Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Riverside Redeux

I’ve blogged about Riverside, CA before. I hit it at least once a year because my favorite soul food restaurant in the state is there.

You can read more details about Gram’s and see some incredible old vintage signs like this that are thankfully left standing in this post as well.

On a typical trip, I also try and hit all the thrift and secondhand shops that are further into town on Market Street once you hop off of the 60. But this was a very short trip, just to eat at Gram’s and see The Larry Dunn Orchestra, he formerly of Earth, Wind & Fire and who played keyboards on “September” and “Boogie Wonderland” for me at my recent Allee Willis Soup to Nuts live show.

So on this trip I just took a closer look at Market Street in the heart of downtown Riverside. I don’t know what this building was but the shimmering powder blue stone edifice is beyond gorgeous. I shudder to think what that construction fence around it means…

Here’s an excellent use of Chrysler-Imperial-as-awning. Perhaps I should do something like this with my 1955 Desoto Fireflyte:

Despite being a health food store now, The De Anza Theater is a still knockout:

The Mission Inn, a hotel built in 1876 and where the Reagans were married, is Riverside’s top historical landmark. But I’m much more interested in the topiary that tops the columns on the backside of the hotel. If you have any idea what this is let me know. They’re all over the place.

 

I’m guessing this one is a boxing pig:

A little further out on Market, there’s a little time-warp street that intersects it, right before the secondhand shops start.

I know this foot establishment isn’t vintage but I can never resist a name like this:

Leaving the street for a moment, I’ve never seen a Bereavement Center inside a thriftshop before but such is the case at the Goodwill at the top of the block:

Just a hop down the 91 in Corona is this excellence in architecture and signage. Though I would imagine that any Greek might be mystified that a restaurant representing that heritage would feature roast beef and quesadillas.

I always love a good trailer park…

… especially one featuring a curved wall of cutout Atomic cement block.

I love that two trains form the wings of this building. Too bad it’s not a diner and is wasted on a driving school.

I also can never resist the charm of a nice porta-potty  in the front yeard. I love the elegant door on this one, as if that makes it more acceptable to be plopped where it is.

I could have used that facility at the point in the drive I was. Luckily I made it back to the hotel and up in the elevator before duty called.

Be back soon, Riverside.

 

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Categories: Advertising/ Promotion, Afro, Architecture, Music, Place, September, Sign, Transportation, Travel

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Music Saves My Soul Tote, Food and Concert

To a purveyor of kitsch such as myself, spotting a 99¢ or dollar store, Dollar Tree or whatever other buck or below establishment that bases its name on that spin and carries bargain merchandise, shoots the same kind of joy and anticipation through your body as what Columbus must have felt when he spotted America. I never ever used to be interested in anything that wasn’t vintage but, especially since establishing the Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch at AWMOK.com and seeing the crap, I mean treasures, real treasures, that people have posted that were acquired at such bargain emporiums, I’ve become a ravenous beast for the contents that lay within. Some of the most popular Bingo prizes at my recent Soup to Nuts Party Mix live show, like jam and jelly room deodorizers, Malted Milk Balls lip gloss, Pen/Stylos, and flowers in a can were purchased for mere pennies compared to their actual kitsch value had they been located on slightly loftier shelves.

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Categories: Allee Willis' Soup To Nuts live show, Earth Wind & Fire, Food, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Soup To Nuts Party Mix live show, The Color Purple

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Ghetto Fab Michael Jackson Sphinx Pendant and Storm Lee’s Birthday Soirée

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Categories: Afro, Celebrity, Earth Wind & Fire, Fashion, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – 1968 Right On’s 100 Super-Soul Stars Book and Saturday Night with Earth Wind & Fire and Stevie Wonder, 2010

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Categories: Afro, Boogie Wonderland, Book, Detroit, Disco, Discography, Earth Wind & Fire, Music, September, TV/Radio

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – PARTY VIDEO! Me, Earth Wind Fire and Luenell at the opening of The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch!

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It was the 21st night of September, the opening line of my very first hit song as well as the date of the grand opening party celebrating the launch of awmok.com, my mini social network and ongoing museum exhibit of all things Kitsch. I am SO NOT the songwriter type to get up at a party and perform but this was the night that tradition broke. As it was a special night in my musical history as well as a night to celebrate kitsch I decided to let anyone who wanted to sing sing bad karaoke versions of September.I also brought a bunch of cheap, thrift shop instruments with me – a knockoff Beatles Apollo bass with three strings, a 1981 Casio keyboard with 2 1/2 octaves and a missing middle C. key – just in case any of the famous musicians in attendance might want to play along my style.
As any of you familiar with me know, I’m a massive fan of smooshing together very high and very low elements of art that most people would create, perform or perpetuate in very different spaces and times. I live for moments where the incredible thinking, technology and execution at the top collide with the passion and dedication (and not necessarily talent) at the bottom. 
Moments like these have allowed me to see some of my Greatest Hits performed by the best and the worst at once. Like when my discoveries, the Del Rubio Triplets, octogenarian identical triplets in miniskirts and go-go boots and of questionable musical prowess, performed “Neutron Dance” with The Pointer Sisters the very week the record was in the Top 10. I’m elated to report that the 21st night of September a couple of weeks ago was an opportunity for another such performance. 
In walks Larry Dunn, original Earth Wind & Fire keyboard player extraordinaire who played on every single significant EWF hit, and Verdine White, cofounding member who’s still in EWF, greatest bass player who ever lived and the man who discovered me and brought me to the group back in 1978. And there’s Luenell, hysterical off-color comedienne who is literally the number one Earth Wind & Fire fan in the world. She carries their Greatest Hits CD with her wherever she goes and watches aEWF Collection DVD every day, swear to God. She’s been in love with Larry Dunn since she first caught sight of his perfectly carved Afro in the early 1970s. 
Here are three 6 minute videos documenting one of the best times I’ve ever had in my life at a party. Part 1 is a set up, where Luenell meets her idols NI announced that anyone who has the balls to sing September with Earth Wind & Fire in the house is welcome to him. Part two is September and part 3 is Boogie Wonderland. I have video cameras going almost every minute of the day. It’s moments like they that would never translate unless you were there to see it that make me thankful I spend every dime I earn on tape, cameras and people to point them.
Last thing I’ll say here is to make sure and go to AWMoK.com, the reason everyone was here to celebrate and where so many people have gone to keep the party going

It was the 21st night of September, the opening line of my very first hit song as well as the date of the grand opening party at LA’s Ghettogloss celebrating the launch of AWMoK.com, The Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch, my mini social network and ongoing exhibit of all things Kitsch. I am SO NOT the type to get up at a party and perform my own songs but this was the night that tradition broke.

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Categories: Afro, Art, bad art, Boogie Wonderland, Celebrity, Creativity, Disco, Earth Wind & Fire, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Musical Instruments, Party, Self expression, September, Songwriting

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Allee Willis’ Kitsch O’ The Day – Photos from Party #2 for the Grand Opening of The Allee Willis Museum of Kitsch!

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Seems like there are hundreds of photos circulating on the Internet from my party Monday night where, among a zillion other things, members of Earth Wind & Fire performed in a parking lot for anyone who wanted to sing my EWF hits, “September” and “Boogie Wonderland”. 

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Categories: Art, bad art, Boogie Wonderland, Celebrity, Earth Wind & Fire, Hollywood, Kitsch, Kitsch O' The Day, Music, Party, People, September

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