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Sunday, December 27, 2009

It Was A Pleasure Then

Life is fraught with decisions, and the decisions I had to face was whether to go to the Suzi Quatro party at The Tropicana, which was invitation only, or the Zolar X party at Rodney's English Disco, which wasn't. As long as you had five dollars you could get in, but I didn't have five dollars to swing around on a weeknight. There was the third option, of course. Rumor had it that Roxy Music were staying at The Continental Hyatt House to do promotional stuff and we could always just hang out there. It didn't cost anything and maybe I can meet Bryan Ferry in the lobby. Wouldn't that be great? Well, it wasn't. Fifty other kids had the exact same idea as me. Advancing closer and closer to the enormous lobby of the Continental Hyatt House on the Sunset Strip with its gigantic windows I could see tons of glitter kids hoping to run into my hero.

My ankles were aching from supporting my tall teenage body on three inch brass platform heels and sparkly copper vinyl shoes. They made my back ache too, but as they said, style before comfort. I walked through the automatic doors to the entrance and saw my friend Randy from the English Disco. "Hey!"

"Hay is for whores", I quipped.
"Hey, whore, are you here to see Alex Harvey?" Randy asked in his striped satin thunderbolt suit. He thought it made him look like Marc Bolan.
"The Sensational Alex Harvey Band are here, too?"
"Yeah, who are you here to see?"
"Roxy Music. I wanna see Bryan Ferry. Maybe I can get his autograph".
"Well, good luck. He hasn't left his hotel suite all day. He's probably giving a million interviews. Hey, nice threads. When did you get these?" he rubbed my jacket between his fingers. I was wearing a brand new green velvet jacket with extra-wide lapels with matching elephant flares.
"Last week. I bought it from a boutique on Third that just closed down".
"I got mine from Granny's".
"Granny's is nice if you can afford it. Hey, is that?"

A very thin girl with huge black pigtails led a very stoned, emaciated platinum blonde boy wearing a black leather jacket with a leopard on the back, just like the one on the back cover of Iggy & The Stooges' "Raw Power". Under his jacket was a t-shirt of Iggy Pop's face. "Jimmy, gimme a smoke. Is Steve Marriott staying here? Ah, fuck it", whined the girl.
"Yeah, it's him", Randy whispered. "And he's got his favorite shirt on in case he forgets who he is".
"Jesus", I gurgled. At the sound of that the platinum blonde boy stopped, stared at me, and then craned his head around the lobby making sure everybody recognized him.

"Well, I guess this beats the Suzi Quatro party, anyway", I turned away from Iggy.
"Suzi Quatro? That dyke?"
"She's not a dyke. I think she's doing her guitar player".
"That fat guy? Bullshit, she's a dyke. She wears leather pants and sneakers. Dyke!"
I wasn't going to let anybody tell me my favorite girl singer was a dyke, so I changed the subject. "So what's so great about The Sensation Alex Harvey Band?"
"Dude, didn't you hear? They opened for Styx at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. They did they whole 'Vambo Rools OK' number on stage with the brick wall and it was far-out. And then Styx goes on and half the audience walked out of the place. Styx couldn't follow Alex Harvey".
"Well, I don't know, I can't follow a band with a mime who plays guitar. I'd rather rock out to a dyke".

A tall skinny kid walked by with a David Bowie haircut and a traumatically chewed up, pocked mark face with a feathered boa around his neck. It was Chuckie Starr, who Randy knew well.
"Hey, Chuckie, what are you doing here? I figured you'd be at the Suzi Quatro party at The Tropicana", Randy asked.
"Security's too tight to get in. Bryan Ferry's here tonight. I'm going to see Lori later at the Zolar X party. Are you going?" Chuckie said as he craned his head around the room looking for someone more fabulous than us.
"Oh, sure, Darling", Randy lied. Chuckie didn't even hear him; he recognized someone and ran towards them, shrieking.

"Are you going to get Sweet tickets at the Civic on Saturday?"
"Yeah, what time does the box office open?"
"Twelve thirty", Randy's face brightened as he saw a distant figure walk quickly towards the hotel coffee shop. "Alex Harvey! I gotta get his autograph!" Randy ran towards the coffee shop with Chuckie Star following and even Iggy and his date following from the rear. Ah, this is a waste of my time, I thought.
I trudged out to the sidewalk into the Sunset Blvd night, looking up at the lit-up palm trees reaching for the sky. A man who resembled a tall palm tree looked at me. It was Kim Fowley.

"What's happening?" he asked with his clear blue eyes burning into me.
"Iggy Pop's chasing after Alex Harvey in the coffee shop".
"Oh, is that all? Well, Arthur Lee's walking around Filthy McNasty's with a gun in his jacket. Can you beat that?"
"No, I guess I can't. Good night", I said. I didn't have wheels and the 91-S bus took forever to show up, so I walked from Sunset & La Cienega to my house on Pico & Robertson. Goodnight Hollywood, until next time.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Santa Stuffs It

I'm not a big fan of Christmas gift guides any more than the next guy but I have a feeling this one will be fun because my suggestions may be a little off the beaten path. I'm just going to throw a few ideas your way in case you hit a hole in the road and ran out of some great gift ideas.

Lately I've been getting into the whole Japanese "pinky violence" genre of films where the violence is so outrageously stupid you can't help but laugh at the gushers of blood spraying out of every hole in somebody's body, and what better DVD to start off with than "Tokyo Gore Police" with killer hookers that have samurai swords for legs? It's like a Paul Verhoeven samurai film, and if that concept doesn't make you drool then you're reading the wrong blog. Once you've seen that masterpiece of plasma porn check out "The Machine Girl", no less over the top and demented.

Some aging idiot I ran into at a party whined about how music isn't good anymore. Obviously he didn't get "Winchester Mystery House" by The Hex Dispensers, "Form Follows Function" by The Hentchmen, "2" by Darker My Love or anything by Les Breastfeeders, those psychotic Montrealers. CDs are cheaper than ever now that they have to compete with nickel-and-dime downloads.

Books are more fun to read than ever, too, whether it's wild fiction like "Skunk" by Jason Courter, "Hex" by Maggie Estep, or "Freezer Burn" by the always dependable Joe Lansdale. If they like comics get them all five volumes of the Harvey Comics archives, each volume featuring a different character, like Richie Rich, Casper, and the terminally bratty lil' devil Hot Stuff. If your giftee has slightly older tastes buy them every compilation volume from "100 Bullets" now that the series wrapped last Autumn.

If your giftee isn't a culture vulture get them a belt buckle from Heavy Metal Belt Buckles http://heavymetalbuckles.com/index.html. Not only are the buckles crazy as hell but some have built-in booze flasks, a real penny-saver if you frequent those damn expensive $15 a beer night clubs. Some also have built-in iPod holders so if the intermission music at the club sucks you can plug in and listen to The Hex Dispensers or The Hentchmen. Yeah!

Men are going back to wearing bracelets, believe it or not. You don't have to be a smelly Israeli stereo salesman to wear a nice dressy bracelet anymore, guys. An average bracelet will set you back $15-20 and Overstock.com http://www.overstock.com/Jewelry-Watches/Mens-Bracelets/17505/subcat.html has even lower prices on them with a great selection. Stainless steel with black rubber is the big look these days.

One thing chicks love it's shoes, and the coolest shoemaker on the planet these days for men and women is John Fluevog (www.fluevog.com). He designs some sweet fuckin' kicks that sport a kind of glam meets psychedelic rock look and they're not too pricey, either. They're well made, comfortable, and Fluevog swears they're made by angels. All 8-year old kids from Ecuador look like angels, so he's not really lying.

But if doing a good deed is your idea of a swell holiday gift, buy your giftee a membership with an organization that could use the support; in my area it would be The American Cinematheque (http://www.americancinematheque.com), the Petersen Auto Museum (http://www.petersen.org), or even the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (http://www.lacma.org). You'll be making a nice gesture for these cool organizations and your giftee will benefit from it as well with free tickets and awesome souvenirs. And if all my suggestions suck, just buy them a tattoo.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Stuff I Burned From TCM, Part 8

It’s funny and crazy and even wonderful that two films I originally planned for this blog, Jacques Demy’s “Model Shop” and William Castle’s “Zotz!” have been released within the past few weeks. I recommend you rent them both, they’re just great. Nevertheless there are still a few classics that need to be released just as quickly as those two, and here they are:

Dangerous Mission (1954): Horace McCoy and W.R. Burnett co-wrote this Technicolor noir about a woman (Piper Laurie) running off to Glacier National Park in Montana after witnessing a gangland murder in Manhattan . Vincent Price plays a hit man hired to murder her while he’s dating her, only Victor Mature throws the monkey wrench into the works by barging in on them with his greasy charm. The breathtaking location photography is reminiscent of “ Niagara ” making the action secondary to the beautiful location. Irwin Allen produced this film in the early Fifties and already had an eye for disaster, throwing a forest fire and not one, but two avalanches into the movie.

