Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Hey Boy!"

Often it seems I escape the horrors of today by escaping into the horrors of yesterday.  And not the personal yesterday, but the imagined one of days beyond my natal year.  As a youngster, imagination propelled me into a future yet to come.  But as a frightened oldster, it is sometimes easier to get one's bearing in the future arrived, by measuring it to an historic and romanticized past.  And being a transplanted Westerner, that can often encompass a Wild, Wild West.
I was never overawed by the Western genre.  Its domain always seemed too primitive, lowbrow, violent and counter productive.  Westerns were the province of land barons and macho men.  It was not surprising to find Western actors were mostly Republicans.  War wagons and dead injuns.  Texas 1863 didn't change much a hundred years later.  Brains gunned down in the street.  A Nightmare on Elm Street.
So as a child, science fiction, fantasy, gothic horror, comedy and girls predominated.  War and Westerns came in last, though they did make an appearance now and then.  As mentioned somewhere here, I read the DC war comics as a kid.  OUR ARMY AT WAR.  G.I. COMBAT.  STAR SPANGLED WAR STORIES and those types.  The RAT-A-TAT visuals probably caught my attention.  I remember trying to draw those kind of pictures in elementary school.  Bullets flying everywhere, with no understanding of the consequences.  Black and white obedience.  Naïve and obedient.  Like John McCain or Ben Carson.
I can't remember any real overwhelming enthusiasm for Westerns as a kid.  I know I owned a Hopalong Cassidy red metal radio.  Why?  I'm not sure.  Somewhere I enjoyed HAVE GUN - WILL TRAVEL.  I think I had a Paladin gun holster set.  I remember cap guns.  One set had these plastic bullet tips that actually fired off with the caps blasting on the ends of the casings.  I'm surprised more eyes were not taken out with those.
THE LONE RANGER didn't do much for me.  In fact, I hated that reruns of the show dominated Saturday morning TV.  Time that could have been spent running SPACE PATROL or other sci-fi films.  SCIENCE FICTION THEATRE came on frequently, but I often found that the opening of spinning laboratory equipment was more exciting than the shows themselves.  Give me RODAN blowing away a papier-mâché Tokyo any day.  That caught the parents attention.
ZORRO pulled me in, I think.  I remember playing a 45 record of the theme more than the actual shows.  My turntable speed was off, but I played it to death.  Still, over the years, I find the world of Don Diego de la Vega haunts me in subtle ways.  It could do a lot with the mythos of living in California.  Especially my 28 years being in Santa Barbara.  For that entire time, my home was walking distance from the Mission.  Red tile roofs, tiled floors, wrought iron railings and adobe.  This was the land of Zorro.

Yet while living there, these trappings were maybe too close, too familiar and easy targets for my cynical wit.  One has to get out of town to appreciate the view.  It is easier now to finish reading a book like Isabel Allende's take on ZORRO.  "Go West, young man!"  Not so young, but more comfortable to escape into that mythic Spanish California, that untamed West, the Spirit of '49, a railroad built by the Chinese.  "Wire Paladin, San Francisco."

So Westerns are like a certain food, Mexican more often than not.  Tasty when you have it.  Those taste buds may cause a Summer's viewing of all 34 episodes of YANCY DERRINGER, a HAVE GUN - WILL TRAVEL imitation, set primarily in New Orleans.  Or buying sets of ZORRO comics from different periods.  Or watching a random episode of CIMMARON STRIP with my old tie cutting buddy, Stuart Whitman.  Or watching B-movie westerns on Hugh Tube.  If you look beyond the sepia tones, you can compare the villains of old with those today.  DEADWOOD is more modern than you know.
Recently come into my possession has been a collection of autographed photos from Western actors of the '40s and '50s.  Dick Foran (who made thrillers and horror movies as well) to Roy Rogers. 

I still have a fondness for Peckinpah's THE WILD BUNCH, except for the fact that he was stark raving mad and had no respect for living creatures.  John Wayne was not my cowboy hero.  Obviously, he was an uber conservative, who ironically contracted cancer from nuclear tests in Utah.  I wish him no ill will.  The symbol of what he was supposed to be and what he really was has not escaped me.  When he was sick and paid his respect to incoming liberal President Jimmy Carter, I thought that had dignity.  Jimmy Stewart was also a Reagan Republican and buddy, but I liked more of his films.  His radio program, THE SIX SHOOTER, was one of the best Westerns on the wireless.  So was John Dehner in the airwave version of HAVE GUN - WILL TRAVEL and a show called FRONTIER GENTLEMAN.  I also spent many a late night listening to SGT. PRESTON OF THE YUKON.
Probably my most treasured radio premium is a compass and magnifying glass from TOM MIX.  Gold, with the Ralston Purina logo branded on the back, it belonged to my Mother in the '30s.
If we are talking radio, can we mention SPACE PIRATE RADIO and its love for the Western genre?  A ZORRO parody (lovingly, of course) was a regular feature on the show, late '80s, early '90s.  And an original character I was very fond of was RIP RAW, ROUGH RIDER.  This cantankerous hero of the desert, with his faithful Indian companion Thunderbuns and wacky Hispanic girlfriend Lupe.  Those campfire adventures bring a smile to my knees.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Tune in tonight."

Here is another photo of Thomas Dolby visiting SPACE PIRATE RADIO in 1984.  As T-shirts are de rigueur on these pages, I am wearing the SPR 10th Anniversary edition of the Ruski Revolution Hammer & Tone Arm model.  Dolby was in Santa Barbara for a concert at the Arlington Theatre and we had a marvelous time on the air.  His innovative music, as well as working with SPACE PIRATE RADIO faves such as Lene Lovich, Akiko Yanno and Ryuichi Sakamoto, made for the basis of a lively interview.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

"Four Sided Triangle."

An Index of Meddles part four.

January 2014

151)  "Pinch."  Can song title from "Ege Bamyasi," 1972.

152)  "...hidden around the house somewhere..."  Ray Milland explaining to Ruth Hussey the ghostly sounds of crying.  THE UNINVITED, 1944.

153)  "...acting as an aerial, picking up the sounds..."  Ray Milland's explanation continued.  THE UNINVITED, 1944.

February 2014

154)  "Old wild men..."  Lyric and title from 10CC.  "Sheet Music" LP, 1974.

155)  An Index of Meddles.  Guden title.  A pun on Fripp & Eno's "An Index of Metals" from "Evening Star," 1975.

March  2014

156)  "Fifty-fifty Clown."  Song title from Cocteau Twins LP "Heaven Or Las Vegas," 1990.

157)  "Deutsch Nepal."  Song title from Amon Duul II, "Wolf City," 1972 and offshoot Utopia, 1973.

April 2014

158)  "You could use a long, long, long holiday."  Lyric from "Long Holiday" by Telex.  "Sex" LP ("Birds and Bees"), 1981.

159)  "Victim find a victim and hang the hangman."  Lyric from Amon Duul II, "Mozambique."  "Vive La Trance" LP, 1974.

May 2014

160)  "Three of a Perfect Pair."  King Crimson LP and song title, 1984.

161)  A Jester of Good Faith.  Guden title.  Once planned for a collection of writings with the dual title, Gestures.  1980s.

July 2014

162)  "Well here's another clue for you all."  Lyric from The Beatles, "Glass Onion."  1968.

163)  "It's Purrific!"  Guden title.  Pun on the banner line from Orson Welles' CITIZEN KANE, 1941.

164)  "I'm on an island."  Lyric and title from the Kinks.  "The Kink Kontroversy" LP, 1965.

August  2014

165)  "Atom Heart Mother."  Pink Floyd LP and song title.  1970.

166)  "Are you receiving me."  Golden Earring lyric and song title.  "Moontan" LP, 1973.

September 2014

167)  "These are the kind of nights when the sea plays tricks on you."  Line from Stan Freberg's "Wun'erful. Wun'erful."  "Stan Freberg and the Original Cast" LP, 1957.

168)  Hermits & Virgins.  Guden title.

169)  The Three Sides Of The Coin (The Triple Entendre).  Guden title.

October 2014

170)  "I See Red."  Title and lyric, Clannad.  "Magical Ring" LP, 1983.

171)  "Kimono My House."  Sparks LP title, 1974.

172)  "Tong Poo."  Song title from Yellow Magic Orchestra.  First LP, 1978.

