Thursday, January 19, 2023
Rest in peace DAVID CROSBY
I took this at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood, in 1969, their second ever gig (after Woodstock.) Neil Young was just sitting in, they were still CSN. My six degrees of separation were that someone I knew was friends with Crosby and his soon to be tragically killed girlfriend, Christine Hinton, and we once went to visit them in their Beverly Glen canyon home. Crosby was out, and I thought Christine one of the worldliest young women I ever had met, what with her sultry voice and longer than waist length hair. Crosby loved her so much that her death seemed to have messed up the entire rest of his life. Somehow, despite much physical wreckage, he managed to keep his wonderful singing voice right up to the end. Rest in peace, David Crosby.
Sunday, December 11, 2022
Rest in peace CHRISTINE McVIE
Sunday, August 29, 2021
IT WAS 55 YEARS AGO TODAY: THE BEATLES AT DODGER STADIUM 8.28.66
Yes, it looked this far away. Or more like this far away. Photographer unknown
It was 55 years ago today: The Beatles performed for 45,000 fans at Dodger Stadium, Anaheim, their L.A. area engagement on Aug. 28, 1966, one day before their final show ever at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. My friend Sally A's part of the tale: "I was there. 'Sat with my friend Heather's mother and two of Heather's friends (Rob F. and Carol L.) What a night. Heard nothing but screaming and faint music. But I would not have missed it for the world. My boys......"
I trust the statute of limitations has expired in the intervening 55 years, so that I may answer the unspoken question the world cries out to know, where was HH? I was with Rich C. as his mule. My beach bag was recruited to carry his giant reel to reel tape recorder with which he had yearned to document the set. Unfortunately as it was returned to its owner, he dropped it and one of the tapes unspooled all the way down the bleacher rows of Dodger Stadium. Even without the hiss of this very public mishap, all that could be heard later in playback was the roar and din of screaming pubescent females. Good times!
My mother was there to chauffeur us all, it only seemed fair to buy her a ticket. Some of us were quite underaged. Rich C. was Carol's boyfriend, so I really was brushing up against possible legal ramifications as a favor to a good friend who was not my date.
Sally A.'s final pronouncement: "Heather is telling the truth. I was standing at the top of the steps and watched as the tape unspooled all the way down the steps. Boy, did we all panic."
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
REST IN PEACE, THE INCOMPARABLE CHARLIE WATTS
I loved the book Sympathy for the Drummer: Why Charlie Watts Matters by Mike Edison which finally explained what it was that he excelled at to non-musicians like me. Here are some of his chart drawings acknowledging his bandmates' tempo "uniqueness." Further admiration for his staying with his original, pre-fame wife Shirley, and ownership of Halsdon Arabians.
Charlie and Shirley Watts with one of their Arabian horses from their Halsdon Arabian Stud Farm, fair use from their farm promotional material, and with their dogs on their bed, photographers not indicated. I'm glad that their animals made this couple so happy: those are pretty genuine smiles...
Monday, July 12, 2021
SANTA BARBARA HORSE SHOW for gaited and other breeds JULY 9, 2021
Cue "I Hope I Get It! God I Hope I Get It!" from "A Chorus Line." Lining up for the final judge's decision at the Santa Barbara gaited horse show at Earl Warren Showgrounds, a National Multi-Breed show, my photos from July 9th of a four day show.
On left, a Rocky Mountain Horse hopeful, on right, an Andalusian hopeful. The one on the right needn't have looked so worried: she earned a blue ribbon.
Saturday, July 10, 2021
I AM QUOTED FOR A FEATURE ON THE FILM 'THE SPARKS BROTHERS' r.e. a chance encounter 50 years ago...
Promotional graphics courtesy of Focus Features
Tuesday, July 6, 2021
REESI ROCCA and MISS JJ in BE THE SUPER HERO YOU, newly published children's book
I have photographed and supported Reesi's work over the years because of the unusual arc of her endeavors: no matter how outlandishly imaginative the ideas (Michael Jackson in a flying supercar with her dog and her; music videos with stadium lights and dozens of dancing girls) she makes them happen for real. And how many wildly creative artists can say that? (all photos by me)
And here's her most elaborate video, cut&paste https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnnDlUHgqUE
was it all a green screen dream?
