If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

There is something for everyone this weekend.

There are a ton of high school recruits visiting the campus; USC plays UCLA on Saturday night at Pauley Pavilion; five USC players are at the NFL Combine and there is the usual spring array of other sports.

It’s the busiest weekend since then-athletic director Lynn Swann skipped out for an autograph show.

How do you handicap the USC-UCLA basketball game? Is USC going to play great after being embarrassed by Arizona? Or does UCLA have the motivational edge because it doesn’t want to lose its sixth straight to the Trojans?

  • One thing insiders at the McKay Center tell me about new QB Caleb Williams is that he has been polite and not shown an ego while interacting with others.
  • That said, why does the gullible media (and USC of course) make such a big deal out of Williams giving headphones to the women’s basketball team? It’s a great free ad for the headphones and Williams, who is already getting paid handsomely by the company. A small gesture would be nicer if it was done without all the pre-planned ways to publicize it.
  • USC is supposed to open spring practice the week of March 21.
  • The USC baseball program will be honoring former player/coach Mike Gillespie, who passed away in July of 2020, with a pre-game number retirement ceremony on Saturday, April 9.

USC hosts Oregon State at 2 p.m. on April 9, with the pre-game ceremony for Gillespie starting at 1:30 p.m. Gillespie’s number 19 will be retired on the outfield wall at Dedeaux Field and the USC program will remember his legacy throughout the afternoon.

  • Fortunately for new UCLA offensive line coach Tim Drevno, no one remembers this tweet:
https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js
  • And now time for some history:
  • Imagine being a USC/Rams fan and the NFL team took Jon Arnett (1957) and Marlin McKeever (1961) as its first-round draft picks.

Here’s a postcard of the Coliseum, likely a Rams game. The year is unknown.

  • Last week’s discussion of Los Angeles restaurants was popular so let’s continue that talk.
  • Is there anyone who didn’t look forward to the arrival of a Helms Bakery truck and its fresh donuts?
  • When I was a kid, going to Ontra Cafeteria was always a treat. I can still remember the roast beef and endless desserts.
  • Speaking of food, here’s a wonderful 1961 photo of Audrey’s taken by William Claxton at 3 a.m. Audrey’s was located on the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Alvarado St. about 2 miles from USC. Kind of looks like Audrey Hepburn in the photo.
  • Here’s a 1968 ad for Dixie Fried Chicken that features an endorsement from Jim Healy! “If Jim Healy says it, you’ve got to believe it.”
  • Scandia on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood was the site of college football press conferences in the 1950’s and some infamous drinking sessions after the press conferences.
  • The Tail o’ the Cock had locations on La Cienega Blvd. in Beverly Hills and Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.
  • I know Jack Dempsey had a famous restaurant in New York City but this wasn’t far from MacArthur Park.
  • Little Joe’s was the only Italian restaurant in Chinatown.
  • In 1945, if you bought a weekly pass for the Los Angeles Transit Lines it included the Coliseum schedule. If you notice, USC and UCLA played each other twice that season, in the first and last games.
  • In 1932, USC defeated Notre Dame, 13-0, at the Coliseum, en route to the Trojans’ second straight national title and third in five years.
  • Here is some great film of the 1925 USC-Idaho game in Moscow, Idaho.

This was the first season of Coach Howard Jones and the Trojans won, 51-7, before 5,000, as you can see in the film. Moscow is 8 miles away from Pullman, Wash., where Washington State is located.

  • There was a time when the USC band was considered the gold standard. Hard to argue this well-known Ohio State performance doesn’t show times changed.

67 thoughts on “If It’s Friday, It’s Time For A USC Notes Column

  1. The picture of the torch and the scoreboard,
    If you look straight down you will see the line of trees on each side. My brothers and I and some friends would play touch football in between those trees in the 50s it was great. I grew up 2 miles west of the Colosseum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Raul –I remember the days when you could throw the ball around on the coliseum field (!) after the teams went back into the locker room and before the game began. Security never even said a word to you.
      [Last time my brother and I did it was before Notre Dame beat USC 51-0 —-we didn’t do it again for fear we had cursed the field]….

      Like

  2. Tim Drevno was a scapegoat for a couple imbecile head coaches, who had passive football philosophy’s . He was blamed for the fact that USC was dead last in the PAC 12 in rushing yards… Really ? That sounds like a offensive coordinator, and head coach issue. What dumb fuck passes the ball in the red zone every chance they get, you really have to be a inexperienced dumb ass to do that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mostly true…. but Tim deserves some of the glory.
      #VideoOfInebriatedTimClangingCowBellScreaming”Trojans,Baby!”
      #[New,PiecedTogetherStaffIsGonnaDriveChipCrazy]

      Like

    2. I always thought Drevno was a good O-Line coach. He developed players. Didn’t we have 2 1st round draft picks in a row on the O-Line when he was O-Line coach? Many of the guys that will start this coming year on the O-Line were developed by him.

