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Off with your nose!: A look at the long, strange, cinematic history of Baron Munchausen


An enchanting movie poster for the Czechoslovakia film ‘The Fabulous Baron Munchausen’ (aka ‘The Outrageous Baron Munchausen’/‘Baron Prášil’) directed by Karel Zeman (1962).
 
I suspect the vast majority of Dangerous Minds readers have seen Terry Gilliam’s’ multi-multi-million dollar film, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)—though I also believe that many of our devoted followers are probably also acquainted with the rich, cinematic history (at least eight shorts and more than a handful of films exist) based on the tall-tale-telling Baron who was actually a real person. It should also be noted that any George Harrison superfan likely knows a bit more about the Baron’s 200-year-old history as Harrison was an avid collector of the work of Gustave Doré, the great illustrator and engraver who conceived the quintessential image of the Baron.

As he notes in the extras of the Second Run Blu-ray of The Fabulous Baron Munchausen Terry Gilliam gives much credit for his vision of the story to director and special effects artist Karel Zeman saying Zeman’s influence on his own work is “continual,” and he’s “pretty sure” he has stolen many of Zeman’s artistic methods for his own films. Other fans of Zeman’s work include Tim Burton and special effects legend Ray Harryhausen who has said he “deeply appreciated” Zeman’s talent. As it relates directly to this post, one of the films the former Monty Python member perhaps pilfered from was The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (aka The Outrageous Baron Munchausen/Baron Prášil).

The Fabulous Baron Munchausen was directed by Zeman who also created the multi-layered, dreamlike special effects in the film. Here is Zeman (as seen in an interview with the director in the Second Run release), on his vision for the movie:

“I wanted to capture the surreal world of Baron Munchausen. I wanted this romantic fantasy to be unleashed from the mundane reality. So I used imagery resembling prints from the period. At the same time, I decided to treat color like a painter on a canvas. I put in only when it was necessary.”

 

Zeman on the set of ‘The Fabulous Baron Munchausen’ giving direction to actors Milos Kopecký (Baron Munchausen) and Rudolf Jelínek (Tonik). This image is part of a large collection of Zeman’s work displayed at the Karel Zeman Museum in Prague.
 
Every shot in The Fabulous Baron Munchausen contains some variety of extravagant special effects, and Zeman’s vivid imagery—much of which is based on Doré‘s original illustrations, fill every inch of every frame. According to Zeman’s daughter Ludmila, her father was an avid reader and collector of comic books and would often incorporate jokes or gags he found amusing into actions performed by his actors. Zeman even recruited Ludmila for The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and the then fifteen-year-old got to ride a horse as the stunt double for Jana Brejchova, the stunning Czech actress (and former wife of director Miloš Forman) who played Princess Bianca in the film. The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is widely considered a masterpiece thanks to Zeman’s determination to make a very different film than German director Josef von Báky’s beloved Nazi-funded version of Munchausen’s story, 1943’s Münchhausen or The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

The budget for Báky’s movie was estimated at $6.5 million dollars (or approximately $95 million dollars if it had been made in 2019) and was commissioned by Nazi propaganda pusher Joseph Goebbels. Interesting, the screenplay for Báky’s adaptation was written by Emil Erich Kästner whose novels were regulars at Nazi book burnings. Kästner was in fact banned from publishing his literature in Germany between the years 1933 and 1945. The wildly opulent film was intended to rival The Wizard of Oz, but with an adult-oriented twist including a scene full of topless harem girls and other fantasy-based, “grown-up” scenarios. Despite the fact the film intended to serve as a mechanism for war propaganda, it ended up a luxurious, over-the-top take on the amorous, adventurous, cannonball-riding Baron.
 

George Harrison and Eric Idle on the set of Terry Gilliam’s ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.’
 
As previously mentioned, Python super-fan George Harrison would be the main conduit for the last of the final big-three Baron Munchausen films, Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. In 1979 he showed off his large assortment of Munchausen stories and shared his love of artist Gustave Doré with Gilliam. Then, Gilliam’s pal musician Ray Cooper gifted Gilliam with a copy of a book full of the stories of Baron Munchausen written (though published anonymously) by Hieronymus Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Münchhausen (1720-1797), encouraging the director (if not daring him) to make a film out of them. Allegedly $46 million (though Gilliam says it was “nowhere near $40 million), flowed into the lengthy, arduous production that was already over budget by two million dollars before filming began. Though it was a financial box-office bomb, it received high praise and would collect three British Academy of Film & Television Awards, and was nominated for four Oscars. The stories from the set have become legendary, such as Oliver Reed being perpetually drunk and hitting on a seventeen-year-old Uma Thurman, who plays Venus/Rose in the film. Gilliam’s finished product will forever be considered a triumph in the realm of fantasy filmmaking and “fantastical exaggeration” which the real Münchhausen perfected and unwittingly passed along over hundreds of years through other storytellers fond of hyperbole.

