The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

The Fair: Building a Better Tomorrow #1

1939 - Ford Exhibit - Cycle of Production - under construction

1939 - Ford Exhibit - Cycle of Production - figurines
Above: The Cycle of Production display under construction at the Ford Exhibit for the 1939 World's Fair.

Below: Detail of part of the display.

Art of the Stage #10

The Gunslinger Guide to Julie Christie #23
They Were Collaborators #652

juliedirk
Dirk Bogarde and Julie Christie

The Life and Times of the American Motel #16


Casa Bahama Motel (Wildwood, NJ)

Adventures in the Official Culture #1

Today's Adventure:

Original Caption:

Checking The Good Points.

Manhattan -- The nearly completed Metroplitan Opera House at Lincoln Center was unveiled to the press March 22, and viewing the $45.7 million dollar house are its architect, Wallace K. Harrison, William Schuman, President of Lincoln Center, and Rudolph Bing, General Manager of the Met. The house immediately touched off a controversy, drawing remarks ranging from "gorgeous" on one hand, to "it looks like a cheap Paramount Theatre in Brooklyn" on the the other. (1966)

The Gunslinger Guide to Lee Garmes #3


from Duel in the Sun
(King Vidor; 1946)

Welcome to Show Business! #32


Original Caption:

Hollywood -- Female autograph fans are ignored by singer Bing Crosby as he arrives at Los Angeles Superior Court to appear in connection with a $1,000,000 damage suit brought against him as the result of an auto accident. The suit has been settled for $100,000, Crosby's lawyers announced. $67,500 went to fireman Frank H. Verdugo, driver of a car which collided with Crosby's $12,000 sports auto early October 11th, 1953. Verdugo's wife, Lucy, got $27,500, and her brother Eulalio Perea received $5,000. Verdugo charged that the crooner's faculties the morning of the accident were impaired "by reason of being without a reasonable amount of sleep for an unreasonably long period of time." He also asserted that Crosby had been drinking and charged him with driving with "utter disregard for the life and safety of others." (1954)

The Art of War #63

The Cool Hall of Fame #193


Thelma Ritter

Tricky: Scenes from a Life #102

tricky dick and mom
Tricky's mom sucks parasite out of the side of his head. Parasite put on "Enemies List" shortly after.

This Sporting Life #23

pele kicking
Pele confounding the opposition.

The Art of Pop #62


Warm and Wonderful
(The King Sisters)
(Capitol Records; 1959)

I Like the Christian Life! #14


Original Caption:

Los Angeles -- Aimee Semple McPherson-Hutton, the noted evangelist of Los Angeles recently opened a soup kitchen, where the hungry are fed. When the photographer called to get a picture of Aimee, he found instead Mr. Hutton, the recent bridegroom of the evangelist. Photo shows David Hutton with hungry men of Los Angeles. (1931)

The Art of the Close-Up #2


Pull My Daisy
(Cinematographer: Robert Frank)
(Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie; 1959)

Twilight of the Dreamboats #32


The Bronx (1978)

Norman Rockwell Saved from Drowning #25


Willie Gillis in College (1946)

Artists in Action #592

kim novak
Kim Novak arrives.

They Were Collaborators #651

Shari Lewis and Lambchop
Shari Lewis and Lambchop.

The Frame Within the Frame #17


À bout de souffle
(Breathless)
(Jean-Luc Godard; 1960)

Where the Boys Are #19


Tyrone Power

Artists and Animals #55


The Rolling Stones make time for a photo op with some elephants.

Annals of Crime #91


Original Caption:

Blame 'Baby Face' in Bold Chicago Bank Holdup.

Chicago -- The Aetna State Bank on Chicago's north side, a half block from the spot where John Dillinger was killed, was invaded by six masked bandits and robbed of $18,500, all in cash. The masks prevented positive identification, but the figure of the leader and the boldness of the robbery led to the suspicion that 'Baby Face' Nelson, hunted Dillinger gangster, led the raid. Robert Cairns, bank policeman, is shown looking at the door glass smashed by the bandits in their hasty exit. (1934)

The Art of Jazz #116


Billie Holiday Sings
(Clef Records; 1952)

Africa Talks to You #6


Original Caption:

Scene from 'King Kong.'

Johannesburg -- American and British theater goers are likely to be seeing in the next season or so an all-African jazz opera that is a smash hit in South Africa and could become one in New York and London. The show, called 'King Kong' is based on the real life story of Zulu heavyweight champion Ezekiel Dhlamini who, after being knocked out by a mere middleweight lost his popularity, became a vicious bully, and ended up a murderer. In this scene from the show, African actor-singer Nathan Mdledle, as "King Kong," dances with his gangster-moll girl friend, played by Miriam Makeba, at an illicit liquor den. (1959)

The Gunslinger Guide to Vittorio Storaro #2


from Scandalo
(Scandal)
(Salvatore Samperi; 1976)

The City: St. Louis #2


Original Caption:

