6:00 Still steep. Otherwise, not even a clue.

6:12 Finally. A damn street name. What does that say? “Easter . . .?” “Eszterhas?” Is it backwards? Is it Cyrillic? Did I have a stroke? OMG.

Wait. It looks like “Eastehy Ter” so let’s look for that. Let’s look for a list of street names. “Easterly Terrace”? That’s got potential. And it’s back near Silver Lake. Is there a big open space like the two ladies at 6:08 and 6:12 are walking past? Yes, there is. Now, let’s look for the street that the 6:08 lady comes down from. I think that’s it.

So, after rewatching 6:08 and comparing it to Google Street View, it looks like the lady comes down Rockford street to Silver Lake Blvd.

Upon further reflection, I’ve found 6:00. Baxter Street. I was looking for steep streets in Los Angeles, and when I found Baxter Street, that seemed likely. And I was able to match up two palm trees and a bougainvillea to the video, so that’s 6:00 starts near Baxter and Apex and heads west on Baxter then 6:04 we continue west on Baxter and then head south on Rockford. Then we cross Silver Lake Blvd and make a left. Then at 6:12 we flip the image backwards (which is why I had so much trouble identifying where we were). This leads it to looking like she’s going north on Silver lake when she’s actually going south. Then we turn don’t-ask-me-what-direction onto Van Pelt and the image is still flipped (the stop sign is backwards). We make a right onto Silver Lake Drive. We follow Silver Lake Drive to the left (I think) and then the right (I guess).

6:20 Now we’re somewhere else. I think. Is this one flipped? Dunno. Let’s find out. I think we’re still somewhere near Silver Lake, since the garbage cans are still the same. I wonder if we’re starting farther down Silver Lake Drive. Yep. We are. And it’s still flipped. This is very disorienting. Silver Lake Drive bends to the right, becomes Redesdale Avenue, and then bends to the right and becomes Silver Lake Drive again. This is where we start. Looks like we’ll be doing this for a while, so before I take a break to watch people walking around the lake, I’ll say one thing. The barbed wire faces inwards. Traditionally, the barbed wire faces towards the ones that you want to keep from climbing the fence. What lives in the reservoir that they’re trying to keep from escaping into the neighborhood?

At 6:39, we finally leave Silver Lake Drive and make a right turn onto Tesla Avenue then another right onto Armstrong.

6:56 Now I really don’t know where we are. We went almost the entire distance around the Silver Lake Reservoir between 6:12-ish and now. Picture a slow, knowing smile creeping across my face. I know where we are now. We’re at the whole reason I started this project to begin with – the Los Angeles River. As I said a couple of quite a few posts ago, on our final day in California, I made Alex go with me to visit the LA River because I heard they were doing amazing things with it. And the only directions I could find took us way out of our way (though it was an interesting trip). When I saw the video for Happy, though, I recognized the bridge we used to leave the river and was going to put those directions in my post on our trip to the river. When I was double-checking to make sure that it was where I though it was, I saw a little tag about visiting the 24 Hours of Happy site and got this bizarre idea to go over the whole video and figure out where everything was filmed. It is now 6:56 am their time and 11:41 pm my time and now it’s time to go to bed.

Technically we visited them the other way around, but we found the Joe Davies Airpark accidentally when we were looking for the Blackbird Airpark, so Blackbird gets the priority.

This trip was an object lesson in something that Thomas and I discovered when a friend came to visit us in the mid-90s. And it was in the mid-90s, both chronologically and meteorologically. We took her to the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park and were dragging her around showing her all of the cool things we’d noticed about the buildings and the grounds during our own visits. She was more interested in the air conditioned parts, like the bookstore. The next day we took her to the botanic gardens and she was enthralled with the plants and the gardening techniques. She had a long conversation that I was completely unable to follow with one of the workers about something horticultural. Meanwhile, Thomas and I were about to keel over from the heat.

