Independence Days

(Sing to the tune of “It’s a Three-day Vacation”*) Oh, it’s a three-day vacation, three-day vacation, three-day va-ca-a-tion. ’Steada two!

Start the weekend with a scream. The big kids who program American Cinematheque bring us Godzilla Final Wars, the 28th and possibly final installment of you-know-who. The premise is pretty great: while G-Zil sleeps beneath the Antarctic, 10 kaiju (giant monsters) simultaneously wage war on the world! And this one doesn’t have that creepy Tom Cruise! Egyptian Theater, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; Fri., July 1, 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Sat., July 2, 6 & 8:45 p.m.; Sun., July 3, 4 & 6:45 p.m.; $9. (323) 466-FILM.


 I am the king. See Saturday.

The biggest and L.A.-iest Fourth of July celebration must be the bash at

The Hollywood Bowl’s July Fourth Fireworks Spectacular,

where generations have gathered to oooh, aaaah and sometimes eeeeee. This year’s program salutes Disneyland’s 50th birthday with “The Happiest Music on Earth.” And you really need to hear “It’s a Small World” performed live to appreciate it. Special guests include “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” co-writer Richard M. Sherman, Disneyland’s own Dapper Dans, and Fess Parker (Da-vy — Davy Crockett, king of the wild frontier), who still has his coonskin cap. If you can’t score a ticket, just drive up and down the 101 repeatedly between the Cahuenga and Barham exits around 10:30 p.m. In a convertible. Hollywood Bowl, 2301 N. Highland Ave., Hlywd.; Sat.-Mon., July 2-4, 7:30 p.m.; some $37.50 seats available. (323) 850-2000.

Celebrate America

— and that’s an order! In Santa Monica, it means fireworks and happy Dixieland sounds by Main Street, plus R&B by JD Hall. Bring a picnic (booze must be in a sippy cup). Santa Monica College’s Corsair Field, 16th St. & Pico Blvd.; Sat., July 2, 6 p.m. (please don’t show up on the Fourth); free. (310) 434-3000.

Jim Morrison would have been 62 this year. And oh how he used to love Independence Day! After leading a parade with the neighbor kids tooting out Sousa marches on their piccolos, he’d fire up the grill in his silly Uncle Sam apron and recite the Gettysburg address from the roof once the black beauties kicked in. Then he’d jump into the pool naked and scare everyone silly. Wild Child plays the Whisky today. 8901 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Sun., July 3, 8 p.m.; $20. (213) 480-3232.


 There’s a darkness on
the edge of Studio City.
See Monday.

How about celebrating the Fourth of July on the 4th of July? The way our forefathers intended, by God. The Studio City Chamber of Commerce takes over the CBS Studio Center with the

Fourth of July Fireworks Festival 2005.

Along with a magic show, ballroom dancing, the Cody Bryant Show and kiddie zone, the entertainment highlight will no doubt be Springsteen tribute band Bruce in the USA. 4024 Radford Ave., Studio City; Mon., July 4, 5-9 p.m.; $15, $8 children, $75 VIP includes barbecue and ogling soap opera stars. (818) 655-5916.


goes all patriotic with excerpts from presidential speeches and rockets’ red glare galore. Rose Bowl, 1001 Rose Bowl Dr., Pasadena; 7 p.m.; $10. 626) 577-3100.

Perhaps your loudest Fourth of July option is


at the Fairplex, where the Souza family of Pyro Spectaculars, who list a World Cup, two Olympics and a few Super Bowls as their former employers, pull out all the stops. More craziness ensues on land with monster truckers and big-air motocrossers exercising their God-given right to give their mothers a heart attack. Fairplex Park Grandstand, 1101 W. McKinley Ave., Pomona; 8 p.m.; $19.50-$12, children 2 and younger free. (909) 623-3111 or (213) 480-3232.

God bless Burbank, land that we love to get lost in. Head to the

Starlight Bowl,

where they get patriotic in classy style with the Tex Beneke Orchestra performing the music of Glenn Miller, plus the Chordettes and the Coasters. Fireworks follow “at 9 p.m. sharp.” Bring a picnic or buy one on site. 1249 Lockheed View Dr., Burbank; 6:30 p.m.; $20-$10, children 2 & under free. (818) 525-3721.


Surrender the rest of your week to the 50th anniversary of Bill Haley & the Comets’ “Rock Around the Clock” at the

Rock Around the Clock-athon

beginning today at 6 p.m. and lasting till 2 a.m. Thursday. Who would organize such an ambitious feat? Meet music historian/producer/genuine Brit Mr. Martin Lewis, the man behind the Mods & Rockers Film Fest and Beatles 40th anniversary celebrations, among other oddly cool things. Here’s the rundown: The Comets (minus Mr. Haley, who passed away in 1981) will be (but not perform) at the

Knitting Factory,

where a DJ will spin ’50s rock (7021 Hollywood Blvd.; Tues., July 5, 6-8 p.m.; free). Later, the American Cinematheque screens

Rock Around the Clock


Don’t Knock the Rock,

and hosts a Q&A with the Comets (Franny Beecher, Johnny Grande, Joey Ambrose, Marshall Lytle and Dick Richards) and Mrs. Bill “Cuppy” Haley (Egyptian


6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hlywd.; 8 p.m.; $9). At 11 p.m., if the Comets are still standing, everybody heads next door to the

Pig & Whistle

for a toast until. . .

. . . 8 a.m., or “when the clock strikes 8,” at Duke’s Coffee Shop (8909 Sunset Blvd.) for breakfast with the Comets (oatmeal, we’re guessing). Listen to 50 different versions of the song, by the Sex Pistols, Mae West and even an all-polka accordion recording. Cruise over to the RockWalk (7425 Sunset Blvd.) for the Comets’ official induction into the cement museum, where they will put their handprints alongside those of the Doobie Brothers and Sonic Youth. Then it’s on to the Museum of Television & Radio (465 N. Beverly Dr., Beverly Hills) for “Rock is Fifty,” an exhibit of oldies memorabilia and “Gibson Rocks!” a video program of bitchin’ guitars and more, all at 4 p.m. and free.

The big finale comes at 9 p.m. at the Viper Room (8852 Sunset Blvd.; $12) for “The Comets Jubilee Ball,” with a full-length show by the legendary — and surely, exhausted — band of sept- and octogenarians. It’s all at

By today, if I hear that blasted “Rock Around the Clock” one more time, someone’s gonna get clocked around the block. The best thing to do when a song takes over your brain is to pour another one into it. The recently published Meeting Across the River: Stories Inspired by the Haunting Bruce Springsteen Song pretty much tells you what you need to know. It includes pieces by Barbara Seranella, David Corbett and Gregg Hurwitz. Editor Jessica Kaye and contributors will sign copies at Book Soup. Stuff something in your pocket; it’ll look like you’re carrying a friend. 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Thurs., July 7, 7 p.m. (310) 659-3110.

* Song I wrote in the 6th grade.


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