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Grace Slick says ‘f*ck’ on American TV for the very first time, 1969


 
Watch below as Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick becomes the very first person in history to say “fuck” on American television on August 19th, 1969—the day after Woodstock—on The Dick Cavett Show. Technically the whole band pretty much sings “fuck” if you want to split hairs. Someone had to do it first, I’m glad it was the Airplane.

“We Can Be Together” was the lead-off number on the band’s politically radical Volunteers album and the B-side for the “Volunteers” single. Due to the group’s unique contract for the times—they had complete artistic control—RCA had to go along with whatever the Jefferson Airplane wanted, including “shit” and “motherfucker” appearing in their lyrics. For the single, the “motherfucker” was mixed low, but not actually bleeped.

The song’s music and lyrics are credited to Paul Kantner, who claimed to be inspired by the Black Panther Party’s use of the “Up against the wall, motherfucker” battle cry, itself a phrase 60s activists often heard coming from police and national guardsmen during that tumultuous era.

Kantner also cribbed some (nearly all) of the lyrics from something called “The Outlaw Page” that appeared apparently first as a leaflet and then in the East Village Other underground newspaper. “The Outlaw Page” was a polemic written by a guy called John Sundstrom, who was a member of an anarchist/Situationist-inspired Lower East Side-based “street gang with analysis” called the Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers [UAW/MF] whose name came from a poem titled “Black People!” by Amiri Baraka. The Motherfuckers, whose unprintable name made them virtually press-proof, were involved with storming the Pentagon, setting up crash pads in New York City for counter culture types and the occupation of Columbia University. Marxist philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s stepson, Tom Neumann was an early member.
 

 
Sweet young Joni Mitchell had just finished singing her lovely, lilting “Chelsea Morning,” when big bad Grace belted these words out to an unsuspecting America:

We are all outlaws in the eyes of America
In order to survive we steal cheat lie forge fuck hide and deal
We are obscene lawless hideous dangerous dirty violent and young
But we should be together

Come on all you people standing around
Our life’s too fine to let it die and
We can be together

All your private property is
Target for your enemy
And your enemy is We

We are forces of chaos and anarchy
Everything they say we are we are
And we are very
Proud of ourselves
Up against the wall
Up against the wall motherfucker…

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
A treasure trove of rare Monty Python memorabilia is up for grabs!


Canned Dead Parrot. Created in 1994 by Bear, Bear & Bear LTD. Prior to obtaining an official licence from the Python’s, the company did their best to rip off the “Dead Parrot” Sketch” from 1969. Although the can does not contain any direct mention of Monty Python, it’s very clearly a reference to their famous skit. Inside the can is a plastic bird cage with a toy parrot hanging upside down. 
 
If your dream has been to one day be the proud owner of a loo roll (that’s toilet paper for our non-UK readers) officially sanctioned by Monty Python’s Flying Circus, then today my silly-walking friend is your lucky day. According to the website Monty Python’s Daily Llama there are allegedly 1,500 different items currently up for auction, such as the promotional foot that was created in conjunction with the Spamalot musical at New York’s Shubert Theatre in 2005, and an actual container of “Canned Dead Parrot” which is a clever nod to one of the most memorable moments from the Flying Circus television series (the Dead Parrot Sketch performed by John Cleese and Michael Palin). Many of the items were produced in small quantities like the 1072 bottles of “Spamalot” steak sauce that were released in 2007 in honor of the musical’s run at London’s Palace Theatre, making them incredibly rare collectibles in many cases.

If you’re a Python super-fan like I am I’m sure you’re going to strongly consider picking up something from the auction, which includes a wide array of vintage posters from the U.S. and Germany and a even copy of the 1990 Monty Python’s Flying Circus computer game from 1990. Say WHAT? More information on the items up for auction can be found on Monty Python’s Daily Llama. I’ve posted a number of my favorite items from the auction below along with some background information pertaining to their creation, rarity and history. As great as some of this stuff is I would have liked to have seen a piece of “Venezuelan Beaver Cheese,” a “hovercraft full of eels” or even an action figure based on Michael Palin’s bicycling enthusiast “Mr. Pither.” But you can’t always get what you want, can you?
 

This computer game was the very first officially licensed product by Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Made by Core Design, the same company that put out ‘Tomb Raider,’ the 2D shooter had the players help “D.P. Gumby” find four missing pieces of his brain.
 

“Gumby” plush figures. Ranging in size from nine, twelve and fourteen inches tall these plush figures were the first toys officially licensed by the Pythons.
 

Another cheeky creation from Bear, Bear & Bear LTD. Incredibly this roll of toilet paper contains famous images and quotes from the ‘Monty Python’s Flying Circus’ TV series such as the “Ministry of Silly Walks”; “Nudge, Nudge”; everyone’s favorite gender-bending sing-along “The Lumberjack Song” and others. Comes with faux fingerprints in accordance with the box’s claim that this TP is in “slightly used” condition.
 

This promotional “coconut” was sent to members of the press and Python VIPs as a part of the “Special Edition” release of ‘Monty Python and the Holy Grail’ by Columbia/Tristar Home Entertainment. An actual coconut it was outfitted with a zipper in the middle that when opened revealed a promotional t-shirt.
 
More Monty Python memorabilia for you to spend your money on, after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Take a chilling look inside the Glore Psychiatric Museum


A mannequin peering out of a ‘Lunatic Box’ on display at the Glore Psychiatric Museum in Saint Joseph, Missouri.
 
In 1874 the state of Missouri opened the “State Hospital for the Insane #2” more commonly referred to as the “Lunatic Asylum #2.” The asylum prided itself as the kind of institution that took on the “noble work” of “reviving hope in the human heart and dispelling the portentous clouds that penetrate the intellects of minds diseased.” While this claim does sound noble, the methods that were used to “penetrate” the minds of the patients who found themselves in one of the institution’s 25 beds were often medieval at best. At their worst the treatments administered by the staff were variations of what would be considered torture and were often experimental in nature—usually causing more harm than good.

