Melrose Ave in the '80's



By Alison Martino of Vintage Los Angeles

For our July issue of Los Angeles Magazine we explore how the 1980s fundamentally changed L.A. It was the era when colors were bright, hair was big, and punk and new wave fashions ruled.  With the help of movies, music, and something called the 1984 Summer Olympics, the city and its fashions became the center of the universe. I am thrilled to have been selected to write about Melrose Ave for a two page spread on pages 110 and 111. The issue is now available on stands. This is a further and more extended look into that colorful ave that helped define the '80's in Los Angeles.



Robin Young and friend taken by Suzan Colon, former writer at "Star Hits Magazine". 

By 1984 it was the pinnacle of the trendy punk rock influence and new wave scene in Los Angeles stretching from Fairfax to La Brea.  Dozens of off beat independent businesses and forward thinking boutiques dominated the Avenue and over night these old rundown stucco buildings started to house kooky, outlandish and colorful shops covered in Graffiti and the store employees were the main attraction.  Back in the day, Los Angeles during the 1920’s – 1950’s,  was a city once abundant with commercial buildings shaped like tamales, hot dogs, tee pee’s and doughnuts and Melrose Ave picked this tradition right back up backup and was the pinnacle of “California Crazy”.



On a once bland Melrose Ave, Olivia Newton John was one of the first to open a boutique called “Koala Blue” that sold artifacts from her native homeland of Australia. But soon pioneer designer, Betsey Johnson opened her boutique on the opposite side that sold edgy styled dresses made of out of leather and lace that quickly defined the cutting edge underground district and helped transform Melrose Avenue from a tired street lined with tailors, artisans and antique shops into a phenomenon of L.A. trendsetting. 



Offbeat stores such as, “Flip”,  “Poseur”, “Cowboys and Poodles”, “Let It Rock” and “Retail Slut” dominated the AVE.  For the mods and rockers it was all about skinny ties, ray-bans,  rockabilly fashions, motorcycle jackets and vintage cars. A selection of record stores such as “Aron’s”, “Rene’s”, “Bleeker Bob’s “and “Vinyl Fetish” sold used records, popular 12 inch singles and European imports.  The birth of the retro movement was ground zero for vintage stores like “Off The Wall” that sold vintage Neon signs, 1950s art deco furniture and Bakelite Jewelry. “Aaardvarks” became the most successful used clothing store in the country known for its racks and racks of used Levy's jeans. One of the most imaginative emporiums located on the corner of Melrose and Martel was “Wacko/The Soap Plant” which sold novelty items, artsy T-shirts, wind up toys, and contributed to the contemporary art scene in the upstairs gallery. Little did anyone know when Billy Shire created the Wacko sign it would become a celebrated icon for weird L.A. “Tommy Tangs", "The Border Grill" and “Caffé Luna” were the trendy eateries frequented by celebrities such as Madonna, Elvis Costello and Johnny Lydon. 

Melrose was also the birthplace of “Johnny Rockets” and the “The Burger That Ate L.A.”, which was once shaped of a giant cheeseburger.  
Growing up in Los Angeles, Melrose was my shopping destination as a teenager and helped define my adolescent growth growth.


Me in 1983

My entire wardrobe was filled with Parachute pants, “Flip” Tshirts, spiked wristbands and Doc Martins.  I had my hair styled on Melrose and left with stripy blonde streaks teased, spiked and held up by aqua-net hairspray for my class photo in 1984. I remember seeing Madonna trying on vintage sweaters at "Comme des Garcons" during her "Lucky Star" days and Rob Lowe with Princess Stephanie at a magazine stand on Martel snatching up all the magazine covers they were on that week.


“L.A. Eyeworks” also opened in 1984 and placed the hippest pop culture sensations on their add campaigns. Grace Jones, Andy Warhol, Jon Waters, Deborah Harry and Billy Idol were just the few that showed of their latest new eye-wear by gracing the cover of their cutting edge ads. 

 By 1984 dozens of off beat independent businesses and forward thinking boutiques dominated the Avenue and over night these old rundown stucco buildings started to house kooky, outlandish and colorful shops covered in Graffiti and the store employees were the main attraction. 
   
