Deejay, producer and beautiful soul Mark Kamins died yesterday of “a massive coronary” in Guadalajara where he was a teacher at the Fermatta Music Academy.
Mark was a friend of mine and fan of Dangerous Minds. He often sent me links to articles and videos he thought would be of interest to DM. The last I heard from him was on January 11 of this year when he sent me a link to a YouTube video.
I think you will love this
“Whole Lotta Helter Skelter: Beatles-Zeppelin Mashup.”
Mark had a generous spirit. He was always supportive of my music and writing. He went out of his way to send me positive vibes and information he thought might be valuable in whatever project I might be working on. To say he is a loss, is an understatement. Mark was a force of nature that swept you up and carried you along on waves of upbeat energy, propelling you in the direction of your better self.
In the 80s, it was impossible to club hop without being infused with Mark’s aura via the incredible music he would play night after night as he deejayed at NYC’s groundbreaking dance clubs: including Danceteria, The Mudd Club, The Tunnel, Paradise Garage and Area. He discovered Madonna, introduced her to Seymour Stein and produced her first single “Everybody.” He worked as a producer, mixer and collaborator with The Beastie Boys, U2, Bob Marley, David Byrne, Sinead O’Connor and Karen Finley, to name a few. He wasn’t just part of the scene, he conjured the scene, he made it happen. He opened his own venue, The Harem, where he mixed instrumental tracks with live International musicians and dancers.
Mark continued to do what he loved right up until the day he died. He was teaching music students the fundamentals of electronic music and deejaying. The only thing that could stop Mark, did.
Peace brother. I imagine you somewhere, glowing like starlight, spinning the music of the spheres.
“Let the music take control
Find a groove and let yourself go
When the room begins to sway
You know what I’m trying to say.”
Rather than actually pay Virgin a licensing fee, el cheapo Spanish record label, Dial Discos hired “Los Punk Rockers” (rumored to be Spanish prog-rock band Asfalto) to cover the entirety of Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. The point was to basically confuse music fans in post-Franco Spain into thinking that this was the real thing.
The Shit-Fi blog nominated Los Exitos de Sex Pistols for “the most shit-fi album of all time,” adding that it “simply does not get any stupider, stranger, more poorly played, funnier, or nigh-psychotic (and possibly psychedelic) than this record”
Los Exitos de Sex Pistols was obviously recorded in a flash, before the next trend could take hold. The musicians more-or-less learned the songs from Never Mind the Bollocks, but the singer must not have spoken much English, because his approximations of Johnny Rotten are complete nonsense. (Here are “Holidays in the Sun” and “Pretty Vacant”) Even when singing the song title, as in the chorus of “Seventeen,” he seems to be making words up: “I’m a lazy seven.”
He does have the snottiness down pat, though. The vocals are clearly the best part of the record, simply because they’re so hilariously terrible. The guitar sound is thin and fuzzy, quite unlike the multi-tracked wall of guitars on NMTB—actually, it’s a lot closer to what one associates today with DIY punk of the late 70s than the Pistols’ sound. Few punk sleeves are as iconic as that of NMTB, but this album’s sleeve does fit the music well. It’s dumb. The woman on the sleeve appears to be some random person a photographer pulled off the street and dressed in moderately “punk” duds.
In a genre unto themselves, one we can all be thankful never took off, the concept of “mime rock” and The Hello People sprang from the mind of longtime manager and record producer Lew Futterman. Futterman, who at one point managed Ted Nugent and produced many of his albums including Cat Scratch Fever, was also managing a group of musicians who had been taught painting by the father of French mime, Étienne Decroux. Decroux was impressed with how quickly these musicians learned to paint and reasoned they could do the same with mime and apply it to music to create an entirely new art form.
