Alan Parsons Live Project LIVE! at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills

Alan Parsons Live Project LIVE!
at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills
Friday, February 7, 2020
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In 2018 Alan Parsons received the Grammy award for Best Immersive Audio Album after being previously nominated 13 times! And they also played at Burning Man! The band opened with about 50 minutes of hits and performed the entire album “I, Robot”, finishing up with an encore at Reverbia camp.

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And so, because we missed them at Burning Man, we bought a ticket to the show!
Our original ticket was for the front row of the Mezzanine, and they were upgrading tickets because it was far from a sellout show. At first, we declined the upgraded ticket, but when we got to our seat, the band’s photographer was setting up a video camera directly in front of where we’d be sitting. So we found the General Manager and he gave us a good ticket in the Orchestra section (Row B).

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The seat was excellent, and the seats on both sides were empty, so no stranger’s elbows, knees or other physical intrusions to contend with. And sitting right behind us was invited celebrity Adam Carolla (from KROQ radio, “The Man Show”, “Crankyankers”, “Loveline”, and his famous podcast) and his friend who was “with the band.”
NOTE: the friend was “Chatty Cathy” all through the show giving Adam a running commentary on the music, the band, and his connections…. luckily the music was loud enough that it pretty much drowned out their conversation. It was cool when Alan Parsons dedicated and played the song “La Sagrada Familia” during the show per Adam Corolla’s request and gave him a shout out.  Adam yells “YOU’RE WELCOME BITCHES!” 

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“How do you get to Vilshire?”

“Is that you John Wayne?” or is it Larry Flynt?
It’s the John Wayne statue in front of the 10 story oval shaped bronze colored Flynt Building at 8484 Wilshire Blvd and La Cienega Blvd in Beverly Hills, 90210. The land was once a miniature golf course owned by Mary Pickford in the 1930’s. Built in 1972, it was originally the Great Western Savings Bank building, and John Wayne was their TV pitchman. When he died in 1979 they erected the cowboy statue. Great Western sold the building to Larry Flynt and “Hustler” magazine in 1994 for $18.3 million, and then Flynt sold the building for $89 million in 2013 to the Douglas Emmett company, and signed a long term office lease with them.

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THE SABAN THEATRE – 8440 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills 90210
The historic Art Deco Fox Wilshire Theatre was designed by architect S. Charles Lee and opened in September 1930. It was a 2500 seat movie palace with a stage for performance. In 1981 it was converted to a performance venue and in 2009 it was renamed the Saban Theatre (after a $5 million dollar grant from Haim and Cheryl Saban). The Temple of the Arts, a Jewish religious organization, has owned and operated the building since 2005. The building is on the National and State Registry of Historic Places and has also been designated a Beverly Hills Landmark. The lighting, sound, and event space was redone and the theatre now seats ~2000 people in the orchestra, mezzanine and balcony.

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You Have Been Warned!

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We arrived early and found metered street parking on La Cienega close to Wilshire! The meters weren’t active so we parked for FREE! We walked two blocks to the Saban Theatre and picked up our ticket at WillCall. There weren’t a lot of people out front, just people stopping before going in, and a couple of guys looking for a ticket to the show…. but it wasn’t sold out, so it wasn’t quite clear why they were looking for tickets.

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Alan Parsons Live Project Merchandise For Sale

We went inside, cleared Security and the metal detectors, and entered the beautiful rotunda lobby. Beer and wine bar on the left, merchandise booth on the right, hard alcohol bar straight ahead, and Men’s room upstairs. We checked out the space, bought a small bottled water for $3.00 and used the restroom upstairs before it got busy. We also went to our seat in the Mezzanine and scoped out the Balcony while we were upstairs, and that’s when we encountered the band’s photographer. So we went downstairs, spoke with the Manager, and then went to our new seat in the Orchestra.

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The Hard Alcohol Bar in the Lobby of the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills

It’s a beautiful proscenium arch theatre that’s been restored to reflect the original design by S. Charles Lee while being adapted for modern concerts and Broadway shows. The Art Deco interior was lit with purple and blue lighting to enhance the complex design details.

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THE SHOW!
Started at a little late after 9pm and they played a fantastic 45 minute long first set. There was half hour intermission and then they played another great hour long second set with encore. The show ended just before 11:30pm.

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The Alan Parsons Live Project at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills 2-7-2020

THE SET LIST:
(and with the exception of a few songs from “I, Robot”
it was pretty close to the show they played at Burning Man)

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THE BAND:
Alan Parsons – guitar, vocals, keyboard
P.J. Olsson – vocals
Jeff Kolman – lead guitar, vocals
Todd Cooper – guitar, saxophone, vocals, flute
Dan Tracey – guitar, vocals
Guy Erez – bass guitar
Danny Thompson – drums
Tom Brooks – keyboards

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The Alan Parsons Live Project at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills 2-7-2020

Such a talented group of gifted musicians! And they rocked! We had a conversation at Intermission with our seat neighbor about how good the band was, how some classic bands just don’t have it anymore, and how this was not the case with Alan Parsons. And the technical aspects of the show were also terrific. They had a great sound system and a good light show, but of course the music was the star of the show.

Check out the vid we shot (and also check out the other vids on our YouTube channel):

They are touring in support of their new music “The Secret” available on all formats now.

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Alan Parsons (official website)> http://www.alanparsons.com
Alan Parsons Project (official website)> http://www.the-alan-parsons-project.com
Alan Parsons Art & Science of Sound Recording> http://www.artandscienceofsound.com
(You can pay to view his groundbreaking video series on music production)
NOTE:
Alan Parsons engineered Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon
and countless other classic hit records!

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Pink Floyd – “Dark Side of the Moon”

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Alan Parsons is headlining at the High End Hi-Fi Show in Munich, Germany in May!

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Alan Parsons Live!

 



 

Dead in the Dome 2.0!

Dead in the Dome 2.0!
One More Saturday Night!
(Saturday – night number one – November 9, 2019)

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Dead in the Dome 2.0 at the Wisdome L.A.

“Dead in the Dome 2.0”
a concert with Melvin Seals and the Jerry Garcia Band
with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic
and Samskara at the Wisdome in DTLA.

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NOTE: The concert was November 9th, 2019. We started this Blog Post and then it sat all through November-December, and now it’s January 2020. So we are finally posting it.

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Jerry Garcia

 

The Jerry Garcia Band (JGB) is a San Francisco Bay Area rock band. It was founded in 1975 by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead. It and his collaboration with David Grisman (Grateful Dawg) were the most important of his many side projects before his death in 1995. The JGB continues to tour with Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock.

