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Heartfelt letters written by a young David Bowie (and some of his youngest fans)
01.11.2016
12:59 pm

Topics:
Heroes
R.I.P.

Tags:

David Bowie, RIP
 
Like everyone out there, I’m at a loss for words upon hearing of David Bowie’s passing. As Bowie’s brilliant 25th album, Blackstar is a letter of sorts to all of us, I thought sharing some of Bowie’s letters to his fans and friends, as well as a few letters from Bowie’s youngest fans would be a way of helping to celebrate the life of the great man.
 
David Bowie's letter to
David Bowie’s beautiful post-Ziggy letter to his fan Susie Maguire, April of 1974
 
David Bowie's handwritten letter to his friend, designer Natascha Korniloff, 1979
David Bowie’s handwritten letter to his friend, designer Natasha Korniloff, 1979. It reads: “Love me, say you do. Let me fly away with you, for my love is like the wind; and wild is the wind.”
 
David Bowie's famous letter to a fourteen-year-old fan, 1967
A higher resolution image of the letter can be seen here
 
Davie Bowie's letter from 1970 to Bob Grace of Chrysalis Music, the man who signed the then 24-year-old to a five-year record contract
Davie Bowie’s letter from 1970 to Bob Grace of Chrysalis Music, the man who signed the then 24-year-old to a five-year record contract
 
Some fun fan letters, after the jump…

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‘Pierrot in Turquoise’: David Bowie’s little-known first theatrical appearance, 1968
01.11.2016
10:32 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
R.I.P.
Television

Tags:

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It had to come, it always does and usually when we least expect it. So, it was this morning when news broke of David Bowie’s untimely demise. Even the presenters on television seemed stunned, slightly disbelieving at the words they mouthed off teleprompters. It was unreal—sitting eating breakfast around seven in the morning, still in dressing gown, the world dark outside, when suddenly I heard the news that someone who had been a constant in my life—like a parent or a friend—was gone.

Odd how someone I never met, never knew, only listened to and watched could cause such a sense of inestimable loss.

The release of his albums The Next Day in 2013 and Blackstar ★ last week was further proof that Bowie was beyond mortal and would somehow continue onwards creating his magical works of brilliance. But perhaps, we should have listened more closely to the words he sang:

Look up here, I’m in heaven.
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen.
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen,
Everybody knows me now…

Oh I’ll be free.
Just like that bluebird.
Oh I’ll be free.
Ain’t that just like me.

 
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Though he had just celebrated his 69th birthday, “David Bowie” was really born fifty years ago when he changed his surname from Jones to Bowie. The name change allowed the young 20-year-old to become someone else—something far more interesting than just another aspiring singer and musician hungry for fame. He became whatever ever he wanted to be—a kind of “Everyman” as he later described himself:

I’m Pierrot. I’m Everyman. What I’m doing is theatre, and only theatre. What you see on stage isn’t sinister. It’s pure clown. I’m using myself as a canvas and trying to paint the truth of our time

Theater was always important to Bowie. In December his drama Lazarus co-authored with Enda Walsh “a two-hour meditation on grief and lost hope” was being hailed as a “wild, fantastical, eye-popping” masterpiece. This wasn’t Bowie’s first venture into theater and writing a musical score—his first came in 1967, when Bowie collaborated with the maverick performer, choreographer and director Lindsay Kemp.

It was on 28 December 1967 that David Bowie made his theatrical debut at the Oxford New Theater. He was appearing as Cloud in Lindsay Kemp’s mime Pierrot in Turquoise (aka The Looking Glass Murders). Bowie wrote and performed the songs, while Kemp played Pierrot, with Jack Birkett as Harlequin, and Annie Stainer as Columbine.

