|RE/SEARCH Newsletter #35, March 2005|
|HERE’S THE NEWS FROM SAN FRANCISCO….
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1. CounterCulture Hour Saturday, Mar 12 **(tomorrow!)**, 2005, 6:30pm, Cable Channel 29 (Sorry, Bay Area only, but watch for video releases on our <href=”http: www.http://www.researchpubs.com”=””>website.) The 5th episode will feature more of the conversation with the highly engaging Winston Smith, and will be heavily illustrated with his collage art. Winston is the artist behind the Dead Kennedys‘ album covers, author of 3 books of political-punk, socially-critical, graphic, anti-totalitarian Americana Art…all published by San Francisco’s Last Gasp. Winston’s credentials as an early “proto-punk rocker” is established by his presence at the very first Ramones show in August 1976 at the Savoy Tivoli on Grant Avenue, San Francisco, and at the first Crime and Mary Monday [R.I.P.] shows at the Mabuhay Gardens. All these shows are noted historically in the very first Search & Destroy #1, published by V. Vale and still available at http://www.http://www.researchpubs.com
The first CounterCulture Hour aired Nov 13, 2004, and featured Dirk Dirksen of the Mabuhay Gardens, S.F.; the second featured Oberon Ravenheart and Thorn Coyle from our Modern Pagans book; the third featured R.U. Sirius and Dan Joy, authors of “Counter Culture Through the Ages.” The program airs the 2nd Saturday of each month at 6:30pm, on an ongoing basis. Your interviewing host is V. Vale, and the program is produced by Marian & Marian (aka Wallace and Wilde).
If you are interested in buying a vhs dub of the show, please email to us and we’ll let you know when they’re available. Could be soon if there’s enough interest! Price per episode: $15.00. We’re still working on getting them (or excerpts) up on the web, so watch for that!
2. Goodbye to Martin Denny and Phillip Lamantia
MARTIN DENNY‘s ashes will be scattered off the coast at Diamond Head where he lived his Hawaiian days of late, by his daughter, Christina, who was with him when he died. His last words to his friends were these: “Goodbye,” “Thank you for all you’ve done and for the friendships,” and “I love you!” According to Christina, he was ready to go and at one time actually wondered out loud what was taking so long! He was 93 years old.
Up ’til near the end I think Martin Denny was playing (for free) anonymously in hospices for people living their last hours–most of them probably not aware of the lasting greatness of the man who was, in real time, playing the ivories just for them. Kind of reminds me of Andy Warhol working in those NYC soup kitchens, unrecognized…
PHILIP LAMANTIA was one of the only authentic Beat and Surrealist poets–the other was Ted Joans. Philip was the secret mentor of V. Vale and in that way alone had a huge influence on the world at large, exclusive of the amazingly original/marvelous body of poetry and interviews he’s left behind. A precocious autodidact and San Francisco native of Sicilian heritage, he was welcomed into the Surrealist group around age 16 by Andre Breton himself as “a voice that rises every thousand years.” Philip went to New York City and worked on Viewmagazine, the Surrealist publication of the day, under Parker Tyler and Charles Henri Ford. In the late forties he audited classes at U.C. Berkeley taught by one of the last great Germanic encyclopedic historians, Ernst Kantorowicz.
Philip read his poems at what was arguably the first “Beat” poetry reading in San Francisco, fall of 1955, at the Six Gallery, along with Michael McClure, Allen Ginsberg (then living in San Francisco), Robert Duncan, Gary Snyder, Philip Whalen and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. He journeyed to Mexico and became an initiate into a Cora Indians peyote “cult.” He lived in Morocco at the same time as William S. Burroughs, Paul Bowles, Mel Clay and Alfred Chester and later, in Spain, was in the Egyptology study group of Andre and Goldian Vandenbroeck, a group which also included Nancy Peters, now co-owner/editor of City Lights Books.
Philip was also an “early adopter” of bebop jazz music and with his then-girlfriend Gogo Nesbit saw Charlie Parker (and other bebop legends) play many times in San Francisco nightclubs–at the time, to mostly Black audiences. Philip and Gogo were profiled in Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur. He also lived for awhile in New York City with the Beat poet Howard Hart (R.I.P.). Along the way he became a heroin addict, but managed to “kick that habit, man.” In 1968 he moved to San Francisco, when V. Vale met him and promptly initiated a mentor/student relationship for several years, involving the reading of over a thousand books, and listening to music ranging from Jilala (Moroccan trance music; liner notes by Paul Bowles) to early troubadour music to the best of bebop. Philip, in V. Vale’s estimate, was the last truly encyclopedic intellect of the 20th century counterculture. Philip Lamantia’s books may be found at www.citylights.com
3. SRL (Survival Research Laboratories) show in Los Angeles, April 2005. Two weeks ago the permits were finally gotten by Susan Joyceto stage a full-fledged SRL show in Los Angeles. The location and exact date/time of the show will be announced on the SRL website (srl.org) ON THE DAY OF THE EVENT. So, if you live in L.A., save your weekend nights in April for this wondrously rare happening–remember, there may not be a million more geniune SRL shows, so see them while you can! The event is completely funded by founder/director Mark Pauline, who launched SRL in 1978. Enough said!
In February, Mark Pauline (along with wife Amy and son Jake) hosted a tiny party for the Australian performance/body artist Stelarc. Stelarc also gave a video-illustrated lecture at the San Francisco Art Institute, and was interviewed by V. Vale for a forthcoming installment of The Counterculture Hour. Google “Stelarc” to find out more about why he is one of the most futuristic artists alive today.
A Brief RE/SEARCH History
March 2005 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale
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