November 2014

173)  "A Penny for the Guy."  Guy Fawkes Day expression, usually an appeal for money from children to buy fireworks.  Similar to "Trick or Treat." A reverse amalgam or anarchistic mutation of Halloween, May Day & the Fourth of July.  As if kids in the U.S. would celebrate November 22nd by shouting "A Nickel for the Oswald."
174)  "No use of the mind God gave you."  Eros (Dudley Manlove) bitch slaps stupid American Earthlings in PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE, 1959.

175)  "I may not know what I like, but I know art."  A Guden Reverse Cliché.

176)  "I lost my faith.  I prayed for it to return."  Peter Cushing in THE GHOUL, 1975.
December 2014

177)  egg y nudu.  "Hammett Cheese Omelette."  Guden title pun.

178)  "The path you tread is narrow."  Pink Floyd lyric, "Cymbaline," 1969.

179)  "La Voce Della Luna."  Federico Fellini film title ("The Voice of the Moon"), 1990.

180)  egg y nudu.  "Shakti Monkey."  Guden title pun.
January 2015

181)  "Wolf City."  Amon Duul II LP and song title, 1972.
182)  egg y nudu.  "Eggstatic Interference."  Guden title pun.
183)  "Welcome home, Mr. Kane."  Line from CITIZEN KANE, 1941.  Also title of musical piece by Bill Nelson's Orchestra Arcana.
February 2015
184)  egg y nudu.  "The Linda Blair Witch Project."  Guden title pun.

185)  "Poor Cow."  1967 film debut of director Ken Loach, with Terence Stamp, Carol White, Malcolm McDowell and music by Donovan.
March 2015
186)  egg y nudu.  "Foxtrotsky."  Guden title pun.
187)  "I'm taking the time for a number of things..."  Lyric from the Beatles "Fixing a Hole."  1967.

April 2015

188)  "There was a hush in the Passion Play."  Lyric from Jethro Tull, "A Passion Play."  1973.

189)  "They stare at the Zeppelin-Square."  Lyric from Amon Duul II, "Metropolis."  "Made in Germany" LP, 1975.
190)  After the Vox.  Guden title pun.
May 2015
191)  "Pop Muzik"  Lyric, song and LP title from M (Robin Scott).  1979.

192)  I Killed Vaudeville.  Guden title.
193)  The Sex Pimples.  Guden title from article published November 1980.
June 2015

194)  "Who is Guy Guden?"  First line of the joke:  "The Five Stages of an Actor's Career."  (Any name will work).

195)  "Get me Guy Guden."  Second line of the joke:  "The Five Stages of an Actor's Career."
196)  "Get me a Guy Guden type."  Third line of the joke:  "The Five Stages of an Actor's Career."

197)  "Get me a young Guy Guden."  Fourth line of the joke:  "The Five Stages of an Actor's Career."

198)  "Who is Guy Guden?" (II) Fifth and final punch line of the joke:  "The Five Stages of an Actor's Career."
199)  "I'm thinking outside of the envelope.  I'm pushing the box."  Guden title.  A Reverse Cliché times two.
200)  "...than Heinz has pickles."  Ancient Expression of the Elders, passed from Father to Son, denoting a large quantity.  A scientific comparison of finite to infinite in a greengrocer's context.
FIN for now.  sorry number eight for June 2015... your time is not quite up.  :)X.

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Heroes Are Hard to Find."

It amazes me how many people my age (and I'm no Spring Byington, as this reference proves) love Super Hero movies, but fail to have real role model worship.  When I was a child, I loved the Super Heroes.  I read most of them, if I could get any from disapproving Mother.  DC were the favourite, of course.  I think I read anything on that imprint.  Superman, Superboy, Action, Adventure, Justice League of America, and so on.  I enjoyed the sci-fi elements in those comics, but I knew in the REAL WORLD, these cats didn't cut it.  So in my logical, single digit age mind, the school of The Shadow and his copycat Batman made more sense.
I honestly didn't understand why a Batman type didn't exist, getting rid of the Villians, the Evil Doers.  I asked the A-Dults, "Why no Crime Fighters?"  And yes, I understood there were no super powers.  But a Bat Lab was possible.  Lamont Cranston and his imitator Bruce Wayne were fabulously wealthy.  They could always afford this stuff.  The Shadow's Sanctum, the Bat Cave.  How could it fail?
Simple.  Naiveté.  The childlike mind doesn't grasp the subtle concept of Corruption.  The Madness of Power on all levels.  The Rarified Absorption of Greed as Justification for Actions.  Empire as Nations of One.  All acting out as Boss, CEO, General Manager, Consultant. Spy, Soldier, Account Executive, Agent (Insurance, Secret or Provocateur), Member of Congress, Parliament or the American Legion.  Policy makers.  Anyone who takes the law in their own hands and can justify the bending of it.
Quite simply:  There are no heroes. 

Not in the public arena anyway.  If you do hear of any, you won't hear about them for long.  The Good Guys don't wear the white hat.  They get the White Out.
There's really no reason to teach any kind of ethics to schoolchildren for the concept will be obsolete by the time they drop out (or graduate, because the end result is often the same).  Seriously.  I'm not touting Future Shock, because Newt Gingrich was a cheerleader for this, and of course I'm a BIG FAN  for Sir Isaac Newt, but Shock of the New is real on many levels.  No matter what you are taught as gospel in a social sense as the ideal, the reality of this model will change radically in your lifetime.
Only the Best and the Brightest were meant to reach the upper tiers of leadership.  Well, laugh away that outdated concept.  America's policy of Dumb It Down, and then Dumb It Down even more, is truly stunning in its de-evolution process.  Empires of the past would be amazed.  You don't need Wagner when you have Celebrity Apprentice.  Or Nietzsche when you have Duck Dynasty. 
And so we are back to the Ubermensch. 
For the unknown heroes of today, if they exist...there are no S. Capes. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"You have booped your last boop."

Classical Greek Funk:  Oedipus and Bootsy Collins.
Favourite T-shirt Company of the Ancient Greeks:  You Ripped It Tees.
"And the Mykonos shall inherit the earth."
Gumby's Gothic Horror with Edgar Allan Pokey.
My Mythical Kingdom Ruled by Women is called Hernia.

I knew a woman who only collected Psychology Today magazine.  She had issues.
Monkahunkatrunkaphobia:  Fear of being in a confined space with a jazz playing body builder.

Rectalpectoralphobia:  Fear of having someone's chest muscles on your buttocks.

Being sleep deprived for so long, I admitted I was a member of Al-Jolson.

Tiffany & Co have now been labeled a Tiara-ist organization.

Leader of PLOTP (The People's Liberation Organization & Tupperware Party), Abdul A-Dir A-Fi Maal Dir ("Ray, a drop of golden sun") has been captured.

Bad Crossovers:  Dawn of the Dead Can Dance.

Bad Crossovers:  Leave It To Beaver and Krause.
Western Erotic Fiction:  Fifty Shades of Zane Grey.
Greek-Mexican Tragedy:  Liz Estrada.
I blame the Germans for really bad Mexican music.

The last person you want on the phone trying to sell you the newspaper is Werner Herzog. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

"I'm a dinosaur."

The long and winding road.  With the sound of Nelson Riddle's piano propelling us along the highway, the left side of the odometer flips over a significant number, the mileage of the Great Yeast's Grandson.  The radical's radials roll upon the pavement, rubber melting from the heat, new petroleum product covering the source of its ancestry.  Oh, the irony.  But what a way to travel.  Dig the scenery.  "It's a Gas, Man!"

"...somebody is digging my bones."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Saint Gets A Handicap (1943)

George Sanders returned to the role of Simon Templar in this never finished film entry.  Based on a cocktail napkin, allegedly written by author Leslie Charteris during a weeklong bender at Manhattan's I Can't Cope & Cabana Club, this production was troubled from the start.  Although predating TV's IRONSIDE by over two decades, the idea of the debonair sleuth solving crimes wheelchair bound was unacceptable at the time.  Sanders didn't help matters by later suggesting the character be in an iron lung, thus avoiding to show up on the set.
The production logo shown is the only surviving artifact from the ill-fated production.

Friday, September 4, 2015

"I even like the cork!"

Well September is here.  The ninth month with the seventh name.  Now if we make it to October, yours truly will be mighty pleased and we can wax philosophique.  "I use to own a wax philosophique, but burning it at both ends, I was forced to taper off."

