The Day Valerie Solanas Got Her 15 Minutes of Fame.

You Only Get One Shot…


 A little after 4 pm on Monday, June the 3rd, 1968,Valerie Solanas marched into The Factory and fired 3 bullets at Warhol. Just one of them missed, but when Billy Names rushed over to cradle Warhol’s head in his lap while blinking away tears, Warhol only words where ”Please don’t make me laugh, it hurts too much”.

     I always was curious to know who she was and what were the exact reasons that led to that tragic day that would have many ramifications in the way it affected modern arts, cinema, music, theatre, live performances, and so many other forms of art as Warhol was most definitely involved in so many projects. Warhol was never the same after that and there is no way to precisely mesure the importance this had but it sure did modify the face of whatt was happening in the late sixties and early seventies. Let’s have a closer look at the sad life of Valerie Solanas and the events that led to the day she got her 15 minutes of Fame.Valerie Solanas.jpg

     On April 9, 1936 in Ventor, New Jersey, Valerie Jean Solanas was born to Louis and Dorothy Bondo Solanas. Her father sexually molested her; sometime in the 1940’s her parents divorced, and Valerie moved with her mother to Washington, D.C.. In 1949 Valerie’s mother married Red Moran. Rebellious and stubborn, Valerie disobeyed her parents and refused to stay in Catholic high school; in response her grandfather whipped her.

  At the age of 15 in 1951, Valerie ended up on her own. She dated a sailor and may have gotten pregnant by him but still managed to graduate from high school in 1954. She was a good student at the University of Maryland at College Park, supporting herself by working in the psycology department’s animal laboratory. She did nearly a year of graduate work in psychology at University of Minnesota.

  After college, Solanas panhandled and worked as a prostitute to support herself. She traveled around the country and ended up in Greenwich Village in 1966. There she wrote “Up Your Ass”, a play ” about a man-hating hustler and a panhandler. In one version, the woman kills the man. In another, a mother strangles her son.”

  Early in 1967 Solanas approached Andy Warhol at his studio, the Factory, about producing ” Up Your Ass”, as a play and gave him her copy of the script. At the time Warhol told the journalist Grechen Berg: ” I thought the title was so wonderful and I’m so friendly that I invited her to come up with it, but it was so dirty that I think she must have been a lady cop…. We haven’t seen her since and I’m not surprised. I guess she thought that was the perfect thing for Andy Warhol.”

  Also in 1967 Solanas wrote and self published the Scum Manifesto. While selling mimeographed copies on the streets, she meant Maurice Girodias of Olympia Press (French publisher of Lolita, Candy and Tropic of Cancer) who gave her an advance for a novel based on the manifesto. (With this $600 cash she visited San Francisco.)During this time Ultra Violet read the Manifesto to Warhol who commented, ” She’s a hot water bottle with tits. You know, she’s writing a script for us. She has a lot of ideas.”

Viva and Andy Warhol’s mother after the shooting

  Later, in May 1967, after Warhol had returned from a trip to France and England, Solanas demanded her script back; Warhol informed her he had lost it. Apparently, Warhol had never any intention to produce Up Your Ass as either a play or a movie; the script was simply lost in the shuffle, thrown into one of the Factory’s many stacks of unsolicited manuscripts and papers. Solanas began telephoning insistently, ordering Warhol to give her money for the play.

  In July 1967 Warhol paid Solanas twenty-five dollars for performing in “I, a Man,” a feature-length film he was making with Paul Morrissey. Valerie appeared as herself, a tough lesbian who rejects the advances of a male stud with the line that she has instincts that “tell me to dig chicks—- why should my standards be lower than yours?” Solanas also appeared in a nonspeaking role in “Bikeboy,” another 1967 Warhol film. Warhol was pleased with her frank and funny performance; Solanas also was satisfied enough that she brought Girodias to the studio to see a rough cut of the film. Girodias noted that Solanas “seemed very relaxed and friendly with Warhol, whose conversation consisted of protracted silences.”

  In the fall of 1967 at the New York cafe, Max’s Kansas City, Warhol spotted Solanas sitting at a nearby table. He instigated Viva’s insult of Solanas; “You dyke! You’re disgusting!” Valerie answered with the story of her sexual abuse at the hands of her father.”No wonder your a lesbian,” Viva callously replied.

  Over the winter of 1967-68, Solanas was interviewed by the Robert Mamorstein of the Village Voice. The article,”Scum Goddess: a Winter Memory of Valerie Solanas” was not published until June 13, 1968, after the shooting. Solanas commented on the men interested SCUM:”… creeps. Masochists. Probably would love me to spit on them. I wouldn’t give them the pleasure…. The men want to kiss my feet and all that crap.” Her comment on women and sex: ” The girls are okay. They’re willing to help any way they can. Some of them are interested in nothing but sex though. Sex with me, I mean. I can’t be bothered …. I’m no lesbian. I haven’t got time for sex of any kind. That’s a hang–up.” She told Mamorstein that Warhol was a son of a bitch: ” A snake couldn’t eat a meal off what he paid out.” Solanas also talked about her life; she had surfed as a little girl. She panhandled and even sold an article on panhandling to a magazine.” I’ve had some funny experiences with strange guys in cars.”

  According to the interview, she wrote a few sex novels and was paid $500 for one. (Could this have been the novel that was to have been based on the SCUM Manifesto?) She was interviewed on Alan Burke”s TV talk show; when she refused to censor herself, he walked off the set. The interview was never aired. According to Paul Morrissey in a 1996 interview with Taylor Meade,the contract that Solanas signed with Olympia Press ” this stupid piece of paper, two sentences, tiny little letter. On it Maurice Girodias said: ” I will give you five hundred dollars, and you will give me your next writing, and other writings.” Solanas had interpreted it to mean that Girodias would own every thing she ever wrote. She told Morrissey: ” Oh no, everything I write will be his. He’s done this to me, He’s screwed me!” Morrissey believed Solanas couldn’t write the novel based on the SCUM Manifesto she had promised to Girodias and used this idea that Girodias owned all that she wrote as an excuse. In Solanas’ mind, Warhol, having appropriated Up Your Ass, wanted Girodias to steal her work for Warhol’s use and never pay her so he got Girodias to sign this contract with her.


In early 1968 Solanas went to writer Paul Krassner to ask him for $50. According to Krassner, writing in 2009 and rejecting part of Morrissey’s account, she asked Krassner for the money for food and he loaned it to her. Krassner also speculated in 2009 that she could have used the money to buy the gun as the shooting was a few days later. According to Freddie Baer, when she asked Krassner for money in 1968, she told him she wanted to shoot Girodias and she used the $50 Krassner gave her to buy a .32automatic pistol . In any event, in 2009 Krassner denied that he knew in 1968 that Solanas intended to kill Warhol. 

But in 2009, Margo Feiden said in an interview with James Barron of The New York Times that she did know that Solanas intended to kill Warhol, but could not prevent it. (A New York Times assistant Metro editor responded to an online comment regarding the story, saying that the Times”does not present the account as definitive.”)

According to an unquoted source in The Outlaw Bible of American Literature, on June 3, 1968, at 9:00 am, Solanas arrived at the Chelsea Hotel, where Girodias lived. She asked for him at the desk but was told he was gone for the weekend. She remained for three hours before heading to the Grove Press, where she asked for Barney Rosset, who was also not available.

Noted Solanas scholar Breanne Fahs, in her 2014 biography, Valerie Solanas, rejects as unlikely that Solanas appeared at the Chelsea Hotel looking for Maurice Girodias. Professor Fahs states that Girodias may have fabricated the account in order to boost sales of the SCUM Manifesto, which he had published. Dr. Fahs states that “the more likely story…places Valerie at the Actor’s Studio at 432 West Forty-Fourth Street early that morning.” Actress Sylvia Miles states that Valerie appeared at the Actor’s Studio looking for Lee Strasberg, asking to leave her play for him. Miles said that Valerie “had a different look, a bit tousled, like somebody whose appearance is the last thing on her mind.” Miles told Valerie that Strasberg would not be in until the afternoon. Miles said that she accepted a copy of the play from Valerie and then “I shut the door because I knew she was trouble. I didn’t know what sort of trouble, but I knew she was trouble.

Fahs records that Valerie then traveled to producer Margo Feiden’s (then Margo Eden) residence in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, as Valerie believed that Feiden would be willing to produce her play. As related to Fahs, Valerie talked to Feiden for almost four hours, trying to convince her to produce the play and discussing her vision for a world without men. Throughout this time, Feiden repeatedly refused to produce Valerie’s play. According to Feiden, Valerie then pulled out her gun, and when Feiden again refused to commit to producing the play, Valerie responded, “Yes, you will produce the play because I’ll shoot Andy Warhol and that will make me famous and the play famous, and then you’ll produce it.” As she was leaving Feiden’s residence, Valerie handed Feiden a copy of her play and other personal papers. 

Fahs describes how Feiden then “frantically called her local police precinct, Andy Warhol’s precinct, police headquarters in Lower Manhattan, and the offices of Mayor John V. Lindsay and Governor Nelson Rockafeller  to report what happened and inform them that Valerie was on her way at that very moment to shoot Andy Warhol.” In some instances, the police responded that “You can’t arrest someone because you believe she is going to kill Andy Warhol,” and even asked Feiden “Listen lady, how would you know what a real gun looked like?”

Fahs additionally cites Assistant District Attorney Roderick Lankler’s handwritten notes on the case, written on June 4, 1968, which begin with Margo Feiden’s stage name, “Margo Eden”, address, and telephone numbers at the top of the page. So..In Short..Let’s just say that in the spring of 1968, Solanas approached underground newspaper publisher (The Realist) Paul Krassner for money, saying “I want to shoot Maurice Girodias.” He gave her $50, which was enough for her to buy a .32 automatic pistol.

  On June 3, 1968 at 9 a.m. Solanas went to the Chelsea Hotel where Maurice Girodias lived: she asked at the desk for him and was told that he was gone for the weekend. Still, she remained there for three hours. Around noon she went to the new relocated Factory and waited outside for Warhol. Paul Morrissey met her in front and asked her what she was doing there. “I’m waiting for Andy to get money,” she replied. To get rid of her, Morrissey told her that Warhol wasn’t coming in that day. “Well that’s alright. I’ll wait,” she said.

  About 2:00 she came up to the studio in the elevator. Once again Morrissey told her that Warhol wasn’t coming and that she couldn’t hang around so she left. She came up the elevator another seven times before she finally came up with Warhol at 4:15. She was dressed in a black turtleneck sweater and a raincoat, with her hair styled and wearing lipstick and make-up; she carried a brown paper bag. Warhol even commented “Look doesn’t Varlerie look good!” Morrissey told her to get out”. . . We got business, and if you don’t go I’m gonna beat the hell out of you and trow you out, and I don’t want . . . ” Then the phone rang; Morrissey answered— it was Viva, for Warhol. Morrissey then excused himself to go to the bathroom. As Warhol spoke on the phone, Solanas shot him three times. Between the first and second shot, both of which missed, Warhol screamed, “No! No! Valarie, don’t do it.” Her third shot sent a bullet through Warhol’s left lung, spleen, stomach, liver, esophagus and right lung.

  As Warhol lay bleeding, Solanas then fired twice upon Mario Amaya, an art critic and curator who had been waiting to meet Warhol. She hit him above the right hip with her fifth shot; he ran from the room to the back studio and leaned against the door. Solanas then turned to Fred Hughes, Warhol’s manager, put her gun to his head and fired; the gun jammed. At that point the elevator door opened; there was no one on it. Hughes said to Solanas, ” Oh, there’s the elevator. Why don’t you get on, Valerie?” She replied: ” That’s a good idea” and left.

  That evening at 8 p.m. Solanas turned herself in to a rookie traffic officer in Time Square; she said, “The police are looking for me and want me.” She then took the .32 automatic and a .22 pistol from the pockets of her raincoat, handing them to the cop. As she did so, she stated that she had shot Andy Warhol and in way of explanation offered, “He had too much control of my life.”

  A mob of journalists and photographers shouting questions greeted Solanas as she was brought to the 13th Precinct booking room. When asked why she did it, her response was, “I have lots of reasons. Read my manifesto and it will tell you who I am.” Solanas was fingerprinted and charged with felonious assault and possession of a deadly weapon.

Later that night Valerie Solanas was brought before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge David Getzoff. She told the judge: “It’s not often that I shoot somebody. I didn’t do it for nothing. Warhol had me tied up, lock stock, and barrel. He was going to do something to me which would have ruined me.” When the judge asked if she could afford an attorney, she replied: “No, I can’t. I want to defend myself. This is going to stay in my own competent hands. I was right in what I did! I have nothing to regret!” The judge struck her comments from the court record, and Solanas was taken to the Bellevue Hospital psychiatric ward for observation.

Solanas appeared in front of State Surpreme Court Justice Thomas Dickens on June 13, 1968, represented by radical feminist lawyer Florynce Kennedy. Kennedy asked for a writ of habeas corpus, arguing that Solanas was being held inappropriately at Bellevue. The judge denied the motion and sent Solanas back to Bellevue. On June 28, Solanas was indicted on charges of attempted murder, assault, and illegal possession of a gun. She was declared “incompetent” in August and sent to Wards Island to be hospitalized. That same month, Olympia Press published the SCUM Manifesto with essays by Girodias and Krassner. 

The night before Christmas, 1968: Warhol answered the phone at the factory; it was Solanas calling. She demanded that Warhol pay $20,000 for her manuscripts that she would use for her legal defense.She wanted him to drop all criminal charges against her, put her in more of his movies and get her on the Johnny Carson Show. Solanas said if Warhol didn’t do this, she “could always do it again.”I Shot Andy Warhol Movie Poster

In January, 1969, Solanas underwent psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia. In June, she was finally deemed fit to stand trial. She represented herself without an attorney and pleaded guilty to “reckless assault with intent to harm”.She was sentenced to three years in prison, with the year she spent in a psychiatric ward counted as time served.  It has been suggested that Warhol’s refusal to testify against Solanas contributed to the short sentence.

According to Robert Marmorstein in 1968, “she has dedicated the remainder of her life to the avowed purpose of eliminating every single male from the face of the earth.” Feminist Robin Morgan (later editor of Ms. magazine) demonstrated for Solanas’s release from prison.  English professor Dana Heller argued that Solanas was “very much aware of feminist organizations and activism”, but that she “had no interest in participating in what she often described as ‘a civil disobedience luncheon club.'” Heller also stated that Solanas could “reject mainstream liberal feminism for its blind adherence to cultural codes of feminine politeness and decorum which the SCUM Manifesto identifies as the source of women’s debased social status. After Solanas was released from the New York State Prison for Women in 1971, she stalked Warhol and others over the telephone and was arrested again in November 1971. She was subsequently institutionalized several times and then drifted into obscurity. In 1973 Solanas was in and out of mental institutions; she spent eight months in South Florida State Hospital in 1975.

The attack had a profound impact on Warhol and his art, and the Factory scene became much more tightly controlled afterward. For the rest of his life, Warhol lived in fear that Solanas would attack him again. “It was the Cardboard Andy, not the Andy I could love and play with,” said close friend and collaborator Billy Name. “He was so sensitized you couldn’t put your hand on him without him jumping. I couldn’t even love him anymore, because it hurt him to touch him.”

In the July 25, 1977 Village Voice, Howard Smith interviewed Valerie Solanas. She claimed to be working on a new book, about her life “bullshit,” titled Valerie Solanas. She was supposed to have received $ 100,000,000 in advance from “The Mob”, whom she describes as “the Money Men;” she talked at length about “the Contact Man” for this entity.

  In the interview she discussed the Society for Cutting Up Men: “It’s hypothetical. No, hypothetical is the wrong word. It’s just a literary device. There’s no organization called SCUM. . . . Smith: “It’s just you.” Solanas: “It’s not even me . . . I mean, I thought of it as a state of mind. In other words, women who think a certain way are in SCUM. Men who think a certain way are in the men’s auxiliary of SCUM.”

  She also protested a 1968 statement of Smith’s: “The part where she said, ‘ She’s a man-hater, not a lesbian’ . . . . I thought that was just totally unwarrented. Because I have been a lesbian . . . Although at the time time I wasn’t sexual, I was into all kinds of other things. . . . The way it was worded gave the impression that I’m a heterosexual, you know. . . . “

  The next issue of the Village Voice on August 1, 1977 has another piece by Howard Smith,”Valerie Solanas Replies.” In it Solanas corrected misinterpretations from previous issue’s interview. Included are: 1) Olympia Press’s editions of the Manifesto were inaccurate, “words and even extended parts of sentences left out, rendering the passages they should have been incoherent;” and 2) The Voice refused to publish the address of the Contact Man, which she considered one of the important reasons for the interview. She called Smith journalistically immoral and said ” I go by an absolute moral standard.” . . . Smith: ” Valerie do you want to get into a discussion now about shooting people?” Solanas: “I consider that a moral act. And I consider it immoral that I missed. I should have done target practice.” Also in 1977 she mailed a rambling letter to a Play boy editor on the theory that he was a contact man for The Mob. Then there is no record of Solanas until November 1987 when Ultra Violet tracked her down in Northern California. When Ultra Violet, Ultra telephoned her for an interview, according to her somewhat unreliable report, Solanas was then known as Onz Loh. Solanas stated that the August 1968 version of the manifesto had many errors, unlike her own printed version of October 1967, and that the book had not sold well. She also said that, until told by Violet, she was unaware of Andy Warhol’s death.

  April 26, 1988: broke and alone, Valerie Solanas died of emphysema and pneumonia in a welfare hotel in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco. When she died at the age of 52, she had a drug problem and continued to turn tricks to support her habit. Prostitutes who knew her from that time said that she looked elegant and slender, and she always wore a silver lame’ dress when she worked the street.

She was buried in Virginia, near the home of her mother.

Solanas’s role as a cult figure was solidified with the publication of the SCUM Manifesto and her shooting of Andy Warhol. Harding explained that, by declaring herself independent from Andy Warhol, after her arrest she “aligned herself with the historical avant-garde’s rejection of the traditional structures of bourgeois theater”, and Harding explained that her anti-patriarchal “militant hostility … pushed the avant-garde in radically new directions.” Harding believed that Solanas’ assassination attempt on Warhol was its own theatrical performance. At the shooting, she left on a table at the Factory a paper bag in which she carried a gun, her address book, and a sanitary napkin. Harding stated that leaving behind the sanitary napkin was part of the performance, and called “attention to basic feminine experiences that were publically [sic] taboo and tacitly elided within avant-garde circles.”

Feminist philosopher Avital Ronell compared Solanas to an array of people: Lorena Bobbitt, a “girl Nietzsche”, Medusa, the Unabomber, and Medea. Ronell believed that Solanas was threatened by the hyper-feminine women of the Factory that Warhol liked and felt lonely because of the rejection she felt due to her own butch androgyny. She believed that Solanas was ahead of her time, living in a period before feminist and lesbian revolutionaries such as the Guerilla Girls and the Lesbian Avengers.Solanas has also been credited as instigating radical feminism, according to Harding and Victor Bockris feminist revolutionaries supported her, and Catherine Lord wrote that “the feminist movement would not have happened without Valerie Solanas.”Lord believed that the reissuing of the SCUM Manifesto and the disowning of Solanas by “women’s liberation politicos” triggered a wave of radical feminist publications. As women’s liberation activists denied hating men, Vivian Gornick said that a year later the same women would change their stories, developing the first wave of radical feminism. At the same time, perceptions of Warhol were transformed from largely nonpolitical into political martyrdom because the motive for the shooting was political, according to Harding and Bockris.

However, writer Breanne Fahs describes Solanas as a contradiction which “alienates her from the feminist movement.” Fahs argues that Solanas never wanted to be “in movement” but she nevertheless fractured the feminist movement by provoking N.O.W. members to disagree about her case. Many contradictions are seen in her lifestyle (a lesbian who sexually serviced men, claim of being asexual, confusion), a rejection of queer culture, and a non-interest in working with others despite a co-dependency on others. Fahs also brings into question the contradictory stories of Solanas’ life. Solanas’ life is described as one of a victim, a rebel, a desperate loner, yet Solanas’ cousin says she worked as a waitress in her late 20s and 30s, not primarily as a prostitute, and friend Geoffrey LaGear said she had a “groovy childhood.” Solanas also kept in touch with her father throughout her life, which makes one question and complicate the notion that Solanas hated her father and acted out this hatred in the shooting/manifesto. Fahs believes that Solanas embraced these contradictions as a key part of her identity.

Whatever people say, she probably wouldn’t even be remembered today if she wouldn’t have shot Andy Warhol.  Of course this is my perswonnal opinion but I stand by it. I think it is very lame to use someone to make a name for yourself. She was obviously totally disoriented,  schizophrenic and narcissic. She makes me think in a way of Charles Manson, ruining the Summer of Love or  maybe more Mark David Chapman, breaking down a movement that was obviously depending a lot on Warhol’s influence helping and stimulating whoever he thought had a talent on an artistic level. Warhol never forced anyone under a contract, never used brutality or blackmail to to do so. I’m even sorry now that I know the whole story I gave her some importance. She deserves none.  Plus she is such a loser cuz she missed almost at point blank distance!!!! And I’m glad she did… Warhol went on with his life and is still remembered and revered today as one of the most modern artist, that’s no secret of course… 



Jake Gyllenhaal’s in Nightcrawler Hits Theaters Nationwide October 31!

NIGHTCRAWLER Starring Jake Gyllenhaal as Lou Bloom in New Crime Thriller!

By Alison Bridges

Jake Gyllenhaal channels his inner creep in the new crime thriller Nightcrawler. The film follows go-getter Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for a job. After witnessing a car crash on the highway, Bloom discovers the high stakes, lucrative world of crime journalism and along with it an opportunity to become something more. The film hits theaters nationwide October 31.

“NIGHTCRAWLER is a pulse-pounding thriller set in the nocturnal underbelly of contemporary Los Angeles. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Lou Bloom, a driven young man desperate for work who discovers the high-speed world of L.A. crime journalism. Finding a group of freelance camera crews who film crashes, fires, murder and other mayhem, Lou muscles into the cut-throat, dangerous realm of nightcrawling — where each police siren wail equals a possible windfall and victims are converted into dollars and cents. Aided by Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran of the blood-sport that is local TV news, Lou blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story.”

From Inside Returns With A Special Edition Soundtrack By Gary Numan And Ade Fenton

John Bergin‘s award-winning animated film, From Inside, returns with a special edition soundtrack composed by Electronic and Industrial music pioneers Gary Numan and Ade Fenton

Review by: Ulises

The Bottom Line: A haunting, provocative, and amazing, if unrelentingly bleak, animated movie about one woman’s surreal trek across a barren, post-apocalyptic wasteland.

When you look at the credits for John Bergin’s From Inside, their brevity might surprise you. Aside from Bergin (as writer, producer, director, and animator), and Corryn Cummins (the actress who does the film’s voiceover), there aren’t many other people mentioned. That’s because From Inside is a 70-minute long movie comprised entirely of simple CGI and still-life illustrations with a bare minimum of animation. It looks like the kind of film that only required a handful of people to put together. And while this might sound like a knock against the film’s production values, it’s not. Because From Inside manages to tell an engrossing, surreal, and provocative tale of post-apocalypse survival through these simple, powerful images and Ms. Cummins’ intimate, haunting voiceovers.

From Inside is, in its simplest terms, a story about a dreamlike train ride across a post-apocalyptic wasteland. It follows the experiences and observations of one of the train’s passengers, a young woman named Cee. Like her fellow passengers (none of whom speak or have names), she is emotionally adrift; she doesn’t even remember how she got on the train, or where it’s going. She doesn’t even remember how the wasteland outside her window came to be.

And what a wasteland. From the film’s opening sepia-like CG shots, we realize this is a world that’s been flattened and wiped out by something. The single row of train tracks, and the train itself chugging across them, are the only signs of life or movement across a barren space that seems infinite. It’s a powerful image of complete desolation that’s made all the more potent by Cee’s melancholic observations. “When the end of the world has come,” she laments, “it’s too late to wonder why.”

It’s a dreary, depressing world that strays into the macabre, the dreamlike, and the fantastic. In one scene, for example, Cee goes into the train’s boiler room and finds it piled with human bodies. She sees the inhuman engineers impale a still-living infant with a pitchfork, and throw its squirming body into the fires. It’s only a dream, she realizes. But soon after that, it starts to rain blood—literally. And that’s not a dream. Nor is it a dream as the train wades past oceans of blood swimming with debris and rotting, grotesque bodies.

Cee’s journey across this bloody landscape is complicated by one piece of harsh reality: she’s pregnant. “An obscenity in this world,” she admits of her pregnancy. And like Kee from Children of Men, Cee’s pregnancy elevates her to a level of importance. She’s given her own cabin and bathroom on the train, and when there’s work that needs to be done (including a surreal buffalo hunt and slaughter that lasts for weeks), she’s given the easiest tasks. But Cee isn’t the happy, proud, expectant mother. Casual thoughts of suicide filter through her narrative, as she imagines how easy it would be to fall off the top of a refinery or walk into a bonfire.

The dreamlike, surreal journey across the barren landscape becomes symbolic of Cee’s own journey of motherly self-discovery. Cognizant that she’s bringing a life into the hell around her, she struggles to accept this reality. And as the world turns grimmer and more surreal around her—especially after a months-long entrapment in a cave—Cee is haunted by nightmarish images of butchered babies, grotesque nurses and doctors, mangled bodies piled in the rear cars of the train, and images of herself as a maggot-filled rag doll. The still images and animation used for Cee’s descent into delirium are chilling, to say the absolute least. They are images ripped from multiple nightmares, and stitched together by her anxiety and the unrelenting darkness of the world around her.

The eventual birth of Cee’s baby gives her clarity of mind, and the answers to her many questions. When she hears her child’s first cries, Cee finally remembers everything, including the world cataclysm that led to this, her infinite train ride across a dead world. The birth of Cee’s baby also gives birth to hope. But then, what is hope in a world that’s barren and flooded in blood? And how long can it possibly last? It’s a gut-wrenching ending that leaves some things to the interpretation, and others to grim, unforgiving fact.

From Inside is slow-paced and dreary, carried through by Cee’s somber, distant voiceover, and a soundtrack that’s as barren as the sepia illustrations piecing the story together. It’s a quiet, introspective examination of motherhood within the context of post-apocalyptic survival, and the pacing and tone echoes Cee’s own lost hopelessness. Which is to say, if you’re looking for thrills and chills, this isn’t the movie for you.

But thrills and chills isn’t what From Inside goes for. It’s an ambiance, character-driven piece all the way, presenting a nightmarish, barren landscape through the narrow perspective of its listless heroine. And it does so magnificently. Just in terms of the mood and tone, From Inside’s post-apocalyptic depiction should please any PA fan. Because it doesn’t just show us the dead, devastated landscapes us PA fans are fascinated by; the film impregnates these landscapes with a genuine sense of nightmarish horror. The film’s grisly images of death, infanticide, and mass slaughter paint a world that’s well beyond ‘hell on earth,’ haunting us with the possibility that Cee’s world really is one that’s trapped between life and death, dream and nightmare.

But it’s more than just the visual exploration of the dead world that makes From Inside so effective. It’s the emotional exploration as well. Cee isn’t your classic PA heroine scrounging for supplies as she’s riding across the barren dunes in a tricked-out motorcycle. She’s a storyteller. She’s a normal woman, a lonely woman, a poet at heart who just happens to be trapped in a world where normalcy and poetry have no place. But that doesn’t stop her from trying to understand this new world through poetical introspections and memories. She is anchored to her past life and her loss—including the father of her child—and so can’t help but to examine the loss around her through her own pain. In many ways, Cee is the most complex PA heroine I’ve seen, because she is both victim and observant participant, helpless bystander and reluctant historian.

