Thursday, April 12, 2007

20 Plus Years Ago

Today, I'm meeting a friend...younger than I am and still into nightclub life and all things vintage. I am giving her my prized petticoats. I used to wear all sorts of vintage skirts and dresses from the 50's and 60's for dancing. The petticoats added to the authenticity of my outfits. I would find them in thrift shops at flea markets and at Square Dance Land in Sierra Madre. Since the petticoats have been hanging in my closet for 15 years, gathering dust, I decided to wash 'em, fluff 'em up and give them to Lisa for her enjoyment. Rock on!

I've always been a music fan. However, during the 1980's and early 90's my fan appreciation was upped by attending many, many L.A. clubs to see live bands perform. I even booked a blues duo and an alternative country act into clubs around town for a few years. This led to me hosting a local blues radio show for about 8 years.

The centerpiece for my rock 'n roll years was Ronnie Mack's Barndance. From the hallowed stage of the beer-soaked Palomino Club in North Hollywood emanated some of the best roots music in the country. By "roots" music, I mean the roots of rock 'n roll, encompassing country, blues, rockabilly, etc. Ronnie's been hosting and organizing the Barndance in various locations around the City for almost 20 years. The Barndance used to be a weekly event. Now, it's held once a month at El Cid's on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood.

We followed most of the local roots musicians to gigs around town: James Intveld, Rosie Flores, Dave Alvin, John "Juke" Logan, Chuck E. Weiss, Eddie Baytos, Russell Scott, Flat-Top Tom, Eddie Nichols, King Cotton, The Lonesome Strangers, Billy Vera, The Zydeco Party Band, a host of blues bands and country locals. Many of the musicians would play in many of the bands. There was an easy crossover from blues, country, rockabilly, and zydeco.

It was a grand time. Most nights I'd be out at clubs until closing time - 2 am, and then be at work the next day by 9 am. How did I do it? I was young. Our favorite clubs: The Palomino, of course; the original King King at 6th and La Brea, the Music Machine on Pico near Centinela, Raji's in Hollywood, the Anti-Club near LACC, the Gaslight in Hollywood (formerly Bido Lido's), the Central on the Sunset Strip (now the VIper Room, formerly Filthy McNasty's), the Lighthouse in Manhattan Beach, the Alligator Lounge on Pico in Santa Monica (now a fancy restaurant), At My Place in Santa Monica (now the Temple Bar), Trancas in Malibu, The Mint on Pico near Crescent Hts., Highland Grounds (a coffee house on Highland) and various other bars, dives and clubs as far away as Bellflower, El Monte, Solana Beach, Santa Ana....we'd travel far and wide to see and hear our favorite bands.

Mr. Larry and I still go out to see some of our faves, but not as often as we used to. We need our beauty rest. I did hold back one last petticoat...the hot pink one, just in case.

ADDENDUM: Lisa sent me a photo of the petticoats' new home! Simply Faboo!

Lucky Lisa Kicks Up Some Fun



At 2:20 PM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey L.A. Ell!

I remember when we used to hang out at Trancas to see Billy & The Beaters! Wild times!!

Tuff Teri

At 5:15 PM PDT, Blogger dizzy von damn! said...

i am jealous!

and i'm glad you held on to one...

At 5:30 PM PDT, Blogger ticklepinkle said...

Ellen thank you so much for the fabulous petticoats.
I think I will wear the red one to
the reunion show of Kim Lenz
and her Jaguars at the knitting Factory..... HEE HAW!!!!!!

At 5:36 PM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...


You are most welcome. I know that my petticoats will have a good home and see lots of action! Thanks for lunch today.

Ellen B.

At 5:58 PM PDT, Blogger mary said...

What great memories! I loved going to the Crush Bar in the '80s to dance to '60s music. Let's see some of the hot pink petticoat, party girl!

At 6:32 PM PDT, Blogger Madge said...

Miss E., I think we were separated at birth. Back in the day I had all sorts of petticoats (I even wore one at my wedding!) culled from thrift stores, too. I mostly wore them with my 1950s circle skirts; the Mexican handpainted ones with the sequins were my favorite.

Reading your post has given me a walk down memory lane, and the remembrance is sweet. Gracias, chica.

At 10:59 AM PDT, Blogger Ana Petrova said...

I remember those but I didn't save any. They were such fun to wear!

At 11:04 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

TRANCAS was so cool - the grill out front; seeing Bonnie play there along with a host of others. Palomino just kicked it too - remember seeing Keith play there. Who said the 80's were a lost decade for music ?

At 11:25 AM PDT, Blogger Ellen Bloom said...

Hey Anonymous! Thanks for the comment. Keith? Are you talking about Keith Richards or my friend, Keith Wyatt?

I even saw Bob Dylan walk into Trancas one evening when Billy Vera and The Beaters were performing! Awesome!

At 7:56 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Keith Richards - probably in 88 or 89. Wierd I found my back to this blog. Living in Hermosa / Manhattan in the 80s, it was a LONG drive up to the Palomino, even longer to Trancas. Have a good life.


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