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Posts Tagged ‘Larry Wessel’

LOVE

The first time I heard of Beth Moore-Love and her paintings was while reading about past Anton LaVey many, many years ago. The man adored Moore-Love’s paintings.

Intrigued, I did some research in the internet. What I found was something unique and haunting. No wonder the bald man loved that stuff. To my surprise there was not that much information about the artist in the net, though.

Years passed. When I heard that a new documentary by Larry Wessel was about Beth Moore-Love the last year, I was more than delighted. That was something I definitely wanted to see.

Wessel put nine years in making of the film. The documentary, that runs for 1 hour and 51 minutes, was filmed in New Mexico, Berlin and Los Angeles between 2005 and 2013. Like previous films by Wessel, also this one is a gem.

We hear the story of Moore-Love from interviews with her and from many persons close to her. We hear stories behind many of her very detailed paintings that at the same time are beautiful and gruesome.

The movie is fascinating from the beginning till the end. It gives a unique view about a unique artist and her work. Wessel has done a great service for all of us by telling us a story about an artist that is oddly not more widely known.

Larry Wessel has once again picked up a great subject for a film and given it a great treatment. This is a masterpiece that everyone with a taste for beautiful, gruesome, though provoking and wickedly funny should see. Highly recommended!

Larry Wessel’s Love is amazing.

8. First Communion 1996 by Beth Moore-Love

5. Our Mother of Compassion 2003 by Beth Moore-Love

2. Southern Comfort 1995 by Beth Moore-Love

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Related:

Love the movie, the official webpage (Order your copy of the movie from here!)

Love the movie in Facebook.

Love the movie, the official trailer.

Love – the art of Beth Moore-Love.

Larry Wessel speaks!

Boyd Rice – an embodiment of the wolf’s hook.

Mr. Wonderful.

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I was exchanging few words with my friend Larry Wessel about the kings of sleaze, the Mentors, yesterday. If you don’t know it already, Larry has directed a film about the band, Hollywood Head Bash, in 1991.

During our exchange Larry shared with me a great, funny little story that he has not shared anywhere in public before. It’s a story about the Mentors’ legendary El Duce (1958–1997), “Mr. Wonderful”. The story is published here with Larry’s kind permission.

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Mr. Wonderful

by Larry Wessel

hollywoodheadbashBack in the early 80’s I liked to spend my afternoons in Hollywood at The Ivar Theater with my friend Eldon Hoke popularly known as El Duce, the leader of the “rape rock” band, the Mentors. I’ve hung out in the worst of Tijuana’s Zona Rosa Pleasure Palaces but to this day, The Ivar Theater remains the sleaziest strip joint I have ever been to. One night a week was “camera night” and I used to enjoy shooting photographs of the strippers there with my Nimslo 3D camera. My eyes would water from the perpetual reek of Pinesol and I had to make sure to toss plenty of one dollar bills onto the stage or “Mister Cannonball”, the Ivar’s 500 pound black bouncer would gently tap me on the shoulder.

El had a day job there as “Mr. Wonderful”. Perched up high in the projection booth, Mr. Wonderful would lean in to his microphone and introduce each “exotic dancer” as she waited behind the red curtains to enter the stage. These were the ugliest strippers I have ever seen! Ghostly pale, bruised Hollywood street walkers with black eyes, broken teeth and arms covered in track marks and tattoos. The audience for this spectacle was 7 or 8 Japanese businessmen in beige raincoats nursing warm half empty glasses of beer. A blood curdling screech of white feedback noise would blast out from the Ivar’s broken speakers… Mr. Wonderful would then deliver his extravagant ballyhoo to the horny rubes… “Pre-pare to Pitch a Pup Tent in your Pants gentle-men…put your hands together… and give a warm Ivar welcome to the lovely Linnnnnn Dahhhhh!!!!”.

He would then push the play button on a cheap plastic ghetto blaster covered in duct tape and cigarette burns and wired to the Ivar’s antique public address system. The deafening onslaught of Deep Purple’s Smoke on the water was now the soundtrack for the lovely Linda as she seductively stumbled out into the spotlight in her six inch stilletos. While she was doing her dirty dance, El and I would pass a joint back and forth waiting for the song to end. Two more songs, two more lurid Linda dance routines and Mr. Wonderful would introduce the next one in line. “Alright gentleman, you might want to repair to the lobby for a cigarette now because the next one up is REAL ugly! How ugly? Well let me put it this way… she is a two bagger. What is a two bagger you ask? A two bagger is when you are fucking her, you put a bag over HER head AND a bag over YOUR head in case HER bag breaks! Without any further ah doo…here comes the incredibly FUG-LY No-reeeeen!”

