Dark alleys were the first to be marked with Zïlon’s poetic signature. Dubbed « The Back Street Cocteau » (ref to French poet, filmaker, artist Jean Cocteau), he was one of Montreal’s key figures during the 80’s punk and underground movement. I decided to display here only his work in Black and White… But let.s start with a few drawings/paintings by Jean Cocteau…
All the white puppy wanted to do was share his French toast. Cinnamon, a cute character created by the same Japanese company responsible for Hello Kitty, posted tweets like this every day. Normally, these morning messages would be met by followers gushing about how cute the attached picture was, or fans wishing him a “good morning.”
Cinnamon’s online life in recent times, however, had become tense. “You look like a piece of soap, get diarrhea,”one user wrote in response. Another Tweet — since deleted, but preserved by other users — said “Please kill yourself with that knife.” For the last few weeks, the dog character had faced abuse like this daily, every innocuously cute post met with a sea of “shut ups” and “die.”
Many imagine Japan as a land stuffed with adorable characters. Hello Kitty has become a global ambassador of all things “kawaii,” while recently John Oliver featured a segmenton his show devoted to the country’s use of mascots for — nearly everything. Yet the situation isn’t always so cuddly. Cinnamon’s recent Twitter interactions marked the first significant time a huggable character has been the victim of cyberbullying in Japan. And it hasn’t just been a few isolated comments, but a steady stream of nastiness from hundreds of Twitter users. It has inspired reactions from well-known pop singers and warranted coverage in multiple national newspapers and on TV. The Cinnamon saga struck a nerve with people in a country where bullying — both digital and physical — is an issue on the rise.
The critter at the center of it all, though, is neither new or obscure. Sanrio, Japan’s premier producers of cute characters (think Hello Kitty andMy Melody) created Cinnamon in 2001 as the flagship character of their “Cinnamoroll” series. He’s featured in cartoons and comics, and became one of the company’s most popular entities. Walk by any branch of Tokyo Tomin Bank, and chances are you’ll see a stuffed Cinnamon in the window. In this year’s annual Sanrio character ranking, early polls (these are very serious affairs) projected Cinnamon to finish third overall, ahead of Hello Kitty.
Yet glancing at the replies to Cinnamon’s daily tweets reveals a lot of people wishing ill on the character and his various friends. There’s no definitive starting point for the bullying — various mean-spirited comments have long slipped into Cinnamon’s stream, but were the sort of isolated trolling every high-level Twitter account expects — but sites such as Naver Matomereport it really got going over the last three months, escalating drastically near the end of April. A drawing of Cinnamon standing in front of some colorful flowers, for instance, prompted digital shouts of “shut the hell up, I just ate lunch!” and “you look like you smell bad.” A tweet featuring the character holding a pile of the dessert he’s named after had commenters wondering why he was holding a plate of pink poop (a theme riffed on in similar Tweets). The insults keep going, and even an act as simple as showing off a new umbrella resulted in someone telling him to “suck my dick.”
Nearly every Sanrio creation has a Twitter account, where new drawings get uploaded daily, but only Cinnamon has attracted cyberbullying.Users even noticed this discrepancy— while relatively new characters such asGudetama (a lazy anthropomorphic egg) and Kirimi-chan (a hunk of fish meat) received warm messages, a Cinnamon tweet from the same day drew comparisons to the movie The Human Centipede. Users have tried to spam other Sanrio character’s feeds in the past with mean-spirited messages, but nothing came out of it. Yet by early May, every new tweet by Cinnamon was met by a mix of people trying to be clever with their insults, generally nonsensical threats and those relying on sub-playground approaches (“die,” “shut up,” “you’re ugly,” “go away”).
Why Cinnamon? Many Japanese Twitter users have been speculating about it (Naver Matome gathered many of their thoughts online), and the consensus seems to be that it’s all for the likes. Early jokes at the expense of Cinnamon — such as an image of Cinnamon being targeted by a fighter jet — raked in favorites and retweets. Tweets poking fun at the dog-like creature, along with parody accounts posing as official, did well, inspiring more users to try to replicate that success. These early examples, though, were far more good-spirited than what came after. The tweets, in an effort to stand out, got meaner and meaner, eventually dissolving into what would constitute bullying against a human.
Whatever the reason, the abuse hurled Cinnamon’s way got worse as May dragged on. Fans of the character first offered words of encouragement to Cinnamon (“don’t take all this too seriously, Cinnamon!”) and eventually started pushing back against the bullies, talking to them directly. Sanrio addressed the issue head on, by posting a cartoon where Cinnamon’s friend Chiffon addressed Twitter in place of Cinnamon. “I’m here to protect Cinnamon, and you should protect your friends too!,” is how Anime News Network translated it.
The same day, Sanrio blocked over 200 accounts that had been harassing the character. This only enraged the anti-Cinnamon crowd, and resulted in one popular user claiming to receive a message from Sanrio telling him to come out to their offices, which he documented on Twitter. He faked it — Sanrio never contacted him — for the likes. The abuse kept coming.
But it also resulted in the story getting more widespread media attention. Dozens of Japanese web sites wrote about it, followed by newspapers such as the Chunichi Shimbun and the Tokyo Shimbun covering it as well. Government-backed channel NHK did a report on it, and soon celebrities were coming out to support Cinnamon. TV personality Arie Mizusawa expressed her happiness at Sanrio taking action, while former members of the pop group BiS took to Twitter to back the character. An online news video summed it all up neatly.
Cinnamon might be a fictional character, but what the floppy-eared puppy endured is a very real issue in Japan today. Bullying has long been a problem in Japanese schools and workplaces, attracting plenty of attention from the media. Earlier this year, The Japan Timesreported that the number of cyberbullying cases in the country was on the rise (as was all bullying). It’s an issue that has affected thousands in Japan, and which has been a topic of discussion for quite some time. There have even been songs written about it — pop-gone-death-metal outfit Babymetal wrote a song with a title that translates to “No More Bullying.” Cinnamon isn’t a real person, but he’s famous enough (and the situation strange enough) to act as a microscope on cyberbullying. It revealed how many people are ready to pile on somebody for praise, and how many others hate seeing someone being picked on.
Cinnamon’s online life hasn’t completely returned to normal. Mean comments still appear, and larger flare ups still happen, such as when he drew a picturethat some simply described as “bad,” others “garbage” and still more “like sperm.” Fans, though, have also come out in higher numbers to counteract the negativity with simple messages of “good morning Cinnamon!” and “so cute!” while also shouting down the mean users. Cinnamon might never fully be able to draw or enjoy his breakfast in peace ever again, but at least he’ll have plenty of people on his side.
I think Die Antwoord has to be understood from a second degree so I’m not a huge fan of the movie as such, it’s only entertaining. These guys are something more… That’s why I wanted to propose something very different. Hope you will all enjoy
the flesh covers the bone
and they put a mind
in there and
sometimes a soul,
and the women break
vases against the walls
and the men drink too
and nobody finds the
crawling in and out
the bone and the
for more than
there’s no chance
we are all trapped
by a singular
nobody ever finds
the city dumps fill
the junkyards fill
the madhouses fill
the hospitals fill
the graveyards fill
The artist’s short films have never been shown to the public before, until now.
Andy Warhol will make his presence known throughout May, lighting up New York’s Times Square with silent short films known as Screen Tests. From 1964 to 1966,Warhol created over 500 of these never-before-seen-by-the-public shorts in his Silver Factory studio. During this time, his studio had become a scene for celebrities and artists who posed for short, silent film portraits. At 11:57 pm each night in May, these screen tests will be shown on Times Square’s electronic billboards. These “Midnight Moments” will last until midnight each night. The greatest movie Andy Warhol ever made featured the Empire State Building. More than just a setting, the building was also the starring actor, impassively playing itself while Warhol filmed it with his tripod-mounted Bolex from 8:00 PM until 2:30 AM on July 25, 1963. Screened unedited and in slow motion,Empire is one of the longest movies in existence, made to seem infinitely longer because there’s absolutely no movement. Yet Warhol didn’t need hours to make a movie seem interminable. With hisScreen Tests(1964-66), he managed to compress an eternity into approximately three minutes. These glimpses of perpetuity are masterful movies in their own right. And every night this month between 11:57 and 12:00, a selection of Screen Tests will illuminate one of the fastest-paced places on the planet – New York’s Times Square– screened simultaneously on the electronic billboards between 42nd and 47th Street. Warhol made his Screen Tests by having people act like architecture. Visitors to his studio – including Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsberg and Susan Sontag – were placed in front of his camera and told not to do anything at all. Some tried to comply by staying perfectly still. Others tried to rebel by melodramatically misbehaving. Almost all were defeated by the second or third minute. (Even the supremely self-possessed Susan Sontag couldn’t stop fidgeting.) Lacking scenery, direction and purpose, Warhol’s sterile setup made time as empty as a vacuum. And while the Empire State Building was impervious, people were rapidly sucked into the void. Through the Screen Tests, each micro-eternity is experienced vicariously. In recent years, some of the Screen Tests have been shown in museums. They’re well worth watching closely, but museums were not Warhol’s preferred milieu. He screened them in endless loops as backdrops for rock concerts. With the Screen Tests (and Empire), he reconceived movies as a sort of temporal ambiance. Their timekeeping dimension has finally been restored this month in Times Square.
