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!
Born in Santa Monica, California, Lynette Alice Fromme grew up in Westchester, California where her father William worked as an aeronautical engineer. Lyn was the first of 3 children, was a talented, well-liked child that toured throughout the United States and Canada in a song and dance troop called the Lariats. In Junior High School Lynette was active with many after school activities. She was a member of the Athenian Honor Societyas well as the Girls Athletic Club. In her drama class Lyn befriended a young Phil Hartman, who eventually gained fame on shows like Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, & Newsradio. When her class gave out superlatives, Lynette was voted “Personality Plus”.
As Lyn grew older, the relationship between her and her father grew apart. Neighbors remembered William Fromme as a tyrant-like figure, who seemed to punish Lyn for little or nothing at all. In High School, Lynette became more rebellious, using drugs and alcohol. She worked in a Canvas shop where coworkers would see Lyn burn herself with lit cigarettes, and shoot staples into her forearm with a staple gun. She briefly dated Bill Siddons, who went on to be the road manager of The Doors. However, Siddons’ mother felt that Lyn was disturbed, and talked Bill into steering clear of her. After High School, Lynette bounced around, living with different people. She eventually moved back home and enrolled at El Camino Junior College. It wasn’t long before Lyn and her father were fighting again.
The two got into a fight over a definition of a word, and it was the last straw for Lynette; again, she hit the road. It was at this time, that Lyn met Charles Manson on Venice Beach. Impressed by Manson, she quickly decided to leave Los Angeles to travel with Charlie and Mary Brunner Lynette had a special spot in the family; according to Paul Watkins, no one but Charlie was allowed to sleep with Lyn. At Spahn’s Ranch, Fromme spent most of her time taking care of the 80 year-old blind owner, George Spahn. Lynette would make squeak-like noises when George ran his hands up her legs, so he dubbed her “Squeaky.” Lynette was arrested with the family in both the Spahn and Barker Ranch raids. During the Tate-Labianca murder trial Lyn was frequently arrested. The charges ranged from contempt of court, loitering, trespassing on county property, to attempted murder, for a LSD lanced hamburger given to Barbara Hoyt in Hawaii.
After Manson was convicted, Squeaky moved to San Francisco to be closer to San Quentin. She maintained contact with defense attorney Paul Fitzgerald, and family members in and out of jail. However, prison officials were uncomfortable about her and wouldn’t permit her to see Charlie. When Lyn wasn’t petitioning to see Manson, she began writing a book about the family. In September of 1972, Lynette was arrested in connection with the murders of James and Reni Willet. Authorities soon found she wasn’t involved with the murders, however they were reluctant to let her go. Finally on January 2nd 1973, all charges against Lyn were dropped, and she was released the following day. On her release Lynette was immediately arrested by LAPD. She had been accused of robbing a 7-11 convenience store in October of 1972. At the trial Lyn’s accuser, a 17 year-old 7-11 employee, admitted that the robber didn’t have the “X” scar on her forehead. Once again the charges weren’t dropped until another woman was arrested and confessed to the crime. Freedom was bittersweet for Lyn, the Family was falling apart. Mary, Gypsy, Katie, Leslie, and Sadie all wanted nothing to do with Manson.
Later that year, Lynette moved to Sacramento with Sandra Good. The reason for the move was once again to be closer to Manson; Charlie had been moved from San Quentin toFolsom Prison. While walking in a park Fromme befriended a 64 year-old man named Harold “Manny” Boro. According to Boro’s daughter-in-law, the two were lovers. In Sacramento, Lyn and Sandy became more preoccupied with saving the environment. It was around this time that Charlie started to talk about the Order of the Rainbow, his own religion in which Lyn and Sandy would be nuns of. Each of the Manson girls was given a color; Lynette was dubbed “Red” and was given the duty of saving the Redwoods. Their Lifestyles would be very different compared to the Spahn’s Ranch days. The girls weren’t allowed to smoke, have sex, or watch “movies with violence that sets thoughts to death and confusion.” From their P Street apartment, Lyn and Sandy started the International People’s Court of Retribution; a fictitious terrorist group that would assassinate executives and CEO’s of companies that polluted the earth. The two sent out hundreds of threatening letters that claimed that there were thousands of members of the terrorist group just waiting to kill.
While trying to get the local news to report the damage being done to the Redwoods from logging, Lyn was informed that the President of the United States was coming to town. On September 5, 1975, Lynette headed down to Capital Park with a loaded Colt .45 automatic pistol (borrowed from Manny Boro) strapped to her leg. When President Gerald Ford came walking down the path, Lynette pulled out her gun. Immediately Secret Service Agents wrestled Lyn to the ground, and the President escaped untouched. At her trial, Lynette followed Charlie’s example and chose to represent herself. However, her presence in the courtroom was short lived. When Lyn lectured about the Redwoods and her other environmental concerns, Judge Thomas McBride instructed Lyn to stick to things relevant to her case. As Lyn continued to talk about whales and pollution, McBride had her removed from the courtroom. Squeaky was returned to her jail cell, where she spent most of the trial, watching from closed circuit television. Later on in the case, and nearly costing a mistrial, it was discovered that U.S. Attorney Dwayne Keyes had failed to turn over some exculpatory evidence. In late November of 1975, a jury convicted Lynette of Attempted Assassination of the President of the United States of America. Upon sentencing, an angry Lynette threw an apple at Dwayne Keyes’ head, afterwhich Squeaky was sentenced to Life. Squeaky was sent away to the Alderson Federal Corrections Institute in West Virginia. She was eventually reconnected with fellow family member Sandy Good, after she was transferred to a new prison in Pleasanton, California, where Good was serving time for sending threatening letters.