Hermits & Virgins, praise be to an Autumnal Shift.  "My first car had an Autumnal Shift.  So did my second and third."  I'm sorry, where was I?

It's this blasted heat, damn it.  What a trying Summer.  "I was trying Summer, but she left the encampment before I, ah...Well, if any of you see Angela,, would you...?"  ZZZZZZZZ!  (*sounds of siesta, East India Company style*)

The humidity this year has displaced my antenna.  I seem to be tuned in to scenes from White Mischief.  But not quite.  The lethargy inflicted by Barometric Frankenstein prevented me from buying a complete white linen suit.  Like something you would see in a Mr. Moto or Charlie Chan film.  Came close.  Fortunately or unfortunately, my energies to complete the task failed me.  And where would I find a white Panama hat.  Certainly not at Ross.  The wife rolled her eyes in horror when the purchase seemed in the realm of true possibility.  True, how do you keep the damn things clean?  I mean, riding on the train?  More than likely, one could never make it to Oxnard without having the Shroud of Turin appearing on one's buttocks.

Still, the image intrigues.  Half out of an Agatha Christie TV movie, with walking stick for added emphasis.  At this age, I must embrace the George Zucco, the Lionel Atwell.  David Suchet meets Tom Stoppard without (hopefully) looking like an assified Tom Woolfe.  Time to become the Humbert Humbert version of Tennessee Williams, without the ciggies and eye shadow.

Shopping helps.  America's Amnesia.  Stocking up the wine racks with purchases from BevGarland.  The only wine, spirits and beverage chain named after the actress from IT CONQUERED THE WORLD and THE ALLIGATOR PEOPLE.  Formerly, BevShemp, named after the Fourth Stooge.  Anyway, the chain, chain, chain, store appeases my quiet alcoholism, as well as the fetish for odd soda drinks.  After that, it's next door to Trader Horny's.

West India Company, indeed!  Trader Horny's satisfies the true Colonial desire in food shopping frenzy.  Where else can one buy an infinite variety of questionable food products from exotic food locales as Calcutta to Compton?  Henry Miller's After the Falafel Wraps or The Rise and Fall of the Romaine Lettuce.  Boba Fetta cheese.  Brad Pitted olives.  Unpredictable produce from Peru or Pacoima.  It's an Epicurean Adventure.  As exciting as an overpaid dentist's trophy hunting safari.  And as close as we urban explorers will get to travelling the Silk Road, arguing in the markets of Morocco, trading black tea for opium and vice versa, watching animals run over by pushcarts in Bombay, or swapping Western electronics for underage sex in Bangkok.  And with the ease and comfort of our shopping cart, the SUV parked just past the speed bumps.  Ecstasy!
Well, the capriciousness of my Virgo month becomes apparent.  And the humidity is now in shifts, rather than full time.  This is good.  Better, not yet best.  I can come down the stairs with more regularity and less Audrey Hepburn in that movie with Alan Arkin (I was in a movie with Alan Arkin, but that's another story.  "The House of the Seven Gables" by Nathaniel Hawthorne... Well, that's another story too).  And I'm not a constant Inspector Morose.
Still attracted to that white linen suit.  If I can't pretend to be Peter Lorre in Cairo because the weather will change, maybe I could be Alec Guinness on an Ealing Studios soundstage.    

Monday, August 31, 2015

egg y nudu. "The Great Yeast (Infection)."

"I read that some people think Barbara Bush is the daughter of Aleister Crowley."

"The mind boggles."

"That means a President of the United States was the grandson of the infamous Black Magician."

"But George W. Bush owned a baseball team.  Those that follow the path of magick, only like basketball.  It's in their motto."

"What do you mean?"

" 'Do what thou Wilt (Chamberlain).' "

Sunday, August 23, 2015

"Turn off the bubble machine."

This Hawaiian Eye thing is SO yesterday.  Maybe Westerns will come back.  Have Gun, Will Travel.  Or a zen obsession with Joel McCrae.  Maybe I could combine Hermann Hesse with Louis L'amour.  Or Gunther Grasse with Elmore Leonard.  Perhaps it's time for a return to Zorro.  Replace those vegetable eggrolls with refried beans.

A Roald Dahl dalliance?  Wait!  That's not till next month.

Or maybe I should start collecting Harvey Comics.  Hot Stuff or Wendy, the Good Little Witch.  And what about TV?  I felt the momentary urge to start collecting Surfside 6.  But then I watched some clips on Hugh Tube and saw how dumb the scenes were.  That brought back my respect for Hawaiian Eye.  Well, there's always 77 Sunset Strip.  Or Bourbon Street Beat.

My obsessions (or *ahem* "interests") can often be affected by environment and mood.  And food.  Chinese food or Chinatown, and it's Mr. Wong or Fu Manchu.  Mexican food and Old California:  Zorro and Frida Kahlo;  Animal Nocturno and Patricia Llaca.  A can of olives and it's Antigone, Hermes, Vangelis and Maria Callas.  A plate of spaghetti conjures Casanova, Fellini, Venice, Verona, Mario Bava, Sword & Sandal movies and a Borgia Pope and his Family (which can easily lead to Spain, which may mean the land of the Moors and/or Ibiza, Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera; Dali and flamenco).

When the wife and I stay in Downtown Los Angeles, the compass pulls in four directions.  Or maybe more.  Old Downtown can make you go Retro Noir (the Bradbury Building) or Future Noir (the Bradbury Building).  Ethnic Exoticism can pull to Chinatown, Olvera Street or Little Tokyo.  It's easy to feel this way in San Francisco and Oakland as well.
California is a state of mind when it comes to environment and mood.  Good or bad, the areas can inspire a variety of obsessions.  "From the desert to the sea," as newsman Jerry Dunphy used to say.  Old Hollywood or Zabriskie Point.  The Haight District or Palm Springs.  San Quentin to San Diego.  It's a Sainted State.  With a City of the Angels.
It's easy to get caught up in Western nostalgia here.  It doesn't help that we just got the Encore Western channel on cable.  Plus I recently, accidentally acquired a collection of autographed photos from Western character actors of the '40s and '50s. When we take the train to Los Angeles, passing through the real Zorro's hunting grounds, one gets lost in the rock formations of Chatsworth and Simi Valley--the backdrop of countless Western TV series, B-movies and serials.  Where are the gun sets of my youth?  My Paladin belt buckle with derringer.
(As an aside here, I am aware that many of my favourite TV heroes had names connected with the crusades.  Paladin, of the Court of Charlemagne, and The Saint, Simon Templar.  Will kids in two hundred years follow characters named after Blackwater or Navy Seals?)
Since we are discussing heroes and villains interchangeable, how about a love of classic pirates?  Doctor Syn, the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is a perfect example.  Filmed at least three times, with George Arliss, Peter Cushing and Patrick McGoohan.  Why not a man child return fixation on the old Skull & Bones.  Just not so much with the Harvard/Oss/CIA one.
Let's see how long this will last.  Robert Louis Stevenson.  Rafael Sabatini.  Basil Rathbone, Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn and Louis Hayward.  Treasure Island in all its incarnations.  Kidnapped and The Black Swan.  Time to find the old E.C. comics series Piracy.  Or Long John Aluminum and the Moody Roger.  After all, this Pirate Thing is in my blood.  :)X.
"...And now back to...Hawaiian Eye." 

Friday, August 14, 2015

"Let me read your palm."

"I'm on an island" part 2.

Oh, those Summer Mood Swings.  The heat and humidity plays with my antenna reception.  Just like last year.  The temperature brings visions of palm leaves and a hypnotism of relief.  My classic satirical mood recedes back as the weather changes.  So my comic obsession evolved into a Bill Griffith phase, with the reading of Lost and Found and the Zippy collection The Dingburg Diaries.  But as the Trade Winds gathered, watching the 1937 pirate classic Doctor Syn or low trash like the Zombies of Mora Tau popped into the program.

And when the palm trees wave, Hawaiian Eye slips back into harbour.  Is that a copy of the one and only comic book from the television series?  With Troy Donahue on the cover, it can only mean it was from the fourth and final season of the show.  And perhaps somewhere out of frame is the one and only Dell paperback from the program (original price 40 cents), not with Troy, but original stars Anthony Eisley, Robert Conrad, Connie Stevens, Poncie Ponce and second season addition Grant Williams (the original Incredible Shrinking Man).

