Oki Dog Misfits

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Much has been written about the origins of punk rock music in Los Angeles, but perhaps lost in the footnote of history is a place called Oki Dog, a fast-food restaurant that was located on Santa Monica Boulevard in the heart of what was hardcore Hollywood.

In the late 70s, early 80s, it was the place to be and be seen in Los Angeles, especially if you were into the punk rock movement. Seminal SoCal punk bands hung out there regularly, including members of The Germs, The Circle Jerks, Suicidal Tendancies, Bad Religion and others.

Greg Graffin, lead singer Bad Religion, wrote about Oki Dog in his 2010 Book, “Anarchy Evolution: Faith, Science and Bad Religion in a World Without God”:

spitting sign oki

Oki Dog was the center of our misfit universe, said Pete Finestone, former drummer of Bad Religion (who also happens to be my husband). “It was a place where you could meet and talk to other people and find out you weren’t alone in your feelings of being the outsider… the freak.”

Pete adds,”Meeting at Oki Dog after gigs was sometimes more important then the actual gig itself.”

Graffin further explains the social and professional impact these rendezvous had on the evolution of Bad Religion:

Oki Dog Outside

The restaurant was not only a magnet for punks, but it was also a meeting place for gays and lesbians, drug addicts and dealers, and the homeless.  The owner, apparently a man named Jimmy, also played security guard at times, even busting heads when needed.  I found this post from 2008 on the website Los Angeles City Search:
For those of you who want to see what Oki Dog looked like during that time, you are in luck. I discovered two rare videos posted on Youtube: the first video takes you inside the restaurant, the year is 1981, just about the time when my husband was a regular.


The second video is from 1980, and it shows Jools Holland (British Pop band Squeeze) interviewing Jello  Biafra (San Francisco Punk Band Dead Kennedys) outside Oki Dog.


The nostalgia for Oki Dog has spurred a new Facebook page, appropriately titled “Oki Dog Misfits”.  Right now, it’s an exclusive group, where these self-proclaimed misfits share their memories of the scene.
There are quite a few memories posted on Facebook, but perhaps none sums up Oki Dog better than this one:

cadillac outside oki dog

Category: Boom Box, News

Rocker Courtney Love’s New Clothing Line Comes Under Scrutiny

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Creativity fuels the soul. When we’re creative, time stands still, the mind explodes with wonder and ideas, and passion exudes from every pore. Bottom line, the world is a mad, mad, place.

Very few creative types are truly originals, even fewer are perhaps what you would consider successful, but one thing all creative people share is passion for their art.

And this brings me to rock icon, Courtney Love, who recently debuted a new fashion line she calls, “Never the Bride”. Love first tweeted photos of her clothes back in October. Since then, it’s made headlines in various online publications like Huffington PostThe Hollywood Reporter, and the Daily Mail.

But one thing that hasn’t been discussed in these articles is the back story to the story.  And it involves an award winning Austin, Texas based fashion designer, named Dawn Younger-Smith, aka “Boudoir Queen”.  For a short time, Dawn designed and sold clothes to Courtney Love. They were also involved in a very public defamation lawsuit- one that Love lost.

Dawn is an old friend of my husband’s, they use to run in the same circles back in the mid 1990s.  He hasn’t seen her in 15 years and I’ve never met Dawn in person, but like so many strangers have done, over the past year we became “Facebook Friends”.  I recently spoke with her by phone about her work. The conversation also turned to Courtney Love’s new clothing line and new messages that the singer has been sending via social media.

PM:  Let’s get straight to it, when I first saw the Huffington Post article on the debut of Love’s new clothing line, Never The Bride, I immediately thought of Boudoir Queen. They are so similar in style, the details, even the fabric she uses is just like yours. I’m curious to know what you thought when you first saw the clothes?

BQ:  One thing about the fashion industry, people get copied all the time. But when I first saw Never The Bride, I saw some of my clothes in the pictures. I was shocked. I didn’t know what to think.

PM:  A fashion blogger recently pointed out the similarities as well, including even  spotting Boudoir Queen items in Love’s twitter photos… 

BQ:  I’ve seen some of the photos and I’ve noticed a gold headband that she bought from me, plus at least one of my dresses.  I don’t want my clothing in a Never The Bride photo.

PM: Describe Boudoir Queen Style.

BQ:  The name of my company Boudoir Queen is derived from the 1920’s vampy Boudoir Doll. The line was originally based on the idea of making a Boudoir Doll wardrobe for adults with a modern edge. The original line was made entirely from vintage 1800’s-1920’s elements. Many of my designs are film noir inspired. A lot of the clothing looks like something a silent screen actress would wear but it has a bit of a rock n roll element to it as well. We specialize in stage clothing for musicians. I now have a Ready To Wear line and we make clothing out of new luxury fabrics, as well as vintage

PM: Who are your inspirations?

