Thursday, April 30, 2009

Superman Astrology

My previous entry was a Reagan-oriented theme, and his wife Nancy Davis who was in two '50s Fantasy/SCi-Fi flicks- 'Donovan's Brain' with Lew Ayres, and 'The Next Voice You Hear' about 'God' on the radio -are certifiable cult classics, also excerted considerable power and influence in the 1980-88 White House second only to the real President-
George Herbert Walker Bush.
Mrs. Reagan was (and presumably is) afirm believer in Astrology (and possibly Numerology, among other things) and always consulted her private astrologers prior regarding any key decisions that hubby Ronnie would have to make and the favorable or unfavorable aspects regarding them.
For this she was widely ridiculed by the mainstream press, frowned upon by
Fundamentalists with their acrimony towards Astrology, etc., and even now President Obama made a 'Nancy Reagan' quip recently further reinforcing the public's perception of a loopy First Lady.
Now personally I'm skeptical about anything so general as Astrology, since human beings are infinitely more complex than 12 birth signs that rule their lives from birth to death, and only know Astrology from the daily newspaper, or those little 'horoscope scrolls' sold in candy stores.
Astromony- yeah, I know a fair amount, but Astrology...?
However, the possibility of something tangible may exist if you consider the following:Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster saw their creation, Superman, aka Kal-El (originally Kal-L, which to me always looked and sounded like a brand of dog food), launched in Action Comics #1 cover-dated June 1938 (actually April since comics in those days were released several months before the actual date on the cover).

Bud Collyer
June 18, 1908 - September 8, 1969
Kirk Alyn
October 8, 1910 - March 14, 199
George Reeves
January 5, 1914June 16, 1959
Christopher D'Olier Reeve
\S/uperman from 1978 to 1987
September 25, 1952 - October 10, 2004
Margot Kidder October 17, 1948
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
Original run
September 12, 1993June 14, 1997

Teri Lynn Hatcher
December 8, 1964

Brandon James Routh
October 9, 1979
John Winston Lennon
October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980
(Photographed by Alan Aldridge 1966
for Lennon's book The Penguin and a year later did
The Penguin Book Of Comics which prominently
had '\S/upes' on the cover of the 1967 UK Edition
but which curiously enough replaced him in the 1971 US)

Sir James Paul McCartney- June 18, 1942
using Superman and Superman's Pal
Jimmy (James) Olsen Comics instead of sheet music
^in HELP! (1965) ^
The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's=Lonely Hearts=Club Band
June 1, 1967
h is exactly 29 years after Siegal & Shuster's had Action Comics #1 published.
Day in the Life" is the song by the The Beatles that appears as the final track on their album
Sgt. Pepper's=Lonely Hearts=Club Band.
div align="center">Wikipedia has this to say on the matter:
On "A Day in the Life" as the song ends-"Immediately following the dying moments of the crashing piano chord is a tone too high-pitched for most human ears to hear, but audible to dogs and other animals and most younger listeners (Note: also a cinch for Kryptonian ears to hear as Superman could easily discern his pal Jimmy Olsen's signal watch from other sounds-
Zee...zee...Zee...zee...Zee
Zee...zee...Zee...zee...Zee...

Lennon's
alleged intention in inserting the high tone was to irritate the listener's dog.
The crashing piano chord and 15 kHz tone are interrupted by a loop of incomprehensible Beatles studio background noise. Spliced together at random sections, some of the snippets in the loop would play forward to be heard as, "Never could see any other way." Others were played backward as "Will Paul be back as Superman?" (!!!) This lasts for two seconds and the final three syllables are on the final groove, creating a loop that is repeated endlessly. This noise was placed in the concentric run-out groove of the vinyl LP. If the listener's record player had an auto return mechanism, a short burst of noise would be heard before the needle was lifted and moved back into place.
Sir Paul McCartney: "Then the this-little-bit-if-you-play-it-backwards stuff. As I say, nine times out of ten it's really nothing. Take the end of 'Sergeant Pepper', that backwards thing. "We'll fuck you like Supermen." Some fans came round to my door giggling. I said, "Hello, what do you want?" They said, "Is it true, that bit at the end? Is it true? It says "We'll fuck you like Supermen." I said, "No, you're kidding. I haven't heard it, but I'll play it." It was just some piece of conversation that was recorded and turned backwards. But I went inside after I'd seen them and played it seriously, turned it backwards with my thumb against the motor, turned the motor off and did it backwards. And there it was, sure as anything, plain as anything. "We'll fuck you like Supermen." I thought, Jesus, what can you do?"
or cut and paste URL for direct download
http://www.angelfire.com/ne/LennonsGal/images/inner2.wav

