By June 7, 2013 Read More →

George Lucas Interview

George Lucas Cruises Again! Pictures courtesy of George Lucas Family and Lucasfilm LTD.

On June 7, 2013, George Lucas will cruise 10th Street in Modesto USA for the first time in maybe 51 years. The streets and the city that inspired the 1973 groundbreaking film American Graffiti will again be the place where more memories will be made as the citizens of Modesto get to pay tribute to one of our hometown heroes. Celebrating George Lucas gives our city a sense of civic pride and in a way, tells our own story. Our history is something we can be proud of and is a story we need to tell around the world, just like George Lucas did. We catch up with George as he begins his next chapter of storytelling.

ModestoView: How does it feel to be home again? George Lucas: It always feels wonderful to visit your hometown where you grew up and had so many good times. My family still lives here and it’s always good to visit old friends.

MV Why did you do a movie about cruising? GL For most filmmakers, if you are a writer and a director, you make movies about the things you know about. Growing up in Modesto, I spent many years cruising 10th St and I was enamored with the experience and so that is how the movie American Graffiti came to be.

MV: When you made the movie, did you think it would have such a ling lasting effect in this area? GL: Well actually I didn’t. By the time I made the movie, cruising was a thing of the past and I wanted to document what it was like to grow up in a small town with all its various rituals that are unique to the customs of cruising.

MV: Why do you think the film was so successful? GL: American Graffiti in terms of a an idea of moving out of my more abstract love of films, gave me a chance to do something that was a comedy, something that was an interesting document about a phenomenon in American, cruising, and in the end started my career ‘cause it was the first really successful movie I’ve ever had.

MV: What is your fondest memory of Modesto and what do you think of its growth? GL: Cruising 10th Street. It was like a nightly party, always full of excitement and possibility. I think Modesto’s growth is a natural part of aging and that is a good thing Without growth, you atrophy and disappear.

We thank George Lucas for making a movie about our city that inspires us to research and revisit our history and to use it as a guide to make us a better city for the future. See the George Lucas video interview and check out the different locations of the Modesto Historic Cruise Route at

The Historic Cruise Route and “Legends of the Cruise” Walk of Fame

As George Lucas returns to 10th St, you too can walk 10th St today and go back in time. Take a walk through history and learn about the City of Modesto, the Legends of the Cruise, George Lucas History, the old music, first rock bands, the radio stations and the nightclubs of the day. This is a 25 kiosk tour, complete with links to videos interviews of the “Legends of the Cruise”. There are special kiosks prepared by the Lucas family. These are the stories about the people and places that made Modesto USA a Classic American City, and known throughout the world as the home of American Graffiti.

On June 7, George Lucas will be presented with the first “Legend of the Cruise” marker. The first 6 inductees are Gene Winfield, Candy Clark, Bo Hopkins, Paul LeMat and Wendy Lucas. Each year, our local legends of the cruise will be recognized with their own walk of fame “tailfin star” marker along 10th St. Just watch what 10th St can become, all decked out in retro style and art.

In Modesto USA it is Graffiti Summer all year long, but in June, Modesto is really rockin’, from street parties, Cruising with George Lucas, car shows, tribute shows and just an whomp bob a lu boppin great time. These are just a sample of the many Graffiti Summer events for the whole family to enjoy

Posted in: Graffiti, news

About the Author:

Chris Murphy is the President and CEO of Sierra Pacific Warehouse Group and Publisher and Founder of ModestoView Inc. Chris worked globally in the cycling industry returning to Modesto in 1996. He is also the founder of the Modesto Historic Graffiti Cruise Route, Legends of the Cruise Walk of Fame, Modesto Rockin’ Holiday, the Modesto Music History Organization and co-founder of the Modesto Area Music Association. Chris is married to his artist wife Rebecca since 1985 and has two daughters Madison and Abigail, both graduating from Modesto High and UC Berkeley. He is lead singer and guitarist for his band, Third Party that donates their performances to non-profits.