The production was in rehearsal when it opened at the New Theater—which may explain why the Oxford Mail described the show as “something of a pot-pourri.” The reviewer did however praise Bowie’s musical contribution:

David Bowie has composed some haunting songs, which he sings in a superb, dreamlike voice. But beguilingly as he plays Cloud, and vigorously as Jack Birkett mimes Harlequin, the pantomime isn’t a completely satisfactory framework for some of the items from his repertoire that Mr Kemp, who plays Pierrot, chooses to present….

...No doubt these are shortcomings Mr. Kemp will attend to before he presents Pierrot in Turquoise at the Prague Festival at the invitation of Marceau and Fialka next summer. No mean honour for an English mime troupe.

The production told the story of Pierrot’s fateful attempts to win the love of Columbine. As we know, the path of true love never runs smooth, and Columbine falls for Harlequin, and is then killed by Pierrot.

After a few tweaks Pierrot in Turquoise opened at the Rosehill Theater, Whitehaven, before going on to the Mercury Theater and Intimate Theater London in March 1968.
 
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Bowie’s career throughout the sixties fits Thomas Edison’s adage “Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” He worked hard and continually toured the length and breadth of Britain under various guises: The Konrads, The Hookers, Davie Jones and The King Bees, The Manish Boys, the Blues influenced Davie Jones and The Lower Third, Davie Jones and The Buzz, and The Riot Squad, a band described as:

The Complete Musical Entertainers covering Pop, Tableaux, Burlesque and Parody

Even at this early stage Bowie was shedding musical styles quicker than he changed his haircut—from beat thru blues to music hall and pop. With hindsight it is possible to see where his career was going but by 1967 the teenager’s recording career had come to a halt after he released the unsuccessful novelty song “The Laughing Gnome.” Bowie didn’t release a record for another two years.

It was during this time that Bowie fell under the influence of mime artist and performer Lindsay Kemp, who helped Bowie channel his unique talent towards “Space Oddity” and later Ziggy Stardust. As Kemp later told journalist Mick Brown for Crawdaddy in 1974:

“I taught David to free his body,” says Kemp, smiling wickedly.

“Even before meeting, David and I had felt the need to work together. I’d identified myself with his songs, and he’d seen my performances and identified himself with my songs. I was singing the songs of my life with my body; he was singing the songs of his life very fabulously with his voice, and we reckoned that by putting the two together the audience couldn’t help but be enthralled. In other words, one large gin is very nice, but two large gins are even nicer.”

The two large gins became Pierrot in Turquoise, which (thankfully) was filmed by Scottish Television in 1969 and then broadcast in July 1970. How a small regional TV station like STV came to film this wonderful treat is probably a tale in itself—even if one cataloguer described the production as “quite creepy.”

Watch Bowie in ‘Pierrot in Turquoise,’ after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘I’m stepping through the door And I’m floating’: David Bowie R.I.P.
01.11.2016
02:42 am

Topics:
Current Events
Heroes
Music

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Crushing news. It has just been announced that David Bowie has died of cancer at the age of 69. Anyone who has followed Dangerous Minds over the years know how much we adore the man. Our hearts are broken.

From Bowie’s official Facebook page:

David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.

 
I’ve been charmed by many of David Bowie’s appearances on screen. But this clip from British TV when he was a mere 17 is particularly wonderful. His subversive humor is already beginning to blossom as the spokesperson for The Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Longhaired Men. Sly devil.
 

 

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Turn on, tune in and listen to Timothy Leary’s psychedelic jam with Jimi Hendrix on bass
01.08.2016
10:25 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Politics

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The cover for You Can Be Anything This Time Around, 1970
 
If you just got a contact high after reading the title of this post, then congratulations. Take two tabs of acid and call me in the morning! But only after you’ve listened to the three tracks from Harvard psychologist and drug guru Timothy Leary’s album (which was recorded in 1968), You Can Be Anyone This Time Around.
 
Timothy Leary and Jimi Hendrix
Timothy Leary and his bass player

Leary recorded the album, in part as a way to raise cash to fund his ill-fated run for Governor of California against the then incumbent, GOP golden god, Ronald Reagan. His campaign slogan was “Come together, join the party” and his campaign song was supposed to be, “Come Together,” which was conceived specifically with Leary’s political aspirations in mind by John Lennon.
 

