Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME... ON FACEBOOK; or THE WHOPPER forged regarding Keith Richards

Once upon a time...on Facebook. This is a hearsay tale of hearsay, impossible to prove anything. The blameless will remain nameless, but also the blamed. Keith Richards will remain uniquely himself as he has been for over a half century. ( Photo below from Keith's current solo album cover fair usage © Mark Seliger. )
Image result for public domain photo keith richards under the influence
"R.C." spilled her personal fantasy of being part of Keith Richard's life into Facebook. The adopted persona was a music tour photographer who had taken over her obsession's inamorata role from his actual adored wife Patti Hansen, the timeline for the fabrication being the last four years. The drive shaft that initially made it run was attention to minute details.

R.C. posted obscure Instagram pix incorporating a real, present day photo diaries of the Rolling Stones' current 2019 touring, of Richards' kids, grandkids and assorted insiders in his life like his guitar technicians, not to mention plus the interiors of his many homes plus current tour hotel rooms. Vacation pics from his Jamaican and Parisian homes popped up sporadically. There appeared an explanation of the British tax laws which precluded his fulltime residing in his stately British country home. 

She concocted Facebook characters to write back to her like his son from his long relationship with Anita Pallenberg and or his daughter-in-law with all the grandkids, not to mention KR himself "explaining" his contentious onetime collaboration with Chuck Berry. She edited bytes of Richards' "Life" audio book and played them back as "voicemails" to an early doubter.

Her FB page attracted actual people who knew the Stones (self definitely not included) as well as fanboys and girls. She chatted with the daughter of one of Keith's late friends with whom he'd genuinely enjoyed a warm, close friendship. Two journalists from both the West and East Coasts contacted me privately saying many fishy things which R.C. was starting to spout did not add up in real life, and none of their press friends saw hide nor hair of her on this tour. I replied I'd dig a bit too.

R.C. had posted many, many live shots of this tour plus previous ones and claimed they were her photographs. Most of the current press are attributed to agencies, but I finally found some hard evidence. On her Facebook page, R.C. claimed she took these rather stunning shots of the Stones live in New Orleans which actually were taken by a NOLA.com staff photographer Chris Granger, click LINK*

Then other friends from Facebook contacted me with more exasperations. The punk rock writer to whom she played the "voicemails" called her out privately and left. Others who questioned her publicly were "blocked." One pal even contacted the photographer Chris Granger who as you can imagine was not at all pleased, and who then called a really close relative of R.C. by telephone. Bingo.

The close relative alleged R.C. was schizophrenic and had been institutionalized but presently resided in her condo digging up dirt on Keith Richards on her computer. The close relative had not been aware that R.C. had been posting her fantasies as reality on Facebook. Assurances were offered that R.C. didn't have sufficient personal transportation to be a stalker. I do feel sorry for this close relative.

This made more sense, a music fan turned super obsessive born of the desperation of mental illness, which no one can help having. She spends all day and night finding obscure present day Keith references online and inserting herself into them. I knew a sad parallel. I once asked a friend of mine who was, unfortunately, terminally ill and has since passed away why she posted photos of the Stooges all day and night. She answered that there was nothing else she'd rather do than immerse herself in the Stooges for what time she had left.

R.C. since has removed incriminating attributions of her own authorship of photographs by other people, nor is using names any more, just pronouns, "following" along the tour in real time. Before this, I was briefly on her Facebook page, discussed non-Stones music, photography, British pop culture of the 1960s/70s, and the work of Frank Lloyd Wright with her, then sent her an unsellable photo (I am casually generous sometimes.) I felt like the Maysles Brothers studying the Big Edie and Little Edie Beale in Grey Gardens, easier to do when the subject is intelligent and genial as well as disturbed.

Eight years ago I really put some thought into what was the adult version of being a rock music fan, and came up with that angle for my reportage on the tribute to Ron Asheton by Iggy and The Stooges in Ann Arbor in 2011, click **LINK I don't ignore fans; their viewpoint on FB has been helpful to bolster my work. One fan at the Ann Arbor gig said I was the only photographer who still made Iggy look dangerous.  I interviewed three of them for that piece, and pondered on some of the weird variables of adult fandom and fanfiction like "slash fiction" (writing about any fave, literary, film, music or otherwise in pornographic situations.)

