From Cobain to KISS: Remembering the Forum


August 2, 2013, 4:46 p.m.
Share your memories, see archival reviews and revisit the Forum's glory days.
Kurt Cobain of the rock band Nirvana in concert at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Dec. 30, 1993. (Larry Davis / Los Angeles Times ) More photos
August 2, 2013
As part of The Times' coverage on plans for the Forum's comeback as a concert venue, we asked readers to contribute memories of their experiences at the storied Inglewood building. Check out some of what they've written -- lightly edited for length and clarity -- plus concert photos and reviews by The Times. And add your own memories here, and see even more archival Forum reviews here.

I remember seeing Nirvana there with Chokebore as the opener. I will never forget it! It was my first big arena-style show and I was blown away with how big everything seemed to be. Now I work in the industry, but that was where I got the taste to do lighting for big shows.
— Mike Davidson, Santa Barbara
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I saw my first concert at the Forum, Neil Young, 1972 or '73. I was 14 or 15, living in Glendale; went with my best friend and another friend who was old enough to drive. It was Neil Young, a guitar, a harmonica, and a piano. That's it. He was incredible, audience captivated. Sounds cliche, but during the quiet parts, you could have heard a pin drop in that huge arena. I was only a kid, but I'd been listening to underground radio since I was 12; I knew it was something special.
— Anna Brooks, Santa Cruz


Read the review: 'Young returns, enigmatically' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Neil Young in concert at the Inglewood Forum October 24, 1978. (Dave Gatley / Los Angeles Times)

I saw Neil Young and Crazy Horse at the Forum in the late 1970s. Loudest band I ever heard, the acoustics in that cavern were horrendous. Bad reverberation is always a hallmark of rock music in an arena like the Forum. See your favorite band at Gibson Universal, the Greek, or Hollywood Bowl instead.
— Richard Hubbard, Orange

My brother and I grew up going to concerts and, of course, the Lakers at the Forum. Sometimes we would sneak in through the bottom entrance with the touring buses and limos. The list included Earth, Wind & Fire, Sly & the Family Stone, and Parliament Funkadelic. The thing we always talk about and remember the most is, when the lights went off, the "aroma" would immediately change inside. Being two little young guys, that confused us at the time. The sound inside was incomparable!
— David Johnson, Los Angeles


Read the review: 'Room at the top for E.W.F.' By Dennis Hunt Photo: Earth Wind & Fire in concert at the Forum in December 1981. (Tony Barnard / Los Angeles Times)

I saw ZZ Top in the late 1980s at the Forum. We sat in the nosebleed seats on the edge of the building and ZZ Top looked like ants. It could have been anybody down their since we could not see them and the acoustics were dreadful.
— Jeff McKinley, Perris, Calif.


My first concert, August 1977 (don't remember the exact date), KISS and Cheap Trick. I was 9 years old and went with my brother, my parents, my cousin and his wife, and my best friend and his mom. We had dinner at the Sizzler across the street before the concert. I think my friend and my brother and I were the only kids not in makeup. (My parents were cool enough to take us to the concert but not cool enough to let us wear makeup. Still trying to figure that one out!) We were on the floor about halfway back from the stage. When the live album came out later we looked at the crowd shot on the back to see if we were in it. No such luck.
— Jeff, San Francisco


Read the review:'Kiss to build a dream on' By Robert Hilburn. Photo: Gene Simmons performs at the Forum in 1977. (Los Angeles Times)

Summer of 1986, the impotent new version of Van Halen stumbled onto the Forum stage. By-the-numbers Sammy Hagar and Eddie VH with his new haircut and sappy keyboard hooks absolutely disappointed my 19-year-old, guitar-obsessed self. To the rescue later that year was (then) former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth with arguably one of the greatest rock and roll bands ever assembled. It was loud, over-the-top and [freaking] fabulous! I witnessed Steve Vai stealing the guitar throne from Eddie Van Halen that night.
— Hoops McCann, Covina