As good as From Inside is, I can only imagine what it’d be like as a feature film. I think that, if John Bergin were to shoot this as a live-action film, while preserving the tone, pace, visual style, and nuance of this still-image masterpiece, From Inside would become one of the great PA films of all time, and one to be emulated by fans for years to come. As it stands, though, From Inside succeeds where I Am Legend, The Happening, and The Day After Tomorrow have failed; it tells a compelling, engaging story without a bloated special effects budget dictating its pace. And as such, From Inside is a must-see for any fan of the PA genre.

Ogled and Threatened on a Journey to Womanhood




Sex, death and schlock: Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani’s “Amer” (the French word for bitter) is a surreal cinematic tone poem that pays slavering homage to Italian giallo horror films of the 1970s. Its three parts, which dissolve into one another, observe a female protagonist, Ana, played by three actresses — in childhood, adolescence and adulthood. The movie has almost no dialogue, and its cheesy soundtrack (some of it borrowed from vintage giallo films) is punctuated with aural shocks and effects, including heavy-breathing gasps.

The movie is a protracted erotic tease that evokes primal connections between sex and violence, masculine and feminine. Using extreme close-ups of female skin subjected to a pitiless male gaze and repeatedly threatened by sharp objects, it is titillating in the manner of a high-gloss S-and-M European fashion spread.

A child in the first part, Ana (Cassandra Forêt) sneaks into a forbidden room of her family’s mansion overlooking the sea to inspect the corpse of an old man, possibly her grandfather. After extracting a pocket watch from his brittle fingers, she imagines that he awakens and gives her the evil eye. Roaming the house, she glimpses her parents’ passionate lovemaking.

Suddenly she is an adolescent (Charlotte Eugène-Guibbaud) with pouting lips, viewed as prey by the boys and men in the village, where she shops with her mother. As the camera scours her sensual face, its sullen expression betraying a budding awareness of her newfound sexual power, the threat of rape hangs in the air. All eyes are on her as she parades along the street in the looming shadows of her ogling admirers. The camera lingers on her swollen lips and on the hem of her dress ruffled by the breeze.

The threat escalates when the grown-up Ana (Marie Bos), returning to the mansion, is menaced by the taxi driver taking her home. Upon her arrival, she confronts a masked, phantomlike slasher. As the camera reveals images of luminous skin slashed by a straight razor, the outcome of the final struggle remains teasingly ambiguous.

“Amer” is a virtual dictionary of fetishes: leather gloves, motorcycles and compulsive voyeurism (images of an eye peering through a keyhole). If it is too visually elegant to be scary, some arresting images include Ana’s running a comb over her tongue, and an ant’s crawling out her navel. The movie regularly changes color, from red to green to blue.

“Amer” is a voluptuous wallow in recycled psychosexual kitsch. You will hate loving it.

Written and directed by Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani; director of photography, Manu Dacosse; edited by Bernard Beets; released by Olive Films. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes. This film is not rated.

WITH: Cassandra Forêt (Ana as a little girl), Charlotte Eugène-Guibbaud (Ana as a teenager), Marie Bos (Ana as an adult), Bianca Maria D’Amato (the mother), Harry Cleven (the taxi driver), Jean-Michel Vovk (the father), Delphine Brual (Graziella) and Bernard Marbaix (the dead grandfather).


‘Trick’r Treat’ 2 On its way?|MoviePilot


There has been alot of buzz going around about the film 2007 film ‘trick’r treat’ getting a 2nd film which if your like me you know this is great news. ‘Trick’r Treat’ was one of those movies that you couldn’t help but love (I couldn’t at least). With this news its caused quit an eruption in my circle of friends who absolutely love this film and other small scale fan base films like this. Now no official date has been put forth for this film but the creators of the first film have said a bit about it here is the interview with Entertainment Weekly.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How did the idea for the sequel come about? What made you want to do this?

MICHAEL DOUGHERTY: It’s funny because when I first dreamt up the idea of making the first film, I thought, “How neat would it be if we made them a series?” I’m a firm believer that October should be filled with Halloween movies, or horror movies. That’s something I remember from childhood. Horror movies and Halloween, they go hand-in-hand. And so the idea was, “Well we could probably do a Trick ‘r Treat movie every year or every other year, and that it would sort of just be a new batch of stories and characters. And the common link between all of them would be Sam.” Initially that was the plan, and then things changed as the first film had a very delayed, strange journey. I put those dreams on hold for a little while, so it feels good to go back to that initial plan.

Was there a moment you realized you could bring that dream back to life?

I don’t think there was on particular moment. I had definitely been hearing the fans asking about a sequel ever since the first film came out on DVD. Even back then, there were the first cries for “Give us another one.” And I think that chorus only got louder as the film started to grow and develop its audience, to the point where it’s insane. If I log in to check out the film’s Facebook page, or if there’s an article about it, the top comment is always “Give us part two.” Just dozens of people. I think that momentum just started to build to the point where it was deafening. And I think Legendary finally heard it too. Legendary’s always been a big supproter of the film. They’ve been tracking fans rise in popularity, and I think this was the year we finally reached that peak, and they realized the sequel was necessary.

How far along are you in the creative process?

We don’t even have a script yet.

OK, so in your head, have you always had part two? What can you tell us –other than Sam’s return — in terms of plot/story?

There’s nothing I can reveal yet. It’s still really early in the process, but I can definitely say that we’ll be exploring Sam more and maybe getting into some back story of who and what he actually is.

When you imagined these films coming out every year, every other year, were they always in the same anthology format as the first film?

Yeah. I love the anthology format. It’s something that I think is strangely under-appreciated in the industry. It really puzzles me, because it was a format that reigned supreme for decades. From the 60s into the 70s and the 80s, the 80s being sort of the golden era for the anthology, they were everywhere. There was a point where you had seven different anthology TV shows on the air at the same time, and then multiple anthology films in the theater. And then for whatever reason in the 90s, they just went away. It’s almost like some guy smoking a cigar in the 90s flipped a switch and no more anthologies. And ever since then, the status quo in Hollywood has had the mistaken belief that you can’t make anthologies. If you try to pitch an anthology TV show or film, it doesn’t matter if it’s a studio executive or an agent, they’ll just tell you, “Nobody wants anthologies,” or “Anthologies don’t work.” And I find that really frustrating, and I think that’s a really limited vision, because anyone who knows and understand horror knows that it’s a cyclical genre. What’s old becomes hot again in a matter of years.

I read where you talked about having to convince studios that vampires would be popular with audiences?

A really interesting anecdote with the first film is that the script was written in 2000, 2001, and the first time we took it out, the collective feedback we got from the studios was: “This is so old-fashioned. It’s anthology, and it has vampires, werewolves, and zombies. Those are old-fashioned. Nobody wants to see those anymore.” Literally, that’s what we were told. Fast forward to just over 10 years later, that’s all we have: werewolves, zombies and vampires. We tried to tell people back then, “You guys are all over Japanese horror and Scream knockoffs right now, but you have to think about what comes next, and what’s next to get resurrected are the classic monsters.” So yeah, I love the anthology format. I think it’s something that deserves more attention, and I still think it can make people a lot of money. It’s just hard to get people to work with.

In terms of what you want to do with the sequel, are you looking at more classic monsters?

I think we’ll shake it up a little bit. There are different archetypes I’d like to explore, different types of monsters. We covered werewolves, vampires, and zombies, but there’s a whole slew of different creatures out there that we haven’t tackled, and I think Sam would probably be pretty good buddies with. So I think it’s time to let them have their time in the sun.

And this one will get a theatrical release?

I mean, fingers crossed it will have a theatrical release considering the adventure that the first one took, but I guess if it didn’t have a theatrical release, the first film also proved that you don’t need a theatrical release in order to be successful. Not anymore. This film became the hit that it became because of video on demand and because of Amazon and Netflix and all those new technologies that people have embraced. It was because of that that this film found its audience.

Do you have an ideal release date in mind? Or year?

I try not to get caught up on thinking about release dates, because I think that’s a mistake Hollywood tends to make is all they’re doing is working toward a release date, and sure that can work sometimes, but I think it also forces you to rush things and sacrifice quality just to have a movie out. Obviously we want to release it sometime in October in a future year. [Laughs] We’re not going to release it in December.

If you were given the opportunity to do a third or fourth film, is that still something that you would want to do?

I think it’d be great to make it a trilogy, at least. So fingers crossed. For me, I think every film should explore a different aspect of Halloween. I felt like the first film was the very traditional, suburban Halloween that we all have some memory of. But as I’ve grown up over the years, I’ve lived everywhere from Columbus, Ohio to New York to L.A., and I find that the holiday is very different depending on where you live. Or even time periods. I don’t see why we should be limited to just present day stories. Halloween is an amazing holiday because it evolves depending on where you live and the time period.

Any hints on a potential location for a sequel?

No, no. We’ve got to keep some things quiet.

What do you want to say to your fans?

I just want to say thank you to the fans. This is a sequel which is definitely being made because of fan demand, and because of word of mouth, which has been building for years. It’s not a sequel that’s just being rushed out because the movie had a big opening weekend. This is a sequel that people actually want, which I think is a rarity. I’m just eternally grateful for the fans for the constant, constant support.

This does not give us a lot to go off of but its enough to get me going and super excited for the new film. I’m hoping this actually happens and isnt a huge flunk like the film 7500 where i waited years to see it and when it finally came out it was just a complete let down. BUT i highly doubt that will happen considering the first films now huge cult following and how amazing it was done.

So are you excited for ‘trick’treat’2 Let me know down in the comments!

Check Out This Gorgeous Limited Edition Art for 13 Classic Horror Movies|The Verge

Limited Edition Art for 13 Classic Horror Movies


By Cassandra Khaw

Halloween is drawing closer, and with it comes a slaughter of costumes, parties, and themed merchandise. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment collaborated with cult decor company Skuzzles to create limited edition artwork for 13 cult classics. Like the movie posters of yesterday, these images are bold, vibrant, and sometimes just a little over-the-top.

Joshua Budich’s take on The Return of the Living Dead is soaked in reds, and largely dominated by the grotesque Tarman who looms like an oozing nightmare moon over the movie’s punkish cast. The Last House on the Left is far subtler, comprised of soothing greens and a quiet tranquility that seem absolutely dissonant when paired with the horrific violence of the actual movie. “I found the scene where Mari walks into the water to be quite haunting and probably the most pivotal moment,” says artist Dan Mumford in a statement. “So, I worked from that and created quite a haunting still moment based around the lake she walks into.” The collection also includes a minimalist design for The Silence of the Lambs, and an eerie exploration of how the aliens in Invasion of the Body Snatchers might interact with the human physiology.

The walls of our cinemas are now papered with action-packed movie posters, the kind consisting of salaciously posed women and men in dramatic poses. However, companies like Skuzzle and Mondo help to remind us that once upon a time, these simple promotional items were genuine works of art. The re-released movies carrying these striking faceplates can be found at major retailers like Best Buy, Target, and Walmart.

  • Carrie, 1976 by Ghoulish Gary Pulin
  • Child’s Play – Chucky’s 20th Birthday Edition – 25th Anniversary Special Edition, 1976 by Jason Edmiston
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers, 1978 by Todd Slater
  • Jeepers Creepers – Collector’s Edition, 2001 by Francesco Francavilla
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space, 1988 by Jason Edmiston
  • The Last House on the Left, 1978 by Dan Mumford
  • Misery – Collector’s Edition, 1990 by Paul Shipper
  • Species, 1995 by Justin Osborne
  • Teen Wolf, 1985 by Ghoulish Gary Pulin
  • The Amityville Horror, 1979 by Ghoulish Gary Pulin
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2, 1986 by Grzegorz Domaradzki


Babylon, P.Q.: The Tale of The 222s|Hour Community



The 222s, with Chris Barry on the mic


 They were Montreal’s very first glam-punk band in the late ’70s. They incited a concert riot at McGill University that ran red flags up on punk rock right around the city; they made many memorable bottle-dodging tours of central Canada’s less-appreciative rock’n’roll environs with the legendary Teenage Head; and immediately prior to their dissolution, they were forced to record what would be their swan song under threats of death by elements of Montreal’s criminal underworld.

They were The 222s. And they’re back.

Formed in 1978 and fronted by the affable and loquacious, and then-16-year-old, Chris Barry – who today is an all-around top-shelf gentleman, peerless rock’n’roll raconteur and, as the mood strikes, utterly loveable troublemaker – The 222s were (and are) rounded out by guitarist Pierre Major, bassist Joe Cerratto and drummist Louie “Louie” Rondeau.NEGA CUT

The 222s, and those of their ilk elsewhere (as there were certainly none like The 222s in Montreal at that time), took their cues from early punk and glam rock bands like the New York Dolls, The Damned, The Dead Boys and Generation X, flaunting a certain kind of in-your-face sexual ambiguity that belied the edgy tenor and toughness of their music. Which, of course, earned them a reputation early on; which, in turn, meant everything was going according to plan, save for one critical thing: There was virtually no scene in which to be seen.

“There was nothing going on in Montreal at the time,’ recollects Barry. “And I meannothing. It was all cover bands and the remnants of April Wine. There wasn’t even anywhere to play. If you were playing original music – and the only people playing original music at that time were a handful of punk bands, and not even a full handful at first – just getting anything done was really hard. And us, of course, we didn’t have any money. I mean, we were three high school dropouts on welfare.”

Which, in retrospect, made them uniquely suited to the task they’d set out for themselves: blow off everything else and write some songs, be as obnoxious as possible in the process, and get famous doing it. However, despite a respectable amount of hometown disrespectability, and a considerable amount of playing and touring at a tender age that shouldn’t have seen them much past the parking lots of some of the venues they were habituating, The 222s were never able to put out a full album proper.

“Listen, just putting out singles was hard,” says Barry. “There were a few other bands [like us] in town at the time, but we were the only ones who could even get it together enough to put out a single – it was hard back then.”

The 222s lay (so far uncontested) claim to the title of having put out the very first punk rock single, and by extension you could say indie single, in Montreal, 1978′s hilariously titled I Love Suzan/First Studio Bomb.R-2779313-1300654098

“For what it’s worth, it’s a dubious accomplishment, but yeah, nobody had done it.” And with that milestone there now comes a certain measure of collectability, one might imagine? “Oh sure, I’ve seen it selling for as much as $150.”

After I Love Suzan/First Studio Bomb, it was to be another three years before The 222s would put out the follow-up, “and even then it was only because of the fuckin’ Mafia,” says Barry.

Pray tell.

“These gangsters in Laval decided that they were going to make us into a fuck-up, Québécois, teeny-bopper act, and they would use their criminal influence to get us on the radio – this was the age of payola, remember – and we would be something that they could make money off of.

“So when we got to their house to record, of course it was a disaster, and we were fighting them on every single thing because by this time they’d decided they were record producers. And so we did this song, La Poupée qui fait non, a Les Sultans song, a kind of garagey, bilingual kind of thing. I mean, hey, we wanted a hit too. Anyway, it started getting ridiculous and after a couple of days of fighting they took us upstairs to the kitchen – because we were recording in the head crook’s basement – and they put a gun on the table and said, ‘There’s not going to be any more fighting.’svastika

“And there wasn’t.”

The mob mix of the song – much to the band’s shame and chagrin – went on to become a minor regional hit, helping hasten the demise of the group. “That pretty much spelled the end of the band – that was the catalyst. I was embarrassed, very embarrassed.”

La Poupée qui fait non is noticeably absent from the only album that The 222s ever put out, 2006′s late-to-the-dance Montreal Punk – ’78-’81, a 14-track compendium of singles, demos and live tracks that, taken as a retrospective whole, is actually very good and, especially as Barry’s lyrics are concerned, highly entertaining (more on that a bit later).

As you’re probably gathering, The 222s weren’t your regular issue, off-the-rack outfit. And in those days, in every town across the country that had a nascent punk scene, if you were talking the talk and walking the walk, you were invariably and inevitably fighting the fights as well.

“That first generation [of punk] in the late ’70s was for sure. I carried a chain with me, and I used it. Walking down the street with Pierre the guitarist was fraught with peril, because he just wanted to look as offensive as he possibly could to everybody. He’d be wearing his multicoloured tights and his sailor cap and shit,” Barry laughs. “And it was just asking for trouble.”

“I can remember one time walking along Ste-Catherine Street one Sunday night, minding my own business, and two kids about my age came walking up towards me. They pushed me and were all like, ‘Hey faggot!’ And I had this chain in my pocket and I was all excited and I turned around towards them and next thing I know I whacked this chain into the guy’s neck, and he fell, and the other guy ran away and I ran away in the other direction thinking, ‘Whoa… I just killed somebody!’

“I read the Gazette the next day to see if there’d been a murder on Ste-Catherine Street. We had to deal with that stuff all the time!”

The 222s did, let’s say, take one of the more effeminate routes through the largely macho domain of punk rock…

“Mm-hmm – we were schooled in The Dolls! We were all into the New York Dolls. When The Clash and the Sex Pistols became kind of a movement or whatever, it was sort of like, this is great, this is something that speaks to [The 222s] a little bit. But nobody else was doing the glam thing here, for sure. And we were chastised for it fuckin’ relentlessly too.she wants revenge

“It was also because we could actually play,” which ran somewhat counter to the reigning punk rock philosophy of the time, “and we figured we’d try to write real songs. Lyrically they’re a little special…” (The chorus for Female provides a choice case in point: “You look like a female/ But you fuck like a man.”) “…but y’know. And we were serious! We wanted to have a professional act – we wanted to hit the big time!

“But here there was nothing going on. Other cities, like Toronto, had a real scene, but here it was just us, Chromosomes, The Normals, Electric Vomit… for years. We were thwarted [in our ambitions] because we could always draw well, and we drew well in Toronto and in New York, and we thought, ‘What more do [the music industry powers that be] want from us?’ Well, they wanted a lot more – they wanted us to sound like Harlequin.”

And here we are now, 32 years on. And The 222s still don’t sound anything like Harlequin, something that Barry – who went on to lead the very popular 39 Steps (who were featured playing at legendary New York punk club CBGBs in the Woody Allen filmHannah and Her Sisters), Pillbox (who toured with The Ramones), Acrylic and most recently The Throbbing Purple – is keen to put on display when the band plays with fellow reunited Montreal punk rock legends, and personal faves, the Asexuals this weekend as part of Pop Montreal.549609_10151577382499899_403059439_n

“I think it’s going to be good! We’re certainly looking forward to it, and I’m confident it’ll sell out and all that stuff, and there seems to be a lot of enthusiasm,” says Barry, who seems not to be wanting in the enthusiasm dept. either.

“It’s all the original band, and we’re only doing songs from The 222s, none of the later stuff from 39 Steps or Pillbox or what have you, just stuff that we can remember or that we found on tape, and it’s good. Seriously, like I say, we’re doing this with our hearts. If it was going to suck, or be one of those get-together-for-the-festival type things, we wouldn’t have done it. And if anyone wants, we’ll keep on doing it; if there’s an audience, well, nothing would make us happier.”

In the here and now, Barry’s an established alt-weekly columnist and music journalist, and it occurs, with the aid of my remaining rudimentary math skills, that Barry could have grown into the 16-year-old that he was when he joined The 222s a full two times over in the years since the band first began. Not to be a dick – okay yeah, I’m being a dick – but that’s some serious mileage on them there tires…

“I tell you, it’s weird as fuck, man,” laughs Barry. “For one, to be playing with those same guys. I mean it’s hokey, but I really do love those fuckers, and we went through so much together, not just with The 222s but later with 39 Steps. We gave our youth to rock’n’roll, and rock’n’roll didn’t give us much back. So it’s weird to be [playing with them again], but it also feels pretty natural.

“[Former Asexuals and Doughboys guitarist/singer John] Kastner was the catalyst for this and was always saying we should do this gig with the two bands in Montreal. And apart from the fact I didn’t think we’d all want to get together and do it in the first place, I just didn’t want to do it if it was going to suck. I didn’t want to hurt our modest legacy, such as it is. Because it can be really pathetic – you get these middle-aged fuckin’ losers going on and, well, you know… ‘Hi, this song’s called Jailbait, and I wrote it when I was 16,’ when I was jailbait myself. So singing it now is a little, um, special,” he says, then bursts out laughing. “I enjoy singing it now more than ever!”

So can we expect to see Barry in some kind of glittery unitard-type get-up replete with Christmas-tree-stud chokers and velvet stilettos?

“Uhhhh, well, I’ve got my costume together,” he says, equivocating somewhat. “My rock’n’roll costume hasn’t really varied that much over the years. I never went straight, Jamie, I never went straight. I still live by those principles that I had when I was like, y’know, 17. That’s how much I’ve matured and grown as an individual.”  Chris McGill

In preparation for their Pop Montreal appearance, The 222s recently did a couple of warm-up shows in Toronto. “And they were fuckin’ amazing,” Barry says so himself. “We did The Horseshoe and The Bovine, and both venues were full and people knew the stuff, whether it’s from YouTube or wherever, and it was really cool. Just the fact that it’s been such a long time… It was almost like vindication!”

And it only took 30 years.

“I’ll take it.”

How Jimmy Carter’s Face-Off with a Rabbit Changed the Presidency

President Jimmy Carter and the “Killer Rabbit”

By Jim O’Grady

Of all the crises that President Carter faced in 1979 — gas shortages, hostage-taking, runaway inflation — his bizarre encounter with a crazed swimming rabbit on a Georgia lake was as damaging as any to his image. The incident crystallized an emerging sense that Carter was a man in over his head.

The view was disputable. Carter had gotten off to a strong start as president, especially with his Nobel Prize-winning achievement of forging the Camp David peace accords between Israel and Egypt. But by the time the “killer rabbit” story broke on a sluggish news day in August 1979, many of Carter’s efforts to project himself as a forceful leader had fizzled or backfired.

Chief among those was his “Crisis of Confidence” speech, given on prime time TV in July. The public initially liked Carter’s call to action — “With God’s help and for the sake of our nation, it is time for us to join hands in America” — and gave him an 11 percent bump in the polls. But that was before Ronald Reagan and other rivals relabeled it the “malaise speech” and used it to portray Carter as a pessimist and a wimp.

(Jimmy Carter, leader of the free world, fends off attack by “killer rabbit.” / Jimmy Carter Library and Museum)

Then came the backwoods mammal that approached Carter as he fished on a pond, hissing as it bore down on his boat. Carter, who’d grown up in the country, calmly used his paddle to splash water at the critter and scare it away. But a photo of the encounter that the White House unwisely released to the press made the president look somewhat comical and small. How was a guy who let a rabbit get the drop on him supposed to guard the U.S. from attack by the Soviet Union?

Pop culture erupted with mocking commentaries, cartoons and novelty songs. The best of that bunch was a song by Tom Paxton called, “I Don’t Want A Bunny Wunny.”

Click on the play button  below  to hear about the Reagan campaign’s vow to learn from the “bonzai bunny” about not losing control of the presidential narrative over trivial issues. That led to the creation of the image-management machine that endures in The White House to this day. The story includes interviews with Brooks Jackson, the AP reporter who broke the story, and presidential historian Kevin Mattson.

Jody Powell, Carter’s press secretary, described the affair in his 1986 book The Other Side of the Story:

 April 20th, 1979

On a fishing trip in Plains, Georgia, President Carter had an encounter with a “swamp rabbit”. This seemingly trivial event was seized upon by the press and became a sort of Rorschach test of the Carter presidency: reporters and commentators saw in this story whatever they wanted to see in Carter’s administration.  Jody Powell, Carter’s press secretary, described the affair in his 1986 book The Other Side of the Story:

It began late one afternoon in the spring of 1979. The President was sitting with a few of us on the Truman Balcony. He had recently returned from a visit to Plains, and we were talking about homefolks and how the quail were nesting and similar matters of international import.Suddenly, for no apparent reason — he was drinking lemonade, as I recall — the President volunteered the information that while fishing in a pond on his farm he had sighted a large animal swimming toward him. Upon closer inspection, the animal turned out to be a rabbit. Not one of your cutesy, Easter Bunny-type rabbits, but one of those big splay-footed things that we called swamp rabbits when I was growing up.

The animal was clearly in distress, or perhaps berserk. The President confessed to having had limited experience with enraged rabbits. He was unable to reach a definite conclusion about its state of mind. What was obvious, however, was that this large, wet animal, making strange hissing noises and gnashing its teeth, was intent upon climbing into the Presidential boat.

The President then evidently shooed the critter away from his boat with a paddle. The scene was captured on film by a White House photographer.

The incident might have died of natural causes but for the fact that Powell himself later passed the story along to the press:

Several months later I was chatting with Brooks Jackson, one of the White House correspondents for the Associated Press, over a cup of tea, as I remember. For reasons that I still do not fully understand, I told him about the President and the rabbit. I was the one who leaked the killer rabbit story.Although an experienced reporter, Brooks also failed to appreciate the significance of what he had heard. He did not rush to file an “urgent” story. In fact, he continued the conversation for some period of time and several more cups of tea. Not until the next day did he get around to sending this gripping account out over the wires to a waiting public. And even then it was a pleasant, lighthearted piece. Although he may not admit it now, I had the definite impression at the time that Brooks thought it was nothing more than a mildly amusing incident, too.

We were soon corrected. The Washington Post, exercising the news judgement that we in the White House had come to appreciate so keenly, headed the piece President Attacked by Rabbit and ran it on the front page. The more cautious New York Times boxed it on page A-12. That night, all three networks found time to report the amazing incident. But that was just the beginning.

It was a nightmare. The story ran for more than a week. The President was repeatedly asked to explain his behavior at town hall meetings, press conferences, and meetings with editors.

There was talk of a suit under the Freedom of Information Act to force release of the picture showing the President, paddle and rabbit in close proximity.

Shortly after the Reagan administration took office, they stumbled upon a copy of the picture — apparently while searching for a foreign policy — and reopened the old wounds by releasing it to the press.

Well – this is where I enter the story. I was 25 at the time the story broke, and I remember the furor over the incident. However, I can’t recall ever having seen the aforementioned picture. Web searches turned up plenty of references to the story, but no images; the story unfortunately broke before Al Gore invented the Internet.

I contacted the friendly folks at the Jimmy Carter Library about the picture, not really expecting much help:

Greetings, Jimmy Carter Library folks. Is the infamous picture of President Carter being attacked by a rabbit while fishing available from the Library? I suspect this is a common question, and I also suspect that the standard answer is “No, and we wouldn’t tell you if it were anyway.” :-) Still – I figured it was worth a try.

To my amazement, I received this response:

Thank you for your photo inquiry of November 7, 2003. The ‘killer rabbit’ photo is available at the Library. An 8×10 color print costs $25.50: a b&w print costs $20.50. We require prepayment and will accept a credit card or a check made out to the National Archives Trust Fund.Please contact us if we can be of further assistance.

After a few more exchanges, I wound up ordering a 300dpi TIFF on CD of this image:

The picture
President Carter and the swamp rabbit
President Carter and the swamp rabbit
Photo courtesy of Jimmy Carter Library

I’m grateful to the folks at the Carter Library for their cheerful cooperation. They have advised me that the picture is in the public domain, but they would like any usage to note that the picture is courtesy of the Jimmy Carter Library.

