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Chubby Checker’s *extremely strange* open letter to the music industry
04.17.2015
06:33 am

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Twist Craze
Chubby Checker


 
Chubby Checker, born Ernest Evans, holds a place in rock history as the man who popularized “The Twist,” a song originally a minor hit for Hank Ballard. Evans was given the name “Chubby Checker” by (American Bandstand host) Dick Clark’s wife, as a play on “Fats Domino,” whom Evans did impressions of in his act.

Checker’s recording of “The Twist” was a number one Billboard Hot 100 smash in 1960—and again in 1962. The song kicked off a nationwide dance craze, and Checker followed it up with such diverse hits as “Twistin’ USA,” “Let’s Twist Again,” “Slow Twistin’,” “Twistin’ Round the World,” “Twist It Up,” and (not really, but according to a bit of hilarious wikipedia vandalism) “You Stopped Twisting. Why?”
 

 
After all but dropping off the music charts in 1969, Chubby came back hard in a poignant 1988 duet with The Fat Boys:“The Twist (Yo, Twist!).”

Chubby certainly is an important figure in rock history, and no one thinks so more than Chubby. I was recently unpacking a box and ran across a page from the July 28, 2001 issue of Billboard Magazine. This page was actually stuck to my refrigerator door for ten years before my last move, and is a full-page, paid-letter from Chubby Checker addressing “the Nobel Prize nominators and the nominators of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, TV, radio, motion pictures, entertainment, entertainers, and the general public at large, world wide.” It’s seriously one of the strangest things I’ve ever read, and I was surprised to do some research and find its contents haven’t really been discussed, at length, by “the general public at large, world wide.” A full-page ad in Billboard couldn’t have been cheap, even in 2001—so whatever Chubby had to say must have been really important.
 

Click on image for larger version.
 
In this rambling letter, Chubby Checker ranks himself in terms of greatness amongst Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Dr. George Washington Carver, Henry Ford, and Walt Disney, and suggests that he alone is responsible for people “dancing apart to the beat.” According to Chubby, “dancing apart to the beat is the dance that we do when we dance apart to the beat of anybody’s music and before Chubby Checker it could not be found!” As he clarifies in the letter, essentially, if you dance with someone and you are not touching—and you are dancing to the beat… well, Chubby Checker invented that shit. 
 

 
In the letter, Chubby demands that he get his own private space, away from other performers, in the courtyard of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where they are to erect a statue on a “thirty foot or so” pedestal of Chubby in the pose from his “Chubby Checker’s Beef Jerky” logo (!!!)
 

 
In the letter, he is somewhat dismissive of Elvis and The Beatles, who, in his eyes were nothing new, though they did improve upon the artists that came before them—just as Chubby improved upon the hit song which he covered. But Elvis and The Beatles, after all, didn’t invent dancing—as Chubby states, “let’s face the truth… this is Nobel Prize territory.”

Here’s the full text of the letter, just in case it sounds like I’m making any of this shit up (Checker’s grammar left intact):

This is my message to the Nobel Prize nominators and the nominators of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, T.V., Radio, Motion Pictures, Entertainment, Entertainers, and the general public at large world wide. Should you choose me I’ll consider it honorable. However I have conditions for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

To place the “Twist” symbol that’s on Chubby Checker’s Beef Jerky, this statue on top of a thirty foot or so pedestal in the courtyard of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. l would like to be alone, thank you. I changed the business. I am often called the wheel that Rock rolls on as long as people are dancing apart to the beat of the music they enjoy. Before ”Alexander Graham Bell”...no telephone. Before “Thomas Edison”... no light. Before “Dr. George Washington Carver”...no oil from seed or cloning of plants. Before “Henry Ford”...no V-8 Engine. Before “Walt Disney”...no animated cartoons. Before Chubby Checker…no “Dancing Apart to the Beat”. What is “Dancing Apart to the Beat”? Dancing Apart to the Beat is the dance that we do when we dance apart to the beat of anybody’s music and before “Chubby Checker” it could not be found!