To judge by price at auction and in galleries, and its popularity through museum exhibits, books and photo fairs, fine art photography is now in the lofty realms of well, fine art. Granted these aren’t grandma’s snapshots of birthdays and vacation landscapes, but rather images from classicists like Diane Arbus, Jacques Henri Lartigue and Weegee who capture moments, people and places with both their eyes and techniques; outsiders like Miroslav Tichywho organically created his voyeuristic single print photographs with cameras made from discarded objects he discovered on the Czech streets like cans, boxes and eyeglasses, decorating with doodles the resulting work which originally created was only for himself; and Andreas Gursky who are redefining the genre through use of stitching, pixilation and other digital manipulation. Wayne Martin Belger‘s photographs and intricate, one-of-kind, hand-built cameras — themselves works of art, often set with gemstones and talismans; crafted with human organs and skulls, blood, bones and blood — boldly combine both the ancient and post-modern, using a viewing method that can be traced as far back as China in the 5th century B.C., to Aristotle, Euclid, and later Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen) who refined the technique in his the 10th Century Book of Optics, before emerging as in 1850 as photographic device. The process begins with Belger first desiring to explore and relate to a concept and envisioning the photographs, then crafting a camera as the portal into the subject. He collects artifacts, relics and metals, and painstakingly builds the device with parts he carefully machines, the construction itself a form of meditation on and communion with the concepts and images, much like icon painters who first pray and meditate, then carefully prepare the surface, blend the tempera and delicately layer the colors. Using 4×5 film and existing light, Belger can spend anywhere from 10 seconds to 90 minutes with the pinhole aperture open to capture a single shot in the camera designed specifically for a series, with the goal “to be the sacred bridge of a communion offering between myself and the subject. All to witness and be a tool of the horrors of creation and the beauty of decay presented by the author of light and time.” To compare and contrast, 35mm movie film runs 24 frames per second, while high-speed digital still cameras can shoot 60 frames per second. With the emulsion film exposed for extended periods, Belger’s photographs become movies distilled onto a single frame. Photons from the stationary object of focus, as well as moving objects in the field, are absorbed onto the emulsion, creating softened, at times ghost-like, images.
Belger:With pinhole photography, the same air that touches my subject can pass through the pinhole and touch the photo emulsion on the film. There’s no barrier between the two. There are no lenses changing and manipulating light. There are no chips converting light to binary code. With pinhole what you get is an unmanipulated true representation of a segment of light and time, a pure reflection of what is at that moment.
Belger: The tools I create and work with are pinhole cameras. With pinhole photography, the same air that touches my subject can pass through the pinhole and touch the photo emulsion on the film. There’s no barrier between the two. There are no lenses changing and manipulating light. There are no chips converting light to binary code. With pinhole what you get is an unmanipulated true representation of a segment of light and time, a pure reflection of what is at that moment. With some exposure times getting close to 2 hours, it’s an unsegmented movie from a movie camera with only one frame.The creation of a camera comes from my desire to relate to a subject. When I choose a subject I spend time studying it. Then I start visualizing how I would like a photo of the subject to look. When that’s figured out, I start on the camera stage of the project by collecting parts, artifacts and relics that relate to the subject. When I’ve gathered enough parts and feel for the subject, I start the construction of the camera. I create the cameras from Aluminum, Titanium, Copper, Brass, Bronze, Steel, Silver, Gold, Wood, Acrylic, Glass, Horn, Ivory, Bone, Human Bone, Human Skulls, Human Organs, Formaldehyde, HIV+ Blood and relics all designed to be the sacred bridge of a communion offering between myself and the subject. All to witness and be a tool of the horrors of creation and the beauty of decay presented by the author light and time.
The Third Eye Camera:
Astonishing results: Can you see some weird ghostly face formed in the Third Eye Camera ”bright chamber”? Creepy? Maybe. That’s a very narrow minded way to see the whole concept. I bet that this ghostly face alone by itself was worth all the efforts that putting that camera together required. This little girl is going to be able to see images in her own skull again. Maybe it was her way of saying Hello!! and THANK YOU!!! The concept of this camera and the images it produces are to my humble opinion so out of this world!! I bet William Gibson and especially Burroughs would have loved this shit!!!!
Yama (Tibetan Skull Camera)
Designed for the study of exodus and for the research of modern incarnations of historical iconic figures. “Yama,” the Tibetan God of Death. In Tibetan Buddhism, Yama will see all of life and Karma is the “judge” that keeps the balance. The skull was blessed by a Tibetan Lama for its current journey and I’m working with a Tibetan legal organization that is sending me to the refugee cities in India.is carefully crafted from the 500-year-old skull of a Tibetan monk and retro-fitted with copper, aluminum and brass camera pieces machined by Belger, who painstakingly placed the camera’s dual pinholes in the exact position of the pupils. The camera’s internal mechanism is split, producing two exact images that when printed and viewed at a distance become three-dimensional. The skull is set with sterling silver and gems including several large rubies over the pineal gland/third eye, plus sapphires, opals, and turquoise. It rests in a large gilt-edged mirrored box, reminiscent of a memento mori, fittingly as Yama is the Tibetan god of death. The box sits atop a silk prayer cloth on a wooden table; below, a plumb/pendulum of brass filled with artist’s blood and mercury swings over a container of pearls and sand, a stunning installation that unites and transcends the concepts of form and function. This all might sound a bit morbid, but Yama’s countenance smiles knowingly, cheerily from his glass box, eager to be readied for his work. Or simply to be admired. Yama’s eyes are cast from bronze and silver with a brass pinhole in each. A divider runs down the middle of the skull creating two separate cameras. A finished contact print mounted on copper is inserted in to the back of the camera to view what Yama saw in 3D. Yama is made from Aluminium, Titanium, Copper, Brass, Bronze Steel, Silver, Gold, Mercury with 4 Sapphires, 3 Rubies (The one at Yama’s third eye was $5000.00), Asian and American Turquoise, Sand, Blood, and 9 Opals inlayed in the Skull. The film loading system is pneumatic. A 360 psi air tank in the middle of the camera powers 2 pneumatic pistons to move the film holder forward and lock it into place. The switch to open and close the film chamber is located under the jaw. Designed for two photo series. First series is of my interpretation of the modern incarnation of Southeast Asians deities. Second will take place in the Tibetan refugee cities of India, a home-coming through the eyes of a 500-year-old Tibetan. Picture taken:
Untouchable (HIV Camera)
Designed to study and photograph a geographic comparison of people suffering from HIV. For “Blood Works” his exploration and study of HIV/AIDS, Belger created the “Untouchable (HIV),” camera using aluminum, copper, titanium and acrylic. HIV+ blood from one of Belger’s friends-the blood is treated with heparin sulfate to prevent coagulation-pumps through the camera then in front of the pinhole, becoming a #25 red filter. For shooting with “Untouchable,” Belger holds opens calls, and has captured a wide range of HIV+ people across the United States, with plans to photograph HIV+/AIDS subjects throughout Africa this upcoming spring in advance of his participation in a December 2012 group show at the Royal Ontario Museum, which will also include his Third Eye, Yama and Heart cameras and the photos they produce. The show also features works from Joel Peter Witkin, Steven Gregory, Marc Quinn (whose models include Buck Angel and whose sculpture “Alison Lapper Pregnant” was installed in Trafalgar Square), Robert Krasnow, WhiteFeather, Francois Robert, Weiki Somers, Charles LeDray, Rosamond Purcell and Mark Prent. Belger produces a limited number of prints, usually fewer than 10 of each shot. Collectors of the unique, intricate devices receive one of each print along with the camera that created them, with the agreement that Belger can borrow back the camera to continue the series. In exchange they receive a copy of each new print. Other aficionados collect only the ethereal images. 4″x5″ camera made from Aluminium, Copper, Titanium, Acrylic and HIV positive blood. The blood pumps through the camera then in front of the pinhole and becomes my #25 red filter. Designed to shoot a geographic comparison of people suffering from HIV.
Yemaya (Underwater Camera)
Now I am aware that the concept on this one might seem less ”original” and I realise it,s far from being the first underwater camera but I still chose to show that one simply for the love of bold surreal chromed, sorta Captain Nemo look of this camera and reminds me of how great are the capabilities of Wayne Martin Belger not ONLY as an artist, but also as a crafty camera builder technician. This camera is as functional as it is truly magnificent.
Last but not least… This project documents mothers who are at least eight months pregnant. The 4×5 pinhole camera created for the project contains the heart of a child who died at birth. The heart, donated by a gallery owner who found it among a collection of old anatomy equipment, is preserved in a sealed compartment at the rear of the camera. Despite its chilling reminder of the risks of childbirth, Belger says he was surprised by how well the mothers took to the Heart camera. Word about his project spread fast, with expecting mothers now contacting the photographer to set a date. So far Belger has photographed portraits of 30 women so far. He’s even been invited to photograph women giving birth. Belger is able to capture only one frame, about a ten-minute exposure, and begins to expose the film just before his subject gives birth.
Some Photos Taken with The Heart Camera:
Belger’s beautiful machines and the photographs he produces with them are stunning, surreal, yet incredibly grounded and visceral expressions of the artist’s and subjects’ place in time and light, and our brief time and place on earth.
