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At first you’ll think this is the SHITTIEST demo ever put on tape, but give it a little more time…
11:00 am



Back in 2003, I temp-worked as a secretary in a recording studio. One day the boss comes by my desk and says “you have to hear this.” What he played then changed my life forever. You don’t come back from a song like “A Little More Time.”  It sinks its lamprey teeth into your mind.

The artist, “McFlee,” with his backing singers, “Photosynthesis,” had just finished a demo session in which they created this visionary masterwork of…uh… let’s call it Vibratospiritual Casiohop.

According to my former boss, who remains nameless to protect his innocence:

I remember [McFlee]  came by and wanted to hear himself on the mic one day so we let him put on headphones and hear himself. He was super stoked. [The engineer] called me in the middle of the session absolutely stunned at the weirdness of the whole thing.

The engineer on “A Little More Time” recollects:

I remember he set up right in the middle of the room with his keyboard and he had about five or six different beats he would cycle through,  and he was running everything live, and didn’t want to pre-record anything. We had the girls set up in the hallway for backing vocals. I just remember when he started the song I was waiting for the ending around the four minute mark, and was looking for Candid Camera around the seven minute mark of the eighth or ninth(?) chorus. I knew this was a classic in the making, and regret not having a camera rolling! It seemed like watching him, every “yeaaaaaaaaa” would get a little more animated, and he was getting comfortable about halfway through the song, with more and more vibrato.

“A Little More Time” hits all the criteria for the truest of “Outsider Music.” It’s an earnest effort to create something real and meaningful that breaks every possible musical and lyrical convention with zero self-awareness. It’s challenging in every way, yet holds its own as an impossibly unforgettable earworm. The track was recorded in September of 2003 and I was luckily able to sneak a copy out of the studio. This is a chopped/screwed edit which excises approximately eight minutes of instrumental passages. If you think this is “difficult music” in its present form, imagine it with an extra eight minutes of keyboard preset instrumental breaks!

Some have noted a striking resemblance between McFlee’s vocal stylings and those of Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons). Um, sure, why not?

Only a handful of people who were gifted dubbed copies have heard “A Little More Time,” but it’s worth exposing to a greater audience. The video, unrelated to the song, approximates what one imagines a live McFlee performance might possibly entail, and is provided to give the listener a visual to enhance the experience. Follow along with the lyrics or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Soon “A Little More Time” will be jammed into your head like a mental tapeworm, sucking out IQ points while lifting your soul to the heavens. 

Ladies and gentleman, prepare yourselves for the vibrato stylings and astonishing language liberty-taking of the one-and-only McFlee and Photosynthesis.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Outsider Christian Music
Songs in the Key of Z: The Curious Universe of Outsider Music

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Smokey Sue Smokes for Two’ is the weirdest, creepiest, dumbest anti-smoking deterrent, ever
10:50 am



Keeping pace with our laughably inefficient abstinence-only sex “education” program, the drug education at my school was incredibly patronizing, to say the least. For chastity, we ripped pieces of Scotch tape off of one another; the metaphor became clear as the adhesive wore off—the more you sleep around, the less likely you will ever be able to romantically bond with another human being. For the drugs though, we had a more old-fashioned scare tactics—photos of black lungs, testimonials from former addicts and alcoholics (on video of course, can’t have the kids around anyone who has ever done drugs of any kind), statistics that were obviously skewed to make a joint appear as dangerous as black tar heroin and, etc.

Obviously it was disingenuous propaganda, but it wasn’t nearly as insulting to our intelligence as Smokey Sue Smokes for Two, the fetus in a jar with a doll head that smokes. It’s apparently supposed to teach you something about fetal distress? From a health teaching tools site that sells this abomination (for $163!):

Sue’s motherly instincts are questionable at best. There she sits passively smoking cigarette after cigarette, ignorant of how her vile habit is affecting her baby. Tragically Sue personifies many real-life mothers who don’t see that their choices influence the health of their babies. As Sue smokes each cigarette tar builds up around the gaunt fetal model and gradually tints the clear fetal environment a sickly shade of amber. Sue may not be able to think for herself but she prompts others to do plenty of thinking.