Elvis Presley is the King of Rock & Roll, no doubt, and we love him. However Rock & Roll was already here. He just became the king of it. The Beatles who we all love so dearly, their likeness was done by the Beach Boys, Buddy Holly and The Crickets. But it’s evident that they did it much, much better. Hank Ballard wrote and recorded the “Twist”. The inner city kids made a dance to that song. The record died on radio. Radio stopped playing the record. The “Twist” was dead. No one was going to hear the record and no one was ever going to see the dance. We re-recorded the “Twist” and campaigned the song and the dance at DJ dance parties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Radio stations started to play the “Twist” by Chubby Checker. We finally made it to American Bandstand and showed the world what it was. Chubby Checker changed everything. He gave movement to a music that never had this movement before. The styles changed. The nightclub scene is forever changed.  Checker gave birth to aerobics.

He gave to music a movement that could not be found unless you were trained at some studio learning something other than dancing apart to the beat. It’s fun. The “Twist” the only song, since time began, to become number one twice by the same artist. Oh yes, we’re Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But lets face the truth. This is Nobel Prize Territory.

The “Twist” is very recognizable when you dance apart to the beat. But “The Pony”, two on one side and two on the other side, the dance that I introduced in 1961 is the biggest dance of the century. They do it to everything, in the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now 2000’s. And what about my “Fly”? To explain it better, throw your hands in the air and wave them like you just don’t care. If you “Fly” you automatically do the “Shake”. From I959 to this moment it’s either the “Twist”, the “Pony”, the “Fly”, the “Shake” or some other nasty stuff in between.

Please l urge you not to look upon my comments as self-centered, proud love thy self. This is not what this is about. Since l have such a unique situation in the music business, I feel only I can explain it. If the music industry knew or understood this reoccurring phenomenon, that’s renewed every time the beat begins, they would have explained it through decades. Yes, “Dancing Apart to the Beat” is Chubby Checker. Everybody is doing it everyday, every month, every year, since it’s discovery in 1959. Chubby Checker’s given the music business something great. Now he wants his greatness returned. 

I want my flowers while I’m alive. I can’t smell them when l’m dead. The people that come to see the show have given me everything. However l will not have the music business ignorant of my position in the industry. Dick Clark said, and l quote, “The three most important things that ever happened in the music industry are Elvis Presley, the Beatles and Chubby Checker”. Now l ask you. Where is my more money and my more fame? God bless and have mercy. You know I love you.

Yours truly,
Chubby Checker

P.S. l am also placing this letter on www.chubbychecker.com for the world to see. It would grieve me to have them ignorant of what l stand for in the music industry. Chubby Checker is King of the way we dance worldwide since 1959.

Checker’s website is still up, and you can still buy his beef jerky. Checker is still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but was in the news, as recently as last year, still demanding his place.

Here’s a Hall of Fame worthy performance from the man who invented aerobics, at the top of his game, with The Fat Boys:
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Neighborhood council receives letter asking them to do something about their Satanist problem
04.13.2015
06:37 am

Topics:
Kooks
Occult

Tags:
satanism


 
The Eagle Rock Neighborhood Council of Los Angeles posted a letter, written by either a child or someone rather child-like, to their Facebook page with the caption “We enjoy reading your letters and emails, like this one that came all the way from Milwaukee.”
 

 
Apparently dog, cat, and human sacrifices are not wanted by anyone in Eagle Rock, or the rest of the United States, for that matter—and besides, human sacrifice is illegal!

LAist.com reported on the supposed “Satanic cult”:

A little internet-sleuthing reveals that a group with an Eagle Rock P.O. box made the cut of an old list of Satanic cults. It seems that along with JNCO jeans and the X-Files, Satanic ritual abuse panic is making a comeback. The group is called Feraferia and it was formally chartered by Fred Adams in 1967 who lived in Pasadena and used to take groups up into the San Gabriel Mountains for rituals, according to a website dedicated to the group. The group was an offshoot of neopaganism dedicated to Hellenic goddess. It is big on being in touch with nature, the Goddess, faeries, vegetarianism and optional nudity.

Adams eventually moved up north to Nevada City with to be with his soul mate and co-ritualist Lady Svetlana in the 90s and he died in the late aughts.

So apparently the author of that letter has some out-dated information on cult activity in Eagle Rock—which is a welcome relief! With that problem out of the way, the neighborhood can now get to the more pressing matter of building that desalination plant and the sabotage-proof pipeline nets.

