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V. VALE’s RE/SEARCH NEWSLETTER #55, December 2006



1. SAT DEC 2: DIRK DIRKSEN MEMORIAL SERVICE. 11AM-1PM, Valente/Marini, 4840 Mission St/Onondaga-Geneva, San Francisco. Damon:

2. Sat DEC 9, 2006, 6:30pm: RE/Search presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring DIRK DIRKSEN, R.I.P. (8/25/37-11/19/06). A newly edited tribute to the San Francisco Godfather of Punk Rock. Channel 29 (S.F. only), 6:30pm

3. VIENNA, AUSTRIA: RoboExotica, Dec 5-10. V. Vale (assisted by Marian Wallace) will present videos, give a lecture, and appear on a panel. Go to for more details!

3A. Dec 16, 2006 Industrial Culture Film Festival Part 1, featuring premiere of Throbbing Gristle film, a panel with V. Vale, Monte Cazazza & Ethan Port, at RML, Brannan/7th St, S.F.

3B. Scott Beale’s amazing Santacon film (100 Santas rampage through downtown Portland), “You’d Better Watch Out,” shows **for free** at Cafe Du Nord Dec 19, 8pm sharp.

4. What We’ve Attended: LOU REED by Stephane von Stephane.

5. What We’ve Been Reading, Listening To, etc: Terese Taylor, Dreamflesh #1.

6. Recommended Links – thanks to: You Know Who You Are


8. J.G. BALLARD NEWS: new novel Kingdom Come released September, 2006!

9. Feedback from Readers

OUR “AD” here: RE/Search’s INDUSTRIAL CULTURE HANDBOOK is back! limited edition hardback, gorgeous, $39. On better paper, too–photos look much sharper! Special pre-order price to our newsletter readers only: order in advance, only $25 plus $4 shipping., 415-362-1465, or try our order blank at www.

**RE/Search is on MySpace: If you would like to be “our friend” – receive bulletins, etc, please Join Us!  – thanks, v. vale & cohorts



1.   SAT DEC 2: DIRK DIRKSEN MEMORIAL SERVICE. 11AM-1PM, 4840 Mission St/bet. Russia-Geneva, San Francisco. Damon: 415-206-1621,


Sunday night, Nov 19, 2006, after attending a rehearsal of the Mutants at Lennon Studios in San Francisco, Dirk Dirksen went home and died in his sleep. He had had quadruple bypass heart surgery in 1990 and the prevailing opinion is that he died of a heart attack or a stroke.

But while he was alive, Dirk Dirksen, to quote Winston Smith, “changed the world!” Almost single-handedly he made the early beginnings of Punk Rock possible in San Francisco, by providing an all-ages, low-admission-charge venue where anybody could play – once, at least. Wannabe performers had to submit a “3-song demo tape,” a photo, and brief description, and almost nobody was rejected. He suffered 7 broken noses, a broken ankle, an above-elbow replacement and various internal injuries while fending off deluded humans who mistakenly equated “Punk Rock” with violence–a notion implanted by corporate media, the enemy of authentic cultural evolution everywhere.

From 1974-1984 (or was it 1986?) Dirk curated thousands of shows at the Mabuhay Gardens, 443 Broadway, and the upstairs On Broadway Theater. Several obituaries have appeared in corporate media, but we think they contain errors. For example, the S.F. Chronicle’s Joel Selvin (and Michael Goldberg, in a separate article) stated that the Ramones (and Iggy Pop) played the Mabuhay Gardens, but to the best of our knowledge, this never happened…almost every other U.S. Punk Band did, however. If anyone has the exact date(s) of these alleged concerts, please forward to us, and we will report in the next newsletter.

() Kathy Peck from the Contractions is spearheading fund-raising for Damon Molloy, Dirk’s longterm partner/archivist/videographer for the past 21 years, and we want him to be able to be keeper of the Dirk Dirksen Archive, but this has a cost, of course.

1) You have the option of sending donations direct to: Damon Molloy, 744 Treat St, San Francisco CA 94110. 415-206-1621.

