Eddie, the previous owner of the records, was a true record collector, but not in the sense of the must-own or traditional market-driven collectible pieces and sought-after titles. Instead he was a curator of alluring oddities, deviating from the mainstream and submersing himself in what he himself liked to listen to, always with the highest of ideals, a paradigm of good taste. He was able to keep his records in a condition that was exactly as he had bought them, and mantained the collection as if they were never played. Many of the records happen to be still sealed, as new!
Folks here in California will be awed by the breadth of the material and its integrity, consisting of mostly non-rock 'n roll genres, not-oft traded on this massive scale. Vocals, soundtracks, thousands of 20th-century classical and jazz titles, latin music and all locales of international artists are represented here, as well as folk, blues and spoken word. Rarely seen lounge sounds and easy listening cheesecake covers, great Amercan songwriters sitting right beside obscure new age and electronic music. Over 30,000 discs of very small and large labels, private pressings, boutique pressings and artist editions await inspection by Amoeba loyalists on the day these go on sale. As these discs were collected and maintained in the New York area, West Coast LP collectors will delight in perusing these platters just-in to Hollywood from 2,800 miles away!
Two noir masterpieces on the big screen in L.A!
Armored Car Robbery, despite its rather dull title, is a tight little caper masterfully led by William Talman, aka D.A. Hamilton Burger from Perry Mason. Filmed a few years before Perry started, Mr. Talman is at his finest as a cold blooded yet charming creep. His performance is my wife and I's favorite from any movie that we've seen this year, far superior to his better known role in Ida Lupino's classic Hitch-Hiker. Add in Charles McGraw, L.A. location shots, a great support cast, tight editing (67 minute running time) and you have essential B cinema!
The much more high profile Asphalt Jungle is THE heist film. I can't believe how many times it comes up in coversation with other noir fans. The archetypes created by the cast still color modern crime fiction and film. In my opinion, all of that is owed to the ensemble cast of character actors. Highlights include Jean Hagen, in a role second only to her masterful Hariette Sinton in Side Street, and the criminally underated Sam Jaffe at his most weasely. Most other top shelf caper films borrow from this John Huston masterpiece, so whether you're a fan of Resevoir Dogs or Rafifi, you need to see this film.
Monday and Tuesday (November 23rd & 24th)
Armored Car Robbery & the Asphalt Jungle
New Beverly Cinema
7165 W. Beverly Blvd.
L.A., CA 90036
Several years back I was a dedicated MTA bus rider. I spent countless hours wandering back and forth from Silverlake to my job in Century City where, believe it or not, I worked for a law firm. One afternoon I was sitting in the back staring out into space when someone leaned over past me and tapped the knee of an older man sitting next to me. Hey, this guy told the old man, you’re Art Aragon. Sure enough sitting next to me was none other then LA’s original "Golden Boy,” the legendary and flamboyant Hall of Fame Boxer. This past week Art Aragon died at the age of 80 from the effects of a stroke. And though he never won the world title he was one of boxing’s biggest draws during the 40’s and 50’s.
Born in Belen, New Mexico in 1927, Aragon grew up in East Los Angeles and began boxing in 1942. His first professional fight was in May 1944, against Frenchy Rene at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. He ended his career with a 90-20-6 record, including 61 wins by knockout. He fought many of the stars of the era like Tommy Campbell, Jesse Flores, Carmen Basilio, Don Jordan, Billy Graham, Chuck Davey and Chico Vejarand. Sadly, Aragon had only one title shot in his career, losing to lightweight champion James Carter in November 1951. Aragon, who often struggled to make his weight class, said afterward that he was weak from having to lose seven pounds in the few days before the bout.
Though he was never a world champ, in 1990 Aragon was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame. And while he had a great fight career, it was marred by allegations that he fixed a few of his fights. In February 1957, Aragon was convicted of offering a $500 bribe to welterweight Dick Goldstein to take a dive in their scheduled San Antonio bout the previous December. The fight was called off at the last moment when Aragon became ill. Eventually though, the conviction was overturned on appeal.