Thursday, February 26, 2015

Joe Boyd on Hoppy

                                                          John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins in 2000. Photograph: Sarah Lee

I know some of us receive Joe Boyd's newsletters, but for those that don't: 

John “Hoppy” Hopkins died at the end of January. Some of you may have read the John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins obituary http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/feb/15/john-hoppy-hopkins I wrote for the Guardian or heard my contribution to “Last Word” on BBC Radio 4. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b051w4dk 

John ‘Hoppy’ Hopkins obituary http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/feb/15/john-hoppy-hopkins Photographer, writer and activist who was a leading figure of 1960s British counterculture 

The Guardian stayed reasonably true to my original text, but added more facts and removed some of the quirkier passages. Originally, (and within their word-count restraints) it read like this: 


Wow!! was John “Hoppy” Hopkins’ response to any number of things: an idea, a record, a film, a poster, a joke, a poem, a drug, a girl…. And his “Wow!” did not simply echo the ubiquitous “far out” of San Francisco hippies; his delight in the world was genuine, committed, astute and infectious. 
Hoppy, who has died, aged 77, was co-founder of International Times, the UFO Club and the London Free School. During the intense two-year heyday of London’s fertile and diverse counterculture, he was the only true leader the movement ever had. 
John Hopkins was born in 1937 in Slough; his father was a naval engineer, who designed turbines for large vessels. After attending Felsted School, he took a General Science degree at Cambridge, receiving his MA in 1958. His degree was undistinguished; as Hoppy put it, he discovered sex, drugs and jazz at Cambridge and pursued all three with great diligence. After graduation he worked as a lab technician for the Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell, but lost his security clearance after a jaunt to Moscow for a Communist youth festival. 
In 1960, he moved to London and became a photographer. I first encountered him backstage at the 1964 ‘Blues and Gospel Caravan’ photographing Muddy Waters and Sister Rosetta Tharpe for Melody Maker. His seldom-shown work is among the most evocative of the era, including brilliantly insightful shots of Beatles and Stones, John Lee Hooker and Thelonious Monk as well as a colourful early-‘60s underbelly of tattoo parlours, bikers, fetishists and derelict architecture. (There is a book of them: “From the Hip”, Damiani Press 2008 - http://hoppyx.com/) http://hoppyx.com/) 
In the summer of 1965, Hoppy joined with Barry Miles (future biographer of Ginsburg and Burroughs) and poet Michael Horowitz to organize the Albert Hall Poetry Olympics, featuring the American trio Ginsburg, Ferlinghetti and Corso, as well as Brits Adrian Mitchell, Alexander Trocchi, Christopher Logue and Horowitz; that night, the standing-room- only audience recognized themselves as a counter-culture for the first time. Two months later, Hoppy started the first of a life-long series of projects to democratize communication and information. The Notting-Hill- based London Free School achieved few of these goals, but its money-raising events gave Pink Floyd their start and his inspired collaboration with the local West Indian community brought about the first annual Notting Hill Carnival. 
In October of 1966, he and Barry Miles published the first issue of International Times, Europe’s first underground paper. (By the end of 1967, there would be almost 100 of them.) The IT launch party at the Roundhouse – with music by Pink Floyd and Soft Machine – inspired Hoppy and me to open the UFO Club in a West End dance hall. Every Friday, Hoppy would mount a scaffolding at the back of the club, play records, make gnomic announcements, show films, project light shows and imbue those nights of music, theatre and dance with an unforgettable atmosphere. Pink Floyd, Soft Machine, Arthur Brown, Procul Harum, Tomorrow, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band and Fairport Convention are among the many bands for whom a UFO appearance helped launch a successful career. 
In response to a March police raid on the IT offices, Hoppy mounted a “14-Hour Technicolor Dream” at Alexandra Palace; Peter Whitehead’s film “Let’s All Make Love In London” shows a dazed John Lennon wandering in the huge crowd, transfixed by Yoko Ono cutting a paper dress off a girl as Pink Floyd greeted the North London sunrise. 
Revolutions are, almost by definition, factional, but during those two golden years from June ’65 to June ‘67, the working-class anarchists, vaguely aristocratic bohemians, musicians, crusaders, poets, dropouts and psychotropic adventurers were united in their respect and affection for Hoppy. Seemingly irreconcilable differences were bridged again and again by our ever-positive leader. He had a scientist’s suspicion of waffle or cant, forcing us to confront the flaws and contradictions in our ideas and actions, but always in the most positive and supportive manner. All craved the reward of a “Wow” from Hoppy. 
That he was seen as leader of this amorphous movement espousing recreational drug-taking, political protest, sexual liberation and “obscene” literature inevitably led to his downfall. Hoppy’s flat was raided and a small amount of hashish found. At his trial, he attacked the prohibition on drugs and, having been branded a “menace to society” by the judge, was handed a nine-month sentence. Outrage at the sentence inspired ubiquitous Free Hoppy graffiti as well as a full-page celebrity protest in The Times, paid for by Paul McCartney. Without Hoppy, UFO lost its way and closed by October; the scene he had inspired was reduced in his absence by internal bickering, police harassment and better-funded competition. 
Though prison robbed him of his energy for leadership, the following decades saw Hoppy persevere with his ideals. Inspired by the Paris events of May ’68, he and Miles converted IT into a workers cooperative. With his partner, Sue Hall, he formed Fantasy Factory, an offline editing facility that revolutionized affordable low-tech video editing, bringing it within reach of community activists and independent directors. UNESCO funded Fantasy Factory’s educational package and distributed it widely in the developing world. For Hoppy, culture was always seen in the context of politics and vice-versa. 
Always eager for scientific challenges, a chance meeting in 1990 led to Hoppy designing and constructing a greenhouse for horticultural research at the University of Westminster. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2007, he never lost his curiosity or his charm, meeting a new partner for his final years at a gathering of Parkinson’s sufferers. In his final months, his speech and movement severely hindered by disease, he was still able to open wide his brightest eye and say ‘Wow!’ 
John “Hoppy” Hopkins, born 15 August, 1937, died 30 January, 2015. 