I remember just prior to the original run of the series (late 1959), my older sister and her chums were following the fad of wearing little carved wooden tikis as necklaces.  It was essential that I be like the cooler 'older' kids (by four years), so I got one too.  Tiki necklaces appear online regularly, but I have not seen one of the dark brown wooden variety with thin leather strap from the vintage late '50s.  Perhaps an at that time 'beatnik' accessory, if I found one, it would an essential to the viewing experience.

So, yes, I admit I am enjoying dubious prints of Hawaiian Eye Season One.  And I tried to bring up my collection of Les Baxter's complete tropical albums of the mid to late '50s while composing this piece, but my media player only gives me one task or the other.  Fearful of losing the text, the audio soundtrack is abandoned.  A bit of appropriate mood is sacrificed.

Les Baxter is essential for these sessions.  His Caribbean Moonlight album (1956) was a major soundtrack to my imaginative childhood, an example of my mother's sometimes offbeat, esoteric taste.  SPACE PIRATE RADIO listeners will know the themes as backgrounds for the Golden Morning Movie and hosts Oscar B. Chow or Tony Anthony-Tony.  One song on the LP, entitled Out Of This World, was the theme (though a different version) of the old KHJ-TV channel 9 Saturday movie showcase, Strange Tales of Science Fiction.

And of course, this Pacific Navigation leads me East to further Celestial Obsessions.  I finished Santa Barbara author Yunte Huang's book on Charlie Chan and the original Hawaiian Police Detective who was his inspiration.  Now I head further East and turn the pages of Yellow Peril!  Will this pursuit lead to more additions in the Fu Manchu collection?  We shall see.

I have two different CD collections of the Hawaiian Eye soundtrack, but not the LP.  I did have it once.  There was a forgotten copy in the old KTMS radio collection.  Not a fan of the show at the time (1985 or so), it got packed up with discarded discs when hit radio Y-97 took over and was added to a stack heading for trade value at Moby Disc on Ventura Blvd.  Along with countless versions of Moon River and The Windmills Of Your Mind, it was traded in for an import copy of Tangerine Dream's latest.
I understand there was an Hawaiian Eye board game.  If anyone sees a decent copy, drop me a line.  :)X. 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Jump down, turn around."

Today is my Four Year Anniversary of Being a Vegetarian.  208 weeks.  Followed the wife's example after 18 years of marriage and 23 years being together.  She has more discipline than myself.  Although neither of us are pure Vegan (it's the CHEESE, Man!), she avoids eggs, while I still do mayonnaise.  But I have stopped my beloved tomato and cheese omelets.  Beef was pretty easy to quit.  Chicken was tougher.  And fish possibly the most missed.  Still, like quitting tobacco in 1974, once the decision is made, the resolution is solid.  It's like Morrissey in drag as Angela Lansbury:  "Meat is Murder, She Wrote."
"Won't eat meat, Cat eat meat..."
An early photo of friend of felines.  We have many cats now.  Indoor and outdoor.  All but one have been summoned to the Garden of Saint Francis.  How appropriate.  I may have mentioned earlier, that our bird bath statue of Santos di Frankie seems to be a beacon to the wayward animals.  Besides the cats, one bunny and three exotic birds who have become household members, the back yard is home to families of raccoons, possum, desert turtles, doves and a variety of other winged creatures.  It is all quite Noah like at times.  It certainly beats apartment living.
The most recent cat is an orange sherbet and vanilla boy named Ian.  Named after actors Ian McKellan and possibly Ian Richardson, he could have been called Seven.  The last new tenant is a little girl named Six, her number of addition.  She is girl kitty number 2 in a house of males.  The other lady, the Grand Dame Emma, has been seen here before.  As has Orson.  And the bunny Eco, as well as Oshii, the magnificent Yellow Peril bird.
All creatures great and small, sharing the Watchtowre.  Sadly, no dogs or fish.  I sometimes think I should get a monkey, a horse and a llama.  Then again...
Well, I think I should celebrate 4 years of not enjoying the comedy of Abattoir and Costello.  Perhaps a taste of fiendish Tofu Munchu.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

"Say the secret word."

Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Why don't you bring your friend along?  We could have a ménage a' Troughton."
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "(whispers in ear, looking downward)  It's bigger on the inside."
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Your Leela outfit is giving me a Hartnell."
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "I think Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull should have played the Doctor.  MINSTREL IN THE GALLIFREY."
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "I'm the Brigadier.  Would you like to see my UNIT?"
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Sorry about that.  K-9 always sniffs that area."
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Which Companion are you?  It's Jo.  Of course.  I remember the shag." 
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Have you ever wondered what would have happened if the Master had been played by Alan Bates?"
Pick-up Lines at Doctor Who Convention:  "Can I buy you a drink?  It's a Sonic Screwdriver.  One part Hedgehog.   Three parts Vodka."
Really Bad Crossovers:  The Wicker Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Really Bad Crossovers:  The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Remus.
Bad Crossovers:  The Last Little House on the Left Prairie.
New Wave Fritz Lang Muzik:  Rotwang Chung.
Fritz Lang Muzik:  The Mabuse Brothers.
Fritz Lang Muzik:  Levon and Brigitte Helm.
Fritz  Lang Muzik:  Ministry Ministry of Fear Fear.
"Ask Doctor Caligari"  Conrad's ADD Veidt's column.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

egg y nudu. "Good Neighbour SHAZAM!"

"So you're leaving us to see your doctor?"

"I'm heading south for my annual physical."

"Someone said you were going out of town to get cosmetic surgery."

"Totally absurd."

[One week later...]

"Glad you're back and things went well.  However, a few people still think you went and had body work."

"That's ridiculous."

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

"Seize her!"

"I sees her.  I sees her.  And she look...MIGHTY FINE!"

I'm reading a dirty book.  And when I say "dirty," I don't mean pornographic.  I mean dirty.  As in filthy.  Covered in filth.  Encrusted with the excrement of past readers.  Water marked pages like blood stains.  Bits of DNA.  A crime scene cacophony.  But I don't mind too much.  For this is the added joy of the ancient library experience.  A volume not of my own collection.  A reminder of youthful days.  Of how being not allowed to swim or play in the elementary school pool because of a miniscule athlete's foot infection, led me dejectedly to a parked bookmobile.  A tiny event with earth shaking consequences.  A transformation from outdoor sport boy to indoor academic.  How a Conservative can change to Liberal without anyone the wiser for setting off the deed.  Like some cretin crushing an ant colony underfoot in the brush.  Unaware of the outrage one has inflicted.  And this is how tiny revolutions are started.

But I digress...

The book in question, the dirty one is Aldous Huxley.  EYELESS IN GAZA.  A 1969 British edition of the 1936 work.  Filtered down through the Scentral Coast Library System.  A Relic from the ancient days of lending, complete with antiquated card holder, now empty of the record, persons past who perused these pages.  My Summer Read of the moment.  I'm digging it.
After a plethora of biographies, auto-biographies and histories, it is time to delve into the forgotten nuggets of literature.  Summer reading demands it.  This is usually the time I feel the urge for Gothic Romance.  Radcliffe, Walpole, Shelley or Poe.  Or something Italian.  A re-read of Casanova.  Or maybe more recent, like Sergeanne Golon (if recent can mean the '60s, when I first read the husband/wife authors).
A taste for the Greeks is possible.  When one can't get to Olympus, Athens or Mykonos, one must bring the Gods to thee.
I have the feeling I will finish the book, all 620 pages of it, before I complete this entry.  But then a package of Robert Crumb WEIRDO comics (3) arrived today, so I may be sidelined.  My love of books and magazines comes from my most earliest days and a newsstand can still magically pull me out of my moment and surroundings.  Recent trips to metropolitan Oakland and Los Angeles were punctuated by the sight of such newsstands and bookstores, enticing me like a brothel of the mind.  In transit with the wife towards predestinations, these opium dens were bypassed, their temptations wistfully denied.  Even today, if in a pharmacy or such, the sight of the newsstand is an instant magnet.
But I do succumb to the nostalgic sight of paper in the past, the various periodicals that come up for bid, or Buy It Now on eBay.  Sometimes a classic MAD or HELP!  Comics, of course, old AND new.  Things that take me back to say, 1957-58, to about 1962.  Vintage men's magazines often tempt, like Rogue, Cavalier or Gent.  Or the lost culture magazines SHOW and SHOW BUSINESS ILLUSTRATED.  Sometimes the scandal rags CONFIDENTIAL, HUSH HUSH, WHISPER and ON THE Q.T. bring out a dark humour in me.
Fifties Science Fiction magazines bring back a flood of future memories as well.  Let's not even begin on FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND, FANTASTIC MONSTERS, CASTLE OF FRANKENSTEIN, SPACEMEN and even, on occasion, WILDEST WESTERNS.
Like those fading news shops, I'm sure I will this subject.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

"...than Heinz has pickles."

