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Watch the infamous ‘Disco Demolition Night’ fiasco of 1979 in its entirety
09.22.2016
10:52 am

Topics:
Crime
Music
Sports

Tags:
disco
riots
baseball


 
A bounty from the Internet! Some outstanding personage has uploaded the entire broadcast of the WSNS Channel 44 Chicago broadcast of the July 12, 1979, double-header between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers, better known to you as “Disco Demolition Night,” a promotion spearheaded by DJ Steve Dahl at Chicago rock station WLUP. The event notoriously became a single-header after the second game had to be canceled because of the mayhem brought upon by the antics of the mostly white audience of rowdy rock music lovers.

On that day, disco-haters were enticed by inexpensive admission (98 cents and a disco record to add to the pile) to come out in droves. The gimmick was that between the two games, a large box containing hundreds of disco records would be blown up. Some time earlier, Dahl had lost his job after WDAI switched to a disco format, which inordinately pissed him off, and he turned that ire into a big part of his schtick at WLUP, and eventually the idea for “Disco Demolition Night” was born. In the event, the large crowd was full of rowdy stoners who didn’t give a hoot about baseball and just wanted to heap scorn on disco music. The detonation of the disco records had the double effect of rendering the field unusable and causing the throngs to descend into truly lawless chaos. 

The uploaded video is nearly three and a half hours long. It shows the entire first (and, it turned out, only) game of the twin bill, in which the visiting Tigers defeated the hometown White Sox 4-1. By the way, Harry Caray, who later became a national icon for his work with the crosstown Cubs, was a White Sox employee at this time, and he is one of the announcers calling the action. (In fact, Caray’s true mark on baseball history came decades earlier, during his quarter-century of radio broadcasting for the St. Louis Cardinals.)
 

Moments after hundreds of disco records were exploded in center field
 
As Slate’s Matthew Dessem astutely points out, the tone of the day’s action was set early on, during the National Anthem, during which a fan’s cry of “Faggot!” can clearly be heard (it’s at the 6:44 mark).

In retrospect, the spasm of hatred directed towards a pleasure-oriented music genre that was inclusive in terms of African-Americans, Latinos, and homosexuals seems positively Trumpist in spirit. The United States is the only country that has had a strong “anti-disco” movement. I like the Allman Brothers and Black Sabbath as much as the next music lover, but you know, enough’s enough!

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Narcos en fantasyland: Pablo Escobar’s 1981 trip to Walt Disney World
09.07.2016
09:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Crime
Drugs

Tags:
Pablo Escobar
Disney World

The Escobars visit Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in 1981
The Escobars visit Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom in 1981

In the early ‘80s, Pablo Escobar was at the top of his game. He was the richest man in Colombia, he had the family he had always dreamed of, and he was supplying 80% of the world’s cocaine via the Medellín drug cartel. The best part for Escobar was that he was not yet a known criminal. Just a few years later he would be outed as a drug lord, a merciless killer, and he would become the biggest target in Reagan’s “war on drugs” facing a real threat of extradition. For now, he was still legally doing business, buying properties, and traveling under his own name. He used his political influences in Colombia to gain diplomatic immunity and a visa which allowed him to visit the United States as often as he wanted with red carpet treatment.

In May of 1981 Pablo used those privileges to vacation in Walt Disney World Florida with his family. His sister Alba Marina Escobar helped organize the trip and Pablo was joined by his wife Maria Victoria Henao, his five-year-old son Juan Pablo, his mother Hermilda, brother Roberto, and cousin Gustavo Gaviria. The Escobars left their Miami Beach vacation home which was supposedly rented from Julio Iglesias and one of the Gibb brothers of the Bee Gees, then headed 230 miles north to Orlando. While Pablo did not yet have any enemies or scores to settle with the law, his growing economic power made it necessary for him the use bodyguards for the very first time so friend John Jairo Arias Tascon (aka “Pinina”) accompanied the family to the Disney theme park.

