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Their gender has everything (and nothing whatsoever) to do with what made the Slits so great
09.20.2017
03:13 pm
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Typical girls?

Everyone has something—that ONE THING—from their youth that they wish they had kept and still had today. Mine? The most regrettable thing I’ve ever loved and lost? A nearly lifesize cardboard cutout “standee” advertising the Cut album by the Slits. All three of them, covered in mud and at least 4 1/2 feet tall. In pristine condition, too. Yep, I used to own that. I can psychically feel the envy of several of you reading this. I bought it for eight pounds at the Portobello Market sometime in 1983 and carefully dragged it home via the London underground back to my squat on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton. I loved that thing. It was unquestionably my prized possession at the time. Problem was, when I moved to New York in late 1984, there was no practical way to get it across the Atlantic that wouldn’t have been prohibitively expensive to then 19-year-old me without bending it and fucking it up too much. It was too fragile and unwieldy for anything other than fine art shipping, so I ruefully gave it to a friend who was more than happy to eagerly take it off my hands.

I’m bummed out just thinking of it. It sucked then and it still sucks today, some 33 years later. Don’t think I haven’t scoured eBay for years searching for another! Can you imagine how much such a museum-level artifact of punk would go for today? SHIT!
 

 
I bought Cut when it first came out and I saw it filed in the “import” section of the local mall’s Musicland store (the same bin where I’d also discover X-Ray Spex, Henry Cow, Peter Hammill and Tubular Bells). Its punky reggae sound was very, very appealing to me straight off the bat. I’d read about the Slits, in books like Caroline Coon’s 1988 and in the few issues of Melody Maker that made their way to my rust belt hometown, but they were probably the last of the formative punk bands to put a record out. When I did finally hear them, Cut was a bolt from the blue to my teenaged, rock-crazed brain and the Slits more than lived up to the larger-than-life idea that I already I had of them. It sounded exactly like I expected it to, in other words. The Slits were, to my young ears, amongst the most sonically “far out” and experimental of the post-punk groups, in the same category as Public Image Ltd. (who were my #1 favorite band) in terms of the astonishing originality of their music.

For the Slits’ sound was like none other, a perfectly melded hybrid of playfully loopy, almost itchy punk, dub-drenched reggae and Afro-pop with the riotous white-Rastafarian-cum-St. Trinian’s-girl-run-amok front woman in the form of Ari Up (who was all of fourteen when she joined the group). Truly the unruly, inspired, nearly uncategorizable MUSIC of the Slits deserves a better place in the history of modern music than it’s been accorded thus far. Of course, their gender has everything and nothing whatsoever to do with what made the Slits so great.
 

 
One reason for this disconnect between their by now historically well-established reputation as formative feminist icons of British punk and how amazing and special their actual music was, is clearly the fact of the relative unobtainability of Cut‘s arguably better follow-up Return of the Giant Slits. That album was never released in America at all. Additionally, for the better part of 26 years it was only ever available from 2004 on as a pricey Japanese import CD until it was finally reissued in 2008 by Blast First. Sadly, to this day few people know the album, including no doubt many, if not most, of the people who profess to love its more roughly-hewn predecessor.

Return of the Giant Slits represented a huge leap forward for the group who were joined on drums and percussion by Bruce Smith of the Pop Group. Aside from Ari’s almost childishly obnoxious vocalizing, there was precious little in common with their first album. The shambolic, off-kilter feel of Cut was replaced by a lighter, more nimble sound. Viv Albertine’s guitar sound went from being (perfectly) plodding to scratchy, skittish, skipping, full of uniquely oblique angles and wonderfully complemented by Smith’s complex Afrobeat-inspired percussion and Tessa Pollitt’s rubbery bass. Much credit is deserved by the noted British multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford whose tripped-out, atmospheric sound effects, melodica and trombone contributions—he’s all over the album—elevate the proceedings to another level entirely. Once I was able to get my hands on some “real” (Jamaican) dub, I was disappointed that it seldom lived up to the psychedelic standards set for me by Return of the Giant Slits.

