After the drive-ins, we would all go for a drive through Sunset Boulevard to the Whisky A-Go-Go or the Gazzaris Club in Hollywood. The drive generally took 2 hours or more in a bumper to bumper traffic, with loud music emanating from many of the automobiles.
George Lucas had reenacted this scene in his movie American Graffiti released in 1973. My best memories were the continuous organ and guitar solo accompaniment of the Door's: Light My Fire and the announcing of the group, "S-t-o-n-e-s" in a studio altered echo delay voice prior to playing, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction."
However, at the Odd House, a soul hits club in Santa Monica, it was the music of James Brown and Wilson Pickett. We even drove as far as Hermosa Beach one night to the Lighthouse, a popular jazz club, just to see the legendary jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery. He had a unique guitar style of soloing his music with chords which is still widely imitated by jazz guitarist today.
The 5th Dimension also had a few hits from the popular musical "Hair" shown at the Aquarius Theater in Hollywood. My favorites were White Rabbit by Jefferson Starship, California Dreamin' by the Mamas and Papas and If You're Going To San Francisco by Scott Mackenzie.
Being from UK and having just been in LA for a few days, they did not know that there was no bus service after midnight in LA. My offer to drive them home led to a new life for all of us. First, my friend Aziz and Bernie tied their knot and than we did in 1970 when I left LA for Amherst, Massachusetts to do my post graduate studies.
Spotify for connection:
Read Part 1: Singapore Boy Makes Good: Henri Gann:
Article and Images from: Henri Gann (Copyrights Reserved).