 

 

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Downtown Los Angeles! Somewhere near the Urth Cafe in a kinda sketchy part of the Arts District is WisDome.LA. It’s a collection of container buildings and geo-domes. Enter through a container Box Office and “Lobby”. The open air space and astroturf with psychedelic mood lighting puts you in the mood for “Dead In the Dome 2.0”!

The WisDome Facilities:

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The large Domes contain the exhibits and the performance venue. One had the Samskara visual art exhibit, one had mirrors, one just had psychedelic projections and music with cushions on the floor to sit and lie on, and one had the stage and projection setup for the band’s performance with dance space, chair seating and reclined VIP viewing sofa seats.

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The restrooms (Banos) are in a portable trailer with tall stairs to negotiate and a swinging door that might knock you out. The VIP Section was fenced off and adjacent to a two-story container building, with the bottom floor seating available as a VIP lounge space and the upstairs used as the Artist Dressing and Green Room area. There was a vegan food truck and a cocktail bar serving food and drink. And there was a small Merchandise Dome and a few Vendor Tents and Tables set up outside selling cool “Shakedown Street” stuff. There was a cold Mediterranean food buffet inside the VIP.

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Samskara Art Exhibition – the walkthrough experience:

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And here is only a small sampling of the Visual Art:

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NOTE: Samskara = Very trippy psychedelic art that was also interactive. The art changed colors on it’s own, depending on lighting and “mood” settings. And there’s an APP for viewing the art that adds a whole other dimension of psychedelia! It has to be seen to be experienced. There was also video art with both small, medium and very large screens for art viewing. And more cushions on the floor for sitting and lying down on while viewing. We also shot some video of the experience, so check it out!

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Inside one of the Domes there was a giant kaleidoscope type projection set to music being projected, and unfortunately our pictures just don’t do the effects justice. They were very beautiful 3-D CGI graphics that moved and morphed. There was another Dome that had mirrors reflection different graphic patterns.

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“The VIP Experience”
included a COLD vegan Middle Eastern vegan buffet and one drink ticket.

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We sampled most of the items and the food kinda totally sucked.
(Seriously, how do you screw up hummus?)
So, vodka and sprite for a liquid dinner!

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NOTE: There was a guy doing promotions for a Cannabis Ginger Lemonade in the VIP Section, so we sampled one, and then added vodka/sprite to make a “Mary Jane Mule”.

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Bob Minkin, the photographer, was at the show vending his “Just Jerry” book. He also shared a live presentation before the concert with projections and commentary on some of his fantastic photos from the book in the Main Dome.

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and Other Vendors:

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Embroidered GD Patches on a Leather Vest

THE SHOW!
Melvin Seals and The Jerry Garcia Band with Steve Kimock and DJ Logic!
(with cool projections of Jerry Garcia’s art on the Dome tuned to the music)

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The JGB Band ROCKED! It was a great show musically! Melvin Seals and Steve Kimock played great and brought back sweet memories of Jerry as the band performed some JGB setlist staples:

Steve played so well, the band made him a permanent member a couple weeks later! Well deserved and a great addition to The JGB! There were a couple moments during the show that took me right back to seeing Jerry in the 80s at The Stone in San Francisco.

The projections were cool, and added to the experience, but the focus was on the band. the music, and the lightshow, and since we didn’t add any psychedelic enhancement to our experience, the visual effects were secondary to the concert experience.

NOTE: The concert was billed as a “2 Night Event”, but we only went on Saturday.

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NOW HERE IS THE THING! VERY IMPORTANT! AND ALSO A RANT!

We paid a lot more for the VIP experience and recliner sofa seats upfront near the stage. And when the concert started our viewing experience was ruined by the standing crowd that was allowed in front of the stage and in the aisle next to our low lounge seat.
And there were NO USHERS, STAFF OR SECURITY PEOPLE ANYWHERE! Seriously, we went looking and had to go to the Tech Staff at the sound/light/projection board and ask if there was anyone! We went outside to find someone and encountered a private security guard who told us that he wasn’t security for the concert, but he would try to find someone. So we went back and tried to enjoy the first set with the rude millennial jerkoffs who never saw Jerry standing in the aisle blocking the audience’s view of the stage and completely inconsiderate of anyone else. So, at the Intermission we went and found the PERSON IN CHARGE and told him what’s up. He was apologetic and responded to the problems and for the Second Set there were Ushers placed to keep the dance floor crowd on the dance floor at the back of the house. Of course, it was too little too late, and there still a crowd in front of the stage (and it’s always the tall people who do the one step right, one step left dance of course). The PERSON IN CHARGE told me they would refund my ticket, and they did!

Thank you WisDome.LA for the Tremendous Customer Service and satisfaction!

That being said, THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SECURITY AT THE VENUE!
The Deadhead crowd was older and very well behaved, with the exception of the Millennials who never saw Jerry, and the lack of Security and easily identifiable Staff, was still a problem! We would not recommend anyone we know attend an event until they fix this problem! If there had been an Emergency or a Situation, it would have not gone well. Additionally the Door Security at the Box Office was almost non-existent: there was no search or surveillance security that we could detect. It’s a really nice facility and the concept is great, but we didn’t feel safe. And all it takes is one unfortunate incident that gets some press and no one will ever go there again…remember Westwood?

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Urth Caffe in DTLA

After the show, we walked the two blocks back to our car. There is lots of street parking, but it fills up if there’s an event, and the neighborhood remains sketchy…. so we found a parking space across from the Urth Caffe (got lucky) because it’s well lit and there’s a lot of foot traffic. Also, they have a clean restroom without a line for use before and after the event, which is a definite benefit. And we drove home without incident.

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Update 01-09-19: Found this. Thank you Trixie!

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Update 1-16-2020: Pictures of Jerry Garcia from our Blog Archives:

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Dead & Company at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California Friday 12-27-19

Dead & Company
at the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California
Friday 12-27-19

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We were gifted a ticket from a friend for Christmas!

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Friday night, lots of traffic on the 405 and into Inglewood on the way. Parking was confusing and we ended up paying $30 to park far away near the SOFI Stadium still under construction. So we walked a long way to get into the Fabulous Forum.

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The doors were open and the show was starting when we arrived and the BULLS*T security check took a lot longer than it should have, even though there was no line! They had walk-through metal detectors and untrained staff working the tables….

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So we cleared the checkpoint and in we went, we missed the Truckin’ opener and didn’t even bother to go to our designated seat in the back nosebleeds. Instead we moved to the front and down into the side loge boxes and found an unoccupied seat with a great view of the band onstage during Alabama Getaway. It was actually two empty seats, so we had room to dance a little. And we enjoyed the view so much, that we went back after intermission and danced there for the second set too.