Neil Diamond in the '90s. But with the loss of the Universal Amphitheatre, there is definitely a place for the Forum. Welcome back!
— Larry Weisberg, Pasadena


In '76 or '77 saw Rod Stewart there on his "Blondes Have More Fun" tour. My La Canada high school sweetheart and I had a blast. A lot of non-blonds showed up sporting blond wigs, or dyed their hair blond. Mine was already almost white blond, since I surfed everyday. The music was good too. Rod was awesome. Sounded as good on stage as he did on his albums.
— Mike Coleman, Monterey


Read the review: 'Fans jam Forum for Elvis' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Elvis Presley in concert at the Forum in Inglewood on Nov. 14, 1970. (Harry Chase / Los Angeles Times)

Black Sabbath with Ozzy [Osbourne] and Grand Funk Railroad, February 1971. Black Sabbath opened and were amazing, but then Grand Funk came out and, surprisingly, blew them off the stage. I didn't have my own car then, and I recall that five of us squeezed into a friend's red Subaru 360, and slowly made our way up the 405 from Huntington Beach. We took the wrong exit and got lost in Inglewood or Lennox (not sure because we were lost). I remember the strange looks we received from those we asked for directions. After the show, I got separated from my group, including the girl I had asked to go with me. I ended up hitchhiking back to HB and got home about 2 a.m. All in all a great evening, with the exception of getting separated from my date.
— John Lai, Camarillo


I saw Diana Ross, when she introduced the Jackson Five! Who knew those five boys would make entertainment history. We couldn't find our car afterward, for more than an hour, and finally we realized that it was parked in the lot across the street! I also have enjoyed Kurt Carr and Israel [Houghton]. Bootsy Collins' concert was the best and most extraordinary, back in the day. I was so proud to be the "big sister," and I took my younger brother to that concert. I'll never forget how they used a big screen and a toilet flushing as part of the opening. It was incredible.
— Lynne Thomas-Perkins, Victorville


Prince, 1985, Purple Rain tour with Sheila E. Amazing! It was my first concert, and I've never forgotten it, even though we were in the nosebleed section. I still have the ticket stub somewhere (or at least a scan image of it). Someone offered to buy it even though it's falling apart.
— Jorge Hernanadez, New York, N.Y.


Read the review: 'For Prince concert, it's a reign of rock' By Richard Cromelin Photo: Prince performs at the Forum on March 29, 1983. (Lori Shepler / Los Angeles Times)

I lived on Manchester, so you could say my beloved Forum was my home away from home. I remember almost getting hit by soccer balls that were kicked from the stage by Rod Stewart & the Faces at the end of their performance. I still have the rose petals tossed by the hands of Jagger that I caught when I sat in the front row. I remember hanging out with the Aerosmith groupies behind the Forum at that sold-out show, hoping I could get in under cover of groupies, but I got spotted by the roadies at the last minute. I saw the very first so-called "supergroup," Blind Faith, at the Forum. I remember a friend and I begging a roadie at the Doors concert for an empty Coors beer can that Jim Morrison had drank from. He wouldn't give it to us.
— Steve Toth, San Diego


Saw Springsteen and other legends, but stopped going to the Forum because of the inadequate women's facilities. The renovation MUST include upgrading of women's facilities to even have a remote chance of wooing me back. Heck, the Forum was so bad a group of us gals got so desperate we stormed one of the men's restrooms for relief, had a whole lookout system and routine going at one point with our boyfriends and hubbies so we all wouldn't miss so much of the show. Funny how I remember that more than who we saw there.
— Kathleen Clark, Pasadena

Read the review: 'Springsteen, the class of the field' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Bruce Springsteen drops to the floor during his July 5, 1978 concert at the Forum. (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)


Read the review: 'Springsteen, the class of the field' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Bruce Springsteen drops to the floor during his July 5, 1978 concert at the Forum. (George Rose / Los Angeles Times)

