University Advancement

  • Billboard example of CSUN's new identity.

    CSUN Elevates its Reputation and Visibility

  • CSUN Magazine: The Hollywood Issue

    CSUN Magazine: The Hollywood Issue

  • Honoring CSUN’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni

    Honoring CSUN’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni

Seize the Hollywood Sign

Danny Finegood is probably the second great genius of the Hollywood Sign, and the hero of this story. In the early morning of New Year’s Day 1976, the day decriminalization of marijuana took effect in California, he brought $50 worth of materials and a few friends up to the sign and changed it to read HOLLYWEED. He was an artist—this was a project for his environmental sculpture class at Cal State Northridge (he got an A). He did HOLYWOOD the next Easter, OLLYWOOD during the Iran-Contra hearings, and OIL WAR in 1990, in protest of the Gulf War, although that one was pulled down before the sun rose, according to his obituary. Finegood not only understood the sign as art, but understood it as a collective work—by 1976, those Machine-ish letters staggering along the hillside had accrued enough shared meaning that they could be altered and still refer to that meaning, creating something simultaneously new, familiar, and extremely delightful. (Whoever went out of their way to create PEROTWOOD in both 1992 and 1996 probably had a less nuanced theory.)

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