Ali Wanted To Be…

In Depth Interview with Victor Bockris, Author of ”Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven”

by Tobe Damit

Victor walking around the camp with Ali holding his daughter in his arms, 1973. photo ©Bockris-Schmidlapp.

Foreword by Victor Bockris:

The Ali-Warhol Photo Tapestry shown up above as the ”banner” for this article is 60 x 32 inches and comes in various forms ranging from The Ali-Warhol Boxed Set (on 24 separate canvases) to the popular vertical edition on one large print thirty by six four inches, three images across and eight down. It is a beautiful and historic work executed by the Bockris-Schmidlapp team. Copies still available.

In order to enjoy this interview as I hope you will it helps  to know that I am talking about two slightly different Ali books. The first one called Ali: Fighter Poet Prophet was published in October 1974 on the day after Ali defeated George Foreman and regained his World Heavyweight Champion Crown. It was authored by Bockris-Wylie and contained over sixty splendid photographs by Peter Simon. It was also the last book published by the notorious Maurice Girodias’ Freeway Press. Bockris-Wylie was a writing and interviewing team of myself and my early seventies collaborator Andrew Wylie. Girodias, a great friend of mine, was a legend for publishing in the nineteen fifties some of the best books of our times, from Nabakov’s ”Lolita” to William Burroughs’ ”Naked Lunch”. The second one called Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven” published in 1998 in the U.K. and 2000 in the U.S. by Victor Bockris consists of the original book without the photographs but with a new introduction and final chapter on Andy Warhol’s Ali portrait visit as well as over one hundred stills from Anton Perich’s Ali documentary, parts of which were filmed when Bockris-Wylie was visiting Ali in 1973. To snatch from flames the burning pages of  those days were to twist words into breathing wires in my brain. Let this flog of  memories attend you best. -Victor Bockris

Victor Bockris and Andrew Wylie by ©Elsa Dorfman

This interview was done to complete the article ”Beat Muhammad Ali” previously posted in LAN by Tobe Damit.

Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven by Victor Bockris.

LAN: In ”’Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven”, you explain the important role Gerard Malanga played in the birth of the whole project but I want to know why and when you got convinced that Ali was such an important player in the counterculture of the 60’s?

Victor Bockris: By November of 1972 I had established myself as a poet in Philadelphia by publication of two well reviewed books of poems and a documentary about me on local TV. I had included interviews in both books of poems when I found in them the poetry of human speech. I was now shifting my focus from writing poems to conducting a series of interviews with poets. In fact, in collaboration with Andrew Wylie I was about to embark on a collection of these interviews called ‘The Life of Poetry” . By 1972 poets had become more relevant than ever. We clung to the counterculture as the best thing to come out of the nineteen sixties, but in the early seventies it was constantly being attacked by the Nixon administration and poets were often our most articulate voices. The problem was it was virtually impossible to make money to help finance our work on ”The Life of Poetry” (unpublished) from interviewing poets. One afternoon Wylie and I asked ourselves, “Who is the most famous poet in the world?”  The great British poet W.H. Auden, who was the Professor of Poetry at Oxford University in England, had just died. Some radical British students were suggesting that Muhammad Ali should be voted Oxford’s  new professor of Poetry. When we read in the local newspapers that Ali had playfully replied he would be delighted to accept the position, we instantly knew we should do a big interview with Muhammad Ali the Poet. Since the Supreme Court had reversed the sentence he received in 1967 for refusing to be drafted, Ali had increasingly been marketed as the champion of the  underdogs and anti-war protestors around the world. Furthermore, by becoming a Muslim in the sixties and staging his key fights of the seventies in third world countries he certified his credentials as one of the world’s best known anti-war voices. As far as we were concerned the fact that he used his fame to attract attention to the cause of World Peace made him one of us. I got the phone number of his training camp from a sports writer at a Philadelphia tabloid. It was ninety minutes north of us in Pennsylvania. Andrew was usually better at getting interview appointments than I was, but on his occasion since I had a strong British accent I made the call. Much to my surprise, Ali answered the phone on its second ring and when I asked him if we could do an interview about his poetry he gave us an appointment two days later. When we first met him that November morning at 10 a.m. Ali was stark naked. Was this his response to being asked about his poetry? Was he in fact in the tradition of Allen Ginsberg, who sometimes took  his clothes off during a poetry reading, emphasising how naked his poetry was? I have to ask these questions because I am looking for comparisons between my people. You have to wonder otherwise why write at all? Ali was coming off two victorious fights that year and approaching the top of his post sixties game. He was full of energy, he looked terrific. I think he granted us the interview because talking to young people who liked him kept him alert. He was a masterful talker cum rapper and being asked about his poetry sent him into a great long, funny rap about the origins of his poems.  As an indication of how in tune he was to our expectations, at the end of our first visit to Fighter’s Heaven Ali asked me to be his spokesman to, ”The white longhairs in the colleges”.

Muhammad Ali: A Poet In And Out Of The Ring. Gettyimage

LAN: I use the term ”project” for this book because it feels to me that it gave birth to numerous side projects that all had roots in what you were doing. Could you please elaborate on who was doing what and what were the ending results and concrete repercussions of all those things taking place ”in the side lines”?

Victor Bockris: Your are right in this perception. Between September 1971 to June 1972 I worked with Andrew Wylie and Aram Saroyan on our proto punk poetry press, Telegraph Books.  We published ten volumes including Patti Smith’s first book ”Seventh Heaven”, the Warhol Superstar Brigid Polk’s book Scars as well as my ”In America”. This work and my subsequent work received a lot of press attention in the Fall of 1972 leading up to the Ali interview. Outstanding amongst these works was an interview I did with Patti Smith and a poem I wrote called 1972”, which consisted of a list of some three hundred names of the counterculture’s favorite stars. It began with the names of the Rolling Stones, who reached their zenith in 1972 with Exile On Main Street”These two pieces, published together at a new friend Jeff Goldberg’s Red Room Books, marked the beginning of a new period. The first Ali interview, which became the base of the book Ali: Fighter Poet Prophet”, was published the same month it was conducted in Phildelphia’s underground weekly, The Drummer.  It too was a transitional piece, taking us beyond poets to interviewing the One Hundred Most Intelligent People. Rock and Roll was central in my work, which has provided something of a bridge between the Sixties and the Seventies, leading up to Punk  Rock/Art. That was another thing that tied Ali in with my favorite subjects: during the early years of the 1960s Andy Warhol, Keith Richards and Muhammad Ali were all written off in the mainstream press as punks! Punk after all dates far back in time, for punk as I understand it describes a person who is fully committed to transforming themselves into who they want to be and equally committed to their calling. Above all they always do the very best they possibly can and never retreat or surrender. In its June 1974 issue Penthouse magazine featured our Ali interview, which made him happy because it was one of the few times when what he actually said was published instead of some phony rewrite by an editor.