^Chris^ ^Frank^^Ronnie^^Nancy^
Maybe Nancy was on to something

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Things To Come

Fridays on (what else) Friday nights was ABC TV's answer to NBC's Saturday Night Live, which itself was renamed from their original name, so as to avoid confusion with the short-lived variety show Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell debuted the same year that ran on ABC from September 1975 to January 1976.

Once Cosell's show was cancelled, the NBC show renamed itself Saturday Night Live.

The Cosell show featured Bill Murray, Brian Doyle-Murray, and Christopher Guest as regular comedy performers, dubbed "The Prime Time Players." In response, the NBC show called its regular performers "the Not-Ready-For-Prime-Time Players". Ironically, all three of the original Prime Time Players eventually joined the NBC show.


John Lennon and Yoko Ono were fans of Cosell, and wanted to appear on Saturday Night Live. They never made the premiere episode, on which Lennon and Ono hoped The Beatles would reunite. Instead, Cosell played host to the Bay City Rollers, whom he dubbed "the next" British phenomenon.

Got that?

Back to Fridays...

Fridays was a similar sketch-driven comedy/satire show, with musical guests,
and with a no-holds barred style that IMHO was vastly superior to SNL particularly after
the original cast's departure for movie stardom and other projects.

The top 'Punk' and 'New Wave' acts of the time gave some their best musical performances.

Mysteriously...even though it had great ratings- better than SNL in the same time period -
it was cancelled, probably due to the subject matter- unapologetic non-PC sketches, 'drug'
humor (mostly marijuana) -and probably this sketch from the very first episode:

"The Ronny Horror Show" - A sprawling 17-minute send-up of the incoming Reagan Administration based on The Rocky Horror Picture Show, was aired on Friday, December 12, 1980- 4 days after John Lennon's death.

In the sketch, Ronald Reagan (played by John Roarke in Dr. Frank N. Furter drag) plans on creating the ultimate Republican, but inadvertently creates an angry black militant (played by Darrow Igus) who kills Reagan and leads the people in a revolution.

To this day many consider this sketch to have been the series' tour de force.
this sketch was shown when it first came on and subsequently edited out in all reruns.

"The Ronny Horror Show" was edited, not because of content, but because the producer of The Rocky Horror Picture Show- Lou Adler -protested against the film being parodied without his permission.

For this to really work as topical satire now it would really help if you're familiar at all with either the stage play/musical, soundtracks, or movie of "Rocky Horror" in any of its incarnations and suggest the original version first before trying to dig this, but not entirely compulsory.

Feast your eyes on the horror that was to be the decade of the 1980s:


Cancellation due pressure from Nixon, Reagan, The 'New' Right, etc.?

Get Patriotic

Time to GET PATRIOTIC and WAVE THE FLAG as we look at one of my personal faves, a little-known gem that combines the Superman mythos, Captain America, Captain Marvel, mixes it liberally with James Bond satire- stirred not shaken -then throws in all sorts of socio-political commentary resulting in one of the most oddball films of all time:

Admittedly NOT for everyone, but for those who have GUTS and appreciate this kind of humor, it has it all: Alan Arkin, as 'The Legend in Leotards', 'The Man of Magnet': Captain Invincible, whose powers and abilities are far beyond those of mortal men- flight, an amazing 'computer brain', magnetic attraction/repulsion (ala Iron Man), and as his antagonist, his 'Moriarity' if you will, is Christopher Lee as Mr. 'Evil' Midnight who allegedly existed long before the Earth even began, a primal force that...sings and dances?

Yep, 'tis true- you'll never watch any of the Hammer Draculas, Star Wars Episodes 2 & 3, and The Lord of the Rings thrillogy the same way ever again- and while you're laughing your ass off you'll notice Mr. Lee has a near-operatic vocal range, and surprised no one ever thought of making a serious operatic version of Dracula for the stage with him as the bloodsucking Count.

