Peter Gilstrap

Writing and Radio

The epic tale of the Beach Boys and the 'Pet Sounds' goats

Fifty years ago, the Beach Boys released the milestone album Pet Sounds, a collection of groundbreaking songs that redefined what pop music could be. In the decades since, critics and fans have scrutinized and analyzed every aspect of the album's 13 tracks.

Los Angeles Times Magazine
On Top of the Underbelly

In his true-crime books and scandalous novels, John Gilmore illuminates the dark side of Los Angeles Weather-wise, it's a Sunday afternoon that could have been lifted from a long-gone Los Angeles: sunshine, sizzling blue sky, slight breeze. The air smells good--a touch of bus exhaust laced with Pacific.

Open Wide: The Disgusting Food Museum comes to LA | Press Play

Los Angeles has been home to a wide variety of foods and a varied list of museums over the decades, but now the two have combined. The Disgusting Food Museum is a bold new step into examining what-and why-we eat what we eat, or why we don't.

KCRW: Lost Notes
Johnny Tried: The Ballad of Glen Sherley

When Johnny Cash played his iconic concert at Folsom Prison he covered the song of one very talented inmate. Johnny pulled some strings, plucked Glen Sherley from prison and brought him out on the road. Did this turn of fortune wind up helping or hurting the formerly unknown songwriter?

KQED: The California Report
Wildfire Sparks Renewal for Reclusive Artist Ray Dutcher

Dutcher is a wiry man with bright eyes, long gray hair and a white beard. He's a fast-talking fellow who's sharp as a tack and in tremendous shape. He eats right, doesn't smoke or drink, and faithfully strides miles a day in boots he found in a garbage can 13 years ago, covering the trails he's been visiting since Herbert Hoover was president.

Washington Post

It was a crazy idea -- nab Frank's boy -- but the bozos pulled it off. Almost. Thirty-five years ago, just after the death of President Kennedy and just before the arrival of the Beatles, three men kidnapped 19-year-old Frank Sinatra Jr. from a motel in Lake Tahoe, Nev.

KQED: The California Report
Relative Obscurity: The Brother of Robert F. Kennedy's Convicted Assassin Opens Up

Sen. Robert F. Kennedy had just won California's Democratic primary election. He concluded his rousing victory speech with the words, "My thanks to all of you and now it's on to Chicago and let's win this!" and stepped from the ballroom into a small, crowded kitchen pantry surrounded by excited supporters.

Psychedelic Misery | The Document

An aspiring filmmaker got a dream assignment to film the Rolling Stones' 1969 concert at the Altamont Speedway in Livermore, California. But her dream turned into a nightmare after she was dosed with LSD - and Gimme Shelter , the film she was hired to shoot, would come to symbolize the end of '60s idealism.

Washington Post

The guy sitting two rows behind me has a falsetto and a Walkman, one of which he knows how to use. The one made in Japan. But that hasn't stopped him from entertaining this busload of strangers with a voice like a rattail file on a chain-link fence. He began in Washington.

Riverfront Times
Beatles Sister Louise Harrison Departs the Midwest After 50 Years, Heading for California

If it weren't for coal, you would not be reading this. If it weren't for coal, a British wife, her Scottish husband and their two young children never would have left their home in Inverness, Scotland, in 1956 and taken a journey that led them to Canada, Peru and finally to Benton, Illinois, where they landed in September 1963.