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The Elliott Smith, Beck, Jackson Browne, Silversun Pickups Mural Is Gone

The Elliott Smith/Beck
The Elliott Smith, Beck mural by Jonas Never

This mural is gone, erased, whipped out… The piece of music history painted by LA artist Jonas Never in 2016 and featuring Elliott Smith, Beck, Jackson Brown, and the Silversun Pickups was located in Silverlake, at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Parkman, on the side of Floyd’s, a barbershop. Unfortunately, the barbershop closed down a little while ago, and the tanning salon “Sugared and Bronzed” took the location and whitewashed the entire mural, making a lot of locals very very angry.

Many people regard this move as an insult to art, to artists, and to the history of the neighborhood. Is it too difficult to understand that murals are pieces of art? Is it too difficult to understand that people who have lived in the vicinity for decades are attached to them? A new chain business arrives and takes the liberty to erase everything with a few rolls of plain white paint without taking the temperature of the place. How clueless! How insensitive! How inconsiderate! And how idiotic too because it’s certainly not a good move to acquire a new clientele at a new location. Elliott Smith lived and died in this neighborhood, Beck started his amazing career playing in coffee shops not far away from this wall, Jackson Browne is a LA living legend and the Silversun Pickups were named after a liquor store across the street: these artists are the pride of our city and this proves that this new business has no sense of community and history whatsoever. They will pay for that.

I sent a message to artist Jonas Never, sharing my disappointment and he was kind enough to answer: “Thank you. Such a bummer, especially since it happened out of nowhere so I couldn’t plan a sequel. No plans yet but I’d love to find a wall for just Elliott.” He also posted an update on his page, reaffirming his surprise: ”This mural unceremoniously disappeared a couple of days ago” … and his desire to paint a new one for Elliott: ”It was a tribute to Elliott Smith. Hopefully, someone has a wall around there that’ll work as a newer (and permanent tribute to him).”

Never has painted many spectacular murals around the city and he is as talented as he is kind and humble. Disrespectfully, the new owners didn’t contact him or even took the time to realize who was behind the mural. Some locals have suggested that this brand-new white wall is a very tempting invitation for taggers. This will happen without any doubt, “Sugared and Bronzed” deserves it.

While watching the wonderful documentary by Agnes Varda, “Mur Murs,” I am wondering who could possibly need a tanning salon in LA.

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