Have to admit that it was my first live Dead & Company show. Had not seen them live in person before, only via vids and live interweb transmissions, so being there was great! The show was a little slow in places for my taste and they noodled (improvised jam session) a whole lot. Kept thinking how much we miss Jerry Garcia, and especially how much we miss Brent Mydland and his keyboards/piano/organ and vocals.

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Dead & Company Friday 12-27-19 Setlist

 

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Intermission! We headed for concessions and got a bag of nacho cheese Doritos and a bottled water ($4.50 + $5.50 = $10) and it took forever in a relatively short line…. we used the restroom and wandered around outside checking out the scene on the smoking patio.

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Expensive Concessions at the Fabulous Forum

2nd Set TERRAPIN! They were teasing Dark Star all through the first set, so when they went into Lady With A Fan>Terrapin Station after Playing In The Band it really made our night! Oteil sang China Doll and they sandwiched Drums/Space inside The Other One. They closed out the set with a long Wharf Rat and rocking’ US Blues. And then they played Dark Star the following night (which we watched on the interweb).

They closed the show with an encore performance of Ripple (with Bob and John playing acoustic guitars) as a tribute to the late great Robert Hunter.  It was beautiful, and of course the audience always sings along! The show finished at one minute to eleven.

Cool guitars! Outside on the patio, they had more concessions, merchandise stands (with shirts and hoodies priced from $45-$100), and the Participation Row area. Win a guitar or bid and buy a guitar? Of course always for a good cause.

 

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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2020!
New Years Eve in San Francisco with Dead & Company
Bill Walton and Wavy Gravy as Father Time and Baby New Year at Midnight!
Trixie and Sunshine flew in over the audience in a biplane “The Dead Baron” built from the skeleton of the “Giant Joint”. We weren’t there, we watched it LIVE on the interweb.

NOTE: We started feeling sick with a sore throat and didn’t go out on New Years Eve because we didn’t want to expose any of our friends to our oncoming illness.

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12-31-19 Fireworks from Walt Disney World (with the sound off)

 



 

 

OCTOBER 2019 Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

OCTOBER 2019 – Taimane in Malibu, Rocktoberfest, and Halloween!

And so it is ROCK-TOBER again, and Halloween is on the doorstep.
Thanksgiving and “the Winter Holidays” (Christmas) are waiting in the wings.
Where does the time go? What happened to this year? Tempus Fugit! Time flies.

A Blog Post in three parts: first, some LIVE MUSIC Taimane in Malibu, second, a review of the month of October, and third, a little fun with “The Big Lebowski” and “Office Space”.

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US 101 North – Ventura Highway

Thursday’s sunset on the 101 freeway on the way to Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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Taimane LIVE at Pepperdine University 10-17-19

NOTE: Taimane is pronounced Tie-mane-ee

Taimane and her Quartet – Elemental Tour
with special guest Polynesian Dancers
in the Smothers Theatre at 8pm
2019 Nā Hōkū Hanohano Favorite Entertainer of the Year!
A wonderful showcase and celebration of Polynesian culture.

with added bonus “It’s All Black & White” Contemporary Art exhibit
in the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door – FREE Admission!
(see our previous Blog Post for pictures of the art)

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“It’s All Black & White” Art at Pepperdine University

One Ticket to the show: $20+$2 service charge = $22 Total!
and FREE PARKING if you park in the shuttle lot and ride.
(and $7 to park nearby if you don’t want to shuttle)

“She shreds on ukulele and rocks everything from Beethoven to Led Zeppelin. Somehow she manages to not only rock out but connect the audience with meaningful Hawaiian traditions and dances.” – Austin American-Statesman

It was an easy drive from the San Fernando Valley to Malibu. There was only a little stopped traffic caused by the stoplight and left-turning cars at the intersection of Las Virgenes and Mulholland going through the Santa Monica Mountains to the beach. Our destination: Pepperdine University on the Pacific Coast Highway (Route 1) above the Pacific Ocean.

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US 101 Freeway (north/west)- Ventura Highway at Sunset

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View of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean from Pepperdine at night

We parked for FREE in the shuttle lot and after a short ride we were at the Smothers Theatre picking up our ticket at WillCall. It was a beautiful evening at the beach! We arrived early, walked around a little, took some pictures of the campus, and then visited the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art next door and experienced the “It’s All Black & White” contemporary art exhibit for FREE! (pictures of the art in our previous Blog Post)

Lovely fountains, the Palm Court next to the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, steps that lead down to the lower campus and a Starbuck’s, the parking lot and the Smothers Theatre at the Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts – Pepperdine University in Malibu.

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And when they opened the house doors, we went to find our seat. Orchestra Row B, on the side aisle. The show started about 15 minutes late, and then it was magic time! Taimane has a beautiful voice  and she jams on the ukulele (and guitar)! She talked directly to the audience, introduced each section/song during the performance and created a intimate relationship with the audience. Her quartet were also amazing! She was accompanied by a guitar, violin and percussion (actually a trio) and two wonderful dancers who performed hula and haka dances during a few of her pieces. We enjoyed the show very much! We love LIVE MUSIC! And the performance was really fun.

One of the reasons we chose a seat on the side was in case video recording was allowed…. and it was! The lighting and our cheap cel phone camera made it difficult to get good pictures (as you can see, we had the same problem at Lebowskifest), but the videos we shot came out pretty good and did a good job of capturing the musical performance.

A couple interesting points: 1. The theatre space makes the performance different from a club venue or music stage, and the audience response was great, but somewhat subdued.
2. The actual show length was kind of short. They started late and played a short first set, then there was an intermission, and a longer second set.  And done before 10:30. There was time for more music (at least another song), and there could and should have been a little or a lot more music, and maybe less introduction. But for only $22 for the ticket we should just shut up, because it was a fabulous performance that we really enjoyed.

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NOTE: Why does this always happen? The nice (old) couple behind me sat down and started talking…. season ticket holders? They knew nothing about the artist or the music.
And they had a wonderful experience! We know because they talked….

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During Intermission and after the show, Taimane worked the “Merch” table, signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone! The other musicians and the dancers also came and mingled with the crowd and everyone was very friendly.

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Spotted this car in the shuttle parking lot after the show! Lots of vintage stickers too.

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We rode the shuttle back to the parking lot and walked to our car enjoying the view of Malibu and the Pacific Ocean at night from the university heights. We once lived in the Pacific Palisades on the Pacific Coast Highway just south of Malibu with a panoramic view of the ocean and we really miss enjoying it 24/7.  We drove south on PCH and then back to the San Fernando Valley through Topanga Canyon. There was construction and we had to stop twice for traffic when it was just a single lane. There were too many slow drivers and one crazy tailgater, but we got home eventually without incident.