Take a moment, won’t you, and LOUDLY play “Earthbeat,” the incredible lead off track from Return of the Giant Slits:
 

 
Much more Slits after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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09.20.2017
03:13 pm
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When the legendary Hipgnosis did fashion shoots for ‘classy’ porn mag Club International (NSFW)
09.20.2017
12:55 pm
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It’s a fair bet that a large part of many (most?) record collections includes a good percentage of covers by the legendary London-based graphic designers Hipgnosis.

Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell who were the original founders of Hipgnosis turned out a massive array of iconic designs for bands as varied as Pink Floyd (who had been the first band to commission the duo), T.Rex, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, 10CC, Wings, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Jon Anderson, Depeche Mode, XTC, ABC, Megadeth, and even England’s former poet laureate John Betjeman.

Apart from album covers, Hipgnosis also designed a series of fashion spreads for the softcore porn mag Club International and its more hardcore American edition Club.

Club International was founded by porn supremo Paul Raymond, who ran the legendary strip club the Raymond Revuebar in London’s seedy Soho district and a series of best-selling porn mags. Under its first editor Tony Power, Club International was intended as a high-quality adult entertainment magazine mixing the best of writers with the finest photographers and designers.

Hipgnosis was hired to add a classy touch to the magazine’s fashion spreads. The gig allowed Thorgerson and Powell to try-out a few ideas which they would later re-use on album covers—the flasher who would reappear on Pink Floyd’s A Nice Pair, for instance, while the water-in-the-face shots would feature on Peter Frampton’s Something’s Happened. See more Hipgnosis glorious work here.
 
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See more of Hipgnosis’ fashion work for Club International, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.20.2017
12:55 pm
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Get your very own David Bowie life mask
09.20.2017
12:52 pm
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David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve in ‘The Hunger’
 
Before the advent of photography as a widespread practice available to common citizens, it was not unusual to take casts of the faces of prominent personages in the moments after death. For those who had logged noteworthy accomplishments, it was a way to fix the memory of that person, to remind one of his (seldom her) reality. A quick round of Googling reveals the existence of death masks of such well-known folks as Abraham Lincoln, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Napoleon, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), Martin Luther, Richard Wagner, and Isaac Newton.

Once you hit the mature years of the 20th century, death masks become far rarer. For some reason there is one for James Dean, and Nazis are statistically overrepresented in the group, there being death masks for Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, and Erwin Rommel. It’s not a thing we do anymore. In the age of Facebook, even un-famous people are often photographed incessantly, so the need is not as pressing to fix our memory of a person’s visual appearance. There’s always plenty of pictures out there!

To the best of my knowledge, there never was a death mask taken of the distinctive visage of David Bowie, but a “life mask” was taken, during the making of Tony Scott’s moody vampire flick The Hunger. In one point in The Hunger, the vampire John Blaylock rapidly ages several decades, so it was necessary to depict Bowie as an old man. Rather than subject Bowie to extra makeup sessions, the life mask was taken to make life easier for Dick Smith, in charge of makeup effects for the movie.
 

 
The process of making “old Bowie” is documented in Anthony Timpone’s Men, Makeup, and Monsters: Hollywood’s Masters of Illusion and FX, of which a relevant page is shown above.

At the risk of being called morbid, it would certainly be an apt sign of devotion to have a casting of Bowie’s life mask in your living room, and just such a possibility is currently being provided by Kirstie Hewer of Classic Castings, located in Warwickshire, England. They are made from plaster of Paris and come in white, silver, and copper as well as an iconic Aladdin Sane face paint version. The price for the single-color version is £40; the Aladdin Sane one is £60 (shipping in the U.K. is £6.50; international £30).
 

