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Rare concert photos of Blondie, Zappa, Iggy, Fugazi and more, from the Smithsonian’s new collection


 
In December 2015, the Smithsonian Institution began an ambitious crowdsourced history of rock ’n’ roll photography, calling on music fans to contribute their amateur and pro photos, launching the web site rockandroll.si.edu as a one-stop for accepting and displaying shooters’ submissions. One of the project’s organizers, Bill Bentley, was quoted in Billboard:

We talked about how it could be completely far-reaching in terms of those allowed to contribute, and hopefully help expose all kinds of musicians and periods. There really are no boundaries in the possibilities. I’d like to help spread all styles of music to those who visit the site, and show just how all-encompassing the history of what all these incredible artists have created over the years. What better way than for people to share their visual experiences, no matter on what level, to the world at large.

The project, sadly, is now closed to new submissions, but it’s reached a milestone in the publication of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen, authored by Bentley. The book is a pretty great cull of the best the collection had to offer, full of photos rarely or never seen by the public, chronologically arranged, and dating back to the dawn of the rock era. Some of them are real jaw-droppers, like the concert shot of Richie Valens taken hours before his death, Otis Redding drenched in sweat at the Whiskey a Go Go, Sly Stone looking like a goddamn superhero at the Aragon Ballroom in 1974. From Bentley’s introduction:

Although the sheer breadth of the offerings was overwhelming, that fact only underlined the importance of an organizational strategy. The publisher sorted through the submissions, categorizing them by performer and date to create a complete historical timeline of rock and roll. Approximately three hundred photographs are included in the following narrative, many of them by amateurs whose enthusiasm and passion for their subjects are here presented to the public for the first time. The balance of the photos were taken by professional “lens whisperers,” whose shots were selected to flesh out this overview of rock and roll. The results, spanning six decades, aim for neither encyclopedic authority nor comprehensive finality, but rather an index of supreme influence.

Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen isn’t due until late in October, but the Smithsonian have been very kind in allowing Dangerous Minds to share some of these images with you today. Clicking an image will spawn an enlargement.
 

Blondie at CBGB, New York City, 1976. Photo Roberta Bayley /Smithsonian Books
 

The Clash at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, September 19, 1979. Photo Catherine Vanaria /Smithsonian Books
 

Frank Zappa at Maple Pavilion, Stanford University, CA, November 19, 1977. Photo Gary Kieth Morgan /Smithsonian Books
 
Many more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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09.18.2017
11:00 am
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Here’s your new ringtone: Lou Reed hilariously reads X-rated porn advertising copy (NSFW)
07.11.2017
01:30 pm
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In 2004 Timothy Greenfield-Sanders released his photography book XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits, which showed various porn stars in two states, wearing clothes and not wearing clothes. If you want to see Christy Canyon, Ron Jeremy, and Jenna Jameson photographed by a first-rate contributor to Vanity Fair, then you should definitely get ahold of this book.

In addition to the pics, XXX: 30 Porn-Star Portraits also features written contributions by people like John Malkovich, Lou Reed, and Gore Vidal as well as an interview of Chi Chi Larue conducted by (who else?) John Waters.

Ever-savvy HBO, seeing an opportunity for an interesting bit of programming, commissioned an hour-long documentary by Greenfield-Sanders about the creation of his book; the program was called Thinking XXX. Unusually, HBO put out a DVD of the show called Thinking XXX: Extended Cut, which featured extras, as DVDs are wont to do.

Somehow Greenfield-Sanders amusingly managed to get Lou Reed into a recording studio in order to read a whole bunch of super-nasty porn ad copy, and there’s a five-minute video on the DVD showing Reed reading the text into a microphone. (Note that Reed does not follow exemplary voiceover technique by inserting a toothpick into the side of his mouth for the entirety of the session.)

This content requires a warning, and here it comes…

More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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07.11.2017
01:30 pm
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Honda scooter ads featuring DEVO, Lou Reed, Miles Davis, Grace Jones, and Adam Ant


 
In the mid-1980s Honda had a series of quite dauntingly cool musicians hawking their scooters. They had particularly playful, sexy commercial in which Adam Ant and Grace Jones flirt with each other and then presumably fuck because they are so preposterously vital and attractive. Others featured DEVO, Berlin, Lou Reed, and Miles fucking Davis.

The Adam Ant/Grace Jones ad was “racy” enough that there was an edited version. In the full version Jones bites Ant’s ear, an act that doesn’t seem especially interesting. In any case, there was second version that trimmed the ear bite. The video below features both versions.