He was the son of an East End taxi driver who took over one of the grandest fashion houses of the world. McQueen reinvented the catwalk and created clothes who silenced his audience. Brilliant, offensive, beautiful, outrageous. Always making a statement, constantly pushing everything to the edge, British
Designer of the Year in 1996, 1997, 2001 and in 2003, even receiving as well that year the International Designer of the Year Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. McQueen was an anarchist who’s astonishing rise was made possible by an even more outrageous companion, English magazine editor, Isabella ”Issie” Blow who discovered Alexander in 1993. Fashion history even has McQueen signing a lucrative deal with Gucci in 2000, a deal which was reportedly initiated by Blow.
What neither of them could have guessed was the cost of that journey. Just as everything really seemed perfect on a professional level it all very brutally ended with the suicide first of the women who discovered him and then of McQueen himself. This was the end of a Fable of Fashion, a world that discards its past in an instant and drives its creators relentlessly in search of the next best thing.
One of McQueen’s most celebrated and dramatic catwalk show was his 2001 Spring/Summer collection, named VOSS. The centre piece tableau that dominated the room was an enormous glass box. But because the room outside the box was lit and the inside of the box was unlit, the glass walls appeared as large mirrors, so that the seated audience saw only their own reflection. Finally, after an hour, and when the show began, lights came on in inside the enormous glass case and revealed the interior to be filled with moths and, at the centre, a naked model on a chaise longue with her face obscured by a gas mask. The glass walls then fell away and smashed on the ground.
The model chosen by McQueen to be the centre of the show was the Britishwriter Michelle Olley. McQueen said that the tableau was based on the Joel PeteWitkin image Sanitorium. The British fashion photographer Nick Knight later said of the VOSS show on his SHOWstudio.com blog:
“The girl in the box was Michelle Olley. She modelled for me in a story I did called Sister Honey… She was a writer and I remember she wrote a great piece on being the Butterfly Girl in the middle of that (McQueen) Glass Box show. I was sat on the front row, inbetween Alexandra Schulman and Gwyneth Paltrow. It was is probably one of the best pieces of Fashion Theatre I have ever witnessed.”
Alexander McQueen later described his thoughts on the idea used during VOSS of forcing his audience to stare at their own reflection in the mirrored walls for over an hour:
“Ha! I was really pleased about that. I was looking at it on the monitor, watching everyone trying not to look at themselves. It was a great thing to do in the fashion industry—turn it back on them! God, I’ve had some freaky shows.”
In Spring 2011, Michelle Olley was asked by the New-York Metropolitan Museum of Art to contribute to their Alexander McQueen exhibition, Savage Beauty.She was interviewed by The Met about VOSS for the audio guide to the show. Olley’s detailed diary/journal of modelling for McQueen – written between 18–27 September as the show was being planned and staged – was included in the Met Museum website coverage of the Savage Beauty exhibition. The VOSS diary relates details of the show and encounters with McQueen, ending with how Olley returned home after the show to find:
“…a MASSIVE bouquet of flowers has arrived, with a note [from McQueen] saying, “Thank you for everything – you were beautiful! – Lee xxx”
Presented only 2 months before McQueen’s suicide on the 11th of February 2010, Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010 (Platos Atlantis Special Edition):
Right before Alexander McQueen’s death, he had an eighty percent unfinished Autumn/Winter collection (Angels and Demons), 16 pieces, presented during Paris Fashion Week on 8 March 2010, to a select handful of fashion editors in a mirrored, gilded salon at the 18th Century Hôtel de Clermont-Tonnerre.
Fashion editors picked his final designs. Editors said the show was hard to watch because it showed how McQueen was obsessed with the afterlife. The clothes had a medieval and religious look. Basic colours that were repetitively used were red, gold and silver with detailed embroidery. His models were accessorized to show his love for theatrical imagery. “Each piece is unique, as was he”, McQueen’s fashion house said in a statement that was released with the collection.
McQueen’s death was announced on the afternoon of 11 February 2010. In the morning, his housekeeper found him hanging at his home on Green Street, London W1. Paramedics were called and they pronounced him dead at the scene.
McQueen died nine days after his mother Joyce had died from cancer at the age of 75. David LaChapelle, a friend of the designer, said that McQueen “was doing a lot of drugs and was very unhappy” at the time of his death. McQueen’s death came just days before London Fashion Week, although he was not scheduled to appear there.
McQueen left a note saying, “Look after my dogs, sorry, I love you, Lee.” The Metropolitan Police stated that the death was not suspicious, but did not confirm that the death was a suicide. On 17 February 2010, Westminster Coroner’s Court was told that a post-mortem examination found that McQueen’s death was due to asphyxiation and hanging. The inquest was adjourned until 28 April 2010, where McQueen’s death was officially recorded as suicide. McQueen, who had been diagnosed with mixed anxiety and depressive disorder, took an overdose prior to hanging himself. He had taken drug overdoses in May and July 2009.Prior to hanging himself with his “favourite brown belt”, the inquest recorded that he had slashed his wrists with a ceremonial dagger and a meat cleaver. Coroner Dr. Paul Knapman reported finding “a significant level of cocaine, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers in the blood samples taken after the designer’s death.”
On behalf of Lee McQueen’s family, Alexander McQueen [the company] today announces the tragic news that Lee McQueen, the founder and designer of the Alexander McQueen brand, has been found dead at his home. At this stage it is inappropriate to comment on this tragic news beyond saying that we are devastated and are sharing a sense of shock and grief with Lee’s family. Lee’s family has asked for privacy in order to come to terms with this terrible news and we hope the media will respect this.
On 3 February 2010, McQueen wrote on his Twitter page that his mother had died the day before, adding: “RIP mumxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.” Four days later, he wrote that he had had an “awful week” but said “friends have
been great”, adding: “Now I have to some how pull myself together”. His mother’s funeral took place on 12 February 2010. McQueen is survived by his father, three sisters, and two brothers.
After company owner Gucci confirmed that the brand would continue, McQueen’s long-term assistant Sarah Burton was named as the new creative director of Alexander McQueen in May 2010.
McQueen’s funeral took place on 25 February 2010 at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, West London. His ashes were later scattered on the Isle of Skye.
Here is a playlist I made myself of some more (all!) Alexander McQueen Official Fashions Shows presented by chronological order starting by 1994 . I suggest you check out the clips posted above first and then the ones on this playlist. If you are into fashion you gatta love this little playlist put together especially for you!
Also known as the Noir Prophet of the Cyberpunk subgenre, William Gibson is an American Canadian science fiction novelist. In his short story, Burning Chrome (1982), Gibson used for the first time and invented the term cyberspace and later used the concept as a base for his debut novel, Neuromancer (1984). Gibson served as an iconographer for the information age before the wide spread of the Internet in 1990s. William Gibson is also associated with very accurately predicting the rise and upcoming popularity of reality television, video games and the World Wide Web. In 1999, The Guardian stated William Gibson as the most important novelist of the past two decades. His vast array of works includes authoring ten acclaimed novels, above twenty short stories in addition to making contributions to various major publications. Pressing a strong influence on the works of other science fiction authors, academics, technology and cyberculture, Gibson has also extensively collaborated in the fields of performing arts, music and film on different projects.
William Ford Gibson was born on March 17, 1948 in Conway, South Carolina. However, he spent most of his childhood in Wytheville, Virginia where he moved with his mother after the death of his father at an early age. Leading a disturbed childhood in isolation, Gibson wanted nothing more than to become a science fiction writer by the age of 12. An anthology he bought on Beat writing at the age of 13 exposed Gibson to the works of Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs creating a profound interest in the genre. Frustrated by his constantly poor academic performance, Gibson’s mother sent him to the Southern Arizona School for Boys in Tucson, Arizona. However, Gibson dropped out of the school before graduation at the age of 18 following the death of his mother. He travelled around and immersed himself in the counterculture. In 1967, Gibson moved to Canada where he spent many weeks of joblessness and homelessness before appearing in a CBC show about the hippie culture in Toronto. Also in Toronto, Gibson met Deborah Jean Thompson. The two travelled together and got married in 1972, settling in Vancouver, British Columbia.In an attempt to qualify for generous student financial aid, Gibson attended the University of British Columbia earning a Bachelor’s degree in English. The exposure to various forms of fiction and literature thoroughly enlightened Gibson, encouraging him to compose his first short story, Fragments of a Hologram Rose. Gibson further strengthened his writing skills following a master’s degree in hard science fiction. At a science fiction convention in Vancouver in 1980, Gibson met punk musician and author John Shirley who not only encouraged Gibson to pursue writing as a full time career but also became his lifelong friend.
Most of Gibson’s early writings are works of near future science fiction with influences of cybernetics and cyberspace. Most famous of these are the short stories ”Burning Chrome” and his first novel, ”Neuromancer’‘. Following the success of Neuromancer, Gibson produced many other interesting works such as ”Count Zero” (1986), ”Mona Lisa Overdrive” (1988), ”The Difference Engine” (1990), ”Virtual Light” (1993), ”All Tomorrow’s Parties” (1999), ”Pattern Recognition” (2003), ”Spook Country” (2007) and ”Zero History” (2010) and ”Idoru” (1996).
No Maps for These Territories
No Maps for These Territories is a brilliant independent documentary film made by Mark Neale focusing on the speculative fiction author William Gibson. It features appearances by Jack Womack, Bruce Sterling, Bono, and The Edge and was released by Docurama. The film had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October 2000.
