john phillips was born august 30, 1935, he died march 18, 2001. (in american date notation 8-13-35 to 3-18-01) he was 65 years old. john was born at parris island, south carolina (his dad was a marine) and he died in los angeles.
from 1960-2001 he was a folk and pop musician. he was in the journeymen and the mamas and the papas. he was the leader of both groups and a songwriter. he did reform the mamas and the papas later with mackenzie phillips singing in place of mama cass (she had died years before).
his children are jeffrey phillips, laura mackenzie phillips, chynna phillips, tamerlane phillips, and bijou phillips. his parents met in oklahoma where his dad had won a bar from a fellow marine during a poker game on the way home from wwi (the phillips family wins a lot of stuff, as you will see, i am calling bullshit... these are cover stories for however they really got them). a lot of sources make it as if his dad, who was a sergeant in wwi, became a full-time bartender. no way, he stayed in the marines. and rose in rank. but, anyway, dad met mom in oklahoma. mom was a cherokee indian rumored to have psychic/spiritual powers.
john grew up in alexandria, va. he was "inspired by marlon brando to be a street tough". i forget where i saw this quote, but what the heck? anyway, that's what whoever said about things. in pursuit of street toughness, lol, john did what every super bad ass does... he formed a teen boy group that sang doowop.
at george washington high school, john played basketball. he graduated in 1953 and received an appointed to the U.S. NAVAL ACADEMY (this is a huge fucking deal, btw, so again... hmm...). supposedly, john bailed his first year and went onto hampton-sydney college on a partial athletic scholarship. but he again bails, to marry wife number one (aka, jeffrey and mackenzie's mother).
susan ADAMS (wife number one) is from a wealthy virginia family. she's a descendent of presidents john adams and john quincy adams. like john's mom, susan claimed to have psychic abilities. let me just say, families like this do not even let they people run off and marry just anyone, so i think certain aspects of john's bio are downplayed if they don't fit into the "flower child folk singer" mold.
going back to parris island, for a second, it's located in beauford county and is located in the southern most tip of the state and county. it's 19.6 sq. miles. (50.8 sq. km). in 2000, the population was 4,841. zips 29902 and 29905. area code 843. close to hilton head island. now part of port royal (annexed 10-11-2002). population doesn't include the 16,000 recruits who pass through the usmc training facility every year. the spanish conquistador pedro menedez de avielo founded a town called santa elena here and it was the capital of la florida 1566-87. in the 1800s, the land was owned by zachariah mcgill (white/indian ancestry). he was very wealthy. he sold the land to the u.s. military under "questionable circumstances" (still unresolved) in 1883. in 2000, parris island had 0% of the population in the 65+ age range.
marine corps recruit dep parris island (motto: we make marines) was built in 1861. in continuous use 1915 to present. garrison: recruit training regiment, 1st recruit training battalion, 2nd recruit training battalion, 3rd recruit training battalion, 4th recruit training battalion, support battalion, headquarters and service battalion, weapons and field training battalion, 6th marine corps district. trained there are male recruits who live east of the mississippi river and female recruits from all over the u.s. (males from west of the mississippi are trained in san diego, but can request parris island). outside the receiving building are the yellow footprints (this is why harvey on celebrity fit club sometimes yells, "get on my yellow footprints!").
in 1562, the french huguenot jean rebault made the first attempt (by europeans) to colonize parris island. it'd already been named "la puenta de santa elena" and was the oldest continuously used place named in the u.s. at that time (european place name). rebault built an outpost he named charlesfort. he left a garrison and returned to france. long delayed in his return, the garrison mutinied and built a ship and sailed back to france (wow!) april 1563. by the 17th century, england controlled the region. in 1715, colonel alexander parris, treasurer of south carolina, boughtg the area. from 1720-civil war it was used for plantations, growing indigo and cotton. (prior to the revolution, indigo was s.c.'s second most important crop). a bit about indigo... the chemical aniline is what dyes are derived from... some species allievate pain and/or are anti-inflammatories.
during the civil war, freed slaves moved here to attend a school run by abolitionists frances gage and clara barton. union forces captured port royal sound in 1861 and it became a coaling station for their navy. this function was resumed after the war due to the efforts of a former slave turned congressman robert smalls (there will be a future post about him).