2) Kathy is also asking for donations for a Dirk Dirksen Memorial Fund Benefit Auction:

 Please send your contribution of music, autograph/ memorabilia, artwork, CDs, vinyl records, music equipment, other or make a $ contribution to: $donation can be emailed to for paypal. Dec 3-16, 2006 – Dirk Dirksen Memorial Auction on eBay – Donations can also be mailed to Kathy at HEAR Foundation, 1405 Lyon St, SF CA 94115. 415-409-3277. You can email Kathy Peck at

3) Damon Molloy is looking for a job: he is an experienced cameraman/ editor/ archivist/ organizer et al. He is the keeper of the Dirk Dirksen Punk Archives, and should be honored as such.

More info:

() Dirk Dirksen Memorial Concert will be held in San Francisco at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco at a time to be announced (January or Feb?).  Check club listing for

() Dirk Dirksen Call-in Radio Show

Call in radio show to share memories of Dirk

call before Show date on Dec 2.

(leave 2 min message: state name, city, story about Dirk/ Fab MAB) go to website for details.

Drinks with Tony – Tony Dushane – call (415) 824-4621

() Dirk Dirksen L.A. Times obituary:,1,2568649.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Dirk Dirksen, 69; the ‘godfather’ of punk rock scene in San Francisco

From Times Staff and Wire Reports – November 25, 2006

Dirk Dirksen, 69, a punk music impresario who ran San Francisco’s Mabuhay Gardens nightclub during its heyday in the 1970s, died Monday in his sleep, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The cause of death was not reported.

Considered the godfather of the city’s punk rock scene, Dirksen presented a who’s who of punk acts in his more than 10 years of running the club. Acts included the Dead Kennedys, Devo, the Ramones, the Mutants, Black Flag and the Go-Go’s.

After leaving the club business in the early 1980s, Dirksen operated a video production firm.

According to the Chronicle, Dirksen was born in Braunschwig, Germany, in 1937. His family moved to Southern California after World War II and settled in Downey.

Dirksen served in the Army and briefly attended San Jose State before dropping out to open a surfing business in Santa Cruz.

He found his way into the entertainment business as a tour manager for Ray Charles, the Supremes and Iron Butterfly, the Chronicle said. [end]


() Posted November 21, 2006 (excerpt)

S.F. Punk Rock Promoter Dirk Dirksen Dead


San Francisco punk rock entrepreneur Dirk Dirksen, best known for the mid-70s to mid-’80s concerts he promoted at the Mabuhay Gardens (featuring many of the most important punk rock bands including The Ramones [?], Black Flag, The Dead Kennedys, Iggy Pop [?] and The Minutemen,), died in his sleep the night of Sunday, November 19, according to Punk Globe’s Ginger Coyote.

Dirksen had been working for the past few years on a documentary/ performance DVD on S.F. punk legends The Mutants… It was fitting that Dirksen’s final project was a film about one of the important punk combos that got their start playing his venue.

Dirksen’s heyday began in 1976, when he turned the Filipino supper club on Broadway where he’d been presenting campy novelty acts such as Les Nickelettes, into San Francisco’s answer to C.B.G.B.’s. Surrounded by topless joints, [2 blocks] away from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore, the Mabuhay Gardens – which held about 100 [Dirk claimed official capacity was 235] people – became the coolest club in the city.

The Mabuhay was a place where you could hang out…The Mabuhay became both a magnet for and an inspiration to punk rockers and would-be punk rockers. Punk had emerged in New York in ’74, with Patti Smith, The Ramones, Blondie, Talking Heads and others. Word of a new sensibility (and new sounds) spread quickly to the West Coast (many of us read about the New York scene in the Village Voice), and punk bands including Crime and The Nuns formed.

Dirksen was the first Bay Area promoter to pick up on the change in the cultural wind… Dirksen himself was an eccentric figure who loved nothing more than to stand onstage, insulting the audience before introducing the Nuns, Crime or The Mutants…[end]

Dirk’s survivors: 2 sisters: Marie-Luise (MaLi) Dirksen of Bethesda, MD, and Theodora Ernst-Dirksen of Los Angeles, CA. Niece Christina Ernst of Arcata, CA. Monica Kucich of Maynard, MA, Carla Teesar of Oakland, MD, and nephews Tim Ernst and Mike Ernst of Los Angeles, CA. Nine grand-nieces and grand-nephews. Partner Damon Molloy.