 

 
More looks at the Bowie masks after the jump…....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.20.2017
12:52 pm
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Jesus appears on designer shower curtains as Satan, a surfer, his holiness Tom Waits & MORE!
09.20.2017
09:52 am
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The lord and savior, Tom Waits, striking a Christ-like pose on a shower curtain by artist Hilan Can. The bible held by Waits contains lyrics from the musician’s 2004 single, “Dead and Lovely”
 
Sometimes one is fortunate enough to do what they have always wanted to do for a living—and I am living proof of that. Lots of people utter the phrase “thank god” without actually giving the words a second thought beyond using it as a mere expression. By the way, I’m one of those people, and though I wasn’t raised in an non-believing home, I’m pretty convinced that some unseen, unknown deity was not responsible for the creation of this world, nor should said (probably) non-existent deity be personally thanked when you achieve a goal, win a Grammy or dodge a bullet in the game of Russian roulette that is life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love my job—regardless if I’m writing about Iggy Pop doing coke while in rehab or in this case, fancy shower curtains with various, strange depictions of Jesus Christ emblazened on them. AMEN!

If you have been reading Dangerous Minds for a while, then you’ve been personally hipped to an obsession that I share with DM’s own Tara McGinley that concerns our preoccupation with designer shower curtains. To prove my point, I will tell you that just today I was looking for yet another new curtain for my bathroom (I need a support group, it’s true). Then I came across a curtain featuring Slim Jim spokesperson/one of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time, Randy “Macho Man” Savage flying through the air about to land a perfect “big elbow” to the back of Jesus’ head. I do remember that particular image was a huge Internet meme following Savage’s passing in 2011 in a tragic car crash. Even in death, Macho wasn’t having any of it, not even when he arrived at Jesus’ nifty cloud house. Anyway, the discovery of that epic shower curtain led me to immediately pursue the availability of other alarming bathroom necessities that incorporated images of the Son o’ God in ways that most of us have never considered. All I can say is this—there is a blacklight shower curtain in this post of Jesus with a third eye and blood dripping from his other eyes. That’s all. No big deal. Some of the images below are NSFW.
 

Jesus as an astronaut, a more believable scenario than other stuff I’ve heard. Get it here.
 

The mythical Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Jesus shower curtain. Get it here.
 

The equally mythical blacklight Jesus shower curtain. Bong and VHS copy of ‘The Song Remains the Same’ not included.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.20.2017
09:52 am
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Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!
09.19.2017
02:47 pm
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Here’s a drink ticket—enjoy the post!

“If you’ve been standing here for more than ten minutes you’re not coming in” announces Richard Boch in a stern but cute, almost teenaged stoner way. Don’t get me wrong, he means it. This was how “normal people” were greeted much of the time at the door of the Mudd Club (and many other ultra hip clubs in New York City at the time). This made getting in a huge badge of honor and being turned away a major disgrace. Imagine riding on THAT possibility just to pay to go into a nightclub? An anonymous “sniper” refused entrance once even hit Boch with a dead pigeon from a few yards away and sped off in a taxi cab!

Back then these normal people showing up at Manhattan nightclubs were mostly referred to as the “bridge and tunnel” crowd (Queens, Jersey, Brooklyn) a term not heard much these days, but once heard hundreds of times every night in NYC clubs. Some were 9-5ers, some wealthy disco-types expecting to stroll in on the doorman’s view of their Rolex or hot girlfriend. These regular folks were basically told to cool their heels or fuck off while an 18-year-old kid like me dressed to the hilt in what may have looked to them like idiotic rags, parted the seas and strolled in like I was Mick Jagger. This was not Studio 54 as they would find out soon enough. What it was, though, was a trip into known and unknown galaxies of hip culture throughout history, like a living, breathing museum/funhouse/drug den/concert hall/discotheque, mixed with nitroglycerine and LSD and thrown into a blender to create the unknown. The future. THE NOW!

The Mudd Club was almost literally unbelievable. Inmates running the asylum on an outer space pirate ship. This vessel was founded, funded and schemed by Steve Mass, who was on every side of the street all at once. When I first met Steve, he was roommates with Brian Eno and got that input, but he STILL drove me out to my parents’ apartment in Queens to help pull my record collection from under my bed, my parents shrugging their shoulders until reading about us a year later in the New York Times, thereby making it “Okay.” But really he was always very curious, constantly grilling me, getting inside my head. I once told him I thought he should round off the corners and ceiling of the Mudd Club like a giant cave and have live bats flying around the club. He actually considered it! He did this with certain other kids, rock stars, Warhol superstars, models, designers, Hollywood royalty, junkies, freaks and lord knows who else. We all had a bit of our heart and soul in that place.
 