If you’d like to learn even more about the history of Baron Munchausen in cinema, film historian Michael Brooke provides a fascinating, in-depth exploration of the Baron’s many appearances on the big screen on the Second Run Blu-ray for The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Baron Prášil). Far-out images and trailers from all three films follow.
 

A still of actor Hans Albert as Baron Münchhausen riding a cannonball in 1943’s ‘Münchhausen’ or ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.’
 

A curious scene from ‘The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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03.19.2019
08:51 am
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‘F*ck the Army’: When Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland toured their anti-Vietnam War show, 1972

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Bob Hope was late. Ten minutes late. But it was a ten minutes that probably saved his life. Hope was en route to entertain US troops stationed in Vietnam in December 1964. These troops were officially documented by the White House as being there in an “advisory capacity,” which gave Hope the opening for his show:

Hello, advisors! I asked Secretary McNamara if we could come and he said, ‘Why not, we’ve tried everything else!’ No, really, we’re thrilled to be here in Sniper Valley.

Hope’s flight had been rescheduled from landing at Saigon to the US air base at Bien Hoa. Saigon was considered too dangerous. The Viet Cong might just take a pot shot at the comedian. In fact, it turned to be something far more deadly.

After the show, Hope was to head off by car to the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon, but as his cue cards, on which his jokes were written, had become mixed up, his assistant, Barney McNulty was tasked with sorting them out. This delayed Hope and his entourage, which included Jill St. John and singer, former Miss Oklahoma and well-known homophobe Anita Bryant, by ten minutes. As they were driving to their destination, a car bomb exploded outside the Brinks Hotel just about a block from the Caravelle. If he’d been on time, Hope and his crew would have been toast. Instead, they got a ringside seat of the blast and its devastation which killed two, injured 60, and destroyed the Brinks Hotel.

Hope toured US military bases in Vietnam from 1964-1972. His intention was to boost the soldiers’ moral, and let them know the folks back home were thinking about them. His intentions may have been honorable but to many back home, Hope came to represent the folly of America’s involvement in Vietnam. It led to the saying “Where there’s Hope there’s death.”
 
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In response to Hope’s “hawkish” pro-war tours of Vietnam, Jane Fonda started touring army bases in 1970 giving voice to the many dissenting soldiers and veterans who were against the war. She then teamed up with Donald Sutherland in 1971 to perform with a troupe of entertainers under the name F.T.A. which was sometimes known as the “Free Theater Associates” or more (in)famously as “Fuck the Army.” The idea for the tour came from dissident Howard Levy who wanted “to stage an anti-war response to the touring shows of Bob Hope, who thought the war was just peachy.”

These F.T.A. shows originally came out of the G.I. coffeehouse movement—“the loose network of coffeehouses that had sprung up around U.S. military bases as a way for GIs to plug into the movement in the U.S. against the Vietnam War.” The group performed satirical sketches and songs opposing the war. Though they faced objections from some senior military personnel, F.T.A. managed to perform at military bases in Fort Bragg, Okinawa, the Philippines, Japan, and all along the Pacific Rim. Fonda and Sutherland produced a movie documenting these shows which was released in 1972 but was “mysteriously” pulled from screenings not long after its release due to fierce criticism from politicians, the media, and (surprise, surprise) top army brass.

Directed by Francine Parker, who was one of the first female members of the Directors Guild of America, F.T.A. documented Fonda, Sutherland, folk singer Len Chandler, singers Holly Near and Rita Martinson, writer/actor Michael Alaimo, and comedian Paul Mooney performing a variety of skits and songs including Sutherland as a sports announcer describing an attack on a Vietnamese village as if it were a ballgame and Fonda as Pat Nixon. This was all interspersed with interviews from many of the men and women involved in the war—including African-American GIs describing the racism they faced in the field.
 
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The film is a bit rough around the edges but is an important testament to the many soldiers (and performers) who opposed the war in Vietnam. The film ends with Sutherland reading from Dalton Trumbo’s 1938 novel Johnny Got His Gun:

Remember this well you people who plan for war. Remember this you patriots, you fierce ones, you spawners of hate, you inventors of slogans. Remember this as you have never remembered anything else in your lives. We are men of peace, we are men who work and we want no quarrel. But if you destroy our peace, if you take away our work, if you try to range us one against the other, we will know what to do. If you tell us to make the world safe for democracy we will take you seriously and by god and by Christ we will make it so. We will use the guns you force upon us, we will use them to defend our very lives, and the menace to our lives does not lie on the other side of a nomansland that was set apart without our consent it lies within our own boundaries here and now we have seen it and we know it.

 
Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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03.12.2019
08:33 am
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My kind of hero: The Catholic priest who poured blood on, burned hundreds of Vietnam draft cards
02.19.2019
06:39 am
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Let us not forget those civilian heroes who have opposed the American military machine in the name of peace and freedom. School textbooks often detail protests at Berkeley and Washington DC as pivotal moments in the anti-war movement. But I am just now learning about Father Philip Berrigan.
 
