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The B-52s’ lost recipe for sweet potato cornbread
05.26.2017
09:24 am
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Some principles are non-negotiable. I like talking to people whose views on religion, politics, food, the environment, hairdos and footwear differ from my own. But I stand firmly behind Dangerous Minds’ “zero tolerance” policy for anyone who doesn’t like the B-52s. Those jerks can wash down a plate of boiled shoe leather with a cold glass of splinters. The rest of us will be borne aloft on the angelic sounds of Ricky Wilson’s guitar and the subtle flavors of Cindy Wilson’s sweet potato cornbread.

This recipe ran in the B-52s’ fan club newsletter. I came across it on the blog Evenings with Peter, which also broke the story of Fred Schneider’s Italian-style Soba noodles.

CORN BREAD WITH SWEET POTATO IN IT

2 cups cornmeal
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
⅔ brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 medium size sweet potato (cooked and mashed)

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Sift dry ingredients together.
3. Beat egg, add wet ingredients, mix together.
4. Coat cast iron skillet with cooking oil. Put in oven to get hot. When hot, pour in batter.
5. Leave in oven about 20 minutes.

A regular baking pan can be used instead.

After the jump, the B-52s go in search of “Quiche Lorraine” in Passaic, NJ…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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05.26.2017
09:24 am
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‘Henry & Glenn Forever’ is now a coloring book so all is finally right with the world
05.24.2017
09:48 am
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Tom Neely’s indie comic Henry & Glenn Forever has an amazing premise that made it an instant classic: the very very well known punk/metal singers Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig are a couple in a long term romantic relationship, living together in a house next door to Daryl Hall and John Oates, who are perennially robe-clad members of a Satanist cult. Rollins was as tickled by the premise as one would expect, characterizing it as one of his favorite uses of satire. Also predictably, Danzig was not amused, and he expressed as much to a Decibel writer for an article which, alas, is no longer online, forcing me to link here to God damned Uproxx.

That premise has yielded much fruit—the original 6x6” book in 2010, four serialized comic books published between 2012-13, and a 2014 trade paperback that collects the comics with a generous amount of additional material, and which coincided with an exhibit at L.A.‘s La Luz de Jesus gallery. This year, the series’ publisher, Microcosm (we’ve told you about them before) is puling out all the stops on the conceit, releasing Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever: The Completely Ridiculous Edition, which includes under its wonderful Tom of Finland parody cover all of the foregoing, plus even more previously unpublished material, and a foreword by ROB FUCKING HALFORD OF JUDAS FUCKING PRIEST.

Also on the horizon is the wonderful Henry & Glenn Adult Activity and Coloring Book. Like it says on the cover, the book features 132 pages of coloring fun by an assortment of artists, plus other activities including mazes that look like intestines, paper dolls—“Marriage Equality Glenn” is a winner—and a word search. You don’t even have to be familiar with the comics to find this all utterly hilarious. Though the book doesn’t come out until November, Microcosm let us pick through it to share several of our favorite pages with you. All art is by Tom Neely unless otherwise specified. Clicking an image spawns an enlargement.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.24.2017
09:48 am
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Cool for Cats: Squeeze’s East Side stories, working class poetry and kitchen-sink dramas
05.23.2017
11:36 am
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Squeeze: The classic line-up.
 
Like everyone else, I’m a sucker for a song that marries a well-crafted lyric to an unforgettable tune. That for me is what makes classic popular music. It can be Chuck Berry with “No Particular Place To Go,” or Sparks with “Something for the Girl with Everything,” Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side,” or even a music hall number like “My Old Man (Said Follow the Van),” or George Formby’s “When I’m Cleaning Windows.” Each of these songs has a clever lyric that tells a little story matched by compelling music that carries us along to a little nirvana of pure pop joy.

Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook write these kinds of perfect songs. Songs like “Up the Junction,” “Tempted,” “Labelled with Love,” “Another Nail in My Heart,” “Cool for Cats,”  “Black Coffee in Bed,” and “Pulling Mussels (from the Shell).” Beautiful works of art that touch both heart and mind.

Together Difford and Tilbrook are the core of Squeeze—the band they formed sometime in late 1973 or early 1974. It all started after Difford put an advert in a newsagent’s window for a musician to gig and record with, who liked the Small Faces, Hendrix and Glenn Miller. Difford had been writing poetry for years but had a desire to write and perform songs. Tilbrook had been playing guitar and writing songs since around the age of eleven. He was the only musician who replied to Difford’s ad. It was one of those marvelous quirks of fate that brought together the two young men who would one day be hailed as the “new Lennon and McCartney.”