Wednesday, June 23, 2021
PETER BEARD OBITUARY of sorts
In the Seventies, Beard once found a game poacher on his 49-acre (Kenyan) property, tied the man up in his own animal snare wires, stuffed a glove in his mouth and left him there. That deed cost Beard a week in an African jail."
Bad news not crisis-related...Police searched unsuccessfully for famed photographer Peter Beard after he wandered away from his beachfront home in Montauk NY on Tuesday 3.31.20. Beard, 82, has dementia and was described by police as “vulnerable.” Beard has lived a controversial if adventurous life, but it's undeniable that his 1965 photo book "The End of the Game" was a major force in jump-starting awareness of the doomed plight of wildlife in Africa.
BETTY MABRY DAVIS: THEY SAY I"M DIFFERENT. AND HOW!
fair usage from the front cover of Betty Davis debut album
take: the world is definitely a better place for the existence of the 2017 documentary Betty Davis- They Say I'm Different. Buy it! Stream
it! Whatever it! Its filmmaker Phil Cox faced an EVEN MORE ELUSIVE
subject than Steven Kijak did with Scott Walker: 30 Century Man. Take
in the director's fifteen minute explanation of context and Betty's own
contribution in the special features, which then makes this shortish
film complete. (my educated guess is that contractual obligations relegated all this pertinent info to the special features addenda. And then those glimpses of the lady, both visual and information-wise add up nicely.)
She was an awfully important total pioneer to have dropped off the face of the earth without having died. Betty's explanation in the special features of her total withdrawal from the music world made perfect since to me, since it was in our fellow artist's jargon of metaphor. In Japan for a performer's live residency, she welcomed a spiritual hike on Mt. Fuji. There she saw a poor mother monkey carrying around her dead infant. One couldn't tell if the mother knew it was dead or not, but the monkey couldn't take the next step to stop carrying it with her.
Betty created an unprecedented career of
writing, producing and performing her own audacious funk (the first African American woman to do so,) so different
for her career era (1968 - 1979) in its authenticity and specificity of everyday sexual concerns of young
women. It was so very ahead of its time (way before Madonna, Prince, Lady
Gaga, Fugee Lauryn Hill, etc.) that what she had given birth to could
not survive alone. And unlike the monkey mother, she took the next step and stopped carrying it with her...
Also in the special features is an all too familiar tale (particularly to Stooges fans of 1972-4 Raw Power era. Ask me sometime to recount my own Antiques Roadshow moment of discovering I had 50% of their known live footage in the universe) of the rarity of film footage of such pre-video, pre-digital artists. It took really expensive, specialized equipment to shoot low light indoor stage film footage then. But I'll save that tale for director Phil Cox to tell. Other favorite moments: her former band reassembling for a conference call to her, reassuring her "The big record companies don't control everything any more. Come back!" plus Betty echoing the very words of another similarly named icon, Bettie Page, who both declined being filmed in the present tense saying "Nobody wants to look at an old lady... "
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
ATLANTA NIGHTS, TRIUMPH OF THE SWILL!
Once upon a time a publisher publicly impugned science fiction writers, so a bevy of science fiction writers deigned to embarrass selfsame publisher. Three dozen fantasy and sci fi writers under the nominal guidance of James D. McDonald devised a perfect revenge--their own equivalent of the "Bad Hemingway Competition" or the "Bullwer Lytton Bad opening sentence to a nonexistent turgid novel" competition-- and wrote a smoldering trainwreck of a terrifyingly bad novel entitled Atlanta Nights, authored by "Travis Tea." They did not consult with one another to guarantee zero continuity whatsoever, and let the typos, plot holes, nonsensical passages, grammatical errors and legendary incongruities rip.
Those legendary incongruities would be: characters change gender and race; characters die and reappear without explanation; there's a missing chapter; two chapters have the same number; two chapters are word for word identical; the denouement, such as it can be, is in the middle of the book; and lastly, the most incoherent chapter of all was "written" by a random text generator based on patterns found in previous chapters.
And the impugning publisher accepted the manuscript on Dec. 7, 2004 for impending publication. Legal advisors to the wacky bunch promptly convinced them to divulge the truth, and the offer was retracted. However, available in print it remains to this day, and all proceeds go to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Emergency Medical Fund.