And if It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix it –

Monday, Oct. 25, Item J-2 on the City Council/Redevelopment Agency Agenda will be about making major changes in the Summer Concert Series. I happen to like the Summer Concert Series just the way it is. I’m devoted. I can count on one hand the number of shows I have missed in all the years I have attended. I can barely imagine anything in Culver City less in need of change. Gary Mandell does an outstanding job. The crowd is never rude or unruly, and I could write a book (hey- that could be fun) about all the helpful people, spontaneous friendships, and wonderful evenings I have had at these shows. Where else in life do you have the opportunity to share food, drink wine, and dance with 300 of your best friends?

Different acts draw different crowds, of course. Some nights, the energy is there and some nights it isn’t. But changing the time or the rules or the venue will just kill it off. If that’s the intention (maybe we can’t afford the summer concerts- maybe the time has come to cut them out of the budget – maybe anyone saying this out loud will be pelted with metaphorical rotten tomatoes) then so be it. But there is so much more here than just numbers.

I am both annoyed and incredulous we have to waste time every single year on debating how to change the concert series. Music enriches our lives in so many ways. Having a venue that is so family-friendly and so charming makes the concert a perfect Culver City event. It does not need to change at all.

If you want to make a statement to the City Council- about music, about water, about anything – come to the Mike Balkman Council Chambers tonight at 7, fill out a speaker card ( left entrance, table with agendas as you enter) and wait for your name to be called.
You can tell them you came to the Crossroads.

The Actors' Gang


  1. Amen sista! No other music series can touch the charm and community feeling the existing Culver City Music Series has. Gary Mandell has done an excellent job. I will be at the meeting.

  2. My name is Elmer Armstrong, I’m the leader of The Platters. Although we’d love to play Culver City, that wouldn’t stop me from attending the concerts, if we don’t. I love the atmosphere and the class of people the acts attract. These Concerts are great for the city and puts a shine on it’s cultural arts dept.
    Kudos to Culver City and Gary Mandell
    Elmer Armstrong, The Platters-Live!

  3. Trying to reach Elmer Armstrong. From Topanga Park Retirment Livng. 818-716-9900.
    Thank you

  4. I quit going to the concerts about five or six years ago when the new rules instituted by someone made the place seem like a police state. Before, my friend and I attended every Thursday nite, regardless of the style of music and we were introduced to many new bands through the bookings of Gary Mandell. But something changed that one year (I wish I could remember which year it was) and Gary no longer seemed in charge. When we were told we were no longer allowed to put our sand chairs on the palm tree planter right behind the folding chair seating area (where we had been sitting for years without incident) we asked Gary what had changed and he told us someone else had taken over and was making the new rules. We were hurting nobody and because we were sitting in front of the palm tree, we weren’t blocking anyone’s views that the palm tree wouldn’t have blocked anyway. We would get there early, claim our seats and everyone else would fill in around us. Not one person complained to us that we were blocking their view. People even knew us as the “Palm Tree Guys” and we made many friends. We had been nothing but good ambassadors for the concert series and all of a sudden we were pariahs. We were sorely disappointed by the way things were going and we both quit attending regularly.

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