Sunday, January 30, 2011
I was challenged to do an illustration, very quickly in relation to a strange story.
A friend has a friend who was a real Gigolo, back in the 50s.
One "assignment" he was given was to service a wealthy woman before she was going out to a cocktail party.
When he arrived at her hotel room, she had toilet paper wrapped around her head, in her party dress and lifting up her
dress, ready for him.
Truth is stranger than fiction....Pulp fiction in this case. Here's what I visualized for my friend to gift.
Monday, June 29, 2009
This was the Michael Jackson that I first remembered from my childhood. it was the image that they published in TeenBeat magazine, and my girl cousins swooned over. (That and Donnie Osmond...yuck)
This was the period when i watched Saturday morning cartoons of the Jackson 5.
They were awesome.
Fast forward to Off the Wall..this album started to define the mega superstar. This came out when I was in Jr.High, and "Off The Wall", "Rock With You" and "She's Out of My Life" were catchy tunes that started his momentum. Much of his songs were written, including on Thriller, by Rod Temperton, who is famous for writing hit songs for Heatwave: "Always and Forever" "Mind Blowing Decisions". A soulful white guy that new how to pen hits. Still a favorite album of mine.
And then..Thriller. This album was the equivalent of an astroid hitting our earth. Everything from MJ dolls, lunchboxes, gloves (one) mirrored sunglasses, were populating the stores everywhere. The memorable videos for "Billy Jean", "Beat It" and of course the min movie "Thriller" had folks anticipating, "What will he do next?" His performance on Motown's 25th Anniversary with J5 was one of the most exciting things to see and was probably the equivalent of Elvis or The Beatles on Ed Sullivan.
I remember my friend, Wilbur buying a reproduction vinyl "Beat it' jacket when we were in Berkeley and he was the coolest guy out of his friends because of it. ($50 at the time was steep!).
Finally my ultimate Michael Jackson moment was actually seeing him.
it was 1991, by then, I was not much interested in Bad or any of his newer albums, and I was shopping at a comic book store in L.A. called Golden Apple.
A short bald man came in looked around, and went back out of the store. He returned with a thin frail man who crept in very slowly. i noticed he was wearing a surgeon's mask, so I didn't dare to look.
Continuing shopping, i almost bumped into the frail man, and looked at his unmistakable eyes...The ones that Billy Jeans' kid has....I apologized and said quietly "Hey Michael"...and extended my hand.
I remember he was a little over 6 feet tall and his hands were big. i shook it..which was more like a dead fish handshake, and asked for his autograph. He put his finger over his mask in a "shhhh" fashion.
He had been wearing black cordoruys, white socks, black loafers, red velvet shirt, black baseball cap pulled down and a red velvet surgeon mask.
Just then the doors, which had been closed for our guest exploded with two black guys yelling "HEY MICHAEL! Wassup? can we get your autograph??!!!!"waving a CD.
I managed to get his autograph as well as a magnet with his autograph.
Definately the biggest sighting in my life.
When I heard about his death from my girlfriend it was very surprising..but at the same time, not really. I also felt his life would end tragically. I also thought, what does someone like MJ look like old? like Marilyn Monroe, Elvis, John Lennon, James Dean....for some reason you can't picture them as aging celebrities.
Although MJ's appearance drastically changed over the years, and he had so many personal problems, at the end of the day, he really was an extremely gifted person. From a musical standpoint, I will always have good memories of his music being a part of my soundtrack of life.
Thursday, February 05, 2009
After buying my USB Turntable, I started looking for old blues and jazz 78s. I recently went to my favorite fleamarket, and found a vendor selling boxes and boxes at $1 apiece. Some of the gems I found have not seen the light of day in over 70 years, and I am now obsessed with digitizing some of them! Even the record labels themselves are pieces of fine design and typography.
Monday, January 19, 2009
If I didn't have enough hobbies - On a whim, I bought an item that I had been eyeballing for quite sometime: The ION iPTUSB turntable.
This little baby can plug straight into your computer, where you can record from the turntable via USB cable.
At first when I fooled around with it, I could hear , my dog barking and my girlfriend talking to me...not good!
I found out, that i had to change some settings on my comp. and within the program. After adjusting accordingly, I was good to go.
The Software has two options: EZ where you just have big buttons that say RECORD and NEW TRACK. You dont have any control of the quality. However the Audacity SW allows you to do some intricate editing at the sound strand level.
I was able to find some obscure albums at the Goodwill for 99 cents apiece : Herb Alpert, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, and others. Can't wait to digitize my vinyl of Disney's "Chilling Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted Mansion." I'll keep you posted...
Friday, January 09, 2009
My friends back home in SF let me know of the passing of a local celebrity, Bob Wilkins.
Bob hosted a show called "Creature Features" during the 70's that was THE source for all of the classic monster movies BEFORE you had to pop them into a VHS, rent them on DVD, or now stream them through the net...in other words, free entertainment for any kid who had a TV.
This was on late saturday nights, and was worried by my parents to cause nightmares (which they did sometimes!).
Bob Wilkins would always be smoking a big cigar, while he would give a few anecdotes about the horror movie in focus, and interview guests.
He started another show, called Captain Cosmic, where he hosted many Japanese Anime or Live action shows (Ultraman, Starblazers, Spectreman) which really showed how ahead of his time he was.
He had a decoder game, in which you had to send a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope to receive the coveted Captain Cosmic Decoder card. If you sent in a postcard with the correct answer, you could win a prize! which I never won.
Anyway, an icon lost, and I know very much appreciated from all the weirdos and geeks that grew up in the Bay!
Sunday, September 21, 2008
So yesterday night I went to a 6oth Birthday celebration for my ex-boss, Johnny Lee.
We have known each other since 1996, when he moved me down to work at EMI/Capitol Records as an A.D.
We became really good friends, to the point where I consider Johnny part of my extended family down here in L.A.
As part of my tribute to him, I gave him the ultimate personalized gift you can give anyone...themselves!..or at least in the form of a custom made bobblehead.
I have done this on 2 other occasions, where I ordered online on a site called whoopassenterprises.com.
Usually the likeness is sorta close, but they always go over really well.
I actually was able to "do it right" this time, by designing and constructing a box with it.
The sides have his key album covers on them, Inside is a Hollywood scene background, and finallly the back has a timeline with key dates pulled out.
Highly recommend having this done for anyone having a significant Birthday celebration. (well at least the the people who you like!)