Monthly Archives: March 2012
Clinton “Clint” Eastwood, Jr. (born May 31, 1930) Clint seems to have pretty much done it all, and looked damn cool doing it. With an acting carreer in it’s 7th decade, Clint has been a TV star (Rawhide 1959-1965) movie star (too many to mention) Academy Award winning director (Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby), Composer (scores for Mystic River, Flags of Our Fathers, The Changeling – to name just a few), performer (Gran Tarino), helicopter pilot and small town Mayor (Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA). At 82 he still continues to act and direct (J. Edgar being his last film).
The Isley Brothers were hot! Over the 4 decades they performed together they changed line-ups many times, but always remained a combination of 6 brothers and one brother-in-law. Starting out as a doo-wop trio in the 50’s they progressed to one of the hottest and best disco outfits of the late 70’s. The disco years, though financialy lucrative to the Isleys, found them in a series of progressively flamboyant and downright odd costume choices. These guys were big – and tough, and looked completly out-of-place in sequins and feathers – especially O’Kelly Isley (he being the biggest). Starting from 1981 and moving backwards to their 1959 LP and biggest hit – Shout!, you can see the change, for good or bad.
There were a ton of paperback publishers in the 50’s and 60’s, all specializing in a specific genre. Saber Books’ particular field was cheatin’ wives and wanton women. Briefly closed down on obscenity charges in 1963 for publishing the title “Sex Life of a Cop” – (the publisher was sentenced to 25 years in the pen). Overturned on appeal, Saber went on to publish a total of 300 titles, all just as sleazy as you’d imagine, with titles like ‘The Tricked and the Wicked’, ‘Sex Dreamer’, ‘Immorality in 3 Dimensions’ and ‘Turbulent Daughters’. All covers seemed to share a scantily clad woman, a dumb looking sex-starved guy and a hilarious poorly written tagline or mini-synopsis, i.e. “Fran’s filmy attire made it necessary for her to remain behind the door until I had entered and she had closed it, secluding us snugly for the night” – from ‘The Women They Were Willing’.
Charles Robert “Charlie” Watts (born 2 June 1941) – the quiet Stone. Always looking slightly bemused at his bandmates antics on stage and in public, Charlie has held down the beat for The Rolling Stones for the last 50 years. Voted by Vanity Fair as one of The World’s 100 Best Dressed Men, looking neither like an aged pirate or a wrinkled 12 year old, Charlie, almost always appears dressed to the nines. Avoiding most of the pit-falls of the road, like drugs , alcohol and groupies, Charlie has been famously true to his wife of 47 years and steered clear of most vices his band-mates fell prey too (an alcohol problem in the mid-eighties sidelined him for a bit). No multiple wives and kids like Jagger, no famous herion stories like Richards he is indeed the calmest Stone, though a famous anecdote relates that during the mid-1980s, an intoxicated Jagger phoned Watts’ hotel room in the middle of the night asking “Where’s my drummer?”. Watts reportedly got up, shaved, dressed in a suit, put on a tie and freshly shined shoes, and punched Jagger in the face, saying: “Don’t ever call me your drummer again. You’re my fucking singer!” Maybe untrue but I like it none-the-less. Charlie has been suffering throat cancer but has been in remission for the last few years. He still looks good if a bit frail.
I’ve always found it a bit sad coming across these paintings in thrift stores and charity shops – like finding a family album of snapshots of birthdays and holidays. Who would give them away? Who could give them away? The answer is obvious; the lousy kids, cleaning out their dead parents and grandparents homes and dumping everything at the local Goodwill. Some are better then others, some have talent, most are beyond amateur. Some of these are genuinely frightening, some hilarious and some just sad. The one thing they all share in common though is that no one knew how to paint hands.
Coming out of the boiling smelly stew that was the LA punk scene of the 80’s, along with X, The Blasters, The Flesheaters, et al, The Gun Club certainly stood out. Fronted by an overweight, alcoholic, blues obsessed, Blondie Fan Club President, lead singer – Jeffrey Lee Pierce, they were a mess. Mixing raw blues, DIY punk, country and rockabilly The Gun Club made quite a noise. Their first LP Fire of Love is a classic (go buy it right now). Their 2nd, Miami is real good too – and then something bad happened. Various line-up changes (the 1st pictures here are the second version of the band), erratic behaviour, shakey live shows, drugs, booze, blah, blah, blah caused their remaining LPs to be pretty hit-and-miss. Jeffrey Lee however bounced back with 2 pretty great blues LPs – Wildweed, and Ramblin’ Jeffrey Lee & Cypress Grove. Alcoholism and bad livin’ finally caught up with Jeffrey Lee in 1996 – he suffered a stroke and passed away at the ripe old age of 37. **As a side note – I saw them play at an upstairs dining room in a shitty German restaurant in Ann Arbor MI. I didn’t know at the time that they would start their show with about a half hour of pure out-of-tune noise, just to piss people off, and then play their normal set. Needless to say I left about 20 minutes into the show.