Van Halen, the Scorpions, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi -- all the best '80s metal played the Forum.
— Rick Bredlau, Houston, Texas


First concert I went to at the Forum was Cream in 1968 -- we got what we thought were good tickets (I think they were $6), but the seats ended up being on the opposite side of the Forum and the band felt very far away. Still an awesome concert. My favorite all-time concert anywhere was Jimi Hendrix in 1970. This time we got seats pretty close up and being able to watch and hear Hendrix and his band play their hearts out is sealed in my memory forever.
— Michael Brown, Santa Barbara


Bob Dylan and The Band, February 1974. The last show of the tour. We had ninth-row seats thanks to my friend's brother. No yellow-jacketed security or barriers back then, so I was right against the stage, with Dylan standing above me singing "Like a Rolling Stone." Every time he sang the chorus, the house lights went on, and I saw 18,000 people singing along. Unforgettable.
— Paul Liebeskind, Tarzana


Read the review: 'Dylan saves the best for last' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Bob Dylan performs at the Forum on Feb. 2, 1974. (Marianna Diamos / Los Angeles times)

I love the Forum. Jethro Tull, Dylan & the Band, New Barbarians, Elton John, Bob Seeger, Wings and more. The most memorable was Springsteen & E Street in '78 for the "Darkness" tour. Opening with "Spirit in the Night," Bruce climbed up to the top level while singing. He was surrounded by fans and when security tried to pull them off, the Boss said, "It's cool, man. These are my friends." He turned that place into a small club and rocked for hours.
— Rob Lawson, Glendale


I saw the Rolling Stones play there March 6, 2006, long after Staples was open. I particularly remember it because I had seats very close to the stage, and because the opening act, Queens of the Stone Age, was a piece of crap in my opinion.
— Ben Kalb


Read the review: 'The Rolling Stones rock for charity' By Robert Hilburn, Jan. 20, 1973 Photo: Mick Jagger of the Rolling.

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Stones performs at the Forum during a July 11, 1975 concert. (Los Angeles Times)

The first concert I ever saw was at the Forum -- the Eagles Greatest Hits Tour. I was in junior high then and returned several times for many other concerts when I was in high school, including the Eagles' "Hotel California" tour. It is so meaningful to me, knowing that the Eagles will be re-opening the newly renovated Forum. Bravo!
— Yvonne Carlson Bell, Pasadena


Went with a few college friends to an Eagles concert in the spring of 1980. Roy Orbison was one of the opening acts. I guess he was making a comeback, as many of us weren't familiar with him at that time. His performance was stunningly good. What a fabulous voice. The Eagles put on a great show but Roy Orbison alone was worth the price of the ticket.
— Andrew Robbins, La Jolla


Read the review: 'Best of Eagles at the Forum' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Glenn Frey performs with the Eagles at the Forum, March 1980. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)

It's fitting that the Eagles will be the first band to play at the new Forum. They were the first band I saw there back during "Hotel California." I saw many more great shows over the years, including Queen, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, Yes, Genesis and the Who. After making that list, it's like a best of the 1970s arena rock.
— Mike Lew Lamar, Felton, Calif.


I saw Depeche Mode perform at the Forum in 1986. Black was the primary fashion choice for concert attendees. The performance was electric ... literally, and all left satisfied. I went with my boyfriend Steve. He was more the Michael McDonald type, but he embraced the experience and we were better for it. Later I had to go hear Patti LaBelle at the Hollywood Bowl for him. The things we do for love!
— Chris Becker, Los Angeles


As high schoolers, my friend and I drove from Taft to see Jimi Hendrix in 1969. A band we'd never heard of called the Chicago Transit Authority opened. Great show, Jimi was at his best. Upon leaving the show, we realized we had no idea where we parked. So we waited for about an hour and a half while the lot cleared and there were only a few cars left, one of them ours!
Bob Beyn, Sacramento

