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When the legendary Hipgnosis did fashion shoots for ‘classy’ porn mag Club International (NSFW)

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It’s a fair bet that a large part of many (most?) record collections includes a good percentage of covers by the legendary London-based graphic designers Hipgnosis.

Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell who were the original founders of Hipgnosis turned out a massive array of iconic designs for bands as different as Pink Floyd (who had been the first band to commission the duo), T.Rex, Hawkwind, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, 10CC, Wings, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Jon Anderson, Depeche Mode, XTC, ABC, Megadeth, and even the England’s former poet laureate John Betjeman.

Apart from album covers, Hipgnosis also designed a series of fashion spreads for the softcore porn mag Club International and its more hardcore American edition Club.

Club International was founded by porn supremo Paul Raymond, who ran the legendary strip club the Raymond Revuebar in London’s seedy Soho district and a series of best-selling porn mags. Under its first editor Tony Power, Club International was intended as a high-quality adult entertainment magazine mixing the best of writers with the finest photographers and designers.

Hipgnosis was hired to add a classy touch to the magazine’s fashion spreads. The gig allowed Thorgerson and Powell to try-out a few ideas which they would later re-use on album covers—the flasher who would reappear on Pink Floyd’s A Nice Pair, for instance, while the water-in-the-face shots would feature on Peter Frampton’s Something’s Happened. See more Hipgnosis glorious work here.
 
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See more of Hipgnosis’ fashion work for Club International, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.20.2017
12:55 pm
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Get your very own David Bowie life mask
09.20.2017
12:52 pm
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David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve in ‘The Hunger’
 
Before the advent of photography as a widespread practice available to common citizens, it was not unusual to take casts of the faces of prominent personages in the moments after death. For those who had logged noteworthy accomplishments, it was a way to fix the memory of that person, to remind one of his (seldom her) reality. A quick round of Googling reveals the existence of death masks of such well-known folks as Abraham Lincoln, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Napoleon, Ludwig van Beethoven, Benjamin Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin), Martin Luther, Richard Wagner, and Isaac Newton.

Once you hit the mature years of the 20th century, death masks become far rarer. For some reason there is one for James Dean, and Nazis are statistically overrepresented in the group, there being death masks for Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler, and Erwin Rommel. It’s not a thing we do anymore. In the age of Facebook, even un-famous people are often photographed incessantly, so the need is not as pressing to fix our memory of a person’s visual appearance. There’s always plenty of pictures out there!

To the best of my knowledge, there never was a death mask taken of the distinctive visage of David Bowie, but a “life mask” was taken, during the making of Tony Scott’s moody vampire flick The Hunger. In one point in The Hunger, the vampire John Blaylock rapidly ages several decades, so it was necessary to depict Bowie as an old man. Rather than subject Bowie to extra makeup sessions, the life mask was taken to make life easier for Dick Smith, in charge of makeup effects for the movie.
 

 
The process of making “old Bowie” is documented in Anthony Timpone’s Men, Makeup, and Monsters: Hollywood’s Masters of Illusion and FX, of which a relevant page is shown above.

At the risk of being called morbid, it would certainly be an apt sign of devotion to have a casting of Bowie’s life mask in your living room, and just such a possibility is currently being provided by Kirstie Hewer of Classic Castings, located in Warwickshire, England. They are made from plaster of Paris and come in white, silver, and copper as well as an iconic Aladdin Sane face paint version. The price for the single-color version is £40; the Aladdin Sane one is £60 (shipping in the U.K. is £6.50; international £30).
 

 

 
More looks at the Bowie masks after the jump…....
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.20.2017
12:52 pm
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Jesus appears on designer shower curtains as Satan, a surfer, his holiness Tom Waits & MORE!
09.20.2017
09:52 am
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The lord and savior, Tom Waits, striking a Christ-like pose on a shower curtain by artist Hilan Can. The bible held by Waits contains lyrics from the musician’s 2004 single, “Dead and Lovely”
 
Sometimes one is fortunate enough to do what they have always wanted to do for a living—and I am living proof of that. Lots of people utter the phrase “thank god” without actually giving the words a second thought beyond using it as a mere expression. By the way, I’m one of those people, and though I wasn’t raised in an non-believing home, I’m pretty convinced that some unseen, unknown deity was not responsible for the creation of this world, nor should said (probably) non-existent deity be personally thanked when you achieve a goal, win a Grammy or dodge a bullet in the game of Russian roulette that is life. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I love my job—regardless if I’m writing about Iggy Pop doing coke while in rehab or in this case, fancy shower curtains with various, strange depictions of Jesus Christ emblazened on them. AMEN!