Ukulele virtuoso Taimane Gardner performs
at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
(Right Click and “Open in New Window”)
www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ-_ZO9AlMo
and her page on fb> www.facebook.com/taimanegardner

NOTE: The three Taimane live performance videos we shot have been uploaded to our personal fb page and may soon be available on our YouTube channel, if we can figure out how to upload them from our cheapo camera. Her videos on YouTube rock!

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“So I was sitting in my cubicle today, and I realized, ever since I started working,
every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it.
So that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”
– Peter Gibbons, Office Space

Here is our old 2010 commercial real estate office space in West Los Angeles:

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Our CUBICLE in the West Los Angeles Office

As a Hollywood Talent Manager we worked from the Home Office for over 10 years. It was a big change having to wake up, get ready and then drive to work to get to the office and our work desk in our cubicle space. Try doing the 405 Freeway Crawl for a year! It was only 12 miles, but it could take well over an hour to get from the Valley to West L.A. And the drive “over the hill” isn’t much better using the canyon roads, as we found out working at the Century City adjacent Talent Agency. It sucks to arrive at work already stressed out from the drive, and then to still have to be present and accounted for all day. And then stress out on the drive home in horrible traffic again after work…….

Agent, Agent, Agent! Three jobs in a row:
Commercial Real Estate (sales & leasing) Agent – nice cubicle in nice office as seen above.
Hollywood Talent Agent – had our own office, but it really was just a “private” cubicle.
Luxury Travel Advisor/Travel Agent – didn’t even get walls, just got an open desk space.

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Milton: “I believe you have my stapler.”

And at present we are back in the Home Office, Right now, we are finishing this Blog Post in our bathrobe at 4:30am while drinking coffee and watching reruns (that we’ve already seen too many times) of “Two And A Half Men”.
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So OCTOBERFEST!
Rock Out it’s ROCKTOBERFEST!
And INKTOBER too!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

September 29: Happy Rosh Hashanah! Happy Jewish New Year!
(we celebrate for 2 days, and observe the holiday for 10 days)

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Happy Jewish New Year!

October 8 was Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement
(lots of prayers and fasting on the holiest day of the year)
A personal message from JoshWillTravel:
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Remember The Las Vegas Massacre on the Las Vegas Strip?
October 1st was the 2 year anniversary of the Route91 Harvest Music Festival:
58 people killed and 422 wounded.
October 27th is the 1 year anniversary of the Pittsburgh Tree of Life (L’Simcha congregation) Synagogue Shooting: 11 people killed and 7 others injured.

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“Enjoy Every Sandwich”

October is the tenth month of the year
Autumn in the Northern hemisphere
October’s birthstones are tourmaline and opal
Zodiac signs for October are Libra and Scorpio
And it’s National Pizza, Popcorn Poppin’, Pork, and Seafood Month!

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“Callin’ Oates” Your EMERGENCY Hall & Oates Hotline!

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We called it. It is real. “Whoaaaaa, here she comes…..”

October 20 – Remembering Tom Petty on his birthday.
Gone too soon. May his memory and music be a blessing!

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Happy BACK TO THE FUTURE DAY 2019!

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Oct 25 is St Crispin’s Day!
“This story shall the good man teach his son,
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be rememberèd” – Henry V
The Battle of Agincourt was fought on this day in 1415.

He stomped on the Terra.
Remembering Wolodia Grajonca (aka Bill Graham) today.
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HAPPY HALLOWEEN 2019!
Still on OCTOBER 31st for now…
Watch for a new Halloween Blog Post coming soon!

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Happy Halloween 2019!

“They did the Mash, They did the Monster Mash!”

The Dude Abides. And where did the year go?
How is it the end of October already?
TIME. TIME. TIME.
“It’s astoundingTime is fleeting. Madness takes it’s toll” – Riff Raff

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“Come join the slowest-growing religion in the world – Dudeism.
An ancient philosophy that preaches non-preachiness, practices as little as possible, and above all, uh…lost my train of thought there. Anyway, if you’d like to find peace on earth and goodwill, man, we’ll help you get started. Right after a little nap.”

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“And even if he’s a lazy man, and the Dude was most certainly that. Quite possibly the laziest in Los Angeles County, which would place him high in the runnin’ for laziest worldwide.”

“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just, like, your opinion, man.”

“Shomer Shabbos!” Friday at dusk until Saturday at sunset!

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“SHOMER F*CKIN’ SHABBOS!”

The Sheriff of Malibu: (a F*ckin’ Fascist!)
“I don’t like your jerk-off name, I don’t like your jerk-off face,

I don’t like your jerk-off behavior, and I don’t like you, jerk-off.”

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“Stay out of Malibu, Lebowski! Stay out of Malibu, Deadbeat! Keep your ugly fuckin’ goldbrickin’ ass out of my beach community.”

“I just dropped in to see what condition my condition was in.”

bzCemBG
The Dude Abides.

“Come, come, leave business to idlers, and wisdom to fools:
they have need of ’em: wit be my faculty, and pleasure my occupation,
and let father Time shake his glass.”
~William Congreve

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.         …I’m dreaming of a White Russian.

“Uh, I am not Mr. Lebowski. You’re Mr. Lebowski. I’m the Dude.
So that’s what you call me. You know uh, that or uh, his Dudeness,
or uh Duder or uh, El Duderino, if you know you’re not into the whole brevity thing.”

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“Truckin’, got my chips cashed in.
Keep truckin’, like the doo-dah man
Together more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.”
Steal-Your-Face-Jerry-Garcia-Hand

“For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone.” – Psalms 103:16

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FULL MOON FEVER!

OUR RECENT BLOG POSTS:
(we’ve been on a roll and these are all new!)



 

Quadrophenia! LIVE at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park on Saturday Night!

Pete Townshend’s “Classic Quadrophenia!”

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LIVE at the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park on Saturday Night!

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Saturday night’s alright for “Quadrophenia”!

NOTE: Still working on the “Road Trip” and “Burning Man” Blogs, but we decided to spend the money and see a LIVE show at the Greek Theatre on Saturday night.

Parking SUCKS at the Greek Theatre (and it always has). We tried to park at the “Offsite Parking Lot” for $10 and wanted to take the shuttle, but were greeted with “Unfortunately……”

It was explained by a lackey in orange vest that unless you paid online, they weren’t letting people pay cash and park because they didn’t have enough parking.
Because Griffith Park is TOO F*CKING SMALL AND DOESN’T HAVE ENOUGH SPACE TO PARK EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO PARK OFFSITE!
JUST ANOTHER City of Los Angeles FAIL.
(just count on the City to FAIL everytime)

So we drove around and then up the hill to the Greek Theatre, with traffic on Los Feliz and Vermont, and paid $25 to park on the grass on a hillside above the theatre. At least they had rows of cars instead of just “stack parking” and packing them in like the old days.

