Watching My Name Go By (1976) BBC 70’s NYC Graffiti Documentary
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on July 11, 2015
Stacia joined the band in 1971; however accounts vary as to how and why she began working with the band. Liner notes to In Search of Space indicate that poet and lyricist Robert Calvert recruited her for live shows; other sources state that she was a friend of Nik Turner, saxophonist and flautist for the band. In 2012, Turner told Mojo Magazine, “I met Stacia for the first time at the Isle of Wight… She said, “Can I dance with you?” and I said, “Yeah, but you must take off all your clothes and paint your body.” She took all her clothes off but unfortunately I didn’t have any body paint. That was like her audition.” In an interview in British music magazine Melody Maker, Stacia herself stated that she attended a show and, inspired by the music, got on stage and performed an impromptu dance to the band’s music. She immediately became an integral part of the live show after joining in 1971.
According to a 1974 interview in Penthouse, Stacia was six feet (183 cm) tall and “happily bisexual”. She regularly augmented her visual impact by performing topless or nude, her body decorated in iridescent or luminescent paint. In a 2007 BBC Four documentary, Lemmy described her as 6 ft 2 inches (188 cm) tall with a 52 inch (132 cm) bust and a bookbinder by trade. The same documentary said that she was working as a petrol pump attendant in Cornwall when she joined the band.
Stacia regarded what she did with the band as interpretive dance, and was an integral part of the early to mid-1970s Hawkwind show, particularly during the Space Ritual era. She left Hawkwind in 1975 after touring with them for the Warrior on the Edge of Time album. Her departure, along with that of Lemmy (who went on to form Motörhead) and Robert Calvert, signaled the end of an era; though Calvert, after a guest appearance with the band at the Reading festival, decided to rejoin the band full-time towards the end of that year.
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 16, 2014
Blonde On A Bum Trip
New York’s East Village, flower children, peace, hallucinogens, lust, sadism (lust? sadism?!) Yes! This shocking documentary, focusing on Alphabet City’s sexiest scene, leaves those wimpy Frisco love-ins in the dust! See why Big Apple hippies, crazy rock music, and psychedelic drugs make for a lethal combination.
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 6, 2014
A documentary that explores the counterculture of San Francisco in the mid-1960’s
The sex is free. The pot is cheap. Everyone can afford the acid.
Peace, love and groovy, mind-altering drugs are the topics at hand in this San Francisco freak-out documentary. It’s a crude but heartfelt time capsule, released in the summer of ’68, just before the Haight Asbury scene turned into one big, unwashed bummer. And even if director Jack O’Connell (THE GREENWICH VILLAGE STORY, SWEDISH FLY GIRLS) may not have made a great movie, he was at the right time, at the right place, and (most important) with the right tripped-out attitude… Much of the movie is random footage of the hippie phenomenon, while a cute, blond, 20-year-old runaway named “Today Malone” provides a (slight) framework to this ragged mess. And a bigger bunch of long-haired, wide-eyed freaks I’ve never seen — crammed shoulder-to-shoulder, celebrating the summer solstice in the Golden Gate Park. God, the stench of patchouli must’ve been nauseating!
Bands blast away, hippie chicks spin in circles, the lightshow begins, and it’s the same old acid haze we’ve come to know and love. Along the way, some interesting tidbits sneak in, including firsthand tales of getting busted, posted notes to runaway children, Ms. Malone unsuccessfully begging passers-by for spare change, a middle-aged nun describing how she’s similar to these “hippie girls,” and a typical hairball asked if he worries about chromosome damage from too much acid (when it’s, obviously, already too late). Of course, what movie about drugs is complete without a few suited “experts” (including San Francisco’s Director of Public Health and the thick-necked Chief of Police) warning about the evils of this new generation’s chemical dependence. But in the long run, this is a refreshingly pro-drug, pro-hippie pic that pushes the joys of LSD when Today doses on camera, and flies off on its mind-altering effects (actually, all they do is sit around a room, rolling their eyes and feeling a peach).
The filmmakers have all the bases covered. They document the oddest niches of Hippiedom, which appeals to the curious. There are plenty of groovy visuals, in case you’re dosed. They even toss in some nude performance art to suck in the T&A crowd. It also features ragamuffin fashion at its worst (not as ratty as today’s Squatter Chic look, but close), plus music by Country Joe and The Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and The Steve Miller Band… Nowadays, this nonsense is impossible to watch without laughing at these naive, burnt-out rebels, and it’s a reality check for folks who think the hippie subculture was exactly like PSYCH-OUT or THE TRIP. Unfortunately, real life was a lot less charismatic than reel life. And whenever one these wide-eyed innocents vows they’ll never conform to The System, I’ll give you odds that nowadays, they’re somewhere in suburbia, selling Amway products and falling asleep to AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS.