Berrigan returned from army service in World War II “sickened” by the unjustified violence and institutional racism he frequently encountered while on the force. A victim of the corrupt, “nationalistic propaganda” that favors white Europeans over everyone else, Berrigan was a bold participant in the American civil rights movement, whose participation in sit-ins and bus boycotts earned him his first stint in the clink. By his death in 2002, Berrigan had spent a total of 11 years behind bars.
 
Philip Berrigan became a Roman Catholic priest in 1955. In the mid-Sixties, while serving an impoverished African American parish in Baltimore, he founded Peace Mission, an anti-war advocacy group. They declared their displeasure in the “American Empire” by picketing the homes of Defense Secretary Robert S McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk. But people were still dying overseas.
 

Father Phil in 1960
 
On October 17 1967, Berrigan and three others, later to be known as the “Baltimore Four,” entered the Baltimore Customs House, where Vietnam draft cards were being issued. After distracting office clerks, the protesters splattered blood - made partly using their own - on the Selective Service records. While they waited for the police to come arrest them, the group passed out Bibles. Berrigan stated that the action was committed with dissent to “the pitiful waste of American and Vietnamese blood in Indochina.” It earned him six years in prison.
 
Six months later, Philip was out on bail and along with his older brother, Jesuit priest Rev Daniel Berrigan, the two formed the “Catonsville Nine.” A more grandiose version of what happened in Baltimore, the Catholic demonstrators set hundreds of draft cards ablaze in the parking lot of a Catonsville, MD board office using homemade napalm. Unified around the fire, they proceeded to recite the Lord’s Prayer. The press was given the following statement: “We destroy these draft records not only because they exploit our young men but also because they represent misplaced power concentrated in the ruling class of America. We confront the Catholic Church, other Christian bodies, and the synagogues of America with their silence and cowardice in the face of our country’s crimes.”
 

The Catonsville Nine
 
There is no proof on whether any lives were saved by the actions of the Catonsville Nine. It is known, however, that it inspired several similar pacifist movements across the US: the DC Nine, Milwaukee 14, Boston Eight, Camden 28, etcetera. Out on bail once more, the Berrigan brothers soon “went underground,” which earned them placement on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list. Their actions would also land them on the cover of TIME.
 

Catholic Anarchists: Philip and Daniel Berrigan
 
Philip Berrigan was eventually excommunicated from the church. Ironically, it wasn’t because of his activism, but rather a love affair he developed with a nun while incarcerated. Government screening of their letters also revealed new schemes to commit the “citizen’s arrest” of Henry Kissinger. Berrigan was acquitted of all major conspiracy charges in 1972.
 
Even after Vietnam, Philip and Daniel Berrigan would dedicate their lives to exposing the injustices within our country. With six others, they formed the Plowshares Movement, an anti-nuclear operation that is still active today. Its inception was marked by the raid of a General Electric plant that produced warhead nose cones. It was reported that the group hammered on two of the noses, poured blood on documents, and performed prayers for peace. They were held on ten different felony and misdemeanor charges.
 
Let us pay a moment of silence for those brave American heroes who have fought before us.
 

News footage from Catonsville Nine’s draft card burning, May 17, 1968
 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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02.19.2019
06:39 am
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“Rap Sabbath?”: Black Sabbath’s bizarre collaboration with Ice-T in 1995
02.18.2019
11:02 am
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Ice-T and Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi.
 
By the time Black Sabbath took ten days to record their eighteenth record Forbidden, they had parted ways twice with vocalist Ronnie James Dio, as well as another Sabbath vocalist, Tony Martin. Dio would go back to his solo work, and Martin would return to Sabbath for Forbidden. Dio really dodged a bullet as Forbidden would go down in history as one one of the Black Sabbath’s biggest blunders, kind of like Metallica’s Lulu. This is not meant to knock Iommi’s superior riffs or the thunder brought by Bill Ward’s replacement, Cozy Powell, or to be dismissive of the multi-talented Tony Martin who, among other things, can play the fuck out of the bagpipes. Alas the combination of star power and talent does not always result in righteous ear candy.

For many fans, Forbidden falls below the categorization of “For Fans Only” to a spot lower on the rock and roll ruler somewhere around, as Blender magazine called it, “the band’s worst album.” Of course, not everyone hates Forbidden, including Tony Iommi who began the process of remastering the album in early 2018 saying he hoped to release it sometime this year. In all honesty, I do not hate this record and if you think you do, or should, maybe give it another listen. So how was Ice-T enlisted to provide some vocal assistance for the song “Illusion of Power,” which was written by Ice and Tony Martin?