Difford and Tilbrook were joined by boogie-woogie pianist Jools Holland on keys, Gilson Lavis on drums and eventually John Bentley who replaced Harry Kakoulli on bass. This became the classic Squeeze line-up. Through their manager Miles Copeland III (who also managed the Police, and later released albums by R.E.M., the Cramps and the Bangles), the band had their first EP A Packet of Three and their first album produced by John Cale. 
 
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Squeeze: The eighties line-up.
 
Difford and Tilbrook had taken the name Squeeze from the Velvet Underground’s (worst) album Squeeze, so there was some synchronicity that Cale produced Squeeze’s earliest output. But Cale wanted sex and imagined passions rather than the world of personal experience and kitchen-sink drama from which Difford pulled his cache of working class poetry. Whereas the first album and single (“Take Me I’m Yours”) put the band on the map and led to their three-month tour of America, it was the second Cool for Cats that showcased Difford and Tillbrook’s genius for songwriting, which was followed by the classic albums Argybargy and East Side Story, right up through to the band’s fourteenth studio album Cradle to the Grave in 2015.

Squeeze arrived at a time of a great and rich musical diversity. When there were various genres like punk and ska, new wave and rap, disco and synthpop, and so on. It was also a time when pop music no longer had that shiny exciting novelty it once had in the fifties and sixties, which meant that sometimes the praise and respect Difford and Tilbrook richly deserved was occasionally diminished or overlooked by rock critics searching for the next Sex Pistols or Paul Weller. Not that Squeeze weren’t popular or greatly loved, far from it, but that there was an equally talented (and often times not as talented) number of other bands also demanding attention who were simply less conventional.

Watch Squeeze in concert from 1982, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.23.2017
11:36 am
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Ultramega OK: Soundgarden destroy the Whisky a Go-Go, 1990
05.22.2017
12:59 pm
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Like many of you, I’m still trying to process the sudden death of Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell last week. Here in Seattle, where Cornell was born, there were several memorials held around the city including one at the site that inspired the band’s name—A Sound Garden—a musical sculpture park where twelve 20+ foot structures outfitted with organ pipes emanate with sound whenever the wind blows. After Cornell passed, Soundgarden, Temple of the Dog and Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron posted a heart-wrenching comment on his Facebook page saying “My dark knight is gone,” a sentiment that hit entirely too close to home for those who knew Cornell as well as those who often suffer in silence—forever searching for ways to deal with their own depression and anxiety.

At an impromptu memorial held at the radio station KEXP on the day of Cornell’s death, 400 people showed up to collectively grieve at the station’s gathering space. While addressing the crowd, long-time DJ John Richards said that “part of the city (of Seattle) had died” that day. Often, music is something that can be hugely helpful and cathartic when you’re trying to make sense of unfathomable events such as Cornell’s impossibly sad, untimely passing. And that is exactly the purpose of my post today—to share Soundgarden’s legacy by way of their sonic, ear-smashing music.

Though I know your social media feeds have likely been filled with news about the legendary vocalist, I really wanted to support as well as spread the idea of celebrating Cornell’s life and his work with Soundgarden, who are/were without question one of the greatest rock bands of the last 30 years. A large part of their appeal was, of course, the animal magnetism of Chris Cornell’s stage presence and his immaculate four-octave vocal range. Cornell was also the primary lyricist for Soundgarden, which helped solidify his deep connection to their fan base.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.22.2017
12:59 pm
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Demons, Imps, and Fay Wray: William Mortensen’s incredible masks
05.16.2017
10:49 am
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‘Salome’ (1924).
 
A chance encounter with big shot director Cecil B. DeMille gave photographer William Mortensen his first job in Hollywood. It was the kind of lucky break that would look hokey as a plot device in a B-movie. Mortensen was working as a gardener but was soon on the set of DeMille’s King of Kings (1927), then designing voodoo masks for Lon Chaney’s movie West of Zanzibar, and then ending-up taking publicity shots and portraits of stars like Marlene Dietrich, Rudolph Valentino, and the original “It girl” Clara Bow.

Before Hollywood, Mortensen had spent his time traveling around Europe in the early 1920s soaking up all that fancy art and culture. He got hep to all the Old Masters like Goya and Rembrandt. This together with his experience of working on films made Mortensen approach photography in a wholly original way.

It was a similar kind of thing that had once happened to writer James Joyce, who had opened the first cinema in Dublin in 1908. Joyce realized traditional story-telling could not compete with movies. Why write a page describing the looks of some lantern-jawed hero when a movie could transmit such information in an instant? Movies taught Joyce to rethink literature—and so he wrote Ulysses.