H/T: LAist.com

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Before he was Hulk Hogan’s manger, Jimmy Hart scored a top five hit with the Gentrys in 1965
04.02.2015
03:09 pm

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Jimmy Hart
The Gentrys

Jimmy Hart
 
Despite the fact that I was a pretty sports-averse youth, growing up in the eighties and nineties, it was basically impossible to avoid having a Saturday morning run-in or two with pro wrestling. The WWF came on right after cartoons, and, like a mosquito to a bug-zapper, you just couldn’t help but find yourself, like it or not, sucked in by the bloviating, vein-popping, pile driving, yelling-and screaming phenomenon.

A strong contender for pro wrestling’s Shouter-in-Chief at the time was Jimmy “The Mouth of the South” Hart. Hart, a Jackson Mississippi native, is famous for being the bullhorn-toting manager for the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ted “The Million Dollar Man” DiBiase, King Kong Bundy and The Honky Tonk Man among several others. Hart’s Wikipedia page indicates that he was named Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Manager of the Year in 1987, an award he won again in 1994, facts of which I never thought I would be in possession.
 

Jimmy Hart and Hulk Hogan taking tan to a ‘whole nutha level.’
 
Amazingly however, before he was the “Mouth of the South,” Jimmy Hart lived a life of a different sort, still in the entertainment industry, but as a singer for a modish band of garage rockers called The Gentrys who scored a top five hit in 1965 with “Keep on Dancing,” a cover of a 1963 recording by the Avantis. And, as many of you may already be aware, the band was pretty damned good.

More after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
The convicted child killer who made a career out of impersonating a dead member of Sha Na Na
03.17.2015
10:06 am

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Sha Na Na

Solly
 
Just when you think you’ve heard it all, right about at the point when it seems that the United States could not get any more odd, a story like the one I’m about to relate rears it’s head from the annals of the Internet reminding you about how completely insane this entire thing we all call the “American Experience” can be and has always been. This, readers, is the story of Edward Elmer Solly, a convicted fugitive child killer who, after escaping from jail in 1974 and hiding in plain sight, went on to make a living for himself by impersonating and claiming to be deceased Sha Na Na guitar player, Vinnie Taylor.

As many of you already know, Sha Na Na formed in 1968 as an intentionally retro act imitating doo-wop groups from the 1950’s, slicking back their hair and dressing like what could have been Elvis’ personal, gold lame donning entourage. Famously, they played Woodstock, had a syndicated T.V. show that ran from 1977 to 1981 and appeared in the movie Grease in 1978.  Vinnie Taylor (born Chris Donald) was not in the group at the time of the Woodstock performance, joining the band as lead guitarist in 1971. Sadly, Taylor died of an accidental heroin overdose in 1974, so he wasn’t part of the group during the Grease period, either, but he left an indelible mark on the band of anachronistic performers.
 
Vinnie Taylor
The real Vinnie Taylor, 1973
 
Fast forward to May of 2001 when a guy by the name of Edward Elmer Solly gets arrested while, according to a New York Times report  on the incident, “fishing for snook from a pier in St. Petersburg, Florida.” But Solly wasn’t being arrested for fishing without a license. His capture was in fact the result of years of searching.  You see, in 1969, Solly was convicted for killing the 2-year-old son of his then-girlfriend, Linda Welsh, in Runnemede, New Jersey in what was allegedly a drunken rampage.  He was sent to jail, but escaped in June of 1974 while, according to the New York Times article, “on furlough to visit a dying sister.”
 
Sha Na Na
Sha Na Na circa 1972
 
Amazingly, somewhere in the mean time between his 1974 escape and his 2001 capture, Solly made the seemingly insane choice for a wanted man of turning himself into somewhat of a public figure by impersonating Vinnie Taylor in a variety of doo-wop acts in Florida. Solly told people that he had changed his stage name to “Danny C” from Vinnie Taylor, who Solly claimed had faked his death in 1974 for personal reasons.