The Escobar family reportedly spent ridiculous amounts of money on their vacation, filling dozens of suitcases with souvenirs and clothing. Pablo hired a personal consultant to advise them on attractions as well as a driver to escort them around. Free to do and buy whatever they wanted to in the park, Pablo was overjoyed and acted like a child alongside his son Juan Pablo. Although he was afraid of roller coasters, Pablo rode them all to make his son happy. “Our family life hadn’t yet become encumbered by complications. That was the only period of pure pleasure and lavishness that my father enjoyed,” said Juan Pablo (who later changed his name to Sebastian to protect his anonymity) in his book Pablo Escobar, My Father.

The hit Netflix series Narcos even brushed on the Escobar’s trip to Disney World in a recent episode titled “Deutschland 93.” In a scene where a very emotional Pablo (brilliantly played by Brazilian actor Wagner Moura) is reflecting on his past, he asks “Have you ever been to Disney World? It’s beautiful. It’s very organized. Very clean.” Pablo definitely kept the Disney spirit and thirst for fun alive at Hacienda Nápoles, his vast and awe-inspiring ranch in Colombia about 100 miles east of Medellin. The ranch which put Michael Jackson’s Neverland to shame included three zoos full of exotic animals, 27 artificial lakes, go-karts, and even a mechanical bull. In 2014 a private company appropriately turned the ranch into a fully operational theme park which includes a Jurassic Park simulator. “Pablo World” (if you will, whose mascot is a female Hippo named Vanessa) is currently accessible to anybody with 32.000 pesos (around $15) willing to sit through a three-and-a-half hour bus ride from Medellín.
 
Pablo's son Juan Pablo meets Mickey Mouse in Tomorrowland
Pablo’s son Juan Pablo meets Mickey Mouse in Tomorrowland
 
The Escobars walking through the Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland
The Escobars walking through the Swiss Family Treehouse in Adventureland

Posted by Doug Jones | Leave a comment
Obama finally handing out pardons, and after 22 years for pot and acid, this Deadhead will go free


 
Barack Obama has been (somewhat notoriously) light on pardons and commutations of sentence throughout his administration. As of March he had only granted 70 pardons (the lowest since John Adams), and 180 commutations, a record that the Washington Post speculated might earn him the legacy of “one of the most merciless presidents in history.” I supposed you could argue that if he did extend mercy to those incarcerated at the hands of a ridiculously punitive justice system he might get a reputation for being “soft on crime,” and then he might not get elected again… for a third term?

It’s some small comfort however that Obama is on a bit of a spree during his final months as President, recently bringing his record up to 673 commutations and providing a light at the end of the tunnel for a number of non-violent drug offenders, including Timothy Tyler, who was busted in 1994 for selling pot and acid to an undercover cop and sentenced to life. He’s been in jail for 22 years. His sister has been fighting for his freedom, collecting over 423,000 names on his behalf—from her petition:

My brother Timothy Tyler was just 25 years old when he was sentenced to die in prison for a nonviolent drug offense. He’s watched murderers and rapists leave prison while he has no chance of ever leaving. He is now 45 years old and I want to bring him home. Timothy was a young Grateful Dead fan, who in May of 1992, sold pot and LSD to a friend who turned out to be a police informant. He had never been to prison before, but a judge was forced to give him double life without the possibility of parole because of two prior drug convictions — even though both those convictions resulted in probation.

Tyler’s case was followed pretty closely by activists against mandatory minimums and long sentencing, likely at least partially because as a Deadhead he’s a poster boy for non-violent offenders. After growing up with an abusive stepfather, he saw his first Grateful Dead show at 17, and began following the band and and doing acid fairly regularly. Tyler also dealt with bipolar disorder and psychotic episodes, at times believing Jerry Garcia was God, and once ending up in a psych ward for trying to build a dam naked on the side of an Arizona highway. In prison he became a vegetarian, and though he previously dated women, he began having sex with other inmates to escape the isolation and oppressive claustrophobia of prison.

He is set to be released in August of 2018, where he will be required to spend nine months in a residential drug treatment program, after which his mother and sister will be his support network.
 