Many of these places may be gone, but their independent spirit endures. Here's a look back...

"The Burger That Ate L.A."  

A burger joint in the shape of a giant cheeseburger and glass bricks forming Ketchup and onions. To me it was the 1980’s version of the “Brown Derby”.  You can still make out the round shape that hints at its juicy past. The bun-shaped dome and glass-brick “onions” once devoured the corner of Stanley Avenue. Today it's a Starbucks and its roof hints at a juicy past located at 7624 Melrose.

   
 Today You can see the original round structure


  "Neo 80"


Owned by fashion visionaries Klaus Wille and designers Lisa Elliot. They designed clothes for hundreds of celebrities and movies. "Neo 80" designed clothes for The Tubes and Olivia Newton John in "Xanadu" and it was Klaus who encouraged "Koala Blue" to open next door.  7356 Melrose Ave. 1979 – 1997

   Photo Courtesy of Klaus Willie              

"The Groudlings"

A theatre comedy community that could also be considered a clubhouse to many. Actors and comedians like Phil Hartman, Paul Reubens, and Jon Lovitz all got their start at the Groundlings in the early ‘80’s. This improvisational venue at 7307 Melrose is still a talent incubator today.
 

 "Aron's Records"

Staffers at Aron’s Records were the trusted proponents of the growing punk scene. The shop, at 7725 Melrose, offered a range of indie labels, imports, and a 99-cent bin that supplied many a milk crate. Aron’s relocated in 1989 and went out of business in 2006. The location is empty at present. I learned all about music and retail from the folks at Aron's. When a customer asked a question about anything there was a solid answer and an experience to back it up. A good part of my vinyl collection came from their 99 cent bins. They filled the bins 3 or 4 times a day due to the product they sold. This is where I picked up my first copy of Pink Floyd’s, “Dark Side of the Moon including obscure indie titles and imported music.


And just east of Aron's was another indie new-and-used record shop called, "Rene's ALL EARS". The photo pretty much describes the scene out front.

  Photo courtesy of Vintage Los Angeles member, Michelene Insalaco
                       
"Flip of Hollywood"   
        
"Flip"was one of the first to make old clothing, along with the thrill of hunting for it, hip.  Large selection of second-hand shirts, jackets, black jeans, cool postcards and nick-nacks and anchored the whole punk/new-wave/dance scene. The music was always blasting the latest cool stuff. They also opened a  successful discount store. The enormous space that once housed the emporium at 7607 Melrose is now occupied by several boutiques.           

                                                        
        

"Poseur" 


"Poseur" was the shop for the diehard punks. Bondage pants, spiked bracelets, studded belts, and a lot of flaps and zippers could be purchased behind the twin red doors covered with, “F**K Parents”. A massive crowd of ‘punks and punkette’s always gathered out front during store hours passing out flyers and handbills. Despite its moniker, 7415 Melrose Avenue was an authentic paradise for those seeking bondage gear and the social mosh pit outside. These days the spot is a clothing store that goes by the name "Posers Hollywood", minus the 'u' and ironically no relation to the original.




























"Koala Blue" 

In 1983, singer-actress Olivia Newton-John opened this boutique at 7366 Melrose, which sold artifacts from her native Australia (KOALA was the acronym for “Korner of Australia in Los Angeles”. I  remember how far away this store seemed from Aron’s records back then located on the opposite stretch of this rapidly growing Ave. There was literally nothing in-between since Melrose hadn’t exploded yet.  It seemed after this store opened furniture boutiques and restaurants popped out of nowhere overnight, Sadly her venture went under a few years later, but Sandy gets props for being an early adopter of the thoroughfare.




"Golden Apple" 
 


Driving down Melrose is somewhat like entering a comic strip. William Liebowitz, founder of the Golden Apple Comics store, was a hero nonetheless in Melrose's alternate universe of comic book artists, collectors and pop-culture junkies. Known for their rare comic books, toys, back issues, statues, t-shirts, and collectibles. The comic book store just east of La Brea must have its own secret powers. Independently owned, the operation has survived neighborhood flux since it originally opened at 7711 Melrose in 1979. It’s a mecca of Marvel and superhero prints as well as graphic novels, self-published magazines, and readings with such high-profile comic authors as director Kevin Smith, a Golden Apple regular.