Read the review: 'Zeppelin vies for rock legacy' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Guitarist Jimmy Page of the rock band Led Zeppelin performs at the Forum, June 26, 1977. (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)

May 16-17, 1995. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. I remember when “Song Remains the Same” came on, I jumped out of my chair, ripped off my shirt, sang and danced along. Don’t know why -- it just made me do it.
— Brian Murphy, San Diego


2/10/75 Jethro Tull, The Forum, Inglewood, CA: My little league baseball coach was a huge rock music fan. From our conversations, he knew that I was really curious about live music, yet hadn’t experienced it yet. Coach became my rock 'n' roll mentor by taking me to my first concert. Our seats were on the floor in the 30th row; close enough to see the stage antics of Ian Anderson, the strangely attired singer. His outfit looked medieval, complete with codpiece. Ian performed outrageously, and played his flute as a lead instrument, rather than background. For reasons unknown to me then, and even now, he stood on one leg quite a bit. But regardless of his theatrics, the band behind him rocked hard. Coach discreetly smoked something, and it didn’t smell like tobacco. In fact, it didn’t smell like much at all. He didn’t pass any my way, but I didn’t mind. The whole sound and vision package was enough.
— Milo Perichitch, Los Angeles


I remember seeing MC Hammer and TLC at the Forum. Hammer had like 263 fog machines, but it was awesome.
— Karim Akbar, Los Angeles


Read the review: 'Smells like rock classics' By Robert Hilburn Photo: Kurt Cobain of the rock band Nirvana in concert at the Forum in Inglewood, Calif., Dec. 30, 1993. (Larry Davis / Los Angeles Times)

I think my favorite Forum concert had to be Paul McCartney, back in '89, when he and Linda toured again for the first time since "Wings Over America." We were about halfway back in the loge seats, and I remember the blast of heat from the flashpots during "Live and Let Die." It was also the concert tour when Paul chose to return to his Beatles roots and do a lot of the songs that I only got to see on "The Ed Sullivan Show." Great night.
— Beth Rayburn, Fullerton


I saw U2 play at the Forum on the "Joshua Tree" tour. Our seats were off to the side and behind the stage, but they were only a few rows back. But the Forum has always been somewhat "in the round" and Bono came over to the back of the stage to show those fans some love. And there he was just 10 feet away, Bono signing "Sunday Bloody Sunday" on the original "Joshua Tree" tour. I was 18 and it was just an unforgettable moment.
— Christopher Jones, Los Angeles


The Eagles will kick off the Forum's fresh look in January in a multimillion-dollar effort to entice music acts to Inglewood.
A multimillion-dollar revitalization of the Forum in Inglewood includes restoring the building's Roman-inspired columns and repainting the metal panels "California sunset red."
It’s entirely possible that the Forum arena in Inglewood narrowly escaped the wrecking ball only because of a segment on CBS’ newsmagazine "60 Minutes."
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Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
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Los Angeles' EDM explosion powers its move toward dance dominance