Via Death and Taxes

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Badass bikers, drugs, and hot chicks: The outlaw biker art of David Mann
08.19.2016
11:41 am

Topics:
Art
Crime
Drugs

Tags:
1960s
David Mann
biker culture


‘Tijuana Jail Break’ commissioned by Ed Roth for ‘Choppers Magazine’ by David Mann, 1966.
 
Artist David Mann loved motorcycle culture and his paintings bring his own personal experiences as a member of the El Forastero Motorcycle Club to life. El Forastero members were notorious for large-scale drug running operations and theft rings whose number one target were motorcycles back in the mid-60s—and many of Mann’s paintings document club events like biker weddings and debaucherous parties fueled by booze and drugs. Mann’s father was an illustrator and a member of the prestigious Society of Scribes & Illuminators in London—one of the most highly regarded calligraphy organizations in the world, and it is clear that Mann inherited some of his father’s artistic genes.
 

‘Hollywood Run.’
 
Mann started sketching images of fast cars during high school in which would lead him to his first gig as a car pinstriper. After high school Mann set out for California where he fell in love with motorcycles—specifically Harleys and began what would become a lifelong love-affair with biker culture in which Mann would express himself in every way possible. Eventually Mann would land back in his native Kansas City and upon his return would purchase his first bike—a 1948 Harley-Davidson “Panhead” and painted his first biker-centric painting dubbed “Hollywood Run.”  The painting would be among the entrants to an art show held at the Kansas City Custom Car Show in 1963 where it caught the eye of El Forastero founders Tom Fugle and Harlan “Tiny” Brower who in turn hipped the publisher of Choppers Magazine, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth—the fast car enthusiast and artist responsible for the revolting hot rod-loving vermin Rat Fink.

Roth immediately commissioned Mann to create a large number of posters for Choppers and the works would launch Mann’s career, which included a long relationship with another magazine that is synonymous with biker culture, Easyrider. That alliance would last nearly until the moment which Mann would sadly draw his last breath at the young age of 63 in 2004. If you dig what you see in this post you can purchase reproductions of Mann’s art here. Prints signed by Mann sell for hundreds and even thousands of dollars. Many of the badass posters that Mann created for Choppers Magazine included Roth’s name on the panel. Roth put his own copyright on the prints as they were commissioned works, but they were all done by Dave Mann.
 

‘The Blackboard Cafe,’ 1966.
 

‘Tecote Run,’ 1966.
 
More Mann after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
THE fucked-up punk image of Donald Trump for 2016
08.18.2016
12:40 pm

Topics:
Crime
Music
Politics

Tags:
Donald Trump
John F. Kennedy
Misfits


 
We’ve had a year of wall-to-wall Donald Trump coverage, and we’re all experiencing a big dose of Trump fatigue. Now that the Donald has formally allied with the crackpot motherfuckers at Breitbart—shudder—I think we may possibly have passed the final moment when someone could say with any seriousness the words “President Trump.” He’s a solid 7+ points behind in the polls and the big viral sensation yesterday was footage of Trump’s attorney Michael Cohen bristling at the suggestion of CNN personality Brianna Keilar that Trump is “down” to Hillary Clinton by a few points. Quoth Cohen: “Says who!?”

Recently Trump himself floated the trial balloon of “2nd Amendment people” acting to resolve the all-too-likely problem of a Hillary Clinton presidency… so while we’re on the subject of assassinations and presidents and stuff, someone made what very well might be THE fucked-up punk image of Trump for 2016…

As you probably know, back in the day Glenn Danzig had a fondness for pulpy horror iconography from the 1950s and a talent for penning a fast-paced ditty, and his band the Misfits have been a favorite of rock and roll fans ever since. (By the way, the Misfits with Glenn Danzig on vocals are playing Denver and Chicago next month.)

One of the Misfits’ best songs is “Bullet” which is a fast-paced ditty about the assassination of John F. Kennedy in which Danzig barks, “Texas is an outrage when your husband is dead! Texas is an outrage when they pick up his head! Texas is the reason that the president’s dead, you gotta suck, suck, Jackie suck!!”

