“Bus stops are far more interesting and useful places to have art than in museums. Graffiti has more chance of meaning something or changing stuff than anything indoors. Graffiti has been used to start revolutions, stop wars, and generally is the voice of people who aren’t listened to. Graffiti is one of those few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make somebody smile while they’re having a piss”
– Banksy, Banging Your Head Against a Brick Wall
Costumed impersonators portraying Batman, Superman and others movie characters have worked on Hollywood Boulevard for years. They collect tips along the tourist-filled corridor that includes Grauman’s Chinese Theater by posing for pictures or performing in front of the theatre. In recent years competing for prime location in front of Grauman’s has become very contentious. Recently, Los Angeles paramedics responded to a battery call when a fight between Catwoman and an Ozzy Osbourne impersonators had ended with Ozzy getting pepper sprayed. It was reported that Jack Sparrow of “Pirates of the Caribbean” as being the victim but that report turned out to be false. Even superhero’s have been arrested, Spider-Man was arrested on outstanding criminal warrants after an incident in which he allegedly slugged a man. When LAPD officers arrived, they encountered four different people dressed as Spider-Man. The officers eventually got their man.
For Ritchie Rodgers who captures the spirit of Jimi Hendrix his challenge is to clam a spot away from the mayhem just west of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Ritchie relies on the power of his music to bring the tips in and he has nailed Jimi Hendrix not only with his guitar licks but in Jimi’s vocals.
A trips to Hollywood Blvd is a wonderful opportunity to study American culture – I have never been disappointed for the lack of subjects.
Related story : Jesus of Hollywood, https://davebanks.wordpress.com/2009/10/18/jesus-of-hollywood/