Sunday, July 19, 2015

WAY BACK: A NEW GENERATION LOOKS BACK IN GRAFFITI, L.A. TIMES JULY 29, 1973


Hello fellow Graffiti fans. Welcome back to your one and only Kips American Graffiti Blog. A couple of days before the premiere of American Graffiti on Aug 1, 1973 the principle film critic for the Los Angeles Times, Charles Champlin released a glowing and insightful review about the film in the newspaper. No one could have given the film higher praise and as a result, quotes from Champlin's review were constantly used in press books and ads for the film (such as the one above).  I recently unearthed a copy of Champlin's original Graffiti review. For your reading pleasure I present to you the full film critics' article as it originally appeared in the L.A. Times on July 29, 1973. To miss it is to miss something quite special!

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Click on article to enlarge

During his 26 years at The L.A. Times, Champlin served as the paper's principal film critic from 1967 through 1980.  Throughout his career, Graffiti remained on Champlin's Top 100 American Films list. He wrote several books on film including a coffee table book titled, George Lucas: The Creative Impulse: Lucasfilm's First Twenty Years (1992).  In honor of his film coverage and criticism, Champlin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2007.

Charles Champlin (March 23, 1926 – November 16, 2014)

 ~ FINI ~


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  • Charles Champlin's Top 100 American Films. Cal State LA University Library. http://web.calstatela.edu/library/mmc/100/1champlin.htm. Retrieved 7/18/2015
  • A New Generation Looks Back in "Graffiti." Los Angeles Times. San Francisco Public Library. http://sfpl.org/ Retrieved 7/16/2015

Sunday, July 12, 2015

WAY BACK: IT'S '62 AGAIN at TAM HIGH, Aug 2, 1972


 Hello fellow readers of Kip's American Graffiti Blog! As I continue on my quest to bring you rare info and artifacts, I stumbled upon this little jem of an article in the San Francsico Chronicle archives.  Although most of Graffiti was filmed in Petaluma the sock hop scenes were filmed at the boys gym at Tamalpais High School, 700 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA. Director, George Lucas and company filmed all the sequences at the gym in one full day.  To learn more keeping reading, Sam!

Click on image to enlarge



Thursday, July 2, 2015

WAY BACK: S.F. CHRONICLE 1972: NOSTALGIA - - ON SOUTH VAN NESS


"Heeeeeeey," as The Fonz would say. Welcome back to Kip Pullman's American Graffiti Blog. Our latest post is an article I came across while combing the archives at The San Francisco Public Library. As it turns out, American Graffiti made the news several times a year before it was first officially released in theaters. Making a movie is always big news and so when a director named George Lucas was filming some movie with the odd working title, American Graffiti at the local Mels Drive-in at 140 South Van Ness in San Francisco you can bet the press was there. The following article was first published in the San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle (in what is known to locals as the Pink Section) on July 3, 1972. That's forty-three yrs ago. WOW that was a long time ago!
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Click on image to enlarge
  
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Sunday, June 28, 2015

WAY BACK: 1979: SONGS OF INNOCNECE & EXPERIENCE: THE BLAKEAN VISION OF GEORGE LUCAS

Welcome back to KIPS' AMERICAN GRAFFITI BLOG.  It's time to take your head out from under the hood of your hot rod and dig this examination of your favorite movie from a unique perspective. Today for your reading pleasure I've posted an examination of American Graffiti like no other.   Published in 1979 and written by B. H. Fairchild, Jr. the author compares George Lucas with visionary painter/poet William Blake. It's quite fascinating and recognizes Lucas' American Graffiti as a vision of the universal mythological depths that are at the heart of the experiences of all people, all generations and all cultures that must endure change.  ENJOY!

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Copyright 2002 EBSCO Publishing


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Saturday, June 6, 2015

MELS & MUSTANGS

The 2015 Mustang retains its classic look: Long hood, short rear deck, fastback roof, tri-bar taillights, & shark-nosed grill
 
Way back in the Fall of 2014 when Ford Motor Company wanted to introduce it's new line of Mustangs to the automotive press they decided to begin their International Auto Drive each morning at Mels Drive-in located at 8585 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood,  California (CA.) It seemed only natural to match a classic with a classic: The Ford Mustang was first introduced in late 1963-64 and Mels, of course has been around since 1947. I recently spoke with Mels Drive-in co-owner, Steven Weiss (pronounced Weese) and he recalled the event with enthusiasm.  "Ford Mustang brought out auto writers from across the country and Europe and put them up in a hotel down the street from our Mels drive-in in West Hollywood," Weiss explained. The restaurant at the West Hollywood location normally stays open 24 hours a day but during the course of a week it was closed to the general public three hours each day from 6am to 9am during which time the Ford Motor Company photographed, filmed, and promoted the 2015 Mustangs under the tantalizing glare of the restaurant's neon lights  "They lined up twenty-four brand new Mustangs, all different models, engines and color types in our parking lot. It was fantastic!," Weiss recalled.  