For Forbidden, Sabbath brought in Detroit-born guitarist Ernie C (Ernie Cunnigan) to produce the album. Ernie and Ice-T go way back to high school, where they first met in 1975, and has been playing with Ice in Body Count for nearly three decades. Ernie headed to Par Street Studios in Liverpool to record with Sabbath completing it in just ten days. Here’s more from an interview with Tony Martin and Cozy Powell talking about when they heard Ice-T was going to “rap” on the album:

Tony Martin: We had a phone call basically. He wanted to work with us. Tony went to meet him, they got on well, and from Ice-T, Ernie C was recommended to us as a producer for some of the tracks on the album, so it all started to develop, step by step. And in the end, Ernie ended up producing the whole album, which is quite good. His input really was a “feel”-thing, all the songs were already written by the time he got there. Well, you see, we didn’t know what he was gonna sing…In fact, he didn’t know what we were gonna write, and we didn’t know what he was gonna rap! So it was kind of rap by post if you like. We did the songs in the UK, sent one of them over to him, he rapped on it and sent it back. It turned out quite good.
Cozy Powell: I mean, if it had been a typical rap-thing with us it would have been ridiculous, but what he’s done on the track is actually really good.
Tony Martin: It is different, but that’s the point, it was supposed to be.
Cozy Powell: It was meant to be a guest appearance on one track, nothing more. It’s just a little bit different.
Tony Martin: We had to ask a lot of questions… It’s not something that sort of came up, like, “oh yeah, let’s do that,” we all looked at each other and went: “Are you sure ??” Do we really wanna do this? But it turned out good.
Cozy Powell: I think Ice and Ernie were a lot influenced by Sabbath anyway, so…That was where the connection originally came from, not that we absolutely wanted some rappers on a Sabbath-album..!
Cozy Powell: Goodness only knows…! We’ll probably have Madonna on the next!
Tony Martin: (laughs) NOT!!”

Martin has also been quoted saying that during the process of recording Forbidden, the band seemed to be okay with making what he called a “rap Sabbath” record. Which really makes no sense as Ice’s lyrical contribution to the song is a whopping sixteen seconds long. And he phoned it in from Los Angeles, so there’s that. The song is posted below. You have been warned.
 

“Illusion of Power” featuring vocals by Ice-T.

Posted by Cherrybomb
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02.18.2019
11:02 am
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‘Show Us Your Belly’: Hilarious short documentary of a spontaneous Super Bowl ’88 street party
02.01.2019
09:52 am
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So, you’ve seen and love Heavy Metal Parking Lot, right? Well, one of the filmmakers behind that legendary documentary, Jeff Krulik, has also been involved with a number of other docs, including Show Us Your Belly, a hilarious ten-minute short shot during a spontaneous Washington DC street party that occurred following the Washington Redskins’ 1988 Super Bowl victory. In the video, we see happy and/or drunk fans whooping it up and mugging for the camera, as interviewers ask the sort of things you’d expect in the moment, but then toss out nonsensical questions and requests that have nothing to do with a Super Bowl celebration. Very funny stuff.

Jeff Krulik’s friend Seth Morris, who Jeff says “was pretty much the mastermind” behind the shoot, provided us with some background and details on how it went down.

Show Me Your Belly was filmed the evening of January 31, 1988, and it was a fun little project that required a little bit of planning, and for the Washington Redskins to upset the favored Denver Broncos during Super Bowl XXll.

Jeff Krulik and I have been very close friends, and partners in crime, since meeting at WMUC-FM, the University of MD free-form radio station, and have been hanging out ever since. I did a punk show and a comedy show at WMUC and, from 1983-93, did Corn Between Your Teeth, a weekly Saturday night comedy/spoken word show on WPFW-FM. Jeff and I have always been Redskins fans and, to give you an idea of just how old we are, when we were young, the Redskins were consistently Super Bowl contenders.

 
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Seth and a reveler.

I loved Mal Sharpe’s man-on-the-street interviews, played his material on my show quite often, and had him on my show. Jeff was the Public Access Director at Metrovision Cable and had access to all this cool gear, which served him well with Heavy Metal Parking Lot, and other really great films. Jeff should have been born 150 years ago as he would have given P.T. Barnum a run for his money. Jeff Krulik is also the case study of how you don’t have to do drugs to be absolutely insane, and I say that with great affection. For example, Jeff somehow finagled his way into the maximum-security wing at St. Elizabeth’s Psychiatric Hospital, ostensibly to videotape a soul concert where we mixed with the inmates hoping to run into John Hinkley Jr., Ronald Reagan’s attempted assassin. Jeff looks perfectly normal but, trust me, he’s fuckin nuts!

Although Super Bowl XXII was 31 years ago, I do remember very clearly the day of the game because I had Jeff, my girlfriend Pat Goslee, housemate Liz Evans (who hauled around the 1980’s super-heavy monster battery pack and cables), Steve Kiviat (also from WMUC and has been writing music reviews for nearly 40 years), and some other friends over to my place to watch the Super Bowl, with the goal of heading down to Georgetown with the video gear and asking moronic questions of happy drunk people—if the Skins won the game.