In March of 1979, Lynette attacked a Croatian Nationalist named Julienne Busic, imprisoned from her connection in a 1976 airline hijacking. Squeaky hit Busic in the head with the claw end of a hammer, got 15 months added to her sentence, and was sent back to Alderson. On December 23, 1987, Lyn got word that Charlie was dying of cancer, and escaped from Alderson. She was picked up 2 days later having traveled only a few miles. Squeaky then bounced around the prison system: from Lexington, Kentucky, to Marianna, Florida, and finally to the Federal Medical Center Carswell, near Fort Worth, Texas where she remained until her release on August 16, 2009.
Drama documentary featuring input from Linda Kasabian, Catherine Share & Vincent Bugliosi. It covers the murders of Gary Hinmen and the Tate-Labianca slayings. I do not hold the copyright to this documentary. It is to my personnal taste the best made documentary about it. Blunt, true, visceral. Until then, Kasabian was still in hiding and still afraid because she was receiving threats by supporters of the Manson family. The very thing you can be resented more than to be a child killer (if possible!) is being a snitch in the underworld where she resentfully takes us.
Andy Warhol’s Polaroid Selfies, Drag Selfies and Celebrity Portraits Sold on eBay Auction
The Drag Polaroids Selfies alone sold for $220,000.00 (US)
The King of Selfies’ portraits were up for grab as Andy Warhol’s drag Polaroids via an eBay online auction.Warhol’s Polaroid collection includes two sets of selfies of the artists, one of which features a collection where he is dressed as drag with various wigs and makeup. The set of six Warhol’s drag selfies were estimated to rake in between $70,000 and $90,000. The set of six did gather much more as they weresold for $220,000 (23 bids), according to eBay.
The other set of selfies are 12 self-portraits and were expected to go between $250,000 and $350,000. The four celebrity portraits were expected to bring in between $40,000 and $60,000.
It also includes close-up celebrity portraits of Liza Minnelli, Diana Ross as well as Mick Jagger’s ex-wives Bianca Jagger and Jerry Hall . The collection of four celebrity portraits were expected to go for anywhere between $40,000 and $60,000.
The Polaroid collection is a part of Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Day Auction. The real-time bidding auction hosted on eBay yesterday had a total of 404 pieces listed, including more works by the late pop-art legend (including acrylic portraits of Dorothy Blau), as well as originals by Keith Haring, Robert Indiana and Jeff Koons.
Sotheby’s recently fell just shy of its best-ever contemporary art result, taking in some US$380 million and setting records for artists including Christopher Wool and Sigmar Polke.
Led by Mark Rothko’s untitled yellow and blue oil from 1954 which sold for US$46.5 million – nearer the low end of its pre-sale estimate – the auction saw steady, if not unfettered bidding for top works by Roy Lichtenstein, Gerhard Richter, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.
Of the 63 works on offer only seven failed to find buyers, though a number of its top-priced works came in nearer the low estimates.
The sale totaled US$379,676,000, including Sotheby’s commission of just over 12 percent, well within its pre-sale estimate of US$315 million to US$411 million.
Officials hailed the result as a huge success, some US$500,000 short of Sotheby’s’ best-ever total for a post-war and contemporary auction.
“The depth of global participation this evening was extraordinary,” said senior international specialist for contemporary art and auctioneer Oliver Barker, echoing sentiments prevalent for several years running about the expanding and increasingly global art market.
Among the sale’s high points, Wool’s Untitled (RIOT) soared to US$29.9 million, doubling the estimate and breaking his auction record.
Lichtenstein’s “The Ring (Engagement)” was bought by an Asian collector, fetching US$41.7 million, short of its US$50 million estimate. But in a sign of the ever-soaring prices for top-tier post-war works, Sotheby’s noted that “The Ring” had sold for US$2.2 million when it was last auctioned in 1997.
Polke set a record with “Dschungel (Jungle),” which sold for US$27.1 million, nearly three times what it achieved just four years ago. In all seven artists set new records on the night.
An Asian collector also spent big for Richter’s colorful “Abstraktes Bild,” which sold for US$28.3 million, while Warhol’s “Superman” doubled expectations, fetching US$14.4 million.
The spring auctions continue on Wednesday, when Christie’s holds it post-war and contemporary sale. On Monday night the auction house sold Picasso’s “Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’)” just under US$180 million, the highest price ever for a single work of art in auction history.
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.
This is a little story that I like to remind myself because I learned that day that one should never be afraid of what he is and what his tastes are because you might realise that life has a way to make you connect with people very strongly, no matter what you think THEIR tastes are. This one also reminds me how much of a cool bunch the guys from Voïvod were, still are and always will be.