Hysteria (1965): After being discharged from the psychiatric ward Robert Webber moves into an apartment where he hears a woman next door being knifed to death every night. The only problem is he's the only tenant on his floor. After doing a bit of research on the murder of his former neighbor he discovers she's a fashion model who's disappeared. His psychosis returns when he keeps seeing her appear on the street, and even has cocktails with her. The dead fashion model is played by Lelia Gordoni, who achieved movie infamy as the half-cast girl in John Cassavetes' film "Shadows". Another nutty Freddie Francis thriller, and one you shouldn't miss.

The Good Humor Man (1950): Jack Carson was always swell at comedy relief in movies like "Million Dollar Mermaid" and "Blues In The Night", but here he's taking center stage in a Jerry Lewis-styled slapstick romp that's very funny, playing your friendly neighborhood ice cream truck salesman. He finds himself implicated in dead blondes (Lola Albright) and shady crooks, and his rival for his love interest is none other than George "Superman" Reeves. Carson's very funny in this, and it's a shame he didn't do more silly comedies like this.

The Mind Reader (1933): Warren William plays a carnival mind reader who tries to go straight to win over Constance Cummings' affections, only he's at his coolest when he does the whole fake swami bit. Lots of creepy camera angles in this, and William is excellent, easily the best actor Warner's had before Cagney, Bogart and Robinson moved in. If you like creepy carnival movies this one will thrill you. Bogart's first wife Mayo Methot turns in an amazing three-minute suicide scene that'll chill your blood.

The Love-Ins (1967): Laughable psychedelic corn about a Timothy Leary type who becomes a sort of psych Mussolini, a little more convincing than Max Frost in "Wild In The Streets", but not by too much. There's a great scene where the Big Guru appears on "The Joe Pyne Show", a sort of Wally George of the Sixties. There's also a freak-out Alice In Wonderland naked go-go dance scene from Susan Oliver that she'd probably like to forget. Also starring James McArthur (Hawaii Five-O) who attempts to assassinate the Guru and Mark Goddard (Lost In Space) as a misguided follower.

Well, that's it for now. I think I'll have some more gems planned for the next TCM jamboree blog. There's no shortage of unreleased classics waiting to be discovered. By the way, Turner Classic Movies is still the greatest station around and always find new stuff to screen all the time. They're finally showing "Performance" on TV, forty years after its release. Can "A Clockwork Orange" be far behind?

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Cannery Bear

There’s a bar by the docks where all the torn up toys go, the ones you don’t want to run into in a dark alley. Discarded and long-forgotten toys like The Street Sharks go there for a few shots of rotgut, but this story isn’t about them. It’s about a mean, vicious teddy bear with most of the stuffing knocked out of him and one of his cute button eyes practically hanging out of its socket, and his name is Mister Butch. Mister Butch worked at the cannery down by the darkest corner in the pier, where most men fear to tread. If there’s one thing most bears love it’s fish, but Mr. Butch loved to eat the by-products of the fish instead, like the dead fish faces, the fish turds, the rotten roe and its birth sacs, their marine entrails, the slimier and skankier the more he loved it.

It was well after quitting time from work and as work days go it went pretty slowly, i.e. only three punch-ups with his co-workers. Not a satisfying way to make a living. He did manage to put food on the table for his loved ones, a decaying Topper doll named “Salty” with a dated Fifties beehive and her two twin daughters, the Barbie Bowling Tramps.

Mr. Butch was getting a buzz on after his fifth boilermaker. “This shit’s supposed to put fur on your chest, god-dammit”,he growled.

“Butch, you got the furriest puss in town”, Buzz the bartender whined. Buzz was the ugliest vulture on the docks. He had only three feathers, all sprouting from his crown.
“You’re damned straight. Honey ain’t for bears, that piss is strictly for jellyfish”.

He scanned the room with a sneer. A fat hyena was passed out in a puddle of his drool at a nearby table. Furtively picking the wallet out of his pocket was a cheap ferret with a lip ring and an ill-fitting party dress.

“Jeez!” whistled Butch. “Who’s the tomato? She looks like a distressed goddess”.
Buzz frowned. “That’s Skrinkle. She’s crazy”.
Butch turned to her. “Hey, baby! Drop your cocks and grab your socks!”

Skrinkle quickly jammed the hyena’s wallet down her flat bra, which gave her the appearance of having an ample bosom. She walked up to the bar with the kind of smile that wouldn’t fool a priest. “Hiya, stud muffin!”

“Pick your poison and I’ll shower ya with piss”.
“An offer like that, how can a girl can resist?”
“What’s your handle? Mine’s Skrinkle, as in qwzrk, qutwee”.
“Sounds like fucking poetry. My name’s Mister Butch, Butch von Butch, a bastard so nice they named me twice”.
Skrinkle giggled. “I’ll have an Old-Fashioned, innkeeper”.
Buzz bristled. “I ain’t no innkeeper, I’m a fucking bartender”. He stormed off to fix her drink.
“Don’t mind him”, Butch’s one good eye got all misty, due to his glaucoma. “Did anybody ever tell you that you’ve got that movie star kinda look? You got that 'come on' kinda look".

Skrinkle giggled and bit her thumb, eying him fetchingly. She turned on her best baby voice. “You big, tough, hunk of stuff. Careful or I’ll steal your heart!” She wiggled nervously because the purloined wallet slipped down from her bra to her stomach. She now looked like a pregnant weasel.

“I believe ya. You look like you could steal anything! Those lips, those eyes. Are you a rock star?”
“I play bass. Tee hee”, she giggled in her weasely best. She picked up her drink.
“A girl who plays bass. I knew you were talented!”
“And I’m formally trained, too”, she sipped her Old-Fashioned and ripped out a loud belch.
“Imagine that, Toots, you’ve more than won my heart. Stick with me, baby, and you’ll be fartin’ through silk!” His head weaved, getting woozy from his boilermakers finally kicking in. “Drink up, Kiddo, there’s more where that come from…”
Skrinkle’s eyes bugged at his wallet. “You don’t know the half of it”.

Just as he was about to pass out a rusty clown toy, all thin and dented, stomped in, slamming the door and rousing Mr. Butch from his crash.

“Zingo!” Skrinkle plastered her brightest fake smile, feeling nervous.
“There you are, you bitch!” He raced over to her. “I tried to make a respectable woman out of you but you’ll never be nothing but a hoor!” He back handed her making her reel by a few feet.
“Now just a second, bitch”, Mr. Butch roared, “That’s my future fiancée you just decked, sucker”.
Zingo squinted his teeny painted clown eyes at him. “And who the fuck are you?”
“I’m Mister Butch, you clowny motherfucker, and don’t you forget it!”
Buzz slammed a baseball bat on the bar. “There’ll be no rough housing in my establishment, fellas. Take it somewhere else”.
“I’d rather take this”, Zingo grabbed the bat and bashed it into Mr. Butch’s face, the bat cracking in half. Butch just shook his head and roared. “Now it’s my turn!”

Butch grabbed Zingo by the throat and lifting his paw clawed open Zingo’s face, half the innards of his face sticking out of his tin head. He ripped off Zingo’s right leg, and not happy with enough of that damage, did what all angry men love to do. He pulled out his pierced bear penis and sodomized the poor tin clown.
“Nooooooo!” Zingo wailed with the half of his face that was still working.
“Take it, bitch!” Butchie growled. “Take it all, take it like a clown!” Jamming his scarred teddy bear member into the wailing tin toy. “Hah! Jailhouse justice!”

Buzz shook his head. “I knew you were gonna get lucky tonight, Butch, but not like this”.
“Look, Prince Albert in a clown’s can”, Butch’s flat back pushing his love gristle missile in.
“Awwwwww, Butch!”