Were the commercials successful? I don’t know, Honda is still in business so probably, yeah. Do you know anyone who owns a Honda scooter? Hmmmmmm.
 

 
References to Reed‘s Honda commercial are inevitably rather amusing. Mick Wall in his book Lou Reed: The Life writes:
 

New Sensations was so listenable that ... it attracted the attention of an advertising agency executive, Jim Riswold, then chief copywriter for the Madison Avenue [actually Portland] giants Wieden & Kennedy. ... So he approached Lou Reed to help make an ad for Honda scooters.

At the time, Riswold recalled, “advertisers didn’t put people in commercials who had a long history of drug addiction, and of course [Lou Reed] was a man who at one time in his life was married to a man, and that man was a transvestite, so I guess you could say he wasn’t your typical spokesman. But if you looked at who we were trying to sell scooters to, it was natural. Actually, when you look back at that commercial it seems pretty damn tame today.”

Actually, at the time it just seemed plain hilarious. Lou Reed in a TV commercial? Selling scooters?

 
As Wall points out later, it was doubly weird because in the title track of New Sensations, Reed rhapsodized about a competing vehicle, the Kawasaki GPx750 Turbo motorcycle, singing that “the engine felt good between my thighs.”

Similarly, here’s Nick Kent, in the anthology Miles on Miles: Interviews and Encounters with Miles Davis:
 

America’s TV heartland has already witnessed this curious image of a man, a skinny figure with gleaming skin and what remains of his hair curling all over his shoulders: his hands grip (what else?) a trumpet, his lithe form is slouched against a small Japanese scooter, his eyes stare out at the viewer with imperious disdain. Then the voice, emanating from that shredded, node-less killing-floor of a larynx, mutters, “I ain’t here to talk about this thing, I’m here to ride it.”

 
Watch the Honda scooter commercials after the jump….....

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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05.22.2017
10:46 am
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Lou Reed, Steve Buscemi, and the death of the 90s: Maggie Estep’s cover of ‘Vicious’
04.03.2017
10:08 am
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This clip is basically the most perfect eulogy for the 90s I can ever imagine.

It is not the job of the Gen X-er to lament or to wax nostalgic. We have essentially made a generational pact to shrug our collective way to the grave. And that’s cool, but still, let us count the things that once existed in this video that are, simply, no more: viable spoken word performers, viable music videos, viable indie record labels, affordable NYC art scenes, Maggie Estep (RIP), Lou Reed (RIP). The 90s really were fucking magnificent, man.

Anyway, this spoken-word cover by poet Estep was from her second album, Love is A Dog from Hell. (Bukowski reference! Everybody loved Bukowski in the 90s!) It was directed by Steve Buscemi (!) and features a cameo from Mister Lou Reed himself. Shortly thereafter “downtown” died and so did virtually everything and everybody that you love.

Oh well, whatever. Nevermind.
 
Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Ken McIntyre
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04.03.2017
10:08 am
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Lou Reed and John Cale seize control of WPIX radio in NYC, 1979
03.20.2017
09:02 am
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Photo by Kate Simon.
 
One chilly day in January 1979, Lou Reed and John Cale visited the music station WPIX in New York City, Reed to serve as “guest disk jockey” for a stretch or so and Cale to play some songs from his live repertoire. Reed had released his live album Take No Prisoners a couple of months earlier. Cale hadn’t released a studio album since 1975, with only the compilation Guts in between, and his live album Sabotage/Live wouldn’t come out until the end of the year.

Reed arrives at the studio first and has the air to himself for a little while before Cale shows up to play his songs. It isn’t accurate to say that Reed is in a bad mood—he’s perfectly jovial and praises WPIX fulsomely—but he is simply taking no shit, very opinionated about all manner of subject, and boy, does he not like music critics, particularly Robert Christgau and John Rockwell, two prominent New York critics.

Reed fans will recall that on the very, very rambling version of “Walk on the Wild Side” found on Take No Prisoners, recorded eight months earlier, Reed complains about—guess who—Rockwell and Christgau: “Imagine working for a fuckin’ year and you got a B+ from an asshole in the Village Voice?” grouses Reed on that album. On WPIX that day, Reed is still pissed off about the music press. “It’s very sick, perverse world in the land of journalism,” he says, and later gripes about receiving a C- from Christgau (who never actually gave any Reed album a score that low but whatevs). 

Later on Reed says, “A bad review from Rolling Stone is proof to me that I’m still alive.”