The asylum would fill all of its available beds. In 1899 the institution changed its name to the far more friendly sounding St. Joseph State Hospital. Five decades later over 3,000 patients had passed through the hospital including dangerous criminals who had long taken leave of their mental faculties. These criminally insane people walked the halls alongside of residents who were struggling with depression. The hospital would continue to operate for 127 years. In 1967 a long-time employee of the Missouri Department of Mental Health, George Glore opened a museum in one of St. Joseph’s many wards. Glore’s on-site museum housed various mental health related artifacts that had been used over the centuries to treat patients with mental health problems, such as the horrific sounding “Lunatic Box” which was routinely used to treat patients that could not be easily controlled and were prone to act out, perhaps violently. The box, which strongly resembled a fucking coffin of all things, would house the patient in complete darkness in a standing position for hours. Patients were not even allowed to leave the box to go to the bathroom, leaving them to do their business in the box until a member of the staff felt that they had reached the appropriate level of zen.

In 1997 what is now known as the Glore Psychiatric Museum moved to a large, three-story building in order to provide enough room for its vast array of oddities. Below you’ll find many images from exhibits on display at the Glore including some haunting artwork done by patients who resided at St. Joseph’s during its century-plus existence. If you’re planning on visiting Saint Joseph, Missouri anytime soon the museum is open Monday to Sunday and kids get in FREE. Yikes.
 

A long shot of the ‘Lunatic Box’ which was used during the 18th and 19th century.
 

A display containing 110,000 cigarette boxes that were collected by a resident of the St. Joseph State Hospital.
 
More from the Glore after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘Sicko-Delic’: Luminous rednecks, grotesque goons and Day-glo freaks
01.18.2017
01:15 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:
Hayley Arjona
psychedelic art

07arjonanofunforhayley14.jpg
‘No Fun for Hayley’ (2014).
 
The writer, artist and critic John Berger was right when he said a viewer has to be in front of a work of art before they can fully appreciated it. Alas, we’ll just have to make do with digital copies of Hayley Arjona’s giant canvases—some reaching up to fifty feet in length—but I’m sure we can still appreciate her incredible talent and originality in producing beautiful, complex, trippy, comic, psychedelic pictures.

Hayley Arjona is an Australian artist based in North Central, Victoria. She works out of a converted hay barn on a farm where she raises free range pigs and sheep. Hayley studied for a Masters of Fine Art at the Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne in 1999, before beginning her career as an artist.

Apart from painting and raising pigs, Hayley works as a set painter on films (Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark) and TV productions. She paints in her studio while while blasting out “progressive psy-trance or Doom/Sludge metal and Psychedelic rock.” It helps her get into the right mood to produce such brilliant luminous near Day-glo canvases. To get the colors just right she mixes fluorescent dry pigment into oils—“Once bitten by these hyper colours its hard to look back!”

I never know what to say about my work, there is just so much in there. Some stuff I meant, some stuff which just happens and some stuff which happens because I don’t know what I mean yet.

~snip~

The grotesque and exaggerated characters and abundant use of colour serve to make light of an undercurrent of darkness. The darkness I believe inherent in our collective Australian psyche. Things too unbearable to consider without humour and satire. The degradation of our existence, our society, of people and the environment from greed, apathy and ignorance. Perhaps it is ridiculous to see beauty in any of this, but I am compelled to appreciate my surroundings. With the drastic changes in the landscape from season to season, sky watching for rain, there is much here to inspire.

Bodies swell out of trees and landscapes while breasts suckle and faces turn into genitalia as skulls erupt out of mouths and litter the ground. Her paintings contrast the rich fecundity of life with the fatal stupidity of humans. In A-Bomb Stigmata (2016) a man is seemingly masturbated while atomic clouds mushroom overhead. Is this the last biological imperative for life even at the moment of death—in the way when men who were executed by hanging were said to ejaculate at their extinction? Or merely fiddling while the world burns? It’s apparent there is a tremendous amount of humor and warmth in these paintings which makes them doubly appealing.

Hayley has exhibited across Australia and Europe with her most recent exhibition Sicko-Delic held at the Caspa Gallery in Victoria last year. You can follow Hayley on Instagram and Facebook.
 
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‘A-Bomb Stigmata’ (2016).
 
01arjonawholelottarose.jpg
Whole Lotta Rose’ (2014).
 
More psick psychedelic beauty, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Kid posts hilarious tweets asking ‘Does anyone know who this is’?
01.18.2017
09:30 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Nick Cave

 
Meet New Zealand-based James Malcolm. Yesterday on Twitter, James posted photos of himself with a certain celebrity in the background asking his followers, “Does anybody know who this is?”

It looks like James was in an airport when this was taken. Was James serious about not knowing who that certain person was or was he trolling his followers? That’s the million dollar question in the Twitterverse today.

One More Time With Feeling, Andrew Dominik’s acclaimed documentary about “this celeb” comes out on Blu-ray and DVD on March 3. Pre-order here.

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Chairman of the Bored: Flaming Lips, GVSB, Jawbox and more cover Frank Sinatra
01.18.2017
09:04 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Frank Sinatra
Flaming Lips


 
It’s easy to understand why tribute compilations proliferated in the ‘90s—they had all the upsides of label comps but with the added benefit of a marquee name to advertise. A small label could put out an album “by” someone like KISS, Hendrix, Neil Young, or Tom Waits, give about half the record over to unknowns that needed exposure, then load it with familiar names who could reliably sell the thing. (Sonic Youth were on so many of these it’s a wonder they had time to make their own records in the ‘90s; a friend of mine once joked that someday there’d be a Sonic Youth tribute album on which Sonic Youth would cover themselves.) The result of that fad for tribute comps is a very nearly bottomless well of mutant music—beautifully counterintuitive remakes of artists who’ve since achieved classic status, gems by obscure bands that await rediscovery, and iconoclastic tweaks to canonical sacred cows.

In 1993, the independent Grass Records label—a short-lived concern probably best known for early releases by the Toadies and Brainiac before it evolved in 1997 into Wind-Up Records and cursed the world with fucking Creed and Evanescence—released Chairman of the Board, a four-sided blowout in tribute to Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra. The vinyl had 26 cuts, of which, strangely enough, only four were by groups from the label’s regular roster, though the 2XCD boasted far more expansive 41 songs. True to typical form, the comp sported interesting underground acts like Treepeople, Crust, and Ritual Device, pop-punk/emo champs like Samiam, Down By Law, and Screeching Weasel, and much bigger deals like Girls Against Boys and Flaming Lips (no Sonic Youth on this one, it’s an outlier). It also sports cover art in classic ’90s my-nephew-just-got-a-computer-he’ll-do-it-cheap style, and amusing liner notes by comic/magician Penn Jillette:

”Ignorance of your culture is not considered cool.”

