I had the pleasure of seeing Colin Hay perform at Largo at the Coronet last week. Over the past several years, I went to many of his shows at the original Largo, but this was the first, and I believe his, at the new digs. As usual, the former lead singer of Men at Work regaled us with many anecdotes between songs. Hay is quite the storyteller and his tales rival his impressive guitar skills and amazing voice.
We heard about his recent trip to Australia, where he had lived since leaving Scotland as a young teen. He was chatting with a local who said something to the effect of, “You live in L.A. now, right?” Colin confirmed and the guy replied, “Oh, I could never live there. It’s full of [widely used expletive in Oz]. Sure, there are a lot of [same expletive] here, but there are a lot more there.” He laughed off the impression the stranger had of his home of the past 20 years. In spite of not quite achieving the original goal of moving here, which was to “return to superstardom,” Hay said, “I love L.A. Things happen here that don’t happen anywhere else.”
He went on to say, “All of you people love to bag on L.A., but it’s great.”
Some of the audience applauded. Because they like bagging on the city or because it’s great?
Continuing, he said, “You land at the airport and drive north and see Batman walking around. He’s got his hood and his cape, not doing anything superheroic, just walking around down to the Coffee Bean to get a latte. You don’t think ‘that’s weird,’ you just say, ‘Oh, there’s Batman. He lives here too.”
It got me thinking about why I love L.A. and what I say to people if they ask. I have a pretty standard answer about loving the diversity–of people, culture, food, and geography. Sometimes I also talk about the presence and accessibility of nature smack dab in the middle of urban life. There are many more things that excite me about this city and perhaps my mood or what I’ve done the night before dictates the response.
So, what do you love about Los Angeles? Do you have a standard script you recite when asked? Do tell!
*Haters need not apply. We’ve heard it all before.