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It cost us an extra $15. We didn’t have to offsite park or take the shuttle and then we walked over to WillCall and picked up our $100 ticket ($79.50 + $18.80 fees). We bought a $5 bottled water so the price tag for the evening was ~$130 + gas (and another $10 for a cocktail + tip later on the way home).

The Greek Theatre in Griffith Park is a very nice venue once you get past the parking.

 

Here’s a handy seating chart and aerial view of the Greek Theatre (not my pics):

 

Our $100 ticket was for Sec B, Row U, Seat 13 – an okay seat on the $$$ price scale. For another $25 we could have been more center, and for a couple hundred dollars more we could have been in Sec A or front of Terrace (Loge seats), but WHY?

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Quadrophenia!

With Pete Townshend, Alfie Boe, Billy Idol, an orchestra and a choir!

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It wasn’t a rock concert. We knew that going in. It was a classical performance piece with full orchestra and a large choir. They performed the entire double album’s music beautifully and it rocked, but it wasn’t a rock concert and some people didn’t get it.

We really enjoyed the music, it’s one of our favorite WHO albums, and it was great to see it performed live with the orchestra and choir. The sound was really good at the Greek, and with the exception of the audience, it was a very good show.

EXIT (Stage Left): So, we waited for the Greek to empty out and there still was a line to get out of the GATED AREA. It is a VERY DANGEROUS EXIT because if there were an emergency, people would get crushed trying to escape. They didn’t have the large gates open, so everyone had to funnel into and out through the entrance point.

Drive through Griffith Park at night!

We walked back to our car and waited for the parking lot to empty, and the line at the restrooms to clear, then instead of driving down the hill back to Los Feliz, we drove through the park and then down to Western Avenue. There are great views of the city and Downtown Los Angeles from the road through the park, but the only pictures we took were in the tunnel because of the traffic and people walking to their cars.

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Tunnel Vision! Drive Through Griffith Park!

Saturday Night! We drove through Ferndell to Los Feliz and down Western to Hollywood Blvd. We got on the 101 freeway and headed back to the valley, and decided to stop for a post-show drink at the Chimneysweep Lounge in Sherman Oaks on the way home. It used to be a real “hole-in-the-wall” dive bar, but then it was taken over by hipsters…

We got a seat at the bar and enjoyed a Stoli rocks with a lime (our first and only drink of the evening). We people watched for a bit but they weren’t interesting people, decided we didn’t want to hang, so we headed home and ate some food before going to bed. It was a pretty fun night and we certainly enjoyed the music.

 

GREEK THEATRE in Griffith Park – 2700 N. Vermont Ave, Los Angeles 90027 http://www.lagreektheatre.com

Chimneysweep Lounge4354 Woodman Ave (at Moorpark), Sherman Oaks 91423

All photos copyright 2017 JoshWillTravel

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GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

GBTA 2013 Convention in San Diego! (Global Business Travel Association)

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NOTE: For ThrowbackThursday and FlashbackFriday we found this Blog draft. We laid out all the type and captions back in 2013 and never added the pics or details. So we went to the files for collateral from the convention, found old travel picture files on our other laptop for pictures that were never seen and also went hunting for the pics that we had already downloaded or posted, then we filled in all the details we could remember and constructed this Blog! And even though the event happened in 2013 we still hope you will enjoy this Blog for TravelTuesday in 2017!

We were invited to attend the GBTA 2013 Convention as a “Hosted Buyer”, but we had prior commitments and could only attend the first and second day of the event. So we made a one-night hotel reservation and arranged to attend the “preview day” on Sunday and the first day on Monday.

GBTA 2013 Convention Schedule for Sunday and Monday:
(Vendor Parties not shown) CLICK to SEE A LARGER PIC!

Road Trip to San Diego! – Ride along with me!

It was a foggy Sunday morning when we woke up very early and hit the road to San Diego. We left the San Fernando Valley at 7am to avoid traffic and drove south on the 405 and 5 freeways for about three hours. We were successful and drove fast (we also took pictures as we went) but other drivers were driving really fast! We were really amazed at the speed of some of the cars passing us at very high speeds like we were parked.

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GBTA 2013! – On The Road to San Diego (405 freeway south to 5 freeway south)

Ride along with me to San Diego, just click on the pics below:

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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GBTA 2013! – Downtown San Diego

Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego (A Hilton Hotel)

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego Atrium & Skylight

We arrived in San Diego and found our hotel, the Embassy Suites Downtown, sometime after 9am. We found metered street parking two blocks away from the hotel which was FREE and available because it was Sunday. We walked over to the hotel, had breakfast at the complimentary buffet and got an early check in.

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GBTA 2013! – Breakfast Buffet at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown San Diego

We went up to the room, checked it out and dropped our luggage. We set up the laptop, hooked into the hotel’s wi-fi and did our morning business via the internet and cell phone.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

After a short time in the room, we walked over to the Hyatt Regency and caught the Free Shuttle to the Convention Center.

Sunday was a “preview” day, so it was not very crowded, just busy. There were a lot of people checking in and the vendors and staff were making preparations for the week ahead. The Exhibition Hall didn’t open until Monday, but we were invited to the “First-Timers” lunch and the Welcome Party at the Hilton on Sunday evening.

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GBTA 2013! Global Business Travel Association Convention in San Diego

We rode the shuttle to the Convention Center, walked to Check-In, checked in and got our credentials, and then we walked to the “first timers” lunch in an adjacent meeting hall.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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GBTA 2013! – “First Timers” Lunch, Orientation and Welcome

On The Menu: Turkey sandwich with mozzarella cheese balls, lettuce & tomato and a slice of apple pie with iced tea, water and coffee

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CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

After lunch, we attended the “Going Global” session, walked around the Convention Center and then we walked to the shuttle pickup point, rode the shuttle back to the Hyatt and then walked back to our hotel. We cleaned up and enjoyed a free cocktail and complimentary appetizers at the Embassy Suites’ afternoon Happy Hour downstairs.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront

After the Happy Hour we drove over to the Hilton Bayfront Hotel and paid $15 to park for the Welcome Reception and Party on the Great Lawn which runs along the Marina.  An outdoor evening buffet for 7000 people or so, with beer/wine and magaritas at the bar.

