Tag: Guns N’ Roses

Late Nights at Canter’s Deli

k150_23SZDheel iconI recently stopped into Canter’s to grab a late night meal and a flood of memories came back to me. Canter’s Deli is a historical spot in Los Angeles. Opening in 1953 on Fairfax Avenue, its been serving up mile-high sandwiches, breakfast round the clock, coffee and cocktails to hipsters, the Jewish district and seniors who love it for its classic ambience and rock ‘n’ roll cool factor.


I spent many post-clubbing late nights in Canter’s when I first moved to Hollywood. I remember hanging with all my pals until we could see the sun coming up out of Canter’s glass doors. It wasn’t uncommon to see plenty of actors and rock stars also stopping in to grab a bite.

I’ve also rocked out in the adjacent bar, The Kibitz Room, seeing the Wallflowers, featuring Bob Dylan’s son, Jakob, before they put albums out. They made the place a really fun regular club night and you never knew who would show up for a jam session.

And of course, there’s Rodney Bingenheimer. The KROQ DJ who has broken bands from the Ramones to The Cure to Coldplay on his show Rodney on the ROQ, has been a fixture at Canter’s for what must be decades now. You can always spot him having dinner around 10:30 p.m. in his regular booth that now bears a plaque with his name on it.

Flashback! With Rodney Bingenheimer and LA Weekly’s Lina Lecaro
at Rodney’s English Disco, 2000.

I got to bump into Rodney when I went there this week and it was great to catch up. I hadn’t seen him since I was clubbing regularly as a music journalist for the Los Angeles Times and he had reopened his club Rodney’s English Disco, an iconic hot spot in the early ‘70s where Bowie, The New York Dolls and Iggy Pop were regulars. Rodney brought it back for a short time in the early 2000s.

And one more rock ‘n’ roll sidenote, Guns N’ Roses also spent a number of late nights at Canter’s.  During those days Marc Canter, a member of the Canter family who runs the Deli, was a regular scenester taking photos. He put out a book about GNR called “Reckless Road.” I have a copy of it and it’s an excellent chronicle of those crazy times, with amazing photos of the band.  You can pick it up at the deli to have a great read with your meal!


Nosh ‘n rock,

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Tag: Guns N’ Roses

A Night with a Beatle

I don’t think I could be a fan of the ‘60s era without loving the Beatles. In fact, I don’t think I could be alive and not love the Beatles. So I was pretty excited when I had a chance to go see Ringo Starr and his All “Starr” band at the Greek Theatre this past weekend.

It was a perfect summer evening to see a show nestled in the trees of Griffith Park. Ringo was in full effect and it’s hard to believe he’s 72. He looks a man of age 50 and has the energy of a little kid, smiling widely, telling jokes and doing his boppy, swinging arm dance, punctuating his between-song banter with shouts of “peace and love!” I adored him!

His All “Starr” band included Todd Rundgren, Toto’s Steve Lukather, Santana/Journey keyboardist Gregg Rolie, Mr. Mister singer/bassist Richard Page, drummer Gregg Bissonette and sax player/percussionist Mark Rivera.

Ringo took turns sharing frontman duties with the rest of his band, who each got a chance to bust out some of their best hits. And there were a few surprises, firstly, Joe Walsh who came out and did a down ‘n’ dirty version of “Rocky Mountain Way,” and then the finale when Ringo called on a “little help from his friends” and was joined on stage by Peter Frampton, Jeff Lynne, Edgar Winter, Micky Dolenz of the Monkees, Gary Wright, Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and others.

All-in-all it was such a joyful night. I must say, now I know why these songs are classic hits – I knew them all and had a really good time singing along!

Act naturally,

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Tag: Guns N’ Roses

Rock of Ages: Movie Review

In continuing my “Rock of Ages” celebration, I had to write a review now that I saw the movie over the weekend.

The film is fun. I know the critic’s reviews have been mixed. I think you have to have a rocker spirit for this – have either been on the Sunset Strip at the time or wish you were. I’ll admit the opening scenes of the movie are a little too musical-cheesy and had me worried, but it definitely hit its stride and rose to the occasion to rock. So on with the review:

Tom Cruise – I’ve never been fan. I always thought of him as too mannequin-esque, no edge. But man, he did his homework on this, he truly embodied it. I loved the bravado, the moves, the sex, the well-timed comedic moments, and those scenes where a mere hand gesture carried so much attitude. Mr. Cruise you won me on this one.