While she was talking to the worker, Thomas turned to me and pointed out that when we were at the missions, we didn’t notice the heat so much because what we were talking about was interesting to us but she was miserable. The next day, she didn’t notice the heat but we sure did!

And our trip to Palmdale definitely was an experience along those lines. I mostly noticed the heat. There was a little picnic shelter that was the only shade around and so I hung around there as long as I could before I returned to the rental car and sat with the engine and air conditioner running. Going out into that southern California desert sun made me feel even more like Gollum than usual. And the summer sun does a pretty good job of that regardless of where I am.

Alex, on the other hand, had a blast. Which was my intent. Alex is an airplane buff, so this side trip was for him specifically.

The reason why there are two open-air airplane museums in such close proximity is Plant 42, which 20-ish miles southwest of Edwards Air Force Base. Near as I can figure, Plant 42, which manufactures top-secret aircraft, is actually part of Edwards Air Force Base, despite the distance. The space shuttle Enterprise (which Alex and I saw at the Intrepid museum in New York City) was assembled at Plant 42.

Enterprise at Plant 42

NOT MY PHOTO (I was 10 years old and in a completely different state when this photo was taken). This is the Enterprise at the Edwards Air Force Base end of its trip in 1977. The photo is labeled on NASA’s website as “NASA Photo,” which my understanding of copyright law leads me to the conclusion that it is in the public domain.

The claim to fame of the Blackbird Airpark is that they have not just the SR-71 Blackbird but its predecessor, the A-12. At first Alex was disappointed that the place we ended up didn’t have even one Blackbird, let alone two, but I got onto Google and found that we were next door to where we wanted to be. So I ventured out into the summer sun to see if there was an easy way to get from one to the other. And there is. There is a gate in the fence between the two parks.

b52 with better saturation than last time

I’ve already posted this picture of the B-52 once before, but I goosed up the saturation a bit before I resized it this time.

So Alex got to explore both airparks while I hid in the air conditioning, first in the car, then in the minimuseum/gift shop once we got to the Blackbird Airpark side of the fence. As we returned to our car, I made a quick detour because I’d been seized with a desire to take a picture of the B-52 at the Joe Davies Airpark, even though The B-52s were named for a beehive hairstyle, and not the airplane.

Since I didn’t really explore much, I may ask Alex if he’d like to do a guest post.

Well, technically he’s been a graduate for almost a week based on the date on his diploma. But the ceremony was today and I puddled up about six times before the whole thing was over. Then my dad wandered away from us* and by the time the three of us were all together in the car it was rush hour and I’d lost several pounds of water weight from sweating in the summer heat.

So many of his grade school friends have moved on to private schools, moved away, been homeschooled, and one of his besties from when he was very little (they had a falling-out in middle school and never made up again) was missing from both the ceremony and the program.

Alex graduating fron kindergarten

Alex’s first graduation — from kindergarten. They had a fifth-grade graduation as well, but my photos of that are very blurry. They didn’t have an eighth grade graduation ceremony.

It was a lovely ceremony and it seems like a disproportionately high number of his fellow graduates are going on to college. The only exceptions seemed to be the ones who are going into the military. Of course, it could be selection bias. Some of the graduates didn’t walk and it’s possible that those are the ones who are going straight to work out of school.

*It’s not dementia. He’s always done things like that. Alex says we should put a tracking device on him.

Pharrell promotion time. I’ve got, like, four things that will give Pharrell money if you buy them, too, and here’s the first. Amazon Associates link this time, since I’ve spent my own money on it: the movie of Despicable Me (the soundtrack will probably be up next).

Note: I am pasting this into the interface (preparatory to scheduling it for midnight on June 11, 2018) and I still cannot swear where we are from 5:00 to 5:35:59. At first I thought it was Griffith Park, but some sites mention that the video was filmed in part at Runyon Canyon Park, but it doesn’t really look like that either, near as I can tell from Google Street View. I guess on Alex and my next trip to California I’ll make him visit Runyon Canyon Park to see if it looks familiar.