It was showtime folks and once again Mr. Wonderful taps the play button. Mountain’s Mississippi Queen vibrates the old and sagging cum stained seats as Noreen enters the stage, black Maybelline teardrops rolling down both of her acne scarred cheeks. After Noreen’s three numbers are concluded and she slowly stoops down to pick up a wadded up one dollar bill, the house lights are turned off and Mr. Wonderful flips the on switch of a 16mm movie projector. A grainy purple and pink hued, faded and scratched up print of an old xxx rated fuck reel is projected onto the Ivar’s movie screen.

Mr. Wonderful lights up another joint and passes it to me. The Ivar Theater is now permeated with the echoing sounds of lustful moaning orgasms as my pal Eldon Hoke looks at me and smiles, “Thanks for comin’ up here to visit me man! I have a great idea Larry, we should be co-anchors on our own nightly news program. Everytime there is a fatal car crash or someone gets murdered we would both start laughing uncontrollably!” I agreed with him. I totally agreed.

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Hollywood Head Bash

The year was 1991. The video begins late at night in the parking lot behind Raji’s nightclub in Hollywood. El Duce holds court with English Frank and Rev. Bud Green. Eldon and English Frank reminise about the “peanut butter and apricot brandy incident”. The party moves from the parking lot to backstage where El can be observed sampling the goodies being offered by a tattooed and pierced punk rock hottie! A wee bit later El dons a rubber Adolph Hitler mask and sieg heils the crowd before donning the black hood and launching into Peeping Tom with a killer guitar solo by Sickie Wifebeater. Golden Shower is played next by request.

I sat on the floor at the foot of the stage tilting the camera upwards for great close-up shots. It is during their third song, When you’re horny, you’re horny that an a-hole wearing a kilt and a pair of steel-toe combat boots lept off the short stage and booted me in the face, smashing the microphone off the camera and knocking the camera out of my hands and onto the floor. The remaining two minutes of the film is me, blood streaming down my face looking for the s.o.b. that sucker-kicked me. I was so pissed off and traumatized by this incident that I never showed this video to anyone…until now.

To all who miss the master of rape rock I highly recommend this amazing video, a priveleged peek into the past… a “must have” for all the fans of the one, the only, El Duce.

“The video Hollywood Head Bash is killer!” – Dr. Heathen Scum, The Mentors.

41 Minutes Color DVD (Region 1) $25. Each DVD is signed and numbered by Larry Wessel. Each DVD is packaged and mailed in it’s own protective bubblewrap mailer. Each DVD is available within the U.S. for $25 (postpaid). Other countries: $30 (postpaid).

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See the trailer for the film here! Order your copy from here!

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Related posts:

Larry Wessel speaks!

Boyd Rice: An Embodiment of the Wolf’s Hook.

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bethlovemooreI paint for a society that’s dysfunctional. I don’t paint to make things better for people; I paint a mirror of this society – Beth Moore-Love.

Remember the interview I made with director Larry Wessel? My review of his latest documentary Iconoclast?

Larry has announced his next project, a documentary about Beth Moore-Love and her amazing art. You can find the documentary’s Facebook page from here.

Those of you who have seen Iconoclast might remember that Beth Moore-Love was featured in it. Knowing the type of people that read the blog I think it is proper to mention that Moore-Love was one of Anton LaVey’s favorite painters.

Here is what Larry has said about the film:

Hello friends! I am just now announcing my plans for my next feature film. It is a documentary called LOVE. The subject of my documentary is the extraordinary artist Beth Moore-Love. Please click the LIKE button on this page and help us spread the word to the Wide Webbed World. The word is L♥VE.

Beth Moore Love was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1965. She lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she painted incredible paintings that don’t go with your couch. She also painted back drops for Joel Peter Witkin. She hangs out with Monte Cazazza and Stereo Total. She moved to Germany where she painted and sang. She once turned down a date with Nick Cave. She became a superstar for her paintings that she sells from $3000-10,000 each. (While she’s still alive!) She moved home to Albuquerque and has built a traditional Mongolian yurt. She had a feline familiar named Boobs who could do tricks. You will be able to experience all of this and much much more in LOVE, The Art of Beth Moore-Love.

A KICKSTARTER fundraising campaign for LOVE will begin on September 1, 2013.

The release date for LOVE is planned for Valentine’s Day, 2014.

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Related:

LOVE – the art of Beth Moore-Love documentary in Facebook.

Beth Moore Love interviewed by Jimmy Jazz.

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Iris-of-the-Eucharist

Mother-of-Compassion

Lucia Zarate

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hepuhuvat

Seuraavassa kooste Mesikämmenen tähän mennessä tekemistä haastatteluista, jotka on julkaistu blogissa.

