Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I've excerpted a public domain illustration by John R. Neill from the book The Silver Princess in Oz to offer heartfelt good wishes to all Fastfilm readers for the 2014 Happy New Year. Neill's horses were every bit as amazing as his more fanciful characters.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Best of the bunch, photographer ROBERT MONAGHAN

Above, guest photographer: Robert Monaghan

A peak inside the toy chest of Fastfilm's holiday presents to others. I like to give (affordable) art. I've been fortunate to give giclees by musicians/fine artists Niagara (of Destroy All Monsters, Dark Carnival; art, see LINK) and Marijke Koger-Dunham (of The Fool; art, see LINK) upon occasion. This year four amazing friends, three of whom played there, received Robert Monaghan's wonderful and respectful photograph of what remains of Detroit's Grande Ballroom while it's still recognizable. The one recipient who was there in the audience, Retrokimmer noted in her blog about this print (see LINK) that when MC5's Machine Gun Thompson went in to shoot this same venue somewhat recently, his foot went through the floor. There is a plethora of global documentarians of Detroit's physical downfall, but I think that Monaghan's photos of this subject overall show the most heart because he's a local. Check Retrokimmer's link for contact info on purchase of this or any of Monaghan's superior art of important architectural decay in action...

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

IT CAME ! ! !

It's just not Xmas without my posting this. Yes, it's my drawing for the 
most tasteless card I ever sent out as self-promotion in the 1980s.


Goodbye and rest in peace to Dr. Yusef Lateef, maker of music of one of my own top ten favorite albums ever, "Eastern Sounds," music professor and pretty much the first world music fusion guy circa 1961. Enjoy the below video and read more about him on his personal website: LINK

Monday, December 23, 2013

DAJUN WANG and wild baby PANDA; lost world of the KOUPREY

This is my Xmas present to Fastfilmblog readers--not the narrative if cursory drawing of mine above, but herein both the happiest and the saddest videos on YouTube depicting wild mammals in their respective habitats. 

The first is ecstatically joyous but relates very little of its backstory onsite, later handily provided by Smithsonian Magazine, Volume 44 number 9. It stars Peking University research scientist Dajon Wang who specializes in species survival, in the field--the rainy mountains of western China--interacting with a wild baby panda. Apparently its mother had become sufficiently relaxed with his presence that one day, she motioned to him to babysit while she left to feed. This would not be anthropomorphizing to a trained panda observer, which few of us are, so trust him on this one: you see the happy results.

There are 5 astonishing minutes recorded of the baby panda having a, pardon the pun, a field day with his new pal, recorded by his field videographer. (The second half of the 10 minute video merely repeats the first half without the drenching rainstorm soundtrack.) Both playmates clearly are having a ball.

Wang wrote on YouTube, "His mother was about 50 metres from us, she was totally fine with me playing with her son. Now the baby Panda is still in the mountains, 16 years old. That was (the) best time in my life." The scientist was amazingly generous to share this with the world, as he also notes, "Youtube is blocked in China. Thanks everybody visit this video, hope you all enjoyed." Yes sir, we did indeed! Thank you, dedicated zoologists of China like Dajun Wang.

Which brings us to the following tragic video now closer in taxonomy to footage of dinosaurs or unicorns than these wild cattle relations once common in the forests of Cambodia, Laos and western Vietnam, here documented in 1951 in the Choam Ksan/Koh Ker areas of Preah Vihear province. The kouprey became known to modern zoologists in 1937 and by 1988 were extinct, with no captive populations to perpetuate this amazing bovid, (unlike say, Przwalski's true wild horse [similar to the cave art wild horse, the extinct tarpan, see LINK] gone from the wild but now raised in wildlife sanctuary zoos with sufficient acreage.) 

Koupreys, locally known in native languages as Grey Forest Ox weighed a ton each, were about 7 and 1/2 feet long from head to tail, and the mature bulls had enormous lyre-shaped horns. The Southeast Asian wars of the modern era ended the lives of all koupreys everywhere forever. Their sole documentation below:

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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013



 Last night I photographed a highly enjoyable but truly oddball set in Toluca Lake Calif. by 3Hab, the power trio brigade of Ahab/Rehab (LINK) as these exceptionally adept industry pros discharged volley after volley of Hendrix, Cream, Thin Lizzy, Johnny Winter and even Lulu covers. James "Apache" Hawkins, one of L.A.'s finest hard rock guitarists ended up on bass, bassist Clackers on guitar, and drummer Tony became an entirely different person...
Club apparatchiks then barked something about being too loud for Toluca Lake as 3Hab tackled several ditties from The Who's Live at Leeds, prompting an attorney in the audience to quip "Turn it down, I can hear you guys from right over here!" Perhaps the club personnel were uncomfortable with anyone sporting a pink guitar singing Lulu's "To Sir With Love," however manly and soulful.

I give 

 Above: Robert Morfitt, 3Hab's Tony Matteucci, Krista Wood and Anne Marie; below left- fetching tableau of Al TeMan, beautiful Leslie Knauer and Tony Matteucci. Leslie (LINK), onetime Precious Metal singer and currently in Naked Hand Dance with Al, also helmed vocals in Kanary with Tony (see T-shirt logo) for over a decade; right, contemplative Anne Marie enjoys 3Hab's controversial wall of sound...

