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The lurid, neon outlaw art of Benjamin Marra
10.06.2017
08:32 am
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Album artwork by Benjamin Marra for the 2014 compilation ‘Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares.’
 
Comic artist Benjamin Marra‘s pulpy, outlaw artistic style has been used by notable publications such as The New York Times and another comic book company you might have heard of, Marvel. Several of Marra’s books have been published by Seattle comics institution Fantagraphics. In an interview Marra gave to The Comics Journal he discussed one of his most common themes of his work—his raw depiction of violence. Like so many of us, Marra was profoundly influenced by films he saw as a youth, though he steered clear of violent scenarios in his artwork because they scared the shit out of him. So, he began to include images bad stuff happening into his work in the hope that he might someday be able to conquer his fear. Well, it worked, and I’m thrilled because Marra’s art is kind of like a grindhouse film full of bikers and badass chicks battling it out in a grim neon netherworld.

Based in Brooklyn, Marra went to Syracuse University where he studied illustration, and then later for a time at SU’s art program in Florence, Italy. He received a B.F.A. from Syracuse and followed that up with an M.F.A. in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Marra still spends time at the Manhattan institution where he somehow finds the time to teach the in the Visual Narrative program. Marra publishes his far-out comics through his own company, Traditional Comics. There he puts out comics that are aligned with the kind of core values a real outlaw would be ready to die for, such as imposing your will upon the world, sex (and there’s lots of it in Marra’s illustrated world), drugs, gambling, and adhering to a personal code of justice that believes in vigilantism which provides for the right to exact revenge whenever you’ve been done wrong.

I first became aware of Marra after seeing the slick album art for a compilation series put out by the Numero Group in 2014, Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (pictured at the top of this post). However, some of you might be familiar with Marra’s balls-out 2010 comic that featured a gun-toting New York Times Op-Ed columnist, The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd, or perhaps his contributions to the Henry & Glenn Forever series. Marra always seems to be putting out a new low-brow, day-glow piece of work and a quick look at The Comic Book Database revealed that his latest venture (with Fantagraphics) is a groovy-looking series called All The Time Comics with three different insane-looking storylines which you can see here.

I’ve posted some cool examples of Marra’s work below which are NSFW. Much like Marra himself.
 

 

Marra’s poster for the 2016 re-release of director Takeshi Kitano’s 1989 film, ‘Violent Cop.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.06.2017
08:32 am
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An early Rolling Stone promotion sent every new subscriber a free roach clip!
09.28.2017
12:48 pm
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The February 10, 1968, issue of Rolling Stone
 
It’s difficult to explain why Rolling Stone was able to separate itself from a crowded pack in 1967 to become the most reliable media barometer of Boomer culture in existence. It surely had a great deal to do with Jann Wenner’s personality. It would surprise nobody to learn, as David Weir, a reporter who co-wrote Rolling Stone’s coverage of Patty Hearst in the 1970s, once observed, that Wenner was (and probably is) “a brilliant master at getting what he wants out of people.”

Securing exclusive coverage of high-profile acts was surely a key to the early success of the magazine, but let’s not overlook Wenner’s bold sense of PR. Before the magazine was even a year old, Wenner zeroed in on an unbeatable promotional idea that would appeal to every person in his potential audience while alienating those who didn’t belong.

Wenner put an ad in the magazine stating that he would send every person who bought a subscription a free roach clip. The ad took up a full page and looked like this:
 

 
The text of the ad was a masterpiece of humorous insinuation, never mentioning drugs while winkingly touting 1,001 uses, which happen to include “music appreciation” and “preventing singed lips.” Riiiiiiight…..
 

This handy little device can be yours free!

An essential accessory for the successful musician and the completely equipped rock and roll fan. It has one thousand and one uses around the home, in rehearsal or for better music appreciation. Applications of this delightfully simple piece of machinery range from the frivolous (hanging earrings) to the practical (preventing singed lips.) Each handle comes individually lathed in either mahogany, ebony, oak or rosewood. No two alike! Get ‘em while they last.

Without delay, subscribe to Rolling Stone! We’ll give you one “Handy Little Device” free with your subscription. If you would like to give a gift subscription to a loved one, we’ll send you two “Handy Little Devices” or one to you and one to your loved one. Act now before this offer is made illegal.

