LaBamba House


Bob Keane WAS Del-Fi Records and lived in this house in the 50’s built by Raphael Soriano, discovered Richie Valens and recorded “Come On Let’s Go,” “Donna,” and “LaBamba” in his basement studio lower left of this picture, where I made a guest room and had my drums set up. I took over this house that was lived in by a top Disney animator who died in it (!), and lived in this lovely house with a 180-degree view from downtown LA to the ocean at Santa Monica for 12 years and did not know the history of it until I moved out in 1989, when it was, unbelievably, torn down. I should have bought it and it should have been listed. 1823 N. Dillon street, Silverlake (90026). One advantage of the view is that I could see all the freeways I had access to and which ones were I never got stuck. My studio was in the wooden bit above and my bedroom was where the little horizontal windows are. The opposite side of the house had two huge floor-to-ceiling plate glass windows in my studio that birds kept crashing into, and a string of Crittal windows towards the rear of the house. Built in 1932. Photo taken in 1980.

Tom Cranham (Gina’s dad) lived in Torrance, 17 miles away as the crow flies, and one day we both got on the phone and got out a huge mirror each and began to try to flash the reflection of the sun at each other. I sat on the little porch at the top of the steps with my mirror and aimed the reflection of the sun at what I thought was his direction...all of a sudden Tom screamed, “WOW!!!” He said it looked a nuclear explosion...I then caught his mirror and the flash of light was incredible from so far away...almost blinding. Boys will be boys.