Les Baxter by James Spencer

LES BAXTER is the first published biography to examine a detailed history of composer and musician Leslie Thompson Baxter. One of Capitol Record’s most prominent artists, Les had 35 hits and 11 album hits in a career that expanded nearly fifty years. Les is one of America’s most influential, innovative and unique composers of of the 20th century. He is the father of Exotica, Space-Age Bachelor Music, and his experimental and innovative film scores set the standards for the genres of horror, sci-fi, westerns, and teen-age beach movies. The biography was researched over twenty years and includes rare interviews by Skip Heller, a protege who studied and was companion to Les during the last few years of his life. James Spencer, musicologist, concert pianist and recording artist became friends with Les Baxter in 1991 and documents the last five years of Les’ life until his death in January of 1996. James Spencer includes a complete discography, filmography, comparative Hits study of Les Baxter and Martin Denny. The book includes personal remembrances by Les Baxter’s daughter Leslie Eaton and others that knew Les. Musicologist Jeff Chenault introduces us to Les with a thoughtful foreword to this 700 page in depth biography of the man who penned the Exotica anthem “Quiet Village.” Come join our “Quiet Village” and read this fascinating biography about the musical genius… Les Baxter

buy the book here

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Hugh Hefner saved the Hollywood sign!

When it comes to the  Hollywood sign’s history, only a few people have cared about it. What is now one of the greatest landmarks in Los Angeles and recognizable sign throughout the world, in the past was just an eyesore for the residents that just wanted to be torn down. Hugh Hefner was one of the few people who gave a damn about the sign and It took a public campaign to save it in the 70s

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By the late 1970s, the wooden structure was really starting to disintegrate. Half the first “O” had splintered apart while the third “O” had completely crumbled.

Unprompted by the city, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner launched a fundraising campaign to replace the sign with something more sturdy. “Clearly the town had forgotten it, or it wouldn’t have been in such terrible disrepair,” in an interview about the sign. He eventually raised $250,000 to replace the wooden sign with one made from sheetmetal and steel.

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Dumb Things People Say To Owners Of Classic Cars

I have been driving classic cars since I was 19 years old. My first car was a 1960 FB Holden, I then bought a 1957 Chrysler Royal, a 1965 Valiant and now I drive a 1964 Austin Healey.

Unlike most people, I don’t leave it in the garage all week and pull it out on the weekend. I drive my car everyday. Almost every time in get in or out of the car somebody engages me on conversation. Sadly most of these interactions are frivolous chit chat by people who have nothing to say but for some strange reason feel they need to say something.

The following is a list of dumb things people say to classic car drivers.
1) “Is it original” – original what? Tyres, spark plugs,interior, engine? What do you mean? Do you even know what you are talking about. I don’t even know what you are talking about. The word original is highly subjective. If you mean to ask if it is modified then I think you could just use your eyes and decided for yourself. The reality is that you have nothing to say and that this is the best you can come up with so as to sound half intelligent, sadly you sound like an idiot.
2) “How many times has it been around the clock” – Seriously! The car is fifty years old, how could I possibly know this.
3) “My dad had one just like this”- well clearly you and the other half a million people who had the financial means to buy a vehicle like this must be very special. The fact you have been in a car like this and knew someone who owned one means that you and I will be friends forever.
4) “Can you still buy fuel for it” – No, I just pushed it here
5) “what year is it” – 2014 idiot
6) “Have you owned it since new”- Now I want to slap you because clearly you can’t do maths if you think I am old enough to own a car this old when it was brand new.
7) “They Don’t Make Em Like That Anymore” – I have nothing to say here except ….obviously.
8) “Can You Still Buy Parts” – No, you can’t. Basically if a fan belt goes the car is junked in two minutes. I’m just living on a wing and a prayer.