The Residents said it, I believe it and that settles it. So, I read the New York Times every day, watch CNN “Headline News” most every day and Robin Byrd twice a week. I listen to at least part of about 7 CD’s, read Screw and watch about a half hour of MTV and Letterman every week. I read political stuff from CATO and CSICOP every month. And I’m not even close, I fall behind.

Sinatra is a part of our culture about whom I know jack shit. Let’s see, Sinatra…on the upside, they say he ate ham and eggs off a hooker’s tits and got blown by Bette Davis (or was it Tallulah Bankhead? You see? Jack shit.). On the downside, when I saw him at Radio City performing with an almost dead Sammy he seemed to hate us much more than the Sex Pistols pretended to hate us.

What do I know about Zonic Shockum? Jack shit.

I have enough trouble keeping up with the hacks of my generation without having to learn about an old generation’s hacks like Sinatra and the hacks of your generation.

So here’s a compilation that will give us a passing knowledge of some newish bands and Sinatra at the same time. When someone talks about Chicago being a “toddling town” you may not know whether they’re quoting Sinatra or Screeching Weasel—and you still won’t know what “toddling” means—but at least you’ll know it’s a pop music reference.

And that’s more than most assholes.

 

Democratizing the means of cultural production had its downsides, too.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Sex rained on my head’: The hair metal wit and wisdom of Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy
01.17.2017
04:13 pm

Topics:
Books
Music

Tags:
heavy metal
Ratt
Stephen Pearcy


 
There are reports, rumors and wild speculations popping up everywhere that the undisputed kings of bedraggled pop metal Ratt are reuniting and touring in 2017.  That’s good news, maybe the first good news in months. After the woeful year we’ve just had, we deserve a little Ratt n’ Roll, man. Let us not forget the plastic-fantastic majesty of mid-80’s Ratt: “Round and Round,” “Lay It Down.” “Wanted Man,” “Way Cool Jr.,” “Body Talk,” “Slip of the Lip,”  “Shame Shame Shame,” “Lack of Communication,” I mean it’s endless, this parade of big dumb hits these cats laid on us. And like many survivors of the glam wars, times have not always been easy for Ratt. They barreled headfirst into the grunge era and became one of its first victims. The hits dried up, the audiences shrank, and the kids found cooler, mopier ego stars to worship. In 2001, classic-era guitarist Robbin Crosby—the preening blonde golden-god of the gang—died of a heroin overdose, after wrestling with addiction and HIV for years. The rest of the band succumbed to infighting, forming half-assed versions of Ratt and scrambling for the last scraps of faded glory as they toured dismal suburban rock dives playing the hits for wistful, middle-aged Gen X-ers. Everyone had lost the goddamn plot.

Well, fuck all that. The band (plus or minus contentious drummer Bobby Blotzer, jury’s still out) are back, presumably better than ever. They even plan on recording a new album. I am 100% sure it will be chock full of tasty, fishnetty hard rock jams. We’re all gonna get laid. Maybe your hair will even grow back.

To celebrate the impending invasion of your privacy, here are some of the best/worst moments of Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy’s 2013 autobiography, Sex, Drugs, Ratt & Roll: My Life in Rock. I interviewed Pearcy for Classic Rock a few years ago and found him to be level-headed, enlightened, and even a little humble. None of those traits are evidenced in the book, which is all sex and mayhem, all the time. A stone-cold classic, in other words. Honestly, it might be the best (genital) warts n’ all rock bio you ever read.

Page 33, after ending up in the hospital with two broken legs at age 15 and banging the nurse who was giving him a sponge bath: “I discovered a crucial law that afternoon: Women adore broken men. They cannot resist the urge to fuck you back to health. I would use this secret off and on for the rest of my life.” Tuck that advice into your back pocket, boys

Some fashion advice (page 50): “Vests covered with pins and buttons, worn without a shirt, could always get you in the door, but on wilder, drunker occasions, bathrobes and open-necked karate uniforms were good choices.” Admittedly this sartorial advice might work best for skinny guys in hair metal bands.

Stephen Pearcy in therapy, talking about the time he partied with Ron Jeremy: “He was all sweaty and hairy, and his chick had these tits that were so fake it looked like if you grabbed them you could feel the plastic wrinkling under her skin. It was awesome.” Therapist: “Why did you want to watch?” Stephen: “Because it was cool. Because it was weird, and really gross. I’m into that kind of thing.”

On 1981: “It was a very good time to be young and in heat.”

Page 113: “Ratt had a new philosophy of heavy metal. Slay, steal, pillage, fuck, inspire twenty-chick orgies, all that good stuff. But in a classy sort of way, no devil worship.”

“You smell ridiculous, bro.” - Tommy Lee, after finding Pearcy on his living room floor.
 

 
While Pearcy rarely gets around to talking about Ratt’s music, he did write at length about shooting the cover of the first EP, which features rats crawling up model Tawny Kitaen’s legs.
Page 149: “Tawny flounced off to the dressing room, and Neil waited until she was out of earshot. “I want to throw some live rats at her,” he said. “Perfect,” I said.”

“We drank for an hour, smoking weed and listening to Black Sabbath, until a man in dented Toyota van bearing the inscription Rent-A-Rat arrived.”

“For one amazing hour, Robbin and I tossed rats at the hottest chick in Los Angeles.”

Page 167: “My doctor gave me the best advice: ‘Always look in the mouth,’ he said. ‘If the mouth’s filthy, then you’ve got a filthy snatch.’”

Page 174: “I pulled my pants down around my ankles and received the blowjob of my life while losing to Blotzer at Pong. And yet, part of me feels like I won.”

Page 183: “In a parking lot, true sluttiness knows no bounds.”

Page 206: “Connie,” I said, “You don’t want what I have.” “Oh,” she said seductively. “I wouldn’t be too sure about that, what is it?” “Diarrhea dick,” I said chummily.

Page 221: “Robbin and I became permanent fixtures at the Sunset Marquis, the bull-goose lunatics of the insane asylum. Often Robbin walked around the halls fully nude in the middle of the day. “Cover yourself, sir!” a surprised clerk yelled. Robbin just looked down at his belly, shocked to find he had no pants on. “Hey, right. I’ll go do that.”

“I got trim in here that would make you sick to your stomach.” - Rodney Dangerfield, another permanent fixture of the Sunset Marquis.

Page 226: “You know, Joe, I almost died last night. Drank some weird alcohol out of a jar with cow balls in it.”

