Unknown Pleasures by Peter Hook
I always have been a fan of Joy Division for as long as I can remember. Closer was and still is one of my all time favorite albums. I always thought Ian Curtis is one of the greatest lyricist ever. I saw ”24 Hour Party People” with an immense pleasure and I kinda liked ”Control” but always thought there was something missing still. I needed more. Finally reading Peter Hook autobiography I got to know everything I wanted to know and totally enjoyed the very bold style of Peter Hook. Once I started I could hardly put it down. For the first time I felt that my thirst to know more and more about Joy Division and the tragic death of their legendary frontman was satisfied at last although Joy Division will always have a mysterious aura to it. It is not because a lack of information or a marketing trick but simply because it is within the very essence of Joy Division. You are given a variety of choice to resolve some of the enigmas surrounding JD but most of the answers are totally subjective and depends on the point of view you stand for. Nobody will ever know what truly led Ian Curtis to think that there was no more hope and what could have been done to save him from getting to this point of no return. We feel Hooky is constantly asking himself those questions. It’s as if they were written in the margins of every page. And that just a couple out of many others unanswered question but it’s easy to imagine that they are the ones that haunted Hook for many many oh so many sleepless nights….Ever since that tragic night of May 1980…Precisely on the eve of what could have been the ultimate achievement of his wildest dreams.
Peter Hook tells us the story from his point of view, very boldly, very honestly, not trying to save anyone’s image nor pointing an accusative finger at anyone either, just trying to set the record as straight as possible. Through him, we finally get to know the real story of Joy Division and Ian Curtis. The starting point of it still being a Sex Pistols concert….In fact Ian Curtis wasn’t at the first one but he did was at the second one and Hooky hardly remember him being there. From there, Peter Hook marches us very thoroughly and even if it isn’t always sad, one can still feel the tremendous pain and the disastrous effect of the forever burning hell that he was thrown, that THEY WERE ALL thrown in when Ian decided to put himself out of his misery in a very intimate book in which you get to like the boys from Joy Division and their entourage for what they really where as he recalls their boyish pranks on each other, the lousy venues, the fights and the jealousy and backstabbing that existed at the time between bands, the lack of organisation and knowledge, the overall misunderstanding and deception that would come from your family and your co-workers and their daytime job they had to keep for so long so that they wouldn’t have to make any compromise on their music. There is a lot that they had to put up with but we also realise that the DIY that comes with it has become an inherent trademark of Punk. Peter Hook also does his mea culpa as to the general lack of concern towards what additional mental and physical pressure that Ian had to deal with considering he was married with a first newborn baby, his illness and his affair with Annick Honoré. You get to realise that Ian’s persona and tragic end was far more complex than meets the eye but at the same time it is so very understandable when you always are reminded that they were so young and well, as it is said in the book ”they didn’t have a clue”. Joy Division was a band that started from nothing and had fought hard for every inch of fame and glory they managed to grab ahold of and they were having more and more success, the dream they all had was now becoming a reality and Ian, just like the others, didn’t want his illness to be in the way… They just wanted to keep on going and who can blame them…I think no one in particular is to blame, but maybe at the same time, everyone is, including Ian himself.
I didn’t like the movie ”Control” so much because I thought it was more about who Ian wasn’t then about who he was. I also thought it was a very biased vision since the writer was Ian’s unfortunate widow and mother of his daughter Nathalie. Now I do understand that Ian was far from being a good father, we all know that. Of course he should have been more responsable but I think despite the sad fact he wasn’t the father he should have been, we all want to know, more than anything, who he was as an artist. Debbie was the wife at home, abandoned and put aside by Ian who had married her at a very young age so she didn’t get much to know him as an artist. Ian Curtis to me is the singer, the captain of a band called Joy Division and to me that what’s matters the most. I’m not a fan of those gossip magazines and never have been so I have very little concern about people’s private life unless they have a very direct effect on their art. Unfortunately it did have a direct effect on Joy Division, his complex love affair, amongst other things, drove him to kill himself and put a very abrupt end to Joy Division who was bound to leave for a US tour the very next day so it does help me to understand but that is one of many aspects about Ian’s life and Joy Division but ”Control” nevertheless did left me unsatisfied. Now ”24 Hour Party People” did reveal a bit more about the boys and Ian. In the book, Hook says that in his opinion, the Ian they present in ”24 Hour Party People” is much closer to the real Ian than the one that is presented in ”Control” but the bit that is about Joy Division is just a small part of the movie so it did left me very unsatisfied too in this regard. I wanted to know how Ian Curtis was when he was on tour with his lads, how he was when no one was looking, what drove him, how did he write his lyrics, how big was his influence on Joy Division, how did the others saw his illness as it grew more and more important, how was the relation between members of the band, how come no one told him to rest, what the boys felt they should or could have done to help him… It turns out that Peter Hook did all that with a fresh, bold, honest look at it all. It is very well written and gives you a very clear picture about everything you want to know. Now Peter Hook himself is a character that you get to like from the get go… His boldness and honesty, his sensitivity or lack of, at times makes the book very real, funny, sad… You can feel the excitement, the ups and downs of Joy Division. He also gives a very detailed description of how the albums were recorded and a very good description of the larger than life character of their producer and technical engineer, the well-respected Martin Hannett.
If you are a Joy Division fan you absolutely have to read this book. You will fall under the spell of this such unusual band that have at heart everything tiny thing they do and have it at heart to own even their worst mistakes because it is part of who they are. They are not for sale and always have managed to do what they wanted, how they wanted it. They could deal with the shitty venues, sleeping on the floor, the fights but they would never indulge in being a sell out. Here is an extract of the book I have chosen for you. In fact they are 2 separate extracts. It was very hard to choose because it depends on what aspect you want to insist. Hooky talks about them all, I picked this one simply because I thought it told a lot about many aspects and you can really read the word ”honesty” between the lines…
So here is a chosen bit of Peter ”Hooky” Hook autobiography called Unkown Pleasures,Inside Joy Division:
”Ian had responded by trying to kill himself (…) sometimes I wonder if it wasn’t the gigging break that did him in in the end. At least when we were playing we were away, our minds were distracted. With the gigs canceled and us staying close to home. Ian also ended up staying much closer to the source of all his domestic problems.
Not that we were aware of all these troubles, the depth of his problems, at the time, mind you. It’s only recently, since the explosion of interest in Joy Division, you might say, and while I’ve been researching the book, that I’ve really started to get a clear picture of the kind of shit Ian was going through and the very short timescale involved.
At the time he kept mainly to himself. as far as we were concerned he was dead excited about going to America, really looking forward to it. Yet you read about him telling people that he didn’t want to go. According to Genesis P-Orridge (from Throbbing Gristle), Ian said he’d rather ”die” than go on tour, and maybe he did say that, but not to us, he didn’t: no way. With us Ian was bang into the idea maybe if he’d been spent more time with us, and less at home, and less talking to the likes of Genesis, then he’d have been buoyed up by it all. I think he’d have gone to America, where, looking at it, the schedule wouldn’t have been exhausting, and I think he would have loved it.
I’m not saying his problems would have gone away, of course. Just that they wouldn’t have been crowding in on him quite so much. I really think that if he’d made it to America he’d had lived.
Or maybe I’m just talking out my arse again. Barney always said that it was his medication that made him suicidal, and that could have happened anywhere; Macclesfield or New-York.
(…)Our ultimate aim was to be ourselves, to do things the way we wanted them doing, and we’d insist out of sheer bloody-mindedness. Rob was always in our corner. Tony was always on our corner. You might call them mistakes but at least they were mistakes made on our own terms. Mistakes that then became legends.
A few days later we played Birmingham. We didn’t know it then, of course, but it would be our last-ever gig as Joy Division.
It was a good one too. We later released it on the album ”Sill”. Ian had a bit of a wobble during ”Decades” but was fine for ”Digital”. Even so, it was one of those gigs-like all of them were around then-where you were looking at Ian wondering if, or when, it was going to happen, and that was because it was now happening at every show. With hindsight you can look back and say he probably wasn’t going to be right at any gig, whether in America or outer space. Even so, the idea of cancelling or rescheduling America never came up.
We were so excited about going, so wound up about it and desperate to do it. Ian, the fan of the Doors and Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and Burroughs, especially. I don’t care what Genesis P-Orridge says, he was looking forward to going. I mean, we had so much going for us then. The word was getting out that we were a great group to see live. We had ”Love Will Tear Us Apart” up our sleeve. We were on the way up.
That’s what always gets me about what he did. Sometimes you can see just why he did it, and it makes a kind of sense.
Other times, it just makes no fucking sense at all”
Doomed Futuristic Homes Left to Rot in Beauty
These abandoned flying saucer-style holiday homes built for US military officers in Taiwan left to rot are built on burial grounds…
- Sanzhi Pod City in Taiwan was designed as a holiday resort for US officers
- Space age homes built in 1978 on top of a burial ground for Dutch soldiers
- Several deaths during construction including suicides and accidents
- Pods were abandoned and demolished to transform site into new resort,
Desolate, shattered, warped and stained, this abandoned series of Smartie-coloured pod homes paints a bleak picture.The flats, known as Sanzhi Pod City, were built in New Taipei City, Taiwan and designed to be part of a holiday resort.They were built in 1978 as a vacation destination for US military officers deployed to the Far East and wealthy Taiwanese. According to locals, a burial ground for Dutch soldiers lies beneath the startling designs. History surrounding the sad structures is even stranger. The buildings were abandoned in 1980 after investment losses by developers Hung Kuo Group and a number of bizarre deaths, including several suicides and car accidents during construction. Gem, a real estate administrator from the Philippines, said: ”As an avid documenter of man-made landscape, I found these pod houses very cool. The colours, the retro futuristic style, whoever designed and built these had a lot of balls.”
”As to their demise, people give me different stories. Apparently, these retro futuristic building styles were popular at that time, but the price was so high that they failed to sell most of the units. I guess the developer went broke and that’s why they lay in absolute ruin for years. Maybe the era was all wrong, the target market was all wrong, and the grand experiment failed, but they were still intriguing to look at.”
All shots were taken in 2008 by photographer Gem Urdaneta, 33, a couple of years before the pods were demolished by the Taipei government.
View original article by INDIA STURGIS FOR MAILONLINE. Thanks to Blue Maggot for bringing this to my attention and for her constant encouragments and loyalty!! There are others UFO houses all around the world, not all are left to rot. View previous post on the matter.
Sons and Daughters of the Virtual Age
Otaku is the honorific word of Taku (home).
Otaku is often associated with an extremely negative image as it is used to refer to someone who stays at home all the time and doesn’t have significant social or love life. They are seen a someone who pass the time by watching anime, reading mangas, playing videogames, surfing the internet (otaku is also used to refer to a nerd/hacker/programmer), or being a fan of a band, an actress, a singer or anyone who has achieve a certain popularity in one way or another for very various reasons. They are perceived as someone who become very specialized in one domain without making a living out of it. They are also perceived as someone who will be or hasn’t been able of making it to adulthood.