Learys and Lennons
 
Sadly, after Leary was arrested on December 26th, 1968 for the possession of two pot roaches (for which he was given a ten-year prison sentence, with another ten-year sentence tacked on to that due to a previous arrest in 1965, let that one sink in), his campaign went up in well, smoke.
 
Timothy Leary's prison mugshot, 1970
Leary’s prison mugshot
 
Lucky for us, the 45-minute long, three-track record (which was allegedly recorded in one session that went on until the early morning hours at the Record Plant in New York City) that includes musical contributions not only from Hendrix (on bass guitar no less) but also Stephen Stills, drummer Buddy Miles, and John Sebastian, founder of The Lovin’ Spoonful, did see the light of day. Unlike Leary’s political career. 

Historically speaking, it’s one of the very first records to use “samples.” Sonic snatches from the catalogs of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and sitar maestro, Ravi Shankar round out the album’s unique “sound.” As if all that isn’t cool enough when it comes to rock and roll mythology—the record is actually a great listen…
 

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‘Touch of Evil’: The movie that finished Orson Welles in Hollywood
01.06.2016
01:00 pm

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Heroes
Movies

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In February 1957, Orson Welles walked onto to Stage 19 at Universal Studios to begin directing his first Hollywood movie in almost a decade—Touch of Evil. The studios thought Welles was a risk—he was considered difficult, troublesome, a bad boy who just wouldn’t do what the studio execs told him to do. His last Hollywood feature had been the low budget Macbeth for Republic Pictures—a company better known for producing two-reeler westerns. At first Republic were keen on big old Orson bringing some high-falutin’ literary class to their stable, but after seeing the final cut, they took fright and delayed the film’s release for over a year.

Having his work held back or re-cut or burnt, encased in concrete and dumped in the sea—as happened to footage from his second movie The Magnificent Ambersons—was fast becoming the Hollywood norm for Orson Welles.

If Universal considered hiring him a risk—then it was a far greater risk for the writer, director and star to put his trust back with the studios—because no matter what he did or didn’t do, it was fairly easy money to bet that the no-neck Hollywood execs would royally fuck it up once again. And that, dear reader, is exactly what they did do.
 
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Bad cop, good cop: Welles as corrupt police captain Hank Quinlan and Charlton Heston as Mexican drug enforcement official Miguel “Mike” Vargas.
 
There are different stories as to how Welles ended up directing Touch of Evil, a low-budget film noir of murder and corruption in a small border town. One goes something like this: lead actor Charlton Heston suggested Welles as director—which is a probable—only agreeing to star once Welles was signed-up to direct and appear in the film. As Universal wanted Heston—they were only too happy to oblige.

The other has Welles pitching ideas and looking for a script or a book or a story so bad, so obviously unfilmable that only a genius of Welles’ waist size could make it work.

Welles took one look at the screenplay based on a cheap pulp novel by Whit Masterson—the pen name of writing duo Bob Wade and Bill Miller—and decided he’d found his movie. Unlike say Alfred Hitchcock who always had his films worked out shot for shot long before a camera turned over, Welles wrote and rewrote the script throughout filming—often improvising and collaborating with the actors on dialogue. Welles also took the unusual approach of rehearsing the script with the cast prior to filming. Actress Janet Leigh—who played Heston’s wife in the film—later recalled:

We rehearsed two weeks prior to shooting, which was unusual. We rewrote most of the dialogue, all of us, which was also unusual, and Mr. Welles always wanted our input. It was a collective effort, and there was such a surge of participation, of creativity, of energy. You could feel the pulse growing as we rehearsed. You felt you were inventing something as you went along.

Mr. Welles wanted to seize every moment. He didn’t want one bland moment. He made you feel you were involved in a wonderful event that was happening before your eyes.

