Archive for the ‘Landy Wardoll’ Category

Daily Batman: The type

July 21, 2011


I’m the type who’d be happy not going anywhere as long as I was sure I knew exactly what was happening at the places I wasn’t going to. I’m the type who’d like to sit home and watch every party that I’m invited to on a monitor in my bedroom.

(Andy Warhol.)

Et tu?

Goethe Month: Sometimes it is good to be wrong featuring guest artist Landy Wardoll

July 30, 2010

Goethe Month coda and art by that One Guy.

The website from which I took this picture says:

This screenprint is based on a painting by the German artist Johann Tischbein. It depicts Johann von Goethe, a key figure in German literature as a traveller in a landscape of ruins. Warhol has cropped the original composition so as to create a head and shoulders portrait of the writer. Goethe had contemplated painting as an early career choice and published a book on the theory of colour. As the first person to study the psychological affects of colour, it is interesting to think what he would make of Warhol’s representation of him as a Pop icon.

Near the end of his life, Goethe wrote to his friend and editor Eckermann,

My dear friend, I will tell you something that may be of use to you, when you are going over my works.

They will never become popular; there will be single individuals who will understand what I want to say, but there can be no question [that the work will be unpopular].

(Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, letter to Johann Peter Eckermann.)

Sometimes it is good to be wrong. Farewell, Goethe Month.

Who’s next?

Look, ma, no gag reflex: Landy Wardoll and consumer equality

July 14, 2010

What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and just think, you can drink Coke, too.

A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking. All the Cokes are the same and all the Cokes are good.

Liz Taylor knows it, the President knows it, the bum knows it, and you know it.

(The Philosophy of Andy Warhol, 1975.)

Music and Movie Moment: Forbidden Zone

March 31, 2010

Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo — Forbidden Zone (title song)

Forbidden Zone (Richard Elfman, 1980) starred the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, later to be renamed just Oingo Boingo, wild gypsy cult genius Susan Tyrell, Viva — Warhol’s Blue Movie Superstar, believed to be the first non-anonymous performer to have sex on screen — and Hervé Villechaize, better known as Tattoo (“Zee plane!”) on Fantasy Island, as the king of the Sixth Dimension. Also, award-winning composer Danny Elfman plays Satan.

It is a wonderful, unforgettable mess. It begins with a title card informing us that, while on a mission to retrieve some heroin from the basement of one of the vacant homes in the Los Angeles basin where he also makes his living as a slumlord, a pimp named Huckleberry accidentally discovered a portal to the Sixth Dimension, which, once he cleaned the drugs from, he then sold to the Hercules family, who are the main Earth-side characters in the film.

(The frog is named Bust Rod. Later, he has sex with a topless Princess. He is pretty fly for a frog. Think about it: when is the last time you banged a panties-only Princess? See? Fly.)

“Oey vey — the Yiddishe Charleston!” Gene Cunningham and Virginia Rose play Ma and Pa Hercules, although Cunningham is credited under his actual name only as playing the role of the pimp, Huckleberry Jones — for his role as Jones’ tenant, and pere to the Hercules clan, he is listed as Ugh Fudge Bwana.

Matthew Bright plays Squeezit, one of the film’s protagonists and classmate to Flash Hercules and the lovely and talented Miss Susan B. Hercules, aka “Frenchy.” Frenchy is arguably the lead character of Forbidden Zone, and her journey into the Sixth Dimension is the impetus for the majority of the film’s action. Oh, my stars and garters, could Squeezit possibly be a reference to masturbation?? Perish the thought. Bright also shares writing credits for the screenplay.

At the time the movie was filmed, Marie-Pascal Elfman (nee Saboff), who plays Frenchy, pictured above and below, was married to Richard Elfman. She is the mother of Bodhi Elfman, who is Jenna “Dharma” Elfman’s husband. Jenna and Bodhi met waiting on line to audition for a Sprite commercial.

Ms. Saboff Elfman served not only as the star of Forbidden Zone but was also responsible for the majority of the sets, which she designed and erected inside two separate sound stages. The Expressionist sets feature dice motifs, forced perspective, and stippling. They were mainly painted by hand on to paper which she then hung all around the sound stages, changing the backdrops as scenes required it.

Some examples of the animation sequences and production design. The design was heavily influenced by pre-WWII cartoons and the work of Max Fleischer and the Fleischer Brothers’ Studios, the best examples of whose animation you probably know being Betty Boop and Popeye. Together with a soundtrack that, besides original songs performed by Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo and “the Kipper Kids,” featured music by Cab Calloway and Josephine Baker, the movie’s design and feel really harkened back to the 1930’s, despite dealing with weirdo modern wonderfully cultish themes.

