Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas, Babies ... Sure Did Treat Jimi Nice




Thank you for helping us fund our Kickstarter Campaign in celebration of Jimi Hendrix. We are producing the definitive book commemorating the world's greatest guitarist, lavishly illustrated with inside stories from guitar heroes and Jimi confidants. The project is called ...

Hendrix Now! Backstory of a Legend A Historical Volume by Noë Gold
With Alan Douglas Music and in Association with the Jimi Hendrix Foundation

Here is a blurb description of it:

Jimi Hendrix - Experience This! A Visual Spiritual Odyssey. Inside stories from guitar heroes and Jimi confidants about the world's greatest guitarist.







*.˛.°★。˛ °.** ** *˛.
˛ °_██_**./ \ .˛* .˛.*.* * *
˛. (´• ̮•)*˛°*/.♫.♫\*˛.* ˛_Π_____._ * ˛*
.°( . • . ) ˛°./• '♫ ' •\.˛*./_NOE__/~*. ˛*.˛* ˛. *
*(...'•'.. ) *˛╬╬╬╬╬˛°.|田田 |門|╬╬╬╬ .
¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯`´¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯`¬´¯˜"*°´¯˜"*°••°*"˜¯`
Merry Christmas ...
... and
♥.•*¨`*•.¸.•´ ♥.._██_*.˛.°★。˛ °.** ** *˛
 ♥..( . • . ) ..... (´• ̮•).. )Happy New Year 
... and it would be great if you went to my website
                                                and sign in to my Band of Gypsys newsletter here.

– Noë the G
Founding Editor Guitar World
Creative Director Jimi Hendrix Foundation





JimiSanta II SURPRINT by Doctor Noe
JimiSanta II SURPRINT, a photo by Doctor Noe on Flickr.
I came across this wonderful Christmas greeting (Jimi Hendrix as Santa photo shoot for the Nashville Record Mirror/ Photograph by © Dezo Hoffmann, December 1967) … from my friend David Pearcy, a Hendrix iconographer extraordinaire with whom I collaborated on this little old magazine I edited called Guitar World.
In 1967 Jimi Hendrix posed as jolly Old Saint Nick for the Record Mirror newspaper to promote his then newest album, Axis: Bold as Love. The cover date of that issue was December 23, 1967 … and a video was shot on December 22nd, at one of the last truly “underground” events of the 60s held in London, the all-night “Christmas on Earth Continued” festival, which Hendrix headlined and also featured The Who, Traffic, Pink Floyd (Syd Barrett’s last gig with the group), Eric Burdon and the New Animals, The Move and Soft Machine.
Two years later, in December of 1969, Hendrix, bassist Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, The Band of Gypsys, were rehearsing at Baggy Studios in New York prior to their New Year’s concerts at the Fillmore East, where they recorded a Christmas medley of “Little Drummer Boy/Silent Night/Auld Lang Syne.”
A bitchin' little Yuletide medley:



PS  ...
I am utterly humbled ...
   ...   by the feedback I have been getting … and utterly wiped. Any of you who have done a Kickstarter campaign will know that for the past two months my life has been nothing but copy-paste-post-promote. So please forgive me if I take a breather and take it all in. I promise that soon I will begin to tackle all the proper thank yous, and begin the process of fulfilling the rewards orders.
For now, thank you all, big and small, for getting me going. Now the fun part of this job begins – completing some interviews, photo editing and writing. I have you to thank for that.
Noe the G
PS, still can't shake the habit of posting videos about what my project is about, so indulge me ...

The video here explains it all: 


video

Copyright © Hendrix Now Productions, 2014
Music on the Video is Copyright © Alan Douglas | Jimi Hendrix Reference Library, 1992
Berkeley, CA 5/30/70 from Variations on a Theme: "Red House"
Used with permission of The Douglas Family

And this one's just for fun: 



video


Mike Finnigan (he played on Electric Ladyland with Jimi, Jack Cassidy, Steve Winwood, Al Kooper, Chris Wood, comping with his Hammond B3 organ and interpreting Jimi's jazz persona for that masterpiece), gives Noë the G the thumbs up.







                                 
      




Sunday, October 26, 2014

My Annual Halloween Think Piece


Just in time for

Halloween ...




... my updated essay on classic horror films entitled “Fear of Fright Night.” Wrote the original in 2001 for an AOL site called Entertainment Asylum. Find the page here. I wrote numerous pieces for Entertainment Asylum in my tenure as an AOL correspondent/content editor, but only this one was saved for posterity.

Flashforward to 2010, and I can now put up this considered reprise, recollected in tranquility entitled ...

FEAR OF FRIGHT NIGHT (redux)

Halloween Goes to the Movies

Watching Scary Movies in the relative safety of a theater with hundreds of other people around us will not turn us into raving, bloodthirsty lunatics. On the contrary, it's a cheap alternative to seeing a shrink.


By Noë Gold
We are now in the midst of another cycle of shock films, loosely categorized by film historians as the horror genre but I'll just call 'em Scary Movies, since these film historians tend to quarrel and quibble about what exactly is a horror film. I say "cycle" because these films come in bunches, about every twenty years or so, and are extremely popular. The films in the late-'90s crop (typified by "Scream," "Scream 2," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Disturbing Behavior", the latter-day "Halloween: H2O" and the equally sequel-tastic "I Still Know What You Did Last Summer") have one thing in common: they're not "monster movies" like "Frankenstein" or "The Fly" or any of the creepy horror films that were popular in the fifties.