Even with rehearsals, Welles spent most nights rewriting the screenplay—bringing in new characters, creating new scenes. After one long night at the typewriter he called up Marlene Dietrich saying he had just written her a scene in his new movie and would she be so good as to come along tomorrow and film it? Of course, Dietrich was delighted to do so—as indeed were many of the other actors who were taking pay cuts or “guesting” in the movie—all because they recognized Welles’ genius and wanted to work with him.

But the studios still didn’t trust Welles. They planted spies on set who fed information back to front of house. Welles was wise to their game. On day one of filming, he arrived on set at 9am and had the first set-up finished by 9:15. By 9:25 he had finished the second. By the end of the day, Welles had shot eleven minutes of script. To the studio finks it looked like Welles had been tamed, but he was actually playing them—the set-ups were mainly close-ups or long shot dialog scenes. After a few days of such phenomenal turn-over, the spies went quietly back to their desks and Welles was left to get on with the movie he wanted to make.
 
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Don’t interrupt, genius at work.
 
This was all fine until it came to editing the movie. Welles didn’t get on with the studio’s first choice of editor. The next thankfully understood exactly what Welles was doing and the pair cut a movie that was based on rhythms and innovative non-linear juxtapositions of scenes. For example, one scene would be cut with another scene—either happening concurrently or slightly ahead of the narrative. It then cut back to the end of the original scene. The audience were being given knowledge of events to come and insight into the actions of the characters. The editing style was about a decade or so ahead of its time. When the studio execs saw a cut of the movie in Welles’ absence—they freaked, barred Orson from the studio, reshot some of the material, shot additional scenes, and brought in a do-it-by-numbers editor who recut the whole thing in linear form.

In other word, the studio fucked it up—which they probably realized after the fact as they released Touch of Evil as a B-movie support to the Hedy Lamarr feature The Female Animal. Still Touch of Evil had enough of Welles’ creative genius to make it a powerhouse of a movie—one that has understandably grown in critical stature since first release. However, the film effectively finished Welles’ career as a Hollywood director.
 
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More from behind the scenes of Orson Welles’ ‘Touch of Evil,’ after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Sign the petition to have a heavy metal element named after Lemmy on the periodic table
01.06.2016
09:46 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Science/Tech

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Okay, folks, so we kind of have to make this happen: There’s a petiton on Change.org that’s tryng to get a newly discovered ‘heavy metal’ element named after Lemmy Kilmister. The suggested name? Lemmium. That works for me. You? Sign the petition!

Heavy rock lost its most iconic figure over Christmas with the sudden and unexpected death of Ian ‘Lemmy’ Kilmister.  Lemmy was a force of nature and the very essence of heavy metal.  We believe it is fitting that the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry recommend that one of the four new discovered Heavy Metals in the Periodic table is named Lemmium.  An astrological object (a star) has been named Lemmy to meet the IUPAC naming recommendations.

I think they mean “astronomical,” but maybe not!

So far Change.org has amassed over 21,000 supporters. I think we can do better. A link to sign the petition is here.

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
‘Whoooo!’ Watch this ridiculously over-the-top David Lee Roth karate kick compilation
01.05.2016
08:46 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Music

Tags:


 
This is so dumb, but by the end of it I was nearly hyperventilating from laughing so hard.

Some genius put together this superb supercut of David Lee Roth jumps and kicks—which would have been amusing enough on its own—but then they took it completely over-the-top with the addition of grunts, whoops, and yells pilfered from Roth’s “Runnin’ With the Devil” vocal take.
 

“Whoooo!”
 
By now everyone’s probably heard the hilarious acapella track from the sessions of Van Halen‘s debut album. It’s taken on an Internet life of its own, first as a viral YouTube video, and then having been used in countless mashups (including the “Can Halen” track we wrote about a couple of months ago), and even as the soundtrack to a David Lee Roth-themed, asteroids-inspired video game. But THIS, my friends, is by far the best use of that track yet.

