September 1967

Psychedelic Center Ltd
 36 West Dayton Street Pasadena, CA 91105

The 1930 building that once sold pipes, bells and mandallas, now sits unoccupied. Local records indicate two galleries occupied the space; The Third Hand and The House of Maji.

During that time, the corner of Dayton Street and Fair Oaks Avenue was considered "the heart of Skid Row".

With a bohemian flair, Dayton Street was filled with art galleries, craftsmen's quarters, bookstores, antiques and gift shops. In 1965, merchants organized a Renaissance Hootenanny; a block-long celebration with gay banners, strolling singers and bluegrass music.

Less frilly was another event, the ominous sounding "Witchcraft on Dayton Street". An array of charms, spells and incantations used in magic were on sale throughout the day. More witchery pokery could be found at "Little Orphan Annie's Really Truly Secret Hideaway" - that despite its precious name, sold fairly unusual books. But if witchcraft wasn't your bag, you could try your hand at sandal making at the not-too-demonic-sounding, Dave's Sandal Shop.

Today, there's very little that's considered psychedelic on this narrow Old Town Pasadena street -- it's primarily condos. Although you are within five minutes of delicious crêpes.

October 1967

December 1967

New Blue Grotto
 1010 North Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles CA

 446 North Fairfax Avenue Los Angeles CA

Opening around 1965, The New Blue Grotto was owned by a gentleman named Done Pine, and offered tempting delights such as Flemish beef. The 24-hour place was neither new, nor was it blue. And as was the case with so many businesses, its time was brief. During the mid-1980's, the spot switched from selling coffee to steel belted radials in the form of Atlantic Tire and Auto Service, where it currently remains.

Once home to Markee Studio, which sold oils, water colors and etchings, the small spot known as Hieronymous served coffee and goods to the long-hairs. Among the stock were water pipes, kaleidoscopes and fake wooden statuettes.

The store was owned by Don Morgan, who took over "Psychedelic Conspiracy" at 8802 Sunset Blvd. The West Hollywood store was famous for its tin-foiled-covered floor and a silver ceiling that reflected light from a dizzying array of colored lights. When Morgan took over, the store's name changed, and became "Psychedelic Underground".

Back on Fairfax (referred to as a miniature version of the Strip), Hieronymous - the hippie hangout - became the Jewish Family Service. The black door with psychedelic decor was gone and cheerful comfort was in. Nestled among the Kosher butchers, Fairfax was also home to "Portia's Mother" and "I'm a Hog for You Baby".

Hollywood had its fair share of head shops as well; "The Infinite Mind", "The Troubled Bubble" and "The Bizarre Bazaar" - yet each closed before you could say White Rabbit.

December 1967

With low rent and bohemian vibe, the Silverlake and Echo Park areas attracted a young, independent crowd. A group of artisans and shop owners calling themselves "The Other End of Sunset Association" formed to highlight the many unique stores populating that stretch of town. None of the 1967 stores exist of course (and they had terrific names too), but many of the buildings remain intact; which given the areas bohemian vibe, is something the well-heeled cognoscenti would appreciate.
  • Earthworks gave way to The Soap Plant by the mid-1970's.

  • Sasparilla was once headquarters to a City Council committee of citizens voting on a bid to bring the Dodgers to Los Angeles. In later years, it was home to retail store "Pull My Daisy".

  • The tiny storefront was popular with stenographers as "Coast Electric Typewriter" in the mid-1950's. A decade later, Betty Soderburg opened Creative Handweavers and sold handspun yarns from Bolivia, Pakistan and Mexico. The store lasted into the early-1980's.

  • Decades before Judy Frank and Richard Yasskin opened their renaissance crafts store Jabberwock, the space was home to Hollywood City Service - a dry cleaning service.

  • St. James In-Framery had been had been around since the early 60's.

  • Originally built around 1925, the brick building combined an upper level apartment and groundfloor shop, calling itself "Richard's Variety Store". Located "in the most progressive section of Los Angeles, where values are increasing by leaps and bounds", the store sold everything from school supplies, dishes and drug supplies.

    In the late 1950's, "Simonofskys Delicatessen" took the lower space and evolved into The Glass Farmhouse, offering unusual antiques and trippy clothes. In the 1990's, the location served fancy house blend coffee to hipsters, as "Intelligentsia".

