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David Kamp writes...

While in L.A. last week, staying at the Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip, I happened to notice that the rock club just up the street, Coconut Teaszer (above), has finally closed. Though I’d never set foot inside the place, I always had a sort of morbid fascination with it–its raggedy architecture, its facade decorated with Zildjian cymbal ads and reproductions of random album covers (always seemingly two years out of date), its unfortunate name, its status as a pay-to-play showcase for no-hope hard rawk bands that came to L.A. from out of town in leopard-print lycra, delusionally dreaming of making it as big as Axl. Like lots of long-lived L.A. clubs, the Teaszer did evidently book some reputable artists from time to time, but never once in my many visits to L.A. did I see a non-crap band listed on the marquee.

Some years ago, when I was working as an editor at GQ and VH1’s Behind the Music was at its formulaic apex, I thought it would be funny to do a fashion shoot based on the typical Behind the Music story arc, with the delusional band coming to L.A., playing a first gig at Coconut Teaszer, signing a deal with a label, suffering the consequences of success, and finally finding post-commercial “contentment” by becoming spiritual and “just gettin’ back to what it’s all about: makin’ my music, man.” I wanted the Foo Fighters to do this fashion shoot and “play” the goofy band. Sure enough, Dave Grohl, the Nicest Man in Rock™, was totally up for it, and he and his fellow Foos gamely played out every scenario I devised, including posing in front of Coconut Teaszer while wearing mullet wigs and pretending to be no-hopers from Oskaloosa, Iowa.

The building’s been whitewashed, and there are posters up promising that it will soon house some kind of restaurant/lounge/club–a doomed one, I should think. Another blow for Paradise City.

October 13, 2006 More Rock Snobbery »


Recently, one of the co-authors of The Film Snob*s Dictionary, namely Lawrence “Looker” Levi, gave a rather unfavorable New York Times review to David Thomson’s book-length appreciation of Nicole Kidman. This prompted Thomson to write a peeved letter to the Times Book Review in response in which he actually makes a snide reference to The Film Snob*s Dictionary, a book Thomson admits he hasn’t read.

Gentlemen, gentlemen! Please, why don’t you both drop this feud and focus on your common ground, namely that you, along with Levi’s co-author David Kamp, share a spirited enthusiasm for Douglas McGrath’s Truman Capote film Infamous, which at last is getting its U.S. release?

October 12, 2006 More Film Snobbery »

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