      Like

  3. The old scoreboard with electronic technology was destroyed by an axe wielding lunatics’ action. Back in the day when security at the coliseum was not very important this guy gained access to the control room or wherever the cables were and chopped the wires to bits.
    As for the Ohio band video it is nice, but what celebrities were part of the show? How many times in a season did they do the exact show before it was videoed? I admit the show was well performed, but I wouldn’t sell the USC TMB short. Over the past 50 years it has more movie credits than any other band of its size. The band has gold records and has featured some of most famous musicians in their half time. The TMB has a set pregame and one prearranged halftime show (which Scott hates more than he hates Pete Carroll) Otherwise they provide a new halftime for each home game. The band has ballooned from the roughly 60 music majors (required to take the class) to over 300 members from all majors and volunteers. The USC TMB has more musicians playing for Disney (Disneyland and beyond) than any other college program. The “first” female drum major could be seen playing the tuba and directing the Disneyland band on main street. Don’t ever sell the band short.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The TMB got those Disney musicians because Art directed the Disney band. Whether or not Jay will continue that pipeline remains to be seen. Yes, the TMB does a new show for every home game, but not sure Ohio State doesn’t do the same. I’ll admit I was a little leery about our first female drum major, but I think India did a phenomenal job. She possessed the tough, intimidating look you want to have in that uniform. Art had a traditional band mentality. He and a lot of the TMB were not huge drum corps fans. It was hard for me to admit Ohio State was better, but anyone who’s seen great marching bands won’t dispute it. Want to see some that are even tighter? Go to the DCI show held once a year at the Rose Bowl. You will be blown away!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Tail o’ the Cock! The old Herald Express did a feature article on how bruin guys we’re always showing up there —and getting real disappointed when they found out it was just a chicken dinner restaurant….bruin guys began threatening staff for false advertising… lot of fights broke out …the police didn’t make arrests, saying “poor bruin guys —this is just a show of frustration —not a showing of malicious intent… we’ve tried to explain there is a place that will fill their needs, so to speak, called Plato’s Retreat in Hollywood…”

      Like

  4. Scott Wolf- excellent job!!! Little Joe’s was a special place probably the gathering place before and after USC games. My uncle use to tell me his fraternity brother started the place, and boy was it popular despite the odd location. The sawdust on the floors made it quite unique.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. tommyd,
      That area was full of Italians way back when due to St. Anthony’s next to Cathedral High, almost is on Broadway. That is the main church for Italians. Im guessing because of that, Little Joe’s popped up there. I don’t know if you get a jug of wine and bread after Mass though. LOLOL

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Impressive?– I would say the band’s ability to move into those various formations i.e. T-Rex rendition, was spectacular.

      The last synchronization that blew my socks off was by the Chinese before an Olympics.

      Kind of gives one hope that there will stil be some nice tomorrows for those generations behind ours.

      Like

  5. Thanx for all the great memories Scott. Too many to talk about but I was at a couple of those St Marys games and remember their All American running back Squirmin Herman Wedemeyer. St Marys had some really good teams back then and generally played tough at the Coliseum

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Audrey’s was located on the corner of Olympic Blvd. and Alvarado St. ..”

    One would be in great danger now on this corner. Especially at 3am.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Another terrific Friday morning —Golden Age L. A. sports and L. A. culture— courtesy of Scott.
      btw –where was ‘Angel’s Flight’ located? I can’t recall.

      Like

  7. During World War two the Helms Bakery truck and the Good Humor ice cream truck and the Vegetable Truck would all stop and honk their horn or make their music every day in front of our house. Lets all hope and pray we don’t have a world war three.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s gonna be okay, George. The World War Three news is being brought to you by the same media that hyped the pandemic…. and…before that… Trump’s crimes against nature in a Moscow Hotel….
      They ALMOST used up all their credibility in 2020….by the time the present war is over they will have given up the rest.

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      1. I hope you’re right, MG. It’s a sad day when a Frenchie is leading the negotiations with Russia. Pretty funny when you think about the tough talk Joe did about Putin not wanting him as President, cuz he’s gone toe-to-toe with him. Amazing that anyone was dumb enough to buy that, along with all of his other bs.

        I never watch non-Pac12 basketball, but I think the wife & I will be tuned in to Coach K’s last game tomorrow at 3:00. Talk about a legend!!

        Liked by 2 people

  8. Caleb W seems like a real good guy. Beats by Dre is paying him to generate publicity for their product.

    Like

  9. Helms Bakery truck! Wow, does that bring back memories. Put up a sign in the window to signal to the truck you wanted them to stop. Jelly donuts! Nice job, Scott!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wanna scare yourself? Imagine the Helms trucks came back. And they had one going through Westwood. And Chip Kelly saw it driving by. And he was feeling extra hungry.

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      1. 🙂

        The Helms truck would just backup into Chip’s driveway and unload the whole inventory. Chip: “See you, tomorrow”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What an image! Add Chip rushing from house….. mouth wide open, ready to have donuts shoveled directly down his throat… like in one of those old Warner Brothers cartoons…..

