The new video for Miley Cyrus’s “Liberty Walk” single goes out in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement with clips of protests from all over the world. A caption at the beginning reads “This is dedicated to the thousands of people who are standing up for what they believe in…”
Predictably there have been hilarious comments left all over the Internet, both pro and con. Me, I’m all for a pop video that introduces 11-year-old girls to the evils of capitalism and the concept of mass civil disobedience. In fact, I think it’s fucking great!
If Fox News isn’t already feigning outrage about this video, surely they will be soon!
This is why the Internet exists. No one seems to know why an image of Nic Cage, Holly Hunter and a baby appears on an eighth-grade Serbian biology textbook. There’s no explanation for this one.
Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I added a tag for “Congressman Ron Paul” to the post about the nearly completely unknown, but nevertheless quite amazing occult rock group Kongress. This may have seemed like a mistake. It wasn’t.
So what’s the connection between the Republican Texas congressman currently making his third for president and an insane rock group that made the New York Dolls look like pikers, you ask? That would be Dangerous Minds pal Otto von Ruggins, the group’s keyboard player, who appeared several times on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, a pre-Jerry Springer, late 80s syndicated “talkshow.” One time he was on the program, his fellow guest was then former US Congressman Ron Paul. The discussion was the war on drugs.
Imagine what the people look like who comment on the Fox Nation website and then picture a group of such unhinged yoo-hoos as a talkshow audience. Downey Jr. loved to pit his guests against each other and the Cro-Magnon audience members, who were dubbed “Loudmouths.” Downey Jr and his guests and audience screamed at each other with seething hatred and low IQs. The Morton Downey Jr. Show was the original “trash teevee” show. Just about the only advertisers were local bail bondsmen.
Judging from the evidence that he actually agreed to go on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, I think it’s safe to assume that Ron Paul, who was then running as the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President, never, ever thought he was going to get anywhere near the White House and was probably just trying to do what he could to spread the word about Libertarianism. Still, it was pretty ill-advised to go on a show like this.
I’m sure Ron Paul would like to forget he was ever on The Morton Downey Jr. Show. Too bad! Here is Otto’s recollection of the taping:
I remember the first time I was called to be on The Morton Downey, Jr. Show. He was there in NYC’s Channel 9 Secaucus, NJ studio before Jerry Springer took occupancy. I had written a letter to his producer suggesting they do a show about the legalization of drugs. I even recommended some guests for them - Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw, the Life Extension authors and MIT graduate research scientists. I was told they had no budget to fly people in, but they wanted me to come on the show.
Ten minutes into the show, I was at home base, on stage with Mort, telling him, “I’ve come to slay Dracula!” I made a positive showing, but 45 minutes into the show, my supervisor in the Post Office got a call from the Post Mistress telling him his employee was on the show talking about giving away free drugs and what was he going to do about it? He calmly told her I was a professional, one of his best workers and what I did on my own time was my business. Eventually, I told her I was going on again, displaying to her the Time Magazine cover story on the subject.
My best appearance (I was on six times, they loved me so much) was a July 4th aired show in 1988 where I wore a black and white checkered shirt under a black Teddy Boy jacket with red velvet collar and cuffs. Colonel Bo Gritz, a most decorated Viet Nam vet was also on, telling how Uncle Sam was in the drug business, naming names like Richard Armitage and Frank Carlucci, who would later surface as Chairman of the Carlyle Group with Bush connections, after his stint in the Reagan Administration. I fended off Downey’s initial comment that if I had wheels, I’d look like a checkered cab by declaring that “As outrageous as the war on drugs is, that’s how outrageous I have to dress to give all you mad men out there who want to fight the war on drugs, a sobering dose of reality - and for all you women out there who want to fight the war on drugs, you’re mad men, too!” Downey’s response was, “Sounds like if this was a whore house and you had a thousand dollars, you wouldn’t see any action.” I quipped back, “I didn’t come to fuck around!”
The prime time national debut on that show was the appearance of then Libertarian Party candidate for President, Ron Paul who, when Downey accused me of looking like I just came from Emmett Kelly’s funeral, rose to my defense with - “Stick to the issues, Mort, and don’t attack the way he’s dressed!” Mort quickly ripped Ron Paul’s candidacy, “If I had a slime like you in the White House, I’d puke on you!” It was that clip with me in my glorious outfit and Mort raising his arms over Paul that made it to ABC-TV’s New Year’s Eve highlights of the year in review with Sam Donaldson.
As I came off the stage at the end of the show, I was grabbed by the arm by what I thought was some Fed accosting me for trying to burn the Constitution earlier—Mort stopped me—but it was some representative from Nightline who wanted to know what it was like to be on The Morton Downey, Jr. Show. My response, which was not aired, was, “It’s like being high without drugs!”
Below, a boisterous excerpt from the July 4th, 1988 “War on Drugs” episode of The Morton Downey Jr. Show with Ron Paul, Otto von Ruggins and in the audience, then-Guardian Angel Lisa Sliwa, now known as Fox News correspondent, Lisa Evers.
