(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)

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.

Americafest 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 Kaboom! 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
and 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
Theater, 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)

* Song I wrote in the 6th grade.

LA Weekly