Thursday, October 31, 2013


Juvenilia from my past, parts of a tempera poster I did at school on the subject of what would benefit selfsame school. My thought: having fun to contemporary music. Two sections and the entirety of the 1965 poster. To wax clinical about the drawings with forty-eight years hence of hindsight, the lack of accurate physiognomy is balanced by the sure touch of action poses. I was showing off... Paisley-clad girl at top is doing the Frug.


C'est moi, c'est moi over 43 years ago...
My real live hair and my undead stare...

Monday, October 28, 2013


We'll phrase in the hypothetical and make it fiction. They were Los Angeles college students open to everything the world had to offer in the late 1960s. They prided themselves on their knowledge of music outside the purview of pop culture touchstones, alternative then being known as Underground, and their freewheeling mixed gender adventures, although the latter posed a problem right after the Manson family murders.  The Hotel Del Coronado staff, disturbed at the sight of two hippie-looking gals accompanying one guy pursued them around the premises. Selfsame alleged murderous hippies remembered all the cliches of chase films, split up, ran in separate directions and eluded them. All they had wanted to do was see the famous Del Coronado Hotel, star of "Some Like It Hot" and inspiration for the original illustrations of the Emerald City in the first Wizard of Oz book, in person. So it was not entirely abnormal for them to try psychedelics to augment their spirit of adventuring.

This time was different. According to one, she woke up in Arizona, meaning that all three of them must have completed all the mundane protocols of getting to a major airport hub, purchasing tickets, getting on a commercial airliner and flying to a destination unknown to two of the three. When awakened, she had a baby Rottweiler puppy identified as "Bear" lying atop to her infinite delight, and her girlfriend, the more wholesome looking of the two was yelping at the top of her lungs, "Suck suck sucking on my dingdong...I'm searching for my know he couldn't hit it sideways...he aims it at the sailor...who just got in from Carolina...oh no you shouldn't do that...doncha know you'll stain the carpet...whip it on me Jim, whip it on me Jim!" 

Rottweiler puppy cradler's admiration for the more wholesome of the two instantly skyrocketed. She was of course singing choice excerpts from "Sister Ray" by the Velvet Underground, from their 1968 White Light White Heat Lp. This made them all part of a knowing elite of true wild music afficionados, those of the 58,476 original buyers of the first V.U. Lp (according to accounting of their record label Verve, a subsidiary of MGM) and perhaps less for second Lp White Light White Heat.  "Sister Ray" had chordal and rhythmic similarities to Eddie Harris' "Listen Here," an improbable jazz crossover hit of the same era, but there the similarities ended. It was seventeen minutes of pounding, celebratory, improvisational rocknoise showcasing some weird, proto-rap/singsongy, debauched tale of gay heroin users who veered even farther out in their trips than did the commercial airline travellers on acid. 

"Sister Ray" and the canon of the Velvet Underground--ah, the soundtrack of everyone of a certain age's misspent youth. Context is everything in the business of ground-breaking. The Velvets incapsulated the power of minimalism done right, the shock of the new.  Why was Hokusai praised when his "Wave" print is just a cartoon? Why was Chuck Berry praised when he didn't even use a big band? Why was Monet praised when it's just mushyslushy lack of attention to realistic minutiae? Why does the three chord fury of four young musicians of otherwise disparate pedigrees droning about narcotics and deviance with guitars, drums, violas, organ and bass from the mid-1960s still resonate? It just inexplicably does, like the most timeless of all great art.

 "Sister Ray" was composed by John Cale, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison and Lou Reed. This last songwriter's ongoing music career lasted for the next 48 years (as did the classically trained Cale's, and drummer Tucker's. Morrison returned to academia.)  He resigned himself to the acceptance of being a working cult hero with its eventual attendant popularity. He'd found happiness married to avant garde musician Laurie Anderson, but had a liver transplant this last May.  As he wrote in his song Street Hassle "it's called bad luck." Lou Reed died today Oct. 27, 2013.

The following is offered from the nonfictional me, published Feb. 8, 1973, a maelstrom of turgid pretentiousness, which is everything Lou Reed was not. But it did show I cared. 


Saturday, October 26, 2013

CS&N's THIRD GIG EVER, and with Y, 1969

At Woodstock, Stephen Stills told the audience: "This is the second time we've ever played in front of people, man! And we're scared shitless!" My very long-lens telephoto pic is from the very next gig... Crosby, Stills and Nash (with future "and Young" sitting in) at the Greek Theatre, Hollywood CA, 1969, opening for Joni Mitchell.


Ink wash printed on textured paper, circa the 1980s by me from a photo in a library book. I've always drawn from photographs since I was three years old, then I took the photos myself for same having discovered copyright laws at age twelve, then the photographs took over professionally since they're superior quality to my fine art. So... 'just drawing for fun occasionally.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


From Hollywood scenester/successful LA Gear shoe designer to rural East Coast artist, in Vicki Whicker's own words: " 'Found a farm on Facebook. 'Bought it sight unseen. Moved from L.A. to Central NY. Dunga Brook, 1820's, one acre, she needs a face lift. This is that story, these are the characters involved, via iPhone pics."

