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Andy Warhol’s Index: A Pop Art, pop-up children’s book for druggy hipsters, 1967
02.26.2013
11:39 am

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Art
Books

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Andy Warhol’s Index, the Pope of Pop’s mass-produced 1967 pop-up book has been described as a “children’s book for hipsters.” It’s an item seldom encountered these days outside of auction houses, or high end book dealers, but on occasion the item does, er, pop-up on eBay for a decent price. You can usually find several expensive copies on ABEbooks.com.

The prices can vary quite a bit: there’s a hardback version with a plastic lenticular cover vs a foil-printed paperback, and copies signed by Warhol, obviously, have quite a premium on them. The other factor in how dealers price the book, however, tends to be about how complete it is. Random House probably didn’t published too many of these to begin with, and obviously they were hand-made to a certain extent. Many of the goodies that were originally part of the package tend to have gotten lost over the decades, so a complete edition is difficult to come by and often very expensive (I’ve owned two copies of this myself, an incomplete hardback copy that I lost in a girlfriend “divorce” and the pristine, complete paperback I found for a shockingly low price at The Strand’s rare book room about fifteen years ago that’s sitting on a shelf behind me as I type this).

Whenever someone over to the house expresses an interest in my book collection, Andy Warhol’s Index is one of the first things I pull out. As you can see from this video below, it’s a pretty impressive item, with pop-up planes, accordions, Campbell’s soup cans, Edie, Lou, Nico, things you’re supposed to dunk into water, even a pop-up paper castle meant to stand-in for the infamous dwelling where visiting rock bands stayed when they were in Los Angeles in the 60s.

Contributors besides Warhol were David Paul, Stephen Shore, Billy Name, Nat Finkelstein, Paul Morissey, Ondine, Nico, Christopher Cerf, Alan Rinzler, Gerald Harrison and Akihito Shirakawa.
 

 
The flexi disc of a 1966 Factory “Conversation” (Nico, Lou, Andy, John Cale and others talking about a mock-up of the book itself) is almost never found still in the binding. Listen below:
 

 

 
The tear-off sheet to the right of Henry Geldzahler, the influential curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, above, was supposed to be dunked into a glass of water. Rumors were that it was blotter acid, but I think instead (I’ve never tried it) you got Warhol’s signature in invisible ink or it expanded like a sponge.
 

 

 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Anaïs Nin on her feminist heroes (and LSD)
02.25.2013
09:10 am

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Books
Drugs
Feminism
Sex

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Characteristically serene and sweet, diarist and erotic writer Anaïs Nin waxes poetic on some of her favorite rebellious women, including psychoanalyst Lou Andreas-Salomé (who could hold her own against Freud and Nietzsche) and Caresse Crosby, the infamous libertine, anti-war crusader and publisher of Joyce, Kay Boyle, Hemingway, Hart Crane, D. H. Lawrence, René Crevel, T. S. Eliot, and Ezra Pound.

Nin expounds on her penchant for female rabble-rousers, as well as peacemakers, leading into her LSD experience (the drug was administered by Dr. Oscar Janiger) “a world accessible to the poet, accessible to the artist,” in which she “became gold.”
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
James Ellroy: Mug Shots
02.23.2013
07:36 pm

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Books
Crime
Heroes
Literature
Unorthodox

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Before he started writing, James Ellroy was busted for being drunk and disorderly, DUI, petty theft and trespass. He was hassled as a suspicious pedestrian, was caught squatting, had police shot-guns shoved in his face, and was eventually locked up with pimps, killers, drug addicts and winos.

His diet was bennies and booze, and jail time was his “health retreat”:

I abstained from booze and dope and ate three square meals a day. I did push-ups and worked trusty details and got a little muscle tone going. I hung out with stupid white guys, stupid black guys and stupid Mexican guys—and swapped stupid stories with them. We had all committed daring crimes and fucked the world’s most glamorous women. An old black wino told me he fucked Marilyn Monroe. I said, “No shit—I fucked her too!”

Jail taught Ellroy a few truths—he was big, but not tough; he committed crimes, but was no criminal—but he knew he could ride it out.

I worked the trash-and-freight detail at the New County Jail and the library at Wayside Honor Rancho. My favorite jail was Biscailuz Center. They fed you big meals and let you read in the latrines after lights-out. Jail was no big fucking traumatic deal.

I knew how to ride short stretches. Jail cleaned out my system and gave me something to anticipate: my release and more booze and dope fantasies.

One day Ellroy woke-up tied to a hospital cot, his wrists bloodied by the restraints. He was 27, and near death—an abscess the size of a fist on his lung.