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Suomeksi:

Miikka Rantanen puhuu!

A.E.E.V. puhuu!

Mike Pohjola puhuu!

Ötöpesän jengi puhuu!

Seremonian Ilkka Vekka puhuu!

Kymenlaakson Esoteeris-Mytologinen seura puhuu!

Setin Temppelin Otto Varjonen puhuu!

Leo Meller Fan Club puhuu!

Helena Eronen puhuu!

Luciferin soldaatti Leon Kosmos puhuu!

Sami Haavisto puhuu! (osa 1, 2)

Come Back Recordsin Teje Caldén puhuu!

Antti Joutsi puhuu!

Ilmari Pöyhönen puhuu!

Esa Taberman puhuu!

Kai M. Aalto puhuu! (osa 1, 2, 3)

Veriryhmän tri Pervo puhuu!

Olli Kingelin puhuu!

Läjä Äijälä puhuu!

Achtung! Valtakunnanjohtaja puhuu! (osa 1, 2, 3, 4)

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In English:

Boyd Rice speaks!

Mr. Methane speaks!

Halthan speaks!

ManWoman speaks!

Dominick Crowley of My Swastika speaks!

Larry Wessel speaks!

Alan Cabal speaks! (part 1, 2, 3, 4)

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Boyd Rice 2012. Photo: Mute Records.

I had my first contact with Boyd Rice in the early 90’s after hearing his appearance in Bob Larson’s radio show. I wrote a letter to Boyd (there were no emails or internet in general use back then) who replied and kindly sent me a copy of Abraxas newsletter.

Years passed. The last year Boyd declared that the Church of Satan was dead. Soon after that I made an interview with Larry Wessel who had made a documentary film called Iconoclast about Boyd. At this point I was already thinking that an interview with Boyd would be great and the idea was cooking up.

Finally, after some 20 years since my first contact with Boyd, I contacted him again. He was fine about an interview to the blog and I started to make questions. The interview was made one question at a time over some two months. When the interview began I had no idea about Boyd’s upcoming gig in Helsinki, Finland – that created a whole new dimension to the interview!

In the interview Boyd talks about his current projects, the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey, Bob Larson, Iconoclast, pranks, reincarnation, Scandinavia, ABBA, Finland, architect Eero Saarinen and many other things.

Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen, Boyd Rice speaks!

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Present

Hi Boyd, how are you doing?

I couldn’t be better. Just redecorated my apartment and painted my black walls metallic silver. It took weeks, but it’s amazing! Life is good. My girlfriend is moving in with me and we’re making room for her shoes.

If this interview could take place anywhere, anytime, where would you take us to talk?

I used to know a french scholar who had the keys to Jean Cocteaus apartment in Paris, and it hadn’t been touched since Cocteau died and this guy really wanted me to see it. That would be the fetishistic fantasy place. Unfortunately this guy got some deadly disease and ended up killing himself. So I guess my modern answer would be my own apartment here in Denver. Or perhaps The Madonna Inn.

There is a new book out from you, Twilight Man. Tell us about the book, what is it about, where to get a copy?

It is about my life in 80’s San Francisco and how I came to develop a sense of “cultural pessimism”, I guess. It hasn’t gotten a bad review insofar as I know. People find it a fun read, even though it is ugly and brutal.

You can get it on the internet or just ask God for a copy…

There is also a biography under work about you. Who is the author, when can we expect to get the book into our hands?

Nina Antonia. Her Johnny Thunders bio is being made into a movie in Hollywood, so maybe someday when I’m dead there will be a movie too. We can hope…

Talking a bit more about books, you are one of the authors who have been ripped off by Creation Books. What do you think, will there be any chance of getting “James Williamson” to court to face justice for the fraud he has committed?

I seriously doubt it.

What is the most interesting book you have read lately? Why it was interesting?

The last book I read was the Nina Antonia bio of Johnny Thunders. It was interesting because his life was interesting and because Nina’s a great writer and brings a lot of insight to her subject-matter.

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Boyd with Anton LaVey. Photo: Carl Abrahamsson.

Church of Satan

How your first meeting with past Anton LaVey went? Where did you meet, any special jokes, wisdoms, or other notes about the meeting to share with us?

Anton met me at a film festival I was associated with and invited me to his house. I went over the following week and went back every week until I left the city. The stories he told me are all in his bio, which was essentially dictated to Blanche as he told them to me.

You wrote the last year a text where you declared yourself a High Priest of the Church of Satan and in the same text you also declared that the Church of Satan doesn’t exist anymore. This naturally caused some talk. I haven’t seen any reply from the Church to you regarding the text anywhere but I guess you have been receiving some feedback privately. What kind of feedback you have received? Has Peter H. Gilmore said anything about your text?