In a 2004 CBS News article about Solly, Rebecca Leung reported that:

In Florida, doo-wop bands have always been a hit in bars and clubs along the beach. That’s where Tommy Mara’s group, The Saints, and Joe Locicero’s group, The Mello Kings, became two of Florida’s top local groups.

Both men remember being thrilled that living legend and former Sha Na Na singer Vinny Taylor had moved to town.

“You know, he had the talk,” says Mara. “He talked the talk and he walked the walk.”

The former bad boy of Sha Na Na said he had a new stage name: Danny C. And he even had his own Web site, where fans could log on and see all the rock ‘n’ roll legends he performed with over his career.

Locicero and Mara couldn’t believe their luck when Danny C asked their groups to back him up on stage.

“We featured Tommy and The Saints, and then we featured Danny C from Sha Na Na,” says Mara. “Sold it out.”

People from Sha Na Na eventually got wind of Solly’s act (he had a website for crying out loud, and a minivan with the web address printed prominently on the side) and, not knowing that he was on the run from the law, long-time Sha Na Na member, Peter Erlendson even sent Solly a cease-and-desist email asking him to stop performing as Taylor. According to a 2001 article on Philly.com, Solly actually responded to the email and even tried to convince Erlendson that he was in fact Vinnie Taylor and that Taylor had faked his death.  According to the article, Erlendson said “I can assure you Vinnie is dead. He was a friend.”  Sha Na Na threatened a lawsuit, but allegedly didn’t follow through because they didn’t want to give Solly any more undue attention. 
 
More of this strangeness after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
White supremacist heavy metal murderer’s secret to picking up white chicks


Varg in his younger days.

Unless you’re a big Burzum or Mayhem fan, probably the only context you have for Varg Vikernes is that he’s that one Norwegian black metal dude who murdered that other Norwegian black metal dude and then became a white supremacist—and you’d be right! But with all the murders and church burnings and virulent racism (and possible attempted terrorism) that surround such a polymath of a man, it’s easy to forget that Varg is first and foremost a romantic at heart… but like, a really, really racist one.

Vikernes regularly communicates with his fans via video and blog, but black metal neo-Nazis have more on their minds just than heavy tones and the Zionist conspiracy—namely, they want some o’ dat fine white Aryan tail! In what appears to be a car with his kids in the back, Vikernes reveals the key to winning your very own alabaster bride—be a hero! Chicks love that shit! And remember, the fitness of the race is on the line here!
 

Present day Varg, with the little woman…

So let’s not forget ol’ Varg’s partner in whiteness, Marie Cachet. She has also written on the subject. From her blog post/polemic, “The Role of Women”:

It is terrible to see some “pro-white” defending the fact that the white woman is first and foremost a free woman, and that she has the right to go around half-naked in the street if she wants. This is not why we fight, this is not freedom. We are not fighting for what they call “progress” we are fighting to save the heart of our forebears.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
James Gang to Jesus Freak: The strange journey of Glenn Schwartz, blues guitarist, ultra kook

Glenn Schwartz
 
Here’s a truly strange tale about Cleveland guitar madman turned Jesus freak madman, Glenn Schwartz. Schwartz, a blues guitar virtuoso of whom Jimi Hendrix was allegedly a fan, could have quite possibly become legendary, playing in the mid-to-late sixties with the likes of The James Gang and Pacific Gas & Electric among other rock and blues outfits before something went horribly wrong (or amazingly right, I guess, depending on who’s telling the story). 

For starters, let me just say that a whole lot of the information that I gathered for this post came straight from the horse’s mouth in an interview that Schwartz did when he was inducted into the Cleveland Blues Society in 2013. In it, Schwartz is completely open about his contentious history and about the strange religious transformation that changed the whole trajectory of his life and music. The interview indicates that Schwartz was born and raised in Cleveland’s working class Collinwood neighborhood and that he got his first guitar at the age of ten. He began taking lessons at the age of 11 and winning contests and kicking ass at his instrument almost instantly, and according to Deanna R. Adams in her amazingly detailed Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection, Schwartz soon became better than his teachers. As he grew up, he played constantly in everything, in polka bands, wedding bands and in the mid sixties, with a group called the Mr. Stress Blues Band. He also started playing with the first version of The James Gang in 1967 and began to get some attention. From Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection:

Schwartz gained [The James Gang] local celebrity by playing the guitar with his teeth (before Hendrix!) and playing while hanging upside down form guitarist Bill Jeric’s shoulder.

