by Dr. Derek Lamar
I ran away from home when I had just turned 17 with the hopes and dreams of becoming a rock and roll star. I am sure you have heard that story before. Perhaps you tempted yourself with that fantasy a time or two yourself. Long story short, I began selling newspapers on Sunset Boulevard during the aprocryphal 1960's where everything you heard was probably true.
It was a short time before I left the confines of my luxurious rat infested dwelling in the basement of the Fifth Estate Coffee House and was soon living in another flop house of sorts (a commune called Rivendell) which ironically was a block away from an underground newspaper called Open City.
I wanted to write music but up to that point my musical skills were limited and poetry/lyrics were the best I could contribute. I was urged to meet the people at the newspaper down the street. Quickly I was hired... as a volunteer. I began proof-reading and making typo corrections on a rather primitive light table with exacto blade in one hand and scotch tape in the other. I wasn't stupid, but I was pretty ignorant.
(Above Right: recent Open City issue published in San Francisco with early logo)
(Above Left: Herald Examiner building: "He thought it would be fun to run a newspaper." ~ Citizen Kane)
I rapidly began soaking up everything around me and learned about the newspaper business from the sponge side up. They had a gay nudist typesetter upstairs who loved it when unsuspecting visitors walked in on him unannounced. He was more than happy to stand up and shake their hand. The gasps and giggles were always enough to make his day even though he would pretend it was just an annoyance. The editor, never far away, was a real newspaper man. He quit the Herald Examiner (Hearst paper and L.A. Times competition) in protest when they wanted a famous rennaissance painting of the Christ child to have airbrushed genitals... he refused.
(Right: Timothy Leary, all dressed up for one last trip)