Author Archives: jonmwessel
We all know there’s deeper, darker more important events happening right now – and goddamn that orange turd, but here’s a bit of rock n roll love to get you through the day. Stay strong, love when you can and keep laughing. Let’s start with Bowie and Iman (who would be barred from entering the US today).
Always loved hand painted coats and jackets – bombers, motorcycle cuts, hippy band jackets, etc. I’ve been painting them off and on for years – painting more now. I love commissions so If you’ve got something you want painted drop me a line – email@example.com.
Roxy Music has always been about style. Formed in 1971 from a bunch of art school dropouts (Bryan Ferry, Phil Manzenera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Eddie Jobson, Brian Eno, et al) they would record 5 great albums back to back. The band looked sharp in space glam gear (later it would be expensive suits) and played a mix of rock, glam, psych, frak-out and pop that would, though not as highly regarded in the US, be in direct competition w/ David Bowie in the early 70’s. For the cover art of their first 5 LPs they chose women, (not band photos) to illustrate their style and their 1940’s mindset. Each had one of the 70’s hottest models on a beautiful gatefold sleeve, (with the band photograph inside). 1974’s Country Life saw a small break from form with 2 nearly nude models posed amongst some pine trees. Most of the copies got through uncensored but the US censored copy is hilarious (just the trees). Some were also delivered as the nude cover w/ an opaque green cellophane outer sleeve. Below are the original covers along w/ a few outtakes. Enjoy the covers then go buy the music. BTW Siren has the big hit “Love Is A Drug”.
By the time of the Victorian age Christmas was not really an established holiday. There was no Santa Claus, no identifiable iconography, no stocking hung by the chimney with care. The Victorians were trying to figure it all out. It was Queen Victoria (1819-1901) herself whose own celebration of Christmas gave the fledgling holiday a serious boost in England. Illustrated, mass-produced Christmas cards caught on with the British people during Victoria’s reign. Card makers of the era drew from Christian as well as pagan images, and also general interests of the era, such as science, art, or religion. Does that really explain sled riding chickens, murdering frogs and anthropomorphic oysters though?
What’s odd is that Bonnie and Clyde took so many pictures. Pictures of themselves, their gang, their guns, their loot. They would have been social media sensations had it been 40 years later. What’s also odd is that, though not Warren Beatty or Faye Dunaway, they were incredibly cute and apparently very much in love. Bad people to be sure, but they were really just kids, Bonnie was 19 when they met, Clyde was 20. Their short romance and crime spree would end in a hail of bullets only 4 short years later.
David Bowie and Iggy Pop first met at NYC hotspot, Max’s Kansas City, in 1971, while Bowie was on tour with his album The Man Who Sold the World. The then-largely unknown Iggy made a deep impression on Bowie, (and was part of the inspiration for Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust persona). Bowie invited Pop, who was experiencing heroin addiction, to London, where he helped mix Iggy and the Stooges’ album Raw Power. Though the album would eventually become a classic, the band collapsed under the weight of Pops drug addiction and general bad behaviour. Returning to California, Pop would check himself into a mental institution in an attempt to overcome his heroin addiction. Bowie remained one of his few friends and visitors. In 1976 riding a wave of hits Bowie toured his most recent album Station to Station bringing Iggy along for the ride. The pair moved into an apartment in West Berlin, (over an auto parts shop) where Bowie would began the first of his Berlin trilogy of albums – LOW, and also collaborating on writing and recording Pop’s first solo album, The Idiot. In 1977, Iggy Pop finally went on a 30-date world tour as a solo act. His backup band included David on keyboards and backing vocals. Bowie remained truly in the background behind the keys. No costumes or stage show, Bowie wore bell bottom turned up jeans, flannel shirt and cap. It was meant to be Iggy’s show not the more famous Bowies’. That year the two also collaborated on Pop’s second album, Lust for Life, which would become Iggy’s long-awaited critical and commercial success, (with the title song eventually appearing in tons of commercials and films, most notably the opening for the Danny Boyle film Trainspotting). Iggy and Bowie would remain friends for the rest of Bowies’ life.