Originally filmed in 1922, this version was updated in the mid 1960’s to include english narration by William S Burroughs while he was in London. The writer and director Benjamin Christensen discloses a historical view of the witches through the seven parts of this silent movie. First, there is a slide-show alternating inter-titles with drawings and paintings to illustrate the behavior of pagan cultures in the Middle Ages regarding their vision of demons and witches. Then there is a dramatization of the situation of the witches in the Middle Ages, with the witchcraft and the witch-hunts. Finally Benjamin Christensen compares the behavior of hysteria of the modern women of 1921 with the behavior of the witches in the Middle Ages, concluding that they are very similar.
John John Jesse is an illustrative painter from New York City’s Lower East Side in the Juxtapoz gonzo-pop vein. He often shows with artists like Esao Andrews. A Punk rocker and former Catholic Schoolboy, John John’s work reflects the angst and trials of those two opposites. Self-taught as an artist, his visionary works of have the semblance of near-goth styles held in tandem with the acidic flair for . Only he can show us the worlds he has lived through, where the mistakes of our youth, sometimes can’t replace the wrong choices made. As the ethereal beauty of youth is depicted, we also witness the nonchalant behaviors brought on from oppressive environments, such as organized religion. These yield themselves to moments of self-destruction, substance abuse, and mockery, between what innocence should be, and what it tragically often becomes. He does this however in such obsessive detail and flair for originality, that the only hope beyond the tragedy of life, is the fact that he has survived it with his art.
He painted the girls he grew up with, citing the punk lifestyle of girls and drugs. Most of the people featured in his work are friends of his. They are generally nude or partially disrobed, in situations that are both fantastical and gritty. Jesse has, to date, two self declared series of renderings. The first consisting of black & white drawings he calls the “Baby Demonica” series (Baby Demonica gave birth to a black-and-white “Gorey-ish” character/limerick comic book with a dark, evil, and sexy cast of misfits from Hell and beyond written by both John John Jesse and Howie Pyro) and the second, full color paintings he calls the “Demonica Erotica” series.
In 2005, Vivian Giourousis interviewed the artist for Hoard magazine and asked him to define punk rock. He replied, “…punk rock was the world in which I entered at 14 years old because I didn’t fit in anywhere, not at school, not with friends, and not with my family. Back in the 80’s we were all serious misfits who didn’t belong, and together we were REALLY united. We all came from broken homes, we were victims of child abuse, we were angry, political, idealistic, drunk and proud. Basically punk rock music goes beyond the realms of just being a music scene. It’s a lifestyle and commitment. It’s my world, and honestly it’s all I know and it’s where I fit.”
Call Me Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles
Just finished reading the latest Burroughs’ biography ”Call Me Burroughs: A Life by Barry Miles and I was so enthusiastic about it I had a hard time putting it down. Just to give you an idea the intro consist in simply telling this (true) story in which Burroughs tries to get rid of this Ugly Spirit in a sweat tent with a few very close friends and a Shaman who finds it happens to be a much harder task than he originally thought it would be. the ”Ugly Spirit” won’t give up so easily and he really needs to use all the supernatural powers he has. After the ceremony he confides that at a certain point he wasn’t even sure he was going to be able to get rid of it.The intro ends by saying:”This is the story of William Burroughs battles with the Ugly Spirit”. Sounded VERY promising to me… The book doesn’t follow that lead though but rather gives a very well documented detailed bio about Bull’s parent’s, friends, travels, business projects, relationships, love..everything is in there!! It is very detailed and is very interesting even if it’s very different from Victor Bockris‘ bio ”Notes from the Bunker” which has a much more intimate approach but if you love Burroughs as I do, you will none the less be delighted by all the details that you always wanted to know but was too afraid to ask!
I can’t stress out how this is the ultimate detailed biography on Bill. Finally we are getting the whole, complete picture by someone who was very close to him, not in bits and pieces, the whole, complete, complex picture served on a continuous thread that we can all grasp fully and completely. Bill had a way of telling stories that were so personal that he’d always left you wanting to know more, just opening avenues after avenues, the embryo of the embryo of an idea that he has yet to explore and trust me, they are infinite… I think my wish was granted and I finally got to getting the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth in plain, simple and understandable words and figures of speech for all to understand and grasp the grandeur of this larger than life character who has shaped so many aspects of today’s art. I have read almost all his novels, lots of essays and other experiments, interviews with other significant masters of modern art (like Andy Warhol for example) but something tells me this was the ultimate voyage that I had been waiting for into the mind of the Godfather of Punk himself. I wasn’t even deceived to have uncover a his secret and that his mystery will be gone and I’m sure that all of you who knew him know very well why. So… even if I know you will want to finish this book very fast, I suggest that you take your time and savor every word, every page and every chapter of this biography I could definitely have a lot to say about it although whatever I could say will never be a match to what you can get by reading Bill’s bio. If you are a fan, you owe it to yourself to read this one and the one by Victor Bockris.
Discovering Burroughs and his art was a turning point in my life and from that moment I never saw life the same way I used to. William S. Burroughs is without question one of the most influential character of the modern ages and I intend to suck out every detail I can from him. I was once invited to meet him personally by Montreal writer and poet Denis Vanier (1949-2000) and his wife (also a writer) Josée Yvon (1950 -1994), both being close friends to Bull, told me they wanted to introduce me to him !! Imagine!! Vanier gave me a VIP pass for his shotgun paintings exhibition when he came to Montreal around 1989 but unfortunately fate and my crazy life back then didn’t allow me to meet him in person and I so regret that it was impossible for me to make it, I regret it to this day still.
(Always click on images for put in links!)
This guy has foreseen so many events, trends, politics, changing in arts, literature, performing arts, fashion, screening our lives like the FBI or the CIA would in an attempt to reduce our lives to basic intel but just falling in an endless spiritual torment of ideas and beliefs, occult images and visions if the past and the future … This is really all I can say about his work, trying to break it down in a few lines. It is simply impossible. Like I said before, do not go and try to understand word for word that he is saying, some of his books are more like a huge mosaic of images and ideas following a very thin and fuzzy line for an idea in huge brush strokes for sure he will give you inspiration and if he doesn’t give you inspiration he will for sure in some strange way understand where you can find it. I think the best quote I could use comes from the first book of the trilogy of “Cities of the Red Night” and the Old Man in the Mountain Hassan I Sabbah….
PRAYER OF THE HOLY DEATH
Lord, before Your Divine Presence God Almighty,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
I ask for your permission to invoke the Holy Death.
My White daughter.
I want to humbly ask, that you break and destroy
all spells and darkness that may present itself before my persona,
in my home, and on my path.
Holy Death, please relieve me of all envy,
poverty, hate, and unemployment
and I ask that you please grant me________________.
Enlighten, with your holy presence, my home,
my work and those of my loved ones,
award us love, prosperity, health and wellbeing,
blessed and praised by your charity Holy Death.
Lord, I give you infinite thanks,
because I see your charity through your tests, which are perfecting my spirit.
Lord I give you thanks, because in the midst of these tests,
I will have you Holy Blessing.
Justine does not consider herself a photographer by definition, but an image-maker carefully curating elements to communicate a feeling. Tjallinks tries to mirror her own emotions in her work. She calls herself “an image-maker carefully curating elements to communicate a feeling.”
It’s amazing how a mother-to-be today can determine if her unborn child has 47 chromosomes — an indicator of Down syndrome. Thanks to science and cautious parents-to-be, fewer children are being born with the condition. When I learned this, I couldn’t help but wonder; could there be no one left with Down syndrome in our near future? No one wants their child to go through life having to cope with a perceived handicap, but when it happens, the parent can’t imagine living without their child regardless of circumstance. This idea inspired me to create portraits of young children with Down Syndrome. To visualize their emotions, unique personality and also to emphasize just how beautiful they are.
Take a look at Justine Tjallinks impressive works HERE.
Just a few other pictures I picked for you:
Nobody, I’m Nobody!
”No Name” Maddox a.k.a Charles Manson will die one day. That day whether we like to admit it or not. Some sort of pop icon will die, the devil according to many, Jesus to some others and both intertwined in one according to his followers and the members of The Family.
The name ”The Family” have spread international terror and has now changed to ATWA for Air, Trees, Water and Animals. This frightening character was revered before he went completely overboard with his mind control. I don’t know what is more scary, the fact that this guy manages to convince others to do whatever he wants them to do, even murdering a helpless pregnant women or the fact that he has become a pop idol. Don’t fool yourself. As much as lots of people would love to simply forget about him. On one hand, he influenced a lot of musicians that shaped the very foundation of music in the US and other artists which made No Name Maddox a part of US most (un)popular modern icons .
On the other hand, he is associated to the most gory, scary, surreal, vile murders to ever strike our imagination as he was also in contact with the most dreadful characters of various satanic cults that were so popular in the height of the Summer of Love and San Francisco Haight-Ashbury psychedelic boom.
Personally what keeps me being unable to forget No Name Maddox is the fact that when I look at the circumstances surrounding his birth, the way he was raised, his youth and the abuse he went through, I cannot honestly say that I would have been any better have I been walking in his shoes. He was just another kid like there are so many on the streets, juvenile homes and prisons. He is one of the rejected one, one of the undesirable, the ones we all want to forget about, one of the thousands of kids that the system failed to help them, failed to give them at least the feeling that they were allowed to feel, at least, as if they had the dignified right to be part of the human race.
His Sweet Sixteen Mother Kathleen Maddox, didn’t bother to give him a name since she didn’t know who the father was, she didn’t think he deserved to get one. Furthermore as she didn’t recall his real date of birth, later on she picked the 11th of November. She was wrong by one day, ”No Name” Maddox, as written on the birth certificate, was born 11/12/’34 as Vincent Bugliosi wrote in his book ”Helter Skelter”. It is also a well documented fact that a waitress who thought little No Name Maddox was cute, was told by Kathleen she could have him for a pitcher of beer. And she was serious. A pitcher of beer later she was out leaving her son. Several days later, his uncle had to search the town for the waitress and take the boy back home. Manson went from bad to worse, remaining institutionalised pretty much for the rest of life but getting a short break in 1967 at the age of 32. He begged the warden to keep him in since life outside prison scared him more than everything he had been in contact with since well… his birth? Doesn’t it right there show how much surreal the life of certain people can become? I know some people went to jail and still made it, but you know, some people just are born with a bad sign.
”No Name” Maddox finally landed at 636 Cole Street, the Haight’s house where he would live between April and November of 1967 . It was The Summer of Love, sex, drugs, music and satanic cults were pretty much the thing then. He must have thought that he wasn’t that dephased after all! Shortly after playing guitar (Maddox learned from Alvin Karpis, who had once made it to the top wanted man FBI list as part of the Barker-Karpis Gang and later became a respected bluesman in jail), doing drugs and ”preaching” to the Hippie youth in revolt surrounding him, the cultural orphans, the idealists, and the vague dissociation brought on by a barter marijuana economy and $1-a-dose Owsley LSD-25 made a natural magnet for potential followers who were looking for meaning, guidance, or a guru.
”No Name” Maddox fast got to be well-known, respected and admired as Charles Manson, using what he had learned in prison about various religions and cults including Scientology, the Satanic Church and specifically The Process Church of the Final Judgment in which Jesus represents God and Lucifer rolled into one. Manson mentioned more and more frequently that he was the Devil and Jesus into one being. Manson had changed his name earlier but I think for the first time in his life, it actually meant something to be….him. He was very charismatic and also older than most of the kids surrounding him. He also had LSD many times but it is always mentioned that he ALWAYS took it in smaller dosage than all the ones around him to make sure he could somehow maintain a certain degree of self-control. Now I never seen anyone backing that up. Why are we so afraid to admit that there is a possibility that it might be a tiny part of the reason why he lost it somewhere along the way. He totally lost it that’s for sure!!! And for sure it wasn’t JUST because of the drugs, I just would like to know why it is always mentioned each and every time the LSD trips are mentioned in each and every book you read a book about Manson. Is it because it provides a ”good” reason as to why all these typical hippies became bloodthirsty assassins or because it reinforces the notion that it was only, and only because of the drugs that Manson had such power over his followers and therefore he is the very first responsible for these atrocious murders. It would make sense that the CIA and the department of Justice would find that very possible because they were themselves doing very large-scale experiments on mind control within a military agenda, testing LSD 25 on the weaker and most vulnerable people they could find after having tested it on their own soldiers, causing some serious damages, partly because the people who were tested didn’t even know they were tested with dangerous amounts of this powerful hallucinogenic drug..
BTW the only authorised Manson biography is ”Charles Manson Now” by Marlin Marynick. I have read it and recommend it to all the true crime fans out there. there is a lot of ramblings by Manson but it surely gives us a quite unique view of how things go for real from inside the jail and how Manson gets his information in and out from his prison cell from which he has been in solitary confinement ever since he got in for the Tate-LaBianca murders.
On another galaxy not so far away, a guy named Bobby Beausoleil joined a band founded by Arthur Lee called the Grass Roots which name was changed toshortly after Bobby joined . While touring in San Francisco, Bobby Beausoleil met with Kenneth Anger, a filmmaker obsessed with Aleister Crowley and anything related to the occult who made Bobby the star of a movie that was to be named ”Lucifer Rising”. Like Maddox, Anger had been deeply impressed by the theories of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology, Aleister Crowley as well as the ones preached by The Process Church of the Final Judgment created by founded by the English couple Mary Ann and Robert de Grimston. Anger also had ties with Anton LaVey, author, musician, circus and carnival performer, and occultist, famous founder of the equally famous Church of Satan which was said to be the first public, highly visible, and long-lasting organisation which propounded a coherent satanic discourse. His books The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals, have been cited as having “an influence far beyond” the Church of Satan‘s membership. In 1995, the religious studies scholar Graham Harvey noted that although the Church had no organized presence in Britain, LaVey’s writings were widely accessible in bookshops almost worldwide. Take note LaVey was introduced to Susan Atkins who was with Bobby during that time. LaVey claimed that he had been appointed consultant to the brilliant horror film starring Mia Farrow, Rosemary’s Baby (1968), written by Ira Levin but directed by none other than late Sharon Tate’s husband, the famous movie director Roman Polanski. Sharon Tate was pregnant of the couple’s first child when she succumbed to a horrible death by the hands of the Family at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills. The baby she was carrying died too.
Satan was hot stuff before and in ‘68, when Rosemary’s Baby was a box office hit. Vampires were hot stuff too back then and it sure is awkward that almost at the same time Polanski was shooting (he was also the leading role) The Fearless Vampire Killer during which he would meet his future wife Sharon Tate who was playing the ”damsel in distress”, LaVey had recruited one of the killers Susan Atkins a.k.a. Sexy Sadie who was present at all three sets of murders ordered by Charles Manson at the Hinman, Tate, and LaBianca homes as a topless vampire in a LaVey show called the Witches’ Sabbath also known as before joining the Manson family. Atkins played the role of a seductive vampiress who emerged topless from a coffin and would point her index finger, which had a long red-painted fingernail, at the leering audience. She would hiss and symbolically beckon for the blood of the trench coat-wearing customers who paid their admission to The Black Pope’s religious ceremony. Her stage act strangely presaged her later criminal activities. It was reported that after viciously murdering the pregnant actress Sharon Tate by stabbing her in the stomach. Susan then compulsively licked the blood of the popular star off of her own fingers. In a sense, I guess she took her vampire role to heart…
I’m not gonna go through the whole process of describing the complete history of The Family and the horrible murders they committed, it has been done so many times before, I’ll save you the process and if you didn’t know about it all in its most tiny and gory details since you can easily find them on the net, in many books and movies… Helter Skelter is probably the most referred to account of ”No Name” Maddox troubled childhood as he became Charles Manson, the beloved and revered leader of the Family, friend with Dennis Wilson from the Beach Boys who was fascinated (and scared) by his newfound troublesome guru, who went on to become one of the most famous killer of all times without having actually killed anyone, nor even being present on the site when the murders actually took place. Now Helter Skelter is a book written by Los Angeles County district attorney Vincent Bugliosi that has been made into a movie. My intention here is rather to acknowledge how huge of an ”(un)pop” culture phenomena Manson has become in the years that followed, especially after the first wave of fear lost its horror factor for most of us who weren’t in the front row seats, even if we were sort of offered those seats via one media or the other. Now most of the accounts that we were given, especially at first, gave a very grim portrait of the Family and its leader but as time went by, I would say relatively fast, some began to stand up and give a different point of view of what happened and especially of how the Justice system treated the whole thing. One of the first that comes to mind being the documentary ”Charles Manson Superstar” directed by Nikolas Schreck in 1989. Most of the documentary (the entire interview) was filmed inside San Quentin Prison. Schreck and Zeena (Anton LaVey’s estranged daughter) narrated the segments while images were shown, and music played in the background.