If you have been reading Dangerous Minds for a while, then you’ve been personally hipped to an obsession that I share with DM’s own Tara McGinley that concerns our preoccupation with designer shower curtains. To prove my point, I will tell you that just today I was looking for yet another new curtain for my bathroom (I need a support group, it’s true). Then I came across a curtain featuring Slim Jim spokesperson/one of the greatest WWE wrestlers of all time, Randy “Macho Man” Savage flying through the air about to land a perfect “big elbow” to the back of Jesus’ head. I do remember that particular image was a huge Internet meme following Savage’s passing in 2011 in a tragic car crash. Even in death, Macho wasn’t having any of it, not even when he arrived at Jesus’ nifty cloud house. Anyway, the discovery of that epic shower curtain led me to immediately pursue the availability of other alarming bathroom necessities that incorporated images of the Son o’ God in ways that most of us have never considered. All I can say is this—there is a blacklight shower curtain in this post of Jesus with a third eye and blood dripping from his other eyes. That’s all. No big deal. Some of the images below are NSFW.
 

Jesus as an astronaut, a more believable scenario than other stuff I’ve heard. Get it here.
 

The mythical Randy “Macho Man” Savage vs. Jesus shower curtain. Get it here.
 

The equally mythical blacklight Jesus shower curtain. Bong and VHS copy of ‘The Song Remains the Same’ not included.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.20.2017
09:52 am
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Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!

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Here’s a drink ticket—enjoy the post!

“If you’ve been standing here for more than ten minutes you’re not coming in” announces Richard Boch in a stern but cute, almost teenaged stoner way. Don’t get me wrong, he means it. This was how “normal people” were greeted much of the time at the door of the Mudd Club (and many other ultra hip clubs in New York City at the time). This made getting in a huge badge of honor and being turned away a major disgrace. Imagine riding on THAT possibility just to pay to go into a nightclub? An anonymous “sniper” refused entrance once even hit Boch with a dead pigeon from a few yards away and sped off in a taxi cab!

Back then these normal people showing up at Manhattan nightclubs were mostly referred to as the “bridge and tunnel” crowd (Queens, Jersey, Brooklyn) a term not heard much these days, but once heard hundreds of times every night in NYC clubs. Some were 9-5ers, some wealthy disco-types expecting to stroll in on the doorman’s view of their Rolex or hot girlfriend. These regular folks were basically told to cool their heels or fuck off while an 18-year-old kid like me dressed to the hilt in what may have looked to them like idiotic rags, parted the seas and strolled in like I was Mick Jagger. This was not Studio 54 as they would find out soon enough. What it was, though, was a trip into known and unknown galaxies of hip culture throughout history, like a living, breathing museum/funhouse/drug den/concert hall/discotheque, mixed with nitroglycerine and LSD and thrown into a blender to create the unknown. The future. THE NOW!

The Mudd Club was almost literally unbelievable. Inmates running the asylum on an outer space pirate ship. This vessel was founded, funded and schemed by Steve Mass, who was on every side of the street all at once. When I first met Steve, he was roommates with Brian Eno and got that input, but he STILL drove me out to my parents’ apartment in Queens to help pull my record collection from under my bed, my parents shrugging their shoulders until reading about us a year later in the New York Times, thereby making it “Okay.” But really he was always very curious, constantly grilling me, getting inside my head. I once told him I thought he should round off the corners and ceiling of the Mudd Club like a giant cave and have live bats flying around the club. He actually considered it! He did this with certain other kids, rock stars, Warhol superstars, models, designers, Hollywood royalty, junkies, freaks and lord knows who else. We all had a bit of our heart and soul in that place.
 
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Mudd Club owner Steve Mass. Photo by Kate Simon

The above mentioned Richard Boch is the author of a incredibly well-written new book from Feral House titled The Mudd Club. Boch was the main doorman there and the book is his autobiography or a coming of age story told in pretty much the aftermath of the glorious Sixties during the truly, in retrospect, harsh, dark, real version of what was hoped for, but lost in that previous decade. Richard’s story is all of our stories, those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to have grown up or wound up in New York City’s grimy punk/art/drugged musical and historical mish-mosh. It was the Velvet Underground’s songs come to life after waiting a decade for the world to catch up to it, or crumble to its level.
 
To quote Richard:

I’ve always referred to the Mudd Club as the scene of the crime, always meant as a term of endearment. It was the night that never ended: the day before never happened and the day after, a long way off. There was nothing else like it and I wound up right in the middle. I thought I could handle it and for a while, I did.

 
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Author Richard Boch. Photo by Alan Kleinberg
 
Boch was given marching orders orders early on to avoid bloated seventies superstars and the limo crowd. On one of his first nights of work he was faced with a huge, loud, and very sweaty Meatloaf. “Definitely not something I wanted to get close to, physically or musically,” Boch says, and ignored him. My first ever DJ gig was early on at the Mudd Club and I was told told by Steve Mass to do things like play Alvin and The Chipmunks records when it got a bit crowded, to “make everyone uncomfortable,” including myself. Of course I had the record. I also gouged a 45 with scissors insuring the record would skip horribly and then pretend that it wasn’t happening. Just long enough to get the asylum to freak out a little bit.