Strange thing that both Christopher Lee- Mr. Midnight -and Michael Pate- Mr. President of the United States -are noteworthy (♫no pun intended♫) as they played cinematic vampires years before; Lee in the aforementioned 1958 Hammer 'Horror Of Dracula'

and Pate as v--vampire turned hired-gunslinger Drago Robles

in the extremely offbeat 1959 Universal/MCA Horror-Western 'Curse Of The Undead'.

Don't think there were too many pairings like that before, well except maybe this one:

In The Year 1999 AD

WOW!!! Susan Boyle can easily sing the next =James Bond 007= movie theme song-
wouldn't you agree?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Frying Saucers- Serious Business

No, it's not the Japanese again, this time it's the French with a UFO shaped skillet
that makes eggs and home fries while magnetically levitating- not magic but science.
From an old late '50s/early '60s Popular Science, or was it Popular Mechanics?
Science
& Mechanics maybe?
Don't just you wish IHOP had one of these?

Post-Neoteric Nipponese

And it isn't only the Chinese either- presenting the Japanese Maglev:

Their 'SCi-Fi' PoP Culture rivals ours:

Banzai, buckaroos!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Gene Roddenberry's Maglevs

Gene Roddenberry, noted Golden Age TV scribe and creator of Star Trek had a few lean years after the projected "5 year mission, to seek out new life and new civilizations" ended prematurely after only 3 years and 78 episodes in 1969.

After Pretty Maids All In A Row at M-G-M flopped, he tried another 'sci-fi' concept called 'Genesis II' starring future Air Wolf star Alex Cord as Dylan Hunt, a 1970s man in the 22nd Century, albeit a post-Apocalyptic future where the survivors are divided into different fragmented societies, mostly backwards and technologically retarded.

Trying to keep it all together is an outfit- PAX -which lives mostly underground and goes all over the globe via the 'Sub-shuttle', essentially a Maglev that goes at incredible velocities circumnavigating the planet with the PAXians aboard bringing civilization to the savages.

Or fighting self-imposed dictators and despots, both human and mutant in far-flung fiefdoms.

Influenced heavily by H. G. Wells' 'The Time Machine', 'The Shape Of Things To Come', and even 'Buck Rogers', the proposed series had at least 22 outlines for episodes, but was turned down by CBS in favor of the then-trendy TV version of 'Planet Of The Apes'-
which barely lasted a season.
Pre-production Art for Genesis II, Planet Earth,
A year later ABC gave the go ahead for a revamped second pilot, this time renamed 'Planet Earth', with John Saxon as Dylan Hunt, and Janet Margolin as a more sexier Harper-Smythe, with Ted Cassidy returning as the Native-American warrior.

From Gene Roddenberry's Genesis II
(1973):

From Gene Roddenberry's Planet Earth
(1974)


Compare these images with the real McCoy!

Stock Exchange

OOPS...sorry, my bad-- wrong Stock Exchange!
(wonder how that image got posted???)
I apologize- still learning HTML.
Oh well...

Wanted to post this fe$tive, patriotic, pic instead:

"...where everyday is X-Mas!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Little Hunchback

You've heard of 'My Little Margie', and 'My Little Pony'- but 'My Little Hunchback'?

That's what M-G-M head honcho Louis B. Mayer not so affectionately called Judy Garland, his top grossing box-office star.
The Wizard of Oz was filmed in 1938 and released in 1939, and was one of 3 significant versions, one in 1908 and the 1925 version with Oliver Hardy as the Tin Woodsman.

Universal's last canon 'monster opus' 'House Of Dracula', part of the unofficial trilogy of 'Frankenstein Meets The Wolfman' and 'House of Frankenstein'.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sub-Rosa Subway-- Eat Fresh.


If you've ever been to a SUBWAY you'll know what I'm talking about.

I've been to SUBWAYs in NY, NJ, and PA, and they all have the same d├ęcor and wallpaper- quaint 19th and early 20th Century illustrations and reproductions of old newspapers,
all keeping within a 'subway' theme.
But did you ever check out this particular wall decoration:

That's the Beach Pneumatic Transit System, brainchild of Alfred Ely Beach.