In the Western culture, people confuse otaku to be something positive like “Guru”. If you think about it, it’s not really good to be called a guru if it means you are a total loser who can’t socialize with other people except through the Internet.
Other Japanese words which have been confused by Westerners also include but not limited to: Anime, Manga, etc
otaku no jinsei ha yabai na! (it sucks to live the life of an otaku!)
The word Otaku is very related to one of an idol. A Japanese girl answered when asked ”What is an idol?” answers: ”For a guy it is someone to protect, for a girl it is someone she would like very very much to be friends with”. Hum… Right there it says a lot… I think this young lady tried to make it look like it’s a lot worst to be a male Otaku than a female Otaku. I felt listening to this that she wanted to make it look like male Otaku are much more and in a perverse way, addicted to their idol(s) than a girl who just ”wants to be friend” with her idol(s). If you watch the way the girls react when in presence of one or more of their male idols, I wouldn’t say that this way of describing the matter is accurate….
Otaku, meaning probably “venerable house,” refers to someone who has a devotion to a subject or hobby (not necessarily anime) to the point of not leaving home. For instance, an otaku fan of a particular movie star could quite possibly know all of the films s/he has been in, their birth date, time of birth, shoe size, favorite toothpaste, etc. Generally speaking, calling someone an otaku in Japan is an insult, implying that their social skills have atrophied or never even developed, due to their manic involvement in their chosen fandom.In America, the term is used to denote a zealous fan, usually of anime and/or manga. Due to its introduction to most people’s vocabulary through its tongue-in-cheek use in Gainax’s film, “otaku” tends to have a much less dire definition overseas.When dealing with Japanese people, however, it may be best to keep in mind the modern Japanese image of an otaku — Someone who only leaves their home to eat or shop, if at all, with an overwhelming and unhealthy obsession about something. It can as easily refer to a stalker or sociopath as it can to a harmless anime buff.
World Premiere Documentary Feature
From Lemmy filmmaker Wes Orshoski comes the story of the long-ignored pioneers of punk: The Damned, the first punks on wax and the first to cross the Atlantic. This authorized film includes appearances from Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones (The Clash), Lemmy and members of Pink Floyd, Black Flag, GNR, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Buzzcocks, and more. Shot around the globe over three years, the film charts the band’s complex history and infighting, as it celebrated its 35th anniversary and found its estranged former members striking out on their own anniversary tour, while still others battle cancer.
Director, Producer, Cinematographer and Editor: Wes Orshoski
Executive Producer: Wes Orshoski, Jeanine Triolo
Sound Designer: Nate Gowtham
Music: The Damned
Principal Cast: David Vanian, Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Brian James, Mick Jones, Chrissie Hynde, Lemmy Kilmister, Nick Mason, Duff McKagan, Fred Armisen
Year: 2015 (release date TBA)
Roots of Punk BBC Documentary from the Early Years of PUNK in the UK
Interview with Captain Sensible of THE DAMNED
Naughty Naughty Girl!
Barbra Streisand looks absolutely crazy-hot here in a series of photos from a photoshoot she did for the 1970 film The Owl and the Pussycat. I mean, just look at her!
In the film, Streisand plays the role of “a somewhat uneducated actress, model and part-time prostitute.” Her character’s name is Doris. There’s a scene in the ”The Owl and the Pussycat” where Doris’ love interest, Felix—played by George Segal—walks past an adult movie theater and is shocked to see that Doris is starring in a “porn” called Cycle Sluts ( very short YouTube video at the bottom). In the brief scene you see Felix’s mortified face staring at the posters for Cycle Sluts which features Doris and a few pals in somewhat “naughty” BDSM-type poses. That’s where these photos came from. They were basically shot for props in a brief scene. They are not even from a porn magazine spread promoting the film, they were just props! Thanks to Dangerous Mind for finding those amazingly sexy pics of La Streisand!
NEW ART BOOK BY MARK MOTHERSBAUGH OF DEVO
Is there such a thing as a natural-born pop artist? I don’t really think there is, but the voluminous graphical art of Mark Mothersbaugh, well known as the frontman and co-founder of DEVO, is enough to give me pause.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver on Thursday opened Myopia, a very large exhibition showcasing the art of Mark Mothersbaugh that runs through April. Adam Lerner, director of the museum and curator of the show, takes pains in the book accompanying the show published by Princeton Architectural Press, to emphasize Mothersbaugh’s almost preposterous productivity: “Mark Mothersbaugh is a fountain of creative energy. He creates postcard-size drawings and collages on a daily basis (more than 30,000 of them so far) and uses them as the basis for other works. …”
It’s well known that the spark that led to DEVO’s formation was the tragic shooting at Kent State in May 1970, which Mothersbaugh and Jerry Casale witnessed. Mothersbaugh puts it well in the book: “For a lot of reasons, the shootings gave me a focus.” To flip through Myopia is to wonder just what button that event pushed in Mothersbaugh’s brain—there seems to be no cessation of the combinations of icons and slogan-like textual elements that Mothersbaugh can’t put together in an arresting image. Lerner wants to emphasize that DEVO is merely one channel for Mothersbaugh’s creativity, with the works featured in Myopia representing some of the others, and that’s perfectly true. It may not be “fair” that DEVO overshadows the entirety of Mothersbaugh’s other output, but that’s the nature of showbiz. A less curmudgeonly way of thinking about it is that Mothersbaugh has found success in the opposed worlds of pop culture and high art in ways that reinforce each other.
It kind of goes without saying for anyone who knows his or her DEVO, but Mothersbaugh’s sloganeering impulse is strongly influenced by advertising. Picking almost at random from the images, you can find phrases in Mothersbaugh’s pictures such as “Don’t Bullshit God, Padre!” “Press My Tummy, Buttwipe!” “I’m Keeping Score, You Fiend!” “Soiled Linen Pantaloons, Yakety Pants,” and on and on. The exclamation points aren’t incidental—there’s a hectoring quality that maybe prevents Mothersbaugh’s images from penetrating the upper echelons of art, but he’s awfully adept and they function really well below that threshold. Hell, even the ones without words are almost as emphatic—the man understands his icons. As for originality, obviously Mothersbaugh owes a huge debt to the pop art movement of the 1950s and after: The Ben-Day dots, visible on the cover, are obviously a nod to Roy Lichtenstein and through him to pop art in general.
My guess is that 90% of DEVO’s fans have no idea just how startling and accomplished an artist Mark Mothersbaugh is. If you take DEVO’s output and convert it to a collection of paintings, it would look a lot like the pieces in Myopia—possibly just because of the sheer number of postcard-style paintings and doodles Mothersbaugh has produced, the graphical art ranges a little wider and more freely than DEVO’s catalog, for reasons that should be mostly obvious. Also, the pretense of the Devolution schtick isn’t quite as present—the levels of pessimistic irony are a little flatter in the paintings, so you can apprehend it a little easier. It’s still about showing you the ugliest side of our noisy culture somehow, but you can admire it purely as an aesthetic thing without the oxytocin hit of DEVO’s spastic 4/4 beat.
Here’s the first section of a roughly 75-minute interview conducted at the Museum Of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles a month ago:
(All images from Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia edited by Adam Lerner, published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2014.
Andy Warhol’s sphere of influence defined 60’s subculture in New York. Though most remember Andy as an artist, he should be coined as a collector, collecting characters at The Factory who he manufactured and preserved as icons. His taste was impeccable; his instincts dead on. “Anybody who Andy discovered and found and ‘named’ as his ‘superstar’ became his superstar. Andy had the best taste. I mean, he’s my favorite artist…he knew a good thing”, said Betsey Johnson. From 1965-1967 Andy delivered an explosion, giving rise to three of the most memorable icons of the era. The intersection of Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Betsey Johnson, and The Velvet Underground illuminated a generation, culminating in the most influential icons of the 60’s social scene.
Edie met Andy at a party in January of ’65 and she became a regular at Andy’s studio, The Factory, by March. During this time Andy shot footage of Edie getting ready in her apartment, later used in his film Poor Little Rich Girl. Andy and Edie became quite inseparable, and in April of ’65, Andy brought Edie to an art opening of his in Paris. When they got back to New York, Andy said that he wanted to make Edie the ‘Queen of The Factory’. He had a script written for just for her, resulting in a film called Kitchen, shot in the kitchen of a friend’s studio apartment. Around this time Andy also shot Vinyl, which featured Edie in an otherwise all male cast. By the spring, The Factory hosted a “Fifty Most Beautiful People” party where many celebrities, including Judy Garland, came. It was said that at this party, “the stars went out and the superstars came in; that there were more people staring at Edie than at Judy”. By the early summer, Edie starred in her most famous Warhol film, Beauty No.2, which opened in July. The film showcased Edie lying in bed with a male lover while an offscreen voyeur berated her with personal questions. That same month Edie was named the “Newest Superstar” in the New York Times.
Edie became notorious by age 22, frolicking around the city in heavy eye make up with her hair sprayed silver, donning black leotards, tights, and big chandelier earrings. “Edie ran with the wild horses. Edie was not only ‘the look’, she had the head, she had the body, she had the screwed up background, I mean she’s the perfect candidate. Young, gorgeous, the look of the time, on Andy’s arm, and able to really hold her own, falling down, standing up, or whatever. She was a one in a zillion,” said Betsey Johnson. In November, Edie appeared in a LIFE magazine feature titled “The Girl with The Black Tights”. After hanging out with Bob Dylan for a bit, Edie got the impression that Bob’s manager would offer her a film contract. She then veered astray from Andy in February of ’66 after he filmed her last Factory role in “Lupe”. Betsey reflects, “We were passionate, tormented kids with visions, stuff to do, and things to make. Edie led a sixties acceptance and love and wannabe population of copycats. She was gorgeous.”
Betsey designed the fashion that defined the look of The Factory. Before being introduced to Andy, Betsey was one of the in-house designers for a Manhattan boutique called Paraphernalia. Metallics, plastics, and minis filled the shop, where all clothes retailed for less than $99. “People would walk into the store dressed in their straight clothes. They’d buy something and put it on. Then and there they’d apply an outrageous make-up, before heading directly to a party. They were buying something to wear tonight and more or less throw away tomorrow” said Paraphernalia’s owner, Paul Young. The boutique itself looked like a minimalist art gallery, designed by Architect Ulrich Franzen, and it sat right next to the Vidal Sasson salon. Paraphernalia and Vidal Sassoon provided the essential components for any woman to transform into a mod mistress, an enormously radical shift from the conservative look of the 50’s. After designing for Paraphernalia for about a year, Andy introduced Betsey to Edie who immediately fell in love with Betsey’s designs. Betsey lent Edie a collection of her signature silver clothing, and Edie became Betsey’s fitting model for the following year.
Edie became a regular at Paraphernalia where she simultaneously established and consumed the notorious look of the 60’s. By dressing Edie, Betsey developed an integral role in The Factory which continued to expand. The Factory was the new master of media, manufacturing film, art, and celebrity status. If that wasn’t enough, in ’65 The Factory began to manufacture music when Andy became the manager for a band called The Velvet Underground. The Velvet underground was formed by Lou Reed and John Cale, two talented 23 year olds who bonded over music and heroin. Betsey was dating John Cale at the time, and she readily began to design clothes for the band once Andy had brought them into The Factory. The web was woven; the stage was set. Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Betsey Johnson, and The Velvet Underground became the incubators of an era, producing a radical wave and cult phenomenon that has yet to be rivaled.
