It’s a continuing mission of mine to bring to light the true History of Beverly Hills.
There are so many parts of our modern culture that come from the Fertile Triangle that we sometimes take it all for granted. For example, remember that great song that came out a couple years back, ”Last Kiss” by Pearl Jam?
Well, it wasn’t originally by Pearl Jam. It wasn’t even originally by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.
No, it’s a native Beverly Hills folk song that goes back hundreds of years…
"El Ultimo Beso" by Los Amores del Fuego
Click above for the first known recording of this classic, as recorded by the legendary Beverly Hills power-duo Los Amores del Fuego.
All great concerts. But without the ground-breaking 1963 Beverly Hills Pop Festival to clear the way, we might never have witnessed such iconic shindigs.
Revelers at the 1963 BHPF
Featured bands included the Who, the What, the Stones, the Monkees, the Donkees, Scott and Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Country Joe and the Fish, and the first and only performance by Cocoon the Movie: the Band. Jimmy Hendricks (no relation to Jimi Hendrix) actually ATE his Stratocaster on stage, after carefully barbecuing it during his extended acoustic set.
The strange case of Cocoon the Movie: the Band has occupied fans’ hearts and fueled historical buffs’ parlor-room “what if” arguments ever since the mercurial duo first appeared on the scene in San Francisco at the tail end of the Beat Situation.
CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Alpha, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, CtM:tB co-founder Traveler Beta, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in front of City Lights Books in San Francisco, 1955
After a few spoken-word slumber parties at Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookshop, plans were made for the most amazing psych-folk-rock concept of all time. It would be a band based on a fictional movie… and so named for that very same fictional movie.
Cocoon the Movie: the Band was born. It was not until 20 years later that an actual movie called Cocoon was released and the prophetic genius of CtM:tB fully realized.
Click below for an excerpt from their seminal 1962 single “Stellar Safari”:
As you can tell from the clip, it’s obvious that Cocoon the Movie: the Band was even able to anticipate the rough plot of the not-yet-actual-film.
Cocoon the Movie: the Movie
How they did it, and why, will likely confound scholars for eons to come.
Hardcore fans know I’m something of a technophile.
The first iPhone? Apple wouldn’t even consider the project until I was given a one-off prototype and my every nuance tracked and recorded by a team of developers. (the “Touch Screen”? Yes, I can now finally reveal that was my brainchild.)
I famously removed myself from the BlackBerry project when Research in Motion refused to name the device the “BeverlyHillsBerry.” I’m sure they are kicking themselves now.
Which brings us to the great news I share in this post. As Beverly Hills was an early adopter of “electronic mail,” (see below)
Being an assistant in Beverly Hills has always been challenging, even with the introduction of the first e-mail machines!
I have sent some of the most interesting and insightful e-mails known to man. And today, that hard work has finally paid off – a call from my agent to say that the manuscript I have been so diligently compiling and editing has sold! Rejoice!
In a matter of weeks, THE COLLECTED E-MAILS OF BEVERLY HILLS BERT will hit online and brick-and-mortar outlets.
Details are still being hashed out, but we do know it will be a large-format coffee-table style book with glossy pages and full index. I’ve done all the homework for you, all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.
You’ll get all the classic BHB e-mails:
the congratulatory e-mail to Barack Obama, including the full chain and our Commander-in-Chief’s heartfelt and surprisingly verbose reflections
the scientific-lingo-annotated Al Gore back-and-forth, wherein I explained the dire global weather situation and which eventually led to his movie An Inconvenient Truth (I steadfastly refused any credit – that the truth is known is payment beyond riches)
and some of the lesser-known gems:
my stern yet fair e-mail to my longtime drycleaner explaining why I found it necessary to switch drycleaners
the finely wrought mass-emails (often taking an entire day to compose) to my various places of employment inviting them to one of my ultra-hip soirees (including original semi-random clip art)
and even I am not above a little self-deprecation… bonus chapter of E-MAIL BLOOPERS:
the mis-addressed e-mail to my grandmother admitting my thoughts of infidelity
the awkward e-mail from my grandmother outlining the entire romantic history of her and grandpa (talk about Too Much Information! Oy…)
Early orders receive an autographed lithograph!
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your name on the list.