Some fanfiction was quite good, like that of the Alan Rickman fans online, addenda example at bottom and a Beatles-based one from 1966, next graphic below. I wish R.C. had embraced that instead of what she's doing now, which had a potential for cruelty to real people...what a whopper! 

P.S. Mental illness, delusional personas, a terminal illness, this is all so negative! I'd like to end with a tiny, positive silver lining. The plight of the real, terminally ill Stooges fan found its way to the real Iggy Pop, who prompted reached out to her in time before her passing from cancer. This nice story is here, click ****LINK


Addendum Fanfiction # 1 Article by the late Janey Milstead, great stringer for the L.A. Times and assorted teen mags of the '60s and first editor of the first periodical for plus size women, BBW, writing under the pseudonym Shirley Poston in 1966 for the house organ for its radio station, the KRLA Beat. This is an example of fanfiction done correctly as well as entertainingly. The below is of its era and therefore incomprehensible to those who weren't teenage girls who liked the Beatles in the mid-1960s, as stylistically it is written imitating the whimsy of John Lennon's first book "In His Own Write." To save this over-long, cryptic explanation, here is John Lennon reciting his own "writty" from his second book of whimsy, "A Spaniard in the Works," click LINK***

Addendum Fanfiction #2--Magda from AlanRickman.com "Flights of Fancy" 2002 wherein the original storylines based upon and within the confines of the Rickman characters' period timelines of his movies has been changed into film sequences with the same characters, all of whom are continued by all of the members of this group. Her chosen character was George, Sheriff of Nottingham, Rickman's portrayal of same remaining the primary reason ever to watch Kevin Costner's version of "Robin Hood." Magda added his good lady girlfriend Joya early on:  Joya placed one hand on the railing and looked down into the water with a grim scowl. Then she froze, her hand tightening until her knuckles were white. A series of thuds could be heard, then one hand appeared, flailed the air and then grasped the railing. Someone was panting heavily, drawing in gasps of air almost painfully. Joya laughed with delight and tossed the facemask aside. Crew members ran forward to seize the hand and pull as hard as they could. A tousled black head of hair, now soaking wet and stringy, followed and soon George was on the deck being attended by most of the crew.

He lay for some moments, breathing deep and often. Joya set her oxygen tanks aside and fell to her knees beside him. Her long fingers stroked his hair tenderly and a sweet smile curved her lips. 

Finally he opened his eyes and stared at the sky above. At a sign from the captain, two of the crew gently lifted him to a sitting position. George examined them curiously, as if he could not understand who they were or where he was. Joya sat back on her heels and smiled fondly when he finally looked in her direction. He eyed her from her hair to her knees. She stroked his arm, her hand trembling slightly. He blinked, his breathing becoming more erratic, as he struggled for speech. Joya leaned forward, her lips parted. With an herculean effort, he finally managed to talk.

"Are you out of your mind? What happened to your dress? Get down to that cabin and put some clothes on! Immediately!!!!" He whipped around to face the stunned observers across the deck, shoving a crewman forcefully aside. "And all of you animals better just put your eyes back in your heads! She's spoken for already!"

Joya frowned. Lightening flashed from her blue eyes. "George. Look at me."
"Eh? What?" He glanced back at her. "Why haven't you gone to change -"
WHAP! The sound of the slap echoed in the silence. Joya rose to her feet and crossed the deck to the ladder. At the top, she glanced over her shoulder. "You no longer have any right to express an opinion on anything I might do. We are finished, George." She turned her back with finality and disappeared into the cabin area. 

Behind her, the crewmen rushed away to other tasks that were safely on the other side of the boat, the FOF actors grinned at each other and some pumped the air with their fists, and George sat with his jaw hanging open, staring at the place where Joya had stood only seconds before.