During the show Reed actually takes calls from listeners—and seems to enjoy it quite a bit. There’s a great moment early on when a caller accidentally says the word “shit” and Lou has to set him straight.

Towards the end John Cale arrives and plays three songs. First up is “Jack The Ripper at the Moulin Rouge,” which was supposed to be released as a single in 1978 but never was; you can find it on Seducing Down the Door. Then Cale plays “Evidence,” best known from Sabotage/Live, and “Leaving It Up To You,” off of Helen of Troy.
 
Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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03.20.2017
09:02 am
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‘Street Hassle’: When Lou Reed met Bruce Springsteen
03.09.2017
04:53 pm
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For his 1978 Street Hassle album, Lou Reed became the first major artist to produce an album using the “Binaural” sound recording system, a two-channel 3-D stereo technology that utilized microphones embedded into a wig dummy’s ears. The placement of the mics roughly approximates the position and distance between the average person’s ears.

Binaural albums can be played on standard record players, but need to be heard over headphones and not speakers as the effect (like you are “live” in the room with the musicians) is less impressive (not heard at all) when played on speakers. A typical effect achieved by a binaural recording might be the sound of a box of matches being shaken, first in one ear, then the other. With headphones the effect can be quite startling—you’ll hear the shaking matches as they travel around your head, it’s pretty vivid—but it needn’t be that gimmicky.

Probably the best song to really hear what they were going for is Street Hassle‘s epic 11-minute-long title suite, a shocking three-part monolog/tone poem during which a woman hires a hustler, a drug dealer gives a guy some particularly blunt advice about what to do with his dead “old lady” and then the final part, which has an uncredited Bruce Springsteen (who, sadly for Reed, was in a legal dispute at the time and needed to remain at least somewhat incognito) doing a very effective low-key mumbled rap that more than hints at whose voice you are listening to, despite the lack of acknowledgement in the liner notes:

Well hey, man, that’s just a lie
It’s a lie she tells her friends
‘Cause the real song, the real song
Where she won’t even admit to herself
The beatin’ in her heart
It’s a song lots of people know
It’s a painful song
A little sad truth
But life’s full of sad songs
A penny for a wish
But wishin’ won’t make you a soldier
With a pretty kiss for a pretty face
Can’t have its way
Y’know tramps like us, we were born to pay

On Reed’s live Animal Serenade album, he tells the audience: “I wanted to write a song that had a great monolog set to rock. Something that could have been written by William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, John Rechy, Tennessee Williams, Nelson Algren, maybe a little Raymond Chandler. You mix it all up and you have Street Hassle.”

Reed knew Steven Van Zandt and heard that Springsteen was recording at the Record Planet. Springsteen read the part twice and both he and Reed were pleased with the result. Reed later explained how the collaboration came to be:

“Bruce Springsteen was mixing in the studio below us and I thought, ‘How fortuitous’, People expect me to badmouth him because he’s from New Jersey but I think he’s really fabulous. He did the part so well that I had to bury him in the mix. I knew Bruce would take that recitation seriously because he really is of the street, you know.”

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.09.2017
04:53 pm
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Lou Reed’s speedfreak symphony: ‘Metal Machine Music’ and me
03.02.2017
11:39 am
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Today would have been the 75th birthday of Lewis Allan Reed and to mark this occasion, I wanted to rerun one of my favorite posts about him. This is from the Dangerous Minds archives and originally appeared on January 2, 2011 under the title “Lou Reed’s Metal Music Music and Me.” I know that Lou Reed read this as I was asked to write an essay for the program of a “Metal Machine Museum” audio installation at Cal State Long Beach. Apparently Lou also read this post and I was subsequently dropped from the project!

When I was a 10-year-old boy, in 1976, I read a review of Lou Reed’s then new-ish album, Metal Machine Music written by the great Lester Bangs in what was probably the very first issue of CREEM magazine that my innocent, unsuspecting and very religious mother ever bought for me:

When you wake up in the morning with the worst hangover of your life, Metal Machine Music is the best medicine. Because when you first arise you’re probably so fucked (i.e., still drunk) that is doesn’t even really hurt yet (not like it’s going to), so you should put this album on immediately, not only to clear all the crap out of your head, but to prepare you for what’s in store the rest of the day.

Speaking of clearing out crap, I once had this friend who would say, “I take acid at least every two months & JUST BLOW ALL THE BAD SHIT OUTA MY BRAIN!” So I say the same thing about MMM. Except I take it about once a day, like vitamins.