a parris island recruit learns the marines' own martial arts (which cracked has rated as one of the best in the world). a word about that... they had to rework it to make it less lethal. they used to use one to straight up kill any poor bastard that stepped to the usmc. well, now that we work for the un for some fucking reason, they can't be killing folks like they used to... so the marines had to figure out how to knock fools out without necessarily killing them (which, really, wtf are you sending the marines in if you don't need people killed? send in some other folks). he/she also gets weapons training, close order drill, pt, etc. they have to prove they can swim (they frequently travel on ships), prove their marksmanship, and pass a combat exercise called "the crucible." so, this is where papa john's papa was hanging out when he became a dad.
the mama's and the papa's were on dunhill records. the parent company of this label is dunhill, a luxury brand of cigarettes, made by the british american tobacco company. this brand was (is?) mostly sold in europe, middle east, south asia, south africa, south korea, new zealand, australia. also sold in smokeshops in the u.s., malaysia and canada. favorite brand of hunter s. thompson, artist robbie d., john lennon. dunhill is owned by r.j. reynolds (which, hahahaha!).
the dunhill label was founded in 1964 by lou adler, al bennett, pierre cossette, and bobby roberts. founded in the u.s. distributing label abc records (now defunct, absorbed into mca in 1979). originally started as dunhill productions for the purpose of releasing johnny rivers (r&r) "live at whiskey a go go". in 1965, dunhill released "my prayer/pretty please" by shelley fabares (then adler's wife). adler sold his share to abc in 1967 and it became abc dunhill. later, geffen went to to manage the dunhill catalog.
the mamas and the papas were active 65-68, 71-72. not counting john phillips reviving it way later. members besides john phillips: denny doherty (1940-2007), michelle phillips (born 1944), cass elliot (1941-1974), scott mckenzie (b. 1939), jill gibson (b. 1942). they had 5 albums and 11 top 40 hit singles. worldwide sales of 40 million. their sound of four-part male/female harmonies were arranged by john phillips.
john phillips and denny doherty had folk groups the journeymen and the mugwumps. i didn't take good notes, but one of these names comes from william s. burroughs' novel, the naked lunch. i assume the mugwumps as the journeymen seems self-explanatory, but i wrote it the other way, so there you go. (i took these notes months ago). i guess if i'd read the naked lunch i'd know, wouldn't i? haha (UPDATE: allen tdg has explained that mugwumps does come from naked lunch ... more info in comments.)
now, by this time, john phillips has split up with susan adams and is with michelle phillips (she turns out to be a VERY popular chick, haha). he was kinda pissy about having mama cass because, well, i love her but... honestly, she wasn't a cute girl. not only was she overweight, she had a certain heaviness to her face that made her look even bigger. but, she turned out to be popular with audiences because mama cass could really sing (proving once again that people do appreciate talent.. how many times does this have to be proven?). even grumpy john wound up using mama cass's voice as inspiration for some of his arrangements. (which, an aside, mackenzie says that it's not that michelle doesn't believe her allegations in regard to john... she just doesn't want to lose out on those royalties. so, she will never publicly say anything that detracts from that which... btw, there are a LOT of things that don't involve mackenzie that ought to detract from that folk music money.)
at some point the mamas and the papas decided to move to the u.s. virgin islands. supposedly, they "ran out of money" and need to get back to the regular united states. so, once again, using that "luck" michelle decides to gamble to earn their airfare. so, having never played craps before, she finds a craps game and rolled, 18 sevens. (amazing!) i mean, fuck it guys, why not just say, "michelle walking through the magical meadow and followed a rainbow to the pot of gold at the end!" please. which... if you DID manage to do this... people who usually play craps are not even going to believe that. in fact, they may just take some violent action since they will feel you are cheating your ass off. but maybe people who play craps in the u.s. virgin islands in the 60s were hella polite.
oh, and btw, the mamas and the papas wasn't the only name the group used. for a little while they called themselves "the magic circle". they also liked to keep up to date on the latest drugs. in fact, michelle likes to recount how they'd all just dropped acid when they met mama cass for the first time. she walked in wearing a fuzzy sweater and had her hair in "a flip" and michelle laughed and laughed. props to cass for not strangling michelle. (poor cass) especially since she had some other crush on denny doherty.