I was assisting Claude <> Gregoire the director of Voivod’s video ”Psychic Vacuum” (I’m the weird Pygmy from the Hatröss Dimension you see cloned and dancing during Piggy guitar solo in the Psychic Vaccum clip). It was the second time I was working on a clip for them, having assisted the post prod of their first official clip ”Tribal Conviction” (also directed by Claude Grégoire so of course I got to joke around with them and talk and after the shooting since we lived pretty close to each other, they came by to my place to chill out and talk some more since we really hit it off so well during the while shooting of both clips. I used to live in a place where my room was next to a living room which basically consisted of 3 barber
chairs and a Bronco pinball machine. The other room was where I was sleeping and I had a parachute hanging from the ceiling, hiding the whole room like some kinda tent since there was no door in was all an open space divided in 2, a bed, a dresser and my sound system and all my vinyls. Now, I knew their music was different from Van Halen or Iron Maiden because it was very ”progressive” but I really still thought theat they would mostly listen to stuff like Metallica, Slayer and Black Sabbath and would kinda resent a guy like me who had a very strong connection on my teens to bands like King Crimson, Soft Machine, Gong, Genesis and Van der Graaf Generator!! I would say that at least half of my albums were old prog band (I had every single album of King Crimson, plus most of the solo albums of Robert Fripp!) I hardly never ever was really into heavy metal except for Black Sabbath so I had no album whatsoever that I thought they would like. I was VERY embarrassed that they would discover my collection and afraid that they would think I was not into what they were doing which was false cuz I really liked what they did!! I thought it was so different and of course…
I liked the fact that the structure of their songs was so progressive… I got Blacky (aka Jean-Yves Thériault), Snake (aka Denis Bélanger) and Away (aka Michel Langevin) to sit, all lined up, in the comfy barbershop chairs and I stood prudently in front of my sound system. Away, as you could always expect him to do, sitting in the furthest corner of the room. I thought I was safe since the parachute was hiding my sound system and my albums plus the only other way to get into my room was by a door in the corridor. We were talking and started smoking and I got to relax a little when all of a sudden I noticed Piggy (aka Denis D’Amour) was missing!! 2 seconds later I hear his voice from behind the curtain (parachute) saying hey guys look what this guy has in his record collection!!! ”Oh God I’m so fucked!!” I thought, seeing him exhibiting with a large smile a very old Van der Graaf album called ”Pawn Hearts”. On this album is the track called Plague of the Lighouse Keepers, which was and still is to me an all time classic… He seemed to specifically show it more towards to Away, who was like usual away, sitting in the furthest chair from me and Piggy (remember I was standing right in front of my sound system, guarding it with my life (!). Away kinda woke up from whatever he was in his thoughts and just said ”Right On ! Play It!”. Piggy did and kept digging in my collection, dragging out all my oldest albums from Brian Eno, King Crimson, Soft Machine and even Gong ”Expresso 2”to my amazement they all stood up and suddenly got really interested in my collection and looked at me, kinda acknowledging that I knew my music and that they all thought these were like real good stuff and confirmed why we hit it off so well in the first place. What a relief!!! When ”Pawn Hearts” was finished, Piggy played a very old track by Pink Floyd from the album Umma Gumma called.. ”Astronomy Domine”. They all smiled and listened to it with pure delight. Little did I know that they already had the approval and been granted the permission by Roger Waters himself to do a cover of this song that later appeared on their next album ”Nothingface”, the album that gave them mainstream success which was also the first Voivod album to enter the Billboard 200 charts, peaking at number 114.”Astronomy Domine” was the next clip to appear on MTV. It was shot by Pierre Dalpé. Note that ”Psychic Vacuum” was shot on the roof of the building my childhood friend Dalpé lived in. Soon after that they started touring around the world once more but by then they had gathered a very large public, especially in Europe and much later Jason Newstead from Metallica was to replace Blacky when he left for a short while before they came back with their original formation. Piggy already knew when I first met them that he had a cancer. It never broke his spirit. He was 100% there until the end.
Target Earth, Voïvod last album released in 2013 has a more progressive sound than some of their last few albums, and is a return to a more “classic” Voïvod sound that can be heard on Dimension Hatross and Nothingface. All the music was written by Blacky and Chewy (aka Daniel Mongrain who replaced Piggy), while Snake focused of lyrics, and Away took care of the artwork.
On July 10, 2014, it was reported that Blacky has left Voïvod again. In late January 2015 the band released the new single “We Are Connected” which is the lead track from the upcoming 7″ Split Vinyl disk with the band At The Gates.It is the first music to feature new bassist Dominic “Rocky” Laroche.
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.
Is there such a thing as a natural-born pop artist? I don’t really think there is, but the voluminous graphical art of Mark Mothersbaugh, well known as the frontman and co-founder of DEVO, is enough to give me pause.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver on Thursday opened Myopia, a very large exhibition showcasing the art of Mark Mothersbaugh that runs through April. Adam Lerner, director of the museum and curator of the show, takes pains in the book accompanying the show published by Princeton Architectural Press, to emphasize Mothersbaugh’s almost preposterous productivity: “Mark Mothersbaugh is a fountain of creative energy. He creates postcard-size drawings and collages on a daily basis (more than 30,000 of them so far) and uses them as the basis for other works. …”
It’s well known that the spark that led to DEVO’s formation was the tragic shooting at Kent State in May 1970, which Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale witnessed. Mothersbaugh puts it well in the book: “For a lot of reasons, the shootings gave me a focus.” To flip throughMyopia is to wonder just what button that event pushed in Mothersbaugh’s brain—there seems to be no cessation of the combinations of icons and slogan-like textual elements that Mothersbaugh can’t put together in an arresting image. Lerner wants to emphasize that DEVO is merely one channel for Mothersbaugh’s creativity, with the works featured in Myopia representing some of the others, and that’s perfectly true. It may not be “fair” that DEVO overshadows the entirety of Mothersbaugh’s other output, but that’s the nature of showbiz. A less curmudgeonly way of thinking about it is that Mothersbaugh has found success in the opposed worlds of pop culture and high art in ways that reinforce each other.