I have to mark a pause here and obviously make a relation between well know artist Marilyn Manson, the name itself evokes bad and evil, beauty and ugliness intertwined together… That is of course if you forget all the despair and anguish, the drugs and the depression that ultimately led to her death (BTW Marilyn Monroe had a very brief relationship that lasted around 2 weeks in the early 50’s, before she became a star). It is not however not the only thing that led to the choice of this scenic name but rather the fact that both of them represents to him the 2 most iconic names of the USA. Now it’s funny that if you try to link Charles Manson to Marilyn Manson you will not be helped a lot with the details if you are looking on the net. I will help you out here with only a few, main ones, just glancing here and there what I found to be most interesting as I’m doing since I been doing since the beginning of this article about Manson’s omnipresence in today’s culture, mostly modern music.
MM said that 3 of his albums are a trilogy: Holy Wood (In the Shadow of the Valley of Death), Antichrist Superstar and Mechanical Animals. MM Manson said that the overarching story within the trilogy is presented in reverse chronological order; Holy Wood, therefore, begins the narrative. It was written in the singer’s former home in the Hollywood Hills and recorded in several undisclosed locations, including Death Valley and Laurel Canyon. Holy Wood (not Hollywood) is written the same way it was on the Family’s Black Bus that brought them all from Topanga Canyon to Death Valley. In the tour that followed the release of the album, MM appeared under the disguise of the Pope, Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley and… Charles Manson ”to celebrate the adoration and the martyrdom of famous people and deceased criminals” MM said himself except that Charlie isn’t dead! Did he want to denounce the fact that Charlie was reduced to silence in what was to him a parody of Justice? Mechanical Animal was the beginning of M.M. identification with Charles Manson. One could assume it refers to one of Charles Manson’s song called Mechanical Man without being 100% sure it’s a very strong possibility I would say. As of Antichrist Superstar, One could very well assume it’s a reference to Charles Manson Superstar, the documentary mentioned earlier. A lot of what I just mentioned can be confirmed by quotes by MM himself a the book by Gavin Baddeley titled Dissecting Marilyn Manson. ”Beautiful People” was a term used by Manson to design the people from the music industry and more generally, all those who had a certain power or influence in the artistic world in general. MM song ”Beautiful People” is coined from the first sentence of ‘‘Baby You’re a Rich Man” on the Beatles’ Magical Mystery tour album, ”How does it feel to be a rich man?” It is interesting to note that you won’t find almost no references to Charles Manson about this song on the internet. I could make a very long list of why MM has been influenced in
many ways by Charlie Manson but let’s just start with the first demo title made by MM was called Big Black Bus referring once again to the bus that carried the first members of the Manson Family throughout the California coastline and one of the songs the Spooky Kids were playing back then was called Dune Buggy containing a direct quote from Charles ”Tex” Watson: ”We’d swoop down on the town and kill everyone that wasn’t beautiful”.
This clip above was entirely shot at Cielo Drive where the murders took place.
Trent Reznor who would become MM mentor for several years rented Cielo Drive where the murders took place for the recording of ”The Downward Spiral” and invited MM to record his very first album, Portrait of an American Family (initially known as The Manson Family Album – a direct reference to serial killer Charles Manson’s own band – but was retitled prior to release). The record opens with an eerie intro called Prelude (The Family Trip) followed by ”Cake and Sodomy” which first lyrics are a direct quote from Charlie: ”I Am the God of Fuck”, words used to seduce Lynette Fromme to convince her to join the Family. there are also many references to the Fab Four White Album that was, in the eyes of Charlie, loaded with prophetic statements. In the book Dissecting Marilyn Manson, MM is quoted saying:’‘I think Charles Manson is the greatest rock star of all time. He was all about music. He never even had a hit and he’s one of the biggest stars that you could ever find. That’s something we can thank America for, whether you like it or not, America put him there”. The lack of information concerning the influence that Charlie had on MM must clearly be explained by the events of the Columbine killing during which MM was pointed as an influential factor leading to the tragedy because the killers were MM listeners. What is less known to the majority of people is that the main source of income of that city would come from the manufactured making of mass murder weapons and the fact that immediately very shortly after the Columbine school shootings in 1999, the NRA made the controversial decision to hold its national convention in neighboring Denver, Colorado, making sure no one threatens their sales. Nuf said. I think MM responded very well to the accusations but decided to maybe pull of from Ol’ Charlie as much as possible and avoid mob lynching! That is just my opinion though.
Rob Zombie (who was several time been seen with an X on his forehead too!) has made numerous references to Manson and the Family in his music but even more so in his horror movies. The House of 1000 Corpses, in one of the first sequences of the movie you can see 2 young guys in a car and the other one drooling over photos showing the Manson girls from back in the days coming from a magazine called Helter Skelter. You can see clear shots of pics of Leslie Van Houten, Sadie, Katie, and last but not least, Lynette ”Squeaky” Fromme. Little do they know that they will soon be confronted to a family maybe far more dangerous than the Manson Family and the youngest girl from this Family imagined by Rob Zombie called Baby (played here by Sheri Moon, Rob Zombie’s wife) exposes a little further on the base foundation of her clan saying ‘‘Whatever you need to do, you do it. There is no wrong. If someone needs to be killed, you kill ’em. That’s the way.” You have to admit that is very close in form and meaning to the words used by Sandra Good as an intro in Manson (documentary by Robert Hendricks, 1972) Good’s first word are:”When Somebody needs to be killed, there’s no wrong, you do it. And then you move on”. The sequel called ”The Devil’s Rejects” contains a direct quote Charles ”Tex” Watson used when he was about to kill Voytek Frykowski and said ”I’m the Devil. And here to do the devil’s work”. The family now lives in a ranch in the middle of the desert where a pig’s head is hung over the entrance. Then when the police gets on their trail they are forced to ride in a black bus (the black bus again!! Charlie used one on which he had Holy Wood Productions painted) and one of the family members is name Charlie and they also leave messages written on blood on murders scenes…
The list of bands goes on and on Black Flag, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, Boyd Rice/NON/Death in June, Skinny Puppy, Slipknot, Guns N’Roses, Kasabian,Current 93, The Charles Manson Experiment, The Lemonheads, Family Jams, Crispin Hellion Glover, The Ramones, Front Line Assembly, Scraping Foetus, Deicide, Klaatu, Sonic Youth, Sex Pistols, System of a Down, Giddle Partridge, Negative FX, The Mission, The Meteors, The Beach Boys, Necro, Righteous Pigs, Christian Death and many, many more have used Ol’ Charlie, A member of the Family or simply made direct or indirect allusions to what took place. One thing is for sure, Manson is now a modern icon, a symbol of a bloody rebellion against the establishment and everything it represents as well as a symbol of black gory satanism dedicated to sex, drugs and rock’n’roll.
To me it’s Marilyn Manson (Marilyn Manson is a trademark owned by Brian Warner, his real name, it’s not a stage name), using the sad depressed beauty of Monroe and Manson’s sheer horror who has made the most pertinent links to be made with a society mirrored in all its ugliness as it wants nothing less than wipe out those events that put an end to all the peace and lovey dovey hopes that were born during this memorable Summer of ’67 and ended in a gory bloodbath. As rockstars and criminals face similar fate, maybe we should take a good hard look at how we treat the most unfortunate among us with a growing unsuccessful rate, only making the cut go deeper and deeper, giving way to countless future generations of fatherless (and motherless) families for (mostly black or latino) kids. Maybe Maddox didn’t have a name not because he was a nobody but precisely because he could be anyone of the unfortunate ones. Let’s just hope that repeating his name over and over and showing and hearing the grisly murders that took place under his ”reign” they won’t have less and less impact like it so often happens in those cases. Let’s just make sure on the contrary that we make sure that our institutions give the best they can to make sure that we do what can be done. Most people simply need to be dignified, to feel part of the human race again, is it that much to ask? The problem I see today is that Manson simply confirmed our darkest fears, revealed our hypocrisy when we say we put the need and the love of our peers before our greed. Let’s make him wrong but not only in some cases, let’s make him wrong about EVERYTHING!!! Don’t misunderstand me!! I never meant it was ok to kill any of those people!! I just mean the built up that lead to this ultimate result because in a way, what took place in The Family was a microcosm of what was happening, and still is happening on a larger scale. Let’s learn from our mistakes, let’s listen to our most distraught fellows and find the strength inside us to give what we can. I’m not saying a man is not responsible for his thoughts and his acts but I’m saying that we, as a society are responsible of how we take care of our kids, especially the ones who are in despair. Maddox had No Name, he gave himself one and the medias made him a legend and a pop icon. Manson sells. Sad but true. Greed.. Again!
STOP THE GREED!!!!
The Silver Factory Darkroom Ghost
William Linich (February 22, 1940 – July 18, 2016), the primary architect, foreman, lighting designer and archivist at Andy Warhol’s Factory, film-maker and photographer, who used his camera to immortalize its denizens, has died at age 76.
To look through the snapshots taken by Name in the 1960s is to dive into the epicenter of the Pop Art scene in New York, as he chronicled the rise of Andy Warhol from artist to the avatar of an art movement—the shifting of his studio from the place where he made silkscreens to the bustling creative hub known as The Factory. His photographs of Warhol’s “superstars” made that moniker real, and the covers he designed for The Velvet Underground’s classic albums—White Light/White Heat, The Velvet Underground, and the gatefold sleeve to The Velvet Underground and Nico—are all iconic. In 2001, the U.S. Postal Service released a stamp featuring a photo of Andy Warhol taken by Name. The album cover to White Light/White Heat is a faint image Joe Spencer’s tattoo, who played a hustler in a motorcycle gang in Warhol’s 1967 film Bike Boy. Reed selected the image from the negatives from the film, and it was enlarged and distorted by Billy.
After fleeing a dull upbringing in Poughkeepsie, New York, and settling into downtown Manhattan’s hotbed of bohemia—where he met Yoko Ono and John Cage at Fluxus events, and collaborated with La Monte Young in one of his drone performances—he met Warhol fleetingly at Serendipity 3, the fancy dessert joint where he was a waiter, and then later through his mentor Ray Johnson, who brought Name to Brooklyn Academy of Music. Name and Warhol became lovers. “We’d go to movies or art openings,” Name told Glenn O’Brien in Interview. “I was sort of like Andy’s boyfriend.”
Once Warhol saw how Name had tricked out his Alphabet City apartment in all silver, he asked him to come do the same to the Factory, which was then on 47th Street—silver foil from floor to ceiling, silver spray paint over everything.
“In 1962 or ’63 I had a hair-cutting party at my apartment, where the entire interior was silver,” Name told the New Yorker‘s website in 2012. “Andy came and loved it so much that he asked me to do the same thing at his new loft. I began installing foil, and it took so long I finally asked for keys so that I could come up anytime. Eventually, I just moved in, and I lived there from about 1964 to 1970.”
He soon became a jack-of-all-trades at the Factory, helping Warhol with silkscreens and arranging appointments. When Warhol started getting into film, he hipped Name to the pleasures of taking pictures, a hobby that lead him to produce dozens of indelible images of the era’s towering figures: Bob Dylan, Edie Sedgwick, Lou Reed, Nico, Jane Holzer.
“Andy decided he was going to make movies, and he gave me his Pentax,” he said in the New Yorker interview. “I got a manual for the camera and set up a darkroom in the Factory. It was so joyous! Really, the joyous part just overshadowed all the work. I was an artist before I worked with Andy, and while I was at the Factory I took photographs mostly for artistic purposes, but over time they’ve became more of an historical record of the time.”
Name obsessed over his photography, spending hours in the darkroom without any human interaction. In his diaries, Warhol noted, dryly, that Name lived in the Factory, but no one ever saw him.
“People would ask Andy where I was, and he would tell them I was in the darkroom out back, and Paul Morrissey would joke, ‘Oh yeah, he hasn’t been out of there for two years now,’” Name told the website Civilian Global.
Despite his obsessive work, the photographs were not recognized for their importance until decades later, and in 1970—two years after Name found Warhol in a pool of his own blood, shot by Valerie Solanas, and went to cradle him in his arms—he left a note for Warhol on the door of his darkroom in the Factory: “Dear Andy, I am not here anymore, but I am fine. With love, Billy.”
He had left for Washington, D.C., and then San Francisco, where he traveled and performed his poetry, but in time the world would come to treasure the images he had created in the Factory. In 1995, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise had a breakthrough Billy Name Billy Name show at its space at 558 Broome Street: over 50 of the black-and-white images that Name had slaved over, a definitive portrait of a New York that had, by the mid-’90s, all but disappeared. More retrospective shows followed, as the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh acquired a number of his works, and his photographs appeared in Warhol exhibitions around the world.
In recent years, Milk Studios staged a large show of Name’s photographs in conjunction with a publication called Billy Name: The Silver Age in 2014, and that year the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s store displayed work by Name to coincide with the institution’s regarding Warhol show.
At the time of his death, Name was residing in an assisted living home upstate on the Hudson. In 2012, he was named Duchess County’s artist of the year.
“I never would have expected it,” he said of the honor. “I’m 72 years old. It was a wonderful thing to happen.”
An Interview About His Artwork Process
It’s time for the next installment in the Metal Injection artist series, Artists in Metal and it’s a big one! got a chance to speak with John Dyer Baizley, one of the most renowned visual artists in the metal/hardcore community and the vocalist/guitarist of Baroness!
Baizley recently completed work for Coliseum and Black Tusk, but has worked with several other acts such as his own band Baroness, Darkest Hour, Kavelertak, Kylesa, Pig Destroyer, Skeletonwitch, Torche, and even Metallica just to name a few. In this interview we chat about his beginnings as an artist, look into his process, and much more…
Michael: You’re a rare exception in that you are an established visual artist and in a successful band. What came to you first the visual arts or music?
John Dyer Baizley: When I was really young, I gravitated towards the visual arts first. I feel that’s what comes most naturally to me. I’ve always had an immediate proclivity towards making visual art and I was a really tactile kid. Both of my parents had a background in the arts; so that was a language both of them spoke fluently and as such, I developed my interests in art prior to music.
I should note: I think they both saw the creative impulse or drive in me; they tried to surround me with all of the tools that creative people would need in order to express themselves. At a very young age, I had access to a to many of the artistic implements which I continue to favor, and I was also given a guitar at a very young age. My parents weren’t musicians themselves, so I didn’t have anybody to help me work through those immediate musical issues, but honestly I’m glad that I didn’t. When I hit adolescence I discovered punk rock, where you didn’t need any training at all. I saw it as counterproductive in those days to have a formal or technical skill set.
Michael: Did you end up going to art school for college, or where you mostly self-taught?
