Tag Archives: history

HOLLYWOOD ROCKS

Step aside, Batman! The Who, Pink Floyd, Elvis Presley, and other music icons have rocked their way into W/B’s legendary Hollywood history.

Living in SoCal, it’s easy to get jaded when it comes to being starstruck. After all, when you randomly spot Smokey Robinson at the supermarket and Steven Tyler at Coffee Bean—which I have—you tend to get used to seeing superstars as much as you see smog and palm trees.

However, a recent tour of Warner Bros. studios had us feeling excited about the magic of Hollywood once again. And that reinvigorated awe had everything to do with the rock and roll history that lies within the eclectic tour that covers every iconic entertainment offering from Rebel Without a Cause and East of Eden to Friends and the DC universe’s current crop of superhero hits like Batman and Wonder Woman.

Along with all of the movie history, the studio’s backlot has a rich music history, too, including as the location of the iconic cover photo of Pink Floyd‘s 1975 album, Wish You Were Here.

Equally cool was spotting one of the rockin’ motor scooters from The Who’s 1979 classic film Quadraphonia.

The Lambretta and Vespa Italian motor scooters make a memorable appearance in the British drama as the ride of choice for Sting and his Mods as well as their rivals the Rockers.

Many classic Hollywood musicals and music-oriented movies have also been filmed on the lot, from The Music Man and A Star Is Born (two of them, the 1976 and 2018 versions) to Elvis and Selena.

The other king, the King of Pop also has an unforgettable attachment to W/B’s history. Michael Jackson and The Jacksons filmed one of their famous Eighties-era Pepsi commercials on the Warner Bros. backlot. This one was filmed on the backlot’s all-American “Hennessy Street” and co-starred a very young Alfonso Ribeiro.

Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s guitar picks and guitar strap are on display alongside costumes and rock paraphernalia from 2018’s A Star Is Born.

Some of the other rockin’ relics that we came across include the original piano from the 1943 classic film Casablanca. The piano is the one Humphrey Bogart was referring to when he famously said, “Play it again, Sam.”

The studio’s rock and roll holy grail may be the old jukebox used in the 1957 Elvis Presley film Loving You, which featured The King using this jukebox to supply the music as he sang “Loving You” in the technicolor movie musical.

Phoebe Buffay’s (Lisa Kudrow) acoustic Gibson guitar has a place amongst pop culture and entertainment history, too, and is behind glass as part of the W/B tour. It’s virtually impossible to walk past the six-string without “Smelly Cat” popping into your cabeza.

Another, ahem, thrilling moment was seeing legendary record producer Quincy Jones represented for his work with Steven Spielberg on the two-time Oscar nominated soundtrack to the 1975 film The Color Purple.

Warner Bros. Studios’ Props Department houses enough cool music instruments to rival any branch of Guitar Center.

Random acoustic and electric guitars, violins, cellos, bajos, congas, and dozens of other instruments line the walls of the airplane hanger-sized prop room.

The instruments have been used and reused in countless W/B movies and TV shows.

Let’s see, Pink Floyd…Elvis Presley…The Who…Michael Jackson…James Dean…when a studio’s history includes this much badass talent, we can almost forgive the W/B for The Gilmore Girls.

STILL THE BOSS

L.A. Grammy Museum’s Bruce Springsteen exhibit covers the best of The Boss.

While killing a few hours before attending the recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022 concert at L.A. Live, we got a chance to check out the Bruce Springsteen shrine, er we mean exhibit that opened last week at the Grammy Museum in Downtown L.A. (Spoiler alert: Springsteen made a surprise appearance at the Rock and Roll HOF event and performed!)

When we’re discussing somebody of the caliber of The Boss, we probably should refer to this as a shrine because St. Bruce really is in a league all his own when it comes to the sheer artistry of rock and roll music. This is one reason why he has his own headlining exhibit at the famous museum.

The rockin’ showcase includes everything from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band‘s well-worn instruments and familiar stage props from countless tours to the luxurious golden “throne” that legendary saxophonist Clarence Clemons used in later years. And, of course, the exhibit includes Springsteen’s iconic t-shirt and Levi’s that he wore on the cover of Born in the U.S.A.

Check out some of the highlights that we captured while scrolling through this amazing history of the greatest living rock musician of our generation.

SIGN O’ THE TIMES

flipagram

 

OLD TOWER RECORDS SUNSET LOCATION IS ‘FLIPPED’ AGAIN

Tower_Records_Sunset1WeHo has gotten yet another facelift! Innovative start-up Flipagram is bringing some youthful, edgy ambiance back to the old Tower Records Sunset location as the newest proprietor of the famous property in the heart of West Hollywood.

live-on-sunsetAfter Tower toppled in 2006, the shell of Tower Records Sunset at the corner of Sunset and Horn had it famous yellow and red exterior painted over numerous times in various shades as it housed a few different businesses of varying success.

SAMSUNGLive on Sunset clothing store settled into the warehouse-size building for a few years before calling it quits in 2013. The site then became a random parking lot for a few months before a Halloween costumes pop-up shop rented the space last fall.

abandoned tower sunsetFlipagram set up shop on Sunset in June after launching online late last year. The good news is that the company seems to have a lot more in common with the former record retailer than other businesses that were housed at the old Tower location. Music-focused Flipagram lets users synch their choice of hit songs to their cell photos to create “short video stories” via the free app. It’s kind of like Instagram but with an added dose of cool courtesy of some Motley Crue or Def Leppard. And what could be better than sharing your photographs synched to “Photograph”?!?