Eventually, according to Schwartz in the Cleveland Blues Society interview, he headed to California where drummer Adolfo “Fito” de la Parra from Canned Heat got wind of the blues virtuoso and hooked Schwartz up with Pacific Gas and Electric Company. He gained serious notoriety for being kind of an otherworldly blues man. The Cleveland Blues Society interview indicates that people were calling him the white Hendrix. Deanna Adams and the interview both state that he was offered a spot in The Allman Brothers Band before the job went to Dickey Betts. Notably, Schwartz played at Jimi Hendrix’ last birthday party.

But drugs and alcohol were beginning to take a serious toll. He says in the Youtube interview that he was almost dead, he could barely play anymore and nobody wanted anything to do with him. And then, according to Schwartz, one night on the Sunset Strip, at his lowest of lows, he runs into a street preacher, falls down on his knees and become a certified Jesus Freak right there on the spot. He cleaned himself up and held on to his position in PG&E for a while, but oh man with the Jesus. He says he had the band singing gospel songs and was constantly berating the whole crew with the fact that they needed to be saved. According to Schwartz, it got to the point where they only kept him on board because, again, he kicked so much ass on the guitar. Schwartz goes on to say in the interview that when PG&E toured, the band gave him his own hotel room and separate transportation and basically started having very little to do with him except onstage. In the interview, Schwartz says that he would, despite the band’s misgivings about the whole thing, get on a microphone in front of 80,000 people telling the crowd they needed to find God. And then, finally, “enough with the fucking Jesus already” got him kicked out of PG&E once and for all.

Adams points out in Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection that Schwartz was a featured artist at the Miami Pop Festival in 1969 before he returned to Cleveland in 1970 and started a band with brother Gene on bass called (appropriately enough) the Schwartz Brothers. But, according to Schwartz in the blues society induction interview, he began drinking again and eventually did time at a workhouse on a spousal abuse charge. After jail time, Schwartz fell in with Larry Hill, a real-deal member of the Jesus movement running a Christian commune in Orwell, Ohio and he stayed there on the farm for seven years. He recorded four records with an evangelical musical outfit called the All Saved Freak Band. The records are kind of great with excellent players spinning out a trippy blues/folk amalgamations as long as a you can get past the preaching the word of God thing (unless, of course, that is your thing, in which case you don’t have to get past it, I guess). They toured the country promoting the farm’s ministry to some notoriety. If you really want to get freaky one night, put on this shit from the 1976 album amazingly titled For Christians, Elves and Lovers.
 
All Saved Freak Band
 
Eventually, according to Swartz in the interview, his parents, apparently worried about losing Glenn forever into the commune, sent in this guy Ted Patrick (an entire article could itself be written about him) who made a name for himself in the 70’s “deprogramming” cult members. Schwartz says in the interview that he was handcuffed by bikers before Patrick went to work on him in a hotel room on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland, but Schwartz held on to the biblical belief and stayed on the farm. When he came out of the experience he recorded an album called Brainwashed with The All Saved Freak Band. He left the farm in the late seventies while continuing to play all over the place and taking the Jesus freakishness to fire-and-brimstone levels of fury.

More after the jump…

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Ayn Rand for… dummies: The 10-minute ‘Atlas Shrugged’
03.09.2015
04:31 pm

Topics:
Books
Kooks
Movies

Tags:
Ayn Rand


 
If one writes anything mean/true about Ayn Rand on the Internet, invariably the author will receive a litany of howling complaints from her fans (people who seem to have an awful lot of time of their hands for some… strange reason) in the comments. It’s absurd and hilarious to field dumb invective hurled at you by people that you have no intellectual respect for and that you will never, ever meet in real life, but dumping on Rand is a predictable impetus for attracting this sort of thing. Scroll down, I’m sure without looking that they’ll start to pile up like poorly punctuated turds under a rabbit cage before too long.

