Did Johnny Carson know what he was getting into when his producers asked Jim Henson to perform without Muppets on his show in February 1974?
By the time of the clip below, Henson and his Muppets Inc. crew were five years into what was becoming a hugely successful partnership with the Children’s Television Workshop on the show that would raise Generation X, Sesame Street.
What better time to do something like, say, adapt electronic music pioneer Raymond Scott’s highly trippy piece, “The Organized Mind” as a short live multimedia stage performance? (By the way, the film playing in the background is apparently Henson’s film adaptation of the same piece of music.)
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Cookie Monster helps train IBM sales staff (1967)
Jim Henson’s “Time Piece”
Bonus clip after the jump: “The Paperwork Explosion” another 1967 Henson/Scott collaborative film for IBM…
Dangerous Minds pal, Chris Campion, author of the scathing Police biography,Walking on the Moon: The Untold Story of the Police and the Rise of New Wave Rock sent me this hilarious item about Sting today:
A Russian communist organization urged on Tuesday the arrest of British singer Sting over his “public promotion of drugs.”
Sting, 58, played St. Petersburg on September 13 and is due to perform in Moscow on Wednesday.
“In April 2010, Mister Sting publically called for “the worldwide legalization of marijuana,” the Communists of Petersburg and the Leningrad Region, a separate organization from the much larger Communist Party, said in a statement.
“Not only communists, but everyone in favor of a healthy way of life, the strengthening of our nation’s culture and tradition must understand that such a figure , however talented screaming teens may consider him, can not appear on stage in the Russian Federation,” the group said.
It also claimed the failure of the police to detain Sting as a “leading” proponent of drug use in St. Petersburg was an example of “double standards, negligence and rotten liberalism.”
The statement went on to call for the dismissal of St. Petersburg’s cultural authorities, and accused them of “pushing our children toward the hell of degeneration,” by allowing Sting to perform.
Sting has yet to comment.
Russian communists call for arrest of ‘drug pusher’ Sting (RIA Novosti)
“Search For Love” sung by Dimitri Tambossis in a scene from the Greek film I Theia Mou I Hipissa (My Hippie Aunt), 1970. This looks like a production number from Hair if Bob Fosse had choreographed it instead of Twyla Tharp.
Dimitri Tambossis went on to front Aphrodite’s Child with keyboard player Vangelis.
There’s a short but fascinating piece on Dimitri at Julian Cope’s Head Heritage website.
Oh, the horror!
Stefan Nadelman’s Terminal Bar is a document of the infamous New York City dive located across the street from the Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square. Stefan’s father, Sheldon, was a bartender at the Terminal from 1972 to 1982 and took thousands of photographs of the drunks, drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes that hung out at what was considered to be the roughest bar in NYC.
Sheldon also photographed the bartenders, bouncers and porters that worked the joint. I can’t imagine a tougher gig. I used to poke my head into the Terminal back in the late 70s. Its notoriety drew artists and punks and the curious. But, it wasn’t welcoming to slumming hipsters or bush league Bukowskis. It was an enclosed society with it’s own brutal code, not easily cracked by the voyeuristic aesthete.
Stefan recalls what it was like to live among the images of the Terminal:
Our house [was] basically my father’s gallery, I grew up looking at these faces of the Terminal Bar. My father would also paint on the matte around the photos to further make his point. He used a lot of wordplay…like GRAPE/RAPE/APE (the effects of wine). Each picture had its lesson or story and I think they subconsciously warned me of the ramifications of heavy drinking. Looking back, I can see how odd it may have seemed to have your house’s walls filled with 16x20’s of drunken strangers.
Terminal Bar is a stunning achievement, an evocation of a period in New York City’s history when the streets were wild with life and filled with the stench of garbage, booze, sex and death. The city is cleaner now, domesticated, safe, but lacking that certain soulfulness that is at the heart of Sheldon Nadelman’s dark and deeply human photographs.
Here’s the trailer and a clip from Terminal Bar. The entire 23 minute film is available on DVD here. Stefan is working on new video vignettes using his father’s photographs and I’m looking forward to future installments.
More of The Terminal after the jump…
Two years after the Summer Of Love, Andy Williams drops acid and organizes a be-in on his network TV show.
I experienced the things that most people did when taking psychedelic drugs – the intensely heightened senses, the beauty of colours and sounds, the contrasting phases of feeling. One moment, I would feel like I was a lord of the cosmos, the next I would be focused on a microscopic detail – a coloured thread fluttering in the breeze, or specks of dust hanging in the air.”
In this clip from Andy’s NBC variety series, which aired in March of 1969, Donovan and his parade of flower children create some Aquarian vibes and the audience is swept along on a contact high.
40 years later, Andy’s warm relationship with Rush Limbaugh and comments about Obama suggest he might be be due for another consciousness raising session.
“Obama is following Marxist theory. He’s taken over the banks and the car industry. He wants the country to fail.”
Andy, we love you. Come back. Grooviness awaits.
This is the first known medicinal marijuana advertisement to be aired on television. Commercial provided by permission from CannaCare. This spot first ran on FOX 40 in Sacramento, California in August of 2010.
I lived in Northern New Mexico during the late 1960’s and from 2003 to 2008, right at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo (blood of Christ) mountain range. This is an area that has drawn artists, outlaws, visionaries and lost souls for decades, from D.H. Lawrence to Dennis Hopper to the New Buffalo Commune and the Rainbow Tribe. The mountains are thought to have mystical powers, both good and bad. It is said they can mess with a man’s mind. I lived in Taos, which a friend once called “the world’s largest open air mental institution”, and I saw the flow of neo-hippies coming into town blending with the old guard who had been living there for decades. It was a wild mix of 1960’s Aquarian Age values and a kind of longhair punk nihilism - a fascinating blend turning a bit moldy at the edges and slightly rotten at the core.
Dennis Hopper was busted in the mid-1960’S in Taos for walking into a town council meeting brandishing a shotgun.
Shot in New Mexico, the “fat Jew on shrooms” video (Rob Tyner, is that you?) is a comically surreal version of the kind of madness you’ll find in the high desert, on the mesas and in the bloody mountains. The altitude can turn a simple psychedelic trip into something straight out of a Castaneda book and, in this dude’s case, something gonzo from Hunter Thompson. I don’t know how ‘real’ it is, but at 10,000 feet above sea level shit happens. Whether shroom boy is having a bonafide mystical experience or just going apeshit for the camera doesn’t matter. It’s the vibe, man. And the vibe is spooky.
In New Mexico, guns, pot and longhair are totems of some new bizarre breed of hippie outlaw.
The other video included here is from a film called “Off The Grid” and is the real deal. I knew these folks in the video. I had a store not far from where they lived on the mesa and they were my customers. Many were Vietnam vets, a few were clinically insane, others were social outcasts or folks just looking to live the simple hippie life. I liked most of them. But a few had feral children that saddened me. Dirty and hungry, these little kids were living in poverty and squalor, not by their own design, but by the choices their parents, mostly quite young themselves, had made in deciding to live outside of society.
The directors of “Off The Grid” were told by the folks depicted in the film never to screen the movie in Taos. If they did, they’d regret it.
A little comedy followed by something a bit more serious. The connection between these videos is kind of tenuous; longhairs with guns. That’s something I never imagined during the Summer Of Love.
Life off the grid after the jump…