‘If it’s not working, then get the hell out.’ Ellroy once told me. ‘If your life isn’t working the way you want it, then do something to change it.’

We were in a car, driving down the curve of road from the Griffith Observatory. It was Fall 1994, and he was giving me advice he had learned on a hospital gurney some 20-years earlier. We had been filming an interview for a TV documentary. For a week Ellroy had given a guided tour of his life:  El Monte where his mother had been murdered, Hancock Park and the houses he had B&E’d, the panty sniffing, the pill-popping, the drinking, the parks where he jacked-off, the Sav-On where he stole Benzedrine inhalers to get buzzed, the empty apartments where he lived off booze and drugs, bad sex and fantasies.

Then it all stopped. He woke-up in hospital, and knew he was no longer invincible. And that’s when Ellroy started writing.
 
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Previously on Dangerous Minds

James Ellroy: An early interview with the Demon Dog of American Literature


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
W. H. Auden’s Library Books
02.22.2013
07:07 pm

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Books
Heroes
Literature

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A list of the books W. H. Auden borrowed from the New York Society Library during January and February 1962, and for various dates in 1963, reveals the poet’s passion for mysteries and pulp thrillers (including Gladys Mitchell’s The Man Who Grew Tomatoes, John Blackburn’s Bound to Kill, Alex Fraser’s Constables Don’t Count, John Rhode’s The Fatal Pool), as well as literature (amongst which are G. K. Chesterton’s Wit and Wisdom, Delacroix’s Journals, and Schiller’s Essays). All of which he appears to have read at a ferocious rate.
 
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Previously on Dangerous MInds

Writers Bloc: Places where Writers and Artists have lived together


 
Via Poets Org
 
More of Auden’s Library Books, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Record Books: If best-selling albums had been books instead…
02.20.2013
07:05 pm

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Art
Books
Music
Pop Culture

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Blood on the Tracks’ - Robert A. Zimmerman

Fast-paced 1958 thriller: a jilted train driver hi-jacks his New York subway train to exact revenge upon his love rival, only to threaten the life of his ex-lover. The last 30 pages are missing. Don’t know if she survives.

 
Christophe Gowans is a Graphic Designer and Art Director, who once designed for the music industry (with Peter Saville Associates, Assorted Images, amongst others) and has since produced some stunning work for Blitz, Esquire, Modern Painters, Stella and The Sunday Telegraph.

Christophe is also the talent of a series of fun, collectible and original art works that re-imagine classic albums as book covers.

These fabulous Record Books are on display at his site and are also available to buy at The Rockpot.
 
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Abbey Road’ - The Beatles

Classic paperback. The story of two catholic sisters growing up in a swiftly changing post-war Britain. Guess what? It doesn’t end well.

 
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The Dark Side of the Moon’ - Pink Floyd

Alternative scientific textbook from the 60s. Californian professor Floyd achieved enormous success with this study of the moon’s influence on the menstrual cycle. Indeed, he was able to found his own college, specialising in the study of women’s fertility. The college no longer exists. It was shut down in 1972, having been razed to the ground by a mob of angry husbands.

 
More of Christophe’s ‘Record Books’, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The Apocalypse Is Cancelled
02.11.2013
05:19 pm

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Books
Thinkers

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Former DM contributor, Jason Louv, editor of the cult classics Generation Hex and Thee Psychick Bible, writes:

Today I’m proud to announce a new ebook, The Apocalypse is Cancelled: Three Keys to Surviving and Thriving as a Species.

The book is a comprehensive vision of the future. It hands you the keys to:

1. Achieve freedom through meditation

2. Make sure Western civilization doesn’t crash and burn

3. Embrace space travel for fun and profit

From the opening of the book:

“I believe that life can work, and that life can be an adventure. And I want a participatory dialogue on how to get there. I want a comprehensive vision of the future for a generation that’s rejecting the unethical and unsustainable dreams of 20th century hypercapitalism, and looking to create a lifestyle that brings happiness instead of self-destruction.”

Consider it the Ultraculture manifesto. And to make sure the information spreads, I’m giving it away for free.

Download The Apocalypse is Cancelled

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The golden age of 1970s porn paperbacks
02.11.2013
01:39 pm

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Amusing
Books
Sex

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Blog of Zontar the thing from Venus posted some rather hilarious 70s porn movie paperback tie-ins. The one for Defiance!... is that an actual novelization of a porn movie? (I wonder how many of those there were?)

A few of these are so absurd, they’re just… absurd.

See more of ‘em here.


