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John Lennon’s school detention sheets go up for sale
11.11.2013
08:14 am

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:
John Lennon
Detention Sheets

lennonreport.jpg
 
He wasn’t the messiah, he was just a very naughty boy.

John Lennon’s school detention sheets, detailing the Beatle’s bad behavior in class, will go up for auction, where they are expected to sell for between $3000 and $4000.

The reports list a series of incidents from Lennon’s time at Liverpool’s Quarry Bank School between 1955 and 1956, when he was in Class 3B and Class 4C. Lennon’s crimes include “fighting in class,” “talking,” “silliness,” “shouting,” “shoving,” having “just no interest whatsoever,” and (most interestingly) “sabotage.” On one occasion Lennon received three punishments in a single day.

The detention sheets were rescued by a teacher, who had been requested to burn the reports in the 1970s, but when he spotted the name “Lennon,” he kept them thinking they might have some pop cultural importance.

Bidding for this and other Beatle memorabilia will take place on November 22nd, at TrackAuction.
 
lenreponort.jpg
 

 
H/T The Guardian
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Colorful sports uniforms for hip artists like Warhol and Basquiat

Andy Warhol, number 28
Andy Warhol, number 28
 
I know perfectly well that these shirts are little more than a quick grab at fashion trendiness, but I like ‘em anyway. The whole idea of a French firm assigning American sports jerseys to various iconic creative people (none of whom would probably be able to tell apart a catcher’s mitt from a hockey stick) seems pretty witty to me.

These come from a French fashion outfit called LES (ART)ISTS, who say that these designs were inspired by “American football jerseys,” which seems fair enough.

The regular T-shirts are €45 ($60), and the flannel versions are €99 ($133). Actually, they seem to have only the b/w version (such as the KAWS one) on their site. I prefer the more playful and colorful ones, they strike me as much more clever and engaging.

The odds are that the numbers were chosen more or less at random, but I can’t help reading meanings in (busted, I’m a sports fan). WARHOL 23 makes sense for anyone who knows who Michael Jordan is [Update: DM reader “ThatGuy” points out that Warhol is 28 on all three shirts], and beyond that, I admire the use of rather high numbers. In baseball high numbers are generally used for scrubs who don’t play, the types who make it to spring training and then don’t make the squad. If we’re talking football, the numbers have specific meanings—for instance, a number in the 80s means you’re a wide receiver, anywhere from 50 to 79 means you’re either a lineman or a linebacker, and so on.
 
Keith Haring, number 58
Keith Haring, number 58
 
Haruki Murakami, number 62
Takashi Murakami, number 62
 
Damien Hirst, number 75
Damien Hirst, number 75
 
Jean-Michel Basquiat, number 60
Jean-Michel Basquiat, number 60
 
See the rest of the jerseys after the jump…...
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Neil Gaiman
11.10.2013
04:33 pm

Topics:
Books

Tags:
Neil Gaiman

leingaiman.jpg
 
Happy Birthday Neil Gaiman, the multi-talented author of novels, comics, plays, films and essays, born today, November 10th, in 1960.

Few modern writers have had as much of an impact, or as devoted a following as Mr. Gaiman, whose work has entertained, enlightened and inspired readers with his incredible stories and ideas.

I came to Mr. Gaiman through 2000 A.D. and then The Sandman comics, before picking-up on his TV series (co-written with Lenny Henry) Neverwhere. Then through his stories to the novels, Stardust, Coraline and American Gods.

There are many things to be learnt from Mr. Gaiman, but I always liked this line from The Graveyard Book:

”If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”

Happy Birthday Neil Gaiman!
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Do you really need that second helping?’ Shameware to help you with your diet!
11.10.2013
09:29 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food

Tags:
shameware

Intervention-ware
 
It’s difficult to understand who the market for this product is—dishes and mugs that the owner will presumably use every single day, with shaming slogans in a bland typewriter font. Their maker is Fishs Eddy, a perfectly reputable purveyor of dishes and glasses and so forth based in New York with a bent for making whimsical and retro tableware—I’ve bought items from them myself. They have a fantastic line of baseball-themed plates, mugs, and glasses as well as this charming skyline-themed stuff.