St. Louis -- Giving the stretched-arm salute, forty-two Nazis were jeered and pelted with snowballs as they rode a flatbed truck through a White neighborhood shouting "White power." The Nazis had planned to march through the neighborhood, then hold a rally, but apparently changed their minds and stayed on the truck because of the large crowd of onlookers (1978)

Pete Quaife Dead at 66

Pete Quaife

Pete Quaife would be the first to admit he wasn't the greatest bass player in the world. When I interviewed him 20 years ago on the occasion of the Kinks' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame he joked that he became famous for playing the same two notes over and over on You Really Got Me, but he was a vital part of a band that survived the '60s with its legacy virtually untainted (so help me, I love those Preservation albums from the '70s). He just seemed a perfect fit between the sibling rivalry of Ray and Dave Davies, deftly handling the rapid shift from teen rage to middle age wistfulness, only to bow out when the pressures of the musical money-go-round overwhelmed the pleasure of playing those two notes and providing the rhythmic anchor chain to Mick Avory's drums on Ray's visions of England's vanished golden age.

In 1990, Pete was more than generous with his time for an overwhelmed young Kinks kultist--he was living in Canada at the time, working as a freelance graphic artist and playing music when the mood struck him--later sending me a long handwritten letter expressing his thanks for my interest in his life and career and eventually a VHS tape of his personal home movies shot while on tour with the Kinks in the U.S. (the highlight is probably a shot of Dave giving a big hug to an uncomfortable-looking Annette Funicello on the set of Hullaballoo). Aside from actually meeting Ray himself a few years ago, it remains one of my fondest experiences of being a fan.

Pete passed away in Denmark on Thursday after a decade of struggling with kidney disease. You can read a CBC obit here, or just do what I'm going to do and put on The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society and quietly mourn the loss of a well respected man.

Tales of the Jazz Age #1


Original Caption:

New York -- Here is shown a view of the Charleston Endurance Contest held at the Parody Club shortly after the dancers had started on their way to new endurance records. Members of the orchestra earned glory for themselves in plugging away at peppy music during the lengthy dance which lasted fifty-three minutes. The new record was made by Harriet Fowler, winner and survivor of the Endurance Charleston (1926)

Artists in Action #591


J.D. Salinger looks into a toddler's ear while imitating Toulouse Lautrec

A Who's Who of The Cold War #11


Sen Patrick McCarran (D-NV)

The Art of the Courtroom #3


Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley appears as a Defense witness in the trial of the Chicago 7
(Franklin McMahon; 1969)

Welcome to Show Business! #31


Original Caption:

New York -- Making her first visit to the US in seven years, Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman is surrounded by admirers who hold welcome signs on her arrival at Idlewild Airport this frigid morning. She came for a 36-hour stay, during which she will receive the New York Film Critics Award for her performance in the film 'Anastasia'. She is flying back to Europe Sunday night. (1957)

The City: St. Louis #1


Original Caption:

Wilkie Welcomed in St. Louis.

St. Louis -- Presidential candidate Wendell L. Wilkie waves amid a shower of confetti as he rides through St. Louis during his second campaign tour of the Middle West, October 17th. (1940)

The Gunslinger Guide to Gordon Willis #3


from The Godfather
(Francis Ford Coppola; 1972)

The Heretofore Unmentioned #110


Sarah Palin

The Art of the Panel: Archie #14


from The Tune
(Artists Unknown)
(Laugh #216; March, 1969)

Marilyn in Action #41


Marilyn listens

The Art of the Close-Up #1


Bonnie and Clyde
(Cinematographer: Burnett Guffey)
(Arthur Penn; 1967)

The City: Philadelphia #14


Original Caption:

Philadelphia -- Members of Local 116, United Electrical Workers, vote in Philadelphia to disaffiliate themselves from the union. The UE, accused of left-wing leadership, and of following the Communist Party line, was voted out of the CIO at the national convention in Cleveland. (1949)

Artists in Action #590


David Cornwell (aka John le Carré) converses with the public

Annals of Crime #90


Original Caption:

New York -- Louis Capone and Emanuel "Mendy" Weiss are pictured handcuffed together and under guard aboard train en route to Sing Sing and the electric chair. They joined seventeen other prisoners in the death house and were scheduled to walk to the chair on January 4, 1942, for the murder of Joseph Rosen, a Brooklyn candy store owner. (1941)

This Week's Hopper #21


The Barber Shop (1931)

Chris Sievey Dead at 54

Chris Sievey
Obituary of Chris Sievey (creator of Frank Sidebottom) from The Guardian, here.

Jimmy Dean Dead at 81

Jimmy Dean
Obituary from the Los Angeles Times here.

The Gunslinger Guide to Vittorio Storaro #1


from Reds
(Warren Beatty; 1981)

In the Studio #53


The Dave Brubeck Quartet

This Week's Lichtenstein #9


Art (1962)

Tricky: Scenes from a Life #101


Tricky reads a speech sideways (1952)

Around the World with W. Robert Moore #3


An Incan man rests on a rock formation in the Andes (Peru; 1927)