Basten, Fred E(rnest)
BASTEN, Fred E(rnest)
ADDRESSES: Offıce—3017 Santa Monica Blvd., Ste. 406, Santa Monica, CA 90404. Agent—Heacock Literary Agency, 1523 6th St., Ste. 14, Santa Monica, CA 90401.
CAREER: Foote, Cone & Belding (advertising), Los Angeles, CA, copywriter, 1955-57; Lennen & Newell (advertising), Los Angeles, CA, senior copywriter, 1958-59; A & W International, Inc., Santa Monica, CA, director of art and publications, 1960-74; full-time writer, 1974—.
Santa Monica Bay: The First One Hundred Years, Douglas-West (Los Angeles, CA), 1974.
Beverly Hills: Portrait of a Fabled City, Douglas-West (Los Angeles, CA), 1975.
Gringo: A Young American's Flight from Hell, Noble House, 1978.
Glorious Technicolor: The Movies' Magic Rainbow, A. S. Barnes (Cranbury, NJ), 1980.
Bruin Country: A Pictorial Grand Tour of the UCLACampus, Graphics Press (Santa Monica, CA), 1980.
An Illustrated Guide to the Trees of Santa MonicaBay, Graphics Press (Santa Monica, CA), 1980.
Main Street to Malibu: Yesterday and Today, Graphics Press (Santa Monica, CA), 1980.
Steve McQueen: The Final Chapter, Vision House, 1983.
Life at the Marmont, Roundtable (Santa Monica, CA), 1987.
American Soviet Walk: Taking Steps to End theNuclear Arms Race, United World of the Universe, 1988.
(With Robert A. Salvatore and Paul A. Kaufman) MaxFactor's Hollywood: Glamour, Movies and MakeUp, General (Los Angeles, CA), 1995.
Santa Monica Bay: Paradise by the Sea: A PictorialHistory of Santa Monica, Venice, Marina del Rey, Ocean Park, Pacific Palisades, Topanga & Malibu, introduction by Carolyn See, General (Los Angeles, CA), 1997.
The Way We Were: 20th Century Life As Reflected inAdvertising, General (Los Angeles, CA), 1998.
(With Charles Phoenix) Fabulous Las Vegas in the'50s: Glitz, Glamour & Games, foreword by Keely Smith, Angel City Press (Los Angeles, CA), 1999.
Leis, Luaus and Alohas: The Lure of Hawaii in theFifties, Island Heritage Publishing, 1999.
(With Frankie Gaye) Marvin Gaye, My Brother, Island Heritage Publishing, 1999.
Santa Monica Bay: Paradise by the Sea, Hennessey & Ingalls (Santa Monica, CA), 2001.
Contributor to books, including Fifty Golden Years with Oscar, ESE California, 1979, The Hollywood Reporter: The Golden Years, Coward-McCann, 1984, and The Beach Towns: A Walker's Guide to L.A.'s Beach Communities, Chronicle, 1985. Contributor to journals.
WORK IN PROGRESS: The Art of the Movies: Sixty Years of Motion Picture Graphic Design and Illustration; a contemporary suspense novel, Strangler!; an autobiography of adult-film star John Holmes, The Monkey Tree; an autobiography of Ron "Zulu" Pope, Blood Match: My Life As a Professional Wrestler; a self-help guide for poor and troubled voices (with Dr. Morton Cooper), Winning with Your Voice; a pictorial history of Santa Monica's famed Palisades Park, Palisades Park Panorama; a biography of the infamous Lee Frances, Hollywood Madam; a biography of Father Damien, The Flowers of Paradise.
SIDELIGHTS: Fred E. Basten told CA: "I've always been a collector of vintage photographs, everything from local landmarks to movie stills. When I became disenchanted with the corporate world after years of writing, editing, and designing promotional pamphlets and house organs, I turned to books. My initial effort was a regional history, Santa Monica Bay: The First One Hundred Years, which was lavishly illustrated with photos from my collections. It became a runaway bestseller. Although I've since gone on to write books with broader appeal, it is still important for me to write for the regional market every few years. It helps keep my roots in the community."
Basten's interest in old photographs was an asset to his book Hollywood Archive: The Hidden History of Hollywood in the Golden Age, which evokes the American film capital's glory years from the silent film days until the 1960s through a collection of photographs and essays. Some of the writing is vintage, including Bette Davis's advice to lovelorn people, Shirley Temple's Christmas letter, and comments from Clayton Moore, who played the Lone Ranger, on western movies. Contemporary essays include one on animals in film by Jon Provost, who as a child starred in a television series with the famous collie dog, Lassie; remarks from producer/director Roger Corman on horror films; and a list of favorite films by Robert Osborne, who hosts the American Movie Classics television program. The sexual permissiveness of early Hollywood films is brought to light, and there is a section on the screen's most famous sex symbol, Marilyn Monroe. "There is always something surprising" in this book, noted Rob Lowman in the Los Angeles Daily News. K. D. Shirkani, reviewing the book for Variety, reported that the book reveals not so much a hidden history of Hollywood but "rather one that's simply slipped our minds." Shirkani described the more than seventy sections that make up the book as frequently "fun to peruse for their odd angles and imaginative ruminations." Basten examined another unique facet of Hollywood history in his collaborative work Max Factor's Hollywood: Glamour, Movies and Make-Up. This book, written with Robert A. Salvatore and Paul A. Kaufman, tells the story of Max Factor, the immigrant who transformed Hollywood with his specialized make-up techniques that led to stunning photographic effects.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), December 24, 2000, Rob Lowman, review of Hollywood Archive: The Hidden History of Hollywood in the Golden Age, p. L17.
Film Quarterly, summer, 1980, Ernest Callenbach, review of Glorious Technicolor: The Movies' Magic Rainbow, p. 58.
Publishers Weekly, August 28, 1987, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Life at the Marmont, p. 60.
Star-Ledger, July 7, 1996, Harry Haun, review of MaxFactor's Hollywood: Glamour, Movies and MakeUp, p. 6.
Variety, May 28, 1980, review of Glorious Technicolor, p. 20; February 12, 2001, K. D. Shirkani, review of Hollywood Archive, p. 45.*