*   https://www.nola.com/multimedia/photos/collection_b627816a-a78a-11e9-8f5b-976570d44a23.html#11
**  https://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/2015/12/iggy-and-stooges-live-tribute-to-ron.html
*** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OVkkNKQCJEA 
****http://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/2016/02/iggy-pop-honors-suzette-copeley.html

Saturday, August 17, 2019

R.I.P. RICHARD WILLIAMS, THE BEST ANIMATOR IN THE WORLD

 Image result for animation, the charge of the Light Brigade
R.I.P. the acknowledged best animator in the world, Richard Williams who passed away at the age of 86, August 16, 2019. He pioneered SO many then innovative techniques in films and media, including slow fades between etching-like line drawings to add action to an antique art medium, best seen in the first video clip *LINK , the opening credits to the 1968 film The Charge of the Light Brigade. 

The second clip **LINK documents his much messed with animation opus The Thief and the Cobbler, which is the animation equivalent of Orson Welles' The Magnificent Ambersons. Yes, The Thief and the Cobbler, was released, but much changed for the worse... Oh yeah, most commercially he animated Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

*  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u8kIPiyhw4A
** https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6mbXRD-U74

Friday, August 16, 2019

R.I.P. PETER FONDA



Photo by me, reprint from the book Gram Parsons, a Music Biography by Sid Griffin, for which I did the art direction in the mid 1980s.  Rest in peace Peter Fonda, seen here at left backstage at a Byrds' concert Feb. 22, 1967. He was great friends with this band, and Peter even covered one of Gram's songs "November Nights" for a single. (Gram was a member of the Sweetheart of the Rodeo era Byrds.) My date at right whose privacy I will respect was friends with Fonda, since then as now I'm not much of a backstage habituè.

Fonda was 79, and still acted in substantial roles in films up until his passing from lung cancer. There was so much more to his C.V., from 1962 through 2019, than his breakthrough work Easy Rider in 1969. It's rare to have a fulfilling career this long in Hollywood. Another source of pride: his daughter Bridget Fonda remains an acclaimed actress, and in my opinion was robbed of an Oscar for her unforgettable supporting role as a twisted beach bunny in Quentin Tarantino's Jackie Brown.

Colleague Debbie Schow best characterized him on Facebook "Peter Fonda could have been just a spoiled Hollywood brat but he became an accomplished actor and ground-breaking film-maker. The world is a lot more interesting because of him."

Post-publication trivia: C.A.F.F. stood for Community Action for Facts and Freedom.

Friday, July 19, 2019

CLASSICAL MUSIC at the HOLLYWOOD BOWL with friends 7.18.19


 
First and last volley of fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl, Gustavo Dudamel conducting the L.A. Philharmonic in Tchaikovsky and film music on 7.18.19.  Taken with my phone, just a spontaneous appreciation of the moment.

Artists: the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra; celebrating his decade with the LA. Phil, Gustavo Dudamel conductor; Khatia Buniatishvili piano; members of the Los Angeles Youth orchestra sitting in for one number.

Program: TCHAIKOVSKY: Piano Concerto No. 1; KORNGOLD: Fanfare and “March of the Merry Men” from Robin Hood; STEINER: Suite from Casablanca; HERRMANN : Suite from Vertigo; WAXMAN: Suite from Sunset Boulevard; MANCINI: Theme from The Pink Panther; WILLIAMS: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Standouts in the program: Ms.Buniatishvili's hyper-dramatic flair, plus the queasy strings of Herrmann's disturbing themes from Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo

 Dinner al fresco at the Bowl with our generous friends Chris and Carolyn who treated Mr. Twister and me to the whole evening's extravaganza in celebration of Carolyn's birthday. Excellent cuisine to complement the excellent entertainment and company.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

R.I.P. JOHNNY CLEGG



A variation of members of the erstwhile Tuesday Night Music Club performing together at the Troubadour, West Hollywood in June of 1993, L- R Johnny Clegg, David Baerwald, 
Lisa Germano, Freedy Johnston. 

Supermusician and anti-apartheid activist Johnny Clegg is reported dead today
of pancreatic cancer at age 66, gone way too soon.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

DUNCAN HANNAH'S 20TH CENTURY BOY



Duncan Hannah's 20th Century Boy-- very enjoyable read. Nostalgia for those of you who came of age in NYC in the 1970s, nostalgia for me of my own art school daze, and great observations of the author's interactions with  the era's creative movers and shakers. 