 
As related in Robert Draper’s diverting 1990 book Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History, Wenner came up with the idea while getting high at a friend’s house in (where else?) San Francisco:
 

One afternoon Jann sat with friends in a house on Potrero Hill, smoking dope. Jann was admiring the handsome wooden apparatus which held the joint.

“Where’d you get the roach clip?” he asked its owner, Robert Kingsbury, a man he had met only once before.

“Made it myself,” said Kingsbury. “I make ‘em out of hardwood knobs.”

Jann took a toke and fingered the woodwork of the roach clip. Then he asked, “What do you think you could make these for?”

Kingsbury shrugged. “Maybe eighty cents apiece,” he said.

“Could you make me some?” Jann asked. “I need a lot.”

Sure, why not, said Kingsbury. “What do you need ‘em for?”

“I want to give ‘em away,” said Jann, grinning devilishly. “As a subscription incentive.”

And so page 23 of issue No. 5 featured a photograph of a 41/4-inch roach clip with the headline “This handy little device can be yours free!” With a subscription to Rolling Stone, the ad read, readers would receive this “essential accessory. ... Act now before this offer is made illegal.”

Gleason hit the ceiling. “Marijuana is against the law,” he said, lecturing Jann in his acid Eastern voice. “You can cover it, you can joke about it—but you cannot sell dope paraphernalia through Rolling Stone. You just can’t do that!”

Even by now, however, it was becoming clear [that] Jann Wenner could, and would, do with Rolling Stone whatever he wished.

 
When the New York Times reviewed Draper’s book, it chose to tout the roach clip gimmick in the headline: “A Roach Clip with Every Paid Subscription.”

On the suggestion of Jane Schindelheim, Wenner’s wife, Kingsbury (who was dating Jane’s sister at the time, whom he would later marry) was later asked to become Rolling Stone’s second art director, a position he held for several years. But in some respects he was an odd fit. A sculptor by trade, Kingsbury at 44 was a full generation older than Wenner and virtually everyone else at the magazine. Draper asserts that he “despised rock ‘n’ roll” but was “brilliant and resourceful, a disciplined man.” Draper credits Kingsbury with establishing the relatively clean and uncluttered look (for a counterculture rag, anyway), and he was ushered out of the organization around the time the magazine adopted four-color printing techniques in 1973.

I’m curious how many roach clips ever went out to subscribers. I’m tempted to say “zero.” There is currently a lavish exhibition dedicated to Rolling Stone at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, which I visited recently. There you can find the page with the advertisement as well as one of the clips, but that’s the only one I’ve ever seen reproduced. Below you can see a picture of the Rock Hall display taken by yours truly.

As you can see, Draper has the ad first appearing in the February 24, 1968, issue (“No. 5”), but the promotion actually debuted one issue earlier. The page shown at the Rock Hall does say “February 10, 1968” on it.

In any case, I’m a teensy bit skeptical that there exists any such thing as a human being who received a Rolling Stone roach clip in the mail. The auction site eBay has precisely zero auctions dedicated to the item in its archive, which doesn’t exactly prove anything, and if you can find a picture of one on the Internet, you’re a better Google-stalker than I. Draper mentions that Wenner was having difficulty paying his staff in those first couple of years, so I suspect he pulled the somewhat (in retrospect) Trumpian maneuver of reneging on a promise.

But I don’t know—if you received one of these mahogany beauties in the mail, please reach out and let us know! Pics or it didn’t happen…...
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.28.2017
12:48 pm
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Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!

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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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One for the Road: Street photographs of drunk Japanese people
09.18.2017
10:05 am
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Tokyo-based photographer Lee Chapman has been documenting life in Japan for almost two decades. Originally from England, Chapman went to Japan on a one-year work contract to teach English at a language school. He now works as an English teacher at a local high school—which means he has plenty of free time to take photographs.

Chapman finds it easier to wander around Tokyo with a camera compared to say, London, where he says “the authorities are clamping down on photography in the public sphere.” As an outsider he finds himself attracted to subjects that many indigenous photographers might overlook. He has no interest in covering the “fashion girls of Harajuku and Shibuya” or the quirky trends so beloved by western fashion magazines. Instead, Chapman focuses on the areas that a lot of people don’t see—the old, the homeless, the people who live on the periphery of society.