     Personnally I think Jimmy Carter was one of my favorite US president and I really think there was a conspiracy here to make him look stupid. The reason I think this is why in the hell would a photograph would be there at this precise moment when this happened??? As for why they did this is prety clear to me.  The Us like wars because they are the number one manufacturer and dealers in weapons of all sorts. We all know that but there is a war  that has a huge budget too and is at the base of a whole economy in itself and it’s the war against drugs. Jimmy Carter wanted to stop this non-sense that is still going on nowadays. Carter had handled very important crisis and did very well on all accounts but some people make a lot of money with drugs and they are not those black thugs… I really think we would be very suprised to see who really is at the top of this market…. We even have evidence!!   The involvement of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in cocaine trafficking in Central America during the Reagan Administration as part of the Contra war in Nicaragua has been the subject of several official and journalistic investigations since the mid-1980s. In 1986, the Reagan Administration acknowledged that funds from cocaine smuggling helped fund the Contra rebels, but stated that it was not authorized by the US government or resistance leaders. The Kerry Committee found that Contra drug links included payments to known drug traffickers by the U.S. State Department to carry out humanitarian assistance to the Contras. A CIA internal investigation found that agents had worked with drug traffickers to support the Contra program, but found no evidence of any conspiracy by CIA or its employees to bring drugs into the United States. So… It is pretty clear to me that if Jimmy Carter was showing any signs of  ”softening” the drug policies, he was touching a very sensitive spot here…. But that’s only my opinion…. I would really really like to have some feedback on this one..Now I know some people are going to say I’m stupid and paranoid or whatever, it’s ok as long as you are being respectfull and can back up your opinion with some facts… I think if Jimmy Carter wouldn’t have met this damn rabbit, maybe, just maybe, some things would be very different now….

Tobe Damit



Nick Cave|Interview



Nick Cave’s mind is a deep spring of dark beauty and improbable inspirations. He is a restless creator, skipping blithely across genres and forms, from music and literature to screenwriting, acting, and even theater. After cutting his teeth in the late ’70s and early ’80s with the bombastic Australian goth-rock progenitors the Birthday Party, Cave assembled the seminal post-punk outfit the Bad Seeds in 1983, refining his music’s mix of blues, gospel, and experimental elements. He also fully came into his persona as a noir antihero with his elegiac baritone and a narrative songwriting style that has always suggested a deeper mythology. But the role of rock musician has never been enough to contain Cave’s overflow of creative energy. He published his first book, King Ink, in 1988 and since then has published four more (And the Ass Saw the Angel in 1989, The Complete Lyrics in 2001 and 2006, andThe Death of Bunny Munro in 2009). He has written screenplays for the spectacularly gory Western The Proposition (2005) and the 1930s crime drama Lawless(2012); and, with his longtime collaborator Warren Ellis, he has composed numerous original films scores, including those for Andrew Dominik’s The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) and John Hillcoat’s The Road (2009). He has even found himself in front of the camera on occasion, appearing in the 1989 Australian filmGhosts … of the Civil Dead and the 1991 indie classic Johnny Suede, and has worked with Ellis to score stage productions ofWoyzeck, Metamorphosis, and Faust for the Vesturport and Reykjavík City Theatre companies in Iceland.
Following a five-year hiatus during which Cave explored garage-rock ferocity with his side band Grinderman, the Bad Seeds returned in February with their 15th studio album, Push the Sky Away (Bad Seed Ltd.), a quieter, more minimalist collection of songs than the group’s previous effort, 2008’sDig, Lazarus, Dig!!!, but one that still manages to convey the Seeds’ brand of mystery and menace.

Cave, now 55, recently reunited with Jesse James director Dominik at the Sunset Marquis hotel bar in West Hollywood, where their conversation spanned the Cave oeuvre and even included a surprise guest appearance by the original Wild Rose herself, Kylie Minogue, who was in Los Angeles recording an album.

ANDREW DOMINIK: I’m curious about when you write a song about a particular person or an event in your life—like the song “Far From Me.” Do you think of that person or thing when you hear the song?

NICK CAVE: Yeah. And when I sing those songs at a gig, they bring me to that person, like they kind of regenerate the memory of that person over and over and over again—an imagined memory of that person. When I’m singing “Deanna,” for example, which I sing pretty much every night, it brings forward a kind of imagined, romanticized lie about this particular person, which I find really comforting and exciting to sing about. Sometimes the song isn’t strong enough to contain the fiction, because memories are fictions. And the songs kind of break down and are not singable, so they don’t ever get played live, because they’re not strong enough to contain the memory of that person. But “Deanna,” who you know, because she became your girlfriend and you have a child from her …

DOMINIK: Actually, when I started going out with Deanna [Bond] was when the song came out.   

CAVE: Oh, really? I didn’t know that! [laughs]

DOMINIK: I don’t find your lyrics obtuse or difficult to understand in any way. I’ve been listening to you for 25 years. Those songs have always been a part of my life, so I have ideas about all of them—all the ones that have meant something to me. With “Deanna,” the one thing I always used to wonder about was the chorus: “I ain’t down here for your money / I ain’t down here for your love / … I’m down here for your soul.”

CAVE: For me, that particular chorus is beautiful in that song because in a live situation, it takes that song out of the personal and becomes something that I’m singing to everybody, and then it kind of telescopes back into this song about this mythic relationship that I had with your former girlfriend. [laughs]

DOMINIK: She told me you’d known her for, like, two weeks, and you’d gone to England and come back, and she went to the recording studio, and the first thing that she was presented with was you singing the song to her. And the song predicts the life that you’re going to lead together to some extent.

CAVE: Songs do do that, and that’s the uncanny and sometimes scary thing about a song. Susie [Bick], my wife, understands that very well. I wrote a song off the new record called “Wide Lovely Eyes,” which is about a woman going away and their sort of disassembling of a relationship. She’s like, “Why did you write that?” Not that she would ever ask me what a line is in a song, because she’s an artist at heart, and artists don’t ask other artists that because they understand that you just write what you can write. But the songs do kind of feel like they know something sometimes that I don’t know. Or even that they are more courageous, in the sense that your art can pave the way for what might follow. But “Wide Lovely Eyes” is really about the anxiety I feel when Susie goes away. It’s basically a song where I watch her out of the windows of my place do this walk that goes through the gardens in front of my house and down to the sea. And there is an anxiety that one day she won’t come back. Not that she’s going to leave me or something, but in the most abstract sense that’s what drives the melancholy of that particular song.

DOMINIK: Do you worry, then, if you come across a bit of grit in a song? A line might suggest that there’s a loose thread in your life?

CAVE: Well, I think our relationship is in much better shape if I’m writing songs like that than, you know, “How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You.”

DOMINIK: I agree. There has to be room for all sides of a person, otherwise, if something’s repressed, it’s going to pop at some point.

CAVE: Going back to the “Deanna” song, even though it’s a wildly imagined universe—it’s a mythic kind of song, obviously—there’s much in it that is quite accurate in a weird sort of way about that short period of time I spent with her. Those songs do, in a live situation, if they’re any good, springboard me back into the past or encourage the ghosts of the past to come that little bit closer. And the older I get, the more I feel those kinds of ghosts—especially the women in my life—moving out of the shadows a bit more and becoming more present in my life.

DOMINIK: What do you mean?

CAVE: Those kind of memories—before it was kind of one after another and you found a new one. But the value of those relationships is much more important to me now than 10 years ago. Maybe it’s because I’m settled in a relationship. They feel like they’re coming out of the shadows. I’m only talking in the most abstract way. I have no interest in reconnecting on Facebook with these people or something like that. But those memories are becoming clearer to me.

DOMINIK: Movies are the same way. They have an unconscious thing going on inside them. The song comes into being in a certain period of time before it’s lost its mystery, before you know what it means to you. You can write a script and you’re following some impulse, but you’re not really aware of its meaning. But after you live with it for, like, three years, you start to see that the things that are predicted come true, or you start to see what it’s about, and it’s like the unconscious energy dissipates.

CAVE: Your movies seem to be about fiction and myth and what happened and what didn’t happen, or at least Chopper[2000] and The Assassination of Jesse James feel very much about that. I know you were meticulous, or as meticulous as you could be, with Jesse James, but that film seems to me to be very much imagined, mythic.

DOMINIK: Yeah, but there’s two people—one of them is very anxious and the other one’s depressed—and it’s really a sort of tale of suicide. It reminds me of events in my life, things that I’ve been around. It’s a fantasy, but still it has emotional energies, and they come from somewhere.

CAVE: Is it easier for you to do that in a period film? You were saying on the bus last night, when we were going to the gig [in San Diego], that they’re the books you’re most interested in—books that occur in another period of time. Is that because it’s easier to fictionalize and to imagine?

DOMINIK: I just think it’s more mythological somehow. There’s something more archetypal about it. They say that stories are how we give meaning to our lives; they’re how we organize reality. Fairy tales are descriptions of unconscious processes that a child has in order to deal with abandonment, and this is potentially the use of movies, of stories. And I think songs are the same. A song can offer advice on how to deal with a situation. It can be a conduit to grief—to being able to feel something.

CAVE: I think it can work in that way. But I would hate to think my songs were giving advice to people.   DOMINIK: It’s more in the sense of survival.

CAVE: Yeah. I often get people writing to me about how these songs helped them through a situation. But I would have thought the power of a good song is that it draws you out of your own situation and that you enter a completely different world. And that’s what I like about watching a movie: you enter an imagined world that’s more interesting, more engaging than your own. Or less painful than your own.

DOMINIK: The fantasy gives you the courage to feel things.

CAVE: Movies are wonderful like that. Where you  find yourself weeping in the cinema, and it’s over a little thing. One of my triggers is a man trying to do the right thing. It gets me every time.

DOMINIK: Do you want to know how the subject of the song reacts to it?

CAVE: No. Early on I realized when you write a song about someone, it flatters them on some level, and gives you a lot of room to move within a relationship. A song can kind of get the girl, for sure. But for me and Susie, there is a kind of pact that goes on between the writer and subject, or the particular muse at the time. There is nothing private and there’s nothing sacred—there’s nothing that isn’t food for the songs.

DOMINIK: This is a conversation that you’ve had?

CAVE: I have talked to her about this: “You’ll get immortalized, you’ll be in songs. But you’ve got to understand that anything vaguely interesting that happens between us will end up mashed into some sort of song.” [laughs] But it doesn’t really matter what’s said about the person, ultimately. That someone sat down and spent that amount of time thinking about them, no matter how they’re thinking about them, is a compliment in some way.

DOMINIK: Like “Scum.”

CAVE: I was just thinking about “Scum.” Mat [Snow, the music journalist] loves that song.

DOMINIK: I’m sure he does. What do you think of “Scum?” Is it something that was tossed off?

CAVE: Musically, it was very much tossed off, because we didn’t want to spend any time doing the music to it—it would have defeated the purpose.

DOMINIK: It’s a favorite of mine, because it’s so vicious. The feeling in it is so palpable.

CAVE: The thing about that song is that what initiated it was the tiniest thing. I remember to this day that I’d opened up the paper … Snow had written a review of the first Bad Seeds record, From Her to Eternity [1984], calling it one of the greatest rock records ever made. Then we put out the next one, that bluesy one—

DOMINIK: The Firstborn Is Dead [1985].

CAVE: Which he said in a review of a single by [the German industrial band] Einstürzende Neubauten, something like, “Unlike the Bad Seeds’ latest record, which lacks dramatic intensity, this record, blah blah blah …” I just grabbed hold of those fucking three words like, “You fucker.” As I do, I stewed on that and sat down and wrote this bilious song about him, because I had lived with him.

DOMINIK: You weren’t living there at the time.

CAVE: No. But that kind of rage behind something like that is infectious and ultimately really enjoyable.

DOMINIK: It must be great to be able to vent things immediately. That’s the thing that I look at with such envy about music.

CAVE: Well, I’ve watched you make movies. I’ve watched John Hillcoat making movies, and I cannot understand how he can do what he does. Hang on to an idea and just push on and push on …

DOMINIK: Orson Welles said making a movie is like playing with the biggest train set any boy ever had. It involves every discipline: you write, you deal with performance, you deal with architecture, you deal with sound, you deal with music. And there’s a certain point in the making of a film when you feel like you’re in charge of an orchestra, and every little piece of it is building to something. What you really need more than anything is just the ability to endure frustration.

CAVE: Yeah … John has that ability.

DOMINIK: The other thing I wanted to ask about songwriting is about the relationship between words and music. I know that some people will come up with a riff, and then they have to get vowel sounds—”ar,” “eh”—the sound that will sound good with that music. They almost scat along before the words appear.

CAVE: That happens when we do songwriting together as a band, which we do with Grinderman. I ad lib initially, and that has just as much to do with what sounds good as with what something means. There is a great thing that goes on with that, because we do it for five or six days solid—playing from the morning till late at night without stopping. That does create a certain type of hysteria in the studio—lyrical hysteria, where you’re singing just to entertain the troops. You’re singing about stuff that, taken out of context, you can’t even believe is coming out of your mouth. And sometimes that stuff works really well with Grinderman, where it’s a kind of theme that you can develop.

DOMINIK: And then there are other songs that start with words?

CAVE: Yeah, they go in different ways. But it’s kind of a private thing—other than those Grinderman sessions where I’m dealing very much with the band members, I’m alone in an office somewhere writing songs with a pencil.

DOMINIK: And what’s it like when you have to present a song to the band?

CAVE: It used to be terrifying. There’s much more communication within the Bad Seeds now than there used to be. No one talked about music or ever said anything like, “That sounds good.” So you would say, “Right, this one goes like this,” and you start playing at the piano and singing, and then you finish and everyone just stands there, and they drift off and pick up the thing. So you never knew the effect that the songs had back then. Now, with Warren in the band, he talks about music all the time.

DOMINIK: At least they enjoyed playing it, right?

CAVE: Blixa [Bargeld, former Bad Seeds guitarist], usually after a record, would come up to me and go, “Darling, we’ve made a good record.” And then, “Goodbye.” That always meant a whole lot to me.

DOMINIK: Would he tell you if he didn’t like something?

CAVE: Oh, yeah. One time I wrote this song called “Sheep May Safely Graze,” which was about my child, and how I’ll protect him from the wolves and the crocodiles. It was, to be fair, a pretty sentimental kind of thing. Blixa came over and said, “Darling, let’s leave that one for the child.” [laughs] “Go home and play it to him. Let’s not inflict that on the world.”

DOMINIK: The new record seems less narrative.

CAVE: I’ve always hated narrative songs. I hate those songs where, basically, it’s an unfolding of a story. Dylan wrote like that. I can’t bear them, to be honest—you know, “The Ballad of Such and Such.” You listen to the story—and it’s beautifully written. But on some level, you hear it once and you’ve got the gist of it. There’s this kind of tyranny of the narrative, where you have to engage from the beginning of the song and listen to the end. But I’ve always found that that’s just the way I write. If I can’t visualize the thing on the page, it’s completely meaningless to me. I can’t write that “I love you, baby,” which are the songs I love, like a James Brown song, that just come and “get funky!” They’re the songs that I really respond to myself. But I’m a storyteller. I felt really pleased with this record and, to a certain extent, the last record, that the narrative structure had been shattered, but there are still highly visual songs where you enter a kind of world when you listen to them and things are going on, but you don’t have to get locked into them.

DOMINIK: I was thinking, watching the show last night, that that’s sort of similar to “Stranger Than Kindness.” It is an unusual song because it is like a collection of poetic non sequiturs that describe a relationship that you see in a dream fashion. That’s similar to the new record.

CAVE: I love that song because I didn’t write it, for one thing. Anita [Lane] wrote the lyrics, and I don’t fully understand it. I know it’s about me.

DOMINIK: You certainly get pictures—you get the essence of something. And therefore it’s larger.

CAVE: It all connects me very much to that memory of Anita. That’s what I was talking about before. That’s what all the songs to me are largely about: memory. That’s why when I hear that our record’s been bought, that we’ve lost our catalogs to some multinational company—EMI—and then they sold them to somewhere else, and there’s someone there that’s looking at the figures and seeing whether they should delete this record, you know, whether it’s worth it even being manufactured anymore … It is terrifying.

DOMINIK: Do you think there’s any danger of that?

CAVE: Oh, yeah, for sure.

DOMINIK: Well, Bella [Heathcote, Dominik's partner] got up this morning and bought the entire Bad Seeds back catalog.

CAVE: Did she? [laughs] Very good. You know the great thing about the internet is that it’s gonna save that. Maybe nobody’s making any money on it—I don’t really care about that aspect—but at least you can listen to pretty much any song I’ve ever done, or anybody’s ever done. And those songs’ fate isn’t at the whim of some fucking bean counter at EMI.

DOMINIK: Why did you get into being a musician?

CAVE: I was talking to my kids, actually—they’re 12—I remember being that age and deciding I wanted to be a painter. I went to school and really got into painting and learned all about art history. It was the one subject that I excelled at because I had a genuine interest in it. I went to art school and then failed second year. I just thought I was the fucking greatest painter in the world. I was—we all were—heavily influenced by Brett Whiteley, the Australian painter, or Francis Bacon. We were makin’ Bacon, as they say. But I wasn’t actually painting very much in my second year. I was more meeting people and hanging out with the other artists. Being in art school was just amazing.

DOMINIK: Film school was the same.

CAVE: I’d gone from this stultifying grammar school and suddenly I was considered to be a fag and all the rest of it, and I was amongst these artists. It was amazing, but I failed. So my only option was this band; it had just been this thing we did on the weekends …

DOMINIK: Did you have any anxiety about getting up and singing? Did you have any shyness about it?

CAVE: I do have huge anxieties about it, not shyness. Maybe it’s shyness …

DOMINIK: You do now?

CAVE: I always do, yeah.

DOMINIK: But you didn’t feel that last night when you played your gig …

CAVE: No, I didn’t. You know, it’s just a thing about the voice. Last night was a good night for me—at least vocally. Some nights it’s not good. I was the singer because I was the unmusical one—I didn’t play anything amongst a group of friends at school. I had a certain way about being on stage, I guess. And then I could sort of scurry through the door of punk rock with my voice.

DOMINIK: When did you start to take it seriously?

CAVE: I don’t know how to answer that question, but I do know the moment when I realized we were on to something. We’d made the Birthday Party record [Prayers on Fire, 1981] with the song “King Ink.” I remember really clearly listening to the record with Rowland S. Howard after it had come out. It was like, “There’s something going on there. That’s not like other people’s songs.” There was something going on narratively and musically that was kind of gelling in that song that was different—that not only surpassed our influences but raised its head or broke free of the influences that are so apparent on that earlier Boys Next Door [Cave's previous band] stuff.

DOMINIK: Rowland has said many times that it was fantastic to be in the Birthday Party, because he was in the best band in the world. They seemed like a thing that could explode at any moment. It kind of ended at the peak, right?

CAVE: Well, who knows where the peak was. But it ended very suddenly.

DOMINIK: Do you remember those times?

CAVE: I remember that there was a gig at a university or something like that, and this guy doing our publicity got all the record companies to come, and all these celebrities were there. It was a big showcase of the Birthday Party, and it was a night of absolute horror on every level. Tracy [Pew] had OD’d in the band room—we literally had to inject him with amphetamine to get him to wake up to get him on stage. Mick Harvey knocked me out on stage—there was some altercation with someone out front between me and the microphone stand and his head. And then Tracy kept falling over. And I think Rowland OD’d after the show. We got a big audience because of those sorts of gigs, I guess. [laughs] In a way, the Birthday Party set up something that we could react against for years to come. It was kind of a lovely force field that existed in people’s imaginations to propel the Bad Seeds’ career, where we could do different sorts of records. That kind of feeling of confusing or confounding the audience has always been one of those things that holds us together.

DOMINIK: Are you a contrary person by nature?

CAVE: There’s definitely a love of defending the indefensible. I’m sure you know that very well. [both laugh]

DOMINIK: Yeah. There’s a real joy that I feel in doing that, but much less as I get older.

CAVE: Exactly.

DOMINIK: Do you find life is easier with a project to organize it around? Have you gone through periods of doing nothing?

CAVE: Yeah. After the first time I went into a rehab, I came out and did nothing for, like, eight months—didn’t write a song, didn’t do any touring, just was supposed to be getting clean. And I just sat in this room on my own. I lived with Evan English—do you know him? He’s a producer …

DOMINIK: Yeah. That would’ve been awful. [laughs]

CAVE: I think I was watching seven videos a day.

DOMINIK: Would you not go to meetings and all that stuff?

CAVE: No, I didn’t get into that whole scene. People would come over and I would just sort of sit there with the remote like some mad person. They would try to talk and I would just turn up the volume.

DOMINIK: Did you not have the feeling of being restored when you got clean? Any sense of joy?

CAVE: No. I just thought, Okay, this is what life is; this is the fucking hell.

DOMINIK: You were just white-knuckling it.

CAVE: Then someone decided to do a tour of Brazil … [laughs] I just walked out into the sunshine there, grabbed a beer, and fell in love on the second day. And just never went home—stayed in Brazil. So that was not doing anything.

DOMINIK: That’s the last time?

CAVE: Well, no. There were other times where I couldn’t do anything because I was so fucked up. But since I stopped taking drugs 14 years ago, I’ve just worked, worked, worked. And progressively so. You may not remember saying this, but we were talking about scriptwriting, and you said, “What the fuck are you doing that for?” It had quite an impact. When I got asked to write The Proposition, it was this really exciting thing. I didn’t know anything about scriptwriting, so it was really exciting to just write the story I wanted to write. Then I did Lawless—and I had written a couple in between them, which were fun, too—and was suddenly like, “Oh, I’m a scriptwriter. This is what scriptwriters do; they get their notes and dash out something and send it back.” Around that time was when you said, “Why do you do this?”

DOMINIK: I guess I knew you took songwriting really seriously and that you took screenwriting less seriously, but if it’s fun—

CAVE: And I think you also said, “Maybe you should hack it out.” [laughs]

DOMINIK: Look, I figured it would be unpleasant for you to have to be taking notes, because you don’t have to. So why do it? I mean, if you can make music …

CAVE: Yeah. But the problem with making music is that no one wants you to make more than one record every three years. It’s different now because of the internet and the whole collapse of the record industry. But back in those days, it fucked up their marketing schedule if you made a record every two years, let alone one every year. It just wasn’t enough work, so that’s why I started doing extracurricular activities like writing books and that sort of stuff.

DOMINIK: The other thing I wanted to ask you is whether you believe in god.

CAVE: Well, I believe in the idea more than the actuality. I think it’s a part of us as human beings that we search outside of ourselves for meaning. It’s a hugely endearing aspect of our characters as human beings, despite how corrupt and destructive some of those ideas can be. But whether I actually believe in a god, in the traditional sense? I don’t. Religion is an act of the imagination, but on some level, it can be seen as a kind of failure of the imagination, because the idea is not that great. The idea is as small as our collective imagination can be, if you know what I mean. I’ve got to say that the first thing that disappeared for me when I got clean was my belief in god. I was fucking crazy. Towards the end, I was waking up cold turkey and going to church, sick as a fucking dog. I’m sitting there sweating and listening to everything, and then trotting down to the golden road and scoring and getting back home and shooting up and going, “I’m living a well-rounded existence.” [both laugh] You know, a bit of this and a bit of that. So the first thing that went was that supposed spiritual need of that conventional kind. But I don’t know why we went from nothing to something.

DOMINIK: What do you mean?

CAVE: The origins of the world and all that sort of stuff. I guess we know the how with the Big Bang, but what exists behind that gives me a certain kind of vertigo, even getting my head around that.

DOMINIK: So it’s the stories.

CAVE: Personally I find the story of Christ incredibly moving. And the way that the Gospels were written—despite the kind of hell those stories unleashed upon the world, even to this day, I find those stories very powerful and moving.

[Kylie Minogue and a rep from her management company enter the restaurant]

DOMINIK: Hey, some fancy ladies.

KYLIE MINOGUE: Hey, how are you?

DOMINIK: God, you look beautiful. How are you? I’m wearing these because I’m deaf and blind from seeing the Bad Seeds last night.

CAVE: We’re doing an interview.

MINOGUE: And I come in just at the end?

DOMINIK: Yeah, you can make a cameo appearance.

CAVE: Why are you here?

MINOGUE: I’m recording.

CAVE: Are you making a record here?

MINOGUE: I’ve actually got a listening session. I’ve got to go back to play it for the label.

CAVE: Oh, really? They haven’t heard it?

MINOGUE: It’s nearly done.

[Tape recorder pauses, then comes back with Minogue and Dominik talking]

MINOGUE: Okay. So while Nick is away, rustling up a menu, I can tell you that few men have really been very influential in my career, but he’s one of them.

CAVE: Are you on?

DOMINIK: We were talking about you.

CAVE: How influential?

MINOGUE: Super-influential. I don’t want to embarrass you.

CAVE: It doesn’t embarrass me.

MINOGUE: It’s only good things. [laughs]

DOMINIK: So do you remember when you became aware of Nick Cave?

MINOGUE: Yeah. When Michael Hutchence [the late lead singer of INXS] said to me, “My friend Nick wants to do a record with you.”

DOMINIK: I remember Mick Harvey had been ringing me to try to find your number for Michele [Bennett, a former girlfriend of Hutchence's]. No, I think it was Mick rang me to get Michele to get Michael’s number.

MINOGUE: Wow, convoluted. So you spoke to Michael?

CAVE: I can’t remember. But anyway, Michael got spoken to [Minogue laughs], like, “Where’s Kylie? Because we want to ask her to sing.” And he goes, “She’s sitting right here.” You were at a hotel.

MINOGUE: Yes, maybe we were on holiday somewhere. Anyway, the message got passed, and then nothing happened for six years.

CAVE: Really?

MINOGUE: When did we do “Where the Wild Roses Grow”?

CAVE: I thought you came straight away and did it.

MINOGUE: No, because we did that in the mid-’90s, and I was dating Michael in, like, 1990, ’91.

CAVE: Are you sure about that? Because I thought we talked to you and said we got this song.

MINOGUE: Yeah, but that was years later in Melbourne, where it came through Mushroom Records. You were signed on Mushroom for a bit, right?

CAVE: Suicide Records, which was a subsidiary.

MINOGUE: Somehow we were on the same label, and I was asked about it, and a CD was sent over with your vocals and Blixa’s. And then I called you, but you were out, so I left a message with your mum. I said to her, “Well, he can call me at my mum’s house.” [laughs] And then the first day I met Nick was in the studio, which was cool because—

CAVE: We were all sitting there on our best behavior.

MINOGUE: You’ve always been on your best behavior when you’re with me. But it was great because it was like you were directing me.

CAVE: You sang it first take and there was a little bit of warbling on the end of the notes. Then we just asked you to not—

MINOGUE: To not sing it so much.

CAVE: To not sing it so well.

MINOGUE: Almost talking singing, and very fragile.

CAVE: And then you sang it.

MINOGUE: I don’t know how many takes, but it was really fast.

CAVE: Two takes.

MINOGUE: Was it? [laughs]

CAVE: Legend has it.





Prison storytelling, Subcultural Anthropology and the Allure of Darkness. 


In the 1970’s, while American hippies were busy inking themselves with peace signs and psychedelic rainbows, Danzig Baldayev, a guard at St. Petersburg’s notorious Kresty Prison, began documenting the far less Woodstockian body art of Russia’s most infamous criminals.

For 33 years, Baldayev used his exclusive access to and rapport with the prisoners to hand-illustrate and capture in artful photographs more than 3,600 inmate tattoos — as admirable a feat artistically as it was sociologically.

In 2003, when he was in his late 70’s, Baldayev began releasing his magnificent archive as a series of books revealing a rich and eerie intersection of art and violence.

Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Volumes I, IIand III offer not only a visceral record of this intersection, but also Baldayev’s aambitious effort to, through text and illustrations, parse the meaning of these tattoos and place them in the context of this fiercely self-contained subculture. (Or, as it were, institution-contained as well.)

Perhaps even more striking than the body art itself is how Baldayev was able to talk some of Russia’s most dangerous convicts into posing for such intimate and often vulnerable portraits, an intimacy also seen in the work of Canadian photographer Donald Weber:

For a related glimpse of this darkly enigmatic world, the excellent Oscar-nominated 2007 film Eastern Promises about the Russian mob in London, starring Naomi Watts and Viggo Mortensen, offers an intriguing look at tattoos as storytelling, a narrative through which prisoners told their life stories and conveyed their credos.

