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The Ramones on the Jerry Lewis Telethon
08.29.2014
05:57 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk
Television

Tags:
The Ramones


 
Well here’s something kind of strange and wonderful: The Ramones playing on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon in September of 1989. The choice of songs couldn’t be more appropriate: “I Believe In Miracles” and “I Wanna Be Sedated.” This was C.J.‘s debut gig with the band and it must have been a particularly surreal initiation for the newly adopted Ramone.

This was aired on WWOR-TV in New York City.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Superstars In Concert’: Jimi, Cream, Rolling Stones, Ike & Tina Turner & more in obscure classic


 
When the question of “What’s the best/great rockumentary of all?” is asked, the answers can range quite widely obviously, from something like Don’t Look Back or Let It Be to The Last Waltz or Stop Making Sense (which both seem to make almost everyone’s lists) to something totally out of left field and life-affirming like Half Japanese: The Band That Would Be King. I really loved the new Pulp: a Film about Life, Death and Supermarkets... and wouldn’t “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” be in the running for all-time best rockumentary? Of course it would be!

It’s an impossible question to answer, but sidestepping it somewhat, if I had to pick the best overall “time capsule” of the rock era to preserve for future generations, it would probably be Peter Clifton’s Superstars In Concert.  Also known as Rock City in a different edit, the film was directed and produced by Clifton (The Song Remains the Same, Popcorn, The London Rock and Roll Show) and is a hodge-podge compiling (mostly) his promotional short films and snippets of concert performances shot between 1964 and 1973 by the likes of Peter Whitehead (Wholly Communion, Charlie Is My Darling, Tonite Let’s All Make Love in London), Michael Cooper (who shot Kenneth Anger’s Lucifer Rising), Ernest Vincze (the cinematographer responsible for the 2005 Doctor Who reboot) and Ivan Strasburg (Treme).
 

 
Featured in the film are The Rolling Stones (several times), Eric Burdon and The Animals, a typically demure appearance of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Otis Redding bringing the house down, Cream, Steve Winwood, Blind Faith, Cat Stevens (a stark Kubrickian promo film for his “Father and Son” single) , The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Donovan, Joe Cocker, a segment with The Ike and Tina Turner Revue that will bring a smile to your face, Pink Floyd and Rod Stewart and the Faces. Pete Townshend is seen getting in his digs at the Stones for promoting pot use, managing to make himself look like a blue-nosed twat in the process, while Mick and the boys are seen doing “Jumpin Jack Flash” in the (decidedly more evil) warpaint version of that promo film (there were two, this is the one that was NOT shown on The Ed Sullivan Show for obvious reasons) and in their promo film for “We Love You” which features Keef in a judge’s wig, Marianne Faithfull as a barrister and Mick nude wrapped up in a fur rug (a sly joke that if you don’t get, then google “Rolling Stones,” “Redlands,” drug bust, her name and “Hershey Bar.”)

Superstars In Concert came out in Japan on the laserdisc format and that’s how I first saw it, in the late 80s. Since then, other than the various clips showing up cut from the film on YouTube, it’s remained an obscurity. Apparently there was a Malaysian bootleg and then in 2003 a Brazilian magazine called DVD Total gave away the film for free with one of their issues. So far fewer than 200 people have viewed the video.

DO NOT miss what’s perhaps the most intense version of Pink Floyd’s “Careful with That Axe Eugene” ever captured on film. This entire film is absolutely amazing from start to finish, but it jumps off the scale during that part (Otis Redding is no slouch, either!) I highly recommend letting it load first before you hit play, otherwise it’s kind of flickery. If you wait a while, it doesn’t hang up and looks and sounds great.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Eye-catching (but let’s face it, creepy) baby GIFs
08.29.2014
08:06 am

Topics:
Animation
Art

Tags:
GIFs


 
I’m lovin’ and hatin’ these mesmerizing baby GIFs by Austin-based designer and animator, Hayden Zezula. They remind me of something I’ve seen before, but I can’t place my finger on it.
 

 

 

 

 
via Boing Boing

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
So, yeah, there’s now an artisanal vegan prison tattoo kit…
08.29.2014
07:39 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Stupid or Evil?

