Showing posts from June, 2014

What I'll Remember About Casey Kasem

For those who grew up listening to Casey Kasem on American Top 40, learning about his death (on Father's Day no less) left a huge hole. Kasem's career lasted more than four decades and he had millions of fans, but for me the loss was also personal. I'm honored to share these five unforgettable facts about the man. 

1. Before American Top 40 Casey Kasem started out in 1963 as a local disc jockey on KRLA (1110 AM on your Los Angeles dial). During his early afternoon show he offered biographical information about the artists he played and used teaser questions and trivia to keep his audience hooked during commercial breaks. These techniques foreshadowed what would become one of his signature segments: Long Distance Dedications.

2. In 1964, Kasem released a unique recording: him reading a letter from a listener who wanted to meet the Beatles set to an instrumental cover of "And I Love Her" by the Burbank Strings. It was a minor hit for Kasem. Warner Bros. released the …

VLA TV Official Launch!

Vintage Los Angeles has teamed up with the  The Ebersole-Hughes Company who have produced fascinatingdocumentaries such"Room 237" examining Stanley Kubrick's psychological horror-thriller "The Shining", "Dear Mom, Love Cher" revealing the extraordinary life of the star’s mother, Georgia Holt staring Cher,  Chaz Bono and Elijah Blue Allman and"Hit So Hard"  featuring Patty Schemel from Courtney Love’s band HOLE. And now Vintage Los Angeles has partnered up with producers, P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes for as new VLA web series!

VLA's debut features the beloved Los Angeles roadside eatery "Tail O' The Pup" which mysteriously disappeared from the streets of West Hollywood nearly a decade ago. Its whereabouts have been in question ever since.  Vintage Los Angeles uncovers the original hotdog façade that was built in the 1940s with its long-time owners The Blake Family in this exclusive mini-documentary, highlighting the col…
VLA presents Sunset Boulevard at the Million Dollar Theatre
What a night for Vintage Los Angeles! Thank you to everyone who attended the screening of Billy Wilder's, "Sunset Boulevard" at the Million Dollar Theatre on May 31st.  Seeing VLA on the Marquee was so spectacular and surreal and over 1000 seats sold!

This was purely a magical and serendipitous achievement. I happened to announce the screening two hours before I headed out to Kate Mantilini restaurant in Beverly Hills. I hadn't sat down for more then 10 minutes when the waiter informed me that Nancy Olson was actually 4 tables down from me! I just knew I HAD to approach her and inform her about the screening.  Our wonderful waiter, James Lauver handled the introduction. Nancy then reveals to me that her husband was Alan Livingston who was president of Capitol Records during the late 50's and 60's and actually signed my father to the label! He was also responsible for signing The Beatles, The Beach Bo…

The Fish Shanty and old Kooky World of La Cienega

VINTAGE LOS ANGELES: FISH SHANTY AND THE KOOKY WONDERLAND THAT WAS RESTAURANT ROW La Cienega and Beverly Boulevard used to be a playful pocket of themed eateries, amusement parks, and nightclubs
By Alison Martino

Established in 1950 by the Smith Bros., the Fish Shanty was classic West Coast kitsch. Located at the intersection of La Cienega Boulevard and Burton Way, it was known to Angelenos as "the restaurant that swallowed you whole,” and nothing thrilled me more as a child than walking through the jaws of the Shanty’s whale façade or hiding under his fin, which was made out of thousands of tiny, ocean-blue, midcentury mosaic tiles that sparkled during sundown like the crest of an effervescent wave. (It will be forever preserved on film after being used as the entrance to a British club in the 1965 black comedy, The Loved One.)

Photographs of the La Cienega Smith Bros. Fish Shanty restaurant interior. Handwritten descriptions by Birdie Smith in the Margin.

The kitchen serve