Mortensen made photographs that mixed painting, drawing, theater, and movies. He manipulated the image to create something more than just a straight photographic representation. His approach was anathema to the more traditionalist photographers like Ansell Adams, who called Mortensen the “anti-Christ” for what he did to photography.

Mortensen produced beautiful, strange, often dark and Gothic, sometimes brutal, though usually erotically charged pictures. While other photographers sought realism, Mortensen used props and gowns and his own vivid imagination to enhance each picture. He went on to have some success but fell out of step with the rise of photojournalism that came out of the Second World War and was (sadly) largely forgotten by the time of his death in 1965. In more recent years, Mortensen has been rightly praised for his photographic genius. What I am intrigued by in Mortensen’s work, is his design and use of masks (including one of “scream queen” Fay Wray) in his photographic work—from which a small selection of which can be seen below.
 
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‘Masked Woman’ (1926).
 
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‘Fay Wray.’
 
More of Mortensen’s masks, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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05.16.2017
10:49 am
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‘Till Death Do Us Part’: Ghoulish bride & groom serve their ‘severed heads’ as cake at their wedding
05.04.2017
10:50 am
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Natalie and David Sideserf’s ‘severed head’ wedding cakes. Nice.
 
You know you have found your partner for life when you both agree that making cakes in the image of your own bloody, severed heads to serve guests at your wedding is the right thing to do. Not only do you serve the all-too-realistic cakes, but you make them together. Now that is love. And that is exactly what Natalie and David Sideserf did for their wedding in 2013.

According to Natalie, the creative force behind Sideserf Cake Studio in Austin, Texas, she and her husband are huge horror movie fans, inspiring the ahem, “no brainer” concept of making their wedding cakes in the design of two decapitated heads. The cakes, which took approximately 40 hours to complete, were served on a platter dripping with faux blood that read “Till Death Do Us Part.” Awww. Some gloriously NSFW images of the macabre cakes follow below. Also included are a few more of Sideserf’s hyperrealistic cakes, such as her remarkable Willie Nelson cake and other ghoulish/horror-themed designs that only the dark of heart could love and eat.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.04.2017
10:50 am
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‘A flying saucer landing in Heaven’: The ecstatic music of Alice Coltrane is revealed
05.03.2017
10:25 am
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Photo by Sri Hari Moss

Filled with sorrow after the death of her husband in 1967, Alice Coltrane experienced visions, weight loss and insomnia before beginning on a path of Eastern spirituality. First she sought out the famed Woodstock festival-opening yoga adept Swami Satchidinanda (who’d begun on his own spiritual journey after the young death of his wife) and later the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. Largely leaving the secular world and the music business behind by the mid-70s, Coltrane established her Vedantic Center spiritual community as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1976. She took the name Turiyasangitananda (Sanskrit for “the bliss of God’s highest song”) and performed the swamini duties as the spiritual leader of the Sai Anantam Ashram which was established in Agoura Hills, California in 1983.

Encouraged by her children to buy a synthesizer, Coltrane performed devotional music during formal and informal Sunday morning ceremonies at the 48-acre monastery. It was also the first time that she would sing, because God had told her to. Solo and group chanting with community members was accompanied by her harp, organ and synthesizers, Eastern and African percussion, and handclaps. Over time this evolved into complexly structured compositions—traditional Vedic and Sanskrit mantras filtered through the sensibilities and nervous system of a great female African-American musical genius from Detroit who’d been raised on gospel—which Coltrane laid to tape with the assistance of her longtime studio engineer Baker Bigsby, who she’d worked with since 1972’s World Galaxy. Four cassettes—Turiya Sings, Divine Songs, Infinite Chants, and Glorious Chants—were privately released to members of the ashram from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. The music heard on these tapes was not made with any sort of commercial purpose in mind—apparently only a few hundred were ever duplicated—but solely for use by the members of the ashram, so that they could tap into the divine by way of the Swamini’s music—-described as sounding like “a flying saucer landing in Heaven”—any time they wanted to, just by popping a tape into their SONY Walkmans.

Tomorrow David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label will release a compilation culled from these rarely heard cassettes The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first installment in their World Spirituality Classics series. In my household, this is an event. When the album advance arrived in the post over the weekend, I’d already been impatiently looking forward to it for over a month. I’ve been an Alice Coltrane fanatic for many years—I’ve even been to the ashram, twice—and I’d already been all over the extensive press website that Luaka Bop had prepared for the release, but I didn’t want to listen to any of it before the record was in my hands. I’d requested a vinyl copy as I wanted to smoke a big fat joint, kick back in the dark with headphones on and fully absorb this epic bounty.
 

