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Step inside the Mothership: The art of $uper high-end bongs
11.13.2017
12:53 pm
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A close look at an elaborate, fully-functional glass bong made by Mothership Glass (in collaboration with a group of talented Japanese glass blowers) in Bellingham, Washington.

Since 2016, eight states in the U.S. have passed laws allowing for both recreational pot enthusiasts and people who rely on marijuana to help alleviate physical suffering to use the drug legally. The advent of marijuana legalization has ushered in a tidal wave of seemingly limitless THC products and accessories which cater to all types of weed consumers, including pet owners. Have a dog or cat that has chronic pain or perhaps acts aggressively toward other pets in your household? Thanks to legalization, you can now purchase CBD (aka Cannabidiol, one of many active ingredients in THC that can help reduce pain and anxiety) oil at your local pet store to help diffuse such issues.

As of March 2017 here in my home base of Washington state, the legal marijuana industry had pulled in over $168 million dollars in sales. Pot is big business, and it’s only going to keep expanding into other commerce-friendly ventures as weed entrepreneurs continue to come up with creative ways to market all things THC. However, Mothership Glass—a high-end functional bong and rig company here in Seattle—has cornered the market when it comes to wealthy cannabis connoisseurs who shell out thousands of dollars for Mothership’s exquisite functional glass. In 2016 a version of one of Mothership’s most famous bongs, the “Fab Egg” sold at a local auction for over $100,000—making it the second Fab Egg purchased for such an unfathomable sum. Started by master glass-blower Scott Deppe and glass artist Jake Colito, Mothership has quickly become a marijuana mecca of sorts, not only for customers but for the vast community of glass artists who reside in the state of Washington. According to an article on Mothership from Seattle publication The Stranger, the last five years have brought swift sales of their $10,000 bongs. The piece also notes that earlier Mothership models, which initially retailed for a grand, have fetched up to $80,000 in the resale arena. Mothership isn’t just producing glass bongs, they are making investment-worthy high art that can also get you stoned.

Pretty much everything Mothership produces comes out of their shop in the delightful city of Bellingham. The company has had several wildly successful collaborations with other well-known glass artists such as Junichi Kojima and his group of glass blowers. Mothership’s work with Kojima resulted in the creation of a glass device that looks like a cup filled with multi-colored marbles, which according to Colito sold for more than $100,000. Make no mistake—Mothership will make other bongs that will sell for more than that remarkable sum. In fact, it looks like they may have already.
 

 
A look at the top of Mothership’s Grateful Dead bong and a glass image of the “Trucking Fool” planting his ice cream cone on his head.
 
Earlier this year another collaboration with the Japanese artists resulted in a remarkable ten-inch Grateful Dead bong. Among the many creative aspects of this model is the inclusion of a colorful image of the “Trucking Fool” (pictured above) and his ill-fated ice cream cone.  Created by artists and long-time associates Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, the Trucking Fool design originally appeared on the back cover of the Dead’s live album, Europe ‘72. Industry experts predict this symbolic piece of glass will easily sell for more than $200,000. And, since I haven’t delved into the details of getting high using one of these gloriously extravagant devices, it all comes down to the power of the smoke that is allowed to cook up perfectly within these painstakingly crafted vessels by Mothership.
 

A full shot of the Grateful Dead bong.
 

A gold-plated pipe (noted to be a hookah) by Mothership Glass which sold for $100,000.
 

A close look at the unbelievable detail on the gold-plated pipe/hookah above.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.13.2017
12:53 pm
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‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’: The gonzo graphic novel


 
I must admit that reading Hunter S. Thompson’s 1971 book Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream changed my life. A friend gave me a copy during our first year of college saying that it was his favorite book. I was already a big fan of Jack Kerouac—who Thompson hated and referred to as “empty-headed”—so I was a little skeptical at first. That all changed after I read the first few pages of the book, especially the memorable passage below, one of many in the book that leads one to believe that Fear and Loathing might be as far away from a work of fiction as you can get.

