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David Lee Roth’s insane isolated vocals from ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ make a really great ringtone
07.28.2017
02:42 pm
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The great David Lee Roth back in the late 1970s.
 
So first off, yeah, I know that David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from Van Halen’s 1978 juggernaut, “Runnin’ With the Devil” have been making the rounds out on the Internet for a while. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that there is a site that allows you to download them in neat little MP3 files so you could, as I’d strongly suggest, use them as ring tones for your smart phone. So let’s all help make our smart phones great again by ditching those irritating pre-loaded ringtones and replacing them with Diamond Dave’s straight-up mythical war cry from the stoner teen anthem, “Aaahhh Haaa YEAHHH!”

Of course, it’s easy enough for most people to DIY this themselves, but on Soundboard.com you can even text DLR’s vocals to anyone you want in the United States. If DLR isn’t your cup of tea (???), don’t despair as there are over 485,000 other sounds on Soundboard, including famous quotes spoken by Samuel L. “Say WHAT again” Jackson and Christopher Walken. There’s also an entire category called “Nicolas Cage loses his shit” that includes a downloadable MP3 of Cage rage-screaming the word “fuck” for five full seconds. Nice.

In case you’ve never heard Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil,” here’s a video compilation of that audio:
 

David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil.”

Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.28.2017
02:42 pm
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Edgar Wright’s brilliant fake trailer for ‘Don’t’ spoofs exploitation films of the ‘70s & ‘80s
07.28.2017
02:29 pm
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Don't
 
This summer, both critics and regular folks who have to pay for their movie tickets have gone ga-ga over Baby Driver. The film was directed by Edgar Wright, who first gained mainstream attention for his awesome horror-comedy, Shaun of the Dead (2004). Admiration for Shaun led to Wright being asked to contribute a fake trailer for the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez extravaganza, Grindhouse (2007), their highly entertaining tribute to ‘70s and ‘80s exploitation cinema. In an interview with Rolling Stone prior to the release of Grindhouse, Wright talked about the main inspiration for Don’t.

In the ‘70s, when American International [Pictures] would release European horror films, they’d give them snazzier titles. And the one that inspired me was this Jorge Grau film: In the UK, it’s called The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue. In Spain and in Italy, I think it’s called Do Not Speak Ill of the Dead. But in the States, it was called Don’t Open the Window. I just loved the fact that there isn’t a big window scene in the film—it’s [the trailer’s] all based around the spin and the voiceover not really telling you what the hell is going on in the film.

Don’t Open the Window is set in England, and though English is the spoken language in the US version, the American trailer was cut in such a way that none of the actors’ voices are clearly heard. When Tarantino and Rodriquez appeared on Charlie Rose to promote Grindhouse, they talked about why there’s no dialogue in the preview for exploitation pictures like Don’t Open the Window.

Tarantino: His [Wright’s trailer] is like a British horror film from the ‘70s, but it’s the American trailer, which means they never let any of the actors talk, because in America they didn’t want anyone to know that it was a British movie until you were already in the theater.

Rodriguez: It was too late.

Tarantino: It’s too late!


Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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07.28.2017
02:29 pm
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Horror Scope: Manly P. Hall’s occult murder mystery, ‘When Were You Born?’
07.28.2017
11:12 am
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One of Elvis’ favorite books, The Secret Teachings of All Ages, was the work of Manly Palmer Hall, a Los Angeles-based esotericist who tried to break into the moving picture business long before Elvis did. In 1938, Hall appeared in an astrological murder mystery based on a story he sold Warner Bros., When Were You Born?

Anna May Wong plays Mei Lei Ming, a Chinese astrologer who uses her total omniscience to help the San Francisco police solve a crime. Each of the movie’s 12 characters has a different sun sign—awfully convenient for the plot, but an ingenious way of teaching the zodiac to an audience nonetheless. Hall defended the movie as “the first picture ever made by a major motion picture studio of the world dealing with the subject of astrology except as a joke or fraud.”
 

 
Master of the Mysteries: New Revelations on the Life of Manly Palmer Hall says the original version of Hall’s story “depicted astrologer Evangeline Adams as a ‘kind, old lady’ who happened to be a powerful influence on the stock exchange,” but the studio had other ideas:

The plot would be more saleable as a murder mystery, [the powers-that-be] said, and more believable with a mysterious and sultry female lead. Hall grudgingly agreed, and came back with a revised version that became the only one of his original stories that was ever actually produced[...]

