E=mcFAAABUloussss! Who knew Einstein had such wonderful gams?!
Einstein and David Rothman, 1939
There’s actually great back-story to Albert Einstein and those open-toed sandals. The man pictured with Einstein above is David Rothman, and he was the one responsible for selling Einstein the fancy footwear back in 1939. From Chuck Rothman’s “Albert Einstein’s Long Island Summer”:
In the summer of 1939, Albert Einstein spent his summer on Nassau Point, in Peconic, NY on eastern Long Island. My grandfather, David Rothman, was owner of Rothman’s Department Store in nearby Southold.
One June day, Einstein came into the store. Of course, my grandfather recognized him at once. He decided, though, to treat him just like any other customer.
“Are you looking for something in particular?” he asked
“Sundials,” Einstein said in his thick German accent.
Now, Rothman’s has always had a large variety of items—just about everything from housewares, to fishing tackle and bait, to hardware, to toys, to appliances. But no sundials. Not for sale, anyway. But…
“I do have one in my back yard,” my grandfather said.
He led Einstein—who seems a bit bewildered—to the back yard, to show him the sundial. “If you need one you can have this.”
Einstein took one look and began to laugh. He pointed to his feet. “No. Sundials.”
Climb on and join your tour guide and now regular tri-weekly host Nate Cimmino for another virtual journey from point A to point B, where ever that is for you.
Or to quote Mel Lyman:
This is CONTEMPORARY music. In this new age whose keynote is the destruction of old forms and the birth of new spirit our ears are still constantly insulted with the musical establishment’s attempts to “hold on” to the old traditions whatever the cost.
Or to quote a myriad of different people, “It seems like a nice way to spend an hour.”
01. Bimbo Jet- El Bimbo
02. Klaus Doldinger- Sitar Beat (Nate-O-Phonic Edit)
03. Cristina- What’s A Girl To Do?
04. Ursula 1000- Urgent/Anxious- (Ladytron Remix)
05. Shocking Blue- Fireball Of Love
06. Hamilton Bohannon-The Pimp Walk
07. Act One- Tom The Peeper
08. Slim Gaillard- How High The Moon
09. Jocko Henderson- Blast Off To Love
10. Margaret Leng Tan- Suite For A Toy Piano Pts. 1&2
11. Rockabye Baby- Enter Sandman
12. Norah Guthrie- My Illness
13. The Lyman Family with Lisa Kindred- James Alley Blues
14. Fairport Convention- Matty Groves
Living legend, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, will be delivering a lecture in the “Artists on Art” series at the Rubin Museum of Art, 150 W. 17th St. (near 7th Ave) in New York City this Friday at 6:15 p.m.
What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway? Fosse, which was stunning!
Do you give money to panhandlers? Sometimes. If they look old enough for homelessness to be a semi-permanent state, women with kids. Once in a while I give $20 just so there’s a chance it’s useful.
What’s your drink? Mimosa with a good quality Rose Champagne.
How often do you prepare your own meals? 97 percent of the time as I live alone.
What’s your favorite medication? A deep undisturbed night’s sleep.
What’s hanging above your sofa? Nothing; I don’t have a sofa.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut? Haircuts are luxuries and as such should be as expensive as you can possibly afford. I get mine at Seagull in Greenwich Village or recently by Ashlee of Hair Metal at my apartment. Celebrity haircuts are one of the great perks of even a little media profile.
Read more: Genesis P-Orridge Would Like to Hitch a Horse to the New York Post (NY Mag)
Below, a late 2009 interview with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge
Poppa Neutrino (William David Pearlmam) was born in San Francisco in 1933. Neutrino died on January 23, 2011 in New Orleans, LA.
Poppa Neutrino was a friend of mine and one the most fascinating men I’ve ever met.
During the mid-1980s into the 90s, I was booking bands into several music venues in New York City. Poppa had a family band called The Flying Neutrinos fronted by his daughter Ingrid Lucia and son Todd Londagin. They’d been street musicians for years, traveling all over the world, eventually landing in Manhattan. I saw the group evolve from a somewhat ragged ensemble into a world class jazz band with a heavy New Orleans influence. Poppa receded into the background as the group became increasingly in demand and successful. But his spiritual influence was very much alive in the soul of the group. He encouraged not only their art but their fierce independence. Which considering his own wild and uncompromising past was to be totally expected. He was a renegade with a streetwise philosophy and a hustler’s instincts. An American Gurdjieff.
David Pearlman, a restless and migratory soul, a mariner, a musician, a member of the Explorers Club and a friend of the San Francisco Beats, a former preacher and sign painter, a polymath, a pauper, and a football strategist for the Red Mesa Redskins of the Navajo Nation. When Pearlman was fifty, he was bitten on the hand by a dog in Mexico and for two years got so sick that he thought he would die. When he recovered, he felt so different that he decided he needed a new name. He began calling himself Poppa Neutrino, after the itinerant particle that is so small it can hardly be detected. To Neutrino, the particle represents the elements of the hidden life that assert themselves discreetly.