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Mudd Club owner Steve Mass. Photo by Kate Simon

The above mentioned Richard Boch is the author of a incredibly well-written new book from Feral House titled The Mudd Club. Boch was the main doorman there and the book is his autobiography or a coming of age story told in pretty much the aftermath of the glorious Sixties during the truly, in retrospect, harsh, dark, real version of what was hoped for, but lost in that previous decade. Richard’s story is all of our stories, those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to have grown up or wound up in New York City’s grimy punk/art/drugged musical and historical mish-mosh. It was the Velvet Underground’s songs come to life after waiting a decade for the world to catch up to it, or crumble to its level.
 
To quote Richard:

I’ve always referred to the Mudd Club as the scene of the crime, always meant as a term of endearment. It was the night that never ended: the day before never happened and the day after, a long way off. There was nothing else like it and I wound up right in the middle. I thought I could handle it and for a while, I did.

 
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Author Richard Boch. Photo by Alan Kleinberg
 
Boch was given marching orders orders early on to avoid bloated seventies superstars and the limo crowd. On one of his first nights of work he was faced with a huge, loud, and very sweaty Meatloaf. “Definitely not something I wanted to get close to, physically or musically,” Boch says, and ignored him. My first ever DJ gig was early on at the Mudd Club and I was told told by Steve Mass to do things like play Alvin and The Chipmunks records when it got a bit crowded, to “make everyone uncomfortable,” including myself. Of course I had the record. I also gouged a 45 with scissors insuring the record would skip horribly and then pretend that it wasn’t happening. Just long enough to get the asylum to freak out a little bit.

Later this stuff went out the window but it was quite a formative experience. Humor filtered through even to the most deadly serious moments there. The Mudd Club was a place where twenty people could literally have had twenty different experiences on the same night during the same hour as there was just so much happening on different mental/pharmaceutical levels and different floor levels. Everywhere you turned there was someone amazing. From the way I had grown up, seeing Andy Warhol, John Waters, David Bowie and the Ramones within a twenty minute span was “my” Studio 54. Watching Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while standing next to Jean-Michel Basquiat, seeing the Soft Boys, girl groups like the Angels and the Crystals, Frank Zappa, Bauhaus, Nico, the Dead Boys, Captain Beefheart, John Cale, a Radley Metzger film presented by Sleazoid Express or an impromptu freakout by Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, well this was my dream come to life!

My dream hasn’t changed in 40 years. I’m still in awe that it happened. And in the middle of all that I was allowed to put on my own demented conceptual events with friends (“The Puberty Ball,” etc.) and be a regular DJ. The people I came to know in the punk world who wanted more found it at the Mudd Club. Our mad obsession with the Sixties, especially the Warhol/New York sixties, informed much of what we did, and at the same time the Warhol Factory itself became more corporate. The Superstars were by then getting older and pushed out, but they were looking for more themselves, and they were looking to us to inform them, making for some extremely insane morality and immorality plays coming to life before our eyes. Mudd had the pull of what the press called “downtown,” and for the downtown types, well our voices were about to be heard loud and clear.
 
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David Bowie and Dee Dee Ramone. Photo by Bobby Grossman
 
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Howie Pyro deejaying at Mudd

Richard Boch understood all this, and was also an artist himself so he knew who everyone in the art world was, as well as all the new punk stars and celebutantes, no wavers, new wavers, culture vulture gods and the ones who would become gods themselves in a year or so. In the book he talks about being nervous about starting working there but man, he was the one for the job. In the pages of The Mudd Club, Boch’s quite candid about everything you’d want to know (gossip but not mean gossip: sex, drugs, more drugs, and getting home at ten AM, having done every drug and a half dozen people along the way—normal stuff like that). It reads in one, two, or three page sections, my favorite kind of book. You can put it down in ten-minute intervals or read it in any order you want, IF you can put it down at all. I have literally read certain sections backwards for 40-50 pages while looking for something and didn’t really notice. It made me laugh out loud, and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s kind of like “Please Kill Me, the Day After,” though it’s not an oral history as such, as it is written from Richard Boch’s point of view, but it has the same immediate anecdotal feel.
 
