>Amazing architecture in the heart of Beverly Hills, on Walden Drive at Carmelita Avenue… I happened by, assuming that this house simply must have a rich history… Sure enough, “The Witch’s House,” or the Spadena House—also known as the Hansel & Gretel House—was built in 1921—and actually was moved from another nabe in 1934. It’s currently being renovated, so is surrounded by black fencing… I tried to convince the contractor to let me inside, but it was a no go. The home was also featured in the 1995 film “Clueless.”
>Friday afternoon I headed to the Billboard Film & Music Conference at the Beverly Hilton to see Kristina moderate her first panel ever: “Transitioning from Music Supervision to Producing”… I was fortunate enough to find parking on the other side of Wilshire, within the heart of Beverly Hills, and did a sweet walking tour of the homes in the nabe before making my way to the Beverly Hilton for the biz at hand, and the party by the pool that followed.Boo!! Halloween is obviously just around the corner.And onward to the conference.The BevHil today…And in 1956…Before Tina’s panel, I met with L.A.-based Gail Mitchell, who is among few survivor vets at Billboard… always lovely to connect.And then, to the conference room!Jonathan McHugh…On to the pool party!Oh, heavens, is it Ugly Betty?Michele, another survivor, who started at Billboard before I did in 1995, and remains intact.Meese with Tina and BB L.A.-based exec ed Anne Donahue.Anne, Tina, BB editor Bill Werde and meese.And the final L.A. pic… my little Chevy Peanut, as I head to LAX for the red-eye flight. What an amazing trip… loved every moment, as you’ll see below, cool cats!
>Up at 8 a.m., dropped Kristina off at the Billboard Film & TV Conference, then had the day to myself… hmmm… I’d already done Santa Monica Pier, but Venice Beach… with its deliciously seedy persona… well, that’s a hawse of a different color… not to mention the fact that Celine Dion’s “Love Can Move Mountains” was set there. Ironically, in the car on the way, Coast 103.5 played her “Where Does My Heart Beat Now,” which I took as a fine sign…My parking karma was pretty surreal during the entire trip. I managed the find a meter right on the main drag to pull in the Chevy Peanut.The just-opened cement skateboard “park” was a huge hit. These guys are performing minor miracles.
>Kristina’s primary reason for being in L.A. was to moderate a panel at the Billboard/Hollywood Reporter Film & TV Conference at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills—my girl’s kind of neighborhood. Picked her up in the late afternoon… where we finally took pics together, standing at the corner of a maddeningly busy intersection.After a quick change at the hotel, we grabbed dinner and then headed to House of Blues on Sunset as guests of Jonathan McHugh—one of her panelists and a chief source for the last cover story I wrote for Billboard late last year. The band, Umphreys McGee… (yeah, I know, I was convinced the “H” dropped off the marquis) is an indie, but man, do they have a rabid following. Hard rock from six fairly geeky 30-somethings… but one of the tightest outfits I’ve heard in years. These guys interact musically like sex. Truly wondrous…. as was House of Blues, an inspired design of goth meets Middle Eastern.Parking was tight on Sunset, and we drove around in circles for a good 20 minutes‚including a steep hill working our way into the Hollywood Hills, which challenged the poor little Chevy Peanut… we ended up parking in a public lot… which we then couldn’t find when we left HOB (no, dear, no alcohol involved; I was driving, cool cats)… when we finally found the place at 12:15, we saw that the gate was locked at 12:30 a.m. Just 15 more minutes and we’d have been so completely fucked. Altogether now: Phew, dude.
>Met up with dear longtime friend Melinda Newman at Newsroom on North Robertson… what a perfect spot for two writers, eh?Walked around North Robertson, right across from celeb destination eatery The Ivy.Meese amusing messeself.More cute bungalows on the drive back to the hotel…Then back in the car to pick up Kristina from work… including 3rd Street… memorable for me because one of my fave albums of all time is Jude Cole’s “View from 3rd Street,” which he wrote while living here in L.A.The Samsung building is a major landmark on Wilshire. Hard to miss this building.
So much more to share, but I can’t take the COLD! Wait, isn’t it supposed to be warm here? Sleep might be a helpful option, as well… More to come, including a scandalous evening at West Hollywood bar Garage, with Fredly and… Benjamin!
>Joined Fredly and Kimberley Locke for a glam lunch at Stefan’s at L.A. Farm on W. Olympic Blvd in Santa Monica. Ridiculous: Lunch with Fred and Kim in NYC on Monday and again on the West Coast two days later. Got to love life.Bubble gum at the entrance… now, that is my kind of after-meal treat.After lunch, Fred took me up to Dick Clark Productions, where he’s scripting the annual American Music Awards. His buddy Jeff showed me Sheena Easton’s first-ever appearance on “American Bandstand” from March 1981, where she performed “Morning Train” and “Modern Girl.” I about cried.
And then… gridlock on the I-10!Followed by a walking tour of West Hollywood.WeHo gay hot spot Rage on Santa Monica.And more gorgeous/cute houses along my driving tour of L.A.
>Up and at ’em early… Breakfast at the hotel, then took my wifey Kristina to the Billboard office on Wilshire and made my way to Santa Monica beach… my god, so peaceful, so beautiful, if not quite warm… And I conquered my trepidation of the freeway. I-10 and I are friends now.Mmmm! Lunch! The bird actually gulped down a fish that a fisherman tossed onto the pier… in one gulp.Here’s Santa Monica Pier in 1910.My little Chevy Peanut!
>Once I picked Kristina up from work Tuesday, we made our way to the Beverly Center for shopping (yeah, I bought zero, thanks to my unemployed budget of less than zero), then went to The Grove, an outdoor-designed shopping paradise that incorporates the fabulous old-school Farmer’s Market… just adorable.Followed by dinner at a diner that was so authentic that it had wood paneling from the 1970s. Oh, yeah, baby! Loved!Service and food = A+Drove back to the hotel passing numerous landmarks, which the camera refused to acknowledge with kindness… save for the Whiskey! Damn!!! History here, thank you, Jim Morrison, one of my heroes.Sunset Boulevard…