Music named for or inspired by Venice
What music says Venice to you
Francisco and His Cosmic Beam
Francisco Lupica interview
Information on these Venice-related musicians is to the best of my admittedly incomplete knowledge. Corrections of fact are gratefully accepted. For musicians who actually lived in Venice, more information on dates and locations is welcome.
Immature - featured in People magazine in 1995, band consisted of two 13 years olds and a 14 year old. The parents of Jerome Jones had a catering business in Venice. Manager-producer Chris Stokes was a volunteer at a Venice youth center when he discovered rapper Jones.
Insect Surfers - recorded an album in Ray Bradburys old house
Javelyn aka Lady J - pop and rock vocalist, actor
Jeddrah - daughter of The Eagles' Timothy B. Schmit
Mike Jensen - guitarist, Beowulf
Eileen Jewell - country blues, has been Venice Beach performer
Jingles - "the poorest famous person you ever met" - longtime major presence on the busking scene, his trademark was to give away bells. Still active in local issues such as the allotment of boardwalk spaces, and animal rights
Alfred Johnson - singer/songwriter, keyboards; cowriter with Rickie Lee Jones; has performed locally and toured abroad; on Venice Carnevale 2003 live album.
Blair Jollands - Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of the group El Hula, influenced by Maori and Polynesian music from his New Zealand home. Was Venice Beach busker in 1995.
Jon B - singer/songwriter/producer. After a disastrous fire and the breakup of his marriage, lived alone at Venice Beach for four months of mental and emotional reassessment and creative renewal. The result was the album Stronger Everyday.
Rickie Lee Jones - came to Venice at age 18 or 19; played at Comeback Inn and other venues; lived at 21 Westminster and/or El Dorado Apts. Westminster & Speedway
Michael Jost - guitarist whose studio overlooks the Boardwalk
Kadara - Afropop, reggae band of novelist Keith Snyder
Paul Kantner shared Venice Beach house with David Crosby and David Freiberg, played music, stayed stoned.
Brad Kay - composer, pianist and historian, was connected with Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, later Janet Klein & Her Parlor Boys. Groove Merchants of Venice was his band in 1986-87.
Erd King banjo player who had band at Sunset Ballroom
Silvia Kohan - this link goes offsite to an article by Carol Fondiller. Yall come back, now!
Kumara - producer
Cesare La Monica - in 1917. Leader of the all-Italian Venice Band
Louis L'amour - sound engineer
Bruce Langhorne - Guitarist not thwarted by partial amputation of three fingers. Back in the day, he worked on projects like Dylans Bringing It All Back Home and The Freewheelin Bob Dylan. Because of his large Turkish tambourine, carried in a case and brought out at the least provocation, he was the inspiration for "Mr. Tambourine Man." He also worked with such luminaries as Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Eric Anderson, and Richard and Mimi Farina. Talk about hippie cred, this man has it. And he recorded, on a two-track tape machine in a garage, the soundtrack of The Hired Hand, one of my personal cult movies. Later he moved to Venice, and currently teaches drum circle workshops; sideline is Brother Bru-Bru's African Hot Sauce. More on another site
Sam Lapides - boardwalk acoustic guitarist
Joellen Lapidus, maker of dulcimers, had a workshop in Venice in the late 70s - early 80s. Intricately carved, detailed, inlaid, her dulcimers brought as much as $1,500 apiece, from the likes of Joni Mitchell, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, and Garth Hudson. She also performed at a local club and published a book, Lapidus on Dulcimer. More recently, taught a Klezmer Band Workshop at McCabes.
Adine Lee - boardwalk musician
The Lennon Sisters of Venice became regulars on Lawrence Welks TV show, but not until after it had moved from the Aragon Ballroom in Ocean Park, to the Hollywood Paladium
John Lennon - One of the most notorious Lennon anecdotes began in Venice where, following a fight with his wife Cynthia, Lennon visited Jesse Ed Davis. Wrecked on speed and vodka, they went with other friends to a restaurant where Lennon got a sanitary napkin from a vending machine and attached it to his forehead. The group proceeded to the Troubadour where the waitress refused to serve them, prompting Lennon to ask, "Do you know who I am?" She replied, "You're some asshole with a Kotex on your head."
Kipp Lennon - in band called Venice
Mark Lennon - band Venice
Michael Lennon - band Venice
Pat Lennon - band Venice
David Leonard and Roselyn Lionheart - for many years this bi-racial husband and wife team spent part of their time in Venice and part in New Orleans. They used to be active in voter registration in the South and have four children. Their hand-lettered sign said,
If you like the sound
David and Roselyn, photo by Jeffrey Stanton
Kathy Leonardo - guitar, vocals, on Venice Carnevale 2003 live album
Huey Lewis is said to have played at Venice Beach before his career prospered.
