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Coffee House Scene

John Hindsill 30 Dec 98 - 09:36 PM
lesblank 31 Dec 98 - 09:37 PM
GUEST,Bob Feigel 19 Jun 06 - 02:06 AM
Uncle_DaveO 19 Jun 06 - 08:06 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 19 Jun 06 - 08:22 PM
jimmyt 19 Jun 06 - 09:29 PM
John on the Sunset Coast 19 Jun 06 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,Texas Guest 19 Jun 06 - 11:21 PM
Steve-o 20 Jun 06 - 01:23 PM
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Subject: Coffee House Scene
From: John Hindsill
Date: 30 Dec 98 - 09:36 PM

Is there anyone out there who is old enough to have memories they'd care to share of the coffee houses in Los Angeles in the late '50s - early '60s. I'm thinking of places like Cosmo Alley, Pandora's Box, Positanos, the Garrett, Venice West for starters, but there were dozens that sprang up and were gone--often quickly. They were great places to think, write, hear poetry and folk music.


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: lesblank
Date: 31 Dec 98 - 09:37 PM

I patronized many of the coffee houses from LA to east Orange county. I hit every open mike I could and met a lot of great musicians and singers of song. Some venues were: Frankensteins, LaGuna Beach -- first place I ever saw Steve Gillette perform. Golden Bear, Huntington Beach -- need I say more -- Hoyt Axton was a regular(as was Steve) also saw Ian & Sylvia and Gordon Lightfoot at old Greek George's place. Pontifract, Tustin -- first place I ever heard a Tom Lehrer song. Paradox, Orange -- (they have a web site) and I've talked to the guys who ran the spots when I was trying so hard to get someone, anyone to listen to me. Regulars were Jackson Browne and Mary McCasslin. There were many more and I'm sorry I didn't get to them at least once. Thanks for the memories.

Les Blank


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: GUEST,Bob Feigel
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 02:06 AM

Years ago and miles away. I remember Positanos (not far from where I lived), Pandora's Box, Venice West, the Golden Bear and Java Jive (good coffee, good recorded music in Santa Monica) ... plus a few that weren't coffee houses, but had some good music, like: The Troubadour, The Insomniac (across the street from The Lighthouse in Hermosa Beach), and, a couple years later, Fred C. Dobbs and The Trip on the Sunset Strip just up from Pandora's Box.

As John sez - there were dozens that sprang up, had their moment and faded from the scene. Good times. Bob (living in New Zealand since 1974)
www.surfwriter.net


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 08:06 PM

Bob Feigel:

As the old song says, "All the good times are past and gone!"

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 08:22 PM

Gee, I don't know what blows me away more: that I have been hanging this place for over 6-1/2 years; or that I thread I started started way back then has been resurrected. - John (OTSC) Hindsill


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: jimmyt
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:29 PM

Great thread, though John, and I know many are like me, and envious of you and the others who had a chance to live through this wonderfully fertile time in folk music.


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: John on the Sunset Coast
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 09:53 PM

jimmyt-no need to be envious of an accident of birth. 30 or 40 years from now, someone will tell you that they are envious of the time you lived in. BTW, I am somewhat envious of the times and things that are ahead for younger folks which I will never understand or see.


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: GUEST,Texas Guest
Date: 19 Jun 06 - 11:21 PM

Not sure if this fits or not but: when I was a run-away kid and musician wannabe back in the mid-sixties and bumming around L.A., there was a huge record/music store in the heart of Sunset Strip - I believe it was called, "Wallach's." I remember it well because you could actually go into a booth with the records you were interested in
and listen to them to decide if you wanted to buy them or not - what a concept, huh?

At any rate, to get to the instrument section you had to walk down a
corridor and on the wall of this hallway was a series of note boards.
I stopped to read them as most of them were musicians looking for work or bands looking for players, etc. On one 3X5 card was printed:
"Byrd with clipped wings looking for gig. Call David (# given)."
I remember smiling at that and shrugging it off but I came to believe
years later that that was a "real" ad that David Crosby had put up there. Being a folk/rock junkie from Detroit, the Byrds were music giants and heros to me, but in L.A. they were just a local band
and Crosby just a local player - they didn't become legendary until
many years after that card lost it's tack. Just thought I'd share.
Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Coffee House Scene
From: Steve-o
Date: 20 Jun 06 - 01:23 PM

What a great story about Wallach's Music City and David Crosby- I remember the place well. From the early-'60s and all through the '70s, the Ash Grove was the very best "coffeehouse" in Southern California to hear all types of folk music done by the very best singers and players. Three other places we all went were the Troubador in West Hollywood, McCabe's in Santa Monica, and the Ice House in Pasadena, but the best of all was the Ash Grove. Ed Pearl, who owned and ran the place, was a pretty wacky guy, though, and the place was always two feet away from bankruptcy, and often was burned down because some people thought it was a hotbed of Communists and dangerous leftists. Some of these places actually served coffee- they were sort of the folk revival version of the real Beatnik coffee houses. Great, great days.


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