December 1967

The Great Linoleum Clothing Experiment
 9093 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

Located near to Doug Weston's Troubadour, The Great Linoleum Clothing Experiment began as the Albin Photographic Laboratory in the mid 1940's. The wares changed from lenses to linens a few years later.

By the late 1960's, the new concept in retail was the boutique. In Los Angeles, small stores such as "Areta Farrell" ("Specializing in the New York look that takes you anywhere"), "Elizabeth the First", featuring designs by Bob Mackie and "Van Dusen Green" were "filling the fashion needs of fashion experimentalists, Hollywood starlet, country squiress, hippie, Establishment or young mama."

In 1967, The Great Linoleum Clothing Experiment, which opened at 1:00 PM adjacent to Genie the Tailor, was started by Ronald Goldstein and Michael Greenberg. One time employee, Tommy Perse, went on to helm the luxury boutique "Maxfield" in the 1980's. The West Hollywood store was favored by high-powered, affluent shoppers looking for Yohji Yamamoto and Comme de Garcons.

During a "Single Swingers Fashion Night" in 1969, the San Francisco Hilton Inn's top floor cocktail lounge The Tiger Room featured apparel from their Berkeley location.

December 1967

California Stash / Acid Akron
 7875 Melrose Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90046

In the 1930's, this corner of Melrose and Fairfax Avenue was home to Lillard Drug Company, and became "Whelan" - The Cut Rate Drug Store by the 50's. By the 1960's, when head shops mushroomed at an alarming pace, The California Stash aka Acid Akron was run by 26 year-old Clifton Patterson. The store sold trip-toys and bananas... stuff that's usually on my shopping list. There is no trace of this place today - development being what it is. A gas station appears to be the current occupant.

However, the nod to 'freeform underground' radio station KPPC FM is very interesting. Founded over 80 years ago by Pasadena Presbyterian Church, KPPC was under new ownership by late 1967, and was now broadcasting in FM.

The station debuted this new format on January 2, 1968 in the basement of the Pasadena Presbyterian Church (located at 585 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena).

The disc jockeys were relatively young (though some were a bit older), were into the music and sounded very 'mellow,' as if they had woken up from a deep sleep and were about to doze off again. The dj's played a mix of long-play rock album cuts and communicated one-on-one with the young listeners. It was a style of talking on the air much different than the fast-talking, high energy djs on the pop/rock AM stations of the era.

The station was also home to Dr. Demento, Elliot Mintz, and comedy troupes The Credibility Gap (featuring Harry Shearer, Richard Beebe, David L. Lander, and Michael McKean), and The Firesign Theatre. One show broadcast in 1968, was called 'Snow Queen & Her Court and Delegation of Insanity'.

Unlike the AM music stations popular then, these djs didn't talk over song intros and didn't repeat the call letters over and over or play jingles. They played sets of several songs in a row without talking, and they played longer songs and rock music that couldn't get airplay on AM radio then. Many young people who found the new FM station liked this format, with very few commercials, and language they could understand. The younger generation opposed to the policies of Presidents Johnson and (later) Nixon, a generation against the Vietnam War and the draft, social injustice, and who didn't trust anyone over 30, had a radio station they could identify with, when they discovered KPPC. Among the notable on-air hosts were Ted Alvy (Cosmos Topper) and Steven Segal (The Obscene Steven Clean). Incidentally, Steven Segal, 21 at the time, was 'brutally beaten by a gang of eight youths in Hollywood', the Independent Press-Telegram reported. The incident occurred outside the Tropicana Motel on Santa Monica Boulevard (8585 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood).

For a time, the Tropicana Motel (its fourth owner was Baseball Hall of Famer, Sandy Koufax) became the stomping ground for many of rock music's heavy-hitters needing a place to crash; Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Janis Joplin, Bob Marley, The Runaways, the Ramones, Blondie, the New York Dolls, and the Clash. The literary world requested room service too; beat author William S. Burroughs was occasionally spotted at pool-side. However, the last mint was placed on the pillow in 1987, when the motel was demolished, and a shiny new Ramada Inn was built.

KPPC was eventually sold to the National Science Network, then, 1973, it went to Burbank Broadcasting and became KROQ. The last broadcast was in 1996.

Many thanks to Jim Hilliker for allowing excepts from his online article, 'Remembering KPPC-AM'.