"Aaardvark's"

This was the holy grail of vintage clothing stores on Melrose. A purveyor of used clothes, Levy's, Hawaiian shirts, leather jackets, vintage floral dresses and recognized by its storefront mural featuring classic Hollywood Movie stars. This vintage treasure trove sat on the corner of Melrose and Curson for 38 years before closing in 2010. A sister store in Redondo Beach is still open for business. 



Business Card provided by Alex Rojas

"Cowboys and Poodles"

The throwback boutique at 7379 Melrose, better known as "cowpoo", was designed to resemble a 1950s car wash. It also carried 1960s collectibles as Beatles-inspired boots for guys and pointy-toed snakeskin pumps for gals and a popular favorite of "GoGo's" lead singer, Belinda Carlise. Other desirable finds included vintage ties, jewelry, sunglasses, pedal pushers, retro furniture,  vintage tableware and rockabilly fashions and vintage Paco Rabanne earrings. I’ll never forget purchasing a pair of pointed pony skin pumps with a matching concho purse. Address 7379 Melrose.




"Wacko/Soap Plant"

One of the most imaginative emporiums located on the trendy corner of Melrose and Martel. “Wacko/The Soap Plant” sold novelty items, artsy T-shirts, wind up toys, and contributed to the contemporary art scene in the upstairs gallery and was heavily supportive of the contemporary arts scene in Los Angeles.  It moved to Hollywood Boulevard in 1995. Today the is a shoe store called, "London Boots". 


Photo courtesy of Joel Fletcher  http://www.joelfletcher.com  
"Genesis Hair Salon"

If you wanted a mohawk or a shaved head with purple stripes, you trusted the razor of Atila Sikora, at 5255 Melrose. Atila was one of the first to give local punks and scensters a mohawk or a shaved head with purple stripes. Although Genesis is a thing of the past, Sikora continues to attend to the locks of clients in the neighborhood. Good to know some things don't change!


  "Retail Slut"

 
He may have danced with himself, but Billy Idol wasn’t alone when he patronized one of the first stores to specialize in British-inspired Bondage and Gothic clothing and one of the first to introduce combat styles to the masses. It opened in 1983 at 7517 Melrose; Cyndi Lauper, Axl Rose, and Nina Hagen bought their kilts here, too. Taime Downe from FASTER PUSSCAT worked the cash register and would hand you a flyer to see their band. I also remember "The Slut" having a fishbowl on the counter with one small fishe named Black Salad.









 Calender flyer courtesy of Vintage Los Angeles member, Michelene Insalaco

"Drakes"


An erotic specialty store for men and women of all sexual persuasions. If you needed a few "gadgets" or “gag gifts” shall we say to enhance your, "bedroom antics" then this was your destination. 

Shopping at Drakes on Melrose Ave made shopping for sex toys almost seem mainstream and the staff never made you feel embarrassed.

“Industrial Revolution”

One of the first that sold industrial-style furnishings and stationery items made out of plastic and chrome. Most of their products were black, white or red. At the time, “hi tech” was a fairly new trendy phrase. Their buyers epitomized this sleek fashion. 7560 Melrose
   
"Vinyl Fetish"





The was the independent record store where one could find, obscure indie titles, colored vinyl, popular 12 inch singles and European imports. They hung all their rare LP’s in plastic sleeves all over the walls . This is where I’d pick up my  “Bauhaus” and “Siouxie and the Banshees" LPs. There was also a case full of spike-and-studed jewlery and a selection of rock-star posters.  


  “Tommy Tang’s” 

Tommy Tang’s introduced Thai food to the masses on Melrose Ave.  It was trendy and chic without being too pretentious, and very popular with locals and celebrity clientele and brilliantly run by a master promoter who did wonders with his cuisine.

Betsey Johnson”

 One of Betsey Johnsons’s first boutique’s in Los Angeles  was on Melrose Ave. appropriately next door to a store called “Off the Wall”.  Her clothes were astonishingly cool. Lots of leopard prints, hot pink and satin dresses complemented our over teased, spiked hairstyles. I purchased a white lace prom dress here.  It as very “White Wedding”.  Today her edgy ‘80’s fashions go for mega bucks on Ebay.  