With you, loyal mailing list readers, I can be less restrained. I have no idea what my life might have been like had Hoppy not turned up that afternoon at Fairfield Halls Croydon to snap those pix for Melody Maker. I liked him immediately and asked if he was coming to the show that night. He had other plans, but eagerly accepted a pair of comps for the Hammersmith Odeon (now the Apollo) show the following week. 


Afterwards, he gave me his phone number and address and, as I recall, we shared a joint in the alley outside the stage door. When I returned to London at the end of the Blues and Gospel Caravan tour (for which I was tour manager), a folk club organizer offered me a slab of hashish at a bargain price. It was far too large for my modest level of consumption, so I rang Hoppy. He jumped in a cab and the three of us rode round a Soho block while Hoppy sniffed and pinched and bargained until the deal was done. I went back to his flat to sample the bounty and a friendship was forged. (Curious to recall our shared assumption that a London cabbie in 1964 wouldn’t have the faintest idea what we were up to…) 


From late April until the beginning of August, I rented cheap rooms, or slept on floors and sofas waiting to go back on jazz promoter George Wein’s payroll in Paris on August 1. I made three friends during those first weeks in London: Roy Guest, who was the Caravan’s liaison for the British promoter; Nigel Waymouth, a blues fan who came backstage at that same Hammersmith Odeon concert; and Hoppy. My entire life in London since then can be traced to the headwaters of those three encounters: Roy introduced me to the folk scene and all of his musical friends, Nigel turned out to be brilliant artist and designer who started Granny Takes A Trip and designed the UFO posters and Hoppy turned out to be… well, Hoppy. 


That summer, he was living in a large flat on Westbourne Terrace; Paddington was unfashionable then and the rent was nothing. For a month or so, I slept on his sofa, watched, followed and learned: back-doubles around London, the best curries, the best fry-ups, how to develop and print black and white film, how to talk to girls, how to listen to the Ayler Brothers, how to roll a British joint. Hoppy was always up for it, always full of energy, always positive, always searching, questioning. And it was no free-ride; I was expected to run errands, drop off film, make excuses to stood-up girls… When I ran out of money, he loaned me £10, a large sum in those days. 


My first attempt at pay-back came in September when I got him a press pass to the Berlin Jazz Festival. He took fantastic photos (many still for sale, or viewable in From The Hip) of Miles, Roland Kirk, Sonny Stitt, Kenny Clarke… I got him another pass to the Newport Jazz Festival in July ’65, where he told me about the big poetry reading at the Albert Hall he’d helped organize a few weeks earlier. I didn’t grasp its significance until I moved back to London in November. I rang Hoppy as soon as I arrived and he invited me to a meeting of the London Free School the following night. Everything seemed to have changed; Hoppy was no longer taking pictures, he was organizing. Leaflets were printed, a hall was rented, West London locals – Trinidadians, Irish, Ukrainians, students on the dole – were targeted as beneficiaries. The idea was to share our privileged knowledge with the disenfranchised – a theme that would run throughout Hoppy’s life. 