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‘TV Party’ at Mudd. Photo by Bob Gruen
 
The club’s benevolent benefactor, Steve Mass, was responsible for making this incredible witches brew keep bubbling and kept the happenings happening. He was willing to do anything, just for the sake of doing it. Steve originally owned an ambulance service. For my 19th birthday they had a huge party for me on the second floor of the Mudd Club. Since Steve had medical connections, and since we were ALL junkies (well, a good 85% of us were), he furnished a massive cake with dozens of syringes with the plungers & needles removed so they could put the candles in the open syringes. This of course turned into a massive cake fight with the participants looking like the Little Rascals (with pinned eyes). Steve was always down for this sorta stuff. As for the main floor, the bands, writers and performers that I saw in a single month’s time was staggering! More than some people see in a lifetime.
 
From the book:

January 1979. The Cramps freaked out The Mudd Club with a loud Psychobilly grind that included such hits as “Human Fly” and “Surfin’ Bird.” A few months later, the “big names” started to appear…

He goes on to say:

The legendary Sam and Dave got onstage a few weekends later, and it was the first time on my watch that I got to see the real deal. By late summer, Talking Heads took the stage while Marianne Faithful, X, Lene Lovich, and the Brides of Funkenstein waited in the wings.

There were so many great performances: Scheduled, impromptu, logical and out of left field. The locals and the regulars were the staple and the stable and performed as part of the White Street experience. They included everyone you could imagine and some you never could. John Cale, Chris Spedding, Judy Nylon and Nico, John Lurie and Philip Glass were just a few. Writers and poets such as William S. Burroughs, Max Blagg, Cookie Mueller, and “Teenage Jesus” Lydia Lunch all wound up on the Mudd Club stage. The talent pool was so deep and occasionally dark that even Hollywood Babylon‘s Luciferian auteur Kenneth Anger got Involved.

Steve’s willingness and generosity along with his guarded enthusiasm offered support to a local community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Together with Diego (Cortez)’ and Anya (Phillip’s) short-lived but “dominating” spirit, the Mudd Club became an instant happening, a free-for-all with No Wave orchestration and very few rules.

Diego described the Mudd Club as “a container, a vessel, but certainly not the only one in town.” What made the place unique was its blank-canvas emptiness. When the space filled up, IT happened and everyone wanted to be a part. A living, breathing work of art, it was beautiful and way off center, a slice of golden time.

I was lucky, and soaked it all in.

 
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Nico playing her wheezing harmonium. Photo by Ebet Roberts

All of us who got to be there were lucky. This was a timeless world of it’s own. A world that could be compared to any and all magical artistic movements, scenes or spaces. Dada. Warhol’s Factory, the Beats in NY and SF, Surrealism, etc.—times, places, people all endlessly written about as there’s just so much to say. Everyone involved had a unique experience, true to themselves. This wasn’t just a nightclub, it was so much more. It almost seemed like a private place where, on the best nights, people’s lives and fantasies were put on display and the public was allowed to watch. The public who just came to do coke and dance (as we all did) but who accidentally got touched by a bizarre and wonderful world that lived in the shadows of the city then, usually just brushing against them like a ghost in the night. Whether they even noticed or not, well, who cares?

This first book on the subject (I guarantee it will not be the last) is Richard Boch’s own experience, peppered with those of us who he interviewed for the reminders. This book is about his eyes opening, his chain-wielding power stance, his blowjobs, his drinks, his drugs, all of which are plentiful. It includes a little of most of us, the people we loved, the ones we lost, the games we played, and the love we shared of each other and our mutual history. Still though, there are a million stories in the Mudd’s microcosm of the naked city, this is just one of them.