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  10. Those were great days when the Coliseum had a full track, and Richard Sakko and Traveler would come out of the tunnel during key parts of the game, and take the horse around the entire track at a pretty good clip. That horse use to really motivate the team these days your hardly even notice the horse as much at games.

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    1. Key parts = whenever we scored and the end of the 3rd quarter.

      Art also changed when Conquest was played. Used to be that he would never have the band play it until a win was a lock!! It was his version of Chick’s “This game’s in the refrigerator, the door’s closed, the light’s out, the eggs are cooling, the butter’s getting hard and the jello’s jiggling.”

      But for several years now, he’s had the band play it during games.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. The Helms truck in the 60’s had some awesome cream puffs not found anywhere else. Today, sadly the Helms Truck would need to be an armored fully armored and protected vehicle.

    Speaking of the 60’s I remember our neighbors building full equipped bomb shelters in their backyards with the fear “The Russians are coming”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Helms drivers would be fine today… if they were willing to wear suicide vests and be willing to use them….

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      1. Welcome to 21st century woke progressive america. Those libs sure know how to tear things down. The problem is that they are not real good at rebuilding…..witness Russia, Cuba, Venezuela and the liberal run cities in the USA.

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  12. Hey MG. Will the audio version of your new book be done by Snoop Dogg ?? And next season on the sidelines will Chip Kelly wear a large sized tent or go au natural. ??? If he is standing up will he block out the Sun ?? And with his girth how does he even get into the stadium ?? Wiping off the jelly stains might help a little but even so ……….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve said it many times, George — I’d have Chip deported but there isn’t a country big enough…

      Like

    1. Heck, Lebeau, Macron, even Pee Wee Herman would exude more strength than the old man we have “leading” us.

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      1. Hey MG. Speaking of bands here is a true story. In the mid forties SC had a guy named Tommy Walker. He was a member of the band and also our extra point kicker. After a touchdown he would change clothes and make a mad dash for the field to attempt the extra point I wonder if anyone else here on the blog remembers him. Probably not. He was really good too. Those were the days Jim Hardy was our quarterback. Time flies bro.

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      2. I used to go to Helms Hall to do research. They had the sports section of the L A Times going back to the 1920 s and even before. I loved reading about the great Trojan teams from the mid 20s to the early 30s. We slacked off a bit around 1934 but had a great little 150 lb quarterback named Cotton Warburton who was a friend of my dad. You might enjoy reading about Cotton and his exploits along with our great stars like Morley Drury the noblest Trojan of them all There was a complete film of the 1931 Trojan victory over the Irish in South Bend 16-14 but it’s gone now we we’re down 14-0 going into the fourth quarter but rallied to win the game and the national championship——we had won in 1928 and won it again in 1932 so three titles in five years. I think the Irish won in 1929 and 1930. The Trojans and Irish ruled the roost in those years. Hope I’m not boring you
        or anybody

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  13. Maybe Chip Kelly with his big new contract from the State of California will purchase and re-open the Helms Bakery, put the portable neighborhood bakery trucks back in our neighborhood, and create jobs for many of the liberal arts/sociology graduates still looking for work.
    Chip is a wise investor, but will he eat all the jelly doughnut inventory???

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It’s truly remarkable what passes as good taste on this blog. Jackson State University Band is so much better than OSU that it helps recruit the best players to the university (along with Coach Sanders) and don’t start that crap about million dollar payoffs when USC had Reggie Bush.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wrong. Comparing good parade bands to good field show bands is night & day. That being said, I don’t think either OSU or USC bands could hold a candle to Jackson State on the street. They are damn good! Thanks for the video!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It happens more than anyone admits. No one talks about it. It’s a well kept secret.
        #WhichIsWhyIt’sFunnyIKnowAboutIt

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  15. Sometimes when SC is getting blown out of a game, I take solace in having the band rock Galen. To plagiarize an old joke, I tell people that I attended a concert and a basketball game broke out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Speaking of which, many are expecting a blow-out tonight, but the problem for me is that it is at Pauley Pavilion and I hate all of the bruins’ songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vegas is giving us NO chance tonight —UCLA is a bigger favorite than Arizona was. wtf?!
      #HopeWe’reReadyForBIGChallenge…
      #[IfNotWeAllHaveToJumpOnScott’s”ThanksEnfield”Bandwagon]…..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So many times, Michael, I have witnessed SC basketball disasters at Pauley, and I smell another one coming on.

        But I could be wrong.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think Scott is wrong about this game’s significance to USC. Everything Andy has tried to prove this season [about USC being a force to reckon with] goes down the drain if the Trojans get blown out by the two pre-season Pac 12 favorites.
        “I will not accept this result!”
        —Aragorn
        [I suppose it would be better to hear those words outta Andy’s mouth today, yes]?

        Liked by 1 person

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