Tuesday, September 17, 2013

R.I.P. SKIP GILDERSLEEVE

Here's flowers for a far sadder occasion.

Social media, the down side: I am aggrieved to learn from same of the passing of someone I only met in correspondence, but from that knew him to be a genuinely nice and generous person, a true music professional and yet still an enthusiastic music fan.  Rest in peace SKIP GILDERSLEEVE. My heartfelt condolences to his wife Hiroko, family and friends in Michigan. The terrible news came today.

He was a longterm music tech/road crew pro for Bob Seger, many others (see Nite Bob's quote below) and known by all as a terrific human being. When I was immobilized for months with broken limbs earlier this last year, Skip sent me personalized FunPaks of dvds and cds galore that he knew I'd appreciate. We both loved the music of Iggy and The Stooges, Parliament Funkadelic, reggae, Dylan, etc. etc. etc.

From his colleague Nite Bob, "Rest in Peace Skip. A Stooges fanatic! He was at the Rock N Roll Farm club when Iggy Pop got knocked out by the bikers! (ed.- photo of same of the cover of 'Metallic K.O.' LP by Iggy and The Stooges, aural live document of same.) I met Skip at a New York Dolls show at the Michigan Palace way back in 1974...it was a blast to take him out with the 2005 version of the Dolls...He was with Rush, when they opened for Aerosmith in 1977...we toured with Nugent together and played in the crew band on that, we toured the globe with Steely Dan and blasted Raw Power every chance we had... I am shocked..."

My friend Kim Maki of Retrokimmer blog (LINK) on all things Detroit/Ann Arbor music and beyond has best summarized the shock felt, "I am truly grieved....he was so helpful and generous. He never craved attention, he just loved the music. Many times I tried to get him to do a story with me and he was too shy for that. I miss him already!" 

Below, Skip flies over Osaka, Japan on a magic carpet ride...

DETROITS ROCKS! music documentary

At top, Detroit/L.A. band for four decades, punk progenitors THE DOGS whose singer/guitarist Loren Molinare recently was interviewed this last week for director Ron Perry's longterm music documentary "Detroit Rocks!" The film encompasses decades of major Michigan music legends, with Perry having interviewed over 120 participants over the last four years including Dick Wagner, Scott Morgan and MC5's Machine Gun Thompson and (the late) Michael Davis.

Next photo: Deniz Tek of Australian punk icons Radio Birdman but originally from Ann Arbor, smiles while interviewed on film for Perry in April of 2011. Deniz still tours with the Godoy twins with all the same original sweaty passion.  

Above left, Kim Maki of the popular Retrokimmer blog chronicling the Detroit/Ann Arbor scene amongst many other fascinating topics, and right: Rick Ruiner of current pop/punk band The Ruiners who are fun incarnate (I'm always impressed with performers who deliberately set themselves on fire as does Rick. This was one of my better half Mr. Twister's signature onstage moves,) Kim Maki and the filmmaker his own bad self, Ron Perry. For more information on the release click Retrokimmer's LINK.

LAST of the GIANT SUNFLOWER GARDEN 2013

 Above, Mr. Twister celebrates his eventually ten feet tall Giant Sunflower and below, yours truly as poseur, guest photographer Kurt Ingham.
Above, who says compositions can't be topsy turvy?
Below, moth, moon and nighttime sunflower.

Monday, September 16, 2013

PALEONTOLOGY CORNER

Evocative 1941 Z. Burian illustration of Brachiosaurus.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

JOHN VAN HAMERSVELD art exhibition "Drawing Attention"

 In which we attend the "Drawing Attention" exhibit of by John Van Hamersveld, one of the major art directors/graphic designers of all time, at his Cal State University Artist Reception, 9.7.13, info at bottom.  As creator of graphics for the iconographic "Endless Summer" surf film poster, murals for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and, amongst scores of thousands of jobs, the Rolling Stones' "Exile on Main Street" release, he remains our own West Coast equivalent of Milton Glaser, another art director who draws and fellow producer of timeless pop cultural images (however oxymoronic such may sound, but that's how great art transcends.)  

Top photo, John Van Hamersveld explains oceanographic matters to a kindred former surfer, my better half Mr. Twister and to author ("Canyon of Dreams" amongst many other books) Harvey Kubernik. The artist had a hand in designing singer Mr. Twister's EP with his band Christopher Milk on United Artists Records some 42 years ago, whereas Harvey was a contemporary supporter of C.Milk and Twister's 1976-78 punk band Chainsaw, writing in the pages of Melody Maker. 

A 2000s example, the below drawing "Cats and Dogs" appears even more mesmerizing in person, as its ink wash images are accomplished on assorted tissue paper overlays as in the oldskool, pre-digital graphic art production layout processes. The tissue or vellum overlays of old constituted different colors to be printed. Here it's used for in person, 3-D effect.

Above, manga/anime frisson and an earlier self portrait. Below, Mr. Twister acknowledges a concert that he himself attended in 1968 at the Shrine Auditorium (where the Academy Awards Oscars shows later were held!) Van Hamersveld drew many of the classic psychedelic posters for rock shows of the era, as his San Francisco art buddies  Victor Moscoso and fellow surfer/surf artist the late Rick Griffin and he shared and traded Underground Comics influences.










Yours truly passes a pussy riot of colossal feline graphics from original drawing while documenting in photographic medium. Guest photographer for above and below pics, Kurt Ingham.

 Above and below: teeth!  Lots of 'em!  Van Hamersveld began stylistic tinkering with the male variant of the drawing, "Johnny Face" in 1969, evolving into the "Crazy World, Ain't It" logo seen on billboards for then rock radio station KRLA, and finally into the "Johnny Girl" drawing below that became an Art Direction Grammy winner for him in 1972 via the LP "Jimmy McGriff - Black Pearl."  


Possible influence:
the funster logo of
long ago Coney Island 
Steeplechase Park,
NY with its 44 teeth
(12 more than
normal.)



 The exhibit continues at California State University Northridge Art Galleries, 1811 Nordhoff St., Northridge CA 91330 in L.A.'s San Fernando Valley until Oct. 12, 2013. 
Call ahead 818 677 2156 for info as parking is somewhat tricky: we had to drive over a street curb even to approach the site, making our eventual getaway one step ahead of the parking fuzz...

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

9/11

A photo I took 41 years ago of ruins in Los Angeles. In remembrance of New York's 9/11 victims, R.I.P. . .

SUNFLOWERS @ DAYBREAK

Clouds remain a sufficiently rare occurrence where I live
that I'm drawn to document them. Cloudstalker!  

Monday, September 2, 2013

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

It's Labor Day in the U.S.A., we celebrate the working stiffs, and it brings to mind comedic duo Laurel and Hardy in "The Music Box" working harder than anyone ever has in the history of cinema. Hired movers in the plot, they cart a recalcitrant spinnet piano up the longest set of residential stairs in all of Los Angeles. Oddly for our instant tear down city, these steps are still here, betwixt 923-5 Vendome St. ascending to Decanso St at the top of a Sisyphean hill in the now trendy Silver Lake district. 
 

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