[The script] called for a pet marmoset, but since the only marmoset available had already been rented out, Hall compromised on a little brown monkey named Venus.

Hall consulted the stars for the best starting date and time: exactly 11:26 a.m. Feb. 9. It was reported that he must have gotten his stars mixed up because leading lady Wong was in bed with a cold that day. Hall insisted that although the studio had lived up to the letter of his starting time, it had not observed it in spirit. Director William McGann had shot the first scene at the prescribed moment, Hall agreed, but he had spent an hour or more rehearsing his cast before that. He complained that only one actor in the film was actually born under the character he played—in his case, Pisces, the fish.

As a final touch, it was decided that the movie should open with Hall making an introductory on-camera speech explaining how astrology can forecast future events and, as he says, solve crime. Hall lamented having to do the scene, calling his cameo appearance a final blow to the project that had been tinkered with so much that he barely recognized it as his own. But the movie’s producers felt it was needed to help the public understand what the movie was all about.

When Were You Born? is not yet available from Warner Archive, but Finders Keepers Classics offers a DVD-R with reasonably sharp picture and sound for $6.99. Manly P. Hall sets it up in the trailer below.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.28.2017
11:12 am
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Junkie Business: John Frusciante meets Timothy Leary in Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes’ ‘Stuff’
07.27.2017
08:31 am
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Johnny Depp in Berlin, 1993
 
Some movies make rock stardom look like hell. The reason it’s so hard to see Cocksucker Blues is not that it’s such an appealing advertisement for life on the road, but that it makes the lives of the characters in Glengarry Glen Ross look like a lot of fun compared to the Rolling Stones’.

Stuff belongs on the same shelf. Directed by Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes in 1993, the unreleased short film is a documentary about the squalid junkie crash pad in LA that John Frusciante used to call home. Cameras drift through the house soaking in the bummer ambience as Frusciante’s Portastudio recordings play on the soundtrack. There’s no dialogue.
 

P’s self-titled debut on Capitol Records
 
If there’s a ghost in the movie other than Frusciante’s spectral presence, it’s River Phoenix. Depp and Haynes were bandmates in P, the group that was onstage at the Viper Room when Phoenix OD’d. According to Bob Forrest’s memoir Running with Monsters, Phoenix spent the days before his death at Frusciante’s house getting “deep into a major-league drug binge,” and even by drug-den standards, Forrest says the place was fucked up:

We all lived close to one another. Johnny only lived a couple minutes’ drive from Frusciante’s house and the apartment I kept nearby. The Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, when he was in town, mostly stayed with Johnny. Sometimes I’d stay there or at Frusciante’s. I was hard to pin down. River usually stayed at St. James’ Club on the Strip, a flashy, high-end art-deco luxury hotel, also known variously as the Argyle or the Sunset Tower. The Viper Room was our headquarters, but Frusciante’s place saw almost as much use, although things had started to take on a dark and forbidding atmosphere there. It still didn’t stop anybody from dropping by. If any of us were working or out on tour, Frusciante’s house was the first stop as soon as we arrived back in town.

Frusciante’s place offered something the Viper Room had in short supply: privacy. But that also made it a liability. What had started out as a party place had devolved and spiraled into some dank drug den. Walls were covered with graffiti. Furniture was damaged. Walls and doors had huge, gaping holes. There was a current there—bad vibes and degeneracy. It was out of control and the kind of place that could make the hardest of hard-core junkies blanch and run in the opposite direction.

Watch ‘Stuff’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.27.2017
08:31 am
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Covetable action figures based on classic and obscure 80’s horror films up for grabs!
07.20.2017
09:17 am
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A custom action figure based on the 1982 slasher film, ‘Pieces’ by Dan Polydoris of Death By Toys. $40 (two available).
 
Dan Polydoris, the founder of Death By Toys, has been creating small numbers of action figures based on films from the 80s since 2010, showing a particular affinity for the horror genre. Polydoris’ plastic characters quickly became super popular with collectors, especially those who, like Polydoris, dig on the “strange, offbeat, and absurd.” For his latest batch of action figures, Polydoris focused on eight different films from the decade including things like 1980’s Maniac, the 1981 Canuck cult classic, Happy Birthday to Me, and 1982’s Pieces starring the great Christopher George. If you just said “YES” to all of that, then listen up because I’m going to tell you how you *might* be able to make one of Polydoris’ newest rare figures yours.