The ”other book”: ”Ali: Fighter Poet Prophet” authored by Bockris-Wylie photographs by Peter Simon.

LAN: The Deer Lake training camp obviously represented a lot more to Ali than just a place to train with these huge rocks painted by Cassius Clay Sr, each one of them bearing the name of a great boxer; What was the very first impression YOU got about the camp itself?

Victor Bockris: Ali’s training camp Fighter’s Heaven has not received the attention it deserves as one of Ali’s greatest achievements. It was his idea. He was tired of paying huge sums of money to house his entourage in hotels and train in other people’s gyms in Miami. Ali decided to build his own camp and he found a good place at the top of a hill leading off Highway 61 in Deer Lake Pennsylvania. When I first got there Ali only had the gym, the kitchen and his log cabin built. The boulders had not arrived yet, but he worked on the place every time he stayed there. It was his drive that got it done.  Between 1972-1973 he surely turned it into a perfect place to get his head, body, spirit and fight together with his team.  Ali treated everybody he employed well, he often gave guys without the money to develop their skills jobs as sparing partners, etc. Ali made it clear to me how much he gained from living there, fresh home-grown vegetables, fresh water, fresh air, endless space to run, great camaraderie among his men. The camp also had an inspiring view across many miles of open country. He had great visions for the camp and every time we visited him he was showing us new stuff. One day he introduced us to Mr Moyer, who was just beginning to deliver the huge boulders on which Ali’s father would paint the names of the greatest champions. Ali got the idea from Archie Moore, who had the same thing in his camp when Cassius Clay trained there in 1962. Ali was exultant about the whole thing. It always felt good to be there. In between 1972-1974, the greatest period the camp ever had, Ali was close with his wife and children I often saw them there.  Everything and everyone was on his spot. Building organizing and running what became his superb camp was the most sustained and successful things he ever did outside the ring. The good vibes and solidarity of Ali’s camp had a lot to do with his victories in Zaire and Manilla. The camp still operates today. He could have made money renting it to fighters, but Ali chose to rent it free to organizations who ran summer camps for poor black kids from the ghettos.

The camp still operates today. He could have made money renting it to fighters, but Ali chose to rent it free to organizations who ran summer camps for poor black kids from the ghettos.

LAN: Obviously this book was never meant to be about boxing per se. It seems that Ali was really proud about his poems and other aspects of his personalities. This must have been very thrilling. Would it be accurate to say that it was really important to Ali that people recognize him to be more than just an athlete at this point in time?

Victor Bockris: The main thrust of the Ali book was to make this transition in the popular conception of Ali. At this time he had in view defeating Frazier in their second fight and defeating Foreman to win back his crown. Many things interceded before he got there, but Ali made it clear to me in 1973 and 1974 that he soon planned to retire. Then it became retire after the third Frazier fight in Manilla in 1975. Ali had really enjoyed touring the colleges in the late sixties. Travelling was in his blood. He’d been led to believe Elijah Muhammad was going to give him an assignment to travel to mosques around the world. Ali dreamed of travelling around the world giving inspiring lectures seeking peace between East and West. It all made sense. After the Foreman and Frazier fights he would have enough money to support his family for the rest of their lives. It is quite possible he could have played a role in bringing east and west together via his Muslim religion. Unfortunately, none of this would ever happen. Ali’s business manager, one of Elijah Muhammad’s sons, took 50% of his income and the rest of Ali’s money after high taxes was so poorly handled he never had enough and was forced to keep fighting, like a cash cow for his handlers,  until everything was used up. It was one of the most vicious examples of what can happen to a man of Ali’s calibre when he des not have control of his resources, but trusts others to take care of them. This is never a good idea.

Ali applauds during a speech given by Elijah Muhammad at a convention of the Nation of Islam in Chicago

LAN: I think it’s a correct assumption to say that Ali truly revealed his ”real self” to you. What aspect of Ali’s blazing personality was the most striking to you?

Victor Bockris: I don’t think Ali revealed his true self to me. I mean Ali was complex, holding in himself contradictory motivations which left him supreme in his profession but weak outside of it. He once told one of  his daughters that he had never been able to feel  anything. He had insecurities. I saw none of these things. Remember I had asked for an interview. What he gave me on that first day was eight hours of his time, from talking to riding in his bus to watching one of his fights on video while Ali sat behind me and flicked punches just past my ear. He was playful. He was joyful. Nearing the end of this marathon visit to Fighter’ Heaven he became a little more personal. Over the years I knew him he always recognized me but never knew my name.

‘I’m so mean I make medicine sick’! Muhammad Ali. Photograph by ©Chris Smith/Hulton

LAN: The book contains an outstanding collection of his poetry; Ali read a lot of his raps and poetry to you. I know most people had heard his raps and rants (!) but was it the first time that he was reading complete poems he had written, commenting them and explaining the events and emotions involved. Do you think he was considering becoming a writer one day?

Victor Bockris: While Andrew and I were interviewing Ali between 1972-1974 our friend Anton Perich was shooting a documentary about Ali, which included the day Ali gave us a real poetry reading. Many years later I was sitting at a table in a nightclub in Copenhagen when I noticed a silent film of a man moving his head and body back and forth in a rocking motion projected slightly larger than life on a wall to my right. Loud disco music was blowing through the room that  seemed so perfectly in time with the man in the film I was thinking they should put this music on the soundtrack of the film when I suddenly realised ”WHATTT!?!” I was looking at Anton’s film of the poetry reading Ali had delivering so hypnotically at us thirty years ago. That image sums up the power of Ali’s delivery. He undoubtedly had a love affair with language but he also communicated with the language of his body.  We have to bear in mind that most of Ali’s poetry was copied from or translated from religious texts. This is no different from Bob Dylan taking songs from the past and making them his own. Ali’s voice was his greatest weapon outside the ring. Asking, “Can Muhammd Ali  write?” is like asking, “Can David Bowie act?” In the verbal department Ali was the most impressive world athlete of all time. Ali mesmerized the world with the language that he used. Millions of Ali’s words in interviews have been published all over the world. His verbal pyrotechnics were not the product of a slow mind. The man was sharp. If he had travelled the world giving speeches those speeches would have turned into books. Can he write? The man had a Great Rap! His gift was in the delivery of the poems and in working them into his raps, his strength was in the performance of the words. He was a great communicator. He could have gone on to be a great orator. Except by the time they were through with him Ali no longer had a voice.

LAN: There is a very interesting chapter about Warhol’s visit to the camp. Warhol seemed a bit ambivalent towards the champ even if Andy still managed to produce Ali’s favorite portrait, it seems there was sort of some ”disconfort” in the air when they actually met for the shooting. What would be your take on it?