The Velvet Underground:
In March of ’66 Betsey hired Andy to stage a party at Paraphernalia. The Velvet Underground played music at the party, ultimately selling a look, a sound, and a scene. Andy suggested that the band feature German singer, Nico, on several of their songs. Nico was a 5’10”, German born, blonde model who’s stoic beauty and deep, soft voice gave the male band a female offset. She famously sang the song, “Femme Fatale”, which Lou Reed had written about Edie at Andy’s request. Between ’66 to ’67 Andy organized a series of multimedia events called the “Exploding Plastic Inevitable”, also referred to as “EPI”. The series featured musical performances by The Velvet Underground and Nico, showcasing notable regulars from The Factory as dancers. The “EPI” officially began in January of ’66 at a dinner for the New York Society for Clinical Psychiatry. Edie and another of Andy’s superstars, Gerard Malanga, danced on stage as The Velvet Underground and Nico sang. Establishing its roots in New York City, the “EPI” roadshow continued throughout the United States and Canada until May of ’67. In April of ’66 The Velvet Underground and Nico album was recorded in New York City, featuring Nico on three of the songs. Andy designed the album cover; a yellow banana sticker with “peel slowly and see” printed near the tip, revealing a fleshy, pink banana underneath. Brian Eno is credited with saying, “The first Velvet Underground album only sold 10,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band.” The album was named the 13th “Greatest Album of All Time” by Rolling Stone in March of 2003.
Andy, Edie, Betsey and The Velvet Underground had a huge influence on culture during and after their fame in the 60‘s. Each of these icons possessed peculiar characteristics that helped challenge the rigid, societal norms of their time. For instance, Edie suffered from mental illness since she was a child, primarily due to a troubled family life. Though Edie was born into wealth, her affluence only made her more susceptible to dependence on prescription pills and party drugs which ultimately led to an overdose that killed her at age 28. Andy too had his own troubles. He grew up as a hypochondriac and outcast who isolated himself in his room, immersing himself in magazines and radio. Andy was undeniably insecure, and perhaps he surrounded himself amongst his large crew of eccentrics as a way to camouflage his own insecurities. The Velvet Underground frontman, Lou Reed, also suffered from a troubled upbringing. At 17, Lou received 24 electric shock therapy under his parents wishes to “cure” him of his homo-erotic tendencies and mood swings. The dosage of the shock treatment was incredibly high, and it made him feel like a vegetable for the entire following year. Lou was quick to leave home after that.
Many of the regulars at The Factory thought of themselves as misfits, sharing a resentment towards their upbringing and a desire for life anew. The Factory provided an exciting, alternative lifestyle to those young people who had never fit into the box that their parents tried desperately to confine them in. Drugs, particularly heroin and speed, became a common habit amongst The Factory crowd. Though they were popular, the drugs were hardly glamorized due to the drastic consequences they caused. The fame and notoriety of The Factory icons helped publicize the gritty reality of youth that had been banned from media in the 50’s. Andy successfully showed America these beautifully talented and troubled artists as pioneers of a new 60’s generation. These icons broke through the social molds of conservatism, establishing a wave of culture that radically embraced the beauty within the harsh realities of life.
Absolutely, Definitely RAW!
As Iggy Pop and The Stooges are my all time favorite group and the best show I have ever seen I really felt I had to post more about them even if I already did in the one called Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell and in A Shaded view on Fashion but I still thought it was unsatisfactory of my appreciation considering how I feel about The Stooges so I thought the best thing I could do was to hook you guys up on this article written by James Marshall in pleasekillme.com that is really complete and interesting. I also included a few clips that I thought you might enjoy as well. It is really important to me to pass the word that punk wasn’t born with the Sex Pistols in the UK as so many people think… Not that it matters so much but it’s always nice to have all the facts… I mostly wanted you to be aware if you are not already, of the immense contribution that Iggy and The Stooges has brought not only to Punk Rock but to music in general… So …just keep in mind to click on images to read the articles I have chosen to be amongst so many I have read and have fun looking through some footage I have chosen as well while we all wait for the movie Sandman by Dario Argento in which Iggy will play the main character… So I hope you enjoy these chosen samples of what Iggy and The Stooges have in store for their fans.
Ron Ashton in his Nazi suit by Jenny Lens MFA
A FAILED 1960’S ATTEMPT AT UFO LIVING
The UFO-shaped house in Royse City, Texas, sits alone in an overgrown field, a vision of some solitary failed retrofuture dream. The Futuro House was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in the late 1960s. Made of new materials like plastic and manufactured to be portable and adaptable to diverse terrain with its raised legs, the capsule house was imagined as a ski chalet with a quick heating system. You entered through a hatch to an elliptical space with a bedroom, bathroom, fireplace, and living room. Suuronen soon saw its potential beyond the slopes, and through the Futuro Corporation built the lightweight houses as a prefabricated, compact housing solution adaptable for any corner of the globe.
Due to its unusual space age-influenced design, and the oil crisis of 1973 that made plastic expensive, under 100 of the houses were made. Around 60 of those survive, and they’ve dispersed all over the globe like a covert invasion of extraterrestrials that got canceled decades ago. Some look new, such as one in gleaming yellow on top of the WeeGee exhibition center outside of Helsinki, or another recently restored as a study space at the University of Canberra in Australia. Others are anomalies in the urban landscape, including one in Tampa, Florida, that’s a strip club VIP room, while at Pink Elephant Antique Mall in Livingston, Illinois, a battered model mingles with other kitsch from the past like a Twistee Treat shack and a Muffler Man.
The site TheFuturoHouse.com carefully maps the whereabouts of the world’s remaining Suuronen UFOs, from New Zealand to Greece. You can also cruise by them on Street View through Google Sightseeing’s round up of the saucers. And while you can’t buy one for $14,000 like when they were made, the houses do periodically turn up for sale — one appeared on eBay this May.
Matti Suuronen wasn’t the only architect to attempt UFO-style living — there were also the Sanjhih UFO houses in Taiwan built in 1978, unfortunately now demolished. But there is something enduringly endearing about the homes, and there’s definitely room now in our current housing situation for houses that can be quickly built in varying topography. It’s easy to imagine them touching down on top of New York City’s apartment buildings as additional living space, or braving the rugged landscape of Antarctica as research bases (there are in fact similar structures in use by the Australian Antarctica Division).
Through December 14, you can visit a freshly restored 1972 Futuro House adopted by artist Craig Barnes on top of Matt’s Gallery in London. But to really go back in time, check out the 1971 footage below from when the Futuro House was a brand new vision for futuristic living.
Southern California artist Brandi Milne was born and raised in Anaheim. She grew up happily, surrounded by a wealth of inspiration as a child, taking pleasure in classic cartoons, crayons and coloring books, Sid and Marty Kroft creations, toys, candies and kitschy fabrics and notions of the times. Self-taught and emotionally driven, Milne’s work speaks of love, loss, pain and heartbreak in the first person. She decorates it oddly with a wink of humor and a delicious candied-coat finish – a combination that can be considered highly addictive to viewers around the world. Milne’s work is celebrated and supported in fine art galleries across the US, and has been featured in both print and online publications such as Hi-Fructose Magazine, Babyboss magazine and Juxtapoz. She published her first book “So Good for Little Bunnies” in 2008 with Baby Tattoo Books and Milne has collaborated with notable companies including 686, Hurley and Billabong.
mail to: email@example.com
Travis Louie’s paintings come from the tiny little drawings and many writings in his journals. He has created his own imaginary world that is grounded in Victorian and Edwardian times. It is inhabited by human oddities, mythical beings, and otherworldly characters who appear to have had their formal portraits taken to mark their existence and place in society. The underlining thread that connects all these characters is the unusual circumstances that shape who they were and how they lived. Some of their origins are a complete muster while others are hinted at. A man is cursed by a goat, a strange furry being is discovered sleeping in a hedge, an engine driver can’t seem to stop vibrating in his sleep, a man overcomes his phobia of spiders, etc, … Using inventive techniques of painting with acrylic washing and simple textures on smooth boards, he has created portraits from an alternative universe that seemingly may or may not have existed.
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.
BRYAN RAY TURCOTTE
NEW YORK CITY IN 1977: A BEAUTIFUL ROCK AND ROLL HELLHOLE
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.
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.
BTW check this site I just stumbled on to: GetWildCards I’m trying to get a story up there.
With the discovery and digitalisation of a cache of his personal polaroids, we gained access to Tarkovsky’s luminous world…
Russian auteur Andrei Tarkovsky is often cited as the greatest cinematic artist of all time. His roster of just seven films – including Andrei Rublev, Ivan’s Children and Solaris – have made him one of the most lauded directors in history, awarded a Golden Lion, the Grand Prix du Jury at Cannes and, posthumously, the Lenin Prize – the highest accolade in the Soviet Union. One of his heroes, Ingmar Bergman, stated, “Tarkovsky for me is the greatest, the one who invented a new language, true to the nature of film, as it captures life as a reflection, life as a dream.”
Veneration for Tarkovsky has not dimmed since his premature death in 1986, making the recent discovery of a cache of his polaroids a thrilling find. Taken between 1979 and 1984, in the years before his death from a cancer supposedly contracted on the set of Stalker, they span his last months in the Soviet Union and the years he spent researching and filming in Italy. Very much in the spirit of his moving image work, they capture nature, individuals and light in images that shine with the singular humanity which imbues his films. He once pronounced that “the director’s task is to recreate life, its movement, its contradictions, its dynamic and conflicts. It is his duty to reveal every iota of the truth he has seen…” In these vignettes from his personal world, populated by his dog, his children, his garden and the view from his window, we are left spellbound by a quiet and captivating insight into the world of a man who rendered dreams reality, creating worlds of wonder and truth that have never been equalled despite all the bombast of modern technology.
Text by Tish Wrigley
© Андрей Тарковский/Ultreya, Milano
See the full array of polaroids here.
Sas Christian was born in London in 1968, the eldest of four. She was a shy introverted child lacking in self confidence with a passion for drawing.
Sas worked in a department store, at a commercial art studio and a PIP printing (where she quit on her first day, before lunch)! It was around this time that she first saw an issue of Juxtapoz with a cover by Mark Ryden – and was struck. The urge to paint was growing, but she lacked the knowledge and confidence to do anything about it. It seemed so complicated. Her very early attempts were very graphic, comic book style. Hard colors. ”
”Jam Sandwich” was the first layered painting she produced, and is the only one of her pieces that she will keep.
Her original inspirations relied heavily on anime, Tamara De Lempicka and Mark Ryden. She loved the creative expression of the Harajuku kids in Tokyo. They filled her with such hope and excitement. Originally the intention of her paintings was just about creating a strong image, purely visual. She wanted to impart a modern tongue-in-cheek humor, incorporating her experiences. Contemporary, ballsy, flirty, weepy girls; punk, catholic, no-nonsense, damaged but not broken girls. Funny, intelligent, unusual, independent, odd ball, outsiders. Lovely.
