After the Gold Rush...Neils Topanga Canyon Home studio revisited 40 years later

TAE

All you have is now
Cool little tour of what was once the room where After the Gold Rush was recorded and some fun insights into how it all came to be...Just goes to show ya..Homereckers can put out gold

 

RFR

Well-known member
Saw that video a while back. I know the area well. It surprised me at how tiny the house was :)
But very cool history
 

TAE

All you have is now
Well to clarify the recording of this album...it was not ALL recorded in the Topanga studio by any means. Here's the WIKI on it Totally can get the inspiration being oozed out by living there....LOVE that deck overlooking some part of So Cal urbanity. I have a vantage point about a mile from my house that I have been going to since I was a teen to stand in awe of the LA Basin, framed by the majestic San Gabriel Mountain range to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the South ...jaw dropping view. (on a clear day or night that is....LOL)
 

Sheff37

Member
Well to clarify the recording of this album...it was not ALL recorded in the Topanga studio by any means. Here's the WIKI on it Totally can get the inspiration being oozed out by living there....LOVE that deck overlooking some part of So Cal urbanity. I have a vantage point about a mile from my house that I have been going to since I was a teen to stand in awe of the LA Basin, framed by the majestic San Gabriel Mountain range to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the South ...jaw dropping view. (on a clear day or night that is....LOL)
I lived in Topanga Canyon back in 2008, just a quick jog to that house. But the area is totally different today, all those cool old musicians sold and moved into Antelope Canyon area now. Our manager moved from Glendale to Topanga in 2016 and it was nothing like it was. He left LA early in 2020 like we did. Can't imagine what it's like now. We sure miss it but LA is not the same La La Land it once was. Every single person we knew that lived there has left.
 

TAE

All you have is now
I lived in Topanga Canyon back in 2008, just a quick jog to that house. But the area is totally different today, all those cool old musicians sold and moved into Antelope Canyon area now. Our manager moved from Glendale to Topanga in 2016 and it was nothing like it was. He left LA early in 2020 like we did. Can't imagine what it's like now. We sure miss it but LA is not the same La La Land it once was. Every single person we knew that lived there has left.
Where you guys living now Sheff?
 

Sheff37

Member
Where you guys living now Sheff?
We're outside of San Antonio Texas right now, but we haven't bailed on Cali completely. All our stuff is still in storage there. After l moved to DTLA in 2006 l had no intention of ever coming back to Texas. Problem is I'm getting up there in age, l worked for my best friend's law firm in Long Beach over 20 years, but he retired when the Covid hit in 2020. I will be 70 in just a few years so my options are limited now. LA has changed so much. Our drummer and most our friends moved to Oregon in 2019. They just couldn't afford it anymore. People kind of freaked when they started finding out we were homeless for 8 years, but it's not like it sounds, and by no means did we make that choice to live that way. You can see pix of our old apartment, we were living the good life for sure. I used my music royalties to pay for law school, but like l said, l want to retire, lm done.

And l had two jobs. I was the RGM at the Pizza Hut on Venice and Redondo, making crazy good money. Then Yum, pizza hut corporate, sold out to California Pizza Company in 2009 and l was reduced to minimum wage. I stayed anyway but they hated me. I was finally fired in 2012 for refusing to do that stupid imprint policy that allowed them to steal all the customers credit card info. I never did delivery, l ran the front register. I told them l had been running this store for 14 years and was Not going to start ripping off my customers. Then everyone got evicted from our apartment in 2012 and 2013. You can't even afford to live there now. If those people want to pay $3000 a month to live in that, more power to them l guess. But with the pizza hut blackball and the eviction, no way can we get a place in LA again.

But that is why we did 8 years on Skid Row. We really believed the VA was going to house us. You get sucked into that system really believing those agencies are going to help you, but if you got housed they wouldn't have a job. And don't believe it, no homeless people ever get housed. There is no help and there never will be.

But my friend in Topanga Canyon sold his house in 2009 and moved to Acton, he just couldn't afford it anymore. I moved back to the Cecil Hotel, but l loved it. Even the 8 years on Skid Row was an amazing experience. Friends said l had the Stockholm Syndrome, but it wasn't like that. We got very involved with LA Can and the Skid Row community. We were able to help a lot of people, and at points l was proud to say l was among the homeless.
 

spantini

COO of me, inc.
I was homeless here in Florida for nearly 9 years. I managed the kitchen at our homeless shelter for most of that time, which allowed me to eventually move into one of their transitional apartments and earn bucks to buy a car and rebuild after my guitar and recording gear collection had been liquidated.
 

TAE

All you have is now
We're outside of San Antonio Texas right now, but we haven't bailed on Cali completely. All our stuff is still in storage there. After l moved to DTLA in 2006 l had no intention of ever coming back to Texas. Problem is I'm getting up there in age, l worked for my best friend's law firm in Long Beach over 20 years, but he retired when the Covid hit in 2020. I will be 70 in just a few years so my options are limited now. LA has changed so much. Our drummer and most our friends moved to Oregon in 2019. They just couldn't afford it anymore. People kind of freaked when they started finding out we were homeless for 8 years, but it's not like it sounds, and by no means did we make that choice to live that way. You can see pix of our old apartment, we were living the good life for sure. I used my music royalties to pay for law school, but like l said, l want to retire, lm done.