JDB: At first I did teach myself and took the classes that were available to me, which were admittedly quite limited given my geography, in the Shenandoah Valley, southwestern Virginia. In middle school and high school I got the opportunity to develop a bit by getting involved in some of the local college courses. Once a week, I would drive up from my hometown of Lexington a half hour up to a little town called Staunton where they had life drawing classes. In Lexington, I took what art instruction was available. The importance of drawing and painting from life were impressed on me from a very early age.
Art came fluidly, so I was able to teach myself many of the things I thought were important by copying and mimicking my artistic idols. When I graduated high school I really had no other inclination other than going to art school. I ended up going to Rhode Island School of Design for a very productive three years, before dropping out in 2000.
Michael: RISD is a very established art school. Would you say it helped you a lot in evolving your art process, or did you gravitate towards you early beginnings from the DIY punk scene?
JDB: It’s hard for me to say what would happen if I didn’t go to art school. It wasn’t that I learned any specific painting or drafting skills at school that I felt I couldn’t have taught myself. However there is something quintessentially unique and important that you gain by immersing yourself in a scholastic and creative universe, and being held to certain academic standards while being surrounded by artists of varying disciplines. I think that the critical thing was to help me open up mentally and be exposed to a wide variety of artists with wildly different styles, mentalities, and processes. Through my exposure to such a diverse collection of artists I was learned to separate the artistic wheat from the chaff, and find the sort of things that would become useful to me in the future.
I’ll say it would have been a much slower process if I hadn’t gone to art school, but I don’t think it was critical towards my eventually becoming an artist. As far as I was concerned, that had already happened.
Michael: I’m not sure if this was during your time at RISD, but what got you into doing commission work for bands?
JDB: That’s sort of a funny thing. I was only in art school for three years, I dropped out because of some personal and substance-abuse related issues, and I stopped creating anything at all for about a year and a half. When I finally felt I was starting to get ready to re-enter the arts I moved from Virginia down to Savannah Georgia, where Baroness officially started. I began making album artwork out of necessity, though I certainly wanted to do it. Baroness needed merchandise, we needed covers for our EP’s and demos, so that started kicking me back into making visual art.
Baroness started out by sometimes playing 250 shows a year and, as it goes, we met a lot of other bands. They saw our merchandise and often said, “Would you be interested in working with us?” I also made a lot of friends on the road and always offered my help; it was just something that felt like an easy fit. I loved the sense of community, and I wanted to be part of it.
Several years down the line I realized that, whereas I had started out with an interest in becoming a fine artist, I now saw myself taking on commissions in the more proper role of an illustrator or designer, which I’ve never been entirely comfortable with. Through every path that I’ve chosen, I have tried to claim full authorship over what I make, so it can suit my needs as an artist first, and then, by proxy, the musicians and artists that I work with are happy with what they get. It’s a hard-line stance, but one which bears the most fruitful results.
Michael: Not entirely comfortable with commission work?
JDB: Not at all. I guess I’m skirting around the issue here, I hate art direction and the necessity to sell a product. It was one of the major hang-ups that I had with art school or art/design as a profession: that the idea that making a living off of making personally-driven art would at some point have me wrestling against art direction and commission-driven work. With that struggle comes the understanding that you’re ultimately trying to appease someone else with your art. That’s never been the impulse for making art. I must satisfy my needs as an artist first, and then if the message is good and the theme or the content is worthy, then the audience may find those qualities as well. I think that’s true of most good art, so yeah, I’ve always had this contentious relationship with doing commissions trying to “make other people happy,” or see their vision come to fruition.
Michael: With doing those commissions, I notice that you go back to a lot of bands. For instance you’ve done work for Skeletonwitch with two major releases, Beyond the Permafrost and Serpents Unleashed. Do you go out of your way to be a little more selective about the people you try to work with to allow a more artistic license?
JDB: Yeah, I think you have to. If you want to create something that’s worth doing you have to self-edit from the get-go. You really must be careful and selective with whom you work, you must constantly ask yourself the hard questions about your art, and you must set a nearly unattainable standard for yourself. If I’m in the business of making artwork that is designed on some level to sell a product, then I have to be very comfortable with the people I’m working with and I’d like to be proud of the end result regardless of its sale-ability.
I can say thirteen years into doing this full time, I really appreciate the artists I have had the chance to work with, even if it’s something slightly outside the box or something that’s very obvious, it’s what I want to do. I’m not going to put myself into a project that I’m disinterested in, because I think that the integrity of the end result will be threatened.
Skeletonwitch was one of the bands we hooked up with when Baroness first started touring, playing in basements, warehouses and anything just shy of actually playing inside a club. We’ve had this connection since the DIY days, they have changed so little in their enthusiasm, and that’s something I find myself gravitating towards, even though I’ve recently made a concerted effort to move away from focusing entirely on the punk/hardcore/metal community. Punk rock and metal has always been a home to me, it’s where I cut my teeth; and those are the friends that I have, and the bands that I love.
I really try to work with an artist who is trying to create a long legacy of quality rather than trying to jump aboard a trend. Frankly I don’t need to do that, but, and I can’t stress this enough, I’ve been fortunate in that I can eke out a living being this selective. A lot of my friends who are commercial designers and proper editorial illustrators often have to take whatever jobs are given to them. I’ve made a very strong effort to have the power to say no to something, and I think that’s a crucially important right for every artist. No one wants to be in a position where they are desperate for work; desperation breeds sub-quality artwork. I can’t say I love 100% of every mark that I’ve made, but more often than not I’m pretty happy, and I’ve learned the value of making personal improvements as a result of mistakes and missteps.
Michael: It really seems to me like you created this great situation with Baroness gaining popularity in conjunction with your artwork. Would you agree that’s what’s gave you the ability to be selective?
JDB: Oh yeah, for sure! They are both equally important projects for me, and I’m really lucky to be a part of both. I’m not like most album artists who have to create off of another artist’s pre-existing imagery. I make the music and the art simultaneously and there is really an elevated level of synchronicity happening, allowing me to be a little bit more personal. I don’t have to have conversations with the artist to find out what’s going on. I’m able to have that insight without a conversation; there is something nice about that; it streamlines the process as well. This ability to work on Baroness’s vision, has allowed me create and expand my style.
Michael: Would you say that it’s difficult as a commission artist to really take the time to do your own personal work, or do you feel that merch and album art of Baroness becomes that personal work, since you are involved in all aspects?
JDB: That’s a tricky question. For the better part of a decade I didn’t really delineate the difference between commission work and personal work, I just say “If I’m getting paid to do it, by virtue of that fact it is a commission; but I’m going to make it a personal work for myself, and I’m going to fulfill the need of the artist that I’m working for simultaneously.” It requires a little bit of pig-headedness and self-confidence to adopt that kind of stance.
I also get to create album art as a fan of the music, enhanced with the insight that the band gives me. Therefore, I know what they think it’s about, and as a fan I can make the artwork from the standpoint that I’m trying to figure out the music in a separate way. Concurrently, I have the insight of what it’s like to be the musician, the visual artist, and the listener. Working amongst these three tiers can offer a broader perspective on the work.
I think a lot of musicians have a very difficult time articulating what their music is about in a visual sense, and at the same time visual artists can have great difficulty taking something sonic and translating it to a focused visual work. There is such a great divide between the audio and visual. When the pairing works well it can open up new layers and insight for the music, and it makes the experience a much more rewarding one. That being said, when you miss-fire and when ideas don’t synchronize, things can be very confusing. No artist wants to have the weight on their shoulders of the failure or misrepresentation of a record, based on their visual content. Musicians are handing you their baby, this work that they have crafted and put all this love into, and you don’t want to fuck that up, you want to elevate it. You can’t honestly say your going to achieve perfection 100% of the time, there is always going to be that little bit of risk involved, which for me makes it exciting.
However, to get back to your original question, having done what I do in a somewhat linear direction for a while now, I’m starting to realize I do need to carve out some time and do something more personal, some art that that won’t have a logo and barcode attached to it. There is a space in my life that needs to be filled, concerning the purely visual side of things, where the concept for the artwork comes from somewhere other than packaging. I’ve started working on that recently, I’ve been lowering the number of projects that I take on, because I don’t want to become a market-flooding-ubiquitous -album-cover-artist.
Depending on labels release schedules, even if I try to space all of my projects out, sometimes three albums will come out the same month that will have a cover I have done. It’s not as if my work is incredibly dissimilar one piece to another; its all very recognizably mine. I know as a fan I will gripe about it whenever somebody seems to be ”too visible”, devaluing the individual pieces that they are doing. In light of all of this I have made an effort over the past two or three years to work with bands I am familiar with and pare back the overall output. I’ve also been quite busy with music.
It’s not like there aren’t good new bands starting; I just have limited time. I could spend all year just doing visual art and the same is with music. It’s become a difficult balancing act… For which I’m very fortunate! I am, however, an avid listener, and I’m always trying to find some great new artists to work with, as contradictory as that sounds.
Michael: Would you say you split the time you work on the visual arts and the time you work on Baroness, or do they sometimes have to happen in tandem with one another?
JDB: It would be probably be really nice if I could dedicate myself to split my time up evenly, but that’s almost impossible for me at the moment. The fact of the matter is that the average life span of a band is much shorter than that of an artist. Music is working well for me right now; it’s giving me what I need at this point in my life, and so I would say for the moment that it has become more of a priority. I realize that at some point the band won’t be there. I could become too old to play, or the well- spring of creativity will dry out more quickly than it will as a visual artist. On the other hand, I can’t stop making the art that I make, it’s important to me and to my sanity.
We schedule the band first, and we’re not active every week of the year, so whatever spaces open up I just schedule for art. It does sort of work out to be a nice balance, nearly 50/50. Sometimes there is scheduling cross-over, sometimes I have to make art projects on the road, or make sacrifices in order to meet a deadline.
I feel like I’ve gotten to the point where when I get tired of making art I can make a smooth transition into making music and vice versa. There is always something to do.
Michael: You mentioned you sometimes have to work on art on the road. Does the process become more limited in that scenario, for instance can you only work on drawings instead of paintings?
JDB: We were just in Australia for a couple weeks touring, I took a condensed but complete set up. I took pens, paints, paintbrushes, pencils, and paper, everything I would normally use. I spent a good deal of time in hotel rooms and in the back of clubs, working.
It’s definitely not the optimal environment to work, but sometimes you’ve simply got to get something done. I tend to overextend myself without really thinking through the realities of completing so many projects in a year, which generally means I’m going to be a little bit behind. I suppose that’s the nature of the beast.
Michael: So the road doesn’t stop you…
JDB: As long as the tour can support that. There are some tours where the entire day is spent working on tour-related issues. Some are easier and have more down time, and those are the ones where I can get artwork finished.
It drives me insane; it’s really draining to do both at once, so I try not to when possible. I do need to sleep at some point right?
Michael: What influences in your artwork? I do sense an Art Nouveau angle, mixed with heavy metal / hardcore punk art like Pushead, but you have a certain romance to your work with your use of female figures.
JDB: As I stated before, when I was young I was given a fairly comprehensive art history background. Both my parents, my mother especially, gave me that exposure. I was in museums frequently, and was exposed to the great masters from the Italian Renaissance, the Impressionists and the Northern Europeans like Caravaggio, DaVinci, Monet, Degas, Rembrandt, Bruegel, etc.
As a teen when I got into punk and metal and saw those record covers that changed me, Metallica, all the Black Flag records, that became my initial exposure to the importance of album art. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve gained a broader variety of influences from other album artists, especially those from the 70’s. For example I’m a huge Roger Dean fan, very much into his Hipgnosis and especially Storm Thorgersonalbum covers. I have a preference for 12”x12” vinyl layouts, so I try to refer to those artists a lot.
The classical elements I spoke about before, work for compositions, referring to those old master paintings. The Art Nouveau thing works very well for album covers, those bold lines and bright, but not comic-book-like colors, allows the imagery to be graphic, colorful, and expressive all at the same time.
There also is a little bit of a comic book reference to my work as well, and occasional pop-culture references. I do like to add a bit of classicism and romanticism to the artwork that I do. It’s always about my particular visual vocabulary; I think asalbum artists we all use certain elements unique to ourselves, and I feel in some way we try to keep our lexicon limited in order to be recognizable as an artist, allowing us to get our message across over the course of different records by different bands.
Each band has it’s own musical language that you have to pay respect to, but what I like to do is then take those things that are direct, immediate, and obvious. I‘ll start with the obvious imagery and themes and work backwards, utilizing my style and technique along with less-obvious references: icons and metaphors from old stories, a lot of Greek/Roman mythology (if the project I feel demands it). Of course there is a lot of pseudo/quasi religious stuff in there from the types of images that I make, they require a very specific sort of imagery.
It’s my intention to make something stand outside the realm of album art, but it also feels comfortable to me to be in it. It’s tricky and definitely a requires striking a delicate balance. I take myself seriously and want my image to me more than just something aesthetically suited towards selling records. I find the most intriguing covers those that least heavy-handedly refer to the direct album concept or title. In fact, many musicians are the happiest when the artist and audience re-interpret or re-imagine the content of the songs. Drawing from art history and mythology allows me to connect with viewers in a familiar, yet loose visual framework. Blending disparate histories and themes can give the overall presentation a recognizable, yet unique flavor.
Michael: When you work on album artwork, do you work together with the artist/band or is it more or less give me the record and I’ll listen to it and give you my interpretation?
JDB: I’ve learned over the years how important it is to be really up front with bands that I work with. When I first talk with bands the set-up usually goes like this: “I want to do this album, I will put 100% of myself into it, my aim is to make this the best album cover that you have, but I can’t take art direction.” It’s just not who I am, or how I work. I have no problem if a band moves on to somebody else because of that stance. If they want to have more influence that’s perfectly fine, I respect a band being in total control of their visual identity. Similarly, I know how important it is for me to adhere to my method. I’d rather not waste everyone’s time getting bogged down in a situation I know to be artistically harmful.
It can be difficult to mediate a compromise between what I have in my head and what the musician has in mind, which is often 180° different when it comes to the finished product, so it requires that element of trust from somewhere. The point I make to them is “You’ve seen what I do, so just trust me and we will come up with something exciting.”
Michael: Referring back again to you working with similar bands over the years, that trust is already there.
JDB: The times I run into problems are when the musicians get stuck on those very little details that to me, as a visual artist, are inconsequential. Sometimes they want something like a portrait and they are unhappy with their likeness, or they want less red or less blue, those elements don’t really cut to the core of what we’re trying to achieve. That’s the kind of criticism I struggle with, in order to give the collaborator a finished product that I’m proud of.
Michael: What is your typical process like when it comes to image creation?
JDB: The first thing I do is research, as I talked about before, most of my work wants to have an outside reference point to it, so whenever possible I get the music or the demos from somebody first and then get the artist’s interpretation of what it’s about. Then I try to figure out what effect the music has on me, and try to find some old story, maybe from mythology or from religious or historical text, something that I feel can work in conjunction with what I think the album is about. From that literary standpoint I can then start to develop a set of images, subvert things, twist them around, use them in an obvious or a figurative way, all to help get my point across. After all that prep work I start sketching.
I draw everything from life, so I’ve got to find models and go out and take pictures, set up lights, all that sort of stuff. I work a sketch until its finished and I show the band that sketch and say “Now is the only opportunity you have to weigh in on anything, if this isn’t working for you I have to start from scratch.” The main reason for that final warning is that I work in permanent watercolors and inks. It’s not like oils or acrylics where you can paint over things; once it’s there it’s there. So the whole set up for the band is “This is how I see it going, it’s going to change, it’s going to grow into something totally different once the color and the line weight is put in, but if your cool with this sketch I’ll get going and show it to you when it’s all done.”
After that nobody hears from me in a month, and then, “here is your album cover I hope you like it.”
Michael: With your visual artwork, are you trying to work on one piece at a time or are you doing projects in tandem?
JDB: I usually work on one thing at a time. I get pretty immersive in the process.