Buff boys – most of the guys back in the day were rail thin, pre-middle age spread and many were drug addicts. Few were as fit as our leads in the movie. (I can only think of Bret Michaels and Glenn Danzig as looking like they hit the gym.) It’s hard to believe Cruise is age 50 playing Stacee Jaxx. Most 20-year-olds don’t look that good. Dang!

The songs – great to hear some of the big hits of the time from Def Leppard, Poison, Warrant, Twisted Sister and GNR but some of the soundtrack was a little too early ’80s – I could have used less Pat Benatar and Jefferson Starship and more Aerosmith and Motley Crue, which were bands who helped inspire that time. I also would have liked to have seen some punk and death rock in there since those scenes were still happening a bit. I did think the mashups were brilliant however!  Read more about the bands from the Strip that I was listening to at the time: http://yhoo.it/KAv4lN

Russell Brand – IS a rock star, he lives it and makes me laugh so hard every time he’s on screen. The scenes with him and Alec Baldwin had me literally buckled over! I would party with him ANY time!

Julianne Hough – OK, her singing was ultra auto-tuned (especially compared to Mary J. Blige who can bust it out!) but she was totally believable as that farm fresh girl off the bus (hello, that scene is completely taken from the Gun N’ Roses video for  “Welcome to the Jungle”.) So fun seeing her look go from sweet to big hair and big boobs. I was expecting to see her to show off her well-known moves in a big dance scene in the strip club but we only got a mere swing around the pole. I loved the shots of her up in the hills overlooking the city lights and dreaming. I did that when I moved from Texas to LA – classic!

Art direction – an A+! Perfection on the little touches such as the Michael Monroe and Jetboy (great band of that scene by the way) posters, the hairspray and bathroom hand dryer (yes, I did that) and Stacee Jaxx rolling up on a Harley (which every band member had back then, pre-helmet law.)

The rock article interview – as a budding reporter at that time, boy did I have those difficult interview moments. It’s not all glamorous! I guess I will have a write a book now!

The end – while I get that soundtracks are subject to obtaining the rights to the songs and many are here because the song lyrics fit the story and everyone can sing along, Journey was way over by the time the Strip was rocking. The ending should hinted at the grunge movement, which began to form in ’87 and rose to KILL the Hollywood rock scene in the early ‘90s.

Overall, “Rock of Ages” really rocked! Just the right amount of comic humor, camp, musical cheese, spot-on styling and a fantastic tribute to a wild and ruckus time. I would totally go see it again.

Who’s with me?

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Tag: Guns N’ Roses

Rock of Ages: Ready for Nothing But a Good Time

Are you ready to rock? The film “Rock of Ages” opens this weekend and I for one am pretty excited. I was in Los Angeles in the late ‘80s – a teenager with a fake ID, not to drink, but to get into clubs and see bands, and lots of them!  This film looks like a fun trip back to some crazy-good times when Hollywood had an amazing club every night of the week – punk and glam and hard rock came together and the city’s local bands were on the brink of chart-topping fame.

When I saw the soundtrack for “Rock of Ages” I was disappointed that it didn’t seem to really represent all the bands I was hearing on the Sunset Strip in 1987. So I put together my own soundtrack for you to get ready for the film. Find it in my report for Yahoo! HERE.


The premiere took place on Friday night, turning a full block of Hollywood Boulevard into a “black carpet” runway leading to Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary J. Blige, Poison and Def Leppard were all in attendance.

See the arrivals:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwiaApes5xE]

After the film, the entire theatre audience made their way back down the carpet and across the street to the after party set up on the back parking lots between Hollwyood and Selma where a full stage set up was rocked by Poison and Def Leppard – the music was so loud, it shook the buildings for blocks! As it should be!

All very exciting unless you happened to be enjoying a delicious Cucumber Collins at the Roosevelt Hotel with some friends as I was and couldn’t get back to my car because they blocked both sides of the street for pedistrians for almost AN HOUR. Not great planning by the production company.

But alas, that’s LA – the good and the bad. We have a lot of fun, we have fancy premieres and we rock!

So enjoy the LA scene in “Rock of Ages” – I did then and I look forward to doing it again!

Rock on,

Photo of Poison by Weatherman90 from Wikimedia Commons

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