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Flick*r Art Stars

Let's face it, like it or not, people will always have favorites in everything. The image-driven website Flick*r is no exception. I have five favorite artists on Flick*r who easily reign supreme above all the others, and I'd like to talk about them this week. In no particular order, they are:

1. Atelier Alesko (France): Completely original art, stoner art but way better because it has direction, his art is childlike but complex, colorful like Haitian art and actually flows with rhythm. Every piece is different than the last one - he always keeps you guessing.

2. Richard Mullins (Oklahoma): Gallery Director of the Blah Blah Gallery and a fine painter in his on right, Mullins' work is a wild cacophonous mish-mash of colors with an insane figurative busting into the foreground. Figuratives range from an organ grinder's monkey to Kermit The Frog to a kid with a paper sack over his head. His range is pretty darn wide, too: I think his best painting is the one of a faceless woman playing electric guitar.

3. Kittytown (California): Megan Gray aka Kittytown creates woodcuts that foil the current fever of big-eyed doll paintings (Mark Ryden rip-offs) that are so trendy these days. Gray's work is naive but has an almost early 20th Century romanticism added, where the sentiments are sweet but funny-weird like old Dick Powell numbers from the Thirties.

4. J.R. Williams (Oregon):
Legendary comix artist who has a pretty funny photostream. His work actually had a Flick*r censor filter blocking his pictures because he likes to draw topless pictures of Penelope Pitstop, Wilma Flintstone and Sling Rave Curvette. He's hardly an unknown but his notoriety on Flick*r would almost rate a legend in itself!

5. Gregg Griffin (Oklahoma):
Another member of the Blah Blah Gallery, but what makes him so awesome is his obsession with painting thousands of portraits of Batman acting psycho and yelling his head off at The Joker, punching Robin the Boy Wonder and scaring vampire bats with his bad breath. Frank Miller wishes he could portray The Dark Knight in such a brilliant fashion. Christian Bale take notes!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Dr. Seuss: Fingerhut Gallery, Sausalito, CA

One of my favorite Dr. Seuss books is the amazing collection of "secret" (read: more mature) art, which employ his cute whimsy art depicting nude females and cats, lots of evil-looking cats, meaner looking than The Grinch. There are also some amazing sculptures of weird critters by him in the book. So, so, so, imagine the news when I came up north that he had a show at The Fingerhut Gallery in Sausalito (which sounds like Solla Sollew, whoa).

One of the bizarre facts to be gleaned from the show was that when Seuss was a Lil' Sneetch his Dad, who worked at a zoo, would bring home beaks, claws, and other disembodied animal parts for him to use to make sculptures. Kinda gives "Green Eggs and Ham" a whole new context.

The show did not disappoint, the animal sculptures were in proud display, looking just as great in person as they did in the book The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. Also present were preliminary rough sketches for The Cat In The Hat, a bronze sculpture of Yertle The Turtle, The Lorax, and a bunch of Horton stuff. And lots of naked chicks! Some riding a fish, some bathing in the sun, some cooking a dish, and some having big fun.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Greatest Book Ever Written

Back in the day when I actually cared about having a band and brought guitarists on board this wonderful guy from Tempe, Arizona joined my band. His name was Mikhail Bohonus but liked to go by the name Mr. Bohonus, just fine with me. He looked like a punk rock Gary Cooper, almost seven feet tall and thin as a rail. He never did drugs or drank but he smoked like a chimney and chugged Big Gulps like a demon. All those sugary soda drinks made him act like a speed freak, hyper to the max and constantly imploring me at rehearsals to write new songs on the spot. "Come on, let's wrote some new stuff" - A.D.D. musicianship at its most scary, and good luck writing with him because he'd break into these rapid Robert Fripp guitarisms, surprisingly not punk rock so we never wrote shit together. He wrote the guitar line to "Phantasm III" but I had to harness it to a rhythmic booty shake so girls can enjoy it.

What Mr. Bohonus did better than anyone else was write and put out his own demented chapbooks. Screw that old whore Henry Rollins, this was underground writing at its finest. His short prose collections "Green Piss" and "Orange Donut With Sprinkles" were wild collections but he really hit his stride with "7 Steps To Hell", a collection of Jack Schick cartoons with obscene captions replacing the original holy roller sermon Schick schlock.

His magnum opus and my vote for the greatest book ever written is a genius work of art called "I Hate You", which sports a black cover and no title because the hate is real. This masterpiece is a scant twenty-six pages long, bears no punctuation or capitals and is a veritable Mobius strip of hate. The book begins with, and I quote: "you suck and i hate the fuck out of you and i want you the fuck out of my neighborhood you slimy sick excuse for rotting flesh that you are and you are too because thats all you fuck is rotting flesh your mother was a fucking corpse anyway and ill with countless sexual diseases because she got them from making it with the trash that your kind do it with and you live like a slob you dont even flush your toilet or use deodorant so you smell like the crack of a bums ass the kind your sister licks at lunchtime to get her nourishment at least when she isnt near a dirty scummy toilet she can lick and chew on the lumps of toilet paper that are filled with hard peanutty lumps of poop and thats what makes up her brain cause she is stupid and drives a really shitty car the kind they use in maaco commercials..." Blow me, Lydia Lunch. You wish you were this radical.

Let's fast forward to Page 6: "...get the fuck out of here i am going to rip you to pieces and cram them down the sewer so the rats can eat you and shit you out of their asses because you are a rats ass and rats shit and its what you deserve today right now you lazy fuck go die get leave and go stick your fat head on a railroad track so it can get squashed or i will nail you to the front of a semi truck and drive it over a fucking cliff you son of a bitch..." No screaming caps, no exclamation points, all subdued but pissed lower case. Genius.

Page 15: "...you are a walking comedy you are so dumb stupid and pathetic you dont even know how to play candyland and even if you had candyland the company who makes it would find out cause all of a sudden all the other candyland games would stink when children opened them up the company would take it back from you and slap you in the face for even thinking that they made the game for you..."

The greatest book ever written, and if you don't agree with me, "...i hate you the gods even hate you especially zeus he is just aching to pump countless bolts of lightning into your ass he will bring back to life every roman gladiator and they will slaughter you one by one over and over yes it will be a glorious undertaking the klingons will have their turn too and so will everyone else that has ever lived in fiction or nonfiction they will pay me huge sums of money to get a chance to destroy you and i will have a penthouse and women and you name it motherfucker i will tear you and punch holes in your tongue with an awl ya baby..." Nobody ever wrote a book this good, and no one ever will.

P.S. Mr. Bohonus currently lives in Seattle, Washington and has an Alec Empire-type electronic band called Warworld, a sort of musical counterpart to "I Hate You", abrasive and A.D.D. to the max.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Alain Delon

November 8th is here and some of my favorite actors are celebrating birthdays on the same day, like Parker Posey and Alain Delon. Since Alain Delon has been around longer I'm going to talk about him. Next year I'll get to Posey. Alain Delon has served as a sort of role model to me. I think he's a million times cooler and more sophisticated than a million other actors. I can't say he's the most likable guy on the planet (is any Frenchman?) and not every film he's made is cinema gold, but when he makes an impact, he's the greatest. Here's some of my favorites starring him:

Purple Noon (1960): Hands down the best Ripley, a man who's supposed to be charming you as he's strangling you. Delon is funny, friendly and deadly all at the same time. It's been said that Patricia Highsmith thought he was the best Ripley ever. By the way, the cinematography and scenery in this film is absolutely beautiful.

Eclipse (1962):
Antonioni's classic film of Atomic Age frigidity with Delon playing a dark stock trader to Monica Vitti's icy blonde. This time he's the lover who's being spurned, quite a turnabout from his heartbreaker persona.

Joy House (1964): A gigolo on the run from a mob boss who wants him dead for banging his wife, Delon hides in a decaying mansion inhabited by two fake nuns (Jane Fonda and Lola Albright). He becomes their chauffeur/sex prisoner until the two dames fight it out over him, and he plays his evil mind games against them both. The twist ending will drive you crazy.

Once A Thief (1965): Delon's a Frisco fisherman who's getting hassled by his creepy gangster brother (Jack Palance) to rejoin the outfit. His wife Ann-Margret tells him she'll leave him if he returns to his evil ways. There's a great scene when he pulls Ann-Margret out of the nightclub in her pseudo-Playboy Bunny outfit and she's crying her ass off! Ralph Nelson shot this film in an amazing neo-realistic style. You won't even notice how stiff Delon's Anglais sounds in this one.

