by Jackie Devereaux
“Forever Marilyn” statue site of tribute concertPALM SPRINGS – PS Resorts, the local organization that brought “Forever Marilyn,” a 26-foot tall statue to Palm Springs, is hosting a tribute concert on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 6:30 p.m., to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famed actor’s death. The concert will feature Jeffrey Allen, a Las Vegas entertainer known for his performances as Elton John in the “Legends in Concert” series. Seats are available at a first-come, first-had basis, so you may want to bring your own chairs and blankets.
The towering statue of “Forever Marilyn” weighs 34,300 pounds and measures 26 feet tall, 17 feet wide and 18 feet deep. Its first home in July 2011, was at the Pioneer Court in downtown Chicago. The huge statue then moved to its current temporary location in downtown Palm Springs at the corner of Palm Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon Way last May.
The statue is expected to reside at the temporary location until the Desert Fashion Plaza reconstruction project has completed the first phase of construction at the end of 2014. PS Resorts shared in the $78,000 cost of getting the massive sculpture to the desert, including costs to take it apart in Chicago, packing, transportation, reassembly in Palm Springs, and an insurance policy that covers any possible vandalism.
American artist Seward Johnson, age 80, (an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune) said he designed the sculpture from the famous photograph of her holding down her dress in the film “The Seven Year Itch.”
Marilyn Monroe has many historical ties to Palm Springs and is credited with being discovered here at Charlie Farrell’s Racquet Club by Johnny Hyde from the William Morris Agency. She also was frequently seen with her second husband Joe DiMaggio at Movie Colony estates, and the couple owned a small home in Las Palmas.
“I am very pleased that Marilyn will be on view in Palm Springs. It was, after all, a location of her own choosing, and I assume that she was drawn to the beauty and stillness of the landscape. There is something about her pose; the exuberance for life without inhibition, which is quintessentially American. It expresses an uninhibited sense of our own vibrancy,” said Seward Johnson in previous reports.
The tribute concert is expected to draw a big crowd. PS Resorts strongly suggest visitors wear a hat and sunglasses, bring water and a chair or blanket to sit on. The concert begins at 6:30 p.m. on the corner of Palm Canyon and Tahquitz Canyon Road. Parking is limited so get there early.