We here at Los Angeles magazine recently celebrated our 50th anniversary in a big way. We’re very proud of our wonderful publication and as much as we are always looking forward to the next issue, sometimes we want to shine the spotlight on our illustrious past. Our predecessors here created some damn cool stuff, and with six hundred bound issues at my fingertips, this is a good time to dig out my favorites and share them with you. And just like that, your new favorite lamag.com feature is born: Vintage Cover of the Week.
I’m so excited to see Liza Minnelli listed in the cast of the upcoming Arrested Development movie! I don’t know how I missed this genius show the first time around, but through the miracle of Netflix, I’m halfway through season one and loving Liza. The clock on this cover refers to a feature on UCLA gerontologist Roy Walford. Our creepy portrait inside depicts the intensely bald and Fu-Manchu’d anti-aging scientist (and future Biospherean) surrounded by lab rats inside beakers. There is a remembrance of Ronald Reagan’s 1950s Vegas lounge act, a visit with Casey Kasem (the voice of Scooby Doo’s Shaggy, Chevron, Shasta, Milky Way, Century 21, Boeing, NBC and Heinz ketchup) and a feature about U.S. attorney Steve Trott – The folk singer turned prosecutor assigned to the John DeLorean case. Cocaine smuggling allegedly funded the stainless steel car, made famous in Back to the Future. There is a poignant photo essay with some now departed local notables posing with their most valuable personal belongings. Steve Allen chose a child’s drawing and Marvin Mitchelson picked a Boticelli Poster. The musical version of Little Shop of Horrors was premiering at what is now the Geffen Playhouse. Liza shows up again in our calendar listings sandwiched between Dodger baseball and Circus Vargas. I loved the quote from Ray Bradbury on the film adaptation of Something Wicked This Way Comes. “It’s a complete metaphor about everything in our lives. What it is to be born, to grow up, to be sick, to be afraid of age, to be afraid of death and to die. This isn’t The Love Bug.” Our anti-aging story featured celebrities answering the question “What would you do with a second life?” Cover girl Liza responded, “I wouldn’t change a thing.”