Warhol taking photos of Ali. Thursday, August 18, 1977 Photo by ©Victor Bockris.

Victor Bockris:  Andy Warhol’s visit to Fighter’s Heaven came three years after publication of ”Ali: Fighter Poet Prophet”. He had read the book and took me along as a buffer. I had also just published a profile of him which asked the question, ”Who Does Andy Warhol Remind You of Most? Answer: Muhammad Ali.” From the introductions onwards I was struck by how rude Ali was to Warhol. I’d never seen him behave like that. At the same time as we walked over to the gym to take the pictures he annealed himself to my side and talked nonstop. Ali acted this way because he knew Andy was gay. After he finished taking the pictures and got a perfect pose it seemed as if Andy had cracked the ice with Muhammad, who invited us on a tour of the camp. This delusion came crashing down when we got to his cabin and, after reading us a new poem he had written on the Concorde the previous night, Ali pulled a thick stack of index cards out of a big briefcase and proceeded for more than thirty minute to harangue Warhol about the gay influence on the nation. Suddenly I was astonished to see Muhammad abruptly break down in confusion saying he did not know what was happening but he could not talk anymore. When Andy told me afterwards he was so glad Ali kept staring into his eyes, I realised he had delivered the Warhol coup de grace, in which Andy would slice people up with his eyes, instantly discombobulating and dismissing them. Believe me I’ve been on the receiving end of it  and it is extraordinarily effective. On that occasion, Andy Warhol was much stronger than Muhammad Ali.

Warhol, Ali and his daughter Hana by ©Victor Bockris,1977 

LAN: Do you know what were Ali’s feelings towards ”The Greatest”?

Victor Bockris: One day Ali started complaining about how his publishers were treating the book. “Look at this,” he said handing me a  cheap xerox  invitation to its launch. The book might have given Ali an opportunity to sing his story, but his manager hired a well-known Black Muslim propagandist to write the book and it was not accurate. The way his managers marginalized or ignored Ali should have sent shock bells of warning ringing in his ears, but Ali’s fixation on his mission did not allow him to doubt his people. It was a dilemma he never overcame until his fourth wife, Lonnie Ali, took over his finances. So far as I know he never read the book, which is a sad conclusion to his only book contract. Thus is a boxer neutralized and boxed in. His lack of control over his book would soon become a lack of control over his life. You could say Ali got much more from the Muslims than they took from him. Elijah helped to transform Cassius Clay into Muhammad Ali which led to Ali becoming the most famous man in the world. He was also a strong father figure Ali really needed. But the Black Muslim’s did not just take the majority of his money they took way his voice not just once but twice. The first time was in his autobiography. Then by forcing him to fight  his last five years of brutal fights (1976-1981) they took it away again. By the time they were through with him Ali  was no longer able to give any speeches. Was this like some kind of mafia torture where they maximize the suffering? Ali won’t say a bad word against them, but people said he was frightened of the Muslims from the beginning. They destroyed and killed people with seeming immunity. No one was ever caught for killing Malcolm X in broad daylight. The bottom line was just like any crook they got the money, but they also neutralized the Champ. It’s a dark road between Ali and the Black Muslims. After Elijah’s death in 1975 Ali slowly changed his affiliation to the regular Muslims. I don’t want to go there because more than anything Ali was a huge Beacon of Light in a darkening world. When he came into it he was happy along with the Kennedy’s Best and Brightest men.  Then as the evil came out of the land and started shooting down those other beacons so did the evil come to Ali. That he overcame that evil again and again, even prevailing over the broken years of the mid 1980s is his greatest achievement. It took a great man to rise above all the corruption, theft, greed and murder, but he did. That is why he remains to this day that bright Beacon of Light. Now Ali’s light will never go out because it has become a star. Those of us who look up at it from all over the world see different things. For me Ali will always stand for his artistic integrity as a very strong voice for world peace. That’s what he wanted his message to be. He wanted to be seen as a man of peace.  That is what his message was. So let it go forth.

”The book might have given Ali an opportunity to sing his story, but his manager hired a well-known Black Muslim propagandist to write the book and it was not accurate.”

LAN: When Ali got your book, ”Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven” do you feel he genuinely loved the book and that it played an important part compared to all the book that have been written about the champ? If so, what makes it so special to him and/or to the public in general?

Victor Bockris: I first showed the book to Ali in the Spring of 1975 while we were walking down Central Park South in New York followed by a crowd of a hundred or more people. Bedlam surrounded him as he walked to a restaurant to have dinner. Cops shouted from horses, “Ali! Ali!” Cabs came to screeching halts, people yelled out of car windows, kids ran amongst our feet as he paged through the mass paperback book complaining about the clarity of the pictures on its cheap paper. He was also pissed because he had planned to use the photo he had given us which we used on the cover somewhere else! It was partially in humor. We had left a box of two hundred copies of the book in his suite at the Essex House hotel. We never told him that, just as the advance copies were starting to sell like hotcakes, the printer shredded the entire edition of 50,000 copies of the book because our publisher had not paid his bill. I always wondered what happened to those two hundred copies we gave Ali. Then in 1996 I got a copy of a book of Ali’s favorite photographs of himself called Muhammad Ali in Perspective by Thomas Hauser. It included a Howard Bingham photo of Muhammad holding the book up and reading it at a table sitting next to Lonnie. Both of them wear expressions of supreme satisfaction. I had never seen a photograph of Ali reading a book other than the Koran. Anyway I continued working on Ali projects like The ALI-WARHOL PHOTO TAPESTRY by Bockris-Schmidlapp (See top of the page). Then in 2000 my book ”Muhammad Ali in Fighter’s Heaven” was published in the U.S. and I sent Lonnie and Muhammad  copies. They thanked me. Then In 2009 Lonnie sent me a letter saying that she was reading the book to Muhammad when he went to bed at night. It reminded him of a time in which he almost broke free from his violent profession to become the man of peace he wanted to be so now the book brought peace to him. What more perfect image can we end on? 

Ali riding his horse in Deer Lake ”fighter’s Heaven” training camp by ©Anton Perich

LAN: Indeed!! Thank you so much for your time but most of all in this precise case, I’d say thank you for letting the whole world know that Ali was much more than just one of the greatest boxer in the world. Looking back, how do you feel about having accomplished that??

Victor Bockris: I always loved the Ali book. It was my first book of prose and I loved everything about it. It was beautifully designed, it contained the only collection of Ali’s poetry. It as alive with his voice. I knew it was good, we also received a positive quote from George Plimpton we used on the cover and postcards praising the book from our friends Ted Berrigan and Eartha Kitt. By the time it was published in 2000 I had a better perspective of the book as part of my  Collected Works in fourteen volumes. Back in 1979 Andy Warhol wrote, “Victor Bockris only writes about three people, Muhammad Ali, William Burroughs and me.”  It is the relationship  between these names I see as my accomplishment. My achievement is that I was able, without planning, to write a connected series of books about outstanding artists of our times who shared in common an ability to communicate attitudes and  take actions which combined to play a large role in creating an enlightened counterculture in this country and around the world. And that counterculture, based on its international population’s efforts to stop the war in Vietnam and its lasting influences on our lives today, should in turn be recognized as one of America’s greatest achievements. 