It kind of goes without saying for anyone who knows his or her DEVO, but Mothersbaugh’s sloganeering impulse is strongly influenced by advertising. Picking almost at random from the images, you can find phrases in Mothersbaugh’s pictures such as “Don’t Bullshit God, Padre!” “Press My Tummy, Buttwipe!” “I’m Keeping Score, You Fiend!” “Soiled Linen Pantaloons, Yakety Pants,” and on and on. The exclamation points aren’t incidental—there’s a hectoring quality that maybe prevents Mothersbaugh’s images from penetrating the upper echelons of art, but he’s awfully adept and they function really well below that threshold. Hell, even the ones without words are almost as emphatic—the man understands his icons. As for originality, obviously Mothersbaugh owes a huge debt to the pop art movement of the 1950s and after: The Ben-Day dots, visible on the cover, are obviously a nod to Roy Lichtenstein and through him to pop art in general.
My guess is that 90% of DEVO’s fans have no idea just how startling and accomplished an artist Mark Mothersbaugh is. If you take DEVO’s output and convert it to a collection of paintings, it would look a lot like the pieces in Myopia—possibly just because of the sheer number of postcard-style paintings and doodles Mothersbaugh has produced, the graphical art ranges a little wider and more freely than DEVO’s catalog, for reasons that should be mostly obvious. Also, the pretense of the Devolution schtick isn’t quite as present—the levels of pessimistic irony are a little flatter in the paintings, so you can apprehend it a little easier. It’s still about showing you the ugliest side of our noisy culture somehow, but you can admire it purely as an aesthetic thing without the oxytocin hit of DEVO’s spastic 4/4 beat.
Riggs’ Class Record No. 101 (No D) (pages 18 and 19), 1971
LuAnn, ca. 1984
Kiss Me, 2004
Untitled (Censor), 2004
Are We Not Men?, 2004
Here’s the first section of a roughly 75-minute interview conducted at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles a month ago:
Andy Warhol’s sphere of influence defined 60’s subculture in New York. Though most remember Andy as an artist, he should be coined as a collector, collecting characters at The Factory who he manufactured and preserved as icons. His taste was impeccable; his instincts dead on. “Anybody who Andy discovered and found and ‘named’ as his ‘superstar’ became his superstar. Andy had the best taste. I mean, he’s my favorite artist…he knew a good thing”, said Betsey Johnson. From 1965-1967 Andy delivered an explosion, giving rise to three of the most memorable icons of the era. The intersection of Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Betsey Johnson, and The Velvet Underground illuminated a generation, culminating in the most influential icons of the 60’s social scene.
Edie met Andy at a party in January of ’65 and she became a regular at Andy’s studio, The Factory, by March. During this time Andy shot footage of Edie getting ready in her apartment, later used in his film Poor Little Rich Girl. Andy and Edie became quite inseparable, and in April of ’65, Andy brought Edie to an art opening of his in Paris. When they got back to New York, Andy said that he wanted to make Edie the ‘Queen of The Factory’. He had a script written for just for her, resulting in a film called Kitchen, shot in the kitchen of a friend’s studio apartment. Around this time Andy also shot Vinyl, which featured Edie in an otherwise all male cast. By the spring, The Factory hosted a “Fifty Most Beautiful People” party where many celebrities, including Judy Garland, came. It was said that at this party, “the stars went out and the superstars came in; that there were more people staring at Edie than at Judy”. By the early summer, Edie starred in her most famous Warhol film, Beauty No.2, which opened in July. The film showcased Edie lying in bed with a male lover while an offscreen voyeur berated her with personal questions. That same month Edie was named the “Newest Superstar” in the New York Times.
Edie became notorious by age 22, frolicking around the city in heavy eye make up with her hair sprayed silver, donning black leotards, tights, and big chandelier earrings. “Edie ran with the wild horses. Edie was not only ‘the look’, she had the head, she had the body, she had the screwed up background, I mean she’s the perfect candidate. Young, gorgeous, the look of the time, on Andy’s arm, and able to really hold her own, falling down, standing up, or whatever. She was a one in a zillion,” said Betsey Johnson. In November, Edie appeared in a LIFEmagazine feature titled “The Girl with The Black Tights”. After hanging out with Bob Dylan for a bit, Edie got the impression that Bob’s manager would offer her a film contract. She then veered astray from Andy in February of ’66 after he filmed her last Factory role in “Lupe”. Betsey reflects, “We were passionate, tormented kids with visions, stuff to do, and things to make. Edie led a sixties acceptance and love and wannabe population of copycats. She was gorgeous.”
