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Watch Burt Reynolds and the Muppets on the unaired pilot for ‘The Orson Welles Show,’ 1978
04.14.2016
10:34 am

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Heroes
Television

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Between the twin humiliations of his frozen peas and Paul Masson commercials, and unable to finish his last feature The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles found himself on an LA soundstage with Burt Reynolds, wearing matching red shirts with enormous collars and chatting about showbiz for a TV pilot. This was Welles’ shot at hosting a talk show. There were no takers.

Like much of the great director’s work, The Orson Welles Show was made on the cheap, and if no one will confuse this unloved project with Chimes at Midnight, it’s not because Welles was slacking. In Orson Welles Remembered, the show’s editor, Stanley Sheff, says that he got the job by offering to work for free for three days, which “turned into a year of collaboration with Mr. Welles on The Orson Welles Show.” That’s right: according to Sheff, he and Welles put in a year of eight-hour days editing this 74-minute program on video, “working weekends and holidays when required.” Compare this with Citizen Kane, which started post-production in November 1940 and was first screened in January 1941.
 

 
Did I mention The Orson Welles Show was cheaply made? The budget was such that Sheff had to wear three hats, filling in for Welles as director for a few inserts and playing the part of the violinist in the big finish with Angie Dickinson. And according to the notes on YouTube, it’s not just the canned laughter that makes the lengthy interview with Reynolds (roughly the first half of the show) seem so odd:

Audience questions for the Burt Reynolds Q&A session were scripted, with members of the audience given line readings - this was necessary, as unlike normal talk shows filmed with a multiple-camera setup, the low-budget show was filmed with only one camera, and so it was necessary to do multiple retakes to get multiple camera angles.

The second half of the show runs at a higher gear. Welles intones something about “the unfathomable antiquity of ancient Egypt.” Fozzie Bear gets flop sweat doing his “A material” during the Muppets’ bit, which leads into an interview with Jim Henson (“think Rasputin as an Eagle Scout,” Welles says) and Frank Oz. But it’s the last fifteen minutes of the show that are pure Welles. Fans of F for Fake will discern a strong formal resemblance between that film and the elaborate magic tricks that close The Orson Welles Show; I’m guessing this is where all those hours in the editing room went.
 
Watch the pilot for ‘The Orson Welles Show’ after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Derek Jarman: The iconoclast filmmaker as painter
04.13.2016
10:02 am

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Art
Heroes
Movies
Queer

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Derek Jarman became a filmmaker by accident. He was originally a painter, an artist who started making home movies with friends at his Bankside home in London. These Super-8 films slowly evolved into movies and one of the most exciting, original and provocative filmmakers since Ken Russell arrived. During a seventeen-year career Jarman made eleven feature films—from the Latin and sand romp Sebastiane through his punk movie Jubilee (1978) to Caravaggio (1986) and the final one color movie Blue. During all of this time, the artist, director, writer, gardener and diarist painted.

Jarman was a student the Slade School of Art in the 1960s where he was taught—like everyone else—to be an “individual.” Jarman felt he was already managing that quite well in that department without being told how. He left art school and worked as a set designer with Ken Russell—most spectacularly on The Devils in 1971 and then Savage Messiah in 1973. His painting career splits into different sections; his early work reflected his interest in landscape, form and color—something which would recur in his films—his later work reflecting his more personal experience. However, as he began making films Jarman shifted from using paint to creating pictures with celluloid.

His return to painting came after his HIV diagnosis in 1986, when he produced a series of Black Paintings—collages made from objects found on the beach at his cottage in Dungeness. He placed these objects on an oily black background—similar to the contrasting black of the tableaux he used in Caravaggio the same year.

As his condition worsened, Jarman painted larger, more abstract canvases. He given a room to paint in where he splashed the canvas with thick bright paints and scrolling words and statements. His influence came from his life, his own films and the work of Jackson Pollock. The brightness and color of the paintings were a defiance in the face of illness.
 
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‘Landscape with Marble Mountain’ (1967).
 