The Randroids behave as if they’re defending the honor of a saint or a great literary or philosophical genius and not a complete lunatic who wrote the most turgid prose of any best-selling author of the 20th century. I understand their psychology well, for I myself was once a teenaged Ayn Rand true believer. Oh yes, I’ve probably read 99% of every word she wrote or that was publicly uttered by her during her lifetime. Not only did I have every Ayn Rand book, I owned every single copy of The Objectivist and The Ayn Rand Letter, kept in green leather binders. I owned all of her Ford Foundation speeches in pamphlets and on cassette tapes. In the 8th grade, I managed to track down her Playboy interview. This unlikely childhood collection, mind you, was amassed by mail order in the 1970s on money earned from mowing lawns. I was really into it, I’m ashamed to say. Could quote her chapter and verse… Then I discovered drugs, punk rock and girls and promptly forget all about Ayn Rand.

Ayn Rand fanboys and girls are a unique bunch, and one trait that many of them—not all, but many—share is that by and large they are not… er… very literate people and Atlas Shrugged is quite often one of the few books they’ve ever read, so it shares an outsized place in their affections.

Ayn Rand is the Enya of fiction. I don’t wish to tar the new agey Irish songstress with the same brush as the Russian novelist with the toxic philosophy, my point being that if Enya (who sells tens of millions of CDs) is music for people who don’t like music, then Rand wrote books for people who don’t like to read. Her books are like Sarah Palin’s in that sense, but when someone who has read precious few books to begin with can wade through a hefty tome like Atlas Shrugged—which IS a page-turner to be fair, the novel’s gripping plot is truly epic—it gives them a sense of completely unmerited intellectual achievement. Problem is they’re too dumb to know that or else they wouldn’t be fucking goofball Ayn Rand fans fancying themselves world-conquering Übermensches in the first place. If you’ve only ever read five books in your entire life and Atlas Shrugged is one of them, you’ll probably think it’s a masterpiece. For those of us who’ve read more than, oh, say, ten books, you look like an absolute fucking knob going on and on about Ayn Rand in Disqus comments. It’s an admission of stunted mental growth, no more, no less. (As someone funnier than I am once said, being an Ayn Rand fan as an adult is like discovering OMD when you’re fifteen and having your mind blown and your musical tastes frozen in time right then and there.)

For the people who have heard all about Atlas Shrugged via Glenn Beck or Sean Hannity or being a Ron Paul fan or Tea partier or whatever, but who’ll never, ever finish a gigantic doorstopper of a novel like that one, the news that there was going to be an Atlas Shrugged movie trilogy probably seemed like welcome news until they tried to watch it. There are three “trash compactor” cuts of the Atlas Shrugged films if you’d like to see all three parts in under ten minutes and get “the gist” of what happens.

It still feels at little long, doesn’t it?

 
Oh look, all new actors in part 2! Obviously part 2 had a significantly lower budget than the first one. Dig the bargain basement Hank Rearden and Dagny Taggarts…
 

 
Not wanting to disappoint, the producers got—you guessed it—an entirely new cast for the third installment, too. Except for hamfisted holdover Sean Hannity. And look, Glenn Beck…
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dentist’s creepy ‘pet’ project: A concrete block of human teeth
03.09.2015
03:24 pm

Topics:
Animals
Kooks

Tags:
teeth

Tooth rock
 
Sometime in the 1940s or ‘50s, a dentist named Dr. Joseph Stamp started forming a tooth-filled concrete block at the corner of Riverside Drive and Lexington Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana.

Legend has it that Stamp created it as a memorial to his childhood German Shepherd, Prince, though none of his descendants know why he filled it with human teeth he pulled from his patients. They guess that it “probably saved him on concrete.”

Stamp’s granddaughter, Susan Howard, states, “He pulled thousands of teeth as a dentist” and preserved them in a barrel of chemicals in his practice’s basement, which “kept the teeth from smelling.”

Tooth Rock
photos by Jennifer Shephard/The Elkhart Truth

Stamp, who passed away in 1978 at the age of 88, is described as “eccentric as all get out” by local history museum curator, Paul Thomas. The creepy tooth-filled rock can still be viewed today.

via Weird Universe

Posted by Rusty Blazenhoff | Leave a comment
Meet Johnny Urine, the YouTube king of peeing-on-things videos
02.27.2015
06:15 am

Topics:
Art
Kooks

Tags:
urine
artists


 
A hobby can be an essential activity for relieving stress. Everyone should have one to clear their minds of the day’s tension and strain, whether it be stamp collecting or bird watching or model ship building or videotaping yourself pissing all over random objects in your living room.