Who?

Alfred Ely Beach - editor of Scientific American, whose (forgotten) claim to fame was the creation of a pneumatic subway under Manhattan's City Hall that pre-dated- by about 30 years -looong before work on the subway system as it now exists was begun.

Interesting that Mr. Beach had to work in (shhh!) secret, because then as now powerful monopolies- in this case the existing rail companies -would want to stop him from pioneering pneumatic travel and beating them to lucrative NYC mass transit contracts.

Ah, progress.

Buying a storefront he swore his workers to secrecy and dug from the basement removing dirt under cover of night like the P.O.W.s in 'The Great Escape'.

You dig?

Beach's Pneumatic Tunnel was unveiled after it was completed and fully operational at a gala opening amid rave reviews- but the financial concerns of a crooked mayor and a market crash scuttled plans to further develop and expand this new mode of transportation.


The tunnel sealed off and it was forgotten.


Again, the same old story.



The Canadian faux Beatles soundalike group, Klaatu, on their first album decided to immortalize Mr. Beach in song with a ditty entitled Sub-Rosa Subway.

The tune sounds very McCartney-esque and has similar arrangement and instrumentation to the Beatles 'psychedelic' period, as well as McCartney's own 'Ram' album and you can get the mp3 @ http://www.kempa.com/mp3/Klaatu_Sub_Rosa_Subway.mp3 .

The lyric is like nothing in Top-40 history. Almost every tool developed in PoP history is used to perfection: horns, strings, power chords, melodic bass lines, a great vocal--they even steal the "chooga-chooga" backing vocals from
"I Am The Walrus."

The Lyrics to Sub-Rosa Subway:

"Back in 1870 just beneath the Great White Way / Alfred Beach worked secretly / Risking all to ride a dream / His wind-machine

New York City and the Morning Sun / Were awoken by the strangest sound / Reportedly as far as Washington / The tremors shook the earth as Alfie / Blew underground

All aboard Sub-Rosa Subway / Had you wondered who's been digging under Broadway? / It's Alfred / It's Alfred / It's Alfred / Poor Al, woh no Al

As for Americas first subway / The public scoffed, “It’s far too crude” / One station filled with Victoria’s age / From frescoed walls and goldfish fountains…. / To Brahmsian tunes



The goldfish fountains and Brahmsian tunes referenced in the final chorus actually existed - Beach had lavishly furnished the terminal of his subway, even including a player piano!


Half a century later, in 1912 when NY Subway workers were excavating, they re-discovered it:
Here's page that's devoted to this for those who are interested: http://www.nycsubway.org/articles/beach.html

Guess you just can't keep a good idea down- it really was ahead of its time as it was reused:
over 100 years later on the 1975 TV series Space: 1999

Friday, April 24, 2009

You Bought It.

Whenever you made/make a purchase at Wal-Mart or frankly at any 'Pig-Box' store, just look at what your good money bought/buys the Chinese--


--ain't it just grrreat?
Now don't you just wish we had one here- keep wishing, but don't hold your breath now.
Thanks be to President Richard Milhouse Nixon!

You bought it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Decade Or So Before



Ten years before Earth Day, Ike was still President, J.F.K., Vietnam, The Beatles, Summer of Love, Neil Armstrong, and Woodstock were yet to come- who knew?


The election signs would soon turn into protest signs by mid-decade...



















MAD as with usual prescience proposed using outer space as a garbage dump for refuse-- which may not after all be a bad idea at least for nuclear waste.


The Far Side of the Moon was used as one in the classic Brit Sci-Fi series SPACE: 1999 in 1973 -76 and if it was good enough for Moonbase Alpha it's good enough for us...maybe.

Monday, April 20, 2009

4.22.09 -- Happy Earth Day!

This is my first ever entry in a blog that I'll hope you'll like, endeavoring to provide interesting content for you covering a veritable potpourri of past, present, and possible future eras and their various different (PoP)cultural, (eco)logical, philosophical, political, psychological, sociological, and yes even sometimes religious permutations and ramifications-- that and just plain FUN!
So without any further ado-
=save, print and view with Red & Blue glasses="...that's one small step for Man...one giant leap for Mankind..."