Websites for Dirk Dirksen:

2.   Sat DEC 9, 2006, 6:30pm: RE/Search presents the COUNTER CULTURE HOUR featuring DIRK DIRKSEN, R.I.P. (8/25/37-11/19/06). A newly edited interview with/tribute to the San Francisco Godfather of Punk Rock, ending with live Mutants footage. Channel 29 (S.F. only), 2nd Sat of the month, 6:30pm. Set your VCR, tape it, and watch it later!



3.   VIENNA, AUSTRIA: RoboExotica, Dec 5-10. V. Vale (assisted by Marian Wallace) will present videos, give a lecture on J.G. Ballard, and appear on a panel, plus shoot a video of the weeklong event for a future Counter Culture Hour Show. Go to for more details! Or see below…


“Roboexotica 2006 : What is it all about? It’s an annual festival where philosophers, scientists, researchers, computer geeks and artists from all over the world talk about/build “cocktail robots” and discuss technological innovation, futurology and science fiction. Roboexotica is an ironic attempt to criticize techno-triumphalism and to dissect technological hypes.

“We always have a conference, and this year the topic will be “regulierungstraeume” (“dreams about regulations”), about cybernetics, robotics and politics.” – Johannes Grenzfurthner

“Dreams of Regulation

Cybernetics and Robotics as an Interdisciplinary Universal Science

The dream of a universal or an interdisciplinary science is an old idea that is continually arising anew. Despite, or precisely because of, the increasing specialization of the sciences, the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have brought forth numerous visions of a new interdisciplinary science transcending the limitations of traditional science’s mechanistic and analytic thinking. Cybernetics, the theory of dynamic systems, artificial life research and robotics are (or have been) among the hopeful candidates for such a new science. It has been repeatedly attested that these new disciplines could develop a(more) comprehensive language able to bridge the gap between the so-called “two cultures” of the natural and the human sciences. One might cite the example provided by the famous Macy Conferences, in which mathematicians, physicists, biologists and anthropologists cooperated.

Interestingly, the development of new techno sciences like cybernetics, AL research and robotics has had a wide-ranging influence on the most diverse fields of knowledge from natural and technological sciences to human, social and cultural sciences. They have either nested themselves under their own “label” in a great variety of disciplines, established themselves as new and independent interdisciplinary areas of research, or integrated themselves (or been integrated) into other fields. In the latter case, techno sciences like cybernetics, chaos theory and artificial life research gave up their individual “identity” as independent fields of knowledge.

Cybernetics, for instance, was influential during the 1960s in a wide variety of areas from medicine, (molecular) biology, pedagogy, political science, sociology and philosophy to traffic planning and artificial intelligence. Today almost no one speaks of cybernetics, but its theorems and products remain present in many fields. In robotics, for example, cybernetic ideas like feedback, regulation and the black box model are booming.

Against this background, what are the perspectives of efforts toward establishing a new interdisciplinary approach and a different techno rationality in robotics, with its cybernetic heritage and its (biocybernetic) future? To what degree are new working approaches or even new forms of rationality to be found in robotics?

New forms of knowledge and knowledge production and new ways of creating artifacts are made possible by cybernetics and robotics. Today many robotics specialists fall back on cybernetics as a resource for ideas in realizing new technological developments. Our symposium will focus on epistemological and ontological affinities and differences as well as those found in the production of artifacts and will put special emphasis on interdisciplinarity and notions of a universal science.” [end]

Again, go to for schedules, maps, photos, etc. Also check out

3A. Dec 16, 2006 Industrial Culture Film Festival Part 1, featuring premiere of new Throbbing Gristle film, other films; a panel with V. Vale, Monte Cazazza & Ethan Port, at RML, Brannan/7th St, S.F. Go to for complete listing (which we could not access at the time of this newsletter publishing date). Or email us at – $15-23. Highly limited seating, but “venue” has fabulous surround-sound and visual projection mega-system. We hope to have the new Industrial Culture Handbook hardback limited edition available for autographing.