“The sporting editors had also given me $300 in cash, most of which was already spent on extremely dangerous drugs. The trunk of the car looked like a mobile police narcotics lab. We had two bags of grass, seventy-five pellets of mescaline, five sheets of high-powered blotter acid, a salt shaker half full of cocaine, and a whole galaxy of multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers and also a quart of tequila, a quart of rum, a case of Budweiser, a pint of raw ether and two dozen amyls. All this had been rounded up the night before, in a frenzy of highspeed driving all over Los Angeles County – from Topanga to Watts, we picked up everything we could get our hands on. Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious drug-collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.”

At the time I was a journalism major but dropped that shortly after reading Fear and Loathing and subsequently learning that there weren’t really any other “journalists” who wrote like Thompson, making the idea of pursuing a career in the field uninspiring to me. I did continue to write and eventually, my years of dedication to the craft paid off. Am I in any way comparing myself to the diabolically druggy writer? Not by a long shot of whiskey and a handful of amyl nitrate, but thanks to both Thompson and my friend who hipped me to him in my youth, I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. Anyway, let’s get to the point of this post which is the nothing-short-of-brilliant graphic adaptation of Thompson’s book by Canadian author and artist Troy Little. Little discovered Thompson in the late 90s and could barely contain himself when he was granted permission by the HST Estate along with his publisher Top Shelf Productions to take on an illustrated version of Fear and Loathing. Staying true to Thompson’s original tale of his evil twin “Raoul Duke” and his debauchery in the desert with his attorney “Dr. Gonzo,” Little decided to include all of the original text from the book in his graphic novel.

When it came out in 2015, the book was an instant hit leading to a second print run in 2016. Better yet, Little’s version of Fear and Loathing is hardcover bound, which just makes it seem even cooler, and it’s pretty fucking cool, to begin with. Copies of the book will run you $16.95 here. I’ve posted images from the book below—check ‘em out!
 

The cover of Troy Little’s graphic novel adaptation of ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream.’
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.24.2017
09:41 am
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Morbidly amusing vintage illustrations from a calendar advertising a killer medicine!


An illustration done by Louis Crusius for the 1898 Antikamnia Calendar.
 
Here’s a fantastic vintage flashback for you—macabre illustrations done by Louis Crusius, a pharmacist, artist, and surgeon from the late 1800s for a series of calendars put out by the Antikamnia Pharmaceutical Company of St. Louis, Missouri.

Before Louis Crusius’ skeleton illustrations were published by Antikamnia, they were seen on the windows of a local pharmacy where Crusius worked in the early 1890s and later co-owned. Historical accounts regarding Crusius say that he gave away nearly all of his illustrations before he started selling them off to Antikamnia which would use them for their promotional calendars. What makes Antikamnia’s use of the ghoulish illustrations especially odd is the fact that Antikamnia manufactured a pill/tablet named for their company that was classified as an “analgesic” or pain reliever which was sketchy at best. Also morbidly curious is that Crusius would die before he was able to see most of his waggishly whimsical illustrations published in the Antikamnia calendar. Are you following me? Good.

Made with coal tar, Antikamnia was later found to contain a substance called acetanilide which diminishes the ability and even prevents red blood cells from releasing oxygen to tissues which in a nutshell is not good for you unless you’re okay with maybe dying prematurely. This is why acetanilide was illegal then and still is now. The deadly powder could also be mixed with Codeine by request. All that grim history aside, acetanilide would eventually become an ingredient in a little pill called Tylenol. With a bit of judicious digging, I found an old advertisement for Antikamnia (a word that the company invented which meant “Opposed to Pain”) published in 1890 and that provided an interesting description of the “benefits” of ingesting the substance. Here’s more on from an ad (which I have paraphrased below) for the early analgesic from The Phrenological Journal and Science of Health put out by the University of Michigan in 1901:

“Antikamnia has been found to be superior to any of its predecessors in this field in cases of acute pain and all forms of a headache which yield to its influence in a remarkably short time, and in no instance have any evil after-effects developed. The chief claim advanced in favor of Antikamnia over all other products is that its use is not followed by depression of the heart. In short, all headaches caused by anxiety or mental strain will be relieved by two tablets, crushed, followed by a swallow of water or wine. It is also suggested to be used by women on shopping tours and invariably to those who come home cross and out of sorts.”