Later this stuff went out the window but it was quite a formative experience. Humor filtered through even to the most deadly serious moments there. The Mudd Club was a place where twenty people could literally have had twenty different experiences on the same night during the same hour as there was just so much happening on different mental/pharmaceutical levels and different floor levels. Everywhere you turned there was someone amazing. From the way I had grown up, seeing Andy Warhol, John Waters, David Bowie and the Ramones within a twenty minute span was “my” Studio 54. Watching Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while standing next to Jean-Michel Basquiat, seeing the Soft Boys, girl groups like the Angels and the Crystals, Frank Zappa, Bauhaus, Nico, the Dead Boys, Captain Beefheart, John Cale, a Radley Metzger film presented by Sleazoid Express or an impromptu freakout by Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, well this was my dream come to life!

My dream hasn’t changed in 40 years. I’m still in awe that it happened. And in the middle of all that I was allowed to put on my own demented conceptual events with friends (“The Puberty Ball,” etc.) and be a regular DJ. The people I came to know in the punk world who wanted more found it at the Mudd Club. Our mad obsession with the Sixties, especially the Warhol/New York sixties, informed much of what we did, and at the same time the Warhol Factory itself became more corporate. The Superstars were by then getting older and pushed out, but they were looking for more themselves, and they were looking to us to inform them, making for some extremely insane morality and immorality plays coming to life before our eyes. Mudd had the pull of what the press called “downtown,” and for the downtown types, well our voices were about to be heard loud and clear.
 
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David Bowie and Dee Dee Ramone. Photo by Bobby Grossman
 
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Howie Pyro deejaying at Mudd

Richard Boch understood all this, and was also an artist himself so he knew who everyone in the art world was, as well as all the new punk stars and celebutantes, no wavers, new wavers, culture vulture gods and the ones who would become gods themselves in a year or so. In the book he talks about being nervous about starting working there but man, he was the one for the job. In the pages of The Mudd Club, Boch’s quite candid about everything you’d want to know (gossip but not mean gossip: sex, drugs, more drugs, and getting home at ten AM, having done every drug and a half dozen people along the way—normal stuff like that). It reads in one, two, or three page sections, my favorite kind of book. You can put it down in ten-minute intervals or read it in any order you want, IF you can put it down at all. I have literally read certain sections backwards for 40-50 pages while looking for something and didn’t really notice. It made me laugh out loud, and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s kind of like “Please Kill Me, the Day After,” though it’s not an oral history as such, as it is written from Richard Boch’s point of view, but it has the same immediate anecdotal feel.
 
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‘TV Party’ at Mudd. Photo by Bob Gruen
 
The club’s benevolent benefactor, Steve Mass, was responsible for making this incredible witches brew keep bubbling and kept the happenings happening. He was willing to do anything, just for the sake of doing it. Steve originally owned an ambulance service. For my 19th birthday they had a huge party for me on the second floor of the Mudd Club. Since Steve had medical connections, and since we were ALL junkies (well, a good 85% of us were), he furnished a massive cake with dozens of syringes with the plungers & needles removed so they could put the candles in the open syringes. This of course turned into a massive cake fight with the participants looking like the Little Rascals (with pinned eyes). Steve was always down for this sorta stuff. As for the main floor, the bands, writers and performers that I saw in a single month’s time was staggering! More than some people see in a lifetime.
 
From the book:

January 1979. The Cramps freaked out The Mudd Club with a loud Psychobilly grind that included such hits as “Human Fly” and “Surfin’ Bird.” A few months later, the “big names” started to appear…

He goes on to say:

The legendary Sam and Dave got onstage a few weekends later, and it was the first time on my watch that I got to see the real deal. By late summer, Talking Heads took the stage while Marianne Faithful, X, Lene Lovich, and the Brides of Funkenstein waited in the wings.

There were so many great performances: Scheduled, impromptu, logical and out of left field. The locals and the regulars were the staple and the stable and performed as part of the White Street experience. They included everyone you could imagine and some you never could. John Cale, Chris Spedding, Judy Nylon and Nico, John Lurie and Philip Glass were just a few. Writers and poets such as William S. Burroughs, Max Blagg, Cookie Mueller, and “Teenage Jesus” Lydia Lunch all wound up on the Mudd Club stage. The talent pool was so deep and occasionally dark that even Hollywood Babylon‘s Luciferian auteur Kenneth Anger got Involved.

Steve’s willingness and generosity along with his guarded enthusiasm offered support to a local community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Together with Diego (Cortez)’ and Anya (Phillip’s) short-lived but “dominating” spirit, the Mudd Club became an instant happening, a free-for-all with No Wave orchestration and very few rules.

Diego described the Mudd Club as “a container, a vessel, but certainly not the only one in town.” What made the place unique was its blank-canvas emptiness. When the space filled up, IT happened and everyone wanted to be a part. A living, breathing work of art, it was beautiful and way off center, a slice of golden time.