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

NOTE: It was a huge convention! Every hotel in San Diego remotely close to the Convention Center was at capacity and filled with Travel Agents, Vendors, Travel Writers and other attendees from all over the United States and other parts of the world. We commented on the size of the crowd to a staff person at the Convention Center and they just laughed because Comic-Con had been in town the week before and the size of GBTA convention wasn’t even close to the overflow crowd for Comic-Con.

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GBTA 2013 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

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GBTA 2103 Welcome Reception Party on the Great Lawn – the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

On The Menu at the Welcome Reception Party Buffet at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront:
Buffalo chicken meatballs, lamb meatballs in a tomato sauce, pasta in lobster sauce, pita chips and a bunch of types of hummus, prime rib sliders with cheese, chicken potstickers, veggie potstickers, pork potstickers, other stuff too, and then on to the dessert table! Nice truffle selection, chocolate covered strawberries, candy lollipops in a bunch of weird flavors and mini-pastries…

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset Over A Sea of Travel Industry at the Hilton Bayfront Hotel in San Diego

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

We walked to over to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant for the next party. It was a long “Las Vegas” walk just after dark along the Marina and Bayfront to get to Roy’s, but it was worth it! We immediately regretted eating at the Welcome Party Buffet, because there was an amazing assortment of incredible food at Roy’s!

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GBTA 2013! – The Kitchen at Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Restaurant in San Diego

There were all kinds of sushi and cut rolls, egg rolls, chicken and beef satay skewers, Hawaiian style ribs, other tasty appetizers and finger foods, fresh fruit and a lot of fancy desserts. We ate and drank and networked until it got too crowded inside the large restaurant and we didn’t take any pictures (except the one of the kitchen above). We left the party early and took a little food “to go” for later at the hotel. We didn’t want to do anymore walking or make the long dark walk back to the Hilton parking structure, so we negotiated with a pedal cab guy and survived a really fast and wild nighttime ride back to the hotel along the Bayfront for $10+tip.

We walked to our car and drove back to the Embassy Suites. We valet parked our car at the hotel and retired to our hotel room. We did some work, ate the “to go” food (ribs, sushi and little chocolate balls) after midnight and went to bed.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Monday morning, we were up early and we enjoyed the Embassy Suites’ breakfast buffet again. We took the food up to the room, ate and did some more work, and then packed up our stuff, went downstairs and had a second breakfast. After eating again we got our stuff and checked out of the hotel. We picked up the car from the valet, drove to over the Convention Center and paid to park there. Parking was $15 for all day until midnight.

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GBTA 2013! – Embassy Suites Hotel Breakfast Buffet (in the room)

We arrived in time and got a pretty good seat for the Keynote Address and Lunch for 6000 people with a presentation and performance by singer/songwriter Jewel. All of the front area tables were “Reserved” so we took a seat at a forward table in the first section behind the front area. The hall at the Convention Center was massive! Lunch for 6000 is not an easy task!

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GBTA 2013 Keynote Lunch with Jewel at the San Diego Convention Center

Monday’s GBTA 2013 Keynote Speaker Jewel performs
“Who Will Save Your Soul” live at the San Diego Convention Center

RIGHT CLICK AND “OPEN IN NEW WINDOW” TO VIEW VIDEO>
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=703198789706690&set=vb.337421319696080&type=2&theater (facebook video)

On The Menu: iceberg lettuce salad, bread & butter, stuffed chicken breast with pesto sauce, vegetables, a fruit tart dessert and iced tea.

After lunch they opened the massive Exposition Hall which ran the entire length of the Convention Center and was filled with Vendors and Suppliers. There were also Vendor meetings scheduled for the afternoon. We walked a portion of the Exhibition Hall, collected brochures/information/swag and received invitations to events later on that evening and later in the week. It would have been impossible to cover the whole Exhibition Hall in one day, so we didn’t try. Instead we did what we could between 3-6pm and dropped all the promotional material in our car before beginning the evening activities.

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GBTA 2013! – The Gaslamp District Sign in San Diego

The Gaslamp District!
The Historic Heart of San Diego is located across the street and train tracks from the Convention Center. Bars, clubs, restaurants, hotels and plenty of gift shops are within easy walking distance (unless you’ve already walked all day).

Let’s get this party started!
We were invited to eight different parties happening at different locations around the Gaslamp District and the Bayfront near the Convention Center.

Monday Party # 1 – Sunset cocktails and dinner at the Altitude Lounge

Our first invitation was for a party at the Altitude Lounge on top of the Marriott Gaslamp Hotel. We walked over to the Marriott Hotel next door to the Convention Center, but it was the wrong Marriott. So then we walked over to the Gaslamp District and found the right hotel. We ate and drank and watched the sunset from the rooftop patio.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Excellent view of San Diego and Mission Bay from the outdoor patio!

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GBTA 2013! View from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – View of Petco Park from the Altitude Lounge in San Diego

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GBTA 2013! – Sunset in San Diego from the Altitude Lounge

On The Menu: tray passed appetizers and a buffet with eggrolls, beef on toast, beef and chicken satay, tuna on wonton crisp, crab on cracker, pita bread and hummus and more… catered by Flemings Steakhouse!

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Monday Party #2 –
We crashed The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

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GBTA 2013! – The Parking Spot Party at Lou & Mickey’s at the Gaslamp

We left the party and walked across the street and crashed The Parking Spot’s party at Lou & Mickey’s restaurant. We ate and drank and met the nice folks from The Parking Spot and told them we crashed their party. They didn’t mind. Their party ended early, and the place emptied as the crowd left for other parties that were just getting started.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

Monday Party #3 – GBTA 2013 “AMPED” Party at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – Stevie Ray Vaughn’s Guitar at the Hard Rock Hotel San Diego

We walked over to our next event: the AMPED party at the Hard Rock Hotel! We ate and drank and met a bunch of really nice people. It started slow but soon the crowd at the main bar was five people deep, the music was rockin’ and it got pretty hopping.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY
AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

This party was on a very large rooftop patio, with several permanent bars, a couch area with fire pits and portable heaters, several floating bars and a bunch of buffet stations with a great selection of food. There was good music, of course, and a stage was set up for performance, but it didn’t get used until later. There was even a photo booth for taking pictures with silly wigs, hats and props.

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GBTA 2013! – Buffet Station at the AMPED Party at the Hard Rock Hotel

We asked permission before taking these pics of one of the Go-Go Dancers on a raised pedestal (there were several). She said “Go ahead, I don’t see why not” and posed for the first one. And she was a fantastic dancer too!

Monday Party #4 – Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego!