The next two years are a vivid blur: Pink Floyd gigs to raise money, the IT launch at the Roundhouse, the UFO Club every Friday in an Irish dance hall in Tottenham Court Rd, the Technicolor Dream, borrowing a 16mm projector every Friday from Yoko Ono and returning it through a door left open to the street each Saturday dawn, police busting people in the queue, getting advice from Michael X about how to confront authority…. I’m not sure how I discovered that Hoppy was a terrific blues pianist, but he performed expertly when I hired him for Incredible String Band and Purple Gang. (The Mad Hatter’s Song and Bootleg Whiskey, respectively. ) 


When Hoppy went down in June, the air went out of everything. We were already under siege – what had been a colourful psychedelic sidebar to “Swinging London” in the autumn of ‘66, had become a threat to the stability of society by the spring of ‘67, as the Beatles told of taking acid and then released LSD’s slickest advert, Sgt Pepper; the police colluded with the News of the World to bust the Stones. By the time Hoppy was released in January, our world had changed out of all recognition. I was busy in the studio and the “underground” was completely fragmented. Hoppy went into what he later confessed was his ‘Maoist’ period, sometimes even provoking factionalism rather than healing it. The warmth never went from our encounters, but throughout the 70s and 80s, they were sparse. 


In the ‘90s and ‘00ies, I saw more of him; I found there were things I could do for him – help him move a couple of times, for example. He ended up in a great 3-room ‘sheltered accommodation’ in Islington, with a garden at the back. I would sometimes explain to Americans friends why I can’t imagine living in the US; would someone like Hoppy, who had been so central to the culture but who never profited from his efforts, have been taken care of that way in America? (Will Britain still be like that if the Tories win in May…?) 


As his health deteriorated, I saw more and more of him. In the hospital a few days before he died, though his mouth was unable to form words, his good eye was wide and alert as I talked of how he’d changed my life and changed the life of this country. He moved his head up and down; for all his gentle humility, Hoppy knew who he was and what he’d accomplished. 


Note: there is an event in commemoration of Hoppy’s life on Feb 27. If any of you are seriously keen to go, email my website and if there still seems to be room, I’ll let you know where and when. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Just Relax and Immerse Yourself in These Few, Good, Borrowed Images







Conway Twitty Concert Poster Original Art (1975). Original concert poster art for Twitty’s 1975 performance in Milwaukee, by Underground cartoonist Skip Williamson.
Conway Twitty Concert Poster Original Art (1975). Original concert poster art for Twitty’s 1975 performance in Milwaukee, by Underground cartoonist Skip Williamson.




Hitch from Pascal Monaco on Vimeo.

»Hitch« is our graduation project at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover.  
It’s about »The Ultimate Hitch Cookbook«, an animated book containing the recipes for Alfred Hitchcock’s classics. It’s made for Hitchcock enthusiasts and every other couch potato out there.






Tippi Hedren and Alfred Hitchcock's cameo...




(via Against the Grain | Rotating Corpse)

Some info I found here:
“The best-known example of fin-de-siècle decadence, this novel has been banned and expurgated for years. (We suggest that readers not undertake this book until they have attained the age of 65!) A translation by Robert Baldick (“Against Nature”) in the Penguin series is convenient to read and widely available, but we now present a public domain English translation on the World Wide Web, as part of our project to prepare for the coming millennium. A version in the original French is now online at ABU: la Bibliothèque Universelle. (Look for Huysmans under “auteurs”.)”





Sunday, February 16, 2014

Blues America

Blues America




Woke up this Morning.
Series Producer & Director: Mick Gold

Blues is usually described as the sound of racial suffering 
and feeling sad, but this documentary argues that the 
blues began as a form of black pop music. First appearing 
in the Southern states of the USA around 1900, blues 
created by the poorest people in the richest nation on
earth took America by storm. The film look at the early 
years of the blues to discover how Bessie Smith, Blind 
Lemon Jefferson and Charlie Patton used the latest media 
to bring their music to the public. 
With contributions from Keith Richards, Taj Mahal and Chuck D.



