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Out with the Outcasts: Meet the biker gang from ‘Alan Partridge’ country
09.17.2014
09:40 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
gangs
Outcasts
bikers

01outcasts1.jpg
 
Bobby is a biker with the Outcasts—a motorcycle club based in Norfolk, England. Bobby has three kids, and his daughter thinks he’s a Hell’s Angel. But the Outcasts are a small club, an average of 33 members—small enough for the members to know each other, to help each other out. Bobby thinks it’s a good club. “We do our own thing,” he’ll tell you.

That’s what the Outcasts are about—it’s about biking. We just live how we want to live—regardless of government or police. We just do what we want to do.

Norfolk is now better known as Alan Partridge country—“A-ha!”, where Stephen Fry surfs the web and counts his millions. For Bobby and the other members of the Outcasts in the 1980s, Norfolk was their patch, their turf, that they ran and protected from other gangs.
 
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Once, the Outcasts liked to ride into town and cause a bit of mayhem. Now they just live a quiet life and have a bit of fun. Other biker clubs want to wipe them out, but the Outcasts want to be left alone, and Bobby would prefer it if all the biker clubs partied with each other, instead of cutting each other up.
 
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The Outcasts make their money from odd jobs or collecting social security checks. It’s 1985, the middle of Margaret Thatcher’s reign as Prime Minister and there’s not much work to be found.

Bobby’s mom might not like the way he lives, but she knows he will always be there for her, she says:

All young men like bikes, but they mostly grow out of it. It’s running around with knives and all these medals that I don’t like.

Bobby bought his first bike after his father died. He inherited some money, and his mom thought it better he buy a bike rather than steal one. But then Bobby just drifted into the Outcast life.
 
The-Outcasts.jpg
 
Made in 1985, this fascinating portrait of the Outcasts motorcycle club is a must-see documentary. Though at times it edges towards Spinal Tap territory, the film is a beautiful crafted and vivid portrait of a group of young men seeking purpose and fulfillment in their lives.
 

 
H/T Voices of East Anglia

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Own Peter Fonda’s chopper from ‘Easy Rider’


What the hell is wrong with FREEDOM, man, that’s what it’s all about!

The US flag-festooned motorcycle Peter Fonda rode as “Captain America” in the landmark 1969 film Easy Rider is going up for auction next month. Via seattlepi.com:

The customized Captain America chopper Peter Fonda rode in “Easy Rider” has come to symbolize the counterculture of the 1960s. Now it’s for sale.

The auction house Profiles in History told The Associated Press that it estimates the Harley-Davidson will bring $1 million to $1.2 million at its Oct. 18 sale being held online and at its galleries in Calabasas, California.

The seller is Michael Eisenberg, a California businessman who once co-owned a Los Angeles motorcycle-themed restaurant with Fonda and “Easy Rider” co-star Dennis Hopper. Eisenberg bought it last year from Dan Haggerty, perhaps best known for his roles in the “Grizzly Adams” TV show and movies, who was in charge of keeping the custom-designed bike humming during the 1969 movie’s filming.

Four motorcycles were created for the movie, but only one is known to have survived. It was used in the climactic crash scene in which Fonda is thrown off the bike.

After the film was finished, Hopper told Haggerty to keep it. Haggerty rode it often, an experience he likened to “going out with Marilyn Monroe.” Parting with it was like having a “child finally getting married and moving away and starting a new life on their own.”

 

 
The film, of course, remains a must-see even today, as its themes of seeking fulfillment outside the system, the death of idealism, and the paradoxes of freedom resonate well beyond the social context of the late ‘60s, and its soundtrack is packed with classic songs.

Now its central symbol can be a trinket for some extravagantly overpaid fund manager dickweed with seven figures to burn on an adolescent fantasy. AMERICA FUCK YEAH!
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
The Electric Cinema Acid Test: the trippiest movies ever made
A slightly bombed Dennis Hopper bemoans the fate of his feature ‘The Last Movie’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Evocative 9/11 photo by Toby Amies
09.11.2014
07:15 am

Topics:
History

Tags:
911
Toby Amies


Photo used with permission by ©Toby Amies
 
A statement from the photographer:

To say anything about my personal experience of September 11, 2001 feels insignificant in the shadow of the death and suffering that happened on that day and all the slaughter and pain that came after it. How anyone can think of war as holy, before 9/11, but especially after it, stretches my understanding and empathy past breaking point.