Lew Lewis and orchestra were the house band in the old Venice Ballroom 1913-1916 (perhaps longer?)
Fud Livingston - member of Ben Pollocks Californians
The Load - progressive rock, headed by Sterling Smith. Venues included Fox Venice Theater, and Blue Lagoon (Santa Monica). Band was practicing in a Venice apartment in 1977 when Dennis Wilson showed up with the news that hed just burned his wifes car.
Lofty and his band Lofty's Zebra regularly played at the Taurus Tavern and the Comeback Inn
Lovesick Lunatics - threatrical grunge-pop. Vessy Mink started solo on the boardwalk and met her manager. David Baerwald introduced her to Jason Art, and they got together and became longtime hosts of Friday nights at the Cows End.
Lowen and Navarro - in 1988 they took a one-year residency at The Breakaway in Venice, CA, a hotspot for acoustic music.
John Lydon (aka Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols) formerly lived on Ocean Front Walk, owns residential rentals, has a house said to have been lived in by Mae West.
Lisa Lynne "The Angel of the Harp" guitar, mandolin, bass. One of her musical ensembles, Celestial Winds, were regular boardwalk performers.
Maude Maggart - specializes in cabaret songs from the Twenties and Thirties
Bobby Manilla - on Venice Carnevale 2003 live album
Teena Marie - white singer who sounds black on her records, mostly gets played on black radio stations. Grew up two blocks from Oakwood border, went to Venice High
Immanuel Martin - punk, used to live at Westminster & Speedway
Tim McGovern - of the Motels, lived on Clubhouse for years
Clyde "Hook" McGuire - harmonica; original Canaligator
Larry John McNally - had writing studio in Venice
Melocation - alternative rock with many Venice members and connections
Birdie Mendoza - Latin music
Julie Meredith - beat folksinger
Glenn Miller - joined Ben Pollack and His Californians in 1925, playing the Venice Ballroom, roomed with Benny Goodman at the Haley Hotel
Minutemen - recorded some of their most popular recordings here at Ethan James' (Blue Cheer) Radio Tokyo studio. Did a show or two at Beyond Baroque.
M.I.R.R.A.H. spent part of her childhood in Venice
Joseph L. Monzo - keyboardist, composer. New Yorker attracted to LA by the Doors mystique. "I got crazy ideas about experiencing life without money, which kind of tied in to the Jim-Morrison-living-on-the-rooftops-of-Venice-Beach thing." Arrived with less than two dollars and spent several weeks as a street person in Venice before returning back East. "The only thing that made me different was that I'd sit on the beach reading Herbert Marcuse's One-Dimensional Man and Will Durant's The Story of Philosophy.
Rick Moors bass. R&B/roots, world beat, Latin/salsa. Member of Combonation, Bonedaddys, Conjunto Jardín
Dick Morgan - banjo, Ben Pollocks Californians
Rex Morgan a.k.a. Dread Flimstone - reggae rhythm pianist who has opened for or supported such acts as Ziggy Marley, Burning Spear Third World, B.A.D.- born and raised in Venice
Jim Morrison, according to legend, shot a student movie at Venice beach when attending cinema classes at UCLA. Its not clear whether it was this or other footage that was used for "The Unknown Soldier" film, in which Morrison was tied to a post and shot, spewing blood. According to the biography by Hopkins and Sugarman, when graduation time rolled around and Morrison was supposed to be receiving a diploma, he was slacking at the beach smoking dope, which is where he met Ray Manzarek and the rest is history. He lived in the canal district, and also in a building on the boardwalk where the band practiced on the roof. One of his songs, "My Eyes Have Seen You," is about all the TV antennas visible from that roof. Morrison is said to have had his first psychedelic experience in Venice where, so say the old-timers, you could get acid at the head shop. He wrote "Hello, I Love You" about a black woman he saw at Venice beach, and a song called "Soul Kitchen" is about Olivia's, a local ribs and cornbread place. "Cars Hiss By My Window" was also written during a brief period of intense creativity in the beach environment. There used to be a Venice club called the Cheetah (the former Aragon Ballroom on Lick Pier) where the Doors performed. When they played elsewhere in LA, they were billed as "Doors Band from Venice." The day before he left for Paris to die, Morrison hung at Venice Beach and lunched at the Santa Monica Pier.
Jelly Roll Morton - in the '30s and '40s hung out at pianist Brun Campbell's barber shop at 711 Venice Blvd.
Mr Animation - Venice Beach variety artist: comedy, hip hop and break dancing, acting, choreography, and Gospel Rap. Toured with Kurtis Blow, taught at UCLA. First movie role was in Breakin. Founder of entertainment ministry Life after Death Records.
