Category Archives: rock and roll

West Hollywood Halloween Extravaganza

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Boo! Just as a warning, I am on my second glass of wine…muhaaaaaa!

Guess where I spent my All Hallows Eve?

 

Ah, forget the guessing. I’ll tell you. On the streets of West Hollywood at the craziest, rockin’est Halloween Party ever!

Here is where I was going to give you a little history on the carnival.

Not! Couldn’t find any. But what I can say is that this party is one of the largest, if not the “most attended on one single evening” festivals of its kind. Seriously, I thought we had arrived at the festival until my friend Jamie and I actually arrived at the festival.

On a personal note. Thank you Jamie for allowing me to talk you into this craziness and indulging me on this adventure.

From babies in backpacks to geriatric in wheel chairs, every nationality, gay, straight and in-between could be found in attendance of this annual event hosted by the City of West Hollywood. I thought all the hype was more urban legend than fact but it was more than I had ever imagined. And, it was awesome. The electric energy created by so many gathered in one place for the sole purpose of expressing their alter egos was mind-blowing. I felt ALIVE! A phrase I actually yelled out from the crowd that had gathered in front of the main stage. We were all bouncing to some unrecognized Techno tune spinning out from one of the featured DJ’s. For a moment I was transported back to my youth and the memory of an outdoor concert at some forgotten location. I was pressed in amongst hundreds, our bodies vibrating from the base, moving to the music.

Let me regress. It was kind of a last-minute decision to attend this carnival. I really can’t say what made me think of it but I got it in my head that I wanted to go. And, my first choice to accompany me was the only person I thought I’d be able to talk into it, my very dear friend Jamie. But when I made that phone call he sounded a little hesitant. Still, I was persistent, promising him an adventure and, Oh boy!, did I deliver on that! Yea, and I wanted to dress up too because I had this great costume, but I got the Kibosh on that, it was a no go.

I did have to work that day so I didn’t get home until 8:00 pm. The festival started at 6:00 but it went until 11:00 so I figured we’d still have plenty of time there.  I navigated us through Hollywood via the side streets I’d remembered traveling during my clubbing days in the late seventies. That worked well enough until I had Jamie turn onto Santa Monica Boulevard. YIKES! There we sat in gridlock while his classic, air cooled, Porsche  911 heated up. A half hour later we’d made it to the first intersection, one quarter of a block. We turned off and headed back up, to Sunset strip. The Pink Taco was our first official stop as we let “Baby” cool down and re-thought our plans on where we would find parking. By the way, good ceviche, Pink Taco.

Back on the road, Crescent Heights and Melrose. Behind Fred Siegel‘s. $20.00 got us a parking spot. Without even asking, the attendant points towards Santa Monica Blvd. “15 minute walk”.

Right! A 15 minute walk if you have the speed and the size of a small 12 year old and can dodge between the solid mass of people clogging the same sidewalk you’re on.

But, just the walk itself was so interesting. I hated that we were all passing each other so quickly that I couldn’t get a good look at the costumes. At time I was seriously feeling over stimulated. It was just ridicules trying to take it all in…, visually.

So, this is where I stop and the pictures begin.

Yea, and once again a disclaimer. I am not a photographer! And, to really bring this point home, sometimes I don’t have my camera on the right setting. (Like I knew there was more than one.)

Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice! Not the first we met on our way to the carnival but the best in costume.

A solo Ghost Buster I stopped along the five block walk to the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hookin’ up with Charlie admits the crowd on Santa Monica.

There were warnings all over about buying from unlicensed hot dog vendors. But they sure look good!

 

Ran into Cher and Kiss as they were leaving the festival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

La Cienega Blvd and Santa Monica Blvd

 

The man of the hour and fellow adventurer, Jamie. You are über awesome! And, still walking.

Freaky! But we’ve arrived!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The crowd is just unbelievable. It’s like this for blocks. Not for the claustrophobic!

After bouncing to the DJ I was off to the port-a-potties where I ran into this lovely lady.

 

Then I met up with this flamboyant pair.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, of course, what party would be complete without a visit from the original party go-ers, Adam and Eve.

 

There was entertainment at several locations, and bands, along with DJ’s and so many great costumes. There was just no way for me to photograph them all. Really, physical impossibility, there was no way! But I hope the pictures I have posted will give you some idea of just what a bitchin party it was.

 

“Next year. You take the day off, dress up and we get here before 6:00 pm.”  That’s what Jamie said.

 

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Until next week.