 

 
A few more images after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Andy Kershaw: The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating
02.08.2013
04:18 pm

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Amusing
Books
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture

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Andy Kershaw is a writer, a multi-award-winning broadcaster (he once shared an office with John Peel for 12 years, and has won more Sony Radio Awards than any other broadcaster, and was one of the presenters on Live Aid). He is also a foreign correspondent, who eye-witnessed and reported on the Rwandan genocide. His fearlessness as a reporter saw him banned from Malawi under the dictatorship of Dr Hastings Banda.

But that’s only part of this Lancastrian’s incredible story.

Kershaw has worked for Bruce Springsteen; was Billy Bragg’s driver, roadie and tour manager; went on a blind date with a then unknown Courtney Love (to see Motorhead); was propositioned by both Little Richard and Frankie Howerd; spent a week riding out with Sonny Barger and the Oakland Hell’s Angels; went with Red Adair and Boots Hansen to the burning oil well-heads in Kuwait in 1991; and was immortalised by Nick Hornby in High Fidelity, which was later filmed with John Cusack.

This has made Andy Kershaw a bit of a legendary figure—a kind of distant British relative to Hunter S Thompson. This and much more can be found in Kershaw’s excellent autobiography No Off Switch, which I can thoroughly recommend.

But let’s go back to 1982, when Kershaw was working for The Rolling Stones, as Andy explains by way of introduction to this extract from No Off Switch:

I had been, for the past two years, the Entertainments Secretary of Leeds University, booking all the bands and organising and running the concerts, at the largest college venue in the UK. Although non sabbatical and unpaid, I devoted all my time and energies to the job. We enjoyed a reputation - among bands, booking agents and management companies - as a highly professional operation with a long and rich history of running prestigious gigs. I had built up a good working relationship with the major UK concert promoters and, with my Leeds University stage crew, I was often hired by those companies to work on big concerts elsewhere. In the spring of 1982, I took a call in the Ents Office in the Students’ Union, from Andrew Zweck, right-hand man to Harvey Goldsmith, the UK’s biggest concert promoter at the time. “Andy,” said Andrew. “Would you like to work for the Rolling Stones this summer? And could you bring Leeds Uni’s stage crew with you?” Al, referred to in this extract, is Al Thompson, my friend and right-hand man in running the Leeds University concerts. Now read on…

The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating

Already the size of an aircraft carrier, the stage was only partially built when we arrived.

Members of Stage Crew, like the remnants of a rebel patrol, were threading their way down through the trees, into the natural bowl of Roundhay Park, and gathering behind the vast scaffolding framework.

A couple of dozen articulated lorries, and a similar number of empty flat-beds were parked up in neat lines. More were rumbling into the park.

We squinted up at the riggers, chatting and clanking, swinging and building, climbing higher on their Meccano as they worked.

“Fuck,” said Al. And we all concurred with his expert analysis.

It was an impressive erection, even for Mick Jagger. And, at that time, the biggest stage that had ever been built, anywhere in the world.

Roundhay, in Leeds, in front of 120,000 fans, was to be the final date on the Rolling Stones European Tour, 1982, which broke records, set standards and established precedents on a scale never seen before. The logistics alone were mind-boggling.

If the scale of the infrastructure being unloaded before our eyes in Roundhay was extraordinary, there had to be - for the Stones to play a handful of consecutive dates in new locations - three of these set-ups on the road, and leap-frogging each other, at the same time: one under construction, a second ready for the gig; and a third being dismantled following the previous performance. We were just a fraction of the total operation.

To meet the backstage requirements at Roundhay, I was to be in charge of those logistics and grandly titled, for the next three weeks, Backstage Labour Co-ordinator.

It was reassuring to find a couple of familiar and friendly faces in the Portakabin offices which had been plonked down overlooking the grassy slope of what would become the backstage area. Andrew Zweck from Goldsmith’s office, and Harvey’s earthly representative during the build-up at Leeds, is a bluff, blond Australian with a reputation for getting things done. Uncommonly, for the music business, Andrew is good-humoured and devoid of self-importance. Similarly, Paul Crockford – Andrew’s assistant for the Roundhay gig.

Dear old Crockers was about the only bloke in the music industry that I actually considered to be a pal. Just a few years old than me, and a former Ents Sec at Southampton, he was now working in a freelance capacity for Harvey Goldsmith’s concert promotion company.

