Friday, February 17, 2006

Mary Todd Lincoln Apologizes

I caught the last few minutes of "Abe Lincoln in Illinois," as the train left for Washington. I cried listening to the Great Empancipator's words, coincidentally scheduled before President's Day. It was being shown as part of "31 Days of Oscar" on TCM. I am way too busy to catch any of the movies, but I tearfully joined in "glory, glory, hallelujah" in contrast to our current regime.

I'm trying to keep this blog about my work -- punk, 1976-1980 -- but those who know me, know I'm a proud liberal progressive, who was called a commie in high school when I protested the Vietnam War. I am ashamed and shocked the Dems are nothing but castrated toy poodles, allowing the Republicans to do the dirty deeds, then weakly complaining afterwards. Let's not get into whatever happened to Paul Hackett, but the Dems did a number on this brave Iraq vet willing to take on the Repulsive current Senator (or was it the House? Too many scandals to follow, as much as I try).

Some of you can't get through the day without coffee. I can't get through the hour without huffingtonpost.com. This was the best and shortest and would be funny as hell, if it didn't hurt so damn much.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/howard-a-rodman/
mary-todd-lincoln-apologi_b_15896.html.
Howard A. Rodman is a screenwriter, novelist, educator.

Mary Todd Lincoln apologizes
WASHINGTON, District of Columbia (CNN) -- The family of President Lincoln said today they were sorry for what John Wilkes Booth and his family have "had to go through" after Booth shot the President in last weekend's incident at Ford's Theatre. The men were gathered to watch a performance of "Our American Cousin" starring actor Harry Hawk.

Mary Todd Lincoln, speaking for the family, met briefly with reporters but took no questions.

Booth sprayed Lincoln with a bullet in the back of the head at point-blank range in Friday's incident. Onstage, Hawk was declaiming, "Don't know the manners of good society, eh? Well, I guess I know enough to turn you inside out, old gal -- you sockdologizing old mantrap!" The President died when the bullet migrated to his brain.

"We all assume certain risks in whatever we do," Mrs. Lincoln said. "Whatever activities we pursue and regardless of how experienced, careful and dedicated we are, assassinations do and will happen."

"My family and I are deeply sorry for all that the Booth family have had to go through this week," she said.

Reached backstage at Ford's Theatre, centrally located at 511 10th Street NW, Hawk referred all inquiries to his publicist.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I remember you . . . 1977 memories

NO ONE has any idea the time, energy, thought, work I put into this archive, not just now, but since I began taking photos 30 years ago.

Two reasons to do this:
The Photos.
The Stories.

Here's a story I received last week, the first posted from my new iMac. I have 3 or 4 photos in a new gallery opening day after tomorrow and my first book, due in April. That's another blog.

But I must dye my whole head of curly hair -- many shades from beautiful magenta to a rich brick red -- not only on my dark brown roots, but as usual, found something new and painting my whole head. That's a two day routine -- can't put all the different brands [I'm quite a chemist!] on hair at once. I have so much fun and get SO many compliments. When I was in college, pre-punk, people said I reminded them of Matisse paintings. He was the number one "Fauve" or "wild beast." Some things never change!

The story you are about to read truly reflects my life. My apt and life was very open-door friendly and SF and LA were closely intertwined in those early punk days. My comments are in [brackets].

Hi Jenny.

I doubt you would remember me [correct], but I remember you very well. You were extremely kind to me in 1977, and we used to run into each other at shows in San Francisco - mostly at the Mabuhay I guess. My friend Malcolm and I always had our cameras too. Sadly, my photos were most all lost by a mover many years ago. Malcolm recently started scanning his and has sent me a few. I'm attaching one of his shots of me with Phil Seymour. I think it's possible that I met you at a Dwight Twilley Band show in L.A., although I'm not really sure anymore [I shot them offstage].

It's more likely that we met at a Mumps show in San Francisco if you came up for that [yes, I came up with Backstage Pass. Marina del Rey has wonderful snapshots cos I don’t remember that at all! I shot Holly Vincent in color in the Mab bathroom]. I ended up hanging around with Kristian while they were in town, and he invited me to come to L.A. with them right after that. They were staying at the Tropicana in that bungalow in the back while recording what would become their second and final single, "Rock And Roll This..." with Earle Mankey. [I have X, Pleasant, Geza, Lydia Lunch, etc party shots at that legendary bungalow.]

You mentioned in one of the interviews on your website how accessible all the bands were in the punk scene back then. You're so right. It was a great time to be 18 and not interested in mainstream culture! Malcolm and I had our own style, which wasn't punk really but was more of a Merseybeat- inspired look, sort of like what the Flamin' Groovies were doing at the time [I wonder what happened to my FG negs? I only have a few, I seemed to have discarded them and only kept the other band playing that night, The Ramones debut at the Roxy].

It was all thrift store. We were fixtures at the Mabuhay, where we hung out with a lot of hard core punks like Don Vinyl. One of our cherished memories was when we got The Runaways to play a concert at our high school in Fremont, CA. It was right after Cherie left, and Joan was just amazing in a bodysuit and gold Gibson. [I have shots of her during that period in LA]

So back you your act of kindness... I met some guy at a show in S.F. who was from L.A. He invited me down for some other show in L.A. When I got there, we went to the show together, you were also there, and he introduced me to you. I didn't actually have anywhere to stay, and you invited me to stay at your place. I remember sleeping on your couch! Almost 30 years later now, I'm still touched every time I see your name as a photo credit on a CD, and I'm so sorry that you didn't get compensated for much of it. For what it's worth, your friendship meant a lot to me and your generosity left a lasting impression.

Thank you and best wishes.
Jeff