From LA Weekly, a series of profiles of cool people. My favorites:
Kelly Benway. “Fuck school, fuck a daytime job.” It just gets in the way, says Kelly Benway. You can tell right away that punk runs through Benway’s veins. Always has. She grew up with the Talking Heads, Blondie, Television and the Ramones.
Stephen Hauptfuhr. From creeky warehouses to raucous bars to swanky boîtes and back again, Stephen Hauptfuhr has bash-ed ’em all. The 33-year-old L.A. native isn’t your average chatty, social-butterfly-type party planner, and he comes off supermellow, even a bit shy, but beneath the soft-spoken exterior there’s a creative spark and knack for getting people together that’s been flickering for almost two decades. Just into his teens in the early ’90s, “Mr. Kool-Aid,” as he called himself, was a hot electronic-music DJ and promoter helping put on some of L.A.’s biggest dance-music events, many at unconventional locales like water parks and shopping malls.
Rick Klotz. Rick Klotz is one opinionated mofo, and he has every right to be. The local clothing designer/artist created L.A.’s first streetwear company, Freshjive, and 17 years later it’s still going strong with a bold collection of T-shirts, hoodies and bottoms that, even alongside a host of multimillion-dollar competitors, continues to set the standard for casual Cali cool.
Jason Lee. Some years ago, before the lucky lotto-winning guy named Earl Hickey came along, Jason Lee was a professional skateboarder from Huntington Beach. Pictured shredding on the covers of magazines like Thrasher and the now-defunct Power Edge, he made his first memorable film debut in an epic 1991 flick for BLIND skateboards called Video Days, directed by another former skate-industry grom, Spike Jonze.
Dave Naz. One of the most disturbing images to appear on the Internet this year may have been Dave Naz’s snapshot of his girlfriend, Orianna Small, still groggy from anesthesia, with her freshly extracted wisdom teeth arranged into a loose mound on her lolling, half-extended tongue. Naz is an erotic photographer best known for his books Legs and Fresh: Girls of Seduction, and Small is famous in some circles as perversion-friendly porn star and director Ashley Blue.
Todd Taylor. Todd Taylor loves to write about punk rock, but don’t box him in. Even though his globally distributed and admired music magazine Razorcake solidified its foundation with interviews and articles on roots punk, garage punk and pagan-core-crust punk, the L.A. music scene’s ubiquitous four-letter word is more than just the bedrock for multi-hyphenated subgenres. If it’s grassroots, DIY and below corporate media’s radar, Razorcake will cover it.
Stella. Will someone please buy this woman a silver watch already? Stella, the ever-serene host of KXLU’s Stray Pop, has been on the air for nearly 27 years, and in the world of L.A. radio, that’s far more than mere longevity. Stella’s taste-making three-hour thrill ride of punk rock — with pop, rarities, interviews and other weirdo stuff thrown in — is the place where rockers of every stripe still tune in each week as Friday night turns into Saturday morning, midnight to 3 a.m.
Jeffree Star. It’s 9 a.m. and I’ve rung the buzzer twice at Jeffree Star’s apartment in Valley Village. Did he forget I was coming, or is he fucking with me? I’m about to try his cell phone when the doorknob turns and the fuchsia-haired, rail-thin 21-year-old appears, rubbing the traces of last night’s mascara out of his eyes.
Julius Shulman. Julius Shulman, the great-grandfather of American architectural photography, has been at the top of his craft for so long that, when asked his earliest memory of photographing great architecture, he can’t decide: construction of the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal in the 1930s — or wait! — what about when they filled Boulder Dam with water?
Robert Scheer. “Let’s cut to the chase,” says Robert Scheer, “there is no real objectivity in journalism, and there shouldn’t be. If you pretend you’re a dragnet cop when you’re reporting, you know, just give me the facts, you show your stupidity, your mindlessness. I think the best thing that’s ever been said on the subject of objectivity was from the great Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti who said, ‘Keep an open mind but not so open that your brains fall out.’”
Bob Say. Bob Say loves records. He is a collector and a connoisseur, a gentlemanly purveyor of vinyl discs and related objects, an enthusiast’s enthusiast. In a milieu full of cranks, snobs and cutthroats, Say is affable, open and unabashedly excited to share his passion. While others have burned out or moved on from the business of selling music, Say, who is 55, continues to live, breathe and champion records.
Henry Rollins. Henry Rollins supports the troops. Yeah, that’s right, the virulently anti-Iraq-war, anti-Bush-administration flame thrower has been quietly putting serious time in with the USO. Not the Bob Hope organization of yesteryear, but a modern-day nonprofit that takes its military morale-boosting duties seriously.
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