Page 232: “And then the cup was full, on the table, yellow and stinking - seventy-two ounces of tour piss. You could smell it from a mile away. “Well,” said Joe, “who’s gonna drink it?”

“Fuck, I just got a threatening phone call from OJ Simpson.” “What the hell for?” “He says if I don’t stop seeing Tawny, he’ll cut my hands off.”

More from Ratt frontman Stephen Pearcy after the jump…

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment
Big Hair: A collection of epic ‘80s hairstyles
01.17.2017
01:11 pm

Topics:
Fashion

Tags:
hair styles


 
In the past on Dangerous Minds I’ve blogged about ‘The higher the hair, the closer to God’: Glorious BIG hair from the 1960s and Outrageously HUGE pompadours. This time I’m tackling the ever so awesome hairstyles of the 1980s. Just like the ‘60s bouffant and the ‘50s pompadour, the 1980s had its own signature look: Bad perms, crimping irons, hair gel and more Aqua Net than you can shake a stick at. Now some of these ‘dos—if I recall correctly—did follow some of us around into the early nineties.

I’m dying for the patented 80s BIG HAIR look to make an ironic hipster comeback. It just has to. All you Millennials reading this, please take note of these images and make BIG FUCKING HAIR a thing again, please? I’m begging you.

As a side note: someone needs to make a coffee table book solely dedicated to these totally rad hairstyles. Don’t say I never gave you a million dollar idea.


 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Speed Queens: The fearless female drag racers of the 60s and 70s


Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney on the cover of ‘Sunday News Magazine’ in 1978.
 
Like many fields of work, the drag racing scene was and is fairly well dominated by men. During its heyday, specifically the mid-1960s through the early 1970s, the National Hot Rod Association incorporated the use of gorgeous women/models to help appeal to the fanboys. If you were into that scene, you probably spent a lot of time fantasizing about Pam Hardy aka “Jungle Pam” who accompanied driver “Jungle Jim” Liberman across the country clad in go-go boots and form-fitting, barely-there outfits that showcased her bodacious “assets” while she showboated on the track and in the pit for her adoring fans. Though Liberman would pass away unexpectedly in 1977, Hardy would continue to appear at racing events. But this post isn’t about buxom blonde race track cheerleaders. It’s about the ballsy women who drove the cars during that era—and there were actually quite a lot of “speed queens” that not only gave their male counterparts a run for their money, but also blazed a trail for other women who wanted smoke up the track.

And since I know you’re curious, here’s a shot of “Jungle Pam.” Though her attire says otherwise, it must have been cold that day.
 

 
Although there were many notable women drag racers who were active during the 60s and 70s, today I’ll be focusing your attention on three of them: Janet Guthrie, the first woman ever to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and in the Daytona 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race; the “First Lady of Drag Racing,” Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney; and Carol “Bunny” Burkett, who famously worked at the Playboy Club in Baltimore for a brief period in order to help fund her racing career.

Let’s start with my favorite of this kick-ass quad, Shirley Muldowney. Muldowney got her National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) license in 1965 and subsequently became the first woman to compete in the “supercharged gasoline dragster” category. When the NHRA did away with the category, Muldowney set her sights on the ever-popular “funny car” category. Despite their amusing sounding name, there’s nothing actually amusing about “funny cars” as they are insanely dangerous, supercharged pieces of methane-powered machinery that can kill you. But that didn’t phase Muldowney who won her first funny car race in Lebanon Valley, New York. Her success with funny cars led her to compete in the “Top Fuel” category and in August of 1975 she became the first woman to smash through the “five-second barrier” in Martin, Michigan at the Popular Hot Rodding Championships. Fast-forward to 1982 (and many other accolades and awards) when Muldowney became the first woman to receive three national championships from the NHRA making her the first female Top Fuel driver to ever receive this distinction. Make no mistake, Muldowney was a badass in every sense of the word. However, as I mentioned previously, drag racing is a risky pursuit for anyone—male or female alike.

In 1984 Muldowney nearly lost her life after one of the front tires of her nitro-powered dragster blew out while she was screaming down the track at 250 mph. The horrific crash sent Muldowney to the hospital with many injuries including two broken legs that were so messed up that there was a distinct possibility that she might never walk again, never mind get behind the wheel of a race car. But she did indeed walk again and in 1986 she returned to race in the NHRA. In 1989 she became the first woman to join an elite “Crager Four-Second Club” by reaching a mind-shattering 284 MPH in her Top Fuel car in 4.974 seconds. Muldowney would continue to race throughout the 90s until she retired in 2003. Muldowney’s remarkable life and career was the basis for the 1983 film Heart Like a Wheel starring actress Bonnie Bedelia (“Holly Gennaro McClane” of the Die Hard franchise).
 

The earliest known photo (though undated) of Shirley “Cha Cha” Muldowney taken at the Dragway 42 in West Salem, Ohio.
 
Janet Guthrie was another pioneer in women’s drag racing though she didn’t start out with that goal in mind necessarily. In 1964 at the age of 26 Guthrie was accepted into the very first “Scientist-Astronaut” program and though she made it through the first round of eliminations she didn’t make it all the way. Before she entered the wild world of professional car driving she held several fascinating jobs such as a flight instructor (Guthrie was a skilled pilot), an aerospace engineer, and she spent thirteen years building and maintaining race cars she personally owned. In 1976 Guthrie became the first female competitor to race in the NASCAR Winston Cup stock car race. One year later she competed in the Indianapolis 500 and drove in the Daytona 500. Both of these occasions marked the first time that a woman had participated in both prestigious events. A force to be reckoned with, Guthrie garnered the praise and respect of her peers. Here’s NASCAR legend William Caleb “Cale” Yarborough on Guthrie’s racing prowess back in 1977:

There is no question about her ability to race with us. More power to her. She has “made it” in what I think is the most competitive racing circuit in the world.

Thanks to her legendary (albeit short) career Guthrie’s racing suit and helmet are a part of a permanent display at the Smithsonian Institute. Her 2005 autobiography Janet Guthrie: A Life at Full Throttle was praised by The New York Times and Sports Illustrated. In 2006 Guthrie was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Lastly—but not least by a long-shot—is Carol “Bunny” Burkett. Born in the poverty-riddled hills of West Virginia she and her family were fortunate enough to move to Virginia when Burkett was young. According to Burkett, her then boyfriend got her interested in racing when she was just fifteen when he let her speed around a racetrack in his 1955 Mercury. Burkett was hooked and a few years later she purchased her first car—a 1964 Mustang. A year later she was cleaning up at the track winning race after race. In an interesting turn of events Burkett would leave the racing circuit due to financial troubles and got a job at the Playboy Club in nearby Baltimore, Maryland so she could earn the cash necessary to keep her racing career going. The cheeky stint would earn her the nickname of “Bunny” which she emblazoned on her cars.