I was lucky, and soaked it all in.

 
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Nico playing her wheezing harmonium. Photo by Ebet Roberts

All of us who got to be there were lucky. This was a timeless world of it’s own. A world that could be compared to any and all magical artistic movements, scenes or spaces. Dada. Warhol’s Factory, the Beats in NY and SF, Surrealism, etc.—times, places, people all endlessly written about as there’s just so much to say. Everyone involved had a unique experience, true to themselves. This wasn’t just a nightclub, it was so much more. It almost seemed like a private place where, on the best nights, people’s lives and fantasies were put on display and the public was allowed to watch. The public who just came to do coke and dance (as we all did) but who accidentally got touched by a bizarre and wonderful world that lived in the shadows of the city then, usually just brushing against them like a ghost in the night. Whether they even noticed or not, well, who cares?

This first book on the subject (I guarantee it will not be the last) is Richard Boch’s own experience, peppered with those of us who he interviewed for the reminders. This book is about his eyes opening, his chain-wielding power stance, his blowjobs, his drinks, his drugs, all of which are plentiful. It includes a little of most of us, the people we loved, the ones we lost, the games we played, and the love we shared of each other and our mutual history. Still though, there are a million stories in the Mudd’s microcosm of the naked city, this is just one of them.

And what a glorious place to start: right at the front door.
 
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The trailer for the book
 
More Mudd Club after the jump…

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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09.19.2017
02:47 pm
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The Male Figure: Bruce of Los Angeles and the perfection of midcentury beefcake
09.19.2017
01:31 pm
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When you ponder improbable destinies for high school chemistry teachers, it’s likely that almost everyone reading this would instantly think of Walter White, who went from being a lowly chemistry teacher to a major drug kingpin in the U.S. Southwest—at least in the fictional narrative that is Breaking Bad.

Bruce Bellas never became a drug lord, but his tale is still worthy of consideration. Born in 1909, Bellas grew up in Alliance, Nebraska. where he was a chemistry teacher into his late thirties. Something caused Bellas to leave Nebraska for the West Coast in 1947, however, and there he became a magazine publisher of men’s physique magazines and a significant pioneer in the development of the American gay aesthetic.

Once he found himself in Los Angeles, Bellas adopted the uncannily apt sobriquet Bruce of Los Angeles. According to a 2008 exhibition dedicated to the artist, Bruce started out taking pictures of bodybuilding contests while working for one of Joe Weider’s many muscle magazines. In 1956 Bruce created what was ostensibly a magazine for aspiring artists called The Male Figure, which supplied him with the proper prerogative to present photos of muscular dudes with hardly any clothes on. Even leaving the beefcake aspect aside, the Male Figure covers are models of midcentury simplicity. 

In the unaccountably well-written Encyclopedia of Gay Histories and Cultures, edited by George Haggerty, Bruce’s output is described thus:
 

Equal parts chronicler of the sport of body-building, photographic artist-technician, and carnal visionary, Bruce made his mark in both studio and natural settings, in both shimmering black and white and lurid Kodachrome, in both formal poses that sculpted titanic champions and informal portraits that recorded illicit interactions. Only occasionally taking up the pseudoclassical plaster pillars of tradition, Bruce registered a documentary preference for corrals, motorcycles, navy yards, and the vinyl flotsam of suburbia.

 
As a “carnal visionary” he stands alongside Tom of Finland and George Quaintance as a small group of gay male graphic artists who helped define the homosexual aesthetic under conditions of extreme danger and secrecy, as the phrase “illicit interactions” above suggests.

In The Naked Heartland: The Itinerant Photography of Bruce of Los Angeles, Robert Mainardi noted that Bruce’s work “would one day be recognized for its classic elegance, Hollywood glamour, and camp wit, as well as for its restrained sensuality.” Bruce was a major influence on photographers like Robert Mapplethorpe, Bruce Weber, and Herb Ritts.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.19.2017
01:31 pm
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Gritty photographs of a German dive bar
09.19.2017
09:32 am
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Anders Petersen was eighteen when he traveled from his home in Sweden to Hamburg’s red light district the Reeperbahn. He wanted to escape his upbringing, shed his comfortable bourgeois skin and try on another to see how it felt. His parents had separated when he was young and he had been brought up by his grandmother in the quiet of the countryside amid fields and cherry trees and a darkening border of a forest. It was an idyllic fairytale world, but boring.

The Reeperbahn was a chaotic world of excitement, and pleasure, and excess, and danger. He met a green-eyed Finnish woman who worked the main drag. They became lovers and Petersen was introduced to the world of prostitutes, drag queens, drug addicts, drunks, pimps, and thieves. He took courage from his lover, from beer and from amphetamines (Preludin) to finally break free of the rules and manners, the lies and constraints of his bourgeois childhood. He had found himself another family who lived their lives without care, without shame, without judgment or censure. Petersen made friends with these characters who shambled joyously through the night at the local bar like the Café Lehmitz. All too soon it was over. His Finnish girlfriend broke-up their relationship and told Petersen to go home before his life was lost in the bars and lights, in the dirt and the chaos.

