‘Art Fein’s Poker Party’ (aka ‘Lil Art’s Poker Party’), was a beloved public access cable TV show in Los Angeles that began in 1984, touted as the world’s only rock and roll talk show. It was eventually picked up by a few other regional markets, but it was through VHS tape-sharing that the show’s 1000+ episodes made their way across the rest of the US over the 24 or so years it aired. Thank God many of them, though maddeningly not all, are on YouTube.
Art Fein was (and still is) most of all a gregarious music fan, with a CV that includes manager and producer (The Blasters, The Cramps), journalist, author of books on rock history, gigs at major record label, and music consultant for television. Fein was one of the main promoters of the early ’80s rockabilly revival. His healthy disdain for music videos resulted in a format where guests usually played a song or two live after a reasonably long chat.
Fein’s guests included The Stray Cats, The Blasters, Brian Wilson, Dwight Yoakum, Alison Krauss, Chuck E. Weiss, Ted Hawkins, Southern Culture on the Skids, Willy DeVille, Dion, Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Long Ryders, Sprague Brothers, and Joe Strummer. He also included lesser known artists like The Useless Playboys and The Groovy Rednecks, plus local characters like holistic vegan lifestyle advocate Gypsy Boots, precisely the kind of quirky local colour that public access channels were famous for highlighting.
In this clip Rosie Flores and James Intveld perform ‘Let It Be Me,’ originally recorded by Jill Corey with Jimmy Carroll in 1957. Flores and Intveld came out of the same southern California music scene where punk, cowpunk, rockabilly, alt-country, and roots rock all converged. Flores had played with Rosie and The Screamers, Keith Joe Dick and The Goners, and The Screamin’ Sirens before her solo career. Singer-songwriter, session musician, producer, and actor Intveld wrote ‘Cryin’ Over You’ and co-wrote ‘Midnight to Moonlight’ with Flores, both of which appeared on her 1987 self-titled album. Based on that fact and photos from the period, my guess is this episode is from 1987 or 1988. If anyone has a more specific date, please mention it in the comments. By happy coincidence, Flores and Intveld finally performed live together again in 2022.