Friday, July 15, 2011

BEHEMOTH FESTIVALS! 1970-1980

Lordy, this is from 1980, the last year ever of our Behemoth Festivals. Yes, this selfsame underwhelming-in-person (incorrectly interpreted as shy,) soft-spoken professional photographer/photojournalist used to stage, with her co-hostess, an annual soiree for 500 of our closest personal pals at my unknowing parents house when they were invariably out of town.*

We featured lots of sangria, fruit and veggies from the downtown L.A. Produce Market obtained in the wee hours just before, live bands such as punk legends Chainsaw, retro All-Stars The Fabulous Sheepskins or Rhino-ites Mogan David and the Winos, plus weird movies such as "Deep Throat" or "Bullitt" (basically anything we could scrounge from film collectors) projected on sheets in those dark days of the pre-video, dvd or streaming Pleistocene.

It was a 70s' bacchanal for music biz types, musicians, art-heads and, memorably one year, a fully costumed F Troop Cavalry from Calabassas, California. No matter how professional the engineers or producers we cajoled into mixing the soundboards were (and some were quite semi-famous,) year after year they invariably became too drunk ever to have recorded the bands effectively.


Highlights besides the live music? Famed writer Richard Meltzer plunged headfirst through the plate glass door with a hole about a foot off the ground which meant he executed a low-aiming swan dive. He wasn't hurt at all. Kim Fowley photographed (not by me, I was hostessing) pulling Karen S.'s blouse off. Mr. Twister once broke a watermelon over the head of the brother of a genuinely famous child-star, both now grownup at a Behemoth (grumbled Twister, "I was aiming for someone else, actually.") It was the last recorded instance of Mr. Twister wearing his silver platform boots from Kings Road, London (although they still grace the Twister Museum.) It was said that more marriages broke up at these parties than from any other provocation during that decade. What a legacy.

If you click to enlarge the above invitation, you can read our satirical post-Mod proto-post-Mad Men copy and be privileged to view each of the decade's invites at the bottom. We both liked dinosaurs, hence the perpetual saurian theme. We also both appreciated the high concept of terrified masses fleeing the inevitable made incarnate. (See LINK of my own art with this theme.) It fit.

Co-hostess Elyse Wyman, who now resembles a short-haired version of the above, sports the taffeta "...with oodles of this year's smart ruffles..." next to yours truly in the Dalmatian-spotted, vintage '60s Rudi Gernreich pajamas and London-bought, petroleum-product thigh-high boots which subsequently self-destructed, hunkering down with a life-sized baby plesiosaur skeleton made of balsa wood. I do not exactly look like this these thirty one years on, so don't go thinking it's a damned portrait
.

Why did we cease and desist, considering how little we were troubled by law enforcement all things considered throughout the years?
It was a strain on our college student and post-grad budgets, however economically we had cut those hairpin corners. After a decade's worth, that seemed like a the perfect place-marker for closure.

*clue that the parents caught on for the last two years, although they allowed themselves to be run out of town for those remaining Behemoths: the tiny print in the invite above, warning "...Please, no setting yourself on fire with drugs (special request from Heather's parents.)"

2 comments:

Fast Film said...

From Elyse W., co-hostess:

Ah, yes. The good old days. Just seeing this made me laugh out loud, then I stopped laughing when I realized how very long ago this was! The good news is we've survived to tell the debauched tale! There was also one year when Scott went through the living room window with his hand out in front of him, necessitating a giant bandage on his middle finger. He was told to hold that finger up, and subsequently received quite a lecture from a judge before whom he was making a court appearance soon after the aforementioned bacchanalian festival.

On Jul 16, 2011

Fast Film said...

From Paul Diamond:
Now that I've managed to read the tiny print, I apparently played at this one (among a couple of equally amnesia-clouded others).

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...