BQ:  People whose style inspire me  include Bette Davis, Anita Pallenberg, Marchesa Casati, Anita Berber, Paul Poiret, Edie Sedgwick, Catherine BaBa, early Brian Jones and Keith Richards style, as well as Anita Page, who I was fortunate enough to meet and spend time with.  My last collection was based on the women in Tennessee Williams plays such as “Babydoll” and “Blanche DuBois”  from “A Streetcar Named Desire”.  

PM: What was/is your relationship with Courtney Love?

BQ:  I am a clothing and accessory designer with a website, Etsy store and blog. Courtney found me in 2008 through various online and print articles and editorials about my line Boudoir Queen. The relationship in the beginning was simply her being a fan of my line and making a large purchase from my online business. There is no relationship between her and I at this time other than our lawyers contacting hers.

PM:  Speaking of lawyers, you were recently engaged in a lawsuit with Courtney Love over twitter defamation, according to reports, you settled the case.  

BQ:  The lawsuit was filed in 2009 for defamation. Due to the defamation and her contacting my customers we hired the law firm Freedman & Taitelman in Century City, CA.  We had a decisive victory with a settlement of $430.000.00 

PM: Can you talk about that time, what happened and what led to the lawsuit?

BQ:  It was an unpleasant time and my attorneys have advised me against talking about the details of the case.  

(At the time of the settlement, much was written about the defamation lawsuit.  You can read more here, “Courtney Love Settles Twitter Rant Lawsuit” )

PM:  When was the last time you had contact with Courtney Love?

BQ:  The last time we talked and had contact was before the lawsuit was filed, however over the past months I’ve received e-mail alerts regarding her  posting and commenting on my Pinterest photos. 


PMYes, I noticed she contacted you on Pinterest several times  since  Thanksgiving. She not only apparently reached out to you directly  and left comments, but I also saw on her Pinterest account a page titled “Our Girls”. Surprisingly, most of the photos appear to be repinned from your page- your photos of models wearing Boudoir Queen clothing. What do you make of that?  

BQ:  I think it’s becoming more apparent of what’s going on here.

PM: Love already got herself in legal trouble from the rants on Twitter,  I’m surprised that she would use social media again to apparently contact you… 

BQ:  One thing about Courtney is that she does what she wants.

Category: News

Endless Love: Jesse Ed Davis & Patti Daley

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t’s been almost a year to the day since I was working on a story called  “The Rock N Roll Treasure.

It was a series of reports that centered around a woman named Patti Daley who shared with me her incredible personal photo albums and scrapbooks.  But these weren’t just any scrapbooks.  Inside the pages of her albums was  a treasure trove of rare Polaroids and photos of icons in rock, plus letters from members of the Beatles, and  even John Lennon lyrics.

I got an email from Patti yesterday because I had contacted her to find out what had become of her collection.  While there is nothing to report there, Patti reminded me about several acetates that she owns.  An acetate is the prototype and test model of a recording.   Basically before a record is mass produced, it is tested to see if it meets both artistic and technical approval.

The most unique and perhaps the most desirable of Daley’s acetates is one that includes two songs from legendary alternative-country singer/songwriter Gram Parsons.

Daley’s boyfriend at the time was a man named Jesse Ed Davis.  In the 1960s and 1970s, Davis was the go to guitarist for legends in rock.  He played with members of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Faces, and he also played with Parsons in the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Daley said the couple often partied and played music with Parsons.   In one studio session they recorded two songs, a Parson’s original called,  “Ain’t no Beatle, Ain’t No Rolling Stone”  and a cover of Wilbert Harrison’s  “Kansas City”.

Daley doesn’t remember much about the recording sessions, but believes they took place shortly before Parsons death in 1973.

“Jesse was the producer,” said Daley.  “I don’t even know if this was released, I really don’t”.

I did a little research and the only place I can find “Ain’t No Beatle, Ain’t No Rolling Stone” is on an album released in 2003 called “Lost Recordings by Gram Parsons”. The album is a collection of demos and rehearsals recorded while Parsons was putting together his first solo album.   I can’t find Parson’s rendition of “Kansas City” anywhere on the internet.


Category: Boom Box, News

10 Signs It’s Time to Find a New Job

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Now that Christmas has passed, many people look to the New Year for a new start. You know,  “out with the old and in with the new”.   Bottom line,  the New Year is a perfect time for a new beginning.

As I made the decision to leave my old job after 9 wonderful years, I initially made a pro/con list of why I should stay and why I should go.  Well, I won’t bore you with that list.  But it lead me to something that might get you thinking about why it could be time to make that career change- go back to school- or whatever your heart desires.
At at the very least- it might make you smile, or perhaps maybe even never visit this blog again.
Okay… drumroll please:
1) Deciding what you are going to eat for lunch not only becomes the most important decision of the day, it’s also your most difficult.