So did people die after taking Antikamnia? Yeah, they sure did, and it wasn’t very pretty. Since we all now know that acetanilide stopped red blood cells from sending oxygen on its merry way, you should now know that the definately “evil” side effect would cause a person’s extremities to turn blue. Deaths associated with the pain remedy were first reported in 1891—barely a year after the Antikamnia Company started making the sometimes lethal medication. I’ve posted photos (which are even more cryptic now that you know the history of the drug) from various runs of the Antikamnia promotional calendars below.
 

1897.
 

1900.
 
More macabre illustrations by Louis Crusius, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.23.2017
11:00 am
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The lurid, neon outlaw art of Benjamin Marra
10.06.2017
08:32 am
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Album artwork by Benjamin Marra for the 2014 compilation ‘Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares.’
 
Comic artist Benjamin Marra‘s pulpy, outlaw artistic style has been used by notable publications such as The New York Times and another comic book company you might have heard of, Marvel. Several of Marra’s books have been published by Seattle comics institution Fantagraphics. In an interview Marra gave to The Comics Journal he discussed one of his most common themes of his work—his raw depiction of violence. Like so many of us, Marra was profoundly influenced by films he saw as a youth, though he steered clear of violent scenarios in his artwork because they scared the shit out of him. So, he began to include images bad stuff happening into his work in the hope that he might someday be able to conquer his fear. Well, it worked, and I’m thrilled because Marra’s art is kind of like a grindhouse film full of bikers and badass chicks battling it out in a grim neon netherworld.

Based in Brooklyn, Marra went to Syracuse University where he studied illustration, and then later for a time at SU’s art program in Florence, Italy. He received a B.F.A. from Syracuse and followed that up with an M.F.A. in illustration from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Marra still spends time at the Manhattan institution where he somehow finds the time to teach the in the Visual Narrative program. Marra publishes his far-out comics through his own company, Traditional Comics. There he puts out comics that are aligned with the kind of core values a real outlaw would be ready to die for, such as imposing your will upon the world, sex (and there’s lots of it in Marra’s illustrated world), drugs, gambling, and adhering to a personal code of justice that believes in vigilantism which provides for the right to exact revenge whenever you’ve been done wrong.

I first became aware of Marra after seeing the slick album art for a compilation series put out by the Numero Group in 2014, Warfaring Strangers: Acid Nightmares (pictured at the top of this post). However, some of you might be familiar with Marra’s balls-out 2010 comic that featured a gun-toting New York Times Op-Ed columnist, The Incredibly Fantastic Adventures of Maureen Dowd, or perhaps his contributions to the Henry & Glenn Forever series. Marra always seems to be putting out a new low-brow, day-glow piece of work and a quick look at The Comic Book Database revealed that his latest venture (with Fantagraphics) is a groovy-looking series called All The Time Comics with three different insane-looking storylines which you can see here.

I’ve posted some cool examples of Marra’s work below which are NSFW. Much like Marra himself.
 

 

Marra’s poster for the 2016 re-release of director Takeshi Kitano’s 1989 film, ‘Violent Cop.’
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.06.2017
08:32 am
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An early Rolling Stone promotion sent every new subscriber a free roach clip!
09.28.2017
12:48 pm
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The February 10, 1968, issue of Rolling Stone
 
It’s difficult to explain why Rolling Stone was able to separate itself from a crowded pack in 1967 to become the most reliable media barometer of Boomer culture in existence. It surely had a great deal to do with Jann Wenner’s personality. It would surprise nobody to learn, as David Weir, a reporter who co-wrote Rolling Stone’s coverage of Patty Hearst in the 1970s, once observed, that Wenner was (and probably is) “a brilliant master at getting what he wants out of people.”