Michael: You also seem to do a fair amount of screen print work that seems based mostly off your paintings. Do you ever do screen print work that is planed form the start to be a print?
JDB: Yeah, the screen print thing is nice because one of my goals, from the get go really, was to make things that were worthy of collecting but not prohibitively expensive.
I don’t actually silk-screen them, I work with my friends at BRLSQ of North America who do that. For the longest time though the only place where you could get my work was at a Baroness show, which for me was really important, to have that kind of connection with the people who understand the sense of community in the little realm of the music industry that I’m a part of.
Since then I’ve outgrown that because of a larger demand than I could satisfy by hand-to-hand art sales, so I’ve taken on bigger silk-screeners, and its not because I love silk-screen, I just want to make things that people will display that don’t have to be super expensive.
It’s been fun to continually have some prints going on and things like that; it’s just not my primary goal. It’s what people like, and it’s a great way to get the work out there.
Michael: It could be my bias as a printmaker, but I feel it’s a great medium for the metal/punk community. While some of us are doing well financially, the majority of the culture is working class, so having that accessible art is extremely important.
JDB: When I was younger I was impressed when I could actually get my hands on something that I wanted. It’s important for me to have different tiers of value for the art. Some of the silk-screens are really affordable, but I do have some high-end silk-screens that are several color layers and a little more expensive, and then I have the paintings that can get way up there.
Michael: I’d be remiss not to discuss this a little bit, but after the accident that Baroness was involved in during 2012 a lot of reports focused on your recovery to playing guitar. I was wondering if you were still able to work on visual art during your recovery?
JDB: For the first eight months of recovery I couldn’t do anything, I was just in too much pain, too bent out of shape, and just too broken to make anything. Once the acute/extreme stuff had healed or at least scar over, I found it pretty easy to pick up a pencil again and start working.
I was fortunate that the side of me that was destroyed was my left side, and I’m a righty, so that was working perfectly by the time that I needed it to. Guitar was more difficult though, because I needed both hands to do that.
I think the first thing I did after it was the Kvelertak ”Meir” album cover. That was a big piece, lot of paint, lot of stippling. It was nice to get back into making artwork with a band I have a good relationship with, and to work on an album I knew a lot of people would dig.
Michael: Did you find it even more therapeutic than before, seeing as it was a part of your recovery in a way?
JDB: It had always been very therapeutic before the accident, but afterwards even more so. I would say that I have a high level of gratitude to still have the ability to create art. It was very nearly not the case, and I don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about how lucky I am to have survived, but I did, and I’ve got both arms still firmly attached.
There is an elevated sense of gratitude for that, its good.
Michael: You’ve done a lot of work in the metal scene and a little bit outside of it. Is their any artists you look at today that you would like to work with in the future?
JDB: Yeah, there are plenty of them. The thing is, I don’t want to mention any of them. I will stop making album art when there aren’t goals to me, or bands that I have yet to work with that I find important and they are still around. That’s in part what keeps me involved, I recognize that no matter how old I get, how many records I’ve done, or what the public perception of me is, there are still exciting things that I haven’t done. As long as that’s the case I will keep doing this.
Michael: What projects are you working on currently? I noticed your doing something with Coliseum.
JDB: I just did a re-boot of their self titled first record. Personally that was a fun project to work on. In fact, I remember back in the day when Baroness was coming up with Coliseum playing the first show they ever did. Ryan (Guitarist and Vocalist of Coliseum) and I have had that close relationship for many years. That makes it not just a passion project for me, but something that I can put a lot of history and a lot of weight behind.
Right now I’m finishing up something with Black Tusk that will be coming out on 7”, I got some big prints that are coming down the pipeline, and I’ve done some work on the new Baroness album.
Baroness records tend to be big, hundreds of hours, lots of research, development, and attention to detail. When I’m done with all those things I just don’t want to be seen for a week.
Michael: For sure, because it’s your representation on both ends, you got the full package on your plate.
JDB: It’s masochistic! I know it’s going to punish me and run me through the ringer. That’s the feeling I always get before getting into these things. I think it’s why I keep doing them, that demand of so much attention. The concept has to be strong, the heart, soul, and expression has to be strong, the presentation has to be strong, the music has to be awesome, the lyrics have to be good. It’s a total beast.
Michael: What advice would you give to younger people coming up in the art world that would like to do artwork for bands?
JDB: It’s the same advice I’ve given for years. If what you want to do is make artwork for bands, you have to love doing it because there is almost no money in it. In order to start doing it, you just have to put yourself out there, work for bands you love and for as little as possible to start, if not free, that’s what I did for years. Give your stuff away and if it’s good, people will come to you.
Do the work, and always ask yourself why, ask yourself what its about, be able to answer the questions other people will have about your work. Don’t try to make some overly pretentious statement, be direct and make your own shit. The important thing isn’t that your technically great, I think it’s the power of your expression. Speak with your own voice and be as unique as you possibly can.
This is a creative field and it’s all subjective, not everybody is going to love what you do, but you have to be yourself, that’s what’s most important. Bring it as hard as you can.
Here are a couple of images he did more recently.
Check more John Dyer Baizley’s work at www.aperfectmonster.com
Check out Michael Weigman’s work at www.michaelweigman.com
Interview by Johan Kugelberg, The Velvet Underground:New York Art, 2009.
Maureen Tucker had a front row seat to punk rock history being conceived before her very eyes. An average high school girl from Levittown, Long Island, her life was saved by rock ‘n’ roll when she heard the Rolling Stones on the car radio. From the Velvet Underground to Andy Warhol to Nico, Moe was there—making history herself as the first female drummer in one of the most revolutionary bands of all time. With Lou Reed by her side, they both share precious memories and a very sincere mutual admiration in this interview I chose amongst many others for its sheer authenticity and simplicity.
Lou Reed: I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone go through so much trouble for a book about the Velvet Underground. Maureen , have you seen it?
Maureen Tucker: Yes! I have in front of me!
Lou : Is it a little goldmine of information, tell me?
Moe: Yeah! While I’m thinking about it, It says in it that you and Sterl’ you played together for the first time in 1963-1964 . I think it was earlier than that?
Lou: I got my diploma in ’64.
Moe: Yes, and that’s where you met each other, you and Jim, my big brother, you both went to Syracuse in ’60 . Sterling was there too and you met him roughly a year after, maybe 2 years.
Lou: Yeah, because he lived with Jim!
Johan Kugelberg: Lou, is it true that the first song you ever played was ”It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” from Ike and Tina Turner?
Lou: I don’t know exactly, but it seems to be something we might have done. Many people think that Ike Turner was the first rock guitarist, so it’d be perfectly logical. But you know, me and Sterl ‘ simply adored this song! In fact I do not know anyone who didn’t like it. I’m pretty sure Maureen also loved it.
Johan: How did you discovered all those unbridled rock’n’roll albums that you were listening to before forming the band?
Lou: Well, I don’t know about Moe but in my case it was the radio, the radio or albums I heard because other people had them and were listening to them.
Moe: Yes it was on the radio as well, I lived in Levittown and there was not many … well, in fact, there was no record store apart of the supermarket, but they didn’t have anything interesting. Lou had a great collection of 45s! You remember Lou?
Lou: I remember, yes, I wonder what became of them……
Moe: The burglary on Grand Street! Don’t you remember?
Moe: Damn that was a blow!
Lou: You mean when we lost everything during our first concert at the Dom? While we were playing..
Moe: When the apartment was broken into and someone stole almost all of your 45s.
Lou: The first night we played there, someone knew there would not be anyone in the apartment because we finally had a job and they took everything we had.
Lou: Well, it’s not like we had a job we were getting paid for, but we were performing in an official way. And when we got back, there was nothing. I had ”Stay With Me Baby” by Lorraine Ellison and I had to go up to Harlem to find it because back then, no record shop in the center had that kind of stuff. At the time, John Cale and I were playing as streets musicians in Harlem. It’s amazing enough to imagine myself with my guitar and Cale with his viola da gamba, on 125th Street or St-Nicholas Avenue, or whatnot. God!! For my birthday Moe ”Bill” Bentley had given me the 45 original tower ”Outcast” by Eddie and Ernie.
Moe: Oh my God! It’s true!! Wow!!!
Lou: Yes, and it seems that they were from LA.
Lou: I don’t know which one was first but it probably had a huge influence on Sam & Dave. It came straight out from Eddie and Ernie’ world, who were pioneers, they were the first!
Moe: Yes, Yes! You still have it ??
Lou: Nah! Someone Somewhere, I dunno who, has in his stuff a sacred value.
Johan: There is indeed a little touch of Velvet Underground on that record from Eddie and Ernie. One can only guess to what extend you were immersed in the craziest of black music from the 50’s and early 60’s.
Lou: I personally think that you can take any Velvet track and if you scratch the surface a bit you will find blues and rhythm’n’blues, What do you think Moe?
Lou: Is this Maureen coughing ?
Lou: Well then give her a cigarette! Someone!
Moe: (Both laughing) Will you stop it?!! You’re making fun of me ‘cuz you stopped!?
Lou: I’m not making fun of you! I most sincerely empathize with you!
Lou: But yes, I stopped.
Moe: That’s good. You’re a good boy.
Lou: I wouldn’t go so far as to say that! I envy smokers every God-given day!
Moe: Did you ever play at Cafe Wha?
Moe: Was it not at Cafe Wha when Dick Gregory or was it…. a charity concert… or something like that? It Was Dick Gregory who had organized it all and they told we sounded like shit or something like that?
Lou: WOW!! But how can you remember that?
Moe: I believe that’s the day Dick Gregory said you weren’t worth shit, it was for the April Fool’s Dance and Models Balls with THE FUGZ at the Village Gate in 1956.
Lou: Wow! Yeah, that’s it! We are so shitty Allen Ginsberg himself came to dance around us with cymbals and all!!
Johan:Was it very frustrating for you that the album took so much time for it to be available?
Moe: It broke our heart! It was because if I understand … in fact there are 2 explanations, it depends on who you’re talking to but there is a version in which some Eric Emerson guy was on the photo at the back of the album and he wanted us to pay him 10 000$. So they erased it, and you will see when the album came out, it was no longer in the picture, though on other albums I’ve seen later on there he is again. The other one is that it took a year to find something ”Andy’s banana”.
Johan: We managed to get ahold of a Craig Brown. He was the person in charge of printing those album covers and he told us that it was a real nightmare having to paste the sticker with the banana on the cover of the album and that they had to rent a special customized machine to do it. It was very hard for them to put the bananas where they belonged.
Lou: It’s very funny, see, nowadays, of course, nobody makes bananas we can peel off, so it had to be to be some real technical feat back then!
Johan: Absolutely! It also was a huge cost for the record company!
Lou: Well, we never got anything from it anyway so I’m glad that at least it COST them something. (whom has rifled through the book) Ha! This is going to be a very expensive book!!!! You saw that Moe!! We’re going to be one of those huge coffee-table book filled with huge pictures!
Johan: I hope people will realize that this is the first time we do a huge artist monograph for a rock band, you even can put it next to a book on Marcel Duchamp or Magritte. The idea is to consider a rock band as an example of Great Art from the twentieth century as well as New York Art, because this exactly is how many people see you.
Lou: This wouldn’t hurt ..Right Maureen?
Moe: Yeah! That would be great! It would be fantastic!!!
Lou: A little late…
Moe: (laughing) Yep! Right on time!
Johan: You’ve both been active musicians and artists over the years ever since the time of the Velvet Underground, do you think, looking back, do you consider the V.U. as your debut as musicians?
Moe: No I don’t. I’ve never seen it that way. My debut… I can’t explain why, but no, it just never even occurred to me to see things under that light.
Lou: Well, quite often, in fact, as soon as I left New York! (laughs). Especially in Europe, much more in Europe than here. I think it’s always been the case for almost all types of music, such as jazz for example, that’s for sure. Europeans are simply more receptive to different stuff. I don’t know why. I’ve thought about it a lot and asked myself many questions…
John: I’ve always thought we could compare the way in which the Velvet was received, to the way we treated Ornette Coleman or Albert Ayler in the 60s. Back then, they mostly played in France or Scandinavia.
Lou: Yeah, fortunately things have changed. Today Ornette has the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, and there’s the Lincoln Center Festival.
Johan: But it has been slow, it is still a common point. You were so ahead of your time it took a while before all these institutions finally wake up.
Moe: Yeah that’s great!
Lou: Yeah it’s been a good thing. It made me truly happy. I think that there should be a wing for the Velvet Underground, known as the ”Velvet Underground University” for those of us who are intellectuals. Personally, I would have liked for all of us, including Sterl’, to keep on doing small experiments. Nobody, no one among us could do alone anything that even comes close to what the Velvet Underground are like.
Moe: Yeah. That is true.
Lou: When you find other musicians and you feel there’s something going on, that something’s really happening, I miss that feeling tremendously.
Johan: I played a guitar solo that you did on ”What Goes On” for a friend of mine who was a jazz guitarist throughout his life and the first thing he said was it sounded like it was Albert Ayler playing guitar.
Lou: Now that was a very nice to say. I take it as a really great compliment.
Johan: And right away, I asked myself : Wow! Were you seeing your guitar solos as some kind of free jazz at the time but…heavier?
Lou: Absolutely! It goes without saying. That’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life! That’s what I was intending to do back then, I’m still doing it today and will always continue to do so . It’s exactly what I have in mind; Albert Ayler, Johan Griffin, they’re fantastic but to be honest it’s mostly Ornette and Don. Period. I always thought that the sound of distorted guitars felt like a sax solo. I could play pieces for brass you know. It was more or less the idea. What I liked is that the note was sustained. I could take a note then modulate it to catch the next or make it an acute and sharp sound and if I could do that, then I could pretend to be Ornette and keep on going. Even today you know, I can sing solos of Ornette such as ”Ramblin’ ” from ”Change of the Century”. That’s the perfect example of Ornette playing the rhythm’n’blues. I learned from the best.
Johan: You also liked this rhythm’ blues’ way of playing the sax that we would hear back then.
Lou: A lot. Very much. Like that sax player character, you know …Mr Lee, Lee Allen …I loved all the Little Richard albums in which he did all these solos. Even today I am in awe of these solos. But this is not what I wanted to do! I wanted to do Ornette! I wanted to do Albert Ayler. That’s what I wanted to I do using all these rhythm ‘blues’ arrangements . It was misleading because we have could have gone right pass next without even realising they are these small rhythm ‘blues’ arrangements but it don’t care..
Johan: You were completely successful and everybody has been trying to catch up to you for 40 years!
Lou: You know Maureen has almost invented all alone the fact of playing the drums standing. A real African drum girl. Still no drummer in the world knows how she does it. Maureen is very talented, and I think it is invariably underestimated by people. They do not understand everything else this way of playing has brought ! But her fellow musicians know! I think they should make a coin bearing the likeness of Maureen or something like that. This way of playing creates its own kind of rhythm and we didn’t even recognize her the credit when it is actually being reused by absolutely everyone, especially the younger bands. When I was at South by Southwest, I saw so many groups which played standing EXACTLY like Moe.
Lou: Absolutely! I imagined you being there and seeing that, roaring with laughter, because it was so cool It was absolutely your style, the way you play drums.
Moe: I’m stoked !!
Lou: And they darn well know where it’s coming from I’m telling you, they know it and they pay you homage! You can hear it non-stop,constantly. It’s a very particular rhythm and she, for certain, is the one who invented it, and she found it thanks to her and all those good things she listened to and I think we do not give her all the credit she totally deserves..
Moe: That’s very nice of you to say so honey!
Lou: I really do mean it. I listen to people all day and I can’t find a single person that is able to play the way you do.
Moe: I understand.
Lou: It’s just impossible!
Moe: I see what you mean..
Lou: It’s impossible, it’s downright impossible, and once we understand the fact that this is impossible, we understand why some other things are impossible too.