Inspired by Thor Heyerdahl and Kon-Tiki, Neutrino is the only man ever to build a raft from garbage he found on the streets of New York and sail it across the North Atlantic. The New York Daily News described the accomplishment as “the sail of the century.” National Geographic broadcast an account of the trip as part of its series on extreme adventures.
The philosophical underpinnings of Neutrino’s existence are what he calls Triads, a concept worked out after years of reading and reflection. He believes that each person, to be truly happy, must define his or her three deepest desires and pursue them remorselessly. Freedom, Joy, and Art are Neutrino’s three.
As recently as last year, Poppa was still pushing the envelope when he attempted to circumnavigate the Globe in a 37 foot raft with a crew consisting of three sailors and three dogs. But on November 9 their raft was tossed by big surf onto the rocks near Thompson’s Point, VT.
Only a few months later, Poppa died of a heart attack in the city he always seemed to return to, New Orleans. His family is having him cremated and will set his ashes afloat on the Mississippi River. In the words of his daughter Ingrid, “He’s always been free, so we’ll set him free.”
Like many artists and musicians, Poppa had little money and no insurance. If you’d like to contribute toward his funeral expenses go here.
Victor Zimet and Stephanie Silber’s documentary Random Lunacy explores the life and philosophy of Poppa Neutrino. This your chance to meet a remarkable man.
Left to right: Donald Cammell, Dennis Hopper, Alejandro Jodorowsky & Kenneth Anger.
Cinematic shaman Alejandro Jodorowsky discusses his work. Taken from the over five hours worth of extras that will come with the much-anticipated re-release of Santa Sangre on DVD and Blu-ray by Severin Films on January 25th. Pre-order a copy of Santa Sangre.
I am a big aficionado of “the art of the interview.” As a reader, I don’t really require for a journalist to spell something out for me. I’d rather hear what the subject has to say for themselves, but this hardly means that the interviewer is a superfluous part of the equation. Take if from someone who knows, you have to show up properly prepared if you want to achieve good results with an interview. A well-done Q&A can take the form of an interrogation or a narrative. I like both styles. A good interviewer knows how to get someone to reveal what makes them tick.
Longtime underground journalist, cinema festival organizer, filmmaker and screenwriter, Shade Rupe’s new anthology, Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms (Headpress), is a collection of his interviews conducted over the past 26 years with some of the more transgressive and—okay, I’ll say it—dangerous minds out there. Many of the folks interviewed in Dark Stars Rising are even friends of mine, or people who I’ve met and interviewed before myself, so when the book came through the post the other day, my reaction was a pretty swift, “Yes!”
And chances are that if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you might feel the same way yourself about a slick, well-designed 568 page collection of terrific interviews with the likes of Richard Kern, Alejandro Jodorowksy, Udo Kier, Tura Satana, Teller, Brother Theodore (incredible!), Divine, Floria Sigismondi, Hermann Nitsch, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Dennis Cooper, Gaspar Noe, performance artist Johanna Went Dame Darcy, Stephen O’Malley, Crispin Glover and many others. A lot of this material was original published in various underground zines, but here the interviews appear in their unedited form. Visually, it’s a treat. There are photographs (some in color) on nearly every single page and the “documentation” and ephemera contained in the book embellishes the discussions nicely.
If, like me, you appreciate being able to eavesdrop in on smart conversations between smart people—and if you’re nostalgic for the fast disappearing world of zine culture—Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising, is a book you won’t want to miss.
The ending to B. S. Johnson’s film Fat Man on a Beach proved rather prophetic, as the author walked fully clothed into the sea, until he disappeared. It was the last sequence filmed for his documentary, and recalls the opening scene to the BBC comedy The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, and, more significantly, Stevie Smith’s poem “Not Waving but Drowning”. Three weeks after filming this scene, in 1973, B. S. Johnson killed himself.
I’ve liked Johnson since I first read him as a teenager, and he is one of the many authors whose books I still return to all these years later. Although I like his work there is something about Johnson that reminds me of the well-kent story of Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman during the making of Marathon Man, where each actor approached their role through their own discipline. Olivier had learnt his technique from treading the boards and performing Shakespeare alongside John Gielgud; Hoffman was a different breed, his muse was Method Acting, where motivation is key. When Hoffman’s character was supposed to have been without sleep, Hoffman decided to stay up all night in order to perform the scene. When Olivier heard the length to which Hoffman had gone to interpret his role, the aging Lord, said, “Have you tried acting, dear boy?”
