During the construction of BALLARD motor court (approximately Sept ’11 through Mar ’12), I walked. Everywhere. All the time. 2-3 hours some days. If you were to draw a circle with a diameter of 10 miles with my house in Mar Vista at the center, then I walked most of the streets in that circle at one time or another.
I used the LAPL a lot (Overland, Playa Vista, Venice, and Mar Vista branches, mainly), so oftentimes I’d walk with books in my arms to return to the library, or with books in my arms coming home. Also got deeply into craft beer, and so would plan walks around stops at Wally’s on Westwood Blvd or Beverage Warehouse in Playa del Rey.
Beginning in January of this year, as I could see the book taking shape in my head, I started taking photos with my iPhone while I was out walking. And so the search for the right “locations” began to influence my walking patterns, too. Ballona Creek, the Dockweiler beach area, Culver City underpasses, the VA hospital on Wilshire, a bar on Washington Place – all of these places began to feel like they belonged to and influenced BALLARD.
(I know it probably sounds retarded, but I made a conscious decision to NOT drive to a possible photo location. I began to think that if I did that I would dilute the “purity” of the vision that was forming in my head and on-screen. It would be too easy to just go anywhere; I needed to find these photos on foot, in my “world” at the time, in order for them to work in the book.)
Music I listened to, over an over, while walking during the construction of BALLARD motor court:
Bob Dylan – everything since TIME OUT OF MIND, esp “LOVE AND THEFT,” which became the unofficial soundtrack of the book.
David Bowie – HEATHEN, DIAMOND DOGS, STATION TO STATION
Rolling Stones – OAKLAND SIXTY-NINE, EXILE ON MAIN STREET
Fuck Buttons – TAROT SPORT
Led Zeppelin – PHYSICAL GRAFFITTI
Iggy Pop – THE IDIOT and “Fall in Love With Me” from LUST FOR LIFE
Robert Plant – BAND OF JOY