MAPS AND LEGENDS - 04
Another week, another entry on the QUEEN OF NO TOMORROWS influence map.
Mea culpa: I always mess up the Second Street and Third Street tunnels. The easy way to remember is that Second Street is the more glamorous one, with the rippling and highly specular tile work. You've seen it in BLADE RUNNER and THE TERMINATOR and a million other movies and car commercials. It's a visually arresting place, sure, but walking it is a daunting prospect. The car noise has nowhere to go but to echo along the walls, and while it's not deafening, it's harsh and abrasive. The smell isn't great either. Pretty sure that walking it is about like smoking a fistful of cigarettes. At any rate, it's a central LA location, and with good reason. My photo, 2016.
Rockabilly was once a thing, not only in LA, but all over the place. Though only the Stray Cats really rode that wave to anything nationwide. The Blasters (from scenic Downey) should have caught the same kind of heat, and I guess they did locally, but not nationally. Anyways, without Gene Vincent, none of this happens. Full stop. Sure, there's a lot of other cats who need a nod in this direction (Link Wray, Jerry Lee Lewis and a host of others.) But Gene is the one who's the favorite of underground cabbie Link who pushes his classic beater through the streets of LA, getting folks where they need to be and never once paying for a medallion.
I've only seen her in HIGH NOON, but Ms. Jurado was a Mexican film actress, born as María Cristina Estela Marcela Jurado García. She worked in the Mexican film industry starting in the early forties through the sixties, but did a fair amount of work up here in the US as well. Hell, she worked with Luis Buñuel. If you want to imagine her playing any single role in the book, it'd be that of Alondra, in title a sister to the Queen.
Stan Ridgway – THE BIG HEAT
At one point, Stan was the lead singer of Wall of Voodoo, who you likely know from "Mexican Radio" in either '82 or '83. There was, of course, a lot more to the band than that, but that track was the one that made the big splash in the early days of MTV. Not long after the success of that album, he left the band and struck out on his own solo career. On his debut album, every song is a little story, as are most of his songs, honestly. THE BIG HEAT, as you might've guessed from the title, mines the seedier side of life, though not Los Angeles in particular, but very much in vibe. If you haven't heard any of it, head straight for the title track, "Can't Stop the Show" and "Drive She Said."
Purple hair and color
Not much to say about this except an admission: hair color was not as easy back then as it is today. Nor was it as accepted. Once was a time that blue hair would have gotten you sent home from school. Of course, the blue wouldn't have been as vibrant or electric as we see today, and it wouldn't be done in just an afternoon either. I played pretty fast and loose with that. Never let the facts get in the way of the legend, right? All that said, this hair is a little lighter than what Cait ended up with in the course of the book. And yes, I wasn't above hand-selling the book to various purple-haired convention attendees. It even worked sometimes.