3B. Scott Beale’s amazing Santacon film (100 Santas rampage through downtown Portland), “You’d Better Watch Out,” shows **for free** at Cafe Du Nord Dec 19, 8pm sharp. Highly recommended. Dress in Santa Claus drag! For more info, go to


4.   What We’ve Attended: LOU REED by Stephane von Stephane.

70’s Rocker-Boy Gender-Bender Hat Trick…

Meeting Lou Reed would have completed the 70’s rocker-boy gender-bender hat trick. That would have been the trio of Bowie, Iggy & Lou (or Elton or Mick could be substituted there). The fellas who wore make-up, fingernail polish, sparkley clothing, high heel shoes sparkley clothing, high heel shoes and shashayed around the stage in the glitter-rock heyday. The guys who made bi-sexual mandatory, and I loved ’em for it.  But no, I did not get to meet Lou (to go along with meeting Bowie & Iggy). Vale & I did not put on our PRESS-bitch outfits in time to go through ‘proper channels’ to get an interview with the man. Therefore, alas, the hat trick remains incomplete for now.

Vale asked me: “What is a hat trick?” “A sports reference..” I started to explain.  Vale interjected (and I paraphrase) “Sports are the opiate of the bullsh*t American brainwashed, big-brother loving, wasteland-inhabiting masses.” “Well yes, that is true.” I had to admit. “But some things about some sports are really exciting and beautiful. Like a hat trick in hockey. Because it is so rare, and hard to do.” [And here, all you aestetic-istas brains are powering down and your eyes are glazing over…] But indulge me now; Ice Hockey is not as annoying as other more popular sports. No giant egos and overpaid, over-muscled big-mouth a–holes on steroids. It is truly a team sport. Skilled individuals who play hockey are team-oriented, not primadonnas. Watching hockey is like listening to free-form jazz, there is a basic structure to follow and come back to, but lots of improvising. It is fast, fluid, unpredictable, edgy and graceful.

Vale went on to point out that time spent watching sports could be better used to do something creative. This is true too, but every once in a while you just want to be entertained, “Watching sports is like reading a book.” I say.  And Vale at first wanted to claim that he only reads for enlightenment, not entertainment, then admitted that he was indeed currently reading a mystery novel…

So, in spite of not having our pre-arraigned PRESS accoutremonts we did go to the show because a friend [Ed Kountze–if you are reading this, please call Vale!!] who Vale had not seen in 14 years, mysteriously came by and gave him tickets right before the show.  “Cosmic,” said Vale.  So, we went to Redwood City and saw Lou at the Fox Theatre, a lovely old-fashioned venue with an excellent sound system. Lou played guitar and had two bass players, one a stand-up electric bass – and no drums. This was different, but it somehow worked. They mostly played things I hadn’t heard before.

I loved Lou in the early days when he played all the old favorites and fake shot-up on stage during the song ‘Heroin’. That was just about as good as it gets for iconic rock theater. [Like Mick Ronson performing fellatio on Bowie’s guitar…a thing of beauty, a perfect rock n’ roll stage moment.] Unfortunately this earlier memory was almost erased when I saw Lou sometime later and he kind of sounded like John Cougar Mellencamp and played the song ‘Dirty Boulevard’.

That song has a great line, talking about the Statue of Liberty: “Give us your tired, your hungry, your poor, and we’ll piss on em” but other than that it is not so great a song. Not as great as Sweet Jane or Walk on the Wild Side neither of which he played at the Fox. He had begrudgingly played Sweet Jane during the J.C.M. phase after the crowd called out for it a hundred times prefaced by; “Well I guess I’ll play that song for you as the royalities from that song alone kept up my drug habit for ten years.”  But he would not play it during this current phase. He did play Dirty Boulevard as an encore, though, much to my disappointment. I would rather be forced to listen to Sweet Jane all day every day for a year than to try to get excited about hearing Dirty Boulevard one more time.

The best part of the show for me was when he channeled Andy Warhol perfectly, reading from his diary (I assume this is from Songs for Drella) over meandering synthesizer. Andy talking about how Lou did not invite him to his wedding and how he really hates Lou. Very funny stuff, I chuckled the whole way through. That was making me really want to meet the man and tell him how freakin’ cool he is and ask him about Andy… But as I said, we did not get to meet him. We almost got to meet him, but his tour manager determined that 29 people were already 28 more people than Lou wanted to meet. I have heard from someone who knows him that he is a bit prickley, like a cactus. Guards his ‘space.’ Which is fine. I don’t mind prickley actually. As Jane Austen once said; “I do not want people to be agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them.”