==============

5:00. Wow. I’m stumped. We spend a lot of time in a big flat area where the ground has a kind of pinkish cast, like it’s made from pink granite or something. There are towers with what I at first thought were guy wires, but upon further watching seem to be holding up power lines. But there’s not a single landmark or sign* to be seen. There’s a fence with sharp pointy bits on the top. The fence looks kind of institutional and the pointy bits are pointing outwards towards the viewer, so, I don’t know. The Los Angeles Zoo, maybe? A college or boarding school? Boy, Beattie has been walking downhill backwards for an awfully long time. I hope he’s going to be okay.

Now there’s an I don’t know, water tower? A big green tank of some sort, at any rate. What I wouldn’t give for a street sign. A subway station. A McDonald’s.

Okay, now we have a gate. Not a fancy, identifiable gate, no. Just one of those things that they padlock shut to keep you from driving up that street. It’s probably metal but looks like PVC pipe. A chain-link fence. More chain-link fence. Pine trees. Minions.

5:36 Now we’re at Magic Johnson’s house. Even if I’d been to Magic Johnson’s house, which I haven’t, or I could tell where it is, which I can’t, I wouldn’t be saying, “Hey everyone! Magic Johnson lives at . . . “

5:40 Sigh. A residential neighborhood. No way I can. Oh, wait. Is that Vermont on the way up to Griffith Park? I think it might be. Let’s check. Eee. I got it. Now how on earth did I get it? Apparently the “bumps 15 mph” sign is more memorable than one would expect. We start at Aberdeen and then make a left onto Vermont, heading south on the sidewalk along the northbound lanes. Time to enlarge the polygon. We keep walking down Vermont to Hillhurst and then down Hillhurst to Gainsborough, where we make a left.

5:56 Now we’re somewhere completely new, I think. Let’s find out. The street name behind him looks like “Tempe” or “Temple,” which is probably just my brain filling in because I know that there’s a Temple street in LA. There is something that looks like a school or a church up there on the hill behind him, but I’ve only got 40 seconds left, so I doubt I’ll ever figure this one out. The angle just changed and we seem to be at the top of a very steep hill. I wonder what I’d get if I searched for “the steepest hill in Los Angeles. . . .”

*Well, okay. There are a couple of signs, mostly what looks like of the “put your garbage here” and the “don’t climb on this tower” varieties.

==================

ETA: I finally found it. Well, part of it, anyhow. It sure looks to me like the 5:04 dancer passes the spot at coordinates 34.1252253,-118.2820732 in Griffith Park. The posts, the buildings, the fire hydrant, and the bollards all match pretty much exactly. Unfortunately I cannot follow the whole trail because no one has driven/walked it yet and posted it to Google Street View.

I definitely think I’m onto something here. We seem to be following Vista del Valle Drive, but I cannot figure out which direction we’re going. I’ll have to do further research.

Now, this is a post that would lend itself to overdoing on the Amazon Associates links. I will try to restrain myself to only maybe two or three.

Warner Brothers was founded by, well, four brothers with the surname of Warner — Harry, Albert, Sam, and Jack. I’m not 100% certain why Jack has always been the only one whose name I know off the top of my head. I’ll have to ponder that one. The Warner family originated in Poland (though Jack was born in Canada) and began in the movie business by owning theaters. Somehow they parlayed that into actually making movies and moved from Ohio (how’d they get from Canada to Ohio? I’ll have to look into that) to California.

The Warner Brothers’ first studio was on Sunset and Bronson (and has the scintillating name of the Sunset Bronson Studios today).* The studio had the money to move to nicer digs in Burbank after the release of The Jazz Singer, the first ever “talking picture” — a movie with sound. The Warners accomplished this when they purchased a company that owned movie theaters and which had a one-third stake in First National Pictures, a different movie studio. They purchased the other two-thirds of First National later that year and First National owned the land in Burbank where Warner Brothers is today.