Tags:
tattoo


 
So you want a shitty amateur tattoo, obtained without the hassle or expense that can accompany experienced professionals and sterile environments, but you’re not SO obtuse as not to fear the Hep C, tetanus and necrotizing fasciitis you can get from using a safety pin and ink harvested from a ballpoint pen? Stick and Poke is here, claiming to render safe your brave and likely idiotic choice with their home tattoo kits, containing sealed needles, basic sterility supplies, and vegan ink, which is important for some reason.
 

 
WHAT I AM NOT GOING TO DO HERE:  There will be no tattoo shaming. I’m inked, so I’ve obviously got nothing against the practice. There will be no hipster straw-manning, as I’m arguably in a glass house on that count, too. There will be no ripping on vegans, even sanctimonious ones. There are far worse things in this world than a food scold. All I’m saying is the trendlet for tiny little homemade blackline tattoos all over one’s self has already saturated to the point where Miley Cyrus forfuxsakes has a bunch of them on her hands. Is that who you want to be like? Miley Cyrus? If there’s any doubt that this is aimed squarely at over precious, faddish tweepeople, check out the flash they offer, which look like the study hall doodles of an inapt 7th grader.
 

 

 

 
Understanding that people have been doing this on their own forever and will continue to do so, it’s surely better that it be done with a modicum of safety in mind, so I sought the opinion of a qualified, long-standing professional in the field to pick his brain about these kits. Ladies and gentlemen, meet The Human Furnace, singer for hardcore/metal lifers and Relapse Records artists Ringworm, and co-proprietor since 1997 of 252 Tattoo, now with two locations to better serve Northeast Ohio. I asked him for his take on the safety of these kits, and while I expected he wouldn’t be fully on board with them, I didn’t quite expect him to projectile-vomit a nest of hornets:

Wow. This is pretty hilarious. I particularly like the page of the manual that warns “Consult your physician before getting a tattoo. Consult a professional tattoo artist before getting a tattoo.” Huh? What’s this kit FOR, then? Isn’t the entire “WARNINGS” section one giant oxymoron? And the “professional vegan ink” has such a nice ring to it. This pretty much takes the whole “kit tattooing” thing to a more ignorant level, as a tattoo machine is too technical for some, and let’s face it, sometimes the spare room in your mother-in-law’s trailer doesn’t have any outlets. Just stick ‘em with a needle!

Basically, someone just packaged up about $3.50 worth of crap in a box and is marketing to the extra large percentage of idiots around the world. On some levels, I enjoy things like this because its soooooooo enjoyable to make fun of the results when people fly the huge “Hey look! I’m an IDIOT and I don’t even know it” flag, so I appreciate them saving me some time in getting to know them. I’m a busy man. And, I must admit that there was a time (a loooong time ago) that I was hand-poking The Germs (O’s) tattoos on my buddies shoulders on front porches in the summer time while drinking crazy horse malt liquor and listening to the Exploited, but things where different then. I dunno. Perhaps I’m wrong. Tattooing and the whole tattoo industry was completely different 25-26 yrs ago. It wasn’t hip. The prom queen, star quarterback and student council president didn’t have full sleeves of Sailor Jerry tattoos or Mumford and Sons song lyrics written across their ribs. And, as much as this type of stuff amuses me, it really just takes another bite out of the professional tattoo industry. Young Idiots like myself and many many others worked really fucking hard to get tattooing to a legit level. It’s disheartening sometimes to realize that crap like this is just a by-product caused by the mainstreaming of tattooing.

Should this type of thing be illegal? There’s a strong case for it. Professionals have to be certified (and these days, certifiable), have blood-borne pathogen classes, follow codes, follow professional standards, ethics (well, maybe not ethics, but that’s a whole other story) etc. Will this type of thing ever BE illegal? Fuck no. You’ll never be able to stop this type of stuff. As long as there is an angle to make some cash and exploit some popular trend, somebody’s going to do it. So, Get in on it while ya can folks! Make extra CA$H from Home! Why pay outrageous professional prices? Fuck your best friend up! Fuck your brother up! Fuck your sister! Oops, I mean, fuck your sister up and even fuck yourself up with the Stick and Poke Tattoo Kit from Ronco! Fun for All Ages!.....ughhhhh. Someone come get me when this is all over. I have some tattooing to do. On the bright side, our hospitals are going to be getting a nice influx of staph and sepsis cases to keep them busy. We’ve got healthcare now right?