Among the many subjects Chapman has covered is a series of photographs of drunks passed out on the city’s sidewalks, doorways, bars, and train stations. Being passed-out, stone-cold drunk on Tokyo’s streets is a common and accepted sight. Whether through an excess of alcohol or mere tiredness, businessmen in dapper suits can often be found lying spreadeagled next to heavy metal freaks and regular low-rent run-of-the-mill alcoholics.

Check more of Lee Chapman’s superb work here.
 
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More of Lee Chapman’s photographs, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.18.2017
10:05 am
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New documentary about Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey from the makers of ‘Room 237,’ a DM exclusive!
09.14.2017
06:40 am
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The violent end Jayne Mansfield met in a cloud of insecticide has all the elements of a good story. Sex, violence, fame, blackmail, a Satanic curse, death by decapitation (well, severe haircut, anyway)—why, the LA Times obit reads like 12-year-old Glenn Danzig wrote it:

Jayne Mansfield Killed

Jayne Mansfield, blonde and buxom, almost a caricature of a sex symbol who lived in a glass bowl of publicity for 13 years as a Hollywood actress was decapitated last week in a grotesque car crash in a New Orleans swamp. She had been appearing at a night club in Biloxi, Miss. leaving there en route to New Orleans for a morning television appearance when the 2:30 a.m. collision occurred. Her car came around a curve at high speed and smashed into the trailer of a truck which had slowed on entering a cloud of white anti-mosquito mist. The trailer sheared off the top of the auto killing instantly the three adults in the front seat: Miss Mansfield, her friend, Samuel S. Brody, 40, a Los Angeles lawyer and their driver, Ronnie Harrison, 20, a student at the University of Mississippi. Three of her five children (in the back seat of the car) were injured but not seriously.

[...] Last year, her son Zoltan, 6, (while posing with her for a publicity stunt) was mauled by a lion and almost died when he developed meningitis. Several weeks ago, her daughter Jayne Marie, 16, left home complaining that she had been beaten by her mother’s boyfriend lawyer Brody. Miss Mansfield’s second husband was Mickey Hargitay, who flew to New Orleans after the accident to be with his children. On the French Riviera last week, Francoise Dorleac, 25-year-old French film actress, was also killed in a car crash. Her car skidded on a wet highway, struck a sign post and burst into flames.

The legend of Mansfield’s death is the subject of the latest documentary from P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, the creative powerhouse behind Room 237, Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel, and the live-action Chick tract feature Hot Chicks. Ebersole and Hughes’ Mansfield 66/67: A True Story Based on Rumor and Hearsay focuses on the actress’s relationship with the Black Pope of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, and the tale that sorcery caused her fatal car crash. She is portrayed by “over fifty actors and dancers.”
 

 
Mansfield 66/67 appears, like Room 237, to be about a particular kind of 20th century folklore: “Paul is dead” cases of private obsessions, nourished by mass media, passing into folk belief. Conditions were favorable. Dead Jayne was in no position to refute any stories about her entirely sensationalized life, and LaVey was in no hurry to disclaim supernatural powers. Interviewed by Jack Fritscher in the 1972 book Popular Witchcraft, LaVey suggested his curse was responsible for the car crash, though he’d laid it not on Jayne but Sam Brody—the man the LA Times identified as Mansfield’s “friend”:

LAVEY: I know I have been rumored to have cursed Jayne Mansfield and caused her death in that car crash. Jayne Mansfield was a member of the Church of Satan. I have enough material to blow sky-high all those sanctimonious Hollywood journalists who claim she wasn’t. She was a priestess in the Church of Satan. I have documentation of this fact from her. There are many things I’ll not say for obvious reasons.

FRITSCHER: Say what you can.

LAVEY: Her lover [lawyer Sam Brody, also killed in the front seat of the car], who was a decidedly unsavory character, was the one who brought the curse upon himself. There was decidedly a curse, marked in the presence of other people. Jayne was warned constantly and periodically in no uncertain terms that she must avoid his company because great harm would befall him. It was a very sad sequence of events in which she was the victim of her own—as we mentioned earlier—inability to cope with her own success. Also the demonic self in her was crying out to be one thing, and her apparent self demanded that she be something else. She was beaten back and forth in this inner conflict between the apparent self and the demonic self. Sam Brody was blackmailing her.