anyway, john phillips' coed group, whatever they were called at the moment, had a five album deal with dunhill. this seems really good since they had done nothing much yet. but what do i know? they did put out "go where you wanna go" in 1965. i've never heard of it. later in 65, they put out "california dreamin'" which made it to number 4 on the u.s. charts and #23 in the u.k.
in 1966, their first album: if you can believe your eyes and ears. this was their only #1 u.s. album. it was also their highest charting album in the u.k. where it made it to #3. the third and final single from this album was "monday, monday."
michelle, at this point, starts up an affair with denny doherty. in june 66, michelle's little ass was booted from the group while they were recording their second album (obviously, this doesn't last and i guess doherty just got a pass, but whatever). this is where jill gibson (lou adler's girlfriend, lol) steps in to sing in michelle's place. unfortunately, jill wasn't the best singer despite her work singing backup on some jan & dean albums.
no one really knows who wound up on the album (it's said). michelle had already finished six songs. jill says she learned and sang all but two songs. jill recorded her parts in july and august. apparently, she wasn't too good because in late august michelle is reinstated. jill is paid off and told to go away. it's kind of thought that jill is probably on the album, but it's hard to say if she's in an entire song. but because of the fact she probably is singing on the album somewhere, she's considered part of the group.
dancing bear, the second album, showed the band posed framed by a window. michelle and cass are the only women shown. dancing bear produced the singles "i saw her again" and "words of love." "words of love" was a double a sided single with "dancing in the streets" in the u.k. in the u.s., "dancing in the streets" was released as a third single.
deliver, was the third album. doherty, brokenhearted over michelle, was drinking a lot. so, the band (which was all about sounding good since otherwise they were boring) performed "poorly" at the first ever monterey pop festival. lou adler had organized this festival, btw (along with others, probably). the first single from deliver was "look through my window", then "dedicated to the one i love" (#2 in both u.s. and u.k.). the third single "creeque alley" is a history of the band. creeque alley was the name of hugh duffy's club in the u.s. virgin islands. also mentioned is the night owl cafe in greenwich village. bands the mugwumps and lovin' spoonful are mentioned. musicians zal yanovskyk, john sebastian, roger mcguinn, and barry mcguire are mentioned. "my girl," a cover, was the final single.
in 1967, "glad to be unhappy" a non-album single was released by the group. also in 1967, we have the dunhill party in london where mama cass is talking to mick jagger when john phillips runs over and insults her weight. mama cass tries to quit the group, but her contract brings her back for their fourth album.
the self-titled fourth album has "12:30 (young girls are coming to the canyon)". they probably mean laurel canyon as that's where they and every other fucking u.s. band in the 60s lived (seriously, and it's allegedly "serendipity" that brought them there). guess who else used to hang out in laurel canyon with all these stars of the 60s? charles fucking manson. oh, and so many people found him wise and talented. he had his "family" with him and they were hanging out at an old movie lot of some such.
anyway, john phillips wrote "12:30" in 1965, after the band moved to southern california. it was, apparently, inspired by laurel canyon. btw, his old house is now condemned. well, frank zappa's old laurel canyon place (former home of tom mix) was one of the ones that burned to the ground. there are a lot of non-wildfire-related fires in laurel canyon, from what i've heard.
laurel canyon is a hollywood hills neighborhood first developed in 1910. it became part of los angeles in 1923. laurel canyon blvd. is? was? the focus of the neighborhood. houses line it up to mulholland drive. many of the roads that branch off of laurel canyon boulevard are not through streets. the main ones are mount olympus, kirkwood, wonderland, willow glen, and lookout mountain avenue. the zip code is 90046.
laurel canyon boulevard is also a transit corridor between west hollywood and san fernando valley, specifically studio city. this location was once home to the tonyva tribe. a spring-fed stream provided water.
in the late 1700-1800s, mexican farmers grazed sheep there. then, in the early 1900s, the area was subdivided and marketed as "mountain vacation properties". from 1912-18, a trackless electric trolley ran from sunset boulevard to the base of lookout mountain.
tom mix's log house (log mansion, rather) was across the street from what was rumored to be houdini's old house. in the 1960s, the "counterculture" represented by frank zappa, jim morrison, the byrds, buffalo springfield & love, joni mitchell & graham nash's house (from the annoying as shit "our house" song found on her third album, ladies of the canyon... allen tdg says this song is actually a csny song, so i'm showing my general ignorance of 60s music, haha). and, of course, the mamas and the papas, etc. all lived up in the canyon. some actors (the "young turks") and so on lived in this area.