Photo by Sri Hari Moss

The packaging is stunning and sturdy—befitting and respectful of what’s waiting inside—with a gorgeous colorful photo of the matriarch Turiya, looking wise and beautiful in her orange robes, surrounded by members of the community, many of them children. The liner notes are exceptional, featuring quotes from several people who were involved with the ashram including her children and her great-nephew Steven “Flying Lotus” Ellison, a musical visionary in his own right. The vinyl pressing is particularly noteworthy, with Baker Bigsby having supervised the tape transfer from the original recordings and the exquisite 1/2 speed mastering done by Paul Stubblebine. You know how you can hold certain platters in your hands and just look at the grooves and know for certain you’re about to hear something that will sound really, really good? This is one of those records. If The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda doesn’t get nominated for all kinds of Grammy awards, then these awards would be meaningless. On every level—including, or even especially, the religious one—it’s an achievement.

Even if you are not a spiritually-minded person, it’s plain to see that this isn’t bullshit.

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.03.2017
10:25 am
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‘My God, ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ was so fruity’: George Harrison dishes Beatle dirt, 1977
05.02.2017
08:54 am
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At the end of 1976, George Harrison released Thirty Three & 1/3, a return to form after a few moribund years in the mid-‘70s—even critics who’d been pretty dismissive of Harrison’s solo work (*cough* Robert Christgau *cough*) found it praiseworthy. It earned Harrison’s first unqualified raves since 1970’s lauded 3xLP All Things Must Pass, and Harrison promoted the work heavily. He made three videos from the album—over five years before MTV was even a thing—and two of them were directed by Monty Python’s Eric Idle.

The album’s release was the occasion for a major interview in Crawdaddy’s February 1977 issue, titled “The Quiet Beatle Finally Talks.” Harrison opened up to writer Mitchell Glazer for nine pages of substantive chat, including a ton of inside information about the Beatles’ working methods and their dissolution, and he didn’t conceal any bitterness about his relationship with Paul McCartney, which was a habit of his, actually.
 

 

I got back to England for Christmas and then on January the first we were to start on the thing which turned into Let It Be. And straightaway again, it was just weird vibes. You know, I found I was starting to be able to enjoy being a musician, but the moment I got back with the Beatles, it was just too difficult. There were too many limitations based on our being together for so long. Everybody was sort of pigeonholed. It was frustrating.

The problem was that John and Paul had written songs for so long it was difficult. First of all because they had such a lot of tunes and they automatically thought that theirs should be the priority, so for me I’d always have to wait through ten of their songs before they’d even listen to one of mine. That’s why All Things Must Pass had so many songs, because it was like you know, I’d been constipated. I had a little encouragement from time to time, but it was a very little. I didn’t have much confidence in writing songs because of that. Because they never said “Yeah, that’s a good song.” When we got into things like “Guitar Gently Weeps,” we recorded it one night and there was such a lack of enthusiasm. So I went home really disappointed because I knew the song was good.

Paul would always help along when you’d done his ten songs—then when he got ‘round to doing one of my songs, he would help. It was very selfish actually. Sometimes Paul would make us do these really fruity songs. I mean, my God, “Maxwell’s Sliver Hammer” was so fruity. After a while we did a good job on it, but when Paul got an idea or an arrangement in his head…but Paul’s really writing for a 14-year-old audience now, anyhow.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.02.2017
08:54 am
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Adorable Divine doll dressed as gun-toting ‘Babs Johnson’ from ‘Pink Flamingos’ (gun included!)
05.01.2017
09:16 am
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There are many days while I’m doing my “job” here at Dangerous Minds when I think I’ve pretty much seen it all. Then there are days that I stumble across something on the Internet that reminds me that there is still plenty of fantastic trash out there for all of us, specifically those of us who are connoisseurs of filth and all thing low brow. Which is exactly what I have for you today—a sixteen-inch doll in the image of John Waters’ greatest muse, the legendary Divine.

