Even though my record collection leans more Keely Smith than Aerosmith, I enjoyed the easy breezy heavy metal musical Rock Of Ages this weekend. The hard rock edge was sanded down just enough for a Sunday afternoon and the spectacle of townspeople breaking out into song was hilariously refreshing. Did your audience applaud the Alec Baldwin/Russell Brand scene like mine did? The cast was mostly great, but the biggest star (Check out what Steve Erickson had to say about it here) was the Sunset Strip of 1987. It was a thrill to see old friends like Tower Records and Ben Frank’s on the screen, but their distorted scale and blender geography was totally unsettling and completely bizarre. You could sort of almost buy their version of the Roxy and the Rainbow, but their Whisky A Go-Go was so teensy it could have fit in a phone booth. I stayed for the credits to see what tax credit nonsense convinced the producers to ditch the real thing and film out of state. It turns out that the Strip simulacra was built in Miami. Check out this clip from the local news and keep your eyes peeled for Centerfold newsstand, Sun Bee Liquor and Carney’s Hot Dogs.
Photo by David James