So, no hat trick for now. (Which is, by the way, for those of you with sports allergies: the same player scoring three goals in one hockey game. It is really rare, because it is so hard to do. Then the fans throw their hats out on the ice with wild abandon. Kinda freakin’ cool.)  Maybe next time Lou is in town— 70’s rocker-boy gender-bender hat trick for me. Or, I guess, there would always be Elton or Mick for the third goal. Not nearly as freakin’ cool though. – Stephane von Stephane


5.   What We’ve Been Listening To, Reading, etc…


() Terese Taylor’s new (third?) CD: “Good Luck Investigationship.” $10 + $2 shipping from T. Taylor, POB 14572, SF CA 94114-0572. Terese Taylor is one of the San Francisco local treasures, continuing to write songs and occasionally produce her own CDs, D-I-Y. We especially like “Hermit,” “Call In Sick,” (!) “The End,” and “Dirty,” but every song is listenable! Please support Bay Area artists…

() Dreamflesh #1, from BM 2374, London WC1N 3XX, U.K. Order from – contains provocative ideas. Here are a few samples: “Speaking of his work at Los Alamos developing the atomic bomb, Robert Wilson said: ‘I would like to think now that at the time of the German defeat, I would have stopped and taken stock, and thought it all over very carefully, and that I would have walked away from Los Alamos at that time. In terms of everything I believed in before and during and after the war, I cannot understand why I did not take that act. On the other hand, I do not know of a single instance of anyone who made that suggestion or who did leave at the time . . . Our life was directed to do one thing. It was as though we had been programmed to do that and as automatons were doing it.‘ ” (quoted in Dreaming the End of the World by Michael Ortiz Hill, p. 32)

“People are dreaming the ecological apocalypse–that’s quite clear.”

“The Northwest Coast Indians…probably worked on average about half an hour a day on food. Where do you think all that fantastic art came from? They had time, they had leisure, they had time to devote themselves to an amazing explosion, or excess of creativity…” Peter Lamborn Wilson, pp 179-180

“Breathwork: the conscious use of breath to create different states of consciousness, [like] pranayama…”


6.   Recommended Links:


() – check out this site. it is interesting and my art is here. – Deborah Valentine

() Graham [] saw this on and thought you should see it too: Message: Screw “Done Old Tramp”…my comments come under the name ‘Onlooker’, with comments 187, 188 and 205. Birds or birdies? The battle looms for �1bn Trumptown: THE stage has been set for a battle between billionaire Donald Trump and environmentalists after the unveiling of a �1 billion masterplan to build “the world’s greatest golf resort” on a spectacular stretch of links land in the north-east of Scotland.

() Lynch with cow:

() Dick Dale:  “I am not a guitarist. I am a person who gets sounds out my instrument. I’ll leave that up to you guys and Eddie Van Halen and Stevie Vai. That’s the whole thing. I never said I was a guitarist in the first place. I just get sounds…”

() What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light:

() Outsider music:

() Mark Mothersbaugh:

() “Harold Lloyd: I’ve been looking at the recently-released DVD set of restored Harold Lloyd comedies.  They are magnificently done.  He was one of the real greats, along with Chaplin, Keaton, and Laurel & Hardy.  He had a great character, ordinary guy.

“The real treat so far has been “Speedy”, filmed partially on location in New York in 1927 (with Babe Ruth making an appearance).  There is a long sequence filmed at Coney Island, great shots of Steeplechase and Luna Park.  All the old rides and games.  Quite the historical record.

“Most people don’t have a clue about Lloyd – he was a HUGE star, but took his movies out of circulation.  He did have the foresight to copy all his nitrate negatives to safety film in the early fifties.” – Phil G.

() Shanghai posters: – his Chinatown book is very cool:

() surrealist racist jokes:

() best scam ever:

() outsider:

() Archie vs the punks: – a bit heavy handed – more on Archie the social revisionist:

() pounding away:

– more battlefield action:

– the influence of Devo on men’s headwear:




“Go figure out where the pain is” – advice to a photographer wondering what to photograph, from Jerome Leibling.

“There are no shortcuts.” – ibid.