"I have more ideas..."
One tries to keep the Regrets In Life Department well swept out, for any changes in the past would null and void being in the here and now.  Still, my list of mad ideas and possible schemes seems endless and in a parallel world that continued from fixed points, I wonder "what if?"
In the theatre world, the productions that were contemplated seemed to keep the cosmic giggle going.  After NOTHING IS SACRED in 1973, a follow-up was considered entitled ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.  The main set piece of the thing was a full blown satire of the Clint Eastwood film Magnum Force, called Magnum Forks.  This was because San Francisco cop Glint Eastwest was also a world class pastry chef, known as Desserty Harry.  The oversize magnum pistol of the original movie poster was replaced by an oversize wooden outdoor garden fork, purchased for the photo from the Akron.  The story as it was, dealt with a homicidal food poisoner, who of course kills Harry's disposable partner.  The play concluded with a filmed chase involving shopping carts: first filmed a la Bullitt style in the supermarket, then concluding in the actual streets.  I believed it was possible but then abandoned it because I thought the satire would get too dated.  Big mistake.  Years later, after seeing the sequel after sequels The Dead Pool, I realized the satire had become the satirized.

Ideas I had from NOTHING IS SACRED but didn't use, I wanted to carry over.  These included using the Snack Bar and Coming Attraction trailers from the local cinema chain for the Intermission.  I also wanted to wire up Drive-In speakers to the end of each theatre aisle.  Madness.  And unusable.

Another theatrical project was my parody of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, here named A CHRISTMAS MAGGIE.  "I don't remember Carol, but I DO remember Maggie."  Maggie was the wife of Bob Crotchitch or Bob Crotchairs as the character's name alternated.  This was a fully developed play after CASANOVA's LIPS and was a recurring pipedream year after seasonal year.  My image of Ebeneezer Scrooge in full Victorian garb, but wearing lapel buttons that said 'Nixon's the One' and 'Bomb Hanoi' still bring a smile to my knees.  Although a stage version with extra surrealism never saw the limelight of night, a number of audio versions surfaced on SPACE PIRATE RADIO.
More often than not, concepts or snippets for the stage unused would wind up on SPACE PIRATE RADIO.  But some cross pollination between the two would occur.  Oscar B. Chow, a regular from the radio show, wound up at the end of CASANOVA'S LIPS in 1976.  Doctor Einstein in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE in 1979 was definitely a voice and being from the wireless.  Crazy Germans and lunatic Viennese are a favourite.  A play called SCHIZ (rhymes with 'shits,' a danger for the critic's revue) was written.  "A One Man, Two Person Show" featuring the Weiner psychiatrist Doctor Emil Hunger.  In the files.  As is a very involved comedy about the Third Reich.  Titles withheld.  A million bittersweet laughs, I guarantee.  And one that gets more relevant each passing decade. 
There are always serious undertones in a satire, but in my earliest days I considered doing some pure dramas.  Wisely, I outgrew the temptation.  Part of the Rock Star meets Shakespeare phase.  A Brian Jones as Hamlet was once kicked about.  Later it was Brian Jones as DEATH TAKES A HOLIDAY.

Age and Reason have tempered these pursuits.  And parking the car called Ego, or the "Look at me!  Look at ME!" of the child performing in his room for a captive audience.  As I've said before, I stopped being a Narcissist when I got out of the pool.
But the ideas haven't stopped.  And when I think of the simplicity of a Spalding Gray type performance... well, maaayyybeee.

Friday, June 12, 2015

"I'm thinking outside the envelope. I'm pushing the box."

Two blog entries here on the subject of ideas, although this initial entry will probably boil down into randomness.  Ayn Randomness, more likely.  If I'm at Liberty to say.  Atlas Shagged.  The Fountainhead Rush.  Labour of love?  Or can you tell I'm not a fan?

For the present, I've been digging into and Digging into the past.  My Wayback Machine, the Re-Tardis, time-wise is always all over the map.  But lately it's been focusing on about 1956 to 1962 with jumps to the early '70s or the '40s.  As always, my obsessions are variable.  But the focus has been considerable on satire and art from the Cold War Era.  This is an outgrowth of my reading the Harvey Kurtzman biography.  I'd already acquired the 2 volume boxed collection of the complete HUMBUG, which I'm still savouring.  I added the hardbound Art Of Harvey Kurtzman since, reliving my collecting days of MAD Magazine and HELP!  Finishing that, I now begin the hardbound reprint of Kurtzman's JUNGLE BOOK.  Adding to the time frame and comedy connection has been the acquisition of The Ernie Kovacs Collection Volume 2.

B to Z movie sci-fi always adds to the flavour.  Red Scare or Radiation mutated cinema from the '50s.  Any film with ATOMIC or COSMIC in the title.  Or SHE as an adjective.  As in She Creature or She Demons.  Throw in a German character actor portraying a mad Nazi scientist, a Chinese actor who once played Charlie Chan's Number 2 Son as a hero's sidekick, AND
SHEENA, the Jungle Woman...Well, you have a recipe for delicious brain cell loss.  On a more reputable note, I did watch sixteen episodes of the Ray Bradbury Theater over two weeks.  And I took the little lady to the cinema to see TOMORROWLAND.

Comic art delights me.  Especially since it is a field I take no claim of talent in.  My art is confined to collage experiments, which still attract.  As well as the Triple Entendre photo thingees, that pop up here with my wife's collaboration.  And then there are the new style fumetti displayed.  Egg Y Nudo.  An experiment in comic strip that combines static HELP! Magazine fumetti, with Underground weeklies and Peter Blegvad LEVIATHAN style surrealism and alchemical philosophical humour.
Robert Crumb is popping back as well.  Psychedelic art of the '60s in the form of poster art is obvious in recent entries.  Wilson, Mouse & Griffin entice.  It hasn't been that long since I finished the HIPGNOSIS Portraits hardbound as well.  Never far from the Art.  And let me identify this diary's illustration.  A recently excavated work from my friend David Fontana.  A Dada portrait done on the sly, either in my apartment or his ocean near pad in Santa Barbara, mid-'70s.
Humour in an Archie and Jugheadular Vein.

Friday, June 5, 2015

"Who is Guy Guden?" (II)

Graven Images, Part 5.
Normally, I don't identify the recent quoted titles till after I've rounded them up in batches of fifty.  The Indexes of Meddles.  But for those who have never heard the joke, these are The Five Stages of an Actor's Career.  Insert any actor's name into the lines, and you have a Thespian's chuckle, bittersweet as it is only too true.
And so ends momentarily my Beast With the Five Fingers entries, inspired by poster art of which only 3 were theatrical in a limelight sense.  The first and last, of course, are artifacts of my labour of love, the wireless wonder that is this page and was SPACE PIRATE RADIO. 

My heartfelt thanks to those artistes and artisans who helped make my follies berserk, my moulins rude.  And there's more to come.  The Vatican 69 Vaults are opening.  The relics are revealing themselves.  "I Was A Sistine Age Werewolf."  Let's have some fun.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

"Get me a young Guy Guden!"

Graven Images, Part 4.
Stanley Mouse at the Moulin Rouge.
Here is the poster for "Casanova's Lips."  Thanks to the success of "Love Rides The Rails,"  I was invited back to Santa Barbara City College. Not as a failed student, but rather as a mediocre instructor given the task to write and direct my own production.  To bedevil the classmates unfortunate enough to act in it and the technicians assigned to build it.  *giggles*
The poster art is designed by my good friend, David Fontana.  The photograph is by his brother Paul Fontana.  The Freddie Mercury Player portraying the notorious Casanova is, ahem!...your most obedient servant.  The art is sumptuous.  Belle Epoch ah Lips!  The posters were printed on three colour stocks of fine paper.  A light yellow lemon chiffon.  A Dutch naval orange.  And a darker tangerine dream.  I have chosen the door hinge for display here.  David also did the programs and a wonderful bit of graffiti by a young Pablo Picasso on a tiny portion of the gallery wall of the Louvre set onstage.  It is one of the sad bits of my life that I do not have a photo of that piece of Left Banksy.  We did have a temps tres bon bon, however.  It was for us, how you Americains say...a French Tickler.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

"Get me a Guy Guden type!"

