Zasu Pitts at the New Varsity, circa 1988

Randy Lutge is the Les Blank of Palo Alto, and his New Orleans is the New Varsity. He has about 500 films of acts and artists performing live music there, 456 University, in the late 1980s and early 1990s when his family owned and operated what most people think of as a movie palace. (They also had a long-running Rocky Horror Show pageant, and I saw Bogard there, and Palo Alto film festival 1 there).

Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra was the main cover band or party band in the Bay Area during the time I was in or just out of college. They later became Big Bang Beat after some kind of internal dispute (probably not with the estate of the silent film star — I thought it was more band v. management). Someone on Amazon or Ebay is selling an old press photo, which lists Eliot Cahn as p.m. and Monterey Peninsula Artists as agency. Daniel Swan, a Brit and former member of The Sneetches, books the current Big Bang Beat, which features singers Keta Bill and Kathy Kennedy.

Palo Alto Historic Resources Board member Patricia DiCicco, who lives in an historic home (here){actually, she owns a home in Coronado, near San Diego}, said she recalls seeing Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra at New Varsity (which itself is slated or fated to be some kind of a public house AND a lunchroom for a German-based software company, with a stage). DiCicco and I idly discussed hiring Big Bang Beat to do a Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra Tribute at her historic home, some day, not necessarily between now and November 4{my bad, I thought she owned that home here, or one of our historic homes — people hear what they want to hear; but it is notable that she was appointed to this board, which enforces the historic nature of our property, as a public asset, based on that claim; by profession, she worked for parole board}. I sent a note to Keta on some of this. Keta I believe married to Joel Selvin, who I once hired to speak to Jewish Community Federation Young Adults Division YAD, circa 1988.


About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
This entry was posted in ethniceities, film, filthy lucre, jazz, media, music, Plato's Republic, sex, sf moma, where yat and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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