At about the one minute mark, Downey Jr. tells Ron Paul what he’d like to do to him if he ever becomes president…
Artist Dave Perillo says, “This what I thought a Hanna-Barbera cartoon about the Sex Pistols would’ve looked like if they made one in the 70’s…”
Below, Dave’s Hanna-Barbera Ramones illustration titled “Hey Ho…let’s go…”
(via Boing Boing)
The film director Ken Russell died peacefully in his sleep yesterday, he was 84. Russell was one of England’s greatest, most important and influential film directors, whose work revolutionized television and cinema. Russell will be remembered for his original TV docu-dramas, Elgar, The Debussy Film, Delius: The Song of Summer, and Dance of the Seven Veils, and for his cinematic work, Women in Love, The Devils, The Boyfriend, The Music Lovers, Savage Messiah, Mahler, the rock opera Tommy, Altered States, Gothic, Crimes of Passion, Lair of the White Worm, Salome’s Last Dance and The Rainbow.
The term genius is over-used these days to describe third-rate karaoke singers, but in its proper use, as a person of extraordinary intellect and talent, Ken Russell was a genius, and his films are without question some of the greatest cinematic works ever produced. As film writer Tim Lucas noted this morning:
I am reading that Ken Russell has died, and there is nothing else to do but damn the mediocrity that’s outlived him and be immensely grateful for all he gave us—in my case, many films that changed my way of seeing things, and a few that literally changed my life. There was no other film director like him, and we will not see his like again.
Born Henry Kenneth Alfred Russell in Southampton, England, on July 3 1927, to Ethel and Henry Russell. His father owned a shop and was distant and bad tempered, which led to the young Ken spending much of his childhood with his mother watching films in the local picture house. It was here that he saw Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen, which inspired Russell towards film-making.
Ken Russell’s full obituary, after the jump…
As Richard continues his chronological journey through the output of the B52’s, I thought I would drop this obscure gem in at the correct point. The year is 1985, and a very young and fresh-faced RuPaul interviews Fred Schneider for The American Music Show, discussing his upcoming solo album and work with the B52’s (though Ru seems rather keen to promote her own work too):
Modified Casio keyboard by Tablebeast
Noise may not be to everyone’s taste (in fact by definition noise is classed as “unwanted” sounds) but to the hardcore few it’s a way of life. This documentary follows some of those artists and shows them performing live, often on homemade or radically modified kit, and talking about the philosophy and influences behind their work. You won’t have heard of many of these performers but that’s the point - they are not in it for fame or money, they are simply following their muse in as unhindered a way as possible.
Most of the artists featured in People Who Do Noise are based in Portland, Oregon, and here’s a bit more info via the site filmbaby:
The film takes a very personal approach, capturing the musicians working alone with no interference from a live audience. What often took place in crowded basements or dark smoky venues was stripped bare for the cameras, providing an unprecedented glimpse of the many different instruments and methods used.
Covering a wide range of artists and styles, the film features everything from the absurdist free-improvisations of genre-pioneers Smegma, to the harsh-noise assaults of Oscillating Innards and everything in between. Many of the artists in the film, such as Yellow Swans and Daniel Menche, have performed and sold records all over the world. In spite of such successes, noise music remains one of the least understood and most inaccessible of genres.
OK, so most of this is pushing at the very boundaries of what we call “music”, but that’s pretty much the point. Casual observers (and listeners) may not make it very far into this doc because of, well, the noise, but it’s worth resisting the urge to skip forward as you may miss some very interesting interview footage. While some of these performers come across as pretentious, regardless of what you think of the sounds they create you can’t help but admire their freedom and lack of constraints:
Photo: Philippe Taris.
Immortal and unstoppable. Next month will mark Patti Smith’s 65th birthday. Rock and roll is the fountain of youth. Back to back Patti posts on DM (scroll down) should make the case for that. The Patti Smith Group performing in 1977 and 34 years later shows none of their power, energy and relevancy diminished. May we all be as vital and commanding as this fucking band.
The Patti Smith Group at the Olympia in Paris last week was by all accounts in the French press absolutely stunning. This fan video seems to confirm there was some serious magic in the air.
Punk rock fucking lives!
More power and glory after the jump…
Patti Smith with neck brace. Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe.
I remember seeing Patti Smith’s first performance on The Mike Douglas Show in 1977 and thinking how unexpectedly cool that show was. Just imagine how dumbstruck daytime TV viewers must have been seeing The Patti Smith Group popping up between episodes of As The World Turns and re-runs of Dobie Gillis. Hell, I was even blown away!
I actually had to go to a friend’s house to watch Patti on the Douglas show because I didn’t own a TV set. It was the first time I saw her perform live and it confirmed everything I imagined The Patti Smith Group would be: wild, inspired, unadulterated rock n’ roll. And part of what made this particular performance so bona fide is Patti and the band didn’t condescend to or mock the daytime TV format they were operating in. They put their hearts into it. Every fucking show mattered to them, whether it was sandwiched between soap operas or on the stage of legendary Manhattan punk clubs. Patti was a punk without the wiseass, holier-than-thou bullshit. She wanted to spread the rock gospel throughout the nation, from the Bowery to double-wides in middle America. Everybody was invited to the party.
The first half of the video was shot on December 7, 1976 and broadcast on January 19, 1977. The second half, with Patti in a neck brace, was aired on Apr 19, 1977. It was her first live appearance after falling 15 feet off a stage and breaking several neck vertebrae in Tampa Florida on January 23, 1977.
Thanks to Jim Laspesa at Bubbling Over who continues to unearth gems from his impressive video archive.
Ask The Angels, Free Money, I Was Working Real Hard and Keith Richards Blues.