Fans at the 2012 Hard Summer music festival in apuestas deportivas front of the stage during Nero's performance. (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times / August 4, 2012)
August 2, 2013, 6:00 a.m.
It's arguably never been a better time to be a dance music fan — or in the dance music business — in Los Angeles than right now.
The annual Hard Summer festival this weekend will draw an estimated 70,000 electronic music fans over two days to L.A. State Historic Park in Chinatown, with major acts such as Justice, Dog Blood and Knife Party. Alongside it, the city is experiencing a surge in new, EDM-focused nightclubs. At least six major venues have opened or revamped in the Hollywood and downtown areas in the last two years, including the 1,700-capacity Exchange L.A. along with Create, Sound, Lure, Greystone Manor and A.V.
They join a field of established clubs like Avalon, smaller dance-focused bars like Pattern Bar and roving parties like A Club Called Rhonda, and a galaxy of semi-legal warehouse parties along downtown's fringes. In addition, L.A. arenas and festivals such as Coachella are increasingly finding that dance acts are filling their floors, and in the last year Live Nation has invested in or acquired L.A.'s two largest independent dance promoters, Hard Events and Insomniac.
Rarely has so much seed money, talent, and interest coalesced around a single genre the way that Southern California has embraced electronic dance music in the past few years. In both sheer numbers and quality, L.A. is finally equaling U.S. cities like New York and Miami, and it has the momentum to eventually become a world-class dance music tourism city.
PHOTOS: Hard Summer music festival 2012
"L.A. has such huge potential as a destination for dance music," said Rob Vinokur, co-owner of Sound (which made Rolling Stone's list of America's 10 apuestas online best dance clubs) and nearby venue Playhouse. "I've lived in every major cosmopolitan city in the U.S., and we almost have it here."
But not far away in Las Vegas there's also talk of a dance music bubble bursting, after the $100-million club Hakkasan and Cirque du Soleil's EDM venue Light entered into an already crowded and expensive field. L.A. also faces particular transportation and regulation challenges in growing its night life scenes.
At this juncture, it's worth asking — what's the right path to a sustainable dance music infrastructure in L.A.?
"I always believe that the cream rises," said Gary Richards, CEO of the promotion firm Hard Events and a DJ who performs as Destructo. "Last year we almost doubled, and we could have sold 10,000 more tickets to this year's Hard Summer if we'd wanted to. But there are too many people just milking this stuff. My interest is just in making everything work better."
PHOTOS: Hard Summer music festival 2011
The world's great dance music cities all share certain traits. There's a mix of must-see nightclubs (like Berlin's Berghain or London's Fabric) and marquee festivals (Miami's Ultra Music Festival.

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or Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas) that set a global agenda and draw hundreds of thousands of fans.
Hard Summer is rapidly becoming L.A.'s standard-bearer for the latter. After the departure of L.A.-based Insomniac's Electric Daisy Carnival to Las Vegas (after a teenager's overdose death in 2010), Richards' firm has grown to host the dominant dance music festival in L.A. His stable includes events such as Hard Summer, Hard Day of the Dead (a smaller festival held in the fall) and the EDM cruise Holy Ship, alongside a variety of club-level events across America.
Hard festivals have helped launch big new stars like Skrillex, and the firm earned a major endorsement when Live Nation acquired Hard Events in 2012 (terms of the deal have not been disclosed). Seven years after Hard Events' founding, this year's fest is the biggest installment yet.
"The key is the music, you have to be diverse and pick new things," Richards said. "Any promoter can just go book the DJ Magazine top 100 acts. People are tired of seeing all that same stuff."
PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times
Local festival-sized competitors, like comaprador de apuestas the long-running Lightning in a Bottle, are improving to compete. And a new L.A. edition of the dance-focused conference International Music Summit, held in April at Hollywood's W hotel with speakers like Ultra Records' Patrick Moxey and Shelly Finkel from promoter SFX Entertainment, offers a forum to debate the genre's business issues.
The economic effects of such festivals are real. 2012's Electric Daisy Carnival brought more than $200 million into the Las Vegas area, according to a Beacon Economics study. This year's two-week Ultra Music Festival brought an estimated $79-million worth of economic activity to Miami-Dade County — an area with one-third the population of Los Angeles County.
But to truly take on other cities for money and influence, there needs to be a year-round EDM club ecosystem that falls outside the summer festival season..
L.A. has rapidly caught up in the last two years. New clubs like Insomniac's Exchange L.A., Create (Insomniac's venture with hospitality conglomerate SBE) and SBE's Greystone Manor routinely sell out bills with the genre's top artists. Stalwarts such as Hollywood's Avalon and well-appointed upstarts like Sound and Lure keep a heady mix of mainstream fare and more adventurous artists.
 