FRITSCHER: About what?

LAVEY: He was blackmailing her. I have definite proof of this. She couldn’t get out of his clutches. She was a bit of a masochist herself. She brought about her own demise. But it wasn’t through what I had done to curse her. The curse, that she asked me to cast, was directed at him. And it was a very magnificent curse.

Watch the trailer after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.14.2017
06:40 am
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David Bowie, Dennis Hopper and/or Dean Stockwell bring blow to Iggy Pop in a psych ward, 1975


Iggy Pop and Dennis Hopper talking shop back in the day.
 

“By 1975, I was totally into drugs, and my willpower had been vastly depleted. But still, I had the brains to commit myself to a hospital, and I survived with willpower and a lot of help from David Bowie. I survived because I wanted to.”

—Iggy Pop on how he got by with a little help from his friend David Bowie while locked up in the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital .

If you suddenly broke into an off-key chorus of “That’s What Friends Are For” while reading through this post about Iggy Pop’s stay at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, I’d understand. Let’s face it—when the cards are stacked against you, and your life takes a giant nosedive into a pile of shit (or cocaine, booze or other bad shit, or shit in general really), you get to find out who your real friends are. In this case, Iggy Pop found out that none other than Dennis Hopper, that suave motherfucker himself Dean Stockwell, and of course his BFF, David Bowie, were his. However, this was back in 1975, and Iggy’s trio of pals at the time routinely consumed cocaine and all kinds of other drugs at alarming rates just like he did—which was one of the reasons Pop had voluntarily checked himself into the UCLA psych ward. 1975 was a tough year for Iggy after he found himself in Los Angeles with virtually no money and mostly no Stooges after the band disbanded, due in part due to Iggy’s heavy heroin problem which culminated in Iggy and the Stooges falling apart onstage at a gig in Michigan in 1974. Here’s rock journalist Lester Bangs’ account of what went down the night Iggy and the Stooges imploded:

“The audience, which consisted largely of bikers, was unusually hostile, and Iggy, as usual, fed on that hostility, soaked it up and gave it back and absorbed it all over again in an eerie, frightening symbiosis. “All right,” he finally said, stopping a song in the middle, “you assholes wanta hear ‘Louie, Louie,’ we’ll give you ‘Louie, Louie.’” So the Stooges played a forty-five-minute version of “Louie Louie,” including new lyrics improvised by the Pop on the spot consisting of “You can suck my ass / You biker faggot sissies,” etc. By now the hatred in the room is one huge livid wave, and Iggy singles out one heckler who has been particularly abusive: “Listen, asshole, you heckle me one more time, and I’m gonna come down there and kick your ass.” “Fuck you, you little punk,” responds the biker. So Iggy jumps off the stage, runs through the middle of the crowd, and the guy beats the shit out of him, ending the evening’s musical festivities by sending the lead singer back to his motel room and a doctor. I walk into the dressing room, where I encounter the manager of the club offering to punch out anybody in the band who will take him on. The next day the bike gang, who call themselves the Scorpions, will phone WABX-FM and promise to kill Iggy and the Stooges if they play the Michigan Palace on Thursday night. They do (play, that is), and nobody gets killed, but Metallic K.O. is the only rock album I know where you can actually hear hurled beer bottles breaking against guitar strings.”

 

Iggy and Stooges guitarist James Williamson.
 
Following that act, Iggy went back to LA and as Stooges guitarist James Williamson recalls Pop was living in a small apartment on Sunset Strip where he spent his days completely blotto on any substance he could put in his body to get high. Pop would eventually lose his digs and stayed with Williamson for a short time before he ending up romancing the streets of Los Angeles where he apparently got arrested several times for various infractions. Upon his last appearance in court, he was given two options—prison or he could voluntarily check himself into a psychiatric hospital. While in treatment at UCLA under the care of Dr. Murray Zucker he went through detox and was diagnosed with a condition known as hypomania. Though it was likely no fun, it was probably a lot better than being in prison. Besides, as the title of this post indicates, he had lots of friends coming by to visit him. And that’s where this story gets a whole lot weirder.