Dismayed, Petersen reluctantly returned home. But he knew his life had changed and he needed to find a way to express himself. He considered painting, but this, he found, was too lonely a thing. He was a social animal and wanted to be involved with the lives of others. This led him to photography—something he had been quietly considering for some time. He started studying under the great Swedish photographer Christer Stromholm who told him to find the things that were important to him. Be humble, be personal, work hard, and never be satisfied. It was good, sound advice.

In 1967, Petersen returned to the Reeperbahn and the Café Lehmitz. He discovered some of the friends he had made had died. Now he knew he must document this new family. He sought an in through a friend. One night he arrived at the Café Lehmitz with his camera in hand. He placed it on a table and became so involved with the drinking and talking, the dancing and singing, that he did not notice his camera had been picked up and was being thrown about among the customers like a toy. Some were taking pictures of themselves. Some wanted Petersen to take their picture. Petersen started photographing the people who hung around the bar in a scrum; the couples who argued or flirted with each other over the cheap Formica tabletops; the prostitutes who smiled and wanted you to buy them a drink; the old drunk men who wanted to fight and staggered shirtless shouting at the customers.

Petersen shot with his heart, with his guts, with his instinct. He did it without thinking. It was almost reflexive. Then when the pictures were printed on a contact sheet, he figured out which photograph worked best, which picture asked more questions than it answered, which image best captured an atmosphere, a character, a life, or a feeling. He shot more than he needed. He now has a house and studio crammed with too many photographs.

Over the next three years, Petersen traveled back-and-forth between Sweden and the Café Lehmitz documenting the harsh, brutal, yet tightly knit lives of the people who lived and worked on the Reeperbahn’s cobbled streets. His first exhibition was held at the bar itself with his pictures nailed crudely to the wall and the customers eventually removing their portraits one-by-one until only Petersen’s self-portrait remained.

He published his photobook of the Café Lehmitz in 1978. It established Petersen as one of the greatest living documentary photographers. His style was intimate, unswerving, uncritical, and direct. One of the book’s most famous images—a young tattooed man man named Rose embraced by a laughing older woman called Lily—was featured on the cover of Tom Waits’ album Rain Dogs. The image definitively captured the image Waits was selling of a Beat poet and outsider artist.

In our slowly homogenized world, where nobody smokes and nobody drinks, where all the streets are the same and the shops are the same, and everyone is safe and free to be a consumer, Petersen’s photographs of the Café Lehmitz captured a now seemingly distant world where people shared harsh brutal lives filled with excitement and danger, derangement and excess, love and happiness, always under the always-present shadow of death.
 
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See more of Anders Petersen’s iconic photographs, after the jump..
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.19.2017
09:32 am
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H.R. Pufnstuf, Witchiepoo & other homages to Sid & Marty Krofft in the ‘Krofft Super Art Show’


A painting by artist Matthew Bone in the Krofft Super Art Show.
 
I’m pretty sure that most of our readers over the age of 40 are familiar with the work of Sid & Marty Krofft. The brothers were responsible for bringing strange, and sometimes psychedelic TV shows like H.R. Pufnstuf, The Banana Splits, and Sigmund and the Sea Monsters to the minds of impressionable kids back in the late 60s and early 70s. Now interpretations of the many colorful and weird TV characters the Krofft’s created for their television shows are on display at a show at the La La Land Gallery in Los Angeles.

The show opened late last month and featured work from over twenty artists including The Ren & Stimpy Show alumnus Chris Reccardi who had this to say about his childhood memories of H.R. Pufnstuf:

“It’s innocent.” People grow up, but I think the best people just grow layers around the child within them. Part of it is nostalgia, ‘Oh my gosh, this meant so much to me as a kid.’ I’ve worked in animation for 35 years and H.R. Pufnstuf—I’m not familiar with their other stuff—it’s a well-written show. Even though it’s pre-school, it’s not stupid.”

The various artistic expressions based on the characters created by the Krofft brothers that are featured in the show include paintings, three-dimensional works, and even a felt cereal box with H.R. Pufnstuf’s famous mug on it. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, I’d highly recommend taking in the fantastic-looking show as it runs through September 25th. Images that are currently hanging on the walls of the La La Land Gallery below can be seen below.
 

“AhSidAndMartyWanna” by Oliver Hibert.
 

“H.R. Puf’n'Puf” by Chris Reccardi.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:28 am
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Rik Mayall & Adrian Edmondson of ‘The Young Ones’ beating the shit out of each other on ‘Bottom’


Actors and real-life BFFs, the late Rik Mayall and Adrian “Ade” Edmondson from their other television show, ‘Bottom.’
 
