P is for Pulp #61

Everybody Slept Here
(by Elliott Arnold)
(Signet Books 1949)

The Art of Cinema #499

(Jack Hill; 1973)

Happy birthday, Pam Grier!

Artists and Animals #86

Joan Blondell cuddles a Pekingese pup.

Self Portrait #20

Jim Henson

The Frame Within the Frame #46

Le Mepris (Contempt)
(Jean-Luc Godard; 1963)

P is for Pulp #60

Tough Town
(by Jack Karney)
(Pyramid 1951)
(originally The Ragged Edge 1946)

This was Marshall Place, where brothels and dope were as common as pushcarts and peddlers, and the kids were only one step ahead of the police. . . .

Old New York #55
Great Moments in Moxie #30

Brooklyn Bridge, 1903

You can scan this intricate cityscape in much greater detail in the high-res version posted by the fine folks at Shorpy's Photo Archive.

The Friends of Flagg #13

John Barrymore

"The one and only. It used to give me a pain in the neck when people would wax indignant about Jack's crazy behavior and say he owed it to his public not to do this. He owed nothing to his public — they owed him! He hurt nobody but himself — the poor dear! I knew him better than most.

"He was always generous in giving credit. Willie Collier taught him about farce, so he said; Chaliapin about makeup. They were tops to Jack. Also Uncle John Drew, who inspired him with his elegant burlesques of pompous hams of yesteryear. But what Jack did in the theater, he did so much better than anybody else!"

The Foreground Obscures #6

(William Friedkin; 1977)

Before and After #256: Tupac Shakur



Robin Gibb dies at 62

1967-era bouncing Bee Gees with Robin Gibb front and centre in this Dezo Hoffman photo.

And then there was one: Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees has gone on to join his brothers Maurice and Andy (who was only briefly a Bee Gee before embarking on his own solo career) in the Choir Invisible after a long battle with cancer,leaving Barry behind to carry on the family name.

At their peak, the Bee Gees peaked for a long time, thanks to that unearthly blend of voices and underrated songwriting skills that led to some of the most gorgeous-sounding records of the '60s, and which would eventually turn the music industry on its head in the '70s. (I'm especially fond of the albums that came between their 1969 masterwork Odessa and the 1975 career reboot Main Course: 2 Years On, To Whom It May Concern, Life in a Tin Can, Mr. Natural and, of course, Trafalgar.) Robin had a solo career too, starting with his 1970 break from the band, Robin's Reign (long out of print, but available on iTunes), that was sporadic, but with its own share of memorable moments. Together, though, the Bee Gees were greater than the sum of their parts, with Robin's reedy tenor joining his twin Maurice's throaty warble and Barry's keen falsetto for a vocal combination that at its best could summon pop glory like few of their peers.

You can read the Telegraph's obit of Robin Gibb here.

Dreamland Destinations #8

The Union Ave. Motel, with TV. (Drugstore Cowboy, d. Gus Van Sant, 1989)

When Legends Gather #655

Leonard Nimoy and Jimi Hendrix.

Donald "Duck" Dunn dies at 70

Donald "Duck" Dunn

The world is surely a less soulful place with the passing of Memphis bass great Donald "Duck" Dunn, whose four-string superiority graces more entries in my record collection than I can count. According to this obit in the Washington Post, Dunn died of as-yet-unknown causes while in Tokyo, playing in a Stax soul revue show with Steve Cropper. I guess it's some small comfort to know that he and Cropper were still out there, matching each other riff-for-riff on Time Is Tight or slicing the air with the sharp jabs of Green Onions.

Dunn's simple, but oh-so-right playing boosts so many great moments in music, usually floating in that rarified air created by Al Jackson Jr.'s solid backbeat and organist Booker T. Jones' unqualified cool, that it's hard to single out just one, especially when frontline talents like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave and Eddie Floyd are involved. I think I'll just stick with the MGs for now, and the aforementioned Time Is Tight, which come to think of it would make a pretty apt epitaph all on its own.

The Gunslinger Guide to Lucien Ballard #8

from The Ballad of Cable Hogue
(Sam Peckinpah; 1970)

Marilyn in Action #61

Marilyn marvels

The Art of the Panel: Marvel #30

from The Giant Monster of Midnight Valley!
(by Stan Lee and Jack Keller)
(Kid Colt Outlaw #107; November, 1962)

They Were Collaborators #717

Peter Kraus and Conny Froboess

The Art of Cinema #498

The Goddess
(John Cromwell; 1958)

Faces From the Past #18

Max Schulze pours cocktails like the LZ-129 Frosted Cocktail (gin and orange juice) and the Maybach 12 (gin, kirsch and Benedictine) in the bar between the smoking room and the airlock on the German airship Hindenburg. Because of the highly flammable hydrogen on board, no one could leave the smoking room with a burning cigarette, cigar or pipe, and Schulze's duties included monitoring the airlock door.

The Ink & Paint Set #45

Irving Berlin in Fresh Ham
(Mannie Davis; 1933)
(Van Beuren Studios)

Mop Tops in Action #52

The Mop Tops clown around backstage at the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Art of Cinema #497

A Kid for Two Farthings
(Carol Reed; 1955)