You can see the dinner plate, side plate, bowl, and coffee mug for yourself on this page. Fishs Eddy calls it “intervention-ware”—I’m calling it “shameware.” The side plate says in big type, “Big mistake.” It seems to come from a slightly different set from the others, which all use stronger and smaller type. The plate has four slogans, one of which is “For the love of god stop eating.” And so forth. Since coffee doesn’t really fit into the dieting paradigm, the mug just tells you you’re being obnoxious.

These products are clearly intended for gag value, as it’s almost impossible to imagine anyone buying this or giving this dinnerware as a present—if so, the purchaser/recipient is probably defining a whole new demographic of ultra-ironic über-hipster, but it’s so “on the nose” that even that crowd wouldn’t like it, no?
 
Intervention-ware coffee mug
 
Intervention-ware side plate
 
Intervention-ware plate
 
Intervention-ware bowl
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Fab footage of Rod Stewart and The Faces live at The Marquee Club in 1970
11.10.2013
09:23 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Rod Stewart
The Faces


 
Here’s some fine looking and sounding footage of The Faces performing at the Marquee Club in London in December of 1970. Filmed for German TV, the production is pro in every way. With a film crew on stage and shooting a matter of inches from Rod Stewart’s pretty face, you get a perspective on the lead singer formerly only seen by his dentist. For a Brit, his pearly whites are in extraordinarily good shape.

The set list:
Devotion
You’re My Girl
Flying
Too Much Woman
Maybe I’m Amazed
Gasoline Alley
Around The Plynth

Ron Wood - guitar, Kenny Jones - drums, Ronnie Lane - bass guitar, Ian McLagen - keyboards.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Lost Manhattan: Amazing home movie footage of New York City in the 1970s
11.10.2013
09:03 am

Topics:
Fashion
History

Tags:
New York City 1970s


 
While much of what we see in this bittersweet time capsule still stands, there are scenes of a once vital part of New York City that has vanished. I refer to the footage of the Garment District. Hard to believe that only a few decades ago Manhattan was one of the fashion production capitols of the world. Clothing was actually being made in giant lofts not far from Times Square. It was an amazing scene of streets cluttered with migrant workers pushing rolling racks hung with freshly-made dresses that swayed seductively as they passed pastrami-scented delis jammed with kibitzing garmentos. Sidewalks teemed with Hasidic men in funereal three-piece suits and black hats made of rabbit fur while high above in the cathedrals of fashion sewing machines chugged metallically. Jazzily. Music of the shears.They call them Singers for a reason.

It’s all gone now. A whole American industry and culture disappeared like dinosaurs in the tar pits of progress. A song no longer sung.

I bought many fine sharkskin suits from factories in the Garment Center in the late Seventies. My favorite one by far had super narrow lapels, 13 inch pegs and was lime green with silk paisley lining. Years later, I ripped that suit to shreds on the stage of The Ritz during a set with my band. I was drunk and I regret having destroyed that lovely piece of American craftsmanship - handmade by some old cat with a sewing machine in a darkened loft surrounded by hundreds of yards of shimmering silk.

I turned my obsession with vintage threads into a business. I spent my days in the Garment District going through warehouses of unsold merchandise or digging through the stockrooms of stores like Bond’s (which later became a music venue where The Clash would have their famous seventeen day residency). I scored skinny ties at $15 a dozen and sold them to boutiques catering to punks and new wavers. I found factories that made women’s leather gloves, pop art handbags, plastic costume jewelry in neon colors and day-glow fishnet stockings. I bought em all, blew off the dust, and made bucks from clients like Trash And Vaudeville and Patricia Field. Before I knew it, I had a 2000 square foot space in the farther reaches of the West Village packed with low couture grooviness. I was getting visits from the owners of stores in London and Paris. They wanted American style made in America. The sleek pimped-out suits, cockroach killers with Cuban heels and white Naugahyde go-go boots made in the Bronx, Queens or Manhattan were far hipper than the shit strolling down the runways of Europe.

Believe it or not, there were hundreds of these small factories and wholesalers in NYC. On 39th street I found an ancient showroom/warehouse stocked with hundreds of dozens of wraparound sunglasses - the kind Marcello Mastroianni wore in 8 1/2. They ended up on the shelves of some of the most expensive stores on Madison Avenue. That score alone covered my rent on East 27th street for an entire year. I was a high school dropout turned instant fashion mogul.