The next logical step for her was to move into oils. With no formal fine art training whatsoever, and no knowledge of art history and even less of art technique it seemed like the most complicated thing in the world — fat over lean? What the hell did that mean? So, in 2003 she bought a book off the Internet “How to Paint with Oils.” she decided to give it a go, and has never looked back. Oils have a whole new set of rules.
As time goes on she finds herself relying less on the narrative and more on the emotive. She hopes that her work can connect with people on different levels. She is trying to harness a single moment in time, an emotional response, seemingly insignificant gesture that can mean so much.
”If you have a creative impulse, whether it be art, music, writing, theater, cooking, whatever — express it. Don’t let you own hang-ups, caution, fear of failure or ridicule stop you…?”
LOU REED, NICO AND JOHN CALE VELVET UNDERGROUND MINI-REUNION
Posted by Richard Metzger on the PKM website page by Legs’ which is utterly interesting. Pleasekillme.com, make sure you go check on them.
In 1972, Velvet Underground alumni Lou Reed, John Cale and Nico reunited before the cameras of the POP2 TV program at Le Bataclan, a well-known—and very intimate—Paris venue. It was Cale’s gig originally and he invited Reed and Nico to join him. Reed, who hated rehearsing, spent two days with Cale working out what they were going to do. According to Victor Bockris’ Lou Reed biography Transformer, rock critic Richard Robinson videotaped these rehearsals, which took place in London.
Both the videotape and the audio from this show have been heavily bootlegged over the years. A legit CD release happened a few years ago, but it still sounds like a bootleg. A high quality video turned up on various torrent trackers and bootleg blogs after a rebroadcast on French TV. It’s fairly easy to find. Now if only some of the outtakes from the Le Bataclan filming (if there were any) would slip out—they did “Black Angel’s Death Song” which I’d dearly love to see—not to mention what Richard Robinson might have (There is an audio only recording of the rehearsals attributed to Robinson’s tapes already making the rounds on bootleg torrent trackers.)
This is Reed coming off his first solo record (which had not even been released yet) and just a few months before he recorded “Walk on the Wild Side” with David Bowie and took on a totally different public—and we can presume, private—persona. This is “Long Island Lou” last seen just before Reed’s druggy bisexual alter-ego showed up and took his place. Cale does the lush “Ghost Story” from his then new Vintage Violence album and Nico looks stunning and happy here singing “Femme Fatale.” It’s before the damage of her drug addiction took its toll on her looks.
I will direct you here for the full version, but I can’t embed the file.
One thing worth pointing out here is that during “Berlin” you can see Nico’s face as Reed sings a song which he told her was about her. She might even be hearing it for the first time.
Here’s a version (oddly in color, the only one on YouTube, the rest are all B&W) of Reed and Cale performing a languid, stoned and thoroughly unplugged “I’m Waiting For The Man”:
Nico :: Icon Documentary (1995).
“She was almost proud of the fact that her teeth were rotten, that her hair was grey…her skin was bad, she had needle tracks all over. She liked that. That was her aesthetic.”The above quote, attributed to James Young – Nico’s keyboard player from 1981-86 – summarizes the often harrowing watch that is filmmaker Susanne Ofteringer’s 1995 documentary, Nico Icon. It was Young who penned the fascinating on-the road-with-Nico tell all, Songs They Don’t Play On The Radio, chronicling his days in her ad hoc touring band. But unlike Young’s book, which is frequently injected with (and buoyed by) levity, Ofteringer’s Icon is a meditative, often dark, look at the woman born Christa Päffgen. While hardly wholly representative of Nico the artist/muse/person, the film is an engaging 67 minutes beginning with Nico’s early years modeling in Germany and France, onto to her Zelig-like existence moving through sixties pop culture (Iggy Pop, Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Alain Delon, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol…) and beyond. And it’s the beyond, Nico’s “desire for her own annihilation”, and heroin, that looms heavily over the remainder of the film
Now I Wanna Be Your Dog
Check out this subversive fashion video for House Casting in New York City. It is based on the Iggy Pop song ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ and was played at the Center George Pompidou in Paris in September 09, as part of the ‘A Shaded View On Fashion’, during the larger fashion week.. Directed by Leg’s Georgie Greville.
Exploited Teen Models from Russia
It kinda works like either a pimp or a cult…Your pick… At first glance it seem’s all good but after awhile you are like hmmmm…There is definitely something wrong … BTW The Girl on top in the video is now the trainer in the documentary film for those who haven’t noticed…and she speaks quite frankly and honestly.
SWEET SIXTEEN | Iggy Pop
An extract from YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL by Dave Thompson:
Aylesbury Friars would be Bowie‘s final show for a month, before he headed into the studios first and then Mott the Hoople. It was also designed to be Bowie’s introduction to an American press that MainMan had flown in for the occasion, writers and taste makers who had read so much about the new British superstar in the imported papers, but where still waiting to be convinced themselves.
The Spiders’ U.S. tour was now scheduled for September 1972, and if all went according to MainMan’s plan, reviews and reports from the Aylesbury show would see the excitement reaching fever pitch right around the time of the first concert.
On Saturday July 15th, wined and dined at the height of luxury, lodged in the finest hotels, and shepherded every place they needed to go, the American journalists felt like royalty as they were driven into the leafy confines of Aylesbury ushered into the Friars club-and confronted with an audience that was even more rabid than the British press reports had ever warned them. Boisterous though they most have been, and determined to remain aloof, that first rush ofadrenalined shrieking caught them off guard, sending their ears reeling before they’d even found a place to stand. Then their eyes took over, bombarding their senses with the sight of a thousand wide-eyed Bowie clones, Angela doubles,Ronson doppelgangers.
”Ode to Joy” piped throught the PA, Loud enough to shake coherent thought from their heads, but not deafening as to be painful, and then the band appeared, ripping straight into ”Hang Onto Yourself”, and all reservations fell away. The show was stunning, the performances seamless, and when Bowie started throwing his silk scarves into the crowd, the writers were as desparate to catch them as the kids.
The Lou Reed show the previous evening had been a revelation. Taking the stage shortly after midnight and kicking right into a deliciously clunky ”White Night White Heat”, Reed was at his best, a spectral ring-leader, not quite ad-libbing his lyrics but certainly having a wonderful time teasing the Tots with his timing, and if he was the only person in the room who didn’t cringe a little when the band unleashed their backing vocals, that didn’t detract from the sheer thrill of seeing him up there.
”Waiting for my man”, layered with flourishes that the song had never before carried; a resonant ”Ride into the Sun”; a fragile ”New Age”, Reed singing instead of mumbling as expected,; on and on through the best of Lou Reed and the finest of the Velvet Underground, Reed may have been leading the crowd into unchartered territory for much of the set, but the roar that greeted ”Sweet Jane” was as heartfelt as the smile with which Reed repaid the recognition.”I Can’t Stand It” was punchy, ”Going Down” was gentle,”Wild Child” was brittle, ”Berlin” was beautiful, and if ”Rock’n’Roll” picked up more appplause than the eerie, closing ”Heroin”, that just proved how much easier it was to find Loaded in a British record store than any of the records that preceded it.
The Stooges would really need to be on form to top that. Again the show started after midnight, allowing the handful of Bowie fans who’d also hit Aylesbury to race back in time for the Stooge’s, together with all the journalists who accepted MainMan’s offer of a bus back into London. A few of them might have thought they knew what to expect, nursing memories of the shows the band had played back in New-York a couple of years before. But they left their expectations on the dance floor. Mick Jones, four years away from forming the Clash at the birth of the British punk movmement, was there, astonished by the incandescence of the show. ”The full-on quality of the Stooges was great, like flamethrowers!”
Iggy lived up to his outrageous reputation, dressing in silver leather trousers, with matching silver hair, black lipstick and made-up eyes. After lurching and prowling over every inch of the stage in the first two numbers, he decided to wander into audience, followed where possible by spotlight. He stopped occasionally to stare deep into people’s eyes, talking about wanting to find something “interesting” and calling the crowd hippies that didn’t inspire him.Pop was everywhere trailing a mix cord the length of the building as he wandered out into the audience, alternately grabbing and caressing whoever lay in his path. One girl discovered him sitting in her lap, staring into her eyes as he serenaded her; one boy found himself being shaken like a rat as Pop grabbed hold of his head and used it to cath the rythm of the song. At some point, there was a problem with the sound. Pop stood still for a moment, stock-still and scowling, then howled with rage and hurled his mic to the ground. It shattered on impact., so he walked to another one, and treated the silent crowd to ”The Shadow of your smile” a suave accapella that kept everyone entranced while the problems were solved. Then it was back to the programmed set, loud, lewd and brutal. The concert was attended by a group of noisy skinhead types, who voiced their impatience during one of several breaks due to technical problems, which caused Iggy to respond, “What did you say, you piece of shit,” as he advanced threateningly across the stage. The cat-caller’s memory suddenly failed him as he melted back into the crowd. After the microphone was fixed, the Stooges commenced another song but halfway through one of the amplifiers broke down, causing a long delay. Later in the show, the leader of the skinhead gang went down to the front of the stage to shout obscenities. This time, Iggy went berserk, leaping across the stage to aim a boot in the guy’s face. Roadies pounced on the guy and bundled him out of a side exit; the rest of the mob shut up completely.
”We did a bunch of things that were new and we started wearing lots of makeup for one thing.and that was different, Williamson recalled. II think we had rehearsed pretty much by that point. It didn’t seem unique to me. We did a lot of stuff with the crowd at that show, which was bizarre for the Londoner, but it was typical for us. That’s what we were used to doing.”
They took Pop’s activities in stride, ”It was part of the show, but we had to really cover a lot for him because he was very improvisational, as was the whole band. We knew, but if you weren’t used to it, you didn’t know when he was going to start a song or when it was going to stop or what to do in the middle because it wasnt exactly youd recorded it. He was very unpredictable”
In attendance at the King’s Cross Cinema were several aspiring musicians, who would go on to become highly influential in the British punk rock movement which exploded a few years later, including Joe Strummer (the Clash), Johnny Rotten (the Sex Pistols), Brian James (the Damned), and Siouxsie Sioux (Siouxsie and the Banshees). The concert has been called the birth of British punk rock. “That show changed the history of English music, because of who was there,” notes Iggy. “People checked us out and realised we had changed the playing field for what was possible.”
The Stooges drew predominantly positive reviews, although it was obvious that they made the British critics somewhat uneasy. “The total effect was more frightening than all the Alice Coopers and Clockwork Oranges put together, simply because these guys weren’t joking,” said Nick Kent in New Musical Express. Michael Oldfield of Melody Maker felt Iggy and the band were on the verge of the dangerous, “It’s like a flashback 200 years, to the times when the rich paid to go into insane asylums and see madmen go into convulsions.”