Le Samourai (1967): Delon plays a cool gangster in this very chic Nouvelle Vague noir. I prefer him as the moody, quiet type he plays in this movie. He seems more dangerous that way!

Spirits of the Dead (1968):
"William Wilson", weird Edgar Allen Poe adaptation brought to you by American International Pictures. He plays a rakish sadist who cheats at cards playing against a black-haired Brigitte Bardot. If he wins the card game he gets to whip her naked. Guess who wins? It's okay, though, his doppelganger gives him the psych beat-down of his life.

Girl On A Motorcycle (1968):
Laughably miscast as a college professor (sporting glasses and a thick sweater) who gives Marianne Faithfull her motorcycle she tools around Western Europe in until she rides to her death. See it anyway, it's very funny.

Like I said, even when he's not at his best he's still pretty damn watchable; he never lapses into retarded boyishness, which is the bane of all young actors these days, and yet he's always seemed very young to me. I guess the reason some of us look up to actors is because we don't have enough common sense to figure out how to behave unless we see somebody incredibly cool in a movie to show us how it's done. In that sense Delon is one of the best teachers I learned from. Merci et bon anniversaire, M. Delon!

Friday, October 30, 2009

High School Weight

Rebecca had a friend in his mid-forties with awful crows feet and a jowly face who proudly bragged that he could still fit into his high school clothes. The thought of someone keeping their creepy old fashions from the 1970’s is too disgusting to bear. After all, those who forget past fashions are condemned to wear them again, so it’s said. Now that another year has gone by and my birthday is approaching the following changes have occurred in my life:

1. I really like spaced out trip-hop because there’s only so many screaming rock guys I can handle and I’m bored with bad jazz music, so I listen to crazy shit like DJ Spooky’s “Zxero”, DJ Food’s “The Riff”, and Kid Koala’s “Drunk Trumpet”, to name a few.

2. I like wearing makeup, and it’s a bizarre leftover from the glam era from the 1970’s. In fact I miss the whole glam era in general, pre-punk so it was all about love, narcissm, beauty and safety-pin hate wasn’t on the menu just yet. Slade, T. Rex, The Sweet, and Roxy Music called the tune, and it didn’t hurt a bit.

3. Social networking means nothing to me. I still haven’t been on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, or anywhere else. For five minutes I had a momentary lapse of reason and tried to register with Facebook. I had to fill out so many boring questions about myself that I had an anxiety attack and got off as quickly as I tried to get on! I can only go as far as Flick*r (who thankfully don’t care what my favorite food is).

4. Maybe I'm crazy, but I still feel like taking off my clothes and dancing - I refuse to get caught up in the 9/11 A Go Go paranoia set where everything is cause for panic and anxiety. I just don't give a shit. I'm here to tell you that everything's gonna be alright. Because I said so.

Getting old doesn’t bother me a bit but guys going through weird Dorian Gray maneuvers like keeping their old clothes and bragging about fitting in them does. The best thing about being seventeen is getting over it, the same way getting over twenty-seven is epic, too. It’s not the age you’re at but how hot you are living it, and it’s not something you can hang in your fucking closet.

Suggested listening: The Stranglers' "Old Codger Running" (from "Black & White")

Saturday, October 24, 2009

C0un7d0wn to Hall0w33n

The latest trend on the internet is Halloween countdowns, replacing Christmas countdowns by many. The only thing I have to say about this without stating the obvious is that people are more comfortable celebrating ghosts, goblins and jack o’ lanterns than Jesus. I can’t argue there!

Seven more days until Halloween! Pumpkins, black cats, wicthes, ghosts and ghouls!

Rather than buck the trend I’ve added a few classic Halloween images. Seven more days until the blessed/damned event.

Release the bats, release the cats! Out demons out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

James Rosenquist Will Blow Up Your Mind

During my lunch break at work I ducked into MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) and browsed around and stumbled into a huge book of works by pop art painter James Rosenquist. I was always aware of his work but took it for granted until I picked up this amazing collection. It was quite a find, published by The Guggenheim Press to coincide with a retrospective of his work at The Guggenheim Museum in New York. Although the book is out of print and fetching $120 on eBay it was on sale at MOCA for only $50. The color reproduction of his paintings are absolutely beautiful, some of the best I’ve seen in any art collection. This amazing collection really sealed my appreciation of Rosenquist’s genius.

Many Pop Artists hit their peak in the Sixties and faded by the late Seventies, some compromising their work (Warhol) or simply being redundant (Lichtenstein, Wesselman), but Rosenquist’s work has a brilliant consistency that continues through the decades and shows no signs of tapering off. His paintings are as edgy in the Eighties and Nineties as they did in the swinging Sixties.

While many have praised Williams Burroughs cut-and-paste writing, Rosenquist has accomplished a graphics counterpart to that concept by merging random images to the same painting. In one piece a pair of lovers hands are held while a pile of dishes sits in an adjoining frame. Advertising and consumerism aren’t so much criticized as they are rendered absurd by their dogpile of images, which divests it with a deadpan sense of humor. In another piece, cosmetics are displayed in one frame, a pile of tires sit in another, topped by a frame of a turkey’s head. That one kills me!

James Rosenquist began his career as a billboard artist and applied his background to painting bigger pieces than many of his pop art colleagues. Some of his best paintings go as wide as 17 feet long, so his work comes off as billboards from some insane fever dream. His love for painting has not diminished as snapshots of him working amply demonstrate: he stands alone in front of a billboard-sized canvas, first sketching his draft and then applying paints from jumbo-sized soda pop cups…and there are no assistants in sight! It’s just him and the jumbo-sized canvas, reminiscent of Alec Guinness as Gulley Jimson in “The Horse’s Mouth” painting one of his insane murals.

I was very saddened to read in Wikipedia that in April 2009 his Florida estate and two studios filled with many of his works burned in a terrible fire. It makes me sick to think that all that amazing artwork is lost forever, hence the importance of huge art books like this so that we can keep them like dead relatives in a scrapbook. Lost or not, James Rosenquist deserves more of your attention because he’s created the best pop art ever produced.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

G.I. Joe and I

Steve Jones of The Sex Pistols once remarked that “every bloke has a bit of ginger in him” and dammit, he’s right. I get a warm glow in my heart when I apply my light blue eye shadow and work that sweet lip gloss like a cheap dame, but nothing can compete with that guy who stole my heart in my flaming youth. I called him my Joe, but everyone knew him as “G.I. Joe”.

“G.I. Joe” made the scene in the early Sixties and made my pulse pound like crazy until The Beatles came along. He was manufactured by Hasbro Toys from Rhode Island, where I actually lived at the time (1962). In fact, there was a kid in our school named Danny Hassenfeld who we treated like a rock star because his uncles were in fact the Hassenfeld Brothers (hence “Hasbro”).

G.I. Joe was brilliant because finally there was a Barbie doll for boys, if Barbie killed Krauts and drank beer at the local PX. They all had a rugged scar running across their cheek and looked like they could kill Ken in their sleep. It was a major toy-making phenomenon and probably the only important thing to come out of Rhode Island*. When G.I. Joe first started out they confined him to the basic World War Two army soldier model. Once he took off, however, they made a Navy doll, an astronaut doll, a frogman, a Green Beret (topical for the Vietnam War), and then they got foreign on us: there was the British soldier, the bitchen French freedom fighter with beret and black turtle neck sweater (!), and accessories! There was the space capsule complete with 45 rpm record, jeeps, fire trucks, and I made my Dad crazy driving me around to toy stores scoring this junk. I’m surprised he didn’t kill my annoying ass. We even got the enemy G.I. Joes: The Japanese WW II soldiers, the German stormtroopers (I’m sure my father was thrilled to have that shit in his house), and of course the surrendering Italian fascists. No, I made that last one up.