“Everything sounds like advertising now.” – Andy W.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” – Goethe

“Architecture is frozen music.” – Goethe

“The obstacle is the path.” – unknown

“We’re facing a new kind of man and woman – narrow-eyed, passive, clutching their store cards. They believe anything that people like you care to tell them. They want to be tricked, they want to be deluded into buying the latest rubbish. They’ve been educated by TV commercials… This is a plague area…a plague called consumerism.” – J.G. Ballard, Kingdom Come

“[Once] evening classes were popular here – conversational French, local history, contract bridge. They’ve all closed. People prefer to stroll around the mall… We had a dozen societies and clubs – music, amateur dramatics, archaeology. They shut down long ago…” – JGB, Kingdom Come

“We buy things to make us grow again.” – JGB, Kingdom Come

“Shopping was now the model for all human behavior, drained of emotion and anger.” – JGB, Kingdom Come

“Journeys seldom end when I think they do.” – JGB, Kingdom Come

“You saw fascism as just another sales opportunity. Psychopathology was a handy marketing tool.” – Kingdom Come

“…the kind of slogans that convince people that black is white, that it’s all right to go a little mad.” – Kingdom Come

“Remember, sensation and psychopathology are the only way people make contact with each other today.” – Kingdom Come

8.   J.G. Ballard News: (Order J.G. Ballard’s new novel, Kingdom Come from – it’s not published in the U.S.A. Ordering from Canada may be cheaper than ordering from the U.K.) Also,we recommend you order RE/Search’s J.G. Ballard Conversations book from http://www.

�      “Kingdom Come is a crowning achievement from the most imaginative futurist of the 20th century. In a world completely inundated by spin, hype, advertising, marketing and branding, what is the most Faustian figure? An advertising man, a marketing mercenary – part devil, part whore – the supreme enemy of humanity as we used to know it. Ballard posits that our “real” world has already been replaced by a simulacrum – a stage-set whose sky is as thin as paper and whose reality is as virtual – and as eternal – as the porn images popping up as spam on your home computer.” – Rosetta Rocque,The New Garden of Eden (forthcoming)


“[In Kingdom Come] some of Ballard’s paragraphs and sentences are more exciting than most novels.” – Leo Edelstein, Pataphysics magazine

9.   Feedback from Readers:


() First, our thanks to everyone – you know who you are – who helped out on the RE/Search PRANKS 2 events – Sat Nov 11 at the S.F. Art Institute, hosted by Prof. Mark Van Proyen. Onstage were Jack Napier, Marc Powell, Karen Marcelo, Babalou, Jarico Reesce and Rob Schmidt, hosted by Mal Sharpe – we played a video clip from Mal’s new 4-item box set, The Imposters. Sat Nov 18 at Beyond Baroque, Venice CA – panel featuring Jihad Jerry (Jerry Casale, DEVO founder), Frank Discussion (Feederz founder) and Reverend Al (Art of Bleeding; L.A. Cacophony Society) plus his lovely nurse Alena and ambulance where free casts were given out. Well, we have to mention names: in L.A. we were greatly helped by Lisette Sutherland, Gary Chong, Johnny Brewton/Giselle; Cousin Gail & Hokan; David Coons & Carlye Archibeque who brought on sound wizard(s) Tom Hall, “Rick” – Fred Dewey/Pablo, thanks, too. In San Francisco Elisabeth Beaird/Babalou, John Sulak, Dannie Delvos + Megan, Doug & Sandra, Chris/Suzanne Farris, Chris Cobb, Sandra Derian + Robin, Summer Burkes – thanks, you are all truly amazing! And thanks to those who helped who are not listed here…

() From Eva Lake‘s diary:

“Andy on the brain, October 9 2006

“The recent broadcast of a documentary on Andy Warhol may have already started turning the tides against him (again). You’d think that by now that everyone would be up against a wall saying: “Alright! Enough already! You changed the world! We got it!” But we are holding you personally responsible for this glut of “reality TV!” Spare us!…

“Yet I have actually run across some young people who all hate Andy now, having seen the movie. As the movie states, regarding the ongoing addiction of Edie Sedgwick: “Warhol never did a thing.” And they’re all self-righteous and pissed about it, upset over an heiress they would have never known about had it not been for Andy making her a star.

“My question is: what could he have done? Ever been around a junkie? Ever lost someone to drugs or alcohol? I have. Being a friend, answering the phone day or night – none of it was ever enough.

“It’s odd how this fury came out of the mouths of babes who will say that pop culture is what their world is all about, who watch reality TV, who figure it’s a done deal that portraiture is a photo process then slathered with a separate, flat color onslaught. When I told them that the world looked very differently in 1963, they acted like history had nothing to do with it.