And to those of us who watched and listened in 1969 in that iconic moment the world seemed as one with all nationalities, ethnicity's, and even religions, united as never before when Neil Armstrong uttered those immortal words.
Fast forward a year.
1970 and with it a new decade: The 1960's officially over as The Beatles break-up, while simultaneously & paradoxically the growing counterculture becomes even ever more pervasive as the (then) new shopping centers- later 'malls' -have all sorts of products & supplies for the faux wannabe-hippies in most of the civilized United States: day-glo fluorescent posters, incense sticks & cones, bead curtains, 'psychedelic' lightbulbs, underground comix, and the requisite LPs, Compact Cassettes, and 8-Tracks
.
Groovy!
So pervasive that the (then) President of the United States, Richard Milhouse Nixon (aka 'Tricky Dicky' by some) decides to extend a symbolic olive-branch in a photo-op moment to deflect his handing of the seemingly never ending and unpopular Vietnam War, to the also growing by leaps and bounds Ecology Movement, of which Garrett De Bell and his Friends Of The Earth group were at the vanguard of.
April 22 therefore was hereby proclaimed Earth Day and all the focus on ecology and anti-pollution becomes very trendy- celebrities and politicians, as well as major corporations, jump on the bandwagon.
Ecology.
Before Earth Day no one had the 'smoggiest' notion what 'ecology' was or what it meant, except of course conservationists, the burgeoning counter-culturalists, environmentalists,

and progressive forward-thinking people such as Frank Herbert, author of the D U N E series, and Dennis Weaver TV's 'McCloud'.
Other than that most mainstream Americans were clueless- but that situation changed rapidly.

The Environmental Handbook is published, and me being a curious sort, a progressive-minded 13 year old, bought a copy through the Scholastic Book Service- the same folks who brought us Harry Potter years later -in Mr. Giger's 7th Grade Class Washington School, and then read up on all the wonderful things that had to be done by us as individuals vis a vis the ecology.
The book was a #1 seller for a time and basically 'the Bible' of the ecology movement.
This societal trend culminated at least for me when the RCA Corporation right here in Harrison NJ, and the entire Harrison School System had announced a 'Pollution Poster Contest', where all the schools from Kindergarden, First through Eight Grades, and Harrison High School were invited to participate, with the Grand Prize to be an RCA AM/FM radio to the winning student and a brand new RCA Color-Trac console Color TV to that student's school.
Now to those of you who know me all this is 'ye olde' news, but to those unfamiliar and at the risk of boring everyone else to comatose catatonia here's the story:
Skeptical I was over this alliance between public education and private enterprise, so much so that I had absolutely no plan to enter anything at all as it would violate my own self-imposed prohibition in participation in any and all contests- to me contests and competitions were silly exercises in self-promotion and ego-gratification and really weren't the solution to any problems.
I had a knack for art, but I vowed not to participate.
As I remember it- which is a wonder to me that I can remember anything -the contest was on for like a month, and as the clock was tick, tick, ticking away towards the deadline, I was friendily persuaded by others to enter something, anything, but my position was clear with unshaken resolve.

Then I got the flu.
Well you know I had the usual symptoms: cold chills alternating w/ fever and buckets o' sweat, congestion, dizziness, no food, etc., bedridden for like the better part of the week.
Later as my temperature stabilized and appetite came back, my father offered to take me to the Big Apple- New York City -or what was then called 'Fun City', after a successful ad campaign by (then) Mayor John Lindsay and the NY Chamber of Commerce.
The New York of 'Midnight Cowboy', 'They Might Be Giants' and 'The Projectionist'.
The New York of 'The Odd Couple'- the TV version with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman, not the earlier movie with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, even though the theme song was better in the movie as they used an electric guitar as well.
Naturally I jumped at the opportunity and the next thing I knew we were driving through the Lincoln Tunnel and on to Times Square, Broadway & 42nd Street.
After parking the car my father and I strolled down the neon-festooned street with garish and gaudy scenery, and all sorts of curious creatures: there were middle-aged Jewish businessmen trying to look 'with it' and 'hip' with their mod sideburns and longish-hair toupees, micro-miniskirted hookers wearing maxi-coats, black pimps in their regal regalia, Puerto Rican biker babes and boys, obviously homosexual men- or women? -cruising for an evening's encounter, out of town fat Joe College 'frat boys' from NJ suburbia gazing, gawking and goofing, Afros and dashkis, drag-queen transvestites from transexual Transylvania, 'Ma and Pa Kettle', Officers Krupke, Toody, and Muldoon, Ratso Rizzo and the junkies, Chinese Take-out delivery guy, news vendor from kiosk selling 'Screw' magazine and hippies- honest to goodness real hippies!
Okay, fake hippies then- the real hippies died in 1967 in a media event at Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco.
Fun City indeed.
Well my little 13 year old brain was overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of 1970 New York, and even more so when my father left me at the landmark Joke and Novelty Store right on the corner of 42nd and Broadway with its cheezy display of X-ray Specs, Joy Buzzers, Whoopee Cushions, and Rubber Masks- you can be Tor Johnson, Bela Lugosi, or (gulp)
Like, Alfred E. Neuman!

