Off-Ramp Off-Ramp is a weekly look at Southern California life through the eyes and ears of radio veteran John Rabe, covering news, arts and culture, and more.
Off-Ramp

Off-Ramp

From Southern California Public Radio

Off-Ramp is a weekly look at Southern California life through the eyes and ears of radio veteran John Rabe, covering news, arts and culture, and more.More from Off-Ramp »

Most Recent Episodes

Don't make me stop this car! (The Off-Ramp Finale)

It all happens in John's car: Tom Petty's keyboardist, Benmont Tench and his Casio get in the back seat to play a very Off-Rampy song ... Queena Kim conducts a creativity masterclass ... Food writer Russ Parsons brings pie ... Charles Phoenix & Chris Nichols on the joys of getting lost in SoCal ... And Mayor Garcetti challenges John to a backgammon game. (PHOTO: On old off-ramp from the Arroyo Seco Parkway. Credit: John Rabe)

The Penultimate Off-Ramp ... and a naked neutered mummy and the Italians who love him

On the second to last episode: an expert on relics, mummies, crypts, and the way we live with death ... KPCC's Matt Bloom looks at the fungal disease killing LA's ficus trees ... The amazing career of Ruth Batchelor: founder of the LA Film Critics Association and songwriter for Elvis ... Lou Adler on the 50th anniversary the Monterey Pop Music Festival ... And Off-Ramp's last producer remembers the first time ever he heard our show. (Image: John Rabe)

The Penultimate Off-Ramp ... and a naked neutered mummy and the Italians who love him

Neil deGrasse Tyson and Grassroots Trans Pride

We sample astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson's talk last weekend at the Aero Theatre, including his top StarTalk guests ... For Trans Pride: punk singer Drew Arriola Sands, whose career took off after she transitioned ... The California African American Museum's "The Evanesced," inspired by a notorious South LA serial killer, celebrates black women's lives. ... Hank Rosenfeld's card to his late father. We'll hear a poignant Father's Day card from contributor Hank Rosenfeld. Hank plays tape of him and his late father – a World War Two vet and shoe store magnate - driving around their hometown, talking about life.

What color are these Muppets? A little blue.

Brian Henson pays tribute to his dad Jim's bawdier side in "Puppet Up! Uncensored" ... the new book "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in the Twilight Zone" ... A restaurant where you're served by our robot overlords ... We talk with the dancing homeless Crenshaw Cowboy by his spaceship ... And rescuing The Formosa Cafe, a piece of Hollywood history. (Photo: Cypress Park, June 2017. John Rabe)

The quaint husband wife business of 1-800-AUTOPSY

When there's something strange in your neighborhood, Vidal and Vicki Herrera might be the closest thing to Ghostbusters you've got... In Redlands there's a circus even PETA would approve of... an exhibit at the Huntington Library looks at Octavia Butler through her own notes and letters she left behind... Taylor Orci guest hosts and she's filled with joy about the whole thing. (Photo: Vidal Herrera)

An oasis in the Southern California desert: The Institute of Mentalphysics

A seeker and a famous son build a city in the High Desert: Ding Le Mei and Lloyd Wright's Institute of Mentalphysics ... John rides in the last B-24 ... Jean-Michel Jarre is in town this weekend: go see him. WARNING: This episode has NO Twin Peaks spoilers. (Photo: David Lynch, 2016, by John Rabe)

An oasis in the Southern California desert: The Institute of Mentalphysics

Remembering the 'Buddy Rich' of punk, and Tiny Tim's Tin Pan Alley soundtrack

A new album from the late oddball singer Tiny Tim, who was, among many other things, an astounding musicologist, with a focus on obscure Tin Pan Alley songs. ... A new investigation by NBC4 raises serious questions about possible collusion between the owners of a kids camp and a state agency that oversees toxic sites. ... RIP Keith Mitchell, famous drummer for Mazzy Star, but also the "Buddy Rich of punk rock." (That's him far left in Lynda Burdik photo of The Romans)

Remembering the 'Buddy Rich' of punk, and Tiny Tim's Tin Pan Alley soundtrack

Big Jay McNeely still has sax appeal at 90, and Maestro Kahane says, 'I'm not retiring!'

In the 1950s, saxophonist Big Jay McNeely (left) - now 90 - got teens so excited city officials banned him from LA for a while. ... We go in-depth with Jeffrey Kahane, about to play his final concerts as musical director of the LA Chamber Orchestra. ... 'Anatomy of Innocence,' new collection of memoirs by people who have been exonerated after being jailed for major crimes. ... In "They Shoot Mexicans, Don't They?," cultures and personalities clash as a silent film director tries to make a movie at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse.

Big Jay McNeely still has sax appeal at 90, and Maestro Kahane says, 'I'm not retiring!'

A deep dive on LA history with a member of local "royalty," a real Californio

An Angeleno family going back 3 generations here is considered ancient; but Theresa Chavez is a real Californio, dating back to 1771 when her family owned an original rancho ... How many Romanian restaurants can you name? Add Parsnip in Highland Park to the short list ... We say TOMATO, they say TOMATL: Adolfo Guzman Lopez helps us explore Nahuatl. (Photo: LA Public Library Shades of LA Collection)

A deep dive on LA history with a member of local "royalty," a real Californio

Some healing, some scars: the LA Riots, 25 years later

We talk with residents, eyewitnesses, about those dark days ... Journalist Joe Domanick tells us how decades of police brutality - including hundreds of police murders of blacks and Latinos - led to the LA Riots, and he assesses how far the LAPD has come ... How former Mayor James Hahn could have been Reginald Denny ... Why one yougn Latina who lived through the LA Riots is still happy to call South LA "home" ... and Peter Sagal tells Off-Ramp about his bizarre chance meeting with Chief Gates. And we hear in-depth from the man who was reluctantly at the center of the riots, the late Rodney King.

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