Muhammad Ali by Andy Warhol
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Great Punk Stuff on Tape

converse-punkAll Star Punk Footage

Here are some of my favorite documentaries, films or shorts about punk in general, a specific era, style or band. Each of them have this extra edge that somehow gave me an itch to watch them again.

The Decline of Western Civilization (1981) 

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Penelope Spheeris’ documentary on the Los Angeles punk scene. Filmed between December 1979 and May 1980,  featuring Alice Bag Band, Black Flag, Catholic Discipline, Circle Jerks, Fear, Germs, and X was this was the first of a serie of 3 ”Decline movies”.

UK-DK  

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Featuring interviews, live concert footage, and a feature on how punk was transformed from a trend to a way of life, UK/DK is a comprehensive look at the skinhead/punk movement. Some of the most notorious bands on the scene are featured, including The Exploited, The Vice Squad, The Adicts and many more bands from UK.

Born to Lose – The Last Rock’n’Roll Movie 

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Veteran documentary filmmaker and hipster Lech Kowalski creates this film about his friend and hard-partying rock god Johnny Thunders, member of legendary proto-punk band the New York Dolls. Through archive footage and interviews with such musicians as Dee Dee Ramone and Sylvain Sylvain, the film details his stint with the Dolls, the formation of his other band, the Heartbreakers; his rise to fame, particularly in Japan; his descent into heroin addiction, and the mysterious circumstances of his death in a New Orleans hotel room in 1991. Born to Lose: The Last Rock ‘n’ Roll Movie also contains some rarely seen concert performances in Max’s Kansas City and the Mudd Club. The photo on the poster is by photographer Marcia Resnick.

D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage

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From the interviews with seminal bands in their earliest stages, D.O.A features live performances by the Sex Pistols, The Dead Boys, Generation X (with Billy Idol), The Rich Kids, the X-Ray Spex, and Sham 69, with additional music from The Clash, Iggy Pop, and Augustus Pablo to the live coverage of the first Pistols show in America, D.O.A: A Rite of Passage” is thus far the ONLY film to truly capture the feel, spirit and philosophy of the era. A near-comatose Sid Vicious is hilarious, as is the truly terrible, ersatz punk band Terry and The Idiots, whose leader is interviewed about the scene throughout the film. The depictions of a very bleak, “no future” England sum it all up as succinctly as the music itself.

Jubilee

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Jubilee is a 1978 cult film by Derek Jarman heavily influenced by the 1970s punk aesthetic in its style and presentation. Shot in grainy colour, it is largely plotless and episodic. Location filming took advantage of London neighbourhoods that were economically depressed and/or still contained large amounts of rubble from the London Blitz during WWII. Unlike the others this one is really a movie, not a documentary and that is why I thought it would be interesting to include it on the list.
The Plot: When Queen Elizabeth I asks her court alchemist to show her England in the future, she’s transported 400 years to a post-apocalyptic wasteland of roving girl gangs, an all-powerful media mogul, fascistic police, scattered filth, and twisted sex. With Jubilee, legendary British filmmaker Derek Jarman channeled political dissent and artistic daring into a revolutionary blend of history and fantasy, musical and cinematic experimentation, satire and anger, fashion and philosophy. With its uninhibited punk petulance and sloganeering, Jubilee brings together many cultural and musical icons of the time, including Jordan, Toyah Willcox, Little Nell, Wayne County, Adam Ant, and Brian Eno (with his first original film score), to create a genuinely unique, unforgettable vision. Ahead of its time and often frighteningly accurate in its predictions, it is a fascinating historical document and a gorgeous work of film art.

UK Subs – Punk Can Take It

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Fresh from making his cinematic debut with The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, director Julien Temple wrote and directed this short promotional film Punk Can Take It for punk band the U.K. Subs. The promo mixed live performances—shot during the U.K. Subs’ tour to promote the single “Stranglehold”—with a comedic pastiche of Temple’s source material—a Second World War propaganda film London Can Take It, which had shown the plucky Londoners’ resilience to Germany’s bombing campaign. In Temple’s film the U.K. Subs provided the “symphony of war” while Eddie Tudor Pole and Helen Wellington-Lloyd are embattled punks fighting for victory against crass blood-sucking commercialization of the music they love. The U.K. Subs (short for “Subversives”) were among the original bands who led the British punk charge in 1976. Still performing and recording today, this film captures the Subs at an early high point in their career under the pairing of Charlie Harper (vocals) and Nicky Garratt (guitar) who created a blistering output between 1979-1982.

BLITZKRIEG BOP (1978)

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If you were disappointed by the shitty CBGB’s movie made a couple of years back starring Alan Rickman, then you will get a better sense of the energy, talent and musical revolution that took place at CBGB’s in the mid-1970s with this hour-long TV documentary Blitzkrieg Bop . Focussing on The Ramones, Blondie and the The Dead Boys, Blitzkrieg Bop mixes live performance with short interview clips and a racy newscast voiceover. It’s recommended viewing.

Punk: Attitude

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Punk: Attitude is a film by Don Letts. It explores the “punk” revolution, genre and following from its beginning in the mid-1970’s up to its effect on modern rock music and other genres. The cast is a veritable list of alternative musicians and directors offering their opinions on what has been called a musical revolution. One of the film’s celebrated attributes comes in the form of its cast, showcasing the who’s who of punk tock/alternative culture contemporaries like David Johansen, Thurston Moore, Henry Rollins, Captain Sensible, Jim Jarmusch, Mick Jones, Jello Biafra, Siouxsie Sioux, and Darryl Jenifer.

Don’t You Wish That We Were Dead

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From Lemmy filmmaker Wes Orshoski comes the story of the long-ignored pioneers of punk: The Damned, the first punks on wax and the first to cross the Atlantic. This authorized film includes appearances from Chrissie Hynde, Mick Jones (The Clash), Lemmy and members of Pink Floyd, Black Flag, GNR, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Buzzcocks, and more. Shot around the globe over three years, the film charts the band’s complex history and infighting, as it celebrated its 35th anniversary and found its estranged former members striking out on their own anniversary tour, while still others battle cancer.