Here’s a link to Bang’s entire essay. As you read it, just try to imagine what a precociously deviant 10-year-old kid made of it. Even if I really didn’t know exactly what Bangs was talking about, of course, this sounded like something I really wanted to get in on. The vague promise of some sort of “aural high” or sonic sensory derangement seemed very, very attractive to me, especially since there was virtually no way I was going to be able to get my hands on any real drugs at that age.

As luck—or Satan himself personally intervening on my behalf—would have it, the very next week I found a copy of Metal Machine Music on 8-track tape for 99 cents in a cut-out bin at a crappy Hills department store in my hometown of Wheeling, WV. (I still have it, it may indeed be the oldest surviving personal possession of mine. I’d never part with it.)
 

 
Metal Machine Music has been described as sounding like “the tubular groaning of a galactic refrigerator” by Rolling Stone. The Trouser Press said it was “unlistenable oscillator noise (a description, not a value judgment).” Most people have never even sampled the album and few have listened to it all the way through. Not me! I listened to this sucker over and over and over again, with headphones I might add, in an effort to, I guess, mostly just try to understand it, or to get to the bottom of what Reed was trying to communicate. (In my defense, I will remind readers that I was ten at the time.)

It’s such a curious beastie, this Metal Machine Music. For a child with rapidly solidifying tastes—by the sixth grade, I promise you was I was an inveterate rock snob—this was a conundrum worthy of further, and deep, investigation, I felt. If Lester Bangs liked it that much, it had to be great, right? (Right?) There was also, as I was saying, the naive notion I had that it might be somehow psychoactive, or aid in blowing all the bad shit out of MY brain. (Here’s another quote from the Bangs piece that I know must’ve piqued my interest: “I have been told that Lou’s recordings, but most specifically this item, have become a kind of secret cult among teenage mental institution inmates all across the nation. I have been told further that those adolescents who have been subjected to electroshock therapy enjoy a particular affinity for MMM, that it reportedly “soothes their nerves,” and is ultimately a kind of anthem.”).

Who the fuck knows WHAT made me listen to the wailing wall of sound that is MMM over and over and over again at the age of ten? But listen to it I did. Repeatedly.
 

 
There is one factor, unique to me I suppose, worth mentioning in this context, that probably made MMM a bit more palatable to me: My father toiled for nearly his entire working life at the central switching office at the C&P Telephone Company (part of the Bell system, before it got broken up in the anti-trust court). On the floor where he worked, there were hundreds of 12 ft high banks of humming and clicking electronic circuitry, I’m talking wall upon wall of this sort of machinery, but it was all “open” and sitting on, and bolted to, industrial metal shelves. There was no casing around much of it to dampen the sound. Think of a library (in terms of how it was physically laid out), but full of the noisy, chattering circuits and switchers that made the old analog telephone system work (This machinery is what put the old school telephone operators—my mother was one—who connected your calls out of business in the 1960s, basically. I’m sure it’s all been 100% replaced by now with a waist-high rack of servers run by a small IT department).

The gear there chattered like robotic crickets and cicadas. It also reminded me of the soundtrack to Forbidden Planet, the sci-fi classic seen often on late-night television in the 70s. Precisely because there were so many of these clicking, whirling, industrious little diodes and circuits, they made a particular “music” that wasn’t as harsh sounding as you might expect. It actually sounded kind of cool. Had I not had the experience of spending so much of my childhood in that office, I’m sure that MMM would have been much harder for me to take. The point of this digression is that I had some sort of a reference point that made MMM sound much less foreign to my ears than it would have otherwise: It sounded like my dad’s office.

Here’s a question: Have you, dear reader, ever actually heard Metal Machine Music yourself? Most people haven’t, but then again, where would they have heard it? And equally important why? It was probably never played on the radio (except by smart-ass college DJs), probably has never been played at a discotheque (except by a particularly spiteful DJ) and unless the host wants to clear the place out, it’s probably never been played for any other reason at a party, either.

