Pop & Hiss

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Still in action: Jackie DeShannon, '60s L.A. rockers invade Amoeba tonight

September 22, 2009 |  1:17 pm

A handful of musicians who were part of the vibrant mid-1960s L.A. music scene that’s celebrated in the new box set “Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968” will perform songs from that collection tonight at Amoeba Music in Hollywood.


Jackie DeShannon, members of the Standells and the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, former Paul Revere and the Raiders member Keith Allison and Three Dog Night founding member Danny Hutton will stick around after they revisit their vintage material to sign autographs and chat with fans.

DeShannon’s cut on this edition of Nuggets is a gem, her collaboration with the Byrds on “Splendor in the Grass,” a song that wasn't part of the hit 1961 film but which DeShannon says was inspired by it. It’s probably too much to hope that Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and/or Chris Hillman will pop by to lend their harmonies.

For my money, Hutton's pre-Three Dog single "Roses and Rainbows," which made it only to No. 73 nationally but was in regular rotation on L.A. pop radio stations KHJ and KRLA, is a glorious piece of pop songcraft that outshines any of the million sellers he turned out after connecting with Cory Wells and Chuck Negron.

The four-CD set (we’ll have more on this later in the week) gathers 101 tracks recorded in and around L.A., and covers the period from the superstars who emerged at the top (the Byrds, the Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors, Arthur Lee & Love) down to those remembered primarily by pop geeks and musicologists (am I being redundant?) such as the Oracle, the Velvet Illusions, the Humane Society, Ken & the Fourth Dimension.

Amoeba makes a fitting location for tonight’s show, not just because it’s one of the few music stores where fans might hope to find some of those original records, but it’s just a stone’s throw on Sunset Boulevard from the former location of the Hullabaloo/The Kaleidoscope club that was a key part of the Hollywood music scene.

And today? On the site that had opened in 1938 as Earl Carroll’s Vanities as one of Hollywood’s great Art Deco nightclubs, then, as the Moulin Rouge, hosted hipster Louis Prima in his heyday before turning to rock in the ‘60s is still catering to youthful audiences. It’s now the soundstage known as Nickelodeon at Sunset.

-- Randy Lewis

Photo credit: Rhino