The frame

Should you drove lower the Sunset Strip within the late 1960s, you had been treated as to the was basically an outside rock-and-roll gallery. 

While psychedelic music put from the clubs, record stores and mind shops along Sunset, the most recent albums appeared to be celebrated on gigantic billboards high over the street. However it wasn’t always this way. The initial rock billboard showed up around the strip half a century ago – before the Summer time of affection. 

“It was this really unique period where art and culture merged and also the ’60s generation was kind of transitional phase,Inches states professional photographer Robert Landau. “I think it had been a very special time in many ways.”

Tower Records on the Sunset Strip circa 1980.

Tower Records around the Sunset Strip circa 1980. Robert Landau

Landau spent ten years photographing the billboards around the Strip – producing what may be the most satisfactory record of the largely unheralded talent. His photographs are collected in the book, “Rock ‘N’ Roll Billboards from the Sunset Strip” (Angel City Press).  Everything began in 1969, when Landau only agreed to be a shy teen having a camera – and also the Sunset Strip was his yard.

“My father were built with a bachelor pad right over the Strip here,” Landau recalls. “And I had been 15. I’d walk lower here with my camera, stepping into photography.  And I’d see John Lennon and also the Beatles 15-ft-high, and a few guy available online for painting them.”

Every day on his method to school, Landau viewed as his rock heroes required within the billboards around the strip, altering each month. 

“About three days later, they’d paint it over with a brand new message,” he continues. “I understood they were not around lengthy. And So I understood after i saw one I loved, I’d better obtain a picture or it would be gone. I simply began photographing them, also it grew to become type of an obsession for around ten years.” 

Robert Landau poses in front of his photo of the Beatles.

Robert Landau poses before his photo from the Beatles. Photo by Anny Celsi

Obviously, there has been billboards on Sunset as lengthy as there has been cars. But up to the ’60s, these were mainly ads for that usual products – cars, whiskey, Television shows and Vegas functions.

Then, in 1967, a professional at Elektra Records were built with a radical idea. He’d observed that radio stations DJs required Sunset enroute to operate in Hollywood – and that he wanted their attention.

“Jac Holzman got the concept that a rock-and-roll billboard ought to be available online for, selling an archive album,” Landau states. “And he’d the right album.” 

The Doorways were an L.A. band, born around the strip, extremely popular contributing to to really make it big — Elektra was releasing its debut album. So when Holzman hung 4 faces high above Sunset, he wasn’t a lot selling records as creating a statement: The Doorways are here, and Elektra’s got Them!

The Doors band members pose their billboard for thier debut record album at Foster and Kleiser studios in Los Angeles.

The Doorways band people pose their billboard for thier debut record album at Promote and Kleiser studios in La. Robert Landau

“No other company was doing that,” recalls Robbie Krieger, the band’s guitarist. “They did not determine if these were gonna make their cash back on something of that nature. It had been just much more of an ego trip, I’d say, for that record company and us.”

“We accustomed to drive by every single day and check out it — kinda endure traffic."

As Krieger leafs through Landau’s book, he recalls your day the billboard was erected around the Strip.  Using the entire band on hands, Elektra ensured the big event was well publicized. Krieger stops in an picture of the 4 of these — Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore and themself — perched high on the top from the billboard.

“Oh yeah, they let’s increase on the top!” Krieger chuckles. “That would not happen today. But we frolicked there for most likely half-an-hour when they were putting up … I am amazed they let’s wallow in it like this.Inches

Other labels caught on, and shortly every major act saw its latest album immortalized around the Strip – The Who, The Moving Gemstones, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd. Even though promoting rock music with only a picture might appear counterproductive, for any generation accustomed to obsessing over album covers at length, music and art were almost exactly the same factor. And, Landau adds, the billboards weren’t really about advertising, these were about communication — similar to delivering a secret message towards the fans.

Pink Floyd billboard for record "Animals" on the Sunset Strip, 1977.

Pink Floyd billboard for record "Creatures" around the Sunset Strip, 1977. Robert Landau

“In lots of cases they are not really suggesting what they are selling,” Landau highlights. We’re sitting on a corner of Sunset and Holloway, where an array of Landau’s images is displayed throughout this season. He suggests one image: a commercial showing a pig, your dog along with a sheep – and never a thing of text.  

“If you did not realize that Pink Floyd were built with a record out known as ‘Animals,’ you did not understand what these were advertising,” Landau remarks. “And they did not care. It truly wasn’t about this.” 

Within the pre-MTV, pre-YouTube and pre-iTunes era, “The first method of getting people’s attention was with the album cover, the visual,” Landau adds. “And individuals visuals also grew to become the billboards. So this is the connection.”

Landau photographed countless billboards during rock’s heyday. His book is devoted towards the artists who produced the billboards, a few of which were hands-colored. Landau holds a unique reverence for individuals artists, a lot of whom she got to understand because he viewed them at the office on his daily walks.

“The billboards were an uncredited talent,” he states. “Nobody stated who colored ‘em, who designed ‘em.  Just the skill of rendering these heads, at this size, was an amazing little bit of craftsmanship, artistry, anything you want to state, however it really was spectacular.  

“Because when you are getting up to any billboard, it appears as though a number of splotches. This stuff are huge. And also you don’t really notice it driving by inside your vehicle, however, you wake up close and they are really large.”