 
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By halftime, when it was clear the Redskins were going to win, we packed up the insanely heavy 1980’s 3/4 video gear and headed to historic Georgetown right as the game ended. Georgetown is the party center of the city, and nobody in DC had to be told that that’s where people were going to go ape-shit. It was unseasonably warm, so I wore my bathing suit (a young woman pulled it down, fortunately off camera), and we just plowed in. People were just ecstatic, jumping up and down, black, white, Latino, Indian, young, old, rich, poor and perfect strangers were hugging each other. The police were cool, nobody was getting hurt and it was a big love-in. When they saw the camera, they assumed we were from a TV station, so everyone asked, “What channel is this?”

 
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The goal was to pay homage to the legendary Mal Sharpe and lift one of his classic questions, but directed to extremely drunk and happy revelers. I did many of the interviews, Steve Kiviat did a few with his classic facial expressions, Jeff asked a few as well, and Pat at the very end.

 
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The ultimate goal was to come away with some funny material, give a nod to Mal Sharpe, and try to add a goofy little time capsule to a really great night in DC sports history. I think we succeeded.

 
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A four-minute cut of Show Us Your Belly was screened during the Don’t Quit Your Day Job Film & Video Festival, which took place on February 5, 1990, at the American Film Institute Theater at the Kennedy Center. This was its only public showing. The program was presented by Jeff Krulik and his collaborator on Heavy Metal Parking Lot, John Heyn.
 
Postcard
 
Embedded below is the complete, ten-minute version of Show Us Your Belly, which was uploaded to Youtube by Jeff. See more videos he’s added to the platform, including some of the other shorts screened during the Don’t Quit Your Day Job fest, here.
 
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Now, enjoy the craziness:
 

 
Thanks to Jeff Krulik and Seth Morris.

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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02.01.2019
09:52 am
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‘I’m gonna kill you, Tin Man!’: Axl Rose’s knuckle-brawl with David Bowie over a girl, 1989
01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Axl Rose and David Bowie hanging out at the China Club in Los Angeles in 1989. Photo by Gabriel Lorden.
 
Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but David Bowie’s fistfight with Guns N’ Roses vocalist Axl Rose wasn’t the first time Bowie got himself a face full of knuckles for trying to make time with somebody else’s girl. The story about Bowie’s startling eye color involves a young Ziggy getting popped in the face by his pal George Underwood when they were both fifteen after Underwood discovered Bowie was lusting after the same girl he had eyes for. But Axl and Bowie coming to blows over a girl in 1989 is the definition of random—and the strange event was discussed by G N’ R guitarist Slash in his 2007 New York Times bestseller, Slash. You see, snakes-best-friend Slash and David Bowie go way, way back. Slash’s mom Ola Hudson was a celebrated fashion designer and had been making clothing for Bowie starting around the time Bowie released his 1975 album, Young Americans. After divorcing her husband, Ola began an affair with Bowie who was married to Angie Bowie at the time. According to Slash, he even walked in on his mom and Bowie in the nude, but let’s get back to the story of Axl Rose and a not naked Bowie throwing punches at each other over a girl in 1989.


It all began at the Cathouse—the legendary heavy metal “clubhouse” owned by Taime Downe of Faster Pussycat fame and MTV VJ and host of the Headbangers Ball, Riki Rachtman. Guns had selected one of their favorite hangouts as the spot for their warm-up before opening the first of four shows for the Rolling Stones. Slash remembers Bowie attended the show with his mother Ola who was sitting with the Thin White Duke in front of the stage when Axl started to hurl nasty insults at him, causing Bowie to leave mid-way through Guns’ set. Ola didn’t understand any of it until Slash told her later on Axl was pissed at Bowie for allegedly hitting on his girlfriend Erin Everly (the daughter of Don Everly of the Everly Brothers). Now, here is where the story gets a bit murky concerning Axl and Bowie and their glammy “fistfight.”
 

Slash’s mother Ola Hudson and David Bowie.
 
In addition to the warm-up gig at the Cathouse, the band also shot footage for the video “It’s So Easy,” and this is where club co-owner Riki Rachtman (as told to Rolling Stone) recalls a very drunk David Bowie showed up to watch everything go down. The video, which didn’t see the light of day until 2018, prominently featured Everly in leather bondage gear, handcuffs, with a ball-gag in her mouth. According to Rachtman, when Axl caught wind of Bowie sizing up Everly for his next meal, he went ballistic, and the two (maybe) threw their fists in each other’s general direction. The event concluded with Axl chasing Bowie out of the Cathouse screaming “I’m gonna kill you, TIN MAN.” As much as I adore Bowie, you gotta hand it to Axl for that one. But wait! There’s more, and it involves Mick Jagger—another rock star who has had his fair share of girlfriends pilfered by Bowie. In an interview with heavy metal bible Kerrang! in 1990, journalist Mick Wall queried Rose about his alleged punch fest at the Cathouse with Bowie. While Axl doesn’t exactly confirm he got into a physical altercation with Bowie, he doesn’t exactly deny it either. In fact, the story had already made it to the ears of Mick Jagger who approached Axl along with Eric Clapton backstage during soundcheck at the LA Coliseum. Here’s Axl on the special moment Jagger and Clapton asked him if he had punched David Bowie’s perfect face:

