Friday, April 27, 2012

MARIJKE KOGER-DUNHAM featured in M.O.C.A. EVENT

Above, left to right, Don Dunham, Marijke Koger-Dunham, my better half Mr. Twister and Evita Corby.

Fine artist MARIJKE KOGER-DUNHAM was the featured guest speaker at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art event promoting Norman Hathaway and Dan Nadel's book "Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art." Above and below, author Hathaway clearly had a field day in front of the rapt audience while interviewing Marijke about her preeminence as iconographic creative force in the 1960s and beyond.
We see Marijke 3 times in the above photo showing films of her work with The Fool in the 1960s at the event, plus the back of a very appropriately attired Evita Corby, wearing her own rock couture-designed John Lennon jacket. The Fool were responsible for The Beatles' psychedelic, polychrome style circa their Sgt. Pepper era in the 1960s.










Left, powerpoint show of Marijke's art in paintings, clothing, murals and commercial art, this one of an LP cover for the Incredible String Band by her Fine Art aggregate, The Fool (who were also recording artists); right, Evita and Marijke. Below, your humble photojournalist, Mr. Twister and Evita Corby in front of her vintage clothing establishment Velvet Threads, before we embarked on this particular adventure.
Photograph by Electric Earl.


Did I mention that Don and Marijke saved my horse from the terrible Station Fire three years ago, evacuating him with their truck and horse-trailer from that 200,000-acre wildfire through the flashpoints and burning embers to their own ranch? Good friends indeed!

Also shown at the M.O.C.A. event was the video below, part of the 1968 film "Wonderwall," for which The Fool provided art direction, set dressing, costuming, graphics and party scene entertainment (that's Marijke doing the Mid-eastern dancing.)

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

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Rigors of Recording, LITTLE CAESAR, 2.0

Continued from previous entry, above, Little Caesar toughing it out in grueling recording sessions of their new "American Dream" release: on the leather divan, singer Ron Young, and bassist Fidel Paniagua with wife Trace Panaigua while a reflection of guitarist Joey Brasler lurks covertly in the mirror reflection.
Above, a more visible Joey Brasler in his element.

Above, singer Ron Young pauses pensively in plush studio decor. Below, Caesar guitarist Loren Molinare and Dan Rozell of band PrettyQuick and Sonny Vincent's touring cadre, the latter visiting from Brooklyn NY to see how the West Coast rolls.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Rigors of Recording: hanging around the studio with LITTLE CAESAR


Ah, the rigors of recording. We catch up with LITTLE CAESAR hard at work on their forthcoming release "American Dream" at Unison Studio, ensconced in the good life in Southern California: swimmin' pools, music stars...

From top: singer extraordinaire Ron Young and guitarist Loren Molinaire (advised the latter's chum Billy Murrell upon seeing this pic, "Calm down, Loren!"); Loren and Blackstar Amplifiers/Korg compatriot enjoy non-British weather in April while bassist Fidel Paniagua quaffs anonymously far in the background; guitarist Joey Brasler and producer Bruce Witkin overdub solos to great effect. More photos and one dynamite release to come: already "Prisoner Of Love" and "American Dream" are stand-outs, even in rough
 mix form.

Friday, April 20, 2012

RARE 1972-3 STOOGES PHOTOGRAPHS by BYRON NEWMAN

This Guest Gallery is presented by kind permission of
esteemed British photographer Byron Newman who for the past three decades has garnered renown for his cover shots for Playboy Magazine, Lui, Deluxe and numerous others. Today, his portraits of well known actors and musicians bear his trademark style of artistic composition alongside utmost highest-resolution clarity. Professionalism incarnate. Just check his website LINK

But... once upon a time in a magical place far away (London, England, 1972-3 to be exact,) Byron Newman photographed fresh-from-Detroit young hellraisers Iggy and The Stooges, there to record one of all rock music's most influential works ever, "Raw Power." So sui generis in its 1,000 mph guitar fury and incisive lyrics of poetic rage was it that "Open Up and Bleed" Iggy Pop biographer Paul Trynka opined to its guitarist, “'James, you made a difference! Music today would sound different were it not for you!' (and that’s not a remark I have ever made before to a rock musician)." The roller coaster would race high and low in intervening decades for Raw Power's official recognition beyond the scope of the millions of musicians it actually influenced before the Stooges' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. All that matters is that it did.