There was something of the Hoffman in Johnson, or at least, in the shared need to have the experience before creating from it. What Johnson did not do was write fiction - or so he claimed. He saw stories as lies, citing the term “telling stories” as a childish euphemism for telling lies. Johnson did not believe in telling lies, he believed in telling the truth. And it was this that would ultimately destroy him. For once one has abandoned imagination, there is no possibility of escape, or creative freedom.
In 1965, Johnson wrote a play called You’re Human Like the Rest of Them - a grim, unrelenting drama, later made into an award-winning short film in 1967. In it, the central character Haakon realizes his own mortality and the inevitability of death.
We rot and there’s nothing that can stop it / Can’t you feel the shaking horror of that? / You just can’t ignore these things, you just can’t!
For Haakon, and so for Johnson, from “the moment of birth we decay and die.” An obvious proposition, as Jonathan Coe, pointed out in his excellent biography on Johnson Like a Fiery Elephant, one which any audience would have understood before watching. Not so for Johnson the realist - death is the final answer to life’s question, and once realized nothing else is of significance. You can see where this is heading, and how Johnson started to unravel. Though he did go on to write three of his greatest novels after this: Trawl, about life on a fishing vessel; The Unfortunates the episodic tale of a friend’s death from cancer; and the brutally comic Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry, in which the titular hero becomes a mass murderer and succumbs to a sudden death form cancer; you can see the pattern, all three were shadowed with death. However, each is so brilliantly and engagingly written their dark heart is often overlooked.
There is a key moment in Fat Man on a Beach, when Johnson described a motorcycle accident in which the cyclist was diced by a barbed-wire fence, like “a cheese-cutter through cheese.” He explained the story as a “metaphor for the way the human condition seems to treat humankind,” then digressed and said, life is:
“...really all chaos…I cannot prove it as chaos any more than anyone else can prove there is a pattern, or there is some sort of deity, but even if it is all chaos, then let’s celebrate chaos. Let’s celebrate the accidental. Does that make us any the worse off? Are we any the worse off? There is still love; there is still humor.”
This in essence is what is so marvelous about Johnson and Fat Man on a Beach, as Jonathan Coe later wrote as an introduction to the film:
One evening late in 1974, the TV listings announced that a documentary about Porth Ceiriad was to be broadcast. It was being shown past my bedtime (I was 13), but was clearly not to be missed. After News at Ten, we settled down to watch en famille.
Instead of a tourist’s-eye view of local beauty spots, what we saw that evening was baffling. A corpulent yet athletic-looking man, bearing some resemblance to an overweight Max Bygraves, ran up and down the beach for 40 minutes gesticulating, expostulating, reciting strange poetry and chattering away about the randomness of human life, his quasi-mystical feelings about the area and, most passionately, the dishonesty of most modern fiction and film-making. With disarming bluntness, the programme was called Fat Man on a Beach. We could not make head or tail of it.
And yet memories of this film, so unlike anything seen on television before or since, stayed with me, and 10 years later, when I was a postgraduate student, I stumbled upon a reissued paperback novel by someone called B. S. Johnson and realised that this was the same person. Amazingly, it came with a puff from Samuel Beckett, someone not known as a regular provider of jacket quotations. Encouraged by this, I bought the novel, which was called Christie Malry’s Own Double Entry, devoured it in a matter of hours (it’s less than 30,000 words long) and realised that I had found a new hero.
When I thought about the film that we had watched in a daze of collective bewilderment all those years before, I remembered the sense of fierce engagement, combined with a spirit of childish fun, that had characterised BS Johnson’s virtuoso monologue to camera. I remembered his strange, unwieldy grace - the sort of fleet-footed grace you find unexpectedly in a bulky comedian such as John Goodman or Oliver Hardy. And I remembered the wounded eyes that stared at you almost aggressively, as if in silent accusation of some nameless hurt. It was impossible not to recognise the pain behind those eyes. Even so, I had not realised at the time that I had been looking at a dead man.
The writer David Quantick has uploaded this and some other excellent films by Johnson onto You Tube, which I hope will provide a stimulus to reading his exceptional books.
Like many of you out there, we here at Dangerous Minds are waiting patiently (or not so patiently as the case might be) for the DVD and Blu-ray release of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s fantastic (in every way) film Santa Sangre from the fine folks at Severin Films (you can also blame them for Birdemic), due to drop this month. In an effort to sate your Jodorowsky fever, here’s a link to a blog with several dozen examples of Jodorowsky’s Sunday comic, Fabulas panicas, written, drawn and colored by the great filmmaker, writer, composer and shaman in the years between 1967 and 1973 for the rightwing Mexican newspaper, El Heraldo de México.
Like most of Jodorowsky’s work, these comics aim to teach a life lesson or produce a psychological epiphany in the reader. Can you imagine how much the original panels would be worth, and will be worth in the future? Hopefully while Alejandro Jodorowsky is still living, a museum level survey of his graphic work will occur. It’s a honor he richly deserves.
347 of the Fabulas panicas strips appear in a book published by Grijalbo.