Butch Mudbone - blues, country and boogie woogie. Boardwalk and club performer, founding member of the Canaligators , who was close to being a drug burnout at the end of the Sixties before he was rescued by Uncle Bill Crawford.
Chris Mulkey - band Blue Hyway
Mutaytor - this troupe, which has performed for the Venice Carnivale to least once, contains 25 drums, high-tech lasers and visual projections, incendiary pyrotechnics, international breakbeat science, aerial performers, dangerous stunts, and 12 body painted tribal performers. Recently the group has expanded its creative horizons. "It's time we showed another side of ourselves...We want to start telling stories, and deliver a production that has meaning and purpose behind all of our antics and songs." Mutaytors new conceptual show is called "Los Angeles Under Ground". The concept: "What would happen if Los Angeles suffered a major disaster? How would we come together to survive and thrive?"
Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo -- Stars of Forbidden Zone, the ultimate Venice movie. Ernie Fosselius, filmmaker who did Hardware Wars was at one point a member
Nazz In the summer of 1967 they played the Cheetah, along with the Doors, and in autumn served briefly as the house band. They lived in Venice for a few months, allegedly on Beethoven Street, but got thrown out just before Christmas. The next year, the bands name changed to Alice Cooper.
Neighborhood Watch - punk band, started in 1981, put out one LP.
No Way Jose - punk - The Venice Beach Sessions
Mary Kageyama Nomura - "Songbird of Manzanar" , the internment camp to which she was consigned in 1942. Mary grew up in Venice and was in the choir and talent shows at Venice High.
Nova Blue - rocknroll, originally from Portland, Oregon. Moved to Venice 1999
Michael Ochs The brother of sixties troubadour Phil Ochs lives here with millions of photographic artifacts as well as thousands of music recordings. The Michael Ochs Archives are said to take up three buildings and employ half a dozen people.
Oguri - Butoh dance
John OLeary - songwriter, in 1973 he was drummer for Uncle Crusty and the Venice Canaligators
Nick Oliveri - bass, Queens of the Stoneage, was a kid in Venice until age 11
Tollak Ollestad - jazz, piano, guitar, vocals. Harmonica on "Northern Exposure" theme. Managed Venice apartment building.
Kristina Olsen - Songwriter, bluesy-voiced singer, plays guitar, saxophone, piano. Calls Venice home when not on tour.
Panic Choir - earlier incarnation of Wild Blooms, with slightly different personnel
Harry Partch - avant-garde, experimental
Ed Pearl - founder of the legendary Ash Grove night club in LA, producer, patron and champion of musicians everywhere, moved to Venice in 1975.
Art Pepper - sax player, bookkeeper at Good Earth Bakery after leaving Synanon
Harold Peppie - in Ben Pollocks Californians, 1924
Harry Perry - One of the most iconic Venice figures, in the sense of easily recognizable and immutable. I dont actually know where hes slept all these years, but in terms of sheer amount of time spent on Ocean Front Walk, the turbaned guitarist/skater is king. His album is dedicated to "all of the people who gave me spare change, rides, food, showers ......that kept me alive over the last 21 years at Venice Beach." He is portrayed in Rip Cronk's mural Venice Reconstituted.
Lori Petty - asked by interviewer whether struggling musicians or struggling actors have a harder time, said "You know what I think about musicians, honestly? They can play. They can go to Venice Beach and play ..you cant just start acting walking down the street by yourself ..But you can go to Venice Beach and sing and play the guitar and make a lot of money."
Utah Phillips - the mentor of Ani DiFranco, not a Venice resident, but certainly in the spirit, being a labor organizer, peace activist, etc. and subject of a major interview with the Beachhead in 2006
Pink Floyd stayed with the Alice Cooper Band at their rented house in Venice during U.S. tour of November 1967.
Basil Poledouris- writes film scores, has studio called Blowtorch Flats in Venice
Ben Pollack - with his group the Californians were house band in the old Venice Ballroom in 1924 and 1925. Pollack was known as "Mr. Rhythm King" or "Father of Jazz" (for white people, anyway)
Poor Mans Jukebox - On the boardwalk, 1979: Large upside down cardboard box with coin slots, and the names of songs written on it. When you paid for your choice, the person in the box would play it on kazoo, spoons, and tom-tom.
Iggy Pop - lived in Venice in 1974, and on Navy Street either then or at some other time. A source says, "Iggy's time in Venice (and Hollywood subsequently), post-Stooges and before being rescued by Bowie (and moving to Berlin) was a very bad time for him, personally. He was strung out and really tore up.
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