Copping its title from an Allen Ginsberg poem, Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London is the quintessential cinematic pop explosion. This rarely seen 1968 documentary directed by Peter Whitehead captures a time when rock and roll was the most powerful force on the planet.
Beautifully shot, with a Syd Barrett-led Pink Floyd supplying the soundtrack, it is perhaps the only true masterpiece of the period, offering a visually captivating window on the ‘in’ crowd. Revealing, often very personal interviews with the era’s prime movers - Michael Caine, Julie Christie, David Hockney and Mick Jagger - are interspersed by dazzling images of the ‘dedicated followers of fashion’, patronizing the clubs and discotheques of the day. As a trusted confidant of the Rolling Stones, who had filmed their first US tour, and a member of the inner circle, Whitehead was able to give an unusually free rein to his eye for detail.”
Tonite Let’s All Make Love In London is not currently available on video. This is from an out-of-print Japanese laserdisc. Dig it! It contains footage of the coolest human being to walk the earth: Swami Lee Marvin.
This is the moment Paul McCartney met comic book hero Jacky Kirby in 1975. It was at the Forum, Los Angeles, where McCartney and his band Wings, were booked to play three concerts. This was Macca’s first time back in LA since touring with The Beatles. Wings had just released Venus and Mars, which contained the track “Magneto and Titanium Man”, a song inspired by Marvel’s X-Men created by Kirby and Stan Lee. The pair met backstage at the Forum, where Jack presented Macca with a line drawing:
Then around the corner came Paul. “‘Ello Jack, nice to meet you.” Jack gave Paul and Linda the drawing which they thought was “smashing.” Paul thanked Jack for keeping him from going bonkers while they were recording the album in Jamaica. It seems that there was very little to do there, and they needed to keep their kids entertained. Luckily, there was a store that sold comics, so Paul would go and pick up all the latest. One night the song “Magneto and Titanium Man” popped into his head. The thing about Jack was that within a few minutes you felt as if you were best friends, so Paul too was soon laughing it up with Jack as if he had known him for years.
Fashion, tribalism and a sharp suit. BBC documentary “The Street Look” connects fashion to pop music and back again. We proclaim our allegiance to the music we love in the clothing we wear. I’ve run through the whole gamut. My girlfriend says I’ve got more shoes than any man she knows: from winklepickers to creepers to sandals and Pumas, to cowboy boots, Beatle boots and leopard skin loafers. I’ve always been a fashion shapeshifter and it’s always been in relationship to whatever new social/cultural scene I feel a passion for. I like to wear my colors. It’s a declaration of what I believe in. Suit up and get ready to rock and roll.
In the late 70s, I started a company called Shady Character. I sold skinny ties and wraparound shades to stores that in turn sold them to kids in towns like Laramie, Wyoming and Brownsville, Texas - places where there wasn’t a punk or new wave scene but kids wanted to align themselves with the movement. I really wasn’t doing it for the money, much to the chagrin of my partners, I was doing it because I wanted to provide kids with a freak flag to fly, a uniform in the rock and roll army. A groovy pair of Italian wraparounds can change the world for a 17 year old in a town without pity.
The owners of San Francisco’s Park Life gallery and retail store have been threatened with a lawsuit by multi-millionaire artist Jeff Koons. Jamie Alexander and Derek Song were selling a small plastic balloon dog sculpture that kind of looks like Koons’s balloon dog sculptures which kind of look like the balloon dogs clowns have been twisting and tying at children’s birthday parties since the 1920’s - 30 years before Koons was born.
Alexander and Song posted the following message on their website:
Park Life just received a very formal Cease and Desist Letter from Jeff Koons’ Lawyers calling for an “Immediate Cessation” of selling our Balloon Dog sculptures.
Wait, I’m confused, isnt his ENTIRE FUCKING CAREER based on co-opting other peoples work/objects????
So going forward, just so you know; Jeff Koons owns all likenesses of balloon dogs.”
Ironically, Koons has been sued repeatedly for copyright infringement for his use of…
[...] pre-existing images, the original works of others, in his work. In Rogers v. Koons, 960 F.2d 301 (2d Cir. 1992), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a judgment against him for his use of a photograph of puppies as the basis for a sculpture, String of Puppies.”
A Koons balloon dog (of the smaller variety) will set you back several thousand dollars. The Park Life balloon dog was 34 bucks.
Why don’t I believe in God? No, no no, why do YOU believe in God? Surely the burden of proof is on the believer. You started all this. If I came up to you and said, “Why don’t you believe I can fly?” You’d say, “Why would I?” I’d reply, “Because it’s a matter of faith.” If I then said, “Prove I can’t fly. Prove I can’t fly see, see, you can’t prove it can you?” You’d probably either walk away, call security or throw me out of the window and shout, ‘’F—ing fly then you lunatic.”
This, is of course a spirituality issue, religion is a different matter. As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a god. I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights when it worries me. I would never deny your right to believe in a god. I would just rather you didn’t kill people who believe in a different god, say. Or stone someone to death because your rulebook says their sexuality is immoral. It’s strange that anyone who believes that an all-powerful all-knowing, omniscient power responsible for everything that happens, would also want to judge and punish people for what they are. From what I can gather, pretty much the worst type of person you can be is an atheist. The first four commandments hammer this point home. There is a god, I’m him, no one else is, you’re not as good and don’t forget it. (Don’t murder anyone, doesn’t get a mention till number 6.)
When confronted with anyone who holds my lack of religious faith in such contempt, I say, “It’s the way God made me.”
1968 film The Touchables is an explosion of mod and pop art imagery. It was the only film directed by Robert Freeman, whose iconic photos of The Beatles adorn the covers of “Rubber Soul,” “Help” and “A Hard Day’s Night.”
The Touchables was written by Donald Cammell, the director of the mindbending classic “Performance” and the underrated and rarely seen ‘Wild Side,” and stars the stunning Judy Huxtable, who later married comedian Peter Cook.
Four independently wealthy dolly birds kidnap pop star Christian (David Anthony) from a wrestling match, chloroforming him and smuggling him out of the arena dressed as a nun. They spirit him back to their communal home, an inflatable plastic dome, tie him to a circular bed and take turns having their way with him. Meanwhile, Christian’s manager and besotted gay wrestler try desperately to find the pop idol, who, truth be told, isn’t especially eager to be rescued. One of the most sought-after of psychedelic obscurities, this little-seen naughty comedy is a non-stop riot of Swinging London fashions and pop art accessories. The soundtrack features a score by Ken Thorne (“Help,”), short-lived flower-pop Brit band Nirvana and Wynder K. Frog.”
The Touchables captures a moment in time when London was swinging and LSD was melting on pop culture’s tongue. Grab a DVD of this hard to find gem here.
The music on the trailer soundtrack is Brit psych band Nirvana.
The brilliant artist Duggie Fields supplied Dangerous Minds with this fabulous Holiday snap of a Christmas party with Divine and Larry ‘J.R.’ Hagman in the 1980s. As Duggie explains:
The photo was Christmas day at Zandra Rhodes’ in London Maybe a year or two after ‘J.R.’ was shot in Dallas - Andrew Logan was also there, Joan and Jack Quinn and Janet Street-Porter too….Lunch and afternoon rather than evening…..Larry is giving out his Christmas gifts to everyone of mini portable fans with his photo on - his Patented Anti-Smoking Device...!