Securing exclusive coverage of high-profile acts was surely a key to the early success of the magazine, but let’s not overlook Wenner’s bold sense of PR. Before the magazine was even a year old, Wenner zeroed in on an unbeatable promotional idea that would appeal to every person in his potential audience while alienating those who didn’t belong.

Wenner put an ad in the magazine stating that he would send every person who bought a subscription a free roach clip. The ad took up a full page and looked like this:
 

 
The text of the ad was a masterpiece of humorous insinuation, never mentioning drugs while winkingly touting 1,001 uses, which happen to include “music appreciation” and “preventing singed lips.” Riiiiiiight…..
 

This handy little device can be yours free!

An essential accessory for the successful musician and the completely equipped rock and roll fan. It has one thousand and one uses around the home, in rehearsal or for better music appreciation. Applications of this delightfully simple piece of machinery range from the frivolous (hanging earrings) to the practical (preventing singed lips.) Each handle comes individually lathed in either mahogany, ebony, oak or rosewood. No two alike! Get ‘em while they last.

Without delay, subscribe to Rolling Stone! We’ll give you one “Handy Little Device” free with your subscription. If you would like to give a gift subscription to a loved one, we’ll send you two “Handy Little Devices” or one to you and one to your loved one. Act now before this offer is made illegal.

 
As related in Robert Draper’s diverting 1990 book Rolling Stone Magazine: The Uncensored History, Wenner came up with the idea while getting high at a friend’s house in (where else?) San Francisco:
 

One afternoon Jann sat with friends in a house on Potrero Hill, smoking dope. Jann was admiring the handsome wooden apparatus which held the joint.

“Where’d you get the roach clip?” he asked its owner, Robert Kingsbury, a man he had met only once before.

“Made it myself,” said Kingsbury. “I make ‘em out of hardwood knobs.”

Jann took a toke and fingered the woodwork of the roach clip. Then he asked, “What do you think you could make these for?”

Kingsbury shrugged. “Maybe eighty cents apiece,” he said.

“Could you make me some?” Jann asked. “I need a lot.”

Sure, why not, said Kingsbury. “What do you need ‘em for?”

“I want to give ‘em away,” said Jann, grinning devilishly. “As a subscription incentive.”

And so page 23 of issue No. 5 featured a photograph of a 41/4-inch roach clip with the headline “This handy little device can be yours free!” With a subscription to Rolling Stone, the ad read, readers would receive this “essential accessory. ... Act now before this offer is made illegal.”

Gleason hit the ceiling. “Marijuana is against the law,” he said, lecturing Jann in his acid Eastern voice. “You can cover it, you can joke about it—but you cannot sell dope paraphernalia through Rolling Stone. You just can’t do that!”

Even by now, however, it was becoming clear [that] Jann Wenner could, and would, do with Rolling Stone whatever he wished.

 
When the New York Times reviewed Draper’s book, it chose to tout the roach clip gimmick in the headline: “A Roach Clip with Every Paid Subscription.”

On the suggestion of Jane Schindelheim, Wenner’s wife, Kingsbury (who was dating Jane’s sister at the time, whom he would later marry) was later asked to become Rolling Stone’s second art director, a position he held for several years. But in some respects he was an odd fit. A sculptor by trade, Kingsbury at 44 was a full generation older than Wenner and virtually everyone else at the magazine. Draper asserts that he “despised rock ‘n’ roll” but was “brilliant and resourceful, a disciplined man.” Draper credits Kingsbury with establishing the relatively clean and uncluttered look (for a counterculture rag, anyway), and he was ushered out of the organization around the time the magazine adopted four-color printing techniques in 1973.

I’m curious how many roach clips ever went out to subscribers. I’m tempted to say “zero.” There is currently a lavish exhibition dedicated to Rolling Stone at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, which I visited recently. There you can find the page with the advertisement as well as one of the clips, but that’s the only one I’ve ever seen reproduced. Below you can see a picture of the Rock Hall display taken by yours truly.