Seeing as even the youngest child understands the body is more complex—and pregnancy more involved—than a plastic fetus in a jar, I can safely say I don’t see this creepy fear-doll working. (And isn’t it kind of insulting to portray a woman as a literal baby-jar?)

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Noise music is for the children: The Shoreditch Experimental Music School, 1969
09:08 am



My education in experimental music came in my college years. Between volunteering at the campus radio station and living in a cheap apartment building in a neighborhood that had historically been a freak magnet, I hooked up with a cadre of students from a nearby music school who were into the weird stuff, and were cool enough not just to clue me in on 20th Century classical, the New York School, atonality, musique concrète, et al, they even invited me to make music with them. Over the course of two or three years, we filled up a metric shitload of blank tape and killed a lot of innocent cannabis plants, and it was all time very, very well spent. But seeing this BBC documentary on a late ‘60s experimental music program in the schools of Shoreditch, London, UK, made me wish I’d been from a time and place where I could have had many of those experiences (likely minus the cannabis, or maybe not) in elementary school.

The doc puts student works on display, starting with a piece exploring “heat, radiation, relentlessness, intensity, stillness,” with instructor Brian Dennis (the man who literally wrote the book on Experimental Music in Schools), who then gives a conducting demonstration, and a demonstration of tape effects. There’s a lengthy, edifying, truly wonderful visit to a class of very young children learning the creative use of tape recorders, and a science fiction story by one of the students, scored with music and sound effects made by his classmates. Then we’re treated to a lively and cacophonous student composition, scored with an invented notation. The program concludes with a genuinely creepy piece of drama, written, scored and acted by the students, wouldn’t you know it, about a cholera epidemic.

The sophistication on display here, even from some of the much younger students, makes me weep for the ultrashitty way US public schools treat arts education. (While athletics, naturally, are the inalienable milieu of young gods…) To keep myself from indulging in a rant about this—and I’d say nothing that hasn’t been said better by others, really—I transcribed my two favorite quotations from teachers in the program. There IS great educational value in difficult music, to wit:

“The children in this school have a great variety of creative experiences, musically, and we do try to make sure that the music is part of activity. All children are very interested in tape recorders, televisions, radios, in fact that is nearer their experience than are a great many nursery rhymes. Creative tape recording teaches them self-discipline, because they soon realize that if they talk at the wrong time it spoils somebody else’s work.”

“The children do have bizarre noise-making sessions as play, but I think this is quite a valuable experience. They soon learn that once they get used to the sounds, they need some other form of organization if they’re going to get more enjoyment. So naturally they progress to electing a leader or conductor, and they find there’s some need for notation of a sort, so they invent one, and they’ve progressed then from play to composition without actually being taught.”


Previously on Dangerous Minds
Langley Schools Music Project: children’s choruses sing Beach Boys, Bowie, Fleetwood Mac
With thanks to WFMU on Twitter

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Watch Richard Linklater’s little-known first feature, made three years before ‘Slacker’
02:52 pm



Richard Linklater’s mission in life has apparently been to make experimental cinema techniques as accessible as possible. As a writer, his specialty is a certain humdrum ordinariness, which has had the virtue of giving his work a dollop of generalized familiarity even as it risks being colorless, plotless, meandering, or humdrum. (I say this as a fan—seriously.) His most recent movie Boyhood was one of the most lavishly praised movies of 2014, failing to win the Oscar for Best Movie last night but was still nominated for a bunch of important awards; it did win Best Supporting Actress for Patricia Arquette’s performance.