Here's James Williamson, guitarist extraordinaire of Iggy and The Stooges and its singer Iggy Pop at this startling moment in music history, photographed by Byron Newman.

Nick Kent, a writer I much admire for his accurate accounts of the passions and emotional appeal of music and musicians usually before the rest of the world knows even what hit it and despite his peers excoriating his pieces for having been written decades before the eras of fact-checking computer programs, was there at the right time and place to chronicle same.

Excerpts from this 1975 description in the New Musical Express of Iggy and James in London circa 1972 might well serve as captions for Newman's work here: "...So there they were, these two black-hearted ominous-looking individuals from the Motor City, living together in a little house in tame, salubrious Maida Vale...There was such poison in the heart, so much rage... that it just flooded into the creative marrow of the Stooges' greatest creation, the body of songs that got released on an album entitled Raw Power."


Mr. Newman's live photographs of Iggy Pop were taken of him as a solo performer circa 1977 or '78; and at the legendary July, 1972 Kings Cross La Scala Cinema Theatre gig in London by Iggy and The Stooges that changed the course of all hard rock music thence. Younger Punk rock ears were enthralled while inspired, and La Scala shots remain incredibly rare. Newman, Mick Rock and the late Patrice Kindl were the only known professionals documenting same. The '77 solo pic is a particularly gorgeous example of stage photography being as evocative as a studio portrait.


I'm grateful I at least have a true appreciation of this music in common with esteemed photographer Mr. Newman. Directly above, Iggy Pop and James Williamson performing in Iggy and The Stooges, 2011-left and 1973-right by yours truly, as is the portrait below, with his custom snakeskin-patterned Trussart guitar, of James Williamson today... still just as photogenic as ever.

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

FOUND POEM

Found poem made up of refrigerator magnet words for messages.
A production crew member of some long forgotten movie left this behind at a shoot at our house....

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

BOB MARLEY documentary Hollywood premiere 4.17.12



At top, my photo of Bob Marley performing in 1976, seen amongst other media in author Harvey Kubernik's "This Is Rebel Music." Below it are snapshots from the 4.17.12 Hollywood premiere of Marley, long awaited documentary of the Reggae godhead.

Seen are five of the late icon's eleven children, including Ziggy Marley and the very poised Cedella Marley who addressed two overflow theatres that night; then assorted, colorful and delighted invitees such as world-renowned Reggae archivist Roger Steffans (far right in both) and aforementioned,
multiple music book writer Harvey Kubernik (in black sans Rasta's red, gold and green) who saw Bob Marley and the Wailers live no less than seven times. I left Halle Berry and Zack De La Rocha of Rage Against the Machine unperturbed by choosing not to shove an additional camera in their faces. Hey, your humble photojournalist and longtime Reggae fan was there to see this film too!

Directed by Kevin Mcdonald (The Last King of Scotland, State of Play, Donald Cammell: the Ultimate Performance and many worthy others,) Marley joins the short list of highest quality music documentaries. Foremost was his command of context for understanding the musician: offered was commendably omnipresent footage throughout of Jamaican life then and now via news clips and sweeping panoramas of the island's verdant beauty contrasted with stark urban poverty.

Interviewed were survivors Bunny Wailer, the equal parts innovative and wacky producer Lee Scratch Perry, Island Records honcho Chris Blackwell, all three I-Threes including wise and understanding spouse Rita Marley plus numerous insiders.

I've always loved Reggae music since first heard. Thirty-six years ago I wrote "Rastaman Vibration: Bob Marley and The Wailers" as an extra project beyond my publications art job responsibilities at A&M Records, who'd licensed music from Island for this. Cover and frontispiece below.










Jeff Walker of Island advised me to gear my text toward
hip American college kids, as any potential African-American fan base then had eschewed the hardscrabble grittiness of Reggae (a conundrum address in the MARLEY documentary) in favor of the '70s glitz of Diana Ross and Lionel Ritchie. (Jeff's wife Kim Gottlieb's fine pix of Marley & Wailers in Jamaica graced
my book.)


