Four more dreams, following from the movies: "Robot Holocaust" (1986), "Angst Essen Seele Auf" (1974), "Cool Hand Luke" (1967) and "Labyrinth" (1986).
Thursday, 14 October 2010
Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Arthur 'Killer' Kane was the bass guitar player for The New York Dolls, one of the most influential yet unsung bands of the early 70s, who shook up the prog rock scene by dressing in women's clothing yet delivering a tough sound that was to set the prescedent for the Punk Rock explosion that followed. Hard partying and the death of drummer Billy Murcia from an overdose lead to the band's split in 1975, and Arthur forged several unsuccessful side projects with fellow Dolls Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan and Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P. Arthur relocated to L.A, and aside from a few 80s B-movie roles, faded into obscurity and depression; jumping from his apartment window during an alcohol binge, and being beaten up and left for dead during the Rodney King riots. He pawned his guitars, joined the Church of the Latter Day Saints, lived on disability and volunteered at the local library. In 2004, he got a call from Morrissey urging him to reform The New York Dolls with surviving members David Johansen and Sylvan Sylvain. What followed was the resurrection of Arthur's dream. He flew to London and The Dolls played better than ever to much fanfare, with Gary Powell of The Libertines on drums. 22 days after Arthur returned to L.A, he checked himself into hospital with what he thought was a case of London flu. He was diagnosed with Leukemia and died 2 hours later. A beautiful portrait of Arthur Killer Kane can be seen in the documentary "New York Doll".
Saturday, 9 October 2010
Here is the next to last of my Unsung Heroes: Cookie Mueller. Cookie was an actress and Dreamlander: a member of Film Director John Waters regular cast and crew. She originated from Baltimore and spent the 60's in San Francisco, narrowly avoiding joining Charles Manson's Family. Upon returning home she featured in 4 of John Waters earlier films including cult classic "Pink Flamingos", before heading to New York to work as a go-go dancer and writer for Details Magazine and a health column called 'Ask Dr Mueller' for the East Village Eye. Cookie was a key player in the New York artistic community in the late 70s and early 80's, and like many of her friends, lost her life to AIDS. She featured in photographer Nan Goldin's "The Cookie Portfolio", a collection of 15 photos spanning 13 years; the penultimate of which features a devastated Cookie beside her husband Vittorio's coffin, and the final shot is of her in her own casket.
Tuesday, 5 October 2010
Emmett Grogan was a founder member of The San Francisco Diggers - a radical community action group that emerged in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco during late 60s. Hollywood actor Peter Coyote (E.T, Erin Brockovich, HBO's Deadwood) was also a member, having met Emmett performing with the SF Mime Troupe. The Diggers were famous for cooking and handing out free food daily at the Panhandle area of The Golden Gate Park, providing food for those living in poverty and organising crash pads for the thousands of homeless teenage runaways who came to San Francisco in search of the Hippie dream. Emmett spoke out against the hypocrisy of the Hippie ideals; opening up a Free Store in which clothing, food, furniture and money could be taken at no expense by whomever wanted it. Emmett spoke out against the people he saw to be attempting to gain status and celebrity from the HIP ideals, and was open in his criticism of Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg and particularly Abbie Hoffman - who in attempting to import the Haight mindset into New York, claimed many of Emmett's ideas as his own. Emmett's book "Ringolevio" contains a well rounded account of life in the Haight around the Summer of Love; as well as detailing the life and times of a junkie, thief, and most likeable rogue; and a fascinating, if elaborate, portrait of American life and culture in the mid 20th century.