2) Your coworker has received an important interoffice memo (one that requires a mandatory response from all employees). You didn’t get it.  In fact, you learn that you haven’t been receiving these interoffice memos for months.  You tell no one.

3) You’ve been summoned to another emergency meeting.  As your boss starts discussing the latest office crisis, you have a flash back to  Saturday morning cartoons as a child… “WAH, WAH, WAH”.
4) You misplaced your work issued phone months ago.  Yes, you told your managers, but they never got around to replacing it.  And you never reminded them again.
5) You are not upset when you receive a note from your child’s daycare informing you that a kid in the class has chickenpox.
6)  See number 3: the flashback ends and you start imagining how “Dwight Schrute” would handle this latest office crisis:  Question…..
7) Your boss tells you that you will never be management “material”.  You’re not mad, in fact, you feel like you just dodged a bullet.
8) You daydream about quitting, including what you would write in your goodbye note to the office.  Included in that goodbye is a theme song– one that captures your essence.
9) See number 3 and 6:  You’ve moved on and decide to text your coworker (sitting next to you) if they’d like to play “Words with Friends”.
10) You’ve used up all your sick leave, personal days and vacation.  It’s only March.




Category: Tara's Take

Rare JFK Photo Surfaces in SoCAL

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One thing I love about being a journalist is the people I meet.  Case in point: a retired judge named Mike Duggan whom I met last month while working on my final report  for NBC4 in Los Angeles.

Duggan shared an incredible treasure trove of aviation items with NBC4 anchor Chuck Henry and me.  The items resulted in our  exclusive report  about famed aviator Amelia Earhart–  never before seen photos and documents that really only deepen the mystery of her disappearance 74 years ago.   Duggan inherited the items from a friend who was once a mechanic for Paul Mantz — one of Hollywood’s most famous stunt pilots.

Also included in that box was this photo of President John F. Kennedy.

Personally, finding this photo was so unexpected… shocking really.  He had never mentioned it in our talks on the phone.

I spoke with Duggan this morning and he gave me permission to post the JFK picture on this blog.

Duggan said the photo could have been taken in Torrance, California, because that is where Mercury Helicopters was once based.  As for the date of the photo, well, that remains unclear.

If anyone has any more information on this picture, I’d love to hear from you.





Category: News

The Ultimate Party Crasher

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If you live in Los Angeles, eventually you will have an “Only in LA” moment.  I’ve had a few, but nothing quite as cool as what happened to a friend of MeHubs Sunday night.

His friend, whom I am not going to name per his request, lives in the Pacific Palisades. For those of you who do not live in SOCAL, it’s a very wealthy community in the hills above Pacific Coast Highway.  

He and his wife went out to dinner Sunday evening only to come home to a huge party taking place at a neighbor’s home a few doors down.  But it wasn’t just any party—  playing live in the backyard was some of the biggest names in Rock ‘N’ Roll.

This is how MeHubs friend describes what happened that night:

I came home from dinner with my wife and heard ”Who are you” coming from a neighbors yard.   We laughed that it sounded just like Roger Daltry….then  a few minutes later we heard Dave Grohl do a 45 min solo acoustic set.  

I could not resist going over there when I heard the unmistakeable voice of Robert Plant playing Zeppelin songs.  I grabbed my flip video camera and tried to crash the party.  Security was tight, but you could see the stage from the street about 20 feet away.  I tried the side entrance and then the back entrance-it was not happening.  When I went to the front entrance again I saw my friend coming out of the show, he handed me a wristband and I  WAS IN!

I cruised right up to the tequila bar and had a chilled Patron on the rocks while Robert Plant and his Band of Joy rocked for an hour. I filmed the attached video and it was a night to remember and share with all of you.


When the show was over, I walked back stage and met Robert Plant.  I asked him to sign the lyrics from Black Dog (that I took from the stage).

 As he was signing it,  I said, ”Hey Robert, I just want you to know that I am a neighbor and I crashed this party tonight!”

He said with a smile, ”Thats Excellent!”  

He then shook my hand and that was it.  Pretty cool huh?

Turns out these legends in rock were playing his neighbor’s backyard for a fundraiser for the teenage cancer trust charity And yes, for the record, he plans on making a donation to the charity.

Category: Boom Box, News

Adele’s Vogue Cover Sends Wrong Message

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LOVE Adele, her music and her style. I think she’s gorgeous, funny and beyond talented. She’s also NOT super skinny and that makes her even more appealing to me and millions of other women.

So, I’m was a wee bit disappointed after seeing the photos of Adele inside the March 2012 issue of Vogue.

Adele looks amazing, but also super slim. An amazing weight loss? Not so fast.

Take a look Adele just last night at the Grammys in Los Angeles.

And this is Adele from the latest issue of Vogue.