If you love Dangerous Minds, then it’s a safe bet that you are also fans of the much loved UK cult-comedy, The Young Ones. If you agree with that, then you are truly one of us and also perhaps a fan of the much-praised comedy series from two of the stars of the show, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson that aired on BBC2 starting in 1991, Bottom. And if you’re not, you should be.

The premise of the show is sort of like a sleazier, down-low version of The Odd Couple television series starring Jack Klugman and Tony Randall. Both Edmondson and Mayall are confirmed bachelors who shack up with each other out of desperation and commit equally desperate acts of violence and trickery that often center around trying to get laid. Getting laid is something that according to the storyline has eluded Mayall’s character of “Richard “Richie” Richard” his entire life as he’s still a virgin. Edmondson’s character “Edward Hitler” is just as unhinged as his flatmate as well as being an accomplished boozehound and thief. Adding another layer of cool on Bottom is that apparently, the characters created by both actors was somewhat based on their long, real-life friendship that began back in 1975 when the two were just teenagers attending Manchester University. Mayall and Edmondson would get gigs doing stand-up and sketches as “The Dangerous Brothers” at The Comedy Store in their early 20s which would, in turn, help them get regular work on the long-running UK show, The Comic Strip Presents. Coincidentally, Edmondson would meet his future wife, Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame, on the set of the show. They have been married for 32 years.
 

Edmondson and Mayall performing at The Comedy Store back in the day.
 
The show is hysterically violent and pessimistically dark, and both Mayall and Edmondson did much of the slapsticky stunts in the series themselves—such as when Edmondson fell through a ceiling in the 1992 episode “Burglary.” Only eighteen episodes ever aired before the proposed fourth series was killed by BBC. After that, the duo took Bottom on the road as a stage play which according to all reports was even more tawdry and savage when it came to the vulgar displays of aggression between both Edmondson and Mayall in the name of comedy. Then in 1999 the sad-sack characters were once again brought to life, this time for the film Guest House Paradiso (directed by Edmondson) which centered around Mayall and Edmondson as the owners of the “worst” hotel in the UK. There was some talk of bringing Bottom back—in Edmondson’s words as old men who hit each other with “colostomy bags,” but that awesomeness never materialized.

Get to the ‘Bottom’ after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:16 am
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Subtle, (and not so subtle) socks that tell everyone around you to ‘fuck off’
09.19.2017
09:02 am
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“Fuck Off” socks. Get them here.
 
While I’m a huge fan of the word “fuck,” it’s not always as easy to slip it into conversation as I’d like it to be. What’s more is that the word, or the phrase “fuck off,” are sort of like a “final straw” kind of threat to hurl at someone after you’ve burned through every other conceivable response to shitty human behavior. I used to think it would have been swell to come up with a way to flash the phrase at someone in traffic by way of an electronic sign on the back of my car—but like most of my ideas that have never come to fruition, it probably would have gotten me shot. Especially given the road-ragey drivers on the streets these days who would just run you off the highway because you were sporting the “wrong” kind of bumper sticker on your wheels.

But let’s get back to the point of this post which concerns a line of explicit socks emblazoned with the glorious phrase (or its sister slogan “fuck you”) in different places such as the sole of the sock- or my favorite—the small bit that peeks up over the back of your sneakers. I’m a crass person by nature as clearly stated in my Dangerous Minds bio where I list “cursing” as one of my “interests.” Although I don’t much care for the phenomenon that are “message” shirts and wearables, I am 100% down with my socks speaking for me when I feel like I need to hold my tongue. Which is almost never. I should work on that. Images and links where you can order the aggressive hosiery follow.
 
 
A more subtle pair of “Fuck Off” socks. Get a pair here.
 

A long pair of “Fuck Off” socks. Get them here.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.19.2017
09:02 am
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CB Action: (Apparently) CB radio wasn’t just for sad, lonely middle-aged men?
09.18.2017
01:10 pm
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Okay, I’ll admit it. Everything I know about CB Radio comes from that episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin sat naked in his basement talking dirty to truckers on the freeway. I honestly had no idea CB radio was mainly used by scantily clad ladies talking about UHF, antenna tuning, and license fees. If I had, well hell, I’d have become a truck drivin’ man and got myself a big rig a long, long time ago.

Breaker. Breaker. Nudge nudge, wink wink

Somehow, I’d (deliberately) forgotten that CB radio was the Twitter of the seventies. No, it was more popular than that. In fact so unbelievably popular that it spawned (and I use that word advisedly here) a string of trucker movies like White Line Fever with Jan-Michael Vincent and Kay Lenz. Smokey and the Bandit with big Burt Reynolds, little Sally Field, and sweaty Jackie Gleason. Maybe hard to believe now but Smokey and the Bandit was the second highest grossing film of 1977 beaten only by Star Wars at the box office.