Starting today, Thursday, July 20th at 12:30 CST, a small number of the figures will be available for purchase at the Death By Toys online store, and when I say small numbers I mean really small numbers. For example, Polydoris only made two of the hilarious killer “Kebab Playsets” from Happy Birthday to Me which will run you 40 bucks each. The packaging is also pretty fantastic as it uses images from the original back-in-the-day VHS tape cover art. Nice. All eight figures along with their various prices posted below. Happy hunting!
 

The hysterical ‘Happy Birthday to Me’ “Kebab Playset.” $40 (two available).
 

My absolute favorite of the bunch based on the 1980 film ‘Maniac,’ the “Bloody Scalp.” 30 bucks each (five available).
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.20.2017
09:17 am
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David Lynch recites Captain Beefheart’s ‘Pena’
07.20.2017
09:09 am
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Don Van Vliet, ‘Crepe and Black Lamps’ (via beefheart.com)
 
Among the treasures stored on Magic Band alumnus Gary Lucas’ Soundcloud is this recording of David Lynch reading “Pena” from Trout Mask Replica.

The director, who also appears in Anton Corbijn’s short movie about Beefheart, Some YoYo Stuff, recorded “Pena” for a Beefheart tribute show Lucas put on at the NYC Knitting Factory in 2008.

“Three little burnt scotch taped windows.” Where Antennae Jimmy Semens shrieks “Pena” like it’s his last words at the gallows, Lynch’s measured recitation lets you picture every image. They could come from one of his own paintings:

Pena
Her little head clinking
Like uh barrel of red velvet balls
Full past noise
Treats filled ‘er eyes
Turning them yellow like enamel coated tacks
Soft like butter hard not t’ pour
Out enjoying the sun while sitting on
Uh turned on waffle iron
Smoke billowing up from between her legs
Made me vomit beautifully
‘n crush uh chandelier
Fall on my stomach ‘n view her
From uh thousand happened facets
Liquid red salt ran over crystals
I later band-aided the area
Sighed
Oh well it was worth it
Pena pleased but sore from sitting
Chose t’ stub ‘er toe
‘n view the white pulps horribly large
In their red pockets
“I’m tired of playing baby,” she explained

Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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07.20.2017
09:09 am
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‘F for Fake’: Orson Welles asks ‘What is reality?’ in dazzling masterpiece of oddball art cinema
07.19.2017
01:20 pm
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“If my work hangs in a museum long enough, it becomes real.”

—Elmyr de Hory

If you’ve seen Orson Welles’ late period quasi-documentary F for Fake, then you know about the mysterious art forger Elmyr De Hory. In his freewheeling cinematic essay, Welles explored the funhouse mirror life of de Hory, who found that he had an uncanny knack for being able to paint convincing counterfeits of Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani and Renoir’s work. After some of his fakes were sold to museums and wealthy collectors, suspicions were raised and his legal troubles—and a life spent moving from place to place to avoid the long arm of the law—began.

At the time Welles met up with Elmyr in the early 70s, he was living in Ibiza and had already been the subject of Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time written by the notoriously fraudulent “biographer” Clifford Irving, who himself figures prominently in the film. During the course of filming F for Fake, Irving (who was later portrayed by Richard Gere in The Hoax), was serendipitously revealed to have forged his own “autobiography” of Howard Hughes (not to mention Hughes’ signature) and sentenced to jail time. The resulting film, an essay on the authorship of “truth” in art, is a dazzling, intellectually challenging masterpiece that can never quite decide if it’s a fake documentary about a fake painter of fake masterpieces who himself was the subject of a fake biographer… or what it is. (It’s no wonder that Robert Anton Wilson was such a fan of F for Fake, which figures prominently in his book, Cosmic Trigger II).

F or Fake also calls into question the nature of “genius”: If Elmyr’s forgeries were good enough to pass off as Picasso or Modigliani’s work, or even to hang in museums under the assumption that they were the work of these masters, wouldn’t Elmyr’s genius be of equal or nearly equal value to theirs? (Worth noting that it was ego that got in the way of Elmyr’s scam at several points in his life: He was often left apoplectic at hearing how much crooked art dealers were making from his forged paintings!)

