When my buddy Jeff Copeland and I decided to check out Delicious Pizza one weekend evening, we were met with a remarkable street scene that brought on wild flashbacks of the downtown mid 80's LA art scene. The street was packed with young artists and scenesters enjoying pizza, going in and out of the gallery openings, hanging and checking each other out. A group was gathered in front of a big picture window which was surrounded by a mural painted up like a boombox. They held up camera phones to videotape the live DJ'ing going on behind the window. There were two gallery openings, one with a remarkable floor to ceiling harp that was being played to the beat coming from speakers while two young women were busting some astonishing moves to the sounds. When we went to our car we noticed someone disappear into a non descript door. Inside we found a very laid back bar with thrift store furniture, dark lighting, the smell of beer and a cheerful bartender. As we drove away we looked at each other and said "WOW!".
Here is our interview with owner of Delicious Vinyl and co-owner of Delicious Pizza, Mike Ross, who helms the art and music projects at Delicious Pizza:
TNN: Mike how did the gallery and your radio station come about?
Mike Ross: When we got this building, we had some extra room, so we wanted to bring a lot of Delicious Vinyl music down to West Adams. We started a live radio station, Delicious Vinyl Radio and created an area for it. We broadcast on our own Internet radio station.
TNN: What's the website address for it?
MR: DeliciousVinylRadio.com. It's constantly playing content from the Delicious Vinyl archives, from the history of Delicious Vinyl, from new stuff that's on Delicious Vinyl and from hip hop’s golden era. It broadcasts live whenever we have DJs playing in the DJ booth which is on most weekends.
TNN: How can people find out when you guys are playing live down here?
MR: Go to our website, DeliciousVinylRadio.com or DeliciousPizza.com. We have an event page. It always says what we're doing. Or on Instagram. Delicious Pizza HQ or Delicious Vinyl on Instagram. We have a running calendar of our events which are going on all the time. We have DJs during the week sometimes too, but usually always on the weekends. Just depends. We do reggae Sundays with DJs from Jamaica, along with our local reggae DJs.
TNN: What is the room we are in?
MR: This room is a gallery, dining room. We change up the art by using friends of ours who are artists, and local artists in the area. We like to represent. Behind you is a huge David Choe piece. He’s a graffiti artist and well known for painting the Facebook offices before the company went public. Instead of taking payment for the job that was to be 60k, he took stock options instead. He cashed in that stock for 200 million right before the company went public. He painted this piece in 2010 for an art/clothing space called Freak City. That space was run by my brother Rick Ross and some friends. He's probably the richest artist around.
We move into an adjoining room filled with Delicious Vinyl Memorabilia and dj turntables facing a large shuttered picture window. On weekends the shutters come off and the dj’s start spinning while an audience gathers on the sidewalk outside grooving, hanging, videtaping, eating pizza.
MR: This is the DJ room. This pretty much is memorabilia, old Delicious Vinyl artists, album covers, different golden era artists. When we play records, we just do our thing in here. We also open it up to the streets, so people walking down the street can see the DJs performing, DJ-ing. It's a cool little music space. That's the concept, you know. We want to revitalize this area. By bringing music and art and good food, we feel like we're on the ground here.
Established in August of 2008 by writer, artist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.