According to the 2012 book David Bowie: The Golden Years, actor Dean Stockwell visited Pop at UCLA along with Bowie allegedly dressed up in space suits (though perhaps just Bowie was in disguise), completely stoned politely demanding “We want to see Jimmy. Let us in.” According to Pop’s account of the event, they actually let Bowie and Stockwell see him because they were “star struck” by their presence, despite the fact that they were clearly high as fuck. Once inside Iggy’s room, Bowie broke out some blow to share with Pop which he took, but in Iggy’s own words, he only indulged “a little.” David Bowie has also spoken about his clandestine visits to Pop recalling that it was Dennis Hopper who he came calling on Iggy with while the former Stooge was trying to maintain his sobriety and mental health. Here’s the Thin White Duke on how that went:

“If I remember it right, it was me and Dennis Hopper. We trooped into the hospital with a load of drugs for (Iggy) him. This was very much a leave-your-drugs-at-the-door hospital. We were out of our minds, all of us. He wasn’t well; that’s all we knew. We thought we should bring him some drugs because he probably hadn’t had any for days!”

I’ve always believed that only a real friend would smuggle drugs for you, and David Bowie (and Dennis or was it Dean?) proved that point for me.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.13.2017
10:05 am
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Unintentionally hilarious horror movie-themed anti-smoking PSA


 
This short anti-smoking PSA produced by Enniscorthy Youthreach in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society has its heart in the right place even if the results are unintentionally hilarious.

The two-minute spot on the terrors of peer-pressure features homages to famous horror villains, including Jack Torrence (“I’ll huff and I’ll puff… MAINLY PUFF”), a Freddy Krueger with cigarette fingers instead of knives, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Chucky, Hannibal Lecter, and a Reagan McNeil who, in the best scene of the video, vomits a whole carton’s worth of cigs at the protagonist. 

In the end, we find that this was all the hospital-bed nightmare of someone ostensibly dying of lung cancer.

The storyline, acting, makeup, and special effects are all gloriously no-budget and awesomely terrible, making this, perhaps, the most entertaining anti-smoking PSA of all recorded time.

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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08.25.2017
08:45 am
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Mysterious photos of Ozzy Osbourne in the nude performing with a naked hippie band back in 1969
08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Ozzy reacting the same way I did to the news that photos from his brief stint in an all-nude hippie band have surfaced.
 
Okay, here’s the deal—I’m posting two images of what looks like a very young, and completely nude Ozzy Osbourne for a couple of reasons. Reason one is that I am a lifelong disciple of OZZ and look for any legitimate reason to write about Ozzy, Tony Iommi, and his bandmates in Black Sabbath and beyond. However, today, I’m hoping that one of our DM readers, or perhaps Ozzy himself might be able to shed some much-needed light on these mysterious images. Here’s what I know about them so far. Help us, Ozzy, you’re our only hope

According to a site once run by a Germany-based Black Sabbath fan, Black-Sabbath.de, someone sent them two photos of Ozzy from a source in Scandinavia. The first photo allegedly shows a very young Ozzy holding a what appears to be a Fender Precision bass on stage completely nude while sharing a microphone stand with a naked brunette. As much as I’d like to be, I’m no expert when it comes to band gear, and the grainy photos below make it nearly impossible—for me at least—to tell what Ozzy actually has slung over his shoulder. The rest of the all-nude-review includes a drummer—a guy with lambchop sideburns who looks a bit like Monkee Michael Nesmith hitting a bongo, and a beardie nude dude playing a stand-up bass.

The second photo features Ozzy hanging out backstage at the gig with the stand-up bass player and the buck-naked brunette. What makes this strange scenario plausible is the fact that Sabbath played a a TON of gigs in 1969 including multiple stops in Copenhagen. Since I had gone this far, I decided to research the bands Sabbath played gigs with in 1969 in the hope that one of them would reveal themselves to be the nude quartet jamming with Ozzy. Sadly, the closest I got was that perhaps Ozzy’s hippie band might have been comprised of members of English band Bakerloo who at one time were photographed as the “The Bakerloo Blues Line” along with a cute, unidentified brunette who was perhaps a member of the band. Bakerloo previously toured with Sabbath while they were still known as Earth in London and likely elsewhere. However, as there is a naked bongo player in this scenario, it’s possible that Ozzy is hanging out with members of local Birmingham band, Rare Breed.