"War Babies", "Parachute" and "Let It Rock" 



 
These store had a good selection of accessories as well, particularly belts, bags and colorful socks including hand-painted overalls and crocheted sweaters. It was sandwiched between other unique independent fashion boutiques such as "Let it Rock", "Melons", Parachute",Twist", "Lip Service" and Vertigo". "Twist" boutique had glittering black and silver letters twitching Chubby Checkerlike, from side to side and designed to be seen from a moving automobile. Inside they sold current fashions. 

    Parachute advertisement 1983



Photo:Christopher J Cutler

Neon stores fronts can be scene in the 1986 movie, LESS THAN ZERO...



"Flashfeet" was the place to purchase shoes called 'creepers'. Many memories of many fun pairs to choose from those cinder block shelves.
 


"Nucleus Nuance”


Nucleus Nuance” was a super club and hangout open for lunch and dinner.  At night they featured live music & dancing to live jazz to a Colorful clientele. Once located at 7267 Melrose Ave  (Open in the 1960s  - Closed in 1993)

 "L.A. Eyeworks"

 Photo Credit: Dennis Keely / 1982

Gai Gherardi and Barbara McReynolds revolutionized eyeglass designs by carrying limited edition frames.  They also showcased the hippest pop culture sensations on their advertisement campaigns. Grace Jones, Andy Warhol, Jon Waters, and Deborah Harry were just the few that showed off their latest new eye wear by gracing the cover of their ads. I used to plaster them all over my room.  Today it is one of one of the avenue's oldest establishments. And they are STILL IN BUSINESS!!

  People Magazine 1982

Advertisement for The Burger The Ate L.A.



 The official online version of this issue of
 Los Angeles Magazine is available online here!  

Alison Martino is a writer, television producer and personality, and L.A. pop culture historian. She founded the Facebook page "Vintage Los Angeles" and is currently a columnist for Los Angeles Magazine. Martino muses on L.A’s. past and present on Twitter and on her Instagram account.


 

Comments

  1. great article it definitely was the place for punk in LA. I have great memories. thanks!

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  2. Well done! A great era of Los Angeles that deserves its nostalgia.

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  3. Love this posting! I had dinner with Klause Wille last night at his favorite restaurant El Coyote. Lisa Elliot died of breast cancer on Oct.24, 2009 and we did a cheers for her.

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    1. Thank u so much 4 brining back to my teen yrs.My friends and I were all there those days, I only wish I had saved some of my clothes from back then. Wonderful time to grow up in, never thought I could see pics of my fav St. to shop again? Luv ur site!!

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  4. I'll promote this post on my FB for her tomorrow please find me Style by Rayne on FB. XO

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  5. Wonderful job...Worked at 5515 Melrose back in 1969...Yep, KHJ-TV...Right across the street from Lucy's and surrounded by Paramount Pictures...Then next door to the wonderful Nickodell's...Melrose, a great LA street...

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  6. @Artie - My father ran the bar called Oblath's directly across from Paramount's main gate (the original one before the gate and that block were subsumed into the Paramount lot and replaced with the faux gate now on Melrose). Lots of KHJ staff used to drink there as well as at Nickodell's. As a matter of fact, the head of KHJ news got married at our house in the late 70s. Lots of great memories along that stretch . . .

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    1. Whitey and Paul owned Cowboys and Poodles, one of the first on the block.

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    2. Oblaths was the best, a true Hollywood Relic. Great for breakfast and lunch. Miss it.

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    3. My first "showbiz" job was on the Paramount lot in the early 80s, when I was in my early 20s. I'm always telling people about Nickodell's and Oblath's and feel like my father's generation talking about the Coconut Grove or something. I hate when those places with character get torn down and replaced by more gentrification. Oh, well. Progress, right? At least Lucy's El Adobe is still there.

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  7. I still have a pair of turquoise boots that I purchased at Cowboys & Poodles, like new still in the orig box.

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    1. I bet they are SWEET. - Cindy, Memphis, TN (formerly lived in L.A.)