As a good looking, trendy young fellow with actual talent, good reporting skills and snarkily realistic attitude to all that some of us grew up with and took for granted regarding sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, Hannah is just the character you want to follow around in his candid and Candide adventures. In contrast to his East Coast atmosphere, my photo is in today's warm California sun.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

MY FAVORITE TV WESTERNS' HORSE!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor Oddly, my favorite show for watching horses during the 1950s and 60s glut of TV westerns wasn't The Lone Ranger or Roy Rogers, it was The Cisco Kid. It used some amazing horseflesh, including Cisco's showy tovero pinto and his sidekick Pancho's Palomino Loco.  "Oh, Ceeeesco!!" was their clarion greeting.  

I wasn't a fan of western riding even at a really young age because it seemed unnecessarily harsh compared to English equitation, not knowing how abrupt stunt riding was in those days. Hollywood Hoofbeats original and updated books by Petrine Mitchum, an equestrian and child of old Hollywood, traces the history of oversight of animal welfare in films and tv.  Boy, was it needed... I now fathom the difference between the two styles when ridden correctly-- SUV or truck for ranch work, sports car for fun!

Trivia time: The Cisco Kid was the first TV show to be filmed entirely in color, and to have Hispanic actors in regularly starring roles. Its star Duncan Reynaldo was actually Romanian, but Leo Carillo who played the Kid's sidekick Pancho was a multifaceted native Los Angeleno of Spanish heritage (his great-great-great-grandfather arrived in San Diego in 1769 in the Portola expedition from Spain.) Carillo had been a professional cartoonist for the San Francisco Examiner, played his famous Pancho role when he was 70 (!) years old, was a Republican, and was such a generous preservationist and conservationist (he frequently permitted Boy Scout groups to camp on his 4,000 acre Carlsbad ranch) that Santa Monica's famous Leo Carillo Beach is named in his honor.

Duncan Reynaldo, Diablo, Leo Carillo and Loco

The Cisco Kid character was based upon the O. Henry short story "The Caballero's Way," and he wasn't a good guy at all, but joined Paladin (Have Gun Will Travel) and Hopalong Cassidy as tv's first black clad anti-heroes who nonetheless had a sense of fair play and were always doing good. End of today's nostalgia post...

Friday, April 12, 2019

R.I.P. GARY STEWART, MUSIC MAN


Another damn obit. But this one is so sad. I photographed Gary Stewart as a record-happy young'un for an early Rhino cover (seen upper left, my wrestling pic too.) Rest in peace, lifelong music appreciator who ended up at Apple iTunes. Thematically cogent, Gary and the whole Rhino staff grasped the subtle nuances of then unfashionable American professional wrestling in the early 1970s (that's Andre the Giant sitting on a hapless grappler.) 

Gary's persona for this release was "Little Stevie Weingold," and the portrait was staged to look as amateurish as possible. This was Rhino Records' second ever record album released. I photographed and designed Rhino's #s 3,4 and 5 releases as well...

Saturday, March 30, 2019

2 SPOKEN WORD ALBUM COVERS ART DIRECTED BY ME IN the 1980s

 ↑ Art Direction by me for this Harvey Kubernik produced spoken word album, released in 1988 by New Alliance Records. I've always liked to mashup fonts for maximum effectiveness. The most thrilling part of this job for me? The chance to photograph Richard Berry, the actual songwriter of the immortal rock classic "Louie, Louie" flanked by the selfsame poets Wanda Coleman and Michelle T. Clinton, below ↓

↓ The first graphics job I did for Harbey Kubernik with his premiere spoken word compilation of L.A. poets album in 1982. Artists included Charles Bukowski, Wanda Coleman, Velvert Turner, Pleasant Gehman, Dave Alvin, Tequila Mockingbird, Richard Meltzer, Danny Sugarman, Chris D., Geza X, Joanna Spock Dean, Kari Krome, Danny Sugarman and about five dozen others. Harvey was the first  to discover, while pouring through contracts at MCA  Records, that just because a company has licensed the music of an artist, this didn't extend to spoken word performances. Whereupon he immediately started recording all sorts of actors and musicians for these compilations. Henry Rollins, Exene and others got the credit for slam poetry, but the progenitor was Harvey Kubernik.