Edie dressed like Betsey
Betsey designed the fashion that defined the look of The Factory. Before being introduced to Andy, Betsey was one of the in-house designers for a Manhattan boutique called Paraphernalia. Metallics, plastics, and minis filled the shop, where all clothes retailed for less than $99. “People would walk into the store dressed in their straight clothes. They’d buy something and put it on. Then and there they’d apply an outrageous make-up, before heading directly to a party. They were buying something to wear tonight and more or less throw away tomorrow” said Paraphernalia’s owner, Paul Young. The boutique itself looked like a minimalist art gallery, designed by Architect Ulrich Franzen, and it sat right next to the Vidal Sasson salon. Paraphernalia and Vidal Sassoon provided the essential components for any woman to transform into a mod mistress, an enormously radical shift from the conservative look of the 50’s. After designing for Paraphernalia for about a year, Andy introduced Betsey to Edie who immediately fell in love with Betsey’s designs. Betsey lent Edie a collection of her signature silver clothing, and Edie became Betsey’s fitting model for the following year.
Edie became a regular at Paraphernalia where she simultaneously established and consumed the notorious look of the 60’s. By dressing Edie, Betsey developed an integral role in The Factory which continued to expand. The Factory was the new master of media, manufacturing film, art, and celebrity status. If that wasn’t enough, in ’65 The Factory began to manufacture music when Andy became the manager for a band called The Velvet Underground. The Velvet underground was formed by Lou Reed and John Cale, two talented 23 year olds who bonded over music and heroin. Betsey was dating John Cale at the time, and she readily began to design clothes for the band once Andy had brought them into The Factory. The web was woven; the stage was set. Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Betsey Johnson, and The Velvet Underground became the incubators of an era, producing a radical wave and cult phenomenon that has yet to be rivaled.
The Velvet Underground:
In March of ’66 Betsey hired Andy to stage a party at Paraphernalia. The Velvet Underground played music at the party, ultimately selling a look, a sound, and a scene. Andy suggested that the band feature German singer, Nico, on several of their songs. Nico was a 5’10”, German born, blonde model who’s stoic beauty and deep, soft voice gave the male band a female offset. She famously sang the song, “Femme Fatale”, which Lou Reed had written about Edie at Andy’s request. Between ’66 to ’67 Andy organized a series of multimedia events called the “Exploding Plastic Inevitable”, also referred to as “EPI”. The series featured musical performances by The Velvet Underground and Nico, showcasing notable regulars from The Factory as dancers. The “EPI” officially began in January of ’66 at a dinner for the New York Society for Clinical Psychiatry. Edie and another of Andy’s superstars, Gerard Malanga, danced on stage as The Velvet Underground and Nico sang. Establishing its roots in New York City, the “EPI” roadshow continued throughout the United States and Canada until May of ’67. In April of ’66 The Velvet Underground and Nico album was recorded in New York City, featuring Nico on three of the songs. Andy designed the album cover; a yellow banana sticker with “peel slowly and see” printed near the tip, revealing a fleshy, pink banana underneath. Brian Eno is credited with saying, “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” The album was named the 13th “Greatest Album of All Time” by Rolling Stone in March of 2003.
Andy, Edie, Betsey and The Velvet Underground had a huge influence on culture during and after their fame in the 60‘s. Each of these icons possessed peculiar characteristics that helped challenge the rigid, societal norms of their time. For instance, Edie suffered from mental illness since she was a child, primarily due to a troubled family life. Though Edie was born into wealth, her affluence only made her more susceptible to dependence on prescription pills and party drugs which ultimately led to an overdose that killed her at age 28. Andy too had his own troubles. He grew up as a hypochondriac and outcast who isolated himself in his room, immersing himself in magazines and radio. Andy was undeniably insecure, and perhaps he surrounded himself amongst his large crew of eccentrics as a way to camouflage his own insecurities. The Velvet Underground frontman, Lou Reed, also suffered from a troubled upbringing. At 17, Lou received 24 electric shock therapy under his parents wishes to “cure” him of his homo-erotic tendencies and mood swings. The dosage of the shock treatment was incredibly high, and it made him feel like a vegetable for the entire following year. Lou was quick to leave home after that.
Many of the regulars at The Factory thought of themselves as misfits, sharing a resentment towards their upbringing and a desire for life anew. The Factory provided an exciting, alternative lifestyle to those young people who had never fit into the box that their parents tried desperately to confine them in. Drugs, particularly heroin and speed, became a common habit amongst The Factory crowd. Though they were popular, the drugs were hardly glamorized due to the drastic consequences they caused. The fame and notoriety of The Factory icons helped publicize the gritty reality of youth that had been banned from media in the 50’s. Andy successfully showed America these beautifully talented and troubled artists as pioneers of a new 60’s generation. These icons broke through the social molds of conservatism, establishing a wave of culture that radically embraced the beauty within the harsh realities of life.
The Shining’s Overlook hotel remains one of the most disturbing locations in horror. Let’s looks over its history, and how it tells Kubrick’s story…
Cinema is full of set designs so beautiful, you almost wish you they were real. Fritz Lang had vast chunks of city built forMetropolis. Joseph Mankiewicz nearly brought 20th Century Fox to its knees, so huge and sumptuous were his sets for 1963’sCleopatra.
Thinking back over the course of movie history, how many films can you think of where the set itself is as big a star as the actors that emote within it? In Alien or Blade Runner, perhaps. The impossibly creepy motel and Victorian house of horrors in Psycho, maybe. The set in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, I’d argue, towers over all these.
In no other film has an interior felt so mundane and yet so palpably evil – Jack Nicholson may rant and rave spectacularly as unhinged writer Jack Torrance, and Shelley Duval may act convincingly exhausted and terrified as his beleaguered wife, but it’s production designer Roy Walker’s set design that constantly dazzles.