The reason he left me there was obvious to anyone who was familiar to circa 1970 - early 1990's Times Square, as that was the heyday (and payday!) of the Adult Entertainment scene, and out-of-town tourists would make it their Mecca-like destination on their pilgrimage to 'Fun City' in search of vicarious pleasures and salacious thrills.
Today's generation can't conceive of a time when you couldn't get 'Porno On Demand' as one can do nowadays online, or on DvDs, or cable and/or satellite TV, but people had to actually travel to the major cities to look at 25 cents a minute 'peep shows'- either an 8mm silent filmstrip, or a 'live nude girl' bumping and grinding -or glossy color mags, or and same 8mm for their home projector.
Wow!
He came back just in time because the store salesman, an older gentleman was getting exasperated by me asking him all sorts of questions and I'm sure he was glad to see me go since I wasn't going to buy anything anyway.
Not even a Whoopee Cushion.
To me the whole thing thing was all very surreal, as the whole atmosphere was straight out of a Fellini movie, as all the Adult Bookstores and Peep Shows were freshly painted like some perverse carnivale or Barnum & Bailey's on acid.
So after several hours of this we went home and I trance-like started to work on manila oak tag paper scrawling in No. 2 pencil whatever came into my head- hey, I'm entering something in the
RCA Pollution Poster Contest!
I hoped to convey an important and profound message, not just a flashy, disposable piece of art, but something that would be my statement:
"A I R, W A T E R, and
L A N DPollution is 'IN'- Yes, in your lungs,
rivers, towns, and cities!"
and all this was done in a Heinz Edelmann inspired type style as I just saw Yellow Submarine and wanted to do something with a current up to date design and iconography.
I also dug 'psychedelic' art immensely.
Had this 'poster'- actually the back of an old SiCK Magazine from 1966 -Scotch-taped to my wall in 5 different apts since buying it in '66 in Orange NJ, when I was in 3rd Grade.
Had no idea what 'protests' or 'conformity' was- hey I was 8 going on 9 -and only got it because the MAD wannabe SiCK was spoofing the MADison Avenue icons on the cover: The Green Giant, Esso Tiger, Italian Swiss Colony's 'Little Old Winewmaker', Captain Crunch, Ajax 'White Knight' ('Stronger than Dirt!'), Quaker Oats, etc., -- it was well before the 'Wacky Packages' were created by Topps.
The issue was entitled 'The Brand X Issue' as it not only offered send-ups and spoofs of Madison Avenue Ads, but also offered an alternative product: Brand X!
SiCK at the time claimed that all the 'Brand X' products were not fakes or mock-ups, but were actual -- and years later after looking through a December 1960 PLAYBOY found an real ad for 'Brand X' Cigarettes!
Anyway, getting back to the subject at hand...

Years later while watching a documentary on Dylan, I saw this picture where he and Joan Baez were standing in front of a similar poster for Booth's Gin at Newark Airport in 1964
Found out later, much later, it was created by one of the foremost graphics designers in the '60s, Seymour Chwast.
Never missed an episode of The Now Explosion on WPIX Channel 11
Saturday afternoon-evenings, either:
http://www.thenowexplosion.net/3segmaster1.html
originating from Atlanta, Georgia with all kinds of experimental music videos looong before MTV, so I was well versed in the style.
The new non-toxic watercolor markers just hit the shelves recently and even though professional artists were using something similar,it wasn't until they became available for the neophyte that they really took off in popularity.