June 1967

The Cougar
 9171 De Soto Avenue, Chatsworth, CA 91311

Nestled in the San Fernando Valley, the site originated as Comet Lanes, and changed to Rocket Lanes in 1965. More than likely an entertainment addition to the lanes, The Cougar invited patrons to "Come in and be righteously surprised". No doubt this alluded to their claim of being the 'world's first adult psychedelic nightclub'. Alcohol was served to keep out the junior set. The nitery had regular café engagements from local acts; Rick Lancelot and the Hang Up, and an outfit calling themselves 'Four and a Half' kept things freaked out. Fridays and Saturday's set you back one dollar for admission.

The lounge changed names to Bill Clark's Stardust Room ("Look for the Rocket") and served hungry diners a prime rib buffet for just over two dollars. The Rocket Bowl Coffee Shop was back in 1973, and retaining its bowling roots, an AMF Bowling Center was located there in the mid-1990's. Sadly, the comfortable shoes were packed up by 2010 to make way for crispy corn tacos being served at Chipotle.

June 1967

The New Delhi Bath House
 11441 West Jefferson Blvd., Culver City CA 90230

Before the Raga bands moved in, the Jefferson Bowl set up shop in the late 1950's. Leonard Homel, president of the National Bowling Leage and owner of the Los Angeles Toros began holding tournaments there around 1961.

Perhaps needing to attract a with-it crowd to its lanes, Mod Street West opened in 1967. The new club (later renamed New Delhi Bath House) allowed patrons eighteen and over, and debuted with sets by the Electric Prunes, the Pastells, the Iridescents and the Time of Your Life. According to local newspapers, "it's where minis are all the fashion and the music moves." Whatever name it went under, the Jefferson Bowl lasted for a few more years. Absolutely nothing left of The New Delhi Bath House. The Indian Scene has been paved over, and a nondescript strip mall is what you're dealing with.

June 1967

A name that just rolls of the tongue... the W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band were a L.A.-based garage-psych band. In October of 1966 the quintet released the single "Hippy Elevator Operator" on the HBR label (the music wing of Hanna-Barbera TV). That same year they covered "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" for Mercury, which unfortunately became a bigger hit for The Monkees (a name that requires no explanation).

In August 1967, the band joined Liquid Blues in the Valley and played "The Magic Mushroom" on Ventura. Since the 1930's, the Studio City spot went through a formidable number of changes over the next fifty years; the "Grace Hayes Lodge", "Larry Potter's Supper Club", "Cinnamon Cinder", "Bonnie & Clyde's", the "V.I.S. Club" (a country-western nightclub owned by Dick Clark), "The Point After" and "Sasch".

The Magic Mushroom was managed by Chesley Millikin, a former writer for the Oracle. Despite the hallucinogenic name, the club charged $1 admission and served only organic juices - no liquor. The manager explained that ten per cent of the profits go to the American Indians. Millikin was proud to not that "We are honest and upbeat and clean and our audience includes a variety of people: people in evening dress, college kids and long hairs."

April 1968

The 1921 8-bedroom residential building was home to an assortment of businesses over the years; Eugene Riese (a baritone voice teacher) opened his vocal studio, and Samuel McKee offered Piano by Ear at $3.50 a lesson. Soon after, the wonderfully named coffee house Epicurean opened, and is now home to The Foot Clinic of Hollywood (chess games optional).

September 1969

Opening in 1966 by proprietor John Harris, Papa Bach's bookstore in West Los Angeles was the center of the city's then burgeoning counterculture. The store became a focal point for poetry readings and appearances; members of the Watts Writers Workshop turned up in 1967 for the publication of "From the Ashes". The store was one location for Westside voters to register in the 1968 General Election.

In his book Literary L.A., journalist Lionel Rolfe wrote, "Papa Bach was a meeting place and a cultural institution in its own right... It was a counterculture place where lefties came to argue politics or literary people to debate the merits of their favorite heroes or heroines."

By the mid-1980's, the bookstore had closed, and aspiring writers could purchase a copy of Microsoft Word for $320 at the Writers' Computer Store, which took over the space.