“I was out doing a soundcheck one day when we were opening for the Rolling Stones, and Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton cornered me. I’m sittin’ on this amp and all of a sudden they’re both right there in front of me. And Jagger doesn’t really talk a lot, right? He’s just real serious about everything, and all of a sudden he’s like (adopts exaggerated Dick Van Dyke-style Cockney), “So you got in a fight with Bowie, didja?” So I told him the story real quick, and he and Clapton are going off about Bowie in their own little world, talking about things from years ago. They were saying things like when Bowie gets drunk, he turns into the “Devil from Bromley” (Bowie’s family moved to the London Borough of Bromley when he was a teenager). I mean, I’m not even in this conversation. I’m just sittin’ there. Listening to ‘em bitch like crazy about Bowie. It was funny.”

If you’ve been curious about the photo at the top of this post of Axl and Bowie looking like BFF’s out scoping for chicks, here’s the story; after the incident at the Cathouse, Bowie and Axl chatted and decided to meet up at the China Club where they smoothed things over. And while they didn’t become best pals in real life, Axl felt he shared a lot in common with Bowie, especially when it came to their “experimental” creativity and their mutual love of sex and drugs. Awww. Speaking of things that make you say “aww,” after the jump you will see photos taken at Guns’ warm-up show, the video shoot, a few taken backstage at the Rolling Stones gig, and images of Ola Hudson and Bowie back in the day. Lastly, you can also check out the NSFW video for “It’s So Easy,” in all its sleazy glory—if you’re into that kind of thing. (PS: You are).
 
Continues over…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.25.2019
12:49 pm
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Raquel Welch and a bikini-clad Playboy playmate crash ‘Mork & Mindy’ in 1979
12.24.2018
09:16 am
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A candid shot of Raquel Welch (as Captain Nirvana) and Robin Williams as the lovable alien Mork on the set of ‘Mork & Mindy’ in 1979.
 
I was still of a tender age when one of the most gorgeous women to ever woman, Raquel Welch showed up looking a bit like a busty, tanned David Bowie in thigh-high silver boots on Mork & Mindy. Are you with me? Good. Because in addition to Raquel’s role as Captain Nirvana—the leader of the very sexy-sounding fictional alien race, the Necrotons, we also get to see Playboy’s Playmate of the Year (1978), Debra Jo Fondren in a bikini in a golden cage. If any of this sounds like a blatant ratings grab, you’d be right. Originally, the episode “Mork vs. the Necrotons,” was going to be presented as a one-hour special but ended up airing as a two-part cliffhanger. If you remember anything about this show, it is likely this very episode or the perplexing thirteenth episode of the season when Mork became the first male Denver Broncos cheerleader. It’s hard to say. I came across a quote from Williams when he was asked about his feelings on the show, a contentious one for the cast:

“There were a lot of little kids who went through puberty watching that episode, and I think we lost a lot of the audience.”

It’s been well documented that Williams, Pam Dawber and the entire crew were challenged by Welch’s diva demands and behavior during filming. At one point the episode’s director, Howard Storm says Raquel suggested her younger, female hench-chicks should wear “dog masks” and she should lead them on to the set “on leashes.” Usually, this would sound like a pretty terrific idea given the fact that A) it came from Raquel Welch, and B) I rest my case. However, Storm mentioned to Welch she didn’t need to do anything but “snap her fingers,” and the girls would “drop to their knees.” Raquel liked this idea very much, and interestingly, the leash idea made its way on to the show anyway, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I rewatched clips from both episodes while putting this post together, because of course, I did, and I laughed nearly to the point of exhaustion at times thanks to the gift which never stops giving—the comedy genius of Robin Williams. Much of Williams’ comedic outbursts on the show were improvised and timing to accommodate the actor to do so was written into scripts early during the show’s first season. After being so pleasantly reminded how great and profoundly weird the show was, I picked up season one and two on DVD for less than twenty bucks and will be binging on the show as soon as they show up. In anticipation of this blessed event, I’ve posted some great photos including some sweet, candid shots of Williams and Welch on the set, and footage of Williams and Welch from the show. Nanu Nanu!
 

Another candid shot of Williams and Welch.
 

 

Playmate of the Year 1978, Debra Jo Fondren (Kama), Raquel Welch, and Vicki Frederick (Sutra).
 
More Mork after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.24.2018
09:16 am
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My Interview with Amethyst Realm: The Woman Engaged to a Ghost
12.13.2018
06:29 am
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October 30th may have been what they call a ‘slow news day.’ Gangster Whitey Bulger was murdered in prison. Pharrell sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump. Kanye now wants to distance himself from politics. Woman who has had sex with twenty ghosts is now engaged to one. Wait wait, hold on - what happened?
 