As you can see, Draper has the ad first appearing in the February 24, 1968, issue (“No. 5”), but the promotion actually debuted one issue earlier. The page shown at the Rock Hall does say “February 10, 1968” on it.

In any case, I’m a teensy bit skeptical that there exists any such thing as a human being who received a Rolling Stone roach clip in the mail. The auction site eBay has precisely zero auctions dedicated to the item in its archive, which doesn’t exactly prove anything, and if you can find a picture of one on the Internet, you’re a better Google-stalker than I. Draper mentions that Wenner was having difficulty paying his staff in those first couple of years, so I suspect he pulled the somewhat (in retrospect) Trumpian maneuver of reneging on a promise.

But I don’t know—if you received one of these mahogany beauties in the mail, please reach out and let us know! Pics or it didn’t happen…...
 

 

Posted by Martin Schneider
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09.28.2017
12:48 pm
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Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!

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Here’s a drink ticket—enjoy the post!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He goes on to say:

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

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

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

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

I was lucky, and soaked it all in.

 
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Nico playing her wheezing harmonium. Photo by Ebet Roberts

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

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

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

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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09.19.2017
02:47 pm
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One for the Road: Street photographs of drunk Japanese people
09.18.2017
10:05 am
Topics:
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Tokyo-based photographer Lee Chapman has been documenting life in Japan for almost two decades. Originally from England, Chapman went to Japan on a one-year work contract to teach English at a language school. He now works as an English teacher at a local high school—which means he has plenty of free time to take photographs.

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

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

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

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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09.18.2017
10:05 am
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New documentary about Jayne Mansfield and Anton LaVey from the makers of ‘Room 237,’ a DM exclusive!
09.14.2017
06:40 am
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The violent end Jayne Mansfield met in a cloud of insecticide has all the elements of a good story. Sex, violence, fame, blackmail, a Satanic curse, death by decapitation (well, severe haircut, anyway)—why, the LA Times obit reads like 12-year-old Glenn Danzig wrote it:

Jayne Mansfield Killed

Jayne Mansfield, blonde and buxom, almost a caricature of a sex symbol who lived in a glass bowl of publicity for 13 years as a Hollywood actress was decapitated last week in a grotesque car crash in a New Orleans swamp. She had been appearing at a night club in Biloxi, Miss. leaving there en route to New Orleans for a morning television appearance when the 2:30 a.m. collision occurred. Her car came around a curve at high speed and smashed into the trailer of a truck which had slowed on entering a cloud of white anti-mosquito mist. The trailer sheared off the top of the auto killing instantly the three adults in the front seat: Miss Mansfield, her friend, Samuel S. Brody, 40, a Los Angeles lawyer and their driver, Ronnie Harrison, 20, a student at the University of Mississippi. Three of her five children (in the back seat of the car) were injured but not seriously.

[...] Last year, her son Zoltan, 6, (while posing with her for a publicity stunt) was mauled by a lion and almost died when he developed meningitis. Several weeks ago, her daughter Jayne Marie, 16, left home complaining that she had been beaten by her mother’s boyfriend lawyer Brody. Miss Mansfield’s second husband was Mickey Hargitay, who flew to New Orleans after the accident to be with his children. On the French Riviera last week, Francoise Dorleac, 25-year-old French film actress, was also killed in a car crash. Her car skidded on a wet highway, struck a sign post and burst into flames.

The legend of Mansfield’s death is the subject of the latest documentary from P. David Ebersole and Todd Hughes, the creative powerhouse behind Room 237, Hit So Hard: The Life & Near Death Story of Patty Schemel, and the live-action Chick tract feature Hot Chicks. Ebersole and Hughes’ Mansfield 66/67: A True Story Based on Rumor and Hearsay focuses on the actress’s relationship with the Black Pope of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, and the tale that sorcery caused her fatal car crash. She is portrayed by “over fifty actors and dancers.”
 

