Doug. Instead of picking up with Frank banging his ring on the Presidential desk, Doug is shown in the hospital beginning to recover from Rachel's attempt to kill him. Fearing for her life, rightly so, she hit him on the head with a rock and took off.

This season deals with hunger amongst the main characters. They all hunger for something and it drives them to commit unspeakable acts to quell the hunger. This is what I found:

Claire is hungry for power - although highly unqualified for the position of Ambassador to the U.N., she forces the issue with Frank until he gets her the job. She ultimately losses the position and in the last episode, demands a larger role than she has as the First Lady.

Heather Dunbar is hungry for the Presidency - She was the Special Prosecutor attempting to impeach Frank. She failed and now has to report to him. She indicates her possible intention to run for President. Through a potential opening in the Supreme Court, Frank wants to nominate her to take her out of the running. She sees through his ruse and declines the nomination, only to infuriate Frank.

Jackie Sharp and Remy Danton are hungry for each other - Jackie and Remy had a short affair in season 2. Frank installed Jackie to replace him as Majority Whip and for favors at a later date. Remy used to work for Frank, then worked as a lobbyist for SanCor. Now Remy is Frank's Chief of Staff. Jackie got herself married partly to improve her image for a potential run for office at a later date. She is also the eyes and ears for Frank. In return for being his inside woman, she wants to be on the ticket with Frank. Remy flat out rejects the notion, so in retaliation, she runs for President as well. Even better, they resume their relationship. Jackie knows she cannot win, so she drops out of the race and supports not Frank, but Heather.

Doug Stamper is hungry to get back to work - working for Frank is literally the only thing Doug has in his life. It is revealed in season 3, he has a brother and is an uncle. It appears Doug has no hobbies, relationships (prostitutes don't count), or interests. His only function in life is doing whatever it takes to keep Frank afloat and keeping Rachel in line. During his recovery he "works" from home, by writing reports and staying on top of the political news. His entire existence is him waiting in vain for the President to send word for his return. It does not come and Doug becomes more desperate, resorting to drinking booze again (he is a recovering alcoholic) and hiring prostitutes. Frank tells Doug there is a place for him, but not now. The implication is two-fold: Doug has to recover physically and Frank can't have Doug working for him until Rachel is taken care of. In the end, Doug recovers and finally closes the book on Rachel Posner. Frank, true to his word, rewards him with the position of Chief Of Staff.

Frank is hungry to be elected, "to leave a legacy" - Instead of taking the position by default he wants to be elected by the people. The Democratic Leadership does not want him to run in '16, so he acquiesces (wink, wink), then turns right around and runs for President. We know he will win, but what treachery will he commit to win.

Rachel Posner is hungry to start a new life - Poor Rachel! She was just a lost soul who unfortunately turned to prostitution to find closure in her life and was murdered for it. She was hired by Doug to set up Peter Russo and was the only person who could tie both Frank and Doug to his murder. Doug eventually finds her and sets her up with an apartment and job outside of Washington to keep tabs on her. Doug explains in no uncertain terms only her silence is keeping her alive. He becomes obsessed with her not allowing her to talk to anyone, make new friends, or go out on her own. When she enters a relationship with Lisa, he forces her to end it to her utter dismay. Rachel has now reached her breaking point and tries to kill Doug with a rock to the head. Rachel has made her way to New Mexico where she is trying to live anonymously.

Gavin Orsay is hungry to escape the clutches of the FBI - Gavin is a hacker that got caught by the FBI and to avoid the next 30 years in prison has to work for them. He sets up Lucas Goodwin, a reporter looking into the possible murder of Zoe Barnes by Frank, then gets him branded as a cyberterrorist which hands Lucas in jail for 7 years. Now he under enormous pressure from Doug to find Rachel. Gavin strikes a deal with Doug: he finds Rachel and Doug releases the lock on Gavin's passport. Gavin tricks Doug into thinking Rachel was killed in a car accident, Doug removes the lock, and Gavin flees the country.

And then there's the stalemate between...