The picture takes a dim view of a) Los Angeles and b) the sad state of public schools. Well-viewed, picture (well shone, Moon), but I think the movie’s overall Expressionist, 1930’s cartoonish artistic glory is really not intended as a plot-driven vehicle for social commentary so much as it is an endless parade of visuals that will stick with you for life. Any knowing send-ups of modern convention are virtually coincidental. The movie is like an acid trip through a Hollywood backlot. The number “Swingin’ Through the Alphabet,” from which the above screencap comes, was inspired by the Three Stooges short “Violent is the Word for Curly.”

…A respectful fan asked Mr. Elfman “What the fuck were you thinking?” Elfman replied that he was trying to capture on film the spontaneous creative energy of his legendary band “the Mystic Knights of Oingo Boingo.” In the 70s they performed all kinds of crazy performance music theater, a kind of tripped out cabaret in L.A and NYC.

(“Review of Richard Elfman’s cult masterpiece FORBIDDEN ZONE in color!” MacDermot, Hal. 20 July 2009. Quiet Earth.)

“Frenchy” lands in the Sixth Dimension and King Fausto falls in love with her. This makes Queen Doris, played by Susan Tyrell, understandably upset. So she has Frenchy thrown in prison. Don’t you wish you could do that to people? “Send her to jail.” “Um, what’s the charge?” “She looked at him.” Very Red Queen and yet legitimately reasonable. As Psycho McJealouspants, proud holder of a degree in Flipping the Fuck Out (minor in Coming Unglued with special concentration in Keying Your Car) from Sex-Makes-Me-Crazy State University, I totally approve.

The animation was done by John Muto, who at the time was virtually an unknown. He has gone on to work on some of my favoritest movies, including Night of the Comet, Heart and Souls (I am a sucker for Robert Downey, Jr. every time), and Wilder Napalm (as a closet pyro, that movie is so hot to me).

For my money, one of the main reasons to watch is the Princess, here, but that’s just the type of predatory, untrustworthy, ulteriorally motivated person I am.

Outre freaky musicals are fun to watch and fascinating as cultural artifacts, yes, but can we not also agree that way cool as well are tiny blondes, and when they are topless, so much the nicer for us all?

I am unafraid to make that statement. I also like lemon meringue pie. I consider the preferences of equal harmlessness. Alert the media.

The insane “Kipper Brothers” [do] a mad musical number as boxers which involves punching themselves and blowing raspberries, and evolves into a Rumba sung by a fat kid with a Mr. Ed talking mule superimposed mouth effect, and the adorable Frenchy dancing with Mr. Bust Rod.


Actor Hervé Villechaize was the only actor with a paid salary. (the wiki)

Getting paid to get yelled at by your ex-girlfriend is I guess better than having to do it for free, yes?

TW: The Kipper Kids, who, for those who don’t know, are notorious, diaper-wearing, soccer-hooligan, lip-farting performance artists.

RE: Yes. The Kipper Kids. You know, it’s Presley, Sinatra … the Kipper Kids. Great vocalists can do so much with a number.


He wrote, directed, produced, choreographed and generally supervised all aspects of “The Forbidden Zone.” It took 21 days on a sound stage scattered over ten months – including a number of weeks in a garage with animator John Muto. Elfman’s wife, Marie-Pascale Elfman designed and painted the paper sets (with help from Villechaiz) and co-starred Elfmans 29-year-old brother, Danny (leader of a musical ensemble known as Oingo Boingo), wrote the striking music and played Satan.

(“The Man Behind ‘Forbidden Zone’.” Rense, Rip. August 18, 1982. L.A. Herald-Examiner.)

Chicken: You know the chickens are always ready to help you any way we can. But as you know…
Squeezit: What can chickens do?
Chicken: Precisely.

Squeezit thinks he is a chicken. It’s a problem a lot of boys have.

The cast includes Toshiro Baloney, The Kipper Kids, Viva and someone called Ugh Fudge-Bwana. “This is actually a phonetic spelling of his name, which is Swedish and difficult to pronounce,” explained Elfman. (Ibid.)

“Call it a bizarre comedy with music. If I could describe it better, I’d be a journalist,” said Elfman. He might be. Elfman is certainly documenting some aspects of modern American culture, however idiosyncratically. This movie does indeed defy more specific quantification. (An hour-long earlier version entitled “The Hercules Family” was refused by numerous distributors as “Being a threat to national security.”)


Oh, my god, Elfman fed that dude for the Herald-Examiner so many lies and half-truths. What a trip. It’s cracking me up.

After escaping the septic tank, Flash and Gramps come across a woman who tells them that she was once happily married to the king, until Doris stole the throne by seducing her, “even though she’s not my type.” The ex-queen has been sitting in her cell for 1,000 years, and has been writing a screenplay in order to keep her sanity.

(the wiki)

Tuscon Weekly: Aside from the Kipper Kids, the biggest star in the movie was Hervé Villechaize, who plays King Fausto. How did you get him?