And what a glorious place to start: right at the front door.
 
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The trailer for the book
 
More Mudd Club after the jump…

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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09.19.2017
02:47 pm
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The Male Figure: Bruce of Los Angeles and the perfection of midcentury beefcake
09.19.2017
01:31 pm
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When you ponder improbable destinies for high school chemistry teachers, it’s likely that almost everyone reading this would instantly think of Walter White, who went from being a lowly chemistry teacher to a major drug kingpin in the U.S. Southwest—at least in the fictional narrative that is Breaking Bad.

Bruce Bellas never became a drug lord, but his tale is still worthy of consideration. Born in 1909, Bellas grew up in Alliance, Nebraska. where he was a chemistry teacher into his late thirties. Something caused Bellas to leave Nebraska for the West Coast in 1947, however, and there he became a magazine publisher of men’s physique magazines and a significant pioneer in the development of the American gay aesthetic.

Once he found himself in Los Angeles, Bellas adopted the uncannily apt sobriquet Bruce of Los Angeles. According to a 2008 exhibition dedicated to the artist, Bruce started out taking pictures of bodybuilding contests while working for one of Joe Weider’s many muscle magazines. In 1956 Bruce created what was ostensibly a magazine for aspiring artists called The Male Figure, which supplied him with the proper prerogative to present photos of muscular dudes with hardly any clothes on. Even leaving the beefcake aspect aside, the Male Figure covers are models of midcentury simplicity. 

In the unaccountably well-written Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures, edited by George Haggerty, Bruce’s output is described thus:
 

Equal parts chronicler of the sport of body-building, photographic artist-technician, and carnal visionary, Bruce made his mark in both studio and natural settings, in both shimmering black and white and lurid Kodachrome, in both formal poses that sculpted titanic champions and informal portraits that recorded illicit interactions. Only occasionally taking up the pseudoclassical plaster pillars of tradition, Bruce registered a documentary preference for corrals, motorcycles, navy yards, and the vinyl flotsam of suburbia.

 
As a “carnal visionary” he stands alongside Tom of Finland and George Quaintance as a small group of gay male graphic artists who helped define the homosexual aesthetic under conditions of extreme danger and secrecy, as the phrase “illicit interactions” above suggests.

In The Naked Heartland: The Itinerant Photography of Bruce of Los Angeles, Robert Mainardi noted that Bruce’s work “would one day be recognized for its classic elegance, Hollywood glamour, and camp wit, as well as for its restrained sensuality.” Bruce was a major influence on photographers like Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, and Herb Ritts.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.19.2017
01:31 pm
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Gritty photographs of a German dive bar
09.19.2017
09:32 am
Topics:
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Anders Petersen was eighteen when he traveled from his home in Sweden to Hamburg’s red light district the Reeperbahn. He wanted to escape his upbringing, shed his comfortable bourgeois skin and try on another to see how it felt. His parents had separated when he was young and he had been brought up by his grandmother in the quiet of the countryside amid fields and cherry trees and a darkening border of a forest. It was an idyllic fairytale world, but boring.

The Reeperbahn was a chaotic world of excitement, and pleasure, and excess, and danger. He met a green-eyed Finnish woman who worked the main drag. They became lovers and Petersen was introduced to the world of prostitutes, drag queens, drug addicts, drunks, pimps, and thieves. He took courage from his lover, from beer and from amphetamines (Preludin) to finally break free of the rules and manners, the lies and constraints of his bourgeois childhood. He had found himself another family who lived their lives without care, without shame, without judgment or censure. Petersen made friends with these characters who shambled joyously through the night at the local bar like the Café Lehmitz. All too soon it was over. His Finnish girlfriend broke-up their relationship and told Petersen to go home before his life was lost in the bars and lights, in the dirt and the chaos.

Dismayed, Petersen reluctantly returned home. But he knew his life had changed and he needed to find a way to express himself. He considered painting, but this, he found, was too lonely a thing. He was a social animal and wanted to be involved with the lives of others. This led him to photography—something he had been quietly considering for some time. He started studying under the great Swedish photographer Christer Stromholm who told him to find the things that were important to him. Be humble, be personal, work hard, and never be satisfied. It was good, sound advice.

