TALES FROM THE STRIP: A CENTURY IN THE FAST LANE
Van Gordon Sauter, Robert Landau, Frans Evenhuis, Angel City Press, Hardcover $45 (176pp), 978-1-62640-039-9
The City of Angels is also the City of Stars and Superheroes and the make-believe home of wishes-come-true for a dreamer crowd to click their ruby-shod heels three times to believe in. It is Walt Disney’s town, Charlie Chaplin’s town, Howard Hughes’s, Marilyn Monroe’s, and gangster Mickey Cohen’s town.
Sprawling Los Angeles is a car town, too, which means certain streets earned fame for attracting both the stars and the starry-eyed. None more so than a little two-mile stretch of West Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard—the Sunset Strip.
The what, why, and how of the humble street’s transformation into the center of Hollywood glamour is delightfully explained in Tales from The Strip: A Century in the Fast Lane, including extraordinary pictures of the places and famous faces. The list includes Chateau Marmont, Playboy Club, Mocambo, Trocadero, Sunset Plaza, Le Dome, Spago, Book Soup, Whisky a Go Go, Hustler Hollywood, and characters like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Guy Mcafee, Hugh Hefner, Wolfgang Puck, photographer Ed Ruscha, and dozens of A-list celebrities.
But the juicy tales of an “anything goes” era keep the pages turning. The most famous road in the world needs no embellishment to be larger than life.
James Dean cranes his neck as he backs into his driveway from Sunset Plaza Drive. Photo credit: James Dean Museum. Photo by Frank Worth, from Tales from The Strip: A Century in the Fast Lane, by Van Gordon Sauter, Robert Landau, and Frans Evenhuis. Used with permission from Angel City Press.