Gimme Danger (The Stooges)

 

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Jarmusch has commented: “No other band in rock’n’roll history has rivaled The Stooges’ combination of heavy primal throb, spiked psychedelia, blues-a-billy grind, complete with succinct angst-ridden lyrics, and a snarling, preening leopard of a front man who somehow embodies Nijinsky, Bruce Lee, Harpo Marx, and Arthur Rimbaud. There is no precedent for The Stooges, while those inspired by them are now legion.“He added that the film “is more an ‘essay’ than a document. It’s our love letter to possibly the greatest band in rock’n’roll history, and presents their story, their influences and their impact, complete with some never-before-seen footage and photographs. Like the Stooges and their music, ‘Gimme Danger’ is a little wild, messy, emotional, funny, primitive, and sophisticated in the most unrefined way. Long live The Stooges!”

Blank Generation

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A movie by Ullie Lommel featuring Richard Hell, Andy Warhol and Carole Bouquet. Nada, a beautiful French journalist on assignment in New York, records the life and work of an up and coming punk rock star, Billy. Soon she enters into a volatile relationship with him and must decide whether to continue with it, or return to her lover, a fellow journalist trying to track down the elusive Andy Warhol. Also a 1976 documentary by the same name HERE featuring Patti Smith, Television, Ramones, Blondie and Richard Hell.

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“Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)” is a documentary film that examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation’s Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Government Issue, Scream, Void, Faith, Rites of Spring, Marginal Man, Fugazi, and others released their own records and booked their own shows—without major record label constraints or mainstream media scrutiny. Contextually, it was a cultural watershed that predated the alternative music explosion of the 1990s (and the industry’s subsequent implosion). Thirty years later, DC’s original DIY punk spirit serves as a reminder of the hopefulness of youth, the power of community and the strength of conviction. There is also an earlier documentary called ‘A History of DC Punk” that predates Salad Days’ overlook of the DC Punk scene.

The Punk Rock Movie

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Roxy club disc jockey Don Letts was given a Super 8 camera as a present by fashion editor Caroline Baker.When Letts started to film the acts at The Roxy, it was soon reported that he was making a movie, so Letts determined to film continuously for three months.  The film features live footage of The Clash, Sex Pistols, WayneCounty & the Electric Chairs, Generation X, Slaughter and the Dogs, The Slits, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Eater, Subway Sect, X-Ray Spex, Alternative TV and Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers. Backstage footage of certain bands, such as Generation X, The Slits and Siouxsie and the Banshees, is also included. All live footage was shot at the Roxy, except that of the Sex Pistols, who were filmed at The Screen On The Green cinema in London on 3 April 1977. The performance was Sid Vicious’ first public concert with the band.

DANNY SAYS

Danny Says is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient. Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation. When I asked Legs McNeil what documentary I should watch, this is the one that he pointed out to me so imagine my joy when I saw it was featrured on Netflix. I’ve watched it twice in a row, and then some more…

ROCK’N’ROLL HIGH SCHOOL

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Vince Lombardi High School continues to lose its school principles. The students are more concerned with rock ‘n’ roll than their education until the new principle, Miss Evelyn Togar is hired. She promises to set Vince Lombardi High School straight, and get the students focus back on education. However, a Ramones concert is coming to town, and Riff Randall, the biggest Ramones fan at the high school, plans on getting tickets to the concert in order to give them a song that she wrote entitled “Rock N’ Roll High School”. A series of events including Miss Togar taking away Riff’s tickets, a record burning and a taking over of the high school by Vince Lombardi High students and the Ramones, leads to a school evacuation by the police and an even more surprising ending!

The Great Rock and Roll Swindle 

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Let Malcolm McLaren show you how to achieve fame and fortune by making your pop group the most despised band in the world! This film about the brief but eventful career of The Sex Pistols primarily focuses on McLaren, their manager, as he presents his ten-point program on how to achieve success through chaos, ineptitude, and abusing the music industry. Despite some remarkable footage of The Sex Pistols’ infamous Jubilee Day performance and clips from their final concert in San Francisco, there’s surprisingly little screen time devoted to the group actually performing. Instead, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle offers McLaren’s agit-prop philosophies on music, culture, politics, and the entertainment industry, as well as an amusing (if often inaccurate) account of the band’s rise and fall. Along the way, we’re also offered some curious animated sequences, “film noir” episodes starring guitarist Steve Jones, footage of the band recording with exiled British train robber Ronnie Biggs, and Sid Vicious singing “My Way” (he had been dead for over a year by the time the movie was released). The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle began life as “Who Killed Bambi?”, a project written by Roger Ebert and directed by Russ Meyer, which closed down after two days of shooting when funding fell through. By the time McLaren and Julien Temple got it off the ground (with a radically different script), Johnny Rotten had left the group, which explains why the band’s front man is hardly in the movie. The rest of the group broke up a few months later. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Punk’s Not Dead

 

Of course that doesn’t cover them all but it’s a fairly good start. There is also very good documentaries about The RamonesMC5, The Velvet Underground, The New York DollsCrass, The Stranglers, Joy DivisionThe Dead Kennedies and Black Flag (just click on the band to acess link) Enjoy the view!

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Hunter S. Thompson 

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THE WAVE…

“Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run . . . but no  explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant. . . .

History is hard to know, because of all the hired bullshit, but even without being sure of “history” it seems entirely reasonable to think that every now and then the energy of a whole generation comes to a head in a long fine flash, for reasons that nobody really understands at the time—and which never explain, in retrospect, what actually happened.

My central memory of that time seems to hang on one or five or maybe forty nights—or very early mornings—when I left the Fillmore half-crazy and, instead of going home, aimed the big 650 Lightning across the Bay Bridge at a hundred miles an hour wearing L. L. Bean shorts and a Butte sheep herder’s jacket . . . booming through the Treasure Island tunnel at the lights of Oakland and Berkeley and Richmond, not quite sure which turn-off to take when I got to the other end (always stalling at the toll-gate, too twisted to find neutral while I fumbled for change) . . . but being absolutely certain that no matter which way I went I would come to a place where people were just as high and wild as I was: No doubt at all about that. . . .

There was madness in any direction, at any hour. If not across the Bay, then up the Golden Gate or down 101 to Los Altos or La Honda. . . . You could strike sparks anywhere. There was a fantastic universal sense that whatever we were doing was right, that we were winning. . . .

And that, I think, was the handle—that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply prevail. There was no point in fighting—on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave. . . .

So now, less than five years later, you can go up on a steep hill in Las Vegas and look West, and with the right kind of eyes you can almost see the high-water mark—that place where the wave finally broke and rolled back.”

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Omnibus 1978

Quotes

”The hippies , who had never really believed they were the wave of the future anyway, saw the election results as brutal confirmation of the futility of fighting the establishment on its own terms. There had to be a whole new scene, they said, and the only way to do it was to make the big move — either figuratively or literally — from Berkeley to the Haight-Ashbury, from pragmatism to mysticism, from politics to dope… The thrust is no longer for “change” or “progress” or “revolution,” but merely to escape, to live on the far perimeter of a world that might have been.”