He didn’t intend to become an art forger, but life during the Great Depression and WWII wore down his scruples. He was imprisoned—or so he claimed, there’s no proof one way or the other—for a time in a Nazi concentration camp for being gay and when he got out he survived by cultivating his charismatic con man skills. One of his scams was pretending to be a Hungarian nobleman selling off his family’s art masterpieces after the war. Apparently he even sold his forged art via mail order. Some of de Hory’s many known pseudonyms included Louis Cassou, Joseph Dory, Joseph Dory-Boutin, Elmyr Herzog, Elmyr Hoffman and E. Raynal.

But Elmyr himself was often on the wrong end of a con, getting ripped off by his own (equally complicit) agents and dealers. He was arrested in Mexico but managed to get off and when they couldn’t pin any other crimes on him, Spain sent him to prison for a few months for homosexuality and consorting with bad people. When Irving’s book came out, the jig, as the saying goes, was essentially up.

De Hory’s former bodyguard and driver, Mark Forgy, the author of the 2012 book The Forger’s Apprentice: Life with the World’s Most Notorious Artist, has kept Elmyr’s archive since his death in 1976. In recent years Mr. Forgy has been trying to make more sense of Elmyr’s odd life locating dozens of his paintings and his birth records. From the New York Times:

He claimed that his father was a Roman Catholic and a diplomat, but the Budapest ledgers list Adolf as a Jewish merchant. The Nazis killed his entire family, Mr. de Hory said. But a cousin named Istvan Hont visited the artist’s villa on Ibiza, where Mr. Forgy was working at various times as a chauffeur, secretary and gardener. Mr. Hont, it turns out, was the forger’s brother.

Mr. Forgy knew that his boss copied masterpieces but did not much question their life on Ibiza, in which they kept company with celebrities like Marlene Dietrich and Ursula Andress. “I accepted the amazing with a nonchalance,” Mr. Forgy said in a recent phone interview. Mr. de Hory was the focus of Orson Welles’s 1974 documentary F for Fake, and Clifford Irving breathlessly titled his book Fake! The Story of Elmyr de Hory the Greatest Art Forger of Our Time.

After Mr. de Hory’s suicide, Mr. Forgy returned to Minnesota. “I went into deep seclusion” working as a night watchman and house restorer, he said. He held onto the papers and paintings. “I have schlepped them around endlessly,” he said. “The walls here in the house look like the Pitti Palace in Florence.”

His wife, Alice Doll, encouraged him in recent years to examine the stacks of false passports, Hungarian correspondence and Swiss arrest reports.

On December 11, 1976, Elmyr de Hory committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills after discovering that the Spanish government had agreed to hand him over to the French so that he could stand trial on fraud charges. Naturally there was speculation that he’d faked his death to avoid extradition, but Forgy, who was there when he died, has shot this theory down. After Elmyr’s death, his paintings—both his forgeries and his own original works—became so popular that forged de Hory art appeared on the art market! Heavy meta. Former Texas governor John Connally and a partner bought 100 of his paintings and sold them to wealthy buyers in the 1980s.
 

Elmyr’s portrait of Clifford Irving for TIME magazine’s coverage of the Howard Hughes hoax in 1973.
 

Portrait of a woman in the style of Modigliani, by Elmyr de Hory
 
More Elmyr after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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07.19.2017
01:20 pm
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Stunning stills, movie posters and lobby cards from David Lynch’s ‘Blue Velvet’
07.18.2017
11:35 am
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A fantastic movie poster for ‘Blue Velvet’ by Italian artist Enzo Sciotti.
 
I found the movie poster pictured above for 1986’s Blue Velvet, by Italian artist Enzo Sciotto, so inspiring that I decided to write this post just so I had an excuse to showcase it for you. If for some reason you’ve never seen Blue Velvet, I hope this will help convince you to change that as quickly as possible—though I’ll warn you that after watching the film for the first time, you might not be so eager to answer your front door for quite a while, even if it’s just the pizza delivery guy because in your mind it very well might be “Frank Booth,” the beyond sinister character masterfully played by Dennis Hopper in the film. For those who have seen Blue Velvet, you are probably reminded of the movie anytime you see a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. There is an abundance of trivia and folklore associated with Blue Velvet that is as fascinating as the movie itself, some of which I was unaware of before I took this deep dive into the Lynch classic today.