So there you go, straight from a pro. A smartass, rant-prone pro, but among his many points, he’s got a damn good one about the expense. The kit goes for $40—a “bargainous” $70 if you get the nauseatingly precious “partners” set—but fifty tattooing needles in sterile packaging retail for about $6, ink for about $3, and much of the industrialized world already has gauze, rubbing alcohol and bandages socked away in the bathroom cupboard. This is an expensive box of bullshit, made of unbleached brown paper so its dainty consumer can feel planet savingly eco-friendly about the completely wasted packaging. But I guess it doesn’t matter how that handlebar mustache gets on the side of your index finger, just as long as it gets there.
 

 
I would totally let Beth Piwkowski use one of these kits to tattoo Foot Foot on my neck in gratitude for this find.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
7-year-old redesigns condiment label so that it doesn’t look like turds
08.29.2014
07:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food

Tags:
brown sauce


 
There is packaging that is corny and packaging that is ugly and packaging that is lame, but most of the time we can ignore bad design. But then there are cetain labels that look like shit—not “shitty,” mind you, but like actual, literal shit. For example, the original packaging for Waitrose brown sauce appeared to feature feces—apparently they’re dates (Where besides Palm Springs would they serve dates with breakfast? I say they’re cat poop.). Luckily, intrepid six-year-old (now seven) Harry Deverill sensed something amiss, and wrote to the company a helpful letter, politely skirting the obvious resemblance of the dates to something less nutritious…

Dear Mark Price,

I am writing as the other morning I had Waitrose essential Brown Sauce with my bacon sandwiches. I asked Daddy what the picture is of on the label. Daddy didn’t know and neither do I. Please could you let me know. Mummy says I am good at drawing so if you would like me to draw a new picture for the label I would be happy to.

Kind regards, Harry Deverill, aged 6

You can see Harry with his adorable (and identifiable) redesign in the picture below. The traditional English breakfast is unfairly maligned in my opinion, but its reputation isn’t helped by fecal graphics. So well done, Harry! May all your breakfasts be devoid of scatological imagery!
 

 
Via Fast Company

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Cool in the Pool’: Beating the heat with Can’s Holger Czukay, 1979
08.29.2014
06:40 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Krautrock
Holger Czukay


Holger Czukay’s first solo single “Cool in the Pool”
 
Holger Czukay, the bassist who co-founded Can, quit the group after 1977’s Saw Delight. His departure marked the beginning of the end for Can, who split in 1979 and didn’t play together again for almost a decade.

Around the time of the split, John Lydon, then leading Public Image Ltd., suggested Can take him on as lead singer. “There was all this trouble with Holger leaving, which was a sad thing,” Can’s keyboardist Irmin Schmidt told MOJO. “It was time to stop, and even John Lydon wouldn’t have brought anything into it!” (Lydon didn’t end up singing for Can, but PiL bassist Jah Wobble did collaborate with Czukay a few years later.)
 

Holger Czukay’s 1979 solo album Movies
 
Meanwhile, the 41-year-old Czukay had more important things on his mind, like how to beat the heat. With nothing more than a tuxedo, a comb, a bow and a French horn, he made this supremely silly promotional film for “Cool in the Pool,” the first song on his solo album Movies (1979). Most of the lyrics are as straightforward as it gets, though I’m afraid I can’t help you decipher the parts about the donkey dancing forward and the ice cream soda. However, Holger’s vamps can help lower your body temperature a few degrees.

Come on in—the water’s fine!
 

