Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr at the Grammys
I enjoyed last Sunday’s Grammy Awards Ceremony that featured the reunion of former Beatles members Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, they both have their chops, and watching them performing together brought back so many fond memories.
Today Sir Paul McCartney is a very wealthy man. Forbes Magazine estimates his net worth at around $650 million.
I remember back in the 1960’s when the Beatles visited Los Angeles and stayed in a rented house in Coldwater Canyon that hordes of young people caused a massive traffic jam – I witnessed this first hand because I was working as a newsreel camera for KHJ-TV, channel 9, in Los Angeles.
November 7th, 2013 will be the 50th anniversary of the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California.
November 7th, 1963 I was a newreel cameraman for KHJ-TV in Los Angeles. The occasion was the world première of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” in a theatre based on a geodesic dome developed by R. Buckmaster Fuller. This premier marked the dawn of “single lens” Cinerama.
Photo of the Cinerama Dome on November 7, 1963
Directed by Stanley Kramer, the cast was outstanding: Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Buddy Hackett, Ethel Merman, Mickey Rooney, Phil Silvers, Terry-Thomas, Jonathan Winters, Edie Adams, and a host of other stars including legendary Buster Keaton.
On July 10, James L. Loper, a founder and former president of KCET Channel 28 who helped build the public broadcasting station into one of the nation’s leading noncommercial outlets, has died. He was 81.
Loper, who went on to oversee the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, died Monday at his Pasadena home, his family said. No cause was announced.
An Arizona transplant, Loper was a doctoral student at USC in the early 1960s when he joined a small group, the Committee for Educational Television, that was trying to establish a public broadcasting station in Los Angeles.
When KCET went on the air in 1964, Loper was director of educational television. About two years later, he took charge of the station, first as vice president and general manager and then as president from 1971 to 1983.
He “left an indelible mark on the history of KCET and public television,” Al Jerome, chief executive of KCETLink, as the former PBS outlet is now known, said in a statement. “Jim launched several national productions that aligned the Hollywood entertainment community with the newly emerging national program service PBS.”
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
Clete Roberts, popular Los Angeles TV Reporter
TV Reporter Clete Roberts was a close friend of James Loper and did many public affairs segments for KCET, and I was the 16mm newsreel cameraman.
Jonathan Winters recently passed away in Montecito, CA, and it brought back memories of the ’60s when I worked as a newsreel cameraman in Los Angeles for Channel 9, KHJ-TV. I had a special license plate on my car. It was exactly like the one in this picture, but without the license plate holder and the words “SLO Skiers.” This was during the days when gas station attendants filled up your tank with gas. So many attendants would ask me what the “PP” meant. These were the days of the 20th Century Fox TV hit “Payton Place.” Of course, I would always reply “Payton Place.”
PP License Plate
I covered hundreds, maybe thousands of news stories and one of them was the world premiere of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World,” which also happened to be the grand opening of the newly built Cinerama Dome on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Recently while I was supervising some video mastering of “Atlas Shrugged – The Strike” at FotoKem in Burbank, I saw this picture of the premiere of “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” on the wall in the lobby of the Conversions Department. The place has lots of expensive video recorders, monitors, etc. You don’t want to have to pay the monthly electrical bill to power this equipment, and dozens of skilled technicians inhabit this place, which is not cheap, either.
Getting back to this picture, I think I can recognize myself in the crowd of photographers and newsreel cameramen outside on the sidewalk. If you look very carefully, you can see the reflection of me taking this picture. In show biz, this is a twofer. Oh well, I’m not a comedian.
World Premier at new Cinerama Dome in Hollywood
In 2008, Penn State played USC in the Rose Bowl — and lost. I recall that game was never close and Joe Paterno stayed in the Press Box because of a leg injury caused by the collision with a football player while coaching from the sidelines during a football game earlier in the season. I must say it was a thrilling experience to watch the game from the USC sidelines. I now understand why spotters play such an important role, it’s difficult to view the action because the center of the field is elevated to allow for drainage after a rainstorm.
At the conclusion of the football game, I was able to get into the tunnel area beneath the Rose Bowl. I happened to be standing near the Penn State locker room as Joe Paterno came out of and sat down in an electric cart and was driven away. Little did I, or anyone know, what Joe was hiding from the rest of the world.
Looking back, Jerry Sandusky was there, too, and I get the creeps thinking about him and my proximity to this evil man.
Penn State Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno on the sideline during warmups in 1996.. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s now July 31, 2012, and USC can play in Bowl games once again.
Penn State football has been heavily penalized. The Los Angeles Times printed a story today that Silas Redd, a junior, who rushed for 1,241 yards and seven touchdowns at Penn State last year, is joining USC.. He will be eligible to play immediately for the Trojans, who are thin at running back.
I have season tickets and plan to attend all of the games this season. It will be a great relief for me to scream my brains out for USC, and be able to forget about my responsibilities connected with supervising the delivery of the feature film “Atlas Shrugged Part ll,” which opens in theaters nationwide on Oct. 12, 2012.
A story was emailed to me by a friend this afternoon. It reminded me how cruel Hollywood can be to some of the people who’ve contributed so much to it. Case in point is screenwriter James Toback. Then I read some of the reader’s comments to this story and one jerk responded by saying that it’s been a long time since Toback has had one of his screenplays made into film. As if that’s a good reason to treat him like dirt. Toback was paid for his screenplay and doesn’t control the rights, but this shouldn’t mean keeping him out of the loop on a remake. It took him totally by surprise as you will read in Nikki Finke‘s story.