September 1969

For those needing a manicure at four in the morning, L.A.'s only 24-hour beauty salon known as The House of Aphrodite previously occupied this spot. By the late 1960's, dedicated followers of fashion hit the ElJay on Sunset for their fancy duds -- but only for a while. Retail was swiftly replaced with nine-grain bread, as restaurant owner Mike Moskowitz moved his healthy eatery "Common Good" from Baldwin Hills to West Hollywood and took over organic bakery, "Gourmet Health Kitchen".

However, delicious food remained on the menu well into the 1980's, when "Cafe L.A. Sunset" served New York style pizza and pasta until 1987. The site is currently an empty lot.

September 1969

Situated in the rustic El Camino Center (now the Regency Center) in Woodland Hills, Jeans West offered all-American clothes for everyone. Writing about the Valley's newest Mod store, the LA Times noted, "The bi look or better known as the He-She look, Uni-sex or trans-sexual fashions, is now with the trend on Cowboy and the Funky look."

The company ran a unique advertising campaign in 1971, called "We'll Buy Your Vote". Created by agency Chiat-Day, the campaign offered $1 incentive for 18-21 year-olds to register; voters bringing their registration slips received a dollar off any jeans in the store. The retailer had 25 stores in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Bernadino, and Santa Barbara.

Owned by St. Louis retailing firm, the Edison Brothers (which filed for bankruptcy in 1995), Jeans West was considered a giant among pant shops. Opened the same year as The Gap, the store operated their biggest location in West Hollywood, on La Cienega Blvd. The retailer's best-selling pant in 1972 was their own low-rise, blue-denim, flare-leg jean.

September 1969

Surplus Distributors
 6279 Van Nuys Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91401

Before tents, binoculars and ski parkas were sold at this corner site, this Van Nuys spot had been California Bank since 1927. Unbelievably, the current proprietor has occupied the space since 1957, although a name change to the County General Store occurred during the mid-80's.

May 1972

Ooh Poo Pah Doo
 7561 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90046

Patrons didn't visit Ooh Poo Pah Doo for just the organic buffet - they popped in for some interesting attractions, such as Hank Higgins' Electric Kabuki Mixed Media Extravaganza, which ran for a while in 1972.

Over the years, the site was an office for The Russian War Relief, a plate glass company and a bar in the mid'60s. However, the Hollywood spot achieved wider recognition as the future home of Rodney's English Disco. Opened in 1973 by Mercury Records promoter Rodney Bingenheimer, along with Barry Barnholtz and Thomas Ayres. A longtime Hollywood scenemaker, Bingenheimer wrote for Phonograph Records magazine, and joined KROQ later on.

After the last strains of Roxy Music and Slade left the building, Mischa's Restaurant and Cabaret took over. By the late 80's, Eric Goode, Bret Witke and Chris Daggett opened their trendy club "b.c". The eagerly awaited nightspot with the lowercase name counted future hotel developer André Balazs as one of its partners.

Sadly by 1989, the club tangled with the zoning board over permit issues and quickly shuttered.

July 1972

Earth Food Inn
 11262 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604

Healthy-minded bodies were present long before Barry and Mark Lebovitz served "Cosmic Fluids" at their "Earth Food Inn". The small two-story cinder-block building in Studio City housed Vince's Gymnasium for Men on the upper levels. Run by Vince Gironda, "Internationally-Known Physical Culturist", the exclusive gym that began in 1949 had multiple locations. Women looking to work out could do so in a separate annex.

Unfortunately, Mr Gironda ran into a spot of bother in 1952, operating a rock steam bath and massage parlor without a permit. Troubles aside, the "Iron Guru" maintained his popular gym, and by the 1980's, the facilities were open to women. In contrast to Gironda's barebones facilities, upscale aerobics centers were springing up everywhere. In 1979, Sean Harrington's Nautilus Fitness & Training Center opened in Encino, inside the old Town & Country Mall at 17212 Ventura Blvd., a stone's throw from Gironda's Gym in Studio City. Those looking to join "The Tortured" and look terrific could now do so at the "Official Fitness Center for the L.A. Lakers and Kings".

Health and fitness ran in the family, with Jack Gironda opening "California Health Studio" in Panorama City in the early 1960's.

A number of other healthy eateries popped up around the early 1970's offering organic and vegetarian fare; among the most famous was The Source (previously occupied by "Club des Cinq"). The small Sunset Strip eatery was run by Jim and Robin Baker. Baker was no stranger to health-food dining, having been responsible for one of the forerunners of health-food eating, "The Aware Inn" at 8828 Sunset, which opened in 1959.