Holger Czukay “Cool in the Pool” music video

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Incredible music billboards from the Sunset Strip
08.29.2014
06:37 am

Topics:
Advertising
Music

Tags:
billboards
Robert Landau


UFO, Obsession, 1978
 
I love everything about these remarkable advertisements, all of which were on the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles between 1967 and 1981. We have photographer Robert Landau to thank for these pictures, as his collection represents the best available resource about them. Last year he came out with a very pretty book called Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboards of the Sunset Strip.

According to Landau, it wasn’t until 1967 that the music industry ventured into billboards to advertise new rock albums. The first rock billboard was for the Doors’ first album. As we can see here, other acts had billboards by 1967, so it must have caught on quickly.

“When I went out to explore the world,” says Landau. “I felt the Strip was like a gallery; there were these hand-painted works of art on the street. ... They looked like giant art pieces that kind of represented my generation and the music I listened to.”

“At one time, L.A. just felt a lot funkier. It felt more Western, and ... people could come here and do whatever they want. To a degree, that created a lot of chaos, but there was something about that freedom that allowed people to do fun things,” he says. “Things were a little quirkier back then. There was a bit more of a personal feel to the environment.”

A few notes about the pictures below. The ELO billboard is noteworthy because of the custom-made plexiglass neon space station, based on John Kosh’s logo for the band, which cost $50,000. Obviously, the Abbey Road billboard pictured here was defaced by some Beatlemaniac, which is why Paul’s head isn’t there. My favorite billboard of the bunch (and Landau’s too) is the remarkable one for the London Symphony Orchestra’s recording of Tommy from 1972; the billboard features no text whatsoever, just those creepy sci-fi eyes staring out at you. So ballsy!
 

Pink Floyd, Atom Heart Mother, 1970
 

Cocker Is Coming
 

10cc, Deceptive Bends, 1977
 

Joni Mitchell, Blue, 1971
 

The Knack, Round Trip, 1981
 

Jimi Hendrix, Axis: Bold as Love, 1967
 
Nei
Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Zuma, 1975
 

London Symphony Orchestra, Tommy, 1972
 

ELO, Out of the Blue, 1977
 
Many more billboards plus a video, after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Brickjest,’ the LEGO version of ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace


“These are three Deans—of Admissions, Academic Affairs, Athletic Affairs. I do not know which face belongs to whom,” p. 3
 
Infinite Jest, the famously brilliant and famously unread 1996 novel by David Foster Wallace, frequently described as the most important novel of the 1990s and then some ... finally has inspired a LEGO muse to take up the task of executing a brick adaptation. It is called BrickJest. Infinite Jest is about many things, including tennis, addiction, filmmaking, corporate sponsorship, and terrorism. It’s a rich tapestry that positively cries out for the medium of brightly colored plastic bricks.

Charmingly, the photos below (just a fraction of the whole) are the fruits of a collaboration between Prof. Kevin Griffith of Capital University and his eleven-year-old son Sebastian, who “created all the scenes based on his father’s descriptions of the relevant pages.” They were jointly inspired by The Brick Bible by Brendan Powell Smith.
 

“‘I am not just a creatus, manufactured, conditioned, bred for a function.’ ... ‘Sweet mother of Christ,’ the Director says,” p. 12
 

“He felt similar to the insect inside the girder his shelf was connected too, but was not sure just how he was similar,” p. 19
 

“And out of nowhere a bird had all of a sudden fallen into the Jacuzzi,” p. 44
 

“The tall, ungainly, socially challenged and hard-drinking Dr. Incandenza’s May-December marriage to one of the few bona-fide bombshell-type females in North American Academia, the extremely tall and high-strung . . . Avril Mondragon . . .,” p. 64
 

“So but when Schtitt dons the leather helmet and goggles and revs up the old F.R.G.-era BMW cycle . . . it is usually eighteen-year-old Mario Incandenza who gets to ride along in the side-car . . .,” p. 79
 

“Feral hamsters are not pets. They mean business,” p. 93
 

“Video telephony rendered the fantasy insupportable,” p. 146
 

“1610h. Weightroom freestyle circuits. The clank and click of various resistance-systems. Lyle on the towel dispenser . . .,” p. 198
 

