Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photo-of-the-Week #82 - An Iconic Sign, Hollywood, California, May 2009

Nothing new here! This is probably one of the most iconic signs in the world. This, of course, is my shot from my "Final Hollywood Tour" trip in May of 2009. I hadn't been to Hollywood in quite a number of years. I've certainly been to Los Angeles, of which Hollywood is a part, but not to Hollywood proper.

I called it my "Final Hollywood Tour" because my main purpose for going to Hollywood was to see what was still left of the recording studio scene that I knew from my days in the early 70's thru early 80's when I spent time there during my early recording industry career. I wanted to visit the old "Temples of Sound" where most of the Hollywood chart topping rock and roll and other pop music were recorded during the 60's and 70's. I shot this photo while I was driving my rental car, so it's not as good as it could have been, but it was difficult to find a place to park along this street and capture the shot.

Sadly, while I did locate a very few of the studios I remember, many, perhaps, most of them were gone. Some were, what appeared to be abandoned buildings. Others the buildings had been repurposed and I couldn't even recognize them. Still others were bulldozed and either new buildings replaced them or they "paved paradise and put up a  parking lot." You may remember that line from Joni Mitchell's famous , "Big Yellow Taxicab" song written and originally released in 1970. I even found the hole in the ground that had been a building where Harry O'Connor, a broadcast pioneer, had his studios based at Hollywood and Vine. I had made an informal arrangement with O'Connor to use his services as my west coast facility for my Washington, DC based production company. My brochures sported our DC address and the Hollywood and Vine address.  

While Hollywood, or Tinsel Town, as it's been called, didn't impress me the first time I went there in 1970 or '71, it hasn't really changed much since then. It was seedy looking to me back then and it was still seedy looking in 2009. But, the real change was that many of the well-known studios of the 60's and 70's were gone forever. I guess what is most unnerving is that this change is a reminder of my own age. Back then in my mid 20's. Today in my mid 60's. Time marches on - too fast.  

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