So since we were just talking about good-old Heineken-hating Frank, let’s start with some tidbits regarding Hopper’s experience on the film. Blue Velvet was the first time Hopper and ethereal actress Isabella Rossellini had ever worked together. Their relationship in the film is complicated, to say the least, and Hopper’s character was charged with subjecting Rossellini’s character to some pretty awful stuff including a horrific rape scene. Unbeknownst to Hopper, when it came time to shoot that particular scene, Rossellini was completely naked under another object of Frank’s affection, her blue velvet robe. When Hopper finally opens Rossellini’s robe he got an unexpected eyeful of the gorgeous actress and her lady parts which left the seemingly unshakeable Hopper rather stunned.

Another interesting piece of trivia concerning Hopper’s portrayal of Booth is his excessive use of the word “fuck” and its many variations in nearly every line of his dialog resulting in more than 50 “fucks” (55 in total I believe) coming from Hopper himself exclusively.
 

A French lobby card for ‘Blue Velvet.’
 
According to Hopper, David Lynch himself would never utter the four-letter word, choosing instead to simply point to the word in the script instructing him to say “that word.” Lynch would later somewhat dispute the claim by the newly sober Hopper who used to snort a terrifying amount of coke which he washed down with 28 beers and a bottle of rum on a daily basis before he went into detox. And yeah, I just dropped another Blue Velvet bombshell—Dennis Hopper was booze and drug-free for the first time in a very long time while playing Frank Booth—a frenzied drug addict with a penchant for PBR and murder.

Lastly, if you’ve ever wondered what exactly was streaming through Booth’s oxygen mask, the details about that are also quite compelling. Lynch’s vision for further mythologizing the character of Frank Booth involved altering Booth’s voice to reinforce the concept that he would regress to, at times, a child-like persona while huffing an unidentified “drug” through his gas mask. To do this, Lynch wanted to have Hopper inhale a bunch of helium through the mask so he sounded like a deranged version of Alvin and the Chipmunks. Hopper made a sage recommendation based on his not-so-long-ago drug days saying that using amyl nitrite (a drug used to treat chest pain) would help enhance the sexual energy of the scene. Lynch agreed and the result is one of the most savage and unhinged moments in movie history. Though Hopper had been warned by Hollywood insiders and his agents to run away from the role, the actor would correctly refer to the part as “a fucking dream, man.” Beautiful. Rossellini was also concerned about her role being too “risky” but immediately identified with her character saying that she saw a woman who was totally “victimized,” who had lost all her “rationality” and was left with “only emotions.”

Another point of interest concerning the film, and one some of you may already be aware of, is the fact that David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini developed a serious romantic relationship while filming Blue Velvet. The two spent four years together and were engaged to be married, though they would part ways shortly after the premiere of another one of Lynch’s films, 1990’s Wild At Heart in which Rossellini played the blonde ex-girlfriend of Nicolas Cage’s character. Rossellini has gone on the record as saying that Lynch was the “big love of her life” and after he ended their love-affair she was “broken-hearted.” Another curious item of note regarding the role of Dorothy is that Lynch originally wrote the role for Deborah Harry who turned the part down because she was sick of playing “weirdos.” Wow. I’ve included some beautiful and rather brutal images from the film, from French lobby cards to stills, and a few intriguing movie posters for you to scroll through below. Most of them are NSFW. 
 

A Turkish movie poster for ‘Blue Velvet.’
 

Dennis Hopper as the demonic “Frank Booth” in ‘Blue Velvet.’
 

Director David Lynch looking into the “face” of an artificial Frank
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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07.18.2017
11:35 am
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Confessions of a Dirty Book Writer: The sexy, saucy paperback books of ‘Timothy Lea’ & ‘Rosie Dixon’
07.14.2017
10:31 am
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George Orwell is said to have kicked off the arena of pop culture analysis when he published his essay “The Art of Donald McGill” in 1941. Donald McGill was a graphic artist who excelled at a certain type of vulgar postcard with a saucy punchline that could be purchased at seaside resorts in England in the first decades of the twentieth century. Orwell, who had been a middle-class scholarship case at upper-crusty Eton, was fascinated by the peculiar and repressed relationship to sex that the postcards tended to reveal among the English masses who adored the cards.

Kate Fox, author of the 2004 book Watching the English, noted that in her hundreds of interviews of British citizens for the book, there was only one subject that made them truly uneasy, across the board. “Trying to interview people about sex” was difficult, she said. “The English simply cannot talk about it without making a joke of it. It seems to be a knee-jerk reaction.”

