Butt Ugly Shoe Alert Apr 15

Coachella Editon: SuperModel Kate Bosworth

First, the obvious. Kate Bosworth’s sandal clodhoppers are hideous. ’nuff said . . .

Second, I would like to talk about the unlikely legacy of the Coachella Music Festival that draws all the planet’s top style and tastemakers like a honeytrap (with or without their butt ugly shoes).

Once up a time, in the backwater San Gabriel Valley suburbs of Los Angeles, there was a cool young dude named Paul Tollet. Paul was a Mod and Ska music fan from the 1980’s who probably didn’t know any celebs, as the eastern edge of L.A. county has more in common with the nearby working class desert communities of San Bernardino and Riverside than with Bel Air and Beverly Hills. Out in this part of SoCal, you’ll find more people who know meth dealers and welfare recipients than know what a Red Carpet event looks like.

This is the armpit of Southern California, and if you grew up here then you got used to people talking about Beverly Hills the same way they talk about San Francisco- it’s a place they remember visiting 10 years ago.

As the crow flies, you’re only about 30 miles from the Hollywood Hills but you might as well be a thousand miles away. Visitors have often described the oddly familiar Midwestern vibe this part of L.A. county gives off- because it’s true.

So young dude Paul graduated from school and then busied himself promoting local bands in this backwater for well over a decade. Then one day near the end of the last century, Paul hits upon a great idea to stage his own music festival in nearby Riverside County- it wouldn’t be like Malibu or even Van Nuys but at least the desert space was real cheap to rent.

Paul launches the Coachella Music Festival in 1999 and apparently it was a flop. But that’s to be expected in SoCal’s crappy inland counties where no one drives a Ferrari or a Tesla. However, Paul managed to convince some deep pocketed folks at the giant AEG corp. to give the idea a second chance by buying into his cash-strapped company. BTW-this was a time of great change in the music biz, the old business models of billion-dollar record chain stores and the greedy record labels were being washed away by the internet revolution of music distribution and consumption. There soon was a need for new sales platforms and new types of music venues to increase revenues of the standard music artist touring model controlled by large ticket agencies. Even the legacy radio stations were feeling the disruption of an online world.

So up steps the previously failed Coachella Music Festival out in lowly Riverside County headed by a young dude named Paul who had no allegiance to the Big Music biz headquartered in Hollywood and New York. Coachella became a new template for touring bands and artists to pool their fanbases together and make live music a discovery event, a kind of organic spectacle that was not stage-managed by big record labels and big ticket brokers.

And with the breakup of the legacy music biz cash flows, artists and venues who could draw in the throngs could gain the upper hand on the big music labels that suddenly found themselves on the outside looking in.

Coachella has now morphed into the world’s premiere fixed-location music festival, the one that really inspired a host of imitators around the globe (sorry Lollapalooza), and is now the tail that wags the music industry big dogs in Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Manhattan. Now the entire celebrity universe revolves around an inland Riverside County backwater where Kardashians join top music stars and every top model joins hands with rising young actresses to show off their latest looks on the Indio polo grounds. Even affluent middle-aged wives from London to New York clear their calendars in order not to miss this red hot bacchanalia.

(Whoever would of thought the lowly, forgotten inland empire would have that kind of power?)

Hats off to true visionary Paul Tollet for not going to Hollywood to seek his fortune, but making it come to him on its bended Armani knees.

BTW- did we mention that Kate Bosworth still has ugly shoes?

 

 

 

1 Comment on “Butt Ugly Shoe Alert Apr 15

  1. Absolutely fabulous story of the rejuvenation of the music industry by a determined bold outsider doing what no-one else would dare to do or even conceive of doing.

    Fortunes are often made by a determined bold outsider.

    Did you ever hear the expression, “That would be like selling ice to Eskimos?”

    One of the earliest self-made millionaires in the United States (Frederic Tudor) made his fortune by doing the “unheard.”

    Tudor made his fortune by shipping ice from Boston to the tropics and then selling the ice that had arrived from Boston in the tropics.

    Tudor encountered many obstacles, in his personal and business life, yet with dogged determination he managed to overcome each crisis on his way to becoming “inevitably and unavoidably rich.”

    Frederic Tudor began his venture by writing in his diary, on August 1, 1805: “He who gives back at the first repulse and without striking the second blow, despairs of success, he has never been, is not, and never will be, a hero in war, love or business.”

    Go Lou Go ….. onward to victory, glory and becoming “inevitably and unavoidably rich.”

    Have a great Easter Sunday.

    Gary

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