Photographer Mick Rock admitted that he felt “distinctly intimidated” as he photographed the show.He never did precisely know what he was preserving. When MainMan called him down to the show, he was told only that the night needed to be captured in all its flaming Glory. It would be another year before one of the shots he took that evening was blown up for the cover of the Stooges’ third album, a close up of the singers torso, leaning on his mic stand, his face set and beautiful, staring into space. Pop later claimed that he hated it.
Pop, Rock said, ”was already in my mind more mythological than human. His appeal was omnisexual; he was physically very beautiful, (and) the silver hair and silver trousers only added to the sense of the mythological. He seemed to have emerged from some bizarre primal hinterland, so much bigger than life, emoting and projecting a tingling menace. He was…a cultural revolutionary, operating well ahead of his time.” The question that nobody dared ask was, was anybody truly ready to take the burden on? …..
14-07-72 (technically this was really 15-07 because Lou did not play till after midnight)
SCALA CINEMA, KING’S CROSS, LONDON, UK
White Light/White Heat – I’m Waiting For The Man – Ride Into The Sun – New Age – Walk And Talk It – Sweet Jane – Going Down – I Can’t Stand It – Berlin – Cool It Down – Wild Child – Rock And Roll – Heroin
David Bowie 15-07
Dubbed The most celebrated gig in Friars history
Friars Aylesbury, Borough Assembly Hall, Market Square, Aylesbury, UK
HANG ON TO YOURSELF; ZIGGY STARDUST; THE SUPERMEN; QUEEN BITCH; SONG FOR BOB DYLAN; CHANGES; STARMAN; FIVE YEARS; SPACE ODDITY; ANDY WARHOL; AMSTERDAM; I FEEL FREE; MOONAGE DAYDREAM; WHITE LIGHT/WHITE HEAT; GOT TO GET A JOB; SUFFRAGETTE CITY; ROCK N ROLL SUICIDE
Iggy Pop and The Stooges:
15-07 (technically this was really 16-07 because they did not play till after midnight)
SCALA CINEMA or King Sound (I guess was the name of King’s Cross Cinema, at least temporarily), KING’S CROSS, LONDON, UK
I got a right, Scene of the Crime, Gimme Some Skin, Im Sick of you, The Shadow of your Smile (Tony Benett cover) , Money That What I Want (Barret Strong Cover), Tight Pants,Fresh Rag, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Search and Destroy, Penetration
Born Into This
Born Into This, a film documenting the author’s life, was released in 2003. It features contributions from Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Harry Dean Stanton and Bono (U2’s song “Dirty Day” was dedicated to Bukowski when released in 1993).
Henry Charles Bukowski was an American poet, novelist and short story writer. His writing was influenced by the social, cultural and economic ambience of his home city of Los Angeles. It is marked by an emphasis on the ordinary lives of poor Americans, the act of writing, alcohol, relationships with women and the drudgery of work. Bukowski wrote thousands of poems, hundreds of short stories and six novels, eventually publishing over sixty books. In 1986 Time called Bukowski a “laureate of American lowlife”. Regarding Bukowski’s enduring popular appeal, Adam Kirsch of The New Yorker wrote, “the secret of Bukowski’s appeal. . . [is that] he combines the confessional poet’s promise of intimacy with the larger-than-life aplomb of a pulp-fiction hero.”
Bukowski died of leukemia on March 9, 1994, in San Pedro, California, aged 73, shortly after completing his last novel, Pulp. The funeral rites, orchestrated by his widow, were conducted by Buddhist monks. An account of the proceedings can be found in Gerald Locklin’s book Charles Bukowski: A Sure Bet. His gravestone reads: “Don’t Try”, a phrase which Bukowski uses in one of his poems, advising aspiring writers and poets about inspiration and creativity. Bukowski explained the phrase in a 1963 letter to John William Corrington: “Somebody at one of these places […] asked me: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it.”
Bukowski published extensively in small literary magazines and with small presses beginning in the early 1940s and continuing on through the early 1990s. These poems and stories were later republished by Black Sparrow Press (now HarperCollins/ECCO) as collected volumes of his work. In the 1980s he collaborated with illustrator Robert Crumb on a series of comic books, with Bukowski supplying the writing and Crumb providing the artwork.
Bukowski often spoke of Los Angeles as his favorite subject. In a 1974 interview he said, “You live in a town all your life, and you get to know every bitch on the street corner and half of them you have already messed around with. You’ve got the layout of the whole land. You have a picture of where you are…. Since I was raised in L.A., I’ve always had the geographical and spiritual feeling of being here. I’ve had time to learn this city. I can’t see any other place than L.A.”
One critic has described Bukowski’s fiction as a “detailed depiction of a certain taboo male fantasy: the uninhibited bachelor, slobby, anti-social, and utterly free”, an image he tried to live up to with sometimes riotous public poetry readings and boorish party behaviour. Since his death in 1994 Bukowski has been the subject of a number of critical articles and books about both his life and writings. His work has received relatively little attention from academic critics. ECCO continues to release new collections of his poetry, culled from the thousands of works published in small literary magazines. According to ECCO, the 2007 release The People Look Like Flowers At Last will be his final posthumous release as now all his once-unpublished work has been published.
A Walk into the Sea:
Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory
is director Esther Robinson’s personal inquiry into the truth behind her Uncle Danny Williams’ mysterious 1966 disappearance. Virtually unknown today, Danny was Andy Warhol’s lover, and a promising young filmmaker.
The discovery of 20 never-before-seen films William’s made during his time at the Factory– and whose many subjects include Andy Warhol, Edie Sedgwick, Paul Morrissey, Brigid Berlin, Billy Name and what may be the earliest known footage of the Velvet Underground— reveals a luminous talent and a stark gap in the historical record. Combined with Robinson’s intimate interviews of surviving Factory members, the film gets beyond the icons and quietly dismantles the Warhol myth-making machine, allowing a deeper examination of the human fragility on which Andy Warhol’s empire was built.
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.
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.
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.
Movie parts shot by Danny Williams. Some of those are not in the documentary.
This one was shot by Warhol himself according to what the credit says.
The Roots of British Punk
Here is a little look of what was going on in the UK music wise. Well made documentary by and others..
This is England
It’s 1983 and school is out. Twelve-year-old Shaun is a lonely boy growing up in a grim coastal town in northern England, whose father died fighting in the Falklands War. Over the course of the summer holiday he befriends a group of local skinheads. With his pent-up rage and frustration, Shaun finds exactly what he needs in the gang-mischief, mayhem and brotherhood. He also meets the volatile and boorish Combo, an older skinhead who sees himself in Shaun. Adopting Shaun as his protege, Combo leads the gang down a hate spewing path that culminates in an irreversible act of violence.
I was very pleasantly surprised and very much honored to receive the Versatile Blogger Award by my fellow blogger ”Little Monster Girl” on her February the 4th post . I want to thank her very much for thinking of me for this award. I guess one could say I am indeed very versatile but I never thought someone would think of me for an award for the second time. God knows when your blog is still in its first year, one does need all the cheering he can get. It can get very depressing and I did put the utility and others people interest in question many times. I never doubted about what I wanted to write but of course I always wondered if people are really interested in what I am writing. Even if my blog has been getting more and more attention as time goes by but still, being a very self-doubting person, I always question myself as if other bloggers really like to read my stuff. I’m sorry to say that, I know it’s never very nice to doubt those who have faith in you but it’s just the way I am; Always second guessing myself. There is a song I should put on repeat in my head by Bob Dylan, well at least the title… It is called Dont think twice its alright. Thank you so my dear Little Monster Girl for being so supportive, loyal and ever present. It warms up my heart to know you are behind me. You give me strenght to carry on.
Now without further delay, on to the rules:
1. Show the award on your blog.
2. Thank the person who nominated you.
3. Share seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate up to fifteen other blogs.
OK so here are 7 unusual facts about me:
1- I spent 1 year and a half in Nicaragua where I learned my (oral) Spanish. So I do speak Spanish enough to be understood, whatever message I need to get across but I cannot write it very well and I very often stumble on the verb tense and person. I also sometimes need the person to speak a little more slowly so that I can understand well. There are indeed certain situations in a country like Nicaragua that you most definitely need to make very extra uber sure you got the message loud and clear and also that you got the right one across too. Cities like Tijuana and Potosi also require all your attention…
2- I was once diagnosed as a Schizophenic-Paranoid. Don not panic, that was a long time ago. I took medication for it and I am cured without a doubt. I never had another crisis since then and it has been over 15 years now without any medication. I obviously got an episode, not a chronic condition. Never underestimate the damage that living in a country with at least 3 big ACTIVE volcanos can do to your brain.
3- I have a daughter I love with all my heart.
4- I have roots in the UK and I am very proud of it. My Granny was a nurse during WW2 and she survived the intense bombing of London. (Obviously!) I visited her twice over there. I was in England the day Elvis died.
5- My eyes are kinda yellowish-kaki-grey, depending on my surroundings, clothes and weather.
6- I have been with the same girl for almost 8 years now and it is the first time in my life I have been in a relation for that long without any break ups at all. I really know I have found the right soulmate and I consider myself lucky to have found her.
7- I read a lot and watch a lot of movies. I studied cinema and visual arts. Made my best photos in New-York.
Here are my nominees! Enjoy:
1- The Realm of the Chaos Fairy: https://achaosfairyrealm.wordpress.com/
2-Stop Making Sense: http://stopmakingsense.org/
5- Power Plant Men: https://powerplantmen.wordpress.com/
6- Flavorwire: http://flavorwire.com/
8-The Invictus Soul: https://theinvictussoul.wordpress.com/
9-My Life as an Artist: https://jcrhumming.wordpress.com/
10-The End Justifies the Journey: https://jgifederizo.wordpress.com/
11-Evilcyclist’s Blog: https://evilcyclist.wordpress.com/
12-WHEN GRAVITY FAILS: https://whengravityfails.wordpress.com/
13-Storytime with John: http://storytimewithjohn.com/
16-meo….. laura: https://marcellomeo.wordpress.com/
Softcover Japanese language art magazine themed on “Melancholic Body ~ The pitiful but beautiful body’s favorite knowledge” (メランコリックな身体～痛々しくも美しきカラダの偏愛学). Each artwork presented focuses on the beauty that can be found in a deformed, mutilated, or dead body. It is not focused on grotesque aspects at all.
Artists featured/reviewed in this issue:
Misako Kobayashi (小林美佐子), Motohiko Odani (小谷元彦), Hiroko Igeta (井桁裕子), Takato Yamamoto (山本タカト), Aran (安蘭), Kyo Nakamura (中村きょう), Gisèle Vienne (ジゼル・ヴィエンヌ), Yoichi Nebashi (根橋 洋一), Kaori Fujibayashi (藤林馨), Dan Ouellette (ダン・ウィルレット), Saori Furukawa (古川沙織), Kashima (佳嶋), Mirto Kodama (こだま美瑠兎), Kenichi Koyama (こやまけんいち), Simon Yotsuya (四谷シモン), Hans Bellmer (ベルメール), Yoshifumi Hayashi (林 良文), and many more.