“Since they hated him after all of their new-found information and told me how meaningless and powerless he was, I then asked them: OK, if Warhol is not the main artist of the second half of the 20th c., who is? Can you name me five or ten artists who would fill that bill?

“You can imagine the response. There was none. It went to a change of subject. But Andy is never too far from my mind, not these days.” –

() Dear V Vale,


Remember me?  David Therrien introduced us and I blabbed about my Warholian experiences. I didn’t see the documentary but enjoyed reading the responses to it in this recent newsletter. It seems to me that Warhol continues to succeed in the ultimate prank. Now, we have a new piece of Warhol and his legacy. A documentary that tells an origin story that misses so many dimensions — think about the image of thousands watching a flat plane of explanation on their flat panel televisions.  Warhol would have loved it.  Just as he erased the wrinkles and imperfections in his portraits, Burns erased the realities of Warhol’s essence derived from his “original” family of friends and coconspirators. What was not seen in the generic and easily digested documentary was made visible with trenchant clarity to those that know the Warholian spirit and origin story from other sources.

Thank you for this newsletter, I can never attend any of the events so vividly accounted for – because I live in Phoenix now, but you take my mind into another schedule of delights! Be Well, Ana Bron

() Hey Vale, [The Pranks 2 celebration at the San Fran. Art Institute Sat Nov 11] was wonderful. With annoying audience and all. I think you put on another memorable event… Hugs…and thanks for putting together a smashing evening. – Cheers, baba

() REVIEW OF OUR NEW PRANKS 2 book: “San Francisco’s RE/Search Publications is back with another stunning prick at the masses with Pranks 2, a second volume of anti-corporate and anti-stupidity shenanigans meant to teach a little and laugh a lot between the lines of social protest.  Two rockers find their way inside: entertaining malcontent and spoken word sage Jello Biafra hacks off about hacking scenarios, and Ministry’s Al Jourgensen shares tales of subversive resistance within his major record label deal. Other political artists turning everything sideways include the Yes Men, John Waters, painter Ron English, comedian Margaret Cho, master satirist Paul Krassner, and the brilliant modifiers of the advertising landscape, the Billboard Liberation Front.Highly recommended, this is smart stuff for those witty enough to throw ideas instead of bombs.” (John M. James, Anchorage Press, Atlanta, GA)

() “Featured in Pranks 2 are monkey-wrenchers The Yes Men – whose, inspired the President to say, “There should be limits to freedom” – and billboard liberator Ron English, who parodied Apple’s “Think Different” advertising campaign, Reverend Al’s latest project, “The Art of Bleeding,” a cabaret act that comes on like Benny Hill’s Grand Guignol, presents talking apes, robots and legions of nurses prancing around in their scanties. Yes, protest, riot and vote to your heart’s content, but these are perfunctory things. The prank represents an escape from the modern trinity of failure, servitude and prostitution. Because giving a skinned sheep’s head to Betty Ford, as ur-prankster Boyd Rice once did, doesn’t make the wheels of authority turn so much as it shuts off the machine entirely, if only for a little while.” – David Cotner, L.A. Weekly, Nov 17-28, 2006. We highly recommend subscribing to David Cotner’s eNewsletter – email him:

() PRANKS 2 can be ordered from http://www.

() From BOING-BOING (thanks, David/Mark!): “RE/Search Pranks 2  book… features inspirational interviews with The Yes Men, Ron English, John Waters, monochrom, Billboard Liberation Front, and many more tricksters. Hit the RE/Search site for excerpts and ordering information. From the introduction: “What are pranks? For us, pranks are any humorous deeds, propaganda, sound bites, visual bites, performances and creative projects which pierce the veil of illusion and tell the truth. Pranks unseriously challenge accepted reality and rigid behavioral codes and speech. Pranks deftly undermine phoniness and hypocrisy. Pranks lampoon sanctimoniousness, self-glorification, selfmythologizing and self-aggrandizement. Pranks force the laziest muscle in the body, the imagination, to be exercised, stretched, and thus transcend its former self.The imagination is what creates the future; that which will be.”


DECEMBER 2006 RE/Search eNewsletter written by V. Vale & contributors. Newsletter and website powered by

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