The sense behind the Sound| Globalboho #beyondtheLAB

LA didn’t have to become a beacon of the Arts. On paper, the juggernaut movie studios attested to the fact that LA was doing just fine focused on the “Entertainment.”

Places like New York and where I grew up (Cleveland)have what I refer to as “long, old money invested in the Arts.” It was still technically “new money” that was fighting for respect & honor against old European wealth at the time, but the Robber Barons left a trail of fully funded creative oases in steel town cities that benefited those communities long after the original J.P Morgans, Carnegies & Rockefellers were gone.

gold bar lot
Photo by Pixabay on

Out here? The new was that “new new money, “and that newness made it a whole ‘nother supremely entertaining story.

Los Angeles has had a reputation for being a rather “surface” company town for the film industry but the truth is so much richer, deeper and staring you right in the face at every corner if only you knew what you were looking for and at.

What I think I dig the most is that those entertainment-minded millionaires of yesteryear who made their mint off of the more pedestrian pleasures of ‘daily rags’ & cinema didn’t flick their more refined brethren off who envisioned an LA able to bend both ways.

The stories of the people behind the scattering of cultural institutions that are here and what they went through to be here boots on the ground long before there was any proof LA even cared about arthead credentials and street credibility- never cease to amaze me.

Those “true story of the Cultural Lifelines of LA” log lines are what led me to a fantastic opportunity I finally got to today:

A Symphonic tour of the entire Music Center.

There are actually a lot of local areas that fall under the management of the Music Center , from Kirk Douglas theater out in Culver City to all 12 acres of Grand Park that the high places of the Music Center proper looks out upon.

& I’d done the self guided tour of Walt Disney Hall, a great among greats in the guided tour Canon thanks to the narration by John Lithgow.

But the Symphonic Tour is a daily stellar 90+ minute walkthrough of all four venues -including three of the stages-helmed by a Volunteer/Enthusiast/Docent hell bent on making sure your senses are singing in the afterglow.

If you get high off of buildings the way gearheads geek out over cars, this tour is for you.

I am saving the whathaveyous for the book but our guide Darryl did so right by our rambunctious motley crew of 13 that we clocked out at a good two hours-plus.

We even got to spend time in the famed “personal entertaining oasis amid the buzz and glitz of the pavilion” that is Dorothy Chandler’s Founder’s Room. The one zone I got comically tackled due to the “no photos ” admonition that was only in place for that area.

Donate $100000.00 once(across 5 years, max/ + a grand in dues each year) and you can opt to spend your pre-shows (including pre-performance dining), intermissions and post-fete festivities lounging with other Tony motherfuckers for the rest of your days.

I am sure that on the right night that can bring a full scale, wheeler-dealer show of shows to light on its own, but you’d be missing out on mixing it up with the half court “battle of the sexes” joyful madness that the bars often were back in the day on performance night at its sister Music Center, Lincoln.

Speaking of sisterhood, there is a tangible familial reason I feel so zen around here:

There are actually only three “Music Centers.” Lincoln in nyc, one in Washington DC…and here.

Early on, whenever nyc would get me wobbly, Lincoln Center was were my signal cleared out and shot back up into the sky.

Back to the tale… that woman? Dorothy Chandler?

They wouldn’t even let her lease the area!

…At first.

Because they thought she was Asking, word is.

She was married to the LA Times dude. So they…revisited the decision and revoked their first call. But when they got out of her way, of the $34 million (in like 64?) they needed she raised 20 million. Not gave. RAISED.

And when she got it on her heart that some people who couldn’t donate ten grand still believed in the mission and would give what they could to be part of it, even if that was just a buck…highbrows mocked her for it.

The Taper dude the middle theater is now named for acquiesced a bit and was like

“Fine, maybe the public will get it…but you won’t scratch $200 thousand. & if you do I’ll give 500 thousand~”…

Mark Taper

This Woman …raised TWO FN MILLION DOLLARS…of her 20 million total… from those very little people who were doubted.

Multiple Boomer Women in our crew simultaneously yelled out variations on “How much did Mr. Know it all have to match?” , indignation at guys who’d once bet against them flashing and flaring in respective eyes and nostrils.

When Darryl said “…she only held him to the 500 thousand,” the Founder’s Room was hilariously filled with groans.

They were so much fun. When he talked about the bust of Chandler being done with her mouth open-so not the norm for busts across the board- one chuckled “Was that because the men felt they couldn’t shut her up?” Like she was reading subtext into it before we even found out that she’d been the bad-assed dynamo she’d been.

It was a great time and it flew by…and it should be checked out.