Over time, Warner Brothers continued making movies and also diversified into animation, television, music, and publishing (with their purchase of DC Comics). Looking at the official company history page, I kind of both would love and hate looking at their corporate structure chart. “Warner Horizon Scripted Television”?

Anyway, so the tour. As I think I’ve mentioned before, Thomas and I went on the tour back in the mid-90s and I wanted to see how the property has changed and also to give Alex a chance to check it out. As you might expect, a lot was the same (if you lowered me gently from a helicopter into the middle of the backlot, it might not have taken me a dreadfully long time to figure out where I was, and I certainly would’ve known by the time I found Stage 16, which is the tall one with the WB logo on it that figures prominently in the company logo that runs before movies these days). Quite a bit has changed as well.

The tour starts out on a tram where the guide takes you around the backlot. This is where the outdoor scenes for a bunch of movies and television shows have been filmed. There’s a generic midwestern town and a generic city street, for example. There’s a generic little corner of a Paris street there as well, which was used in Casablanca, but I think I missed the photo of that one.

branch with extra leaves attached, 2017

I got a kick out of this. It’s a for-real tree with extra clumps of leaves tied onto the branches. Why would they do this? Because maybe the director’s vision has the trees fluffier than in real life? To change the apparent season? Anything like that, probably.

There also used to be a generic western town, but that area has been replaced by a generic suburban street, the buildings of which double as offices. That area may have been in use when we were there because I don’t remember that area, though maybe the tour guide just didn’t point out that they were also offices.

One of the other things that must have been in use that day was the jungle set with a water tank that has been any number of ponds, lakes, lagoons, and ocean shorelines. When Thomas and I took the tour, the guide gave a list of just some of the things that were filmed there. I’m sure the list would be even longer today.

Let’s see if I can stick an Amazon Associates link into a picture caption:

Daily Planet Building from Lois & Clark, 2017

Generic City Street — this in particular was used as the Daily Planet building in Lois and Clark (and, in fact, was in use in just that way when Thomas and I were there). As you can see, there are stairs down to the “subway,” though they just stop at the bottom.

Hey! It looks like it worked!

*And here I took a break of something like 20 minutes to figure out if we ever got there in the 24 Hours of Happy thing and looking at the studio on Google Street View, it sure looks familiar. And, no, I don’t think we ever get this far down Sunset. It looks like we only go as far as Gower.

I’m paralyzed by indecision here. I’ve decided to link to Kelis’s song Milkshake for my Pharrell promotion this time out, but there are just too many versions of it. Ack!

Okay, so I’m just going to link to the first two that come up. Looks like one is the “explicit” version and the other is the “clean” version. Milkshake by Kelis/Milkshake [Clean] by Kelis.

===============
4:00 Pharrell takes over from where the off-brand Lalla Ward left off on Vermont and the 101.

4:04 We’re somewhere else now. Phone calls are 25¢. There’s a gas station. There’s an escalator. So we’re headed into the subway? That could be cool. Also, Jon Beattie definitely gets the MVP award for heading backwards down an escalator like this. I hope Pharrell gave him a raise. And, well, we actually aren’t anywhere new. We kept going south on Vermont and are now at the intersection of Vermont and Beverly.

4:08 Now I’m pretty sure we’re up at Vermont and Oakwood, at the Shell station (we sure seem to spend a lot of time at gas stations).

4:12 And now we’re even farther north, this time back on the bridge over the 101. Each dancer here is heading south, by the way. Our polygon isn’t getting any bigger here, people.

4:16 We’re in a car now. I can identify neither the car nor the location. We go past a car wash and under an overpass. Wait. There’s a Chevron station and a Quality Inn. More overpasses. A Valero, I think? Another overpass and the words “Tom’s Burgers.” Now I’ve got a 7-11. OMG. I’m sure that if I could find a Chevron, a Quality Inn, a Valero, a Tom’s burgers and a 7-11 in that order, I’d have the place, but what are the odds? Okay, we have an identifiable business, finally. Violet Olga Salon. That puts us on Glendale Blvd and the location of the 7-11 means that we’re going north. And it only took 14 minutes to figure this out.