In 1967, Petersen returned to the Reeperbahn and the Café Lehmitz. He discovered some of the friends he had made had died. Now he knew he must document this new family. He sought an in through a friend. One night he arrived at the Café Lehmitz with his camera in hand. He placed it on a table and became so involved with the drinking and talking, the dancing and singing, that he did not notice his camera had been picked up and was being thrown about among the customers like a toy. Some were taking pictures of themselves. Some wanted Petersen to take their picture. Petersen started photographing the people who hung around the bar in a scrum; the couples who argued or flirted with each other over the cheap Formica tabletops; the prostitutes who smiled and wanted you to buy them a drink; the old drunk men who wanted to fight and staggered shirtless shouting at the customers.

Petersen shot with his heart, with his guts, with his instinct. He did it without thinking. It was almost reflexive. Then when the pictures were printed on a contact sheet, he figured out which photograph worked best, which picture asked more questions than it answered, which image best captured an atmosphere, a character, a life, or a feeling. He shot more than he needed. He now has a house and studio crammed with too many photographs.

Over the next three years, Petersen traveled back-and-forth between Sweden and the Café Lehmitz documenting the harsh, brutal, yet tightly knit lives of the people who lived and worked on the Reeperbahn’s cobbled streets. His first exhibition was held at the bar itself with his pictures nailed crudely to the wall and the customers eventually removing their portraits one-by-one until only Petersen’s self-portrait remained.

He published his photobook of the Café Lehmitz in 1978. It established Petersen as one of the greatest living documentary photographers. His style was intimate, unswerving, uncritical, and direct. One of the book’s most famous images—a young tattooed man man named Rose embraced by a laughing older woman called Lily—was featured on the cover of Tom Waits’ album Rain Dogs. The image definitively captured the image Waits was selling of a Beat poet and outsider artist.

In our slowly homogenized world, where nobody smokes and nobody drinks, where all the streets are the same and the shops are the same, and everyone is safe and free to be a consumer, Petersen’s photographs of the Café Lehmitz captured a now seemingly distant world where people shared harsh brutal lives filled with excitement and danger, derangement and excess, love and happiness, always under the always-present shadow of death.
 
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See more of Anders Petersen’s iconic photographs, after the jump..
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.19.2017
09:32 am
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H.R. Pufnstuf, Witchiepoo & other homages to Sid & Marty Krofft in the ‘Krofft Super Art Show’
09.19.2017
09:28 am
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A painting by artist Matthew Bone in the Krofft Super Art Show.
 
I’m pretty sure that most of our readers over the age of 40 are familiar with the work of Sid & Marty Krofft. The brothers were responsible for bringing strange, and sometimes psychedelic TV shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, The Banana Splits, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters to the minds of impressionable kids back in the late 60s and early 70s. Now interpretations of the many colorful and weird TV characters the Krofft’s created for their television shows are on display at a show at the La La Land Gallery in Los Angeles.

The show opened late last month and featured work from over twenty artists including The Ren & Stimpy Show alumnus Chris Reccardi who had this to say about his childhood memories of H.R. Pufnstuf:

“It’s innocent.” People grow up, but I think the best people just grow layers around the child within them. Part of it is nostalgia, ‘Oh my gosh, this meant so much to me as a kid.’ I’ve worked in animation for 35 years and H.R. Pufnstuf—I’m not familiar with their other stuff—it’s a well-written show. Even though it’s pre-school, it’s not stupid.”

The various artistic expressions based on the characters created by the Krofft brothers that are featured in the show include paintings, three-dimensional works, and even a felt cereal box with H.R. Pufnstuf’s famous mug on it. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’d highly recommend taking in the fantastic-looking show as it runs through September 25th. Images that are currently hanging on the walls of the La La Land Gallery below can be seen below.
 

“AhSidAndMartyWanna” by Oliver Hibert.
 

