Watch It While You Can

This one may not be around long, but definitely worth a look.

It occurs to me that one of my earliest childhood memories is going to the Summer Twin Drive-In with my parents. (It’s still around, one of the few drive-ins left in the United States.) Of course, being from the South, we had a pickup truck. My mom and dad watched The Sting. I got in the truck bed, and unbeknownst to them, watched The Exorcist.

I was 4! This explains so much …

Looking For Stiv

Goddamn, I’m a sucker for these things.

In his second punk documentary, filmmaker Danny “Looking for Johnny” Garcia takes a deep dive into the life and legacy of the Dead Boys front man. Included in STIV is some rare footage and lore about Stiv’s surprising career before and after the Dead Boys, as well as the hilarious stories and hijinks one associates with the punk legend who died at age 40 in 1990.

Interview with the director right over here.

And here’s a panel interview from the world premiere a few days ago.

Is This True?

Yeah, we were told that Elvis wasn’t discovered as such at all! He was just some freaky-looking kid always making a nuisance of himself around Sun Studios and nobody wanted to know him. Like here’s this guy who dyed his fuckin’ eyebrows and dressed in black pimp clothes—and this was the ‘50s in the South, you’ve got to remember—and Sam Phillips and all the session guys thought he was some disgusting little faggot!

However Elvis did have this one piece of luck. His mother, right, had a really bad weight problem and the doctor prescribed her this enormous supply of diet pills which just happened to be… these pills were just pure benzedrine, right, which is a very potent form of speed.

And all those Sun guys just lived on speed, man. So when Phillips found out that Elvis could get bottles of these things, he let him hang around. So, like, here was Elvis every week bringing huge bottles of these pills to the guys at Sun until, as he was the studio’s main source of supply for speed, Phillips was more or less obliged to let him cut a record.

So like, rock ‘n’ roll was born simply because Elvis Presley was Sun Records’ number one speed dealer.

Lux Interior

And When I Get Excited, My Little China Girl Says…

I’ve never seen the unedited video.

It’s hard to imagine in these times, just how much of an uproar the unedited version of David Bowie’s China Girl video created when it was first released in 1983.

The effect on ordinary folk was like that scene in Perfume, with folk ripping off each other’s clothes and fornicating in the streets and the like.

OK, it wasn’t quite like that, but there was certainly a right brouhaha in the press and it was even banned by TV stations the world over.

The David Mallet directed video featured New Zealand model Geeling Ng, and the final moments of the video with her naked in the surf with Bowie (which got some a little hot under the collar), was a visual reference to the film From Here To Eternity.

Of course, this was all a bit of a distraction from the intended message of the video and possibly even Iggy Pop’s original lyric too.

Mainly shot in the Chinatown district of Sydney, the China Girl video (along with the previous Let’s Dance video), was a critique of racism with Bowie describing it as a “very simple, very direct” statement against racism.

Bowie said in Rolling Stone that same year: “Let’s try to use the video format as a platform for some kind of social observation, and not just waste it on trotting out and trying to enhance the public image of the singer involved. I mean, these are little movies, and some movies can have a point, so why not try to make some point.”

And in another interview at the time, Bowie opined: “The message that they [the videos] have is very simple, it’s wrong to be racist!”

Which is funny, because Iggy Pop says the lyrics are about his infatuation with Kuelan Nguyen as a metaphor for his time with the Stooges.

What Was the Message, Mr. Gardner?

Peter Sellers hated that this blooper reel was stuck over the end credits of Being There (and felt that it cost him the Oscar for Best Actor that year). I will never not laugh at it.

The Morbid Story Behind the Red Ceiling

Fascinating and sad.

According to the Oxford American

The house in the photograph belonged to a man named Tom “T. C.” Boring, a dentist born and raised in Greenwood, whom Eggleston has described as the best friend he ever had in the world. He was the scion of a well-respected Delta family, a sharp and promising Southern archetype who glided his way through the University of Mississippi, Loyola University, and the Navy before coming home to Greenwood and gradually, ungracefully losing his mind.

Full article here. As always, enjoy or don’t.