Check Out Off Ramp

John Rabe and Pamela Wilson on Hewitt Street in the Arts District.

John Rabe and Pamela Wilson on Hewitt Street in the Arts District. Photo by Stephen Seemayer

Off-Ramp host John Rabe’s interview with filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson, which will air on KPCC (89.3 FM) this Saturday (12 noon) and Sunday (7 pm), is now available for listening online. Click here.


History 101

Photo by Stephen Seemayer

Artist Marc Kreisel, left, with fellow Turk Jon Peterson at the Jan. 24 opening of Kreisel’s exhibit at the District Gallery.

Marc Kreisel, one of the “Young Turks” and the mastermind behind the legendary and lamented Al’s Bar, is exhibiting his work through Feb. 24, 2013, at the District Gallery, 740 E. 3rd St., Los Angeles, 90012.

The show, “History 101: Works by Marc Kreisel,” showcases “The Ten Commandments,” a work Kreisel made in the late ’70s which is featured in his segment of the film “Young Turks.” The commandments include “Risk everything all the time,” “Teach the women to shoot” and “Consider art a guest in Los Angeles.” In the film, the artist explains that art in L.A. has had a hard time competing with other enterprises like tourism and Hollywood.

Another piece in Kreisel’s show was made from broken shards of graffiti-coated plaster from the now-defunct punk club Al’s Bar, which graced the ground floor of the American Hotel at 305 S. Hewitt St. in the Arts District from 1980 to 2001.

Marc Kreisel at Al's in the early 1980s. Photo by Gary Leonard

Marc Kreisel at Al’s in the early 1980s. Photo by Anne Knudsen / Herald-Examiner

In 1980, Al’s Bar was where truck drivers from the Coca-Cola bottling plant around the corner would come to unwind, share a cold one and play pool. The juke box featured Big Band hits, Keely Smith and Louis Prima, and Motown greats, such as Mary Wells. When “King Kreisel,” who also ran the American Hotel above Al’s, started renting single rooms to struggling artists and musicians, Al’s evolved into the center of the downtown art scene, and punk legends such as X, Party Boys and Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs played there. It was the Rick’s Café Americain of Downtown. Everybody came to Al’s.

Included in Kreisel’s show is a photographic triptych of the bar’s graffiti-covered walls around the time that Al’s closed in 2001.


Off-Ramp host John Rabe and "Young Turks" director Stephen Seemayer outside what was once Al's Bar.

Off-Ramp host John Rabe and “Young Turks” director Stephen Seemayer outside what was once Al’s Bar.

On Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013, “Young Turks” filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson will be interviewed by host John Rabe on the popular arts and culture show Off-Ramp, which airs on KPCC (89.3FM) from 12 noon to 1 p.m.

Off-Ramp Promo

The interview will also air Sunday, Feb. 3, when Off-Ramp airs again from 7 to 8 p.m., and then will be available on the KPCC website, as well as on iTunes.

Tickets and Showtimes

Artists rendering of Downtown Independent Theatre, 251 S. Main St., L.A. with "Young Turks" banner.

Here are showtimes for the theatrical release of “Young Turks” (Feb. 8th-Feb. 14th at the Downtown Independent)

World Premiere, Fri., Feb. 8:
7 p.m.: Reception
8 p.m.: 1st screening, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson
10 p.m.: 2nd screening

Sat., Feb. 9: 7 p.m., 9 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 10: 8 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 11-Thurs. Feb. 14: 5 p.m., 7 p.m.

For tickets go to the theater’s website:

New Flyer and More

YT flyer front copyYT flyer back-1

Here is the flyer for the upcoming theatrical release of “Young Turks.” The link for tickets and showtimes does not yet have February’s schedule on it, but it will soon. Keep checking back.

Also, the Friday, Feb. 8, opening will include a reception beforehand and a Q&A with the filmmakers afterward. The screening will start at 8 p.m.

Don’t forget, listen to Off-Ramp on KPCC (89.3 FM) on Saturday, Feb. 2, from 12-1p.m. for an interview of Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson by John Rabe.

Coming Soon!

“Young Turks” will open Fri., Feb. 8, 2013, for a one-week run at the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main St. in L.A.

John Rabe, host of KPCC’s Off-Ramp on 89.3 FM, called “Young Turks” “a delightful and refreshing documentary about … artist friends and the life they lived in downtown circa 1980.”

Check out this trailer, and come see “Young Turks” on the big screen.

For tickets and showtimes, go to

Another Blast From the Past

L.A. Weekly

Portion of L.A. Weekly article on “Young Turks” before the Downtown Drive-In event in 1981.

Art critic Hunter Drohojowska, writing about Stephen Seemayer‘s “Young Turks” in the L.A. Weekly in 1981, called the rough-cut verson “a kaleidoscopic melange of Hollywood’s B-movie corn, bizarre underground existence and a few naked truths.”

“Artists are portrayed earnestly explaining their work in one scene,” Drohojowska wrote, “and participating in some hallucinogenic madness in the next.”

While the film about art and life in downtown L.A. circa 1980 has been fully digitized and reedited by Pamela Wilson, the filmmakers have attempted to maintain the energetic quality noted by Drohojowska while giving some structure to the “inherent irony and absurd juxtapositions.”

“It’s a rare art movie that can keep me awake for two hours, but this one manages,” Drohojowska wrote, citing the original rough-cut’s length. (The newly edited version is a fast-paced 95 minutes.) “For one thing, the editing is riotous, crowded with consciously trite, humorous special-effects techniques. … All of this is entertaining and decorative, so if the movie is somewhat self-indulgent, at least it isn’t dull.”

“Everything about ‘Young Turks’ strikes me as something of an L.A. phenomenon,” Drohojowska wrote. “It’s an extremely personal work, more about a lifestyle than art. It remains, nonetheless, a valid document, because it shows how the art created was so intimately involved in the style of life led.”

Artists rendering of Downtown Independent Theatre, 251 S. Main St., L.A. with "Young Turks" banner.

Artists rendering of Downtown Independent Theatre, 251 S. Main St., L.A. with “Young Turks” banner.

The documentary will have a one-week run at the Downtown Independent starting Feb. 8.

World Premiere to Be Feb. 8 at Downtown Independent

“Young Turks” will open a one-week run at the Downtown Independent with a World Premiere screening on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. (There will be a reception starting at 7:00 p.m.)

The 95-minute documentary by filmmakers Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson is an irreverent and intimate snapshot of a vital art scene that existed amid the mean streets of L.A.’s urban core in the 1970s and ’80s. It will screen daily through Thursday, Feb. 14. (Check back later for information on tickets and showtimes.)

The Downtown Independent is located at
251 S. Main St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(between 2nd and 3rd streets)

Also, an interview with Wilson and Seemayer will air on KPCC’s Off-Ramp (89.3 FM) with John Rabe on Feb. 2 (12-1 p.m.) and Feb. 3 (7-8 p.m.).