Science fiction author William Gibson is best known for 1984’s Neuromancer, a novel often credited with jump-starting the cyberpunk genre. Set in a virtual landscape of rapid-fire connections and published long before the World Wide Web extended its tentacles into your home and mine, Neuromancer quickly established Gibson as a visionary in certain circles (though the novel drew on many influences, from Raymond Chandler to William S. Burroughs to Philip K. Dick). Coining the phrase “cyberspace” cemented Gibson’s reputation, and a penchant for being reclusive didn’t hurt either.
In his new documentary on Gibson, No Maps for These Territories, director Mark Neale has loaded a limousine with digital video cameras and strapped his subject into the back seat for a whirlwind ride through millennial America. As Gibson ruminates on his life and work and pontificates about our rapidly changing times, Neale layers pertinent imagery and found footage over the author’s talking head to create a digital collage. He messes with the passing landscapes and street scenes we see through the limo’s windows, often speeding them up or adding pixilated images, presumably as a visual metaphor for the information superhighway or the accelerating pace of modern life. A New Age-y wash of techno music accentuates the road-to-nowhere vibe.
Gibson’s is not the only face we see. For some reason – perhaps because Neale designed the multimedia presentation for their Zoo TV Tour – U2 members Bono and The Edge are on hand to read from the author’s work and offer observations like “Neuromancer is a rock and roll book.” Gibson’s fellow cyberpunk pioneer Bruce Sterling (Crystal Express, Heavy Weather) turns up as well, to offer some slightly more heady analysis.
The meat of the film, however, is Gibson talking about all things Gibson, and if you’re not on his wavelength – if phrases like “posthuman” and “postgeographical” make you go “postal” – you may begin to feel like a cab driver with a chatty passenger you just can’t seem to ditch. But for those interested in the issues he touches upon – everything from the future of technology to the pros and cons of drug use – No Maps for These Territories proves to be a diverting 88 minutes. Some of Gibson’s most interesting musings are autobiographical – describing the arrival of television in the form of an intermittent test pattern he would watch in awe-stricken anticipation of things to come, or telling his draft board that his ultimate ambition in life was to take every mind-altering substance known to man. He often comes off like one of the loopy denizens of Richard Linklater’s Slacker– at one point recalling the moment he heard that Michael Jackson had married Elvis Presley’s daughter and realized that his job of being a science fiction writer had just gotten more difficult.
I always have been a fan of Joy Division for as long as I can remember. Closerwas and still is one of my all time favorite albums. I always thought Ian Curtis is one of the greatest lyricist ever. I saw ”24 Hour Party People”with an immense pleasure and I kinda liked ”Control” but always thought there was something missing still. I needed more. Finally reading Peter Hook autobiography I got to know everything I wanted to know and totally enjoyed the very bold style of Peter Hook. Once I started I could hardly put it down. For the first time I felt that my thirst to know more and more about Joy Division and the tragic death of their legendary frontman was satisfied at last although Joy Division will always have a mysterious aura to it. It is not because a lack of information or a marketing trick but simply because it is within the very essence of Joy Division. You are given a variety of choice to resolve some of the enigmas surrounding JD but most of the answers are totally subjective and depends on the point of view you stand for. Nobody will ever know what truly led Ian Curtis to think that there was no more hope and what could have been done to save him from getting to this point of no return. We feel Hooky is constantly asking himself those questions. It’s as if they were written in the margins of every page. And that just a couple out of many others unanswered question but it’s easy to imagine that they are the ones that haunted Hook for many many oh so many sleepless nights….Ever since that tragic night of May 1980…Precisely on the eve of what could have been the ultimate achievement of his wildest dreams.
Peter Hook tells us the story from his point of view, very boldly, very honestly, not trying to save anyone’s image nor pointing an accusative finger at anyone either, just trying to set the record as straight as possible. Through him, we finally get to know the real story of Joy Division and Ian Curtis. The starting point of it still being a Sex Pistols concert….In fact Ian Curtis wasn’t at the first one but he did was at the second one and Hooky hardly remember him being there. From there, Peter Hook marches us very thoroughly and even if it isn’t always sad, one can still feel the tremendous pain and the disastrous effect of the forever burning hell that he was thrown, that they were all thrown in when Ian decided to put himself out of his misery in a very intimate book in which you get to like the boys from Joy Division and their entourage for what they really where as he recalls their boyish pranks on each other, the lousy venues, the fights and the jealousy and backstabbing that existed at the time between bands, the lack of organisation and knowledge, the overall misunderstanding and deception that would come from your family and your co-workers and their daytime job they had to keep for so long so that they wouldn’t have to make any compromise on their music. There is a lot that they had to put up with but we also realise that the DIY that comes with it has become an inherent trademark of Punk. Peter Hook also does his mea culpa as to the general lack of concern towards what additional mental and physical pressure that Ian had to deal with considering he was married with a first newborn baby, his illness and his affair with Annick Honoré. You get to realise that Ian’s persona and tragic end was far more complex than meets the eye but at the same time it is so very understandable when you always are reminded that they were so young and well, as it is said in the book ”they didn’t have a clue”. Joy Division was a band that started from nothing and had fought hard for every inch of fame and glory they managed to grab ahold of and they were having more and more success, the dream they all had was now becoming a reality and Ian, just like the others, didn’t want his illness to be in the way… They just wanted to keep on going and who can blame them…I think no one in particular is to blame, but maybe at the same time, everyone is, including Ian himself.
I didn’t like the movie ”Control” so much because I thought it was more about who Ian wasn’t then about who he was. I also thought it was a very biased vision since the writer was Ian’s unfortunate widow and mother of his daughter Nathalie. Now I do understand that Ian was far from being a good father, we all know that. Of course he should have been more responsable but I think despite the sad fact he wasn’t the father he should have been, we all want to know, more than anything, who he was as an artist. Debbie was the wife at home, abandoned and put aside by Ian who had married her at a very young age so she didn’t get much to know him as an artist. Ian Curtis to me is the singer, the captain of a band called Joy Division and to me that what’s matters the most. I’m not a fan of those gossip magazines and never have been so I have very little concern about people’s private life unless they have a very direct effect on their art. Unfortunately it did have a direct effect on Joy Division, his complex love affair, amongst other things, drove him to kill himself and put a very abrupt end to Joy Division who was bound to leave for a US tour the very next day so it does help me to understand but that is one of many aspects about Ian’s life and Joy Division but ”Control” nevertheless did left me unsatisfied. Now ”24 Hour Party People” did reveal a bit more about the boys and Ian. In the book, Hook says that in his opinion, the Ian they present in ”24 Hour Party People” is much closer to the real Ian than the one that is presented in ”Control” but the bit that is about Joy Division is just a small part of the movie so it did left me very unsatisfied too in this regard. I wanted to know how Ian Curtis was when he was on tour with his lads, how he was when no one was looking, what drove him, how did he write his lyrics, how big was his influence on Joy Division, how did the others saw his illness as it grew more and more important, how was the relation between members of the band, how come no one told him to rest, what the boys felt they should or could have done to help him… It turns out that Peter Hook did all that with a fresh, bold, honest look at it all. It is very well written and gives you a very clear picture about everything you want to know. Now Peter Hook himself is a character that you get to like from the get go… His boldness and honesty, his sensitivity or lack of, at times makes the book very real, funny, sad… You can feel the excitement, the ups and downs of Joy Division. He also gives a very detailed description of how the albums were recorded and a very good description of the larger than life character of their producer and technical engineer, the well-respected Martin Hannett.
If you are a Joy Division fan you absolutely have to read this book. You will fall under the spell of this such unusual band that have at heart everything tiny thing they do and have it at heart to own even their worst mistakes because it is part of who they are. They are not for sale and always have managed to do what they wanted, how they wanted it. They could deal with the shitty venues, sleeping on the floor, the fights but they would never indulge in being a sell out. Here is an extract of the book I have chosen for you. In fact they are 2 separate extracts. It was very hard to choose because it depends on what aspect you want to insist. Hooky talks about them all, I picked this one simply because I thought it told a lot about many aspects and you can really read the word ”honesty” between the lines…
”Ian had responded by trying to kill himself (…) sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t the gigging break that did him in in the end. At least when we were playing we were away, our minds were distracted. With the gigs canceled and us staying close to home. Ian also ended up staying much closer to the source of all his domestic problems.
Not that we were aware of all these troubles, the depth of his problems, at the time, mind you. It’s only recently, since the explosion of interest in Joy Division, you might say, and while I’ve been researching the book, that I’ve really started to get a clear picture of the kind of shit Ian was going through and the very short timescale involved.
At the time he kept mainly to himself. as far as we were concerned he was dead excited about going to America, really looking forward to it. Yet you read about him telling people that he didn’t want to go. According to Genesis P-Orridge (from Throbbing Gristle), Ian said he’d rather ”die” than go on tour, and maybe he did say that, but not to us, he didn’t: no way. With us Ian was bang into the idea maybe if he’d been spent more time with us, and less at home, and less talking to the likes of Genesis, then he’d have been buoyed up by it all. I think he’d have gone to America, where, looking at it, the schedule wouldn’t have been exhausting, and I think he would have loved it.
I’m not saying his problems would have gone away, of course. Just that they wouldn’t have been crowding in on him quite so much. I really think that if he’d made it to America he’d had lived.