(See more photos here)

She’s definitely dropped some pounds over the past few months, but nothing as dramatic as the editors of Vogue would like us to believe.

For some reason, the magazine editors felt the need to photoshop about 20 pounds off her frame and face. Vogue had an opportunity to be authentic and to represent who Adele is at her core, an extremely talented and beautiful woman. Instead, the magazine sends a horrible message– that being who you are isn’t quite good enough to grace the covers of Vogue, despite the fact that you have sold almost 20 million albums and won 6 Grammys.

My Take: This was a boneheaded decision by Vogue.

Your Take: I would love to hear your thoughts on this.


Category: News, Tara's Take

Rihanna + Chris Brown = The New Bobby + Whitney?

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She can’t quit him.  And that is a sad, sad thing for millions of young girls who look up to pop-star Rihanna.

Over the past 24 hours, the world learned that Rihanna and her ex-boyfriend  R & B singer Chris Brown are back together again—we’ll, at least when it comes to music and twitter.

The singers both released two songs Monday via the internet: Brown sings on the remix of Rihanna’s “Birthday Cake,” and she’s on the remix of his new hit track  “Turn Up the Music.” Both of them tweeted the new song mixes to their millions of fans/followers Monday.  The singers then also re-tweeted each other’s tweets.  Sweet?  Nah,  it’s just plain stupid–  I’m talking Bobby & Whitney stupid.

Let’s go back to 2009;  Remember this photo taken of a badly beaten Rihanna after a pre-Grammy awards party?

The 99-cent version:  Brown viciously attacked Rihanna, punched her face, bit her and even attempted to choke her.  Most men (ie: non-celebrities) would have been charged with attempted murder.  Brown got off easy. He eventually pleaded guilty to a felony charge and is currently serving five years of probation.

Yes, there have been signs of Rihanna forgiving Brown. Last year, a Los Angeles judge eased a restraining order after an attorney for Rihanna said she didn’t think it was necessary anymore.

And now, this week’s confirmation that they are collaborating again–  at least musically.  I normally don’t care about what celebrities do in their private life,  but this morning I felt the need to blog about this issue because of the millions of young girls who look up to Rihanna and even adore Chris Brown.

I’m no expert of domestic violence, but as a journalist I have interviewed many experts and survivors of domestic violence. There is one thing that always rings true: if he hits you in anger, odds are he will do it again and again.

During an interview with ABC News Diana Sawyer in November 2009, Rihanna even appeared to understand the danger of returning to her abuser. She also realized what kind of impact that her story has on young girls across the world.

“When I realized that my selfish decision for love could result in some young girl getting killed, I could not be easy with that part. I couldn’t be held responsible for telling them ‘”Go back”. Even if Chris never hit me again, who’s to say that their boyfriend won’t? Who’s to say that they won’t kill these girls? These are young girls. I just didn’t realize what an impact I had on these young girls’ lives until that happened.”

The problem with this– Rihanna still has a massive impact on young girls around the world.   And while there is also something to be said (and admired) from learning from your past mistakes and moving on, unfortunately, that’s not the case here.

My Take:  Rihanna just set the anti-domestic violence cause back into the dark ages.

Category: News, Tara's Take

Message From OJ…

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I had dinner with a friend last night who shared with me what I like to call a “only in LA” moment. The moment turned out to be so incredibly ironic, that I asked him for permission to share it on my blog.

My friend said he had dinner one night (in Hollywood) with OJ Simpson and a couple of other people. This was a few years before OJ (allegedly) butchered his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, in 1994.

My friend said that OJ pulled a piece paper from his jacket during dinner. He then proceeded to tell the group that he often carried it with him and read it anytime he felt the need.

My friend not only had the balls to ask Simpson to allow him to photocopy the piece of paper (the restaurant gladly obliged the request), but he also asked the “Juice” to autograph it. As you can see, OJ granted the request… and for the record, my friend wasn’t “bitch-slapped” on the head for asking.

And now you know.

Category: News

Fight Night in Los Angeles

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One thing about living in Los Angeles, there are so many things to do and see. Take for instance last night at the Bonaventure Hotel in downtown Los Angeles where my husband watched several professional boxing matches.

His friend Phil, trains an Urkrainian fighter named Anatolyi Dudchenko who defeated another boxer named Tyrell Hendrix. Dudchenkco won the match with a technical knockout against Hendrix whose trainer happens to be Freddy Roach of the now famous Wild Card Boxing Club.  My hubby and Freddy go way back (Pete use to train people at Wild Card).

What’s a boxing match in LA without a little star power?  Singer Brian McKnight sang the national anthem.

This is Bryan after the main event.

This boxer definitely had the “Eye Of The Tiger” (sorry I couldn’t resist, but he does look pretty intense).

And for you true boxing fans,  here’s a little bit of video that shows one of the heavyweights delivering a knockout punch.


Category: News