 
Mansfield 66/67 appears, like Room 237, to be about a particular kind of 20th century folklore: “Paul is dead” cases of private obsessions, nourished by mass media, passing into folk belief. Conditions were favorable. Dead Jayne was in no position to refute any stories about her entirely sensationalized life, and LaVey was in no hurry to disclaim supernatural powers. Interviewed by Jack Fritscher in the 1972 book Popular Witchcraft, LaVey suggested his curse was responsible for the car crash, though he’d laid it not on Jayne but Sam Brody—the man the LA Times identified as Mansfield’s “friend”:

LAVEY: I know I have been rumored to have cursed Jayne Mansfield and caused her death in that car crash. Jayne Mansfield was a member of the Church of Satan. I have enough material to blow sky-high all those sanctimonious Hollywood journalists who claim she wasn’t. She was a priestess in the Church of Satan. I have documentation of this fact from her. There are many things I’ll not say for obvious reasons.

FRITSCHER: Say what you can.

LAVEY: Her lover [lawyer Sam Brody, also killed in the front seat of the car], who was a decidedly unsavory character, was the one who brought the curse upon himself. There was decidedly a curse, marked in the presence of other people. Jayne was warned constantly and periodically in no uncertain terms that she must avoid his company because great harm would befall him. It was a very sad sequence of events in which she was the victim of her own—as we mentioned earlier—inability to cope with her own success. Also the demonic self in her was crying out to be one thing, and her apparent self demanded that she be something else. She was beaten back and forth in this inner conflict between the apparent self and the demonic self. Sam Brody was blackmailing her.

FRITSCHER: About what?

LAVEY: He was blackmailing her. I have definite proof of this. She couldn’t get out of his clutches. She was a bit of a masochist herself. She brought about her own demise. But it wasn’t through what I had done to curse her. The curse, that she asked me to cast, was directed at him. And it was a very magnificent curse.

Watch the trailer after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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09.14.2017
06:40 am
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David Bowie, Dennis Hopper and/or Dean Stockwell bring blow to Iggy Pop in a psych ward, 1975


Iggy Pop and Dennis Hopper talking shop back in the day.
 

“By 1975, I was totally into drugs, and my willpower had been vastly depleted. But still, I had the brains to commit myself to a hospital, and I survived with willpower and a lot of help from David Bowie. I survived because I wanted to.”

—Iggy Pop on how he got by with a little help from his friend David Bowie while locked up in the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital .

If you suddenly broke into an off-key chorus of “That’s What Friends Are For” while reading through this post about Iggy Pop’s stay at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Hospital, I’d understand. Let’s face it—when the cards are stacked against you, and your life takes a giant nosedive into a pile of shit (or cocaine, booze or other bad shit, or shit in general really), you get to find out who your real friends are. In this case, Iggy Pop found out that none other than Dennis Hopper, that suave motherfucker himself Dean Stockwell, and of course his BFF, David Bowie, were his. However, this was back in 1975, and Iggy’s trio of pals at the time routinely consumed cocaine and all kinds of other drugs at alarming rates just like he did—which was one of the reasons Pop had voluntarily checked himself into the UCLA psych ward. 1975 was a tough year for Iggy after he found himself in Los Angeles with virtually no money and mostly no Stooges after the band disbanded, due in part due to Iggy’s heavy heroin problem which culminated in Iggy and the Stooges falling apart onstage at a gig in Michigan in 1974. Here’s rock journalist Lester Bangs’ account of what went down the night Iggy and the Stooges imploded:

“The audience, which consisted largely of bikers, was unusually hostile, and Iggy, as usual, fed on that hostility, soaked it up and gave it back and absorbed it all over again in an eerie, frightening symbiosis. “All right,” he finally said, stopping a song in the middle, “you assholes wanta hear ‘Louie, Louie,’ we’ll give you ‘Louie, Louie.’” So the Stooges played a forty-five-minute version of “Louie Louie,” including new lyrics improvised by the Pop on the spot consisting of “You can suck my ass / You biker faggot sissies,” etc. By now the hatred in the room is one huge livid wave, and Iggy singles out one heckler who has been particularly abusive: “Listen, asshole, you heckle me one more time, and I’m gonna come down there and kick your ass.” “Fuck you, you little punk,” responds the biker. So Iggy jumps off the stage, runs through the middle of the crowd, and the guy beats the shit out of him, ending the evening’s musical festivities by sending the lead singer back to his motel room and a doctor. I walk into the dressing room, where I encounter the manager of the club offering to punch out anybody in the band who will take him on. The next day the bike gang, who call themselves the Scorpions, will phone WABX-FM and promise to kill Iggy and the Stooges if they play the Michigan Palace on Thursday night. They do (play, that is), and nobody gets killed, but Metallic K.O. is the only rock album I know where you can actually hear hurled beer bottles breaking against guitar strings.”

 

Iggy and Stooges guitarist James Williamson.
 
Following that act, Iggy went back to LA and as Stooges guitarist James Williamson recalls Pop was living in a small apartment on Sunset Strip where he spent his days completely blotto on any substance he could put in his body to get high. Pop would eventually lose his digs and stayed with Williamson for a short time before he ending up romancing the streets of Los Angeles where he apparently got arrested several times for various infractions. Upon his last appearance in court, he was given two options—prison or he could voluntarily check himself into a psychiatric hospital. While in treatment at UCLA under the care of Dr. Murray Zucker he went through detox and was diagnosed with a condition known as hypomania. Though it was likely no fun, it was probably a lot better than being in prison. Besides, as the title of this post indicates, he had lots of friends coming by to visit him. And that’s where this story gets a whole lot weirder.

According to the 2012 book David Bowie: The Golden Years, actor Dean Stockwell visited Pop at UCLA along with Bowie allegedly dressed up in space suits (though perhaps just Bowie was in disguise), completely stoned politely demanding “We want to see Jimmy. Let us in.” According to Pop’s account of the event, they actually let Bowie and Stockwell see him because they were “star struck” by their presence, despite the fact that they were clearly high as fuck. Once inside Iggy’s room, Bowie broke out some blow to share with Pop which he took, but in Iggy’s own words, he only indulged “a little.” David Bowie has also spoken about his clandestine visits to Pop recalling that it was Dennis Hopper who he came calling on Iggy with while the former Stooge was trying to maintain his sobriety and mental health. Here’s the Thin White Duke on how that went:

“If I remember it right, it was me and Dennis Hopper. We trooped into the hospital with a load of drugs for (Iggy) him. This was very much a leave-your-drugs-at-the-door hospital. We were out of our minds, all of us. He wasn’t well; that’s all we knew. We thought we should bring him some drugs because he probably hadn’t had any for days!”

I’ve always believed that only a real friend would smuggle drugs for you, and David Bowie (and Dennis or was it Dean?) proved that point for me.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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09.13.2017
10:05 am
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Unintentionally hilarious horror movie-themed anti-smoking PSA


 
This short anti-smoking PSA produced by Enniscorthy Youthreach in conjunction with the Irish Cancer Society has its heart in the right place even if the results are unintentionally hilarious.

The two-minute spot on the terrors of peer-pressure features homages to famous horror villains, including Jack Torrence (“I’ll huff and I’ll puff… MAINLY PUFF”), a Freddy Krueger with cigarette fingers instead of knives, Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Ghostface, Chucky, Hannibal Lecter, and a Reagan McNeil who, in the best scene of the video, vomits a whole carton’s worth of cigs at the protagonist. 

In the end, we find that this was all the hospital-bed nightmare of someone ostensibly dying of lung cancer.

The storyline, acting, makeup, and special effects are all gloriously no-budget and awesomely terrible, making this, perhaps, the most entertaining anti-smoking PSA of all recorded time.

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Christopher Bickel
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08.25.2017
08:45 am
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