Graven Images, Part 3. 
Toulouse-Lautrec at the Avalon Ballroom.
This is the poster for my 1973 production, "Nothing Is Sacred."  Done immediately after the successful "Love Rides the Rails" with members of the same cast.  Born by fumes of inspiration from the Firesign Theatre, Ernie Kovacs and Mad Magazine, this surreal day of television programming, attempted to do new things.  The mediocre local TV station being parodied was KCOW.  An appropriate moniker on several levels.  My idea for the logo was artistically rendered by cast member Ken Brigance.  The result was as comic book flavoured as a Fifties E.C.  When Giant Crabs invade your town, you know you will have a blast.  We did.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Get me Guy Guden!"

Graven Images, Part 2.
This poster is from the 1973 comic melodrama, "Love Rides The Rails."  I did not design, or to the best of my memory, have any input into its creation.  Actor R. Leo Schreiber is on the left, portraying arch villain Simon Darkway.  He was wonderful in the role.  I am on the right, his fiendish henchman, Dirk Sneath.  We had a marvelous time doing this production for Director Max Whittaker.  All of us, cast and crew, were delighted to be in what was Santa Barbara City College's most successful comedy performed in the original Little Theatre.  The success of this show gave me the freedom to do further, and further out, productions for the college.  

Monday, June 1, 2015

"Who is Guy Guden?"

Graven Images, Part 1.
I've been doing an archeological dig in the SPACE PIRATE RADIO archives, searching amongst its artistic riches.  My mood has been focused on the art of others.  Comic book and poster related.  So let us capture the poster spirit, with a Five Finger Discount.  Thumbs first:  Here is an initial variation on our Exalted Namesake.  My Sanctuary.  My Fortress of Solid 'Tude.  The Melting Watchtowre.  Rendered with a cartoonist's flair by collaborator Mike Merenbach. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Sex Pimples.

"If music be the food of love, let's eat out," Oscar Wilde once said to Lilly Langtry, slipping under the table after consuming a brandy drenched tapioca pudding.  Using that maxim as a rule of thumb, foot and knee, can we assume then, that a book on music can be made a meal of?  Is the government ever to be trusted?  How many angels can you get on the head of a pin?  The answers to the questions are, respectfully, yes, no, and thirty if thin and lightly dressed.

"Scusi, Mio digresso," as some Italian men would say, rushing into the bathroom after a long Laura Antonelli movie.  Where was I?  Oh yes, making a meal out of music books.  Two of the aforementioned culinary tomes have recently come to my attention, although they might not suit all tastes.  They do fit, however, under the heading of music sociology and should be noted as thus.

The first, Eat My Shoes: The History of the Sex Pimples is a vivid document of this pivotal band in the 'punk' movement.  The second is Babylon's Forgotten Ashtrays, a focus on several of the breakthrough artists of the reggae genre.  Straightforward stuff here.  Not like that book The Liszt of Adrian Messenger, a cheap attempt to mix classical music with Agatha Christie. 

Eat My Shoes is an important look into the brief, frantic, manic and destructive flurry known as the Sex Pimples.  The Messiahs of the punk movement, the Pimples were destined to burn bright, quick and out.  Four of them, lead singer Ricky Barf, his Siamese twin brother (connected at the mouth) and drummer Mickey Barf, lead guitarist Mal-Content, and bass player Clive Noxious.

Where bagels go, trouble follows.  And troubles certainly followed the Sex Pimples.  Their single, "Young Fascists" was banned by the BBC.  So was the album, "Anarchy in the Ukraine."  Violence followed their concerts.  In Texas, a girl rushed on the stage and struck bass player Clive Noxious with a refrigerator.  Noxious was doomed for tragedy.  In London at the Flaming Groins Club, he covered his mom with linoleum, shag carpeting and new drapes, while singing "September of My Years."  Finally, Clive took his life by stapling his wrists together.  For his fans, it was the only way to go.  No one ever thought that Clive would be an old age pensioner.  As this song, "Young Fascists" says:

                    "...I can't stand my Mother
                    And I hate my Dad.
                    Sometimes I want to snuff  'em
                    Stuff  'em in a Glad Bag.
                    I got a white pale face
                    With the blotchy red specks.
                    I don't think nuthin'
                    But violence and sex.
                    Young Fascists!  That's we are.
                    Young Fascists!  I'm a living scar.
                    Young Fascists! I hate this song I just wrote.
                    But if you don't buy this record
                    Gonna cut your throat.
                    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah."

If that's not enough for you, sink your teeth into Babylon's Forgotten Ashtrays.  The book does not pretend to be a serious text book of reggae music, but more of a pictorial document.  The famous and the not-so-famous share equal pages.  Included are Jah Kitsch, Truck Drivers of Rhodesia and Oy U-Hoo, along with giants Barb Wirey and the Maulers and Poops and the Midols.  In fact, the book contains photos from the Barb Wirey concert held locally in 1976.

How I remember that show.  Held at the Santa Barbara Country Beach Men's Room, it was standing room only.  Poops ad the Midols had opened the show, featuring music from their album "Culture Dreaded Gnats."  I wasn't familiar with all the songs.  My comrade was convinced that they were playing the same song twelve times.  A man next to me said that they were alternating between two songs, six times apiece.  It didn't matter.  We were waiting for the headliner.

The crowd was in a lather (thanks to a handy soap dispenser) when Barb Wirey and his Maulers took the stage.  Barb is incredible!  What charisma!  Standing, proud, dramatic, defiant, and somewhat dazed.  His head was framed in a mess of "breadlocks" (pieces of Roman Meal braided into every strand).  Smoking a two and a half foot reed weed filled reefer, and then putting out the butt on a security guard's coatsleeve.  What audacity!  Fifteen minutes later he decide to play, nearly all of his album "Gastaman Vibrator," including the hit "I Shocked My Lawyer."  The crowd wanted an encore, but Barb doesn't give them.  With the last chord still hanging on the sink, Barb lit another reefer, flipped a thankful ash to the audience, used the facilities, and split.  It was the end of an experience.  So is the book.

[First published November 4, 1980.]

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I Killed Vaudeville.

In a commercial sense, perhaps, it could be said that diversity has been my enemy.  Careers in the past were constructed for the specialist.  Expert in your field, as such.  I foolishly yearned to visit many fields.  Life is too short.  And not being six foot, so was I.  Curiosity killed the cat.  Well, this cat was curious.  Curious Yellow.  Curious Blue.  Sometimes, Curious Slightly Beige, definitely Curious Grey.  And it feels I've used up my nine lives, but what the Heck?  Variety is the Spice of Life.  And I am a Spice Trader.  "Spice Parrot!  I like that!"


Being of the Bi-polar persuasion...*COUGH! COUGH!*  I mean... having a multi-faceted disposition (or multi-fauceted, which helps not getting tapped out), one choose many paths rather then a single road.  Again, financially this is courting danger.  But to experience Life's Rich Tapestry.  Essential.

In High School, I could have been content to be an English Literature teacher, or Drama instructor.  But no.  Forces of conformity in the Administration soon battered that peaceful option out of me.  In radio, if I only focused on introducing new music, rather than experimenting with sound, comedy and philosophy, I could have been content to be an American John Peel.  But even John Peel wrote Doctor Who stories.

I am slightly amazed, in this hyped world of Marvel Comics movie mentality and as I watch Mark Ruffalo promote his role as the Hulk, that in the recesses of memory, I was once offered to write scripts for The Incredible Hulk TV series.  And I TURNED IT DOWN.  Why?  Simply because...I hated The Incredible Hulk and Marvel Comics.  I thought they were crap!

Do I regret this?  No.  And I sincerely mean No.  If I had been a driven, wannabe script writer, eager to hone and master my craft, taking servile jobs to learn the form, ultimately becoming a yeoman of the craft....perhaps.  But I sincerely disliked the content, and believing in an honesty and integrity, felt, that the writer of such material should truly love the material.  Or else it would ring false.  Labour of love, rather than being a hack.  Silly man.

Now if it would have been for Rod Serling...Or Hammer Films...Or Mad Magazine.