“Gately now shares the important duty of ‘breaking down the hall,’ sweeping floors and emptying ashtrays . . .,” p. 360
 

“Clipperton plays tennis with the Glock 17 held steadily to his left temple,” p. 409
 

“Gately has to smile at the Wraith’s cluelessness . . .a drug addict’s second most meaningful relationship is always with his domestic entertainment unit, TV/VCR or HDTP,” p. 834
 
via Biblioklept

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Moving 1960s short interviews the ‘Bowery Bums’ of old New York
08.28.2014
01:34 pm

Topics:
Class War
History

Tags:
1960s
NYC
homelessness


 
Despite former Mayor Giuliani’s highly successful war on the homeless, the destitute faces of “Old New York” remain some of our most recognizable mascots. One of the misconceptions about present-day NYC is that the streets are now “scrubbed” of the homeless, but nothing could be further from the truth. The post-Giuliani policing of the poor was however, an unmitigated success when it came to dispersing indigent bodies—in other words, busting up homeless communities. Simply put, it’s not illegal to die in the street, it’s just illegal to fraternize with your fellow undesirables.

The video below, shot in 1960 and 1961, doesn’t dig deep—it doesn’t have to. Men are quick and open about their lives. The tragically predictable culprits of addiction, prison, disability and the lack of work brought them to the Bowery, and they’re rightfully resentful of their grim sanctuary. Still, it’s an odd thing to be wistful for a time when the homeless were at least able to commiserate fraternally in New York City. Like the gentlemen say, “misery loves company.”
 

 
Via Bowery Boogie

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
‘Lose your mind and play’ Syd Barrett and Pink Floyd ‘live’ on TOTP, 1967


 
I type this as someone who has (perhaps obsessively) gone out of his way—for decades now—acquiring Pink Floyd bootlegs. I couldn’t get enough of them, always trading up in quality if possible. There was always an endless supply of them, with “new” ones popping up constantly. It was a disease like stamp collecting. I even paid a hundred bucks for one that I just had to have…

Since YouTube launched in 2005, of course, there’s been so much additional Pink Floyd goodness making its way to the public—an avalanche really—which is the only way to explain how THIS ONE got past me in the Floydian deluge… I’d read a few years ago that the British Film Institute had located tapes of two of Pink Floyd’s three Top of the Pops appearances in the summer of 1967 and that the quality was a little ropey. I promptly forget about it, but that footage turned up on YouTube about a year ago, even if I just saw it myself this morning.

True the quality isn’t great—only one of the tapes was watchable apparently—but who’s going to complain about catching a rare glimpse of a still functional Syd Barrett fronting Pink Floyd on TOTP in 1967??? Before this video was located, practically the only documentation of the group’s trio of appearances on the program was the color shot used on the Syd Barrett bootleg “Unforgotten Hero” as seen above.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘The Balcony’: Peter Falk, Leonard Nimoy & Shelley Winters frolic in Jean Genet’s twisted whorehouse

balpostcony.jpg
 
The Savage Eye was an early example of American cinema vérité that began as a film project worked on (over several years at weekends and days off) by three friends Ben Maddow (famed and award-winning screenwriter of Asphalt Jungle amongst many others), Sidney Meyers (radical film-maker and documentarian), and Joseph Strick (successful businessman and ambitious film-maker). Their movie mixed social documentary and drama that told the story of one woman’s (low) life in big, anonymous, brash, modern Los Angeles. It became a major hit at the Edinburgh Festival and won the trio a BAFTA—the equivalent of a British Oscar—in 1960. Encouraged by the film’s success, Strick sought out another project to work on.

He tried and failed to option James Joyce’s Ulysses, a project he had long cherished, though he would eventually film Ulysses with Milo O’Shea in 1967, and later produce and direct the big screen adaptation of Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man with Bosco Hogan and John Gielgud in 1977. Having failed on a first attempt with Ulysses, Strick approached Friedrich Dürrenmatt to option his play The Visit—in which a woman offers her home village money and success at the cost of killing her ex-boyfriend—but was also knocked back. He then approached Jean Genet and asked to option the film rights to his highly controversial play The Balcony. This time he was successful.
 
baltenegj.jpg
Jean Genet.
 
