Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hungry For A Real Fine Guy Like Me:

Eight years ago I bought all the Paul Revere & The Raiders CDs reissued on Sundazed Records, and they were brilliant. They rocked hard and looked like drunken Revolutionary War dudes that dumped all that tea into the Boston Harbor. Like many bands of their time they made the effortless transition from garage rock demons to psych golden gods. Great stuff, whether it was “Spirit of 67” or “Hard ‘N Heavy”. Of course, listening to the music wasn’t enough. I registered onto the Mark Lindsay website and the fun, just like Elvis, quickly left the building.

To call Mark Lindsay one of the most narcissistic, control freak rock singers of all time would do him a grave injustice. His controlling and rampant ego would turn Beyonce or David Lee Roth into paragons of modesty. After leaving his cheesy website it took me a year to listen to his records all over again, it was that bad. We’ll talk about Dave Clark from the Dave Clark Five later, that’s another horror story.

One of the first things you do at a website is log on to the Message Board so you can exchange your views on the Raiders with your fellow fans. Ohmygod, I was the only guy on the board and easily the only person under 40. Shit, what a nightmare. Picture if you will a bunch of angry Jesus Freak housewives from the corn belt who think that 16 Magazine is still in circulation with Sajid Khan and Donna Loren on the cover.
Half the threads were them daydreaming aloud about being alone with Mark Lindsay serenading them in various forms of dress and undress. The administrator to the website was Mrs. Mark Lindsay, and unlike most website admins was not terribly diplomatic. You could almost imagine her seething behind her computer monitor reading all these horny posts about her man nude singing “Hungry” or “Mr. Sun, Mr. Moon” to them.

Since I was an interloper (male) every post I typed was met with condescension, kind of like DVD Talk. After letting their guard down 3 months later they calmed down and warned me of certain rules: what you can’t discuss on the Mark Lindsay Chat Room, i.e. specific band members Mr. Lindsay hates (Harpo, Fang, Smitty, Joe Jr.). Apparently he hates Paul Revere too, but since he’s the fucking leader of the group there’s no turning around that corner.

One of the power moms posted, “Wow, it would be great if I could get a video of the Raiders on Happening ‘67”. I posted back, “Oh, I have a copy of an episode on video, send me your address and I’ll be happy to shoot a copy off to you”. Uh-oh!
I got an e-mail that night from Mrs. Lindsay: “You will never, EVER, discuss unauthorized material of the Raiders, for sale or for trade, on the board again or you will be removed from the site”. If Mark couldn’t make a dime off the video it was forbidden.

The man himself barely made an appearance at his own website, and when he did it was to post his incredibly exciting life:

“My brand new Jaguar purrs like a kitten. I looooove my fast cars!”

“Love my house in Kawauii. The koi pond rocks and after I’m done with my yoga I settle down for some fine dining!”

“Buy my new record on my vanity label. I sing all the old standards, just like Rod Stewart. I dedicate it to “Casablanca” and I’m dressed just like Bogie on the cover!” (Lindsay still wearing zany outfits 40 years later.)

There was hardly any recognition of his fans, just Mr. Wonderful occasionally popping in to tell the Wal-Mart witches that he was living a Hawaiian idyll they’ll never experience. What a dick.

The few pictures showing Lindsay at his present state showed his elfin features obscured behind a magician’s goatee and sunglasses dark enough to make Howard Stern jealous.

What finally made me quit the board? Combined with Mark Lindsay’s arrogance and the Dragon Lady playing rock police, some desperately dumb housewife posted, “The reason so many Jews died in the concentration camps is because they didn’t accept Jesus as their Lord and savior”. As someone who’s lost countless relatives that died there I thought I was going to lose my mind. Nobody contested her idiotic statement. These people are fucking idiots, I thought, and I left the website, never to return.

And I’m sure Harpo, Fang, Smitty, and Joe Jr. were dying to ask me “What took you so long?”

Since I got off the site Lindsay has moved from his glamour pad in Hawaii to Portland, Oregon and got a job DJing on a radio show. Sounds like all the money ran out, ha! And the Menopause Message Board is gone, daddy, gone. Happy endings are the best.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Foreign Cinema and the Beverly Hills Police Department

When I was a teenager going to the movies was pretty adventurous, sometimes a little too much. Like the time I went to the Music Hall Theatre in Beverly Hills…just to be hardcore I had to go to the last show (10:45 PM) on a Tuesday night. The movie playing that night was “The Conformist” directed by Bernardo Bertolucci.