But things got weirder by the day: just for shits and giggles I filled out a Barbie sweepstakes blank at the toy store and quickly forgot about it. When I came home from school my Mom said, “A big parcel came in the mail today for you, Andy”. Kids love parcels, yeah? I won a Francie Dream House and a Twist and Turn Barbie! Shee, yeah! Let me tell you, that TNT Barbie was one happy playgirl, pouting those sweet bee-stung lips of hers as TEN G.I. Joes sat around her serving her by her molded vinyl bed. Even the Nazi was down for it. The sailor might have been watching the astronaut bend over a few times, though. I would pose my studly servicemen around this hot little ingénue while my transistor radio blared The Kinks, The Turtles and Billy Stewart yodeling “Summertime” like Jackie Wilson on crystal meth. G.I. Joe was the awesomest pal a little boy could ask for. And I haven’t killed anybody.
*Next to me, of course.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Smell Check 2009

Last year I wrote a blog called “Smell Check 2008” describing the testers that came with my GQ Magazines right in time for the Christmas season. Well, it’s two months away from the holiday gift giving season, and already GQ is starting up with loads of testers in their magazines. So here they are, in no particular order of importance, the new stinky stuff for you guys out there:

Gucci by Gucci: The ad shows a slightly more effeminate Johnny Depp circa “69 Jump Street” and smells like bad incense burning in your fireplace. Pass.

Armani Code (Giorgio Armani): Similar to Gaultier with its strong vanilla odor, their slogan is “the ultimate code of seduction for men”. I’ve worn this scent to work from time to time and thankfully haven’t seduced anyone. So, sorry, Giorgio. Disgraciada!

Guess by Marciano: The title that begs for derision. Guess the smell: Lemons? Urine? Carpet cleaner? Do you really want to spend $50 to guess what you just sprayed on yourself?

Givenchy Play: The container looks likes an mp3 player (“Play”, get it?), so not surprisingly the scent is very metallic and dull. Justin Timberlake is pictured in the ad listening to his iPod on an airplane with his website URL blasted in big letters. Talk about confusing advertising!

CK Free (Calvin Klein): Calvin Klein makes great suits. I own a few and love them. He does not make good cologne.

Lacoste Challenge: This sporty fragrance smelled like man-ass, which makes it a sort of homosexual Spanish Fly. Good thing they threw in a free travel bag with each purchase because its going to take a miracle to get my money on this stinker!

Ecko (Mark Ecko): I liked the horny rhino design of the container, but the fragrance smelled like old liquorice.

Only The Brave (Diesel): Shaped like an angry fist coming straight to knock your ass out, this mothersucker has an evergreen meets fruity odor. The ad promises “the warmth and masculinity of lemon and leather”. Holy shit!

Usher VIP: I hate that asshole’s smashed-in face and I wouldn’t buy his crap if it smelled like an angel’s nut sack. Put your hat back on, diva.

Nautica Oceans (Nautica): This one actually smells like an angel’s nut sack, sweet and candy-like. “The new eco-friendly fragrance for men”. Yeah, tell it to the little fishes that have to guzzle this poison when it gets flushed from the factory into the river stream. The next fish you eat will smell like an angel’s nut sack.

Well, the current crop of colognes seem sportier than last year, not as glamorous and more jock-friendly. I think I’ll pass on this year’s bunch and stick with old favorites like John Varvatos and YSL Pour Homme. The old favorites are still the classics. Happy shopping and leave the sporty slop for the Tunnel People.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Mechanical Museum SF

One of the big highlights of my late summer vacation in San Francisco was visiting the terrific Musee Mechanique in the Fisherman’s Wharf District. It brought back childhood memories of going to the penny arcade at Lake Arrowhead in the Sixties and having fun. A lot of the attractions appear to be from the 1930’s and 1940’s, some even older. I find it interesting that attractions back then were more adult than they are now: one machine was called “Opium Den” and showed little puppets lying around blowing pipes and passing out (no kidding).

There were many different machines showing various forms of execution (hanging, guillotine, electric chair, etc.). And I loved all the fat, tipsy drunk puppets. But one of the best features was the crying baby who looked more wizened than his hapless Dad unsuccessfully rocking him back to sleep. Frisco still holds that creepy Vincent Price/“House of Wax” vibe for me and this consolidates that psycho carnival atmosphere.


Special thanks to Kris Casler for taking us to this marvelous slice of trashy Americana. Next time the quarters are on us!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

History Hysteria

Washington Square Park (1 Washington Square East/New York City, New York)= I remember going to Washington Square Park when I was 16 years old with my Terrified Young Man face and enjoying the beautiful scenery. I made the serious mistake of staring at a tore-up black derelict counting his money, and he freaked out and screamed, “WHAT THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU’RE LOOKING AT, BOY??” He didn’t stop there, he just kept yelling and spitting up on himself and vomiting in his gray beard. Uncle Rufus was madder than a wet hen.
The following night I walked by the park and saw two drunken NYU students punching the snot out of each other, no doubt battling over who created the greatest foreign silent film of all time. “Battleship Potemkin”, maybe? “Pandora’s Box”?? Fucking film school students. But it’s alright, Washington Square Park is a real action kinda place. “Action” is the park’s middle name.
“Good for kids”? Sure, especially when NYU film grads are stompin’ each other's ass.

Beverly Gardens Park (North Santa Monica Blvd./Beverly Hills)= Everybody knows about this park. If you’ve ever seen a movie that takes place in Beverly Hills there’s always a scene shot there. Elliott Gould jogging by the thin trail circa 1971 with his mutton chops sideburns and Zappa cum Borat mustache and here comes Dyan Cannon jogging up to him and you can hear the lilting Burt Bacharach theme played by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, softer than a roll of Charmin TP to tickle yr. tense bunghole.
On one end is the glamorous Electric Fountain where Wilshire and SM Blvds. meet with lights shifting colors like a kaleidoscope, and I’m sure Elliott and Dyan will gesmeckt some witty Neil Simon patter as soon as the fruity trumpet music is over. It’s funny for a park, there is no swimming pool, no tennis court, but on Sundays there’s a grand funk Arts & Crafts Fair with all the landscapes of Newport Beach your eyes can handle.
Beverly Garden Park is a mere strip of a parklet, a mobius strip of sorts, but if you dig flowers, jogging and Bev Hills motor congestion you’ll feel like royalty.

Golden Gate Bridge (Lincoln Blvd/San Francisco, CA)= When I think of the Golden Gate Bridge a very distinctive memory comes to mind. My band toured in a van built for maybe four and there were six of us with tons of equipment and countless duffel bags of clothes jammed in. It was the dead of summer and there we were, racing up Interstate 5 to play some shows in San Francisco. We had just plowed through the Mojave Desert sweating like pigs, stripped down to t-shirts and tank tops with all the windows cracked open. The van stank of B.O. that hummed so hard it could’ve stripped paint off a battleship.
The temperature inside the van must have been 250 degrees and we were coated in greasy, grotty sweat. The sunlight from the desert was a blinding gold death ray. In the distance we could see the grand Golden Gate Bridge looming up ahead. As if in a sci-fi movie there was an enormous gray cloud hanging in the middle of the bridge, sitting there waiting like a big, fat bug.
As soon as we got on the Golden Gate we drove through the ominous cloud and everything changed from gold to gray. The chill hit us like an ice bath and we quickly slammed the windows in the van shut. Our dicks shriveled up quicker than a Minutemen song and we threw on our sweaters and coats. Suddenly we had to pee really bad!
By the way, the shows went great and Frisco has the best food (next to Chi-Town). I’ll be back next summer in my Long Johns. Yummy!

Will Rogers Memorial Park (9650 W. Sunset Blvd./Beverly Hills)=
This is one of those spots everyone treats like a well-kept secret, so it’s a pretty popular “well-kept secret”. It’s a little block in the middle of residential Beverly Hills on Sunset Blvd. that exudes old Hollywood with its skinny skyscraper palm trees and Art Deco water nymph statue with fountain.
Although it’s gorgeous in the daytime it takes on a transcendental mood at night – you’ll think Chaplin, Swanson and John Barrymore are going to show up and sit next to you on the park bench. If you want a taste of old Hollywood it’s right here.

Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (411 Elm St./Dallas, Texas)= The creepiest, most chilling thing on television isn’t some Freddie Kreuger bloodfest but a mini-series on A&E called “The Men Who Killed Kennedy”, an exhaustive study on the assassination of President Kennedy. The first thing my band did when we got to Dallas was go to the Book Depository and see the Lee Harvey Oswald exhibit. When I looked out the window over the grassy knoll and the overpass I got chills. In the dead of summer. To get the whole Kennedy assassination effect do what I did:

1. Go to the Book Depository.
2. Lie down on the grassy knoll, take photos, and smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.
3. Check out the fence by the railroad tracks where “the hobos” (assassins) all filed out.

After that walk around downtown Dallas and hang out in the old department stores, some have soda fountains. You’ll get an old Sixties vibe from that. It’s a creepy experience.