Moe: What makes me very happy in what you’re saying is that now I can be 100% sure you loved the way I was playing and what I was doing back then.
Lou: But how could you even doubt it???
Moe: Well, I never thought you hated it!! It’s just … It makes me so very happy that you thought it was real good.
Lou: Sometimes I happened to put on a Velvet Underground album and say: ”Now, listen very well to what she does, and how she plays ” But people can listen for hours without hearing it. Some people just don’t get it.
Moe: You know, what I was doing … the drummer, Orville..I don’t know if you remember this guy from my band? That’s the only person I’ve ever met who… I took his cymbals away so he wasn’t able to reach/play them.
Lou: You know in these parts of those electronic beat box that we hear today, if you listen well, the first thing that we get rid of are the cymbals. This way, we get rid of that line of barbaric drumming that’s always been played the same way everyone has always been playing them since the beginning… and for one reason or another … I mean I’ve had very good drummers whom I tied one arm behind their back to prevent them from playing this way!
Lou: And when I took their hi-hat they would get very angry and fly into a rage!
Lou: You know there are drummers that are very good at what they do but that should be told: ”Do not play the hi-hat, ever, ever, it is prohibited, it does not exist anymore, it’s just over!”
Moe: Yeah, eight or ten years ago, a friend of mine sent me a compilation he had done when I was about to make this girlie band-like album, you know and there were, oh there must have been 30 songs of girls band he had put in the comp so that I could reflect and see if there was anything I wanted to play and there were plenty that I had never heard and some that, of course, I had already heard and loved and after going through half of the tape or maybe more I’ve realized that I had not heard a single cymbal! It was like a revelation !! Holy shit!! I was right!!!!
Lou: You bet! And you know it eventually got to the point where you didn’t need them at all!
Lou: And it liberates the rhythm!
Moe: Yeah! That’s exactly how I see it. I always had the feeling that the cymbals were too much, like a nuisance. Drummers hit on them every opportunity they get and in a 3-minutes song, it can be done 3000 times!
Lou: Yeah they also blast over the sound of the guitar and there’s no good reason for them to be. It’s not the kind of music we want to play, we don’t need that.
Lou: There are lots of things we can do instead. But you know, to find a drummer who understands that is very, very difficult
Johan: Well, Now we will give Moe all the honors she deserves in our book through your own words. Have you ever played a duo? Just the two of you, guitar and drum?
Moe: Hum No
Lou: Maybe we should. I think it is important to say that Maureen has created a certain way of playing drums that should be called the Maureen Tucker Style. Understand? It didn’t go unnoticed amongst other musicians, they realised what she had accomplished and they are right for it.A friend of mine who happens to be a producer once told me: ”Listen to this beat. You know you should do your own album because you see, it’s you guys who have invented this kind of beat, and you should really do it because everyone is doing the same thing now.” And he made me listen to a load of albums and yes, we could hear it everywhere, the beat from ”I’m waiting for the Man”, basically.
Lou: BAM BAM BAM BAM!… This one. You know you’ve got to have muscles to play it, if you are too weak, you’ll just crumble down…
Moe: (Laughs gently)
Lou: Either way, I’m Lou Reed, President of the Society of Maureen Tucker’s Admirers.
Moe: You’re too cute!
Lou: Yes, my little bunny!
To end this well, I thought of posting a clip of After Hours, a song Lou wrote in 1969 especially for Maureen because as Lou stated himself, the song was “so innocent and pure” that he could not possibly sing it himself. She couldn’t do it at first in the studio with all the other bands member there, joking around. They had to evacuate everyone from the studio, except Lou who helped her to get it right. Tucker’s vocals are accompanied by acoustic and bass guitar. The style of the lyrics and the music is somewhat reminiscent of Tin Pan Alley songs of the 1930s. It is the tenth and final track on their 1969 self-titled album.
- From the NYPL LIVE/THE VELVET UNDERGROUND with Lou Reed, Maureen “Moe” Tucker, Doug Yule, and David Fricke (December 8, 2009)
- Vice/Moe Tucker Snapshots of the Velvet Underground by Legs McNeil
- Modern Drummer/Drumming With the Velvet Underground, Part 2: Maureen Tucker by Adam Budofsky (July 19, 2005)
- Modern Drummer/Drumming With the Velvet Underground, Part 1: Billy Yule by Adam Budofsky (May 19, 2005)
- Riverfront Times/Interview: Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground Sets the Record Straight by Mike Appelstein (Oct 18/ 2010)
- The Velvet Underground Live Performances and rehearsals 1965-66
Godfather of Beat Generation Posthumously Drops ”Naked Lunch” Wildest, Dirtiest, Most Shocking Parts on New Psychedelic Spoken Album!
Khannibalism and Ernest Jennings Record Company have just announced the release date for a highly-anticipated album, called Let Me Hang You, featuring the late Beat generation artist and legendary postmodern author William S. Burroughs in a never-before-heard series of recordings, reading aloud from his seminal novel Naked Lunch with the accompaniment of King Khan and other acclaimed musicians.
Near the end of his life, William S. Burroughs was recorded reading some of the most shocking sections of “Naked Lunch,” his 1959 fever dream of a novel, which follows the descent of a drug addict into the underworld, for a release that paired the passages with experimental music.
The world may not yet have been ready for such an experience.
“The project got buried and put out of print very quickly,” said the producer Hal Willner, a longtime Burroughs associate who helped record that abridged audiobook, which was released by Warner Bros. (and pops up now and again on eBay).
57 years after the publication of William S. Burroughs’ seminal novel and 19 years after the death in 1997 of the legendary writer at the respectable age of 83, those surreal recordings — which featured music from the guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, along with the pianist Wayne Horvitz and the violist Eyvind Kang — are getting a second life as an album with an assist from the independent musician King Khan, best known for his raucous live shows as an eccentric punk and soul frontman. Billed as psychedelic spoken word, “Let Me Hang You” (Khannibalism/Ernest Jenning Record Co.) will be released on July 15 via King Khan’s new label, with updated ambient accompaniment for the author.
Described as “a collection of depraved genius straight from the godfather of punk’s very own mouth,” – think sex, drugs and defecation — in pop-song-length chunks across 13 tracks, using a variety of amusing voices and a lot of foul language. The focus was sections of the novel “that we found very funny in an outrageous way,” Mr. Willner, 60, said. fans of Kerouac, Ginsberg and other writers of the ‘50s anti-establishment era will no doubt embrace this revival of Burroughs’ most famous and controversial work, now modernized and given additional edge.
The producer revived the recordings that became “Let Me Hang You” — which the album’s liner notes describe as being “abandoned and collecting dust on a musty shelf as forgotten as a piece of rancid ectoplasm on a peep show floor” — recently with Mr. Khan in mind as the composer who could finish the job.
Mr. Khan, who was born Arish Ahmad Khan to Indian parents in Montreal and is now based in Berlin, said he had first discovered “Naked Lunch” as a teenager, around the time his father became addicted to cocaine. “Reading ‘Naked Lunch’ gave me a completely different view into addiction that made me sympathize with my father’s situation and helped me cope,” he said. “It made a mutation in my mind and left an ooze in my brain that I still go to for inspiration even 30 years later.”
After the 2013 death of Lou Reed, whose collaborations with Mr. Willner and artistic support of Mr. Khan brought them all together, the remaining pair found some solace in collaborating on what Mr. Khan called the “dissident art” of Burroughs, who “broke all these boundaries of sexuality and narrative, paving the way for the birth of punk.”
With contributions from the Australian garage-punk band Frowning Clouds and the vocalist and composer M. Lamar, Mr. Khan added to the work of Mr. Frisell in an attempt to heighten the unsettling mood of Burroughs’s narration. “I was making a lot of strange music, so it was perfect timing,” he said.
The writing in “Naked Lunch” “is really heavy and perverse at a time when society needs to be reminded that you can explore these nether regions of life and bring back something really beautiful,” Mr. Khan said.
On top of that, he added, “It’s hilarious.”
Let Me Hang You is scheduled for release on July 15 and is now available in vinyl, CD, and digital format. For pre-order here. For full details surrounding the album’s inception, click here and take a look at the track listing below:
Let Me Hang You tracklist:
1. The Exterminator
2. Manhattan Serenade
4. This You Gotta Hear
5. Disciplinary Procedure
6. The Afterbirth Tycoon
7. Leif The Unlucky
8. Let Me Hang You
9. Islam Inc.
10. The Queen Bee
11. Clem Snide
12. Gentle Reader
Top image by Orticanoodles
CBGB’s House photographer
David Godlis was eyewitness to the 1970s New York punk scene. Here’s a very small sample of what you can find i his photo souvenir book on the CBGB with an intro by Jim Jarmusch who just did a documentary about The Stooges ”Gimme Danger”.
10 Ramones Clips You Need To Watch!
“When you boo the Ramones, you are booing rock’n’roll”; So said Supersuckers’ frontman Eddie Spaghetti. They could be the truest words ever uttered. Tommy Ramone, who died Friday on July 11th 2014 at the age of 65, was the band’s first official drummer and the cool, streetwise rogue in the shrunken black T-shirt and oversized shades staring out from the cover of that 29-minute-sprint-to-the-finish first album. An original member of the band, Tommy’s tenure in the group would last until 1978. During that time he played on
arguably their three greatest records (Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket To Russia), co-producing each and underpinning the songs with a high-energy, no-frills style that combined with Johnny Ramone’s buzzsaw guitar to propel their music to thrillingly unhinged heights. And if proof were needed of the NY punk icons’ foundation status in rock’s edifice, one need only survey the video evidence corralled below. Strap yourself in, and prepare to break the sound barrier with the Ramones Mark I at their very, very best.
Controversial Magazine of the 60s Now Online!
It was 1967: birth of the Summer of Love as well as a magazine that would become the icon – and the enfant terrible – of the underground press. Produced in a basement flat off Notting Hill Gate, Oz was soon renowned for psychedelic covers by pop artist Martin Sharp, cartoons by Robert Crumb, radical feminist manifestos by Germaine Greer, and anything else that would send the establishment apoplectic. By August 1971, it had been the subject of the longest obscenity trial in British history. It doesn’t get more 60s than that.
Until now, Oz’s kaleidoscopic history – 48 issues and who knows how many police raids – has remained just that: the stuff of 60s nostalgia and accounts of a decade we never tire of remembering. Back copies remain rare, both of the British version and the original Australian edition launched by Richard Neville in Sydney in 1963. I spotted a copy of issue six of Oz London (containing features on John Peel, Greek prisons, and RD Laing) going on eBay for £100, despite being “slightly dog-eared, with hippy candle wax on the cover”.
Now anyone can flick through a virtual copy of the magazine that wrote the decade. The University of Wollongong, after releasing the digital archive of Oz Sydney two years ago, has followed up by making every issue of Oz London available. In true hippy spirit, it’s free. “No one else was doing it,” Michael Organ, a library manager at the university, says. “Oz was one of the leading magazines of the underground press. Fifty years later, it’s important as a capsule of the times, but also as a work of art.”
The archive has been made available “for historical and research importance”. And, presumably, for anyone who wants to have a nosy at the infamous Schoolkids issue, which was edited by 20 teenagers and features a Rupert Bear montage that resulted in Oz’s editors – Neville, Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis – being charged with “conspiracy to corrupt public morals”. The six-week trial became the biggest culture war of the time. “The 60s probably ended with the Oz trial,” says Anderson, then Oz’s art director. “Ted Heath had come in. We’d gone through 1968 in Paris, the death of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy.” All of which is contained in the colourful pages of the magazine (colourful apart from when they were broke and had to publish in black and white). “To see it online from beginning to end is to see everything the 60s produced – gay liberation, feminism, sex, the pill, acid, rock music, Vietnam,” Anderson says. “Everything the establishment hated was in Oz.”
As Organ puts it: “Oz is a record of the cultural revolution. Many of the issues it raised, such as the environment, sexuality and drug use, are no longer contentious. In fact, they have now become mainstream.”
After the trial (the sentences of up to 15 months’ imprisonment were quashed on appeal), sales hit 100,000, the magazine moved to swanky offices off Tottenham Court Road and Anderson became disillusioned. “Oz lost its revolutionary feel,” he says. “It became a bit upmarket.” And how does he feel now it’s back again for a new generation? “It’s absolutely wonderful,” he enthuses. “It’s good to have it out there in all its glory.”
View the archive at ro.uow.edu.au/ozlondon
Next Week… PUFF THE MAGIC DRAGON!!!
The two books go well together, giving a representative look at the intersection of music, art, scene-making, fashion, hustling, and hanging out that made the early New York City punk scene so indelible.
Vintage Photos of New York City’s 1970s Punk Playground
Two notable recent books from Glitterati Incorporated take readers deep into New York City’s 1970s punk underground. Playground: Growing Up In the New York Underground by Paul Zone, with Jake Austin (of Roctober fame!), features photos and firsthand accounts from a foot soldier in the rock and roll wars waged in the city’s now infamous clubs, including Max’s Kansas City and CBGB. White Trash Uncut, meanwhile, comes out of Andy Warhol’s factory scene and, as you might expect, takes an artier look at the New York scene.
Given that my tastes tend more towards the Ramones/Dead Boys/Dictators and less Warhol/Waters, Playground hits a real sweet spot. Zone’s photos pull back the curtain on that time and place in a way few other books on the ’70s NYC scene have done. Being in a band at the time (The Fast), Zone was in the thick of it from the beginning. Sure, you get plenty of (mediocre) performance photos. But that isn’t why you’re here. Where Playground shines is in its casual photos of friends—famous and not—behind-the-scenes, after hours and off guard, almost 240 pages of them. It also brings Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain’s awesome oral history of the early New York punk scene, Please Kill Me, to life. It’s a perfect companion.
With the recent passing of Tommy Erdelyi/Ramone, Playground is particularly timely. It’s an exciting visual romp through a unique period in the history of rock and roll. Looking through the photos, it’s hard not to notice how many of the people featured have died, many way before their prime: drugs (too many to list), AIDS (which also took Zone’s brother, Miki), cancer (three of the original Ramones) and weird car crashes (Stiv Bators). How the hell are all the Stones still alive and the Ramones all dead? Here are some samples from that book:
CBGBS BLITZKRIEG BOP FEAT. RAMONES , DEBBY HARRY & DEAD BOYS
LONDON SCENE 1978
The Way They Were
Old Punk documentary from Granada TV on Channel 4. Features (in order):- Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, Buzzcocks, John Cooper Clarke, Iggy Pop, Wreckless Eric, Ian Dury, Penetration, Blondie, Fall, Jam, Jordan, Devo, Tom Robinson Band, Johnny Thunder, Elvis Costello, XTC, Jonathan Richman, Nick Lowe, Siouxie & the Banshees, Cherry Vanilla & Magazine….. The tape fails there! I have left the adverts in for historical reference – TSB, Once, Cluster, Coke is it, Roger Daltrey in American Express, Ulay, Swan, Our Price, Gastrils, Cluster & Prestige. All content remains the copyright of the current holders ~ I claim none.
The Punk Rock Movie
A revealing look into the bands comprising the 1978 London punk-rock scene, and a peek back-stage at the lives behind the facade. Includes performances by Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees and other concurrent bands.
Most of the bands were filmed at the Roxy club in London, where Don Letts worked as a DJ. Letts filmed the bands very simply with a Super-8 camera, and also filmed on the tour bus and at shows with The Clash and The Slits. The Sex Pistols were filmed at Screen on the Green in London on 3 April 1977, Sid Vicious’s first show with the band.
”I love to create worlds where the dark side of human nature is present. Life isn’t always good times. While in our youth we experience many things we would rather forget but this is what defines us. That’s why my characters have an adolescent quality to them. I’ve been very fortunate in experiencing and hearing many great stories in my life which now find their way into my paintings.”
