It’s amazing and unpredictable just when, where, and how creative inspiration is going to strike. It can come from any source: a social interaction, a relationship gone wrong, other people’s music, politics, books… Even movies. Young artist Addison Clapp has got a wild story about how he was moved to write and record his debut album A Drive Down Hollywood Boulevard, which will be officially released this Friday, April 23rd. Originally from Boston, Clapp is a modern pop artist, with a rhythmic twist, somewhat in the mould of a Bruno Mars or a Shawn Mendes. Just prior to the pandemic beginning, Los Angeles was one of the last places that Clapp had the opportunity to visit. Considering its significance in hindsight, that trip became more and more important to him as time began to pass.
Taking inspiration from that momentous trip, along with his love of the already classic 2019 Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood, Clapp had all the pieces in place to record his debut record. As he returned to his high school studies remotely, he found that the memories of that trip and the pop music of the past which he adored helped him cope with the social isolation he and everyone else were experience.
Joining us today for a special guest blog is Clapp himself where he indulges us in more detail about how important Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood was in helping him write and record the highly impressive A Drive Down Hollywood Boulevard.
A Drive Down Hollywood Boulevard
By: Addison Clapp
“It’s been a life-changing journey to record and write my debut album, A Drive Down Hollywood Boulevard, but what most people won’t know while listening is that the concept came from the Quentin Tarantino film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I like to say the project all started at the local AMC 15 minutes away from my house.
When I first saw the film, I was in the middle of the best summer of my life. I was starting to pursue music with my band, had a steady relationship and made tons of memories with my friends. Seeing it in August, school was on the horizon and every day was an attempt to make it better than the last. My little brother and I would go to one movie a week together and made a habit of watching different films. I’ll never forget that night when I saw the movie for the first time. The scenes of Hollywood in the 1960s hit my nostalgic heart in a place I had never felt before. Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth character left me absolutely floored and was my favourite in any movie I had ever seen.
The final scene at the end of the movie (spoilers) where Tarantino rewrites history with the Manson family murderers being massacred at the hands of Booth and Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Rick Dalton with a flamethrower and glorious head bashing made for one of the best memories I’ve had at the theater. Simply put, I was blown away and knew that I had a new favourite movie.
Immediately later that weekend, I took my dad to go see it. A few days later, I took my best friend. The next weekend, I took my girlfriend. In total, I went to see the movie seven times in theaters. Each time I watched it, I loved it just a little bit more. I had just gotten my driver’s license, so I used to go on joyrides with the movie soundtrack in the background. It was a time in my life that I’ll never forget. It was the highest of highs, which could only be followed up by the lowest of lows.
When the school year started up again, it was hard going back. I got hit with a bad series of grades and was having issues getting my band going. We were starting to put together plans for gigs during the summer of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Instantly, our practices were shut down and the life I had known before began to crumble. I stopped talking with a lot of my friends, went through a breakup in May, and was stuck at home with nothing to do. Just like everything else in my life, I wrote a song about it.
In Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, there’s a scene where Cliff Booth drives down Hollywood Boulevard in a 1960s convertible. Using that scene as a metaphor for missing the life I had before, I wrote a song called ‘Hollywood Boulevard.’ The songs just kept flowing and eventually, I realized I had enough to record an album. I got together with a local producer and together we created the project. On April 23rd, my debut album, A Drive Down Hollywood Boulevard, will be released. I’m so excited to share it with the world and it’s the first thing in my life I can say I’m truly proud of.”