Perhaps the best way to approach MMM as a listener is to simply take Lou Reed himself at his word about the project, from the original liner notes. In them, he spells out quite openly what MMM is supposed to be, and what his goals were for the piece, but few reviewers or fans at the time would have had ANY idea of what he was talking about. Try this on for size:

“Passion—REALISM—realism was the key. The records were letters. Real letters from me to certain other people. Who had and still have basically, no music, be it verbal or instrumental to listen to. One of the peripheral effects typically distorted was what was to be known as heavy metal rock. In Reality it was of course diffuse, obtuse, weak, boring and ultimately an embarrassment. This record is not for parties/dancing/background romance. This is what I meant by “real” rock, about “real” things. No one I know has listened to it all the way through including myself. It is not meant to be. Start any place you like. Symmetry, mathematical precision, obsessive and detailed accuracy and the vast advantage one has over “modern electronic composers.” They, with neither sense of time, melody or emotion, manipulated or no. It’s for a certain time and place of mind. It is the only recorded work I know of seriously done as well as possible as a gift, if one could call it that, from a part of certain head to a few others. Most of you won’t like this and I don’t blame you at all. It’s not meant for you. At the very least I made it so I had something to listen to. Certainly Misunderstood: Power to Consume (how Bathetic): an idea done respectfully, intelligently, sympathetically and graciously, always with concentration on the first and foremost goal. For that matter, off the record, I love and adore it. I’m sorry, but not especially, if it turns you off.

One record for us and it. I’d harbored hope that the intelligence that once inhabited novels or films would ingest rock, I was, perhaps, wrong. This is the reason Sally Can’t Dance—your Rock n Roll Animal. More than a decent try, but hard for us to do badly. Wrong media, unquestionably. This is not meant fo the market. The agreement one makes with “speed”. A specific acknowledgment. A to say the least, very limited market. Rock n Roll Animal makes this possible, funnily enough. The misrepresentation succeeds to the point of making possible the appearance of the progenitor. For those for whom the needle is no more than a toothbrush. Professionals, no sniffers please, don’t confuse superiority (no competition) with violence, power or the justifications. The Tacit speed agreement with Self. We did not start World War I, II or III. Or the Bay of Pigs, for that Matter. Whenever. As way of disclaimer. I am forced to say that, due to stimulation of various centers (remember OOOOHHHMMM, etc.), the possible negative contraindications must be pointed out. A record has to, of all things Anyway, hypertense people, etc. possibility of epilepsy (petit mal), psychic motor disorders, etc… etc… etc.

My week beats your year.”—Lou Reed

In prose that would be quite obtuse to most people, but plain enough perhaps for his fellow speed-freaks, Lou lays out exactly what he was trying to do: make music that mirrored the physiological experience of having methamphetamine course through your nervous system. Metal Machine Music is even subtitled, “The Amine β Ring,” in case there are any doubters that this was conceived to be a speedfreak symphony.
 
More ‘Metal Machine Music’ after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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03.02.2017
11:39 am
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Jimmy Page and the Yardbirds cover the Velvet Underground in 1968
03.02.2017
09:18 am
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In honor of what would have been Lou Reed’s 75th birthday, here’s the Yardbirds covering the Velvet Underground in 1968.

You may recall that Michelangelo Antonioni considered the Velvet Underground for the club scene in Blow-Up before choosing the Yardbirds, but the connection between the two bands does not end there. As I learn from Richie Unterberger, the Yardbirds’ last lineup—the one with Jimmy Page on lead guitar—had “I’m Waiting for the Man” in its repertoire. A recording survives from the May 31, 1968 gig at the Shrine Exposition Hall in Los Angeles, one of the Yardbirds’ final shows.
 

 
“I’m Waiting for the Man” was a forward-looking selection in May ‘68. John Cale was still in the VU; White Light/White Heat had been out for a few months, The Velvet Underground & Nico about a year. Yardbird Chris Dreja, who remembers “hanging out with Andy Warhol at The Factory” on the Yardbirds’ first US tour, suggests the cover was Page’s idea. As a session musician and arranger, Page had worked on Nico’s 1965 debut single “I’m Not Sayin’,” whose B-side, “The Last Mile,” he co-wrote with Andrew Loog Oldham. The following year, as Unterberger points out, the Yardbirds and the VU both played at Detroit’s Carnaby Street Fun Festival.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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03.02.2017
09:18 am
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Lou Reed and John Cale’s soundtrack to Andy Warhol’s ‘Hedy,’ 1966


Andy Warhol and Mario Montez filming Hedy (via Continuo)
 
On the night of January 27, 1966, the actress Hedy Lamarr was arrested for stealing $86 worth of merchandise from the May Company department store in Los Angeles. She was not driven to crime by a condition of need: police told reporters she had $14,000 in checks when she was arrested.