If that weren’t enough to block your rear view mirror, then there was also Breaker! Breaker! with Chuck Norris, Jonathan Demme’s Citizens Band AKA Handle With Care and something called High Ballin’ with Jerry Reed, Peter Fonda, and Helen Shaver. Even the great Sam Peckinpah (perhaps surprisingly) got in the act with Convoy starring Kris Kristofferson, Ali MacGraw, and Ernest Borgnine, based on that unforgettable “classic CB radio” song “Convoy” by C.W McCall. Yeah, that one.

Breaker. Breaker.

Not only were their CB radio/trucker films and records but a whole slew of magazines for the CB enthusiast which generally featured young happy women on the covers with a hot speaker microphone in their hands. Just like these racy covers to Australia’s former #1 citizen’s band radio magazine CB Action. If this doesn’t make you want to take up CB radio immediately then I guess I don’t know what will…
 
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More glossy covers featuring CB enthusiasts, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.18.2017
01:10 pm
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‘Porklips Now’: Spoof of Coppola’s ‘Apocalypse Now’ sends up suburban barbecue culture, 1980


 
The strongest period for American film starts with Bonnie and Clyde or The Graduate, which both came out in 1967, and, in my opinion, ends, 12 years later, with Apocalypse Now. Francis Ford Coppola had once been one of the main poster boys for the New American Cinema, having made the first two masterful Godfather movies and The Conversation in the early 1970s. When he chose to adapt Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness as a Vietnam movie—and spent several years and tens of millions of dollars to do it—the American public was made to focus on Coppola’s ego and excesses, which was certainly at least partly fair but, in a way, seemed to misdiagnose the problem. Coppola was being ridiculed for ... wanting to make an ambitious work of art on a socially relevant subject? The abuse seemed out of proportion to the crime. 

It’s difficult to reconstruct just how deep the mockery of Coppola ran at that time. I can remember quite clearly the accepted-by-everyone premise that Apocalypse Now “didn’t have an ending”—this claim that was supposed to be definitively argument-ending on the subject of Coppola’s lunacy but in retrospect seems fairly arbitrary. Coppola had trouble pinning down a final version in the editing room, true, and you can see the lengthier cut of the movie when you watch Apocolypse Now Redux, but it just wasn’t true that the ending was any special index of Coppola’s excesses or inability to make a decision (both of which were real factors for Coppola at that point). As Richard Beggs, who won an Oscar for Best Sound for his work on the movie, later said in defense of the movie: “There were never five endings, but just the one, even if there were differently edited versions.”

At any rate, the idea that Coppola was ripe for a comeuppance was inescapable in the culture. Case in point: Porklips Now, a short movie (16 minutes) directed by Ernie Fosselius to make fun of Coppola’s Vietnam epic. Fosselius’ main claim to fame at this point was certainly Hardware Wars, a parody of Star Wars that had become something of an indie sensation in 1977. Lifting its strategies directly from MAD Magazine, just as Hardware Wars had done, Porklips Now transforms the story of Willard seeking out Kurtz into the following:  “Dullard,” a barbecue practitioner of the suburbs, is sent into “Chinatown” to investigate the unorthodox practices of a rogue butcher named “Mertz” (as in Fred Mertz, from I Love Lucy).
 

 
I won’t ruin too many of the jokes but I will point out that Billy Gray, once best known for playing “Bud” on Father Knows Best, was extremely well cast as “Dullard”—the re-creation of Martin Sheen’s voiceover in Apocalypse Now is one of the best elements of the satire. Fosselius himself does the Brando turn as Mertz, and it’s only fair to say that he does a pretty excellent job in the role.

You can’t take on Apocalypse Now without addressing the Doors, and sure enough, Fosselius comes up with a pretty amusing Doors pastiche under the title “Not the End—Yet” (a dig at the indecision surrounding the original movie), performed by “Scott Mathews and the Back Doors,” whoever that may be. Meanwhile, true to the times, the parody of the big helicopter scene is given a suitably cocaine-y gloss, with the Wagnerian “Disco Valkyries” performed by the Four Hoarsemen, har har.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.18.2017
12:29 pm
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Running Gun Blues: Arms dealer uses David Bowie’s image to sell bullets?
09.18.2017
11:24 am
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The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) conference took place last week in the Docklands in eastern London, and the event featured a creepy, unauthorized cameo by an unexpected star from the world of music. The event draws roughly 1,500 exhibitors from the world representing the world of, ahem, “global defence and security”—in other words, it’s the world’s biggest arms fair, and military delegations from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Pakistan showed up to do a little window-shopping for rocket launchers and the like. While the DSEI tries to keep a low profile in the media, it did not succeed in that goal, as more than 100 people were arrested for protesting the event.

