Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Richard Nixon Is A Dead Man

If you passed him at Doheny
And you started to swerve
But pulled it out
You'd be right there
At Dead Man's curve

I don't know why, but there remains controversy over where Dead Man's Curve from the 1964 Jan and Dean hit Dead Man's Curve is. It's mentioned in two different Wikipedia articles and placed variously in Westwood, Pacific Palisades and even Whittier, but if you listen to the song it can be only one place, if you ask me. West Hollywood.

They started racing at Sunset and Vine, which is east of the red star. The red star on the map is where the above screen shot is taken, Sunset Boulevard at Doheny Road. You can see the street signs, Sunset on the left, Doheny on the right. That's where he passed the Jaguar. He immediately started to swerve and then he pulled it out and there he was at Dead Man's Curve. Sunset curves where those two tall buildings are. Another part of Doheny Road goes straight, but if you want to stay on Sunset Boulevard you have to veer to the left.

That's it below. It would have looked different in 1964. More trees. Possibly livestock. California used to have a lot of native Indians.

Some say it's at Sunset and Evans, but that's way down Sunset, ten miles. The song doesn't allow for that. Some say it's by UCLA. And even Whittier. That's way on the south side of LA. Richard Nixon was from Whittier, so that can't be it.

The song was recorded by Jan and Dean several times but the lyrics were essentially the same when it came to where they were when the crash happened. Here's the 1964 version that became the big hit. You be the judge. If you were an eyewitness please leave a comment.

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