Andy Warhol and screenwriter Ronald Tavel knew a good story when they saw one, and Hedy (1966)—with Lupe and More Milk, Yvette, part of the “Hollywood trilogy” about movie actresses Warhol made that year—advanced down the Factory’s film production line. The lovely Mario Montez starred in the title role, while on the soundtrack, Lou Reed and John Cale dramatized Hedy’s inner life with an ominous, bottomless noise.
 

via Toronto International Film Festival
 
Richie Unterberger’s authoritative White Light/White Heat: The Velvet Underground Day by Day files the Hedy soundtrack under February 1966:

Only Lou Reed and John Cale are heard on the soundtrack to Hedy, a Warhol film inspired by press reports of the arrest for shoplifting of 30s and 40s actor Hedy Lamarr. None of the Velvets appear in the film, but the cast does include the two most celebrated dancers of the Exploding Plastic Inevitable – Gerard Malanga and Factory newcomer Mary Woronov – as well as another EPI dancer, Ingrid Superstar, and Cale’s old friend Jack Smith.

The Hedy score is closer in spirit to the avant-garde recordings Cale and Angus MacLise appeared on during 1963-1965 than anything The Velvet Underground are currently playing. The music builds around an instrumental storm of shrieking, rumbling viola, guitar, and a rickety piano that sounds like it hasn’t been played since doing time in a 19th century saloon, while Cale’s ‘thunder machine’ – the sound made by the head of a Vox Super Beatle amp being dropped on the floor – occasionally cuts through everything else with hair-raising, high pitch bursts of feedback. This might be the closest approximation of how the nascent Velvet Underground sounded when they played, with Angus MacLise, behind the screen at Piero Heliczer’s ‘happenings,’ but those days are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.

Hear ‘Hedy’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.22.2016
08:45 am
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Blondie, Lou Reed, David Bowie, Andy Warhol & more rendered in gorgeous knitwear


Blondie ‘Rapture’ sweater by Mary Adams.
 
I think it’s safe to say that for many people Lou Reed’s 1972 album Transformer was a life changing kind of record.Transformer was very much influenced by Reed’s life changing relationship with Andy Warhol. Warhol even directly inspired one of Transformer‘s best numbers, “Vicious.” According to Reed Andy had requested that he pen a tune about a “vicious” kind of person. When Reed asked Warhol to clarify his request, Andy responded by saying “Oh, you know, like I hit you with a flower.” Reed wrote Andy’s response down verbatim and the lyric “You hit me with a flower” would become part of the song.

When it comes to the influence that Transformer had on Mary Adams, the wildly talented clothing designer and sweater maker whose work is featured in this post, we can look to the iconic cover of the album that features an out-of-focus photograph of Reed taken by Mick Rock. One of the first sweaters Adams ever made was based on Rock’s photograph and her obsession with Reed would lead her to create an entire line of high-end knitwear inspired by the pioneering musician. In fact Adams’ company Small Town Girl took its name from lyrics to a song found on Reed’s much vilified collaboration with Metallica, 2011’s Lulu, “Brandenburg Gate.” Adams got her start working as a seamstress and costume designer for The Royal Canadian Ballet and Opera as well was what was likely another influential experience for her—a dreamy souding gig as the “wardrobe mistress” for the original Rocky Horror Show stage production in Australia in 1975. When she wasn’t busy doing that, she was regularly selling her sweaters at the popular outdoor Paddington Market in Sydney.

Many of Adams’ designs feature pop art images, some of which are derived from famous works by Andy Warhol who is also nicely represented on much of Adams’ knitwear. Other notable wooly famous faces include Reed’s wife Laurie Anderson, Transformer‘s producer David Bowie, Liza Minnelli, the recently departed Leonard Cohen, and Patti Smith. I’m not exactly going out on a limb here by describing Adams’ work as exquisite. She and her collaborators hand loom each sweater using pure Australian wool and then each piece is finished by Adams by hand. So it’s not hard to understand why her wearable works of art will run you anywhere from $45 for a head scarf to $470 for a Blondie “Eat to the Beat”-themed sweater which you can see below. If after checking out the images in this post you are filled with a strong desire to have one of your own, more information on how to do that is available on Adams’ Small Town Girl website.
 

‘Lou Reed’ sweater coat.
 

David Bowie ‘Ziggy Stardust’ sweater.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.16.2016
01:58 pm
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Sad-looking Lou Reed sweater is sad because it costs $2,730
12.08.2016
01:10 pm
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A spendy sweater made by LA-based company Enfants Riches Déprimés
 
And yes, I do realize that this image of Lou Reed is taken from the cover of his 1972 album Transformer however, you really can’t deny that Reed looks rather sad to be a part of a sweater that costs more than most monthly mortgage payments. You might call it, at $2,730, a “steal.”