The single had a predictably fantastic cover art, which is shown above. Now someone had the bright idea of repurposing it for the election with everyone’s favorite never-will-be-president-oh-help-me-lord, Donald Trump.
 

 
The image appeared on the Facebook group “Punk Rock from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and Beyond” about two weeks ago.

Now this is not to say that we advocate or condone or recommend any manner of “Second Amendment” remedy to a “President Trump” no matter how unlikely that shit-drenched possibility might be. Just the opposite! In fact, we here at Dangerous Minds wish for the GOP’s idiot clown prince to have a long, long life. Trump’s done more to fuck up the Republican Party than anyone since… well, I was going to say Barry Goldwater, but even that comparison makes no sense anymore. (Goldwater had the “conscience of a conservative” whereas Trump is more like Alfred Jarry’s Ubu Roi come spectacularly—and ignorantly—to life like a lumbering Godzilla character.) No, we wish only good health on Mr. Trump. May he be around to torment the feckless Republican establishment that allowed his coronation to occur for decades to come. Let’s hope Trump becomes immortal. Maybe we can keep him in a jar—forever—like the Face of Bo?

If you’re about my age, you now desperately want to hear “Bullet” from start to finish and LOUD. It’s waiting for you after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Shame on You’: Spade Cooley and his criminal career
08.08.2016
11:17 am

Topics:
Crime
Music

Tags:
Spade Cooley

Shame on You
 
Spade Cooley, a seemingly genial man, was a prominent country western musician, an actor, and a convicted murderer. When you know the story behind the smile, Spade Cooley seems like one twisted soul. He was born in Oklahoma and raised in Oregon in an impoverished family. From an early age, he was a skilled violinist. In the 1930’s and 40’s as his music career was taking off he also had an acting career in Hollywood westerns such as Chatterbox, The Singing Sheriff, Outlaws of the Rockies and Texas Panhandle. His popular music career began in the early 1940s featuring Tex Williams’s vocals. The band’s biggest hit was “Shame on You.” Pretty ironic for the future murderer.
 
Spade and Ella Mae
 
Spade Cooley married Ella Mae Evans, one of his backup singers, in 1945. In 1947 as TV became a thing he hosted his own entertainment variety show called The Hoffman Hayride with his western swing band. Cooley proclaimed himself the “King of Western Swing.”
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Izzi Krombholz | Leave a comment
Mugshots of grinning miscreants, murderers and malefactors from the late 19th century
08.01.2016
12:01 pm

Topics:
Crime
History

Tags:
mugshots
1900s
1800s
Nebraska


The cheerful mugshot of murderer George H. Ray, 1890s.
 
Of all the places to be back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, Nebraska was not one of them. I recently came across some “interesting” looking mugshots from that era that struck me as a little odd. What’s odd about them—as the title of the post touts—is that some of criminals, from an unfortunate chicken thief to a couple of murderers, appeared to be smiling in them. Yikes.

Photography was a very scarce occurrence during those early decades and due to that having one’s photo taken was a very serious affair. It was also less expensive than traditional oil portraiture so that even people of lesser financial stature could have own a “portrait” of themselves or their family. In the case of the Nebraska mug shots it’s not hard to draw the conclusion that of all the the occasions to have your photo taken your first mugshot wasn’t really a time to smile for the camera. 

Of the bad guys and girls in this post the one I find most unnerving is the flat-out smiling mugshot of George H. Ray (pictured at the top of this post) who must have been pleased that he was about to do ten years in the Nebraska State Penitentiary for manslaughter. Another oddball among these various ne’er–do–wells is the curious case of Bert Martin (below) a convicted horse thief. As it turns out Bert Martin was actually “Lena” Martin—a woman masquerading as a man so she could work as a cowboy.
 

Bert Martin aka, ‘Lena” Martin, 1901
 

Murderer Frank L. Dinsmore, 1899
 
More mugshots after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Marxism: Highlights from Groucho’s FBI file
07.27.2016
12:06 pm

Topics:
Crime
Movies
Politics
Television

Tags:
FBI
Groucho Marx


 
The other day I was refreshing my memory on Groucho’s LSD escapade with Paul Krassner, when it occurred to me that it might be beneficial to see if the FBI ever had a file on Groucho.

