Celebrating Mill Valley

If you think Larry Lautzker is your typical Mill Valley shop owner, think again. This New York native came to the Bay Area in 1970 and has had a hand in music production ever since. For Larry the Hat, it’s all about community.

Famous4? The name used to be Famous For Our Look, but we’ve shortened it, because I’m famous for many things.

What year did you open your Mill Valley store? 1989. The concept began in 1986 with my store/recording studio, the Ice House, in San Rafael.

Tell me about the goods. I’m very passionate about finding contemporary, unique pieces for both men and women. If you wear something from my shop, it’s going to further you in your life — whether you’re going out to play or going out to work, if you wear these clothes good things are going to happen.

So, mostly cool clothes? I also sell the world’s most technologically advanced electric bike, called the PiCycle.

And what about your production biz? I’ve been in the music business since the ’60s and more recently have produced shows with Murphy Productions. We started at the Masonic Temple in Mill Valley, and obviously that caught on because it’s now the Sweetwater Music Hall. Then we moved our productions to the Seafood Peddler in San Rafael, which led to the creation of Terrapin Crossroads. Now we’re doing shows at the Mill Valley Community Center and the San Rafael JCC.

You also produce local events. I’ve been putting on the once-yearly block party in front of my store since 1998. We get local businesses involved and raise money for causes from Kiddo! to breast cancer awareness.

So the block party is your main gig? The first event I produced was actually the Memorial Day parade in 1992. That’s how I got involved. I’ve been the head of the parade since 2002.

What’s this year’s theme? “Honoring those who gave their lives for freedom.” The parade has become such a little party that we sometimes lose sight of what Memorial Day is about: honoring the people who have passed.

Any special additions? For the first time ever we’re going to have a special memorial ceremony for the vets between 10 and 10:30 a.m., before the parade begins. It’s going to be at Lytton Square.

What drives you to be so involved? We’re all very blessed to part of the Mill Valley community, and to that end I want to do everything I can to make it a better place