“H.R. Puf’n'Puf” by Chris Reccardi.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:28 am
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Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson of ‘The Young Ones’ beating the shit out of each other on ‘Bottom’
09.19.2017
09:16 am
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Actors and real-life BFFs, the late Rik Mayall and Adrian “Ade” Edmondson from their other television show, ‘Bottom.’
 
If you love Dangerous Minds, then it’s a safe bet that you are also fans of the much loved UK cult-comedy, The Young Ones. If you agree with that, then you are truly one of us and also perhaps a fan of the much-praised comedy series from two of the stars of the show, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson that aired on BBC2 starting in 1991, Bottom. And if you’re not, you should be.

The premise of the show is sort of like a sleazier, down-low version of The Odd Couple television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Both Edmondson and Mayall are confirmed bachelors who shack up with each other out of desperation and commit equally desperate acts of violence and trickery that often center around trying to get laid. Getting laid is something that according to the storyline has eluded Mayall’s character of “Richard “Richie” Richard” his entire life as he’s still a virgin. Edmondson’s character “Edward Hitler” is just as unhinged as his flatmate as well as being an accomplished boozehound and thief. Adding another layer of cool on Bottom is that apparently, the characters created by both actors was somewhat based on their long, real-life friendship that began back in 1975 when the two were just teenagers attending Manchester University. Mayall and Edmondson would get gigs doing stand-up and sketches as “The Dangerous Brothers” at The Comedy Store in their early 20s which would, in turn, help them get regular work on the long-running UK show, The Comic Strip Presents. Coincidentally, Edmondson would meet his future wife, Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame, on the set of the show. They have been married for 32 years.
 

Edmondson and Mayall performing at The Comedy Store back in the day.
 
The show is hysterically violent and pessimistically dark, and both Mayall and Edmondson did much of the slapsticky stunts in the series themselves—such as when Edmondson fell through a ceiling in the 1992 episode “Burglary.” Only eighteen episodes ever aired before the proposed fourth series was killed by BBC. After that, the duo took Bottom on the road as a stage play which according to all reports was even more tawdry and savage when it came to the vulgar displays of aggression between both Edmondson and Mayall in the name of comedy. Then in 1999 the sad-sack characters were once again brought to life, this time for the film Guest House Paradiso (directed by Edmondson) which centered around Mayall and Edmondson as the owners of the “worst” hotel in the UK. There was some talk of bringing Bottom back—in Edmondson’s words as old men who hit each other with “colostomy bags,” but that awesomeness never materialized.

Get to the ‘Bottom’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:16 am
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Subtle, (and not so subtle) socks that tell everyone around you to ‘fuck off’
09.19.2017
09:02 am
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“Fuck Off” socks. Get them here.
 
While I’m a huge fan of the word “fuck,” it’s not always as easy to slip it into conversation as I’d like it to be. What’s more is that the word, or the phrase “fuck off,” are sort of like a “final straw” kind of threat to hurl at someone after you’ve burned through every other conceivable response to shitty human behavior. I used to think it would have been swell to come up with a way to flash the phrase at someone in traffic by way of an electronic sign on the back of my car—but like most of my ideas that have never come to fruition, it probably would have gotten me shot. Especially given the road-ragey drivers on the streets these days who would just run you off the highway because you were sporting the “wrong” kind of bumper sticker on your wheels.

But let’s get back to the point of this post which concerns a line of explicit socks emblazoned with the glorious phrase (or its sister slogan “fuck you”) in different places such as the sole of the sock- or my favorite—the small bit that peeks up over the back of your sneakers. I’m a crass person by nature as clearly stated in my Dangerous Minds bio where I list “cursing” as one of my “interests.” Although I don’t much care for the phenomenon that are “message” shirts and wearables, I am 100% down with my socks speaking for me when I feel like I need to hold my tongue. Which is almost never. I should work on that. Images and links where you can order the aggressive hosiery follow.
 
 
A more subtle pair of “Fuck Off” socks. Get a pair here.
 

A long pair of “Fuck Off” socks. Get them here.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:02 am
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