The enormous, unblinking chrome eyeballs stared down from their perch above L.A.’s famous Sunset Strip as record producers, nightclub owners, and movie stars sped by in their convertibles. The sign included no words, but in 1972, everyone was familiar with “Tommy,” the rock opera about a “deaf, dumb, and blind kid” who plays a mean game of pinball. It didn’t really matter if passing motorists didn’t know these meticulously painted pinball eyes signified the release of the London Symphony Orchestra’s version of the original “Tommy” double album by the Who. The point was to create buzz, and it worked.
Photo by: Robert Landau