John Altman | Composer

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And there is another thing about Los Angeles I admire and yet it makes me mad – it is bigger than the sum of its parts. It represents so much iconography, it’s infuriating that it takes so little notice of its own history. How I long for Chasens, the Brown Derby, the Mocambo, the Vine Street Bar and Grill, Schwabs and the Garden of Allah – all long vanished along with the secrets they held. Because it is a city that has to keep re-inventing itself, maybe to chastise anyone who leaves town for any length of time (Been away for a month, eh? Well we’ve demolished six landmark buildings, put up another seven in their place, shut down several restaurants, changed the name of twenty, and all the clubs and bars you went to a month ago are no longer frequented by the ‘in-crowd’ to coin a’60s phrase!) I woke up one morning to find that the house behind mine had been demolished in a day!

But you can’t get mad with L.A. for too long – it has a habit of getting under your skin and making you want to be there for the weather, the company of one’s peers, the music and the movies, and yes, even the earthquakes (although I would gladly forego them!) And, as long as you’re asking – yes, I will be back within the month to welcome my BAFTA award winning son and his talented wife as they settle in LA!

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