To me, this was the day that I read one of the most incredible stories of my lifetime. It was a headline that should have run in the National Enquirer or the Daily Mirror. In fact, it probably did.
 
The suspicious timing near Halloween made this international news. I even got a push notification about it. The woman’s name is Amethyst Realm and she is from Bristol, UK. And, as the headlines have stated, she is marrying a spirit. I know what you are probably thinking - this is rubbish. I would think so too, if I didn’t believe her.
 
I needed to learn more about this paranormal love affair, so I reached out to the source herself. We spoke on my radio show about her prior relationships, proposal, and plans for the wedding. If any of the below speaks to you in ways like it impacted me, remember, she’s working on a book.
 
Bennett Kogan: Okay, just to make sure I understand this correctly. Your fiancé is – a spirit?

Amethyst Realm: Yes, that’s correct.
 
And this isn’t your first spirit lover… let’s hear a little bit about your past experiences with the occult.

I’ve always been very open spiritually and aware of other presences. When I was around eighteen, I moved into a new house and met my first spirit romantically. And since then, I’ve had a few lovers. It’s been… yeah.
 
But that was your first time with a ghost?

Romantically, yes. I’ve always been aware of them. It’s something that’s been sort of normal to me. I can pick up on different presences - like if I were to walk into a room. I’ve always had that kind of sense.
 
How does an intimate relationship with a ghost compare to one with a human?

In a lot of ways, it’s pretty similar. For me it’s totally normal, so I find it quite difficult to explain. We’ll still go out on dates and things like that, but we don’t really need to communicate in the same way than with a partner of this realm. It’s much deeper and a lot more emotion based. And intimate.
 
What was the realization that these encounters would become something that was meant to last for an eternity?

It was just something that felt so much more real and serious. Kind of in the same way if you met someone in the living world that you fell in love with instantly. It was love in first sight, in a way. “Love at first sense,” maybe. When you meet someone, you look into their eyes and feel something. You feel that energy. For us, it’s just that energy.
 
The spirit that you are now engaged to, how did that introduction occur?

I was in the outback of Australia, not looking for anything. Just walking and enjoying the amazing scenery out there. When suddenly I just felt their presence. And it just felt right from the start. I just knew it was a real, serious thing. It wasn’t gonna be a fling.
 
Were you able to address him by a human name?

We never really bothered with names. It wasn’t important. I have now given him a name because it makes it much easier. He showed himself in photo that a friend took of me. He appeared as a ray of light shooting across the photo. So now, I call him “Ray.”
 
Can you visualize his face?

No, because I can’t see him. He definitely has a presence. His energy and emotions form like an emotional shape almost.
 
Are there certain characteristics that you’ve been able to sense since first meeting him?

I guess he feels strong. And very solid and there. Recently I got a reading with some psychics who told me a little bit about what they felt his history was in his past life. And now, I can say that he is male. Before that, it was so unimportant to me what he looked like that I didn’t know what his gender was - and it didn’t matter to me.
 
Is Ray there with you right now?

Yeah, he came back on the plane with me to the UK.
 
And that’s where the proposal occurred?

We went up to Somerset one weekend. And while we were there he really wanted to go to the Wookey Hole Caves, which are quite a ways away. I was a little bit confused by it. Because I’ve always trusted him, but thought maybe he’s got an ex-phantom lover there, or something? It’s a quite heavily haunted spot. So, we went on a tour around the caves. While we were there, he asked me to hang back from the rest of the crowd. And then he proposed.
 
So now you’re engaged and looking forward to the big wedding. What type of ceremonies do you have prepared?

We’re planning a spring wedding, I think. I want kind of something based around a hand-binding ceremony, rather than a traditional wedding. Because obviously, spirits don’t have hands. I’ve been referring to it as a “soul-binding” ceremony. We’ve got a really special venue lined up as well, which is very exciting.
 
Your family and friends, what were their initial reactions to this kind of news?

They were really happy for me. My family and friends are quite alternative, so they’re just happy that I’m happy. They understand that there is more to this world than what you see.
 
It was interesting how the media portrayed your story. I’m looking at a headline right now that just states, “Woman who had sex with 20 ghosts is now engaged to a spirit.”

It seems that the world at the moment is really interested in the concept of alternative relationships versus the traditional ones that everyone has. Of course, I expect some people to disbelieve me. I hope I’ve made those that are having the same experiences as me feel a little more comfortable with it. Or those that aren’t satisfied with a normal, mainstream relationship can feel like there is an alternative.
 
I’m sure people have been reaching out to you since your news went viral.

So many people are asking me if Ray can set them up with one of his spirit friends.
 
I’m definitely open to the opportunity.

I’m in talks with publishers about writing a guide about how to seduce a ghost. It seems like so many people want to do it. I’m hoping that I can educate some people and maybe help them along their path.
 
I’m sure that our everyday paranormal encounters could have escalated into the same experiences that you’ve had. For those who are reading this now and aren’t convinced by your story, what advice do you have to offer them?