“The Conformist” was a very hot film at the time (1974) because it was Bertolucci’s first film since “Last Tango In Paris”, so everybody wanted to see what outrageous movie he’d make next. Oh, my god, this was the worst piece of shit I ever saw. Everything you hate about a foreign film, this one had it. Slow, ponderous, sleazy, political, and the sex wasn’t even good in it. The actresses all looked like they threw up last week’s dinner and didn’t bother to clean up!

The movie takes place in Italy during the 1930s when a creepy guy wants to be a big wheel with the Fascist Party. His horny wife joins his political party too, and after he sells out his professor to the police he and his wife bed down the professor’s wife for some un-sexy three way fucking. The lure of Fascism is sexy because he gets a lot of poozay with his sleazy politics. Later on his wife splits with the professor’s wife. After the Fascist Party dumps him and tells him to take a hike he’s last seen at a rally picking up Fascist teenage boys. By the time the credits rolled up I wanted to blow my brains out!

The theater let out at 12:30 AM and I didn’t have a car (I was 15) so I walked home. One doesn’t just walk through Beverly Hills in the middle of the night in a leather jacket and long black hair, so imagine my surprise when a squad car pulled up in front of me. “Good evening, sir”, the police officer hollered with his flashlight blinding me in the eyes. “Would you care to step in front of the car?”

I stood in front of his car with my hands on the hood (typical procedure).

Beverly Hills Cop (not Eddie): “Would you mind telling me where you’re going?”
Me: “I’m going home”.
BHPD: “And where would that be?”
Me: “1466 South Bedford Street”. (Torn down since then).
BHPD: “Where exactly are you coming from?” while he’s looking at my picture ID.
Me: “I was the Music Hall Theatre”.
BHPD: “Oh, you were at the movies, huh?”
Me: “Um, yeah”. Well duh.
BHPD: “What was the name of the movie?”
Me: “The Conformist”.
BHPD (eyes slitted suspiciously): “The Conformist, huh? And what’s that movie about?”
OH MY GOD. I have to tell the cop about this lame, arty piece of soft core shit? What am I going to say? There was three way fucking and Fascists stabbing each other and screaming? Shit, think fast, think fast.
Me: “Well…it’s one of those foreign films, you know? Where everybody’s talking really fast and even though they’re talking you don’t know what the heck they’re talking about”.
The cop chewed this over, eying me suspiciously, then broke into a smile…”Yeah, right, right”, chuckle. He handed me back my ID. “Okay, get on home safely, and don’t stop off anywhere. And next time go to an earlier show, okay?”
Me: “Thanks, officer”.

Well, the moral of the story is foreign films still suck and as long as people still think so, you only need one blanket answer to their questions about the movie: I JUST DIDN’T GET IT.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Stuff I Burned From TCM, Part 2

Never count your chickens until the omelettes are broke: in a previous blog post I bemoaned the fact that “Black Legion” would never see the light of day on DVD. After all, it’s Humphrey Bogart joining the Ku Klux Klan. Well, guess what? It’s coming out this February as part of the Warner Bros. Gangsters DVD box set. I don’t know if the Klan can be called gangsters, psychopath hillbillies might be a better description, but Hell, it’s actually getting released. Rockin’ good news. Here’s more crap that needs to get released, and soon:

The Running Man (1963) – Legend has it this movie was a flop because it came out right after the JFK Assassination with the title “The Running Man” starring LEE Remick and Lawrence HARVEY. Good thing Gerd OSWALD didn’t work on the movie.

It’s too bad, because this is yet another great film from Sir Carol Reed, one of the most underrated directors ever (he did “The Third Man”, “Our Man In Havana”, and “Trapeze”, to name a few). Lawrence Harvey and Lee Remick play a married couple who pull a million-dollar life insurance scam and high-tail it to Spain with the money (woohoo!). Alan Bates is an insurance investigator who gives Lee Remick the 3rd Degree in England, so when she runs into him in Malaga he tells her he quit his job as an investigator, or has he? He hounds her like crazy through the picture. Is his pursuit sexual or is he still on the case?

