AN “AMERICANA ENTHUSIAST” COMES BACK TO WHERE IT ALL STARTEDBy LBReport.com
Author, humorist and self-described “food crafter” Charles Phoenix is bringing two of his trademark events to Long Beach and Downey. This Saturday (Oct. 6), Phoenix will present his Big Retro Slide Show—a collection of classic mid-century Americana style, imagery and kitsch—at the Art Theatre. Two weeks later, Phoenix will celebrate the life and landmarks of Downey’s famous local singing duo, Karen and Richard Carpenter, in his Yesterday Once More guided tour.
In an interview with LBReport.com, Phoenix was asked about his various labels—Ambassador of Americana, King of Retro—and with which one he most identifies. Phoenix responded by coming up with another label.
“I see myself more as an Americana Enthusiast,” he said. “[I’m] really interested in getting the word out, wherever I can, that we live in a wonderland and there is something interesting around every corner, no matter where you go.”
Phoenix grew up in Los Angeles suburbia—he’s a native of Ontario—and that experience gives him a uniquely Southern California view of life, much of which Long Beach also shares.
“We live in a theme park world,” Phoenix said. “I grew up in a theme park environment, I grew up in Southern California, and you know, wherever you go, everyone is trying to be a little bit theme park.”
Phoenix added that his Big Retro Slide Show honors that over-the-top theme park mentality by totally celebrating the “classic and kitschy American life and style with humor and information and it’s a lot of fun. And there is going to be a lot of Long Beach in it too that incredible vintage Long Beach from the 40′s and the 50′s its unbelievable.”