HS Thompson

Myths and legends die hard in America. We love them for the extra dimension they provide, the illusion of near-infinite possibility to erase the narrow confines of most men’s reality. Weird heroes and mould-breaking champions exist as living proof to those who need it that the tyranny of ‘the rat race’ is not yet final”

”Bush is a natural-born loser with a filthy-rich daddy who pimped his son out to rich oil-mongers. He hates music football and sex, in no particular order, and he is no fun at all.’

”There are times, however, and this is one of them, when even being right feels wrong. What do you say, for instance, about a generation that has been taught that rain is poison and sex is death? If making love might be fatal and if a cool spring breeze on any summer afternoon can turn a crystal blue lake into a puddle of black poison right in front of your eyes, there is not much left except TV and relentless masturbation. It’s a strange world. Some people get rich and others eat shit and die. Who knows? If there is in fact, a heaven and a hell, all we know for sure is that hell will be a viciously overcrowded version of Phoenix — a clean well lighted place full of sunshine and bromides and fast cars where almost everybody seems vaguely happy, except those who know in their hearts what is missing… And being driven slowly and quietly into the kind of terminal craziness that comes with finally understanding that the one thing you want is not there. Missing. Back-ordered. No tengo. Vaya con dios. Grow up! Small is better. Take what you can get…”

”Maybe there is no Heaven. Or maybe this is all pure gibberish — a product of the demented imagination of a lazy drunken hillbilly with a heart full of hate who has found a way to live out where the real winds blow — to sleep late, have fun, get wild, drink whisky, and drive fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested…”

”Like most of the others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that my instincts were right. I shared a vagrant optimism that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along on a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles – a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other – that kept me going.”

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”But with the throttle screwed on, there is only the barest margin, and no room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right… and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are the wind and a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it… howling through a turn to the right, then to the left, and down the long hill to Pacifica… letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge… The Edge… There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over. The others- the living- are those who pushed their luck as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later. But the edge is still Out there. Or maybe it’s In. The association of motorcycles and LSD is no accident of publicity. They are both a means to an end, to the place of definitions.”

”But speaking of rules, you’ve been arrested dozens of times in your life. Specific incidents aside, what’s common to these run-ins? Where do you stand vis-à-vis the law?
“Goddammit. Yeah, I have. First, there’s a huge difference between being arrested and being guilty. Second, see, the law changes and I don’t. How I stand vis-à-vis the law at any given moment depends on the law. The law can change from state to state, from nation to nation, from city to city. I guess I have to go by a higher law. How’s that? Yeah, I consider myself a road man for the lords of karma.”

”America… just a nation of two hundred million used car salesmen with all the money we need to buy guns and no qualms about killing anybody else in the world who tries to make us uncomfortable.”Hunter_S._Thompson_graffiti_1

”Going to trial with a lawyer who considers your whole life-style a Crime in Progress is not a happy prospect.”

”In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

”The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”

”A man who has blown all his options can’t afford the luxury of changing his ways. He has to capitalize on whatever he has left, and he can’t afford to admit — no matter how often he’s reminded of it — that every day of his life takes him farther and farther down a blind alley… Very few toads in this world are Prince Charmings in disguise. Most are simply toads… and they are going to stay that way… Toads don’t make laws or change any basic structures, but one or two rooty insights can work powerful changes in the way they get through life. A toad who believes he got a raw deal before he even knew who was dealing will usually be sympathetic to the mean, vindictive ignorance that colors the Hell’s Angels’ view of humanity. There is not much mental distance between a feeling of having been screwed and the ethic of total retaliation, or at least the random revenge that comes with outraging the public decency.”

”Sometimes at dusk, when you were trying to relax and not think of the general stagnation, the Garbage God would gather a handful of those chocked-off morning hopes and dangle them somewhere just out of reach; they would hang in the breeze and make a sound like delicate glass bells, reminding you of something you never quite got hold of, and never would.”

”When the going gets weird , the weird turns pro. But it never got weird enough for me to turn pro.”    hunter-thompson-tee-shirt

”Anything that gets the adrenalin moving like a 440 volt blast in a copper bathtub is good for the reflexes and keeps the veins free of cholesterol… but too many adrenaline rushes in any given time span has the same effect on the nervous system as too many electro-shock treatments are said to have on the brain: after a while you start burning out the circuits. When a jack-rabbit gets addicted to road-running, it’s only a matter of time before he gets smashed — and when a journalist turns into a politics junkie he will sooner or later start raving and babbling in print about things that only a person who has Been There can possibly understand.”

”I sat there for a long time, and thought about a lot of things. Foremost among them was the suspicion that my strange and ungovernable instincts might do me in before I had a chance to get rich. No matter how much I wanted those things that I needed money to buy, there was some devilish current pushing me off in another direction toward anarchy poverty and craziness. That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas goat.”

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Suicide  Note: (???)

*Football season is over. No More Games. No More Bombs. No More Walking. No More Fun. No More Swimming. 67. That is 17 years past 50. 17 more than I needed or wanted. Boring. I am always bitchy. No Fun — for anybody. 67. You are getting Greedy. Act your old age. Relax — This won’t hurt.

All quotes by Hunter S. Thompson (1937-2005) 

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SOCIAL DISEASE

Symptoms of a Glamorous Mental Illness

Andy_Warhol_by_Jack_Mitchell Andy Warhol and Archie, 1973 ©Jack Mitchell

”I will go to the opening of anything,including a toilet seat”

”I have social disease, I have to go out every night. If I stay home one nigtht spreading rumors to my dogs. Once I stayed home for a week and my dogs had a nervous breakdown. I love going out every night. It’s so exciting. I paint until the last minute and then go home for my first dinner of the night. I always have something simple and nutritious, because I don’t trust food anywhere but home. My favorite dinner is turkey and mashed potatoes-it looks clean.

I usually go out with one kid from my office-the Factory-like Fred Hugues, my business manager, or Bob Colacello, the editor of my magazine Interview. Employees make the best dates. You don’t have to pick them up and they’re always tax-deductible. I also like the feeling of having several of having several of my employees all around a party-it’s like being at the office.

You really have Social Disease when you make all play work. The only reason to play hard is to work hard, not the other way around like most  people think. That’s why I take my tape recorder everywhere I can. I also take my camera everywhere. Having a few rolls of film to develop gives me a good reason to get up in the morning.

I love the new, small, automatic-focus 35mm cameras like Minox and Konica. That’s what I used for the photos in this book. I think anybody can take a good picture. My idea of a good picture is one that’s in focus and a famous person doing something unfamous. It’s being in the right place at the wrong time. That’s why my favorite photographer is Ron Galella.