Despite its uncontested power to resonate emotionally, Boyhood possesses a near-total absence of plot and a protagonist, Mason, who is generic to the point of being a cipher, qualities that, as we shall see, have been part of Linklater’s directorial persona from the very start. In his career, Linklater’s efforts to represent Everyman have sometimes have resulted in movies about nobody in particular. Ethan Hawke’s Jesse from the “Before” trilogy, benefiting from oceans of dialogue, is more individuated than Mason, to be sure, and yet still flirts with becoming a statistically average member of Generation X. I had not heard of Linklater’s 1988 feature It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books until a couple of weeks ago. You can’t buy it on its own; you can obtain it only as an extra on the Criterion Collection edition of Slacker, Linklater’s breakthrough 1991 effort.

It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books, shot on Super 8, is an almost entirely plot- and dialogue-free travelogue about a young dude, played by Linklater himself, who travels all over the western half of the country, mostly by train—he starts out in Austin (of course) and visits Missoula, Montana, and San Francisco, among other locales, before returning home.. Huge swaths of the movie were shot in train stations or aboard Amtrak trains.

Linklater employs two strategies that are very helpful to the novice filmmaker, being a commitment to ambient sound and an eschewal of reverse angles. The movie reminds me somewhat of Jarmusch’s first feature Permanent Vacation, although that movie was far talkier and unmistakably “downtown New York” in spirit. Atitudinally, Linklater is unsurprisingly gentle—you may not see the point of all the footage shot out of a train window, but it doesn’t make you angry, either. The train footage is reminiscent of Yvonne Rainer’s Journeys from Berlin/1971 as well as countless other experimental movies, while the emphasis on train stations reminded me of Chantal Akerman’s later D’Est (From the East).

It might be suggested that Impossible to Learn to Plow is a mix of Slacker and Before Sunrise. Given that Linklater himself kicks off Slacker by emerging from a bus station to narrate his multiverse dream to an indifferent taxi driver, it’s fun to imagine this movie as a prequel of sorts, ending a few minutes before Slacker begins.

The closest thing the movie has to a comedic scene is a bit towards the end in which the protagonist drives in a car and dips into a whole bunch of radio stations in a vain search for some good music (it’s the ‘80s, so he gets a lot of generic pop, although he does pass the Pretenders by). At the end, Daniel Johnston, of all people, pops up briefly to inquire after the protagonist what his shirt says (it turns out to be the movie’s title) and to give him a demo tape.

LInklater is said to have consumed 600 movies a year over a ten-year period, so one of the leitmotifs of It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books is the movie diet of our traveling hero. We see him watching Kubrick’s The Killing while perusing a recent obituary of Sterling Hayden with the suggestive subtitle “Actor loved the sea, loathed Hollywood” (Linklater might feel the same way). Later on he catches a few moments of another Hayden feature, I think it’s The Come On? He also catches bits of an old Carl Dreyer’s Gertrud and a Vincente Minnelli feature with Frank Sinatra and Shirley Maclaine called Some Came Running.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Penis de Milo’: Learn to make molds of your sweetheart’s nether regions with Cynthia Plaster Caster
02:29 pm



Cynthia Plaster Caster
Cynthia Plaster Caster (born Cynthia Albritton) is the famous “super groupie” who, in the late 60’s started using a substance concocted for dental molds to memorialize the Johnsons of celebrity musicians in plaster. On her website, Ms. Plaster Caster describes herself as having been a shy person when she was young. Looking for a way to stand out from the throngs of other groupies swarming around rock star hotel rooms, she created an official sounding “organization” called the Plaster Casters of Chicago and gained access to many a celebrity’s private parts, probably most famously, Jimi Hendrix. 

Legend has it that there were a few complications with the Hendrix “procedure.”

Here’s Cynthia’s tale about the almost botched attempt to cast Hendrix’s apparently prodigious member:

Because this was one of my first shots at plaster casting, the end result came out kind of gnarly. I prematurely cracked the mold open, only to find a still-moist, broken cast inside. So yes, Jimi did in fact, break the mold! But thanks to Elmer’s Glue, I managed to reconnect the head to the shaft to the testicles. Very statuesque and antique-looking; like Grecian art. The Canadian underground paper Georgia Straight called it the “Penis de Milo.” There’s no denying that Jimi towers over most of my collection. His long, thick shaft combined with his disproportionately small head brings a shudder to the spinal cord!