That said, here’s how I came to take the photograph.

It’s particularly fucked up that it started as a beautiful day, light and crisp, an Indian summer, with a tiny threat of winter in it. I left my studio on South 8th St. in Brooklyn to go to the bank without looking behind me, but as I came back to it via Berry St. I saw my neighbours standing in the road. They were frozen, just staring down towards Manhattan, towards something terrible and yet too far away to connect directly with. None of us could make immediate sense of what was happening on the other side of the East River. Automatically I took some pictures with the camera that I had originally taken out with me because of the excellent light.

It seems wrong now that I could take the time to frame that shot carefully, but the distance somehow “muted” the apocalypse taking place in Manhattan. Though soon common sense overruled my photographer’s tunnel vision and I realised that something very very bad was happening. Not something to photograph but to fear. Dread and panic took over and I ran upstairs to my girlfriend who was in the apartment [at the top of the red building in the photo] and we clung to each other as the towers crumbled. When they fell, the horror crossed the water and came right into us.

My brain’s too tiny to process and make complete sense of it even now, except to know that it was the opposite of holy. An obscenity in bright sunshine.

Toby Amies is the director of The Man Whose Mind Exploded available now on VOD.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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An X-rated doodle from the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci
09.10.2014
09:00 am

Topics:
Art
History
Queer
Sex

Tags:
Leonardo Da Vinci


 
Well, well, a pornographic doodle buried in the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Here’s a description (emphasis added):
 

Casual reminder that in one of Leonardo da Vinci’s many notebooks containing innumerable artistic and scientific sketches and notes of incomprehensible important, there is a sketch of two penises with legs and tails walking towards a crudely drawn anus. The sketch was most likely done by Leonardo’s apprentice Salai, who was not only very likely one of Leonardo’s lovers, but who was also infamously mischievous. Better yet, the anus is literally labeled “Salai.” So either Salai drew these while Leonardo wasn’t looking just to annoy his boyfriend, or Leonardo himself put actual time and energy into drawing these. Either way, the human race is truly blessed to have made such a discovery. There are dick drawings like the ones you see on desks in school in Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks. Please cherish this information.

 
For some background on Leonardo’s sexuality in general and his relationship with Salai in particular, there are few better sources than Ross King’s Leonardo and the Last Supper:
 

According to Lomazzo’s account, Leonardo’s passion for the beautiful Salai therefore reached its peak at about the time work began on The Last Supper in Santa Maria delle Grazie.

In the fifteenth century, Florentines were so well-known for homosexuality that the German word for sodomite was Florenzer. By 1415 the sexual behavior of young Florentine men had caused the city fathers such concern that “desiring to eliminate a worse evil by means of a lesser one” they licensed two more public brothels to go with the one they had opened with similar aspirations a dozen years earlier. When these establishments failed to produce the desired results, and still “desiring to extirpate that vice of Sodom and Gomorrah, so contrary to nature,” the city fathers took further action. In 1432, a special authority, the Ufficiali di Notte e Conservatori dei Monasteri, or Officers of the Night and Preservers of Morality in the Monasteries, was formed to catch and prosecute sodomites. Over the next seven decades, more than ten thousand men were apprehended by this night watch.

-snip-

According to Vasari, Salai was “a very attractive youth of unusual grace and looks, with very beautiful hair which he wore curled in ringlets and which delighted his master.” Giacomo seems to have served as a model for Leonardo. No definitive image of him exists, but art historians refer to a distinctive face that appears repeatedly in his drawings—that of a beautiful youth with a Greek nose, a mass of curls and a dreamy pout—as a “Salai-type profile.”

-snip-

Leonardo was almost certainly homosexual by the standards of later centuries. Freud was no doubt correct when he stated that it was doubtful whether Leonardo ever embraced a woman in passion. Two years after the Saltarelli affair, Leonardo wrote a partially legible declaration in his notebook: “Fioravante di Domenico at Florence is my most beloved friend, as though he were my….” A nineteenth-century editor of Leonardo’s writings hopefully filled in “brother,” but the relationship may well have been more intimate.

