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Old Posted May 3, 2017, 2:25 PM
BifRayRock BifRayRock is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
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Originally Posted by Beaudry View Post
Venice has of course gentrified tremendously, so it's nice to see the place when it still had some funk to it.

Near Linnie at the Grand Canal.

The canals also have a cameo in the opening credits of seminal 1966 AIP bikesploitation pic The Wild Angels:

A few short years earlier, circa 1960, Venice was somewhat forlorn and off the beaten path, which of course is one of the reasons it attracted "funk" and "beat" etc. Some referred to the area as a slum. Venice also served as a home base for artistic/political/philosophical iconoclasts, like Tom Laughlin, of "Billy Jack" fame. Tom and his wife, Delores Taylor, founded a Montessori preschool in Santa Monica in'59.

Venice had always had a shady side. Like any tourist town where amusement is paramount, shifty things had been going on at 1501 Ocean Front for decades. The site had been cited for illegal gambling at least three times in 1928, 1934, and 1943. The 1928 bust had involved a dart game, played by over 85 people, that had been run by John Dobson, who lived at the nearby St. Marks Hotel.

After the war, all the amusement seemed to fully drain out of Venice. The beachfront was an area filled with pensioners, bums, and addicts, and nobody would have bet on it becoming the center of a cultural movement anytime soon. But for a group of dissatisfied, searching young men and women, the low rent and squalid glamour of Venice was just what they were looking for. By the early to mid-50s, women with smoky eyes and men wearing jeans and sandals were moving into the cheap apartment hotels that surrounded the boardwalk, living on little but money and ideals.

The Gas House (demolished in '62), and many of the characters pictured below, is discussed in this article: The Gas House: Beatniks vs. Neatniks and the Battle for Venice Beach's Soul."

Tom and his familia

Billy Jack and wife/costar Delores

Billy Jack v Chuck Norris?

Um, dig it.

When incandescents were hot.

Artist Nico Van Den Heuvel. Previously mentioned on NLA.

Time out for a sandwich?

One has to wonder . . . whether pre-Gilligan, Bob Denver, spent time at the Gas House, researching his Maynard G. Krebs character.

Dwayne Hickman and Bob Denver as Dobie and Maynard

Last edited by BifRayRock; May 3, 2017 at 4:40 PM.
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