Jimi’s pubes got stuck in the mold because I didn’t lube them enough. I spent the next 15 minutes pulling out each individual hair one by one, while he had intercourse with just the right sized repository — his negative impression! This unexpected delay made him late for his show that evening, where he was seen scratching his crotch a lot onstage.

Plaster Casters of Chicago
The Plaster Casters of Chicago
Despite this early setback of sorts, Cynthia has had years to perfect her technique. In the ensuing decades she’s preserved the pricks of everyone from the MC5’s Wayne Kramer to David Yow of The Jesus Lizard eventually even branching out to breast casts, the only preservation process she seems to prefer these days. She’s cast the dirty pillows of Karen O from The Yeah Yeah Yeahs as well as those of performer/provocateur Peaches among several others. Indeed, for $500 you can have your own bust (whether of the male or female variety) preserved for posterity by the legendary artist herself.

And as if that weren’t stimulating enough, you and your significant other now have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to, as Cynthia Plaster Caster puts it: “Learn to Plaster from the Master!” 

Here’s what she has to say on her website (where you can also find her contact information and a sidebar menu made entirely of animated dicks):

Rather than designing just another do-it-yourself kit, I thought it would be fun to teach people one on one (or, rather one on two) how to cast their significant other’s – significant body parts…

For $3500, I will walk two lovers, gay or straight, start to finish, through the entire process (approximately two days). This would consist of: mixing dental mold, making the plaster cast, cracking it out of the mold and filing off excess plaster. All materials are included. Your city or mine (Chicago). If I have to travel to your town, my round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations would be in addition to the fee. I’ll take notes as per my tradition, and issue a diploma – presuming the course will be passed with flying colors (hey, if I can do it ANYBODY can do it!). Cameras are allowed (but not for commercial purposes).

Just so you know – I won’t be doing any casting or stimulating. I’ll only be the coach on the sidelines. This is not for MY collection. It’s for YOURS! And YOU get to keep the trophies!

More after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Sexy pony girls, for all your BDSM rocking horse needs
02:14 pm



In one of the more disturbing yet hilarious feats of crafty design I’ve seen, Peter Jakubik has redefined the term “pony play” with these bondage-inspired rocking horses. You have the option of making your own by downloading a DIY template from Etsy ($22.09), or purchasing one of many completed and painted models($1699.37), each with their own names, unique accessories and backstories. Yes, whether you prefer lace and ruffles, elaborate rope-play or a vinyl facemask, there is a pony girl for you.

Take for example the lovely Gisele, above:

The flexible body of Gisele the Balerina [sic] is firmly tied by a rope maze forming an improvised body harness. She combines her delight in rope tying with a passion for scenic dance. You can transform a classic performance by your bizarre game to a “bondage” Swan Lake.

I’m actually a bit partial to the unfinished wood grain, below. It has a certain… rustic ambiguity.

See more below for an idea of the “variety” that’s offered. Obviously this is all well and good, but I think he’s really limiting himself by sticking to the female form—a pony boy would sell much better, in my opinion. Maybe the purchaser is attracted to men or perhaps they like the idea of sadomasochistic kitsch, but don’t want the antifeminist stigma that might be associated with such a surreal knick-knack?

I say get on it, Jakubik! You’ll have them chomping at the bit!


“Fille de joie Jacqueline has penchant for burlesque. Her panties, stockings, long gloves and a corset must miss ruffles in any event. At first glance she coquettishly invites you to sit in the saddle and be gently lulled.”

“Despite the donkey ears on the harness, Vanda is not as adamant as you would expect from the way she looks. In its wavy-trimmed negligee and eared harness she keeps standing in her place, obediently waiting for the regular evening ride.”

“Xenia illustrates real girl next door without any sexual inhibitions. She hides her innocent little face under the hood joining her hair into a thick tail. Cuffs on hands and feet bond up her momentary daftness. It’s just up to you to unleash, and turn a canter to a rodeo.”

