Thursday, October 18, 2007


Mike Osterhout and Al Blanchard


Saturday, October 13, 2007


Thursday, October 11, 2007


Photo: R. Kern

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Forty years ago Argentine revolutionary Dr. Ernesto "Che" Guevera was killed by the Bolivian military with the blessings of the CIA. He had been one of the rock star three, along with Camillo and Fidel riding triumphantly into Havana in '59, and later fought in the Congo and Bolivia, spreading "revolutionary chic" globally. In Havana he's omnipresent, emblazoned everywhere from billboards to keychains. In boutiques from Paris to NYC his famous mug is plastered across skimpy $50 t shirts worn by perky titted models, completely co-opted by capitalist pop-culture- still in style after all these years.
Last year I stopped at Milawyer's house in West Virginia on my way to Mexico City. In the bathroom was a big glossy book on Che. When I asked who was reading it, Milawyer pointed at his young son Mr. P. Seems P had become obsessed with Che. He didn't know much about Cuba or revolution, but after a few trips to the can he was an expert on Dr. G. What kid wouldn't find Che cool?
When I lectured at ISA in Havana all the students told a story of Fidel and Che playing golf after the revolution at the American golf club that even Batista was barred at (having African lineage) and vowing to turn it into an art school. ISA now sits on those links. Because Che died young he will always be remembered as that beret wearing, good looking dude. Because he remained a revolutionary, and did not become a politician like Fidel, he will always be romanticized.
The reality of Che's life may never be known. It is so steeped in myth and politically driven propaganda (on both sides), a true biography may be impossible. But there is one fact that sheds a little light on the life and death of Che. The Bolivian who pulled the trigger and put a bullet in Ernesto Guvera's body is still alive and recently had cataract surgery....... at a clinic established by Cuban doctors. That old man owes his sight to the man he killed. Vive revolution!

Thursday, October 04, 2007



Tuesday, October 02, 2007


A couple of days ago I recieved a phone call from some girl who wanted to sell me Showtime ( and a few other channels) for 7 bucks a month for the next two months. I was caught off guard and bit. What the hell. I wasn't going anywere. So last night I'm watching Sundance and there's this movie Kill Your Idols on. It juxtaposed NO NY old timers like Lydia Lunch, Jim Thirwell, Arto Lindsay and Sonic Youth with 2002 flavors of the year Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs, Black Dice, and other Brooklyn scenester bands. Lets see how they come off.
I had worked all day on a roof, my hands were cramped up like claws and the chicken and black had beans I had for supper had begun working some sort of gaseous horror in my system. I wore a ratty bathrobe and red polyester running pants. My long white beard was matted and stained with cajun chicken sauce. The shack was dirty and the fire was crackling in the stove. I laid the leftovers on the porch for the cats and as Thurston Moore pontificated like a college professor, and the chick from the YYYs giggled obnoxiously from behind her bangs, I nostalgically wandered back to those halcyon EV days in the early 80's.
I moved to NYC form SF as an art dealing conceptualist in 1983. Lydia , Jim, Thurston and their respective bands, as well as others like DNA, Mars, and Suicide were already darlings of the Village Voice, Soho News downtown scene. Pat Place, James Chance, Mr. and Mrs. Hell's son Richard owned the place. I had bought the NO NY album back in SF and dug it for it's anyone can do this shit attitude and gritty sexiness. Within a rather short time on the scene I had met most of this group and over the years I would play Richard Kern's FINGERED (featuring Jim and Lydia) in my gallery, build shelves for Kim and Thurston and Arto, and many times usher a drunk Thirwell out the door of Max. Fish. It took me until 1986 before I started my own band. Never singing a note, I was now I was a lead singer in a NYC band. How hard could it be?
As it turns out starting a rock band was one of the easiest things I ever accomplished. I grew my hair long (out of style at the time), donned my pointy toed boots, and an old tuxedo, grabbed the microphone and within a couple of months was opening for Meatloaf at the Palladium. So when I see Lydia moaning over how "soft" and "spoiled" the '02 bands are I think back to the day and realize just how wonderfully stupid, prententious and ridiculous every musical era is. Of course the newbies seem like fluff compared to these elder hipsters. But how stupid was Lydia in '78? If we survive we are granted sage status and looked on as being way more interesting than we ever were in reality. Let me tell you kids- we were all lame in our day. The only difference between the geezers and the youth is the media gobbles 'em up these days. If the YYY chick has any brains at all she'll be putting her cash in real estate and thinking about having kids. Honey, this ride isn't gonna last. Now I have to get back on that roof. Cool huh?