Thirty Years Ago
Jean-Pierre Gorin first came to San Diego, and specifically to UCSD, in 1973, as a whistle stop on a college lecture tour in the company of Jean-Luc Godard, with whom he collaborated for five years under the banner of the Dziga Vertov film group. It was this collaboration, the fruits of which include See You at Mao, Pravda, Tout Va Bien, and Letter to Jane, that signaled Godard’s permanent departure from traditional narrative moviemaking. Gorin returned to UCSD, solo, in 1975, to teach film in the Visual Arts department, where he has been ever since, except when he was summoned by Francis Ford Coppola to the Philippines to lend his expertise in French cooking to Apocalypse Now.... I ought to admit, up front, that Gorin and I are not strangers, that we watch boxing matches together, that he introduced me recently to a spectacular French pastry which he called a “Paris-Brest,” that he put me onto Carroll Ballard’s The Black Stallion, that I put him onto Jeff Lieberman’s Blue Sunshine, etc., etc.
— “GORIN BY HIMSELF,” Duncan Shepherd, October 18, 1979
Twenty-Five Years Ago
Bobby’s was a dowdy bar. It fitted next to La Paloma Theatre, and they wrapped around the corner of D and First Streets in Encinitas. Across the street was the 7-Eleven where the punkers hung out with their chains, leather, and close-cropped, rainbow-colored hair.
As he hit the door the bouncer asked for two bucks. He lied, “Let me check for some friends I’m supposed to meet here.” In about 30 seconds he had scanned the room: two sets of two only fair; group of four pig-faces; three nice ones hanging on to their dates. Funny thing about Bobby’s, if there are any good-looking women, it’s almost always their first time.
— “CHOP ONE UP,” J.F. Murdock, October 18, 1984
Twenty Years Ago
I am developing a sick relationship with these eggs. It began back in 1973 in New York, when I declined an opportunity to write about them. The lady wanted a “serious” art critic to write about her eggs-hibition. Had I accepted, I would have been better prepared for my first assignment as art critic for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram in 1983, which was, you guessed it, an exhibition of the Forbes Fabergé eggs at the Kimbell Museum.
— “GOVERNMENT WORK,” Dave Hickey, October 19, 1989
Fifteen Years Ago
I saw nothing unusual about a Chinaman kid dabbling in flamenco guitar. I liked it. Then Jackson Burgess, a writer from the South, sat down next to me as I practiced one afternoon. He said the reason I played flamenco guitar was that I was a Chinese-American who couldn’t accept either my Chinese or my American identity and was attempting to manufacture a new one as a Spanish gypsy guitarist.
— “WHITE BOYS & GYPSY SOULS,” Frank Chin, October 13, 1994
Ten Years Ago
Barbara Payton died in San Diego, on the bathroom floor of her parents’ Mission Hills home at 1901 Titus Street, on May 8, 1967.
Perhaps Payton’s most celebrated film was Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye (1950), also starring James Cagney.
But Payton is mainly recalled today for the tabloid scandals that exploded her Hollywood career — the notorious brawl involving actors Tom Neal and Franchot Tone; her tumultuous drinking; the arrest for prostitution...
— “SHE SPOKE AS IF SHE LIVED IN A MOVIE,” Robert Polito, October 14, 1999
Five Years Ago
Some in the national media say that write-in mayoral candidate Donna Frye “came out of nowhere.” Wrong. She came out of the perfect place: the sewers. Long before she was elected to the city council, she was an environmental activist who was well informed on sewers, storm drains, pollution runoff, clean water, and infrastructural matters of all kinds.
— CITY LIGHTS: “FRYE ADDLES FAT-CAT MOOCHERS,” Don Bauder, October 14, 2004