Monday, February 27, 2012

POOL PARTY FOR DEERHOUNDS

Above, Deerhounds take the concept of pool party literally.
Daytrippers Mr. Twister and I motored to the Del Mar dog show and an after-show party Saturday (2.25.12) at the lovely estate of a gracious exhibitor. This social proffered a chance for canines to mingle and freely gambol en masse. Although a Golden Retriever and an Affenpinscher made an appearance, the main attraction was Scottish Deerhounds, a rare breed in the U.S. known there mainly for 2011's Best in Show winner at Westminster and their starring roles in the films "Out of Africa" and Disney's upcoming "Brave." (Serious afficianados claim the British "I Know Where I'm Going" as the ultimate movie spotlighting Deerhounds" as it features a whole pack of 'em, including one which adoringly paws lead actress Dame Wendy Hiller.)









Deerhounds act out "Getting To Know You" from musical "The King and I."


Everybody loves a puppy!


Below, Mr. Twister, his camera, and canines.

Friday, February 24, 2012

4 PHOTOS from EGYPT circa 1997

Four photographs from Egypt circa 1997, from the top down:
#1. trompe l'oeil sphinx; #2. the Colossi of Memnon, Luxor commemorating the pharoah Amenhotep III; #3. me shooting #4. Mr. Twister amongst pyramids. The one of Twister remains unusual for two reasons.


A) Wardrobe. There's Mr. Twister looking dapper in his woolen military coat and windblown in the mists, in a normally hot, dry desert. We had shipped some warm outerwear to our Cairo destination in advance, because all almanacs/weather prognosticators/ Nostrodami had predicted the 4 days a year that that region gets cool weather and a possibility of rains for the span we'd be there. Boy, were our freezing fellow travelers jealous of our contingency efficiency.

B) Aforementioned Weather. The windblown, cloudy mists obscured the city highrise skyline and dust/smog of Cairo, giving this portrait the antiquated frisson of 19th century travel photos.

extraneous but apt poem:
Ozymandias
by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)

I met a traveler from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
And on the pedestal these words appear:
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

CHRISTOPHER MILK QUASI-REUNION 42 YEARS LATER

Once upon a time in 1971...
Photo by James Oswald, Christopher Milk circa 1971 in Topanga Canyon, Calif. Left to right, Tres Feltman, John Mendelsohn, unknown rider and equine, Mr. Twister, Kirk Henry, the Donald, unknown dog, Ralph Oswald.

Flash forward to 2012...
Above, Ralph Oswald rocks out on air guitar to the unheard music at the great Christopher Milk quasi-reunion*, April 22, 2012 in Laguna Beach, California. Below, some forty-plus years earlier, Ralph deploys guitar to oblivion a la Pete Townshend in Christopher Milk gig on Janss steps, UCLA (photographer unknown.)
Christopher Milk began in the late 1960s betwixt UCLA chums Ralph and future Rolling Stone/Creem/L.A. Times writer/media darling John Mendelsohn. They shared "house band" status at UCLA with Sparks, and also shared similar convoluted histories of personnel changes, convoluted romantic entanglements of the band's couples, and multiple major label record company releases.

Much of the CMilk story is resurrected here at my Paraphilia
photo feature on pages 16-46 LINK. (One should also check out how Mendelsohn influenced rock posterity by introducing David Bowie to the music of The Stooges, LINK.)
Mr. Twister and John Mendelsohn in Christopher Milk, 1971
(photographer unknown.)
Below, my own photo of them circa 1970.

Forty years later reunions can prove bittersweet, but that applied to the circumstances under which Colorado residents Ralph and Anita Oswald found themselves in Southern California (sad, private ones) not the quasi-reunion itself. This cadre of college chums turned rockstars immediately traded witticisms as readily as in times gone by.
Above left to right, Kirk Henry a.k.a. The Kiddo, bassist; Ralph Oswald a.k.a. Surly Ralph, guitarist; and he who remains perennially known as The Dreaded Mr. Twister, singer (and remains my better half.) Photo below, we add Dennis Castanares, (depicted back in the day, center of third photo from top) guitarist, far right.