Each day a different group of writers had their chance to test drive the new vehicles. They'd bring them in, give them a speech about the new line of Ford Mustangs as the press devoured the delicious classic American style breakfast at Mels. "The excited writers would get in the cars and drive all over the city on a route planned for them," Weiss recalled. It took most of the day and driving through the city is often stop and go traffic, but the drivers were able to stretch out and reach high speeds on the freeway in the San Gabriel Mountains bordering LA.  After a day of driving they'd reach the end of the course located at Peterson’s Automotive Museum in LA. At the famous museum the press were treated to dinner to top off their exciting day.

 The LA Times had this to say about the 2015 Mustang's driveability: 
The GT and its V-8 still proves the old muscle car adage: There's no replacement for displacement. This is the Mustang's valedictorian and the one to pick if you consider white-knuckle driving an athletic endeavor.  There's meaty torque everywhere during acceleration, but it's predictable and approachable. Our GT tester had the six-speed manual transmission with an easy clutch and a straightforward shifter.  The GT is surprisingly lively and fun on tight roads. Though wider, higher and a little heavier than before, the power and size of this car are perfectly matched.  Our loaded $44,290 tester had the optional performance package that included larger wheels, wider tires, a stiffer suspension setup and larger front brakes. This combination helped the GT stay planted and flat through hard cornering.  But the GT's engine growl -- half the fun -- loses something in translation through the exhaust. Like an opera singer in a ski mask, this Mustang doesn't roar like a 435-horsepower car should.
 "They put together these great videos of the event which they later posted on the internet," said Weiss. Below is a 30 second clip of footage that highlights both the new Mustang and Mels. It is slick, cool and way too short.  Not sure if this was ever made into a TV commercial for the new Mustang but it certainly works as both a promotion for the car as well as the classic-style restaurant.


2015 Ford Mustang at Mels Drive-In


Below are a few pix of the 2015 Mustang from the event. 
Please click on photos to enlarge.

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT parked at Mels Drive in on Sunset Blvd. In Hollywood, CA
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They lined up twenty-four brand new Mustangs, all different models, engines and color types in our parking lot.
- Steven Weiss.
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Base prices start at $23,600 for the V-6, $25,170 for the EcoBoost four-cylinder, $29,170 for the EcoBoost Premium, $32,100 for the V-8 GT and $36,100 for the GT Premium.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/cars/article2297648.html#storylink=cpy
 

A 435-hp 5.0-liter V-8 matched with a six-speed manual transmission
 On the freeway in the San Gabriel Mountains bordering L.A.


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NOTES
  • Gelinas, Gabriel. [first 2 Photos of Mustangs at Mels.]  Guide Auto Web. 2015 Ford Mustang. A Brave New World.  http://www.guideautoweb.com/en/galleries/26639/2015-ford-mustang-a-brave-new-world/?im=21  
  •  Mustang. Car and Driver website. http://www.caranddriver.com/ford/mustang. Retrieved 5/22/2015.
  • Jordan, Michael. 2015 Ford Mustang Review, Automobile website.http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1409-2015-ford-mustang-gt-premium-review/
  • Undercoffler, David. FIRST DRIVE; New Mustang aims to please everyone; In the 2015 model, Ford blends 50 years of history with demands for modern powertrains, technology, safety and styling. Los Angeles Times. [Los Angeles, Calif] 18 Sep 2014: B.1. Retrieved June 2015
  • Weiss, Steven. Personal conversation with Steven Weiss 5/26/2015







Tuesday, April 21, 2015

 Don't miss this year's, CRUISN' THE BOULEVARD

  PETALUMA, CA's SALUTE TO AMERICAN GRAFFITI

Salute the 2015, 10th anniversary celebration May 14, 15, & 16

 

There will be celebrity appearances and over 400 cars on display this year. Car Registration began Feb 2, 2015. So, make sure to get your car signed up early if you want to show off your ride!