Statue of Liberty (Liberty Island/Staten Island, New York)= I love tall girls, the taller the better. The real stone fox is this girl from New York City, she don’t say much but she’s easy. She says, “Give me your tired, give me your poor”, doesn’t sound too choosy to me. Munchkin chicks go home. I luv her tall ass.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

American Stars and Scars

Never say never. You think you’ve got your mind made up but you never know, that day will come when “never” becomes “possibly”. I’m referring to tattoos, of course, some people have them and a lot of people have too many of them. I've always liked tattoos but the thought of wearing a permanent illustration on my body seemed daunting to me. If I’m going to wear a picture on my skin it better be something completely timeless and phenomenal.

While all my friends were getting tattoos I would try to envision what I would be wearing. What would I want left on my body even when I’m dead? It wouldn’t be Dudley Do-Right getting a blowjob from Bettie Page, that’s for sure! I had a problem: I couldn’t decide on what to get, years went by, friends got ink, my wife got ink, the postman got ink, grandmothers in the neighborhood were getting inked and I couldn’t decide on what stamp to rock with. I finally told myself if I couldn’t decide on an image I probably didn’t really need one. Shite!

The answer was right in front of my face. I owned a club kid shirt that was actually purty ugly but I loved the mesh arms with stars running down. It was the only reason why I kept the shirt in the first place! There was my answer, it was my destiny to have stars running down my arm.

I've been friends with Ace Farren Ford for twenty-five years when he came to Crowbar Salvation shows and told me about the LAFMS (Los Angeles Free Music Society), and his other bands The Child Molesters and Smegma. He also worked at Purple Panther Tattoo on Sunset Boulevard and did a great job on my friends and I knew I could trust him to do a great job on my stars.

Initially it started out with only one star tattooed on my left arm. The reason I chose my left arm rather than my right is because I wanted the surprise element in the discovery of my tattoo. Having a tattoo on my right arm would be too obvious and would be calling too much attention to it. After two weeks of seeing that one, lonely star on my arm I decided I needed a veritable constellation of stars, or at least six more to run down into a cool-looking sleeve.

Since Ace keeps all his images on file he already had my star ready for multi-carving. He put a gel on my arm and then slapped a tracing paper photocopy on my arm six times in descending order for placement of my star sleeve. I decided to go for just black as opposed to multicolor because the thick lines would be stronger than thin colored lines. It would be the prettiest motocross sleeve, ever. After taking a few aspirin I sat down in a barber's chair and relaxed.

The sensation of getting tattooed is not unlike a swarm of bees settling on your arm and stinging you non-stop for however the duration of your session lasts. Not comfy, but the ends justify the means, or as I like to say, tattoos are like sex: it ain't good unless it hurts. The reason for the unpleasant sting-pinch sensation is because basically the tattoo artist, in an overly simple layman's explanation sort-of-way, is carving pictures into your skin with ink. Hence all the blood that seeps out of your bandages after the session for the next four hours and the eventual scabbing that develops four days later.

Leah had a few tattoos herself and advised me to keep pumping sugar into my system to keep my energy level high in order to survive the shock to my system. She loyally sat by me handing me Altoids Raspberry Sours every three minutes.
While I quietly endured the buzzing of the tattoo needle two bimbos in "AMP UP" tanktops marched in with a case of "AMP" power drink.

"Hi, are you guys interested in a free complimentary case of AMP?"
"Well, we like free, especially when it comes from beautiful women", Ace happily grumbled.
"Thanks. Our drink uses only the most natural of minerals and vitamins, like Ginseng, Taurine, and Cystine".
"Is this drink like Monster?" asked Leah.
"Better! Is there anyone here who'd like to model with our favorite drink?"
Leah jumped up and posed holding a can of AMP. After the picture snapped, Ace said, "Come in anytime you girls want to bring in anything free."
As soon as they left Leah mumbled, "Tastes like Monster."

People ask me if the elbow star was the most painful, and yeah it was bad, but equally painful was the wrist star. At one point the vibration of the needle hit the bone on my wrist rendering my fingers in an almost paralytic state. In other words I couldn't move my fingers for a few minutes because my wrist was totally numb.

The tattoo artist by the next booth was working on two guys from Portugal who both wanted tiny pirate skeleton keys tattooed on their left wrist. They ran outside to take a cigarette break, then one would get his ink staring at my sleeve getting done. He looked like he hated getting his little flesh carved and would peer over at me to see me take my session. He looked like he wanted to cry but didn't want to, his boyfriend, I mean partner coldly staring at his cell phone texts. After he was done they raced out for another cancer stick orgy and then ran in so that Boy #2 got his little key etched in. When they weren't staring at me they were staring at Leah. I guess those boys would have swung either way!

Anyway, two hours later my arm was inked completely and I ended up smiling. Ace did a great job and quicker than I expected, too. The stars look beautiful, as you can see in the pictures, and I didn't pass out or feel dizzy. Leah said I had to eat protein (meat) in order to recover quickly. Looking over at my bloody bandages I went in the trunk and threw on a long-sleeved t-shirt and we went to Jan's Coffee Shop for dinner.

Normally I like Jan's but I only wanted a salad, but no, I had to have meat. I ordered the Lamb Stew but shit, it was awful. The lamb was so undercooked it was redder and bloodier than my arm! I had my protein but it was gross. I picked at it and ate maybe 15% of this hot mess while my right arm, all swollen and throbbing, felt like it recovered from a traumatic automobile accident.

For the next few days I'll wash and dab at the tattoos on my arm. Once the smoke clears and the scabs fall off I'm gonna look like Jasper Johns' brown-eyed boy. And if you don't know who Jasper Johns is you've got some serious art edjimication ahead of you, baby.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Gene Simmons' Lucky Strike

After toiling, sweating and bleeding for the Knights In Satan’s Service (KISS) and getting prime time exposure on A&E’s “Gene Simmons Family Jewels” TV show it seemed only natural getting invited to Gene Simmons’ 60th birthday party, held on Saturday, August 29th at Lucky Strike Bowling in Hollywood, California. The event was organized by Simmons’ life partner, ex-Playboy Playmate Shannon Tweed, and lifetime rock partner, Paul Stanley.

The party was pretty cool considering Simmons doesn’t bowl or drink, and there was plenty of both going on. There was an open bar by the front door (once we got past a quickly departing Michael Des Barres) and stacks of chicken satay with peanut sauce on gourmet plates. The PA was booming loads of Baby Boomer classics like “Brown Sugar”, “Highway To Hell” and Stories’ “Jackie Blue”. I felt like I was back in High School! If you were holding your breath waiting for The Horrors or The Raveonettes to get played you would have turned blue and died. Oh well, fuck it, it's his party.

Adding to the age factor was the extremely heavy presence of former Playboy Playmates (circa 1970s-1980s) aka blonde cougars in their den. Because I was the only soul who looked halfway “rock” – all the guys looked like salesmen from Circuit City – I was getting severe fuckhunt leers from the cougars. Rebecca stayed close, tee hee. Now I know how you girls feel on Date Night.

Lucky Strike had some pretty rockin’ lanes, I must say; I would definitely return again just to knock a few pins around. Over the lanes were video screens showing extreme sports videos, which stopped to play birthday wishes to old Gene. The best videos were from Joe Perry standing in front of Mount Rushmore, Bill Maher actually saying something funny for a change (“When they told me an old Jew in high heels and makeup was celebrating their birthday I thought cool, Joan Rivers is having a birthday party.”), and Carrot Top was also busting some funny for a change, pouring a tiny hotel bottle of Crown Royal into a Gene Simmons puppet head, forcing him to drink.

Just when you thought the cougar contingent owned the night I played a few bowling games with some supermodels and their dates. One was seriously plowed but pretty cool and funny. The other one was 6’5”, extremely thin and just came from Russia and never bowled in her life. It was wild, and every time I got a strike I jumped up and down. The weird thing was that the supermodels kept asking me to bend over and bowl even when it wasn’t my turn (?!?) to the point of one of the model’s dates taking off in a huff for awhile. After twenty minutes of hopping and dancing in the lanes I reached back and noticed that my leather pants rode down pretty low and the back strap of my jock (BRIGHT ORANGE) was popping out of my pants. No wonder I was getting all those free turns! A little later the Russian model asked me to head off to the patio and have a smoke with her. Rebecca mysteriously appeared on cue, and we went home.

