Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby has gotten a lot of flack for its glitz and glam, flash and bang. It is filled with Luhrmann's lurid style and the wild glamor of fresh music, fresh silks, gold chains, and golden baubles. But these choices, along with loyalty to the story, actually makes it a quite perceptive adaptation of this American novel. It is quintessentially an American story: about the desire to be something you're not, to work and strive and make yourself anew, to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and become a strapping figure of success.
The intersection where Santa Monica Boulevard strikes La Cienega Boulevard looks a little different these days. Forty years ago, Jim Morrison swaggered and staggered along these streets, from his home at the Alta Cienega Hotel to his favorite liquor store, Monaco, to his nearby recording studio. Much that once was, is lost, but there are those who can remember and revive it.
Jac Holzman is now eighty-one years old, but he still is, as he ever was, a brilliant, vibrant music industry innovator. He was just a teenager when he founded Elektra Records, an independent label that discovered artists like The Stooges, Queen, and, of course, The Doors.
Holzman has just introduced a brand-new iPad app about The Doors — a complex, interactive journey into the band's music and history that more resembles a coffee table book or a collector's boxed set than most of the digital tools these days.
In a time when old-school music men are lamenting the digital age and relinquishing their industry to the youth, Holzman is still working, happily and successfully. And he plans to keep innovating, embracing technology and moving forward - even while, on occasion, looking back at those Strange Days of the late sixties.