Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Angel's Flight Tickets

Tickets from Angels Flight. My father took me to ride the incline railroad on what was probably the last day operation. I remember the TV news was there. Until then it had run almost continuously since 1901.

Weird trip to the top of the decimated hill; weeds, shrubs and a few scruffy trees along the right of way - the only vegetation left. Most of the old buildings were gone, but construction of the Music Center was well underway.

Final rides were free . They must have handed out the tickets as souvenirs. Don't know why 1967 was printed on them. It was May 1969 when it was shut down, with the promise it would return.

Happily, these two tickets have survived all these years in a scrap book.

Angles Flight recently reopened, after many delays and a tragic accident .

Here's a link updating the Angels Flight Saga.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Angels Flight, Bunker Hill Los Angeles

A blurry dreamlike snapshot from car window on Hill Ave. Waning days of the 1960's; not much left. I got hooked on Bunker Hill after reading an article in the L.A. Times titled "Mansions Doomed To Demolition" about the two remaining historic houses, "The Salt Box" and "The Castle", both on Bunker Hill Ave.

Bunker Hill history, lore and images proved irresistible for an odd, depressive kid, out- of -sync with my own time. Plus that quirky funicular, Angels Flight. I poured over the magical Bunker Hill Los Angeles by Leo Politi.

Later, I learned of the hill's connection to writers including Raymond Chandler and John Fante. It was also used as a location for many movies. Criss Cross, Kiss Me Deadly and The Exiles were all filmed there.

I rode Angels Flight on it's last day. I also visited the two "Doomed Mansions" which were saved at the eleventh hour. They were moved with great fanfare to Highland Park; charter members of Heritage Square.

Vandals promptly burned them to the ground.

Bunker Hill itself was eradicated; many of the streets were obliterated , along with literally every structure. The topography was shaved, so not even the original contours remain.

I stumbled upon this terrific Bunker Hill blog. http://www.onbunkerhill.org

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Super Furry Gatefold

No, not The Super Furry Animals, but Ballet Foklorico De Mexico, a lavish production from "La Voz Del Amo"

Velveteen, and I like to pet it.

I've created a new blog, Record Odyssey- as a kind of adjunct (add junk) to Piedmont Ave. It will become a gallery of sorts (and justification perhaps) for my accumulated disks, packaging and ephemera languishing on shelves and in boxes.

Monday, May 10, 2010

John Fahey/Blind Joe Death

John Fahey's Days Have Gone By, on his own Takoma label, is the album I most strongly associate with my time in Oakland, and remains my favorite.

Drinking wine from my Totemic Oakland Mug, gazing out my  window on to rainy Piedmont Ave.

However, I discovered this perplexing reference to Piedmont on this second edition of his legendary first album, which I acquired a few years ago.

There's quite a Fahey cult, and while his Takoma albums continue to occupy a numinous niche in my L.P. collection; a few face to face encounters with the legendary guitarist, freed me from the thrall of his myth.

He's a favorite with the collectors as well; and though I am cursed with that same sort of pathology, I resist identifying myself as such. 

I also discovered this fine blog devoted to Mr. Fahey. http://johnfahey.blogspot.com

Updated 8/17/11

John Fahey Stomping Tonight On The Piedmont/Berkeley Border

This is the second edition of Fahey's coveted John Fahey/Blind Joe Death album. I believe he was living in Berkeley at this time and though the first edition of this album was recorded in Maryland; Takoma Records as an actual entity began in Berkeley with ED Denson.

Does anyone know what the "Piedmont" in "Piedmont/Takoma" label refers to?
 I am aware of the "Piedmont" blues style, but is it possible that this is a reference to the city of Piedmont next to Oakland or Piedmont Ave. in Oakland? Or is it Piedmont Ave. in Berkeley, also known as "Fraternity Row"?
 Or something entirely more obscure?

 It was removed from subsequent editions.

A currently available pressing of the legendary first addition
that apparently is a bootleg.

Updated 12/23/14

Are there any Fahey scholars out there who know the answer? http://johnfahey.com/