Books/movies reviewed in this issue:
Poems by Paul Celan (「パウル・ツェラン詩集」), Steven Levenkron (スティーブン・レベンクロン) “Girl in the Mirror” 「鏡の中少女」,Amano Katan, Kafka (カフカ) “Metamorphosis – A Hunger Artist” 「変身・断食芸人」, The Machinist (マシニスト), Asumiko Nakamura (中村明日美子) “Double Mints” 「ダブルミンツ」, The Corpse Bride (コープスブライド), and more.
“ALL KINDS OF SHIT ’85-’87 BY 39 STEPS”
(-Geordie Plaethur’s Regularly Scheduled Rant And Rocknroll Review Was Filmed Live In Front Of A Studio Audience)
“I will always believe in punk-rock, because it’s about creating something for yourself. Part of it was – Stop being a sap! Lift your head up and see what is really going on in the political, social and religious situations, and try and see through all the smoke screens.” (-Joe Strummer)
“Just 70 individuals now own as much wealth as half the world. In the U.S., the richest 40 individuals own as much as half the country, and the 16,000 American households in the top .01% have accumulated an average net worth of over a third of a billion dollars. As extreme wealth continues to grow out of control, inequality worsens for the rest of us, plaguing our country and our world, spreading like a terminal form of cancer. It should be a major news item in the mainstream media. But the well-positioned few are either oblivious to or uncaring about its effect on less fortunate people” (-Paul Buchheit)
“If you care about other people, that’s now a very dangerous idea…” (-Noam Chomsky)
“Yes, outraged White people, let’s talk about looting and violence … For example, how about this: The acts of land-theft and resource looting by privileged White men that you term “nation building” e.g., from the genocide that destroyed the cultures of the Original Peoples of the Americas to the codified brutality of US Slavery and Jim Crow, including the Jim Crow 2.0 of the present day.
Yes, White people, your position in life, perched as you are upon the bones of dead Indians and African Americans, was established by looting and violence. Moreover, your position of perpetual white supremacy is secured and maintained by mindless armies of cops and soldiers.
Yes, White people: Let’s talk about looting and violence … er …rather, on second thought, why don’t you just shut your ignorant and belligerent gobs?” (-Phil Rockstroh)
“We rob the poor of dignity for no real reason other than being poor.” (-Kevin Drum)
“Rich people don’t create
culture.” (-Grayson Carter)
“Amazing how the US media seems to always redirect interpretation away from the obvious . CNN is saying the riots are about a racial divide in America …they are saying where do African Americans go from here…. I thought it was about police brutality certainly unequally applied, and the question should be where does scrutiny of police abuse of citizens go from here ? It is police, not African Americans, who are at issue here. And state violence, not citizens, at issue….” (-Naomi Wolf)
“Destiny threatens to slit its wrist with Occam’s razor. Injustice is a party guest that refuses to leave. Racism, brutalism, and all the other ugly -isms snap selfies, proclaiming themselves the normal face of society. Sadly, we have lost far too many puzzle pieces to ever picture a peaceful world. Still, the light continues to shine between the countless cracks in the dark. We gather that light. We share it the best we can.” (-Rich Ferguson)
“I am furious that targeted white America is fully buying into this corporate strategized, and choreographed presentation, of the black response to years of oppression, discrimination, and exploitation. And those fortunate enough to have early dreams, see them shattered in the twilight of their youth.” (-Captain Ray Lewis)
“If your concerns about violence are limited to property damage and looting, and you have never shed two tears for the history of institutional violence, murder, colonialism, segregation, lynching, genocide and police brutality against peoples of color, your words mean nothing; they mean less than nothing. Your outrage, in such a case is grotesque, an inversion of morality so putrescent as to call into question your capacity for real feeling at all. So long as violence from below is condemned while violence from above is ignored, you can bet that the former will continue–and however unfortunate that may be, it is surely predictable. If you’d like the former to cease, put an end to the latter, and then I promise you, it will.” (-Tim Wise)
“The sad end of the Age of Obama — his empty neutrality, moral bankruptcy and political cowardice — is now undeniable to even his most loyal cheerleaders and boot-lickers!
Wall Street criminals, Drone Droppers, Torturers and Police who kill our precious children go free – and we weep and fight back!
Martin Luther King Jr. rebels against the chronic callousness toward the vulnerable and he rejoices at the awakening of Black Youth.
Like John Coltrane, keep it Love Supreme!” (-Dr. Cornel West)
“Dr. King’s policy was that if you are non-violent and if you suffer, your opponent will see your suffering and be moved to change his heart. He only made one fallacious assumption. In order for non-violence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none, has none.” (- Stokely Carmichael)
“London Calling, now I don’t want to shout, but while we were talking, I saw you running out…” (-The Clash)
“This is no conspiracy theory. This is a well-known fact by those inside the beltway. While the American people are told about the endless ‘gridlock’ within our government, many aspects of the ‘Deep State’ run completely smoothly no matter what the American people think. Wars do not stop, Wall Street does not slow, and NSA surveillance keeps going at a breakneck speed. ‘The Deep State’ is how the US Government ACTUALLY runs.” (-Lee Camp)
“When is the Concert for Conscientious Objectors? for Teachers? for Parents? for Climate Activists? for Doctors and Nurses?” (-David Swanson on non-stop fanfare and confetti for war)
“We need to get back to the roots of being human. Money shouldn’t trump compassion.”(-Sondra Arrache)
“We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our god and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.” (-Bill Hicks)
“Listen, everyone has to be accountable for the guns that they carry, whether it be the citizens or the law. I think that we have to be more responsible for the people that we hire for those jobs. Because remember, their responsibility is to serve and protect, not to kill and get off.” (-Stevie Wonder)
“Several of you are appropriately horrified by the amount of money now being spent by big corporations, Wall Street, and super-wealthy to corrupt our democracy. And by the record-shattering share of economic gains now going to big corporations, Wall Street, and super wealthy. The two phenomena are of course related.
All this can make you so cynical you’re ready to give up. The moneyed interests would prefer you do. That way, they can get it all.
The alternative is to be more committed than ever to fighting to regain our democracy and take back our economy. If you choose to fight, it will be a long slog. (For many of you, it’s already been.) There’s no easy formula, no messiah-like candidate, no magic bullet. It requires hard political work at the grass roots of your community, state, and the nation. It means knowing the truth and spreading it. Standing up to the bullies. Working with and through many others. And Never, ever giving up.” (-Robert Reich)
“Are you wealthy and still moaning about taxes? Try being poor and moaning about hunger – brought to you by the people at STFU.” (-Ray Gange)
“From the looks of my news feed, Facebook and Rolling Stone are colluding to crown Dave Grohl the unchallenged deity of music and Momma June the Queen of all things cultural.” (-Rick D. Leonard)
“Not that I am trying to blow sunshine, rainbows, and sno-cones up yer ass or anything. The future looks bleak for most of us as we try to remember to disregard the American Dream bullshit we were spoon fed along side our pureed carrots…” (Gregory Walker)
JUST THE PASTIMES OF THE RICH….
…You regulars know we talk about sports and weather, and make sure you eat your peas and carrots, here, before you fill up on milkshakes and Thunderbird wine. Pull up a beanbag chair. Make yourself at home. It ain’t all about haircuts and shoes…..It worries me that big-media is conditioning young people to like elevator mush again, people seem to confuse the budget to hire a string section with having any soul. All the unimaginative and overhyped corporate mousepad muzak is just fucking awful. I mean where the fuck is the fucking dangerous, rebellious, heartfelt rocknroll motherfuckery, for fuck’s sake? Anybody else jonesing to hear songs that mean something, you know, that express something heartfelt, with a genuine point of view, like we used to? Something pained or wild, something raw and/or real? Something streetwise and raunchy, or brave and true? Had enough twerking and selfies and auto-tune and the politics of dumbfuckish hipster emo whatever exhibitionist distraction? Me, too, brothers and sisters. Me, too. It started with Madonna the “Material Girl”, “Lifestyles Of The Rich & Lazy”, and that “Greed Is Good” movie in the eighties, next it was that bullshit Guilliani “Broken Window Theory”, and false flag 9/11 clampdowns-shoe bombers, underwear bombers, any kinda comic book bullshit to take away civil liberties and human rights, and here we are now–Kardashians ass oversaturation, illuminati hidden-eyed crotch pop, CBGB’s belongs to the rich designer, famous people always kiss his ass; they are similarly turning the Rat into a pretentious luxury hotel in Boston’s Kenmore Square, and there is even talk of the Whiskey being turned into another luxury hotel on the Sunset Strip. Anybody notice how they are steadily erasing the landmarks of the rebellious rocknroll subculture, efficiently replacing them with giant symbols of wealth and elitism? What a fuckedup sham–steamrolling historical landmarks and affordable housing, replacing them with prohibitively expensive fucking condos and hotels, and criminalizing the houseless community. Notice how the oligarchs are doing everything they can to ban unpleasant opinions, or facts based news on the ground from ever being conveyed on the corporate owned airwaves? Can’t think of anything more obscene then bloated rockstars who only ever use their platform and privilege to complain about how they still don’t have enough fucking money because of the internet. David Byrne says no one’s going to make music in the near future because there’s not enough money in it. I dunno, man. Working Class people have been severely restricted from making real music in a room for years now, because the rent is too damn high, but atypical outlaw types with hearts full of emotion will always find a way to gather and express themselves, one way or another, with or without the industry hags, weaponized consolidated media, or moneygrubbing wealth graspers. It’s like the sheltered rich musicians are all just realizing how severely fucked things are. While the rest of us have “gotten pretty good at barely gettin’ by”. Like the old Four Horsemen said, for decades, now. Nobody’s sayin’ nuthin’ about it, but everywhere we go, there’s a bunch of gooney rich kids, ya know? Douchebags in weird beards and Axe cologne with waxed mustaches and ill fitting hats, sucking down Starbucks, on their way to buy vintage keyboards and novelty porn at highend comic book stores in eight thousand dollar a month storefronts. Obama’s ho-hum, unconditional cheerleader, Generic Dave Grohl gets more corporate press and airplay then (even his asskissing predecessor) Bon Jovi, Nirvana, and the Spice Girls used to. I don’t care what Adam fucking Levine thinks about someone’s vocal range. We’re even being programmed to evaluate music and art like it’s fucking sports.