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‘Landscape with a Blue Pool’ (1967).
 
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‘Avesbury’ III (1973).
 
More of Derek Jarman’s paintings after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Watch Hunter S. Thompson exchanging gunfire with his neighbors over their cows
04.11.2016
10:58 am

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Amusing
Heroes
R.I.P.

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Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a dispute with typewritter at his Woody Creek estate the Owl Farm in Colorado
Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a dispute with a typewriter at his Woody Creek estate, the ‘Owl Farm’ in Colorado.
 
In this gonzo video that very much typifies a day in the life of the great Hunter S. Thompson, we get to see the Dr. Gonzo in his natural setting engaging in a gun battle with his neighbors over what appears to be a dispute concerning his neighbor’s cows. Because this is how disputes are settled when you’re Hunter S. Thompson.
 
The legendary living room at Hunter S. Thompson's Woody Creek estate, the Owl Farm
The legendary living room at Hunter S. Thompson’s home
 
The incident took place at Thompson 42.5-acre estate in Woody Creek, Colorado called the “Owl Farm.” A mythical place where Thompson once blew up a Jeep after loading it with dynamite and gasoline. It is also the place where Thompson sadly took his own life on February 20th, 2005. If things go according to plan Thompson’s widow, Anita, will soon turn part of the estate into a museum. Which is why she has left many of the rooms (such as the living room pictured above) at the Owl Farm virtually the way they were over a decade ago when Thompson took leave of this world.

Glorious footage of the great Hunter S. Thompson behaving exactly as you would expect him to, otherwise known as badly, follows.
 

Footage of Hunter S. Thompson engaged in a gun battle with his Woody Creek neighbors, apparently over cows.

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Gentle Giant: Rosey Grier’s ‘Needlepoint for Men,’ 1973
04.08.2016
09:49 am

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Books
Heroes
History
Sports

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I never realized what an awesome role model Rosey Grier was to kids—and to full grown men who enjoy needlepoint—in the 1970s. Really Rosey? (See what I did there? No?) I mean, how many former NFL players can you name who wrote books on needlepoint and sang songs like “It’s Alright To Cry”? None probably.

More than anything, Grier was showing that it was okay for young males to be in touch with their softer side and that there was nothin’ shameful about expressing emotions like crying. What a stellar message to get across, especially in the early 1970s when I’d imagine it was a lot tougher for even a former NFL tackle to get that message out without laughter and ridicule.

Rosey Grier is 83 years old now, and an ordained minister who keeps up a brisk pace of public service. He is the last surviving member of the Fearsome Foursome. As a bodyguard for Ethyl Kennedy during the 1968 presidential primaries, when RFK was assassinated, it was Rosey Grier who took control of the gun and subdued, Sirhan Sirhan.

Let’s also not forget his guest star turns on Dora Hall specials or his co-starring role in 1972’s The Thing With Two Heads (Ray Milland plays a rich white racist who has his head transplanted onto the body of a death-row inmate played by Grier.)
 

 

 
More Rosey after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Footage of Keith Moon crashing a Led Zeppelin gig then jamming with the band in 1977
04.07.2016
08:49 am

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Keith Moon sitting at John Bonham's drum kit while Jimmy Page looks on, June 23rd, 1977
Keith Moon sitting at John Bonham’s drum kit while Jimmy Page looks on, June 23rd, 1977.
 
While many (most?) drunken escapades end up badly—but especially when they’re taking place in front of thousands of people—the time The Who’s antic-prone timekeeper Keith Moon crashed a Led Zeppelin gig in 1977, was thankfully not such an occasion.
 
Keith Moon and Robert Plant on stage at the Forum in Los Angeles, June 23, 1977
Keith Moon and Robert Plant on stage at the Forum in Los Angeles, June 23, 1977.
 
Keith Moon sitting behind John Bonham's mythical drum kit, June 23, 1977
Keith Moon sitting behind John Bonham’s mythical drum kit, June 23, 1977.
 
