Sunday, July 15, 2007

Have you seen me?

You may recognize the lovely lady to the right from the cover of Gore Vidal's classic "Myra Breckenridge", but before securing that modeling gig she was a fixture of the Sunset Strip, perched on a giant coin as part of a billboard advertising the Sahara Casino and located in front of the legendary/notorious Chateau Marmont.
Raquel Welch duplicated the cowgirl's costume in the excruciating 1970 film version of Vidal's novel (which also included footage of the original statue).
But an even odder appropriation of the cowgirl statue has been brought to my attention, courtesy of Domenic Priore's "Riot on Sunset Strip" (reviewed below).
In 1961, cartoonist Jay Ward unveiled a statue of Rocky and Bullwinkle in front of his Sunset Blvd. studio, directly across the street from the Chateau Marmont. (The studio is gone, as is Ward's neighboring gift shop, The Dudley Do-Right Emporium, which operated from 1971 to 2005, but the statue remains a Hollwood fixture to this day.) And as both Priore's book and this picture clearly show, Ward's statue was a mischievous (but subtle) parody/homage to his lovely, patriotic neighbor.

Speaking of Hollywood landmarks, a friend directed my attention to Hollywood Lost and Found, a modest but entertaining selection of Southern California history, movie lore and other miscellany, including this rather disturbing image (Warning!: Contains Clowns!)

Is it really possible that both of these satirical classics are out of print?

Finally, here's an apocalyptic theme song for the day:

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