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In other words corporations are now milking the money to be made off kids on drugs. Like all trendy things this will die fairly quickly.
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G-Dragon rep says blackface photo is a 'huge misunderstanding'

A self-portrait of K-Pop star G-Dragon from Instagram. (G-Dragon / Instagram / July 31, 2013)
August 1, 2013, 3:37 p.m.
Earlier this week, the K-Pop superstar G-Dragon apuestas de futbol posted an image to his Instagram account that shocked many U.S. fans with its resemblance to a widely shared image of the Florida shooting victim Trayvon Martin.
Though the post didn't mention Martin by name, the photo's uncanny similarity to the Martin shot -- similar framing, a gray hood over his head and what appeared to be an ugly "blackface" makeup job -- prompted an uproar from fans and media who thought G-Dragon had made a very awkward sort of tribute in line with the "I Am Trayvon Martin" meme. Artists like Frank Ocean, The-Dream and Diddy had also recently posted similar photos of themselves online.
PHOTOS: Concerts by The Times
Now a rep for G-Dragon has told Spin, one of the first outlets to report on the resemblance, that the entire situation was a "HUGE misunderstanding" and that the image was a visual concept in line with the art for G-Dragon's upcoming album.
"The face paint is only a color variation for his album cover which includes black, white, and red," the rep told Spin. "It is in no way meant to be a political or racial statement." Nonetheless, the photo did spur a conversation about how African-Americans are represented in Korean pop culture.
G-Dragon is slated to appear in L.A. this month at the popular K-CON festival, a showcase of contemporary K-Pop culture. Perhaps this whole episode can be a lesson that any non-African Americans posting context-free photos of themselves in black face paint and hip-hop-inspired attire is probably not a wise move.
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Live: 2NE1 at Nokia Theatre
K-Pop's PSY hits Dodger Stadium
K-pop enters American pop consciousness
 

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Whatever Augest Brown you really don't deserve this job you treat it and your wrtiting with no fact, respect or truth.
I'm glad this story was posted, it should be addressed that the Kpop community that borrows so much of its sound from the black music industry constantly mocks that same influential industry. I can't tell you how often I see blackface and mocking ebonic-like accents on Korean TV (which my family, being of Korean heritage watch every weekend)! Always there is someone mocking black people for laughs and Americans just look.

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He's not wearing a hoodie he pulled a shirt over his head.  His "hip hop attire" is a T shirt.  Now no one can wear a basic T shirt without getting approval from August Brown of the LA Times Music blog?
The "spur a conversation" link you provides is to another blog.  And the "conversation" consists of 2 posts, both of which are criticizing the slant of the article, nothing about "how African-Americans are represented in Korean pop culture."
How did you manage to mangle the takeaway from all this to be that people shouldn't wear hip hop clothing.  You didn't get any sort of inkling that maybe the lesson is BE A JOURNALIST? Is dropping an email to YG for comment that hard? It looks like you still haven't even bothered to look at the original photo since you continue to insist it's a hoodie.
the LA Times blog sourced its entry entirely from a SPIN online entry that based itself (down to the talking points and mistatements) from an entirely unsourced LIVEJOURNAL rant from a teenager.
August Brown, you're probably aces as a human being but when it comes to your job ur doin it rong man.
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Taylor Swift and Carly Simon duet on 'You're So Vain'

Carly Simon, left, joined Taylor Swift at Gillette apuestas de futbol Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., to sing Simon's hit "You're So Vain." (Theo Wargo / TAS / July 27, 2013)
August 1, 2013, 1:25 p.m.
Taylor Swift has built a career dropping hints to the identities of bad boyfriends in hit songs as an example ver futbol en vivo of the adage for the broken-hearted, “Don’t get mad — get even.”
Last weekend when Swift's “Red” tour reached Foxborough, Mass., she brought out Carly Simon, the woman who has kept listeners guessing for more than 40 years about the subject of her kiss-off song “You’re So Vain.”
“When I heard ‘You’re So Vain,’ I thought, that is the best song ever," Swift said. "That is the most direct way anyone has ever addressed a breakup.... Every girl out there will be thinking of someone when we’re singing.”
PHOTOS: Taylor Swift at the Staples Center
The two sang it together Saturday in front of some 55,000 fans at Gillette Stadium, one of two sold-out shows at the venue as part of Swift’s tour that reaches Southern California for shows at Staples Center on Aug. 19, 20, 23 and 24.
Here’s the video with excerpts from the “You’re So Vain” performance and interview footage of Swift.