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

 

 

 

Becoming QUEEN

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In 1979, while attending community college, I was invited to a concert at the L.A. Forum. The band that performed that night was QUEEN.

A couple of nights ago, I was reminded of that “off the charts” concert when I sat down to watch a 2004 documentary titled, Becoming Queen.

The film begins with childhood images of band members, working its way along a time-line by way of stills and personal interviews of previous band mates along with other music professionals that were close to the band. It’s not until halfway through, that we get to see the live action of taped performances that really capture the outstanding vocal and performance quality of these four uniquely and undoubtedly supremely gifted individuals.

Now, I wouldn’t consider myself a Doc. watcher but I’d love to have this one on DVD for my private collection. I highly recommend it.

You can view the documentary Becoming QUEEN on Hulu Plus and for FREE at http://www.snagfilms.com/films/title/becoming_queen

I must confess this. For as much as I’ve raved about Led Zeppelin, (in a blog post that I re-blogged just last week), I’ve actually owned more QUEEN albums. And, still do…!

“A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It’s a theatrical event.” Freddy Mercury

Until next week. ROCK ON !

~ K.L. Parry ~ Author of The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom

The Greatest Rock Band Of All Time

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It was an age of Rock-Gods, when black eyeliner wasn’t gender specific and fans would stand in line all day to buy a concert ticket. The year was 1977 and I was seventeen. 

After I had gotten the news that the much anticipated concert date had been set, I painstakingly managed to save seventy five dollars out of my wages from a baby-sitting job. It was a lot of money at the time but I wanted the best seat I could manage to pay for. No nose bleed section for me. I wanted to see the faces of my rock idols.

The concert was predicted to be a sellout on that first day of sales, which I supposed was why the tickets were to be sold through one  location only. (At least, that was my understanding.)

Now, I must say that the details of the day are fuzzy at best. My friend, Tammy, and I had actually cut school and taken a bus from the valley to the downtown LA Ticket Tron location. Between the ride up and back, and the line at the Ticket Tron that extended for blocks in the seedy and (what I perceived to be) dangerous location, it ended up becoming an all day affair. But we survived unmolested to return home with primo tickets to see the greatest band of all time, Led Zeppelin.

Sadly, the concert date was canceled due to the death of the lead singer’s son and so too my chance to ever see them perform live.

Jumping forward to this last summer, the subject of that missed concert came up it conversation. It turned out that a friend had read about a cover band led by Zeppelin drummer’s son, Jason Bonham. They were to perform at the Greek Theater.

I have to state for the record that I was not quite as excited as I had been the first go around. After all, 35 years had passed mellowing my enthusiasm. Besides, it was only a cover band, how good could they possibly be without Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Bonham and John Paul Jones? It wasn’t until I read the british reviews that raved about this band that I began to feel the spark of enthusiasm for my long lost idols. I bought a ticket.

Now, irony can be a funny thing. As I was rushing to leave my place of employment, to make the mad dash to the Greek, I heard the words that would revisit upon me the deep and utter disappointment I had experienced years earlier.

“Oh, that concert’s been canceled.”

It was spewed, very matter of factly, from the mouth of the girl who had just come on shift.

“What!” I looked at her in shock before deciding she must be kidding. I knew this couldn’t possible be happening again.

No doubt she saw the look of skepticism on my face. She reiterated.

“No, really. I just heard it on the radio, on my way here. The concert has been canceled.”

Well, needless to say, I rushed home, got on-line and discovered she had indeed been telling me the truth. Now, I definitely felt  the universe was bound and determined that I should never fulfill this one desire.

Thankfully, a few days later and to my great relief,  the concert had been rescheduled for the fall.

So it was, that on Friday, October 14th in the year 2011, I sat in section B at the Greek Theater and finally got to hear, performed live, the music of the greatest rock band in history. The Led Zeppelin Experience was just as I had hoped it would be and more as I enjoyed the added treat of Jason’s personal experiences with his rock star dad. John Bonham was brought to life in home movies and concert videos playing on three separate screens.

No, I didn’t expect that I would be experiencing the original band, though, for me, the music could have been louder. I would have liked to feel the vibration of every chord humming through my body. But their renditions of history making classics were true to the original scores and when I closed my eyes, I could envision Jimmy Page playing that guitar and Robert Plant singing the lyrics to Cashmere. And, as I stood in the audience, singing along to “Stairway To Heaven”, I though, “Finally”. 

Rock On, K.L. Parry ~ Author of “The Pirate’s Daughter and a King’s Ransom”