“Helga gives a clear indication that her haggard appearance of a little beast is really not for a romantic nature. Her semi-transparent lingerie and latex stockings are held in place by a similarly toned garter belt and tightly tied by a body harness. She will definitely stand out from your collection of toys.”

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Shakespeare. William Shakespeare’: Sean Connery stars as ‘Macbeth’ in seldom seen TV production
01:56 pm



Shean Connery does Shakespeare? Shurely there’s shome mishtake?

Well no, for as Michael Caine once said, Sean Connery was always “a much better actor than just playing James Bond.” This can be seen by his performances in Hitchcock’s Marnie, or his first three films with Sidney Lumet—as military prisoner Joe Roberts in the outstanding The Hill, the eponymous crook in The Anderson Tapes, and one of his finest performances as a detective on the verge of a nervous breakdown in The Offence. Then, of course, there’s John Boorman’s Zardoz, or his performance alongside Caine in John Huston’s The Man Who Would Be King, or as a space marshall in Peter Hyams’ Outland, or as the maverick characters in The Name of the Rose, The Hunt for Red October, The Rock, Gus Van Sant’s Find Forrester and so on and so on. That his final films aren’t so good is down to poor choices and the moronic commercialization of Hollywood by producers who would be more suited to working as junior office clerks or assistants in shoe shops. That said, if only Connery had agreed to come out of retirement and play Gandalf in Lord of the Rings, how different this may have been. (The actor was even offered 15% of the box office gross, for which he’d have personally made out with $400 million!)

In 1961, the year before he became internationally famous as Bond in Dr. No, Connery gave a critically acclaimed performance in a Canadian television production of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth—or the “Scottish Play” as it is sometimes called by very superstitious actors. Shot in a studio in Toronto in a rather stylized manner—with few props or sets, using big close-ups and tilted camera angles—the production shows Connery is more than competent at delivering the Bard’s lines.

Macbeth tells the story of an ambitious soldier whose meeting with three witches (or “Weird Sisters”) on a “blasted heath” after a battle convinces him he will one day become King of Scotland. The witches hail Macbeth as Thane of Glamis, and predict he will soon be Thane of Cawdor and King therefafter. These predictions set Macbeth off on a murderous path that will eventually prove his undoing.
There’s an interesting connection between Macbeth and the hacktivist group Anonymous and that is Guy Fawkes—the infamous Papist plotter who planned (along with eleven others) to blow up the English House of Parliament on November 5th, 1605. This was the Gunpowder Plot and its failure is still celebrated today in the UK as Guy Fawkes Night or Bonfire Night.

Fawkes’ bearded features have long been reproduced on cardboard masks for children to wear during Bonfire celebrations. This Guy Fawkes mask was reinterpreted by illustrator David Lloyd for the character “V” in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and has since become a recognizable avatar for Anonymous and the Occupy movement.

Apart form being very loosely based on a real Scottish King, Shakespeare’s Macbeth was written as piece of flattering propaganda for the new English King James I, who was also James VI of Scotland.
James was the son of Mary Queen of Scots and inherited the English throne from Queen Elizabeth I in 1603 after she died without issue. The English were suspicious of this dour Scottish Calvinist taking reign of their country and there was one attempted coup before the infamous Gunpowder Plot of 1605. In response to this plot, Shakespeare wrote Macbeth as a way to “flatter King James,” as the scholar A. L. Rowse wrote in his biography of Shakespeare:

...his Majesty received a great shock with the exposure of the Gunpowder Plot, 5 November 1605, which was to have blown him and his family, with all the Lords and Commons assembled in Parliament, sky high at the hands of the extreme wing of young Catholic malcontents. These events are not only reflected in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth, but I think it fairly clear that the conception of such a play was suggested by them….Shakespeare, ever-responsive to the public mood, was inspired to write a play to do honour to the dynasty’s legendary forbear, Banquo, and thus to the King.