I actually got hired on a comedy pilot that was connected to Mad Magazine by certain artists.  After auditioning at the Comedy Store with what I thought was a far less than stellar collection of conceptual bits, I found myself working in a Melrose Studio with a company so disorganized, I was baffled.  Come to find out, it was a pilot film meant to fail.  A tax write-off by a pair of well-known entertainers against their more lucrative production company and television affiliates.  I walked out, dumfounded.  Never paid.  More reasons to become hermetic.

This hasn't spoiled my love for Mad Magazine humour, however.  Other events have tried. 

An article on SPACE PIRATE RADIO, particularly on my album from the show, got me a wonderful write up in the Los Angeles Times Sunday Calendar section.  I mentioned my comedy influences.  Ernie Kovacs, Steve Allen, Sid Caesar, Mad Magazine, among others.  Mentioning those names got both Steve Allen and Carl Reiner's office to contact me.  I was on air.
But I will save that story for another time.  I see this bit is going off on a course of obstacles to the Guden Experience in Hollywood and I'm not in the mood for Angst.  Remind me later.  Just mention my comedic encounters with Steve Martin and Robin Williams and Steve Allen's office and maybe I'll dish dirt, or grime petit in a tapas style. 
Before this went Ayn Rant, or ATLAS BUGGED, I was thinking of all the various subjects and areas of interest that get the proverbial juices flowing.  I've been recapturing my early love for satire and Mad Magazine with the new Harvey Kurtzman biography.  Also reading the collected reprints of Kurtzman's Humbug Magazine.  How I love the art and comedy of Will Elder.  And Wally Wood.  And Frank Kelley Freas.
I never considered myself a cartoonist or had talents good enough in that field.  More a writer/editor, which is why I enjoyed the talents of my artistic friends and collaborators.  David Fontana, Mike Merenbach and Autumn Turkel, for instance.  Fontana, the most talented of the trio, is still my friend 40 years later.  This is probably because we are on similar wavelengths.  Like myself, he's not satisfied with doing just one thing in life.  Or placing his entire bet on Success Black.  Life is too exciting for that.  The search for, and appreciation of, the Cosmic Giggle.  The Exhaled OOOHHH!!!
I've been going back to my days working on Horror Host TV show Jeepers' Creepers, thanks to a letter from Jim Fetters, author of the book Creatures of the Night That We Loved So Well.  Jim's the leading authority on the subject and he found my previous entry here about the show.
Passions rise.  Tastes vary.  And mood swings.  I know it only too well.  Musically, the map is all over the place.  I've been going back to old psychedelic music of California from the '60s and '70s, obscure folk and psych-folk from Britain, opera, classical, Italian soundtracks, brand new shoegaze, electronica, crime jazz, jazz fusion and Buffy Saint-Marie.  A typical week.
Films included a relook at Wim Wenders stuff, Nastassja Kinski films, early '50s sci-fi, classic Doctor Who, '70s American cinema, marathons of T.H.E. Cat, The Baron, and Peter Gunn, the Welsh National Opera doing Debussy, Cronenberg, Surrealist films of the '20s and '30s, English thingees, and stuff with Anton Differing.  Nothing out of the normal here.  Next week it may be Westerns, more Charlie Chan, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Columbo and Lupe Valez.  Or Jacques Tati, Josephine Baker, '60s spy movies, Italian giallos, Pussycat Theatre flashbacks or dystopian anime.
So many influences.  And there's work to be done too.  :)

Stay tuned.  And cheers!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

"Pop Muzik."

Over the years of SPACE PIRATE RADIO, listeners of the shows have often asked me what songs I played.  Each decade, be it the '70s, '80s, '90s, or double 0's, has offered a nearly infinite variety of new and unusual music, as well as stockpiling the catalog of sounds that came before.  I collected the playlists over the years, especially making a routine of show listings from the Eighties on.  Making these available to listeners who wanted to identify and add certain music to their collection.  The lists were especially necessary, as hour sets were free flowing and un-interrupted.  No commercials and no back announcements.  The mix or segue was all important to the show, even though I knew this could be frustrating to listeners wishing to know the artist and title.

Here's a playlist from 15 years ago.  Just randomly chosen, rounding it off for its time worthiness, this Merry Month of May.
Guy Guden's Space Pirate Radio.  May 29, 2000. SPR 27-17 (Year 27, Show #17)
first hour:  (First selection is introduction bed music)
Cosmic Jokers "Galactic Joke"
Sounds From The Ground "Mineral"
Open Canvas "Rajastan"
King Crimson "Larks' Tongues in Aspic- Part IV"
Bruford Levin Upper Extremities "Fin De Siecle (Live)"
XTC "Playground"
Pink Floyd "Bike"
Jonn Serrie & Gary Stroutsos "Earth Sky"
Jon O'Bergh "The Appian Way"
second hour (began with a Guden comedy bit called "A Flockhart Siegal")
A Flock Of Seagulls/Die Krupps "I Ran"
Mouse On Mars/The High Llamas "Twift"
Turn On "Glangorous"
Stereolab "Pack Yr Romantic Mind"
Pizzicato Five "Week-End"
Komputer "Singapore"
Kraftwerk "Expo2000 (Kling Klang Mix 2000)"
Troika "Other World"
Sounds From The Ground "Rye"
Schwarzwald "Piano-Pewter"
Open Canvas "Ojopati"

third hour (began with Guden comedy bit called "Ayotollah Cola")
Shafgat Ali Khan "Dust To Dust"
Loop Guru "Epic Song"
King Crimson "The ConstruKction Of Light"
Peter Gabriel "Keine Selbstkontrolle"
Steve Hillage "The Glorious Om Riff"
Tangerine Dream "21st Century Common Man"
Vas "Lila"
Wojciech Kilar "Missing Book/Stalking Corso"
Terry Oldfield "Majesty"
fourth hour (included a phase sfx and Guden comedy bit called "Shiver Me Timbers")
Porcupine Tree "Burning Sky"
Can "Mother Sky"
Bryan Ferry "The 39 Steps"
Baby Mammoth "Blessing The Meek"
The Orb "Rose Tinted (Dal Vivo A Roma)"
Goddess Trance "Sugar Path"
fifth hour (g3 sfx)
David Parsons "Jalan Jalan"
Ryuichi Sakamoto "We Love You (Remix)"
Ennio Morricone "Bluebeard"
David Sylvian "Krishna Blue"

(I would love to provide an audio link for the music of all the shows, but right now I wish you could hear my bit "Jon Anderson Sings The Doors"  It's "Crystal Ship" and I rather like the impression.  "Be...fore I ness...Iiiiiiii' lit...tle...kiss.")  
*giggles*  :)X.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

After the Vox.

Voices in your head, Part Two.

I'm starting this off with little or no humility.  My humble declaration: I have a Good Ear (my Right, I believe; the Left having been damaged by Hawkwind in concert).  An Ear for Musick.  And an Ear for Voices.  I think I missed making a small fortune doing voice work.  Ah, the failings of a less ambitious man. :)

So, my frustrations at not receiving regular royalty checks from The Simpsons or Star Wars Playstation games, relieves itself in spontaneous manifestations of third party individuals and upon my long suffering wife.  The poor darling has to tolerate waking up with any number of character actors, known or obscure.  One benefit of getting aged and infirm is a deep, whiskey soaked, sinus infested ability to do a wide variety of old geezers:

Jim Carter from DOWNTON ABBEY is a regular morning arrival, or late night tuck-in.  He has replaced John Huston with his exhortations of working with "Ore-sahn Welles."  Older Guden Repertoire Members seem on hiatus, like Sir Alec Guinness, Basil Rathbone, Turhan Bey, Boris Karloff, Jeremy Irons doing Boris Karloff, or Jeremy Irons saying "Sforza" from THE BORGIAS.

And it's not just throaty old men I subject my significant other to.  I do a pitch perfect Charlotte Gainsbourg, halting and breathy, sounding convincingly traumatized by Lars Von Trier.  I think I should use it for the phone answering machine.  I also do Jessica Lange as the wacko German proprietor in AMERICAN HORROR STORY- FREAK SHOW.  Complete with tobacco on tongue gestures, but that added effect is lost on the wireless.  One morning in the kitchen I was spirit possessed with a cabaret rendition of Bjork singing "I Miss You," complete with cracked octaves and kittenish pauses and phrasing.