Above, Rick Snyder (creator of the official Christopher Milk website LINK and onetime bassist for kindred spirit weirdo Captain Beefheart) and Dennis Castanares jam and trade trivia. Kirk Henry comments amid the Oswald hospitality at the hotel, below.

Credit Anita Oswald with the means by which the band reunited for this get-together. She created the Facebook Christopher Milk Fan Club as somewhat of a lark for husband Ralph, whereupon it immediately took off with a life of its own with well over 100 members, many of them rather influential British music press.
Above, Dennis Castanares is warmly greeted by hostess Anita Oswald.

Rick Snyder, your humble photojournalist and Kirk Henry.
Photo by Kurt Ingham.


Below, my video snippet in which Rick Snyder and Dennis Castanares tackle Kyu Sakamoto (to the ground) singing "Sukiyaki."

*John (below) and the current Mrs. Mendelsohn remain ensconced in England, rather too far to commute for impromptu social occasions. The Donald, backup singers + dancers, and several drummers: whereabouts unknown...

TECH NOTES: I took this photograph of writer John Mendelssohn (LINK) 42 years ago in my UCLA dorm room. We somewhat jokingly based it upon the iconic Victor Skrebneski photograph of Vanessa Redgrave (see info about that shot LINK) which graced the print ads and billboards for the 1968 film "Isadora." It was a high key shot lit with a tensor study lamp initially, then in a darkroom I polarized it (subjected it to timed white light exposure, whereas normally only dark red light could be tolerated in the developing process without ruining the prints.) The avant garde effect of this print emerged from the developer chemicals looking just like this, no decades-later computer manipulation needed. (Photo tech tips from the Pleistocene!) It was said that the polarizing process was random and could not be controlled precisely, so I promptly disproved it and made multiple identical copies for assorted recipients.

NOTE: link directly back to http://fastfilm1.blogspot.com if all elements such as photo layouts or videos aren't here.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

MICHAEL DAVIS R.I.P.

Self portrait of Michael Davis that appeared in his Facebook profile.

My favorite quotation from MICHAEL DAVIS, bass player extraordinaire for the MC5, Destroy All Monsters and a few lucky other bands, fine artist, charitable humanitarian, from his autobiographical blog:

"As I stand here, looking down the last stretch of my own path, I still see the greatness of being alive. I still see the things that made it an overwhelming mystical trip. That I played in the MC5 was only one part of it, but what a part it was! Music is revolution!"

Michael Davis passed away at age 68 yesterday (2.17.12) in California, survived by his wife Angela and grown children.

I only knew him through correspondence, but it was a privilege to talk shop about fine art with so pivotal a figure in the history of American music. The MC5 remain incredibly important. There would have been no continuity of hardest rock past the 1960s but for the bedrock founded by Detroit's MC5 and Iggy and The Stooges, their ferocious proficiency live, and their inspiration to future generations who heard what to revere.

After his MC5 and Destroy All Monsters band gigs, Davis enjoyed life with his wife Angela in an assortment of locales on the West Coast, studied fine art as he had in college before joining the MC5 in the 1960s, then prolifically painted and drew. He started the Music Is Revolution Foundation to fund retaining music lessons in public schools. Interestingly, fellow MC5 Wayne Kramer also has been involved bigtime in his own charity Jail Guitar Doors (to equip the incarcerated with instruments and music,) testament to the purity of this once highly political band's humanitarian motives.

Davis raised horses for a while and was interviewed performing a variety of familiar horse care chores seen in the unfortunately unavailable but widely praised documentary "MC5- A True Testimonial." The MC5 were name-checked by Iggy and The Stooges onstage at the latter's 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction ceremony with an obvious hint to honor the remaining MC5 members next before it's too late, hint hint.

