Esotouric, the eclectic collective whose offbeat bus tours expose LA's secret history, returns to founder Kim Cooper's rock and roll roots on Sunday, October 21, when they launch WHERE THE ACTION WAS. This new tour, co-hosted by pop critic Gene Sculatti, explores the musical history of Hollywood and the Sunset Strip through visits to celebrated nightclubs, recording studios, record label offices and other places of subcultural importance.
The launch date is no accident, falling one day before Bobby Fuller, the gifted rocker whose "I Fought The Law" is one of the great singles of the 1960s, would have turned 65. Fuller's mysterious 1966 "suicide" (thought by many to be an unsolved murder) is one of several storylines followed on the neighborhood tour, which also explores the life, work and scandals of super-producer Phil Spector, the racially mixed psychedelic lions Arthur Lee & Love and the folk-rocking Byrds and their extraordinary entourage of self-proclaimed freaks and go-go dancers.
On WHERE THE ACTION WAS, passengers will make a fascinating journey back in time, from the mid 1960s through the punk era, when Hollywood was ground zero of a series of cultural explosions that started in the music industry, but quickly spread to film, publishing, fashion and lifestyles. The area covered is relatively small, but packed with important spots including nightclubs (Whiskey A Go Go, Pandora's Box, Rodney's English Disco, The Masque), record labels (Capitol, A&M, RCA), teen hang-outs (Ben Frank's, Canter's, Tiny Naylor's) and some familiar locations with unexpected rock and roll connections. Artists featured include Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass, The Beach Boys, The Buffalo Springfield, The Doors, The Bobby Fuller 4, The Germs, The Grassroots, Jan & Dean, Janis Joplin, Arthur Lee & Love, The Mamas & Papas, The Monkees, Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Sonny & Cher, Phil Spector, Iggy & the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, and many, many more.
Illustrated with an elaborate onboard slide show featuring rare vintage photos, album art, concert ads and ephemera, and hosted by a pair of historically minded music fiends eager to share fascinating tales, WHERE THE ACTION WAS is a must for rock fans or Hollywood dwellers who've heard the famous names, but need some help figuring out where is all happened.
The tour visits the unassuming intersection where teens rioted over an unfair nightly curfew (inspiring the Buffalo Springfield's Stephen Stills to write "For What It's Worth"), the hotel where Janis Joplin died, the one-time roller disco parlor where Prince made his L.A. debut, the notorious Continental "Riot House" hotel in which Led Zeppelin partied with teenage groupie queens, the Hullaballoo Club (later the Aquarius and now Nickelodeon), Ciro's, PJ's (later The Starwood), the Troubador, and many more. It explains how Canter's Deli's continued popularity as an after hours gathering spot is directly tied to its willingness to serve hairy weirdos in the 1960s, reveals how Elvis Presley's shopping trip to Wallich's Music City influenced L.A.'s surf and hot rod music scene, and recalls a time when the Tropicana Motel was simply THE place to go for star spotting.
WHERE THE ACTION WAS is a long overdue celebration of the people and the venues that made Southern California the center of the rock and roll world for more than two decades.
The tour will conclude with a snack break at Scoops, the avant garde gelato shop featuring high concept flavors inspired by Esotouric tours. Available for purchase on the tour will be autographed copies of Gene Sculatti's "The Catalog of Cool," Kim Cooper's books and back issues of Scram magazine.
ABOUT THE HOSTS: Co-host Kim Cooper is the editrix of Scram, the acclaimed journal of unpopular culture that over 22 issues has celebrated neglected musical genius, and spawned the anthologies "Bubblegum Music is the Naked Truth" and "Lost in the Grooves: Scram's Capricious Guide to the Music You Missed." Her latest book is the best-selling volume of the 33 1/3 series of little books about great albums, on Neutral Milk Hotel's "In the Aeroplane Over The Sea."
Co-host Gene Sculatti is a writer, editor and music-business veteran whose work has appeared in USA Today, Rolling Stone and Creem. Gene was Editorial Director of Warner Bros. Records and Director of Special Issues for Billboard magazine. His book "The Catalog of Cool" was the bible of pre-internet hepcat exploration. Gene is also author of "Too Cool," "San Francisco Nights: The Psychedelic Music Trip" and "The 100 Best Selling Albums of the 60s."
Official Website: http://www.esotouric.com/rock
Added by esotouric on September 10, 2007