Of course they did, and it’s available for anyone to look at, heavily redacted of course. The Xerox machines at the FBI a few decades ago were super shitty (a feature not a bug?) so a lot of the pages you can’t make out a damn thing, but other sections are perfectly legible.

If you know anything about J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, the contents here aren’t too surprising—they were mainly worried that Groucho might be a Commie (if not a Marxist) in the early to mid-1950s. There are countless (redacted) reports to the effect that Groucho had a lot of pro-Communist sympathies but was almost certainly not an actual party member. (I guess the G-men already knew that he’d refuse to join any club that would have him as a member?)  There are some interesting references to a quotation of Groucho’s that appeared in the Daily Worker in 1934 that went “The battle of the Communists for the lives of these boys is one that will be taught in Soviet America as the most inspiring and courageous battle ever fought.”

Keep in mind that in 1934 Hitler was running Germany but not yet regarded as an obvious scourge to be eliminated. Still his anti-Jewish sentiments were clear enough. As a well-informed Jewish American it would be weird if Groucho hadn’t gotten interested in Communism around then. Plus for similar reasons the mid-1930s was a high-water mark for leftist and/or pro-Soviet feeling, especially once the Spanish Civil War got going in 1936. A lot of people who weren’t all that political got into trouble later for things they did (and thought) before WWII.

There’s also some business about Groucho and Chico being found guilty in a copyright infringement case in 1937 and having to pay a $1,000 fine.

For some reason Groucho (né Julius) is invariably referred to as “GRAUCHO MARX.” Once we reach the 1960s he is referred to as “Groucho.” I don’t know what’s up with that. In the summary sections of the file there is some background about how musically talented Groucho and his brothers are—the musical talents of Harpo and Chico are well known, but the file also, intriguingly, says this: “GRAUCHO MARX is rated as one of the best guitar players in the country.”

Did any of you know that?? So Groucho Marx, was, in a sense (at least according to his FBI file) a peer of Charlie Christian, Jimi Hendrix, and Eddie Van Halen? Well, maybe, maybe not.

There’s some business I don’t understand from 1957 about someone trying to “extort” Groucho. I can’t tell if it’s just a weird piece of fan mail that was referred to the FBI that they were obliged to look into or something more serious. On that page there is this chilling passage:
 

The death threat letter sent to GROUCHO MARX from ELVIS PRESLEY fanatics from Brooklyn stating that GROUCHO wouldn’t live through the holidays, might seem ridiculous if it weren’t such a serious offense to send such a threat through the mails.


 
Much more from the Groucho file, after the jump…....

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Take the money and run: Photos of the real life Bonnie & Clyde


Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow.
 
There are few names that have more instant recognition when it comes to the history of the American criminal than the duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow—otherwise known as “Bonnie & Clyde.” The pair’s horrific crime wave took the lives of thirteen people including two members of law enforcement, but their illegal exploits (which included kidnapping and robbing banks) really didn’t make them very rich because as it turns out Bonnie and Clyde weren’t that good at breaking the law.
 

An early mugshot of Clyde Barrow, age sixteen. 1925.
 
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker met Clyde Chestnut Barrow sometime in early 1930 and for Parker it was love at first sight. The two shared a mutual love of music and as a young girl Parker performed in talent shows and dreamed of one day hitting it big in Hollywood. During her short time as a part of Barrow’s gang Bonnie would write poetry and just before their crime spree ended on a dirt road in the country in Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23, 1934 Parker would pen an eerie poem she called The End of the Line that accurately foretold the couple’s eminent fate: 

They don’t think they’re too smart or desperate, They know the law always wins; They’ve been shot at before, But they do not ignore That death is the wages of sin.

Some day they’ll go down together; And they’ll bury them side by side, To a few it’ll be grief— To the law a relief— But it’s death for Bonnie and Clyde.