 



For more info on this fantastic even click on the banner below:
http://www.americangraffiti.net/
http://www.americangraffiti.net/


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APOLOGIES RE: Sound Clips.  "DivShare" is undergoing some developmental changes so for the time being we are momentarily w/o sound. That's better anyway, right?  You really should read more!!

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http://www.melsdrive-in.com/


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

WOLFMAN JACK RECORD SURVEYS & AIR-CHECKS Pt. 2 - GONNA BLOW YOUR MIND, BABY!

On TV's The Odd Couple (1973) Click on this or any picture to enlarge.
 Awright, baby, welcome to another edition of Kip's American Graffiti Blog.  This time we gonna continue where we left off awhile back on Part 1 and drop some more Wolfman Jack record surveys & air-checks, Xtc. on ya. The air-checks are recreations from back in the day when Wolfman ruled the border blaster, X-E-R-B known as "The Mighty Ten-Ninety." In the mid-1960s Wolfman broadcast over XERB with it’s 50,000-watt, Tijuana directional transmitter covering 13 Western U.S. states and Canada. He was both an executive and air personality at XERB’s Los Angeles offices, and according to a 1971 Billboard magazine article, ultimately he bought the station but Mexican nationals always owned the transmitter. Unfortunately for Wolfman, sometime in 1971 he lost control of the station when the Mexican government no longer permitted him to broadcast the various gospel and race track result features which had provided the majority of income for the station. The station's call letters were changed to X-E-P-R-S and broadcast a 24-hr soul-rock format. Wolfy sold the exclusive U.S. sales rights to XEPRS to a company called Radio House Communications but he still retained ownership of XERB, Inc. However, without a transmitting tower from which to broadcast, the call letters were practically useless.  For about a year afterwards, Wolfman continued to have one 3hr show a night under the new XEPRS management.  Ya understand what I mean? Never mind the talkin', forget walkin' we gonna get going and do it to it. So have at it... Have moicy, baby!  
 
Hey man, I wanna remind ya,  I've listened to radio shows on the internet and on more than several occasions heard my Wolfman mixes being broadcast.   Remember the air-checks I produce are for listening on my blog and not intended to be used elsewhere or for profit. Thanks! 
 
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Wolfman's show introduction segue into YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT by The Stones (album version) circa 1969

Here's a border blastin', oldie but a goodie: XERB Super Soul 21 record survey from May 1969. At the time, Wolfman had a 3hr. pre-recorded show that was re-broadcast three times a day.
 
Wolfman will be the final judge as to whether Tony Randall's song is any good.
 
Here's a XERB air-check I mixed with a phone call bit and the tune, TRUDI by Donovan with The Jeff Beck Group (circa 1969)
 
 
 A mind-blowing faux XERB air-check.  This time Wolfman spins HITCH HIKE by Marvin Gaye



Here's a fresh XERB mix.  Wolfman's talking to "Nancy" on the phone as he segues into an oldie but moldy from 1956, SHA-BOOM by The Crewcuts with a little wild American Graffiti craziness thrown into the middle for added flavor.
   
 
By sometime in 1971 Wolfman had lost control of station XERB and had to hand the controls back over to the Mexican owners. With Wolfman's management out of the way, the station owners tried to duplicate his successful formula.  They changed the call letters to X-E-P-R-S and programmed soul music, calling the station “The Soul Express.” Wolfy still broadcast for about a year under the new ownership before finally leaving for local Los Angeles station, K-R-L-A and going into syndicated markets all over the world..
 
Wolfman got to keep the call letters, X-E-R-B but the Mexican owners kept the station's frequency and facilities and renamed it X-E-P-R-S. This survey is from 8/20/1971.
 
 
 
The 10-90 Soul Express station ID in Spanish and jingle in English.

 
"Cooked Boogaloos" An added air-check I mixed where Wolfman takes a phone call & spins The Beatles' classic, DR. ROBERT
 
X-PRS Funky Forty for the week of 2/19/1972. Two months later Wolfman left "The Mighty 10-90" forever and began a new phase of his career as an international superstar. To hear a recording of his voice on his final night on XEPRS click this link: WOLFMAN SAYS GOODBYE
 

A caller from Weed, CA tries to get through to the Wolfman while he spins  GIMME SOME MORE by James Brown's band, The JBs which charted at #13 on the X-PRS Funky Forty survey seen above



 Soon I will be posting an update on XERB & XEPRS as the station(s) look today. Well, that's it for another groovy, groovy post. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. 'Till next time, keep your ears clean. Bye!
 
- 30 -
 
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NOTES: