Hollywood Icon Marlon Brando’s Canyon Home

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Marlon Brando and James Dean were contemporaries– with a very contemptuous relationship.  The were often compared, and neither one was appreciative.  Brando publicly ridiculed Dean, accusing him of “wearing my last year’s wardrobe and using my last year’s talents…”  Dean later responded– “I was riding a motorcycle long before I heard of Mr. Brando.”   To Newsweek Dean said– “People were telling me I behaved like Brando before I knew who Brando was.  I am neither disturbed by the comparison, nor am I flattered by it.  I have my own personal rebellions and don’t have to rely on Brando’s.”

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HOLLYWOOD ICON JAMES DEAN’S NYC APARTMENT

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James Dean’s New York City apartment

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What’s better than a piece about classic Hollywood Icons and their old pads?

The bull horns and matador cape were of special meaning to Dean.  He had read the novel Matador by Barnaby Conrad, and for a while was obsessed with dramatizing it as an internal monologue without words, using just a few props.  Dean also loved to play his bongo drum along to jazz records late into the night.   He hung with a small, close-knit circle of actor/artist friends.  Among them was a young Martin Landau.

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Sidecar Conversation.

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I don’t know if you can tell from some of my recent posts– but I really need to hit the open road.  Soon.  This picture makes me especially itchy.  Must.  Get.  Out.

When I was a boy there were certain things that were just cool to you.  Tents, campers, convertibles, BB guns, slot cars, Indian arrowheads, Zippo lighters, hermit crabs, anything to do with a CO2 cartridge… well, you get the picture.  But if I had to pick just one thing, it would probably be a motorcycle with a sidecar. Continue reading

The Rourke Club.

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I guess you either like Mickey Rourke, or you don’t.  I am a huge fan of his early work– Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village, Rumblefish and Barfly.  Rourke had an intensity and edge that wasn’t an act or a persona, you felt it was really him.  He made people uncomfortable and still does– only in a different way now.  But somewhere along the way, we lost Mickey– or he lost us.  He got squirrelly, and his face started morphing faster than Jiffy Pop over a campfire– and he started hanging out with the likes of Dennis Rodman and Jean Claude Van Damme– what’s that all about?  I hope the old “birds of a feather” saying isn’t always true for your sake, brother.

Christopher Walken interviews Rourke (the crazy leading the crazy) for Interview magazine.  Lots of good nuggets to mine–

MR: I was so nervous working with you. I think you had already won your Academy Award forThe Deer Hunter [1978].

CW: Just, like, a month before we started shooting. I was probably really obnoxious at the time.

MR: Well, you were actors’ royalty, brother. I mean, you were someone we all looked up to.

CW: No, I was probably a pain in the ass.

MR: Well, you were always, like, this strange being from another place. Continue reading

Name, Rank, Serial Number and Much More.

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I’m writing this because of a recent experience I had.  A friend that is an avid antique collector handed me an old I.D. tag and said– “check this out.”  I wasn’t ready for the emotion and humility that overcame me as I held the old tarnished tag in my hand.  I realized it was much more than a piece of stamped metal– it was someone’s personal story of sacrifice,  for whom I may very well absolutely owe my own freedom too.  I stood there for a second, unable to speak.  

It was humbling to say the least. 

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The image above was taken in 1945, and shows American infantrymen lining up to drop their personal belongings (pictures and letters from loved ones back home, wallets, etc.) into boxes for safe keeping, and in accordance with regulations.  Any items (except dog tags) that could identify a soldier were strictly forbidden on special missions.  The soldiers here were stationed in Italy and preparing to embark on a night raid of German positions. Continue reading

Wanted- A Place in the Sun.

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You won’t fide a whole lot of actual shade at The Shady Dell, but you will find an artsy, desert haven down in Bisbee AZ.  If I had the dough, I’d pack up and head there right now to escape my winter blues.   Once New Year’s has come and gone, I am officially over it and ready for the sun.

The Shady Dell is run by a young, retro couple with a passion for 50s vintage living.  There are 9 fully-restored campers ranging from a ’49 Airstream to a ’57 El Ray— often mistaken for an Airstream, but actually more rare and coveted.  

Nestled perfectly within walking distance from each trailer is Dot’s Diner. Built in the 1950s by the pride of Wichita Kansas, The Valentine Manufacturing Company, this authentic diner was originally purchased by John Hart in 1957 and delivered to the corner of Ventura and Topanga Canyon Blvd in Los Angeles. The diner was transported by flatbed truck to the Shady Dell in November, 1996.

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Dsquared2 Fall 2009- “Puttin’ on the Rips”

The twins put on a show that looked like ‘old world’ tailored formalwear meets Rock ‘n’ Roll rebel.  The looks were very strong, when they stayed on message.  

 The ruggedly handsome leather & shearling outerwear was stunning, but left you wondering if the story really was ‘Estaire does denim’ or ‘tough country squire’?

The layered looks are great, and take a page straight out of Ralph Lauren’s book.  If anything at all, Ralph is the true master at consistency of message and focus.  Dean & Dan Caten should have taken that page too. 

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A Significant Historic, Economic & Cultural Moment for America.

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President Obama, we welcome you with open arms and heavy hearts.  

The country is in a funk that many of us have never lived through before, and we’re in desperate need of a true hero to lead this great country.  

You’ve talked the talk, now you must walk the walk.

The now iconic image of Barack Obama by Shepard Fairey, has become a piece of American history in itself, that captures perhaps better than anything, how the passion of youth (and youthful spirt), people of all cultures, and the arts have embraced Barack and helped to overturn the old guard.

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“Nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change…”    –-Barack Obama

Link to Shepard Fairey

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