Thanks, Greg

Each of the volumes is an absolute masterpiece and a fascinating slice of (sub)cultural anthropology. It’s the kind of thing that adds instant conversation potential to any home library or coffee table, and guaranteed you’re-cooler-than-my-other-friends gifting recognition.

Some images by Donald Weber




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Suehiro Maruo Adapts Edogawa Rampo Story into Manga


Award-winning artist Suehiro Maruo revealed on his website that he launched a manga adaptation of Edogawa Rampo’s short story “The Caterpillar” in the June issue of Enterbrain‘s Monthly Comic Beam magazine on Tuesday. The original 1929 short story follows the tragic homecoming of a disfigured, limbless World War I veteran to his wife. Edogawa (Rampo Edogawa or Taro Hirai) is best known for his detective and suspense stories that he wrote over the course of four decades. “The Caterpillar” short story has been already published in English in the Japanese Tales of Mystery and Imagination prose book.

Edogawa’s other works were adapted into the Boys Detectivemanga, the Wanpaku Tanteidan anime series, and the live-actionRampo film. His male thief character Nijū-Mensō (The Fiend with 20 Faces) also inspired the title female character of the Chiko, Heiress of the Phantom Thief (Nijū-Mensō no Musume) manga and anime.

As Comic Beam notes on its cover, Maruo just won the “New Artist Prize” of the 13th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes last month. Maruo’s previous works include Midori, Mr. Arashi’s Amazing Freak Show, Yume no Q-saku, and the Tezuka Prize-winning Panorama Tōkitan. I do hope you all know EDOGAWA RAMPO stands somehow for an anagram and bow to Edgar Allen Poe in its Japanese madness,

Maruo is very grotesque and multi-phobic sexually depraved.  Sign that all you can imagine is in a manga somewhere in Japan..Even those who you wouldn’t have thought about. They both belonged together without any doubts. He is the Master of the Ero-Guro (erotic-grotesque). Maruo ceased upon him to impose his vision of the complete works of the most successful and founder of the police novel.. He was also going alittle further in a twisted genre about voyeuriseme fetichists and sexual perversions but overall he loves the ENIGMA..The Red Chamber is a very good exemple.


Edogawa Rampo’s “The Caterpillar” (Imomushi, 芋虫) is a short story about a strained relationship between an army wife named Tokiko and her severely injured husband, Lieutenant Sunaga. A recent returnee from an unnamed war (most likely the First Sino-Japanese War, 1894-95), Sunaga has unfortunately become a quadriplegic amputee who is deaf, mute and dumb as well. His face is disfigured by burn scars, yet his expressive eyes are intact and serve as his only form of communication. Due to his cursed miracle of post-war survival, Lieutenant Sunaga is informally dubbed by journalists as the “Human Caterpillar”. Like the actual insect, he slinks around the room using his four stumps as propellers. Yet, unlike an actual caterpillar, he is not on the road to become a majestic butterfly. Sunaga is trapped within his soundless, voiceless cocoon, with his only companion Tokiko, serving as his nurse and hesitant lover.

The story was originally published around 1934 as a part of Edogawa’s short story collection titled Japanese Tales of Mystery & Imagination. As the title suggests, the stories fell under the genres of psychological horror and mystery. “The Caterpillar” is not a psychological horror, not because of Sunaga’s grotesque appearance, but because it focuses on the common human fear of helplessness and lack of independence—Sunaga’s inability to function on his own, and Tokiko unable to live on her own, having to care for her husband 24/7, in an isolated cottage owned by her husband’s former commanding officer.


Sunaga’s appearance is still frightening, nonetheless: “The left ear was already gone, and only a small black hole showed where it had once been. From the left side of his mouth across his cheek to beneath his eyes there was a pronounced twitch like a suture, while an ugly scar also crept across his right temple up to the top of his head. His throat caved in as if the flesh there had been scooped out, while his nose and mouth remained nothing of their original shape….however, there were still set two bright, round eyes like those of an innocent child, contrasting sharply with the ugliness around them.”To write his wife Tokiko off as a ”desperate housewife” would be slightly accurate, as she experiences sexual frustration and loneliness—yet said sentiment would be quite dismissive. Her marriage has morphed from a societal covenant into a trap surrounded by illness and longing. Tokiko is trapped by her obligation, while Sunaga is trapped by his deformed body.

She is constantly torn between caring for “the pathetic broken doll whose precious limbs were cruelly torn off by the playful gods of war” and hurting him even more. From the moment Tokiko saw him at the hospital, she is constantly told of his miracle survival, her nobleness of caring for her crippled husband is all the buzz around town, but slowly dies down as people lose interest. However, over time, Tokiko realizes that she is the person who has the power in this situation. And so, after becoming annoyed with her vegetable of a husband staring at her for the umpteenth time, she attacks him violently:

“On a sudden impulse she thrust her fingers roughly into his eyes, shouting: ‘Now try to stare if you can!’ The cripple struggle desperately, his torso writhing and twisting, and his intense suffering finally gave him the strength to lift his trunk and send her sprawling backward….Horror of horrors! From both her husband’s eyes blood was spurting; his face twitching in pain, had the pallor of a boiled octopus.


Tokiko was paralyzed with fear. She had cruelly deprived her husband of his only window to the outside world. What was left to him now? Nothing, absolutely nothing…just his mass of ghastly flesh, in total darkness.”

His blindness by impalement causes him to develop a severe fever, and Tokiko begs for his forgiveness, writing the words “forgive me” on his chest multiple times, and embracing him with all the love she has left for him and out of guilt. However the story ends with Sunaga communicating his forgiveness—right before slinking to a well far from the cottage and drowning himself in it. This isn’t necessarily out of redemption, since his incapacitation was involuntary, but more out of relieving Tokiko of her duty as an army wife.

This short story, originally published around 1934, was censored by the Japanese government at the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945) out of fear it would derail the nationalistic movement at the time. Though it was morally wrong and affected Edogawa’s livelihood negatively for an elongated period of time, perhaps the government had a point in doing so. Depicting the physical and psychological after-effects of a pride-filled blood-lust entrance into war, especially one as dark and descriptive as “The Caterpillar”, could have potentially been enough for the audience at the time to reconsider the war effort.







On Burroughs, The Adding Machine, & Blurbophobia


I see that Grove Press has just put out a spanking new edition of The Adding Machine by William S. Burroughs. I also see it has what Grove calls on the front cover a “new” introduction by James Gauerholz, the numero uno keeper of the righteous Burroughs flame. Since there never was an old introduction, I wonder what Grove means by “new.” I know there was an old edition, though, because I reviewed it. That’s where the blurb on the back cover comes from:


“Sheer pleasure. . . . Wonderfully entertaining.” —Chicago Sun-Times

I’m not one of those blurbophic reviewers fearful of having their words distorted. I’m glad my words were used, even if they’ve been turned into a cliché stripped of nuance. Burroughs always said nobody owns words (although, as Grauerholz informs us in the intro, “he didn’t look the other way from any serious infringement of his copyright”). But for the record, here’s what I really said:

Future biographers of William Burroughs will be grateful for this volume of selected essays, and so will longtime fans of his work. A sheer pleasure to read, it consists of vintage material that appeared over the years in all sorts of fugitive magazines and newspapers of the so-called underground.

Whether closely reasoned or wildly imagined, the essays are always wonderfully entertaining on a host of topics from national security, British royalty and the meaning of coincidence to junk, sex, women and space travel. Besides providing the useful service of collecting these 43 short essays in one place — even if it doesn’t give a clue to precisely where they first appeared — The Adding Machine should make newcomers to Burroughs’ work happy as well.


Judging from the topics alone, the essays seem to me as relevant as ever. Burroughs was so prescient it’s beyond uncanny. Would I write the same review today? Probably not. I would have changed some things, knowing what I know now. My old rave overlooked what Grauerholz reveals in his intro about the tortured history and careless editorial process behind the 1986 first edition. I was unaware at the time that the essays were put together almost randomly and that the book was rushed into print by a publisher fearful of having it withdrawn when Burroughs changed literary agents.

The irony, in my admittedly rearguard view (not shared by specialists or academics), is that that sort of editorial haste didn’t hurt Naked Lunch, the literary masterpiece central to Burroughs’s career in all its manifestations and still his chief claim to a lasting legacy. But in hindsight, and with the corrective Adding Machine intro in hand, I see what Grauerholz is getting at. The signs of haste in the original edition — redundant material, awkward lapses, and lack of documentation (as mentioned) — are more readily apparent. Given a choice, however, I still would rather have had the book with its flaws than no book at all.

The review continued:

To impart the flavor of this collection, which covers just about every aspect of his career, style and subject (with an emphasis on writing and writers), there is a great temptation to quote at random.

Here is Burroughs defending himself against the accusation of being a misogynist: “Women may well be a biological mistake; I said so in The Job. But so is almost everything else I see around here.”

And here he is discussing the art of fiction: “Often an early death is the kindest gift a writer can bestow on a beloved character, and Gatsby and Lord Jim both shimmer and glow from the love bestowed upon them by their creators.” Or describing the fool’s bargain some writers make with the Devil: “Maugham expected to be placed in the very first rank of second-raters. Sorry, Mr. Maugham, there is no such category. Even the position of the second-rater is earned by some first-rate work.”

Now, in keeping with Burroughs’ montage experiments, for which his writing is famous, we cut up the previous paragraphs and came out with this: “To give the flavor and glow from the love bestowed on The Adding Machine Gatsby expected death the kindest Lord Jim sorry Mr. Maugham a writer can bestow no such character …” and so on.

The results may be uneven or contradictory, but some gem-like phrases will pan out — “death the kindest Lord Jim” — and Burroughs claims the technique has predicted events before they happened. Anybody can cut up words, of course. But what Burroughs does with his raw materials is magical. In fact, his unorthodox views on the “technology of writing” and how he “abandoned the fetish of originality” are among the most liberating around.

“You see, I had been conditioned to the idea of words as property — one’s ‘very own words’ — and consequently to a deep repugnance for the black sin of plagiarism,” he explains, adding: “Why in a Jack London story a writer shoots himself when he finds out he has, without knowing it, plagiarized another writer’s work. He did not have the courage to be a writer. I was made of sterner or at least more adjustable stuff.”

The late Brion Gysin, a close friend and early collaborator, pointed out to Burroughs that he’d been stealing for years: “Where did that come from — ‘Eyes old, unbluffed, unreadable?’ And that — ‘inflexible authority?’ and that ‘arty type, no principles.’ And that — and that — and that? He looked at me sternly, ‘Vous êtes un voleur honteux . . . a closet thief.’”

So they drew up a manifesto declaring that nobody owns words. “Everything belongs to the inspired and dedicated thief.” Many artists know this, but who among them will admit it?

I recall Nelson Algren, who was totally unlike Burroughs, once telling me: “The difference between a good writer and a bad one is that the good writer is a better thief.”

Bull B.

Burroughs not only admits it, he makes a theory of composition out of it. And he is nothing if not thorough. Carrying the idea to its logical conclusion, he points out that he has made composite characters from various sources — Joseph Conrad is one of his favorites — and has superimposed whole sets and backgrounds from one novel to another.

Yet this volume adds up, not as a series of thefts, but as a generous gift of secrets. For Burroughs refuses to hoard them. Indeed, these essays, which are filled with judicious assessments and penetrating insights on Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Proust and Beckett, have that delicious mixture of intellect and imagination that makes him an original.

I still stand by this ancient review. Though had I known then what I learned later about the Biosphere II communards John Allen and the Ecotechnics Institute, I might have offered a demurral to Burroughs’ admiration for them. But so be it.

Clarification: Dec. 21 — Having just checked the 1986 Adding Machine, I see there’s no mention of the Biosphere II communards. It is Grauerholz in his intro to the new edition who says that Burroughs prepared the text of one of the essays, “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” for an international conference “under the auspices of the worldwide network of the Ecotechnics Institute.” He notes further:

John Allen and their longtime leader-catalyst Kathelin Gray became our good friends in fall 1974 when Burroughs and I first went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to learn about the institute’s research and their many projects. The latter were ambitious and worldwide; over time, they culminated in Biosphere II near Oracle, Arizona: an enormous, glass-and-steel “greenhouse pyramid” completely sealed off from Biosphere I (i.e., the Earth’s atmosphere and habitats). This was a prototype for the kind of self-sustaining biological environment that might make it possible for humankind to survive “off-Earth…”

Unfortunately, Biosphere II never achieved its original goal. Plagued by mismanagement, engineering malfunctions, and scientific missteps, the 3-acre ecological fantasy eventually became a $150-million tourist attraction and had to be rescued as a student research center first by Columbia University, which finally gave up on it, and later by the University of Arizona.


Rip!: A Remix Manifesto


syd barrett's first trip


In 2000, at my favorite outré movie rental shop B-Ware Video, a cheap, bootleg-looking DVD arrived in stock, with a shoddily designed cover announcing its contents to be footage of founding Pink Floyd top dog Syd Barrett’s first psychedelic trip. I never did rent it—though I was keen to see it, I hadn’t partaken of psychedelics or even pot in years by then, so my interest wasn’t so great that there wasn’t always something else I’d have rather rented. So a long succession of “maybe next times” turned into an unequivocal “never” when, to my heartbreak, the store closed. I attended their inventory liquidation, but though I came home with a lot of brilliant stuff, someone seems to have beaten me to snapping up that Syd Barrett DVD; I couldn’t find it, so my curiosity about the formative psychedelic experience of one of the great architects of psychedelic music went unsatisfied.

But time and YouTube heal many of those kinds of wounds, and sure enough, it’s online in all its amateurish 8mm glory. The first half of the film features some dreamy and quite lovely overexposed footage of the young Barrett and some fellow hallucinogenic travelers gamboling through a field and setting a small brush fire – kids, don’t set fires when you’re tripping at home, OK? Then, at about 5:38 of the 11:34 opus, the scene abruptly shifts to the outside of Abbey Road Studios in London, where Pink Floyd are celebrating the signing of their recording contract with EMI. It would only be a few years before Barrett’s gifts were lost to the world due to drug-fueled mental illness, and the band would go on to inconhood without him. The man who shot the footage, Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon, contributed this synopsis to the film’s IMDB page:

I am Nigel Lesmoir-Gordon and I shot this film of Syd on a visit from film school in London to my hometown, Cambridge. We were on the Gog Magog hills with a bunch of friends. David Gale is there along with Andrew Rawlinson, Russell Page, Lucy Pryor and my wife, Jenny. She’s the one in the yellow mac talking to the tree. The mushroom images are iconic and will last forever. It is an unselfconscious film. It was not planned. It just happened. The guy on the balcony is me at 101 Cromwell Road, London SW7. This footage was shot by Jenny. When David Gale wrote about 101 in The Independent he recalled: As the 60s began to generate heat, I found myself running with a fast crowd. I had moved into a flat near the Royal College of Art. I shared the flat with some close friends from Cambridge, including Syd Barrett, who was busy becoming a rock star with Pink Floyd. A few hundred yards down the street at 101 Cromwell Road, our preternaturally cool friend Nigel was running the hipster equivalent of an arty salon. Between our place and his, there passed the cream of London alternative society – poets, painters, film-makers, charlatans, activists, bores and self-styled visionaries. It was a good time for name-dropping: how could I forget the time at Nigels when I came across Allen Ginsberg asleep on a divan with a tiny white kitten on his bare chest? And wasn’t that Mick Jagger visible through the fumes? Look, there’s Nigel’s postcard from William Burroughs, who looks forward to meeting him when next he visits London! The other material is of the band outside EMI after their contract signing. It’s raw, unedited footage and stunning even so. It is silent but many people have subsequently put music to it on their youtube an google postings. Good luck to them.

I’ve heard it told that among the party with Barrett that day was the young, soon to be legendary (and sadly, as of April 2013, deceased) graphic artist Storm Thorgerson, who would go on to co-found the design group Hipgnosis, and to personally design some of the most indelible album covers in rock history, including many for Pink Floyd. But as the actual shooter’s synopsis omits that bit of rock lore, I’m becoming inclined to doubt that legend’s veracity.

The accompanying music is spacey and ambient, and though maybe more than a hair too new-agey, it underscores the film’s dreaminess well. But as is noted in the synopsis, it was added later and it’s not Pink Floyd, and so this relic may not be of significant interest to the band’s more casual fans. But as a document of one of rock music’s consummate originals, it can be enjoyable in its own right so long as your expectations for it aren’t unrealistic. Copies are available for purchase in DVD and VHSformats. Just Click on image above for footage!

Thanks to DM reader Rafael de Alday for shaking this loose from my memory banks.

Posted by Ron Kretsch

via Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett’s first psychedelic trip, captured on film | Dangerous Minds.


Pink Floyd/Syd Barrett-London 66-67

Recently rediscovered ZBS foundation Syd Barrett Interview Part 1-2 from August 1967

Pink Floyd – See Emily Play (Syd Barrett)

Pink Floyd – Arnold Layne  (Syd Barrett)


Litchi Hikari Club



Based on the Tokyo Grand Guignol play Litchi Hikari Club.
Litchi Hikari Club revolves around a group of schoolboys who plan to create the ultimate in Artificial Intelligence.
As the story progresses, we watch the group gradually fall apart due to internal conflict and as the boys, under corrupt leadership, involve increasingly more twisted and depraved methods to reach their goal.

Litchi 2

A group of nine boys (called the Hikari Club) are intent on making the Ultimate AI. The attractive leader of the club, Zera, is a twisted man polluting the minds of the club members to make them do whatever he pleases. Tamiya, the original founder of the club, wants to reclaim the club. Niko, the second in command, is pissed off at Jaibo, the one obsessed with Zera. They kidnap a schoolgirl, but the AI Raichi falls in love with her and she with him, and things get messy.  

Litchi 3

Furuya Usamaru  Also  made the action to take place in a world where the Japanese and the Nazis have won the  Second World War, even if it doesn’t play a very important role in the action, it always made me thaught how affected the Japanaese were by their defeat and how close their way of thinking is close to the Germans. 


  Also it was written by the same author who wrote the troubling Suicide Club (Jisatsu Circle) who was later on made a succesfull and equally troubling movie by Sion Sono as young students, subliminally influenced by apparently teen pop artists bands into a trend of comitting group suicide. 


Bukowski. Uncensored|Shakespeare never did hat

Charles Bukowski. Uncensored.

In 1993, candid conversations between Charles Bukowski, his wife, and his producer took place in Bukowski’s home during the recording session for his classic Run With the Hunted.

We brought the outtakes to life for HarperCollins.

Animation by Drew Christie

ROLE MODELS by John Waters 

“Pink Flamingoes” director and Pope of Trash JOHN WATERS discusses how his odd roster of role models inspired him to achieve neurotic happiness. In this conversation with Paul Holdengräber, Waters also offers subversive tips for how to dress, steal flowers and die.

JOHN WATERS is an American filmmaker, actor, writer, and visual artist best known for his cult films, including Hairspray, Pink Flamingos, and Cecil B. DeMented. He lives in Baltimore.

PAUL HOLDENGRÄBER is the Director of Public Programs – known as LIVE from the NYPL- for The Research Libraries of The New York Public Library. This conversation occurred on June 7, 2010.

~ Conversation Portrait by Flash Rosenberg ~

Artist-in-Residence, LIVE from the New York Public Library
~ ideas drawn as they are discussed in real time ~

2011 LES Film Festival Winner for ‘Best Animation’​archives/​1123

executive producers: Ron Qurashi, Diane Charles
– for Intelligent Life Productions
sponsor: Lexus for L/
– for Team One Advertising: Chris Graves
– for Lexus:Robin Pisz
live-drawing and direction: Flash Rosenberg
video editor: Sarah Lohman
music: Ken Rosenberg​LIVE

© Flash Rosenberg 2010






A Shaded View on Fashion

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’.

The video 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.


How Teen Models from Russia Are Exploited… 

It kinda works like either a pinp 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.  PS: Baby fetishes are quite frequent and normnal in Japan btw….



William S. Burroughs and Kurt Cobain: A Dossier

In honor of what would have been Kurt Cobain’s 40th birthday on 20 February 2007, RealityStudio offers this dossier documenting the relationship between Cobain and William S. Burroughs. Cobain greatly admired Burroughs, instigating their collaboration on The “Priest” They Called Him and visiting the Beat legend at his home in Lawrence, Kansas. And while Burroughs does not seem to have been especially impressed with the music of Nirvana, he was greatly saddened by Cobain’s suicide. Here is the story.

At Timberland Library [high school senior Kurt Cobain] discovered S.E. Hinton and William Burroughs, whose work would have an increasing influence on Cobain’s life. He read Burgess admiringly and J.D. Salinger without complaint. Cobain hated Scott Fitzgerald, whose critical resurgence was in decline, neither liked nor understood Faulkner and couldn’t talk about Hemingway without losing his temper.

– Christopher Sandford, Kurt Cobain

Allen [Ginsberg] wasn’t always a good judge of talent. The Kerouac School rejected Kurt Cobain’s application, but they accepted mine. Go figure. Life isn’t just unfair, it’s weird.

When the tour hit Rotterdam on the first of September [1991], it was almost with a nostalgic wistfulness that Kurt approached the last show. He was wearing the same T-shirt he’d had on two weeks earlier — it was a bootlegged Sonic Youth t-shirt — which had gone unwashed, as had his jeans, the only pair of pants he owned. His luggage consisted of a tiny bag containing only a copy of William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch, which he had found in a London bookstall.

Kurt’s got a literary bent, and jokes that he likes “anything that starts with a B. I think I like Burroughs best, and I’m into Bukowski and Beckett.” He’s a fan of William Burroughs’ dense style, and admires the “cut-up” writing technique he pioneered in the ’40s, calling it revolutionary.

– Katherine Turman, Smells Like… Nirvana

In the autumn of 1992 Burroughs and Cobain collaborated on The “Priest” They Called Him. (Listen to an excerpt.)

Cobain himself was an acknowledged fan of Burroughs’ oeuvre and first met with his hero in culture-space on a recording entitled The “Priest” They Called Him. This EP is constructed from a reading by Burroughs (recorded at his home in Lawrence, Kansas on 25 September 1992) overdubbed with Cobain’s guitar accompaniment (recorded in November 1992, at Laundry Room Studios in Seattle). Cobain later faxed Burroughs asking if he would play a crucifixion victim in a video for Nirvana’s forthcoming “Heart-Shaped Box” single. Burroughs declined but a meeting between the two was arranged and took place at Burroughs’ home in October 1993.

Cover of CD by Kurt Cobain and William S. Burroughs

Father Tom’s prediction in Drugstore Cowboy

“Narcotics have been systematically scapegoated and demonized. The idea that anyone can use drugs and escape a horrible fate is an anathema to these idiots. I predict in the near future right-wingers will use drug hysteria as a pretext to set up an international police apparatus. I’m an old man and I may not live to see a solution to the drug problem.”


nterviewer: How did you get on with William Burroughs when you recorded together recently?

Cobain: That was a long distance recording session. [Laughs] We didn’t actually meet.

Interviewer: Did he show a genuine awareness of your music?

Cobain: No, we’ve written to one another and we were supposed to talk the other day on the phone, but I fell asleep — they couldn’t wake me up. I don’t know if he respects my music or anything; maybe he’s been through my lyrics and seen some kind of influence from him or something, I don’t know. I hope he likes my lyrics, but I can’t expect someone from a completely different generation to like rock’n’roll — I don’t think he’s ever claimed to be a rock’n’roll lover, y’know. But he’s taught me a lot of things through his books and interviews that I’m really grateful for. I remember him saying in an interview, “These new rock’n’roll kids should just throw away their guitars and listen to something with real soul, like Leadbelly.” I’d never heard about Leadbelly before so I bought a couple of records, and now he turns out to be my absolute favorite of all time in music. I absolutely love it more than any rock’n’roll I ever heard.

Interviewer: The song you’ve recorded together makes references to shooting up, and Burroughs’ own history of drug-taking is no secret. Were you worried that this collaboration might throw the spotlight on press rumours that you’ve had considerable experience with hard drugs yourself?

Cobain: I don’t think it’s any secret any more, it’s been reported so much for so long. I really don’t care what anyone thinks about my past drug use — I mean, I’m definitely not trying to glorify it in some way. Maybe when I was a kid, when I was reading some of his books, I may have got the wrong impression. I might have thought at that time that it might be kind of cool to do drugs. I can’t put the blame on that influence but it’s a mixture of rock’n’roll in general — you know, the Keith Richards thing and Iggy Pop and all these other people who did drugs. I just thought it was one of those things that you do to relieve the pain, but… As I expected before I started heroin, I knew at the beginning that it would become just as boring as marijuana does. All drugs, after a few months, it’s just as boring as breathing air. I’ve always lied about it because I never wanted to influence anybody, I didn’t want anyone to consider the thought of doing drugs because it’s really stupid.

I’ve collaborated with one of my only Idols William Burroughs and I couldn’t feel cooler.

– Kurt Cobain, Journals

Courtney returns, so we head back downstairs and, after a little difficulty trying to get the tape deck to work, myself and Courtney sit cross-legged on the floor. An avalanche of records surrounds us; Sub Pop singles of the month, Kleenex, Opal, Mudhoney, even Suede is here, PJ Harvey’s “Rid Of Me” is on the turntable, and a few books are scattered on the carpet; John Steinbeck, Jean Paul Sartre, William Burroughs’ Queer. Kurt grabs a book by Leonard Cohen, looks at us bemusedly and retreats upstairs.

– Brian Willis, “Domicile on Cobain Street,” NME, 24 July 1993

What “Heart-Shaped Box” meant to Kurt is best surmised by the treatment he wrote for the song’s video. Kurt envisioned it starring William S. Burroughs, and he wrote Burroughs begging him to appear in the video. “I realize that stories in the press regarding my drug use may make you think that this request comes from a desire to parallel our lives,” he wrote. “Let me assure you, this is not the case.” But exactly what Kurt hoped to achieve by casting the writer was never clear. In his attempt to convince Burroughs to participate, he had offered to obscure the writer’s face, so that no one other than Kurt himself would know of his cameo. Burroughs declined the invitation.

Cobain visiting BurroughsThe journals sketch the evolution of the video’s symbol-laden, elliptically autobiographical narrative. At first, it was to star William Burroughs, whom Cobain evidently revered as a long-lived defier of convention (overlooking the fact that Burroughs survived only because he switched from heroin to marijuana early on) and for his aleatoric compositional technique, morbid mythology, and sardonic W.C. Fieldsian cynicism. Here was the first scene, expressing Cobain’s sense of himself as repository of Burroughs’ artistic spirit: “William and I sitting across from one another at a table (black and white) lots of Blinding Sun from the windows behind us holding hands staring into each others eyes. He gropes me from behind and falls dead on top of me. Medical footage of sperm flowing through penis. A ghost vapor comes out of his chest and groin area and enters me Body.”

Burroughs wouldn’t do the video, so Cobain used a generic old man on a cross and pecked at by crows. To him, birds also symbolized old men advocating death: “Me–old man,” he writes. “Have made my conclusion. But nobody will listen anymore. Birds [are] reincarnated old men with tourrets syndrome . . . their true mission. To scream at the top of their lungs in horrified hellish rage every morning at daybreak to warn us all of the truth . . . screaming bloody murder all over the world in our ears but sadly we don’t speak bird.” Clearly, Cobain spoke bird.

In October 1993 Cobain met in Burroughs in Lawrence, KS.