The fruit of American labor didn’t stop on Fashion Avenue. Downtown there were huge storefronts filled with close-out merchandise. On Chambers Street I discovered more than a thousand pairs of patent leather fuck-me pumps made by a company called Sapphire and bought every trashy one of them for a buck a pair. Most of those candy-colored high heels ended up in Fiorucci along with a few hundred paper dresses with op-art prints I found at a junk seller near Wall Street. Manhattan was crazy mad with this kind of stuff back then and it was usually pretty cheap.

It was possible to dress cool for next to nothing in clothing made right where we lived. We were the fashion equivalent of locavores. You could dress sharp on the proceeds of an unemployment check and still have enough cash to pay the landlord, buy some blow and get drunk at the Mudd Club. But more importantly, fashion could identify who you were in the same way as a uniform tells people what branch of the military you’re in. Yeah, we wanted to look cool but we also wanted to make a statement. In that respect, fashion could be political. It could shake up the status quo. Outside of New York, L.A. or London, dressing in a certain way could come at a price. A sharp-dressed man or woman could stir up some shit in the hinterlands. It could actually be dangerous.

I got into fashion not for the money. Money was a by-product of doing something I dug. I got into it because I wanted to outfit the future rockers of America with gear that would align them with a musical movement that, at the time, was shaking shit up and was something I was passionate about. When I started getting orders for skinny ties and wraparound shades from stores in places like Wyoming and Nebraska I felt part of a revolution. I was selling to small stores in small towns where a kid wearing a skinny tie and spiked hair was taking a chance by expressing who he was on the inside by simply wearing a tie two inches less wide than what was considered acceptable. In 2013 when everyone including your mother has a tattoo, it’s hard to imagine that a tie or a pair of sunglasses could be seen as radical, but they were.  For three bucks a kid in the middle of nowhere could buy a piece of gear that immediately set them apart from the pack. They could announce to the world that they were different while they took the time to figure out just what that meant. Even if it meant nothing more than loving The Ramones or DEVO.

Like love, rock will tear us apart… tear us apart from the humdrum realities of a life where chances are never taken. Fashion, in its purest form, is as clear an expression of intent or philosophy as a poem or song or painting. In 1966, at the age of 15, I pierced both of my ears and stuck two gold hoops in them, scrawled a peace sign on the back of my jean jacket and walked through a shopping mall in Virginia with my pet chicken on a leash. I had no idea what the fuck I was doing I just knew that I had to do it. Someone in that suburban hellhole had to. Sometimes your personal revolution starts with a fashion statement. Sometimes all it takes is a chicken on a dog leash and a pair of earrings.

And it’s still ongoing. I was in a Hot Topic in New Mexico not long ago and I saw a group of Hispanic kids buying Cure and Smiths tee-shirts and a few pairs of bondage pants. It was a big move for them. There are parts of Albuquerque where shit like that can still you get you fucked up. You saw Breaking Bad, right? But these young cats were making the leap out of themselves and declaring what they loved and what they wanted to stand for. I walked over to them, they were probably no older than 16, and simply said “cool” and that was enough to let them know that we were on the same team even though there were was more than a 40 year difference in our ages. I left it at that, though I was tempted to tell them my chicken story and that the people who made the bondage pants they were buying were my best friends and have made millions selling punk rock clothing to kids all across America since 1975. Purists will question the commodification of rebellion. To which I say “fuck that shit!” Punk has always been as much about fashion as it has music. Not every kid can be in a band but every kid can look like he’s in a band. And that’s a good fucking start. 

Anyway, here’s some way cool footage of New City when it was funky, sexy and more than a little bit crazy. These were the days when New York City made more than just money. It made stuff you could hold in your hand, put on your body and tell your story through.

From the YouTube description:

This film of New York City streets, parks, and people was made in the early 1970s by amateur filmmaker Irving Schneider. Includes scenes of Brooklyn Heights, Washington Square and Greenwich Village, the Garment District, Times Square and 42nd Street, and Central Park. Music by John Coltrane.