....[Macbeth] pays more tribute to the Scottish King than ever the dramatist had paid to the English Queen in all his previous work….in Macbeth we have tributes paid to Banquo, the mythical ancestor of [King James], to his ‘royalty of nature’, the dauntless temper of his mind’, the wisdom that doth guide his valour,’ while we are constantly reminded of the [witches’] prophecy that [Banquo]...shalt get kings, though thou be none.

Similarly [King James’s] personal interest in witches and demonology is catered for by the dominating influence exerted by the Weird Sisters, who are really incarnations of evil. James had written a book on demonology in Scotland, which Shakespeare read up for his play along with other Scottish lore: this Calvinist was very sure that witches and demons existed, where Queen Elizabeth, a sensible Erasmian, gave no such thought to such matters. King James knew that it was the witches who had raised up the storm that made his crossing the North Sea to marry Anne of Denmark so very unpleasant.

While Shakespeare flattered the new King, he did much to discredit the real Macbeth, who had been a successful ruler of Scotland from 1040 until 1057. He was no murderous tyrant but was described as “renowned” and gave equal rights to women during his reign and shared wealth amongst the people of Scotland—something quite unheard of at that time.

The camera loves Sean Connery and he certainly gives a good interpretation of Macbeth, and is ably supported by Zoe Caldwell as Lady Macbeth, William Needles as Banquo, Ted Follows as Macduff, Robin Gammell as Malcolm and Sharon Acker as Lady Macduff. This Canadian television production was directed by Paul Almond.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Anyone willing to spend $40,000 for a dab of 22-carat gold-laced caviar should be stomped to death
01:01 pm

Class War


Gold Caviar
Are you sick and tired of using rolled up hundred dollar bills for kindling? Have you found yourself suddenly wrapped up in some kind of Kafkaesque, Brewster’s Millions scenario? Do you often ask yourself, “What the hell am I supposed to do with all this excess scratch?” 

Here’s an idea! Why not sample what’s being called the world’s most expensive edible? Clocking in at an impressive $40,000 a teaspoon you can now drop some serious coin ostentatiously sucking down white caviar expelled from the body cavity of a rare albino sturgeon, dehydrated and laced with 22-carat gold.

Here’s what the website Oddity Central has to say about the ridiculously elite super food of the extravagantly wealthy:

The powdery caviar, also called Strottarga Bianco, is the creation of Austrian fish farmer Walter Gruell, 51, and his son Patrick, 25. According to Patrick, the Strottarga Bianco comes from the white roe of the extremely rare albino sturgeon. To make just one kilo White Gold, the father-son duo use five kilos of caviar, which is then dehydrated. Older sturgeon are used because the eggs are apparently more elegant, smooth, spongier, aromatic, and they simply taste better.

white gold

The albino beluga that produces the special caviar originally lived in the Caspian Sea, but it is now almost extinct in its native environment, making it a rare delicacy. Another reason for the prohibitive price of White Gold is the age of albino belugas. While sturgeons usually live over 100 years, few belugas reach that age due to a genetic flaw that shortens their life.

There’s a long list of things in this world about which I know nothing. Topping that list, however, would have to be the claim made by one the caviar’s producers that consuming a little dried up gold flake now and again is actually quite good for the immune system. I’m almost certain to never find out first hand.

Apparently, rubbing gold and caviar all over your face is also an option if you feel like jumping up and down and waving across the income gap to the rest of us pee-ons from time to time:

via Oddity Central

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
David Bowie wows Broadway as ‘The Elephant Man’
12:34 pm



The stage director Jack Hofsiss called David Bowie up one day to ask him if he wanted to take over the lead as Joseph Merrick in a production of The Elephant Man. The actor who was playing Merrick, Philip Anglim, was quitting the role and Hofsiss needed a replacement immediately. Bowie had 24-hours to make-up his mind.