Sunday, December 15, 2013



(Seventh in a series of tales told out of school, both literally and figuratively, how my Swiss Cheese brain remembers such events which may or may not be accurate at all. Preface: I attended a girls' private prep school in the 1960s with a student body who often mimicked the creativity of that era with its own high spirits, a pendulum reaction to the heavy course load and voluminous homework from which many of us still haven't caught up on lost sleep some forty-plus years on and from which many of us still retain permanently stooped posture via carrying heavy textbooks. Well, it's not like there existed alternatives to those heavy textbooks. We didn't have personal home computers because no one on this particular planet in this galaxy had them yet. So let's roll back the roiling mists of time to The Pleistocene of my youth.)

Today brought news of the death of rightfully acclaimed, international stage and screen actor Peter O'Toole, aged 81, and with it wistful memories circa 1962/3 at my prep school. For those were the salient years following the release of David Lean's epic film Lawrence of Arabia starring the young and then unknown O'Toole. The above photos from our 1963 yearbook chronicle the immediate fad of Arabism blossoming at alma mater solely due to the O'Toole charisma, what with wearing of keffiyeh headgear and bernooses galore to class amidst much quoting of T.E. Lawrence' "The Seven Pillars of Wisdom."  

Why?  Take a gander at yon vintage heartthrob below left, all Valentino eyes and exotica. 
Left, Peter O'Toole in Lawrence of Arabia; right, the real T.E. Lawrence
The Lawrence portrayal with all his intensity, otherworldliness and youthful tall, blond, blue-eyed great looks may have launched a sixty year career of the RADA-trained actor inclusive of many a lively period piece like Becket and The Lion in Winter, but his later canon excelled as well. 1982's My Favorite Year with his comic turn as a soused Errol Flynn-alike on a 1950s variety show and 2006's study of the complexity of elderly emotions in Venus remain personal faves. 

Bonus points: his father was an Irish bookie named Spats O'Toole; his first wife Sian Phillips often specialized in acting roles of delicious wickedness, as in her Livia of I, Claudius and Anne, wayward wife of George Smiley in the Alec Guinness series ("love to Anne. Everybody's love to Anne!") 


 Recently word came that an inebriated someone accused me of looking like I was 100 years old. Yes, I be superannuated, but your humble photojournalist generally has tried to make the most of her time. Above, my photo from 1967. I was a kid with a dreadfully low-res camera. Taken at the Shrine Auditorium, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Bassist Paz Lenchantin of The Entrance Band, pictured above in 2010 at the Jam for Ron Asheton, Hollywood CA, replaces Kim Shattuck (The Pandoras, The Muffs) for the remainder of The Pixies touring schedule as of today's news. Pixies' spin seems to dwell on Kim's active stage presence (bouncy/friendly, known to stage dive into audience) not jibing with the band, whereas, curiously, dextrous Paz is not exactly a shrinking violet onstage herself...

According to Facebook's ebullient "Lady Astor" of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Paz "...was born in seaside resort town of Mar del Plata, but she moved to Los Angeles with her parents when she was only four. Everyone here is pretty psyched about her." 

Many had been equally psyched about Shattuck, who will return to her band The Muffs. Below right are Shattuck (right) and Melanie Vammen and left, Paula Pierce, singer/songwriter/guitarist, alltogether in The Pandoras (from a teeny, tiny proof sheet) (see LINK,) iconic all femme Paisley Underground then hard rock band during its era of Shattuck's bass residency circa the late 1980s.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Rest in peace NELSON MANDELA

I offer this travelogue --click LINK-- as my meager tribute to the passing of a great humanitarian/activist. At least the spiritualism of Africa was addressed. Imagine accomplishing so difficult a complete sea change in one's own lifetime. Rest in peace Nelson Mandela.

My cousin John McLallen wrote rather more forcefully, "One of the few that weren't taken from us and how nice that was! Wasn't he cool! I enjoyed knowing that a man like him was amongst us. My father told me that there are people that arrive in history and provide direction and leadership while having no skin in the game other than doing what is right. Lincoln was one of those people and so was Rosa Parks. Bobby Kennedy was taken from us before the promise of his leadership could be realized. However, how sweet it is to see a life well spent and not taken from us."

Facebook friend and vocalist/musician Roderick B. Palmer splendidly offered, 
"A guy like Nelson Mandela reminds us all that you don't just have to be on this earth. It doesn't mean you have to end apartheid or something grand on that scale--go feed some homeless. Check on a friend and make sure they're okay. Be a better parent--because you don't know what kind of child you could be making into the next Mandela. Live a life of quiet purpose and love and you never have to be sorry someone like this is gone...you just wave goodbye and thank them for being so awesome in their journey, knowing perhaps someday in a place far from this one you'll get to break bread with them..." 

Lastly, Wall Street Journal's balanced op-ed summary 12.6.13 on Mandela "...He transcended his party's history of Marxism, tribalism and violence." Click LINK.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

THE DOGS record anew

THE DOGS recently backed former Pagan Mike Hudson ("Her Name Was Jane," "What Is This Shit Called Love") on punkrock-esque "I Want A Date" at Pawnshop Studios, Van Nuys CA for the latter's forthcoming solo release "Hollywood High." Above, L-R: Mike Hudson and DOGS Mary Kay, Loren Molinare and Tony Matteucci; below, assorted scenes from recording with engineer Patrick Burkholder plus Loren's discovery of a genuine rock and roll bathroom...

Above, joining the session for its last few spurts, Shelley Mitchell drove up from San Diego, amongst other party plans, to visit with her onetime roommates THE DOGS, as she once was part of their Gower St., Hollywood punkrock commune in the mid-1970s; yours truly only jumped into a photo by specific request. Below, the previous night's rehearsal chez ToneDog proved joyous, rapidfire and typically incendiary...

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