Lastly, Michael Davis enjoyed popular festival appearances with DKT-MC5 (Michael Davis-Wayne Kramer-Dennis Machine Gun Thompson) bookings throughout the 2000s, culminating with a terrific box set of a London gig with Primal Scream and filmed footage of the entire show, available from class act archiving label Easy Action (see link below.) Hearing the DKT band come roaring in with the power of a molten lava fusilade after guest singers William Duvall's (Alice in Chains) and Bobby Gillespie's (P. Scream) a capella set up for sexy song "Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa (I'm The Man For You)" will stiffen the hairs on the nape of your neck and possibly other parts or moisten same, depending upon personal gender...

When the direction of popular music starting wimping and progging out in a variety of tangents after the '60s, the MC5 and Iggy and The Stooges continued their respective meteoric arcs of flight because their audiences and they knew this music was fucking great even if the middlemen of commerce didn't. By example, they kept hard rock vitally alive through today but paid a steep price (lack of recognition despite trailblazing, infighting, incarceration, despair-induced addictions, early deaths.) We've everyone of us been so very fortunate to have had them with us at all...


Primal Scream/MC5-DKT Black to Comm box set cds plus dvd: LINK
(featuring Davis' artwork on the cover, above)
Michael Davis own words in his blog of the last 3 years LINK
Retrokimmer tribute to Michael Davis LINK
Music Is Revolution Foundation LINK

videos below: the first with MC5-DKT only last year in a unique billing with Iggy and The Stooges in France, led with Davis signature basslines; then vintage 1970 MC5 Grande Ballroom footage in all their renowned, adrenalized ferocity; then the inimitable Destroy All Monsters with fellow fine artist Niagara and the Stooges' own Ron Asheton--






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Friday, February 17, 2012

RAPTOR! (not Blondie's song)


In the midst of bulletin board normally touting "horse for sale," "found dog" and the like at East Valley tack and feed store, this was displayed today. It lifted my spirits that someone bothered to post this, but what I want to know is: has it had any dressage training?

P.S., any takers might ponder study of the book below, which I indeed recommend.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FIRE! (not Arthur Brown's song)



video
Three long blocks away from our own domicile, a huge fire in a strip mall raged tonight, requiring over 100 firefighters to contain it. The smoke looked like a vertical storm (video above by me with my "purse camera.") Aftermath the next morning, below.









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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

STRAY PHOTOS 2.15.12

Above, Melanie Harrold of the metal band Bad Xample, in my studio in Venice sometime in the 1980s. She was (and probably still is) a terrific, strong-voiced singer, and the band's overall effect was that of Bessie Smith fronting Aerosmith.

She gave me one of my favorite compliments ever saying despite her normal sense of awkwardness at photo sessions, I made her feel as comfortable as if she were in her granny's warm kitchen. Bad Xample had terrific management, so I don't know what happened to the rest of the story insofar as you've never heard of them. Melanie briefly jammed with an all-female, potential supergroup which included guitarist Jan King (see LINK) and The Dogs' bassist Mary Kay (see LINK,) after which I lost contact...


In the mid-1970s, somewhere in West L.A. near where I lived after UCLA. There were and always are a lot of "teardowns" (gratuitous destruction of historic buildings) in this area of Los Angeles so I didn't want for subjects of that ilk, the above being an experiment with infra-red color film. Below, a guest photograph by Kurt Ingham of the Thoroughly Modern Digital Photographer circa 2012, processing RAWfiles for hours on end...

Monday, February 13, 2012

I HEART...

Clipart Picture of a Red Heart with an Arrow Through It
For Valentine's Day, where ever you are,
I hope your troubles are few...
-HH

(or LINK)
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day,
All in the morning betime,
And I a maid at your window,
To be your Valentine.
—William Shakespeare, Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 5

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Friday, February 10, 2012

2nd newest video for THE DOGS' Hypersensitive










My photo stills from "What Goes In Quiet Comes Out LOUD," newest video in conjunction with THE DOGS' new release "Hypersensitive." Of course, it's terrific, hardest rock from this legendary L.A. by way of Detroit band. (See previous Hypersensitive video detailed here LINK and here LINK.) Both were commendably and intelligently directed by Salvatore Sebergandio.