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ALSO:
Taylor Swift makes a grown-up move on 'Red'
Carly Simon: Coming around again with 'This Kind of Love'
The Forum aims to rock rival Staples with major renovation
Twitter: @RandyLewis2 

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What a glorified karaoke act that Taylor Swift. 
Poor Carly....
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Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres may calm waters after Seth MacFarlane

Ellen DeGeneres hosted the 79th Academy Awards in 2007. (Al Seib, Los Angeles Times / February 25, 2007)
August 3, 2013, 6:00 a.m.
After Seth MacFarlane's polarizing performance as this year's Oscars host, producers are calling on a reassuring presence for the 2014 telecast, naming Ellen DeGeneres emcee of Hollywood's biggest night.
DeGeneres, a syndicated talk-show personality with a huge following, also hosted the Academy Awards in 2007. She's expected to bring a steadying hand to a telecast that faced heavy criticism in 2013. Though total viewership reached its highest point since 2010, MacFarlane drew a backlash from those who said that bits such as a parody song titled "We Saw Your Boobs" were offensive.
The selection of the openly gay DeGeneres will no doubt register as a sign of progress at a time when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is pushing for greater diversity. Earlier this week the group elected its first-ever African American board president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. The deal for DeGeneres is believed to have come together quickly in recent days, though it is unclear how much Boone Isaacs was involved in the decision.
PHOTOS: Emmy Awards hosts through the years
DeGeneres broke the news Friday morning to her millions of Twitter followers. "It's official," she wrote. "I'm hosting the Oscars! I'd like to thank The Academy, my wife Portia and, oh dear, there goes the orchestra."
She later quipped in a release from the motion picture academy that "I am.