In fact when you translate the name of the LA-based company that makes the garment Enfants Riches Déprimés from French to English it becomes “Depressed Rich Kids.” Which further reinforces the appearance of despair on poor Lou’s 100% merino wool face, don’t it? If the Lou sweater is a bit too spendy for you, then the same image also appears on a coat from les Enfants that will run you (just) a cool $1,160.

The Enfants Riches Déprimés brand is wildly popular with young Hollywood types whose parents pay all their bills.

Their customer base routinely shell out all kind of ridiculous cash for t-shirts complete with holes that cost $378, and jackets like this one named for Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye that retails for $800. Speaking of being depressed, Enfants even makes a $7000 cashmere noose which while posh enough for the jet-set to use to end it all, isn’t likely to be strong enough to use to actually hang yourself with. Too bad.
 

‘Lou Reed’ coat.
 

An image of the $7000 cashmere noose by Enfants Riches Déprimés .

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cranky Lou Reed interview from 1975 is full of hilariously nasty gems
Lou Reed’s sweet side: Behind the scenes of the ‘Transformer’ documentary

Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.08.2016
01:10 pm
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Sucking on a ding-dong (for twelve minutes): The blowjob edit of ‘Sister Ray’
07.26.2016
10:37 am
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This twelve-and-a-half minute edit of the Velvet Underground’s classic “Sister Ray” distills the entirety of that song to one of its more memorable lines: “Too busy sucking on a ding dong/She’s busy sucking on my ding dong.”

The seventeen minute one-riff wonder was conceived on a train ride home from a bad gig, and in its recorded form it takes up most of side two of White Light/White Heat. Its lyrics comprise a laundry list of debauchery in which a handful of drag queens and sailors score and take drugs. Someone gets shot, someone else gets a blowjob, and the cops show up. It’s undiluted insanity, and some of the most glorious noise the ‘60s ever produced. Per V.U. singer/honcho Lou Reed, quoted by biographer Victor Bockris in Up-Tight: The Velvet Underground Story:

When it came to putting the music to it, it had to be spontaneous. The jam came about right there in the studio. We didn’t use any splices or anything. I had been listening to a lot of Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman, and wanted to get something like that with a rock & roll feeling. When we did “Sister Ray”, we turned up to ten flat out, leakage all over the place. That’s it. They asked us what we were going to do. We said “We’re going to start.” They said “Who’s playing bass?” We said “There is no bass.” They asked us when it ends. We didn’t know. When it ends, that’s when it ends.

Since the improvised song, minus solo breaks, is basically one riff, the “Ding Dong” edit is hardly distinguishable from the original if you’ve got it going in the background, which won my laugh. Also, I must note that “Smack Daniels,” the YouTube user who uploaded (and presumably made) this unleashed it to the world in early November of 2013, shortly after Lou Reed died. There were a lot of extremely weird tributes to the man—which of course is perfectly fitting—but I think this one kind of wins, and I wish I knew about it when it was new.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Lou Believers’: Sonic Youth in the weirdest Lou Reed ‘tribute’ you’ll ever see
Cranky Lou Reed interview from 1975 is full of hilariously nasty gems
Lou Reed and Brian Eno, together at last: it’s ‘Metal Machine Music For Airports’

Posted by Ron Kretsch
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07.26.2016
10:37 am
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‘The biggest thing since World War III’: Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, and Iggy Pop talk ‘Rock and Rule’
04.12.2016
12:25 pm
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The 1983 animated rock and roll movie Rock and Rule was a failure at the box office but found its audience on cable TV a couple years later. Produced by the Canadian animation studio Nelvana, the movie is a sci-fi rock and roll allegory between good and evil, pitting a rock band of cute mutants called the Drats against an ageing, Mephistophelian rock star/sorcerer named Mok who is intent on securing a special voice capable of unleashing a powerful demon from another dimension who will make Mok immortal. Rock and Rule had a similar look and feel to Heavy Metal, which came out in 1981.

Heavy Metal, true to its title, used music by Blue Öyster Cult, Journey, Grand Funk Railroad, Nazareth, Sammy Hagar, and, er, Donald Fagen, and similarly, Rock and Rule benefited from the contributions of Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire as well as Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, and Chris Stein and Debbie Harry of Blondie.