I’ve included an assortment of old photos of Bonnie and Clyde taken in the early 1930s—some that come from a roll of undeveloped film found inside of the bullet-riddled car where Bonnie and Clyde met their violent end—seventeen bullets for Clyde and 26 for Bonnie to be precise, as you can see in a graphic newsreel from 1934 that includes footage of the deceased duo inside their “death car” just after they were ambushed by the police.
 

A portrait of a young Bonnie Parker.
 

 
More Bonnie & Clyde after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Criminal Class: Surprisingly cool Aussie mugshots
07.01.2016
11:24 am

Topics:
Crime
History

Tags:
Australia
mug shots
Sydney Police

002mugshodow.jpg
 
Herbert Ellis sits with his arms folded waiting for his photograph to be taken. He’s perched on a chair, back against a wall, legs apart, wearing a three-piece suit, a white shirt with stud collar, a knitted tie and a slick Fedora. Ellis could be a guest at a dinner party, the groom’s best man at a wedding, an actor on a film set, or a model showing off the latest cut for a fashion spread. He looks cool, almost smiling at some private joke, seemingly at ease with what’s going on all around him.

But looks can be deceptive. Ellis has just been yanked off the street by two cops. They arrested him in connection with a burglary. Ellis is a “suspected person.” He has a reputation as a housebreaker, a shop breaker, a safe breaker, and receiver of stolen goods. Herbert Ellis is a criminal. He’s having his mugshot taken at the Central Police Station, Sydney sometime around 1920. As soon as the cops pulled in a suspect they took their prints and flashed their photo against a wall. Most of the time, the arrestees did not pose according to the positions of the latest standardized mugshot. Instead they sat or stood, wore what they liked, kept their coats and hats on and even smiled at the camera. As Peter Doyle curator of the Justice and Police Museum, Sydney, Australia notes these men and women “recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension.”

Ellis had a string of petty convictions to his name including “goods in custody, indecent language, stealing, receiving and throwing a missile.” His MO was noted as:

...seldom engages in crime in company, but possessing a most villainous character, he influences associates to commit robberies, and he arranges for the disposal of the proceeds.

He was nicknamed “Curly” down to his thinning hair and “Deafy” as by the time this picture was taken he was stone deaf.

Most of the criminals photographed by the New South Wales Police Department between 1910 and 1930 were taken in the cells of the Central Police Station, Sydney. The mugshots documented the various men and women arrested on charges as diverse as theft, larceny, violence, or procuring an abortion. The photos look unlike most other standard mugshots and could easily be portraits of family, friends or actors on a set.
 
001mugshodown.jpg
 

B. Smith, Gertrude Thompson and Vera McDonald, Central Police Station, Sydney, 25 January 1928.

Special Photograph no. 1608. This photograph was apparently taken in the aftermath of a raid led by CIB Chief Bill Mackay - later to be Commissioner of Police - on a house at 74 Riley Street, ‘lower Darlinghurst’. Numerous charges were heard against the 15 men and women arrested. Lessee Joe Bezzina was charged with ‘being the keeper of a house frequented by reputed thieves’, and some of the others were charged with assault, and with ‘being found in a house frequented by reputed thieves’.

The prosecution cast the raid in heroic terms - the Chief of the CIB, desperately outnumbered, had struggled hand to hand in ‘a sweltering melee in one of the most notorious thieves’ kitchens in Sydney’. The defence, on the other hand, described ‘a quiet party, a few drinks, some singing ... violently interrupted by a squad of hostile, brawling police’ (Truth, 29 January 1928).

 
003mugshodown.jpg
 

Hampton Hirscham, Cornellius Joseph Keevil, William Thomas O’Brien and James O’Brien, 20 July 1921, Central Police Station, Sydney.

Special Photograph no. 446. The quartet pictured were arrested over a robbery at the home of bookmaker Reginald Catton, of Todman avenue, Kensington, on 21 April 1921. The Crown did not proceed against Thomas O’Brien but the other three were convicted, and received sentences of fifteen months each.

 
More Antipodean mugshots and arrest details, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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