Bright Lights, Big City.
Series Producer: Mick Gold
Producer/Director: Sam Bridger

After 1945, artists like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and 
John Lee Hooker rooted the blues firmly in the city, where 
it contributed to the musical desegregation of America by 
spawning rock'n' roll. As the blues conquered the world 
and the music moved from black to white audiences, 
arguments developed about what was the real authentic blues.
Robert Johnson returned from the dead to sell more
records than any other blues artist. By the 21st century,
the blues not only retained the earthiness of its roots 
but was also being celebrated in the White House. 
With contributions from Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, 
Seasick Steve and Buddy Guy.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Denim Delinquent: Assassination in Dallas: The Sex Pistols Open Fire On America

http://denimdelinquent.net/sexpistols1.htm

Denim DelinquentI moved to Dallas just in time to attend the Sex Pistols at the Longhorn Ballroom. I was supposed to interview the band but in usual Sex Pistols fashion, it fell through at the last minute.
To the right is the last prozine article for StageLife a mag sponsored by CPI guru Mike Cohl. The mag had some good writers but as you can see from the colours and the layout of this article, the design was atrocious. I was mighty disappointed with the publication of what I think is the best writing I ever did.







Friday, November 22, 2013

Lee Harvey Was A Friend Of Mine



"Lee Harvey Was A Friend Of Mine" (Bennison-Cotton)
Sympathy For The Record Industry 45: SFTRI 55 (1990)
Cover by: Savage Pencil (Edwin Pouncey)
also on Intexicated! Saustex CD: SEX 2012-2

AUDIO: http://wewantnothing.tumblr.com/post/67742176454/lee-harvey-was-a-friend-of-mine






Homer Henderson & T. Tex Edwards
(photo by Jason Crisp)


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946)


Beauty and the Beast (1/4) Movie CLIP - You Steal My Roses



Beauty and the Beast (2/4) Movie CLIP - Never Look Into My Eyes


Beauty and the Beast (3/4) Movie CLIP - Will You Be My Wife?


Beauty and the Beast (4/4) Movie CLIP - Let Out a Roar


UPLOADED BY: movieclips

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cabiria (1914) FULL


Entire 126 minute silent film (1914)

Silent Italian epic which introduced the prolific Maciste character and was an inspiration to other great silent films like Intolerance and Metropolis.

UPLOADED BY: Volvandese

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mike Wallace Interviews Lili St Cyr



Lili St Cyr Interview PART 1

Burlesque star, stripper and erotic dancer who was raised by her Grandparents whose name was 'Klarquists', and had two sisters named Dardy Orlando and Barbara Moffett in the show business world. Took Ballet lessons as a child and started dancing in Hollywood as a chorus girl such as at the Florentine Gardens Nightclub. Realizing she could make more money nude she made the change. Lili's stripping debut was at the Music Box nightclub but was a fop. Got her big break in Hollywood in 1951 when she was charged with indecent exposure during a bubble bath performance at Ciro's nightclub. By the time she beat the charge in court, the publicity had made her a headliner and led to series of low-budget movies. Lili was featured in thousands of Men's magazines and was said to be married many, many times (well six anyway). One of her husbands even claimed that she and Marilyn Monroe were having an affair (reportedly not true, they were friends however).



Lili St Cyr Interview part 2

She was one of the most explosive blonde pin-ups and at the same time an unconventional beauty with no conventional attitude. In a mythical scene of the famous musical film "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" (1975) directed by Jim Sharman a young Susan Sarandon as Janet Weiss sings while she is floating in water surface: "God bless Lili St Cyr" in a moment of ecstasy. Let's sing it too!

Lili knew how to give glamour and sophistication to striptease features and she became one of the most prestigious burlesque's artists.

In the bath's act, one of her most famous shows, she took a bubble bath and after that she dressed herself helped by a maid in front of amazed audience eyes.

She was married six times with six different men. Her two most famous husbands were Paul Valentine and the actor Ted Jordan who was the author of one of Marilyn Monroe's biographies in which he talked about a supposed false romance between the most desired blonde girls of the age.

Uploaded by:lisatina69

Thanks to Hudson Marquez for the referral...

Monday, October 28, 2013

Velvet Underground, live,1969,Quine Tapes


Velvet Underground, live,1969,CD-1,Quine Tapes, 11 songs,78 mins.,(1 of 3)

From "The Velvet Underground, Bootleg Series 1: The Quine Tapes". This is CD 1 in its entirety. The Series 1 set contains 3 CDs. CD 1 contains recordings from The Family Dog hall, San Francisco, from two nights, Nov. 7 & 8, 1969.

