Monday, October 24, 2011

"Per Un Amico."

My dear old artist friend David Fontana sent me this wonderful piece of art as a birthday gift.  I felt I had to share it, as it captures the crazy dream time that was Space Pirate Radio in the early Seventies.  As I have mentioned here before, David was one of my earliest friends who just happened to be a multi-fauceted artist ("He had the PIPES, man!").  Painter, cartoonist, a doodles weaver AND a musician.  Ultra cool man.  The Banana Man.  The Banana Moon Man.  Fontana di Luna.

A Cool Cat.  A REAL talent.  And man, a joy to do so many projects together on.  What is wonderful is when you hook up with someone who is completely on your wavelength, very inspiring, totally original, secure in their own talents, willing to collaborate to make the vision happen in double time, not a competition, two individuals, united on sharing the joke...the ultimate Cosmic Giggle.

That is my dear friend.  He painted the artwork on my Space Pirate Radio album when I thought we should trip out on the old RKO logo (it was good enough for King Kong in 1933 and Orson Welles in 1941).  He worked with me on my play, Casanova's Lips, the later book publication of the same, and my TV program Crackers at Eight.  He did art for an attempted magazine called The Hermit.  We were dreamers, digging the music, drinking wine with Daevid Allen in a candlelit room filled with Gong LPs, considering the impossible.  Flatulence Groove, or it was a Gas man.

And with all the great memories of past days, I can't keep up on all the adventures he has had after leaving Santa Barbara: playing music with experi-Mentalists in Germany, doing art in England, making cartoons abroad and back in Hollywood.  Like a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn, the liquid detergent, this cat's a pure sudsy bubble man.  Floating between Myth and Magic.

I'm not sure of the complete histoire de banana.  I've put his family tree in the Elvis P. band.  They founded Fontana Records and started the city of Fontana, California.  Created the art of letter printing.  Font derived from the family name.  Or not.

Either way, he is an a-Peel-ing fellow, with many a story to tell, if you can coax one or two out of him.  I am happy we are still friends and can recall those early days of artistic enthusiasm.  And dare I say, LUNA...? Si!