The Balcony is a brilliant and often disturbing drama, hailed as either the play that re-invented modern theater or the first great piece of French Brechtian theater—take your pick. Set in a high-class whorehouse situated in some unnamed city during an apparent bloody revolution, the play works as a metaphor for the different classes and corrupt structures of society. Genet wrote the first version of The Balcony (and a first version of The Blacks) in the spring and summer of 1955. Over the next ten years, Genet constantly wrote and rewrote The Balcony and between 1955 and 1961 he published five different versions. (There are some—like the play’s editor Marc Babezat—who believe Genet destroyed the script through his incessant revisions.)

In his introduction to the first version of The Balcony, Genet explained the drama’s story:

This play has as its object the mythology of the whorehouse. A Police Chief is infuriated, chagrined, to notice that at the ‘Great Balcony’ there are many erotic rituals representing various heroes: the Abbe, the Hero, the Criminal, the Beggar—and others besides—but alas, never he Police Chief. He struggles so that his own character will finally, through an exquisite act of grace, haunt the erotic daydreams and that he will thereby become a hero in mythology of the whorehouse.

Though Genet claimed he had no interest in films (“Cinema does not interest me”), he agreed to Strick’s offer to produce a movie version of The Balcony. Edmund White in his biography of Genet described the original meeting between French playwright and American film-maker:

Strick first encountered Genet in Milan, where Genet had reserved rooms in two different hotels ‘in case he had to reject my idea—he’s that sensitive,’ said Strick. Genet had seen one of Strick’s earlier films The Savage Eye, the story of a sad, recently divorced woman and her view of the seedy side of California life. Genet instructed Frechtman to speak to Strick for him: ‘Tell him that a lot of the images in his film touched me, but that the plot construction, the under-pinning appeared to me very weak. He doesn’t prove to us that this woman has changed at the end of the film. Now, a film adapted from The Balcony needs a very solid structure. Who will provide?’

While Strick stayed in the luxurious Hotel Negresco, Genet preferred a ratty hotel he called the Horresco. He was clean and neat but always dressed in the same corduroy trousers, turtleneck sweater and black leather jacket. Genet wrote a long treatment, a detailed description of the action without dialogue. Two stumbling blocks were the character Roger’s self-castration, and the whole end of the play, which is not well integrated with the preceding scenes. In the final version the castration was indeed removed. Genet worked four hours a day. Strick wanted Genet to do a shooting script and promised to follow every shot, but Genet didn’t want to invest any more time in the project. He latter told Marianne de Pury that he found the collaboration very irritating. He was still working on The Screens. He did accept, however, the idea that The Balcony should take place in a film studio and not a whorehouse.

 
balcofalwint1.jpg
Peter Falk as the Police Chief and Shelley Winters as Madame Irma in Strick’s ‘The Balcony’.
 
Ben Maddow was then employed to write the final script. The movie was then shot a very low budget, with the actors all working for minimum wage. Strick originally wanted Barbara Hepworth as Madame Irma, but she refused working for a minimum fee. Strick therefore approached the Hollywood star Shelley Winters to play the madame. Peter Falk, in only his second movie, agreed to play the Chief of Police, while future Mr. Spock, Leonard Nimoy played the role of Roger. Ruby Dee reprised her stage role as one of the prostitutes. Though considerably tamer than the Genet’s play, Strick still manages to maintain much of the play’s integrity. However, critics were mixed on the film’s release, with some papers, like The New York Times—quelle surprise—hating it. Watching it now, Strick made a bold and brave venture of a difficult and powerful drama.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Lee Marvin, Steve McQueen, Warren Oates and John Boorman at the ‘Point Blank’ wrap party
08.28.2014
07:44 am

Topics:
Movies

Tags:
John Boorman
Lee Marvin

111blankposterleepointmarvin.jpg
 
You can read all the self-help and how-to-succeed books you want, but sometimes success comes down to how you get on with other people.

