"Tales of the American" filmmakers Pamela Wilson and Stephen Seemayer interviewed more than 100 artists, musicians, writers and others who have lived, worked and partied in and around the American Hotel over the past four decades. As new development and a growing population drasticallhy change the downtown landscape, Wilson and Seemayer hope to preserve memories of the vibrant art community that flourished there in the 1970s, '80s, '90s and early 2000s. These are the people who created the Arts District. Their recollections will be released (in alphabetical order) below and on a new YouTube channel, Tales of the American Interviews.
Graphic artist William Acedo moved to downtown Los Angeles in 1986, when what is now known as the Arts District was a wide open urban landscape of cheap space and creative freedom. He is a member of the Artists Roundtable at Self-Help Graphics, a non-profit serving the Latino community of L.A. Acedo’s prints, while featuring contemporary imagery, follow a long tradition of Latin American narrative woodcuts. (Click on the photo to watch the interview.)
Dean Abramovitch, a.k.a. "Dean Dean the Taping Machine," was a fixture at Al's Bar in the decade before the downtown L.A. venue closed its doors. Tape recorder in hand, he aurally documented the astounding variety of bands that got their start at the infamous punk club. This Feb. 4, 2015, interview was conducted at the American Hotel — the building in which Al's Bar operated from 1980 to 2001. (Click on the photo to watch the interview.)