Or maybe I’m just talking out my arse again. Barney always said that it was his medication that made him suicidal, and that could have happened anywhere; Macclesfield or New-York.
(…)Our ultimate aim was to be ourselves, to do things the way we wanted them doing, and we’d insist out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Rob was always in our corner. Tony was always on our corner. You might call them mistakes but at least they were mistakes made on our own terms. Mistakes that then became legends.
A few days later we played Birmingham. We didn’t know it then, of course, but it would be our last-ever gig as Joy Division.
It was a good one too. We later released it on the album ”Sill”. Ian had a bit of a wobble during ”Decades” but was fine for ”Digital”. Even so, it was one of those gigs-like all of them were around then-where you were looking at Ian wondering if, or when, it was going to happen, and that was because it was now happening at every show. With hindsight you can look back and say he probably wasn’t going to be right at any gig, whether in America or outer space. Even so, the idea of cancelling or rescheduling America never came up.
We were so excited about going, so wound up about it and desperate to do it. Ian, the fan of the Doors and Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and Burroughs, especially. I don’t care what Genesis P-Orridge says, he was looking forward to going. I mean, we had so much going for us then. The word was getting out that we were a great group to see live. We had ”Love Will Tear Us Apart” up our sleeve. We were on the way up.
That’s what always gets me about what he did. Sometimes you can see just why he did it, and it makes a kind of sense.
Other times, it just makes no fucking sense at all”
These abandoned flying saucer-style holiday homes built for US military officers in Taiwan left to rot are built on burial grounds…
Sanzhi Pod City in Taiwan was designed as a holiday resort for US officers
Space age homes built in 1978 on top of a burial ground for Dutch soldiers
Several deaths during construction including suicides and accidents
Pods were abandoned and demolished to transform site into new resort,
Desolate, shattered, warped and stained, this abandoned series of Smartie-coloured pod homes paints a bleak picture.The flats, known as Sanzhi Pod City, were built in New Taipei City, Taiwan and designed to be part of a holiday resort.They were built in 1978 as a vacation destination for US military officers deployed to the Far East and wealthy Taiwanese. According to locals, a burial ground for Dutch soldiers lies beneath the startling designs. History surrounding the sad structures is even stranger. The buildings were abandoned in 1980 after investment losses by developers Hung Kuo Group and a number of bizarre deaths, including several suicides and car accidents during construction. Gem, a real estate administrator from the Philippines, said: ”As an avid documenter of man-made landscape, I found these pod houses very cool. The colours, the retro futuristic style, whoever designed and built these had a lot of balls.”
”As to their demise, people give me different stories. Apparently, these retro futuristic building styles were popular at that time, but the price was so high that they failed to sell most of the units. I guess the developer went broke and that’s why they lay in absolute ruin for years. Maybe the era was all wrong, the target market was all wrong, and the grand experiment failed, but they were still intriguing to look at.”
All shots were taken in 2008 by photographer Gem Urdaneta, 33, a couple of years before the pods were demolished by the Taipei government.
View original article byINDIA STURGIS FOR MAILONLINE. Thanks to Blue Maggot for bringing this to my attention and for her constant encouragments and loyalty!! There are others UFO houses all around the world, not all are left to rot. Viewprevious poston the matter.
Travis Louie’s paintings come from the tiny little drawings and many writings in his journals. He has created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society. The underlining thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived. Some of their origins are a complete muster while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, a strange furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge, an engine driver can’t seem to stop vibrating in his sleep, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, etc, … Using inventive techniques of painting with acrylic washing and simple textures on smooth boards, he has created portraits from an alternative universe that seemingly may or may not have existed.
With the discovery and digitalisation of a cache of his personal polaroids, we gained access to Tarkovsky’s luminous world…
Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky is often cited as the greatest cinematic artist of all time. His roster of just seven films – including Andrei Rublev, Ivan’s Children and Solaris – have made him one of the most lauded directors in history, awarded a Golden Lion, the Grand Prix du Jury at Cannes and, posthumously, the Lenin Prize – the highest accolade in the Soviet Union. One of his heroes, Ingmar Bergman, stated, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”
Veneration for Tarkovsky has not dimmed since his premature death in 1986, making the recent discovery of a cache of his polaroids a thrilling find. Taken between 1979 and 1984, in the years before his death from a cancer supposedly contracted on the set of Stalker, they span his last months in the Soviet Union and the years he spent researching and filming in Italy. Very much in the spirit of his moving image work, they capture nature, individuals and light in images that shine with the singular humanity which imbues his films. He once pronounced that “the director’s task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen…” In these vignettes from his personal world, populated by his dog, his children, his garden and the view from his window, we are left spellbound by a quiet and captivating insight into the world of a man who rendered dreams reality, creating worlds of wonder and truth that have never been equalled despite all the bombast of modern technology.
“She was almost proud of the fact that her teeth were rotten, that her hair was grey…her skin was bad, she had needle tracks all over. She liked that. That was her aesthetic.”The above quote, attributed to James Young – Nico’s keyboard player from 1981-86 – summarizes the often harrowing watch that is filmmaker Susanne Ofteringer’s 1995 documentary, Nico Icon.It was Young who penned the fascinating on-the road-with-Nico tell all, Songs They Don’t Play On The Radio, chronicling his days in her ad hoc touring band. But unlike Young’s book, which is frequently injected with (and buoyed by) levity, Ofteringer’s Icon is a meditative, often dark, look at the woman born Christa Päffgen. While hardly wholly representative of Nico the artist/muse/person, the film is an engaging 67 minutes beginning with Nico’s early years modeling in Germany and France, onto to her Zelig-like existence moving through sixties pop culture (Iggy Pop, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Alain Delon, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol…) and beyond. And it’s the beyond, Nico’s “desire for her own annihilation”, and heroin, that looms heavily over the remainder of the film
Check out this subversive fashion video for House Casting in New York City. It is based on the Iggy Pop song ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and was played at the Center George Pompidou in Paris in September 09, as part of the ‘A Shaded View On Fashion’, during the larger fashion week.. Directed by Leg’s Georgie Greville.
Exploited Teen Models from Russia
It kinda works like either a pimp or a cult…Your pick… At first glance it seem’s all good but after awhile you are like hmmmm…There is definitely something wrong … BTW The Girl on top in the video is now the trainer in the documentary film for those who haven’t noticed…and she speaks quite frankly and honestly.
An extract from YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL by Dave Thompson:
Aylesbury Friars would be Bowie‘s final show for a month, before he headed into the studios first and then Mott the Hoople. It was also designed to be Bowie’s introduction to an American press that MainMan had flown in for the occasion, writers and taste makers who had read so much about the new British superstar in the imported papers, but where still waiting to be convinced themselves.
The Spiders’ U.S. tour was now scheduled for September 1972, and if all went according to MainMan’s plan, reviews and reports from the Aylesbury show would see the excitement reaching fever pitch right around the time of the first concert.
On Saturday July 15th,wined and dined at the height of luxury, lodged in the finest hotels, and shepherded every place they needed to go, the American journalists felt like royalty as they were driven into the leafy confines of Aylesbury ushered into the Friars club-and confronted with an audience that was even more rabid than the British press reports had ever warned them. Boisterous though they most have been, and determined to remain aloof, that first rush ofadrenalined shrieking caught them off guard, sending their ears reeling before they’d even found a place to stand. Then their eyes took over, bombarding their senses with the sight of a thousand wide-eyed Bowie clones, Angela doubles,Ronson doppelgangers.
”Ode to Joy” piped throught the PA, Loud enough to shake coherent thought from their heads, but not deafening as to be painful, and then the band appeared, ripping straight into ”Hang Onto Yourself”, and all reservations fell away. The show was stunning, the performances seamless, and when Bowie started throwing his silk scarves into the crowd, the writers were as desparate to catch them as the kids.
The Lou Reed show the previous evening had been a revelation. Taking the stage shortly after midnight and kicking right into a deliciously clunky ”White Night White Heat”, Reed was at his best, a spectral ring-leader, not quite ad-libbing his lyrics but certainly having a wonderful time teasing the Tots with his timing, and if he was the only person in the room who didn’t cringe a little when the band unleashed their backing vocals, that didn’t detract from the sheer thrill of seeing him up there.
”Waiting for my man”, layered with flourishes that the song had never before carried; a resonant ”Ride into the Sun”; a fragile ”New Age”, Reed singing instead of mumbling as expected,; on and on through the best of Lou Reed and the finest of the Velvet Underground, Reed may have been leading the crowd into unchartered territory for much of the set, but the roar that greeted ”Sweet Jane” was as heartfelt as the smile with which Reed repaid the recognition.”I Can’t Stand It” was punchy, ”Going Down” was gentle,”Wild Child” was brittle, ”Berlin” was beautiful, and if ”Rock’n’Roll” picked up more appplause than the eerie, closing ”Heroin”, that just proved how much easier it was to find Loaded in a British record store than any of the records that preceded it.
The Stooges would really need to be on form to top that.Again the show started after midnight, allowing the handful of Bowie fans who’d also hit Aylesbury to race back in time for the Stooge’s, together with all the journalists who accepted MainMan’s offer of a bus back into London. A few of them might have thought they knew what to expect, nursing memories of the shows the band had played back in New-York a couple of years before. But they left their expectations on the dance floor. Mick Jones, four years away from forming the Clash at the birth of the British punk movmement, was there, astonished by the incandescence of the show. ”The full-on quality of the Stooges was great, like flamethrowers!”