I take it back. We just turned onto Glendale. Prior to that we were on Silver Lake Blvd. The thing that says “Tom’s Burger” in the video says something about 100 years of Armenian Genocide in September of 2017. The Valero might be a Mobil now?

So now we’re on Glendale and we make a right onto Fletcher and then another right onto Riverside. And now we’re enlarging the polygon. We make a left onto Newell and then another left onto Ripple. We turn left onto Rosanna and go under the Glendale Freeway, which apparently will lead us back to Ripple? Then a left onto Gilroy (this one took me a long time because my brain kept seeing the design on the van as being public art on a cement wall. Once I figured out what it was, I saw a similar van at that turn on Google Street View and knew that had to be the right corner). Then we go under the Golden State Freeway and make a right onto Riverside again. Now I’m really confused because we turn right onto Fletcher, which means that we’re now where we were at the beginning of the paragraph. We then head back under the Golden State Freeway and the past the site where Rattlesnake Park is now, and then over the LA River. You can barely see the river, since it’s now 4:41 in the morning. Then we turn left onto San Fernando and head north (doesn’t this sound familiar? Let me guess. We’re going to make a left onto Glendale in a minute).

4:44 That’ll show me for making assumptions. We’re back on foot, with a dancer in a longish skirt and a sparkly blouse in the middle of the street . . . somewhere. Are we in a park? A wealthy-enough residential neighborhood that the houses are set really far back from the street? There’s a park-looking garbage can in the middle of a line of those little wooden bollard-type things that mark the sides of roads in parks. Like these. At 4:54 or so, we go around the other side of her so that she’s no longer backlit and can see the lights of the city in the distance, so my guess is that we’re in Griffith Park.* About damn time, if you ask me. I hesitate to enlarge the polygon unless I’m absolutely certain, which I probably won’t be until it gets lighter. Well, as of 4:59, it’s almost light enough to see, but there’s still not enough to go by to enlarge the polygon. You can see a transmission tower and guy wires behind the final dancer so maybe we’re up by the Hollywood sign?

At 4:59:59 our polygon is 13.76 square miles, meaning that we’d now need 182 Hours of Happy to cover the entire city.

*I think I’m wrong about this. Several months later I’m still pondering. In articles about the video I see more mentions of Runyon Canyon Park than of Griffith Park, but I have seen both mentioned. It may be that the next hour, much of which is spent in a park, is spent partly in each of the two.

This is just bizarre. I’m worrying about how to make a post on the Universal CityWalk when it’s basically just a mall attached to the Universal Studios Theme Park. There’s no real history and it’s about as handicap-accessible as any open-air mall (which means that if your handicap is things like asthma or cutaneous porphyria you’ll have the usual exposure to outdoor allergens/sunlight problems that you’d have anywhere). It’s a very nice mall with lots of themed eateries, plenty of street perfomers, and one of those dancing water fountains that’s fun to watch.

Traditionally, we eat at the Hard Rock Cafe when we’re there. I’m not 100% certain why my friend group decided that would be where we would eat, but we ate there in 1998, 1999, and 2000, and now it’s not a trip to California without a meal there.

Hard Rock Cafe Guitar

The Hard Rock Cafe guitar, 2018

There’s an outdoor stage right there, as well, and when Alex and I were there, Kirstin Maldonado of Pentatonix was performing songs from her solo album. I watched her while we ate, figuring that if she ended up being the next Madonna or Pink or whomever, I could say that I saw her at the mall. It doesn’t look like she’s going to, though, since I had to do some digging to jog my memory as to who she even was. Oh, what the heck. I need to monetize this thing, so here’s the Amazon Associates link to the album she was promoting: Love. I’m sure there’s a way to make those Amazon links come out Amazon Orange, but I haven’t been able to find it yet. When I do, though, watch out.

