Eleni Mandell Biography
The first record Eleni ever got was Shaun Cassidy’s greatest hits, for her 4th birthday.
The first record she ever bought was X’s Under the Big Black Sun. She bought it at Aron’s records when it was located on Melrose Ave. John Doe (of X) was shopping and gave her his autograph, which she still has. It reads “Yours with a big X- John Doe”. That was the last autograph she ever asked for.
The first concert she ever went to was with her best friend, Michelle, in 8th grade. They went to Oingo Boingo’s Halloween concert at the Universal Amphitheater.
The second boy that asked her to be his girlfriend, in Junior High, popped the question during the “couple’s skate” at Julie’s birthday party. She said “yes” as they skated to Journey’s “Open Arms”.
Her first real kiss was with David outside of Straw Hat Pizza on Van Nuys Blvd.
The first time she worked with DJ Bonebrake (drummer for X), which was a teenage dream, she said “X is the reason I’m playing music” and he responded “I feel like I should apologize”.
The first time she ever saw Chuck E. Weiss perform, he walked right up to her and smiled like a cross between The Cheshire Cat and an escaped mental patient. She met him a month later at Musso and Frank’s. Tom Waits later asked how they’d met and Chuck responded “Hebrew school”.
The first time she performed music was at Highland Grounds’ open mic night. Her first show at Largo was because an acquaintance needed someone to fill in for him at the last minute. There were 4 people in attendance and one of them captured the event with his camera. She had a viola player with her that night named Steve Mirrione. He later won an Academy Award for editing the film Traffic.
Her father took her to two memorable shows when she was a teenager: Albert King and Doc Watson. Her father correctly predicted that he would win the raffle at the Albert King show, a free record, which she still has. Doc Watson performed at the Masonic Temple in Canoga Park.
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