I know what’s going on and I know what’s real for me. Keep an open mind and heart. And just be aware of the signs, really.
 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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12.13.2018
06:29 am
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Freddie Mercury really loved his cats
12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Freddie Mercury had many loves in his life. One of his big passions was his love of cats. Mercury so loved cats he was once described as “rock’s greatest lover of cats.” According to his last partner (and the man he called his “husband”) Jim Hutton, Mercury “treated cats like his own children.”

He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us. During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside.

When on tour, or away recording, Mercury regularly phoned home to speak to his beloved felines. During his lifetime, Mercury had ten cats starting in the seventies with Tom and Jerry (who he shared with the woman Mercury described as his “common-law wife” Mary Austin), Tiffany (a present from Austin), and then a cluster of cats (Delilah, Dorothy, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo) who he shared with Hutton at their home in Garden Lodge, Logan Mews, London. As Hutton later wrote in his memoir Mercury and Me, Mercury’s favorite feline was his calico cat named Delilah:

Of all the cats at Garden Lodge, Delilah was Freddie’s favourite and the one he’d pick up and stroke the most often. When Freddie went to bed, it was Delilah he brought with us. She’d sleep at the foot of the bed, before slipping out for a night-time prowl around Garden Lodge.

Delilah was a spoilt cat and depended on Freddie for everything, even protection from the other cats. They would gang up on her and she would run into our bedroom—it was a cat sanctuary, In many ways the cats were Freddie’s children, and we all thought of them that way. The slightest feline sneeze or twitch and he’d send them off to the vet for a check-up. And we were old-fashioned when it came to having to have sex in total privacy. Whenever Freddie and I jumped in the bedroom to make love, he would always ensure that none of the cats were watching.

Mercury dedicated his solo album Mr. Bad Guy (1985) “to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else!” and so loved Delilah that he wrote a song about her on Queen’s Innuendo album in 1991:

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my - you’re irresistible
You make me smile when I’m just about to cry
You bring me hope, you make me laugh - and I like it
You get away with murder, so innocent
But when you throw a moody you’re all claws and you bite

Delilah once peed all over Mercury’s Chippendale suite—something that apparently happened quite often with all of the cats on other fixtures and furnishings. Not everyone in Queen was so enamored by Mercury’s song to a cat, drummer Roger Taylor claimed he “hated it.”

Before he died in 1991, Mercury told one journalist he planned to leave everything to “Mary and the cats.” And here are some of those little darlings who outlived Freddie and inherited his wealth.
 
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Jerry.
 
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Romeo.
 
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Oscar.
 
More of Freddie’s furry feline friends, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Atomic Punks: Van Halen hanging out with their teenage fans at a Dallas, Texas record store in 1978
11.27.2018
10:24 am
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Van Halen waiting to meet their fans inside Sound Warehouse in Dallas, Texas 1978.
 
During their first world tour supporting their monumental first album Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, his brother Alex and Michael Anthony did a “See and Meet” event at Sound Warehouse in Dallas, Texas. Fans of VH lined up for hours before the 2:30 PM start-time and the band was already cracking into cans of Schlitz Malt Liquor, because they are Van Halen and they needed to be in peak form for their first of two shows at the Dallas Convention Center opening for Black Sabbath later that evening.

Van Halen had been making the record store rounds during the final leg of their 174-date tour including one at the Dallas location of legendary chain Peaches Records & Tapes. These kinds of events were really common back in the 70s and 80s, and if you grew up during either decade (or previous ones for that matter), you probably went through the ritual of waiting in line for hours, clutching something sacred to be signed by your chosen rock idol(s).
 

A shot of Van Halen’s in-store visit to Peaches Records & Tapes in Dallas in November 1978.
 
The photos you are about to see were taken 40-years ago, almost to the day, and what a day it was if you were lucky enough to have been there. While you’re scrolling, take notice of the Van Halen albums on the wall—all of which were signed by the band while they were throwing back Schlitz Malt Liquor, smoking cigarettes, waiting to meet their fans. Also, while conducting my critical “research” on vintage ‘78 VH, I came across a comment left by a dude calling himself “Dave Jr.” noting that the “blonde” smiling in a photo (pictured below) as DLR signs an album for her friend, was his mother. “Dave Jr.” went on to say he arrived in the world nine months after the photo was taken, making him wonder if Diamond Dave might be his dad. Though the words spoken on the VH classic “Unchained” by record producer Ted Templeman come to mind (“Come on, Dave, Gimme a break!”), knowing DLR’s debaucherous track record, it’s not unfathomable to think Roth may have sired a mini-me along the way he doesn’t know about. Where the fuck is Maury Povich when you need him?
 

 

Here’s the photo “Dave Jr.” was referring to of his mother and his “Dad” David Lee Roth. I’m assuming she is the one smiling because only she knows the answer to Dave Jr.‘s question.
 
More mayhem, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.27.2018
10:24 am
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