During this first week of the tour, Alex MacLeod drove Kurt to Lawrence, Kansas, to meet William S. Burroughs. The previous year Kurt had produced a single with Burroughs titled The “Priest” They Called Him, on T/K Records, but they’d accomplished the recording by sending tapes back and forth. “Meeting William was a real big deal for him,” MacLeod remembered. “It was something he never thought would happen.” They chatted for several hours, but Burroughs later claimed the subject of drugs didn’t come up. As Kurt drove away, Burroughs remarked to his assistant. “There’s something wrong with that boy; he frowns for no good reason.”

Image of Kurt Cobain and William BurroughsBurroughs describes the meeting… “I waited and Kurt got out with another man. Cobain was very shy, very polite, and obviously enjoyed the fact that I wasn’t awestruck at meeting him. There was something about him, fragile and engagingly lost. He smoked cigarettes but didn’t drink. There were no drugs. I never showed him my gun collection.” The two exchanged presents — Burroughs gave him a painting, while Cobain gave him a Leadbelly biography that he had signed. Kurt and music video director Kevin Kerslake originally wanted Burroughs to appear in the video for “In Bloom.”

“I’ve been relieved of so much pressure in the last year and a half,” Cobain says with a discernible relief in his voice. “I’m still kind of mesmerized by it.” He ticks off the reasons for his content: “Pulling this record off. My family. My child. Meeting William Burroughs and doing a record with him.

Rolling Stone Interview, 25 October 1993

Cobain killed himself on 5 April 1994.

In Lawrence, meanwhile, William Burroughs sat poring over the lyric sheet of In Utero. There was surely poignancy in the sight of the eighty-year-old author, himself no stranger to tragedy, scouring Cobain’s songs for clues to his suicide. In the event he found only the “general despair” he had already noted during their one meeting. “The thing I remember about him is the deathly grey complexion of his cheeks. It wasn’t an act of will for Kurt to kill himself. As far as I was concerned, he was dead already.” Burroughs is one of those who feel Cobain “let down his family” and “demoralized the fans” by committing suicide.

– Christopher Sandford, Kurt Cobain

A group calling itself “Friends Understanding Kurt” faxed a press release to various news organizations, claiming a “string of suicides associated with the [dream] machine since the 1960s.” The press release stated after he obtained one of the devices, “Kurt immediately commenced a habitual, perhaps maniacal use of the Dream-machine, then took it with him to his and Courtney’s shared Seattle mansion where he stationed himself with the device in a room above the garage.” It stated the Dream Machine was found in the room where Cobain died, although police and medical examiner reports contradict that. Nevertheless, the claims were widely published. William S. Burroughs, who knew Cobain and had collaborated with him, dismissed such speculation as “nonsense…” The Cobain story was ultimately proved to be a hoax.

An old diary of mine from my love affair (marriage) surfaced at Sanctuary today. I read it. I miss being loved by a husband very much… there were pictures of Kurt in there… pictures of Kurt walking with William Burroughs. I really miss him.

A source that wishes to remain anonymous provided these pictures of a painted collage that Burroughs sent to Cobain for his 27th birthday, less than two short months before the singer’s death.

Painting by William Burroughs Painting by William Burroughs Painting by William Burroughs
Published by RealityStudio on 18 February 2007. You can download a Russian version of this dossiertranslated by Boyroid, who also provided a letter that Kurt Cobain sent to
Burroughs asking him to appear in a Nirvana video.

A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory


In 1965, Danny Williams was living at a fast pace. He dropped out of Harvard against his family’s wishes and moved to Manhattan to begin a film career. There he edited two films for Albert and David Maysles. He became a fixture at the Warhol Factory, fell in love with Andy Warhol and moved in with Andy and his mother. He also made over 20 films and designed the groundbreaking Velvet Underground/ Exploding Plastic Inevitable (EPI) light show.Film strip of Andy Warhol,

1966 proved a more difficult year for Danny. Right before the EPI national tour, Warhol ended their affair. Three months away from New York and a growing dependence on amphetamines increased Danny’s anxiety. After a Variety review called Danny the “mastermind” of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable show, Factory members accused him of trying to take credit for Warhol’s work and maneuvered for his ouster.

After the tour ended in July, Danny went home to his family in Massachusetts. He brought with him a wooden box filled with amphetamine-fueled journals, lighting diagrams, personal effects and letters. His only other bag was a shaving kit filled with drugs.  After a family meal, he left in his mother’s car. He was never seen again.

Thirty-four years later, just after the turn of the millennium his niece, director Esther Robinson, took a job as Program Director at a foundation funded and housed by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts

One day that summer, her grandmother Nadia paid her a visit at work. On meeting the staff of the Warhol Foundation. Nadia casually mentioned that her son, Danny Williams, had lived with Warhol and his mother and then mysteriously disappeared. A stunned silence filled the room. Esther was urgently told: “You need to speak with Callie Angell right away.”

While archiving the Warhol collection at the Museum of Modern Art, Ms. Angell had stumbled upon a strange set of 20 experimental silent films. Shot on 16 mm black-and-white stock, they featured Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, The Velvet Underground and other well-known Warhol subjects. They were also dramatically different from Warhol’s films; highly stylized, clearly personal, and quite obviously conceived by someone other than Warhol. They were all marked “Danny Williams,” and, according to Ms. Angell, were “extraordinary.”

Believing these films might hold the key to the mystery surrounding her uncle’s abbreviated life, Esther asked MOMA to return them to her family. As she engaged the MOMA bureaucracy, she began researching her uncle’s life in New York City. Frustrated by the scarcity of references to Danny in books about the 60’s Warhol factory, Esther was intrigued when her grandmother gave her Danny’s box of papers and journals. They were filled with clues about art-making and Factory infighting.Photo of Edie Sedgwick from Danny William's film entitled Harold Stevenson.

Curious about how little was said about Danny both by family and Factory members she began to make a film about her uncle’s last year. In interviews with her family, she started to tease out the story behind his disappearance, his complex relationship to his family and their unspoken fears. When MoMA finally released the films, the footage was every bit as remarkable as promised: luminous, intimate, and revealing. A new question emerged: how was this young talent dropped from the historic record?

Esther then started tracking down and interviewing surviving Warhol Factory members. Surprisingly intimate, these interviews began to dismantle the mythmaking machine and allow a deeper examination of the human fragility on which the Warhol empire was built.

A Walk Into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory is the story of her search to uncover the facts behind her uncle’s disappearance and tragically shortened life. It is the story of an extraordinary talent abandoned by two dysfunctional families; one upright and traditional, the other bohemian and legendary.  It is a story of abandonment by history itself. And it is a journey into a sea of family, missing histories, and the failings of memory.

Still photo of Danny Williams

Movie parts shot by Danny Williams. Some of those are not in the documentary. (If I remember correctly..  :/ )

I think this one was shot by Warhol himself. that is what the credit says..

This was not shot by Williams, I couldn’t find any more footage shot by Williams but it is still very interesting if , like me you love the Velvet Underground:


‘The Most Beautiful Suicide’


The body of 23-year-old Evelyn McHale rests atop a crumpled limousine minutes after she jumped to her death from the Empire State Building, May 1, 1947.


CRASS | There Is No Authority But Yourself

CRASS | There Is No Authority But Yourself

There is No Authority But Yourself is a Dutch film directed by Alexander Oey documenting the history of anarchist punk band Crass. The film features archive footage of the band and interviews with former members Steve Ignorant, Penny Rimbaud and Gee Vaucher. As well as reflecting on the band’s past the film focusses on their current activities, and includes footage of Rimbaud performing with Last Amendment at the Vortex jazz club in Hackney, a compost toilet building workshop and a permaculture course held at Dial House in the spring of 2006.

The title of the film is derived from the final lines of the Crass album Yes Sir, I Will; “You must learn to live with your own conscience, your own morality, your own decision, your own self. You alone can do it. There is no authority but yourself.”

There is No Authority But Yourself premiered at the Raindance Film Festival at the Piccadilly Circus, London Trocadero in October 2006 and was part of the Official Selection film programme at the Flipside film festival in May 2008.

The Art Of Punk – Crass – The Art of Dave King and Gee Vaucher – Art + Music – MOCAtv

On the next installment of The Art of Punk, we tear into the art of Crass. From the assaulting black and white photo-realistic paintings of protest, anarchy, and social satire, to their legendary adopted brand and two headed snake and cross symbol. We head up to the Anarchist Book Fair in San Francisco to meet up with Gee Vaucher, and founding Crass member, writer, and activist, Penny Rimbaud. We discuss the art and the lifestyle stemming from the infamous Dial House, where they have lived, worked, and crated their own brand of anarchistic beauty, for more than 3 decades. We have a sit down with artist Scott Campbell, at his own New York tattoo shop, and talk about how the art of Crass, and one single t-shirt created a fork in his own road of life. Owen Thornton talks some shit. Finally we hang out with British graphic designer Dave King – the creator of the infamous snake and cross symbol, and discuss post war England, hippies, punk, graphic design, and more, that led him to the creation of the symbol made legend by Crass.

Created, directed, and Executive Produced by writer/author of ‘Fucked Up + Photocopied’, Bryan Ray Turcotte (Kill Your Idols), and Bo Bushnell (The Western Empire), The Art Of Punk traces the roots of the punk movement and the artists behind the iconic logos of punk bands such as: Black Flag (Raymond Pettibon), The Dead Kennedys (Winston Smith), and Crass (Dave King).

In addition to profiling the artists, the series includes intimate interviews with former band members, notable artists, and celebrities who have been heavily influenced by the art of punk rock including Jello Biafra, Tim Biskup, Scott Campbell, Chuck Dukowski, Flea, Steve Olson, Penny Rimbaud, Henry Rollins, Owen Thornton, and Gee Vaucher.

The filmmakers Bryan Ray Turcotte and Bo Bushnell take a unique approach to exploring the rich histories of these three seminal punk legends by focusing on the influential imagery and seeking out stories that have not been told yet through the artwork, which is integral to the importance and influence of each band.


Created By:


In 1969, a Boy Snuck into John Lennon’s Hotel Room with a Recorder. It Went Like This.

In 1969, a 14-year-old Beatle fanatic named Jerry Levitan, armed with a reel-to-reel tape deck, snuck into John Lennon’s hotel room in Toronto and convinced John to do an interview about peace. 38 years later, Jerry has produced a film about it. Using the original interview recording as the soundtrack, director Josh Raskin has woven a visual narrative which tenderly romances Lennon’s every word in a cascading flood of multipronged animation. Raskin marries the terrifyingly genius pen work of James Braithwaite with masterful digital illustration by Alex Kurina, resulting in a spell-binding vessel for Lennon’s boundless wit, and timeless message. I Met the Walrus was nominated for the 2008 Academy Award for Animated Short and won the 2009 Emmy for ‘New Approaches’ (making it the first film to win an Emmy on behalf of the internet).


Actors: Jerry Levitan, John Lennon

Director: Josh Raskin

Producer: Jerry Levitan

Scenario: Josh Rankin

Release Date: 2007

NY77 The Koolest Year in Hell


by Marc Campbell  in Dangerous Minds

Punk, disco, hip hop, the blackout, Son of Sam, Tony Manero, CBGB, Studio 54, Max’s Kansas City, Show World, Paradise Garage, cocaine, polyester and leather—1977 in New York City was exhilarating, a nightmare, fun, dangerous and never boring. It was the year I arrived in downtown Manhattan with a beautiful woman, no money and a rock and roll band. I hit the streets running and never looked back…unless it was to watch my back.


I was living in the decaying Hotel Earle in the West Village when NYC went black. The power failure of July 13, 1977 knocked the city to its knees. I was sitting on the window sill of my room keeping cool or as cool as one could keep during a sweltering summer night in the city. I was drinking a nice cold beer and listening to the music of the streets when at around 9:30 p.m. everything suddenly went completely dark…and I mean dark, dark as Aleister Crowley’s asshole. It was the strangest fucking thing you could imagine. One moment the city was there, then next it was gone. The only illumination came from automobile headlights lacerating the night like ghostly Ginsu knives. My girlfriend and I clutched hands and felt our way down the stairs and out onto the sidewalk. We walked to Bleecker street in spooky darkness. We weren’t alone. The avenues were teeming with the dazed and confused. Not that unusual for the Village, but the confusion was different. Was the world coming to an end?

By midnight the streets were mobbed with people who had figured out that civilization wasn’t ending, it was on vacation. There was a festive vibe in the air. It was like Mardi Gras for the blind. The bars and pubs that stayed open were candlelit and booze was flowing for free. Refrigerators weren’t working and there was no way to keep perishables from spoiling so instead of facing the prospect of throwing food away some joints were feeding people for free. A few cabbies got into the spirit of things and maneuvered their taxis in such a way as to shine their headlights into the cafes providing diners with surreal mood lighting. It was a prison break theme park. And this wild night was bringing out the best in New Yorkers. But it didn’t last. As the blackout continued through the next day and night, things started to change. The novelty of the crisis wore off and it got ugly. What had started out as a party turned into looting and violence. An unexpected payday for the poor and desperate.

The blackout put the whole gamut of what makes New York marvelous and miserable on display: the “I got your back, brother” slamming into the “fuck you!”

These were times when the city was an unseemly beast, a scabrous, moulting fat rat that was exciting to look at but terrifying. Part of the excitement came from the ever present sense that things could go haywire at any minute. I lived intensely in the moment, acutely aware of everything around me, jacked up in a state of heightened consciousness that was both Zen and manic. Being in the here and now of New York City in 1977 wasn’t a hippie thing, it was survival. And when I got inside the safety zone of Max’s or CBGB, among my tribe, I was ready to get fucked up, to get high, to dance and celebrate.

In the city of night, we went to bed at dawn and rose at dusk. We were vampires before vampires became hip.

NY77: The Coolest Year In Hell is a terrific documentary that captures a pivotal moment in the history of a city and its pop culture. Here’s the whole beautiful mess.







Iconic ”Overlook” Set Design

Iconic set design: The Shining’s Overlook Hotel

News Ryan Lambie 3 Nov 2011 – 17:53

The Shining’s Overlook hotel remains one of the most disturbing locations in horror. Ryan 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 aninterview 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.

Original Post  HERE


Some little extras I found on Youtube…Enjoy!! I did!! 




On the Same Subject I Found This Amazing Gallery… 

odditiesoflife: 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.

von losing-neverland  –  16. Mai 2013, 20:03

odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
odditiesoflife:</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> <p>The Real Abandoned Overlook Hotel<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> 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.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />


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.

 the shinning

Beat Punks: A Brief History of the Counterculture from William S. Burroughs to Kurt Cobain | Imperium Pictures

An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks

by Phil Weaver

Bull Will.

I’m a huge fan of Victor Bockris’ book Beat Punks, a collection of interviews and photographs documenting the relationship between the Beat generation and the punk movement in the 1970s downtown New York scene. The book does a great job of illustrating the cross-pollination of two generations (’50s Beats and ’70s punks) that resulted in one of the most extraordinary cultural flowerings of the 20th century. I recently talked to Bockris about some of the ideas behind the book, and I was pleased to hear he’s about to begin work on a follow up with interlinking prose. He didn’t want to give away too much about the forthcoming book, so I proposed a general interview on the history of the counterculture’s clashes with the establishment in the mid-to-late 20th century. Burroughs was the through-line in a cultural revolution that began in the ’50s with the Beats, blossomed in the psychedelic explosion of the late ’60s, peaked in the ’70s with the Beat-Punk fusion, burned out in the neoconservative revolution of the ’80s and was briefly revived by Kurt Cobain and the alternative wave of the early ’90s. Throughout this era many of the leading figures of the counterculture found themselves the targets of harassment and campaigns of repression, yet they still managed to produce some of their best work. I wanted to trace this multigenerational struggle for the liberation of the human spirit with the great author and raconteur Victor Bockris, biographer of William S. Burroughs, Andy Warhol and Keith Richards, and the man dubbed the “poet laureate of the underground.”

PHIL WEAVER: Describe the counterculture’s confrontation with LBJ.

VICTOR BOCKRIS: Key point: the counterculture changed dramatically in 1965. Before then it had been populated by a relatively small, international collection of avant-garde artists in every form, left-wing political activists, civil rights activists, academics and members of the clergy. With the appearance of the electric Dylan and semi-radical songs by the Beatles and the Stones (“Satisfaction”), an enormous new group became countercultural enthusiasts overnight: college students listening to Simon and Garfunkel, and high school long hairs known as folkies now folk rockers. Consequently, demonstrators grew in numbers of younger enthusiastic girls and boys. Johnson had been popular in 1964, even into ’65, but he was forced into supporting the Vietnam war to a ridiculous extent. The brutal, burning napalm dropped on the civilian population, and the well-oiled anti-war machine did a good job of dramatizing the suffering of women and children. Johnson was a far superior President than Kennedy, but his classically Stetson-hatted good old boy image was easy to turn into a bogeyman.

Lyndon Johnson and John F. Kennedy

By 1966 the demonstrators rarely gave him any peace. Their “Hey hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” chant wafted into the White House from Lafayette Park across the street. Every time he left or came back they were always there. In his mind, they became the voice of the youth. He had been a rebellious youth himself, and it began to drive him nuts. This was greatly exacerbated by his fear that the country really wanted another Kennedy in the White House and the seething hatred of Robert Kennedy. The irony was that the arrogant Kennedy brothers were incapable of getting any bills passed, because they did not know how the Congress really operated, where Johnson was a master politician – probably the best we’ve ever had as President. Johnson tried to explain how the Senate worked, but Kennedy just didn’t want to hear anything from that “old galoot.” That kind of name calling might be funny in high school – not when you’re running the country (and too busy fucking badly to pay attention). Think of how successful the Kennedy administration could have been if they’d used Johnson like a cruise missile. This is a naive thing to say, but if memory serves this is one of the corners of history where the truth was of no importance – image took over. This initially benefited the counterculture. When Johnson refused to run for President in 1968, he later wrote that the hawks of war on his right and the anti-war demonstrators on his left gave him no room to further contribute to the well-being of the nation. It is shocking (does that word still exist?) to see only recently the outpouring of reverence for John Kennedy, despite everything written about him since his death, while Johnson fades in the nation’s memory. This embracing of huge lies is what allows us Americans to go on supporting just the kind of atrocities by our nation we fought so hard to erase in World War II. Bombs, genocide and unbelievable lies shower down upon us daily. It seems that we live in an increasingly immoral nation. Where is the peace movement? Where are the heroes who stood up against all the power of the United States to reveal the elements of control? People like William Burroughs and Andy Warhol. People like Muhammad Ali, who turned his back on many millions and almost destroyed his life by standing up against the war machine when everybody told him he was crazy?

Andy Warhol and Muhammad Ali

That’s only to mention the world famous. But this is what happens, I believe, when the education system writes the counterculture out of existence. Does anyone remember that it was the first time in history that an international population of a non-military people, with no political or religious base, played an unquestionable role in changing the way we live by bringing down one American President and creating an atmosphere in which the next was driven from office? Also, please note the appropriation of many of the counterculture’s key practices, which have been manipulated into today’s mainstream. Any humanist interested in the well-being of our nation’s history could see the counterculture as one of the greatest, most imaginative, most nurturing contributions we have ever made to the world. The media always finds violence – often created by the media itself – to undercut the best things about this country. New York Punk was not a violent movement, it was very loving, but once one Yobo, (in persona of poor dumb manipulated Sid Vicious) believed he had murdered his murdered girlfriend, punk was all about violence.

Sid Vicious arrest

Change is always dangerous for its agents, but anyone who watched the carefully managed police and FBI undercover riots in Chicago must find it hilarious to see the peace movement turned into Sodom and Gomorrah, when the shoe was really on the other foot. We still live with the extraordinary conflict of the Catholic Church threatening endless pain to those advocating the joys of love from behind a logo of a guy nailed to a piece of wood. My favorite example of robbing the beautiful truth from the population was, and still is maybe, the image of Jack Kerouac, who wrote the most loving, tender and exemplary celebrations of the beauty of America, being hounded to death by the establishment. America is a beautiful place, but it’s hard to see sometimes because of the waters of slaughter.

Jack Kerouac. Photo by Allen Ginsberg.

WEAVER: Can you talk a bit about William Burroughs’ clashes with the establishment in the 1970s?

BOCKRIS: Bill was very active in the early 1970s; he was still living in London. He published The JobThe Wild BoysThe Last Words of Dutch SchultzExterminatorand Port of Saints. Of these books The Job is the most political. In terms of clashes with the establishment, everything he wrote and said in interviews continued his attempt to reveal their attempt to control the population. But to be specific, you have to look at the reaction to him in different countries. In England he was protected by his relationship with Lord Goodman, a powerful behind the scenes financial lawyer for many powerful government figures.

Lord Goodman

He did not have such connections in New York, but after trying to move back there in 1965, and again in 1972, he had been threatened by the police who were trying to set him up for a bust. By the time he did return, the fall of Nixon had turned him into a prophet, and he was embraced as a king returned from exile. So I think he avoided any particularly overt confrontation during the 1970s, due to his desire to find a new life and continue writing.

Jean Genet, William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg march in Chicago 1968

His clash with authority came in more subtle ways than marching in the streets as he had in Chicago in 1968. His “Time of the Assassins” columns in the rock magCrawdaddy! would have been read by teenagers and college students, and his appearance at the many readings he gave across the country would have been very influential.

Burroughs' "Time of the Assassins" column in Crawdaddy! magazine

He was also interviewed by the still existing underground press. The name Burroughs was a clash with the establishment. When I knew him in the late seventies he was virulently critical of U.S. foreign policy, but I recall him definitely not wanting to draw attention to himself in public.

WEAVER: Describe the relationship between William Burroughs and the punks. 

BOCKRIS: Burroughs’ relationship with the punks was, as I see it, a vital connection which drew attention to the vitality of his writing. This happened on two levels. First Patti Smith and Richard Hell were both Burroughs fans before he moved back here. She was the first to note his presence.

Patti Smith and William S. Burroughs

The Nova Convention was the big turning point in terms of his recognition, the first time he brought together several new subcultures based in the punk ethos. Then over 1977-1982 I introduced him to Lou Reed, Blondie and The Clash among others; they were thrilled to meet him. He appreciated their interest and enjoyed their company. They were his children.

William S. Burroughs and Joe Strummer

However, there was a strange disconnect. Every beautiful punk girl I knew had a copy of Junkie on their table, but they were all taking heroin. It was like they had not understood the book, which was an indictment of being a junkie. It had nothing to do with Bill that a 24/7 heroin supermarket protected by the police suddenly emerged blocks from CBGB’s, but there were bags called Dr Nova. Heroin decimated the New York punks. When he made all those spoken word records, a number of punks contributed. Burroughs’ profile grew considerably during the 1970s. The support of punk, and his inclusion in the punk press, had a lot to do with it.

Timothy Leary, William S. Burroughs, Les Levine, Brion Gysin and Robert Anton Wilson at the Nov

WEAVER: In what ways was the punk rock ethos inspired by the Beats?

BOCKRIS: The New York punks came out of the same ethos as the Beats. I can only speak for the New York punks. That is to say, there were three generations of American artists operating under the umbrella of a shared reaction to WWII (for civil rights against genocide and the bomb): the Beats (1950s); the artists of the ’60s personified by Warhol (including the Rolling Stones, Goddard and Truffaut, Antonioni etc); and the Punks of the 1970s, with the whole thing coalescing in the late seventies.

Andy Warhol

I mean, Elvis was punk; Lennon was punk; Richards, Dylan, Reed were all punks. Punk is Beat speeded up, like the Stones are Chuck Berry speeded up. Blondie, Patti Smith, Television, later Richard Hell, Iggy Pop and on and on were all influenced by Rimbaud and Celine and the surrealists and comic books – just like the Beats.

Arthur Rimbaud

They were all influenced by Warhol. The difference between Lennon and Richards, and NY punk was the Warhol influence. My book Beat Punks should have been called Beat Warhol Punks, it just doesn’t read so well.

Debbie Harry and Andy Warhol

WEAVER: Describe some of the tactics the establishment used to repress the counterculture in the 1970s.

BOCKRIS: Nixon’s administration targeted the counterculture from both ends. They put the IRS on famous counterculture artists like Warhol, Mailer, etc. They hounded Terry Southern, a great writer (author of CandyDr. Strangelove and Red Dirt Marijuana), nearly to death.


Warhol was audited every year until his death. The IRS were vicious. Meanwhile the FBI infiltrated the yippies and hippies and caused riots at demonstrations by manufacturing violence. They also sowed rumors like Allen Ginsberg was an FBI snitch. The overall effect was to bring the counterculture to its knees by 1973. Groups like the Stones, Lennon and Dylan rose above the corruption and carried the flag. Burroughs’ return to New York in 1974 took on a larger importance just because he returned to take his rightful place as the King of the Counterculture on the fall of that great yahoo demon, “Tricky Dick” Nixon.

William S. Burroughs

In fact, 1974 was a great year for the counterculture: Ginsberg won a National Book Award for The Fall of America (poems); Ali regained the World Heavyweight Crown he lost in 1967 after refusing to be drafted; Warhol won an MLA Award and moved to a new upscale Factory. In 1975 he published The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. If you pause to ask, who else could have used such a title and been taken seriously by the New York Times, you can gauge a sense of how far the counterculture had come. Don’t forget this was a worldwide movement, so these American artists were being given credence as the leaders of the new way of life that would find its terrible climax in 1983.

William Burroughs and Andy Warhol have chicken fried steak at the Chelsea Hotel as Victor Bockris narrates. Segment from BBC Arena documentary, Chelsea Hotel.

WEAVER: Describe WSB’s involvement with magick. Did he use it against the establishment?

BOCKRIS: Bill’s involvement with magic dates back to the time he spent in Paris with Brion Gysin. Read The Beat Hotel by my favorite writer Barry Miles, or pick up his brand new bio Call Me Burroughs. It’s great. In “The Electronic Revolution” (essay in The Job) Burroughs explains the ways he used the tape recorder to change reality. I remember one night he read from the Necronomicon in an attempt to call up Humwawa, but several people there were on verge of flipping out so he canceled it. They really thought Humwawa was gonna sweep them away! Bill believed in magic. He certainly practiced magic everyday. To him writing was a magic act.

Brion Gysin, William S. Burroughs and The Dream Machine

WEAVER: What effect did the Reagan-era 1980s have on the counterculture?

BOCKRIS: The counterculture in New York was delivered a knockout blow by the combination of the heroin epidemic and AIDS in 1983-1985, which I consider to be the end of the counterculture as we had lived it.

Victor Bockris at the Chelsea Hotel, 2005. Photo by Phil Weaver.

Of course, Reagan was the great yahoo, but I think the counterculture was too exhausted to confront him, as they had President Johnson. There’s much more to that. Reagan oversaw the great theft of the rich that changed the way America operates. He was a murdering corpse, a kind of Edgar Allan Poe version of Howdy Doody. I remember Burroughs telling me in 1991 that we were looking at a very grim decade. He was always much more aware than most of us of what was really happening.

Kurt Cobain's high school drawing of Ronald Reagan

WEAVER: In what ways did Kurt Cobain revitalize the “Beat Punk” ethos?

BOCKRIS: Kurt Cobain’s image revitalized the Beat Punk Ethos:

1. Because his real being suffered as a result of the straight world, and his music and words like “Rape Me” were consequently a universal howl of rage, which captured the attention of teenagers around the world.

Kurt Cobain in 1991. Photo by Charles Peterson.

2.  His awareness of Burroughs and desire to collaborate with him were similar to Patti Smith’s homage to Burroughs in 1974. Cobain became the agent of Beat Punk continuity who connected his generation to the Beats. Mind you, there were many other musicians, filmmakers, writers doing the same. By 1995 the U.S. literary establishment recognized the Beats far more widely and positively than ever before. There was a great revival of Kerouac in 1995. All his books are now in print and sell. College reading lists are not complete without at the least Burroughs, Ginsberg and Kerouac. I think it’s pretty much established by now that the Beats began the whole cultural revolution of the late ’50s to early ’80s. Burroughs had his vision of a love generation in 1958.