Credit must also go, of course, to John Alcott’s prowling cinematography, aided Garrett Brown and his wonder invention, the Steadicam, which allowed Stanley Kubrick, ever the technician, to pull off some of the most striking long takes in all cinema.
Nevertheless, it’s the Overlook Hotel, at the time the biggest indoor set ever built, that bears so much of the film’s dramatic weight. This is partially because The Shining has such a simple story to tell. Pared back even by the standards of Stephen King’s source novel, the movie contains none of the rampaging elephant-shaped hedges or infernos of the original book. Instead, Kubrick’s film presents us with little more than embittered, failed writer, Jack, slowly growing crazy in a remote hotel. His wife Wendy (Duvall) and telepathic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) can do little more than look on in horror.
At first glance, Kubrick and Walker appear to have created the perfect fusion between exterior and interior shots. At the start of the film, the outside of the Overlook we see is actually the Timberline Lodge, located in Oregon. The rest of the film’s exteriors and interiors, meanwhile, were immaculately constructed back at Elstree Studios in the UK.
A world away from the dusty, peeling interiors usually seen in horror movies, the hotel interior envisioned by Kubrick is spacious and modern. The set generates tension not through claustrophobia and dark spaces, but with high ceilings and lonely expanses. Characters are frequently dwarfed by gigantic columns or huge windows. Even the carpets accentuate the how small and vulnerable Danny and his mother are; one shot shows the little boy playing on a carpet whose huge geometric patterns surround him like a cage.
As he did in 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, Kubrick uses violent contrasts of colour to heighten the feeling of unease. There’s a key moment, where Grady (Philip Stone) ushers Jack into a bathroom and urges him, rather unsubtly, to “correct” his family. The acting in this scene is so intense that it’s easy to miss just how striking the actors’ surroundings are; unlike the warm, boozy golds of the ballroom Jack was drinking in seconds before, the bathroom is bathed in stark artificial light. The pure white ceiling and floor merely accentuate the startling crimson of the walls.
The room is utterly unlike any other in the hotel – it’s as though it’s a direct projection of Jack’s violent mind, which it almost certainly is. It’s but one example of how Kubrick uses colour and design to reflect the mood of his characters.
As an example of how The Shining’s set takes us through those moods, take a look at the manager’s room, where Jack is interviewed at the beginning of the film – it’s a typical 70s office, its ugly salmon-coloured walls festooned with framed pictures. It’s vastly different from the supernatural ballroom or evil-looking bathroom seen in the film’s final act.
When Walker set about designing the film’s rooms, he took inspiration from real hotel rooms from around America, and went all over the country photographing different interiors. On his returm, Kubrick leafed through the pictures, chose the ones he liked, and had his production team construct rooms that looked exactly the same. The director described the process of designing the film’s sets in an interview with writer Michel Ciment.
“We wanted the hotel to look authentic rather than like a traditionally spooky movie hotel,” Kubrick said. “The hotel’s labyrinthine layout and huge rooms, I believed, would alone provide an eerie enough atmosphere. This realistic approach was also followed in the lighting, and in every aspect of the decor it seemed to me that the perfect guide for this approach could be found in Kafka’s writing style. His stories are fantastic and allegorical, but his writing is simple and straightforward, almost journalistic.”
Writer Rob Ager made an exhaustive and brilliant examination of The Shining’s set design, and suggested that Kubrick deliberately built anomalies into the hotel’s layout in order to confuse the viewer’s spatial awareness. (It’s a fascinating piece of work, and you can read it, and watch an accompanying video, here.)
From a plan view, as one might see in an architect’s drawing, the Overlook’s layout doesn’t make any sense; hotel rooms open out straight onto balconies; what should be internal windows appear to have light coming from outside; corridors lead to abrupt dead ends.
Not everyone agrees with Ager’s thesis, but I’d argue it’s too plausible to dismiss entirely. While it’s possible that Kubrick and his designers may have cut a few corners to cram their already enormous sets into the space available at Elstree, it’s unlikely that a director as meticulous and obsessed with minor detail as Kubrick would make so many glaring errors.
Besides, Kubrick makes it obvious from the outset that the hotel’s architecture is vital to his story. His use of Steadicam isn’t merely a gimmicky use of new technology – it allows him to lead us around this weird interior landscape, across horrid carpets, polished floors and rugs, through its sprawling kitchen and storage rooms. He wants us to know how gigantic and dehumanising this place is – before the psychological wargames begin, he shows us the battleground on which they’ll take place.
In the Overlook, Kubrick created a hotel that acts as a kind of psychological torture chamber, trapping its victims in a labyrinth of impossible corridors and rooms. Its design mirrors that of the hedge maze outside, cunningly built from a wood and wire mesh frame, with foliage threaded through it. This maze, with its eight-foot high walls, was complex enough for the crew to get lost in.
Kubrick’s daughter Vivian shot a candid documentary of The Shining’s making, and the director and his crew are seen consulting maps of the maze’s layout. It’s been said that, at one point in The Shining’s year-long shoot, Kubrick had the maze walls rearranged, without telling certain members of the crew. When they became lost in its new layout, their cries for help were met with peals of laughter from Kubrick – laughter that, disconcertingly, seemed to becoming from all directions at once.