By the time the 1980s came along Burkett was once again winning championships and in 1986 she won the very first International Hot Rod Association/Alcohol Funny Car (IHRA AFC) championship and is the only female driver to have done so, earning her the title of “First Lady of Funny Car.” Almost a decade later Bunny narrowly avoided being killed after one of her fellow competitors hit her car at more than 200 MPH. Like Cha Cha Muldowney, Bunny would soon enough return to racing for a number of years before ultimately retiring. Burkett is a breast cancer survivor and has spent the later part of her life working for charitable special-needs organizations. According to Burkett all she really wants is to be remembered as is a “good drag racer, a good driver and most of all, a good person.” And to that I say, “mission accomplished” Bunny. And then some.

I’ve included some incredible photos of all of these equally incredible, barrier-busting women below including images from both Bunny’s and Cha Cha’s horrific crashes, as well as other shots of the badass gals behind the wheel and standing by their cars instead of a man. Because horsepower = girl power.
 

Cha Cha Muldowney presiding over her then husband Jack and her dragster.
 

Another awesome shot of Muldowney on the beach with white go-go boots beside one of her cars.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Trust us, you’ve never seen ANYTHING like ‘We Are The Flesh’
01.17.2017
10:42 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Movies
Politics

Tags:
We Are The Flesh


 
One of the outstanding films of Fantastic Fest 2016 was also one of the most divisive. While audiences cheered the pasteurized mainstream sci-fi film Arrival and the sumptuous beauty of Park Chan-wook’s The Handmaiden, Mexican director Emiliano Rocha Minter’s We Are The Flesh shocked audiences into stunned silence. Fest attendees inured to extreme gore and torture porn found something in We Are The Flesh that still retains the power to disturb and provoke: explicit sex. Like directors Gaspar Noé and Alejandro Jodorowsky and author George Bataille, 26-year-old Minter conjures images that take us deep into areas that were and are still taboo. He’s a pilgrim descending into darkness in search of light. If there is a God and God is everywhere then even in Hell there is rapture. And sometimes you gotta be the turd in the punchbowl to do Jesus right.

A film like We Are The Flesh uses cinema in the service of what movies do best: replicate dreams. In the hellish bardo that the movie plunges us into, plot and narrative take a backseat to a series of surreal images and a trance inducing soundtrack that insinuate and point to things beyond knowing. We see but we don’t completely understand what we’re seeing. Like ceremonial magic, film is a language that transcends symbol and gesture. We are often left at the celluloid door breaking holes in it with the fists of our eyes. In the case of We Are The Flesh, the plot, such as it is, is best described by the the press notes:

A young brother and sister, roaming an apocalyptic city, take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit. He puts them to work building a bizarre cavernous structure, where he acts out his insane and depraved fantasies. Trapped in this maddening womb-like world under his malign influence, they find themselves sinking into the realms of dark and forbidden behaviour.


 

 
There was a great line in the ad campaign for George Romero’s masterpiece Dawn Of The Dead: “When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth.” Emiliano Rocha Minter was born in Mexico City, a city that until recent years had been spared the full brunt of Mexico’s drug wars. But drug-related atrocities have hit the streets of Mexico City and continue to grow rampant on the city’s outskirts. More than 100,000 Mexicans have died in the past decade in drug battles between warring gangs. How does a young artist channel what he is witnessing in his own home, when the serpentine line between waking and dreaming nightmare is constantly shifting? How does one maintain sanity in an insane world? You write. You sing. You make fucked up movies.
 

 
In the tradition of filmmakers like Alejandro Jodorowsky, Fernando Arrabal and Juan López Moctezuma, Minter has attempted to discharge the alchemy of film to transform and inflame the dark stuff with something one might call art…or perhaps something cruder, like exorcism. We Are The Flesh rages against the complacency of the viewer. It demands you sit up and pay attention. It screams at you and seduces you. The imagery veers from blunt, violent, angry in-your-faceness to fluid, swirling, mind shattering psychedelia. Sex organs in extreme close-up pulse to the beat of the heart, labial gates form portals to the ultimate question mark in the sky. Flesh is torn, blood flows. This is the meat pit of absolute reality. Minter takes you places you’ve only dreamed of… if your dreams were that of a man in the throes of some mad fever—all of it stunningly realized by cinematographer Yollótl Alvarado. At times, I was reminded of Stan Brakhage’s The Act of Seeing with One’s Own Eyes. Brakhage filmed autopsies so close-in that film rendered flesh into land and seascapes. Alvarado does something similar with genitals. A close-up of a penis lounging on testicles looks like a bullfrog with inflated vocal sacs. The objectified view of the camera takes the erotic right out of the picture. We Are The Flesh is ripe with sex but it’s not sexy, though it is filled with life force.

“Eroticism is assenting to life even in death”—George Bataille.

Minter has made something of a masterpiece in We Are The Flesh. It is a search for meaning in a world that has lost its center. In its thrashing chaos, there is an artist trying to work things out. Like the elaborate structure of wooden sticks and plastic tape that the characters are building within their underground world, Minter has built his own makeshift reality. But Minter’s has better bones.

The film glows with crepuscular light. There are cum shots and penetrations lit in the heightened pastels and posed comic book architecture of F.X. Pope’s porn mindbender Cafe Flesh. And Minter, whether he knows it or not, has ventured into Gerard Damiano’s “dark night of the hole” melancholy of The Devil And Miss Jones. When Catholics do this shit , they go all the way, propelled by centuries of sexual repression. Pasolini’s Salo took us there only to drop us into a pile of fascist-flavored shit.
 

 
We Are The Flesh features one of the truly great performances of the past few years. Noé Hernández plays the role of the Manson-like madman who abducts the brother and sister. It is one of the most committed, naked, raw feats of acting you’ll ever see. Imagine Frank Booth crossed with a troglodyte spewing wisdom like “the spirit does not reside within the flesh, the flesh is the spirit itself! So I kindly ask that all you lowlifes devour me until nothing is left. Eat every bit of my rotten flesh. Drink my blood.” Jesus the thug in a sacramental heat while dressed in Member’s Only disco attire. I do my best, but words fail me in the face of such lunacy. Just see it…  because you’ve never seen anything like it.