 

Here’s a brief video of King discussing Leonardo’s homosexuality:
 

 
via Tumbling down tumbling down…; quoted text seems to have originated here
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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The Beatles play for 18 people in Aldershot, 1961
09.08.2014
01:27 pm

Topics:
Amusing
History
Music

Tags:
The Beatles
Aldershot


 
Photos of the 18 damned lucky buggers who got to see The Beatles play at the Palais Ballroom, Aldershot, on December 9th, 1961. The Beatles’ then agent, Sam Leach, effed-up and didn’t advertise the show properly—hence the lousy turnout of less than two dozen people in attendance. Sam Leach was replaced by Brian Epstein as their manager after the Aldershot disaster.

However, according to Beatles’ Source, Sam Leach didn’t screw up, but, “The local newspaper, Aldershot News, neglected to feature Sam Leach’s advertisement for the show.” If this is to be believed, you really can’t blame Leach.

Truth be told, they all look like they’re having a good time regardless of the poor turnout.


 

 

 

 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Kraftwerk’s 1975 BBC TV appearance: ‘The germinating moment for British dance music’
09.05.2014
08:11 am

Topics:
History
Music
Television

Tags:
Kraftwerk
BBC TV


 
The BBC science and technology show Tomorrow’s World ran for almost 40 years (and was affectionately parodied in Look Around You), but the bit of that show that concerns us here was just a hair longer than two minutes. It was a short glimpse at the seminal German band Kraftwerk, performing their song “Autobahn” in 1975, just before their ten year run of LPs from Radio-Activity through Electric Café completely changed the face of popular music, inspiring electronic dance/techno, hip-hop, and pretty much every form of post-punk rock music that used a synthesizer, making their classic lineup arguably as influential as Elvis. If only the BBC had known what was to come, they might have been persuaded to show more than just two minutes of the 22-minute song.
 

 
A few years ago, The Guardian made a rather bold claim about the snippet of footage, placing Kraftwerk’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it segment at NUMBER 1 in their series of 50 key events in the history of dance music! I actually find that assertion entirely plausible.

The germinating moment for British dance music occurred, strangely, in a 1975 edition of Tomorrow’s World, which featured four young Germans dressed like geography teachers, apparently playing camping stoves with wired-up knitting needles. This was Kraftwerk performing “Autobahn.”

“The sounds are created in their studio in Dusseldorf,” presenter Raymond Baxter explained, “then reprogrammed and then recreated onstage with the minimum of fuss.” Here was the entire electronic ethic in one TV clip: the rejection of rock’s fake spontaneity, the fastidious attention to detail, the Europhile slickness, the devotion to rhythm. It was sublime.

When Kraftwerk toured Britain later in 1975, David Bowie’s patronage ensured a long line of followers from OMD to Underworld. Not that everything they planned came to fruition. “Next year, Kraftwerk hope to eliminate the keyboard altogether,” Baxter told us, “and create jackets with electronic lapels that can be played by touch”. It could still happen.

 

 
Bonus! Enjoy this clip of Kraftwerk’s robot doubles, also on Tomorrow’s World, but from 1991.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
Kraftwerk songs performed by string quartet
Kraftwerk sings ‘Pocket Calculator’ in Italian… and several other languages
‘Ralf and Florian’: the Kraftwerk sitcom
Newly unearthed footage of Kraftwerk—with long hair and leather jackets! Live 1970

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘Wish you were here?’: Unbelievably boring British postcards from the sixties and seventies
09.04.2014
06:08 am

Topics:
Amusing
History

Tags:
Postcards

greetingsfromharrogate1
 
I still send postcards to friends and relatives and those who are young-at-heart and find enjoyment in receiving a missive from some far-off locale. Indeed, I still write letters, but find my correspondents dwindling as the preference for thumbed messages grows. When sending postcards, I have a tendency to choose those that best capture the visited town or city from some previous decade, where the images look like stills from 1950s feature films—overly colored with azure blue skies, hot pink flowers and lime green lawns. Of course, these postcards can often be of the most boring and mundane things—a roundabout, the civic Christmas lights, a multi-story car park, a shopping mall, a newly opened motorway.