Bowie had spent the past year on a world tour and recording a new album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps) when Hofsiss called. While many would have wilted at the thought of the arduous work involved in starring in a stage play, Bowie jumped at the offer. He joined the cast in San Francisco and began rehearsing his role.

Any suggestion that Bowie’s casting was just a novelty star billing to squeeze a few more dollars out of the play were soon quashed when the cast saw the sincerity and effort Bowie put into getting his performance right. Ken Ruta who played Doctor Treves was “unequivocal about his leading man”:

“[David] was incredible. Right on the money.”

Joseph (or as he is called in the play John) Merrick was born in England in 1862 and developed a strange and still “unknown” medical condition that caused him to suffer severe deformity in his features and bone structure, leaving him disfigured. Unable to find work, Merrick was exhibited in a freak show as “The Elephant Man.” He was eventually rescued by Frederick Treves, who became his close friend and patron.

Bowie first heard of Merrick when he was a teenager after reading about “The Elephant Man” in a book on circus freaks and human oddities (which also included a chapter on A. W. Underwood, the “Paw Paw Blowtorch.”) He later said he always had an interest in freaks and those on the edges of society and claimed their lives and experiences informed his writing.

It was certainly a stroke of genius to cast Bowie as Merrick as he brought an otherworldliness to the role and revealed a sensitivity rarely seen in his music or stage persona of Ziggy Stardust or the Thin White Duke.

As part of his research for playing the role, Bowie visited the London Hospital to examine Merrick’s bones and the cardboard church he had built which formed the centrepiece to the play—a outward symbol of Merrick’s search for peace and harmony.
Bowie performed the role without make-up and each evening forced his body into painful and twisted positions to become Merrick. His co-star Ruta said there was “a basic honesty” to his performance, but his best gift was his ability to listen to other’s dialog when acting. As Paul Trynka wrote in his biography of Bowie Starman:

His fellow actors found Bowie’s physical transformation into Merrick equally impressive. ‘He seemed to have captured that—better than all the other ones who wanted to be glamorous. He wasn’t doing glamour, he was doing Merrick,’ says Jeanette Landis. When Ken Ruta later watched John Hurt play Merrick, swamped under prosthesis, in the movie The Elephant Man, he found the experience far less involving.

As the play toured, the productions were mobbed by Bowie fans who wanted to see their pop idol or steal some personal belonging or item of clothing—even used cigarette butts were taken. Bowie took to carrying a few belongings in a cardboard suitcase and rather than living with the cast in an upmarket hotel, he stayed in rundown rented apartments where no one but a select few could find him.

However, the incessant attention from fans could be terrifying as it was utterly relentless. In Chicago a group of young female punks stalked the show attending every performance. On the final night, the group of six girls suddenly made a move for the stage. “It was instantaneous,” Ken Ruta told Bowie’s biographer:

“They were all tackled from the sides by I don’t know how many plain-clothes men. And they were carrying something in their purses, metallic—they were there to do something dirty. It was cuckoo that night.”

The production ran at the Booth Theater in New York from September 1980 to January 1981, where it received rapturous reviews with Bowie being singled out for special praise. The show was a sellout, with the opening night attended by John Lennon, Yoko Ono, David Hockney and Andy Warhol. During Bowie’s brief Broadway run, Lennon was assassinated by Mark Chapman.
In October 1980, Tim Rice interviewed David Bowie in new York for the BBC TV show Friday Night, Saturday Morning. Bowie talked about The Elephant Man, working in theater and his album Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps).

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Meet Frank Underwolf: ‘Sesame Street’ did an amazing ‘House of Cards’ skit
12:00 pm



Well, this was unexpected. I can’t imagine any youngsters getting any of the references here (that is, unless they’re diehard House of Cards fans).

The premise is basic, it’s the The Three Little Pigs as told by “Frank Underwolf” a Muppet stand-in for Kevin Spacey’s cutthroat character Frank Underwood.

Some people say there’s too much pork in this town. I could not agree more.

Frank Underwolf even talks to the camera, a nice touch.

Just watch it…

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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