All of which brings us to the impressive novelistic oeuvre of Christopher Wood, a name that will likely not ring any bells. Wood as a British advertising executive who became a one-person publishing sensation in the 1970s when he pitched the idea of writing erotic comic novels to Sphere, a publisher of paperbacks. The first one was called Confessions of a Window Cleaner, and it set the template for many more, such as Confessions of a Milkman, Confessions of an Ice Cream Man, and Confessions of a Long-Distance Lorry Driver. He used the pen name “Timothy Lea.”

In 1973 Wood/Lea told Penthouse that each book took him about five weeks to complete. Using the Lea pseudonym, Wood wrote 19 books in the Confessions series. He also invented a female alter ago named “Rosie Dixon,” whose best-known book was Confessions of a Night Nurse.
 

 
1974 saw the start of the movie versions of some of the Confessions books, starring Robin Askwith. Confessions of a Window Cleaner was the first one, and it was followed by Confessions of a Pop Performer, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, and Confessions of a Summer Camp Councillor. In 1978 Rosie Dixon: Night Nurse came out, starring Debbie Ash in the title role. To say these movies were popular is putting it mildly: according to the Independent, Confessions of a Window Cleaner had the most profitable box office of any movie in the U.K. for 1974.

The prolific Wood also published novelizations of James Bond movies (many of which, obviously, started out as Ian Fleming novels). He co-wrote the script for The Spy Who Loved Me and wrote the screenplay for Moonraker.

The Confessions books have become collector’s items, and many are available as ebooks or used on Amazon.
 

 

 
Many more excellent book covers after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.14.2017
10:31 am
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H.R. Giger body paints Debbie Harry for album cover and video—behind the scenes
07.12.2017
01:57 pm
Topics:
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In the spring of 1980, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie met H.R. Giger at a party at the Hansen Gallery in New York City, which was showing an exhibit of Giger’s Alien paintings. Giger was actually on his way back from Los Angeles, where he had just received an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects in recognition of his groundbreaking work on the movie. Giger later gave the following account of the meeting:
 

There I was introduced to a very beautiful woman, Debbie Harry, the singer of the group Blondie, and her boyfriend, Chris Stein. They were apparently excited about my work and asked me whether I would be prepared to design the cover of the new Debbie Harry album. I found both of them immediately likeable; so I readily agreed and was greatly pleased to be allowed to create something for such an attractive woman, although I had never heard anything from the group. This was due to the fact that I was more interested in jazz.

 
It was a heady moment for both sides of the equation. Alien had launched Giger to a whole new level of fame, while Blondie were still riding the crest of the new wave they had done so much to define; their fourth album Eat to the Beat had come out a few months before. But Harry and Stein were getting tired of being in Blondie.

Harry and Giger don’t seem particularly similar as artists, but as is well known, they did end up collaborating on the album cover for Harry’s first solo album KooKoo, which came out in 1981. KooKoo, unfortunately, was not a rousing success, and much of the reason for the disappointing outcome was the unsettling cover art, which showed the face of a regal and unmistakably Giger-esque Harry impaled by four large spikes. Here is a picture of Giger with the early concept art:
 

 
Giger said that the idea of the metal spikes derived from a medical procedure he had recently undergone: “Since I had just had an acupuncture treatment from my friend and doctor, Paul Tobler, the idea of the four needles came to me, in which I saw symbols of the four elements, to be combined with her face. I submitted the suggestions by phone to Debbie and Chris. They liked the idea and, in addition, they commissioned me to make two videoclips (music videos) of the best songs.”

The image was disturbing enough that advertisements featuring the image were banned by British Rail, and they weren’t the only ones. One might say that the public really didn’t want the era’s reigning sultry pop-disco queen to enter the scary and forbidding world of Giger’s art, but Harry and Stein have never exactly been afraid to take a risk, so the die was cast on that, for better or for worse.
 

 
After the album came out, Stein and Harry penned an article for Heavy Metal (which was already intimately familiar with Giger’s work) about working with the artist. In the piece, which is called “Strange Encounters of the Swiss Kind” and is coauthored by Harry and Stein, the following observations are registered:
 

Giger is an industrial designer, which is very apparent to you the moment you step into his home. Even something as alien-looking as his chairs is structurally sound. The Alien creature—with its McLuhanesque quality of being the machine as an extension of the organic—makes sense biologically. The face hugger, with its air sacs, isn’t just decorative. Giger’s work has a subconscious effect: it engenders the fear of being turned into metal. It’s awesome—the work of an ultimate perfectionist, a true obsessive.

 
Much more after the jump….....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.12.2017
01:57 pm
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