Visit BOB DOB.Com for much. much more!
The Horror…The Sacrifice…The Emptiness…
Each time I see or hear about the tragic death of a young talented musician, actor, performer or artist, it reminds me of the cinematographic adaptation by Fellini of a short story by American author Edgar A. Poe, first published in 1841 ”Never Bet The Devil your Head–A Tale with a Moral” that is precisely about the sacrifice of those stars that we so freely create now and then, those who made it far enough to see themselves exposed to a decaying life, falling apart into superficiality and eventually totally lose sight of everything that really matters… You see guys like Layne Staley and Kurt Cobain (both incidentally died on April the 5th) who were terrified, unable to cope anymore, feeling so alone and abandoned that they chose death. I won’t tell their kids or any kid at all that ”it’s better to burn out than to fade away” like it’s written to Boddha — Kurt ‘s childhood imaginary friend that later became his alter-ego — in Cobain’s suicide note. I know they will have to be either so pained by it all that they will chose to stay away from it all or either suffer more or less the same fate.As I was saying, I was talking about this Fellini’s movie called Toby Dammit, played here by Terence Stamp who gives an astonishing performance in this superb short from the collective ”Spirits of the Dead” (1968 – I was 1-year-old!) I never forgot that face, never will and I totally freaked out when I later learned that it was in fact THE DEVIL HIMSELF who was represented here! I had for sure seen it when I was young, I have no idea how old, but one thing is for sure, I never forgot it. It really haunted me; Fellini creates both haunting and magnificent visions based on our lives.. He resembles a child.. One second he can be so naive and full of a sense of amazement but in a flash you’ll be thrown in something very ”Tragédie Grecque” and he will bring you to a caricatured degree that is so satirical, surreal, maniacal and nightmarish that you will want to escape this bad dream where everyone looks and acts in such strange manners. Nope I never forgot it, I never could forget the first time I saw the devil’s face…
Here it is for you, the only horror movie Federico Fellini ever did, watch it here from Spirits of the Dead, TOBY DAMMIT!
Oh! Sweet Nuthin’!
Music/Lyrics: Lou Reed Original Album:Loaded/The Velvet Underground
“Oh! Sweet Nuthin‘” is the final song off of Loaded, the last real Velvet Underground album (1970). It tells the stories of the disaffected, the poor Jimmy Brown, the homeless and depressed Ginger Brown, his fellow street person Polly May, and poor Joanna Love who finds herself in an endless stream of failed relationships. Between that and the chorus of, “Oh, sweet nuthin’/She ain’t got nothing’ at all,” you’d think this was a miserable song, one to listen to when you’re looking for that last bit of motivation to slash your wrists. That would be the easy approach. Rather, “Oh! Sweet Nuthin‘” is incredibly life affirming, especially in the end section where drummer Doug Yule – filling in for Moe Tucker who was on maternity leave – suddenly kicks the whole jam into overdrive. The guitars soar and the drumming continues to pound and it builds until it finally resolves to a reprise of, “She ain’t got nothing at all,” which suddenly feels like a reward instead of a lament. Who says that you can’t make something out of nothing? –Mark Toscano, David Steinberg
I’m Sticking With You!
One of the first generally available Velvet Underground bootlegs was an EP released around 1976 that served up four songs cut during the bridges between the band’s second and third (“Temptation in Your Heart”) and third and fourth albums — “Foggy Notion,” “Ferryboat Bill,” and “I’m Sticking With You.” All offered very different views on the band, at a time when the plethora of studio outtakes and oddities that we know today had still to see the light of day. However, even in this company, the plaintively swinging “I’m Sticking With You” (“cos I’m made out of glue”) came as a major shock to anybody raised on the delights of “Sister Ray” and “Heroin.” A straightforward duet between Lou Reed and Maureen Tucker, “I’m Sticking With You” was as sweet and unaffected as any classic pop duo (Captain & Tennille would have killed for this song!), its lilting melody and gauchely realistic sentiments all the more touching for their simplicity. Tucker would subsequently re-record the song with Jonathan Richman; the Velvets’ own version, meanwhile, finally made its official debut on 1985’s VU compilation. –Dave Thompson
Warhol’s Screen Tests
Warhol directed over 400 screen tests, and they serve now and forever as a remarkable archive of the personalities of the New York art scene and the Factory. Artists, male and female prostitutes, art dealers, transexuals, collectors, critics, writers, musicians, lesbians, actors, poets, dandys, painters, sculptors, dancers, strippers, athletes, sinners and saints, servers and patrons are all very well represented, as are the celebrities of the ”Factory’s Studio System” themselves. Those series of portrait films were shot from 1964 to 1966 and each test was about four minutes long. Warhol would place his subject in front of a 16mm Bolex with instruction to face the camera until the film stopped. In many cases, Warhol would walk away from the subject as the film was shooting without any further instructions, giving them absolute freedom to be and to do whatever they wanted as long as they remained in the frame.
William Burroughs never sat for a screen test. Given the hype and excitement that surrounded Burroughs during his time in New York City in 1964/1965, this is somewhat surprising. At the time, Burroughs was an underground celebrity, a perfect subject for a screen test. Yet Burroughs and Warhol did not hit it off in the 1960s. Panna Grady, a rich heiress and a groupie of underground poets and writers, took Burroughs to meet Warhol for dinner. They went to a Chinese restaurant, where Burroughs was offended by the manners of those in Warhol’s entourage. Burroughs walked out.
The personalities of the two men were quite a bit different, as must have been obvious when they met. Warhol cultivated a camp and effeminate gay persona that was the polar opposite of Burroughs’ gun-toting machismo. Burroughs’ letters of the 1950s are filled with his dislike for swishes, so coming face-to-face with Warhol must have aroused some level of distaste. Creatively, however, the two had much in common. Before their ill-fated dinner, Warhol arrived at Burroughs’ loft with a bag of tape-recording equipment. Surely this piqued Burroughs’ interest because Burroughs asked Warhol to leave the recorders at the loft.
I am fascinated by Warhol during the Factory years, and it is an interesting “what if” to me to wonder what a collaboration between Burroughs and Warhol would have been like. How would Burroughs have reacted to a screen test? If anybody could have out-stared a Bolex, without a doubt, it would have been Burroughs. For my part, I catch myself fantasizing about it and think that the camera would have blinked, tore up, or broke down under the strain of Burroughs’ impassive, sullen gaze or that, on the contrary, Burroughs would not even register on the film…. After all, In Mexico City, Peru, Panama, and Tangier, Burroughs stalked back alleys anonymously, melting into the shadows without leaving a trace on his surroundings. The banker’s suit and the grey hat were the uniform of the 1950s Everyman. Or maybe a Nobody. Not for nothing did Burroughs’ ability to blend in and disappear earn him the name “El Hombre Invisible.”
Face to Face
Ironically, Burroughs’ non-descript clothes became iconic by the 1970s. Immediately recognizable, precisely because he was invisible. The banker’s clothes disguised a revolutionary: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. When Burroughs returned to New York City from 1974 to 1981, Warhol was still holding court, although the Factory gave way to Studio 54. The screen tests were replaced by celebrity portraits painted for a sizable fee. Interestingly, it was at this period, when Burroughs truly broke into mainstream consciousness, that Warhol and Burroughs would connect. When Burroughs lived in New York City at the Bunker, he and Warhol met again for dinner, and the results were much more cordial than 1965. Victor Bockris who wrote A Report from the Bunker taped several of these meetings, made all the transcripts, added his personal notes and photos as well as others by Marcia Resnick, Bobby Grossman, Jenny Moradfar and David Schmidlapp in a very interesting book that was released first under the title ”The Warhol-Burroughs Tapes”, later changed to ”Conversations”. At first glance the conversations appear to be somehow superficial but nevertheless, because of its honesty, you still can very well get a good insight of each participant’s particular behavior ”au naturel”. ”Conversations”gives you the same feeling that one would get from looking at Warhol screen tests; It may seem superficial at first but you get to see the real person if you wait, watch closely and pay attention without waiting for ”something” to happen. For some reason this book was controversial and I will not go into the details of why because to me, no matter what people say, it still is a very important document that would not have seen the day if it wasn’t for Bockris relentless efforts to make it happen. Let me give you a delightful example here as Bull and Warhol have an open conversation, talking sex, sharing about their ”First Time”:
Burroughs: Cocteau had this party trick that he would pull. He would lie down, take off his clothes, and come spontaneously. Could do that even in his fifties. He’d lie down there and his cock would start throbbing and he’d go off. It was some film trick that he had.
Bockris: How’d he pull that off? Have you ever been able to come through total mental—
Burroughs: Oh, I have indeed. I’ve done it many times. It’s just a matter of getting the sexual image so vivid that you come.
Warhol: How old were you when you first had sex?
Burroughs: Sixteen. Just boarding school at Los Alamos Ranch School where they later made the atom bomb.
Warhol: With who?
Burroughs: With this boy in the next bunk.
Warhol: What did he do?
Burroughs: Mutual masturbation. But during the war this school, which was up on the mesa there thirty-seven miles north of Santa Fe, was taken over by the army. That’s where they made the atom bomb. Oppenheimer [the scientist who invented the bomb] had gone out there for his health and he was staying at a dude ranch near this place and said, “Well, this is the ideal place.” It seems so right and appropriate somehow that I should have gone to school there. Los Alamos Ranch School was one of those boarding schools where everyone rode a horse. Fucking horses, I hate ‘em. I had sinus trouble and I’d been going to New Mexico for my health during the summer vacations and then my family contacted the director, A. J. Connell, who was a Unitarian and believed very much in positive thinking, and I went there for two years. This took place on a sleeping porch, 1929.
Warhol: How great! Was the sex really like an explosion?
Burroughs: No no … I don’t remember it was so long ago.
Warhol: I think I was twenty-five when I first had sex, but the first time I knew about sex was under the stairs in Northside, Pittsburgh, and they made this funny kid suck this boy off. I never understood what it meant…
Burroughs: Made him do what?
Warhol: Suck this boy off, but I didn’t know what it meant, I was just sitting there watching when I was five years old. How did you get this kid to do it, or did he do it to you?
Burroughs: Oh I don’t know, sort of a lot of talking back and forth…
Here’s a remarkable clip of the pair chatting in the very room in which Arthur Clarke wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey! The footage is from an episode of the BBC documentary program Arena about the Hotel Chelsea and there are a couple of odd narrative elements to it, but the clip mercifully ends with Nico singing a haunting rendition of “Chelsea Girls”—in the Chelsea Hotel itself, one wonders if it was in Room 506…..
In 1974 William S. Burroughs and David Bowie got together for a little chat, documented by Rolling Stone. Here’s a particularly weird part where Burroughs and Bowie talk about the alien and reptilian nature of Andy Warhol:
Bowie: Yes, about two years ago I was invited up to The Factory. We got in the lift and went up and when it opened there was a brick wall in front of us. We rapped on the wall and they didn’t believe who we were. So we went back down and back up again till finally they opened the wall and everybody was peering around at each other. That was shortly after the gun incident. I met this man who was the living dead. Yellow in complexion, a wig on that was the wrong colour, little glasses. I extended my hand and the guy retired, so I thought, ‘The guy doesn’t like flesh, obviously he’s reptilian.’ He produced a camera and took a picture of me. And I tried to make small talk with him, and it wasn’t getting anywhere.
But then he saw my shoes. I was wearing a pair of gold-and-yellow shoes, and he says, ‘I adore those shoes, tell me where you got those shoes.’ He then started a whole rap about shoe design and that broke the ice. My yellow shoes broke the ice with Andy Warhol.
I adore what he was doing. I think his importance was very heavy, it’s becoming a big thing to like him now. But Warhol wanted to be clichi, he wanted to be available in Woolworth’s, and be talked about in that glib type of manner. I hear he wants to make real films now, which is very sad because the films he was making were the things that should be happening. I left knowing as little about him as a person as when I went in.
Burroughs: I don’t think that there is any person there. It’s a very alien thing, completely and totally unemotional. He’s really a science fiction character. He’s got a strange green colour.
Bowie: That’s what struck me. He’s the wrong colour, this man is the wrong colour to be a human being. Especially under the stark neon lighting in The Factory. Apparently it is a real experience to behold him in the daylight.
Burroughs: I’ve seen him in all light and still have no idea as to what is going on, except that it is something quite purposeful. It’s not energetic, but quite insidious, completely asexual. His films will be the late-night movies of the future.
(Full Story in: Teenage Wildlife/Beat Godfather Meets Glitter Mainman )
Despite the coldness of their first meeting, Burroughs and Warhol briefly bonded in Burroughs’ loft over the tape recorder. This machine proved central to the creative work and philosophies of both artists in the 1960s. Burroughs: “I am a recording instrument.” Warhol: “I want to be a machine.” Burroughs utilized the tape recorder from the late 1950s on. In his essay ”The Invisible Generation”, Burroughs proclaims such technology as an agent for revolutionary change. Warhol relied on the tape recorder for most of his literary projects. A: A Novel is at its simplest a transcription of Warhol star Ondine talking about the events of his day. Tape transcriptions made up the bulk of Popism and The Philosophy of Andy Warhol as well. Ideally, Warhol sought to just let the tape run and present verbatim transcriptions. There would be no stopping or re-starting of the tape, no edits, no cuts. On the other hand, Burroughs aggressively manipulated the tape. He inched it backwards and forwards, recording and re-recording. He cut and spliced the tape. The resulting transcripts were heavily revised and altered. These two creative icons are on the opposite ends of the spectrum concerning the process of editing. Yet the goal is the same: a dissolving of the control of the artist, a striving for the impersonal.
The major difference between the films of Warhol and Burroughs is, again, the cut. Burroughs’ films are full of aural and visual cuts, and Warhol uses the cut sparingly, if at all. Despite opposing editing techniques, the desire to displace the artist is the same. Of course, just the reverse occurs. Reading Burroughs cut-up texts, his personal obsessions and style shine through. The same occurs with his films. The selection of images and sounds betray his hand. He cannot help but impose his personal imprint. The same holds true for Warhol. Within the seemingly very strict parameters of the screen test, extremely individual, personal performances result. No screen test is exactly the same, even with the same subject filmed for several different tests. If you doubt this, view the several different tests taken of Baby Jane Holzer or Edie Sedgwick. Each test has its unique qualities. The personalities of the sitter show through as does that of Warhol.
UPPERS, DOWNERS & WITHDRAWALS SYMPTOMS
Watching the films of Burroughs and Warhol from a drug perspective, I feel that their styles could have been reversed. The drug of choice for Warhol and his art was amphetamine, while Burroughs preferred heroin. One would expect rapid cuts of image and sound from Warhol, and yet it was Burroughs’ cut-up films that reflect the speed freak’s sense and sensibility. Conversely, Warhol films like Sleep and Empire seem to capture the perspective of the junkie on the nod. Burroughs famously wrote in Naked Lunch that while on junk he could stare with interest at his shoe for hours. What would Burroughs have thought of a movie like Empire? Given his interest in editorial manipulation, Burroughs might have found it boring, preferring instead a movie like Chelsea Girls with its split-screen projection. Burroughs’ fascination with multiple perspectives hammers home the point that the world he described is largely seen through the lens of withdrawal. The kicking junkie is besieged by sensation. Spontaneous orgasms, crawling flesh, runaway thoughts. Burroughs’ art, cinematic and literary, captures and reproduces the experience of withdrawal more than the sensation of the fix. The hardcore addict fails to experience the euphoria of heroin in the same manner as a first-time user. Part of the kick is trying to recapture that initial rush. Burroughs’ strong sense of nostalgia stems in part from the longing of the addict for the first fix.
