At the time, Pildas was living in the Hollywood Hills, behind the Whiskey a Go Go. On a trip to Europe, he put a hundred or so prints in his backpack and wound up at the Paris headquarters of Zoom magazine. “The French love photography, and they also like Hollywood,” he said. “So the art directors there, they just went crazy over those pictures, and they ran eight or ten pages.” Soon, other magazines picked them up. Then, Pildas recalled, “I put the pictures to sleep. I just put them in my cave, where all of my negatives are, and forgot about them for almost forty years.” He moved to Silver Lake, then to Santa Monica, and took up other photographic interests: Pride marches, silhouettes, a homeless encampment. (His career is covered in a forthcoming documentary, “Ave’s America.”)
Decades later, the Walk of Fame photos started getting traction again. “Besides the pictures, people were interested in the nostalgia,” Pildas said. A friend connected him to Clint Woodside, the founder of Deadbeat Club, an independent publisher and coffee roaster in L.A. “At first, I hated the name, because I was used to Harper & Row or Crown,” Pildas recalled. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, Deadbeat Club?’ And then I saw what he was doing and the care that he put into publishing books.” Revisiting the photos from the distance of half a century, Pildas found some more interesting than he had when they were taken; the little girl holding balloons in front of a record store had struck him as too cute at the time, but it now speaks to a lost era of free-roaming seventies childhood.