Where are those goddamned meddling kids and their snack-happy dog when you need them?

Despite my heroic heavy metal efforts to resolve this mystery, this is where my investigation into Ozzy’s nude (maybe) Scandinavian escapade ends. You can see the intriguing NSFW black and white photos for yourself and draw your own conclusions, after the jump.

Wait are you waiting for?

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.15.2017
10:17 am
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Meet Anita Berber: The ‘Priestess of Debauchery’ who scandalized Weimar Berlin

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The woman with the shock of dyed red hair, her body wrapped in a fur coat, and a pet monkey grinning and holding tight to her neck was Anita Berber. She danced across the foyer of the Adlon Hotel opened her sable coat and revealed her lustrous naked body underneath. Men leered, goggled-eyed. Women giggled or turned their heads in shock and embarrassment.

Anita Berber didn’t care. She liked to shock. She liked the attention. If she didn’t get it, she would shout and throw empty bottles or glasses on the floor. Smash! Berber was a dancer, an actor, a writer, and a model. She was called the “Goddess of the Night,” the “Priestess of Debauchery,” the very symbol of Weimar decadence, and a drug-addled degenerate. She was all these things and more. And during her brief life, Berber utterly scandalized Berlin during the 1920s. Not an easy task!

The daughter of two musicians, Anita Berber was born in Dresden in 1899. Her parents divorced when she was young, Berber was then raised by her grandmother. By sixteen, she quit the family home for the unpredictable life as a dancer in cabaret shows. The First World War was at its bloodiest height. The daily reports of casualties and death meant people were reckless with their passions. It was then that Berber started a series of relationships and dangerous habits that became her life.

After the War, Berber began her career as a movie actor—starring opposite Conrad Veidt in The Story of Dida Ibsen in 1918 and then in Prostitution and Around the World in Eighty Days the following year. While Veidt went onto become a major movie star with a career in Hollywood, Berber’s career stalled and she became best known for her performances as a dancer, a sultry temptress or a drug-addled prostitute. With her dark bobbed hair and androgynous good looks, Berber created a style that was copied by Marlene Dietrich (who basically stole her act), Leni Riefenstahl who idolized Berber, was her understudy and had a brief intense relationship with her, and Louise Brooks, whose seductive image in Pandora’s Box was a copy of Berber’s. She had relationships with both men and women, seeing no difference in taking pleasures from either sex. Berber married in 1919, then left her husband—a man called Nathusius—for a woman called Susi Wanowski. The couple became a fixture of Berlin’s growing lesbian scene.

Berber enjoyed opium, hashish, heroin, and cocaine—which she kept secreted in a silver locket around her neck. She also had a strong predilection for ether and chloroform mixed together in a small china bowl, into which she scattered white rose petals. Once these were sufficiently marinated in this heady concoction, she ate the petals one by one until she fell into a delicious sleep.

Berber’s louche lifestyle coupled with her fame as a movie star and dancer meant she was the subject of gossip and cafe tittle-tattle. It was said over black sweet coffee she was once kept as a sex slave by a married woman and her fifteen-year-old daughter. It was claimed between mouthfuls of chocolate cake that she wandered through casinos and hotels flashing her naked body. While in the bars, it was overheard that she exhausted her lovers with her insatiable demands for sex. 

Some of these tales were false. Most were true. But all of them kept Anita Berber fixed in the public’s imagination.

In 1921, she met and fell in love with the Sebastian Droste, a bisexual dancer who was known as a performer in Berlin’s gay bars and clubs. They became lovers and married in 1922. They formed a scandalous dance partnership choreographing and performing together in Expressionist “fantasias” like Suicide, Morphium, and Mad House. They also collaborated on a book of poetry and photographs called Die Tänze des Lasters, des Grauens und der Ekstase (Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy). A typical routine went something like this:

In the dance, “Menschen,” or, “People,” we find,

Only two people

Two naked people

Man

Woman

And both in a cage

Hard stiff horrible cages

The two king’s children sang songs

But with tears

The man smashes his cage

Tradition

Society

Convention he spits out.