Like this little bundle of postcards, which could have been the kind of thing J. G. Ballard might have enjoyed, or at least one of his characters might have sent from a high rise in London, or an airport hotel, or a shopping mall on the M25 to some scar-worn lover. The postcards show what was once considered important, beautiful, or worthy of civic pride: the bus station, the flyover, the interchange, the mall. While the pictures tell one story, it would be interesting to know what was written on the other side—maybe something like “Glad you’re not here?”
 
before-the-london-docklands-light-railway.jpg
Before the London Dockland’s Light Railway.
 
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Bolton, Town Center.
 
broxbourne-civiv-hall.jpg
Broxbourne, Civic Hall.
 
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Central Clock Tower, and Tunnel Fly-overs, Birkenhead.
 
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Chapel High Shopping Center, Brentwood.
 
East-Kilbride-Shopping-Centre.jpg
East Kilbride Shopping Center, Scotland.
 
More postcards from the edge, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Street Gangs of East LA: Retro educational film from the 1970s
09.03.2014
08:35 am

Topics:
Crime
History

Tags:
gangs
East L.A.
Charles Cahill

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Street Gangs: Challenge for Law Enforcement is one of the many films produced by Charles Cahill (and Associates) for educational use during the late 1950s and early 1970s. Usually Cahill’s films had such uninspiring titles as Safety Through Seat Belts (1959), Safety Belt for Susie (1962), Highball Highway (1963) and Safety Rules for Schools (1967) and presented similarly uninspiring content.

Street Gangs, however, has considerable cultural and social interest mainly down to the interviews with young East Los Angeles gang members from sometime in the 1970s, who talk about their involvement in gangs, their codes, tattoos, and use of weaponry.  This documentary was found by GuildfordGhost, who purchased a 16mm reel of the film and uploaded it to YouTube.
 

 

 
Via Voices of East Anglia

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Moving 1960s short interviews the ‘Bowery Bums’ of old New York
08.28.2014
01:34 pm

Topics:
Class War
History

Tags:
1960s
NYC
homelessness


 
Despite former Mayor Giuliani’s highly successful war on the homeless, the destitute faces of “Old New York” remain some of our most recognizable mascots. One of the misconceptions about present-day NYC is that the streets are now “scrubbed” of the homeless, but nothing could be further from the truth. The post-Giuliani policing of the poor was however, an unmitigated success when it came to dispersing indigent bodies—in other words, busting up homeless communities. Simply put, it’s not illegal to die in the street, it’s just illegal to fraternize with your fellow undesirables.

The video below, shot in 1960 and 1961, doesn’t dig deep—it doesn’t have to. Men are quick and open about their lives. The tragically predictable culprits of addiction, prison, disability and the lack of work brought them to the Bowery, and they’re rightfully resentful of their grim sanctuary. Still, it’s an odd thing to be wistful for a time when the homeless were at least able to commiserate fraternally in New York City. Like the gentlemen say, “misery loves company.”
 

 
Via Bowery Boogie

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Lose your mind and play’ Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd ‘live’ on TOTP, 1967


 
I type this as someone who has (perhaps obsessively) gone out of his way—for decades now—acquiring Pink Floyd bootlegs. I couldn’t get enough of them, always trading up in quality if possible. There was always an endless supply of them, with “new” ones popping up constantly. It was a disease like stamp collecting. I even paid a hundred bucks for one that I just had to have…

Since YouTube launched in 2005, of course, there’s been so much additional Pink Floyd goodness making its way to the public—an avalanche really—which is the only way to explain how THIS ONE got past me in the Floydian deluge… I’d read a few years ago that the British Film Institute had located tapes of two of Pink Floyd’s three Top of the Pops appearances in the summer of 1967 and that the quality was a little ropey. I promptly forget about it, but that footage turned up on YouTube about a year ago, even if I just saw it myself this morning.

True the quality isn’t great—only one of the tapes was watchable apparently—but who’s going to complain about catching a rare glimpse of a still functional Syd Barrett fronting Pink Floyd on TOTP in 1967??? Before this video was located, practically the only documentation of the group’s trio of appearances on the program was the color shot used on the Syd Barrett bootleg “Unforgotten Hero” as seen above.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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