The video starts to get REALLY good about 40 seconds in as it reaches a fever pitch. I absolutely lose it on the “Oh God!” at 1:03.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Famous boozers and their favorite liquid vices
12.31.2015
04:19 pm

Topics:
Drugs
Heroes
Movies

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Humphrey Bogart on the set of The African Queen with his buddy, Gordon
Humphrey Bogart on the set of 1951 film, The African Queen with his buddy, Gordon

As I’m sure many of you are right now preparing for tomorrow, a day when you will be attempting to brush away vodka-coated cobwebs from your eyes, I thought it would be fun to share some stories and images of some of the best-known boozers and professional drunks in history. One is amazingly still with us, and the others have sadly long since gone on to the great barroom in the sky. I’m going to start this post off with one of my favorite mythical drinkers, Academy Award-winning actor, Humphrey Bogart.

Here’s Bogie (pictured above) on the set of the 1951 film that won him that Academy Award, The African Queen. While Bogart played the part of a gin-guzzling riverboat captain, Charlie Allnut, in real life he didn’t show a particular affinity for any one kind of liquor, but seemed to love them all, especially Scotch. While most of the cast and crew of the The African Queen fell ill during the filming (which was shot on site in Uganda and the Congo in Africa), Bogart was claimed that he didn’t get sick, and whenever a fly bit him “it dropped dead” thanks to his steady diet of beans, canned asparagus and Scotch whisky. Bogart’s fascinating life and love affair with booze is beautifully detailed in the 2011 book, Tough Without a Gun: The Life and Extraordinary Afterlife of Humphrey Bogart (which I highly recommend you read if you are at all a fan of Bogart).
 
Hunter S. Thompson on the job
Hunter S. Thompson
 
Easily known as one of history’s most irresponsible consumers of booze and drugs is much loved and often hated gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson. As well known for his contributions to the literary world as he is for his rabid intake of alcohol, Hunter enjoyed his all of his vices in excess - whether it be booze, amyl nitrate, cigarettes, guns or women. If it was bad for you, Hunter always had a lot of it around. A drunk after my own heart, Thompson was known for ordering several drinks at a time so he didn’t have to wait for a refill.

If you’ve ever read any of Thompson’s work and are also acquainted with documents concerning his actual life , it quickly becomes clear that his “fictional” exploits were much more close to the actuality of his day-to-day life on the edge. What more could you expect from a man who lived for sleeping late, having fun, getting wild, drinking whisky, and driving fast on empty streets with nothing in mind except falling in love and not getting arrested? That’s right. Nothing.
 
Keith Richards and his ever present bottle of brown liquor
Keith Richards and his ever present bottle of brown liquor
 
As I mentioned, many of the subjects in this post are unsurprisingly no longer among the living. There are a few notable, now (mostly) reformed booze-hounds still celebrating birthdays and among them is Keith Richards. Keef turned 72 on December 18th and like Ozzy, many refer to Keith as a “medical miracle” of sorts. After reading Richard’s 2010 memoir Life, I felt like I needed to check into rehab after digesting his tales regarding his daily, decades long diet of Jack Daniels and cocaine.

Like many vice-loving individuals, Keith periodically dried out here and there through the years. But 2006 wasn’t one of those times. While filming Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, Keith was so loaded on set that it became director Gore Verbinski’s “job” to get Richards’ to “sit up properly.” To anyone who suspected Keith was playing “method” in that film, congratulations! Take two drinks.
 
