THE ROLLING STONES | ROAD WORN, FORLORN & ALMIGHTY GUITAR PORN

When I’m feeling roadworn, forlorn, or the subject of scorn– nothing takes me to my happy place faster than great old pics of guitar porn.  I came across the below Stones’ porn pic sifting through the internets and became mesmerized by the artfully haphazard array of axes.  You can almost smell the sweat, smoke  and stale beer as you gaze at the overturned cans, ash, and listing guitars.

The late ’60s – early ’70s was an epic time for the Rolling Stones, and Rock & Roll as a whole.  It was a time I largely missed (being born in 1970), but feel like I experienced, partially at least, vicariously through my mom.  She was a music junkie, went to Woodstock, worshipped Janis Joplin.

Because of her we had stacks of records, taller than me as a kid, right at my fingertips. Aside from the epic music itself that I soaked-up, the album artwork and liner notes were pure magic, and heavily influential to this day– forever etched into my psyche.  I remember hearing “Paint it Black” crackling on the turntable– the sound of Brian Jones on the sitar lulling me into a sedated state of wonder.  Today I appreciate the Stones more than ever– as through the decades they’ve proven again and again that a band like that only comes around once or twice a generation in terms of musicianship, influence, and longevity.  And the icing on the cake is the epic tales of their early days and ways of excess.

1969 pic of the Rolling Stones’ guitar/bass lineup– appears they were hard on everything then.

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Brian Jones (on his Fender Telecaster) throwin’ some heavy, funk vibe — way pre-Lenny Kravitz. There’d be no Rolling Stones without Jones, who was undoubtedly the most versatile musician ever to bless the band, and easily rivaled Mick Jagger for sex symbol status.  Jones also had a very eclectic taste in guitars– amassing a very enviable collection.

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“YOU’RE WELCOME TO SWIM” #1 — Keith Richards and Brian Jones together in happier times– poolside at the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida on the day that Keith and Mick wrote “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”  Today this hotel is the headquarters of The Church of Scientology. Later Keith would “rescue” or “steal” Anita Pallenburg from under Jones’ nose, depending on how you look at it– and added insult to injury when both he and Anita (as well as Mick Jagger) were noticeably absent at his funeral. — image by Bob Bonis

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MICKEY ROURKE | I THOUGHT TALENT WOULD TRANSCEND MY OUTSPOKENESS

1983 — Mickey Rourke, Motorcycle Boy, Coppola’s “Rumble Fish”  — Image by © John Springer Collection/CORBIS

 

Mickey Rourke – the most raw, intense, riveting actor of the 1980s, who slowly self-destructed before our eyes. He gained a reputation for having a chip on his shoulder, and through his pride and bravado burned a lot of bridges in the biz. Rourke brashly looked down his nose at his peers, insisting that he wouldn’t sell-out – he was pure and uncompromising. Back when Rourke was coming up on the heels of of heroes- De Niro, Pacino, Keitel, Walken – he was too young, too full of himself, and too foolish to know that at the end of the day, it’s a business before anything else – and politics reigns supreme.

Rourke then made few questionable film choices with 9 1/2 Weeks and Wild Orchid and suddenly he was no longer Hollywood’s prized young lion – he was branded sleazy Euro-trash. Disillusioned with it all, Rourke walked away – choosing to fight the inner demons that had dogged him all his life in the boxing ring.  Ironically, it was in the ring again, that Rourke fought like hell for his esteem and redemption as “Randy the Ram”, a disfigured down-and-out wrestler – and came out on top. Hollywood couldn’t have written a better comeback – in a seemingly hopeless situation, hope and hard work can get you through.

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1983 — Mickey Rourke, Motorcycle Boy in “Rumble Fish” — Image by © Sunset Boulevard/Corbis

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1983 — Matt Dillon and Mickey Rourke in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Rumble Fish”

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PHOTOGRAPHY OF HENRY HORENSTEIN AN AMERICAN ARCHIVE — HONKY TONK

Jesus, take the wheel– Country music has done run itself off into a ditch.

The hollow Country/Pop crossover stars of today are more L.A. than Nashville. They make Garth Brooks look like Hank Williams. Video killed the AM radio star. Henry Horenstein’s Portraits of Country Music 1972-1981 is a hugely inspiring photographic archive that perfectly captures the days when Country was C-O-U-N-T-R-Y. The artists talked the talk, and walked the walk. They had personality, talent, were characters, and yes– could be a bit corny as well. But in retrospect, that too is part of the charm and allure. So take a spin. Each brilliant Horenstein capture is better than the last, and makes me pine for simpler times– not to mention an icy cold can of Schlitz.

15 July 1972, Billerica, MA — Don Stover was a bluegrass banjo picker from White Oak, West Virginia. He came to Boston in 1952 with the Lilly Brothers from nearby Beckley and they played together for over eighteen years at Boston’s Hillbilly Ranch. Stover had great influence on a generation of important young banjo pickers. He influenced Bill Keith who introduced chromatic scales to bluegrass as a member of Bill Monroe’s band and Bela Fleck, a bluegrass and jazz-fusion star. — Image by © Henry Horenstein

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1972, Boston, MA — Porter Wagoner Sitting on a Piano Playing Guitar (nice Nudie suit Porter) — Image by © Henry Horenstein

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15 July 1978, Boston, MA — Lilly Brothers reunion show at the Hillbilly Ranch. The term “Honky Tonk” strictly refers to the type of bar that became popular after prohibition ended in the mid 1930’s. These bars were a little seedy and usually located on the outskirts of town. Honky tonks were a haven where a band could learn and hone its skills. — Image by © Henry Horenstein*

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HAPPY THANKSGIVING | HOMAGE TO THE TURKEY

No turkeys were harmed or killed during the production of this post. Please enjoy your Thanksgiving holiday with our warmest regards.

–The Selvedge Yard.

You know I love just about anything on wheels-- well this makes my tryptometer redline, baby.

Circa 1910, postcard by Frances Brundage. You know I love anything on wheels…

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Circa 1934 — Max Baer, world’s heavyweight boxing champion, gathering his Thanksgiving dinner. — Image by © Bettmann.

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“I’ll take a leg, please…”

Marilyn Monroe as vixen pilgrim, circa 1950.  Adelle August as ‘the angel of turkey death’, circa 1954  — Images by © Bettmann.

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THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ROBERT FRANK | “THE AMERICANS” 50TH ANNIVERSARY TRIBUTE

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"Rodeo-- New York City, 1954.  By photographer Robert Frank.

"Rodeo-- New York City, 1954. By photographer Robert Frank.

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It was fifty years ago that Robert Frank released his iconic and  historical work “The Americans”. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is honoring Frank by hosting “Looking In: Robert Frank’s The Americans, showcasing the photographic fruits of his cross-country journey from 1954-1955.  In 1957, Frank casually showed his American photo essay to the young beat writer, Jack Keruoac, whom he met at a party in New York City.  Kerouac was impressed and responded with– “Sure I can write something about these pictures,” and penned the introduction to the U.S. edition of The Americans.  Robert Frank’s work is now widely considered an important, intimate peak inside small-town America, but originally it was not met with open arms by all– at the time of its release many of the images were considered controversial, while other critics just outright dismissed his work as a blurry mess of nothingness.  Check it out for yourself at the Met from 9/22/09 – 1/3/10.

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Robert Frank The Americans

"Indianapolis" from The Americans by photographer Robert Frank.

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