An Ode to The Satellite/Spaceland: A Tribute to LA’s Cultural Landmarks

An Ode to The Satellite/Spaceland: A Tribute to LA’s Cultural Landmarks

The now-closed nightclub, The Satellite, previously known as Spaceland, holds a special place in the hearts of many on the East side of Los Angeles. It was a cultural landmark that saw the likes of Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters, and other prominent alternative and pop acts grace its stage before succumbing to the impacts of the pandemic. The closure of The Satellite in 2020 marked the end of an era for not just Silver Lake, but the greater LA music scene as a whole.

Ben Golomb, a member of the band Modern Time Machines, took it upon himself to pay tribute to The Satellite and the surrounding areas of Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Hollywood through a new video. Inspired by the nostalgia of his hometown and his band’s thematic focus on time travel, Golomb meticulously curated photos and footage to create a visual homage to a bygone era. His passion for preserving the history of these locations shines through in the attention to detail and the laborious effort put into matching time progression shots.

The idea for the video took root in late 2019, spurred by the closure of iconic establishments like Amoeba Music and the Lytton Savings building. Golomb found himself racing against time to capture these locations before they disappeared forever. Drawing from unused footage filmed years earlier with a DeLorean in front of The Satellite, Golomb blended past and present seamlessly, creating a narrative that spanned decades. This video project, unbeknownst to him, had been brewing for over a decade, slowly coming to fruition in the most serendipitous of ways.

Through his journey of capturing the essence of The Satellite, Golomb inadvertently became a local historian, delving into the venue’s storied past. From its origins as The Happy Hollow in the 1950s to its transformation into The Red Chimney, The Satellite held a special place in the hearts of many in the music scene. The loss of this beloved venue left a void in the community, with its boarded-up facade serving as a poignant reminder of what once was. Modern Time Machines’ dreamy space rock tune, “Ghost Signs (Sleight of Hand),” serves as the soundtrack to this visual narrative, encapsulating the bittersweet essence of tearing down memories from the past.

The creation of the video was a collaborative effort, with Golomb’s bandmates in Modern Time Machines, Mike Morgan and Olya Volkova, lending their musical talents to the project. Friends and fellow musicians, including Alex Jack, Nadia Franks, and Diana Christine Hereld, also contributed to the recording. Golomb, along with co-producer Josiah Mazzaschi, brought together a talented group of individuals to bring this homage to life on screen. Actors such as Charles Phoenix and Sarah Negahdari of Happy Hollows added an extra layer of authenticity to the visual narrative, embodying the spirit of the Los Angeles music scene.

The video created by Ben Golomb and Modern Time Machines stands as a testament to the rich history of The Satellite/Spaceland and the surrounding neighborhoods of Silver Lake, Echo Park, and Hollywood. It serves as a poignant reminder of the impermanence of cultural landmarks and the importance of preserving memories from the past. As we continue to navigate an ever-evolving cityscape, projects like this one provide a glimpse into a world that once was, allowing us to reflect on the impact of time and change on our collective history.

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