Pablo Picasso in his studio and bottles of Green Fairy
Pablo Picasso in his studio with a few bottles of the “Green Fairy”
 
Painter Pablo Picasso’s weapon of choice was absinthe and he drank it in alarmingly large quantities. For a time absinthe was a drink only available to the wealthy. But once it was available for mass consumption, even poor starving artists such as Picasso could afford to ride the “green fairy.” Although absinthe became prohibited in many countries in the early 20th century, it remained legal in Picasso’s home base of operations, Spain. In 2010, Picasso’s painting “The Absinthe Drinker” (which if you look at it long enough might make you feel drunk) sold for over 50 million dollars. And as we were just speaking of medical miracles, the hard-drinking Picasso lived to the ripe-old age of 92. Ceremoniously, on his deathbed, Picasso’s parting words were, “Drink to me, drink to my health. You know I can’t drink anymore.”
 
Richard Burton and Elizzabeth Taylor boozing together
Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor knocking a few drinks back
 
Probably one of the most famous drunks in Hollywood, it was rumored that actor Richard Burton could throw back four bottles of vodka a day. In 1972 while filming Under Milk Wood, Burton “cut back” to one bottle a day telling director Andrew Sinclair that he “wasn’t drinking” on his film, which to Burton translated to a deviation away from his normal “three or more” bottles a day.
 
Elizabeth Taylor having a drink on the set of the 1963 film, Cleopatra
Elizabeth Taylor having a drink on the set of the 1963 film, Cleopatra
 
Together with Burton’s on-again/off-again drinking partner, Elizabeth Taylor, the pair brought new meaning to the phrase “life imitating art” in the 1966 film, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Taylor wasn’t as much as a heavy drinker as Burton, and he tried to hide his penchant for drinking vodka for breakfast from her during their two marriages. Burton’s tragic relationship with alcohol is excruciatingly detailed in the 2012 book, The Richard Burton Diaries. If you’d like to get the bed spins without having to drink like Burton, you can just read some of the excerpts here.
 
Charles Bukowski in his happy place, in bed drinking with a pretty doll
Charles Bukowski in his happy place, in bed drinking with a pretty doll
 
As there is no shortage of our alcohol-fueled war stories out there that concern all too many of our heros, I’m going to cap off this post with a man who is as synonymous to drinking as anyone else in the history of booze—poet and raconteur, Charles Bukowski. There’s a bar in Prague named for Bukowski who entices its patrons with not only the best cocktails in Zizkov, but also having the “cleanest toilets.” There’s also the Bukowski Tavern in my old hometown of Boston whose website will tell you about “Today’s Fucking Specials” which include “White Trash Cheese Dip” and the “Bukowski Mad Dog,” which is just a hotdog made cooler by attaching Bukowski’s name to it. Neither of which, with all due respect, would have been frequented by Charles Bukowski.
 
Charles Bukowski drinking in a real bar
 
But as food is not a topic drunks much care for anyway, let’s talk about Buk’s liver-drowning drinking habits. When times were good financially, like any drinker, his apartment would be stocked with expensive wine and whiskey. When he was broke, he’d turn to cheap beer for comfort. Like most people, Bukowski started experimenting with booze when he was a teenager and it is strongly rumoured that while he was writing his first novel, 1971’s Post Office, that he would down two six-packs of beer and follow that up with a pint of Cutty Sark. Bukowski once wrote that all he really wanted to do was stay in bed and drink saying that “when you drank the world was still out there, but for the moment it didn’t have you by the throat.” And on that note, I bid you dear Dangerous Mind reader, a Happy New Year. Res ipsa loquitur - Let the good times roll.

h/t: Modern Drunkard

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Watch and listen to Lemmy’s early bands The Rockin’ Vickers and Sam Gopal
12.30.2015
11:28 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music
Pop Culture
R.I.P.

Tags:

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The path to success can often have many false starts. For Ian Fraser Kilmister—the man, the myth, later known simply as Lemmy—his early success was a useful apprenticeship for his later career.

The first real clue as to what he would do with his life came when Lemmy saw the Beatles at the Cavern Club in 1963. They were thrilling, they were fab, and they were doing something Lemmy knew he would be good at too. But how the fuck do you get started? He’d left school, was working in dead end jobs and playing in bars with local bands for kicks. Seeing the Beatles made him focus on his music career.