The Shining is the perfect example of the use of set design to enhance a narrative. Combined with its cinematography, the viewer is left with the impression of a building that isn’t merely haunted, but alive, and actively observing its occupants’ every move. No other set in cinema is quite so oppressive, or so convincingly depicted – we barely notice the spatial anomalies that Ager points out, but it’s likely that on some subconscious level, our brain notices, and shudders.
The Shining’s shoot was long and arduous. In his quest for perfection, Kubrick went through take after take. Scatman Crothers and Shelly Duvall clashed with the director. The latter even collapsed, exhausted, which was caught on camera by Vivian Kubrick.
The film’s extraordinarily realistic lighting also took its toll: the pale sun shining through the vast windows in the main room was achieved with a bank of powerful studio lights – so powerful were these, the set eventually caught fire. Rather than work with the footage he’d already shot, Kubrick, perfectionist to the last, had the set rebuilt from scratch.
Kubrick’s maniacal approach to filmmaking resulted in one of the most unusual entries in the horror canon. Its performances are desperate and sometimes bizarre, its images wavering violently between the starkly real and the surreal. And then there’s the Overlook itself, watching, waiting – it’s entirely unforgettable, and perhaps the most striking haunted house in all cinema.
The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel Unlike the fictional Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, this hotel is really named the Overlook. The abandoned hotel is located in the small, wine growing town of Bernkastel-Kues in Germany. Other than it has been unoccupied for about 13 years, there is no information as to why the hotel was closed. All of the furniture remains and it looks as if everyone there simply left. There are rumors that the hotel is haunted. According to urban explorers who frequent the spooky site, cameras malfunction, sounds can be heard throughout the premises and items seem to move around the hotel by themselves.
Just Click on the animated image below for infos about the making of the prequel of ”THE SHINING” called ”OVERLOOK HOTEL”…
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.
LOU REED, NICO AND JOHN CALE VELVET UNDERGROUND MINI-REUNION
Posted by Richard Metzger on the PKM website page by Legs’ which is utterly interesting. Pleasekillme.com, make sure you go check on them.
In 1972, Velvet Underground alumni Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico reunited before the cameras of the POP2 TV program at Le Bataclan, a well-known—and very intimate—Paris venue. It was Cale’s gig originally and he invited Reed and Nico to join him. Reed, who hated rehearsing, spent two days with Cale working out what they were going to do. According to Victor Bockris’ Lou Reed biography Transformer, rock critic Richard Robinson videotaped these rehearsals, which took place in London.
Both the videotape and the audio from this show have been heavily bootlegged over the years. A legit CD release happened a few years ago, but it still sounds like a bootleg. A high quality video turned up on various torrent trackers and bootleg blogs after a rebroadcast on French TV. It’s fairly easy to find. Now if only some of the outtakes from the Le Bataclan filming (if there were any) would slip out—they did “Black Angel’s Death Song” which I’d dearly love to see—not to mention what Richard Robinson might have (There is an audio only recording of the rehearsals attributed to Robinson’s tapes already making the rounds on bootleg torrent trackers.)
This is Reed coming off his first solo record (which had not even been released yet) and just a few months before he recorded “Walk on the Wild Side” with David Bowie and took on a totally different public—and we can presume, private—persona. This is “Long Island Lou” last seen just before Reed’s druggy bisexual alter-ego showed up and took his place. Cale does the lush “Ghost Story” from his then new Vintage Violence album and Nico looks stunning and happy here singing “Femme Fatale.” It’s before the damage of her drug addiction took its toll on her looks.
I will direct youhere for the full version, but I can’t embed the file.
One thing worth pointing out here is that during “Berlin” you can see Nico’s face as Reed sings a song which he told her was about her. She might even be hearing it for the first time.
Here’s a version (oddly in color, the only one on YouTube, the rest are all B&W) of Reed and Cale performing a languid, stoned and thoroughly unplugged “I’m Waiting For The Man”:
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
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.
Elisa Lam was a 21-year-old Canadian student at the British Columbia University in Vancouver although she was not registeredwhen she left her home in January 2013 for a trip to Southern California. Reported missing since the beginning of the month by her worried parents whom she talked to everyday, her naked body was recovered in a water tank atop the Cecil Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles on February 19th, 2013 after some guests at the hotel had complained about sweetly disgusting tasting water and black water.
At the heart of this case is the increased interest that was triggered, five days prior to her body’s discovery, by the video that was released by the Los Angeles Police Department of the last time she was known to have been seen, on the day of her disappearance, by an elevator security camera. Apart of the fact that the footage shown is very unsettling as you see Lam unable to make the elevator work, pressing all the buttons, trying to make those doors close, going in and out, hiding, talking and making gestures to some unseen person, it was also quite obvious that either it this footage was tampered withand/or that the camera malfunctioned, leaving unexplained holes in the sequence time code of the surveillance camera in the elevator. An attempt to understand her strange behavior was made and the extremely interesting/disturbing conclusion were that ”Ms. Elisa Lam is playing a game of hide and seek (or something similar) in this video and although at times she displays some anxiety, there is no indication of fear. There is definitely an element of play present here. It is of course also possible that narcotics are influencing her behavior. Of particular importance is she is putting herself on sexual display. While what is seen here may have no connection with her demise – if the events in this video occurred just before her disappearance, it strongly suggests that the person to whom she is attracted may have knowledge of, contributed to, or be responsible for her death.” You can view all the details of thorough body language analysis that led to this conclusion and the complete video that was provided by the Los Angeles Police Department here.