But back to m,y nightlife. After I’ve filled my plastic shopping bag from Brownie’s Health Food Shop with TDK ninety-minutes tapes, Kodak, TX-36 black-and-white film, and Duracell Alkaline AA batteries, I run out to my first party of the evening. I usually catch the tail end of a cocktail party, then go to a couple of dinners, stop off at Le Club, Regine’s, or Xenon, and end up at Studio 54. Or I go to a Soho opening, a Broadway opening, a boutique opening, a restaurant opening-when it opens I go. When it closes, I go too. I just go. That’s Social Disease.

The symptoms of Social Disease: You want to go out every night because you’re afraid if you stay home you might miss something. You choose your friends according to whether or not they have a limousine. You prefer exhilaration to conversation unless the subject is gossip. You judge a party by how many celebrities are there-if they serve caviar they don’t have any celebrities. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you do is read the society columns. If your name is actually mentioned your day is made. Publicity is the ultimate symptom of Social Disease. But you know it’s fatal when you don’t want to get rid of it. You couldn’t anyway. How do you catch Social Disease? By kissing someone on both cheeks. Kissing people on both cheeks started out in France, like most diseases. It’s the society thing to do. Socialites never shakes hands. It hurts too much.

People say there’s no such thing as Society anymore. I think they’re wrong. There’s a new kind of Society. Now it doesn’t matter if you came over on the Mayflower, so long as you can get in Studio 54. Anyone rich, powerful, beautiful, or famous can get into Society. If you’re a few of those things you can really get to the top.

This book is about the people at the top, or around the top. But the top’s the bottom. Everyone up there has Social Disease…

It’s the bubonic plague of our time, the black and white life and death.”

 –Andy Warhol  from The Andy Warhol Diaries

Andy and some of the Factory regulars, photo by Dennis Hopper, 1963.
Andy and some of the Factory regulars, photo by Dennis Hopper, 1963.

 

RUSSIAN CRIMINAL TATTOO

Prison Storytelling, Subcultural Anthropology and the Allure of Darkness. 

by

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some images by Donald Weber

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John Lennon

A Visual Narrative

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

I Met the Walrus!!

 Actors: Jerry Levitan, John Lennon

Director: Josh Raskin

Producer: Jerry Levitan

Scenario: Josh Rankin

Release Date: 2007

Leslie Ditto

Echoes of an Emotional State  

Princess of Pop
Princess of Pop

Raised in Memphis, Tennesse in the United States, Leslie Ditto has always been drawn to self expression through the visual arts. Her teen summers were spent around her father’s Harley Davidson shop where she watched him build and paint motorcycles, and it was there her fascination with fantasy and surrealism developed. Her artistic influences include the “Old Masters” such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Rubens, Raphael, and Rembrandt and she has an appreciation for the technique of glazing transparent oil color over a neutral colored under painting.

Leslie’s disturbingly beautiful oil paintings aim to convey her deep emotions and personal views of current social, political, and religious dynamics. In describing her work, she says, “My main goal is to capture my audience and bring them to my emotional state in the hopes that my test for an echo will be a success”.

Day of the Dead
Day of the Dead
Pilot and Aviator
Pilot and Aviator
Rose
Rose
Dirty Pink Desires
Dirty Pink Desires
Shishi
Shishi
Tears of a Dreamer
Tears of a Dreamer
Toys in the Attic
Toys in the Attic
Poppy Fields
Poppy Fields
Vegas Bound
Vegas Bound
Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter
Imagine
Imagine
Bell Toll
Bell Toll
We're Having Chicken Tonight
We’re Having Chicken Tonight
Magician
Magician
Riding the Dragon
Riding the Dragon
Inari
Inari
Enduring
Enduring
Similar Sorrows
Similar Sorrows

Ditto Art

No Name Maddox

Part 2
By Grandfather  & Grandson Productions

Answering the question….

Ok last time I wasn’t very nice, leaving you all on a major cliffhanger about what was Charlie thinking about this year’s election 2016. So now you have it. Just think about it.

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Artwork by Butcher Billy

X Manson and The Presidency

Matriarch -vs- Patriarch
By Grandfather  & Grandson Productions
Part I
Part II

It’s Voting Time in America Again, Let’s Ask Manson…

     It is purely an American phenomenon, that almost every United States President, since 1969, starting with President Nixon has had either something infinitesimal or infinite to do with the convicted criminal Charles Manson in one way or the other.

The answer will never be as fascinating as the question itself as to try to find out why… Why, during every election year since 1969 does the public and press always have such a strong urge to know . . .  What Would Charlie Do?

How is it that a convicted conspiracy to commit murder guy is the go-to-guy in America to ask who to vote for??

Could it be that he’s become an icon in popular culture and that what he thinks has an influence? Could it be that his thoughts an ideas actually make sense??

Charlie and the Presidents

Let’s start with President 37, Richard Nixon who deliberately declared Manson guilty during the Tate/La Bianca murder trial and by doing so could/should have freed Charles Manson-not by an act of executive clemency, but by one of errant stupidity. He was refused a mistrial. Nixon later on became the most disgraced 66DRUG WAR99 President in all of U.S. History, shaming himself and the whole country by being implicated in the Watergate scandal.

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Moving on to President 38, Gerald Ford who almost got shot by one of Manson’s favorite wives,  Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, dressed in a red robe, armed with a semi-automatic pistol loaded with four rounds. No cartridge in the chamber.

Trust me when I say that if Squeaky would REALLY have wanted to kill Ford, he’d be dead. Right then and there.

Secret Service agents lead Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme away after she pointed a gun at President Gerald Ford in Sacramento in 1975. (Associated Press)

President number 39; This is what Jimmy Carter‘s brother Billy said about his stay with Charles Manson in the nut-house: “I really like him . . . Charlie Manson is my friend. A lot of Christian people write me and say I should have salvation and that Jesus will cleanse me of my sins. As far as I’m concerned the person who talks to me, that helps me get rid of my guilt, the only person that’s ever talked to me about that and given me any understanding is Charlie.

There was also a little story between Charlie and Jimmy’s wayward nephew, Willie.

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Next, President 40, Ronald Reagan and first son Ronald Reagan Jr. who, both have something infinite to do with Charles Manson as well. I think we see some patterns here? While Nixon, was the 1st dominant President of Television; Reagan was the 1st Hollywood Actor to become a United States President. And, it has been said that the so-called ‘Manson Family’ actually did have – Ronald Reagan Senior’s gun in possession – while those ‘in the know’, all know; that Junior, did one, if not the best, of all mass- money minded -medias- reporter’s interviews, ever with the Manson.