Which is the kind of nonsense we nowadays associate with the overly pretentious rather than the naturally gifted…but at the time… You can imagine: shock, horror, and spilled sherry.

Berber’s and Groste’s relationship was intense, passionate, and drug-fueled. Because of her considerable use of cocaine, Berber often hurled champagne bottles at the audience if they failed to appreciate her genius. It was inevitable their marriage would not last long and they separated in 1923.

By the time artist Otto Dix painted his famous portrait of Berber in 1925, the years of drug abuse, frenetic lifestyle, and lack of nutrition was plain to see. The painting looks more like a woman in her fifties than a twenty-five-year-old. The woman who once scandalized Berlin with her androgynous looks, her erotic and seductive dances and her sultry on-screen appearance was no longer so appealing. Berber was out of favor as a younger generation of ingenues took over. She began touring her dance shows. During one such tour in Damascus, Berber became fatally ill with tuberculosis. She returned home to Berlin where she died “surrounded by empty morphine syringes” on November 10th, 1928. Anita Berber was twenty-nine. She was buried in a pauper’s grave and may have been long forgotten had it not been for Dix’s portrait that kept her legend alive.
 
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More photos of the ‘Priestess of Debauchery,’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.14.2017
09:52 am
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Elvis Presley’s adventures in yoga and Eastern mysticism
08.11.2017
07:44 am
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Col. Tom Parker, Elvis Presley and Larry Geller on the set of ‘Spinout’ (via Bodhi Tree.com)
 
In the spring of 1964, Elvis’ hairdresser, Larry Geller, introduced him to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. The founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship had a lasting impact on Elvis, who often visited the SRF’s Mt. Washington headquarters and Pacific Palisades retreat during his Hollywood years, and developed a close relationship with Yogananda’s successor, Sri Daya Mata.

Priscilla did not welcome the arrival of cosmic consciousness in her life with the King:

Larry was a total threat to us all. He would spend hours and hours and hours with Elvis, just talking to him, and he wasn’t anything that Elvis represented; he didn’t represent anything that Elvis had believed in prior to that time… [Elvis] read books studiously for hours and hours. He had conversations with Larry for hours and hours — he was going on a search for why we were here and who we were, the purpose of life; he was on a search with Larry to try to find it. You know, Larry would bring him books, books, books, piles of books. And Elvis would lay in bed at night and read them to me. That was the thing when you dealt with Elvis: if he had a passion for something, you had to go into it with him and show the same love he had for it. Or at least you had to pretend to.

Of course, these new enthusiasms were amplified by Elvis drugs. Not acid, so much—during the one trip Geller and Elvis took together, they ordered pizza and watched The Time Machine on TV—but friends observed troubling interactions between the King’s diet pills and his Kriya Yoga practice. From the second volume of Peter Guralnick’s Elvis biography:

He felt a new serenity in his life. To the guys it seemed more like madness, and they felt increasingly alienated, resentful, bewildered, and angry all at once. Elvis appeared to be leaving them with his almost daily visions, his tales of going off in a spaceship, his delusions of being able to turn the sprinkler system of the Bel Air Country Club golf course behind the house on and off with his thoughts, his conviction that he could cure them of everything from the common cold to more serious aches and pains by his healing powers.

 

 
Geller’s spiritual counsel did not endear him to Colonel Tom Parker. Guralnick reports Larry’s contention that one terrible number in 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go was a clear message from the King’s manager:

The inclusion of the musical number “Yoga Is As Yoga Does,” which Elvis performed as a duet in Easy Come, Easy Go, was no accident, Larry felt, but intended, rather, as a direct insult to Elvis’ (and Larry’s) beliefs — but Elvis went ahead and recorded it anyway. Only after the scene in which it was included was shot did Elvis finally react. It was then, in Larry’s account, that Elvis “stormed into the trailer, shouting, ‘That son of a bitch! He knows, and he did it! He told those damn writers what to do, and he’s making me do this.’”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.11.2017
07:44 am
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