No one could even explain how she managed to get on the roof in the first place. Doors and stairs that access the hotel’s roof are locked, with only staff having the passcodes and keys, and any attempt to force them would supposedly have triggered an alarm. Apart from the question of how she got on the roof, others asked if she could have gotten into the tank by herself. All four tanks are 4-by-8-foot (1.2 by 2.4 m) cylinders propped up on concrete blocks; there is no fixed access to them and hotel workers had to use a ladder to look at the water. They are protected by heavy lids that would be difficult or rather impossible to replace from within.
After being removed from the tank, Lam’s body was to be autosied by pathologists, Jason Tovar and Yulai Wang. They spent four hours that afternoon dissecting it and examining her internal organs. On February 21, the coroner’s office reported that they had found her death to be an accidental drowning, with bipolar disorder as a significant factor. Tovar and Wang found no evidence of physical trauma or sexual assault, although they had a rape and fingernail kit done. They found no evidence to suggest that Lam had committed suicide. The autopsy was qualified by many as incomplete and the family denied having any knowledge of Elisa Lam being bi-polar. Also there are many unsawered questions like: “Was she killed before she ended up in the tank?”, “Were her lungs filled with water?”, ”Did she die of hypothermia or did she drown?”. The autopsy report is very incomplete and doesn’t offer many answers that should have been answered easily.
The autospy revealed that no alcohol or recreational were found in her system. Lam’s body was moderately decomposed, bloated and mostly greenish, with some marbling evident on the abdomen and skin separation evident. Tovar and Wang found no evidence of physical trauma or sexual assault.
Since her death, her Tumblr blog was updated, presumably through tumblr’s Queue option which allows posts to automatically publish themselves when the user is away. Her phone was not found either with her body or in her hotel room; it has been assumed to have been stolen at some time around her death. Whether the continued updates to her blog were facilitated by the theft of her phone, the work of a hacker, or through the Queue, is not known; nor is it known whether the updates are related to her death.
After this tragic and unexplainable death, as if wasn’t creepy enough already, an outbreak of tuberculosis happened near the Cecil Hotel in Skid Row and the name of the medical testing kits used in this situation are called, LAM-ELISAor lipoarabinomannan (LAM) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
The Cecil Hotel
The Cecil Hotel (now rebranded as Stay on Main) in Downtown Los Angeles ”Skid Row” (640 S.Main Street) was intended for business travelers but in the 1950s it gained a reputation as a residence for transients. A portion of the hotel was refurbished in 2007 after new owners took over. The 1927 Hotel Cecil is a downtown landmark (and happens to be part of Pantless Alley Skid Row). Now it is branded as “The Premier Choice of Affordable Downtown Los Angeles Hotels.” In addition to offering hotel rooms, it houses the modern Stay on Main hostel and roughly 300 low-income residential units . Now, it is full of convention attendees and tourists from all over the globe. It has also been the site of quite a few commercials and movie filmings this year. But, before the re-gentrification of Downtown Los Angeles, the Hotel Cecil held a dark part.
The horrors started long before for the Cecil. During the 50s and 60s, the hotel was known as a suicide hotspot.
According to the Los Angeles Times, in 1962, a woman named Pauline Otton, 27, threw herself to her death from a ninth-floor window after arguing with her husband. She landed on pedestrian George Gianinni, 65, on the street below, killing him instantly. She was just one of numerous guests who ended their lives while staying at the run-down hotel.. In an unsolved murder in 1964, the Pershing Square “pigeon lady”, Goldie Osgood, who enjoyed feeding the birds in a nearby square, was raped and killed in her room at the Hotel Cecil. She had been stabbed, strangled and raped – and then had her room ransacked. Her case remains unsolved.
According to LA Observed, the Black Dahlia,Elizabeth Short, is alleged in at least one book to have hung out at the Hotel Cecil and drank at the bar next door before she disappeared in 1947.
In the past, the Cecil Hotel was home to ‘Night Stalker’Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker”, an American serial killer, rapist and burglar during 1984-85. He lived on the Cecil’s top floor in a $14-a-night room as he slaughtered his victims throughout Los Angeles. He was “just dumping his bloody clothes in the dumpster at the end of his evening and going in the back entrance”. The satanist’s crimes terrorised Los Angeles, before he was finally captured and convicted of 13 murders. Ramirez was sentenced to death in a gas chamber in 1989, and on receiving his sentence showed no remorse, stating: “Big deal. Death always went with the territory.See you in Disneyland.”
Austrian Serial Killer Jack Unterweger stayed at the Cecil Hotel for five weeks in 1991 while murdering prositutes. At night, Unterweger welcomed the hookers who climbed up the Cecil Hotel’s fire escape to his room to earn $30. He also picked up streetwalkers on 7th Street, strangled them with their own bra-straps, then dumped their bodies nearby, naked and posed obscenely. Police suspect Unterweger scoped out the sites ahead of time. He committed suicide after being convicted for several murders.
The Hotel Cecil and Downtown’s Historic Core have an equally dark and seedy past stemming from the early 1900s when the area was a mix of those down on their luck hoping to strike it rich in Los Angeles and wealthy businessmen.
Observe elevator interior before entering. Wait until the next elevator if you are uncertain of any occupant. Females riding the elevator alone should always stand near the control panel. If accosted, press ALL buttons. If a suspicious person enters the elevator, exit before the door closes. Before exiting from the elevator, observe the corridor for suspicious activity.