 

 
Thanks to Jahn Xavier for turning me on to the video.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Dammit Brooklyn: ‘Upcycled’ ladder shelving unit just $395
11.10.2013
09:01 am

Topics:
Amusing
Design

Tags:
DIY
Etsy
Brooklyn

ladder shelf
 
“Upcycling” refers to the fabrication of a new product from old materials. How this is different from “recycling,” I cannot exactly pinpoint, except that there appears to be an aesthetic milieu attached to “upcycling”- something of a millennial take on shabby chic. Call something “recycled,” it’s someone else’s old crap. Call something “upcycled,” you can sell it on Etsy.

Take, for example, this… shelf, available for the low, low price of $395, a price for which you could afford an actual antique shelf. The seller, however, appears confident that his creation is just as good as any old piece of legitimate furniture. From the Craigslist ad:

This rustic ladder shelving unit is made from a 12’ ladder with two upholstered burlap boards. The ladder comes apart and folds up and can easily be taken apart for transport. I also have another ladder shelving unit that was made from the same original ladder and is also available upon request.

As one of those working class young Brooklynites currently sitting on a dilapidated IKEA couch, in front of a 3,000 pound television set, which lives on planks of wood perched atop cinder blocks, I know how to be resourceful on a budget, and I know how to make due with cheap and free materials. I also know the difference between real furniture and an amalgam of building materials. And building materials, no matter how expertly stacked, do not cost $395.

Thinking, of course, that this must be a Craigslist prank, I was delighted to see that the seller also has an Etsy store, where he does appear to sell some actually cool stuff. Then I saw this:

“Retro Early 1980s Baby Bouncer”
 
high chair
 
“Retro Animals Print High Chair”
 
bounce chair
 
No, Brooklyn Upcycler! Old baby shit is not “retro!” Old baby shit has been recalled. Because baby furniture used to be comprised of nothing but sharp metal and a series of nooses! Baby technology advances because babies have lost their damn little baby limbs on unsafe high chairs and bouncy seats! Old baby shit is neither functional nor aesthetically pleasing! Damn, Brooklyn Upcycler, sometimes you just have to throw old shit away!
 
Via Brokelyn

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Bootylicious fertilizer commercial is unfit for children
11.10.2013
08:30 am

Topics:
Advertising
Sex

Tags:
sex
fertilizer

Thai fertilizer commercial
 
This poor farmer in Thailand is busy struggling with his godforsaken tuber when suddenly, out of nowhere, a “Gangnam”-esque beat starts to pulsate throughout the fields and a trio of go-go dancers materializes and relentlessly gyrates as if their lives depended on it. (The farmer’s horrified reactions to all of this, by the way, are fantastic.)

This commercial takes the notion of “suggestive” to brand new heights, complete with an utterly unmissable visual metaphor for successful completion of the sexual act. Watch it and see.

Seriously, don’t show this to kids. But I laughed my ass off.

And then I promptly went out and bought some of this fertilizer.
 

 
via RocketNews24

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
After The Specials came the bittersweet pop of Fun Boy Three
11.10.2013
08:24 am

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
The Specials
Terry Hall
Fun Boy Three


 
Terry Hall. Terry Hall. Terry Hall. There’s only one Terry Hall. Okay, there’s probably thousands of the bastard, but there’s only one Terry Hall.

That dour-faced grumpy-looking singer and songwriter who has appeared in as many different bands as there are Terry Halls out there.

Hall seems to have been around for decades now—longer than the careers of most pop stars, but he’s never achieved the heights of success, despite having the talent, the idiosyncratic voice and that surly sneer. Maybe it’s because he’s “too English”? Maybe it’s because he’s perceived as awkward, moody, and trouble? Maybe it’s because he’s never kissed America’s ass? Maybe it’s because he’s actually quite shy, suffers from depression, and gets so wound-up about writing songs that the stress gives him eczema? I don’t know. All I do know is that Hall has been involved with some incredible bands and has produced a diverse and impressive array of work, with a dozen pop classic songs, and a clutch of superb albums. But all that doesn’t help, for really, who the fuck is Terry Hall?

There’s that old pop riddle of why some bands manage to keep a shambling career going on the basis of one Top 40 single; while others, with more talent and charm, disappear after a residency of two-to-three years in the Top Ten. Fitting into this latter camp is the Fun Boy Three, the band formed by Terry Hall, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple, after they quit Ska band The Specials.

Hall had tired of the chaos and aggression (drugs, drink and bottles being thrown by skinhead fans) of life with The Specials. And after too many years of near constant touring, Terry, Lynval and Neville found joyous release producing their own distinct and eclectic music in the studio.