It had an eye in the center of the design,


not unlike the eye on the back of the dollar bill, with a tear coming out of it, which was supposed to be reminiscent of the weeping Native American
(who I found out later, much later, was Sicilian!)
in the 'Keep America Beautiful' ads running on TV







but was actually taken from the Beatles Illustrated Lyrics,
a book I saw at Bobby Corrado's house:

^eye similar to Alan Aldridge illustration on the far left of gallery
Then there was another image of a green limousine, influenced partially by some of the 'art cars' I saw in NY and also the psychedelic Rolls-Royce that John Lennon had in 1967, but the license plate was an ominous vanity plate which read
'PLANET EARTH I-KILL'.
Actually wanted to use 'Big Daddy' Ed Roth's 'Rat Fink'
or 'Weird-Ohs'
symbolic yes of American 'kar kulture' but figured that those were kind of passe in 1970 and it would make a bigger impact if the scary message would be affixed to a seemingly benign car, instead of obvious 'monsters in a monster car'.
(1313 Mockingbird Lane)
It was also very wordy with all the letters merging, swirling, melting together, or alternately half-submerged under water, or floating on a drifting cloud, or emerging from drainage pipes, balloony letters that later on would be quite familiar to those who ever saw or did 'guerilla graffiti' on buildings, buses and trains in most metropolitan areas, so similar it was in looks and style.
Who knew?
So I did the whole poster in like maybe 17-18 hours with barely a break for food and after staring at this thing I had in front of me I actually lost track of time and entered an 'altered state of consciousness' and started to hallucinate.
Yeah naturally-- with no drugs (yet).
Fasting and colorful stimuli are known methods- the religious ascetics knew this since the time of the Ancients -to achieve hypnagogic states.
Auto/self-hypnosis, for fun and prophet!
Probably too the combination of being ill the week before and wasn't eating much anyway, probably all the cold and flu remedies, probably the trip to 'Fun City'- all combined -helped me to create this pulsating, crackling with energy, poster.
Well next day, went to school with the poster rolled up and when I arrived everybody in
Mr. Zarbetski's 8th Grade Class wanted a look-see.
Everyone was enthusiastic and excited, but I was frankly exhausted as I only had like maybe 5 hours of sleep and was apparently still recovering.
Still recovering.
I heard murmurs and whispers that 'I was gonna win' and 'it's great', etc., etc.,
but I really didn't care at that point.
To me it was therapy- whatever compelled me to do the poster, whatever was still in my system from all the over the counter remedies, Lipton Turkey Noodle-O Soup mix, whatever I perceived on my sojourn to New York, and return, was there all there on that 2 x 3 piece of manila school oak tag.
And it was healing and it was curative.
Less than a week later the winners were announced, and as expected I was one of them.
What I didn't expect though was actually winning the Color TV for the school.


(sorry 'bout the quality, it's from an old microfiche)
Truth be told, I really wanted that TV instead of the AM/FM table-top radio,
but in retrospect actually was better off with the radio anyway as it introduced me to the wonderful world of FM radio which was pioneer territory still: WNEW, WBAI, WABC (soon to mutate into WPLJ), and other stations I can't remember airing the most incredible music and comedy stuff before the censors and 'suits' seized total absolute control over the airwaves.
Even AM was better than as WMCA had Alex Bennett and Long John Nebel,
WOR had Jean Shephard, and even WABC-AM had the DJs that were way better than what came later with >ugh< 'simulating talk' radio.
Also regretfully, I never saw the other work of my peers, the other winners of this contest, except for the guy from Harrison High, George Jaworski, who did some fine-art with watercolor and brush and was very impressive in execution.
My work was destroyed in early 1980 when my landlord's bratty kids used a duplicate key and entered my apartment illegally rifling through and destroying my stuff.
"Shaddup an pay yer rent!"
But all of that may as well have happened on another planet or in an alternate dimension
for all the good that it did-- but at least we tried...

Again, today marks the 39th year since the first Earth Day-
April 22, 1970-and what I want to know is this:
"Wha' hoppen?"