“iPhoneography as a mobile method for making art and as a creative movement was exploding around the world while I was stalking the flora and fauna of my new home. Coming from LA, I was in a paradise- the lush trees, the long country roads lined with Queen Anne’s Lace big as pie plates, the crimson and gold fall leaves, those first pristine snow flakes. The more I shot, the more I saw; the more I saw, the more I wanted to see…by the time my house was done 6 months had passed and I had produced over 20,000 images…through the lens of my iPhone I fell completely in love with central New York.”

What the artist omitted of her synopsis: she got REALLY good, REALLY fast in her photography, snapshots to fine art in the space of a year, enough to warrant well-deserved exhibitions in her new locale, from her "Dunga Brook Diary: a year of seeing differently" Cherry Valley NY debut to her most recent exhibit in Hollywood CA 10.4.13. 

I suggested to my travel companions Evita and Stephanie that this showing might be more reminiscent of a Manhattan-type private exhibition in some tony apartment which proved correct prognostication. The artist's BFF Bobbie Beeman, herself a pro photographer, instigated the show at the Rubix Complex, Hollywood, replete with NY-styled doorman, copious but nicely helpful security, photos installed upstairs and down, champagne and canapes galore, and a live set by musician Johnny Elkins.

Vicki noted to the press “Sometimes I have misgivings about my decision when it’s just me, the dogs and the pellet stove during an ice storm. But most of the time the place just gets more magical each day.” To us she rhapsodized the joy of getting up and taking photos all day long, rhapsodized like the true artist she remains. 

Below, NY-style art show ambience in Hollywood, and a macro-close up of Whicker's.

 The artist Vicki Whicker and rock and roll couturier Evita Corby, below.
 Above, the Four Graces, friends of the artist, left to right: Lorraine Cole, Maria Schaeffer, Laura Wachal and Bambi Conway (musician, once bassist for Paisley Underground all-femme allstars The Pandoras.) 

Below: a picture of happiness-- I purchased Whicker's "Tim's House" installed against the actual paisley of our upstairs bathroom, right in the sunlight (usually anathema to fine art) to set off its iridescent colors printed on metal, hence immune.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

THE DOGS rockin' return to The Redwood 10.11.13

 THE DOGS returned to a packed The Redwood, Downtown L.A. 10.111.13 in  rockin' form at a rare reunion gig for these Detroit/Hollywood legends (history, see LINK.) They still perform with all the passion of their teenage selves who rocked the Detroit/Ann Arbor/Lansing Michigan circuit of rowdy audiences in the late 1960s before relocating to New York City in the early 70s and Hollywood in the middle part of the decade.  Speedy, precise, impassioned, hard and loud, theirs now is the finesse of true survivors of the rock and roll wars, wherein the foremost enemy of such music is not its corrupt industry but the passage of time itself.  

The repertoire included 40 years of great protopunk, punk and hard rock plus selections from their brand spankin' new release "Hypersensitive." This photojournalist's personal fave song from both "Hypersensitive" and any Dogs' set- "Motor City Fever" which catalogs their influences in riffage that is insistent, astonishing, heavy and catchy all at once, rather like the band itself. THE DOGS are Loren Molinare- guitar, vocals; Mary Kay- bass, vocals, Tony Matteucci- drums, vocals.

Above post show, fellow photographer/promoter Chryss Butterknife O'Raidy embraces Dogs drummer Tony Matteucci musing, "So many rockstars, so little time." Below left- amidst weird backstage lighting, Mary holds Tony's set list indicating who starts what song other than drummer and with which percussion; right-Krista Wood and Todd Somers never miss these all too infrequent Dogs shows.

FLASHBACK: CLUBBIN' in the 1970s


Photographs I took for assorted media in the early 1970s of two of Hollywood's most famed music clubs, starring UCLA chums of mine. Left, The Troubadour with the obvious caption "What do you mean my name's not on the list?!?!" with filmmakers Reed Hutchinson and Janis Hendler; right: frolicking in front of the Whisky A Gogo (displaying Nazareth promo posterage) with my college roommate Elyse Wyman, Nancy Stevenson and Sally McMahon tormenting future Rhino Records co-CEO Harold Bronson. It was far easier to traverse Los Angeles three and a half decades ago, hence easier to coerce friends to location shoots.

Friday, October 4, 2013


Snapshot scenes from the day before 
and day of the C2SV (Create Convergence 
Silicon Valley) technology conference and 
music festival, San Jose CA with headliners 
Iggy and The Stooges, identification of 
pics at bottom.


Descending from top left, a rather low tech temporary climate control solution at the Museum of Tehnology reminiscent of Terry Gilliam's film "Brazil"; the infamous San Andreas earthquake fault line of California from the air; night and day hotel shots; two civic scenes around Cesar Chavez Park; a cute rocker couple staking early good viewing territory in the crowd before Iggy and The Stooges, who wouldn't appear until nightfall; local news videographer Robert Wellington and Professor Maria Damon, head of Poetry Dept., Pratt University, Brooklyn NY also await Stoogebliss while Maria shows off the signature Stooges guitarist James Williamson bestowed upon the hem of her dress
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