LAVA celebrates the King Eddy Saloon with a free Lit Fest featuring Dan
Fante, Jonathan Shaw and Ruben Ortega
WHAT: An evening of fiction, poetry and memoir readings celebrating the
spirit of downtown LA's literary legacy in the last Skid Row bar, the
soon-to-close King Eddy Saloon.
WHEN: Thursday, July 19, 8-9:30pm
WHERE: The King Eddy Saloon, 131 East 5th Street, Los Angeles, CA, 90013
COST: Free, but reservations are required and space is limited.
EVENT INFO: http://lavatransforms.org/kingeddylitfest1
PREVIOUSLY: See scenes from LAVA's June 28 free screening of Alina
Skrzeszewska's short film "Last One Left: The last skid row bar in Los
Angeles and its patrons: a few brief life stories" at
http://vimeo.com/45286001 (video format) or
On June 13, 2012, it was announced that after more than 50
years of family management, the King Eddy Saloon had been sold and would be
closing at the end of the summer. This news has been received with great
concern by the many people who consider this last Skid Row bar to be an
essential part of the cultural and social life of downtown Los Angeles, as
well as a place of pilgrimage for fans of the great Los Angeles novelist
John Fante, whose anti-hero Arturo Bandini famously squandered his first
royalty check on the b-girls of the King Eddy's basement speakeasy.
LAVA co-founder Richard Schave loves the King Eddy, and has done extensive
research on the place and its role in LA's literary and cultural history. In
addition to the John Fante connection, it is the last bar standing in the
neighborhood where novelist James M. Cain came to soak up the vernacular
speech that he adapted into the hard-boiled American lingo of his breakout
novel "The Postman Always Rings Twice" (1934).
In recognition of the importance of the King Eddy as a place of abiding
human comfort and cultural significance, LAVA is pleased to present the
second in a series of free cultural events at the bar, "Lit Fest @ The King
Eddy: Fante, Shaw & Ortega."
During the event, Dan Fante will read selections both from his poetry and
his recently published memoir about growing up with his father, novelist
John Fante, "Fante: A Family¹s Legacy of Writing, Drinking and Surviving"
(Harper Perennial, 2011). Novelist and poet Jonathan Shaw will read a short
story about his meeting with Charles Bukowski and the fist fight which
ensued. Presenter Ruben Ortega is a local L.A. writer of short stories.
For more info about Dan Fante, see http://danfante.net/
For more info about Jonathan Shaw, see http://www.scabvendor.com/blog/
For more info about Ruben Ortega, come to the Lit Fest
LAVA co-founder Kim Cooper says: "Anyone who cares about the fragile coral
ecosystem that is the culture of this city should make a visit to the King
Eddy this summer, while it's still under the Croick family's ownership.
They've made a haven in a very hard part of the city where folks who don't
have much money can feel respected and safe. That means everything. As we
lose these ports, we lose our community and our history. Once that's gone,
it will never come back."
ABOUT LAVA: Through participation in LAVA, a select group of creative
professionals come together to promote cultural programming that speaks to
the urban experience while promoting positive public space. LAVA's creative
partners share a love for L.A. and unique ideas for exploring it in their
work. Formed by social historians RICHARD SCHAVE and KIM COOPER --
proprietors of Esotouric bus adventures and the 1947project time travel blog
series (including On Bunker Hill and In SRO Land) -- LAVA brings together
L.A.'s most visionary promoters, artists, writers and thinkers.
Applications from prospective LAVA members are being taken at
To learn more about LAVA, please visit http://www.lavatransforms.org