Inspired by this notion, Futterman formed The Hello People, who would go on to appear on The Tonight Show and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, eventually touring with Todd Rundgren during the ‘70s, as well as opening for comedians Richard Pryor and George Carlin. The Hello People released four albums during the ‘60s and ‘70s for Philips and ABC-Dunhill, but their second album, the cult classic Fusion from 1968 is probably their best known, mostly notable for the anti-Vietnam War song “Anthem” which was banned by several radio stations. You can see a clip of the band performing the song, introduced by the Smothers Brothers below, as well as their mime act in full effect during a 1978 appearance with Todd Rundgren performing “Bread” on The Midnight Special.
It’s like the perfect shit storm… bad folk, lead flute(!)... mime!
The Hello People, Todd and pals sharing a post-show smoke sometime in the 70s.
Real Gone Music are making The Hello People’s cult classic Fusion available for the first time ever on CD. After all “Mime is money, money is mime.” Or something like that.
At some point in 1984, when I was 18, I was approached by a woman who identified herself as a casting agent, near the American Embassy on London’s Grosvenor Square.
Would you be interested in doing a screen test for the new Stanley Kubrick project?
Why, yes, of course, I would most certainly be interested in that!
Would you be willing to get all of your hair chopped off? Like in an military buzz-cut?
That I was considerably less enthusiastic about. I had long hair then and I was… rather attached to it.
Obviously, in retrospect, she was casting for long-haired young guys willing to have their heads shorn for Full Metal Jacket. I took her card but never went for the screen test.
I’ll bet David Bowie wishes he’d had made a similar decision before losing his locks for a blink and you’ll miss ‘im cameo in 1969’s The Virgin Soldiers. Aside from a two-second cameo as a falling down drunk soldier in the background of a bar scene, the rest of Bowie’s performance ended up on the cutting room floor.
Never underestimate the stupidity of… stupid people.
Take anti-union activist and Tea party tool, “interim” AZ FreedomWorks coordinator Stephen Viramontes, for instance. Yesterday on Twitter, Viramontes bragged about how he planned to give out Valentines to AZ ‘s Republican lawmakers with drawings of Hitler, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin and Mao Zedong as well as Karl Marx and Leon Trotsky. Apparently, for it’s unclear, his bright idea was to somehow associate these figures with union-busting legislation SB1182—strongly favored by Viramontes’ fellow dimwits in the Tea party movement—and “humorously” put some pressure on several GOP lawmakers believed to be wavering in their support of the draconian anti-union bill.
Presumably someone close to him convinced Stevie Blunder that this was a total clownjob move that would just make him look like a dickhead and cause him professional embarrassment, as Viramontes deleted his lamebrained boasting.
Maybe it was all in fun, but since The Arizona Capitol Times got a nice screenshot before he deleted his tweet, the joke’s on Stephen Viramontes.
Proving yourself too stupid for a career in AZ Tea party politics is a real accomplishment:
Viramontes’ planned use of cards featuring Hitler, Stalin and other leaders who are estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of more than 65 million people comes on the same day that nonprofit liberal news magazine Mother Jones posted a story on its website about an internal investigation that was sparked after FreedomWorks’ executives made a video of a woman wearing a Hillary Clinton mask having sex with a woman in a panda suit.
The video was intended to be shown at FreePac, a July 2012 conference in Dallas, but was scrapped after FreedomWorks employees complained.
Although he sent out a series of tweets about the cards, some of which showed pictures of them, Viramontes said after an initial version of this story was published that he never planned to give the cards to lawmakers and said he doesn’t support the actions or beliefs of any of the dictators on the cards.
“It was never something I was really, seriously going to do,” he said. “It was probably bad judgment on my part to even joke about it.
“Those that know me get the humor.”
Like this guy?
The Valentine cards are actually the work of artist Ben Kling, who has created other, similar cards with philosophers, authors, celebrities and historical figures. Kling had nothing to do with Viramontes’ feeble attempt at a “joke” and no association with FreedomWorks. He told TPM that he thought the media flap caused by Viramontes’ lame attempt at some Hitler humor was hilarious.