As Warhol was making screen tests in the 1960s, so in a way was Burroughs (along with Brion Gysin, Anthony Balch, and Ian Sommerville). Towers Open Fire (1963) opens with a long static shot of Burroughs which mirrors the portraits Warhol would begin creating a year later. In Guerrilla Conditions, later to become the basis for The Cut-Ups (1966), Burroughs introduced chance / found techniques similar to Warhol’s. Barry Miles writes, “The Cut Ups was literally that, with four reels of film being cut into twelve-inch lengths and assembled in rotation by a lab technician… No artistic judgment was made, and Balch was not even present.” The similarities to the restraints imposed on the screen tests are obvious.
I am more intrigued in considering a film like Bill and Tony(1972) as a Burroughsian screen test. The movie consists of the image of Burroughs mouthing Balch words, and Balch doing likewise to Burroughs’ words. Balch and Burroughs experimented with merging images to form a composite person. Burroughs was very interested in such superimpositions. Burroughs states, “Anthony Balch and I did an experiment with his face projected onto mine and mine onto his. Now if your face is projected onto somebody else’s in color, it looks like the other person. You can’t tell the difference; it’s a mask of light.” He states further, “Another experiment that Anthony and I did was to take the two faces and alternate them twenty-four frames per second, but it’s such a hassle to cut those and replace them, even to put one minute of alternation of twenty-four frames per second on a screen, but it is extraordinary.” Burroughs and Gysin also played with such techniques in The Third Mind experiments. The New Reformers photographs, produced in connection with the Colloque de Tanger in 1975, utilized such superimpositions. In 1971, Jan Herman visited Burroughs and Balch at St. Duke Street in London. At this time, the two men were making Bill and Tony and performing the experiments Burroughs describes above. Herman took part in these experiments and recorded a session on videotape. The results are available exclusively on RealityStudio.
As the video shows, Burroughs introduces montage to the screen test. Montage, collage, assemblage, like the cut-up technique, all center on the cut. In the screen tests, Warhol avoided the edit, the physical cut. The duration of the movie was dictated by the length in feet of the packaged roll of film. No takes, no director yelling cut, no splicing of the film. On the other hand, Burroughs urged a generation to cut up everything. Film, text, audio tape all was fair game for the scissors. Warhol and Burroughs’ editing techniques differed but their goal of depersonalization (and eventual failure to achieve those goals) were the same.
Both Warhol and Burroughs were well exposed to the world of experimental film from Russian avant-garde film of the 1920s to Surrealist film of the 1930s to the New American Film of the post-WWII era. Warhol was a fixture at The Filmmakers’ Co-op and a friend of numerous underground filmmakers like Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith (before their falling out), Willard Maas, and Marie Menken. These filmmakers were subjects for screen tests. Through Gysin and Balch (who distributed European soft-core films), Burroughs would have been exposed to a number of experimental films. I suspect Burroughs and Warhol were well aware of each other’s films as well. Towers Open Fire was completed in 1963 before the underground film boom of the next year. Much of what became The Cut-Ups were filmed around that time. Sections of The Cut-Ups were filmed in the Chelsea Hotel in 1965, the year Warhol and Burroughs first met. Given his connection with Mekas and others, Warhol may have heard about Burroughs’ film experiments as early as 1963. Interestingly, despite Burroughs’ absence from Warhol’s films, particularly the Screen Tests, they are Burroughsian in spirit (alternatively Burroughs’ films are Warholian) as both men had similar obsessions and interests. Burroughs’ films of the mid-1960s have images of young men in bed, of static portraits, of artwork being created in Factory-type fashion.
One day a young man appeared at the Factory introducing himself as Julian Burroughs, the son of William Burroughs. The man was in fact Andrew Dungan. Here is the real actual story of what happened, as told by the man himself (see comment section for current post):
”I was drafted into the army in 1966 and deserted in June 1967. In October, after the March on the Pentagon in Washington D.C. I arrived in NYC. Walking down the street I met Warhol and Paul Morrissey by chance and they asked me to be in a movie that evening. They had asked me my name and I did give him my fugitive name which I had constructed from the knowledge that he did have a son, (who oddly enough I later met as he was a friend of my brother), and I felt it would get me off the hook if I was busted by the FBI agents presumably looking for me. Well, we made the movie that night and I sort of got along with Andy and Paul and the others and, being straight, was passed around among the females in the entourage. Heady experience, but the heavy paranoia of living in NYC made it difficult. Still, I hung out, dined on the Warhol tab at Max’s Kansas City, and came up with the concept for Lonesome Cowboys- based on Romeo and Juliet, hence Ramona and Julian in the film. The police did get word I was connected with Warhol and I got out of town to Paris in April 1968. Lived there for six years before getting an amnesty when Nixon got his pardon, saw Andy a few times, but returned to California, and have led my quiet life here in LA though I still am in contact with people like Viva. Saw William Burroughs once and told him my story and he enjoyed it. But it was really a chance encounter not a con or an attempt to get into the Warhol scene.”
The idea of a doppelganger of this type always appealed to Warhol (who probably got that from Dali who was obsessed by doubles and copies). He played such tricks himself. Before all that took place Warhol had already sent Allen Midgette (who sat for a screen test) on a speaking tour of the United States posing as Warhol himself in October 1967 before the time of the Julian Burroughs hoax. Most famously, Edie Sedgwick had dyed her hair silver and accompanied Warhol to parties and openings as a female version of Warhol. Quite possibly, the hoax perpetrated on the Factory inspired Warhol to try it himself, although forgery and impersonation were already staples of the Factory aesthetic. In any case, Warhol cast Dungan / Julian in Lonesome Cowboys and Nude Restaurant. So indirectly Burroughs was a Warhol superstar. Burroughs appeared on Saturday Night Live, was the Godfather of Punk, was profiled in People. Such flash and recognition captivated Warhol. The pinnacle of this type of attention would be the Nike ad in 1994 that capitalized on Burroughs’ iconic status in the realm of, not Punk, but Cyber-Punk. Burroughs may never have set foot in the Factory but his presence was felt there and bled into Warhol’s films of the period. Similarly in the screen-test feel of Bill and Tony, Warhol proves to be a ghost in the machine in Burroughs’ films.
This article is largely inspired by Jed Birmingham and his ideas on the cinema of Burroughs and Warhol. The links have been updated and some have been added but you don’t have to check every single one of them although I really made a big effort to make this interesting to people who aren’t that much into this kind of stuff.
- RealityStudio/A William S. Burroughs Community
- Mr International Velvet
- Warhol Stars
The Cut-Up Films:
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 ”Still”. 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”
Explosive New Evidence Suggests the Punk Rocker May Have Been Innocent
The murky half-light of a bleak New York winter’s morning had yet to penetrate the small rear bedroom of an airless apartment in the city’s bohemian Greenwich Village.
Stepping over empty bottles and half-eaten plates of spaghetti (the untidy remnants of the previous night’s party), two police officers from the tough 6th Precinct stood in the doorway and surveyed the scene.
Pushed up hard against the far wall was a bed. Lying amid the crumpled sheets, illuminated by the unforgiving glow of a single light bulb, was the naked dead body of a young man.
To Manhattan’s hardened policemen, it was hardly an unfamiliar scene. But the death of the 21-year-old in the messy ground-floor flat at 63 Bank Street did offer the New York Police Department a rather convenient solution to a potentially messy murder investigation.
Because the dead man, John Ritchie, who had taken his last breath just hours before, was better known as British punk rocker Sid Vicious – the prime suspect in the murder of his American girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
Now, however, the Sex Pistols bass guitarist, who was on bail charged with stabbing Spungen to death at their Manhattan hotel four months earlier, was dead and the file could be closed with the minimum of fuss.
He killed Nancy, they assumed, then died of an overdose. End of story.
But many of those who knew the couple have always questioned this official version of events.
And on the 30th anniversary of his death, a new film is set for release which presents the fascinating theory that Vicious was innocent of murdering his blonde lover.
Its makers claim to have uncovered evidence which reveals that a series of police blunders and apathy by detectives led the authorities wrongly to pin the blame on the star.
In fact, the film contests, medical tests carried out on Vicious at the time of his arrest showed the musician would have been incapable of the attack, because he was out cold at the time after taking so much of a powerful sedative that it would have killed all but the most hard-bitten drug users.
Instead, the film Who Killed Nancy? asserts for the first time that 20-year-old Spungen, the daughter of a wealthy middle-class Philadelphia family, was killed by another resident at the hotel – a shadowy British man named Michael, who spent that last fatal night in the room with the couple.
As the murderer robbed and killed Spungen for the huge stash of cash they kept there, Vicious, it is claimed, slept through the attack, only waking to find his lover’s dead body in the morning.
The documentary’s British director, Alan G. Parker, who has spent 24 years investigating the life and death of the star and has written a series of well-received books on the subject, tracked down more than 180 witnesses and unearthed previously unseen police reports.
He also spoke to several witnesses who are adamant that Vicious was innocent. Crucially, Parker says police found the fingerprints of six people who had been in the couple’s room at New York’s rundown Chelsea Hotel in the early hours, but none was ever interviewed.
One witness, who subsequently became a priest, tried to tell detectives that he thought Vicious was not the murderer, but was given the brush-off by investigating officers.
Meanwhile others pointed the finger of suspicion at the man known only as ‘Michael’, who one friend of the couple swears remained alone in the room with them during those fateful final hours. He disappeared after the murder and police made no effort to track him.
‘I have followed this story for over 20 years,’ says Parker. ‘The more I researched and dug around, the more I became convinced that Sid was innocent. The police thought they had their man, and when he died the whole thing could be put away and forgotten about.’
But just how much of the film’s thesis stands up to scrutiny and how much is based on the plethora of wild conspiracy theories that have grown up about the deaths of Sid and Nancy over the past three decades?
Certainly, Spungen’s killing did seem, at first, to be a routine murder investigation. A rock groupie who had turned her back on her genteel Jewish upbringing and become a heroin addict, funding her habit at one time by working as a stripper and prostitute, Nancy was found dead in her underwear in the bathroom of Room 100 of the Chelsea Hotel.
The monolithic Chelsea had once been a Mecca for writers and artists. Dylan Thomas, Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan had all once lived there. But by the late 1970s, it was little more than a sprawling drugs den populated by a seedy coterie of Manhattan low-life.
Spungen, who had been dating Sid Vicious for a year, had been stabbed once in the stomach by a hunting knife that London-born Vicious had bought days earlier to protect himself when he ventured out into New York to buy drugs.
It was Vicious himself who phoned police to say he had found her dead body, and an hour later on the morning of October 12, 1978, in a holding cell at the Third Homicide Division, Vicious famously confessed: ‘I did it because I’m a dirty dog.’
The police, it seemed, had their man. With his taste for violence, animal torture and swastikas, Vicious was, after all, the repellent face of punk rock in all its snarling ugliness.
His band, the Sex Pistols, had shocked Britain with their foulmouthed rants on TV and their anti-monarchy hit, God Save The Queen.
He had killed his lover, it seemed, in the ultimate act of rock debauchery while out of his mind on drugs.
But Vicious was later to retract his confession, claiming he could not recall anything about the night Nancy – dubbed ‘Nauseating Nancy’ by the star’s own mother – had died.
Hardly surprising, perhaps, given that the police report obtained by Parker reveals Vicious was dosed up on powerful sedatives at the time of her murder. Indeed, witnesses who were at an impromptu party in their room the evening before her body was found claim he took up to 30 Tuinal tablets – a strong barbiturate.
Few could survive such a massive dose, claims Parker, and even those who could would be put into a deep coma for many hours.
Certainly, several witnesses who passed in and out of the couple’s first-floor room in the early hours say Vicious was out for the count. And at least two say the previously unknown Michael, who lived on the sixth floor of the hotel, was with Sid and Nancy as late as 5am – around the time she was stabbed.
So what could have been a possible motive for the killing? In a word: money. Vicious, who had quit the Sex Pistols nine months earlier after a bitter fall- out with the group’s lead singer Johnny Rotten, had gone on to have a Europe-wide solo hit with a tuneless version of the Frank Sinatra classic My Way.
Just days before Nancy’s death, he had received $25,000 in cash – royalty payments from Richard Branson’s Virgin Records.
Witnesses say that on the night before Spungen’s death, the room was awash with money. The following morning, however, the cash was gone, and Michael was later seen carrying a large wad of cash secured with one of Nancy’s purple hair ties.
So just who was the mysterious Michael? Details of the alleged killer are sketchy, but he was described by witnesses as a young, slim, blond man with a penchant for alligator shoes. He spoke with a British accent and had moved into the hotel recently, befriending Vicious and Miss Spungen.
Several of the couple’s friends remember seeing him with them in the days before Nancy’s death, and one, musician Neon Leon, who had been with the couple on the night of the killing, says he rang Nancy shortly before the time that she is estimated to have been stabbed. He says he could hear the man he knew as Michael talking in the background.
Another resident of the Chelsea, Victor Colicchio, also stopped at the couple’s door shortly before the stabbing and says Michael was inside.
But none of the witnesses knew Michael well, and his last name remains a mystery. Only one hand-drawn picture by the couple’s friend, singer Steve Dior, offers any evidence of what he looked like: slimly built, with shoulder-length hair.
Dior is adamant that this is the man he believes killed Nancy and who disappeared soon after with the bundle of the couple’s cash.
Another resident at the sleazy Chelsea Hotel was a would-be actor called Rockets Redglare – who had been born ‘Michael Morra’. Interestingly, within days of Nancy’s murder he allegedly confessed to a friend that he was the real killer.
Redglare, who was raised in a tough district of Brooklyn, had been an unofficial minder and drugs dealer to the couple. He was a well-known figure on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and went on to star with Madonna in the Hollywood movie Desperately Seeking Susan and with Tom Hanks in Big. One English friend of the couple, Zoe Hansen, met Redglare after the killing and says he admitted to her he had been in the room that night and told her: ‘I did it.’
Redglare, himself an addict, died, aged 52, in May 2001 of a combination of kidney and liver failure caused by his years of drug use.
But despite his mysterious confession, witnesses insist that Redglare – who was American, dark-haired and 25 stone – was not the man they blame for Nancy’s murder. That Michael, it seems, vanished without a trace.
And so, with no other suspects to hand, the police charged Vicious with Nancy’s murder. He was remanded in custody, but his manager, the colourful Malcolm McLaren, hired a top New York lawyer called James Merberg to win him bail.
Within days, Vicious was free on a $50,000 licence which had been put up by his record label boss, Richard Branson.
A little more than a month later, however, Sid was back inside the maximum security Riker’s Island jail after glassing a man in a fight in a New York club. He spent nearly two months behind bars in the prison’s detox wing before he was again released on bail.
By then, Vicious had a new girlfriend, a would-be actress called Michelle Robson. On the day of his release – February 1, 1979 – Vicious, his mother Anne Beverley and a few friends went back to Robson’s apartment for a celebration meal.
After eating spaghetti bolognese, Vicious asked his mother – herself a hopeless addict – to find him some drugs. He complained that what she brought him was not strong enough, and another friend was dispatched to get some more.
But unknown to Vicious, this second batch of heroin was more than 95 per cent pure and nearly three times stronger than most of the heroin sold on the streets of New York. After taking it, Sid collapsed.
He was revived by his girlfriend and mother, but they decided not to call an ambulance because they feared he would be thrown back in jail for breaking his bail conditions. It was to prove a fatal mistake.
Later that night, alone in the bedroom, he injected more of the powerful heroin. The following morning, he was found dead.
A pathologist who examined his body said the star’s tolerance to the drug had been weakened by his period behind bars. That, and the potency of the heroin, had killed him.
Police quickly announced they were not looking for anyone else in connection with Spungen’s death.
Meanwhile, Anne Beverley discovered what appeared to be a suicide note in the pocket of her son’s jeans. Written some days earlier, Vicious told his mother he wanted to be reunited with ‘his’ Nancy.
