• Flaming Lips At Hollywood Forever Cemetery

    By Myles Crawley
    Photos by Danica Waters

    Deep in the heart of Hollywood, sandwiched in between Santa Monica Boulevard and the back lot of Paramount Studios, is a plot of land, known as Hollywood Forever Cemetery, that has become the final resting place for many in film, television and music. Hollywood’s royalty are buried here. Iconic figures like Tyrone Power, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sr., Fay Wray and Rudolph Valentino share this space with Get Smart’s Don Adams, The Golden GirlsEstelle Getty, gangster Bugsy Siegal and Johnny and Dee Dee Ramone. When you enter the grounds, there is an immediate feeling of restfulness and belonging. It’s weird because cemeteries usually give me the creeps. They are not spaces where I generally want to hang out. But this place does something completely different.

    For the past few years Hollywood Forever’s grassy lawns have welcomed many of LA’s residents with night time concerts and films. Behind the memorial to Douglas Fairbanks Jr. there is a grassy area that is large enough to accommodate a stage and a couple of thousand spectators. Seating is on blankets. No chairs are allowed. But other than that it’s pretty much unrestrictive. Alcohol is permitted and there is a smoky haze of high grade weed floating throughout the cemetery grounds. As a classic example, this coming Saturday Hollywood Forever will present a dusk to dawn film festival on the Fairbanks lawn that will feature the Monterey Pop (starring Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Simon and Garfunkel), Jimi Hendrix-A Documentary (with blistering footage of Jimi live and interviews with the people who knew the legend best) and a Q&A with longtime Hendrix engineer/producer Eddie Kramer. The event will continue until the sun rises on Sunday morning. Attendees are encouraged to bring sleeping bags, make a nest and settle in for the night.

    On Tuesday, June 14th and Wednesday, June 15th The Flaming Lips played a 2-night stand at Hollywood Forever. The first night they played material from the Lips’ own The Soft Bulletin album. The second night was their rendition of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon album in it’s entirety. On the Wednesday morning at dawn, the band gathered outside the front gates of the cemetery with members of Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, Julia Stone (Angus and Julia Stone) and a couple of hundred fans, to play the Lips hit “Do You Realize” with accompaniment on bells located in the cemetery’s bell tower. The resulting footage is featured below:

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