Salvatore montaged the background footage from recent "Occupy Washington D.C." and Middle Eastern protests for this wry but rockin' social commentary, reminiscent of THE DOGS' genesis playing 1960s anti-Vietnam war rallies. Video directly below. Enjoy!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

STRAY PHOTOS from 1969 and 1971

Typical of how I spent my time between classes at UCLA, concocting shoots like this 1971 one above with my then roommate Barbara Legarra, a beauteous Basque-American. These were photo sessions wherein locations were found ahead of time and fitted in between the models' busy academic schedules.
Above is the friend mentioned in "How I Started A Riot 41 Years Ago" (LINK) which I'll more accurately quantify here as 1969.
The photo on the right was shot at selfsame riot, the other in Westwood Village and the two dry-mounted as a folding diptych for some long forgotten art class assignment. It's funny how I've never lacked for highly attractive friends to photograph since my teenaged years and beyond.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Current events for Feb. 2012: BIRTHDAY PARTY and SUCCESSFUL BAND SHOWCASE

Above and below rock and roll couturier Evita Corby and author Mike Hudson are all smiles Feb. 4th at the latter's birthday party/housewarming of the New York state transplant's new L.A. digs. Evita, also a pro video stylist, furnished his flat in antiques in a mere three days for an impressively thrifty sum.
Above, Mike gets a warm welcome from Evita's mother Carol.

Above, quasi-reunion for The Pagans with Bobby and Mike striking a surly but amused pose on the back steps. Below, Evita and Mike restage the steps shots another way.

Above, Gilbert and Sullivan's "Three Little Maids From School Are We?" Not quite, it's Evita and her daughter Sierra (middle) with schoolchum Olivia far left. Peeking from behind is Mike's collectible poster featuring 'Sixties pop culture phenomenon El Cordobes, "the Mick Jagger of bullfighting" as I explained to others (undepicted herein as I forgot to obtain their consents.)

Although Fastfilm herself decries deliberate cruelty to animals, one easily understands how Mike, a fan of all things Spanish and Mexican plus, after all, himself a former flashy punk rock lead singer and current crime reporter and chronicler of life's seedier habitues would be drawn to a media star like El Cordobes whose Wikipedia listing begins "Born into poverty, reared in an orphanage, a construction worker and petty criminal, at the age of twenty-three (he) lived in Cordoba and dreamed of being a bullfighter..."


Above, Sierra returns from a mission of outside walkies with Rowena, herself the subject of the funniest quip that evening. Mike's brother Bobby dryly intoned that he first learned of the formerly diehard East Coast denizen Mike's move to LaLaLand when the latter began a phone call with words Bobby thought he'd never hear,"I'm sitting here beside a swimming pool in Los Angeles with my Chihuahua..."

Below, huzzah! Mike Hudson signs a copy of his newest novel Never Trust the World for me with unexpectedly touching epithets.

My better half's punk band Chainsaw broke up in a fistfight
circa 1978* in North Hollywood's The Alley Rehearsal Studio,
but h
ere we espy a far better showcase outcome at the venerable venue. Seen above and in photos below, hot and dynamic
The Michael Des Barres Band performed for select fans/V.I.P.s plus Gonzo Multimedia on 2.3.12 and indeed earned an affirmative nod from the latter. They currently are in discussion to release a studio album of all new material from this band sometime later this year.

Media frenzy afterwards!
Click for FAQs and more info on these soul-rockers here-LINK.

* Unlike the wretched Brian Jonestown Massacre industry showcase fistfight depicted in the music doc "Dig!," (see Worst. Showcase. Ever. LINK,) Chainsaw witnessed eventual happier results, not to mention complete vindication some 25 years later with a reunion tour of Italy in 2003 plus re-releases of Chainsaw classic material on both
European and American labels. See LINK for reunion tour video and my photographs of same.

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