Who We Are
Beau L'Amour and Paul O'Dell met in the summer of 1976 on a ranch just outside Durango, Colorado that was originally intended to be the location for the Louis L'Amour town of SHALAKO. Beau was dating Paul's younger cousin Devon, a native of Durango, who invited Paul to the L'Amour's summer picnic.
"The first time I met Beau, I got shot. Shortly after our introduction, I was placed on horseback, guided back up into the hills to an old cabin, dressed in a Confederate soldier's uniform and summarily shot . . . both with blanks and 8mm film. Beau and I have been great friends ever since! The photo's above are from that fateful summer."
. . . Paul J. O'Dell
Though Beau was living in Los Angeles and Paul was in Denver they managed to overcome the barriers of time and distance and were soon making Super-8 movies together, driving decrepit cars at dangerous speeds, and causing more trouble together than was expected of either one of them individually. They visited on and off through their college years, finally renting an old house in the San Fernando valley. Beau was finishing up at California Institute of the Arts and Paul, a recent graduate of Lewis and Clark College was looking for work.
They were the perfect team; Beau who could think up things that no one else would bother doing and Paul who could actually make them work. With clear-eyed determination, they set out to conquer the mean streets of Van Nuys, California.
Together they worked on student films and eventually moved on to different jobs in the Motion Picture industry. Paul's degree in Technical Theater and Performance led him to a position at the Ben Nye Theatrical Make Up company. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks, managed several departments, represented the company nationwide at trade shows and seminars and wrote and produced a series of "How-To" instructional videos. Beau worked for several different TV production companies before leaving the movie business behind (actually it left him behind, 18 months of 16 hour days will do that) to work overseeing various aspects of book production for Louis L'Amour Enterprises.
One of Beau's many responsibilities was to work with Bantam's fledgling Audio Publishing group, supervising the production of several Louis L'Amour short stories on audio tape. These stories were to be dramatized, like old time radio shows, with specially adapted scripts, casts of up to a dozen actors, sound effects, and music. The able crew of David Rapkin and Charles Potter were to execute the recordings in New York City and Beau to supervise the scripts from Los Angeles.
Trying to learn everything he could about this medium, and in order to better understand the problems involved in producing an audio drama, Beau decided that he should write and direct one of the shows. Knowing that Paul had extensive radio production experience from his stint at KLC, his college's radio station, the two began yet another collaboration. Beau adapted the story and wrote the script for the audio production of "Unguarded Moment" (from the short story collection: The Hills of Homicide). He assembled and directed a cast of actors that he and Paul had met while working in the film industry. Paul produced and edited the one hour drama.
In 1988 Louis L'Amour passed away. Paul came on to help organize Louis' library and personal papers. Paul worked many long hours with the L'Amour family and a few helpful friends to sort through the incredible volume of materials left behind.
As this project drew to a close Beau and Paul began work on another audio program. This one "Merrano, of the Dry Country" (from the short story collection: The Strong Shall Live) was intended to stretch the boundaries of the medium as far as they could figure out how to take them. Working with cutting edge material (this is Beau praising his own writing), modern equipment (now, hopelessly outdated), and a fine cast, the two created another "experimental" audio show.
Over the next few years Paul worked for Billboard Magazine and The Software Labs and Beau began restructuring Louis L'Amour Enterprises to help it continue to exist without Louis' presence. The company experimented with several different ventures in the mid nineties including a successful fiction magazine (closed down when Bantam, Doubleday, Dell sold the division) and a syndicated radio show, Louis L'Amour Theater. Thirty, carefully edited (by Beau and Paul over a lot of late nights, cheetos and Diet Coke), versions of the Bantam audio programs appeared as weekly episodes on over 200 stations nationwide in 1993 and 1994.
In 1994 Paul left Los Angeles to manage The Software Labs office in Seattle, Washington and Beau made another brief but unsuccessful attempt to figure out how to work in both movies and publishing at the same time. Eventually The Software Labs reorganized and Beau realized that the gulf between making movies and getting movies made was far too wide. Both needed something to do so that they could justify staying up far too late, pushing buttons and staring at blue light (Computer Monitors).
Through the miracles of modern technology we are back together here on this website, trying to make available everything that you would ever want regarding Louis L'Amour and his work. Not only will we sell all the books and tapes but we will also create new products, many of which Louis envisioned but never had time to develop.
Paul still lives in the gloomy northwest, is happily married and the proud father of an active boy. Beau is just waiting for an excuse to move away from the oppressive stench of melting egos and fear that permeates what passes for air in Southern California.
Have you got a comment, problem, question, answer? E-mail us.