The discovery of the letter led some friends to speculate that Nancy’s death had been a suicide pact that had gone wrong, and Spungen had administered the fatal knife wound herself.
In fact, ten days after her death, Vicious had attempted to slash his wrists, and just a few months earlier the couple had told a British music magazine of their plans to take their own lives.
After his death, the punk rocker’s mother requested he be laid to rest in the same plot where Nancy was buried, but her parents refused. The following week, Anne flew with her son’s ashes to the Philadelphia cemetery and secretly sprinkled them over Nancy’s gravestone.
His mother, who committed suicide in 1996, remained convinced of her son’s innocence until her dying day.
‘Before she died, Anne told me to clear her son’s name,’ says Parker. ‘Everything I have found out since makes me believe that Sid was innocent.’
It is unlikely we shall ever now know for sure. But could it be that the undeniably unpleasant and violent Vicious really was the victim of an injustice after all?
Sad thing is that nobody seems, even to this day to care to know who killed Nancy Spungen. Even if they would would have found a way to accuse Sid and get him to court for that, which I’m pretty sure they would have, they would have had a real hard time convincing a jury that he was guilty. So if we take into consideration that the option that he was most probably not the killer than who is it?? I think some guy tried to steal their money and Nancy caught the guy and used Sid’s knife that was always planted in the wall in their room at the Chelsea to kill Spungen whom without the shadow of a doubt would not have let him take the money without doing anything. She wasn’t strong but she had been through some tuff shit in NYC, enough to be absolutely certain that she would have done everything in her power to try and stop that guy. That evening everyone remembers that Sid was totally out of it and he just never heard anything, he must have felt aweful discovering his beloved soulmate dead on the floor under the bathroom sink, I bet it’s an image that followed him for the rather short remaining of his also very short life. He died from an overdose after being bailed out for the second time for hitting Patti Smith’s brother with a beer bottle in a NYC bar. He was clean when he got out of jail and he was with his new girlfriend and his mother and some friends. What a sad story.
Spungen was so fucked up back then in New-York that a friend told fer she should move to the UK, that she would be able to relax there because unlike the US they were treating the drug addicts good there so she could have a ”normal” life. So when the New-York Dolls were called to tour with the Sex Pistols she decided to go mainly to try and get with Johnny or some guy from the Dolls and by hanging out with the Dolls she met Sid who was like a ”fish fresh out of the water”. He was anything but Vicious. Everyone agrees on that one.
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 studio 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 tastemakers who had read so much about the new British superstar in the imported papers, but we’re 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 of adrenalined 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 through 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 desperate 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 applause 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 movement, 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 catch the rhythm 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. I 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 Londoners, 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 wasn’t exactly you’d 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, I’M Sick of you, The Shadow of your Smile (Tony Benett cover) , Money That What I Want (BARRETT Strong Cover), Tight Pants,Fresh Rag, Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell, Search and Destroy, Penetration
Now there are some ideas that have been germinating in my mind for a while.. I can’t say how long because it’s not a very definite thought but rather an evolving one. I have hesitated to talk about it since I know for sure that a lot of people are going to go sort of like: ”OK… ( Nooooo!!! Would be more accurate) Another Goddamn Conspiracy Freak Advocate!” Now I feel this thing was there before I was born. For someone my age and look back at the history, culture, politics and music of the 60’s and the 70’s, most of that time very enthusiastic about what was being thought and done but always being intrigued, revolted and afraid of how something like the Summer of 67 ended up being such an absolute total bad trip. You are left there thinking:”Boy!!! That Vietnam War sure made it seems like it was a really good thing if it was worth the death of millions of US soldiers and all the sufferings that come with it when such a war take place not only on the killing fields overseas but also where it all comes back to in the end, the families, the people of both sides and when 4 soldiers died in Ohio I think people realised that the impact back in the US (and around the world) was far more important than we could have ever imagined. In fact so many conspiracy theories have the Vietnam War at the epicenter that one could be tempted to think that all that the secret agencies have done behind close doors and in plain daylight, right before our very eyes, must have been in multiple various cases a blue print of many, many similar covert and false flag operations to come!! Well, it seems they have learned a lot more than we did. It is so obvious why people won’t admit to themselves it happened, it’s not because they’re stupid or bad, no, far from it, it’s because to most people it would be inconceivable that the people in power, the people who have a part of our fate in their hands, it’s inconceivable that they could do things like that, it’s also impossible to them that the people who would have noticed (let’s say the medias) wouldn’t have allowed it. I do respect that opinion. I don’t either diminish the noble act of being a soldier and fighting at the peril of your life for a cause that you believe in. I just believe that people are given orders from their superior and they execute it. In the army, in the office and as a citizen.
The CIA was founded in 1947 and has increasingly expanded its roles, including covert paramilitary operations. One of its largest divisions, the Information Operations Center (IOC), has shifted focus from counter-terrorism to offensive cyber-operations. While the CIA has had some recent accomplishments, such as locating Osama bin Laden and taking part in the successful Operation Neptune Spear, it has also been involved in controversial programs such as extraordinary rendition and enhanced interrogation techniques. When the CIA was created, its purpose was to create a clearinghouse for foreign policy intelligence and analysis. Today its primary purpose is to collect, analyze, evaluate, and disseminate foreign intelligence, and to perform covert actions.
Now where would they start? Some stuff went further back..The complaints were coming from broken homes probably? But not so much from the veterans themselves as they were, themselves very divided on that part. The Hells Angels were started on March 17, 1948, by the Bishop family, American war immigrants in Fontana, California. The name “Hell’s Angels” was inspired by the typical naming of American squadrons, or other fighting groups, with a fierce, death-defying title in World Wars I and II so I would say they would have worked against anyone who or anything that is anti-war. Everyone agrees now that it was a huge monumental mistake to have hired the HA as security for the Free Festival of Altamont. But I’m ahead of myself there..
In the 60’s came a new breed of youngsters in large numbers, idealist, contesting the values their rigid parents were fighting the best they could, the flow of new ideas and the magnificence of the movement being such that it was like a beast that would kill you with LOVE. The Beatles part was ok I think… but then came the Rolling Stones! Then in New-York the scandal of Pop Art, TVs (transvestites!), Drugs!! First known casualty Brian Jones (3 July 1969) who mysteriously died a ”death by misadventure” in his pool. Then it was Jimi Hendrix turn (18th September 1970) who died of asphyxia, all dressed up in his bed with wine in his hair and all over his clothes. Then came Janis Joplin (October 5, 1970), Pulmonary edema and congestion, they say due to an injection of heroin overdose but the death certificate says that the eyes show a moderate sign of dilatation, which is very surprising if she indeed died of a heroin injection!! Last but not least, 2 YEARS TO THE DAY AFTER BRIAN JONES on July the 3rd 1971, Jim Morrison died, according to the death certificate of a cardiac arrest. All 4 were died at age 27, within 2 years, all the artists that represented the remains of a movement born with The Beatles, wanting peace and love, the retreat of US and all troops in Vietnam, no more wars, honesty.. JFK wanted honesty! And Peace!! He was killed too!!
The Vietnam war started in what was called the INCIDENT and the main actor on the field was no other than the Jim Morrison’s father, George Stephen Morrison, United States Navy rear admiral (upper half) and naval aviator. Morrison was commander of the U.S. naval forces in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident of August 1964, which sparked an escalation of American involvement in the Vietnam War. Now isn’t that something? Now you must be saying what about Manson!!! Well I think Manson was the Ace in the Hole! Imagine the secret agencies wanting more than anything that this war goes on and on, in fact when the 4 students were killed in a manifestation, Nixon had been elected by promising he would stop that war, instead he announced the Cambodian Campaign, taking the war on a whole new level and threatening territories that were never suppose to be a part of it.
Now this was only a little part of what went on during those years, because I have nit mention the Tate-LaBianca Murders by the Manson Family. What a perfect setting!! So they had it easy dealing with musicians, they all have vices that could kill them and no one would ask amy questions. Now they needed something even more frightening!! No doubt in my mind that countless affairs were carefully manipulated by secret agencies. Now after the music business comes the actors!! The Lookout Mountain Air Force Station was founded on the same year as the CIA and ended in 1969, after the Charles Manson trials. Interesting fact: Sharon Tate’s father joined the army in 1947. Paul Tate spent 23 years in U.S. Army intelligence and retired as a lieutenant colonel soon after his daughter’s death.
Imagine for a second that all the actors and all of Hollywood’s shot callers were under the influence of the Intelligence agencies of the USA government. Imagine that a lot of stuff is being written and/or pre written before it happens. And of course you can use aspects of an event or a company, or a person and make them appear as you like into the heads of people who watches TV. Imagine that Burroughs was right when he wrote in his novel ”The Ticket That Exploded” about ”language being a virus ”. He claimed that language is infectious and exerts limitations and controls over people’s minds by its very existence and utility. He believed that the ability to think and create was limited by the conventions of grammar and usage. For example, most people have not difficulty grasping the idea of a “kitchen sink,” but a “sinking kitchen” gives most of us pause. Most words and phrases in our native language are indelibly linked to the concept they represent. What comes to mind when I say: ”Black Cat!!” I’ll wager it wasn’t a white horse. I’ll further suggest that it wasn’t a dark-colored boat, a dominatrix’s whip, or an African-American jazz musician…. Yet all are possibilities. Burroughs thought that eventually, such associations could eventually lead to complete thought control, by limiting the mind’s ability to free associate. All possibilities would be accounted for by existing words in expected patterns. Burroughs made his living in the medium of words, but he reportedly believed that “‘Word and image locks’ and ‘association blocks’ lock the mind into conventional patterns of thinking, speaking, acting, and perceiving things.”‘ This led him to use a variety of techniques for breaking out of the virus’s control including cutting and folding word groupings to form such gems as “The great skies are open. Supreme bugle burning flesh children to mist.” He also included a decade long part of his life trying to put to practice some aspects of Scientology and the Dianetics with a few results of his own. Acquiring while doing so the convoited status of what they call:”Clear”.
There was a studio located in Laurel Canyon that closed in 1969, shortly after the Tate-LaBianca murders. Los Angeles, California is the epicenter of the movie-making industry, so it should come as no surprise that the US military had its own studio in LA. Known as Lookout Mountain Air Force Station, or Lookout Mountain Laboratory, what made this studio special is that the films produced there were all classified.Let’s say out of pure fabulation that they closed after this because they had managed to infiltrate the main private industry, slowly but surely. One movie and one book translate that idea very well: First the movie called ”Mulholland Drive” by none other than David Lynch and the book, Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. The Church of Scientology has acquired the power to influence the courses of things. It has been scientifically verified by Burroughs and other well-esteemed members of the human race learned how to use multi -media images in a certain way, superimposing them, etc. to influence the course of events.
You don’t have to believe that though… Just look at the work of Andy Warhol. He multiplicated an image to diminish it’s impact. Some say he was influenced by Dali. All his life, Dali was obsessed with doubles, copies and replicas because he had an older brother who died before he was born and his grieving parents named him exactly the same name! Warhol took it to another level, duplicating the same image time and time again! Anyone knows that after you have heard about an event repeatedly the magnitude because almost insignificant, YOU GET USED TO IT!
There’s a program called ”Beyond Scared Straight”. The first time I saw it I was appalled by how young the kids were and how insignificant the nature of their crime was versus the treatment they were given. I told someone, without even thinking, ”they” are going to get more and more vicious and daring as time goes. I watched it again maybe 2 seasons later (because people love that shit!) and I saw an 11 year old girl, at her wits end, on the edge of a panic attack, breathing in a brown bag because she had skipped class and was STARTING to take after her 15 year old older brother who had skipped class and was smoking pot. WOW!! That’s it???? Two seasons earlier you had much heavier crimes and teens that were older… like 17 with a load of criminal charges that were about to get them to appear before an adult court, so I guess they told themselves they should get them before it happens but any fools know that teenage is a difficult time and no one should be judged according to that specific period of your life. And what about ”Campus PD”? The motives and the way they arrest these poor students!! My God!!! What does that tell you?? It tells me that there’s a war against the youth. A youth that in the 60’s tried to change things, tried to stop a war. They were stopped too. The hippie movement died with Charles Manson and later on with Jim Morrison and all the martyrs of the defunct revolution. Anyway, the point is that after awhile you get accustomed to certain things if you see them again and again on TV. A few years ago violence in films and on video games was a big thing, nobody cares now. The sexuality, the language and the level of violence have gone up the roof!!! To Be Honest it’s not what scares me the most. What scares me the most is the level of influence the medias have and how it belongs to a very few privileged, greedy hands. A retired CIA agents was asked what would be his best advice if you wouldn’t want to be influenced by the secret agencies in a negative way and he said: ”Don’t watch TV, Never watch TV or movies unless you watch it in a critical manner.” Right away you get the image of these poor guys who think the TV is talking to them and telling them to do stuff… Well, maybe they aren’t so far off… It’s just not literal, it’s just is a little more subtle then how they put it, but not by that far. It’s very easy to influence the people. It’s so easy to demonize someone, you all know that right?? Just put his quotes in horror movies character or anything related to evil, quote him out of context, associate him (or her) to murders, rapes, blood or the occult before, during and after the facts and very soon you will have fabricated what represents the very essence of evil in the minds of the mass.
Now if I make some general observations about the medias in general, I can see that the more is more and more sexualized, violent, that the black guy or the old guy always dies first, that beauty and money are more important than anything, horror movies always end up bad, think of yourself first or you’re going to get fucked, you can’t trust anyone, you have to fit into the mold or you will be attacked AND youth is under attack.
Add to that the fact that movie and TV tend to look more and more like reality and you get a pretty weird picture…. If you would be holding a major part of the medias, wouldn’t you use them to your ends? I get this image popping in my brain, day after day, a granite monument erected in 1980 in Elbert County, Georgia, in the United States. The structure is sometimes referred to as an “American Stonehenge”. The monument is 19 feet 3 inches (5.87 m) tall, made from six granite slabs weighing 237,746 pounds (107,840 kg) in all. One slab stands in the center, with four arranged around it. A capstone lies on top of the five slabs, which are astronomically aligned. An additional stone tablet, which is set in the ground a short distance to the west of the structure, provides some notes on the history and purpose of the Guidestones.In a book written by the man who called himself R.C. Christian. I discovered that the monument he commissioned had been erected in recognition of Thomas Paine and the occult philosophy he espoused. Indeed, the Georgia Guidestones are used for occult ceremonies and mystic celebrations to this very day. What really bothers me is the first rule written on the Stone:
1. Maintain humanity under 500,000,000 in perpetual balance with nature.
Now that is scary don’t you think?? The fact that most Americans have never heard of the Georgia Guidestones or their message to humanity reflects the degree of control that exists today over what the American people think. We ignore that message at our peril.
PS: It was proven that AIDS is a virus that wouldn’t have never survived in nature. It is proven to be man-made. I’m thinking about this movie in which our hero manages to create a movement in the masses but we’re not mad! We swallowed every little pill they made us take, little by little, leaving us with the illusion that we could still make it in our own way and that we are not hurting anyone!! Well, today was Jimi Hendrix death anniversary and I can honestly say that we are heading towards a very grisly, frightful, , loathsome and abhorrent future, a NEAR future. BTW Lennon got his day too remember? The Beatle who was the most active on the political scene. Making Bed ins for peace…. Could they really do that you think???
I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!
New-York City 1920’s
If you enjoyed the Weegee exhibit at the International Center for Photography you’ll probably like gawking at these grisly (and we MEAN grisly: some are 100% NSFW) crime scene photos that we found in the city’s municipal archives.
Most of the pictures in the archive have little backstory, and the captions have been reprinted verbatim. One constant in many of these pictures is the police tripod that gets the overhead shots. Don’t you just miss the days when most people seemed to get murdered in bed? If this is all too much for you, check out these old photos of places people used to eat at—if you haven’t spoiled your appetite.