As Joe Strummer lamented, “even rocknroll is a con!” Traditionally, it’s been the non-conformists who’ve seen hard times, been kicked around a little bit, endured some humiliation and heartbreak and understand what it’s like to try their hearts out and still come home empty handed, who usually know how to make the best rocknroll music, ya know? People who’ve only ever had ten bucks to put in their gas tank, who couldn’t get hired at the trendy bakery if they wanted to. The ones who live at the rehearsal space and couch surf and hustle and quit dead end dishwashing jobs to go on dead end concert tours and end up hitch hiking on the side of the desperate highway, all for the love of rocknroll. Not all those Laurel Canyon millionaire kids spilling bongwater on ten thousand dollar indian carpets in the mansions with the sitars. We’ve had two decades of suck shit music thrust upon us, against our will, by the consolidated media juggernaut and I think we’re all sick to death of poseurs and pukes and asskissers and social climbers. What we need now, more than ever, are real rebels. Stand-Alone Outcasts and stout hearted freakshows who ain’t afraid to flyer and stencil and share and band together. Defiant independents, fanzine publishing angry anarchists, shaggy misfits from the wrong side of town, and songwriting dropouts who make their own rules. Dare to be freaky, brothers and sisters, and friends of the revolution. We got to form our little rebel alliances in every pocket of the “local rock…worldwide” community and help each other out. Where are all the strange rangers, dandys in the underworld, road dogs and fun hogs who create and rebel and don’t follow orders? The leather clad REAL rocknroll resistance who are finally gettin’ hip to the Amerikkkan Ruse? Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls. When the gestapo police state has run amok, we need young bloods who rock like fuck. The status quo preservers dutifully insist everything is peachy, as long as you are affluent and peachy–you should disregard those voices, ’cause tyranny lurks around every corner, under corporate fascism. If you oppose economic incentives and immunity for pharma numb, class-patrol, uniformed death-squads and zero privacy and endless war, if you are against torture and indiscriminate drone attacks, if you believe corrupt politicians and bankers and torturers and war criminals should be held accountable, YOU ARE RIGHT. Not the tv, not your rightwing brother-in-law who listens to talk radio. If you think all those awful, trendy, Spin Magazine duos suck, you are right. Not the corporate media, the snot slick bullhorns of the genocidal rich.
Old punks are charging fans $100 to shake their dainty hand at soundcheck. Are you kidding me, man? Meet & Greet my middle finger. The bottom 90 percent are poorer today than they were in 1987, but these selfish old geezer scumbags who made their seventies punk anarchist brandnames by declaring themselves morally superior to cloistered hippie millionaire prog rockers like Yes and Genesis, want to bleed the people? It’s just stunning. And enforcer class muscle is pushing all us second class citizens back out into the dead zones. Cops arresting musicians and dancers and street artists and free speechers for cramping rich people’s “quality of life”. With the fracking and the droughts and the weird pollution and nuke radiation and these bullshit homeless hate-laws targeting the poor. One in thirty Amerikkkan kids are homeless, while all these jiveass, artsy fartsy, festival performers buy bigass mansions in gated neighborhoods, or condos in towering silver highrises. Warmongers are serenaded by worthless old entertainers who used to be anti-war and it is beyond sickening. Everybody’s in a “Me, first!” honky death spell, excusing mass murder so long as it’s done by Robocop stormtrooper brutes with guns. Every 37 seconds an American is busted for smoking weed, but banksters, torturers, crony capitalists brazenly lying nations into wars, and homicidal cops are never reprimanded. Another black male is slaughtered by cops about every 17 hours in Murkkka. Cops kill with total impunity for sport, because they can, and go on paid vacations and seldom ever, ever lose their badges or pensions, after buying some more donuts with your middleclass taxes and investigating themselves. Seizing property, no refusal checkpoints, no knock night raids like it’s Afghanistan, beatdowns on people who weren’t resisting, rape, taser deaths, asset forfeiture, bogus drug war, executions of children holding plastic toyguns, botched drug raids, chokeholds, kicking handcuffed women in the head, stop and frisk policies, open season on unarmed black males and old people, and Autistic kids and people having seizures and the disabled, and family pets. Trained by Mossad, to police Americans as if they are Palestinians, at least 357 people have been killed by police in just the past 7 months in the United States. The VAST majority of those people have been men and the VAST majority of those men have been black or brown and the VAST majority of those black and brown men were UNARMED. Even psycho sadists caught on tape beating innocent men to death for non crimes always walk. Smalltown dudes go to jail all the time, non stop. Seatbelt violations, jaywalking, anything. Cop cruisers park across the street from the bars and wait for the human drama to unfold. Bust, bust, bust, bust. Once they are on probation it’s handing money over, hand over fist, for the rest of their lives. Violation, violation, violation. It’s big business. Amerikkkan prisons are overfilled by forty percent. Mostly bogus drug charges. States use that prison labor-they even make inmates fight fires for two dollars a day. White people are thinking about their collections, and prestige and fucking sports. Smart Tv’s spy on users. The NSA records all of your electronic communications. Drones, tech tools that eavesdrop like you’re the Italian mob. Everywhere we go we are subjected to private security goonsquads shakin’ us down, or feelin’ us up. A family dog is reportedly shot by police every 98 minutes in the US. Tv watchers are slavishly programmed to worship thugs and sociopaths on steroids who are only ever protecting and serving the billionaire, predator class, robber barons gleefully buying politicians and drafting model legislature from revolving door lobbyist rightwing think tanks, stealing from we, the people—their minimum wage, piss tested victims, the pitchfork majority–how do they live with themselves, those badged bullies who are anything but heroic?! Some of these dudes who kill unarmed youth get to retire with a half a million dollars in donations and tens of thousands in interview fees. That’s plenty of incentive for racist cops who top out at about forty thou a year.
Stop praising uniformed men who kill kids in bullshit wars in the name of This or That. TV brainwashed consumption zombies don’t give a rat’s ass about children murdered in our streets, Gaza-style, but tell ‘em someone supposedly shoplifted some Swisher Sweets and Slim Jims from a convenience store while wearing baggy pants and they all lose their minds. Fratboys start fires and tear up the town whenever they lose a football game and it’s dismissed as zany campus hijinks. Cable spooks the homeowners with scary footage of sacred Starbucks windows being broken or heavy rotation footage of burning automobiles, and don’t even mention how it’s about zero accountability, zero remorse, whenever a racist cop casually snuffs the life out of a beautiful human being. Never will you hear the propaganda whores of the police state’s bullhorns even bring up police violence against often totally innocent, unarmed civilians, it’s always twisted into how poor people are angry and wild and prone to looting. Assimilated Murkkkans all defend the badged bullies with all their unrepentant white privilege. Predators never say they’re sorry. Agent provocateurs try to infiltrate peaceful groups and stir things up. When demonstrators call them out, they pull guns on citizen activists. Stolen elections, piss tests, evisceration of our most basic rights, war, war war….Where’s the outcry from the media-class people with the microphones? Radio silence. Beyond the vicarious, third hand reflected glory whoring of “don’t you know, how I used to know somebody, who knew somebody, who knew somebody, who slept with someone from Guns N Roses, like, twentyfive years ago”? V.I.P. lists and photo opportunities, a bunch of geezer cartoons in a cartoon graveyard, to paraphrase Rhymin’ Simon. Big cities have become retirement communities for soldout, self important, ex rebels and preachy former junkies pushing their blooming onions, autographed memoirs, black fifty dollar logo shirts, and stupid fucking bobbleheads. And their obnoxious kids with the gimmick bands and credit cards. Ho-hum. Everybody’s in a honky death spell–I think it’s the prescription pills, something in the water. Middle class people are understandably resentful about being forever compromised, and controlled, and lied to by venal rich folks. How do they cope? By punishing poor people, which is really no solution at all. Former peers and their in-laws think if they exclude you, blacklist you, punish you long enough, withhold their resources and companionship, refuse to embrace you, you’ll magically become a non-threatening, lawnmowing, Smilin’ Bob squarehead with a business, and join the big white truck fraternity of backslapping blowhards who all make believe they pulled gas grill and sundeck empires outta their asses with their special white people magic. They tell themselves it’s tough love, rejecting you, excluding you from office party reindeer games. You need to pull yourself up by your own inheritance. Become lying middle class asskissers, or else. They all married up and attained their businesses from their in-laws, the hard way. It’s okay to get the snub from the white picket fence and watering the lawn herd-it really is important-it’s a step towards finding one’s own unique destiny as opposed to succumbing to your predetermined, class burdened, typecast fate. Who wants to be a Bill O’Reilly dickhead, anyway? Almost time for those Thanksgiving and Christmas stampedes at the big-box retailers. They act like some new, on sale at Best Buy, sweat-shop manufactured gadget is the Who with festival seating. It’s all about Access. Or Access denied. Do you have a license to wear that funny hat? Do you have clearance to play that guitar? Show me your papers. The bouncers need to feel you up like TSA brownshirts before you perform in nightclubs. REALLY?! Hatelaws that openly target the homeless. Business owners who call the man on poor people for existing. Cable subscribing middle classers who believe these boogeymen narratives about shoe bombers and masked marauding boogeyman armies coming to steal our freedom fries and minimum wage piss test jobs at the bigboxes. Show me your permission slip from the rich. They want you to beg for permission to “rock”. Wanna double-check your credentials. This is a nation of phoney baloney weasel suckups, all obediently sucking up to the unholy monsters in power, who they already know are unspeakably corrupt and inhumane, we’re way past plausible deniability, with the drones killing forty innocents for any “suspect” based on mere metadata, and American bodies piling up on our city sidewalks. Even Regular Joes all bark self importantly like Dick Cheney, or Simon Cowell. Pizza Hut Assistant Managers and shit. Everybody’s G.I. Fucking Joe, now. Little Rush Limbaughs are everywhere, sucking down their Oxycontin, and trash talkin’ the poor. ‘Thing few seem to recognize, is that it’s not wise to get too cocky, or cruel, just because you are getting free drinks in the local limelight. Our fortunes can fluctuate in this lifetime. Hell, I’ve known people who were toast of the town on Monday, just toast on Wednesday. Start losing teeth and see how clever and attractive all your entrepreneurial girlfriends and showbiz buddies find you. Gain a few pounds. Experience loss. Death of loved ones, illness, infidelity, divorce, unforeseen shit, betrayals, or automobile accidents. Lay-offs, foreclosures, health problems, overdoses, housefires, incidents and accidents, disease—no one is untouchable, just because they are temporarily insulated by money and fickle fame that plays tricks on the brain. 12 year old get shot dead in the park in broad daylight. Old men get shot in their beds in bogus drug raids while even our well-intentioned, once liberal, middle classers parrot all that drug war hysteria they learn from Dr. Fucking Phil. None of us are permanent. Not even the ruthless winners and titled shareholding ownership society folks are guaranteed tomorrow. Things change. High school never really ends in consumption crazed Murkka. It’s a brutal FOX NEWS kinda world. We are all so fracked. You got eyes–did the skies always look like that, when you were a kid? Tasted a watermelon or grapefruit, lately? What the fuck is that shit? They are fucking up all the fucking food. The music has never been this horrible. People just obediently accept this horseshit. The well-to-do’s love their privileges and illusions of impunity and expect silence from you filthy poor folks. You’re always expected to abide by the artificially constructed country club hierarchy, or risk beatdowns and banishment, everywhere you go. Used to be the poets and bohemians were in the back room at the round table-uniting, coming together and rejecting all that flyover state, slave plantation, sports indoctrinated, militarized conformity-now it’s just the rich old industry hags and suckups and weasels, and their awful kids, all out to make a buck-it’s retirement homes for people who knew Lou Adler or Danny Fields. That Offspring band own airplanes. They were just awful-admit it-what did they ever do to become millionaires? That “White Guy” song? CRAZY! Some of the punkest, and smartest, and most talented motherfuckers I ever knew are rotting in severe poverty and can’t even get record store jobs no more. Aww, mann. Who wants to hear my facking Blackie Lawless story, again? Okay you B.Y.O.B short attention spanners who only show for the tits and champagne portion of the rocknroll rantage, let’s get around to the hotpants, pinball, and french fries, now.