Kurt Cobain and William S. Burroughs

Each decade seems to have a pivotal celebrity death which becomes a turning point and an international gathering place. I remember John Belushi’s death in 1982 was heard in New York, and around the world, as the shot that announced the beginning of the end of the counterculture.

John Belushi

I remember Kurt Cobain’s death a decade later was eerily similar, the difference was that there was no deep audience for it, there was no counterculture to pick it up. So the question is what happens then? When the young civil rights worker Medgar Evers got murdered in the 1960s, his death catalyzed the people to rise up. When Brian Jones was found dead in his badass swimming pool at midnight (a great fantasy) in 1969, it made the Rolling Stones the most pain-stained suffering band, at a time in America (early seventies) when the more pain you were in, the cooler you were.

Brian Jones

I called Burroughs when Cobain died, and it turned out we were both in the middle of reading a short, recently published mass paperback bio of Kurt, which I still have. Bill chuckled in a Burroughsian manner and said he thought it was pretty good. Bill used to get really upset when certain special people he would meet in relation to his work died. He would recognize them.

Victor Bockris and William S. Burroughs

Of course Kurt Cobain was a Beat Punk. I knew many people who had stopped following the latest music in 1991-1992, but they all had Nirvana’s first LP. And we all got it; you didn’t have to say anything about it it was totally accepted as part of us.

Kurt Cobain

So Kurt Cobain broke through the surface with his music and his band, but he also spoke loudly with his songs. I’ll never forget hearing him sing “Rape Me” over and over again in the subway, in the streets, on the radio, in the deli, in the cab, “Rape Meeeeee, Raaape mee!” I thought it was so brave.

He backed those songs up with his body and his behavior. Cobain was one of those stars (like James Dean) who can almost play their way into your intuition.

James Dean

Everything he did was a confrontation with the establishment.

Most rockstars do that from the comfort of protection. You felt Cobain was never protected. He was so drawn, he got to look like he was bleeding on the cross. That’s how far he got. Seems like Jesus Cobain crossed a line… oh Lord, where is this taking me?


Interject: Could the above description of Cobain be applied too William Burroughs? No. They each had their own trips. Cobain’s life was the most vivid line of connection to the beat punk movement at the time, but people did not make as much as they could out of it. Sid Vicious got a film and endless fucked up books celebrating his stupidity. There is also a beat punk connection between Sid and Kurt. They both received the same out pouring of pain from all those little girls chasing them in their black mini-skirts.

Sugar Skull

A page of promo art I found floating around.

A page of promo art I found floating around.

The long, strange trip that began in X’ed Out and continued in The Hive reaches its mind-bending, heartbreaking end, but not before Doug is forced to deal with the lie he’s been telling himself since the beginning. In this concluding volume, nightmarish dreams evolve into an even more dreadful reality…
The series centres around a troubled young man, Doug, in a non-linear narrative interspersed with dream-like sequences, varying levels of reality among a man who has overdosed, a weird world of worms where a reverse Tintin named Nitnit is finding his way, and angsty drama that will be familiar to readers of Black Hole.


I just finished reading Sugar Skull yesterday, well in fact I reread the whole thing starting with the first album and by God it definitely is a striking masterpiece. Charles Burns manages to make reality seem even worst than his nightmarish visions. It is a blend between Eraserhead and something by Dan Clowes but I thought it was way better than anything he had done so far. Pushing his strange world into ours. It is very harsh. Very sarcastic. Almost traumatic. For sure I enjoyed every page of it. I must admit I had doubts that it would be good and that the wait wouldn’t be worth it but it was… but then again that’s just me…. Charles Burns always was and remains my favorite Graphic Novel author. 


Charles Burns

Charles Burns

Burns has been producing this work at a slow rate of 64 pages every two years so it hasn’t exactly been a quick ride but who cares. This is one of my favorite comics of recent years—despite the low page count, every panel is filled with allusions, color-coded mystery and a complete world that it takes many readings to unpack. And of course, perfect cartooning. I can’t wait to see how it ends.


“Six years ago, when I started working on this project, I conceived the books as three separate books, even if they tell one complete story,” Charles Burns says about his just completed trilogy, which started with “X’ed Out,” in 2010, and was followed by “The Hive,” in 2012. The last installment, “Sugar Skull,” comes out September 16th. Burns, who turns fifty-nine this month, told us what inspired him:
The format of the three hardcovers is based on Tintin in its Franco-Belgian comics album format. I know it’s unusual for an American artist of my generation to be growing up with Tintin. These days, you can find it in all the bookstores, but, when I was growing up, there were just six books that came out and they just didn’t do very well.tumblr_nblee0seOM1tlqmbho3_12806
Luckily, I had those books growing up. When I was five years old—I couldn’t even read yet—my Dad, who went to bookstores and libraries all the time, brought back one of those early Tintin books for me. It felt like the first book that was just my own. My sister read it, but it wasn’t for her—it was specifically for me. Also, it stood out from all of the other comics that I’d seen—the beautiful color printing—it was a world that you could really enter. It made a huge impression on me.
In those early American editions, there were six volumes, and then, at the very bottom of the last book, it said, “Look for additional titles coming soon.” And, of course, I looked for additional titles for years and years. Eventually, when they started being imported to the U.S., I found the British translations, but it took a long time. So as a kid looking at the books, I was filling in the holes, the missing pieces—kind of making up my own stories, I guess—looking at the back cover and seeing images that didn’t appear in the stories I knew. Now, the book I made—all three books—feels complete to me. I had a pretty firm idea of what the story was going to be when I started, but many things changed while I was working. In the end, all the pieces fit together the way I wanted, or as close as I could get. I feel like I’ve said everything I need to say.
See below for a few pages from Sugar Skull”–though we strongly recommend that new readers start at the beginning.

“You have no idea…..” 


If you do not know what a Sugar Skull is Click on image above:

tumblr_nblee0seOM1tlqmbho4_12806The 2 previous albums of the trilogy:


Burroughs and the William Tell Act Tragedy

”I am forced to the appalling conclusion that I would never have become a writer but for Joan’s death, and to a realization of the extent to which this event has motivated and formulated my writing. I live with the constant threat of possession, and a constant need to escape from possession, from control. So the death of Joan brought me in contact with the invader, the Ugly Spirit, and maneuvered me into a life long struggle, in which I have had no choice except to write my way out.”- William S. Burroughs

Burroughs after playing a bad number of William Tell on his wife at the time.

Burroughs the day as he was arrested after playing a bad number of William Tell on his wife in Mexico.. Clic on picture to learn more…


On the Mexican afternoon that it hapened, Bill found himself his face litteraly covered with tears, without any explainatory logic. One day we will rather think like: ”How could you NOT sense that in a few hours you were about to kill the person you love the most right in between the eyes.” One day our senses will have developped and we will be more trusty of our …”occult” senses…. Burroughs always has been a believer of the occult… 


bURROUGHS WAS AN EXTREMELY SENSITIVE KID, THIS IS WHAT’S BEEN WRITTEN ABOUT BURROUGHS FEELINGS ABOUT THE years following the great flood, causing loss of human lifes and lots of material damages…


- This was an extract  taken from ”PLEASE CALL ME BURROUGHS;A life” by Barry Miles page 48

Bull Joan

In 1951, they were living in Mexico City when they found themselves drunk at a party.

“It was during this party that at one point he just told Joan, ‘Let’s do our William Tell act,’ ” Miles says. “And she put this shot glass on her head and he whipped out his gun, and he missed. He shot low and got her in the forehead. It was quite clearly an accident, but he felt that some bad part of him, some evil spirit in him, had motivated him.”

In 1985, Burroughs told me he spent the rest of his life trying to write his way out of Joan’s death.

“It was an event that made me see, or, made me into a writer,” he said. “And of course, a writer often has — all his work will pivot around some simple idea, like Poe, the fear of being buried alive, which happened in those days. But it was a sort of a pivotal event.”

Before that, in novels like Queer and Junky, Burroughs’ writing was more or less straightforward autobiography. Afterward, he began to write the denser, visionary prose of Naked Lunch, The Soft Machineand Nova Express. Even autobiographical characters, like Kim Carsons of 1984’s The Place Of Dead Roads, became more fantastic. Here’s how Burroughs describes Carsons in the book:

“Kim is a slimy, morbid youth of unwholesome proclivities with an insatiable appetite for the extreme and the sensational. His mother had been into table-tapping and Kim adores ectoplasms, crystal balls, spirit guides and auras. He wallows in abominations, unspeakable rites, diseased demon lovers …

Burroughs' cult novel Naked Lunch has sold more than 1 million copies since its publication in 1959.

Burroughs’ cult novel Naked Lunch has sold more than 1 million copies since its publication in 1959.

‘We’ve Barely Started To Touch Him’

Burroughs became a magnet for artists, musicians and wannabe hipsters, but biographer Miles says the writer’s influence is yet to be completely understood.

“I think the Beats have now, they’ve all died — all the main ones except Lawrence Ferlinghetti. And we’re now starting to be able to see them from a distance and appreciate who was really important and who wasn’t,” he says. “And I think Burroughs is possibly now the leader, really the lead contender. [He's] someone whose work is so deep and on so many levels … that we’ve barely started to touch him.”

William S. Burroughs died in 1997 at the age of 83.

Here is an extensive list of Burroughs Bibliography:

Bull Willi

Clic on it for most complete Billsbiography to date..

The Trouble with Angels by Ray Ceasar

Preview: Ray Caesar’s “The Trouble with Angels” at Dorothy Circus Gallery

by Nastia Voynovskaya Posted on January 28, 2014
Trouble with angels 1

All Images courtesy of Ray Caesar/Gallery House

For his latest show, “The Trouble with Angels” coming up on February 14 at Dorothy Circus Gallery in Rome, Ray Caesar takes viewers into an icy queendom where a sense of foreboding belies the pristine beauty of his characters and their surroundings. Caesar works digitally to create a haunting world inspired by the Rococo period, specifically the time before the French Revolution. The title of Caesar’s latest show speaks to the duality he sees in the worlds he creates as well as within himself — it is an allusion to the struggle between good and evil. “Making art is a way for me to get in touch with that inner angelic guide that instinctively knows what is right and not right for me, even when I disagree,” said Caesar. “Sometimes that path is hard and challenging so that inner angel can also be a bit of a troublemaking demon.” The February 14 opening of “The Trouble with Angels” will be followed by a retrospective of Caesar’s work opening on the 15th at the Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana in Turin.

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When Art Rocked: San Francisco Music Posters, 1966-1971|Boing Boing

Ben Marks explores the history of the psychedelic rock poster.

san fran 67-71

 When the phrase “San Francisco rock posters” is uttered in certain circles, most people picture bold blocks of psychedelicized Art Nouveau lettering, a skeleton crowned by a garland of roses, shimmering collisions of equiluminant colors, and a flying eyeball peering through a burning ring of fire. That describes the most iconic work of the so-called Big Five poster artists—Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, and Rick Griffin. But as good as those artists were (in the case of the late Griffin and Kelley) and are (in the case of the rest), it took more than just five artists to create all the posters and handbills required to publicize all the concerts produced during these years. In addition, if it weren’t for the career pressmen at companies such as Bindweed Press, Cal Litho, West Coast Litho, and Tea Lautrec Litho, the drug-fueled dreams of some of these artists might never have seen the light of day.

Beilenson Bein, May 16, 1967, California Hall, San Francisco. Artist: Unknown.

Recently, I was invited to curate an exhibition of San Francisco Bay Area rock posters at the San Francisco International Airport, whose SFO Museum produces more than 50 shows a year across 25 exhibition spaces for the 44 million travelers who pass through the airport annually. My qualifications for this incredible honor are essentially a love of rock posters since I was a kid, membership on the board of The Rock Poster Society as an adult, and a collection of maybe 400 pieces, which is paltry compared to the holdings of most of the collectors who supplied posters to the show. Thanks to their generosity, I was able to organize “When Art Rocked: San Francisco Music Posters, 1966-1971,” which features about 160 posters, along with another 100 or so postcards, handbills, tickets, and other scraps of ephemera from the era. A smaller companion exhibit of 1960s fashion and design, curated by SFO’s Nicole Mullen, is located conveniently nearby.

Big Brother and the Holding Company, November 23-25, 1967, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. Artist: Joe Gomez.

I won’t rehash the exhibition’s searingly insightful curatorial conclusions here—you can read some of what I had to say by visiting the show’s website or, better yet, by heading out to SFO’s International Terminal, day or night, between now and the end of March 2015 (the exhibition can be found in matching, 45-foot-long display cases before you pass through security, on the way to gates A and G). If you make the trip, you’ll see many posters and handbills commissioned by Bill Graham and Chet Helms—who promoted some 500 shows between them at the Fillmore, Fillmore West, Avalon Ballroom, Winterland, and other venues—as well as pieces ordered by other impresarios promoting concerts on less-storied stages around the Bay Area.

The Big Five, 1967. From left to right: Alton Kelley, Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse. Photo by Bob Seidemann.

The sheer number of concerts held during those years created an enormous demand for eye-catching graphic art. Accordingly, scores of artists knocked on the doors of Graham and Helms, hoping to achieve even a fraction of the fame, if not fortune, that was being enjoyed by the Big Five. David Singer, who would go on to create more posters for Bill Graham than any other artist, was part of that second wave. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Singer for a few years now, and when I asked him once about how he got his foot in the door, he recalled that on his first visit to Graham’s office in the spring of 1969, he saw dozens of portfolios left by would-be poster artists in the hopes that Graham might have a moment to give them a glance. Fortunately for Singer, he was given an audience with the great man, who purchased a dozen designs from him on the spot.

Frank Zappa, September 25-26, 1970, Pepperland, San Rafael. Artist: Mark Twain Behrens.

Getting your art seen by a concert promoter was obviously a formidable hurdle, but for many artists, an even bigger one awaited. It was one thing to execute a drawing or, as in Singer’s case, to compose a collage, but at some point, the artwork had to be readied for the offset lithographer, whose job was often to make sense of the drawings or scraps of paper artists would sometimes dump in their laps.

"When Art Rocked" at San Francisco International Airport. From right to left: Artwork by Rick Griffin, Bonnie MacLean, Victor Moscoso.

As a rock-poster collector, I’ve always found that handoff from artist to printer to be one of the most interesting aspects of the form. Many of the artists working between 1966 and 1971, talented though they were, did not know the first thing about offset lithography, the dominant printing technique of the day. In this light, the unsung heroes of San Francisco’s rock-poster scene may have been the printers. Sure Graham and Helms wrote the (small) checks, and the ideas belonged to the artists. But with a few notable exceptions (Wilson had a small offset press, and Moscoso taught stone lithography), most poster artists of the era had no formal training in the printing techniques used to disseminate their work. As a result, career pressmen were often unsigned collaborators, teaching artists how to get the most out of a medium they absolutely had to understand if they were going to make it as poster artists.

Levon Mosgofian at Tea Lautrec Litho’s Chief 22, which was used for small work when color was not especially critical.

One of the best pressmen in the business was Levon Mosgofian, who owned and operated Tea Lautrec Litho. Though he passed away in 1994, Levon’s son, Denis, who worked at the press briefly in the mid-1960s and then again from 1972 until 1982, heard many of the stories of Tea Lautrec’s glory days from his dad. On the occasion of the exhibition at SFO, Denis kindly agreed to share a few of his dad’s recollections with me.

Levon Mosgofian (center, left) with his first and most important client, Bill Graham (center, right), on the occasion of Lev’s 70th birthday in 1977.

According to Denis, Lev, as many called him, did not exactly set out to be the most psychedelic lithographer in history, but he was opened-minded enough to seize the opportunity when it presented itself. Beginning with a June 1967 Fillmore poster designed by Bonnie MacLean for a concert featuring the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, and The Sparrow (which became Steppenwolf in 1968), Tea Lautrec printed every Bill Graham concert poster between 1967 and 1971, more than 200 in all. Tea Lautrec also printed Bill Graham concert posters throughout the 1970s, for shows headlined by the likes of the Rolling Stones, The Who, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, and the Grateful Dead. Some of these posters are among the most collected and coveted in rock.

“My father went to work in about 1946 for Neal Stratford & Kerr, which was an old-time, full-service reproduction and printing shop on Sansome Street in San Francisco,” Denis begins. “They offered everything from typesetting, art, and design all the way to full binding. You could bring in your idea or artwork, or they would do the artwork for you, and you could walk out with a fully finished product, whatever it was—a book, a poster, a brochure. He worked there for a long time, eventually becoming the lead pressman.”

This Bob Seidmann photo was used on a Kelley/Mouse poster for show by Traffic. The motley crew hamming it up at Playland at the Beach includes (from left to right) Rick Griffin playing a toy guitar, an unidentified driver, Richard Ellman, Stanley Mouse, and Bob Seidemann.

Denis worked at Neal Stratford & Kerr for about a year while his dad was there. “I was at the plant in ’65 and ’66,” Denis recalls. “I ran the stationery department. Then I got word that the plant was going to go out of business, so they laid off everyone in my department. A year, year-and-a-half after that, everybody in the rest of the company knew the plant was going to close.”

Signage for "When Art Rocked" at San Francisco International Airport.

Before it closed its doors, Neal Stratford & Kerr began printing jobs for its most famous client, Bill Graham. “Around early 1967,” Denis says, “maybe late 1966, some ‘hippie artists,’ as they were described to me, came in. They were looking for a new printer to replace the one Bill Graham had been using.” Joe Buchwald, who was also a pressman at Neal Stratford & Kerr, had been the connection to Graham because of his son, Marty Balin, whose band, Jefferson Airplane, regularly played at Graham’s Fillmore Auditorium.

Sin Dance, April 29-30, 1966, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. Artist: Wes Wilson.

“They walked in the front door of Neal Stratford & Kerr,” Denis says, “and the boss, Jerry Stratford, sent them round back, where my dad took care of them. Once Neal Stratford & Kerr started to do work for Graham on a regular basis, Jerry, who was a truly nice guy, a good employer, went to Lev and said ‘Look, I’m having a little trouble with the long-haired hippies. They come in barefoot, and we have all our other clients up there. I was wondering if you could handle them?’ And Lev said, ‘Yeah, I like working with them. Why don’t you bring them in through the loading dock, and I’ll take it from there.’ Eventually Bill Graham started to come by to check on things, and that started their relationship.”

Though welcome, this new business from Graham wasn’t enough to keep Neal Stratford & Kerr from closing, which it did later in 1967. But before it stopped its presses entirely, the company had to finish up a few projects for clients, as well as to settle accounts with its remaining employees. “My old man was owed some money,” Denis says. “He hadn’t taken any overtime in the final year or two of Neal Stratford & Kerr. He’d say, ‘Just hold it for me, and at the end, you can give it to me.’ So when it finally came time to pay him off, he said, ‘You know what? I don’t want the money, but I would like that press and that press, that light table, that folder, and that cutter.’ And they said, ‘Absolutely, take it!’ And he said, ‘Well, I also need a place to set up,’ so they gave him a section of the building behind the loading docks where the paper would come in. It was 1,000 or 1,500 square feet. That was Tea Lautrec Litho, and Bill Graham was his first customer.”

"When Art Rocked" at San Francisco International Airport. From left to right: The David Singer section.

As serious poster collectors know, the first posters Levon printed for Graham are credited to Neal Stratford & Kerr, since that was the name of the company that actually printed them. “My father wanted to call the business Toulouse-Lautrec Lithography because Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was his lithographic idol. Lev really liked his work, and Lautrec was the first guy to apply the four-color lithography process to posters. But somebody said to him, ‘Well, the Toulouse-Lautrec family is probably still around, so I don’t think you can do that,’ so he changed it to T. Lautrec Litho.” That name actually appears on the last of the Neal Stratford & Kerr posters printed by Levon for Graham, suggesting that Jerry Stratford was quite happy to see his lead pressman get his new company off the ground.

Grateful Dead (Skeleton and Roses), September 16-17, 1966, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. Artists: Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse.

Of course, as we know today, T. Lautrec did not stick, either. “A few years later, David Singer said ‘Lev, you need to change it to Tea.’ ‘Tea’ is an old slang term for marijuana. It went back to the jazz age, and I remember hearing it in the ’50s when I was coming up. At that point, my father was like 60 years old—he had never smoked a joint in his life—but he was a very open-minded guy, and T. Lautrec became Tea Lautrec. I always thought that was a pretty cool thing for him to do.”

Charlatans, September 22-24, 1967, Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco. Artist: Robert Fried.

For a few years, things went swimmingly in the back of 1025 Sansome. “It was a very good operation,” says Denis. “There was a loading dock, where you could ship and unload paper—it was pretty easy. But then the main part of the building was taken over by what looked like an antiques dealer, who started giving my father a hard time. Lev was a pretty easy guy to get along with. He was back in the corner printing, having nothing to do with this big antiques place—they had their own entrance and everything. He couldn’t figure it out; they just kept harassing the shit out of him, and finally, it got kind of nasty. Turned out the antiques thing was a drug front. The whole thing was a way to funnel and launder money for drugs. So, that’s why, in 1969, he ended up moving to 41 Sheridan across town.”

Even though Denis missed the heyday of the Bill Graham era at Tea Lautrec, he received regular reports. “My dad used to bring posters home and show them to me, whether it was when he was at Neal Stratford-Kerr or when he started working for Bill Graham. I wasn’t a fan,” Denis recalls with a slight wince. “I’d say, ‘Give ’em to our younger cousins, they can draw on the backs.’ I’m sure I did that with a BG-74,” he says, citing the series number of a rare poster for a Bill Graham-produced Jefferson Airplane/Grateful Dead concert in Toronto that routinely fetches five figures today. “So, yeah, I was aware, but I wasn’t really that dialed in to it.”

The Zebra Man poster is one of the most psychedelic in rock, but its source is taken from a photograph by Ralph Morse, whose December 6, 1954 cover story for LIFE called “Jet Age Man” explored how high-tech was being used to train and equip the men who flew B-47 bombers.

After a few years in Los Angeles, where he worked in a steel mill, built machinery, and began to raise a family, Denis returned to San Francisco in 1972. He hadn’t planned on going back into the printing business, but his dad was looking for a stripper, the person who works at a light table to meticulously position the film negatives of a poster so it can be can be made into the plates from which the final image will be printed. “I said, ‘I don’t know how to strip,’ and he says, ‘You can go to school.’ He thought my skills were transferable because I could read blueprints and had a lot of mechanical abilities. And so I went to apprentice school for several years and learned the job by being expected to do pretty much whatever was required. I liked it.”

At Tea Lautrec, Denis worked alongside Monroe Schwartz, who had been his father’s apprentice, and Joe Buchwald, who also stayed on with Levon after Neal Stratford & Kerr closed. “It was mostly Lev, Joe, and Monroe. Later, my father hired Dennis Daly, a good pressman out of the union hall—Tea Lautrec was a union shop. There was also a presswoman named Karen Mae and another woman named Marne Samuelson, who came on in a pre-press capacity. That was the core of the crew, although they weren’t all there at the same time.”

Levon’s relationship with Joe was especially close. “Joe Buchwald became a family friend,” says Denis. “At dad’s memorial in 1994, Joe got up and said, ‘You know, we were best friends—we go way back. If we were gay, we would have been lovers.’ My father had died at age 86 and Joe was maybe 76 at the time. It was great.” Joe Buchwald died at the age of 94 in 2012.

Pressmen made Tea Lautrec the premier rock-poster printer of its day, but they needed machinery to work their magic, which is where the printing presses Levon had traded for his overtime wages came in. “We had two Miehle 29s,” Denis says, referring to a type of one-color offset printing press made in Chicago (the number refers to its maximum printing dimension in inches). “One press was better than the other, so anything really critical you’d put on the number-one Miehle—it held better registration, it could get better color, it was just more reliable. Presses can be the same exact model, but they’re just machines, so they can print slightly different. We also had a 22-inch press, which we used for small work when color registration wasn’t challenging.”

More important, though, than the mechanical virtues of Tea Lautrec’s number-one Miehle was how the pressmen used it artistically. “A one-color press is a whole different ball game than a two-, four-, or six-color press,” Denis says. “The essential difference, at least back when I was still in the trade, was that on a one-color press, you could lay down more of your initial color than you could on, say, a four-color press. If you are running one color at a time, then you can lay down more yellow, which is what we always started with, and then more magenta, which was our second color, to keep them balanced—every color had to be balanced. Yellow was very difficult. If you put in too much yellow, then you’d have to add more red, which meant more cyan. It was a challenging process.” Bottom line? There was generally a lot of ink on a Tea Lautrec poster.

The paper, of course, is the other essential puzzle piece of offset lithography, or any printing, for that matter. From December of 1968 until July of 1971, when the Fillmore West closed, almost all Bill Graham posters were printed on a slick, glossy stock that was about 10-mil thick. It was sturdy, and had what Denis describes as “good holdout,” which meant the paper did not absorb too much ink, giving the images on Bill Graham posters visual pop. In contrast, many of the early Avalon Ballroom posters were printed on vellum, which absorbs more ink than a glossy stock. “You can’t run as tight a dot structure on your separations if you are printing on vellum,” he says. “Instead of, say, 150 dots per inch you might do 120, because on vellum the dots will expand because the paper absorbs the ink. It’s called dot gain—you don’t want that.” In contrast, coated stock allows a pressman to print an image in greater detail, with sharper edges, corners, and lines.

Just as Denis admits that back in the day he wasn’t “dialed in” to the artwork on the rock posters his father was printing, he was also not a fan of the slick, glossy stock for which Tea Lautrec was so famous. “I like an uncoated stock,” he says matter-of-factly. “I like the ‘tooth,’ the feel you get with vellum or an uncoated sheet of index paper. It’s harder to get a soft feel on a coated sheet.” Denis may be in the minority on that. In fact, there was quite a bit of demand for the glossy paper Tea Lautrec used for Bill Graham posters. “You know what that paper actually was?” he asks a bit mysteriously. “That was the same paper Birds Eye used for its frozen-foods packaging. Ultimately, my father was getting it by the carload.”

In the end, though, everything came down to the pressman’s relationship with the artist. “My father loved what he did,” Denis says, “he was a teacher. He really liked working with the artists. He would come home energized by what he had been doing all day long. He liked to help people figure out how to get what they wanted. Frankly, he did stuff that no printer would do nowadays. I remember working on a couple of things with Singer. We’d stop the press, take it off, rearrange something, make a different plate, put it back on, try it in a different color—all to see what worked. Nobody does that. That means you lost the plate, you lost the make-ready, you lost the paper, you lost time, you gotta do it again, and everybody who’s working is getting paid full time. But, you know, we did that kind of stuff. We did it a lot.”

"When Art Rocked" at San Francisco International Airport. From left to right: Artwork by Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Rick Griffin, and Lee Conklin.

“When Art Rocked” at San Francisco International Airport. From left to right: Artwork by Wes Wilson, Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Rick Griffin, and Lee Conklin.

     Ben Marks is the senior editor of and the vice president of The Rock Poster Society, which is holding its annual Festival of Rock Posters on Saturday October, 25, 2014, in Golden Gate Park. Artists from “When Art Rocked” who are scheduled to attend include Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Bonnie MacLean, Lee Conklin, David Singer, and Randy Tuten. Denis Mosgofian of Tea Lautrec Litho will also be there. For more information, visit

Published 4:00 am Tue, Oct 14, 2014


Ben Marks is the senior editor of

From acclaimed director Bruce McDonald, the documentary is called Music From The Big House, and centers on Rita Chiarelli, an award-winning Canadian blues singer, who decides to make a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues – the Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary a.k.a Angola Prison. And the film is what resulted.

