The “Bop Gun” was an imaginary weapon, theorized by George Clinton, leader of Parliment, on their 1977 album, Funkentelechy vs. The Placebo Syndrome”. The “Bop Gun” would fill the being of the soulless automatons moving robotically through modern life with FUNK and dancing would be inevitable.
Finally the conundrum of the universes’ missing funk has an answer: BOP GUN.
5 mixed squarewave oscillators allow for rapid phase matching and total funky collapse of even the most complex wave functions!
LFO modulates filter! All oscillators, LFO and filter are controlled by global attack/decay functions at the pull of a trigger! INVERT function allows for continuous function for those situations requiring fancy long-term funkic interventions. Funkify traffic! Passers-by! Bar Mitzvahs! The sky!
LED feedback ring at the business end reacts to funk levels, providing photonic enhancement in attractive aqua green tones. Extra-sweet readout panel provides incomprehensible feedback from selected functions. Audio output jack included, and batteries fit in the handle.
Below, Glen Goins, the Parliament singer famous for “calling in the Mothership” during their elaborate concerts, explains the “Bop Gun” concept to this Houston crowd during a 1977 performance:
Tuli Kupferberg - born September 28, 1923, died July 12, 2010
“You can have the men who make the laws/ Give me the music makers.” The Fugs.
I once bought a pair of sunglasses from Tuli Kupferberg, not because I needed them, but because I wanted to own something that belonged to a man who had changed my life.
When I was 15 (1966) I purchased The Fugs debut album at a People’s Drug Store in Fairfax, Virgina. I took it home, listened to it, and soon thereafter made my first pilgrimage to New York City’s Lower East Side. I wanted to be a part of the grime, squalor and divine decadence that the Fugs so poetically, mystically and hysterically evoked in their music. I wanted to walk among slum goddesses, dirty old men, Johnny Piss Off and the Belle of Avenue A. I wanted to join in on the ultimate group grope, to fill my brain with light and find my corner of bliss in a city that only a Fug could love. All because of a record album, all because of a band, all because of Tuli.
Tuli embodied the tattered and beautiful soul of NYC. He was the patron saint of the dark alleys and garbage strewn streets that lead to coldwater flats of wisdom and pleasure. In a town of cracked minds and bruised souls, Tuli was the wandering minstrel, the sage of the sewers, the calm presence in the maelstrom of sirens and sobs. He sang away the demons at the door and let his prose settle around us like a sweet cloak of tongue nectar.
In 1967, I marched with The Fugs and 70,000 people in Washington D.C to protest the Vietnam War. Tuli and Ginsberg led us in a mantric chant (Om Mani Padme Hum) in an effort to levitate The Pentagon, a building that my father, a military man, was inside of. What gave me this courage, if not the music and poetry of my heroes? Ginsberg, Leary, Kerouac, The Fugs, The Beatles.
Tuli was a peace activist, a holy warrior, who believed that when pamphlets and protests stop working, it’s time to invoke the Gods and Goddesses of loving kindness. If you can’t beat the death merchants with bullhorns and speeches, bring out the heavy artillery, call upon the armies of the astral plane to lay some Blakean magic on the motherfuckers.
Regarding Tuli’s contribution to the music scene over the past 5 decades, his influence on rock provocateurs, from Country Joe’s Fish Cheer to punks like the Meatmen, The Frogs and The Circle Jerks, I’ll leave that to those among us who care more about the specifics than I do. Yes, The Fugs inspired me to start a band called The Pits Of Passion and to write songs about getting my first blow job. I’m sure that without Tuli and The Fugs, I’d probably have never written my best known tune, “88 Lines About 44 Women.” There is no question The Fugs opened the field for all of us to spew our darkest deepest and filthiest thoughts, knowing that we weren’t alone in the flesh frenzy and fuck fest of absolute reality. The Fugs were arguably the first punk band. All good.
But, what I most want to remember about Tuli Kupferberg is the sweetness of the man, his humility and kindness and that, yes, it is possible to change the world with a guitar, a good hook, a few dozen dirty words and a whole lot of soul.
Ted Berrigan writing about Tuli:
I asked Tuli Kupferberg once, “Did you really jump off of The Manhattan Bridge?”
“Yeah,” he said, “I really did.” “How come?” I said.
“I thought that I had lost the ability to love,” Tuli said. “So, I figured I might as well be dead. So, I went one night to the top of The Manhattan Bridge, & after a few minutes, I jumped off.”
“That’s amazing,” I said.
“Yeah,” Tuli said, “but nothing happened. I landed in the water & I wasn’t dead. So I swam ashore, & went home, & took a bath, & went to bed. Nobody even noticed.”
The Germs’ Pat Smear & Lorna Doom get touchy-feely with lead singer Darby Crash in The New Wave
“Not exactly wholesome, you might say,” notes slick & laid-back narrator Andrew Amador at the end of this weird and rather incomplete look at the burgeoning new music scene in Los Angeles.