On June 23rd, 1977, the perpetually drunk Keith Moon unexpectedly joined Led Zeppelin onstage at the Forum in Los Angeles, along with his bongos and a tambourine during “Moby Dick” and the band’s encore. At one point after Moon’s impromptu materialization, he commandeered Robert Plant’s microphone and began to regale the crowd before Plant, who was chopping away behind Bonham’s kit, shut him down.

The action with Moon, who engages in what I can only describe as an awesome “drum duel” of sorts with Bonham, starts at about 5:40. Sadly, it would turn out to be the last time Moon would perform on U.S. soil as he passed away just over a year later in September of 1978 at the all-too-young age of 32. Bonzo wouldn’t last that much longer himself, dying in his sleep on September 24, 1980. He was also just 32 years old.

After the jump, watch footage of Keith Moon crashing Led Zeppelin’s party at the Los Angeles Forum in 1977…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Found: Lost behind-the-scenes Polaroids from ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’
04.06.2016
09:19 am

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Heroes
Movies

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Imagine traveling home one night and finding a set of behind-the-scenes photos from one of your favorite shows. Well, something like that did happen to Brady Marter, who later uploaded his prized find onto the Collector’s Weekly site:

Founds these on the platform of the C train in TriBeCa in 2011. They are photos of Tim Curry and the cast of Rocky Horror during the making of the film. Some have writing on the back and Frankenfurter kissed the back of one.

Obviously, these beauties from The Rocky Horror Show weren’t just deliberately discarded or tossed out with the garbage, but were accidentally dropped by collector Larry Viezel who posted on the site:

These were part of a collection I bought from someone in New Mexico. These were used in making The Rocky Horror Scrapbook. I had it shipped to my office (I worked on the corner of Hudson and Canal) and was taking them home. A bunch fell out of my bag and I picked them up. When I got home I realized I missed one. Looks like I missed more than one! If it’s any proof, I’d be happy to show you the rest of the collection.

Thankfully, the story does have a happy ending. Larry had his lost photos returned shortly after they appeared on Collector’s Weekly, as he exclusively tells Dangerous Minds:

The guy that found them was working just a few blocks away from where I was working in Manhattan at the time on Hudson Street when I lost them. But he had since moved to the south. He was very gracious and returned them. I was incredibly grateful. He asked if he could keep one of them - the photo of the model of the church. I was happy to oblige. The photos are now back with the rest of my collection. I am very happy to have them back!

Here are those lost and found Polaroids from Larry’s collection featuring Tim Curry trying on his costume for Dr. Frankenfurter, some sets and other cast members (Richard O’Brien) from the production of The Rocky Horror Show.
 
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More, plus a behind-the scenes documentary on ‘Rocky Horror’ from 1975, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Street art homages to Frank Zappa, Lemmy, David Bowie, Bon Scott, Ian Curtis & more
04.05.2016
09:14 am

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Art
Heroes
Music

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Frank Zappa street art mural under a bridge in London by James Mayle and Leigh Drummond
A massive mural of Frank Zappa under a bridge in London by artists James Mayle and Leigh Drummond.

I recently came across images of some beautiful street murals of both the sadly recently departed Lemmy Kilmister and David Bowie—which is what got me cooking up this post chock full of graffiti and street art homages to notable musicians and rock stars who are no longer with us.

Of the many public pieces, photographed at places all around the globe, I’m especially fond of the Lemmy/Bowie hybrid that popped up on a utility box in front of a restaurant in Denver, Colorado shortly after Bowie passed on January 10th, 2016, as well as a haunting image of Joe Strummer that was painted on the side of a rusted old van.
 
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado
Lemmy/Bowie street art mashup in Denver, Colorado.
 
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol
Joe Strummer mural painted on the side of a van by French artist, Jef Aerosol.
 
Inspired street art dedicated to everyone from Joy Division’s Ian Curtis to James Brown, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Vintage 70s Bootsy Collins ashtray will hold your funky butts
04.04.2016
11:07 am

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Bootsy Collins reacts to the vintage 1970s Bootsy Collins ashtray the way we all did
Vintage 70s bust of Bootsy Collins ashtray and the real Bootsy.
 