Iggy lived up to his outrageous reputation, dressing in silver leather trousers, with matching silver hair, black lipstick and made-up eyes. After lurching and prowling over every inch of the stage in the first two numbers, he decided to wander into audience, followed where possible by spotlight. He stopped occasionally to stare deep into people’s eyes, talking about wanting to find something “interesting” and calling the crowd hippies that didn’t inspire him.Pop was everywhere trailing a mix cord the length of the building as he wandered out into the audience, alternately grabbing and caressing whoever lay in his path. One girl discovered him sitting in her lap, staring into her eyes as he serenaded her; one boy found himself being shaken like a rat as Pop grabbed hold of his head and used it to cath the rythm of the song. At some point, there was a problem with the sound. Pop stood still for a moment, stock-still and scowling, then howled with rage and hurled his mic to the ground. It shattered on impact., so he walked to another one, and treated the silent crowd to ”The Shadow of your smile” a suave accapella that kept everyone entranced while the problems were solved. Then it was back to the programmed set, loud, lewd and brutal. The concert was attended by a group of noisy skinhead types, who voiced their impatience during one of several breaks due to technical problems, which caused Iggy to respond, “What did you say, you piece of shit,” as he advanced threateningly across the stage. The cat-caller’s memory suddenly failed him as he melted back into the crowd. After the microphone was fixed, the Stooges commenced another song but halfway through one of the amplifiers broke down, causing a long delay. Later in the show, the leader of the skinhead gang went down to the front of the stage to shout obscenities. This time, Iggy went berserk, leaping across the stage to aim a boot in the guy’s face. Roadies pounced on the guy and bundled him out of a side exit; the rest of the mob shut up completely.
”We did a bunch of things that were new and we started wearing lots of makeup for one thing.and that was different, Williamson recalled. II think we had rehearsed pretty much by that point. It didn’t seem unique to me. We did a lot of stuff with the crowd at that show, which was bizarre for the Londoner, but it was typical for us. That’s what we were used to doing.”
They took Pop’s activities in stride, ”It was part of the show, but we had to really cover a lot for him because he was very improvisational, as was the whole band. We knew, but if you weren’t used to it, you didn’t know when he was going to start a song or when it was going to stop or what to do in the middle because it wasnt exactly youd recorded it. He was very unpredictable”
In attendance at the King’s Cross Cinema were several aspiring musicians, who would go on to become highly influential in the British punk rock movement which exploded a few years later, including Joe Strummer (the Clash), Johnny Rotten (the Sex Pistols),Brian James (the Damned), and Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie and the Banshees). The concert has been called the birth of British punk rock. “That show changed the history of English music, because of who was there,” notes Iggy. “People checked us out and realised we had changed the playing field for what was possible.”
The Stooges drew predominantly positive reviews, although it was obvious that they made the British critics somewhat uneasy. “The total effect was more frightening than all the Alice Coopers and Clockwork Oranges put together, simply because these guys weren’t joking,” said Nick Kent in New Musical Express. Michael Oldfield of Melody Maker felt Iggy and the band were on the verge of the dangerous, “It’s like a flashback 200 years, to the times when the rich paid to go into insane asylums and see madmen go into convulsions.”
Photographer Mick Rock admitted that he felt “distinctly intimidated” as he photographed the show.He never did precisely know what he was preserving. When MainMan called him down to the show, he was told only that the night needed to be captured in all its flaming Glory. It would be another year before one of the shots he took that evening was blown up for the cover of the Stooges’ third album, a close up of the singers torso, leaning on his mic stand, his face set and beautiful, staring into space. Pop later claimed that he hated it.
Pop, Rock said, ”was already in my mind more mythological than human. His appeal was omnisexual; he was physically very beautiful, (and) the silver hair and silver trousers only added to the sense of the mythological. He seemed to have emerged from some bizarre primal hinterland, so much bigger than life, emoting and projecting a tingling menace. He was…a cultural revolutionary, operating well ahead of his time.” The question that nobody dared ask was, was anybody truly ready to take the burden on? …..
14-07-72 (technically this was really 15-07 because Lou did not play till after midnight)
SCALA CINEMA, KING’S CROSS, LONDON, UK
White Light/White Heat – I’m Waiting For The Man – Ride Into The Sun – New Age – Walk And Talk It – Sweet Jane – Going Down – I Can’t Stand It – Berlin – Cool It Down – Wild Child – Rock And Roll – Heroin
David Bowie 15-07
Dubbed The most celebrated gig in Friars history
Friars Aylesbury, Borough Assembly Hall, Market Square, Aylesbury, UK
HANG ON TO YOURSELF; ZIGGY STARDUST; THE SUPERMEN; QUEEN BITCH; SONG FOR BOB DYLAN; CHANGES; STARMAN; FIVE YEARS; SPACE ODDITY; ANDY WARHOL; AMSTERDAM; I FEEL FREE; MOONAGE DAYDREAM; WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT; GOT TO GET A JOB; SUFFRAGETTE CITY; ROCK N ROLL SUICIDE
Iggy Pop and The Stooges:
15-07 (technically this was really 16-07 because they did not play till after midnight)
SCALA CINEMA or King Sound (I guess was the name of King’s Cross Cinema, at least temporarily), KING’S CROSS, LONDON, UK
I got a right, Scene of the Crime, Gimme Some Skin, Im Sick of you, The Shadow of your Smile (Tony Benett cover) , Money That What I Want (Barret Strong Cover), Tight Pants,Fresh Rag, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Search and Destroy, Penetration
Born Into This, a film documenting the author’s life, was released in 2003. It features contributions from Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Harry Dean Stanton and Bono (U2’s song “Dirty Day” was dedicated to Bukowski when released in 1993).
Henry Charles Bukowski was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”
Bukowski died of leukemia on March 9, 1994, in San Pedro, California, aged 73, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp. The funeral rites, orchestrated by his widow, were conducted by Buddhist monks. An account of the proceedings can be found in Gerald Locklin’s book Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet. His gravestone reads: “Don’t Try”, a phrase which Bukowski uses in one of his poems, advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity. Bukowski explained the phrase in a 1963 letter to John William Corrington: “Somebody at one of these places […] asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.”
Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. These poems and stories were later republished by Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/ECCO) as collected volumes of his work. In the 1980s he collaborated with illustrator Robert Crumb on a series of comic books, with Bukowski supplying the writing and Crumb providing the artwork.
Bukowski often spoke of Los Angeles as his favorite subject. In a 1974 interview he said, “You live in a town all your life, and you get to know every bitch on the street corner and half of them you have already messed around with. You’ve got the layout of the whole land. You have a picture of where you are…. Since I was raised in L.A., I’ve always had the geographical and spiritual feeling of being here. I’ve had time to learn this city. I can’t see any other place than L.A.”
One critic has described Bukowski’s fiction as a “detailed depiction of a certain taboo male fantasy: the uninhibited bachelor, slobby, anti-social, and utterly free”, an image he tried to live up to with sometimes riotous public poetry readings and boorish party behaviour. Since his death in 1994 Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings. His work has received relatively little attention from academic critics. ECCO continues to release new collections of his poetry, culled from the thousands of works published in small literary magazines. According to ECCO, the 2007 release The People Look Like Flowers At Last will be his final posthumous release as now all his once-unpublished work has been published.
“Hi, it’s Deb. You know, when I woke up this morning I had a realization about myself. I was always Blondie. People always called me Blondie, ever since I was a little kid. What I realized is that at some point I became Dirty Harry. I couldn’t be Blondie anymore, so I became Dirty Harry.” –Debbie Harry
“It was in the early ’70s and I was trying to get across town at two or three o’clock in the morning. This little car kept coming around and offering me a ride. I kept saying ‘No’ but finally I took the ride because I couldn’t get a cab.”
“I got in the car and the windows were are rolled up, except for a tiny crack. This driver had an incredibly bad smell to him. I looked down and there were no door handles. The inside of the car was stripped. The hairs on the back of my neck just stood up.”
“I wiggled my arm out of the window and pulled the door handle from the outside. I don’t know how I did it, but I got out. He tried to stop me by spinning the car but it sort of helped me fling myself out.”
Originally filmed in 1922, this version was updated in the mid 1960’s to include english narration by William S Burroughs while he was in London. The writer and director Benjamin Christensen discloses a historical view of the witches through the seven parts of this silent movie. First, there is a slide-show alternating inter-titles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the behavior of pagan cultures in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches. Then there is a dramatization of the situation of the witches in the Middle Ages, with the witchcraft and the witch-hunts. Finally Benjamin Christensen compares the behavior of hysteria of the modern women of 1921 with the behavior of the witches in the Middle Ages, concluding that they are very similar.
Ram Bahadur Bamjan is a 23 years old boy from Nepal. He is famous for little Buddha among peoples and gained huge popularity after he acquired what the people believe is the capacity to disappears and appear anywhere. Since May 2005, he started meditating at his house village Ratanapuri then disappeared and appeared on 2 occasion for the ten and four month respectively.