So staple college fave author Kurt Vonnegut's 1963 tome "Cat's Cradle" was stirred into the copy for piquant alternativeness: I seem to have been the first to correlate its plot's tropical island worship of a living deity Bokonnen with Haile Selassie, born Tafari Makonnen. I had been introduced to the tenets of Rastafarianism/worship of Emperor Haile Selassie some ten years prior by my brother's best friend in college who'd made numerous trips to Ethiopia via his father's work there.


Previewed at this year's SXSW and debuting in Berlin, MARLEY opens April 20 in limited release in the U.S. 36 years after my Marley book, I had to be so informed that the film's deliberate release date "420" is up to the minute American kidslang for ganja, referential to twenty minutes after the school day ends...


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

Friday, April 13, 2012

ROBIN GIBB of the BEE GEES

Note Robin Gibb looking straight at yours truly approvingly during this 1990s Disco Revival photo op (see LINK) because I didn't dress like a photojournalist. To stand out from the press corps and foster amity with the subjects, I wore my own saved, vintage 70s clothes plus tall blue suede platform boots* and was rewarded by the Bee Gee's approval as a fellow post-trendy in the know, fashion-era-wise. Robin, jovially smiling at my retro-garb mufti in happier days today remains critically ill with post cancer complications.

Current musos either might have forgotten or never have known that prior to their immensely lucrative but unfortunate disco fixation, The Bee Gees were considered worthy songwriters as well as pop chart darlings.

Besides penning "To Love Somebody" which was covered by, well, everybody in the '60s Cool Club elite, they offered unusual song topics and clever, catchy lyrics, "New York Mining Disaster" indicative of the first with its doomy "Do you know what it's like on the outside?" and of the second, "Marley Purt Drive"'s frothy cadence of "With 16 kids and a family on the skids we gotta go for a Sunday drive."


Post Nik Cohn's "Tribal Rites of a Saturday Night" genesis of the "Saturday Night Fever" blockbuster elevating the Bee Gees into higher ground, much tragedy belied their mega-success, with brothers Andy and Maurice dying relatively young. Robin seemingly attained remission from earlier, serious cancers.

However, as of this week's enumerable centennial memorials to the sinking of the Titanic, Robin Gibb remained hospitalized and unable to attend the premiere of his own Titanic Requiem as performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London (LINK.)

Pop culture enthusiasts everywhere wish him the best possible outcome.

Post script, rest in peace Robin Gibb 5.20.12

*never to be worn again even as Halloween costuming due to subsequent automobile crash ankle injuries.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

DEAR AXL via LITTLE CAESAR's RON YOUNG




My photos of Ron Young
today, left,
and right--
fronting Little Caesar
during Guns N'Roses'
heyday
of the late 1980s


Ron Young is the amazing hard soul vocalist of Little Caesar,
also is an art-metal fabricator (that would be actual metallurgy, not the "Kerrang!" canon,) an avid retro-auto restorer, animal enthusiast, devoted married man, and one smart cookie in the cerebellum department. Today he initially proffered a cheeky rejoinder on Facebook to Axl Rose's published rant of turning down his own Guns N'Roses induction into the Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame this coming year. We needn't dwell.


HOWEVER, in his second rejoinder Ron waxed quite eloquent
in writing what we all wish we could articulate about our mutual love of music. Verbatim and with his permission, below.

"I'm sure any musician would tell you that they have dreamed
of getting a Grammy, let alone a lifetime of achievements and recognition like an induction...even if it is corporate, political bullshit. I have had the honor and good fortune to have a major record deal. It doesn't mean shit. After you have lived on a tour bus, or had your ass kissed by a million drunks that think they know you, the thing that blows you away is when someone is truly moved by your music. When they know the words, when they relate to your emotions and love the moments you create with your band mates in that short period of time you were in the studio together creating what others feel, is MAGIC.

To play music, you have to love music. You have to be in awe when you meet the men and women that moved you so much as to dedicate your own life to the same thing as them. When I listen to any of the bands that are in that Hall, I hear the soundtrack of my life. I know that I would be a different person without the music that they created.