Billboard for The Beatles' src=

Billboard for that Beatles’ "Abbey Road" record circa 1969 around the Sunset Strip. Robert Landau

One billboard was famously in the center of the crime that went unsolved for more than 40 years – Paul McCartney’s missing mind. Everything began using the discharge of the Beatles’ album, “Abbey Road,” in 1969.  That year, you couldn’t escape the bizarre rumor that “Paul was dead.”

“People were playing the records backwards, searching for clues, plus they even stated this image was kind of a funeral march because he’s barefoot,” recalls Landau once we consider a photograph from the album’s billboard.  Such as the album cover, it features the Beatles in single file, crossing Abbey Road. Their heads are cutouts that stretch over the billboard, silhouetted from the sky.

Around the morning of December 23, 1969, Sunset Strip commuters saw what appeared as if the most recent clue to McCartney’s demise – Paul’s mind didn’t have in the billboard. Capitol Records sent the skill director, Roland Youthful, to investigate.

“He examines it plus they say, Give me an idea us to complete? Don’t let switch the mind?” states Landau.  “And he states, No, let it rest like this — it’ll get much more attention!”

Youthful was right — the publicity certainly didn’t hurt record sales. But who had been behind McCartney’s decapitation?

Robert Quinn with Paul McCartney

Robert Quinn with Paul McCartney”s mind, that was stop in the "Abbey Road" billboard. Photo by Anny Celsi

“My buddies solved the problem, so we made it happen on December 22nd, that was my birthday,” admits Robert Quinn. He only agreed to be turning 19 as he got the concept to drag from the heist.  Quinn enlisted two accomplices, and around 2 a.m., they opened up beneath the billboard in the vintage Volvo. Among the crew had introduced along a Skilsaw. In a few minutes, they’d their prize.

“So we put Paul’s mind in to the trunk of my vehicle and required off,” Quinn laughs.  “It was quick! Should you be driving by, one second it had been available online for and subsequently it had been gone.” 

McCartney’s mind hangs on Quinn’s family room wall even today. And that he might have unknowingly salvaged the only real remaining relic of the chapter in rock history. Because when a rock star’s billboard came lower in the finish from the month, it had been destroyed, gone forever – and substituted with the following Big Factor.  

Robert Landau will show a slideshow of historic billboards, together with tales from the counterculture era, at 7:30 pm. on April 26 in the West Hollywood Council Chambers.  And you may see an outside exhibition of Landau’s photos at 8775 Sunset Boulevard throughout 2017. More information at


THE FRAME Official Trailer #1


Andrea Clarke: flashing constantly not helpful. gave me a headache. look for a different trailer if you struggle with this one.

Word Unheard: I loved this trailer. The movie could be complete garbage for all I know, but the trailer itself is a work of art. I've seen Jamin Winan's last movie, Ink. If this is only half as good as Ink, I'm sure I'll love it.

Andy Lambert: Just discovered this trailer for another Jamin Winans film – obviously I need to check this out after the brilliance that was Ink..! Even the trailer here is distinctively different to the usual stuff, so my appetite is already whetted..!

nishad goliwadekar: What a beautiful trailer!

MsSpaceCake: Just watched on prime ��

Cathy H.B.: l loved this film so much. It made me cry as it touched so much pain in life, desire to be free, be able to live and to be loved like a normal person. the story is created in such a unconventional way – one of my favourites !

k97cross: The trailer looses me when it directly lifts music and recreates shots from the previous film. Jamin, create new, rather than recapitulating and doing what is "safe."

Chris Hatton: It started off well and then became washed out. Winans' could have made the characters play off each other more to help themselves let go of their past, rather than minimal conversational stares at each other through their TV. Great cinematography and an interesting concept, but just not perfectly executed.

gordonchell: I liked ink. Is The Frame appropriate?

Forrest Dyer: gordonchell yeah you definitely will. Ink was my favorite film and I gave this a try and loved it. Much different plot but still has that fantasy feel and Jamin Winans touch to it. I think it's another indie gem

Jordan Sullivan: Hm. This could be a great movie, but the trailer doesn't really accomplish much in the way of drawing you in.

Myst11: I love love love his movies!! I'm a Colorado native living here in Denver.. Man, I sure dig seeing these awesome movies being filmed in my town!! Keep it up~ we adore you!! Thank you for not selling out!! I look up to you guys!! What amazing artists and people!!

theskeletonboi: This trailer is indeed horrible, and painful to watch. I am going to listen to the reviews though, and see how it goes.

hypersapien: Don't waste your money on renting this movie like I did- Just buy it.

Martin Vukalović: We want more Winans movies!!!! Where are you bro?

Fabricio Messi: There are a lot of people talking shit about the trailer… This is Winans' style and is awesome, keep doing in this style because we love it, if you don't like go to watch hollywood movies, this is art

Volatile Dinosaur: I find it weird that people like trailers that spoil almost half the movie…

Fabricio Messi: +Volatile Dinosaur This spoil can last very long, even 2 hours and 6 minutes because until you don't see the minute 7, the last one, you will not understand the full movie, that is why is so good, sorry for my english

Yog-Sothoth: God, stop with the fade to black bullshit.

Alonso de Hojeda: Whoa..there was a little nigger in there. Not watching.