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so excited to be hosting the Oscars for the second time. You know what they say — the third time's the charm," echoing a joke she made in the 2007 telecast in which she told eight-time nominee Peter O'Toole that "third time's the charm."
ABC will telecast the Oscars on March 2 from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
This year's Oscars producers, Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, who also oversaw the controversial 2013 show, praised DeGeneres' onscreen persona in a statement. "There are few stars today who have Ellen's gift for comedy with her great warmth and humanity."
PHOTOS: Ellen DeGeneres: Career in pictures
In 2007, DeGeneres also was brought in as a stabilizing presence after a provocative telecast the prior year by Jon Stewart. Her red-suited act gave the evening an informal feel — she took a page from her talk-show playbook as she wandered the aisles bantering with Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood. Television critic Tom Shales of the Washington Post called her turn "crisp and unpretentious."
But to some, DeGeneres failed to bring much edge or surprise. A Variety review called her a "bland guide" for the night's festivities. DeGeneres was lauded more strongly for her performance at the Emmys in 2001 shortly after the attacks of Sept. 11, with many praising her delicate handling of a difficult moment.
Like her reviews, DeGeneres' Oscar ratings were middle-of-the-road; with 39.9 million viewers, the 2007 Oscars rated exactly fifth in total viewers among the last 10 years. She was aided by the multiple wins for Scorsese's "The Departed," one of the bigger blockbusters to win best picture in recent years. Last year's MacFarlane-led telecast brought in 40.3 million viewers.
TIMELINE: Oscars, then and now
DeGeneres is likely to get a boost from a strong social-media presence that has developed since her last stint. With 21 million Twitter followers, she is among the most popular personalities on the site. She also has a highly watched channel on YouTube.
In choosing DeGeneres, the academy would also seem to have avoided the drama that ensued two years ago when it went with the unconventional choice of film producer Brett Ratner for its telecast and then Eddie Murphy as host. The move blew up when Ratner was forced to exit the show after insensitive comments in a radio interview. Murphy quickly followed suit, prompting new producer Brian Grazer to tap the veteran Billy Crystal.
Unlike some other recent hosts such as Anne Hathaway and James Franco, DeGeneres has not been a big-screen mainstay. But her voice does anchor "Finding Dory," the "Finding Nemo" sequel that ABC sister company Pixar will release in 2015.
For producers and network ABC, DeGeneres will also bring another key asset: a daily presence on television that will allow her to promote the show and welcome guests from Oscar-nominated films.
PHOTOS: 'The Ellen DeGeneres Show' through the years
"Pre-Oscar show publicity has become increasingly important and necessary in recent years as competition for viewers has escalated. A host's ability and willingness to participate in these opportunities is essential in that effort to boost ratings," said Tony Angellotti, a veteran publicity executive and member of the academy.
Though many in Hollywood say they believe the choice of DeGeneres is also a direct response to the criticism heaped upon last year's show, veteran Oscar producer and director Don Mischer disagrees.
"I really doubt that's the motivation," he said. "Having been in the producer's shoes many times, you are primarily looking for someone you have confidence in, someone that can roll with the punches, is quick on their feet, is likable and has a track record for live performance. She's done it all and has done it well. I doubt there was any other reason for choosing Ellen."
Still, brevity may not be on the agenda. At 3 hours and 51 minutes, the last DeGeneres-hosted Oscars was the longest of the last 13 years.
PHOTOS: Celebrities by The Times
Historically, return hosts have tended to do well. Billy Crystal added to his audience in each of the first five times he hosted, and Chevy Chase added 5% to his audience on his second go-round back in 1988. But most sophomore hosts who do well tend to take the stage in successive years. When Jon Stewart returned in 2008 after taking a year off (for DeGeneres), numbers plummeted by nearly 20%.
Mischer recalls that he was the first producer to hire DeGeneres for a live TV gig — co-host of the 1994 Emmys telecast. At the time it was a decision that was much criticized by his peers in the industry because the sitcom she was then headlining had only aired six times when producers approached her for the job. (She co-hosted the telecast with "Home Improvement's" Patricia Richardson.)
"I took a lot of flack from people in our industry. They said, 'Ellen has only had six shows in prime-time television and she gets to be the co-host?'" recalled Mischer. "Monday after the show, nobody asked me that question again. She was wonderful. She brought a spark and a light to it."
steve.zeitchik@latimes.com
nicole.sperling@latimes.com

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Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times
So, Bob Hope passed away?
Her wit is pure. Comedy should be natural like the old standbys, the look of Jack Benny or Carol Burnett or Lucille Ball. It doesn't have to be crass and disgusting like the last few hosts, a-hem! Ellen is a sweet comic. She doesn't effort or have to do the by lines or lose audience by not glorifying a punch line. She is what America is about. She has always had my vote!
Seth MacFarlane was creepy, unfunny, and extemely sexist, and should not have been hired in the first place.  Maybe the producers think that hiring Ellen will make up for the offensive juvenile display last year that revealed a lot about what today's movie honchos really think of women.  It won't.
At the bland suck-up fest that is the Oscars, the bland, faux-humble Ellen won't be the trainwreck she was on American Idol (who hired her to be a judge there in the first place?)  But Ellen isn't about female empowerment or comedic truth telling.  She's about Ellen, people who love Ellen, and celebrities who love Ellen. She is a gay activist, but not a feminist, based on her priorities and associations.
Tina Fey and Amy Poehler would save the Oscars, but they are too talented and too knowing to waste their time on that schlockfest.  They rejected an offer to host.  Has Ellen ever rejected an opportunity to promote herself?
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