In one of the murkier, moldier recesses of the internet you will find the YouTube channel of one “Johnny Urine.”

Johnny does one thing and one thing only. He posts videos, generally about 30 seconds in length, of himself whizzing on indiscriminate objects.

For the price of a simple mouseclick, one can see Mr. Urine do his thing over a broken ukelele, a plate of shrimp, a multivitamin bottle, a stapler, a tape measure, a comb, and, in one of his highest rated videos, a copy of Twilight.

In the 25 videos posted to his channel, Johnny Urine lets loose—not only on the intended articles, but even more disturbingly, all over his living room carpet. His aim is not always true, and one wouldn’t imagine a whole lot of house guests having an extended stay in the Urine abode.

The stream of videos sadly cuts off in November of 2012, leaving us wondering if Johnny Urine may have departed this earth, leaving only a legacy of ammonia-stenched statements on the mundane objects that mock our sad existence. Let that soak in for a minute.

Fair warning, these videos are NSFW-ish.

Here, in what is certainly his greatest work, is Johnny Urine baptizing a Pink Floyd CD:

 

And then there’s the crowd favorite:

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
At first you’ll think this is the SHITTIEST demo ever put on tape, but give it a little more time…
02.24.2015
08:00 am

Topics:
Kooks
Music

Tags:
outsider music


 
Back in 2003, I temp-worked as a secretary in a recording studio. One day the boss comes by my desk and says “you have to hear this.” What he played then changed my life forever. You don’t come back from a song like “A Little More Time.”  It sinks its lamprey teeth into your mind.

The artist, “McFlee,” with his backing singers, “Photosynthesis,” had just finished a demo session in which they created this visionary masterwork of…uh… let’s call it Vibratospiritual Casiohop.

According to my former boss, who remains nameless to protect his innocence:

I remember [McFlee]  came by and wanted to hear himself on the mic one day so we let him put on headphones and hear himself. He was super stoked. [The engineer] called me in the middle of the session absolutely stunned at the weirdness of the whole thing.

The engineer on “A Little More Time” recollects:

I remember he set up right in the middle of the room with his keyboard and he had about five or six different beats he would cycle through,  and he was running everything live, and didn’t want to pre-record anything. We had the girls set up in the hallway for backing vocals. I just remember when he started the song I was waiting for the ending around the four minute mark, and was looking for Candid Camera around the seven minute mark of the eighth or ninth(?) chorus. I knew this was a classic in the making, and regret not having a camera rolling! It seemed like watching him, every “yeaaaaaaaaa” would get a little more animated, and he was getting comfortable about halfway through the song, with more and more vibrato.

“A Little More Time” hits all the criteria for the truest of “Outsider Music.” It’s an earnest effort to create something real and meaningful that breaks every possible musical and lyrical convention with zero self-awareness. It’s challenging in every way, yet holds its own as an impossibly unforgettable earworm. The track was recorded in September of 2003 and I was luckily able to sneak a copy out of the studio. This is a chopped/screwed edit which excises approximately eight minutes of instrumental passages. If you think this is “difficult music” in its present form, imagine it with an extra eight minutes of keyboard preset instrumental breaks!

Some have noted a striking resemblance between McFlee’s vocal stylings and those of Antony Hegarty (Antony and the Johnsons). Um, sure, why not?

Only a handful of people who were gifted dubbed copies have heard “A Little More Time,” but it’s worth exposing to a greater audience. The video, unrelated to the song, approximates what one imagines a live McFlee performance might possibly entail, and is provided to give the listener a visual to enhance the experience. Follow along with the lyrics or don’t. It doesn’t matter. Soon “A Little More Time” will be jammed into your head like a mental tapeworm, sucking out IQ points while lifting your soul to the heavens. 

Ladies and gentleman, prepare yourselves for the vibrato stylings and astonishing language liberty-taking of the one-and-only McFlee and Photosynthesis.
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
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