↓ I was proud of this logo I designed for Harvey Kubernik's record company.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

3 ALBUM COVERS ART DIRECTED BY ME IN THE 1980s

↑ Art Direction by me, LP cover for 1986 compilation for Warner Special Products based on a single black and white pic, photographer unknown. Do you think it's bright enough?
   
Having black over polychrome was a surf-redolent graphic technique a la art director extraordinaire John Van Hamersveld:  it never was used in mid-1960s psychedelia, hence my contrarian application to make sure it was seen as a newer compilation.

 ↑ Art Direction by me. Another deliberately over the top retro LP cover by me with a single black and white pic as basis, probably mid-1980s. It was released by one of the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to look like a bootleg, but it wasn't. The imprecise printing registration of the flowers deliberately emulated a Warhol-ian "Pop Art" technique, one even used today by fine artist Niagara.

Art Direction by me for 1982 LP cover, the first live Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris music sanctioned by the estate. Fittingly, more respectful tone. The pic, reputedly by a girlfriend of a Rolling Stone, was in bad shape but restored by the Charles Wild Studio, and I did the airbrushing for the font.

I was working with some of the same people involved when i art-directed Sid Griffin's biography Gram Parsons: A Music Biography. It was important to them to have quality images that were rare, that Gram's public wouldn't have seen before. That's why we had L.A.'s best retouchers restore this battered photo for the album cover, and why we had a screen capture from a rare Burritos video shot in 
Marina Del Rey for the book cover.↓
 Having a genuine wooden angel hovering over this sensitive but doomed singer/songwriter was the perfect image for the Fallen Angels band. We didn't have to do the oldskool pre-digital version of Photoshop of masking something in and airbrushing the join lines out, this is the way the photo was shot. It's just that the only extant print was beat up and too rectangular, hence the retouching.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

R.I.P. KING OF THE SURF GUITAR DICK DALE

Rest in peace Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar, influencer of Eddie Van Halen, Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimi Hendrix (like Dale, also a southpaw with a Fender Stratocaster.) He also inspired Quentin Tarantino to include his "Misirlou" in the opening credits of Pulp Fiction, a great financial boon to Dale. 

My two photos of Dick Dale twenty years apart: The First Surf Revival, Hollywood Palladium, 1973 appearing with The Challengers, the Surf Punks and others. Yes, he leapt on top of the piano; secondly, staying with his beach roots, playing at the Santa Monica Pier, 1994.

My friend Donna Balancia, editor of "California Rocker," first broke the sad story of his passing in same, according to today's online "Rolling Stone," which then was confirmed by his bassist Sam Bolle. Dale, 81, had suffered from many serious ailments in his later years, despite his active touring. In his youth he was an accomplished surfer, a real one, not a gremmie...

Friday, March 8, 2019

REST IN PEACE EROICA



Eroica, the gorgeous Scottish Deerhound who was our playdate regular visitor owned by Paul and Mary Smith and who once body-slammed an actual deer in her native Canada, did not make it through her serious illness and passed away this morning. It was a fluke variant of a disease which destroyed organs before it even presented any other symptoms that could have been treated.

Just like there are exceptional people, Eroica was the quintessential exceptional Deerhound. In a breed known for kindness, playfulness, beauty and absolute devotion, she surpassed all expectations of these traits and immediately stood out to all as a one in a million individual. I feel like I've just lost a close friend and am crying while I write this. 

Offered above is a photo of my better half Mr. Twister and Eroica, and below, this song which recently was used in the tv series "Trust" to signify a much loved, playful, exceptional soulmate who also died too young, because I have no words...