Video after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Dirty Books: Nasty, filthy, taboo-breaking retro sex novels
01.17.2017
09:54 am

Topics:
Books
Sex

Tags:
porn books
literature
taboo

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Pornographic literature should have lost the war the day Hugh Hefner first published Playboy in 1953. Who wants to read porn when there are pictures to ogle? Yet, somehow dirty books hung on—through the fifties, through the sixties and beyond. Even today a trashy “sex romance” like Fifty Shades of Grey—which has no redeeming merit beyond its (alleged) masturbatory content—can still top the NY Times book charts.

When porn mags and stag movies spread throughout small town suburban America from the late 1950s on, pornographic literature had to find new ways to command an audience. Literary pornographers quickly realized their only choice was to publish taboo-breaking stories about incest, underage sex, bestiality, rape, torture, kidnap and slavery. These books had titles like: Family Affair, Brother and Sisters, Already Wet for Daddy, The School Bus Rapes, The Captive Mother and Teacher Wants to Suck. This was not the kinda stuff you’d find via the Book of the Month recommendations. These were nasty, filthy sex fantasies that normalized some deeply troubling sex acts—Raped by Daddy being an obvious example.

These books didn’t even have to bother with a half decent cover design—the title alone usually sold the product. Visual porn, the magazines and films, soon caught up with incest porn, bestiality flicks and alike were available to the mass market. Today you can easily find extremely specific sex fetish niches with a quick browse of blog sites like Tumblr.

This small selection of retro porn novels captures some of the racy literature with which Dad and Mom (mostly Dads) got their jollies. And for those with a taste in such, many of these titles can still be bought today via Triple X Books.
 
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More filth, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
The soundtrack to cult comedy horror classic ‘Basket Case’ is finally being released—a DM premiere
01.17.2017
09:27 am

Topics:
Movies
Music

Tags:
Basket Case

Basket Case
“The sickest movie I’ve ever seen!”—Rex Reed

Basket Case is an ultra-gory low-budget horror comedy. Written and directed by indie filmmaker Frank Henenlotter, this 1982 motion picture concerns a young man, Duane, who’s seeking revenge for the forced surgery that separated him from his Siamese twin brother, Belial, who’s disfigured—so much so, that Duane carts Belial around in a basket. Effectively mixing humor and over-the-top gore on a minuscule budget, the film earned a cult following and spawned two sequels.
 
Basket Case poster
 
Gus Russo is responsible for the solid Basket Case score. Russo’s spooky (and often altogether hair-raising) synth work alternates with bossa nova tracks, and pieces driven by various instruments—usually sax or vibes. It’s quite an accomplishment, considering how little Russo had to work with AND that it was his first attempt at scoring a film (more on all of that in a moment).

On January 20th, the Terror Vision record and video label will put out the score for Basket Case, and we’ve got an exclusive audio preview. But first up is a Dangerous Minds interview with Gus Russo, who tells us how serendipity played a role in both the score coming together and its eventual, impending release.

Gus Russo
Gus Russo (on the left) in a scene cut from ‘Basket Case.’

How did you get the job scoring Basket Case?

Gus Russo: I was gigging in Upstate New York, and some of the regulars who used to come to this one club— they were just the rowdiest bunch of people, in a good way. One night, we—the band—introduced ourselves and said, “Who are you guys anyway?” And they said, “Well, we’re from the Glens Falls Hospital’s psychiatric unit.” So, we thought they were people on some sort of relief program—turns out they were the doctors and the technicians (laughs). They just really knew how to party. One of them was Edgar Ievins. He ended up being the producer of Basket Case.

Edgar and I became friends because he was a violinist, and he would sit in and play violin with us. Then Edgar disappeared from Upstate New York, and about a year or so later I heard from him, and he said, “I’m doing movies now in New York City, wanna write the score for the first one?” That’s how it got going.

But I met him at a gig. After work, he would come and sit-in on violin with my band. Then he moved and got involved somehow with Frank [Frank Henenlotter] in New York City.

What was your process like for scoring Basket Case?

Gus Russo: We had no money, even though Edgar went around and raised some money, it really all went to film stock. I had just a few dollars. Once I got the gig, I went down to New York City, from upstate, and met with Frank and watched some rushes of what he had filmed. He gave me the script, and then we talked about styles he wanted. He wanted a variety of music for different scenes.

I have an acoustic guitar back upstate, an electric Gibson, and a four-track tape deck. So, I go back up there and say to myself, ‘How can I create Bernard Herrmann music’—which is what Frank really likes—‘with no money.’ So, I just did the best I could. He wanted a theme that repeated throughout the movie in different styles, like Bernard Herrmann would do, so I came up with that theme. When he had the doctor’s office scene—we couldn’t even afford to buy generic bossa nova background music—so I had to write elevator music for the doctor scenes.

It was all done in my living room on a four-track tape deck. All live, no digital, no nothing.

Did you play all of the instruments?

Gus Russo: I didn’t play them all, but I had friends come by and play. I played a lot of synthesizer. I used the ARP String Ensemble to play fake violins. I went around to my friends and said, “What can I borrow from everybody, because we’ve got no money?” One guy said, “I have a timpani.” Another guy said, “I’ve got vibes.” I had an Echoplex tape machine, which is basically an analog tape loop that we used to use to make tape echo. That played a big part in it, because that was one of the main tools that we had. So, you had this bizarre menagerie of things in my living room—an upright piano that was out of tune, an Echoplex, a timpani drum, a set of vibes, and friends that would come by and play a part. So, it was really wild.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Leave a comment
Don’t try to interpret Susan Sontag’s ‘Duet for Cannibals’
01.16.2017
05:43 pm

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
Susan Sontag


 
In 1969, the American writer and intellectual Susan Sontag (born on this day in 1933) made her first film Duet for Cannibals AKA Duett för kannibaler in Sweden. Like Godard and Truffaut before her, when Sontag moved from serious critique to the arthouse, she stayed quite true to her own ideas about cinema.

In her seminal 1966 essay, “Against Interpretation,” Sontag wrote:

The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. All observable phenomena are bracketed, in Freud’s phrase, as manifest content. This manifest content must be probed and pushed aside to find the true meaning - the latent content - beneath. For Marx, social events like revolutions and wars; for Freud, the events of individual lives (like neurotic symptoms and slips of the tongue) as well as texts (like a dream or a work of art) - all are treated as occasions for interpretation. According to Marx and Freud, these events only seem to be intelligible. Actually, they have no meaning without interpretation. To understand is to interpret. And to interpret is to restate the phenomenon, in effect to find an equivalent for it.