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 4, 2014
A documentary about the world’s most published and controversial comic artist: Jack T. Chick. His cartoons, conspiracies, and controversies are revealed for the first time on screen. Both critics and supporters give a complete view of this mysterious recluse, the invisible mastermind behind the Chick comic book Empire.
“The first and only documentary on the world’s most published cartoonist! This film includes interviews with all the major players in Chick’s comic book empire (except Chick himself, who won’t appear on camera out of fear for his safety). Included in the film are Fred Carter (Chick’s only co-artist), Rebecca Brown (Chick’s spiritual warfare guru), Alberto’s widow (Nury Rivera), Kent Hovind (before he went to jail), Cowboy Chaplain Dann (the “human tract dispenser”), Chick assistant David Daniels, Artist Hal Robins, conspiracy expert Ivan Stang, and authors of separate books about Chick (Bob Fowler of The World of Jack Chick and Dan Raeburn The Imp #2). The film was directed by Kurt Kuersteiner, the author of the most recent book on Chick (The Art of Jack T. Chick). It also includes archival recordings and videos of Alberto Rivera and John Todd, two of Chick’s most inspirational and controversial Illuminati / Vatican conspiracy sources.” – Monster Wax
Conjured by o~ SeMeN SPeRmS ~o on June 4, 2014
The Rodney Bingenheimer of today seems always to be smiling through a deep sadness. He is a small man who still has the youthful cuteness that must have won him friends in his early days. His hair is still combed in the same tousled mid-1970s rock star style, and his T-shirts are the real thing, not retro. He lives now in an inexpensive apartment jammed with records, tapes, discs, and countless autographed photos of his friends the stars. And, yes, they are still his friends; they have not forgotten him, and David Bowie, Cher, Debbie Harry, Courtney Love, Nancy Sinatra and Mick Jagger all appear in this film and seem genuinely fond of Rodney.
Well they might. He introduced some of them — Bowie in particular — to American radio. He was known for finding new music and playing it first: The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Nirvana. Stations all over the country stole their playlists from Rodney. “Sonny and Cher were kinda like my mom and my dad,” he says wistfully at one point. He ran a little club for a while, featuring British glam rock, and the stars remember with a grin that it was so small the “VIP Area” consisted simply of a velvet rope separating a few chairs from the dance floor.
The story of how Bingenheimer entered into this world is apparently true, unlikely as it sounds. As a kid he was obsessed with stars, devoured the fan magazines, collected autographs. One day when he was a teenager, his mother dropped him off in front of Connie Stevens’ house and told him he was on his own. He didn’t see his mother for another five or six years. Connie wasn’t home.
He migrated to the Sunset Strip, but instead of dying there or disappearing into drugs or crime, he simply ingratiated himself. People liked him. He hustled himself into a job as a gofer for Davy Jones of the Monkees (they looked a little alike), and then became a backstage caterer; a survivor of a Doors tour remembers a Toronto concert where Rodney had enormous platters of fresh shrimp backstage. But the Beatles were backstage visitors, and Rodney gave them the shrimp, so there were only a few left for the Doors, who had paid for them. Challenged by The Doors, Rodney shrugged and said, “Well, they’re the Beatles.”
Wherever Bingenheimer went in the music and club scene, his face was his passport. Robert Plant says, “Rodney got more girls than I do.” We hear a little of his radio show from the old days, and what comes across is not a vibrating personality or a great radio voice — it’s kind of tentative, really — but an almost painful sincerity. He loves the music he plays, and he introduces it to you like a lover he thinks is right for you. The road downhill was gradual, apparently. We get glimpses of Rodney today, repairing his mom’s old Nova with a pair of pliers, shuffling forlornly through souvenirs of his glory days. He seems very even, calm, sad but resigned, except for one moment the documentary camera is not supposed to witness, when he finds that another deejay, a person he sponsored and gave breaks to, is starting a show of new music — stealing Rodney’s gig. He explodes in anger. We’re glad he does. He has a lot to feel angry about.
The film was directed by George Hickenlooper, who made the classic doc “Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” (1991), about the nightmare of Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now,” and the wonderful fiction film “The Man From Elysian Fields” (2001). Why did he make this film (apart from the possibility that someone named Hickenlooper might feel an affinity for someone named Bingenheimer)? Hickenlooper has been around fame at an early age. He was 26 when he released the doc about the Coppola meltdown. He cast Mick Jagger and James Coburn in “Elysian Fields.” He was aware of Rodney Bingenheimer when the name still opened doors. His film evokes what the Japanese call mono no aware, which refers to the impermanence of life and the bittersweet transience of things. There is a little Rodney Bingenheimer in everyone, but you know what? Most people aren’t as lucky as Rodney. – Roger Ebert
Conjured by SeMeN SPeRmS on June 2, 2014