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Band members arrested after blocking 101 Freeway for performance

October 12, 2010 | 11:39 am

Officials said a band blocked the 101 Freeway in Hollywood on Tuesday morning for an impromptu concert that jammed traffic and tested the patience of commuters.

In what is believed to be an effort at promotion, authorities said that members of a band called Imperial Stars blocked all but one lane of the southbound 101 with a large truck advertising the band. The group has a song called "Traffic Jam 101."

Witnesses said they saw members of the band singing and playing instruments on top of the truck.

The California Highway Patrol reported that three people were under arrest, and officials were trying to get all lanes of the southbound 101 open again. The traffic backup extended into the San Fernando Valley.

The driver of the truck fled in another vehicle and took the keys to the vehicle with him, the CHP said.

Sarah Faden, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said the three suspects were "creating some type of havoc" on the freeway.

The Imperial Stars are a self-described "hard core hip hop band" from Orange County whose latest song is "Traffic Jam 101." On its website, the band pledges that all the money earned from the song will be going to Homeless Children America. The website features the same truck used during the impromptu concert Tuesday morning.

The band has played at the Viper Room and House of Blues.

-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: The scene on the southbound 101 Freeway. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times