this area is also the neighborhood where the wonderland murders took place. known as "four on the floor", this crime scene is considered the worst evah by the lapd (surpassing even sharon tate's murder scene). this occured july 1, 1981 at 8763 wonderland avenue and involved john c. holmes (yes, the porn star) and eddie nash. four people in the wonderland gang (cocaine dealers) were murdered there. they were ronald launius (b. 5-18-44, the leader), billy deverell (b. 2-14-73), david clay lind (b. 10-24-38, prison acquaintance of laurnis), joy audrey gold miller (b. 5-14-35, deverell's girlfriend). all of these people actually used heroin, but they'd been selling cocaine for some years. ron laurnis was a suspect in 27 murder cases when he was killed. one of these was sports agent vic weiss. holmes's role was to visit his "friend" nash and leave the patio door open. it took him three tries to do this. john holmes (8-8-44 to 3-13-88) later died of aids. there were other members to the wonderland gang.
john phillips was, at one point, in trouble for being part of a cocaine operation in southern california. as usual, he didn't get in all that much trouble and he sure as fuck didn't go down like the wonderland gang. not that the way he went out was exactly pretty. but, he did at least have his family by his side.
cass elliot was born ellen naomi cohen. she was prescribed dexadrine for weight loss as a teenager. she also switched from regular high school to night classes. this gave her the chance to become involved with baltimore nightlife. she changed her name and moved to new york city. after her father's death, she briefly attended american university in washington, d.c. she sang in the big 3 folk group with tim rose and jim hendricks. she became known for her improvised comic bits such as the story of the inventor of the banjo when she performed at nyc's the bitter end on bleeker street.
cass's maternal grandmother, chaya, was the only member of her family to survive the holocaust. here's something to instill faith in psychiatry. for some reason poor chaya "inherited depression". hello? her whole family was killed in the holocaust! there's a lot of emotional fallout from something like that, depression is going to be part of it. cass moved on to the mugwumps with zal yanovsky, denny doherty, jim hendricks, john sebastian, and art stokes before moving on to the mamas and the papas.
when in england, cass was arrested for "stealing towels" from the queen's gate terrace hotel. the real reason was the police wanted to try to get information about her drug dealer boyfriend. mick jagger and keith richards' drug trials had just concluded, so cass's arrest got quite a bit of publicity.
back in the u.s., cass became involved in the 1972 campaign for mcgovern and she told mike douglas (talk show) that she'd like to be a senator in 20 years. it turns out cass had been watched by the fbi since her days with the mugwumps. so probably, she never could have gone into politics unless, you know, she had some backers that could trump the fbi (i think they are called the cia).
cass was found dead in bed in london at age 32. she'd just done a two-week run at the palladium. she attended mick jagger's birthday on the 28th (his actual bday is the 26th). the night she died, she wrote liner notes on denny doherty's solo album: waiting for a song. she and michelle phillips had sung backup on this album. cause of death: heart attack. mama cass was buried august 2. earlier in july, cass did her appearance on "scooby doo".
the flat cass was found in is flat 12 at 9 curzon place in london's mayfair section (curzon place is most likely named for the british admiral, i always like to check out names that seem like they're named after people, it can be interesting). four years later, keith moon died at 9 curzon place as well.
everyone has heard the "ham sandwich" story which, lately, has morphed into a joke by the doctor (his family has even apologized). perhaps he did make such a joke, but there WAS half a ham sandwich there. however, cass had eaten none of it. so, either she made half a sandwich for no reason, or someone else visited and ate the sandwich in the hours before her death.
john's neighbor, frank zappa, is named for his father francis zappa who worked at edgewater, home of various interesting projects. zappa, the musician, openly supported u.s. efforts in vietnam and probably hated the dirty hippies that crowded the so-called "log cabin" in the 60s. apparently, the home had some outbuildings of some sort that some of these folks lived in for months at a time. who knows why. frank's cabin was 2000 sq. ft. and featured a floor-to-ceiling fireplace, and three chandeliers. upon the grounds were caves.
jim morrison's father was an admiral. in fact, if you search, you'll find a photo of young jim and dad about a year before jim grew out his hair and became a "rock god." shortly before jim's "death" he changed his appearance again by growing a beard and gaining weight. in other words, the doors fans who maintained jim faked his death may (for once) be right.