And l had two jobs. I was the RGM at the Pizza Hut on Venice and Redondo, making crazy good money. Then Yum, pizza hut corporate, sold out to California Pizza Company in 2009 and l was reduced to minimum wage. I stayed anyway but they hated me. I was finally fired in 2012 for refusing to do that stupid imprint policy that allowed them to steal all the customers credit card info. I never did delivery, l ran the front register. I told them l had been running this store for 14 years and was Not going to start ripping off my customers. Then everyone got evicted from our apartment in 2012 and 2013. You can't even afford to live there now. If those people want to pay $3000 a month to live in that, more power to them l guess. But with the pizza hut blackball and the eviction, no way can we get a place in LA again.

But that is why we did 8 years on Skid Row. We really believed the VA was going to house us. You get sucked into that system really believing those agencies are going to help you, but if you got housed they wouldn't have a job. And don't believe it, no homeless people ever get housed. There is no help and there never will be.

But my friend in Topanga Canyon sold his house in 2009 and moved to Acton, he just couldn't afford it anymore. I moved back to the Cecil Hotel, but l loved it. Even the 8 years on Skid Row was an amazing experience. Friends said l had the Stockholm Syndrome, but it wasn't like that. We got very involved with LA Can and the Skid Row community. We were able to help a lot of people, and at points l was proud to say l was among the homeless.
That's a crazy story man..sounds like we're about the same age too..I'm 69 in September. I only lived in my car for about a month when I was a young adult but hell it was easy...It was a 55 chevy wagon with 4" foam and shag carpeting in the back as a bed. Parked at night in front of my Sisters house and was able to shit, shower and shave there. So I can in no way relate to living on the streets for years..but it breaks my heart when I see it going on... and I'd like to see us as a society come up with a plan THAT WORKS ...who knows maybe the Rick Carruso cat can actually do something about it here in LA...I think he's going to get elected and as all great politicians do he talks a good talk but....Elon and Snoop both endorse him so that's saying something...they're both wise mo fo's.

We'll see...
 

Sheff37

Member
..but it breaks my heart when I see it going on... and I'd like to see us as a society come up with a plan THAT WORKS ...who knows maybe the Rick Carruso cat can actually do something about it here in LA...I think he's going to get elected and as all great politicians do he talks a good talk but....Elon and Snoop both endorse him so that's saying something...they're both wise mo fo's.

We'll see...
That's how l was when l first moved from Toluca Lake to DTLA. In the late 80's and early 90's you didn't didn't see homelessness around LA outside of Skid Row. DTLA was someplace nobody really went to, for a reason. When l my bed to DTLA in 2006 it was heartbreaking to see all the homeless, but l didn't have a clue about anything. In 2008 my best friend said you need to go to law school, and l had the money, so l did. But l never understood the homeless until we had to leave our apartment in 2012.

But the difference between the homeless in 2012 and the homeless in 2022 is that for those 8 years, you dealt with other homeless face to face. And by 2012 l had been living downtown 6 years at the Cecil Hotel, so all the homeless knew me. So when we were evicted, we were immediately taken in by them. Meaning every homeless person wanted us to camp next to them, because they already knew we brought a lot to the table.

I don't think my story is crazy at all. But we walked every inch of Skid Row picking up cans and bottles, for years. We walked places nobody else could go. But by no means was or is Skid Row safe. It is the most Dangerous Place in the world. But in our travels people wanted to talk to us. They would say we heard your dad is a judge, l said my uncle but yes. And they would be let me tell you what they did to me, what happened to me. And that is how it started, and l documented all thier stories, crazy stories. About how they all lived in the South Central hood before it became Mexico.

We started working with the church groups and activists. What we did was we brought all the services south and east, away from Little Tokyo and the money side of DTLA. You could talk to new homeless people and direct them away from those areas. As long as you didn't piss the rich people off, you had a chance of making it on the streets. But by the end of 2019 the cartel gangs completely took over all the streets. We were literally forced to flee for our lives. No longer did you dead with each other as homeless face to face. Now you answered to the gangs, and if you refused to work for them, they just killed you.

Then the pandemic hit and all the services stopped. Everyone like us left. The homeless went into Little Tokyo because the gangs can't really get in there and run things like they do in Skid Row and South Central. But now they are pissing off the rich people, and it is not going well.

It took us 8 years before we realized we were NOT going to get housing. Nobody gets helped. In 2013 we lived at the VOA S Broadway Place shelter, and it was torture. After 3 months you can stay there anymore, but trust me after 3 months you are ready to leave. Then we worked in the kitchen at the Salvation Army for 6 months. That wasn't the worst but we didn't get anywhere. We finally got a section 8 housing voucher but the only place they would let us use it was in this crack house deep in the worst part of the hood. It was all a setup to steal homeless assistance funding. We lasted a month there until Federal Agents raided the apartment next to us because the guy there just got out of prison and refused to register as a sex offender. There was a big shootout and we said f*ck this, even Skid Row is better and safer than this place. The VA got pissed at us, but LAHSA took our side and said we never should have been placed there. But it's all a racket.

Long rant but that is my point. All these hotel vouchers, and mini homes, and transitional shelters are all rackets. If you successful take someone in, you only get paid once. If you collect his money and kick him out after 2 weeks for breaking the rules, you get the money for the next person you take in to replace him. So what it is is a revolving door to keep the money flowing. And once you get placed in any of those places, it's like being in prison. You are treated like whale sh*t at the bottom of the ocean until you leave.

There is no aspect of the homeless problem that we didn't live through, and don't fully understand. Between 2006 and 2020 the homeless problem in LA could have been fixed. Today l think it is 100% out of control.

And sadly this new generation of homeless are Not the same. It's not that l don't have sympathy, but they are all from other countries now. They came with the 2018 Central American Convoy, and this is a step up for them. In contrast to the prior homeless that lost everything when the Hood became Mexico.
 
Top