To get inducted means that you have done the same...
not sell records... but created music that has changed the
culture of the world in some way. Whether it's by making an
angry teenager feel release, or broken-hearted girl feel just a little bit more human, or scared the shit out of someone's parents when they saw their kids listening to you. To be able to turn down the opportunity to say thank you to those who took the time to listen, and en masse say it deserves to be right next to the people that literally saved my life as a teenager, would be an honor I would never pass up. Ask any musician if they would
do
that if given the chance.

Some people do not deserve to be in a special group of
individuals who collectively are exponentially greater than
any of the individuals. A band is like a motorcycle club. An elite group of people that would kill for each other because of the experiences that they have shared together that makes their bond unbreakable no matter what. Axl Rose ain't no great singer...
but he is a legendary frontman that leads a group of men, and together they made magic. He doesn't deserve to have the
honor of induction because he has no reverence for
any of the above."

-Ron Young,

4.11.12

Thursday, April 5, 2012

BETTE MIDLER

A happy Bette Midler winning 1993 Record of the Year, The Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, the Shrine Auditorium.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

OPEN LETTER TO A CRISIS OF FAITH














On a private chat, a past breeder of purebred Scottish Deerhound dogs professed a "crisis of faith" (Q: "How do you justify the expense of time, money, and emotion?") for continuing in that mission and asked for rejoinders. Here's mine.


This comes from a non-breeder, reluctant past dog-showee and quasi-refugee from my own city's draconian anti-dog laws. However, with 35 years of sighthound ownership behind, I first have to echo our sad mantra of pet loss consolation from Irving Townshend's "The Once and Future Prince" that "...unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way."*

Secondly, I cast thoughts back to those before us who in the past have saved treasures for the future of all humanity, not just fine art but fine animals. For instance, such heroic efforts ensued during the World War II and aftermath to ensure that rare horse breeds survived their territories' wartime then political devastations such and Lippizans, Akhal Tekes or Trakehners. Think of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna's instant appeals to the conquering forces, U.S. General Patton, to save their horses from extinction, and its success.

Reading the online 400 year pedigree of the American Saddle Horse to research that side of my own equine's heritage, I marvel of these horses' lives saved from rapacious military confiscation during Colonial times then the Civil War. What sacrifices their owners must have made to continue their bloodlines: wealth alone could not have accomplished same in these riptides of history.

Then I think of the Deerhound breed, rare still in our modern times. People don't remember me there due to my inherent quiet manner, but I had attended rather a few specialties** before I had owned Deerhounds, and sufficiently long ago to have seen some the breed's best ever, both practitioners and dogs, in person in the latter half of the twentieth century. Anastasia Noble and Benachie's Bobkat come to the forefront of my mind.

Today, we don't see characters with the colorful swagger and influence of Ms. Noble nor the perfection of Bobbie, but I. DON'T. CARE. There won't be Deerhounds as future treasures to love personally or respect from afar unless someone still cares enough to think that maybe, just maybe, he or she can breed one even more beautiful than Bobbie, because he or she has the same indomitable resolve of a Ms. Noble (and hopefully a sensibilities of a Dr. Albert Schweitzer, to ramp up the health of our breed as well. It's badly needed.)

I think whoever you are, you may still be out there, however justly celebrated or anonymous at present. Overview shows that it comes out of nowhere, even. Really. The horse Figure founded the entire Morgan Horse line, a fabulous breed to this day. A single stallion, from literally out of nowhere, well over 300 years ago.

Perhaps you can do not only the Deerhound world, but the world in general that treasures all that is beautiful and useful more good than you ever can imagine with the right combination of strength, study and luck. Perhaps you can breed the one Deerhound that ensures their wondrous survival for the future, with your own genetic nick from out of nowhere...


Later named after his owner Justin Morgan, the stallion Figure, single progenitor of the Morgan Horse breed

*It's difficult to write about pets with intellect and lyricism while avoiding the cloying. This pet loss consolation succeeds.

The Fragile Circle


"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives more temporary
than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.

Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully
understanding the necessary plan.

The life of a horse, often half our own, seems endless until one day. That day has come and gone for me, and I am once again within a somewhat smaller circle."

-Irving Townsend 'The Once Again Prince'

**Deerhound Confabs

Sunday, April 1, 2012

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