LABJ Insider: September 19 – Los Angeles Business Journal

Punked. In the right direction

Back then, punk rockers weren’t always the most popular guests at fancy hotels. Fast forward to today, and a book about punk rockers is not only a welcome, but a famous addition to the Kimpton La Peer Hotel in West Hollywood.
The hotel has announced that famed photographer Michael Grecco’s book, “Punk, Post Punk, New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, In Your Face, 1978-1991,” will be placed in its suites. And the hotel will host an event Sept. 19 from 6-9 p.m. at which Los Angeles-based Grecco will sign books.
During punk’s heyday, Grecco hung out in clubs, saying he was touched by the “infectious freedom” of punk. The result was the book with 162 shots, a preface by Fred Schneider on the B-52s and Grecco’s anecdotes about the musicians he photographed.

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Los Angeles was largely built around a country and western theme. Think Tom Mix, Gene Autry, Will Rogers (Beverly Hills’ first, albeit honorary-only, mayor). Not to mention all those western movies that early Hollywood produced. But today, if you’re a country music fan, it’s not exactly a one town barn burner.
A ranking of the best cities for country music fans released earlier this month by LawnStarter concludes that the No. 1 city, unsurprisingly, is Nashville, Tennessee. But the No. 2 city, perhaps surprisingly, is New York. This is because the city is big and has so many C&W concerts, western themed bars and even museums that it overwhelms many others. Similarly, major cities appear at the top of the list; Chicago, Atlanta and Denver are all in the Top 10. But Los Angeles, despite its sheer size, is No. 18. There just aren’t many places for country music fans here – like anyone who has ever had an urge to put on a Stetson and a Texas two-step can attest to that.
It is even worse for those who live further away. Of the 180 US cities ranked, Palmdale and Lancaster were in the bottom five, and Garden Grove was last.

The Insider column is compiled by editor Charles Crumpley. Submit your ideas to

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