Your book, “All That Shines Under The Hollywood Sign” what’s the significance of your title?

I’m a native Angeleno, the lore and the lure of Los Angeles and Hollywood is ultimately what’s shaped who I am.  I’ve always been infatuated with Hollywood and it’s rich history. This book is just my way of saying thank you.

 

Tell us about the illustrations? They’re stunning.  

Thank you! I illustrations of iconic Hollywood landmarks that I grew up with. Scott Aicher was perfect. He’s an incredible artist! I can’t imagine my book without his illustrations.

 

You’ve lived in a lot of places in Hollywood…which one was your favorite? 

Wow that’s a tough one… between 1979 to 1990 I lived in 12 different places in Hollywood, well 13 if you count rehab, (which was the last stop on MY Hollywood tour). My favorite place was probably Disgraceland, it was a punk rock crash pad, just off Hollywood Boulevard. Everyone who lived there was in a band and it was wild. We were either playing shows, rehearsing or having a party. People were always at home and for a latch key kid like myself that’s heaven.  Everything we needed was in walking distance. And we knew everyone by name, the police, the cab drivers, the doormen at the clubs, and the people that worked in the stores on Hollywood Blvd. It was like living in a punk rock version of Mayberry.

 

Do you miss living in Hollywood?

Absolutely, but the Hollywood I lived in doesn’t exist anymore.

 

Are you working on anything else?

Yes, I’m working on my next book…I have a few working titles, at the moment it’s called, “The Pink Mansion”. Based on a short story I wrote for my book The Daughters of Bastards. “The Pink Mansion” is another Hollywood address of mine that truly begs to be a book. The house itself had a very noir Los Angeles and Hollywood history and feel to it.  I’ll leave it at that, for now…

 

How are you doing with the quarantine?

I’m doing ok. You know, the same as most. I had to cancel my book tour. I was supposed to go to New York last April just when the coronavirus was hitting the states, and London, Paris and Italy in the Fall. Maybe next year. Fingers crossed.

It’s all so horrible and tragic, we are living through some unchartered historic times and at the four-month mark of being on lockdown while still making the most of my time, I’m feeling a bit lost. And then there’s the fact that I was born out of a plague.  My grandfather’s first wife sadly died from the Spanish Influenza. He then married my grandma and they had my dad who later met my mom and they had me…so, I wouldn’t even be here if not for a pandemic.  It’s very conflicting. But more importantly, 100 years ago they got through it, and so will we.

 

Well this has been great. Is there anything else you’d like to add before we sign off?

Yes, thank you…

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IRIS BERRY is a native Angeleno and one of the true and original progenitors of the L.A. punk Scene. She is the author and editor of several books and has a vast fan base for her unique voice and formidable writing style. She's an L.A. Pop culture historian, actress, and musician. She's appeared in numerous films, TV commercials, documentaries, and iconic rock videos. In the 1980s & 90s she sang, performed and wrote songs with the Lame Flames, the Ringling Sisters, the Dickies, the Flesh Eaters and Pink Sabbath. She served four years on the Board of Directors for Beyond Baroque Literary/Arts Center. In 2009 she received her 2nd Certificate of Recognition Award from the City of Los Angeles for her contribution as a Los Angeles writer, and for her extensive charity work. On Friday the 13th of January in 2012 she co-launched with A. Razor their not-for-profit imprint PUNK HOSTAGE PRESS where she continues to champion and advocate for original voices.

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