Nelvana released a 25-minute promo documentary about the making of the movie.  “Making of” documentaries of animated movies always have the potential to be dreadfully dull (due to the exacting and painstaking process involved), but in this case, since the subject matter of the movie is so much about rock and roll itself, it’s only appropriate to feature a lot of interviews with the musicians, which is the strategy adopted here.

Interestingly, both Maurice White and Chris Stein separately offer the perspective that they like writing music for movies because the overall artistic direction is already decided. Producer Michael Hirsh notes that Debbie Harry and Chris Stein were good choices as musical contributors because it was so exceedingly likely that they would give so much of themselves to the project.

Lou Reed, composer and singer of “My Name Is Mok,” had this to say about the movie’s heavy:
 

I felt very positive towards Mok because there are many things to work with, with him, I could identfy with him up to a point, but he was—the way he looked, the things he said, the kind of things he believed in, there were a lot of ways I could relate to that, and even though I don’t necessarily think that way I could really bite into his character and become that way with him, you know, and make him live and breathe like a real person.

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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04.12.2016
12:25 pm
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High-end plush dolls of Frank Zappa, Robert Smith, Kraftwerk, Jim Jarmusch & more, that you NEED!

Kraftwerk plush dolls by Uriel Valentin
Kraftwerk plush dolls by Uriel Valentin

Uriel Valentin is the talented Argentinian-based doll maker and artist behind a massive line of plush, hand-painted dolls that are about to send you running for your credit card. I often blog about these kinds of collectibles here on Dangerous Minds but didn’t know until today how much I needed a plush Robert Smith doll clad in look-alike pajamas like the ones that he wore in the 1989 video for “Lullaby.” Did you?
 
Robert Smith of The Cure in his Lullabye pajamas
Robert Smith of The Cure in his “Lullaby” PJs
 
Frank Zappa plush doll by Uriel Valentin
Frank Zappa in his iconic “PIPCO” shirt.
 
Among the illustrious and eclectic inhabitants of Valentin’s cool world are plush versions of everyone from famous punks like Elvis Costello, director Jim Jarmusch, Charlotte Gainsbourg (covered in blood clutching the disemboweled fox from Antichrist), Andy Warhol and Jean Basquiat (wearing boxing gloves and attire no less, as in the poster for their 1985 collaboration), Iron Maiden’s “Eddie” (as well as Maiden bassist Steve Harris, squeee!), two delightful versions of Robert Smith of The Cure and every member of fucking KRAFTWERK.

Valentin’s figures stand about fourteen inches tall, are hand-painted and sealed with a transparent acrylic varnish, and have wire inside of them so they are able to be put into posed positions. I’ve included over 40 (!) images of Valentin’s dolls for you to digest after the jump that will run you around $100 (including international shipping). The talented Argentinian also does custom orders (which are $115) - contact him via his Flickr page for more information.
 
Jim Jarmusch
Jim Jarmusch
 
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from the 1962 film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford from the 1962 film, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
 
Hedwig (played by actor James Cameron Mitchell in the film and play Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
Hedwig as played by actor James Cameron Mitchell from Hedwig and the Angry Inch)
 
Way more of these amazing handmade dolls after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.09.2015
10:39 am
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Velvet paintings of Divine, Die Antwoord, Lou Reed and others (& I want them ALL!)

Die Antwoord velvet painting
Die Antwoord velvet painting
 
Today I have pulled together a post that features a pretty solid collection of highly desirable velvet paintings from a cast of characters that runs the gamut from pop culture phenoms such as Weekly World News cave-dwelling poster child, Bat Boy, to the bad-ass South African duo, Die Antwoord. How’s that sound to ya’?
 
Divine black velvet painting
Divine (as Babs Johnson in Pink Flamingos)
 
Most of the paintings I’ve featured can be had for a couple of hundred bucks or so. Could there possibly be anything cooler than a slightly inception-esque velvet painting of the Velvet Underground’s Lou Reed by artist Diane Bombshelter? Probably not. But I’ll let you dear DM readers be the judge of that.

If while scrolling through this post you find the next thing you never knew you couldn’t live without, most (with the exception of Lou Reed and Morrissey) can be obtained by way of Ebay or Etsy.
 
Lou Reed black velvet painting by Diane Bombshelter
Lou Reed black velvet painting by Diane Bombshelter
 
Bat Boy velvet painting
Bat Boy
 
Robin Williams velvet painting
Robin Williams (RIP) as Mork (from the TV series Mork & Mindy)
 
More after the jump…
 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.20.2015
10:17 am
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