Author Archives: jonmwessel
Harry Dean Stanton (July 14, 1926 – September 15, 2017) with a career that lasted over 60 years, Harry Dean Stanton went from character actor w/ small rolls in mostly westerns to an unlikely leading man in his late 50’s. You’d always know that even if it was a bad movie it had a chance if Harry Dean was in it. Cool Hand Luke, Alien, Godfather 2, Paris Texas, Repo Man, Wild at Heart, The Last Temptation of Christ and, lets not forget – Pretty in Pink. Harry Dean was the shit.
The Man Who Fell to Earth – 1976. David Bowie was at the height of his career having just released his brilliant blue-eyed soul LP, Young Americans. He was riding high on the hit Fame and ready to take over the world. The next logical step – movies. And what a movie. The casting of Bowie as an alien who crashed on Earth and can’t get back to his dead planet was perfect. Lean bordering on skinny Bowie looked the part w/ a shock of red/orange hair and other-worldly style. The film did well and Bowie was great. Looking back at it today its a bit dated and frankly kind of boring, but, Jesus, he looked great, and by the looks of things it was a fun set.
Emanuele Taglietti (born 1943) Emanuele started his career as an set designer for his famous cousin – director Michelangelo Antonioni (Blowup). he would go on to work as an assistant director for Federico Fellini and Dino Rissi until the lure of Italian sex art game calling. The 1970’s saw the rise in popularity of digest sized graphic books called fumetti – whose main themes were sex, horror and violence. And man-o-man did he jump on that firetruck. He would create about 10 covers a month each weirder, more troubling than the next. An odd mix of monsters, violence against and by woman and a disturbing rapey vibe made these huge in Italy until the mid-80’s. With the fumetti’s popularity on the wane Taglietti would become a teacher of ‘decoration’ and mural conservation. In 2000 he stopped teaching and has focused on painting murals and watercolors – hopefully w/ some different themes than his fumetti work.
Fairuza Balk (born May 21, 1974) That smile, those eyes. Fairuza (Turquoise in Farsi) began her career as Dorothy Gale in the unofficial sequel to Wizard of Oz – 1985’s Return to Oz. She became a teenage Satan worshipper in The Craft, a cat-thing in The Island of Dr. Moreau w/ Marlon Brando, an Academy Award nominated skin head in American History X, a groupie in Almost Famous and a bad girl to Adam Sandler’s simpleton in The Waterboy (among many others) Wildly different roles, great co-stars and what appears to be a simple non-Hollywood like life, Fairuza continues to act and do voice work for cartoons and video games … and she still has that smile.
Vogue picture records were produced by Sav-Way Industries of Detroit, Michigan from 1946 to 1947 (before they went out of business) – there are only 74 different discs. The 10″ discs were created by sandwiching an illustration between 2 clear pieces of vinyl. The picture would usually have something to do with the song – though sometimes a tad obscure. The songs for the most part were war era mushy ballads sung by obscure big band crooners – no Sinatra, no Bing Crosby. They were more along the lines of The Don Large Chorus, Shep Fields and LuLu Belle & Scotty – big names all. The illustrations however make these discs quite beautiful and cool little collectors items. They’re not worth a ton, some more collectable than others, they are however a great look into 40’s entertainment and design.
Gerard “Jerry” Nolan (May 7, 1946 – January 14, 1992) It didn’t matter what they made him wear, as long as he got to drum for the Dolls and hang with his friend Johnny he was happy. By all accounts, a pretty happy-go-lucky guy, Jerry was a tough as shit street kid who (long story short) joined the New York Dolls in 1972 after the death of original drummer Billy Murcia. Always looking a bit non-plussed in his teased hair and tiny Doll clothes (though nowhere near as out of place as Arthur “Killer” Kane), Jerry could drum like a house on fire.
Nolan would leave the Dolls in 1975 along w/ Johnny Thunders to form the Heartbreakers (not the Tom Petty version), move to England and embark on the infamous Anarchy in the UK tour along w/ the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. It was Jerry and Johnny who introduced heroin to the UK punk scene causing untold problems with among others, poor stupid Sid Vicious. Jerry would quit the Heartbreakers in 77′ and kick around England for a few years playing w/ various punk outfits, eventually landing in Sweden for awhile before moving back to New York in the late 80’s. After years of heroin addiction Jerry would die of Bacterial Meningitis coupled with a stroke, in 1992, only 2 months after his buddy Johnny’s death in New Orleans. He is buried at Mount Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Flushing NY.