The English director John Boorman had only directed one (flop) film, the sub-Beatles Dave Clark Five flick Catch Us If You Can, when he met Lee Marvin to discuss working on a film together. Marvin was at the top of the tree having just won several awards (including an Oscar) for his performance in Cat Ballou. The actor was in England working on his latest feature The Dirty Dozen when he had a discussion with Boorman about the possibility of making a film together based on Richard Stark’s novel The Hunter. There was a script, but neither Marvin or Boorman liked it much, both preferring Stark’s hard-edged loner Parker from the book, or as he was renamed in the screenplay, Walker.

For whatever reasons, the novice film director and the experienced actor hit it off, and Marvin agreed to appear in Boorman’s film—there was only one thing, he just didn’t want that script. In an interview between Boorman and Steven Soderbergh, the director recalled how the actor called a meeting with the film company’s head of studio, the film’s producers and himself, where Marvin asked if he had script approval? They told him, he did. Then Marvin asked if he had approval of the main casting? Again he was told he did. Then Lee Marvin did something extraordinary:

He said, “I defer all those approvals to John.” And he walked out. So on my very first film in Hollywood, I had final cut and I made use of it.

This is how John Boorman was able to make Point Blank the way he wanted to make it. The film established him as a powerful and visionary director, while his movie Point Blank was hailed by critics as a masterpiece, which has grown in reputation over the years, and is now listed as one of those [Pick a number] Movies You Must See Before You Die.

Success comes not from any dime store self-help book but from who you are and what talent you have, and sometimes from the people who like you.

This selection of seldom seen photographs come from the wrap party given for Point Blank at the Zoo club in Los Angeles, 1967.
 
01enterlee.jpg
Lee Marvin arrives at the Zoo club with drink and cigarette to hand.
 
55leeboorman.jpg
Lee Marvin, John Boorman and Michelle Triola—who would later (unsuccessfully) sue the actor for palimony.
 
99leemcqueenco.jpg
Steve McQueen with then wife Neile McQueen (short dark hair). Note Burt Reynolds cuttin’ a rug.
 
1212leepartyboormansmoke.jpg
Marvin and Boorman horse around with Keenan Wynn.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Fantastic footage documenting the Tower Records shopping experience of 1971
08.28.2014
07:16 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Tower Records


The Tower Records on Sunset Blvd. circa 1988 (note the poster for the Coming to America soundtrack)
 
This utterly enthralling footage of the Tower Records on 8801 Sunset Boulevard was shot by Sacramento City College professor Darrell Forney in 1971. It’s available on archive.org. It’s ten solid minutes of pretty much random footage on a typical day, scored to Sly and the Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)” and Janis Joplin’s “Me and Bobby McGee.” Anyone who’s old enough to remember those days—or simply anyone who’s into record collecting—set aside ten minutes to take this wonderful footage in. Then set aside another ten minutes to watch it all over again.

Tower Records was based in Sacramento and had existed since 1960—when this footage was shot, the Sunset Blvd. location had been open for only a year. It would be a mainstay for Los Angeles music lovers for more than three decades, until it finally closed in 2006.
 

 
I love how they just stack the records in the middle of everything. New albums appeared to cost $3.55 for the most part—not all that cheap, that translates to about $20 today (a good number of those albums in reissued LP format would run about $20, no?). We can see staff members unpacking many, many boxes of George Harrison’s 1970 triple LP All Things Must Pass. Does anyone see an album that definitely dates this at 1971? I thought I saw Elton John’s 11-17-70 but it was actually his self-titled album. Fascinating to see 8-track cassettes being sold in large quantities and also, not ironically.

Hey, that clerk is smoking!! Surely he was risking a fine?? Oh, what am I talking about, this is 1971, nobody gave a hoot about stuff like that. (There’s even an ashtray on the checkout counter.) At least two handsome pooches are also depicted, I can’t imagine they were letting dogs in by the time 2005 rolled around.

There’s a lingering shot of someone thumbing through a new copy of the Schwann Stereo Record Guide. I’m going to assume that this was an essential bit of stereophile literature, but it’s before my time. I was a little surprised to see that the familiar red-on-yellow typeface was already in place this early.