Maybe I should use my Werner Herzog, explaining the fine line between dinner and death:  "Deese leefs are from de forests of Costa Rica.  Cook dem for 30 seconds and dey are a delicacy.  Cook dem for 40 seconds and dey are a lethal poison."

Recent travel experiences have birthed embarrassing (for my wife) public conversational possessions by the older Sir Michael Caine to his spouse, Shakira.  Or Robert Fripp in an endless lecture of absurd explanation to likewise partner Toyah.  The facial expressions of horror wishing an immediate cessation of my improvisational dialogue are well worth the price of the trip.
This problem has been with me for a long time.  I have never sought professional help to alleviate myself of this condition.  A curse for others, perhaps.  A blessing to yours truly.  It amuses me.

The Peter Sellers Syndrome, maybe.  Others, in earlier days, knew going to the movies with me was not a wise undertaking.  Not deliberately, but almost invariably, after exiting the film, I would be talking in the cadence of whoever had performed in the movie.  This was almost always assured if the film was British or foreign.  It could be Christopher Lee or Armin Mueller-Stahl heading back to the car with you.  Or in the restaurant, Max von Sydow or Marcello Mastroianni would order a tomato and cheese omelet.  Single words are enough to get an impression started.  Like the above mentioned Jeremy Irons, the word "torture" is enough to start my Bela Lugosi; the word "Tony" begins a Charles Boyer. 

My career in voice work was instantly derailed when I got a call from the Barbara Harris voice casting agency.  I had sent them my SPACE PIRATE RADIO album as an example of what my abilities were like.  A new Mel Blanc or Paul Frees in the making.  The secretary, sorting out resumes, asked me if I had done ADR work.  I didn't know what that term meant.  "What is that?" was my knee jerk, honest but jerkish reply.  We never heard from them again.

Being old school, I came from the Golden Age of Radio Drama or hip class of Stan Freberg voice mimicry.  Voice actor wasn't a term used.  ADR was a later, post production film term.  In the '50s and '60s, we were still calling such people dubbers: those who would dub movies.  Besides the already mentioned Frees aka Boris Badanov, the Pillsbury Doughboy and a ton of voices in the English version of RODAN, my favourite dub master was Robert Rietty.  He did more voices in movies and radio than anyone else.  Working with Orson Welles in the HARRY LIME and BLACK MUSEUM radio shows, where I first heard him as a kid, and progressing through all the early James Bond films (he redubbed Adolfo Celi's voice in THUNDERBALL), THE OMEN and just about every other film made in England or Europe with an English soundtrack during this time.  An irony is that he dubbed for classic mime Marcel Marceau in BARBARELLA.  I am saddened to find that he passed away on April 3rd this year, just before the death of Stan Freberg.

It is depressing to see that this man of a thousand voices got little recognition.  His sound is wonderful to mimic.  I love to imitate this imitator.

I am quick to point out that this madness got me my initial radio gig because I pretended to be English.  I foolishly spoke to Brits on my first flight to London, masquerading as a returning ex-pat.  They acted like they believed me, but who knows?  I may have sounded to them how bad Meryl Streep sounds to me.  Or Brits who try the "Herne-Herne" mush mouth attempt at a Mid-Western U.S. accent.

SPACE PIRATE RADIO was the perfect place for my multiple personas or silly putty reapplication of vocal quirks.  Where else could Henry Kissinger interpret Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side."  Or Rip Raw, Jake Off, Wally Wang and Doctor Wu-hu let loose a cacophony of politically incorrect stereotypes, yet be original beings too.

Today, Gollum works the Home Shopping Network.  "Scranton, Pennsylvania, good morning, Kathy."  Or Strother Martin talks about bladder control.  I do Jeremy Piven from MR. SELFRIDGE now.  Working on Mark Rylance, doing Terence Stamp from WOLF HALL.  If I sense I've lost the wife, I attempt to bring her back with both Sir Ian McKellen AND Sir Derek Jacobi in VICIOUS.  Or even more obscure British comedy like BLACK BOOKS or GARTH MERENGHI'S DARK PLACE. 

And nothing can stop a conversation dead in its tracks then an impression of Dirk Bogarde's thinly veiled contempt for women.


They say Monet was an Impressionist, but I don't think that's apt.  His Maurice Chevalier was passible, but his Jimmy Stewart was no where near the mark.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"They stare at the Zeppelin-Square."

It's time for a return to Gotham West.  On the Fritz to Blade Runner's workplace.  La Citta degli Angeli.  Or, La Cite des Anges.  We are mixing it up again.  The Old Pueblo meets Little Tokyo.  Civil servants and Middle Eastern cuisine.  A French band with Teutonic flourishes, choral versed in a language from a distant planet.  A Japanese feline that may be human, transformed into an endless variety of multi-ethnic characterizations.  SoCal.  So Cool.

Repeated visits to Los Angeles open new vistas, good and bad.  How this city has transformed in my memory and experience.  Downtown is not the Downtown of my '60s youth.  And yet it is.  The play is the same.  Only the décor changes.  The scene shifts somewhat and the hand props are different.  Costumes vary.  But the text is basically constant.  Modern dress does not conceal the classical themes.  There is a divide.  A contrast.  In current observation, one comes to the realization that the United States in cosmopolitan terms, is a Third World Nation.

But I digress...perhaps.

We are here, for the Rock Show!  (And a bit of culture, albeit of a pop nature.)  And it's Oesterreich.  Easter.

Having returned from last year's splendid pair of King Crimson shows at the Orpheum on Broadway, we are now venturing to uncharted territory in the Umberto Echo Park District for French faves Magma.

Yes, it's Magma.  A SPACE PIRATE RADIO mainstay since 1974, it is our second experience with Christian and Stella Vander and ensemble in real time since San Francisco, 1999.  A new venue for us, the well known Bohemian club, the Echoplex, basement club of the Echo, on the David Lynch side of Sunset Blvd.  I have reservations.  Both literal and figurative.  I am pleasantly surprised.

My hesitation about the club was predominated by the fact that the show was a standing room gig.  Being of the Elderly Persuasion and having been spoiled by the sit down, audio enriched atmosphere of Magma's performance at the Palace of Fine Arts, I was afraid the new environment would turn Magma into a Munchen Bier Hall Post Punk Moshen Space Party.  This was not the case, danke sehr Meine Gott im Himmel.

The nicely darkened club has side seating, a seemingly well stocked bar, food options (neither of which I felt necessary to enhance the experience, except for the seating) and a cool moderne retro beat feel.  A House of Blues without the tie-ins, more bongos and near blitz Underground lighting.  I can dig it!  :)

Magma, as always, are an experience musical unlike any other.  For the uninitiated, I will not even begin to explain.  Explore for yourself.  Seductive, challenging, mesmerizing, and sometimes a tad creepy.  If Buddy Rich and his Orchestra had been taken over by the pods from Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or Carl Orff had taken mescaline during Carmina Burana sung in Esperanto Jazz.
Day 3 is a return to the Japanese American National Museum for Hello Kitty.  The wife has a more personal youthful connection to the feline changeling than myself, but I'm more geared for it than say, a Hockney exhibition. 
The layout is impressive, though the set up feels like a maze for human mice.  I'm glad I never started collecting in this field, 'cause one could go mad trying to be completist.  The varied items are an impressive lot, but even the wife notes items missing from her youth.  And speaking of youth, how ancient I feel when the dawn of the Nippon Gatto is 1974, the same year of SPACE PIRATE RADIO's debut.  The pitch of the display comes off a bit too sales pamphlet promotional.  Extolling the merits of the "brand."  There is the feel of a franchise convention.  Fortunately the displays of art captivate and looking at the gallery attendees, I wonder how many hipsters drop acid and visit this fantasy land.  I was only saddened not to see the Hello Hitler image.  The Hello Kitty Tarot Cards, however, were a pleasant surprise.
An added surreal moment is the fact that after facing the Afterlife with a massive Kittypatra figure (or as I call the Egyptian statue, NefferKitty), one is faced with an exit that leads to a display on Japanese Internment Camps.  Quite a segue.
Returning to the clouds, in our favourite suite, or its doppelganger ein flur below, we contemplate the city. the day, Gamorrah by night.  Off World vehicles above.
The morning is greeted by the sounds of African American mantras of anger to the THX 1138 LAPD.  A Day of Continued Adventure Awaits...Sending a message from Western Union Station.  The Trendy Train Set will be boarding.  Exit North.
"The city is sinking
But music remains
Beware Metropolis."  :)