Currently this covet-worthy Bootsy Collins ashtray is up for auction on Ebay for a mere $19.99—a bargain at twice the price for such a funky piece of 1970s goodness. If the voice inside your head just screamed “Shut Up and take my money!” then congratulations—everyone else reading this post heard the same thing.

As the listing points out, the top of Bootsy’s head can be removed to reveal the inner sanctum where you can put your spent butts (or trinkets as I’d prefer to use it to store my collection of rhinestones). Here’s the link to the auction. GOOD LUCK! 
 
Vintage 1970s Bootsy Collins ashtray
 
More Bootsy, baby, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
In the Flesh: Blondie’s perfect pop performance on German TV, 1978
04.01.2016
09:28 am

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Heroes
Music
Television

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Most teenage males “of a certain vintage” were hipped to Blondie by the video for the single “Denis” with a slinky Debbie Harry in a red-striped swimsuit and cascades of backlit blonde hair. Understandable. My introduction was via the radio—which meant my focus has always been on the music. I bought the 45rpm record of “Denis.” Wore it out and had to buy another copy.

Of all the bands that came out of punk or new wave, for me there has never been one as brilliant as Blondie. New wave in the UK was generally angry and political. American new wave—as epitomized by Blondie—was musical, ingenious, subversive and unforgettable.

What makes a song last more than a generation is its infectious tunefulness. Songs that connect on an emotional level, at a liminal moment of approaching joy. Blondie have a major back catalog of these kind of songs—all of which will last decades longer than their three minutes of play. Perhaps centuries, who knows?
 

 
I missed out on their eponymous debut album, but got up to speed with the second album Plastic Letters and then Parallel Lines. With Parallel Lines one would have to go back to The Beatles to find a band that produced an album filled with only quality songs of utter pop perfection. All killer no filler, it played like a greatest hits from the very first spin.

That’s not to say Blondie were sweet—their songs were often double-edged and charged with complex meanings. A cursory listen to “One Way Or Another” might make you think it’s just some old romantic song rather one about a stalker. Or, how cold is the dreamy “Sunday Girl”? And who else could write such a bittersweet disco song such as “Heart of Glass”?

More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Incredible early Nirvana gig at a tiny East Coast goth club, 1990
03.31.2016
02:48 pm

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Kurt Cobain playing a gig at Man Ray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990
Kurt Cobain playing a gig at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson.
 
So here’s something that your ears will appreciate hearing a the loudest volume possible today—a rare audio recording of Nirvana performing songs from their 1989 debut record, Bleach as well as a couple of tracks from the yet-to-be-released smash, Nevermind at a small Goth club called ManRay (R.I.P.) in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
 
Krist and Kurt backstage at Man Ray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990
Krist Novoselic and Kurt backstage at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson
 
Kurt Cobain jumping into the crowd at Man Ray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18, 1990
Photo by JJ Gonson
 
Krist Novoselic with Nirvana at Man Ray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th 1990
Krist Novoselic at ManRay. Photo by JJ Gonson
 
Drummer Chad Channing crawling up to his kit at Man Ray in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990
Drummer Chad Channing at ManRay. Photo by JJ Gonson
 
Kurt Cobain diving into the small crowd at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990
Kurt Cobain diving into the small crowd at ManRay in Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 18th, 1990. Photo by JJ Gonson.
 
Duane Bruce, legendary former DJ of Boston alternative rock station, WFNX was on hand to introduce the band, and was also was smart enough to record the raucous live set that was attended by less than 100 people on April 18th, 1990. In the audio recording I’ve posted below you’ll hear an exuberant sounding Kurt Cobain proclaim the following (at about 22 minutes in) about their upcoming release Nevermind before kicking into “Breed” and “In Bloom”:

This is from our next record, it’s gonna be out in September or something like that. It’s gonna be a rock n roll record! It’s gonna have all your rock favorites, and… it’s gonna be a blast!

Find more Nirvana after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
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