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    2. I worked at the newsstand on Melrose and Martel for 7 years in the 80's I was there every day all day! I met Madonna and was asked to appear in her video ( Open Your Heart)Met Andy Warhol and many more ! They were the best years of my life. I really enjoyed your article, but it was missing an important entry me . Much love : Todis The Fly.....

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  8. As a teenager I would make the long drive out to Melrose to buy my dresses at NEO80 and Flip. I purchased the sexiest dresses from Flip, cutouts, plunging necklines and plunging rear waistlines and buckle crop tops! I always made an entrance and exit wearing their clothing. I miss those days : )

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    1. I can't tell you how much it means to me that the clothes I designed at FLIP made you feel (& look!) so good. xoHeidi

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  9. Back in the 80's I bought my first pair of bondage pants at Poseurs and my first pair of Docs a Warbabies (14 eye steel toe, $70). Eventually, the yuppies took over and the whole area went down the crapper, as far as I'm concerned.

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  10. I think Black Salad was a store with the black bubble-eyed fish on the counter

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  11. yuppies and middle easterns selling fake crap :( bring me back to the good old days :)

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    1. the Persians buying shit from the santee alley ruined it.. cant forget double rainbow ice cream

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  12. Wow, this is where I spent virtually every weekend during my 20's. This blog makes me feel a bit old and a bit sad. Haven't visited Melrose for a while, and somehow imagined all those same establishments would be there. Of course, we're talking more than 30 years now, so I probably wouldn't recognize it now. Anyways, thanks for the memories. Great post.

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  13. I begged my Mama to buy me a pair of Doc's when I was thirteen, we set off to Poseur's- next stop Retail Slut for a purple skirt. I was a happy lil girl but at the time I felt all grown up and part of something very special. Fender's, the Balboa and the Street Scene were my Temples. Punk was very much Alive and on Melrose before all the Boutique's. There was a pizza place where we they let us hang. My first Job was at Maya Jewelry store when I was 16. The community among all the Melrose staff and locals was intimate. I still see some of the Originals around and it brings a smile as a I cruise in my 63 Chevy Biscayne -Alive in Los Angeles <3 thank you for sharing.

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  14. Jet, thank you for posting. When we built our theatre on Melrose in the 70's there was not much on the street to attract crowds. There was Mania's Hamburgers, the starting up of The Matrix Theate (our sister theatre), The Met Theatre (including the Comedy Connection where we performed one night for Lorne, Buck Henry and the entire original cast of SNL), Chianti Italian Restaurant and not much else except laundries and pet stores and furniture finishing stores and other businesses that don't bring in the fun seekers. I think that we had a lot to do with turning the street into what it has become. - GARY AUSTIN, FOUNDER "THE GROUNLINGS"

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  15. Alison Martino...you rule!! :). Amazing article, and pictures...thank you :)

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  16. Awesome, Alison! Great research.

    I worked on Melrose in the 1986-1988 era. I started at Warbabies selling war surplus items, leather jackets, and the Docs and NaNa shoes the kids all had to have. Michael Jackson once came in and bought a WWII-era gunner's flash mask that strapped around the head with only the eyes exposed. What he did with it I can only imagine.

    I moved on to English Eccentrics, part of the empire owned by Alan and Trish Jones that included Let It Rock, Flash Feet, and the short-lived Shoe De Ville.
    Alan Jones was the manager of L.A. Guns and (I think) Faster Pussycat. Taime Down's girlfriend, Lorainne, was my co-worker at English Eccentrics.
    As a friend of Lorainne and Taime, I had an open ticket to Cathouse.

    As the shops on Melrose closed, all of us kids usually ended up at El Coyote for the $1.50 Margaritas, then onto whatever Hollywood had to offer.

    So much fun.

    I've got lots of pics from this era!

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    1. For what it's worth-- I was Taime's girlfriend during that time and Vicky Hamilton managed Faster Pussycat, responsible for getting them signed to Elektra. Lorraine was Jimmy Thrill's girlfriend back then.

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  17. This brought a lot of memories...thank you for putting it together. To add to that several clubs that used to be part of the scene particularly the Grandia Room right east of Vine street, and also the Probe on Highland just north of Melrose. This is where it was happening at night.

