Video: Sunset Strip’s Lost Rock and Roll Billboards Captured in New Book

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Robert Landau was 16 when he got his first camera in 1969. Living with his folks in the hills above the Sunset Strip, he began taking photos of the early rock and roll billboards that appeared on the legendary boulevard.

Beginning in 1967 with The Doors’ billboard, located just above the Chateau Marmont, hand-painted signage would feature every big name in music for over a decade: Led Zepplin, Rod Stewart, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, Gregg Allman, Pink Floyd, Alice Cooper, The Animals, The Bee Gees, Frank Zappa, Elton John, and John Lennon. And Landau captured them all and now everyone can see and perhaps revisit them in Landau’s book, The Rock ‘N Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.

Billboards back then were relatively cheap (around $1,500 to paint, maintain and remove) and the record companies did them mostly to placate their temperamental artists. Today, Landau says billboard space can cost over $30,000. Back then billboards weren’t really expected to sell records. But the record companies realized it was a way to communicate with young music fans. To that end, they often teased and recreated album covers that the kids were putting up on their bedroom walls.

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