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GBTA 2013! – The Bar at Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel in San Diego

We had one more party to check out or we would have just stayed at the Hard Rock, instead we left the hotel and walked over to Level Skye Club at the Andaz Hotel. We walked a lot and we were wearing our dress shoes, so by the end of the night our feet were really hurting. We were also tired from a long day at the convention and a long night of partying.
When we got to the club the upstairs was deceptively quiet because downstairs in the basement it was raging! The party at Level Skye was really “off-the-hook” with funky dance music and lots of light and a lot of drunk travel agents. Travel industry people love to party! Thanks American Express!

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GBTA 2013! – Big Party at Level Skye Club in the Andaz Hotel Basement in San Diego

We didn’t eat or drink anything alcoholic because we still had to walk back to the car and drive home to Los Angeles. So, Monday late night we walked back to the car on sore feet before they closed the Convention Center Garage for the night (at midnight).

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Parking ($15 all day – closes at midnight)

We drove back to Los Angeles on the 5 freeway north after midnight and hit a impossible “Stop-and-Go” traffic jam along the way because of construction at 2am in the morning.

When we finally made it home after 3am, we unloaded the car and crashed hard. We had a really good time, did a lot of business and networking, saw Jewel play live music, enjoyed our “budget” stay at the Embassy Suites, and ate and drank and danced and partied in San Diego for two days.

NOTE: We did a lot of walking, a whole lot of walking in our dress shoes, so next time we bring and wear more comfortable walking shoes.

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GBTA 2013! – San Diego Convention Center Stairs at Night

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GBTA 2013! – We did not attend GBTA 2014 in Los Angeles

FINAL NOTE: We finished this Blog and hit “PUBLISH” and it did not. WordPress lost the Blog and the draft(s) totally disappeared! We had to use Google Cache to rescue it and then we had to start over and rebuild the original Blog again. Total waste of time. There is a flaw (BUG) in the wordpress program, because when we went looking for help we found that this has happened to other people as well. So, please ENJOY THIS BLOG, a lot of time went into it.



 

UPDATED Wednesday March 29, 2017 – We posted this Blog yesterday!

We collected a bunch of FREE stuff in the short time we were there, two bags full of stuff actually! Most was promotional “paper”: sell sheets, pamphlets, maps and brochures. But there was some fun giveaway stuff and cool “incentives” for visiting certain booths.

We were given a “Swag” bag at check-in provided/sponsored by Delta and the padded bag was very nice. We recently found it in Storage (see our previous Blog about Storage) and we are now using it as a laptop bag.

UPDATED April 5, 2017 – TRAVEL TIP!
We found these “hospitality cards” (restaurant and bar coupons, freebies, come-ons, etc.) from the San Diego trip. We had so much FREE food and drink and were only in town for one night, so we didn’t use any of them. They can be found at the Concierge Desk at the San Diego Convention Center (and these are just a few of the ones available).

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Hospitality Cards (Restaurant and Bar Coupons, Freebies, Come-Ons, etc.)

Twelfth Night!

Twelfth Night!
January 6, 2017

“On the twelfth day of Christmas
my true love gave to me

Twelve Drummers Drumming!”

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“If music be the food of love, play on!”
-Duke Orsino Twelfth Night Act I, scene I by William Shakespeare

Nevermind the religion…
Twelfth Night on January 6th has always been the date we use to mark the end of the winter Holiday Season. Also, it’s the name of a Shakespeare play that we like. And if they’re going to sell Christmas for 3 months beforehand, we should get to appreciate and celebrate the entire Twelve Days of Christmas! This year (2017) Twelfth Night (January 6th) falls on a Friday, so we get to extend the holiday for one more weekend, even though we’re expecting a monster storm to hit hard in Los Angeles Saturday through Monday.

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Originally a Catholic holiday, the Feast of the Epiphany, the actual Elizabethan festival of Twelfth Night became a day of revelry. Servants dressed as their masters, men dressed as women and women as men. The festive ritual and role reversal was based on the ancient Roman festival of Saturnalia. It involved the antics of a Lord of Misrule, who before leaving his temporary position of authority, would call for entertainment, songs and mummery: comedic plays performed by costumed amateur actors (traditionally all male) at feasts and functions in exchange for money and/or food.

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“Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
and some have greatness thrown upon them.”
– Feste, the Clown

Shakespeare’s comedic play “Twelfth Night, or What You Will” was written to be performed as a Twelfth Night entertainment. The earliest known performance took place at Middle Temple Hall on Candlemas night, February 2, 1602, the formal end of Christmastide in England. It may have been staged a year earlier in a private performance for Elizabeth I before the Court at Whitehall Palace on Twelfth Night, January 6th, 1601.

The influence of English folk tradition can be found in the play, particularly in Feste the clown’s songs and dialogue. Many elements are reversed in the tradition of Twelfth Night: a woman dressing as a man, and a servant imagining that he can become a nobleman. Shakespeare also chose to fictionalized Illyria, an ancient region in southern Europe on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as the romantic setting for the story.

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Twelfth Night or What You Will” by William Shakespeare

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The Wisdom of Feste the Clown:jester-with-puppet

“Well, God give them wisdom that have it; and those 
that are fools, let them use their talents.”

“Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage”

“Foolery, sir, does walk about the orb like the sun, 
it shines every where.”

“Better a witty fool than a foolish wit.”

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

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Feste’s Song (at the conclusion of Act V):

“When that I was and a little tiny boy, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
A foolish thing was but a toy, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came to man’s estate, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
’Gainst knaves and thieves men shut their gate, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came, alas! to wive, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
By swaggering could I never thrive, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
But when I came unto my beds, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
With toss-pots still had drunken heads, 
    For the rain it raineth every day. 
A great while ago the world begun, 
    With hey, ho, the wind and the rain, 
But that’s all one, our play is done, 
    And we’ll strive to please you every day.”
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So, is it really unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night?

Generate your own Elizabethan Oath, Curse or Insult > http://www.renfaire.com/Language/insults.html

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Oregon Shakespeare Festival Twelfth Night 2016

 

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…And a Partridge in a Pear Tree!


GOOD SHABBOS! Shabbat Shalom!
Happy Twelfth Night! Let’s Feast!

“Old Christmas is past, Twelfth Night is the last,
And we bid you adieu, great joy to the new!”

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On The Menu: NY Steak, sautéed onions, roasted red potatoes, steamed broccoli & carrots, bread & butter and an iced espresso. Later for dessert, 2 chocolate covered custard filled donuts and an espresso.

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ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

ThrowbackThursday! Joey Villa at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas!