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  18. I remember always buying my "creepers" shoes at a shop on Melrose. This article brought back many memories.

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  19. I worked at Flash Feet in 1986, such good times! Great post!

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    1. I worked at English Eccentrics right next door in 1986 and filled in at Flash Feet from time to time. Lorainne Seely and Tracy Spolter were my co-workers, and Abbe, your Flash Feet manager, was a good friend of mine. So much fun we had as Hollywood kids in the 80's!

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  20. So sorry, Heidi, for the mistake. Thanks for correcting my faulty memory!
    Wonder what happened to Lorraine. We were good friends and then she just sort of disappeared...

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  21. There was also a retirement home right in the middle of all the madness and my friends and I would swear that's where we wanted to retire. Oh and I remember that spike-hair blonde dude from Poseur! Great article. So fun to reminisce.

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  22. Getting tats at Spotlight tattoo, drinking beer in the back alleys on Melrose and hanging out at Poseurs. Then it was on to see whatever Punk band was playing that night. Great memories.

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  23. Oi, that's my dad in the picture behind Poseur!! (Where he and my mom worked in fact...!) :D :D :D

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  24. Fleshandhide

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    at Fleshandhide.com , leather jackets uk leather jackets usa quality leather jackets

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  25. Thank you for the memory jog. Melrose during the early 80's was the place.

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  26. Nailed it. As part of my initiation into the mod/ska scene in 1985, a trip to Melrose was requisite in order to get started with the right gear. I was just shy of 15 years old, following in my cousin's footsteps (he was a Rude Boy). It was the first time I was ever going to step into thrift stores—having been a total "trendy" all the years beforehand, I'd lived in all the Westside's shopping malls (i.e. Fox Hills Mall and Santa Monica Place). Melrose Ave. was a totally pivotal point in my life.

    I got my black trench coat at Aardvark's, my huge pink-and-white checkered "skanking joe" ska patch at Poseur (forever indebted to Jim), and a stingy-brimmed porkpie hat and some crazy dark wraparound shades at Cowboys & Poodles. I remember also eyeing these pointy-toed 2-tone black and white creepers at C&P, noting the price ($49.99) and thinking how long it was gonna take me to save up to get them.

    I also got my very first ska tape at Vinyl Fetish—the soundtrack to Dance Craze ($7.99), still one of my favorite and life-changing albums to this day.

    Melrose back then was this hidden gem that you only knew of if you were in one of L.A.'s youth subcultures. I had no idea the place even existed, and not a single one of my "trendy" friends even knew what it was. In fact, on the first day there, there were times that we had to cross the street to avoid punk hangouts/stores, since punks and mods didn't get along, and we were sure to get into a fight if we strayed into their "territory."

    Thanks for sharing this essential piece of L.A history!

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  27. Loved this article. Used to work at Aardvarks and there was an empty apartment upstairs.woukd go up there for lunch and just watch all the people walking the avenue. Best show in town

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  28. What about WANNA BUY A WATCH? a door away from Wacko wbaw still on Melrose
    now at Melrose at La Cienega. I as a manager for eight years saw it all and everyone, locals,celebrities and LA / Melrose shop owners.Thank you
    Sage

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    1. What was the owners nane of wanna buy a watch

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  29. I still have a number of old business cards from various shops on Melrose since I started going their back in 1983. My brother and I would take two RTD buses to get there from Altadena (180 line transfer to the 217)!

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  30. Chopstix was a great dim sum restaurant with outdoor seating and celeb hangout somewhere on the North side of Melrose.

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  31. Wow, I LOVE this article, although it makes me feel OLD (but still cool.)

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  32. This is so cool.... who could forget... War babies, Cowboys&Poodles, Wacko, Aaardvark, Cafe Luna, LA Neon, Koala Blue,Johnny Rocket...on and on... honestly one of the best times I had in my life was hanging in in the early 80s. I did a photo shoot but lost the pictures... But the pictures in my mind of Melrose in the New Waver are forever...