Manson’s Letter to President Ronald Reagan About the “War On Drugs” Bill

U.S. President
Ronald W. Reagan
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington D.C.
August, 1986

The government didn’t beat the moonshine still and whiskey has power just as coffee and tobacco do. Uncle Jess from Kentucky said, when I was a child, that the government would end up with whiskey in stores and would run the stills because people in government were the big crooks. I tell you what he said and I say this: You’re not going to beat drugs. I was in prison before people came to prison for drugs, I saw the government make the problem. From your foundation you can’t help the people who don’t want help. You’ve got to go with the will of the people or lose heart within your own government. Your going to rip it apart and waste a lot of money.

Your war should be against pollution and for putting trees back before you lose the air, water and wildlife. Take over the drugs and use their power to move people to work on CCC projects. put the trees back fast before the pollution destroys all life. I saw it dying in Death Valley. That’s why Krishna Venta blew himself up in 1949 at the Fountain of the World in Box Canyon, California, when the Feather River Project cut off his fountains of water off.

Plants and herbs that you call drugs have more power than you understand. All the distorted thoughts and rules make problems worse. Here is a story: Two men are in a cell. One said he wanted to die and was going to kill himself. The other said he wouldn’t let him. So the first guy killed the other one and then himself. If people want to eat shit you can’t stop them without going with them.

No one even knew what drugs were until Mr. Anslinger told everyone what not to take. Cops teaching kids what not to do only shows them what they can do if they want to go against someone. And you put a bunch of fools who only know what the books say… No new game, honor or purpose. Some of the meanest fighting men in history got high before they went into battle. Remember why the .45 caliber gun was put into service?

You can take a pile of rocks and use them to build a house, or you can take the same pile and start a war. Tell children not to throw rocks, make rules against picking up rocks, and then make them mad. Keep projecting what not to do and you can make the thought in their brains of what can and will be done.

Before the U.S. had a government, the monks sat on top of the grapes, the wine, Buddhists and other monks had the poppies and flowers of power under control. Control must be in order and order must be in truth. And when in truth you can face the problem as it is, not through distorted judgements. Roots and herbs are part of life, things not known but by a few. One day all you space cases will face the Earth dying under your feet. We saw the water out of balance with the land at the Fountain of the World, and the old man in Death Valley told me the same after I got out from 17 years of service to the truth in government hallways. I’m the last guy in line but I’ve got all the thoughts for the balance of order and peace with a one world government if we all are to survive.

I want a telephone and the charge to call anyone … or simply a courtroom with the rights I was denied 17 years ago.

Easy,
Charles Milles Manson

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Now since President, number 41, George Bush Sr., has no immediate visible web presence, at a glance, to find associated with Charlie, we’ll just chalk that one up to them, ‘Masters of the U.S. intelligence agencies,’ since Senior was the boss of all that jazz even before he became a President.

And then we have the number 42, President Clinton’s; beginning between the Bush’s. Here’s a little something about the husband Bill: Joe Bananas, Bill Clinton, And Charles Manson. Food for thoughts…

And the wife Hillary (click on image):

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What Do Hillary Clinton, Silicon Valley, and Charles Manson Have in Common?
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Click for quotes

Which leads us back to another junior, President  number 43George W Bush Jr, who, Charles Manson’s own New York Times bestselling Author/Prosecutor, Vincent Bugliosi, wanted ”charged for murder”!

Vincent Bugliosi, photo by Damon D'Amato
Vincent Bugliosi, photo by Damon D’Amato (click for link)

(…) prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi who co-authored the 1974 bestseller Helter Skelterwhich detailed the investigation, arrest and prosecution of Manson and the Manson family.

Bugliosi went on to write an additional 11 books including The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder in 2008.

Bugliosi believed President Bush should have been charged with the murders of more than 4,000 American soldiers who died in Iraq since Bush, according to Bugliosi, launched the Iraq invasion “under false pretenses.”

It was one of Bugliosi’s four books that were made into films. The 2012 documentary film The Prosecution of an American President was based on Bugliosi’s Bush book. In June 2015, Bugliosi died at the age of 80.

Click for link
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Giovanni Di Stefano

And, so, now, last but not least, the current African American President, number 44, Barack Hussein Obama, for all of the next few days of this year of our Lord 2016 November 5th until election November 8th (but not technically) wonders. “What Would Charlie Do?” This is where it all gets even trickier. Pay attention. There is really nothing easy to find that says Obama didn’t, doesn’t or, don’t, like Manson while there is plenty to find that says Manson don’t like Obama, or any of them for all of the above for that matter. Ignoring all of that, and considering this, there is still at this late date a document on the table of President Obama’s White Houses tables, asking for the release, pardon or retrial of Charles Manson. 

It was filed by an International Attorney, Giovanni Di Stefano,  who happened to have been clearly justified in representing Saddam Hussein yet, is now incarcerated basically by Tony Blair of Great Britain AND HAS BEEN.  And appealing a conviction for basically not being a real attorney. 

But now and then, things are always way more complicated than just the basics, now aren’t they?

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Artwork by Butcher Billy

So, what is this strange proclivity and magnetic like attraction of attentions that are religiously, habitually, perpetually, playing out before the worlds eyes, concerning half a century of United States Presidents with one single lowly convict? And, why does every single, Tom, Dick and Harry reporter and or underground citizen of the United States care what Charlie thinks?  Well the answer is in the question itself.

Let me put forward a little theory here. The race to Presidency has now become a show. Not just a parody of a show, not even a parody of politics, a real partly scripted reality show in which whoever does something striking, shocking or provoking is good.

We are now experiencing with horror the prophecy made around 40 years ago by some guy who is now forgotten or remembered, not as an artist but as a publicist, yes I’m talking about Andy Warhol who said that ‘‘there is no bad publicity”.  In terms of shocking, what has been attributed to Charlie is quite hard to beat so of course, any which way you can be related to good old Charlie is publicity and, remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity so…

As you saw, I never answered the question because it doesn’t matter in the end, as long as he mentions your name or that your name is associated to him, one way or another, it’s fine! It’s perfect!! We have become victims of our own repressed inhibitions our boredom and our vicarious depravity/anger as a society and as individuals.

The Jester is no longer a Fool and about to be King. I am just curious to see how far it will go. Seems to me that I will not have to wait very long…

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AIR, TREES, WATER & ANIMALS ®

“A revolution against pollution is the only solution.”  –See’Em?

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Click here for the original article by Robin Graves

 

Smash the Control Images!

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. 8907391

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.

 

The HA would sure Make love but they wouldn't give up one for the other!
The HA would sure Make love but they wouldn’t give up one for the other!

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..  hells-angels-group-with-jackets

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.   

Admiral George Stephen Morrison
Admiral George Stephen Morrison

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 ”.ticket 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”.produced_by_lookout_mountain_laboratory_film_credit

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.

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12 Electric Chairs by Andy Warhol

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!  140131142437-exp-promo-cnn-series-sixties-janteaser-00001025-horizontal-gallery

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.  childrens-tv-011

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.

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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!