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Friday, September 07, 2007

Punk Turns 30's Greatest Hits?

The Cramps

Every time I get ready to take Punk Turns 30 on the road, I go through this process of trying to figure out what images people want to see in person. This shot of the Cramps has been a favorite of both friends and strangers for almost 30 years, and those of you in cities where we will be showing for the first time (Oxford, MS, for instance) will get your chance to see this up close and personal. Its definitely one of my 'Greatest Hits.'

Punk Turns 30's first tour date is October 25 in Oxford, MS at the One Night Stand at the Ole Miss Motel event, organized by the artist, Erin Abbott, who created this cool parking lot party/one-night art show and is taking that phenomenon on the road herself! This is a link to the story of the first One Night Stand.

To take advantage of the motel setting, Punk Turns 30 will be showing a collection of photos taken in the World Famous Tropicana Motel, the favorite of all the indie and punk rock bands that came through Los Angeles while the motel was operational. Mumps lived at the Trop, on and off, for several months while they were in LA recording, and also based their West Coast touring with the Tropicana as HQ.

BW bromly

The selection to be shown at the One Night Stand is a loving tribute to the hostelry that gave rise to many of my own favorite images here at Punk Turns 30 - and its a personal tribute to one of the more inspirational personages to ever grace the grounds there --- Chuck E. Weiss.

Chuck wanted to see photos of the bungalow where I spent my time, and here it is....

Grand, isn't it? I have no idea where the money came from for Stiv Bators to have called these palatial digs "home," but many a punk rock adventure was had here, and the photos to prove it will be shown on this season's tour....Backstage and Other Unguarded Moments.

Recently, Chuck and I were emailing reminiscences about the old Motel, and his memory is a steel vise...I am every thankful for his ability to fill in the blanks my own memory drew about LA places gone by.

And because of Chuck and the photos I want to share with him, for the first time, I'll be publishing a program/catalog that includes the photos from the show that you can take home and refer to over and over again. For those who can't attend the show, we'll have some you can order.

xtian in dukes small

The Tropicana was host to one of LA's enduring spots ---Duke's, the diner. It used to be called Duke's at the Tropicana, but now its just Duke's. When the Trop was torn down to make way for yet another strip mall (in the most grandiose of iterations, I might add-- the scale of the one that replaced the Trop is enormous!), Duke's moved to a new location - next door to the Whisky A Go Go, which is only fitting. The food's the same, the reputation the same... but man, do I miss the seedy Santa Monica Blvd. environs!

cramps b movie portrait 2 colorized small

One of the more noteworthy attractions at the Trop was its swimming pool, which was painted black - absolutely not reflective like most pools. The Cramps, seen above, are standing at the edge of the pool...which saw much more action at night than in the day anyway... so why not have it black?

If you should find yourself in Oxford, MS on October 25, please do come and have a One Night Stand with will find shots taken in the Tropicana, and in other punk rock hotel and motel rooms, in our very special edition of the Unguarded Moments aspect of this year's tour.

Thank you Chuck Weiss for your inspiration!

PS - today's birthdays include the one and only Buddy Holly and musician extraordinaire, Benmont Tench (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers)
tk ben


Anonymous said...

More photos of the Trop... God, I miss that place! I lived there for a friend Linda and I were staying at one of the back bungalows during the summer of '81, 950 Rear to be exact. I do believe it was originally used as the servants' quarters for the main house that it was attached to, and was also the same unit that up until a few month before, had been the residence of Tom Waits. The picture you have posted of Stiv and whom I believe is Ricky 'Rocket' Goldstein looks like it was taken in 950 Front when the Wanderers were here and doing some gigs at the Whiskey.time.Stiv and the guys made for some pretty interesting neighbors... you haven't lived until you have Stiv Bators banging on your door to borrow a cup of sugar! I remember Rick, myself, Sunbee Sin and a security guard at the Trop playing a joke on Stiv one night....we had him crash thru the door in full LAPD regalia ( well, as good as we could imitate said outfit that is) scream out that this was a bust and proceed to haul Rick off to "jail" . Everybody was pretty well in on it except for Stiv...we all jumped to our feet and tried to act appropriately scared when our "cop" grappled Rick and dragged him out the door, but it was all so hilarious we could barely keep our game faces on. Poor Stiv...he took one look at the officer and hightailed it up the staircase shown in the snap and disposed of whatever partyables he had laying around, completely freaked at the idea of having his drummer thrown in the pokey and pissed that he'd had to flush his blow down the toilet. The rest of us tried our damndest to keep the joke going for as long as possible, but after Stiv's frantic phonecalls to their manager or whomever, we had to let Stiv in on it as we could'nt keep ourselves from laughing anymore. Needless to say, he was'nt all that thrilled at first, but soon he was laughing as well. A few more fond memories of that time...shooting off bottle rockets in the middle of the street right in front of the house after a Whiskey gig, passing out on the lawn chairs out by the black lagoon and waking up with me in one chair, Kermit in another and some crazy gay couple on the balcony above us taking naked bondage pictures of each other. Sigh...the good ol' Trop.....

Theresa K. said...

THANK YOU so much for commenting here! I remember that fake cop incident VIVIDLY! Stiv took that trick on the road. He tried to pull a variation of it on me when we were living with Michael Monroe of Hanoi Rocks...calling me from a recording studio to say Michael had been arrested and that his visitors visa had expired and I had to help get him out of jail. At 4 in the morning... as you can imagine, when I showed up... there was a party in full swing going on!