An artist named Darren Cullen spotted the jarring visage of Aladdin Sane-era David Bowie peeking out from one of the displays and posted a picture to Twitter:
 

 
It’s a little bit hard to make out; here’s a blown-up version of the image:
 

 
The company that decided to incorporate Aladdin Sane into its display is the Cheshire-based firm Edgar Brothers, which has been in business for 70 years (note the 70th anniversary logo in the stand, at upper left). It touts itself as “one of the oldest, most well established importers and wholesalers of firearms, ammunition and associated products in the UK and Northern Ireland.” The photographer of the original image was Brian Duffy, who passed away in 2010. According to the Newham Recorder, “A spokeswoman for the Duffy Archive confirmed the photo had not been approved and that the stand had been removed on their request.”

Cullen has artwork on display at an art exhibition protesting the arms convention. Here’s Cullen’s account of spotting the image:
 

I was checking Instagram to see if any of the DSEI contractors were posting about being behind schedule due to the Stop the Arms Fair blockades and I saw this photo of the UK arms trade pavilion with a giant picture of David Bowie. It really stuck out to have someone like Bowie featured among this festival of violence, and just in really bad taste considering his own recent death.

[...]

I got in touch with the rights-holder of the photograph, the estate of the photographer Duffy, and just hoped to hell they hadn’t given permission for these bastards to use his image. They got back to me the next morning thanking me for bringing it to their attention and saying they had definitely not given permission and they’d been frantically trying to have the photo removed. The Duffy Archive were really on top of it, full credit to them. They finally got hold of a director at Edgar Brothers and the display was taken down straight away due to their complaint. As far as I know, they’re still in discussions as to what the next steps are. I hope the Duffy Archive hammer them for it.

 
One endeavors to imagine the conversation that preceded the construction of the stand:
 

Arms Dealer A: This display is a little bleak. We should make it more about “hope” somehow.
Arms Dealer B: I know! Let’s put in John Lennon! Everybody loves him.
Arms Dealer A: Eeesh, I don’t know. The “Imagine” guy? That might be a little much with him getting shot and all…
Arms Dealer B: How about ... David Bowie then? He died… normal.
Arms Dealer A: I like it. Let’s dance!

 
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade amusingly reminded Bowie fans that the rock star would not have endorsed the activities of Edgar Brothers:
 

DSEI and the UK government may be experts at pushing arms exports, but when it comes to David Bowie they are absolute beginners. The real heroes were protesting outside DSEI, while the scary monsters and super creeps were inside. We need to do all we can to keep the arms fair under pressure.

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.18.2017
11:24 am
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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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Kitchen tools and other household items get confrontational anatomical upgrades
09.18.2017
10:21 am
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A confrontational sculpture by D.C.-based artist, Joseph Barbaccia.
 
While I hate to call a gun a “household item” it’s accurate. According to data collected earlier this year, approximately 40% of homes in the U.S. said they had a firearm in the home. So consider that fact as you check out the weird anatomical sculptures of Joseph Barbaccia in which the artist fused various parts of the human body with various kitchen and household items.

Of the various polystyrene sculptures by Barbaccia in this post, one includes a woman’s hand affixed to a pistol (pictured above) and another features a sharp kitchen knife with a rock hard cock for a handle. All of which are allegories for societal issues such as the obesity epidemic and our collective preoccupation regarding all things related to sex. Based in Washington, D.C., Barbaccia is a talented artist with a high proficiency for three-dimensional sculpture work. In addition to his tricked-out kitchen tools, Barbaccia also has an extensive collection of celebrity portraits that he makes using long threads of colorful clay in order to create groovy images of Tom Waits, the late Gene Wilder in character form Young Frankenstein, and Charles Bukowski. I’ve posted pictures of Barbaccia’s work below; a few are NSFW.
 

 

“Obesity.”
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.18.2017
10:21 am
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One for the Road: Street photographs of drunk Japanese people
09.18.2017
10:05 am
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Tokyo-based photographer Lee Chapman has been documenting life in Japan for almost two decades. Originally from England, Chapman went to Japan on a one-year work contract to teach English at a language school. He now works as an English teacher at a local high school—which means he has plenty of free time to take photographs.

Chapman finds it easier to wander around Tokyo with a camera compared to say, London, where he says “the authorities are clamping down on photography in the public sphere.” As an outsider he finds himself attracted to subjects that many indigenous photographers might overlook. He has no interest in covering the “fashion girls of Harajuku and Shibuya” or the quirky trends so beloved by western fashion magazines. Instead, Chapman focuses on the areas that a lot of people don’t see—the old, the homeless, the people who live on the periphery of society.

Among the many subjects Chapman has covered is a series of photographs of drunks passed out on the city’s sidewalks, doorways, bars, and train stations. Being passed-out, stone-cold drunk on Tokyo’s streets is a common and accepted sight. Whether through an excess of alcohol or mere tiredness, businessmen in dapper suits can often be found lying spreadeagled next to heavy metal freaks and regular low-rent run-of-the-mill alcoholics.

Check more of Lee Chapman’s superb work here.
 
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More of Lee Chapman’s photographs, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.18.2017
10:05 am
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