THE FIRST, THE LAST…
Whenever us undead Bauhaus types hear the brooding and sensual goth of Montreal, Quebec’s best post-punk era band, 39 STEPS, we wonder why they weren’t huge as hell, back when people still listened to music with heart and soul and a real pulse. Many of us are so numb to the bullshit chump, cheese-whiz music of today, we loathe even mentioning any of it, relentlessly we yearn for the burning, noir romanticism of yesterday’s glam rock, punk, and new wave. 39 Steps had the same textures and vibes as Flesh For Lulu, The Cult, Bolshoi, Siouxsie and The Banshees, all the best bands of our own long lost flaming youth and if, like me, you appreciate those tight pants, echoing psychedelic guitar tones, a.m. suicide poetry and chiming keyboards ala Public Image Ltd. and Psychedelic Furs, you will doubtlessly be drawn to collect all of 39 STEPS diverse works, available via some links we’ll post below. “Priscilla” kicks things off with that swirling Billy Duffy guitar tone and sends dizzying signals up your spine and your spiralling thoughts shimmering back to when you used to dance, meet girls in big city girls rooms at loudly throbbing gigantic nightclubs when everyone was clad in mesh and lace and great things were all still possible and weird kids could come together and do those absurd gestures and movements inspired by Michael Astin and Pete Burns with spiderwebs drawn poorly on our young faces. It smells like bubblegum and clove cigarettes. Mystery and potential. All those long gone death chicks who ain’t death chicks no more. Goths like us, baby we were born to lose. Most of the Skinny Puppy groupies who I used to know work in cubicles and don’t even dye their hair no more. What’s with all that “adulthood” shit? Those careerists-they’re like a cult. ‘Still a few howling souls still signed on for life, to that teenage deathtrip. Montreal’s finest goth-punks, 39 STEPS churn out another hypnotic come-on, called “Let’s Flirt With Danger”, that’s quite reminiscent of Ronald Koal & The Trillionaires. Top stuff, man. Killer cuts. We never hear nothing like this, no more. Famous celebrities like Woody Allen, Joan Jett, Chris Stein, and Ian Hunter all variously glimpsed Chris Barry’s star power, but for some reason beyond my comprehension of record industry incompetence, 39 STEPS were never to achieve John Hughes soundtrack status or major MTV success. They had the whole package–a boss sound very much like the Cult, who they opened for on the “Love” tour, good looking weirdos with big hair like the Alarm. At least two songs with bona fide, worldwide, hit potential…and I’m not even talkin’ about the same two everybody else likes. Stacks of songs easily as catchy as anything by World Party or Simple Minds. A genuine article frontman who was as good an entertainer as Richard Butler, or Billy Idol, or most anyone you can name. “Hit It Up” is the stuff of chubby vampire chicks doused heavily in patchouli,bubblegum, danger, and everyone in too much mime looking Batcave makeup. “Bang, bang, hit it up…” This is where Concrete Blonde’s “Still In Hollywood” riff meets Iggy Pop’s optimistic and uplifting “Kill City” lyrical preoccupations. “I’ll Take The Blame” sounds like a Cure B-Side, if only Robert Smith was a pale Tim Burton skeleton with a shock of black hair and a taste for forbidden fruit–yeah, yeah I know, he, too, looked like Jack Skellington once, but it’s been so long since then that all you can picture is Fat Elvis in a plushy costume and a raccoon nose, holding a teddy bear. Chris Barry was the evil rocknroll version of lovable gothniks. He still looks almost exactly the same. Painting in the attic. Always a startlingly talented songwriter and performer from his days as juvie snot punkbait in 222′s, until his most recent band, the triumphantly brilliant, THROBBING PURPLE, it’s CRAZY how he has gone so overlooked and underappreciated all these years. In modern days, his devoted following has grown steadily since rocknroll people have been hipping one another to his fantastic videos and some unheralded masterpieces on youtube, that clearly demonstrate how 39 Steps were a primetime band who should have probably been as popular as Sigue Sigue Sputnk and Sisters Of Mercy. A Smash Hits magazine band that chicks tore out pictures of and put in their school lockers. I don’t have any idea how 39 STEPS avoided bigtime stardom with songs as good as “All Roads Lead To Babylon” & “City Of Vice”, they were just one of those tragically doomed bands who the industry neglected. Probably because of their authenticity. “Something New” sounds like it should have been sent to college radio on 12 inch vinyl with dance remixes on the B Side and with any real airplay whatsoever, it could have slid comfortably in between videos by the Communards and the Love Reaction on America’s Sunday night hairspray party, 120 Minutes. Some of 39 Steps’s song are sugary sweet like Duran Duran or Thompson Twins, and some of their stuff is more experimental and menacing like vintage Adam & The Ants, or Virgin Prunes and Killing Joke. “Always Tomorrow” has a seductive, black and white grainy film noir feel ala Peter Murphy’s “Love Hysteria”–you can almost see the video in your mind–trains, travel, rainy towns. “City Of Vice (alternate)” is one of the best known 39 STEPS tunes and one that their aging audience of depressed bombshells and badly bruised burnouts hold close to their collective blackhearts. “A Taste Of Poison” is either an urgent call to the man with the stash or some pale siren. Like Jeff Drake’s Hollywood band of sleazerockers, the Joneses, it’s usually hard to discern whether Chris Barry is crying over chicks or drugs and at some point, I suppose there’s not much difference, anymore. If you like Julian Cope, or Billy Idol, you’ll like “A Taste Of Poison”. One thing I’ve always appreciated about Chris Barry besides his humor, surplus talent, and obvious personality writ large, is his distinctive caterwaul. He really sounds like no one else. Jeffrey Lee Pierce yowled like that sometimes, but certainly not in key. “Jump On The Death Train” is another worthwhile tune, kinda halfway between Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop, that would be the first song on my Annual Christmas Cassette Mixtapes if I still made those Annual Christmas Cassette Mixtapes. I feel like I may be the only one still holed up in my basement room listening to forgotten songs on thrift store ghetto blasters. It’s all passed me by. I didn’t even go for Green Day or Nirvana, or Marilyn Manson–ya know? World’s changing–it’s nuts! Shit’s gone way wrong. Cops kill kids in the street, the government tortures people in hideous gulags. Spies read our E-mails, profile us for the man. Grownups try to tell us how good Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga and Katy Perry all are, with straight faces. Our old friends are gone, or gone straight. “Someday Is Today” stirs up the usual ghosts of melancholy, love, regrets, lust, all those mixed impulses we used to have, higher ideals we used to espouse so vehemently, all the dead people we lost along the way, all the promises we enjoyed before the crash. It’s a bit Morrissey-esque, actually. “Just Amphetamine” is a King Crimson like piece, all those jazzy Adrian Belew or Robert Fripp chordings accompanying Mister Barry’s eloquent storytelling. “Teachers” is a soft and poppy song like Psychedelic Furs, or Love & Rockets, and it’s halfway over before one realizes it’s a Leonard Cohen cover. Album closes with a Guess Who cover that no one ever wanted to hear 39 Steps perform, and yet, they even make that old warhorse run. Fantastic band. Some of you New Yorkers know Chris Barry from PILLBOX. He rocks. Throbbing Purple is even better. 39 STEPS were undiscovered geniuses. Buy all their shit.
Now remember this is just some unsorted links related in some way to the roots of what was to become cyberpunk. Motorhead was the first band to reunite punks and headbangers. The term ‘heavy metal‘ first appears in print in William Burroughs’ 1962 novel The Soft Machine. His character Uranian Willy is described as “the Heavy Metal Kid”. Burroughs later re-used the term in his 1964 novel Nova Express:
“With their diseases and orgasm drugs and their sexless parasite life forms – Heavy Metal People of Uranus wrapped in cool blue mist of vaporized bank notes – And the Insect People of Minraud with metal music.”
The term ‘heavy metal’ was used in a musical context in the title of a 1967 album by the British avant-garde outfit Hapshash and the Coloured Coat – Featuring The Human Host And The Heavy Metal Kids. The title wasn’t applied to a particular musical style and appears to have been a reference to the ‘kids’ in Burroughs’ novel, a novel that one would most would most likely classify as a sci-fi book. So I can assume that the roots of cyberpunk were bound to come from heavy metal, heavy metal that would refer to some kind of Apocalypse or some kind of world existing in the Aftermath instead of the usual satanic inspiration which is precisely what Voivod was about to do. Maybe not for the first time but they were most certainly the first to make it their main theme for every album. I have very much respect for a band like Voivod who have created their very own style. Sci-Fi Tribe themes, progressive heavy-metal music, a band that was very respected by all, some people might remember that Jason Newstead left Metallica to join Voivod. Away, Piggy, Blacky and Snake were the real pioneers of cyberpunk, even though a lot of people never heard about them and most young heavy metal fans never heard about them nor care about them. I have also thrown on here some graphic novel artists who made sci-fi more than just sci-fi and turn it into what we would call today cyberpunk. This post is just that, unsorted links and hints of what I think is related in one way or another to the roots of cyberpunk, wild cards thrown at you so that you can do your own research on the subject and you may come up with entirely different stuff that are related to the birth of the underground culture of cyberpunk. You are more than welcome to post those in your comments. I know very well some books are very much responsable for the birth of cyberpunk. I just chose more lively sources. I also know that what people call cyber punk music have little to do with the music I posted but yet it still has everything to do with it since it was the birth of an idea that would follow its own path and transform and adapt but never died. I hope you enjoy flipping to this deck of wild cards. There will be more to come on other subjects and maybe some more on the same subject…
VOIVOD – Kluskap O’ Kom
VOIVOD – Tribal Convictions
VOIVOD – Target Earth
THE AKIRA PROJECT
Motorhead – The Game
Motörhead – Brave New World
Motorhead – Orgasmatron
Lobo. Banned from Heaven and Hell.
by Frank Miller and Geoff Darrow
Alien Sex Fiend – Now I’m Feeling Zombified
Front 242 – Operating Tracks
Cabaret Voltaire – No Escape
Druillet – Lone Sloane Delirius
Blade Runner – Ridley Scott
Enki Bilal – Immortal
New York City, year 2095. A floating pyramid has emerged in the skies above Manhattan, inhabited by ancient Egyptian Gods. They have cast judgement down upon Horus (a falcon headed god), one of their own. With only seven days to preserve his immortality, he must find a human host body to inhabit, and search for a mate. In the city below, a beautiful young woman, Jill, with blue hair, blue tears and a power even unknown to her, wanders the city in search of her identity aided by a doctor who is fascinated by this mystery of nature. Reality in this world has a whole new meaning as bodies, voices and memories converge with Gods, mutants, mortals and extra terrestrials. Stunning visual effects meld with the poetic surrealism of comic-book creator Enki Bilal’s fantastic epic story. A ground-breaking step into the future of film-making.