The Documentary


From acclaimed director Bruce McDonald, teaming with an Emmy and Oscar nominated documentary producer, comes a rare and exclusive musical journey. Rita Chiarelli, an award-winning recording artist, has decided to take a pilgrimage to the birthplace of the blues—Louisiana State Maximum Security Penitentiary a.k.a Angola Prison. She never imagined that her love of the blues would lead her to play with inmates serving life sentences for murder, rape and armed robbery.

In what was once the bloodiest prison in America, inmates relatives will be invited to listen alongside other prisoners, to hear remarkable voices singing stories of hope and redemption. Let yourself be swept away by one of Blues’ most soulful pilgrim daughters who is finding out if music really is an escape.

It’s time to make a new soundtrack.









Dario Argento Master of Horror (1991).avi5

Filmmaker Dario Argento and singer Iggy Pop have thrown their support behind a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for a movie adaptation of the terrifying, 19th century German depiction of the Sandman.

Iggy Pop is set to play The Sandman in Dario Argento’s latest horror film – but the pair are crowdfunding so that they can make the movie “our way”.

The 67-year-old singer has been cast as a serial killer in the Italian director’s adaption of the original German tale written by ETA Hoffmann. Not to be confused with author Neil Gaiman’s celebrated comic book series of the same name, Argento’s vision of the Sandman comes from author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 short story Der Sandmann, in which the titular villain steals the eyes of sleep-deprived children and feeds them to his own children on the moon.

Argento, the director of artistic horror classics like Suspiria, Opera and Profundo Rosso, has cast the Stooges frontman – whose acting credits include roles in Cry-Baby, Tank Girl, The Crow: City of Angels and The Adventures of Pete and Pete – as the Sandman. The production is seeking to raise $250,000 over the next 31 days via an IndieGogo campaign.

Argento and Iggy have set up a campaign on the website Indiegogo, in the hopes of raising $250,000 for the project. With 30 days to go they have so far raised $13,833 – or six per cent of the total….

Iggy said in a promotional video posted on YouTube: “To make a Christmas movie with the maestro, with Dario Argento, that would be a dream come true.

“The master of Italian horror, the man whose strange and beautiful and terrifying films always fascinated and thrilled me.”

The Italian filmmaker’s adaptation will tell the story of a young man named Nathan who, as a child, had a brush with a masked serial killer called “The Sandman,” known for slaughtering his victims with, as the campaign puts it, a “lethally jagged melon spoon” and claiming their eyes. Nathan killed that Sandman one Christmas Eve, after the villain killed the young man’s mother. The movie’s plot takes off when Nathan sees a killer dressed like the Sandman of his youth murder a young woman in an apartment across the way from him. From there, the hunt is on.

“The script was written as a kind of tribute to my movies and my whole career,” Argento said in a video statement. “I am tired of these Christmas movies showing goodness, beauty, snowflakes, sleds pulled by reindeer. I’d rather have a Christmas movie where there is also strength, violence, horror, and this is what I’m going to do.”

“If I could play the Sandman for Dario, it would make my life complete,” Pop said. “And I hope I haven’t just written my own epitaph.”

The film would be a co-production shot between Germany and Canada and the filming would take place in Ontario. Screenwriter David Tully, whose credits include the Tobe Hooper–directed Djinn and an English-language German TV movie called The Village, wrote the script. The soundtrack will feature an exclusive song by former Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver singer Scott Weiland and the rest of the music will be performed by Claudio Simonetti’s Goblin, one of two incarnations of the Goblin band that wrote music for Argento’s Suspiria, Profondo Rosso and Phenomena, among others.

Crowdfunding rewards range from one month of free streaming on movie site to executive producer credits that allow the funder on set and dinner with both Argento and Pop. One perk even allows the donor to appear in a scene with Pop directed by Argento. Other notable rewards include signed posters, priority treatment of questions during a Reddit AMA, a chance to have a script reviewed by Argento, one of the two fairytale book props in the movie and a chance to play the “black gloved killer” in the movie.

Argento, known for horror flicks such as Suspiria and Inferno, said he wanted to shake-up the saccharine offerings of the festive season.

“I am tired of these Christmas movies showing goodness,” he said.

“Beauty, snowflakes, sleds pulled by reindeer – I’m tired of these things. I’d rather have a Christmas movie where there is also strength violence, horror, and this is what I am going to do. Christmas is coming and so is The Sandman!”

The movie’s producers hope to begin principal photography in 2015, but suggest that the time when shooting would begin depends on interest in the campaign. No other cast members have been announced.


via Iggy Pop And Dario Argento Making Terrifying ‘Sandman’ Movie! | PleaseKillMe®.









Director Todd Haynes is well-known for his arty, fictionalized depictions of music iconography. Velvet Goldmine was a glam rock epic, with characters modeled after Bowie and Iggy, while I’m Not There features seven different actors portraying “fictional” facets of Bob Dylan’s personality or mystique. Both films blur reality with stylized interpretations, but neither takes even a fraction of the liberties Haynes exercised with his 1987 grad school student film, Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story.

The film opens up on Karen’s death, then flashes back to narrate her rise to fame. It’s a spasmodic format—switching between interviews with peripheral music industry people, random footage and fascinatingly elaborate mise-en-scène reenactments staged with Barbie dolls and melodramatic voice-overs. In reference to Karen’s anorexia, Haynes actually whittled down her Barbie effigy with a knife for later scenes, mimicking the progressive emaciation of her body. It’s a dark portrayal of a slow death, Karen and Barbie, both icons of American perfection, wasting away before our eyes.

The experimental filmmaker Todd Haynes burst upon the scene two years after his graduation from Brown University with his now-infamous 43-minute cult treasure “Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story” (1987). Seizing upon the inspired gimmick of using Barbie and Ken dolls to sympathetically recount the story of the pop star’s death from anorexia, he spent months making miniature dishes, chairs, costumes, Kleenex and Ex-Lax boxes, and Carpenters’ records to create the film’s intricate, doll-size mise-en-scene. The result was both audacious and accomplished as the dolls seemingly ceased to be dolls leaving the audience weeping for the tragic singer. Unfortunately, Richard Carpenter’s enmity for the film (which made him look like a selfish jerk) led to the serving of a “cease and desist” order in 1989, and despite the director’s offer “to only show the film in clinics and schools, with all money going to the Karen Carpenter memorial fund for anorexia research,” “Superstar” remains buried, one of the few films in modern America that cannot be seen by the general public.

Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story is technically illegal to exhibit, although since the advent of YouTube, it’s a bit of a moot point (the upload embedded below was posted in 2012). Karen’s brother Richard sued Haynes for copyright infringement. MOMA has a copy but even they aren’t allowed to screen it. Even if Haynes hadn’t used Carpenters songs, there’s a good chance Richard Carpenter would’ve found basis for a lawsuit. Haynes portrays Karen as the victim of her narcissistic and tyrannical family, even suggesting Richard was closeted.

It’s difficult not to be sympathetic to Richard Carpenter who probably viewed the film as mere ghoulish, exploitative sensationalism. It’s a strangely invasive and voyeuristic piece of art, and the argument could be made that it’s totally unethical in its ambiguous, semi-biographical fiction. It’s also totally hypnotic, with a compelling narrative and a pioneering experimentalism that makes it one of the great cult classics.


I rarely write music-related posts here on Dangerous Minds, but a recent comment fromStudio Multitracks directing me to the isolated vocals of Karen Carpenter stirred a childhood memory for me. As I listened, I will admit that I got a little misty-eyed. My god was her voice oh so beautiful, powerful and nuanced and you can really hear that, here.

I recall every Saturday morning in the late-70s and early-80s, the drudgery of having to help clean the house with my mother. The two things my mother played on constant rotation while we cleaned together were the Carpenters’ The Singles: 1969 – 1973 and Carol King’s Tapestry. Man, did I loathe “cleaning Saturdays,” but hearing the soothing voice of Karen Carpenter always made it somewhat bearable, and sometimes, even…enjoyable.

Karen Carpenter’s voice takes me to that happy safe place when I was young and everything seemed possible.

Below, “Ticket to Ride” vocals and drums:


“Superstar” vocals, bass and drums:


“Yesterday Once More” vocals and bass:


“Goodbye To Love” vocals, bass and drums:


“Rainy Days And Mondays” vocals, bass and drums:


“For All We Know” vocals, bass and drums:


Thank you, Henry Baum!

Posted by Tara McGinley

The Flaming Lips With A Little Help From My Fwends|Dangerous Minds


When we last saw our friends (and former Dangerous Minds guest editors) the Flaming Lips, they’d just released Musik, Die Shwer Zu Twerk (“Music that’s hard to twerk to”) as their prog meets krautrock alter egos Electric Würms.

That was in August and already Oklahoma’s ever-prolific fearless freaks are back with their song-for-song Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Band tribute album, recorded with a little help from “heavy fwends” like Miley Cyrus, Moby, My Morning Jacket, J. Mascis, Dr. Dog, Phantogram, Tegan and Sara, and Grace Potter. As Electric Würms, The Lips offer a druggy take on Fixing a Hole.”

All proceeds from sales of With A Little Help From My Fwends will be donated to The Bella Foundation, a non-profit organization based in the band’s hometown of Oklahoma City that assists low-income, elderly, or terminally ill pet owners with the cost of veterinary care.


I decided to put up this track because it reminds me of how sometimes we feel we are treated in such a way (YES i MEAN LIKE LOSERS) by our families and /or friends, coworkers, whatever AND IT MAKES YOU FEEL SO ALONE….   In a way you’RE  right because it is true in a sense that OF Course you will always be alone in this world. Simply BECAUSE YOU ARE UNIQUE!!!  FACT. 

Uniqueness, DEFINITION: 

The embodiment of unique characteristics; the only specimen of a given kind:

The unique is also the improbable.


From     Beck !


Loser lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group


William S. Burroughs – Is Everybody In?

The Bold Truth About  Morrison’s Tragic Death 


     When legendary poet and lead singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison, aged 27, was found dead in his bath on a hot day of July  3rd 1971 in the appartment he was sharing in Paris with his girlfriend Pamela Courson at 17 rue Beautreillis, a lot of things had been left unexplained until a couple of years ago, making his death as mysterious and unpredictable as his troubled life. Of course there was the usual fake death theory from fans who couldn’t or wouldn’t accept his rather unexplained departure from our world. Now there is this…The bold and simple Truth finally revealed, little by little, by those who were there and who are still here to tell the Tale as it was… sometimes in French sometimes in broken English….  


What Happens in Paris …. 

     The absence of an official autopsy has left many questions regarding Morrison’s cause of death. In Wonderland Avenue, Danny Sugerman discussed his encounter with Courson after she returned to the United States. According to Sugerman’s account, Courson stated that Morrison had died of a heroin overdose, having inhaled what he believed to be cocaine . Sugerman added that Courson had given him numerous contradictory versions of Morrison’s death, saying at times that she had killed Morrison, or that his death was her fault. Courson’s story of Morrison’s unintentional ingestion of heroin, followed by his accidental overdose, is supported by the confession of Alain Ronay, who has written that Morrison died of a hemorrhage after snorting Courson’s heroin, and that Courson nodded off instead of phoning for medical help, leaving Morrison bleeding to death.  
Jim and Pam

Jim and Pam

We now know that Pamela Courson was lying and so did Alain Ronay who later admitted to a cover-up. Thanks to Sam Bernett and his novel ”THE END’ was the former manager of the famous Rock’n’Roll Circus, we now know the whole story who was to be recently confirmed by Marianne Faithfull who told MOJO (did she choose the magazine  for it’s name?) magazine: ”I KNOW WHO KILLED JIM MORRISON”. In fact, it was revealed in 2007 in an article but it was not yet confirmed so it was just another theory even if Jerry Hopkins knew all along everything that happened more or less, even before ”No One Here Gets Out Alive”but the publisherss of the biography printed the truth in only half of the books, spreading rumors of a fake death in the other half.
So let’s get to the story and get the facts straight once and for all. Jim Morrison is really dead and he did die of a drug overdose. Everyone knew this French playboy called Jean de Breteuil who was apparently very attractive and had top quality heroin. Morrison was not a heroin addict, he was on pills, on boose and acid, not  heroin but his wife Pamela most definitely was and very often she would send Jim to fetch it for her. So Jim shows up at the Circus and according to Bernett, he is not in a very good mood, all small talk and the place is full of dealers. Morrison picks 2 guys working for de Breiteuil and disapears in the cabinets. Then, about half an hour later, a cloakroom attendant came up to me and told me someone was locked in one of the cubicles and wasn’t coming out. It was then that I got a bouncer to smash the door
The End

The End

down. Bernett was met by the sight of Morrison’s body, slumped on the toilet. Bernett writes ”I recognised the US Army combat jacket and the riding boots from the Camargue region of France which he never took off. It was Jim Morrison, with his head between his knees, his arms dangling.For a few seconds our eyes were glued to the unmoving corpse. We were mesmerised by the baffling spectacle. The flamboyant singer of The Doors, the cool and good-looking Californian guy, was now a collapsed and inert lump lying in a nightclub toilet. Seeing Jim in such a bad way was pretty awful. We were certain he’d been snorting heroin because there was foam coming out of his lips as well as blood. He was scared of needles so never injected drugs. He just snorted them.”
     Bernett’s first reaction was to send for one of his regular customers, a doctor. The medic, who Bernett refuses to name, “recognised Morrison but kept his cool. Very calmly, and expertly, he examined the body for a few seconds. He pushed Jim’s head back, lifted his eyelids, opened his mouth, and fixed his ear to his chest to listen to his heartbeat. He looked for marks and bruises on the body and the arms. It was a quick and professional examination. His diagnosis was very confident: ”This man is dead. Apparently the victim of a cardiac arrest.” The doctor was not stupid and spoke of a
Jean de Breteuil

Jean de Breteuil

lethal overdose. In the meantime, Morrison’s two “friends” from the bar who had sold him the heroin had arrived. Ignoring the doctor’s verdict, they insisted the singer ‘had just fainted’ and they would take care of him. Then, according to Bernett, they lifted Morrison’s body out of the toilets and along a corridor that linked the Circus with Alcazar, the club next door which still exists today. That was the last Bernett saw of the body but, from Alcazar, he says it would have been easy to place Morrison in a car or van waiting in the small side street outside, and then take the body to the singer’s apartment across the river in Rue Beautreillis. Minutes after the tragedy, a representative of the club’s owner – a well-connected Paris businessman called Paul Pacini warned Bernett not to tell anyone what had happened.
     Bernett says: “I was told, “Since Morrison’s friends want to take him with them, we have nothing more to do with this story. The club has no responsibility for what happens here. It was a sad accident, certainly, but that’s fate. So we saw nothing, we heard nothing, we shut up! OK? It’s what we better do to avoid a scandal.” Bernett adds that he saw little point in calling the emergency services, as he was convinced Morrison was already dead and nothing could be done for him. And he says anyone else in the club that night who had an inkling of what went on – including Marianne Faithfull – was also sworn to secrecy. Incredibly, after Morrison’s body was found in his apartment, no proper investigation into his death was carried out.


Pamela Courson, Morrison’s girlfriend since they were at university together in Los Angeles, swore on oath that her lover had been alive and well the night before. She told police they had been to the cinema together and then returned home at 1am – the time Bernett claims Morrison was arriving at The Circus – where she did the washing up and he watched a film, before they retired to bed to listen to music. Then, in the middle of the night, Morrison had woken up coughing and she had watched him leave the room to take a bath “and relax”.
Max Vassille, a compliant French doctor, was happy to write off Morrison’s demise as “death from natural causes”, pointing out that the singer had been suffering from a serious stomach ulcer and asthma attacks after moving from America earlier in the year.He ruled that no autopsy was required, as there was “no evidence of foul play”. Vassille and Pamela Courson have both since died. Morrison’s official death report, still filed at Paris town hall, has been used ever since to quash countless conspiracy theories ranging from security agency plots to theories that Morrison faked his own death to escape the trappings of fame.
Marianne Faithfull

Marianne Faithfull

As for Marianne Faithfull, Bernett says she and Jean de Breteuil left Paris for Morocco the moment they heard about Morrison’s death.”De Breteuil was Pam’s dealer, and had supplied the heroin on the night,” said Bernett. “He and Marianne immediately packed their bags and headed for Casablanca, where De Breteuil had relatives. They didn’t want to hang about. She recentely gave a very different version of the facts.  


Wild Horses

The story goes back to the summer of 1971, when she travelled to Paris with her then-boyfriend, heroin dealer to the stars Jean de Breiteuil. Upon their arrival Breiteuil told Faithfull that he had to pay a visit to The Doors’ singer’s apartment at 17 Rue Beautreillis. She says she felt a strange sense of foreboding and stayed behind at the couple’s hotel, knocking herself out with downers. “I could intuitively feel trouble,” she recalls. “I thought, I’ll take a few Tuinal and It won’t be there. And he went to see Jim Morrison and killed him. I mean I’m sure it was an accident. Poor bastard. The smack was too strong and he died. And I didn’t know anything about this. Anyway, everybody connected to the death of this poor guy is dead now. Except me.” 


pere lachaise    According to a Madame Colinette, who was at the cemetery that day mourning the recent loss of her husband, she witnessed Morrison’s funeral at Père Lachaise Cemetery.The ceremony was “pitiful,” with several of the attendants muttering a few words, throwing flowers over the casket, then leaving quickly and hastily within minutes as if their lives depended upon it.Those who attended included Alain Ronay, Agnès Varda, Bill Siddons (manager), Courson, and Robin Wertle (Morrison’s Canadian private secretary at the time for a few months). When I think about it and mentally picture that day, it makes me so sad that a guy as famous and as passionate as Jim ended up having such a botched funeral. They were so in a rush for the funerals that nobody was there. Jim wasn’t loved by everyone and he was obviously a ”bad boy” but hey he was only 27 and a rock star and lived according his own spirit. I do not think he deserved to be hushed under the carpet simply cuz all his junkie friends were ashamed and afraid his death would raise too any questions but in the end the Truth always comes out doesn’t it??? We all know more or less what happened… Now let’s just leave the guy alone and let’s just hope Jim Morrison will get the rest  and the respect he so desperately wanted.  Let us pray an American Prayer for Jim…PS: Just click on Kata kon Daismona Eaytoy fore more infos, noticeably what it the meaning of it sn who is Jim Morrison’s father and  why did they seem so far appart..It was time to act and everyone felt some kind of urgency.

Jim Morrison’s father, Admiral George Stephen Morrison, and sister, Anne Morrison, discuss Jim’s youth and upbringing and rise to stardom in this very rare interview given shortly before the admirals death in 2008. 

Rear Admiral George Stephen Morrison and the Escalation of the War in Vietnam 


   George Stephen Morrison (January 7, 1919 – November 17, 2008) was a United States Navy rear admiral (upper half) ( Rear admiral is equivalent to the rank of major general in the otheruniformed services. It is the highest permanent rank during peacetime in the uniformed services; all higher ranks are temporary ranks linked to specific commands or office). and naval aviator. Morrison was commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964, which sparked an escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. He was the father of Jim Morrison, the lead singer of the rock band The Doors.  Now let me get this out of the way. I am in not implying that Jim knew anything about this and if he did, (which is very improbable) he was oppose to every bit of actions and decisions that were taken on this occasion and he never had any power of changing anything about it anyways. It is a very well known fact that he distanced himself from his father and his whole family very early in his life and felt no attachment to his father and he never did anything to hide that fact. He even made some very strong lyrics that we can suppose were inspired of his feelings towards his mither and father in <<THE END>>. I just really want to clear that out because I do not think Jim should be even associated to thses events because he clearly would not be in any way if it was not for the fact that it was his father who was the main actor in this scenario that put the USA in one of the first of very inhumane wars of many to follow. I might even go as far as saying that if Jim and his fatherthere was any link to it, it was his strange death, one of 3 strange deaths that happened to the 3 most iconic USA celebrities and leaders of the 70s movements that happened within a year. Of course you know I<m talking about the three <<J>> Jim, Janis and Jimi. Those three deaths happend in less than a year. Now, there never was any link or documents linking those 3 deaths together and Im not saying that there is…  Of course being such a sensible person as Jim was he must have sensed something horrible that he just felt he had to get away from… And if he did know a little, he made sure his name would be at the opposite of the organigram linking him to any of this.

 So lets get to the point. The following string of events happened on  the second and the fourth of August 1964. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, also known as the USS Maddox Incident, is the name given to two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, engaged three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. That escalated into a war.. In fact the USS Maddox had reported he had been on the second of August shot by North VietNamese ships but only hit by a one single bullet from machine gun fire (!). The USS Maddox folded back in friendly South Vietnamese waters and  teamed up with destroyer C. Turner Joy and returned to patrol the North VietNamese Coasts where they wer alledglly shot by a machine Gun. Therefore on the 4th of August, the sonar his said to have detected what was interperted has enemi fire form North VietNam and fired back from both ships has much as they could. It is highly unlikely than there was any presence at all from the VietNamese forces in these waters at this time and date. The operateor and the capitain themselves admitted sponataneously that it was more likely an overleaous sonar operator who alarmed commandement and provoked the attack.

Only thing is it wa reported later than the North Vietnamese Ships never opened fire and that it was the USS Maddox, commanded by none other than admiral Morrisson that open fire and therefore provoqued the Viet-Nam War. If you go on wikipedia and read the deux resume of this ”incident” you will find a huge difference in the one written in French and the one written in English, which by itself can make you see that there was indeed a cover up. The USA have been dying to implicate themsel;ves in this conflict invovling Paul Pot and his dictatorship and communist views on the VietNamese people. Atrocious wars happened betwen Cambodia and VietNam, the USA decided that it was time for them to defend the VietNamese people from the hellish influences of communism and decided to take part in this conflict in which they were never invited but rather invited themselves. 

Mainwhile at the White House, Shortly before midnight, on August 4, President Johnson interrupted national television to make an announcement in which he described an attack by North Vietnamese vessels on two US Navy warships, USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy and requested authority to undertake a military response. Johnson’s speech repeated the theme that “dramatized Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh as the aggressor and which put the US into a more acceptable defensive posture.  Johnson also referred to the attacks as having taken place “on the high seas,” suggesting that they had occurred in international waters.  He emphasized commitment to both the American people, and the South Vietnamese government. He also reminded Americans that there was no desire for war. “A close scrutiny of Johnson’s public statements…reveals no mention of preparations for overt warfare and no indication of the nature and extent of covert land and air measures that already were operational.” Johnson’s statements were short to “minimize the U.S. role in the conflict; a clear inconsistency existed between Johnson’s actions and his public discourse. While President Johnson’s final resolution was being drafted, Senator Wayne Morse attempted to hold a fundraiser to raise awareness about possible faulty records of the incident involving the USS Maddox. Morse supposedly received a call from an informant who has remained anonymous urging Morse to investigate official logbooks of the Maddox. These logs were not available before President Johnson’s resolution was presented to Congress. After urging Congress that they should be wary of President Johnson’s coming attempt to convince Congress of his resolution, Morse failed to gain enough cooperation and support from his colleagues to mount any sort of movement to stop it. Immediately after the resolution was read and presented to Congress, Morse began to fight it. He contended in speeches to Congress that the actions taken by the United States were actions outside the constitution and were “acts of war rather than acts of defense.” Morse’s efforts were not immediately met with support, largely because he revealed no sources and was working with very limited information. It was not until after the United States became more involved in the war that his claim began to gain support throughout the United States government. Morse was defeated when he ran for re-election in 1968.

Distortion of the event

Evidence was still being sought on the night of August 4 when Johnson gave his address to the American public on the incident. Messages recorded that day indicate that neither President Johnson nor Secretary McNamara was certain of an attack. Various news sources, including Time, Life and Newsweek, ran articles throughout August on the Tonkin Gulf incident.Time reported: “Through the darkness, from the West and south…intruders boldly sped…at least six of them… they opened fire on the destroyers with automatic weapons, this time from as close as 2,000 yards.”. Time stated that there was “no doubt in Sharp’s mind that the US would now have to answer this attack”, and that there was no debate or confusion within the administration regarding the incident. The use of the set of incidents as a pretext for escalation of US involvement follows the issuance of public threats against North Vietnam, as well as calls from American politicians in favor of escalating the war. On May 4, 1964, William Bundy called for the US to “drive the communists out of South Vietnam”, even if that meant attacking both North Vietnam and communist China. Even so, the Johnson administration in the second half of 1964 focused on convincing the American public that there was no chance of war between North Vietnam and the US.

North Vietnam’s General Giap suggested that the DESOTO patrol had been sent into the gulf to provoke North Vietnam into giving an excuse for escalation of the war. Various government officials and men aboard the Maddox have suggested similar theories. American politicians and strategists had been planning provocative actions against North Vietnam for some time. George Ball told a British journalist after the war that “at that time…many people…were looking for any excuse to initiate bombing”. 

In his book, Body of Secrets, James Bamford, who spent three years in the United States Navy as an intelligence analyst, writes, that the primary purpose of the Maddox “was to act as a seagoing provocateur—to poke its sharp gray bow and the American flag as close to the belly of North Vietnam as possible, in effect shoving its five-inch cannons up the nose of the communist navy ….. The Maddox’ mission was made even more provocative by being timed to coincide with commando raids, creating the impression that the Maddox was directing those missions …”Thus, the North Vietnamese had every reason to believe that the Maddox was involved in these actions.

Provocative action against North Vietnam was considered after the August, 1964, incidents John McNaughton suggested in September 1964, that the US prepare to take actions to provoke a North Vietnamese military reaction, including plans to use DESOTO patrols North. William Bundy’s paper dated September 8, 1964, suggested more DESOTO patrols as well.



US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara failed to inform US President Lyndon B. Johnson that the US Naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on US warships he had reported earlier that day.

By early afternoon of 4 August, Washington time, Herrick had reported to the Commander in Chief Pacific in Honolulu that “freak weather effects” on the ship’s radar had made such an attack questionable. In fact, Herrick was now saying, in a message sent at 1:27 pm Washington time, that no North Vietnamese patrol boats had actually been sighted. Herrick now proposed a “complete evaluation before any further action taken.”

McNamara later testified that he had read the message after his return to the Pentagon that afternoon. But he did not immediately call Johnson to tell him that the whole premise of his decision at lunch to approve McNamara’s recommendation for retaliatory air strikes against North Vietnam was now highly questionable. Had Johnson been accurately informed about the Herrick message, he might have demanded fuller information before proceeding with a broadening of the war. Johnson had fended off proposals from McNamara and other advisers for a policy of bombing the North on four separate occasions since becoming president.

President Johnson, who was up for election that year, ordered retaliatory air strikes and went on national television on August 4. Although Maddox had been involved in providing intelligence support for South Vietnamese attacks at Hòn Mê and Hòn Ngư, Johnson denied, in his testimony before Congress, that the US Navy had supported South Vietnamese military operations in the Gulf. He thus characterized the attack as “unprovoked” since the ship had been in international waters.

As a result of his testimony, on August 7, Congress passed a joint resolution (H.J. RES 1145), titled the Southeast Asia Resolution, which granted President Johnson the authority to conduct military operations in Southeast Asia without the benefit of a declaration of war. The resolution gave President Johnson approval “to take all necessary steps, including the use of armed force, to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom.”

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NSA report

In October, 2005 the New York Times reported that Robert J. Hanyok, a historian for the US National Security Agency, concluded that NSA deliberately distorted intelligence reports passed to policy-makers regarding the August 4, 1964, incident. He concluded the motive was not political, but rather to cover up honest intelligence errors. 