Happy birthday, Gene Simmons, thanks for the great party, the next time I get invited to your shindigs I promise to wear a darker jock.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tarantulas and Gummy Worms

Ø Rebecca’s pretty happy with her new assistant because she’s creative and eccentric, just like her. Her name’s Leah and all she eats are gummy worms and coffee and has a pet tarantula that keeps her company while she’s assisting Rebecca in her workroom. Before I create the perfect portrait of Rebecca I thought I’d warm up by doing one of Leah. The piece I created was called “Tarantulas and Gummy Worms” (‘nuff said).

Ø The sketch (depicted above) exhibits a skewered fusion of slacker lowbrow with German Expressionism (think of George Grosz or Egon Schiele). Leah’s shown holding a cup of coffee with gummy worms crawling out of the mug in one hand and holding a portable cage with her tarantula in the other. The splotch on her leg is actually a bitchen tattoo of her bat dog. The plaid micro mini is also one of her favorite things and has been immortalized.

Ø Rebecca increased the image on the scanner and then traced the image perfectly using red tracing sheets onto the rubber pad. This is interesting only because the format is called woodcuts but there is nary a trace of wood involved at all. It should be called rubbercuts because the pad utilizes the same substance used for pencil erasers, but hey, for the sake of this perverted blog, we’ll call it woodcuts.

Ø Rebecca loves to scratch things and if you even get close to the woodcut block she’ll bite you like an attack dog, so she pretty much carved the whole damn thing. Frankly I’m glad she did because she embellished it with creepy Vincent Van Go-Crazy ellipticals (“Starry Night”) complete with different kinds of moons, some with happy faces, malted balls, tumors, cannonballs, etc. Brilliant! This was becoming more of a collaboration and I thought it looked great.

Ø Once all the carving is done (45 minutes later) it’s time to make a pass, a printing pass with the brayer (roller) with one color over the pad (we went for dark purple). Watercolor paper stock was used – it’s practically card stock, a little harder actually so it’ll soak up paint without getting too soggy. The result is depicted below. Nice!

Ø Another few passes were made also with a small brayer rolling green on the foreground with the larger brayer rolling purple over the background. Several pads could have been used with registration lines just like a silk-screened image but we didn’t want to get too involved in this production. The two-tone image turned out pretty well, also.

Ø The end result of this project was most satisfactory to me. Rebecca’s embellishments and craftwork were highly complimentary to my artwork. Eventually I’ll have to carve something while she’s sleeping so I can acquire some experience. A few knockout drops should do the trick, heh! Just kidding.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

2 or 3 Things I Know About Her

Some girls like to whine and pout and some like to scream and shout. I’ll tell you 2 or 3 things I know about her and why she makes a difference to me. There was this girl, oh, we’ll call her Rebecca, she was always a little bit different, much to everyone’s disgust, girls aren’t supposed to be, you know, different, but we can’t change how we’re made. Anyway, she lived in one of those suburban areas where nobody’s different because if you’re different that creates trouble to a lot of people. If everybody’s the same then people can go to sleep in peace, and for many life is all about eating until you burst and sleeping until you die. But the different people stop the not-different people from sleeping well and eating their daily intake of 10 tons of food, but I digress.

So in this land of not-so-different, this girl named Rebecca rode her bike home from school via a short cut of an empty grassy lot with a bush and a shrub here and there. She was riding her bike slowly through the remote path singing “la-la-la” to herself the way Little Red Riding Hood probably did. As she did some greasy maniac jumped out from behind one of the bushes and wrapped his arm around her throat, choking her. She reached back with her arm and smashed his pasty face. He grunted in his sloppy French like all Canadiens do, loosening his grip, and as he did, she kicked him several times in the shins until they were so bruised he couldn’t run after her. She pedaled away as fast as she could on her bike.

When she got home she told her parents about what happened. They reported the incident to the Canadien police, and were told to come to the station to file a report. Rebecca and her parents were informed that several girls her age had been attacked in that empty lot and a few were even killed. One had a hair brush rammed down her throat and choked to death. The police knew about this guy and needed a visual description of what he looked like. Rebecca gave them a full description of what he looked like, and within a few weeks he was picked up by the authorities and prosecuted. It turned out he was a boxboy at the supermarket a few miles away.

Even though the attacker was now in prison Rebecca’s parents were worried about her safety. The possibility of another attack was still fresh in their minds, so they enrolled her in a martial arts school. Nothing fights off rapists better than judo, the martial arts where one can deflect any powerful, detaining hold they’re placed in. Rebecca enjoyed fighting people, so much so that when she fought her opponents she always had a smile on her face. Her sensei, a kind, diminutive Japanese man would admonish her, “No, you no smile. Have to look angry! More powerful that way!” Nevertheless, Rebecca won every match. Her room was filled with medals and trophies.

Judo was fun but there was wrestling lessons at school. She enrolled in those courses and was a terror in classic wrestling, beating all her opponents, mostly fat Iroquois girls from the reservation like Suzy Three Wolves and Cathy Spotted Deer. Their brothers loved to huff spray paint cans in a paper bag in their pickup trucks and listen to Bachman-Turner Overdrive. Rebecca became the girl’s wrestling champion of her school, trophies accompanying her judo medals. Her parents wouldn’t watch her compete because they couldn’t bear seeing her get thrown around a wrestling mat and tortured. It didn’t matter, though, because she always won, anyway.

Unfortunately, once she ran out of female opponents she was now pit against male competitors. Great, back to the egg: being grabbed by men. She didn’t like it, it creeped her out. They would reach for parts she didn’t want groped and put in positions that she wasn’t cool with. She unceremoniously bowed out of the wrestling game, but the end result was a triumph: judo medals and wrestling trophies lined her room and she gained confidence that was valuable.

Years later, men would make the stupid mistake of thinking she was a pushover and hassle her. She’d throw them into the wall in her furs and high heels and they’d discover she’s a lady, but the most powerful one they would ever meet. And that’s one of the things that makes her different – she’s a beautiful girl but the deadliest tomboy alive. If that isn’t wifey material I don’t know what is.


When Rebecca recorded Shonen Knife’s “Public Baths” with her band Frightwig for the “Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them” compilation in 1989 several months later she got a letter from the band telling her that they enjoyed her cover and thought it was the best track on the album. A year later she covered Yoko Ono’s “Sisters O Sisters” with The Tater Totz and shortly received a fan letter from Yoko Ono telling her she loved her version of the song. If the Japanese can get behind Rebecca Seven then so should you.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Stuff I Burned From TCM, Part 7

Considering the star power that fuels many of the films listed today you would think that these gems would have seen the light of day on DVD already, but given the poor economic weather it won’t be for awhile. It’s probably cheaper to release the latest Judd Apatow brain rot than pour some money into cleaning and digitally processing some Ann-Margret wank fest. That’s why DVD burners are crucial with TCM on all night long, and here’s some of my epic finds:

I Married a Witch (1942): Veronica Lake looks sexy but she also looks funny, as in funny lookin’, so she’s perfect in this goofy comedy. A witch burned at the stake during the Salem trials era travels through time to torment the future generation of the judge who prosecuted her, but she falls in love with him instead. Mr. Right is played by the perpetually stiff Frederic March, no dreamboat in any shape and form. Gossip has it he was a creep to poor Veronica during the filming, which I believe. They should’ve gone with Fred MacMurray or somebody halfway likeable. Any screen time without Veronica Lake is a waste of film.

All Night Long (1962): This film, touted as “the jazz version of Othello” fairly disappoints because the wife doesn’t get killed during the course of the movie but instead scats and sings with a frozen puppet face all the way through. Notable for five minutes of footage of Charles Mingus, who gets some juicy dialogue, like “let’s swing, cats!” Notable for watching a young Patrick McGoohan playing a reptilian drummer conniving his way around the swinging British jazz world. Overly talky and frankly boring, it’s worth one watch if you can mange to stay awake “All Night Long”.

Swinger (1966): If you thought Ann-Margret’s dance routines in “Viva Las Vegas” was Cinema Gold then your head will explode watching this narishkeit, the money scene showing her in a body painting party dancing and whipping her endless miles of red hair around. Tony Franciosa plays a girlie mag Hugh Hefner-type, the kind of typecast he was saddled with during the swinging Sixties, just like in “The Sweet Ride”, "Fathom" and “The Name of The Game”. Needless to say he falls head over heels for a wholesomely harlotic heroine. Pretty trashy business, but if you like psychedelic sex comedies this one’s amusing.