Universal citywalk globe 2018

The Universal Globe, 2018

Apparently there are some actual regular clothing-type stores at the CityWalk, but you can’t prove that by me. I usually just notice things like the big Universal globe at the entrance, and the aforementioned dancing fountain, which I took a bunch of pictures of, and the Voodoo Donut Shop (which we didn’t go into, but I noticed it!).

And now here we are, 300+ words later, and I guess I’ve actually managed to make an actual post on the CityWalk. I intended to make this just sort of a general mall post (since I’ve been getting my pedometer steps in at our local enclosed malls lately) and it turns out I didn’t need to. Who knew?

Pharrell-promoting Amazon link time. I searched for his name on Amazon and came up with a children’s picture book of Happy with the song lyrics illustrated with pictures of kids. The Amazon preview looks cute, so this is my choice for today’s link: Happy by Pharrell Williams

============

I hadn’t decided to make these into blog posts yet, so there’s some big gaps here. We spend 1:56 to 2:23:59 in the American Legion Hall.

2:24 East on Selma from Highland to the block between Wilcox and Cahuenga then south on Cahuenga to Sunset and east on Sunset to Gower

2:56 Sunset and Hillhurst* then inside the Vista Theater**, which sits where Hollywood Boulevard becomes Sunset Boulevard then inside the Caffe Vita cafe then back out onto the street about halfway along that block. We next start at the other end of the block, down by Fountain, and head back up northwest to the Vista and then south on Virgil then back up to where we left off after Caffe Vita (the restaurant that’s there, El Chavo, is being torn down or otherwise renovated in Google Street View’s pictures from June of 2017).

3:20 It looks like we might be somewhere else. I can see a Chick-Fil-A in the background and the dancer passes a round yellow sign with a smiling mouth in the bottom half. Never mind. We’re going back up Highland now, on the other side of the street, and then we make a right onto Selma on, again, the other side of the street.

3:24 Remember the Vista? We’re here on yet another side of the street now. I think we’re going west on Sunset. I take it back. We’re heading northwest on Hollywood. I think. Yes. Definitely northwest on Hollywood. The Auto Zone should be on our left. There’s the U-Haul on our right. We are going to leave this part of Los Angeles someday, right?

3:32 Farther northwest, starting near . . . Rodney Drive?, this time on the other side of the street. We have a rhythmic gymnast this time, which is a nice change. Then when we reach Vermont, we make a right rather than crossing the street. We get to Vermont and Franklin, then turn around and head right back up Vermont. Palermo was open for breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays in 2013. That’s good to know. And no, I haven’t been to Palermo. Neither the city nor the restaurant. It’s just that it’s almost 4:00 in the morning 24-Hours-of-Happy time and the area we’ve covered is bound by a polygon 5.93 square miles in area. At this rate we’ll need 338.6 Hours of Happy to cover the whole city.

3:56 Where are we? No clue. I can see a McDonald’s in the background. That oughtta narrow it down. Wait. There’s a 76. I wonder if we’re back on Vermont. Nope. Apparently not. No. Wait. Yes. We are back on Vermont just south of where we started out. Our dancer, who looks kind of like a young Lalla Ward (though that may be because I have a head cold and have been at this for two days now), just danced across the entrance to the northbound 101. Yay! With 10 seconds left to go.

And that ends the first four hours of Happy and our polygon is now 6.43 square miles. We now need only 312.3 Hours of Happy to cover the whole city.

I take it back. I forgot about the Alexandria Hotel and the block between 7th and 8th on Hope. So we’re up to 11.42 square miles. So 175 Hours of Happy.

*This one started out as “IDEK. There’s an Auto Zone and a brick wall and the word “Food” in neon”

**This is where Pharrell makes his 3:00 appearance and my original comment is “How many Egyptian-themed movie theaters are there in Los Angles, and why aren’t any of them turning out to be the right one? The word “family” seems to be written above the marquee.”

