Friday, September 07, 2007
Punk Turns 30's Greatest Hits?
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.
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.
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!
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 us...you 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)