Adam Papagan has been called L.A.’s coolest tour guide. He hosts Real Housewives tours and Curb Your Enthusiasm crawls around West L.A. I have been really impressed by Adam’s fresh creativity when it comes to an industry that, when I was growing up, seemed pretty moribund and predictable. His Instagram always make me laugh.
I’ve been on Adam’s most popular tour—the O.J. Tour—where you prowl around Brentwood, just like Juice, in a white Bronco looking for Nicole and Ron. Now this might seem outré (it is!), maybe on the surface a bit morbid or even scandalous, but besides being educational and an incredible lesson in the history of a neighborhood I knew nothing about, Adam’s O.J. Tour was hilarious and, paradoxically, life-affirming. Adam has a sly, dry sense of humor that lets you fill in the punchline. And when you laugh he drops some knowledge on you that blows your mind—and makes you laugh at yourself for laughing. It’s weird—and I like it.
I’ve also known Adam as many of you have as a musician with various bands as well as David Liebe Hart, a Public Access TV host and video curator/historian, installation artist, and a stand-up comic. Thank goodness someone as knowledgable and easy-going as Adam is here to help make sense of our wacky culture, right?
Now, Adam is taking us on a subcultural tour of one of his biggest obsessions: rock ‘n roll.
Correction, make that—rock AND roll.
You see, Papagan’s new must-watch / must-subscribe show, Rock and Roll Party! “…is about rocking and rolling equally,” says Adam. “Music meets lifestyle.”
Adam Papagan was gracious enough to take time to chat with me about his new show, which is easy, joyous and very entertaining (and endearingly awkward) just like Adam is…
How did you think of Rock and Roll Party!?
Just sitting at the bar talking with my friends about music. We were actually ready to go with this show before quarantine but all the public access studios closed. There was an old public access show in L.A. called Art Fein’s Poker Party where he’d have on different music business people so it was going to be kind of like that. But then during quarantine I saw how Andy Cohen and Jimmy Kimmel were doing their shows from home and I was like, “Oh, I have all that stuff sitting on my desk right now.”
We can’t go to shows, have band practice, shop for records, or meet new people, but at least we can still talk about music.
How would you describe the format?
It’s kind of like a real party where these different personalities are hanging out and intermingling. We get to know each other, play games, then just talk about music.
Where do you find your guests?
Basically everyone I know is involved with or is a big fan of music in some way so I reach out and then they in turn reach out to more people. On the Beach Boys episode, for example, our mutual friend Chaki invited Alana Amram, and then she invited Andy Animal. You know everyone is going to be cool because they’re music people.
What’s been your favorite on-camera moment so far?
Just these little weird things that will happen. We had an episode where one of the guys was heavy into slot cars, and he kept bringing the conversation back around to musicians who were slot car racers. Andy Animal was a last minute guest and knowing nothing about the show comes on in his blue Brian Wilson bathrobe. Show and Tell is always fun too.
What can we expect from future episodes? Can you give us a preview of guests or topics?
We’re still figuring out all the video and audio stuff so production values will get better. I want to do more artist profile episodes but also more abstract stuff like a show dedicated to songs about how it’s the weekend (S.A.T.U.R.D.A.Y. Night). The ultimate guest on this show would be Paul McCartney.
Ultimately, what is your goal with the program?
Short term just to have some fun, talk about music, and meet some cool people I would not have otherwise met. Mid term maybe some free records and guest-list spots. Long term I’d like to see the show become a community for music fans with discussions and live events. Ultimate ultimate: induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Hey, I’m from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame city (Cleveland). So I have to ask—what’s your favorite rock and roll?
Luckily I spend all of my time thinking about these questions!
Favorite rock and roll song?
The Rolling Stones.
The first Elvis Costello album.
There’s a video of The Faces playing The Marquee club in 1970. It’s a tiny little club and they’re just onstage partying and having a good time. The version on YouTube—the sound is out of sync. But I own a bootleg DVD of it.