Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Looking Back, Seeing Forward

In last Sunday’s LA Times Magazine (sorry, West) there was an article by noted photographer Robert Landau about his relationship with the massive rock and roll billboards that used to line West Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. Landau grew up in the area and started taking photos of the billboards at a young age. The LAT article is interesting for the great photos which you can sample on Landau’s personal website but there was also this final paragraph that jumped out at me:

The Strip's rock billboards flourished right up until MTV supplanted them in the early 1980s. The importance placed on producing videos for airplay on the fledgling network sucked most of the promotion resources right out of recording artists' budgets. Today the marketing focus is not on gargantuan, hand-crafted imagery but rather file card-size vignettes that dance and sing in YouTube videos.

The more things change, the more they stay the same, I guess. Nostalgia is a bitch, but the billboards sure were cool.

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