I’ve been a CD/mp3 person for most of my life, but last autumn I finally gave in to the LP impulse—this is the most mouth-watering thing I’m likely to see all week. Luckily Amoeba Records has already done the bloggers of 2056 a big favor by thoroughly documenting the scene there, including live performances and inviting fun people to spend a hundred bucks in the store during their “What’s In My Bag?” web series.
 

 
Here’s a promo for Tower Records that John Lennon taped during an in-studio radio appearance on KHJ in 1974. The album he was promoting was Walls and Bridges. This cute montage uses a whole lot of Professor Forney’s footage. (You can actually see Paul McCartney’s first album, which is a little odd.)
 

 
via Wax Poetics & Vintage Los Angeles
 
Thank you Blue Arrow Records of Cleveland, Ohio!
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Wattstax’: The ‘Black Woodstock’ music festival


 
The Watts Riots are often referred to by lefties as “The Watts Rebellion.” While both are technically accurate descriptions, “rebellion” is considered the preferable word by sympathists, since “riot” has a negative connotation. For me, the word “riot” lacks any moralist stigma, since rioting has historically played a necessary role in the resistance of oppressed people. I also think “riots” paints a more identifiable picture.

In addition to less explicit economic discrimination, the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles was plagued with racist attacks from both white gangs and and a militarized police force (sound familiar?). The 1965 events that incited the riots are convoluted, but (briefly) a black man was arrested for driving under the influence, his brother (who was was a passenger), left to inform the man’s mother, who showed up to the arrest. There was a physical altercation, all three black citizens were arrested, and onlookers from the neighborhood began throwing things at the cops.

Eight days later, 34 deaths, 1,032 injuries and 3,952 arrests. 600 businesses were destroyed and over $40 million was done in damages over a 46-square mile-area.
 

 
In 1972, Stax Records put on a concert featuring their artists to commemorate the riots. Tickets for the Wattstax music festival (held in the massive L.A. Coliseum) were sold for $1 each to keep the event affordable for working class Los Angeles residents. Mel Stuart, who had just directed Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (a box-office bomb, despite its classic status), documented the concert in Wattstax, the electric results of which you see below. Wattstax has been shorthanded as “The Black Woodstock,” but it’s so much more.

The film is something greater than a record of fantastic concert footage, though the performances from artists like The Staples Singers, Isaac Hayes and The Bar-Kays are mind-blowing. It’s the interviews with Watts residents, who reflect on their lives and politics and what has and hasn’t changed since the riots, that really make the film. Richard Pryor serves as a kind of Greek chorus, and his interactions with the crowd are hilarious and full of humanity. You’ll notice that nearly the entire audience defiantly stays seated during Kim Weston’s rendition of the national anthem.

If you want a good clip to sample, there’s a fantastic bit starting around the 38:30 mark where Richard Pryor riffs on black identity (and pork). It then cuts to The Bar-Kays (looking like a heavenly choir from outer space), who do a blistering version of “Son of Shaft.”
 

 
Via Open Culture

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Miniature marvels: Welcome to the fabulous world of Subatomic Tourism

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Entourage.
 
Subatomic Tourism is the fantastic miniature world created by “bequiffed” Edinburgh-based visual art Mirren Audax. As he describes it on his site:

Subatomic Tourism is an ongoing project to big up the small with a hint of Irwin Allen and Richard Feynman, along with a touch of Marcel Duchamp and Ray Harryhausen; to bring by way of Joseph Cornell and Gerry Anderson a celebration of the wonderful world-sized diorama we find ourselves living in.

Audax photographs scenes created with toy figures placed in urban settings that resemble stills from classic TV series, science fiction films, pop culture and surreal portraiture. With references to Doctor Who, Star Trek, H. P. Lovecraft and American road movies, Audux’ fabulous images allow the viewer to invent their own narrative for each image.

See more Lilliputian worlds here, and you can follow the Museum of Subatomic Tourism on Facebook and Twitter.
 
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Migration Tracking.
 
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Lost In The Supermarket.
 
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Silver Foil Nemesis.
 
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The Saucer.
 
More miniature marvels after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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