The former occupants were the Village Book Shop, followed by fashion designer Myron J. Schwartz. Baker ran the natural food restaurant with his first wife, Elaine. The warm, intimate bistro changed ownership in 1981, and added Continental dishes. Not long after, the site became "La Petite Maison", and then Thai restaurant "Rama Garden".

The charming and affable Baker also ran another Sunset Strip restaurant, "Old World".

Baker's story was as interesting as the hip health-food restaurant he owned. In 1963, he was convicted of manslaughter for an incident that took place at his Sunset Strip restaurant. Wealthy Orange County hotelier Robert Ingram had gone to the restaurant searching for his estranged actress wife Jean, whom Baker admitted to kissing. A scuffle for a gun ensued and Ingram was shot. Testimony revealed that Baker, a judo expert, was convicted in 1955 of killing his Topanga Canyon neighbor with a judo blow to the throat. Baker never served time, as it was deemed he acted in self-defense.

It was reported at the time that Baker and his first wife Elaine had three children - one of who was born deaf. On his 1963 manslaughter charge, Baker served three months in 1968 before being paroled.

By the end of the decade, the restaurateur turned convict reinvented himself as a prophet known as the "Earthly Spiritual Father of the Brotherhood of the Source", or Father Yod for short. Father Yod and his extended Family lived in an old 24-room brick mansion in the Los Feliz area. The Family, mostly waifish girls with names such as Aladdin, Cylom, Lotus, Mecca and Mother Ahom (Baker's 23 year-old wife) would often "play music to get high by to pick up loving vibes from their brothers and sisters."

After selling The Source in 1975, the former Marine took the funds and moved to Kauai, where he hoped to set up a new commune. After the islands didn't take too kindly to a horde of hippies, they spent time in Mill Valley and moved on to San Francisco for a brief period, and then returned to Hawaii, settling at Hilo. On August 25 1975, Baker died from a hang gliding accident.

The legendary Source restaurant had been non-smoking since opening, and known for such healthy items as "Mother's Eggplant and their "cinnamon and nut-stuffed whole-wheat French toast". Woody Allen achieved total heavyosity when he ordered a plate of alfalfa sprouts with a plate of mashed yeast in Annie Hall (1977). The Sunset site was formerly the office of Ralmor Corporation in the 1950's.

Other well-known restaurants serving up healthy grub were;
  • The Good Life on Lankershim.
  • Zap! on Sunset.
  • Nucleus Nuance on Melrose - run by Rudy Marshall.
  • The Aquarian at 2911 Beverly Blvd.
  • Organicville at 4177 West 3rd Street.
  • H.E.L.P. at 719 West 3rd Street ("Health, Education, Love and Peace") - run by Warren Stagg.
  • Beverly Hills Nutrition Center at 430 Canon Drive - run by Stan Sokol.
  • The Discovery Inn on 156 South Topanga Canyon Blvd.

October 1972

Lost on Larrabee
 8851 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood CA 90069

Formerly known as "Taming of the Stew", healthy restaurant "Lost on Larrabee" opened around 1971 ("The Age of Asparagus") by Russell Friedman and wife Vivien. The mostly vegetarian restaurant was part of a new wave of healthy dining and lasted into the mid-1970's.

The one-time 11-unit apartment building suffered fire damage in 1957. Former tenants were the Almond-Globe Drug store and Avalon dry-cleaners (a dress shirt could be laundered for 21 cents). The Revolver club occupied the space around 1984 and was designated a landmark by West Hollywood in 1991.

Friedman remained in the restaurant business, purchasing the "Budapest Hungarian Restaurant" on Fairfax in the early 80's, which closed in 1989. Shortly after, Friedman became a counselor at the Grief Recovery Institute in Beverly Hills. Friedman went to become Executive Director and passed away in November 2016.

The eatery was a popular hangout for rock stars, given it's proximity to The Troubadour. No less than Ringo Starr hosted a private party there for fellow rabble-rouser Harry Nilsson in 1973. Fellow Beatle John Lennon along with Van Morrison and David Bowie were also fond of the joint. Rock and roll legend has it that during his Lost Weekend in 1973, John Lennon took a sanitary napkin from this establishment, prior to heading to The Troubadour.

Then again, John was The Walrus, so who knows?


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