admiral morrison was key in the gulf of tonkin incident. he was on the bonhomme richard air craft carrier. the maddox, a destroyer, sank three north vietnamese torpedo boats on august 2, 1964. then president johnson called for the tonkin gulf resolution two day later which led to an airstrike.
admiral george stephen morrison died november 17, 2008 from "injuries sustained from a fall." he was 89 years old. he'd served in the pacific theater in wwii and as "an instructor for secret nuclear weapons projects."
elmer valentine, co-owner of whiskey a-go-go and the roxy and the rainbow, died december 3, 2008. he was 85. i don't know that he owned these things when he died, but he did during the 60s and 70s. his obituary ran beside admiral morrison's in the l.a. times. valentine said he was a "crooked cop from chicago." i guess that's catchier than "i have mob ties"?
interestingly, jim is said to have arrived in l.a. with every doors song already written. and these weren't lyrics scrawled in a notebook, these were full-on composed songs.
steven stills used to tell people he had served in vietnam. people didn't believe him, however, he may well have served in some sort of advance position as there were people in vietnam (besides the vietnamese, of course) before the war, er, police action, commenced.
so, these are some of john's neighbors. and he wasn't having to feel left out. his father rose to the rank of captain in the marines and it is thought he served in some capacity past that. he is said to have been in south america during particarly key times. john's mother (dene) and sister spent years working for the govenment, i believe sister rosie was working at the pentagon.
john's first wife, susan, used to say her father did "cloak and dagger stuff" during wwii. this is true although, perhaps, it was a bit more involved than that. i'm sure she could just ask the spirits she said she could hear for clarification, however.
david crosby, was from an extremely wealthy family with strong military/intelligence connections. looking into his background will finally shed light on the fact that his sperm was kind of popular for a while amongst people getting artifically inseminated.
a large number of people who wound up in laurel canyon probably felt right at home as they found some of their old friends from alexandria, virginia in residence. not to mention the military connection that would have brought them together. what i am saying, is these folks knew each other. there was no fucking serendipity. the goofiest legend of the times has neil young randomly driving from canada to meeet up with steven stills and running into him on the road to san franscisco. yeah, i am pretty sure both these guys knew how to use a telephone.
john phillips was married four times, although he had no children with his last wife. so, chynna is michelle's daughter while tamerlane and bijou's mother is model genieve waite.
"she's only 14" is a song john wrote for mackenzie. it talks about her tripping about on her high heels looking fine even though she's "always high on arrival" and "always too nice to the driver." mackenzie's book is called high on arrival. i haven't read it. i don't really care to read about celebrity drug use. it's fucking tiresome. however, the first time she was arrested her dad congratulated her on finally knowing what it meant to "be a phillips".
this reference to mackenzie's looks reminds me of a line in hostel ii, the torturer is talking to the college coed portrayed by bijou phillips. he tells her she's always been able to use "that face" to get what she wants. bijou plays a spunky girl who is eventually tied up in lingere with a ball gag in her mouth, tortured and killed. this all starts as a trip with some friends (including a Very Rich Girl). on a train in eastern europe, another girl befriends them by being able to get back one girl's stolen ipod. she suggests a wonderful spa that's just a little detour. when they get to town, there's a music festival going on... each one of them is captured and used in some awful rich people's club where a rich person pays to kill a victim. the guy bijou hooked up with is also captured and some weirdo eats him, btw. but, she's doing better than poor heather mazar who's conned by the guy she likes who just bops her over the head and hangs her up so some weird lady can bathe in her virgin blood. the very rich girl manages to buy her way out and kills the guy who killed bijou as well as the girl who lured them in the first place. the guy who killed bijou turns out to not even be rich, he just had a friend who was. for some reason the friend thought they'd be more badass if they killed someone. but, being total wusses, they opt for this instead of joining the military and begging for a combat assignment. fortunately, this friend gets eaten by dogs after he refuses to finished bijou off... the rich people's sporting salon does not play. if you sign up to kill someone you better do it. it's also implied that the guy who finished bijou off raped her first, so this is a really awful movie. bijou does look very pretty in it when she's at the music festival having fun, so there's that part.