Made by My Best Fiendz based in Rockland, Maine, little Divine was made by a horror-movie-loving husband and wife duo who used a standard baby doll as the base then transformed it into a pretty spot-on “Babs Johnson” who looks like she’s dying to tell you to “eat shit” in full makeup, custom-dyed flaming-hot hair and a pistol. There are also a few other strange items in the Fiendz’s Etsy store that might also be of interest to our sleazier/horror-inclined readers such as a bizarre “jumpin’ jack” of GG Allin that would keep everyone (including dogs and rats mind you) off your lawn, an utterly fantastic jumper of Swedish pro-wrestler/actor Tor Johnson, and that nasty murderous clown “Captain Spaulding” aka “Johnny Lee Johns” as portrayed by actor Sid Haig in the films House of 1000 Corpsess and The Devil’s Rejects. The Divine doll will run you $130 and the wooden jumpers are about $40. I’ve posted images of the oddities below. If any of this is your thing (because filth really is your life), more details on ordering and other items in the shop can be found here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.01.2017
09:16 am
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Stunning airbrushed images & other lurid artwork created for ‘A Clockwork Orange’
04.27.2017
01:02 pm
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An airbrushed painting created by illustrator Philip Castle for ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
 
Illustrator and artist Philip Castle’s catalog is impressive, but of particular interest are three rather remarkable contributions. His artwork from both A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket as well as the sad, singular teardrop-like image dripping from David Bowie’s clavicle on the cover of 1973’s Aladdin Sane are all collectively indelible. If the accomplished Brit had done nothing else beyond this fantastic trifecta of artistic expression he would still be as praiseworthy today. (He’s also done the posters for Paul McCartney’s “Wings Over the Word” tour, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks and the cover of Pulp’s His ‘N’Hers album.)

That said, I must admit that I had never seen most of Castle’s airbrushed pieces for A Clockwork Orange until just recently, and there’s something to be said for the way Castle uses his airbrushing technique to make images from the film appear even more sordid than when they are onscreen. The story of how Kubrick and Castle got together is slightly surreal when you consider the odds of how it occurred: soon after graduating from art school, Castle sent in an ad to a newspaper soliciting his availability as an illustrator. Kubrick’s publicist responded to the ad and requested that the young artist pay a visit to the great director at his home outside of London in order to discuss engaging his services for A Clockwork Orange. Castle would get the honor of designing the original poster created for the film featuring the unforgettably sinister image of actor Malcolm McDowell as the diabolical “Alex DeLarge” reaching out to slit your throat with his mouth poised in a predatory grin.

Flash-forward more than 45-years later and the spectacularly violent, controversial film has lost none of its skin-crawling appeal. However, back when it hit the big screen for the first time it was demonized in the UK after a few violent crimes were committed allegedly in the spirit of events depicted in the film. Kubrick passionately defended Clockwork but eventually pulled the trigger himself and removed it from distribution in Britain which would stay in place until Kubrick passed away in 1999.

Here’s more from the master filmmaker with his spot-on thoughts on the age-old relationship between violence and art:

“There has always been violence in art. There is violence in the Bible, violence in Homer, violence in Shakespeare, and many psychiatrists believe that it serves as a catharsis rather than a model. I think the question of whether there has been an increase in screen violence and, if so, what effect this has had, is to a very great extent a media-defined issue. I know there are well-intentioned people who sincerely believe that films and TV contribute to violence, but almost all of the official studies of this question have concluded that there is no evidence to support this view. At the same time, I think the media tend to exploit the issue because it allows them to display and discuss the so-called harmful things from a lofty position of moral superiority. But the people who commit violent crime are not ordinary people who are transformed into vicious thugs by the wrong diet of films or TV. Rather, it is a fact that violent crime is invariably committed by people with a long record of anti-social behaviour, or by the unexpected blossoming of a psychopath who is described afterward as having been ‘...such a nice, quiet boy,’ but whose entire life, it is later realized, has been leading him inexorably to the terrible moment, and who would have found the final ostensible reason for his action if not in one thing then in another.”

Naturally, this did not bode well for anyone associated with the film in the UK and there is at least one historical account of an attempted rogue showing of A Clockwork Orange by a group of UK movie-club junkies who were summarily sued for even trying to show the film at their gatherings in the 1990s. Castle would work with Kubrick again for 1987’s Full Metal Jacket and the artist still owns a gift sent to him by Kubrick—the infamous “I AM BECOME DEATH” helmet (worn by actor Adam Baldwin who played “Animal Mother” in FMJ) which Castle conceptualized. I’ve included some of Castle’s early sketches for Clockwork, a variety of airbrush art and a few movie posters that the artist created for the film below. And if you haven’t already guessed, they are all pretty much NSFW.
 

A French movie poster for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ featuring Philip Castle’s artwork.
 

More UK print artwork for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ from Castle.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.27.2017
01:02 pm
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