In her writing, Susan Sontag sought to liberate art from interpretation (which is a bit ironic, of course, from someone who was essentially an exalted critic). When it came to her own film, she made something that intended to deliberately confound the notion that there was any sort of underlying meaning beyond exactly what the audience was seeing on the screen directly in front of them.

More from “Against Interpretation”:

Again, Ingmar Bergman may have meant the tank rumbling down the empty night street in The Silence as a phallic symbol. But if he did, it was a foolish thought. (“Never trust the teller, trust the tale,” said Lawrence.) Taken as a brute object, as an immediate sensory equivalent for the mysterious abrupt armored happenings going on inside the hotel, that sequence with the tank is the most striking moment in the film. Those who reach for a Freudian interpretation of the tank are only expressing their lack of response to what is there on the screen.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, in other words.

Sontag’s definition of “interpretation,” then—what she’s agin’—is selectively taking only certain elements from a work of art and then using them for the purpose of “translating” the work in a particular context (Marxist, Freudian), as opposed to simply accepting it. What you see is what you get and stop looking for the subtext or allegory in everything. Art should be sensuous and just wash over you is how, I, er… guess I would interpret it.
 

 
Vincent Canby wrote something along these same lines in a 1969 New York Times article about the films on offer at The New York Film Festival that year:

“The key to the enjoyment of the film…can be found in Miss Sontag’s essays. It’s not because the film recalls either Godard or Bresson, about whom Miss Sontag has written with extraordinary insight. Rather it’s because the film adamantly refuses interpretation on any level but he surface one. It simply is what it is, a self-contained comedy of set pieces, some of which sort of remind you of events (political and psychological) outside the film without ever actually representing those events.”

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Surreal paintings of Francis Bacon as ‘The Joker,’ Charlie Parker as ‘Big Bird’ & many more
01.16.2017
05:37 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Pop Culture

Tags:
Camargo Valentino


‘It was all a Dream.’ An oil painting depicting rapper Biggie Smalls as ‘Max’ from Maurice Sendak’s 1963 book, ‘Where the Wild Things Are.’
 
Artist Camargo Valentino is a painter whose beautifully mashed-up, pop-culture inspired oil paintings routinely fetch between $4,000 - $14,000 bucks a pop. Though he is self-taught when it comes to his preferred medium of oil-painting, Valentino graduated from the Art Institute of Houston and then went on to study under the tutelage of Norwegian artist Odd Nerdrum in Norway and Iceland.

As a child, Camargo spent much of his time drawing pictures based on his toy collection. According to the artist, his creations can take anywhere from 40 to 200 hours to complete and the influence of masters such as Diego Velasquez and his mentor Nerdrum are vibrantly apparent in the composition and use of color to evoke mood in his dreamy oil paintings. Here’s more from Camargo on what inspires him to paint pop culture icons such as jazz great Charlie Parker clad in a “Big Bird” costume:

I paint what I am most attracted to; icons; comics; movies; history; art; sports figures; hip hop; my heritage and world myths. So my paintings are a combination of all these things rolled into one with a splash of myself.

I’ve included a nice selection of Camargo’s paintings below that I think you will love just as much as I do.
 

‘Bird Lives.’
 

Painter Francis Bacon as the Joker.
 

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
This incredible fetish photo history book will have you tied up for months!

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It’s amazing when you consider what we might now view as quaint, familiar photographic imagery was once a serious no-no. We’ve all seen photos of Betty Page bound and gagged to the point where it’s no more shocking than a LIFE magazine cover image. When John Alexander Scott Coutts aka “John Willie,” publisher of the original Bizarre magazine and the author/ artist of the iconic art comic The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline started, excuse me, basically invented fetish photography as we now know it, it was a punishable crime.

Possibilities!, a massive 472 page coffee table book of John Willie’s photos, published by J.B. Rund’s Belier Press is the be-all, end-all last word from the world’s greatest expert on the subject.

Belier Press has been in existence since 1974 and the publisher’s own story is as interesting as the subject of the books he puts out. J.B. Rund was a young teen running around in the original rock ‘n’ roll era (1955/56) looking for second hand rock ‘n’ roll 45s to buy cheap from juke box distributors in Times Square. One of these stores also had “adult books” and this is where the author first saw a John Willie photo. The afterward of this book goes into great detail about this discovery period and the history of Belier Press. Belier Press has published all kinds of books, not just fetish photography, though I can say that the first time I ever saw a photo of Betty Page was on the cover of Belier’s Betty Page Private Peeks volume two. He also put out R. Crumb’s Carload o’ Comics, The Complete Fritz The Cat, all of the reprints of the Irving Klaw catalogs (Bizarre Katalogs), Eric Stanton and Gene “Eneg” Bilbrew and other fetish artists in Bizarre Komix (24 volumes!), The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline and the recent deluxe reprint. An amazing run.
 
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Possibilities! has more than 1,360 photographs basically giving a visual history of John Willie’s fetish coming of age and, in fact, the birth of what we take for granted now as an art form, a style, a distinctive look and feel all which can be traced back in these photos to something that sparked excitement in one man’s mind (and loins) and the fact that he wasn’t afraid to act on that idea, even though for all he knew he may have been one of the only people on earth to feel this way.
 
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John Alexander Scott Coutts (or JASC as the author refers to him) was born in 1902 in Singapore, the youngest of four children of William Scott and Edith Ann Spreckley Coutts. His father, wanting to go into business for himself moved the family to St. Albans, Hertfordshire, a northwest suburb of London in June 1903. As a very young child Coutts was drawn to a particular type of children’s fantasy literature called “Fairy Books,” where he developed an attraction for “damsels in distress” and the want to rescue these damsels. At around this time he also showed a talent for drawing.

To quote the author:

At about the age of puberty he became aware of another attraction—for women in high heeled shoes—which had a strong sexual connotation for him. In his fantasies John wanted these women in high-heels to be tied-up (in order to rescue them?).