It was as if the three young lads had gone on holiday, and packed-in their 9-5 Two-Tone suits for sweat shirts, three-quarter-length cargo pants and Terry’s distinctive Shockheaded Peter haircut. Their appeal was instant and the Fun Boy Three were soon all over the music press, and bouncing around like teenyboppers on Top of the Pops. But underneath it all, they were just the same three lads wanting to make music, as Terry Hall explained it to the student magazine I edited at the time:

”We created one of the biggest images last year with stupid haircuts, but our image is ourselves. I have had enough of telling people that I am just the same as them; they think I’m different because I’m in a group, but it’s just my job. A lot of people think record companies control us, but they just distribute our records; we manage ourselves.”

Lead singers always receive the focus, because they’re the ones out front, saying those things so many young hearts want to hear and understand. Listening to Hall’s lyrics it was obvious here was no ordinary lead singer, with his near monotone vocals and withering gaze, he was the maverick talent at the heart of the Fun Boy Three.

”I come up with most of the ideas for our songs. I take lyric writing very seriously. I would like to produce other people’s music, to give myself ideas as much as anything.”

It’s been said that Hall has to wear white gloves when he writes lyrics because he gets so stressed his hands erupt with eczema. It’s one of the stories that if not true, should be, for it makes Hall seem near saintly in suffering for his art.

Together Fun Boy Three produced two classic pop albums and a handful of hit singles between 1981 and 1983. Their debut, “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)” may have carried on from where The Specials’ “Ghost Town” left off, but Fun Boy Three were no Specials-lite, and their following singles—“T’Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” (with backing from Bananarama), and “The Telephone Always Rings”—offered jaunty, enjoyable pop.

“Commercial success takes a lot of pressure from the band. There is tension among us but we can talk about it, and we try to avoid each other as much as possible. With The Specials tension split us up; but I think all groups should eventually. Changing helps the progression of music like doing cover versions to take music further, the way we did ‘T’Ain’t What You Do…’ with Banarama. Unlike Phil Collins, his version of ‘You Can’t Hurry Love’ took music back about ten years.”

 
funboyfacecoverthree.jpg
 
Hall later jokingly dismissed the band’s first album as “crap,” and that it had only been done to make money, which kinda sums up Terry’s sense of humor. A typical joke by Terry (an avid Manchester United supporter) goes something like this, where you have to imagine he’s reading out soccer results:

“Real Madrid, one. Surreal Madrid, fish.”

I liked their first album, but it was their second (and sadly last) album Waiting, produced by Talking Heads’ David Byrne, that hit me directly between the ears. This was no ordinary record, Waiting is classic pop of an exquisite and thoroughly brilliant and enjoyable kind. From its opening track (a cover of the theme music of the Margaret Rutherford/Miss Marple movie, Murder She Said), through the politically barbed “The More I See (The Less I Believe)” with its Captain Scarlet drum riff, to such pop chart gold as “Tunnel of Love” and “Our Lips Are Sealed” (with Jane Weidlin), Waiting is one of pure pop’s genuine masterpieces, or as Hall described it at the time just “a really good LP.”

”It shows we have grown up in a lot of ways. We are taking our music a lot more seriously than last year. We were enjoying ourselves and hoping that people were enjoying us.”

In 1983, Fun Boy Three appeared on TV show Switch, where they performed “Well Fancy That,” “Our Lips Are Sealed” and “Farmyard Connection.” Their opening number, the jaunty yet hellishly disturbing “Well Fancy That,” detailed Hall’s sex abuse at the hands of a teacher on a “school trip to France.” It’s like a depth charge, as the meaning lyrics only hit you after you’ve started humming along to the carnivalesque tune.

”You took me to France
On the promise of teaching me French,
We were told, to assemble, to meet up at ten,
I was twelve and naive,
You planned out our route
I sat in your car, my suitcase in the boot,
On the M1, and the A1, until we reached Dover,
Through passport control, you pulled your car over
On the liner, we stood on the deck, we left port,
My first time abroad,
A school trip to France.”

Who else but Terry Hall would make such a naked admission in such a public way? As David Byrne pointed out at the time:

“He didn’t tell his mum, he didn’t tell his friends, but he’s going to tell everybody.”