SONG LISTING:
1. I'm Waiting for the Man 7:46 11-8-69
2. It's Just Too Much 4:08 11-8-69
3. What Goes On 8:25 11-8-69
4. I' Can't Stand It 6:20 11-8-69
5. Some Kinda Love 4:48 11-8-69
6. Foggy Notion 4:41 11-8-69
7. Femme Fatale 3:14 11-7-69
8. After Hours 3:05 11-8-69
9. I'm Sticking with You 2:48 11-8-69
10. Sunday Morning 2:56 11-9-69
11. Sister Ray 24:03 11-7-69

The Velvet Underground's 1969 Lineup (John Cale & Nico had left the band):
-Lou Reed -- vocals, rhythm and lead guitar
-Sterling Morrison -- lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals
-Doug Yule -- bass guitar, organ, backing vocals
-Maureen Tucker -- percussion, lead vocals on "After Hours", & "I'm Sticking with You"

These recordings come from audience tapes recorded by Robert Quine, then a fan of The Velvet Underground. Years later, Quine came to prominence himself as an admired guitarist in Richard Hell & the Voidoids, & eventually got to play guitar with Lou on two Lou Reed albums, "The Blue Mask", & "Legendary Hearts", & he toured with Lou as part of his band in the 1980s.

From Quine's original CD liner notes:
QUOTE: "In 1968, I became a rabid Velvet Underground fan and spent countless hours on headphones learning from them...The Velvet Underground came to San Francisco and stayed for nearly a month. They started out with three nights at The Family Dog,
a large Fillmore-type space. A number of hippies brought tambourines and harmonicas to "do their thing" with the group. But the sound
was great for recording - the band was able to play really loud.
After that, they played The Matrix,, a fairly small club, for several weeks, and I taped most of those performances. In the beginning,
there weren't many people in the audience. There were a few nights when they started the first set with only four or five people in the club!
Under those circumstances, the group couldn't help but notice me and they were very friendly, putting me on the guest list every night and
inviting me to hang out with them in the dressing room between sets. They appreciated the fact that I was so serious about recording them,
and Lou Reed would occasionally "warn" me when they were going to do something special, like 'Black Angel's Death Song'. Sometimes,
backstage, they'd ask me to play back a particular song they¹d done in the previous set.
They also invited me to watch their occasional rehearsals at the club. They'd work on arrangements for new songs, such as 'Ride Into The Sun' and
'New Age'. They got along quite well - there wasn't the slightest hint of whatever problems they would experience recording Loaded a few months later.
I got the opportunity to spend quite a few hours talking with Lou Reed about music. We'd sometimes go to this hot dog place across the street from the
club (I think it was called Coney Island Franks) and talk about how incredible it was in 1955 to be a kid and first discover rock & roll - doo wop, rockabilly,
Little Richard, Bo Diddley, etc. Regarding contemporary stuff, Lou was especially fond of the Stones. As for guitarists, he was very enthusiastic about a Byrds
concert he'd seen at the Village Gate in 1966, where McGuinn took an incredible extended solo on 'Eight Miles High'. And he was rightfully quite proud of his
own guitar soloing on songs like 'I Heard Her Call My Name' but was also resigned to the fact that most people weren't ready for it yet. Anyway, the VU gradually
built up an enthusiastic following at The Matrix and by the time they left, the place was always packed...[Thanks go to] the Velvet Underground - for contributing so much to the world of music and for their generosity to a crazed fan a long time ago.
Listening to this stuff all these years later, I'm ultimately the same fan I was in 1969."
-- Robert Quine

Velvet Underground, live,1969,CD-2, Quine Tapes, 5 songs, 77 mins.,(2 of 3)

CD-2 from "The Velvet Underground, Bootleg Series 1: The Quine Tapes". CD-2 in its entirety. The Series 1 set contains 3 CDs. CD-2 contains recordings from The Matrix club, San Francisco, Nov.-Dec., 1969

SONG LISTING:
1. Follow the Leader 17:05 11-27-69
2. White Light/White Heat 10:03 12-01-69
3. Venus in Furs 5:14 12-01-69
4. Heroin 8:11 11-23-69
5. Sister Ray 37:04 12-03-69