The Boy With Divine Powers
Ram Bahadur Bomjon :The Boy With Divine Powers Extraordinary Documentary HD
I came across Naoto Hattori’s work inJuxtapoz magazine back in the 90’s, and have periodically checked up on his latest creations ever since.He makes swirling amalgams of humans, animals, aliens, dolls, plants…intertwining like a grand mad scientist DNA experiment.
Naoto Hattori was born in 1975 in Yokohama Japan, studied Graphic Design in Tokyo before moving to New York to study in the School of Visual Arts. In the year 2000 he received a BFA in illustration from the School of Visual Arts. He has received Awards from the Society of Illustrators, the New York Directors Club, Communication Arts and also he has won numerous award from many art competitions and has been published in many art magazines. Of his work, He says: “My vision is like a dream, whether it’s a sweet dream, a nightmare, or just a trippy dream. I try to see what’s really going on in my mind, and that’s a practice to increase my awareness in stream-of-consciousness creativity. I try not to label or think about what is supposed to be, just take it in as it is and paint whatever I see in my mind with no compromise. That way, I create my own vision.”
Raised in Memphis, Tennesse in the United States, Leslie Ditto has always been drawn to self expression through the visual arts. Her teen summers were spent around her father’s Harley Davidson shop where she watched him build and paint motorcycles, and it was there her fascination with fantasy and surrealism developed. Her artistic influences include the “Old Masters” such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rubens, Raphael, and Rembrandt and she has an appreciation for the technique of glazing transparent oil color over a neutral colored under painting.
Leslie’s disturbingly beautiful oil paintings aim to convey her deep emotions and personal views of current social, political, and religious dynamics. In describing her work, she says, “My main goal is to capture my audience and bring them to my emotional state in the hopes that my test for an echo will be a success”.
A documentary looks at the creation of one of the most tattooed logo in punk rock and the artist behind Black Flag: Raymond Pettibon
Created and directed by rock archivist Bryan Ray Turcotte with photographer Bo Bushnell, the first instalment of ‘The Art of Punk’ begins with Black Flagfounding members Keith Morris and Chuck Dukowski, who talk about what the scene was like in 1976 when the band formed.
Also interviewed is Raymond Pettibon, who not only created the band’s artwork, flyers and iconic four bars logo, but even came up with their name. He has since gone on to international acclaim, earning several awards and exhibiting in major galleries and museums.
Two other musicians then discuss the impact of Black Flag’s music and art on their own lives – Henry Rollins, who became the band’s singer in 1981, and Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, who can currently been seen rehearsing with Thom Yorke’s Atoms For Peacesupergroup.
This documentary will take you back right to the beginning of Black Flag and you will definitely enjoy the ride as you get to discover the dark humour of Ray Pettibon who gave Black Flag the perfect edge they needed to be taken seriously and would never miss a chance to break any taboo that would come across. Not only did his flyers sure did bring people up, it also got them in serious troubles with those who thought that this wasn’t funny at all!!
Little did the Rolling Stones know how apt their name – inspired by the title of a Muddy Waters song, “Rollin’ Stone” – would turn out to be. Formed in 1962, they hold the record for longevity as a rock and roll band. There have been hiatuses, especially in the 1980s, but never a breakup. Moreover, critical acclaim and popular consensus has accorded them the title of the “World’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” Throughout five decades of shifting tastes in popular music, the Stones have kept rolling, adapting to the latest styles without straying from their roots as a lean, sinuous rock and roll band with roots in electric blues. In all aspects, theirs has been a remarkable career.
The Rolling Stones’ origins date back to the boyhood friendship of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, forged in 1951. Their acquaintance was interrupted when both families moved in the mid-Fifties but got rekindled in October 1960, when the two ran into each other at a train station and Richards noticed the imported R&B albums Jagger was carrying under his arm. Jagger, a student at the London School of Economics, was a hardcore blues aficionado, while Richards’ interest leaned more toward Chuck Berry-style rock and roll. Richards soon joined Jagger’s group, Little Boy Blue and the Blue Boys.
While making the rounds of London blues clubs, Jagger and Richards met guitarist Brian Jones, a member of Blues Incorporated (fronted by Alexis Korner, a key figure in the early London blues-rock scene). They had been knocked out by Jones’ slide-guitar work on his solo reading of Elmore James’ “Dust My Broom.” (Jones actually employed the pseudonym “Elmo Lewis.”) Soon, the trio of Jagger, Richards and Jones became roommates and musical collaborators.
Keith Richards has been clear about whose band it was in the beginning: “Brian was really fantastic, the first person I ever heard playing slide electric guitar,” Richards said in Stone Alone: The Story of a Rock ’n’ Roll Band, by bassist Bill Wyman. “Mick and I both thought he was incredible. He mentioned he was forming a band. He could have easily joined another group, but he wanted to form his own. The Rolling Stones was Brian’s baby.”
When Alexis Korner skipped one of his regular Marquee gigs to appear on a BBC radio show, Jagger, Jones and Richards seized the opportunity to debut their new group. And so it came to pass that the earliest version of the Rolling Stones – which also included bassist Dick Taylor (later a founding member and guitarist for the Pretty Things), drummer Mick Avory (a future member of the Kinks) and keyboardist Ian Stewart (the Stones’ lifelong road manager and adjunct member) – made their first public appearance on July 12, 1962.
The Rolling Stones landed an eight-month residency at the Crawdaddy Club, where they attracted a following of fans and fellow musicians. By that time, the group’s final lineup had been set, with founding members Jagger, Richards and Jones augmented by drummer Charlie Watts (a Blues Incorporated alumnus) and bassist Bill Wyman. They also took on a young manager-producer, Andrew Loog Oldham, who saw in the Stones a chance to exploit “the opposite to what the Beatles are doing.” Indeed, the Stones would come to epitomize the darker, bluesier and more boldly sexual side of rock and roll in a kind of ongoing counterpoint with the Beatles’ sunnier, more pop-oriented vistas.
In May 1963 the Rolling Stones signed to Decca Records and cut their first single. With a Chuck Berry-penned A side (“Come On”) and a Willie Dixon cover on the flip (“I Want to Be Loved”), this 45 set forth the rock/blues dichotomy whose eventual melding in the Jagger/Richards songwriting team would come to define the Stones’ sound and sensibility. Their second single, “I Wanna Be Your Man,” was provided to them by the Lennon/McCartney songwriting tandem, proving from the outset that there no hostilities existed between the Beatles and the Stones. However, a spirit of friendly competition would serve each band well throughout the Sixties. The first half of 1964 saw the Rolling Stones headline their first British tour (with the Ronettes) and release the single “Not Fade Away” (a powerfully retooled Buddy Holly cover) and their eponymous first album, retitled England’s Newest Hitmakers/The Rolling Stones for U.S. release.
The Rolling Stones’ commercial breakthrough came in mid-1964 with their swinging, country-blues rendition of the Valentinos’ “It’s All Over Now” (written by Bobby Womack and Shirley Womack) which went to Number One on the British chart and just missed the U.S. Top 40. But it was in 1965 that the Stones discovered their own voice with the singles “The Last Time” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The last of these, built around a compelling fuzztone guitar riff from Richards, is more than a standard; quite possibly it is the all-time greatest rock and roll song. It also captured the Stones’ surly, impolite attitude, which would bring them into disfavor with rock-hating elements in the establishment. Of course, that only made the group more appealing to those youthful listeners who found themselves estranged from the adult world.
Aftermath, released in April 1966, was the first Rolling Stones album to consist entirely of Jagger-Richards originals. Their hard-rocking British pop songs detailed battles between sexes, classes and generations. The contributions of Brian Jones, the one-time blues purist, were now key to the Stones’ more eclectic approach, as he colored the songs with embellishments on a variety of instruments including marimba (“Under My Thumb”) and dulcimer (“Lady Jane”). The group’s subsequent singles further pushed the envelope of outrage, which the Stones were learning to work to their benefit. “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing in the Shadow” was a pounding rocker whose picture sleeve depicted the Stones in drag, while “Let’s Spend the Night Together” engendered controversy in the States for the bluntly sexual come-on of its title and lyrics.
At mid-decade, the three pre-eminent forces in popular music were the Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. They mutually influenced one another, and aspects of Dylan’s folk-rock and the Beatles’ similar turn in that direction with Rubber Soul were clearly evident on the Stones’ Between the Buttons, which appeared in 1967. It remains the group’s most baroque and understated recording. After the release of Flowers, an album that compiled stray tracks for the American market, the Stones unleashed the bombastic psychedelia of Their Satanic Majesties Request. It was the group’s portentous retort to the Beatles’ “Summer of Love” manifesto, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It also marked the last time that the Stones would blatantly shadow the Beatles in a stylistic sense.
The year 1967 was an eventful one for the Rolling Stones. Not only did they release three albums, but also they were beset with legal troubles stemming from a string of drug busts engineered by British authorities wanting to make an example of them. When the dust cleared, Jagger, Richards and Jones narrowly escaped draconian prison sentences. However, whereas the ordeal seemed to strengthen Jagger and Richards’ resolve, ongoing substance abuse was rapidly causing Jones’ physical and mental states to disintegrate. He was only marginally involved in sessions for Beggar’s Banquet, the Stones’ 1968 masterpiece, and his departure due to “musical differences” was announced on June 9, 1969. Less than a month later, Jones was found dead in his swimming pool, the official cause being given as “death by misadventure.”
