Claire Horner on 363 2008

by John OBrien | ˜ 22 Comments »

I met a lot of peculiar and interesting people at Venice West Café — none more interesting (or more peculiar) than poet Claire Horner. He read at VWC alongside people like Bukowski and Taylor Meade, and peddled mimeographed “books” of his poetry with names like “Please don’t step on the Bacon”.

The Venice West Cafe on 3527 2008

by John OBrien | ˜ 6 Comments »

In 1965, when I was fifteen, I started hanging around the Venice West Cafe, a dank little hole in the wall with wooden benches and tables. Of course they served espresso. And the place was always full of (to me at that age) coolly romantic hipsters, complete with shades, turtlenecks — yeah, even berets.

Growing Up Bohemian on 3422 2008

by John OBrien | ˜ 1 Comment »

We moved to Venice in 1960, when I was 10 years old. I didn’t realize it at the time, but my parents were beatniks. I knew that things were somehow looser in my household – that people were tolerated and welcomed there that weren’t welcome in the homes of most of my schoolmates.