In September of 1921 Coutts entered Sandhurst (the Royal Military Academy), graduating in 1923 with a commission as Second Lieutenant and joined the Royal Scots regiment. In 1925 he married Eveline Stella Frances Fisher, a nightclub hostess who he decided needed “rescuing.” They were married without the required permission of his regiment and against his the wishes of his father (who cut him off), so he moved to Australia in late 1925 or early 1926. The marriage disintegrated soon after. One day in 1934 Coutts stumbled upon McNaught’s, a shoe store on King Street that had a sideline catering to shoe fetishists. He also discovered in that establishment the existence of a weekly British magazine called London Life.

London Life was, as Rund puts it:
 

...a weekly British magazine that openly dealt with a range of fetishes, but in a conservative manner that would seem quaint by today’s (lack of) standards. Suddenly John Coutts realized that he was NOT alone!

 
At this point he was introduced to a locally based organization for shoe fetishists, possibly called “The High-Heel Club,” run by a retired ship’s captain who went by the name “Achilles.” He then met Holly Anna Faram around 1934, a woman that shared his his interests in bondage & high heels. She became his first model, and his second wife.
 
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“Coutts was frustrated by the refusal of London Life to print any of his letters on the subject of bondage and arrived at the conclusion–in 1936 or ‘37–that he could produce a superior and more liberal publication, which in 1946 would come to called Bizarre.

In the decade in between coming up with the idea of Bizarre magazine and getting the finances to put that project together, he came up with the idea of selling high-heeled shoes, though he actually wanted to market his photographs of women wearing those shoes and not the actual shoes themselves. But it didn’t work out that way.
 
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In 1937 Coutts got access to “The High-Heel Club” mailing list and started his career as a photographer. He also acquired the right to use the name “Achilles.” At first, using the list, he offered rather pedestrian photos of women wearing high-heels. He then added Holly Anna Faram who turned out to be an amazing model and started offering bondage poses, but in a veiled manner. Like many artists, writers and musicians Coutts was not a good businessman and not very good with money, a problem that would follow him throughout his life.

Early in 1938 he placed a series of ads in London Life magazine for his sexy shoes, charging what he felt would be too much for any potential customer (wanting to push his more reasonably priced photos instead) and naturally people started to order them. Now he had to do something, or return the money. So Coutts added shoe maker/designer to his list of accomplishments. He also put the money together to make his dream magazine but World War II broke out and that ended that dream, at least for a while.

In 1940, John Coutts volunteered for service in the Australian Army (listing his religion as “Pagan”). In 1945 he decided to move to America to once again attempt to bring his Bizarre dream to life. At the end of that year he travelled to Canada on a merchant ship to subsidize the trip. In Montreal he found a printer that not only had an allotment of paper (remember this was wartime), but was willing to take on the job. At that moment both “John Willie” and Bizarre were born.
 
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As far as Coutts’ new name was concerned and what it meant—“Willie,” of course, being British slang for the male sex organ—but “John Willie” was also a Cockney rhyming slang term for a little boy, so ummmm… take your pick! At last he was on his way. Willie moved to New York City in 1946 or ‘47, trying to work on Bizarre with not a lot of luck. He postponed publishing after four issues and started again in 1951. He sold the magazine to a friend in 1956 after publishing 20 issues. He also did business with infamous fetish photographer and mail order dealer Irving Klaw, famous for his Tempest Storm and Betty Page photos, bondage photos, fetish cartoon serials and of course, the photos by John Willie. Klaw made two color full length films (Teaserama and Varietease) which survived and can be seen on one DVD from Something Weird Video.
 
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To quote Rund again:

In April of 1961, after moving to Los Angeles, Coutts/Willie was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor, followed in May by a confrontation with a Postal Inspector concerning his photographs. He then decided to put an end to his activities as “John Willie” and destroyed all of his negatives as well as his mailing list sending this announcement to his customers:

“On this occasion I will forgo the usual editorial “WE” (which is more businesslike) and instead, as this is the last letter you will ever receive from me I am reverting to “I”. I got sick (it happened very suddenly) and had to undergo a major operation (of course I’d have no insurance). As a result, there will be no more “Gwendoline,” and the whole business will be closed as of June 25th. (I have a few weeks grace—I hope.) I would like to inform you that on that date everything, but everything, including the mailing list will be destroyed… It’s been nice to have known you and I wish you the very best in your games of fun and nonsense.”

This was followed by a quotation from John’s favorite book (his “Bible”), The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, from which he had also quoted at the beginning of each issue of Bizarre: “Ah, with the grape of my fading Life provide, And wash my Body whence the Life has died, And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt, So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.”

 
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John Alexander Scott Coutts passed away on August 5th 1962, at a doctor friend’s house in Scottsdale Arizona, on the same day that Marilyn Monroe died.

Little could Coutts have known the impact his art and life would have on the future of human sexuality. This impact is mostly due to Bizarre magazine and his The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, both of which have been documented. According to author and publisher J.B. Rund:
 

The former (Bizarre) in the disappointing reprint of the magazine. The Latter (Gwendoline), together with a substantial amount of previously unpublished and uncollected artwork, in The Adventures of Sweet Gwendoline, (Belier Press, 1974 and 1999). And to a lesser extent, as a photographer, which heretofore has been poorly and disrespectfully done. The present work will expand on this other talent, and provide an extensive—but not a complete—record of his prodigious output in that medium.

 
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The photos in the book are culled almost completely from just two sources, the author/publisher’s personal collection and that of the Kinsey Institute. It’s separated into three huge sections, geographically (Australia, New York, Los Angeles) which match his life’s timeline and it’s just incredible to see it all in one massive artistic survey. The notes, introductions and afterward are riddled with the most minute details that seem to leave no stone unturned. If you have even the slightest interest in pop culture, photography, women in distress, art, bondage, or the history of alternative culture, then you owe it to yourself to own this book—the only one you’ll ever need on this subject. Trade edition available from Belier Press for $70. Deluxe limited edition of 150 numbered copies each in a custom made cloth slipcase containing an ORIGINAL print of a photograph taken by John Willie in Los Angeles circa 1958-61, a different photo in each book, plus reproductions of two previously privately circulated photographs taken by Willie in Sydney circa 1938 (not in the book). Plus John Willie Speaks–John Willie Sings!?!, an audio CD, just under forty-eight minutes, consisting of a monologue from Within A Story, his only known speaking part in a motion picture from 1954, and excerpts from the only known interview with Willie from 1961-62, excerpts from A Bawdy Recital–Poems, songs and stories performed by John Willie in 1962. Whew! A serious bargain if you ask me, as only Belier Press could whip up.
 

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
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