13 Women (1932): Myrna Loy plays an evil Eurasian woman who systematically plots the killing of the 13 sorority sisters that bullied her back in college. All of her victims are of the snotty super-white finishing school snob variety. The film runs approximately 59 minutes and never wastes a minute of action, and Loy never looked so cool. This film has to be seen to be believed.

The Screaming Mimi (1958): Anita Ekberg (“La Dolce Vita” era) plays a severely traumatized stripper who’s being manipulated by a sleazy psychiatrist. I guess back in the Fifties this was a serious plot point. Nowadays it sounds like another day in Hollywood! TCM never disappoints.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Fast Food Crime Scene

Pizza Hut (4251 Beverly Blvd.)= In an effort to top Shakey's at their own game the Koreatown Pizza Hut has a lunch buffet set-up Mondays thru Fridays for $5. It sounds like a great deal until you realize there's a fucking middle school 2 blocks away, do every pizza faced brat descends on the place like a swarm of locusts. This means as soon as the servers nervously place a new pie on the counter all the kids swarm and gulp down very slice before you can even reach for one.

If you're watching your weight (what are you doing here, then) there's the most bizarre Caesar's Salad ion the planet, no croutons but tons of bacon bits. So many bacon bits it looks like a rabbit relieved itself in the bowl. A pig gave his life to finish a Caesar's Salad.

I don't know what I'm complaining about, there are places I was never meant to go to = stadium concerts, poetry readings, visiting the in-laws, comic book conventions and Pizza Hut. Oh, and if the one-armed Mexican boy still works there tell him Andy said hi.

Carl's Jr. (1111 N. La Brea Avenue)=
I don't know if I'd come here for food, I mean let's be frank, this is a tranny crash pad masquerading as a fast food joint. Am I outraged? Fuck no, what better way to flip the bird to dead fascist Carl Karcher than have every torn-up drag queen and Santa Monica Blvd teen runaway hustler all passed out in dead cattle grease stench.

Let's try that again: Fast sex flesh passed out in fast food flesh stench, you can hear the snores from whores and see the snooze spit bubbles popping out of smeared dude lipstick lips.

Sometime they try to infiltrate the court yard at the SM Gateway across the street but the Security Guards chase their asses off. Sometimes they sneech right through into Target and elbow their way past chola bull dykes and Communist poon strippers. It's complicated, baby. Like the tranny hustlers say, "If it's not all over the place, it's right in my face." Get it, girl.

Pink's Hot Dogs (709 N. La Brea Avenue)=
Pinks is the Eiffel Tower of grease and everybody has to go to The Eiffel Tower at least once in their life so I went and I waited and waited and waited and nobody loves hot dogs more than Andy Seven but fuck me these dogs had the hardest casing I've ever bit into. I felt like I was giving GI Joe a titty nipple hickey, like bad hard vinyl plastic cock'll do the do and Orson Welles must have been out of his mind pulling up here and ordering 16 chili dogs and macking them down in one sitting even his Pekingese must have stared in horror and it always crawls up my ass when people write one sentence reviews so here's my one sentence bon appetit Steinbeck.

Burger King (5118 Wilshire Blvd.)=
Rebecca and I call this "Teen Trauma Burger King". It rocks! Half of the time there's a yellow crime scene tape wrapped around the front of the place because when the High School down the street lets out the Degrassi Devils end up waxing each other. The tape stays out for the next few days and the BK staff does a sloppy job of hosing the blood off the sidewalk (BK staffers doing a sloppy job? Impossible!) I'll be the dues at the Jack In The Box across the street are jealous of all the drama.

But there's more: There's a big, big, big "Oasis" Christian youth center next door, so the Oasis jesus kids are probably wishin' and hopin' all the gangsta thugs will throw down all their weapons and come right in after school and repent. The drama is so intense it beats watching "The Best Years".

Oh yeah, the food. What about the food? It's Burger King. Shee-it!

7-Eleven (8077 W. 3rd Street)=
If you want to know what jail folks really look like hit the local 7-11. I'll be boiled if I ever saw a chick at one, it's usually guys that look like they got tossed out of the drunk tank. They puke right by the front door and the cashier who has "F-U" tattooed in his brain won't mop it up.

He won't clean the cherry Slurpee machine either, so the red sludge hardens around the nozzle looking like Joan Crawford's last period. All the cons look like they want to punch you out just because you're using the ATM machine and they can't, because they think you need a PhD to punch in your PIN number.

I smelled more unwiped asses here than I did at the local maternity ward. Maybe it wasn't ass but the odor of delicious 7-11 burritos "percolating" in the microwave. So if you love doughy beer monsters with shaved heads and 100 zits poppin' out of their skulls and think "OZ" was an epic TV show, you're so 7-11 material.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Going Steady With Jesus

One of the most disturbing aspects of growing up a Jewish teenager in the 1970’s is being thrown to the lions, theologically speaking. It was the era of The Jesus Freak, Jews For Jesus, “Godspell” and countless bad musicals trivializing God and his many prophets, etc. If you were young and Jewish the Jesus vultures chased after you like you were so much potential carrion.

Here’s a basic rundown of what I had to endure during the Disco Deity Era: One afternoon I walked up the alley to the market and a VW bug with three hotties drove by. They pulled up and flagged me down, a hot chick leaning her head out the window. “Hey! Hey guy, can I talk to you for a second?” calling me with a smile on her face. I can’t believe my good luck!
“Okay, what’s up?”
“Did you know Jesus Christ loves you and He’ll save your soul? Do you want to be saved?” Oh shit, she saw my yarmulke.
“Ahem, I-“
“Here”, she pulled out some crummy pamphlet. “Here’s something you can read today. We’re having a teen rally this Saturday, and-“
“-we’d like to see you there, tee hee”, the girl driving the car giggled.
“Go ahead, take the booklet!”
“No thanks”. I walked away.
“Your loss. Bye! Jesus loves you!” They finally drove off. It wasn’t His love I wanted.

If there’s one thing I can’t stand to this day it’s Jehovahs Witnesses marching into Jewish neighborhoods during Passover and the High Holiday Season. As if the entire Jewish population is supposed to toss aside their faith on a holy day. Many was the time you’d see them from your living room window marching up to your front door and they’d ring the bell over and over again. I would sit on the sofa and just wait for those idiots to turn around and leave.

One of the worst places for Jesus brainwash was in Westwood Village by the UCLA campus, one of the hottest hang-out spots in the Seventies. Saturday nights were bad. As my brother and I went on our way to the movies some smelly, stringy-haired hippie yelled at us, “Excuse me sir, are you ready to be saved?” My brother stopped dead in his tracks, and turned around and said, “Listen, you moron, I’m sick and tired of being preached to, why don’t you take your religious bullshit somewhere else? People don’t come here to be bugged, okay?”
“Sir, I sense some hostility in you. As a formerly member of the Judaic tribe”, the crazy hippie whines, “I’ve found Christ, and want to share my gift of eternal salvation with you. As it says in Romans 33:7”, he cracked open a thick, greasy Bible.
“We don’t follow the New Testament”.
“I understand your anger, once I was a lost lamb in the land of Canaan. As it says in the book of Matthew, Love your enemies and pray for your persecutors, so I will pray for you as Christ did for Pontius Pilate”. He shut his eyes tightly and spread both arms out in the iconic crucifix position, his fingers trembling as he did so.
“No one knows the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him", he bellowed. Everyone walking by stared at this foolish apparition and a couple of girls giggled. “Offer the wicked man no resistance, and if anyone hits you on the right cheek, offer him the other as well.”
I tugged on my brother’s arm, and nodded for us to hightail it while little Savior was still reciting scriptures with his eyes wide shut.
“For behold, I, God, have asuffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent; But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I; Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink”, he continued. “Do you hear me, brothers?”
He opened his eyes to find no one in front of him. We were off eating bagels on Broxton Avenue.

Sometimes I wonder if any of these proselytizers have kept the faith since then or if they treated it like a passing fad. Religion was a fairly trendy thing at the back end of the Sixties because many felt they had a lot to repent for. Perhaps that was the most annoying aspect of the Jesus craze: once one fuck-up was saved they assumed everyone needed salvation, but we just didn’t give a damn. And we still don’t.