Richard Elfman: Matthew Bright was his roommate. His ex-girlfriend was (Forbidden Zone co-star) Susan Tyrrell. Herve and Susan were already exes when the film was being shot, and periodically, they’d have tremendous fights. And it was comic/tragic, because she had a voice box from the Lincoln repertory, you could hear her from 2,000 yards away. And Herve had a small voice, so you could hear him squawking and hear her yelling.

(“Intestinal Fortitude.” DiGiovanna, James. March 31, 2005. Tuscon Weekly.)

The truly bizarre Forbidden Zone features among its wealth of surrealistic imagery the late Hervé Villechaize as the libidinous king of the sixth dimension; expressionistic production design that would drive Dr. Caligari to distraction; and Richard’s brother Danny, more recently the composer of virtually every modern film score you truly enjoy listening to repeatedly, as a Cab Calloway-fetishizing Satan – all of whom live in the basement, sort of, of the extended Hercules clan.

(“I Know That Voice.” Savlov, Marc. July 30, 2004. Austin Chronicle.)

Far different from the brother Danny-fronted Oingo Boingo of “Weird Science,” this multi-Elfmaned project (alongside Danny there’s Richard’s wife, Marie-Pascale Elfman, as heroine Frenchy) is a genuine curiosity, part vaudeville act, part borderline softcore raunch, and completely, utterly weird in the best sense of the word. (Ibid.)

Following the film’s color release on DVD from Fantoma and Legend Films, it was announced that a sequel was in the works. With an allegedly slated release date of 2010, Forbidden Zone II: Forbidden Galaxy has the following imdb summary, written by Richard Elfman himself.

Ma and Pa Kettle leave the depressed Dust Bowl with their kids, Stinky and Petunia, and drive their old jalopy down to Crenshaw in South-Central Los Angeles. Stinky is a hyper-active 12-year-old; Petunia is a lumbering 13-year-old; Ma is a corn-cob pipe-smoking inbred, and Pa is a craven, drunken carnival geek…with a bad disposition…even before his carnival job folded after the last dust storm. Together, they hope to find a better life in California. Unfortunately, the little shack they rent has a basement connected to the Sixth Dimension, ruled by a horny midget king who is growing an army of dead zombie babies…to take over Earth.

Coming soon to a theater near you?

Most stills courtesy Pilar Sama and you&me via the Nostalgia Party No. 2 community on the lj. Thanks!

March Madness: Jennifer Miriam, Miss March 1997

March 17, 2010

Miss March 1997 was the lovely and talented Jennifer Miriam, and she is a delightful little pistol. You’re going to love her. Super-awesome!

Photographed by Arny Freytag and Stephen Wayda.

Lord, how I enjoy the glorious 90’s-rifficness of this centerfold photograph. Let me count the ways.

  • Neon x-treme snowsports gear: check.
  • Jennifer Aniston “Friends” shag: check.
  • Hemp woven choker: check.
  • Brown lipliner with pinky-nude lipstick: check.
  • Sunflower doodles on stockings: check.
  • Frayed blue denim top: check.
  • Is it also a corset?: double-check!
  • Does the corset lace-up with light colored leather straps?: you bet your sweet ass it does.
  • Crank up the Cranberries, bust out the hacky-sack, and let’s let it linnnnger, chitlins!

    Jennifer grew up in Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, Colorado and Texas. Moving frequently taught her how to meet people, she says. She also learned how to be the class clown.

    “Every time the teacher would leave the room,” she remembers, “I would entertain the class. I got sent home a lot. Like the time in first grade when I crawled under my desk and roared like a lion.” (“Maid Miriam.” Bain, Julie J. Playboy. March 1997.)

    Oh, my effing god, that is so cute.

    TURNOFFS: Anyone who tries to suppress the free spirit in me!
    FAVORITE DISHES: Chicken-fried steak, biscuits, cheesy mashed potatoes, pecan pie — and the man who appreciates a woman with healthy appetites.
    I EXPOSE MYSELF TO: New Orleans blues, Charles Bukowski poetry, art-house films, Andy Warhol paintings and the guitar player in the corner of the cafe.

    (Playmate data sheet.)

    Hell yeah, real food, Bukowski, and exposing yourself to musicians!

    “I dated an actor once who called me from a golf course on his cellular phone. I said, ‘Never mind!’ He was into the right cars, the right possessions. I hate that. I would rather have a guy in a beat-up pickup who’s nice to me and brings me flowers he picked himself.” (“Maid Miriam.”)

    Jeezy Creezy. I love this woman.

    This 24-year-old model, actor and hotel concierge believes in past lives. She says she was a priestess who met, and lost, her soul mate 2000 years ago — and she’s been missing him in all her lives since. But a psychic told her she would meet him again in two years. She can’t wait. (Ibid.)

