Was it really 20 years ago that the entertainment staff of the old Los Angeles Herald Examiner took our superb music critic, Alan Rich, out to the restaurant Locanda Veneta (his choice) to celebrate his 65th birthday?
I remember that the tab was huge, even by 1980s standards, and the newspaper’s assistant managing editor screamed so hard that her dentures actually flew across the room. But she finally approved my expense account, because she knew what a classy critic Rich was--and the paper needed all the class it could get.
Rich died last week at his home in West L.A. He was 85. A few years ago, I asked him if he remembered his 65th party and the Locanda. “Hell, yes,” he replied. “I pass it every time I go to see all my doctors at Cedars-Sinai.”
READ MORE: “Alan Rich Dies at 85; Classical Music Critic and Champion,” by Keith Thursby (Los Angeles Times); “Alan Rich, Music Critic, 1924-2010,” by Timothy Mangan (The Orange County Register); “Reports: Music Critic Alan Rich Has Died,” by Kevin Roderick (L.A. Observed).