1530 North Orange Grove Ave. across the street stood in for the Doyle residence, where Laurie was baby-sitting Tommy in "Halloween." Looking the same as when the movie was filmed there 30 years ago, except the brick pillars in the front are filled in with hedges. The panicked children ran from the house between the pillars and onto the street. Photo by Noë Gold

The Scary Movie of the nineties relies more on psychological terror than the obvious makeup-enhanced movies of that more innocent era. It deals with ordinary people in ordinary situations who come across a deviant like "Halloween's" Mike Myers. The suspense in H20 is more on account of the audience's expectations and the throbbing, spooky music than from any obvious monster. Mike Myers comes with a lot of baggage, and it's all hidden beneath that very ordinary white Halloween mask. The effect is much more chilling than Godzilla or Keith Richards could ever hope to be.

Why is this Scary cycle surfacing again now? On the surface, things are fairly stable in modern-day society. Crime statistics are down, the economy is whistling along and Charles Manson is tucked away neatly in prison with no hope of escape. So why do we flock to movies that scare the gizzards out of us? Because it gives us pleasure. When there are no real things to be scared of, we go to the movies to shake things up. In a weird way, it's therapeutic.

To illustrate this point, I call forth a reference in a seminal book by an author I used to know who taught me a lot about the genre, Carlos Clarens. On the frontispiece of his Illustrated History of the Horror Films, Carlos quotes sociologist Roland Penrose from his work, Violence in Contemporary Art: "The bogey of violence is particularly horrifying and intolerable to us when we meet it in cold blood. The arts, however, avoid its brutal impact by their appeal to the emotions, they warm us to its presence, turning terror into enjoyment and cruelty into compassion. We participate in the act of violence without suffering its evil consequences. Art, in fact, allows us, as in certain rituals, to satisfy our Olympian yearning to stimulate the forces of nature. Its nonviolent power has a therapeutic and catalytic influence."

So, watching Scary Movies in the relative safety of a theater with hundreds of other people around us will not turn us into raving, bloodthirsty lunatics. On the contrary, it's a cheap alternative to seeing a shrink. For the same reason we pay money and wait in long lines to ride the shriekiest roller coaster, we go to the movies to get our hair lifted. Steve Miner, who directed H20, says it this way: "My favorite scary film of all time was Psycho, which I could not sit through. I never saw the whole movie until I was an adult. Halloween I found reminiscent in spirit of that kind of movie: unrelentingly scary and suspenseful and atmospheric. I think people like to be scared because they can go to the edge without really being there."

Kevin Williamson, the Dawson's Creek director who wrote the screenplay of H20 as well as that of Scream, credits Halloween for what he is today. "Halloween is and always has been my favorite film of all time," he says. "It wasn't just a movie, it was an experience. ... The audience participation factor was one of the most incredible parts of the movie. The way the audience jumped and screamed at the characters on screen got my blood pumping. It was this effect in Halloween that made me realize that I wanted to be a filmmaker.

Okay, what about that "every twenty years" theory? It's no coincidence that the current Halloween is subtitled H20, since the original Halloween was released in 1978. That one put its director, John Carpenter, on the map and kicked off the career of Jamie Lee Curtis as well (it was her first feature film). H20 has among its co-stars Jamie Lee's mom, Janet Leigh, who was the star victim of Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho, released 18 years before Halloween in 1960 (and later to be redone in a faithful translation by Gus Van Sant). Carpenter's stated purpose in conceiving Halloween was that he wanted to create a picture that would play like a full-length version of the shower scene in Psycho.

Go back roughly twenty years from Psycho and you have the beginning of another Scary cycle in the early forties. A series of films produced by Val Lewton has a lot in common with what the Scary cycle of the nineties is going for - psychological horror with no monsters or creatures in sight. The great director Jacques Tourneur did more with camera angles, lighting and sound to chill the audience's bones with his masterpieces the original Cat People and his follow-up I Walked With a Zombie. I command you to go out and rent these right now so you can see what I mean.

The first of these twenty-year cycles, just to round out my argument, goes back to Germany in the twenties. You won't be able to rent Paul Weggener's Student of Prague or his series of films about the Golem, a vengeful Jewish monster who haunted Czechoslovakia. But there is also The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu, the original vampire story (with Max Schreck as the Vampire). And rounding out the cycle is The Hands of Orlac, with Caligari's Conrad Veidt, about a concert pianist who has the hands of a murderer grafted on after he loses his in an accident. The fright genre moved (along with a number of German filmmakers escaping the Nazis) to America for its next cycle, and it is also no great coincidence that another one of these German exports, Peter Lorre, made his American film debut in 1935 in a remake of Orlac called Mad Love, another one that you must rent or seek out on cable TV.

Which is all to say that what comes around goes around in the world of roller coasters and Scary Movies. Now that I have given you a quick sense of its history, it's a good time to grab a ride.









PS, there’s also a neato keeno compendium of creature features here on the same site:

http://www.angelfire.com/ma/babybrownsplace/articles/articles.html

.... and in this photo gallery from The Hollywood Reporter:

also ...