also in laurel canyon is the wonderland elementary school. wonderland street gives its name to a lot of things in laurel canyon. especially since perhaps some of the kids of these celebs may have attended that school. so, it makes me wonder if some references to "wonderland" in songs, etc. have something to do with this street/things on it rather than alice in wonderland. i saw someone insisting it was an amusement park in a song that ... it really didn't sound like an amusement park...
murder seems to be unusually common in laurel canyon, despite what you'd think. a white celebrity living there (and people around them) has a 1 in 4 to a 1 in 2 chance of dying violently. some of these deaths are particularly gruesome while others have been ruled suicides despite clear signs of violence. (callings something a suicide just allows things to be tied up so neatly.)
according to conspiracy lore, there is a secret military base in laurel canyon that houses a full studio and film processing facility. it has an animation department, a special effects department and a research and development department. walt disney, ronald reagan, bing crosby, and more worked there. none ever spoke about what they did there. (obviously, they didn't do ALL their work there, they were just called in for specific assignments apparently.)
mackenzie says she moved in with her father when she was 13. he had lots of cocaine around. she and her brother tried some of it when they were young. john told them both there were "no rules". she's told many other stories about life with john phillips which make it sound pretty awful. she also has some photos of what the house looked like in the late 60s/early 70s. it looked pretty nice, so it's weird that it has been condemned as long as it has. it's kind of like marlon brando's house... i wonder if the label "condemned" means something different when applied to mansions in this area of california. as in... i have a feeling that this is a way to keep other people out for whatever reason.
roman polanski, charming as he is, accused john phillips for putting a hit out on his wife sharon tate. roman had banged michelle and, apparently, john just could not get used to people doing that. i don't know if there's any validity to that accusation because, putting a hit on a pregnant woman and all her friends, seems pretty hardcore even for a guy who was having sex with his own daughter. so, i'm just throwing that in even though i don't think roman is a very believable person. i am not sure if this accusation was ever taken seriously by anyone, even roman.
there's also a story that roman held john at knife point to get him to tell that he did that. how'd roman manage that? was john in stupor or something? plus, it could have been about sharon or it could have been about john shorting roman on his coke order, who knows. alls i know is poor sharon tate (and friends) murders are just awful. there's more there than we'll probably ever known because the only one who REALLY knows is charles manson... yeah... he's probably not ever going to explain.
there may have been some advance warning because john phillips and denny doherty claimed they were invited to sharon's that night, but chose not to go. some reports say that mama cass was also invited. i've heard poor sharon was found in the "hanged man" position which signifies betrayal (whether it meant her betrayal or was to serve as a warning to someone else, i'm not sure). she was cut down by police before the pictures that most see of her were taken. i am not sure about this.. but seriously, there's so much fucked up stuff about that murder that i don't care to look into it any further. just... r.i.p. to sharon and her baby.
however, speaking of charlie m. ... some people from laurel canyon were called to be character witnesses for him although they never testified. one of them was mama cass. but, again, despite what we've been led to believe, a lot of people knew charles manson and liked him. he was considered talented and people did want him to record some songs. (as in multiple people said this) it's very strange.
anyway, somehow, we get through decades of john phillips... a raging drug addict who is molesting his daugthers (bijou has a song that seems to indicate she went through some strange things with her dad as well) is STILL remembered as being into peace and love and flowers. hey, guess what, he didn't even like that stupid song about wearing flowers in your hair if you come to san franscisco.
i really don't have any conclusions except that a lot of things are planned when they do not really seem to be. it's probably always been that way because hollywood started with making up stories for actors and actresses to sell them to the public. sometimes this stuff gets called out.. but a lot of times by the time it does so much time has passed, no one really cares any more. obviously, the music industry does the same thing. i just think hollywood has a special knack for it.
at the time all of these folks moved to southern california, the place to go if you wanted to record music was new york. los angeles didn't have that much of a recording scene yet. but, it was built up over a short while because i know that by the late 70s, it was perfectly reasonable to go to l.a. if you wanted to record music... particularly rock or pop.
i am not from l.a. and i am sorry if i have things wrong... i have to rely on the internet... i have never seen it! but, from what i've read, l.a.'s neighborhoods do tend to have only a few through streets... it was an attempt to "create a feeling of neighborhood" for city planners at one time. i don't know if this is still being done, but it does make a lot of scenes in movies that were filmed in l.a. make more sense, so it must be at least partly valid.