Here’s the story about Joey Villa and the time we met Perry Como and Jilly Rizzo at the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 – Today they imploded the Monaco Tower at the Riviera.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 – Today they imploded the last towers of the Riviera

Thanks to the Las Vegas Review-Journal for the live video!
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Riviera Hotel & Casino

We worked on a film (you’ve probably never heard of or seen it) called “Eternity” in 1990.

We met many famous people: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Wilford Brimley, Lainie Kazan, Kaye Ballard, Steven Keats, Eileen Davidson, John P. Ryan, Charles Knapp, Eugene Roche, Robert Carricart, Frankie Valli and Joey Villa.

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“Eternity” aka “Evil Brother” feature film 1989 Pictured: Jon Voight, Armand Assante, Perri Lister, Kaye Ballard, Eileen Davidson, Charles Knapp RIP and Joey Villa RIP as the Jester

We became good friends with Joey Villa and he invited us to visit him, first at his home in Beverly Hills which doubled as his booking office, and then at the Riviera Hotel and Casino on The Strip in Fabulous Las Vegas where he was performing. He was friends with Meshulim Riklis and Pia Zadora, who owned the resort at the time, and was a headliner in “Splash!” in the big showroom at the Riviera for nine years. Joey also booked acts, hosted and headlined in the comedy room at the hotel.

Joey Villa (Joseph Charles Villani) was born on March 19, 1937. He was an actor and comedian, known for “Heat” (1986 with Burt Reynolds), “Eternity” (1990) and “They Call Me Bruce?” (1982). He died at the age of 68 on December 16, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada from complication from a stroke.

Villa, a native of New York, appeared in just a handful of movies, but he made his mark as a stand-up comedian, performing in Las Vegas as well as clubs around the country. He also spent many years performing on cruise ships, and eventually booked acts for the ocean liners. Villa opened for many famous entertainers, including Nat King Cole, Paul Anka, the Pointer Sisters and Diana Ross and the Supremes. He was a frequent guest on talk shows, including “The Merv Griffin Show” and “The Mike Douglas Show.” Villa was a close friend of both Frank Sinatra and of Sinatra’s “right-hand man” Jilly Rizzo. He gave one of the eulogies at Rizzo’s funeral when the celebrity restaurateur was killed in a car accident by a drunk driver in 1992 in Palm Springs, California.

Joey’s famous opening line from his stand-up comedy act for over 40 years was, “I’m going to live until I die” ……and then he would drop to the stage floor. Every audience roared with laughter as Joey stood up after falling down and began his show. He kept the audience laughing throughout his entire performance. “At the end they always applauded and cheered and left smiling, feeling they were parting as friends.”

“Joey was loved by everyone, from Sinatra on down,” Larry Manetti said.

Villa had no children and died at a local hospice. Survivors include three sisters. Joey and his former wife divorced in 1982 and remained close friends. “He was a gentle man, a much kinder man than most people knew,” she said. “He was born to make people laugh — and he made thousands laugh and applaud, and for a very short time they would forget their problems.”

Nelson Sardelli, a close friend of Villa, said the comedian will be cremated and his ashes cast into the sea. “He requested that there not be any services…He was a gentle person…Sometimes he looked like he was looking for approval…A little accolade, that’s want he wanted.” One friend described him as “happy on the outside, but sad on the inside. He was sort of a lonely person, but at the same time loved to be around people and make them laugh. But I think that is the way most comedians are.”

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Vegas in the 1980’s before the Mirage opened in 1989 was a wild place! The last Casino holdouts of “Old Vegas” (before they tried to turn it into a “family friendly” destination and eventually turned it into Disneyland for Adults when the big corporations took over) were the main attractions. It was all about GAMBLING (not gaming) in the 80’s and they “comped” players to rooms, meals, shows and more without a plastic card. It really was “Sin City”! You could drive The Strip from Tropicana to Sahara without traffic and there were still undeveloped empty lots on The Strip!

There wasn’t a Fremont Street Experience, there was Fremont Street and Downtown Vegas, uncovered and dirty. Strip Clubs, showgirls, 99 cent buffets, free drinks, cigarette girls, $2 Blackjack…. even then we preferred The Strip.

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

The Evolution of Las Vegas!

Back in the day, we stayed and played at many of the classic hotels and casinos.

We saw “Seigfried and Roy” at the Mirage when it was the new joint on the strip.

Circus Circus, Thunderbird Hotel, El Rancho, The Landmark, Dunes, Desert Inn, Stardust, Barbary Coast, Wild Bill’s, Sahara, Aladdin, El Morocco, La Concha, Imperial Palace, Riviera, Las Vegas Hilton, Monte Carlo

Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah’s, Bally’s, Tropicana, Bellagio, Palms, Hard Rock Hotel, The Rio, Treasure Island, Mirage, MGM Grand, Venetian, Palazzo, The Cromwell

Pierino Ronald “Perry” Como (May 18, 1912-May 12, 2001) was an Italian American singer and television personality. During a career spanning more than half a century, he recorded exclusively for RCA Victor for 44 years after signing with the label in 1943.

Ermenigildo “Jilly” Rizzo  (May 6, 1917-May 6, 1992) – On his 75th birthday, Rizzo was killed when his car was hit by a drunk driver in Rancho Mirage, California

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Farewell to the Riviera Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas!
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“Crazy Girls” at the Riviera Hotel

 

Dec 19, 2005 3:20 AM
In fond memory of Joey Villa
Classic comedian and longtime friend, Joey Villa, has left us at age 68. He passed last weekend at a local hospice. Joey had suffered a stoke in May, and despite rehabilitation, never fully recovered. He was a classic Las Vegas comic, a mainstay at the Riviera and an opening act for some of the top headliners ever to play the Strip including Frank Sinatra.
I first met him in New York and he always gave me great advice during my many attempts to make it big locally. He would always say, “Kid, you’d be better off going back to New York, they’ll never accept you here.” His pal Nelson Sardelli announced the sad news in an e-mail, saying Villa had gone to “the main room in Heaven,” where he was booked “for eternity, with options.”
– Monti Rock, Gaming Today


A few new old pics of Joey ripped from the interweb:

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!


And some Film Posters:

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AND THEN CLICK AGAIN TO VIEW THE PIC AT FULL SIZE!

And a pic of a “45”:

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From Youtube: Original Three Friends Joe Villa – Blanche/Mona Lisa 


 

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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! http://www.joshwilltravel.wordpress.com
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30000 Hits! THANK YOU! Another Benchmark!

Many thanks to our loyal readers and all the “drop-in” visitors since February 2013!

There are almost 600 Previous Blog Posts (BLOGS) archived for your enjoyment!
Use the Search Box at the top of the page or just read though (there’s an “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the page) to find fun and interesting stuff.

THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! More to come!

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THANK YOU!