A tour of the Rolling Stones magnitude had required the UK’s biggest promoter to be co-opted as the British servant of the the overall mastermind of the enterprise, the legendary hippy impresario and pioneer, Bill Graham. In fact, this Rolling Stones adventure – taking in Europe and the States over two years - was the first time one promoter had staged a whole tour, globally. Graham’s experiment with the Stones, in 1981-2, would become the model for the industry in years to come. For the moment, however, in this previously uncharted territory, Graham and Goldsmith were making it up as they went along.

Crockers - even when he was ripping me off, selling me bands for the University - is always huge fun. Like Andrew Zweck, he doesn’t know how to be pompous. And like me, Crockers is amused most by the ridiculous and the absurd. This was to be a quality we would find indispensable over the following couple of weeks.

“That’s your desk,” said Andrew, pointing to a freshly-acquired bargain, in simulated teak finish, from some second-hand office supplies outlet. My position was in the middle of our HQ, handily by the door, and with a window overlooking the side of the stage and the slope leading down to where the dressing rooms and band’s hospitality area hadn’t yet been built. I could keep an eye on everything.

Crockers dumped in front me a telephone, a heavy new ledger and a cash box containing five hundred pounds before briefly outlining the mysteries of double-entry book keeping.

It started to rain.

A stocky, bearded little bloke soon popped up at the door.

“Hey, you,” he said. “Who’s the guy around here in charge of all the purchases.” The accent was American.

“Me,” I said. “Mine name’s Andy. Who are you?”

“Magruder,” he snapped, as though he was a brand. And one that I should recognise.

“What’s your job here?” I asked.

“Site Co-ordinator, Rolling Stones.” It crossed my mind it was unlikely he’d have been there for The Tremeloes. “Get me fifty pairs of Hunter’s boots and fifty waterproof capes,” he snapped.

And he was gone.

 
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More from The Rolling Stones Guide to Painting & Decorating, after the jump…
 
With kind thanks to Andy Kershaw
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘How Do You Solve A Problem Like Lolita?’: In search of Nabokov
02.07.2013
07:05 pm

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Books
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Television

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I found Stephen Smith, who presented this investigation into Vladimir Nabokov and his relationship to his infamous novel Lolita, an irritating prick. His opening premise that he can’t talk about Lolita to his friends without their prissy censure, explains much of what is wrong with Smith’s approach to documentary-making. When dealing with a subject as important, as controversial, and as difficult as Nabokov, what Smith or his friends think is irrelevant.

‘I want to be able to carry this around in public,’ Smith exclaims. ‘Read bits out to friends. Maybe not take it out at a parents’ evening, but feel comfortable with it—but I can’t. And that’s crazy fifty years after little Lolita first appeared.’

The problem is Smith’s petite bourgeois values infect everything he says. ‘What kind of person lives in a hotel,’ he asks, almost in sub-Lady Bracknell, before venturing onto what really interests him—the ‘conga-line of young women shimmering through the pages, particularly the latter pages, of Nabokov.’ He then tries to find the ‘missing link’ between Nabokov’s private life and that of his ‘aroused anti-heroes’.

Smith attempts to create a sense of Nabokov as some shady character (perhaps on-the-run?), hiding out in hotels, so that he can postulate about him being a dirty old man. He also asks trivial and facetious questions. For example, his opener to the bar man at the Montreux Palace, where the writer lived in his later years, is not ‘what sort of man was Nabokov?’ but rather, ‘was he a snob?’ which he followed-up with ‘did he tip?’

Whether intentional or not, Smith wanders round this whole documentary like some second-fiddle Nabokovian character, sweaty, charmless, petty, narrow-minded, and grossly bourgeois. It would be funny, if Smith did not clog-up so much of what should be interesting with his trite psycho-analysis (what would Nabokov make of that?) and his penchant for stating the-bleedin’-obvious. His conclusion is where he should have started, but then this would have been a documentary about why Stephen Smith thinks about Nabokov the way he does, and that would never have filled an hour.

What is good about this documentary is the original archive and interviews with Nabokov, and if you want to read the great man discussing Lolita and much more, then check out this excellent interview from the Paris Review
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Read the first chapter of Richard Hell’s autobiography
02.03.2013
11:34 pm

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Books
Punk

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Richard Hell’s autobiography I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp is hitting the streets on March 12. But you can read the first chapter here right now.

I wanted to have a life of adventure. I didn’t want anybody telling me what to do. I knew this was the most important thing and that all would be lost if I pretended otherwise like grown­ ups did.”

The first chapter is devilishly good with a similar feel to Patti Smith’s wonderful Just Kids.

Before you rush off to read Hell, check out Richard and The Voidoids doing “Love Comes In Spurts.” From Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong’s video and film archives.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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