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  33. I delivered the L.A. Weekly from the back of my '72 Nova on Melrose from the jump. All through the '80's The first stores I remember were Cowboys and poodles, Virginia's, furniture, Harvey's furniture. Dotson's (Who turned out to be the biggest bank robber in U.S. history for the time.) Buddy's California Pottery. Later I had my own store, unnamed, for a year on Melrose further East at Larchmont. Virginia has a store now in Cannes.Buddy died; Dotson died; Harvey still has a store on Beverly. I decorated the first Millie's when it opened on Sunset in Silverlake. Right near where the Soap Plant used to be. The Soap Plant was created by Billy and Peter Shire's mom. Delivering the Weekly, I could work one day a week and live. That was L.A. in the '80's.

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  34. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart. My friends and I would sneak off to Melrose when ever we could. Having discovered it in High School and being punk rock new wavers in the early 80's, it was the one place we could be ourselves. Life changing. Also, remember some of the best dumpster diving ever behind the stores.

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  35. LOL I took that pic of Taime working at the Slut. Gave it to Peter for his special museum case. How fun to see it here! I used to get to fill in sometimes and got paid in box wine. Melrose used to be AMAZING. A mecca for all the best dressed, coolest, prettiest looking freaky folk on the planet. I miss it so... I still have many items that I refuse to part with from back in the day. Witch boots from NaNa, locking pumps from Warbaby's, a fishnet gown from Monster... le sigh. I even still have an old Scratch magazine.

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  36. Forgot one of the iconic stores PALEEZE, store that catered to some of the most famous Hollywood stars. The best privet hidden stores upstairs that you could only see by appointment.

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  37. What a great post. I’m really like it! Very, very dgdeeac good!

    Hardcore Punk Music & Clothing

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  38. Rene's also sold skateboards and has it's place in the history of global skateboarding that's covered in a new documentary called "The LA Boys".

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  39. Thank you for creating this page Alison, I used to haunt Melrose as well. The one place we used to go often was Chica Boom and Café Luna.

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  40. I spent 7 years on Melrose and Martel running the Newsstand. Some of the best years of my life , Met Madonna and appeared in her Open Your Heart video . Met Andy and so many more! This article brought me to tears . They left out a big addition to the Melrose ! Me... Much love to all that was there and read this . Much Love ! Todis The Fly ........

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  41. Thanks 4 The StrollBack Down MEmory Lane:MElrose Ave circa The 80's.

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  42. I wroked at aaardvarks for a few years. Awesome memories.
    -oscar v.

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  43. I helped out during the sales at Madonna Man in 1984/85 and worked at Scream! On poinsettia and melrose. Madonna provided the wardrobe for Miami vice and American Gigalo, Also worked a summer at the candy store across from retail slut. The One Bar was a great neighborhood hang out.

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  44. From 1983 to 1984, I worked at the LA Reader selling print ads, and Melrose was my territory. I met everybody on that street during those times. Lots of shop owners and patrons alike. It was a lot of fun. Wacky as hell at times, but there was a true pioneer spirit on the street back then. Good times.

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  45. Thank you so much for this! I couldn't wait for payday to go to Melrose and blow probably half of it there and the rest on gigs! Those were some great days!

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  46. Does anyone remember the name of the store located near Koala Blue? American?. They sold used jeans/cowboy boots along some new items. And on the other side of Koala Blue was a jewelry store called 14 carrots? I worked at KB in the 80's. Best years of my life.

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  47. Fabulous article! THANK YOU! The pictures are the best! You took me back to my freshman and sophomore years, '83-'85, such fun and exciting memories! I shopped in all these stores. I got the sexiest zipper/buckle boots at Let it Rock! I have fond memories of going here with friends by bus and one time on a vespa with a bunch of cute mods and eating at the Hard Rock Cafe. Happy, exciting memories! Now my own daughter is a sophomore!

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  48. anyone know anything about a store called "leather and Lace" great silver jewelry and vintage lase stuff on Melrose

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  49. The blog was absolutely fantastic! Lot of information is helpful in some or the other way. Keep updating the blog, looking forward for more content...Great job, keep it up.
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  50. What year did Poseur close? I thought they went down in the early '90s, but I heard they were still around in the early 2000s. Anyone know?

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