Meanwhile Lawrence Harvey is having so much fun tomcatting in his disguise as a swinging playboy he drives her into the arms of you-know-who. So, you get the picture: it’s a wild romantic suspense adventure. You’ll marvel at Alan Bates’ uncanny resemblance to Noel Gallagher of Oasis.

Bordertown (1935) – Paul Muni plays a Mexican immigrant practicing law who gets disbarred by a rich racist attorney. Muni bolts from L.A. to Tijuana to work as a bouncer in nightclub and ultimately promotes to kick-ass club owner when he runs into the attorney’s wife. Romantic sparks ensue until she plays the race card and then the real sparks begin. While all this is going on the club owner’s wife (Bette Davis) keeps putting the moves on him, and eventually kills her husband to make it legit. You’ll marvel at Paul Muni’s uncanny resemblance to Benicio Del Toro.

Nocturne (1946) – A womanizing composer gets his brains blown out in 1940’s Hollywood and George Raft (playing a cool detective) is on the case investigating it. Every ex-girlfriend he interviews is a Forties hottie and they all say the murdered tunesmith was a dirty dog. Which girl did it? Since Raft can't act his way out of a used condom (just like Vince Vaughn) the biggest star of the film is the stylish Hollywood architecture and Sunset Boulevard location shots. RKO films are trashy fun, and this is no exception.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Christmas Drunk

He tossed his Jack and Cola - and blessed the baby god
He slammed his boilermaker
His head floated away from his bod
He crawled right out to his shitty ass bomber
Burning the shit all out of his starter
The he peeled on out - ASS OVER ELBOWS

Ran down the flagpole, broke it in half
Barfed on the schoolyard lawn
What a Technicolor yawn!
Jerked off on the church steps
Threw his cigarette butt away
Years of paperwork - UP IN FLAMES

Sax solo: Nervous Breakdown by Black Flag

Picked his nose on that shiny Nixon statue
You won't have him to kick around any more
He let it go at the Ronald Reagan Library
Peein' like a demon, LIKE A 20-MULE TEAM
Dry humped the 3 Wise Men in the manger
Didn't treat the Virgin Mary - LIKE A STRANGER

Passed out in front of Frosty the Snowman
Got his busted by the policemen
Lost his boring job at the 1st National Bank
He was a Christmas drunk
Thrown out on the street - ASS OVER ELBOWS

Guitar solo: Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, Jingle Bell Rock, etc. mo' Xmas noise

c1998, Andy & Rebecca Seven (Scuzzbuster Music/Wigglin' Fool Music, administered by Bug Music, BMI)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Micro Cars Are The Shizzly

Now that Hollywood and the movie industry are deader than Kurt Cobain I’ve been hitting the museum and gallery scene big time, and what a find this week! Petersen Auto Museum has a fantabulous show running now on Micro Cars, international miniature cars through the decades. If you thought Austin Mini Coopers were the only kinds out there, get ready for an edjimication that’s fun and foxy.

Some of the makers of Micro Cars through the years include Messerschmidt (pictured above) who made the post-war transition from building fighter planes to micro cars. Check out the plane cockpit cone on that baby. Astounding shit. Another auto maker that made these tiny wonders was a refrigerator company that used the same door for their cars as their fridges. The car (seen behind the Messerschmidt) looked like a moving fridge. The show had me clicking my camera away like a Tokyo Tourist, snapshotting away like a Polaroid Swinger with midget cars instead of nude couples.

There were no Micro Car books for sale at the souvenir shop but there were a few fan magazines for the collectors. The average used car for sale in the mag went for about $5000, typical used car prices, but bear in mind the maximum speed these cars can go is at 55-65 MPH. They're in no way built for high octane thrills.

Other shows at the Petersen was an alternative energy car show which had some lame “flying car” from the 50’s that looked like a speedboat with wheels. It was very shallow and had no seat belts. Imagine that baby hitting the friendly skies while your buds drop out of the sky every time you bank a turn!

There was also a killer low rider car show. I was impressed and I hate low riders and their culture, but, damn these cars kicked my Anglo ass. One had Aztec pyramid seats with shot glass drink holders – GENIUS! Buggs Ochoa is a wild maniac of an artist and is more deserving of your attention. Repeat after me – BUGGS OCHOA.