Hanyok’s conclusions were initially published in the Winter 2000/Spring 2001 Edition of Cryptologic Quarterly about five years before the Times article. According to intelligence officials, the view of government historians that the report should become public was rebuffed by policymakers concerned that comparisons might be made to intelligence used to justify the Iraq War (Operation Iraqi Freedom) which commenced in 2003. Reviewing NSA’s archives, Mr. Hanyok concluded that NSA initially misinterpreted North Vietnamese intercepts, believing there was an attack on August 4. Mid-level NSA officials almost immediately discovered the error, he concluded, but covered it up by altering documents, to make it appear a second attack had occurred.

On November 30, 2005, NSA released a first installment of previously classified information regarding the Gulf of Tonkin incident, including a moderately sanitized version of Mr. Hanyok’s article.The Hanyok article stated that intelligence information was presented to the Johnson administration “in such a manner as to preclude responsible decision makers in the Johnson administration from having the complete and objective narrative of events.” Instead, “only information that supported the claim that the communists had attacked the two destroyers was given to Johnson administration officials.”

With regard to why this happened, Hanyok wrote:

As much as anything else, it was an awareness that President Johnson would brook no uncertainty that could undermine his position. Faced with this attitude, Ray Cline was quoted as saying “… we knew it was bum dope that we were getting from Seventh Fleet, but we were told only to give facts with no elaboration on the nature of the evidence. Everyone knew how volatile LBJ was. He did not like to deal with uncertainties

Hanyok included his study of Tonkin Gulf as one chapter in an overall history of NSA involvement and American signals intelligence (SIGINT), in the Indochina Wars. A moderately sanitized version of the overall history was released in January 2008 by the National Security Agency and published by the Federation of American Scientists.


ΚΛ†Λ τØΝ  ÐλìΜøΝΛ Æ݆øÝ ….


The movie will begin in five moments
The mindless voice announced
All those unseated will await the next show.
We filed slowly, languidly into the hall
The auditorium was vast and silent
As we seated and were darkened, the voice continued.
The program for this evening is not new
You’ve seen this entertainment through and through
You’ve seen your birth your life and death
you might recall all of the rest
Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base a movie on?.

The Three Cord Train to Hell by James Marshall|Please Kill Me

The Three Chord Train to Hell: The Stooges - PART I by James Marshall

Some folks find their religion in church, me I found mine in the 99 cent record bin of a trashy southern Woolworth’s. On that fateful day in 1971, from that bin of unwanted vinyl, came the road map to my life– The Stooges and Funhouse, me all of twelve years of age. Other life changing discs too– Howlin’ Wolf’s Evil, the Flamin’ Groovies’ Flamingo and Teenage Head, I’m Jimmy Reed, The MC5’sBack In The USA, Little Walter’s Best Of and Hate To See You Go. Raw Power would eventually find its way there, although by then I’d already worn out two copies.

I was already well aware of the Stooges from the ominous photos of them I’d seen in Circus and Creem, but that hardly prepared me for that night in August of 1970 when a truly perverse television moment would enthrall my already warped little mind. It was the infamous broadcast from the Cincinnati Pop Festival, aimed at the newly-defined demographic– the Woodstock Generation. In a truly clueless network moment of admirable idiocy, it was hosted by two goofy sportscasters (dressed in blue polyester blazers with the network logo sewn on their pocket) whose attempts at colorful commentary made them both sound like dueling Fred Willards. But the Ohio audience was less the flower children of Woodstock, and more the “lumpen hippie” (to use John Sinclair’s phrase) of the lower mid-west. For those who’ve never been there, Cincinnati sits at the north bank of the Ohio River, across from Kentucky, and seems like the spot where every toothless hillbilly headed north for a job ran out of gas and settled in. These kids were a decidedly blue collar bunch, and they liked their rock & roll hard, loud and ugly.

Seeing the Stooges on TV- pull quoteI don’t remember the other bands except a pre “I’m-Eighteen” Alice Cooper, covering the stage in feathers, sheets and feedback, until some weisenheimer from the crowd pied Alice in the face. Eighteen months later they’d be the biggest band in the land. They were great, and would define a certain style of juvenile delinquent R&R in the coming years, but Alice Cooper was tame stuff compared to what followed.

Which was without a doubt the most riveting five minutes of rock & roll that had ever been presented on network TV. There they were, with no introduction, in all their glory– Iggy, dressed in silver elbow-length gloves, torn jeans and a dog collar, was practically foaming at the mouth. As Ron Asheton churned out the propulsive riff to “TV Eye,” Iggy spun on his Cuban heels, lets out a scream and then broke out a few moves he stole from James Brown on the TAMI Show.

Chills went right up my spine.


As Iggy dove into the audience the bewildered sportscasters, following the action in the booth, reported “there goes Iggy right into the crowd… we’ve lost audio on Iggy,” and then wouldn’t you know it, the network nitwits cut to a fucking commercial! The longest commercial break of my life. When they returned one jarhead reported, “Since we broke for a commercial Iggy’s been in and out of the audience three times.” By this time The Stooges were blasting away at their masterpiece “1970.” Cut to a hippie girl actuallysketching Iggy from the crowd (no cameras on your I-Phone in those primitive times), then Iggy’s suddenly in the crowd (“we seem to have lost him”), his left glove is gone, he’s up on their hands like a snot-nosed, teenage messiah, smearing himself with peanut butter (Stiv Bators no where in sight), one sportscaster duly noting– “That was peanut butter!” The clip ends with roadies pulling the Ig back to the stage.

From the other side of the TV screen, I felt like I’d been sucked into the O-mind. And could never leave. That was the moment that I knew I’d never live a straight life; that I’d never wear a suit and tie to work. After seeing the Stooges, I knew there was another life out there somewhere…

It took almost a year to the day to track down their records, when I scored ‘em both for two bucks plus tax. Funhouse was like getting hit in the head. Their first LP puzzled me at first (“Oh my and a boo-hoo…” was this guy serious?). But they reminded me enough of my favorite 45’s of five years earlier—“Talk Talk” by the Music Machine (they wore leather pants, vests and one elbow length leather glove each), “Pushin’ To Hard” by the Seeds, and “You’re Gonna Miss Me” by the 13 Floor Elevators (a top ten hit in South Florida where I grew up) that I kept coming back to it until a half dozen plays later I decided it was genius.

Needless to say, the other kids at school didn’t care much for the Stooges (even the ones that liked Black Sabbath and Alice Cooper). It’s not that kids had never heard of the Stooges— they were well-known, infamous in fact— but that kids hated them. Not like today where every lame assed “indie” rocker has to give ‘em lip service (“they really influenced my music…”) wouldn’t you like to stick a copy of Funhouse in their mouth? But I was possessed, pouring overCircus, Rolling Stone, Fusion, and of course Creem magazine for any mention of their name, or their activities. I discovered intriguing photos, like Iggy covered in silver glitter at the Electric Circus, or a new double guitar lineup photographed by Peter Hujar (new guy James Williamson sans pants). A few articles, a few reviews, then nothing. They were gone, up in smoke. Blame it on the drugs, the indifference of the industry or the hostility of the audiences, the truth is kids had gone lame. In the few years since 1966 which had produced such milestones as The Stones’ Aftermath and James Brown Sings Raw Soul, radio was now shoving CSNY, Chicago and prog rock down people’s throats. The Stooges never really had a chance.

But you can’t keep a guy like Iggy down for long.

Stooges photo © by HUJAR
From l to r: Tommy “Zeke” Zettner, Bill Cheatham, Ron Asheton, Scott Asheton, Iggy Pop.
Photo by Peter Hujar. From the Collection of Gillian McCain and James Marshall.

A year later Iggy was back in the news, championed by a new kid from England named David Bowie (who I’d seen performing as Ziggy Stardust to a few hundred spaced out freaks at Pirates World Amusement Park around the same time). Iggy in England giving interviews (“where I come from, I’m a legend”) recording a new record with a revamped version of the Stooges. Photos of their one U.K. gig– a double bill with the Flamin’ Groovies at the King’s Cross Cinema had filtered back to the states– Iggy in silver leather pants, silver streaked hair and black lipstick. New guitarist James Williamson looking menacing in front of a Marshall stack.

Looking back, rock & roll itself nearly made a brief comeback in the summer of ’72 which was dominated by the Stones’ Exile On Mainstreet and their summer tour, and the all time summer classic “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper. T. Rex had topped the charts with “Get It On,” Mott The Hoople were on the charts and even Elvis’ was rockin’ again with “Burnin’ Love.” Surely, the world was now ready for the Stooges. But rock & roll’s resurgence was brief, and the world was not ready for the Stooges three chord train to hell (as I once heard a prog rock fan describe them).

Raw Power (not to mention the 45 rpm of “Search & Destroy” b/w “Penetration,” which I bought back then and still treasure) was finally released in the winter of ’73. I remember buying the only copy at my local record store, Sid’s, and tearing ass home on my bike to play it. That was nearly forty years ago, and it hasn’t left the turntable since. It got great reviews but except for a gig in Detroit, and short residencies at the Whiskey in L.A. and Max’s in NYC, the Stooges couldn’t get a tour (a report in Creem’s gossip column sticks in my head, both T. Rex and Humble Pie nixing the Stooges as a possible opening act, can’t blame ‘em, who’d want to follow Iggy?). Radio wouldn’t touch Raw Power. Fourteen years later Iggy would tell me “I knew FM disc jockey’s wouldn’t be sayin’ that was the Stooges with ‘Raw Power’ and before that we heard Rod Stewart with ‘Maggie May…’” and it too landed in my beloved 99 cent bin with the rest of the Stooges’ discography. (stooges live ’73 clip:)

By the Fall of 1973 Raw Power had come and gone, and the Stooges were nowhere to be seen. Only a few photos in Creem and Rock Scene appeared (the most play being given to a disturbing image of Iggy bloody and defiant at Max’s, his chest torn open, head thrown back). I don’t even remember how I got wind of it in Keep your mouth shutthose pre-internet days, when news traveled slow, or not at all, but the Stooges were booked for a four day stint at a club in Atlanta called Poor Richard’s, a mere six hundred miles away (as it turns out they may have played Jacksonville, Florida earlier that week, 349 miles closer to home, but how was I to know? In fact to this day no one seems to know if that gig happened or was cancelled). At fourteen I was too young for a driver’s license so I simply packed a bag (extra black t-shirt, sixty Quaaludes, half an ounce of pot, rolling papers, and a copy of The Family by Ed Sanders) and stuck my thumb out on I-95. Three rides and seventeen hours later, a car full of University Of Florida sorority girls (who proved you can drive on Quaaludes while having sex) let me off in front of Poor Richard’s, just in time to walk in an open door as the Stooges (minus Iggy) were getting familiar with their rented back line.

If I’d learned one thing as a kid, its if you’re too young to be where you are, act cool, share your drugs and keep your mouth shut, and there’s a good chance no one will ask you to leave. Back then the drinking age was eighteen in most places (I assume it was in Georgia, because the audience was filled with mostly teenagers), but kids rarely got carded anyway. Hell, my high school was surrounded by bars with a five drafts for a dollar lunch special that you could have ridden in on a tricycle to most of those joints and still gotten served (and CBGB’s was no different). I hung around in the backstage corners until show time, the only Stooge I’d talked to was Ronnie, who, when I offered him some ludes, grabbed ‘em and told me “Keep those away from Iggy,” putting a handful in his pocket “just in case, for later…”

The experience of seeing the Stooges live is still vivid, like a series of still photos seared onto my brain. Some bands are great even before they plug in. The Stooges just looked so cool, making their way to stage, despite the fact that they all seemed to have that look that Viet Nam vets called “the hundred yard stare,” the slightly shell shocked continence of young men who’d been through a war. After tuning a bit they began Stooges Pull quotepounding out the opening bars to “Raw Power” for what seemed like ten minutes before Iggy appeared (in fact, the second night he had to be carried into the club unconscious); Ron in his finest Hugo Boss SS officer’s uniform, James Williamson in a threadbare and ratty Vampira costume. Scott Thurston with a cigarette dangling from his mouth pounding on the piano, and Scott “Rock Action” Asheton immobile except his wrists, glaring out from behind the drums through mirrored shades. Anyway, that’s the way I remember it, and if you’d produced a video of the event that showed that they were wearing cub scout uniforms it wouldn’t change my mind. They played four tunes from Raw Power (“Raw Power,” “I Need Somebody”—which segued into John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”—“Gimme Danger” and “Search & Destroy”) and nothing from the first two albums. Instead they played mostly new originals– “Head On,” “Open Up And Bleed,” “Cock In My Pocket,” and something that sounded exactly like Gary U.S. Bond’s “New Orleans” that Iggy introduced as “Heavy Liquid.” Iggy. Dressed in a banana sling and thigh high boots, his hair bleached platinum, was out for blood. A preview of the hostile, agile and mobile little guy we’d know and love from Metallic K.O. was in beautiful form. He taunted the audience, although unlike the contentious bikers he faced down on the aforementioned live document, this audience (which couldn’t have been more than a hundred strong) was rooting for him all the way. No matter, Iggy was out for blood, yours, his, anyone’s. His bellicose and belligerent screams seemed to come from deep inside, bubbling over with both self hatred and narcissism. The world’s forgotten boy. From the second Iggy grabbed the mike, the Stooges seemed to elevate off the ground, like a jet taking off. A sensation I’d only experienced a few other times before or since (Jerry Lee Lewis in a tiny club in Florida, The Stones in ’72 ). Truly magic.

It wasn’t until Atlanta that I’d even met another Stooges fan, but eventually, over the years, we all seemed to find each other. Today you can’t walk two blocks in any major city without spotting a Stooges T-shirt, but back then when you met a fellow Stooge fan, you had made
a friend for life. All my oldest friends I’d met directly or indirectly because of the Stooges.

Photo by Peter Hujar. From the Collection of Gillian McCain and James Marshall.From left to right:
Scott Asheton, Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton, Bill Cheatham, Tommy “Zeke” Zettner
Photo by Peter Hujar. From the Collection of Gillian McCain and James Marshall.

Those four nights at Poor Richards blend together in what’s left of my memory. The opening act, Capricorn Records’ (whose owner Phil Walden had managed Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers and was pals with then President Jimmy Carter) heavy metal act Hydra had brought out a contingency from Macon bearing much snortables, and proved to be more approachable than the Stooges (their singer Orville would end up on the same east village block as me many decades later), and ready to party. One night, Iggy, having ingested his body weight in various powders and the greater part of a bottle of vodka, mistook Elton John—who had wandered onstage resplendent in a gorilla suit—for a real gorilla, or so it seemed to those of us watching as Ig shrieked in terror while Elton grabbed him in a bear hug and lifted him off the stage. It was the greatest rock & roll show I’ve ever seen.

Then they were gone. By the time Iggy graced the cover of Creemmagazine for the last time in the winter of ’74 (with an article by Lester Bangs promising Stooge world domination), they had broken up, the final bloody shows eventually appearing on the Paris based Skydog label as Metallic K.O., a most dramatic live document, on par with James Brown’s Live At the Apollo (King) and Jerry Lee Lewis’ Live At The Star Club, Hamburg (Phillips), but I don’t need to tell you about that.

Artwork by © Richard Bernstein. From the Collection of Gillian McCain and James Marshall.
Artwork by Richard Bernstein. From the Collection of Gillian McCain and James Marshall.


We Will Fall:  The Death and Rise of The Stooges…   by James MarshallDeath, its the greatest career move of them all. Ask Elvis, or Jacko. But Iggy did ‘em one better; he’s the only rock star to live through his own death. But I digress…

By the winter of ’74 The Stooges were gone; going out in a blaze of defiance as captured by the posthumously released live documentMetallic KO. It seemed their tiny following had taken upon themselves to spread the gospel. Stooges fan clubs popped up in California, Paris and Germany. Fanzines with names like Back Door Man and Denim Delinquent reported on their final shows and current activities (I too joined the ranks of self-publishers naming my zine after Ron Asheton’s first post-Stooges band—New Order).

I remember one zine from Germany called Honey This Ain’t No Romance, produced by an ominous looking young couple who billed themselves as “Iggy’s only European Fan Club.” The publication consisted mostly of photos of the female half of the couple, the lovely and I’m sure talented Metchlin, who appeared draped across photos of Iggy and the Stooges in various forms of undress.

Stooges FanzinesBut international deification none withstanding, the news was dark.

Dave Alexander died in February of ’75 (his replacement Tommy “Zeke” Zettner had passed in November of ’73), and news from California of Iggy was almost as bad. Pictures of him at Rodney’s English Disco draped across Ron Asheton (in an S.S. Uniform) and covered in knife slashes and blood (from a performance called “Death Of A Virgin”–or “Murder Of A Virgin”–reports differ). Dispatches of Iggy in jail, teeth knocked out in front of a Bowie gig, Iggy living in a garage, in a mental hospital. I remember after many months of hunting and waiting, finally hearing the rough demo tape of what would become Kill City and thinking, he sounds tired. He sounds beaten. He sounds a hundred years old.

Iggy, that irrepressible force of nature, took a twisted path to the top that reads like a depraved re-write of Ulysses. There is no one who spent even hours around him who doesn’t have a story to tell. Blowing into town after town, leaving a trail of destruction, underage girls, drugs and booze, band members crawling off to die (as of this writing, at least six bass players lay in their grave). The last of the rock & roll stars… he’d bury them all, except maybe Keith.

And like the early apostles, we Stooges fans spread the lore far and wide (and wasn’t Iggy the closest thing to an old testament hero we could find in the consumer age?) with similar, double edged results.

Photo by Danny Fields
Photo by Danny Fields

Eventually, the news brightened. Not only did reviving Iggy’s career became David Bowie’s pet project, but Scott Asheton also re-surfaced in Ann Arbor and joined up with the MC5’s Fred Smith and the Rationales’ Scott Morgan to form the excellent Sonic’s Rendezvous Band (who ended up backing Iggy on an early solo tour of Europe). Punk rock was on the horizon—we could feel it coming—and the Stooges’ influence could be heard in new bands like the Ramones, the Dictators and every snot nosed “punk” in Great Britain. They were the Chuck Berry of a new generation. By 1976 it became de rigeur to have a Stooges tune in your set list. By the eighties every dogshit band in the US and Europe was doing an awful cover of “I Wanna Be Your Dog” for an encore. They even got a tune on the UK charts, albeit a b-side, with the Sex Pistols rendition of “No Fun” which appeared on the ass end of Pretty Vacant.

And like the occasionally jailed Chuck Berry, the Stooges took their lumps… Iggy, like Moses, wandered through this desert. With a solo career kick off courtesy of David Bowie, he puzzled Stooges fans with The Idiot (released at the height of the rock & roll vs. disco wars, always way out ahead of the commercial curve), and got back in the running with his best solo album Lust For Life (the title song, a hit twenty years after its release, was a note for note cop from Martha and the Vandellas’ “I’m Ready For Love”) but RCA dropped the ball, its pressing plants too busy filling orders for dead Elvis discs. New Values (see Paul Trynka’s wonderful Iggy bio Open Up and Bleed for hysterical coverage of that one), toured far and wide, and always put on a great show. Even at times when he seemed like the world’s greatest Iggy impersonator, he was still tremendous. None of his bands could compare with the Stooges, and their were lots of ‘em—west coast pros, ’77 punk all stars, hair metal rejects, raw kids that maybe Iggy thought he could school, hell, even the wild-eyed spawnof Soupy Sales, but it hardly mattered, the audience was there to see Iggy, and the worst Iggy show I ever saw was better than 99% of everything else that ever existed…

It was a slow process—thirty years—but the Stooges finally worked their way into mainstream culture. Iggy’s solo career certainly was the main instigator. Iggy is always good copy—there he was on TV, sitting on a couch with Dinah Shore, eating cake and telling her “I ended the 60’s”; or on the cover of the NME proclaiming to Nick Kent: “I’m a real woman. Like Catherine Deneuve.” Gotta love that guy.

His financial ship finally came in via the publishing mechanicals, first on the songs he co-wrote with Bowie (“China Girl” a world-wide hit), and then the Stooges tunes which would become advertising favorites (I was shocked when, watching the summer ’96 Olympic Games, “Search & Destroy” came barreling out of my TV courtesy of a Nike commercial), as well hundreds of cover versions of tunes used as album filler tracks for anyone wanting “punk cred.” He kept making records, good and bad, and kept touring, ending the century as one of rock’s elder statesmen, living in Miami and still taking headers into the audience. Some fans thought he’d sold out, selling his tunes to TV commercials, but keeping in mind how many true greats had already done so (Jimmy Reed for Gypsy Rose Wine, Little Richard for Royal Crown Hair Dressing, Ray Charles for Pepsi, The Stones for Rice Krispies) I don’t begrudge anyone a buck in the music biz. It’s tough to break even, and since radio has never played ‘em, why not?

I tried to do my part. Whenever I could plug one of Iggy or Ron’s new projects in print, or on the radio, I would. As a teen I had started

writing about music for various mags and newspapers (my first published piece was a review of Metallic K.O. in a local Florida rag), and in ’84 started doing a radio show on WFMU (America’s first and longest running free-form station; Danny Fields was one of the original DJs there). Over the years I’d interview Iggy and Ron several times. Both men were candid, astute and sharp. Ron had a great memory and kept to his story (“such degradation”), but Iggy was always great. In 1986 I interviewed him in a bar around the corner from his NYC apartment so he could hype his upcoming album Blah Blah Blah. He told me of his days in Chicago, playing drums behind bluesmen like Johnny Young and Big Walter Horton–”the music dripped from them like sap… but I knew this wasn’t my music. I had a revelation, first joint I ever smoked, by the Chicago River, I could go back to Ann Arbor and do my version of the blues, not the riffs, something my own…”

He went on to rave about the Legendary Stardust Cowboy so I later sent him a copy of Hasil Adkins’ Out To Hunch and years later ran into him at a birthday party for artist Joe Coleman at which Hasil was playing, and told me how much he loved him. Come to think of it, they had a lot in common. We also discussed the Stooges:
Me: What do you think now when you hear Funhouse?
Iggy: That’s damn good! I’m damn proud of that work. Listen, right now I just wanna sell a shit load of records….

I think Iggy knew rock’n’roll as he knew it was probably a thing of the past.
What was left unsaid was that Iggy knew he’d never write another song as good as “Search & Destroy” but he could still make some interesting music, and he still wanted stardom. Me, I stopped paying attention around 1980, happy to dig around for old 45’s and 78’s made by black men and hillbillies who were paid in wine.

Eventually Iggy would even start selling records, a cover of the Johnny O’Keefe classic “Real Wild One” hit the charts in the UK, and a year later a ballad called “Candy” (a duet with Kate Pierson of the B-52′s) charted in the US. Brick By Brickwould be his biggest selling album and the closest he’d ever get to conventional stardom. He’d turn his back on it almost as soon as it arrived and by the 90’s his live shows had taken on a wild-eyed zeal, a feeling that he’d prevail by sheer will, crappy bands and crappy records be damned.

Photo by Peter Hujar.
Photo by Peter Hujar.

Ron Asheton in many ways became the keeper of the Stooge flame. Ronnie was every fans favorite Stooge. As the only non-dope addict in the band, he had the best memory, and plenty of time to give to fans. He gave great interviews, and despite a twisted sense of humor and unbendable cool, Ron was a sweetheart. He adopted stray cats and felt sorry for the girls Iggy kicked down the stairs. He had a soft spot for the fat girls that the other band members made fun of, the hurt from being called the “fat Beatle” in Jr. High still close to the surface.

Shortly after the Stooges break up, Ron returned to L.A. and formed a straight ahead hard rock band with Dennis Thompson from the MC5, Jimmy Recca from the ’71 Stooges line-up and Dave Gilbert of the Amboy Dukes called the New Order. Photos of them posing in front of a swastika probably killed all chances of them getting a record deal in those days of smile buttons and “peaceful easy feelings.” When the New Order flamed out Ron returned to Ann Arbor and his mom’s house, eventually resurfacing in a band called Destroy All Monsters with singer Niagara. DAM were followed by an Australian tour with Dennis Thompson and Radio Birdman’s Dennis Tek in a group called New Race, then he reunited with Niagara in an outfit called Dark Carnival. I saw the former and the latter when they played NYC. He also appeared in some low-budget horror flicks. Who could forget him as the park ranger in theMosquito? He loved to talk about his celebrity run-ins and had priceless stories about Robert Mitchum, Larry Fine, William Shatner and the Rolling Stones. His dream was to restage the Nuremberg Rallies as a rock & roll concert, torches and all.

The eighties and nineties were full of books (including one by Iggy, I Need More), magazine articles, fanzines, and eventually websites devoted to every minutia of Stooges lore. Endless arguments could be heard in any hip bar on almost any night, over the various mixes of Raw Power, Ron vs. James as guitar genius, Raw Power vs. Funhouseas the greatest album ever. Of course the Stooges’ fans (soon you could tell a true believer by if they identified themselves as a “Stooges fan” as opposed to an “Iggy fan”) needed to be fed and every scrap of tape would be unearthed to the point where today there are more Stooges boxed sets than there are albums. Milestones including the Raw Power demos (the first to see the light being the 45 rpm of “I Got A Right” b/w “Gimme Some Skin,” issued in France on the Siamese label in early ’77), hours of live ’73 shows and rehearsals, the John Cale mix of the first LP (which Rhino released as a bonus disc to the first LP, but the tape seems to be mastered at the wrong speed), Raw Power w/out-takes with one of the shows I saw in Atlanta thrown in, five live shows from ’71 with the James Williamson/Jimmy Recca/ + Asheton brothers line-up, the legendary Unganos show (taken from a cassette stolen from Danny Fields by a well-known ignoble Swede), enough mixes of Raw Power to make us realize that Bowie’s was about as good as it was going to sound, and for the truly insane, The Complete Funhouse Sessions, a six CD set that includes thirty takes of “Loose” and twelve of “Dirt” (I bought two copies). Yes, you can go through the rest of your life listening to nothing but the Stooges and still not get your fill…

Iggy Pop Photo by Danny Fields.
Photo by Danny Fields.

Eventually Scott Asheton would finally give an interview (PKM being the first, even Ron was surprised to find out that “TV Eye” meant Twat Eye Vibe). There’s some surprising revelations on the Scott Asheton tapes that never made PKM, like he thought the Stooges should reform (this was in ’94) and go back to the way they were in the beginning, playing homemade instruments and making free noise.

The Stooges story was handed down like the New Testament, withPKM opening a floodgate that would see Paul Trynka’s excellent Iggy Pop bio Open Up and Bleed sort out the truth from the legend. By the end of the century Ron was in demand, touring with J. Mascis (of Dinosaur Jr.), an altogether strange match up, pitting one of the most exciting and succinct guitarists of all time against possibly the most tedious and pointless string bender this side of the Grateful Dead.

The last time I talked with Ronnie he was playing in Mascis’ band. Gillian and I invited him over for dinner. He agreed with my verdict that Iggy’s re-mix of Raw Power sucked (Bowie got the vocals and guitars perfect, all it needed was for the drums and bass to be louder… anyways…) and admitted to lifting the riff to “Little Doll” from Pharaoh Sanders’ Upper & Lower Egypt (“You busted me”). He talked about his summer cottage on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and how much he loved the lighthouses there. He invited us up for a visit. We couldn’t make it that summer as Gillian’s father was dying, and the next year he began spending his summers doing the only thing he liked better, gigging with the Stooges. So we never made it to Ron’s place on the UP, one of the greatest regrets of my life (for Gillian, too).

Although they had worked their way into the fabric of popular culture in a way few ever had, the idea of a Stooges reunion seemed remote. Hadn’t Iggy gone out of his way to insult the Ashetons in the liner notes to the Raw Power re-mix (“they couldn’t organize a fish tank…”)? Rumors of big money offers from Rick Rubin floated around, and then, in 2003, nearly thirty years after their break up, they were back. Iggy and the Ashetons, together again. Well, the one thing these guys aren’t are predictable…

Copyright © 2012 James Marshall /





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