Inexplicably opening up with the highly New York sounds of Patti Smith’s version of “Gloria,” The New Wave seems to have been a quick segment put together by erstwhile TV host Amador and shot by someone called Andre Champagne. I wonder if and where it actually aired. It’s an interesting enough artifact in that it features:
Footage of The Germs with Darby Crash in full feathered-and-waxed Bowie mode
A Sunset Strip marquee within the first 30 seconds featuring Pasadena’s Van Halen!
A bit too much footage of The Quick’s heartthrob lead singer Danny Wilde dreaming of stardom. He’d later do the music scene proud by forming the Rembrandts and recording “I’ll Be There For You,” the fittingly excruciating theme for the TV show Friends.
Here’s a bunch of clips of amazing people doing exceptional things in front of other very lucky people which I curated for our pals at Network Awesome, many of which have turned up in previous blog posts here on Dangerous Minds. Probably the first of many to come ! Special thanks to Shannon Fields, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Dave Madden and Eddie Ruscha.
Hamlet Gonashvili - Gogov Shavtvalav
Cutty Ranks - Sleng Teng Riddim
George Harrison - Wah-Wah
Rimpa Siva - Tabla Solo Calcutta 1997 Part 6
John Cage - Excerpt from “Good Morning Mr. Orwell”
And there you have it. These videos are mini-masterpieces of comedy. Not only are you laughing at the “musicians” testing out instruments at the store, but when this guy makes his cameo appearance, the look on his face will have you in tears. He doesn’t have to say anything at all and it’s side-splitting. When you make eye-contact, you know what he’s thinking!
After I posted this mix in April I received a fair number of requests to post my archive of private press vinyl by the mysterious early 80’s Los Angeles performance artist Jimmy Smack. Seeing as how I don’t know another soul that has this material and/or the inclination to share it, here ‘tis ! Anybody that attended or played shows in the post-punk Los Angeles underground circa 1982-83 most certainly came in regular contact with Jimmy Smack. He was a good decade or more older than most of the bands and was quite the scene fixture in his town of San Pedro where his Star Theatre was a primary hang-out and rehearsal space for early iterations of The Minutemen, Saccharine Trust and the rest of the fertile South Bay contingent. His live performances were incredible: Basically the man, made up in elaborate corpse-paint (certainly the first I ever saw), in fall tartan gear playing amazing electric bagpipes accompanied only by a then de-rigeur Dr. Rhythm drum box and reciting in a demonic Beefheart-esque growl some occasionally great, occasionally goofy (in a “going insane inside my brain” kind of way) doom and gloom poetry. All of this punctuated by unexpected and frightening screaming fits and wild underwear dancing. Indeed Smack claimed to have been a member of the L.A. Ballet company (whenever it existed) and was evidently also a professional choreographer. I purchased these pieces of vinyl directly from the man at various shows back then and had scarcely listened since. In revisiting them I’m truly blown away by his electric bagpipes and creative drum box mangling. If you didn’t know what you were listening to you’d be forgiven for thinking it to be some wild modular synth playing. I’m glad to be able to present these extremely obscure works for your listening pleasure. Doubtless this stuff deserves to be presented in a proper album format someday.
Living in Paris as a young kid, I was into Francoise Hardy and Johnny Hallyday before I’d even heard of The Beatles. Along with Sylvie Vartan and Serge Gainsbourg, these were my rock and roll heroes. And for those of you who think the French can’t rock, check out these videos of an intense Hallyday performing “Je N’ai Pas Voulu Croire’ live in 1969 and covering Hendrix’s version of “Hey Joe” in 2006. Hendrix actually opened for Hallyday in Paris in 1966.
The older Hallyday gets the cooler he gets. He looks absolutely dangerous in the 2006 performance which is probably one of the reasons, along with his fine acting skills, he’s been getting cast as gangsters in recent films.
In a fist fight between Nick Cave and Hallyday, my money’s on Johnny.
Happy Bastille Day and don’t fuck with Johnny Hallyday!
This unusual new music video by Sufjan Stevens is based on the work of the late outsider artist “Prophet” Royal Robertson and was animated by Stevens himself. Robertson, a schizophrenic who painted space landscapes, flying cars, pornographic images, angels, UFOs and love/hate tributes to his ex-wife, lived in Baldwin, Louisiana and covered his living space with his work and apocalytic Bible verses. Spinning signs outside the house warned visitors: “No bastards” (a reference to his eleven children, some who he suspected were not his), “No Divorced Whores Allowed!” and “Crazy People Stay Off Property.” Think of him as an African-American version of Reverend Howard Finster, ... a somewhat more hostile version of Howard Finster, I suppose.
Robertson died in 1997 and his art is collected by the likes of REM’s Michael Stipe and hangs in the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Sufjan Stevens’ newest album The Age of Adz (pronounced “odds”) was largely based on Royal’s work and eccentric cosmic worldview and the live concerts in support of the album feature more animated projections of Robertson’s distinctive imagery.