After a few misfires, Lemmy joined The Rockin’ Vickers as guitarist in 1965. The group was originally called Reverend Black and The Rocking Vicars—known for their upbeat live act and clerical dog collar outfits. The band came to the attention of American record producer—known for his work with The Who and The Kinks—Shel Talmy and a record deal was signed.
 
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A few singles and tours followed. By the time Lemmy joined, the band had shortened their name to the Rockin’ Vickers—as “Vicars” was thought by some to be “blasphemous.” The Vickers were (allegedly) the first band to play behind the Iron Curtain—Yugoslavia in 1965—and with Lemmy on guitar were hailed as “one of the hardest rocking live bands around.” Lemmy played guitar “with his back to the audience ‘windmilling’ power chords (like Pete Townshend)” but the sound, their sound—well their sound on disc—was just like many other beat combos of the day, which can be heard on their singles “It’s Alright” and—a cover of the Ray Davies’ song—“Dandy.”
 

‘It’s Alright’—The Rockin’ Vickers.
 

‘Dandy’—The Rockin’ Vickers.
 
Lemmy moved to Manchester, but covering songs and playing guitar was soon not enough for the nascent rocker. In 1967, he quit the band and moved to London where he shared a flat with Jimi Hendrix’s bass guitarist Noel Redding. Lemmy—still using the name Ian Willis—briefly worked as a roadie for Hendrix before joining tabla player Sam Gopal and his band (aka Sam Gopal’s Dream).
 
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Sam Gopal’s Dream was a psychedelic rock band that had achieved some success on London’s underground scene in 1967. Following a line-up change in 1968, Gopal brought in Lemmy as lead singer, along with Phil Duke and Roger D’Elia—shortening the band’s name to just Sam Gopal.
 

‘Escalator’—Sam Gopal (written and sung by Lemmy).
 
Lemmy started writing songs and the band recorded them for the album Escalator. Released in 1969, it showcased Lemmy’s compositions and vocals.

To get an idea of the kind of psychedelic thing Lemmy and co. were into here he is lip syncing (badly) a number called “The Sky Is Burning” with Sam Gopal on a boat for French TV circa 1969.
 

 
More early Lemmy, after the jump…

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Alice Cooper, Jimi, James Brown, Marc Bolan, Frank Zappa (and many more) do Santa
12.23.2015
09:23 am

Topics:
Amusing
Heroes
Movies
Music

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Alice Cooper playing Ping-Pong with Santa
Alice Cooper playing ping-pong with Santa
 
‘Tis the Season folks and as I’m getting ready to roll off Dangerous Minds for a week, I wanted to share some choice photos of famous folks dressed up like our savior, Santa Claus or in some cases, just hanging out with jolly old Saint Nicholas.
 
Marc Bolan as Santa Claus
Marc Bolan as Santa Claus
 
James Brown as Santa Claus
James Brown
 
Lemmy Klaus!
Lemmy Klaus!
 
I really never get tired of pursuing the Internet for vintage images of celebrities and musical icons doing stuff that we all do, but I think this post is a doozy. I had all but forgotten about that time Nancy Reagan sat on Mr. T’s lap (who was dressed as Santa) at the White House during Christmas in 1983. Didn’t you?

From icons like Frank Zappa to Marc Bolan, even John Waters being confronted by Santa as he’s trying to steal a rib roast, and Ginger Rogers looking downright Cockettish in a Santa beard, I’ve got your Christmas covered in photos that are funny, touching and simply weird. Which is exactly how I like to roll. Merry Christmas, Dangerous Minds readers and thanks for digging us this year.
 
Nancy Reagan and Mr. T at the White House during Christmas time, 1983
Nancy Reagan and Mr. T at the White House during Christmas, 1983
 
Frank Zappa in a Santa suit
Frank Zappa
 
Wait until you see the one of a young Johnny Thunders, after the jump…

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