Okay, here’s the deal. I don’t want Pharrell to be all, “Hey, this lady’s using my work as a naked cash grab!” But then I don’t want to avoid the cash grab completely. But, it is important to me that Pharrell at least have the possibility of making a bit of money off of this.  So, every post will have an Amazon link to something that will potentially put money in Pharrell’s pocket at the beginning. If it’s something that I’ve spent some of my own money on (the DVD of Despicable Me, for example), I’ll link it through my Amazon Associates ID. If it’s not (Britney Spears’s Britney album, which has the song I’m a Slave 4 U, which Pharrell wrote and produced, on it), I’ll post the naked Amazon link. I’m currently toying with buying Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories album, but haven’t decided yet. I guess we’ll find out if I buy it or not when I get there.

So I guess we’ll start with Britney, since it’s on my mind.

I hadn’t decided to do this as blog posts at first, so these first two hours are just my notes on where we go and what we see. Things get chattier and more detailed in future hours.


Midnight Mobil – Vermont at Melrose

12:40 – 4000 Fountain east to Hyperion then north to Glendale then south on San Fernando to Fletcher then northwest on Fletcher to Glendale to Rowena (?)

12:56 between 7th and 8th on Hope

1:00 a.m. Beats me. We’re indoors and the only words I can read look like maybe The Plump Gander? The Palm Court? That looks like a distinct possibility. There’s a Palm Court Ballroom in the old Hotel Alexandria in downtown LA that looks a lot like the room that Pharrell is dancing around in. If only I could see the ceiling. . . . Well, until I find something better, that’s my decision.

1:04 Hollywood American Legion Hall*

1:12 Outside American Legion Hall heading south on Highland to Mel’s Drive In

1:32 Back farther north on just south of Highland and Johnny Grant then west on Hollywood boulevard to Sycamore then back east on Hollywood to Highland and back south on Highland again to Hawthorn

1:56 Back at the Hollywood American Legion Hall, apparently.**

*2035 N. Highland

**You’ll see the term “apparently” a lot in these posts.

Note: I wrote this the night of April 27, 2018. There was some kind of maintenance thing going on, so I was unable to post it then. It’s April 28, 2018 right now and I’m trying to dig up something usable from the few photos I took at the concert. I prepared my regular camera in hopes that it would take better pictures than my cell does, and then left the camera in my car. If I come up with something I like I’ll edit this later.

Alex and I went to see Weird Al Yankovic at the Tobin Center last night. The last time I saw Weird Al live was in 1987, when he was touring with the Monkees. And even though he was “pulling out none of the stops,” to quote the back of the tour t-shirt*, it was still an awesome concert.

I’m behind on his songs, so I only knew maybe one in three (Alex didn’t know any), but I was able to follow most of the ones that I didn’t know.  I was really glad to be able to hear Bob live (my other favorite of his from the ones he did was One More Minute, which he did in 1987, as well).

The straight cover he did last night was Viva Las Vegas and the full parody was The Saga Begins. He also performed Jackson Park Express, which I hadn’t heard yet, despite having bought the Mandatory Fun album. I figured he probably did Jackson Park Express every night, but looking back at the set lists, I find he hasn’t. It’s a really long song, nine minutes, but I found the song engaging so the time seemed to fly by.

An interesting thing I discovered once I got home. Al described some of his “style parodies” as coming from a “what-if” game. And one of the songs he introduced this way was Dog Eat Dog, which he said was “what if I were David Byrne and I’d just gotten an entry-level job in an office” or words to that effect.  David Byrne is, as I write this, decompressing after having performed at the Tobin Center. I wonder if Al chose Dog Eat Dog specifically because he knew that Byrne would be playing the same stage the next night. . . .

*I think he pulled out one of the stops (maybe even two). There were flashy light things going on (which made it difficult to get anything like a photograph of him from the nosebleed seats) and he had a smoke machine.