Saturday, March 2, 2019

EVERY ARTIST'S WORST NIGHTMARE BECAME ACCLAIMED, INFLUENTIAL CULT FILM 'CARNIVAL OF SOULS'


Screen captures from Carnival of Souls, a 1962 independent horror movie which cost $33,000 to make and ended up influencing George Romero's Night of the Living Dead, 1968. Above, the undead au carnival. Director Herk Harvey made industrial and educational films in Kansas, but had an advanced visual eye. This was his only feature film, which has become an acclaimed cult favorite, despite Harvey experiencing every single artist's worst nightmare happening during its production...
The image above was supposed to be the last shot of a long climactic sequence of the undead slowly and eerily rising from the waters of a half dried up lake next to an abandoned amusement park. But the development lab terminally wrecked that reel of film. The budget did not permit a re-shoot, even though the initial promo art for the film already featured an artist's concept of it.

Instead, the film is remembered for its myriad, arty visual touches, for being one of the few horror films of the era besides Hitchcock's Psycho for basing the plot on a credible female protagonist, and for being a successfully realized high concept of a commercial director who never again made another feature...


Saturday, February 23, 2019

Great film find: BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE


Recent rainy night film viewing: Bad Times at the El Royale, a great, underrated ensemble noir film with Dakota Johnson (pictured above strutting in vintage late 1960s finery,) singer extraordinaire Cynthia Erivo (below left,) Jeff Bridges (below right,) "Madman" Jon Hamm (seen at bottom in kitschy Madonna Inn type set design decor) which was written and directed by former "Lost" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" writer Drew Goddard. 

It's fun, original, violent, great looking and impossible to second guess. And then there's its great retro-late 60s soundtrack! The dvd's special features noted that Cynthia Erivo sang each take all the way through a capella while filming, sometimes up to 20 takes, with no diminishing of her high quality vocals whatsoever. Hence my qualifier "singer extraordinaire..." Special features also noted that the licensing of specific late 1960s songs was so crucial to the plot that the film's pitch to studios mandated that if they couldn't license those particular tunes, to pass on the project. 

Last trivia: the location was based on a real one, still extant although undergoing extensive renovation for modern fire safety: go to LINK *
 






*https://www.rgj.com/story/money/business/2018/08/27/tahoes-historic-cal-neva-lodge-set-renovation-old-cabins-torn-down/1111319002/?fbclid=IwAR1vjzU46l4n44Dh8QruaC7R7hdJEl8n6H12LfLUymhBn-3TILcOnGIv2EE



Sunday, January 20, 2019

EVE BABITZ WRITES FOR SOMEBODY'S SINS

photo booth candids of Eve Babitz, collection of her sister Mirandi Babitz, images circa 1976

Eve Babitz very graciously gave a reading at my first solo music photography exhibition way back when. It was a selection from "Rosewood Casket" about Gram Parsons, although he was not so named, from her amazing Eve's Hollywood book. You want emotional, deceptively simple writing boys and girls? Start by diving into this one first, although her second tome Slow Days, Fast Company remains the most lauded of her five non-fiction works and its first edition boasts that amazing cover with the Saluki dog representing all young Hollywood beauties...

Eve's Hollywood is laced with rock and roll, albeit discretely omitting names, and outlines so much about my demographic that has eluded capture heretofore. Los Angeles shares one gigantic parallel with London of the same 1960s/70s eras-- despite the hugeness and variety within these locales, the most interesting aspects of their social and entertainment biz' beating hearts remain accessible only if an insider invites you in. Eve's writing is an instant "Open, Sesame!" to the riches of Ali Baba's secret caves...

Happily all the fiction has been republished (there are two further non-fiction books) and is readily available negating their previous collector prices. Hollywood's Eve, her just published biography by Lili Anolik reminds why Babitz is not only important but indispensable to Los Angeles literary history.
 Image result for slow days fast company Related imageImage result for Hollywood's Eve 

P.S. The ex-husband of my friend, legendary singer Leslie Knauer (see LINK*) is the photographer in question who immortalized Marcel Duchamp posing with a young Ms. Babitz, naked, both playing chess at an art museum. This cultural godhead image can still be purchased from its maker or at the Robert Berman Gallery, Santa Monica, see LINK** .  

https://fastfilm1.blogspot.com/2016/02/leslie-knauer-jonneine-zapata-ruby.html
**  https://www.artsy.net/artwork/julian-wasser-duchamp-playing-chess-with-a-nude-eve-babitz-duchamp-retrospective-pasadena-art-museum-1






Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...