Hall later said writing the song was cathartic:

“It was about me being sexually abused as a kid by a teacher,” says this father of three.

“The only way I could deal with the experience was to write about it, in a song. It was very difficult for me to write, but I wanted to communicate my feelings.”

 

 
I bet it was. Every critic nearly peed their pants when John Lennon sang about his mother obsession and his Primal Scream therapy, but along comes Terry Hall singing about his sex abuse as a child, and not one hack says peep, or even “how brave.” No, I seem to recall they were all rubbing their nipples over Flock of Seagulls’ asymmetric haircuts, and Bono’s enormous ego. Plus ca change..

Terry Hall’s approach to such a horrific event reveals something of the essence of the man. Hall has always done things on his own terms. He has chosen how best to deal with his own private demons; and he has followed his own career path from The Specials, to Fun Boy Three, through The Colourfield, Terry, Blair & Anouchka, then Vegas (with Dave Stewart), to his own solo career and back to The Specials again. Hall is an artist who is only ever been beholden to anyone but himself and his own muse. This has meant some people, some journalists, have pettily and foolishly written Hall off. But wait, stop, and take a look at what he has achieved. Hall has a highly impressive and significant body of work, both as a solo artist and through his various bands. And together with Staple and Golding as the Fun Boy Three, Hall has produced some of pop’s best and most lasting songs.
 

The 1983 Switch performance.
 

 
Fun Boy Three live on ‘Rockpalast’ plus more, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Guillermo del Toro refused to insert a ‘Poochie’ into ‘Wind in the Willows’

The Itchy and Scratchy and Poochie Show!
 
For my money, “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show,” episode #14 in the 8th season of The Simpsons, ranks as one of the most effortlessly resonant episodes they ever did. If you recall that one, the TV execs, worried about slipping ratings for “The Itchy & Scratchy Show,” decide to insert an “extreme” dog character named “Poochie” into the program. The surfboard-toting Poochie wears sunglasses, a backwards baseball cap, and torn shorts and generally behaves like the parody of edgy youth behavior he was intended to be. Eventually the kids start to hate Poochie because he always drags down the action, and they kill off the character. In a “meta” point to drive the point home, in the episode an additional, sassy Simpsons sibling named “Roy” materializes, whom all the characters acknowledge as always having been there.

The episode is studded with great dialogue, but here’s a bit in which all the relevant nonsense about Poochie is laid out in detail:
 

Network Executive Lady: We at the network want a dog with attitude. He’s edgy, he’s “in your face.” You’ve heard the expression, “let’s get busy”? Well, this is a dog who gets “biz-zay!” Consistently and thoroughly.

Krusty: So he’s proactive, huh?

Network Executive Lady: Oh, God, yes. We’re talking about a totally outrageous paradigm.

Writer: Excuse me, but “proactive” and “paradigm”? Aren’t these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important? Not that I’m accusing you of anything like that. [pause] I’m fired, aren’t I?

Roger Myers Jr.: Oh, yes.

 
The whole episode is a stone classic, and (in my mind at least, and I know I’m not alone) the word “Poochie” ever since has always been synonymous with gratuitous attempts to pander to audiences.

Everybody gets that Poochie-type behavior is a daily occurrence in Hollywood—but surely the makers of The Simpsons were exaggerating, right? To judge from the experience of Guillermo del Toro, apparently not!

Around 2003 del Toro was attached to a Disney animated adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s 1905 children’s favorite The Wind in the Willows. In an interview from Rotten Tomatoes’ “Dinner and the Movies” series, del Toro revealed that he had to leave the project because of the Disney execs’ request to “Poochie” up the character of Toad:

Wind in the Willows, which I adapted to do animated. ... “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” and all that - it was a beautiful little book, and then I went to meet with the executives and they said, “Could you give Toad a skateboard and make him say, ‘Radical, dude!’ things,” and that’s where I said, “It’s been a pleasure!”

The section with the Wind in the Willows stuff is embedded below, but you can watch the entire interview (12 files) if you like.

All in all, del Toro’s decisions to walk away from material—which happened often, apparently—seemed to work out well. He’s one of Hollywood’s most inventive and sought-after directors, and he just published a terrific book called Cabinet of Curiosities which we posted about a month ago.
 

 
Thank you Mark Davis!

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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