His replacement was Mick Taylor, an alumnus of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, who made his debut with the Stones only days after Jones’ death at a free concert in London’s Hyde Park. With a crowd of more than 500,000, the enormous outdoor concert launched the Stones’ 1969 tour while also paying last respects to Jones. By this time, the Stones had returned to definitive, hard-hitting rock and roll. The string of muscular Stones classics from this period includes “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Street Fighting Man,” “Sympathy for the Devil,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Midnight Rambler.” The last two songs came from Let It Bleed, an album filled with violence, decadence and social cataclysm. Perhaps the all-time classic Stones album, Let It Bleed debuted on the U.S. charts at Number Three, behind the Beatles’ Abbey Road and Led Zeppelin II. While the counterculture foundered, the music scene remained unassailably strong as the Sixties drew to a close.
As the Beatles’ final chapters were being written, the Stones shifted into high gear. If the former group expressed the heady idealism of the pop Sixties, then the Stones, by contrast, were blues-steeped, hard-rocking realists. It was them to whom the baton passed at the close of the decade. The Rolling Stones staged a free concert at Altamont Speedway outside San Francisco on December 6, 1969, mere months after Woodstock. The episode literally and figuratively marked the end the Sixties. A violence-prone, drug-wracked, daylong nightmare for which Hell’s Angels provided security, Altamont was marred by the stabbing death of a concert attendee. The event, viewed in hindsight as an epitaph, was filmed and preserved in the unnerving documentaryGimme Shelter.
In 1970, the Stones launched their own record company, Rolling Stones Records, for which they signed a distribution deal with Atlantic Records. The initial releases on the new label were Sticky Fingers and its raunchy, rocking first single, “Brown Sugar.” With a cover designed by artist Andy Warhol that featured a working zipper, Sticky Fingers benefited from guitarist Taylor’s melodic touch, especially on “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” and “Moonlight Mile.” British designer John Pasche came up with the famous red “tongue” logo that remains a Stones icon to this day.
They followed this succinct, well-tuned work with a sprawling, raucous masterpiece: the double album Exile on Main St. At this point, the Stones’ had their fingers firmly on the pulse of the fractured mood of the early Seventies. Recorded in France, where they’d moved as British tax exiles, the album also reflected the group’s internal yin-yang in grainy aural black-and-white: bristling musical energy vs. heavy-lidded world-weariness, love of rock vs. loyalty to the blues, the downward pull of decadence vs. a dogged effort to capture the moment. They took this juggernaut on the road shortly after Exile’s release.
Subsequent albums – Goats Head Soup (1973), It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (1974) and Black and Blue (1976) – yielded solid individual songs but lacked their predecessors’ sustained brilliance. Various factors, including Richards’ drug problems and Taylor’s abrupt departure in 1974, contributed to an air of instability in the mid-Seventies. Even so, Jagger and Richards were now firmly bonded as the “Glimmer Twins” – a name that they used as their joint production credit on albums from It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll onward. Ron Wood, a member of the Faces and Rod Stewart’s frequent collaborator and accompanist, was chosen as Taylor’s replacement for the Stones’ 1975 tour. He became an official member by the time of Black and Blue, appearing on that album’s cover (even though he’d only actually played on a few of its tracks). Wood’s selection made perfect sense, as he was a British rock and roller who fit in solidly alongside Richards.
Richards’ arrest in Toronto on drug charges, including heroin possession, didn’t stop them from playing their scheduled club dates at Toronto’s El Mocombo club, excerpts from which appeared on one side of the double album Love You Live. The fallout from the bust would be 18 months of legal limbo, as Richards faced up to seven years in prison if convicted. (He was ultimately ordered to perform a benefit concert for the blind as his sentence.) Richards beat his heroin addiction during this period, “closing down the laboratory,” in his words.
With Wood’s integration into the lineup, and driven by the insurgent challenge of punk-rock, the Stones rebounded in 1978 with Some Girls, their strongest effort since Exile On Main St. The cover and certain lyrics proved controversial, with the title track eliciting charges of sexism, and the songs paid heed to musical trends, including unmistakably Stonesy takes on disco (“Miss You”) and punk-rock (“Shattered”). Some Girls remains among the group’s best-selling albums, having been certified six times platinum (6 million copies sold) by the RIAA.
The Eighties saw the Stones achieve their highest-charting album (Tattoo You, Number One for nine weeks in 1981) but also take the longest period between tours (eight years). They kicked off the decade with Emotional Rescue, which included straight-ahead rockers like “She Was Hot,” as well as curveballs like the falsetto-sung title track. Tattoo You, highlighted by the instant classics “Start Me Up” and “Waiting on a Friend,” remains among the most revered of all late-period Stones albums. Undercover, from 1983, took a more contemporary tack, especially on the outre, New Wavish single “Undercover of the Night.”
At mid-decade, Jagger launched a solo career with the release of She’s the Boss. A growing estrangement between Jagger and Richards culminated in a three-year lull after the release of Dirty Work (1986), during which another solo release from Jagger (Primitive Cool) and Richards’ own solo debut (Talk Is Cheap) were released. The standoff ended when Jagger and Richards resumed their working relationship during a 10-day songwriting retreat in Barbados, resulting in the creative resurgence of the Steel Wheels album and tour.
Bassist Bill Wyman, increasingly suffering from fear of flying, announced his retirement from the band after the Steel Wheels tour, in 1992. “I did everything but hold him at gunpoint,” said Richards of his efforts to keep him in the band.” After auditioning many musicians, the Stones picked Darryl Jones – who’d played with various jazz, funk and soul musicians – to take over on bass. The Stones released two albums of new music in the Nineties, Voodoo Lounge (for which they won a Grammy for Best Rock Album) and Bridges to Babylon. Between those albums, they re-recorded a batch of classic older songs in the then-popular “unplugged” format, released at mid-decade as Stripped. Their three tours during this busy decade were the best-attended and most lucrative live outings in rock history to that point in time.
In 2002, the Rolling Stones issued Forty Licks, a double-disc retrospective that appended four new tracks. Their 40th anniversary tour followed that same year. In 2005 came A Bigger Bang, their only studio album of new material in the decade. The Stones’ primary activity came on the touring front, as their two-year A Bigger Bang World Tour set a new record (more than $550 million) for concert grosses. Not even a serious head injury sustained by Richards during a fall from a coconut palm in Fiji could stop the juggernaut for long.
The Stones celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2012. They released yet another greatest-hits album, GRRR! The album included two new tracks, “Doom and Gloom” and “One More Shot.” On October 25, they played a surprise show to about 600 people in Paris. In November 2012, the group played two shows at London’s The 02 Arena, and in December, they performed at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the Prudential Center in New Jersey. The Stones were joined on stage by Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman for these gigs. The band also joined artists including the Who, Eric Clapton, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney for “12-12-12,” the Concert for Sandy Relief at Madison Square Garden.
Through their five decades as a band, no one has yet stripped the Rolling Stones of their title as the World’s Greatest Rock & Roll Band. In 2002, Keith Richards had this to say in USA Today about the group’s improbable longevity: “People thought it couldn’t be done. We never thought of trying it. We are just here. It’s a vague mission you can’t give up until you keel over.”
I strongly recommend that you read Keith Richards memoir written with the assistance of journalist James Fox. Published in October 2010. The book chronicles Richards’ love of music, charting influences from his mother and maternal grandfather, through his discovery of blues music, the founding of the Rolling Stones, his often turbulent relationship with Mick Jagger, his involvement with drugs, and his relationships with women including Anita Pallenberg (very much involved with the 60’s New-York crowd) and his wife Patti Hansen.Richards also released Vintage Vinos, a compilation of his work with the X-Pensive Winos, at the same time. Co-writer James Fox interviewed Richards and his associates over a period of five years to produce the book. Life was generally well received by critics and topped The New York Times non-fiction list in the first week of release.
Life is a memoir covering Keith Richards’s life, starting with his childhood in Dartford, Kent, through to his success with the Rolling Stones and his current life in Connecticut. His interest in music was triggered by his mother, Doris, who played records by Sarah Vaughan, Billy Eckstine and Louis Armstrong, and his maternal grandfather, Augustus Theodore Dupree, a former big band player, who encouraged him to take up the guitar. In his teens he met up with Mick Jagger, who he had known in primary school, and discovered that they both shared a love of blues music. In the early 1960s Richards moved into a London flat, shared with Jagger and Brian Jones. Together with Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones were founded in 1962, playing gigs at Ealing Jazz Club and the Crawdaddy Club.
The book chronicles Richards’s career with the Stones since 1962, following their rise from playing small club gigs to stadium concerts, Richards’s drug habits, his arrests and convictions. His relationships with a number of women, including Anita Pallenberg, Marianne Faithfull, Ronnie Spector and Patti Hansen, whom he married in 1983, are covered in detail. The often difficult partnership between Richards and Jagger is referred to throughout the work and coverage of this has caused much media interest.
Throughout the work, much attention is given to Richards’ love of music, his style of playing and chord construction.His non-Stones projects, such as the X-Pensive Winos and recording with the Wingless Angels in Jamaica, as well as collaborations with Chuck Berry and Gram Parsons amongst others are covered in some detail.
The book gives you the recipe for such a succesfull and long lasting band, something that you do not get to see that often… Reading it was pure delight so I strongly recommend it to anyone, wether you are a fan or not, you will definitely enjoy this!