    She demands of any guy she dates: “‘Let me be me!’ I like people who like to have fun and aren’t worried about what other people think. If he says, ‘You can’t do that,’ I say, ‘Bye.'” (Ibid.)

    In her Playmate interview, Ms. Miriam stressed that her emphasis with acting was on finding roles in meaningful, small films. She had featured parts in The Newton Boys and Pressurecooker, before leaving Hollywood, a move which is not too surprising coming from a woman who does not like falseness and getting her free spirit hemmed in. Good on her for really sussing out the depth of her dreams! She is married with two children, and now makes her living as an artist.

    Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: “Life is beautiful” edition

    January 12, 2010

    Los Angeles, CA, by Mr. Brainwash.

    I was bummed to learn this art on an abandoned building featuring Billie Holliday was actually an advertisement for Mr. Brainwash‘s solo show in LA, artshow2008. But I am willing to lay aside my conflict with the source and enjoy the beauty of the painting and the message. Life is beautiful, and what a great spot to prove it.

    Daily Batman: Nico ‘n’ Andy edition

    December 5, 2009

    Knock, knock, knocking at your chamber door.

    Special fat-bat-thanks to Panda Eraser for finding these and passing them on.

    Occasionally Decadent December: Bebe Buell Revisited — Family Affair

    December 3, 2009

    I miss the lovely and talented Bebe Buell, Miss November 1974 and mother of marvelous Liv Tyler, too much not to revisit her. Here are some of the pictures which I did not use last time, and fresh quotes. Plus bonus shots of both Liv and Bebe with her mother, also a vintage model!

    Photographed by Richard Fegley

    Sometimes, when I see my picture in a magazine or watch Todd play at a concert for thousands of people, I almost have to pinch myself when I realize that less than three years ago, I was just a nobody from Virginia Beach who didn’t even know that there was a Todd Rundgren or such a thing as rock culture and the lifestyle that goes along with it. (“Bebe,” Playboy, November 1974. — I love that they did not even bother with a cutesy title. Really, who needs it?!)

    One week not too long ago, for instance, Eric Clapton was in town for a concert. Todd and I were invited backstage, at which point Eric asked him to sit in. Then Mick Jagger walked into the dressing room, and later, when Todd was onstage, Mick and I talked and he said, ‘Why don’t you and Todd come over to my place tomorrow?’ His place turned out to be Andy Warhol’s summer cottage out on Montauk Point. And since then, he’s phoned several times from London just to find out how we are.

    I bet he did.

    I was turned on to rock ‘n’ roll by my grandfather, who played me my first Elvis Presley record. I went absolutely crazy! I was only seven, but I knew that from that point on, music was going to be my life. As I grew older and heard the Beatles, and then the Stones, my mind was made up — it was rock ‘n’ roll for me! (“My Story,” by Bebe Buell,

    Liv and Bebe in 1980

    Just as we [Bebe and her former band the The Gargoyles] were getting ready to seal the deal and go on tour, my daughter’s paternity situation became public. And I had to really sit down and find that place inside of me that wasn’t going to be a narcissistic rocker and say, ‘Okay, what’s important right now?’ and because of Liv’s age at the time (14) when all this went public, I had to be there for her or she would have had a warped identity I think—what if I said, ‘Oh, I’m going on the road for two years, see ya honey. By the way, you have two dads!’ Steven Tyler was the actual father, Todd Rundgren raised her as his. (“Air Kisses for the Masses,” John Pfeiffer, The Aquarian Weekly, August 18, 2009.)

    The rest of the quotes are from a very sweet and gracious interview Bebe did with on the occasion of Liv’s 27th birthday.

    Liv, Steven Tyler, and Bebe, 1996. Awwwkwaaard.

    There is so much of both of us and Todd [Rundgren] too in Liv’s personality. When she was little she stood just like Todd when she was “thinking” about something important. She has bits of all of us and then the individual things that are uniquely Liv. She has only the best of us three.

    Liv, Bebe, and Dorothea Johnson at a Breast Cancer Awareness charity event

    My mother [Dorothea Johnson] modeled in the 50’s and had her own “charm school” for girls. I got into the business from some photos that my mom sent to the agent Eileen Ford. She sent for me at the age of 18 and I was off to New York City in 1972. Liv was born in 1977.

    What I wish for her is continued true love, good health, a family of her own (grandchildren for me), a wonderful career, personal happiness for she and Roy, long life for darling Neal and for her to find all of her dreams. She seems to be on her way. I bless the day she was born.

    Livvy, Mommy loves you. xoxo I’m so proud of you and the beautiful person you are inside and out! — Bebe Buell, NYC 2004

    Oh, man. There is … some kind of dust in my eye. Very dusty in here. Ridiculous, all this … this dust.