Of course not. Gilmore is a pussy. Everyone in the C.o.S. loves me and are bored to death of him and he knows it. Anton had a very dark heart and it sickens me to see people whitewash him and present his creed as pure rationalism. He was larger than that.

Rationalism and mysticism cannot co-exist. The latter speaks to soul oriented values and to the unknown (which man is trying to fathom). The former is a conceit that lets man think he has a handle on everything (he doesn’t). I would go so far as to say rationalism is the ultimate lack of logic. It certainly has no place in “occult” doctrine.

I think it’s easy for Gilmore to misrepresent LaVey because he didn’t really know him too well. I was at the Blackhouse all the time.

I think it’s easy for Gilmore to misrepresent LaVey because he didn’t really know him too well. I was at the Blackhouse all the time. That’s why I will defend Anton till the day I die, and that’s why I take the stance I do on the modern C.o.S…

I heard from a scholar of comparative religions the last year that Gilmore works or has been working in a Walmart, in a not so high position, while holding the status of the High Priest of the Church of Satan. I think there is nothing that special in someone working in a Walmart per se, but if someone is a High Priest of a church that is, or gives an impression of being, all about “might is right” and power in this world, this seems a bit amusing. Do you know if the claim is true? What kind of thoughts this brings to your mind in general?

I seriously doubt that is true, but a lot of people with a power philosophy have to punch a time-clock, that’s just the nature of the world. At least they have the notion of rising above that and in time perhaps they will. But anyone wishing to criticise Gilmore needn’t tell lies about his job… but rather point out how he’s bastardizing ASLV’s thought.

What do you think Anton would think of Gilmore and others who run the Church of Satan nowadays? What would he say to them?

Much what he said to me when he was still alive – that they were what Stalin called “useful idiots”. He’d hate people trying to cast him in a “good light”. He often said to me that he wondered why Satanists wanted to present him as a Good Guy. “I’m not a good guy” he would yell, “I’m a miserable sonofabitch!” That’s the LaVey I knew.

And he was much darker, very much darker than anyone is willing to admit these days. He was brutal to the max. That’s why I still love him so much… he was maybe the last unapologetic figure of the 20th century.

Whether LaVey agreed or not Satanism was a cult of personality. C.o.S. sans LaVey is like fascism without Mussolini… and a cult of personality requires someone who has a personality. It currently lacks that.

Whether LaVey agreed or not Satanism was a cult of personality. C.o.S. sans LaVey is like fascism without Mussolini… and a cult of personality requires someone who has a personality. It currently lacks that.

I think LaVey’s big mistake was to violate one of his primary directives… to assume others are like unto you and capable of the same things as you are. And they’re not. Elitism is not something you should mass-market. You can of course and it will be very successful. But it will never work out. That to me, with certain notable exceptions, is The Church of Satan today. I hope this will be my last commentary on all this. And I’d be willing to bet they wish the same!

What do you think of satanism nowadays? Has it lost its potential it once had? Do you still consider yourself a satanist – or is there nowadays a better, more updated term to describe the same individual spirit?

I rarely ever “think of satanism” unless asked about it in interviews. But since you asked, I think it is fundamentally flawed in certain of it’s basic premises. I don’t agree with the primacy of individualism any more than I believe that all men were created equal. If individualism existed (which I seriously doubt) I’m not sure what function it would serve. This was an idea which had great appeal in the post-50’s decade of conformity, but has since then not produced much of value in real world terms — more especially in the C.o.S. where it is a fundamental principle. And within that group everyone dresses alike, speaks alike and thinks alike… all based on a mass-market paperback from, what, 40-some years ago?! Am I missing something?

I rarely ever “think of satanism” unless asked about it in interviews. But since you asked, I think it is fundamentally flawed in certain of it’s basic premises.

By the way, I said much the same thing to LaVey when he was still alive, and he had to concur with me. He found it rather depressing. His exact words were “I’ve created a monster”.

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Iconoclast and things involved

Larry Wessel made a lenghty documentary Iconoclast about you that came out the last year. What do you think of the film?

Four hours of me me me has got to be great by anyones standards. But again, it was an attempt to whitewash me and present me as Mr. Fun. That is part of the story, but not the whole story. But most people seemed to like it.

I noticed that you bought and used in the film some nasal snuss. What is your favorite brand? How about the regular “under-your-lip”-type of snuss that you can get f.e. in Sweden and Norway?

I like Gawith Apricot Snuff, Dr. Rumneys, & McCrystals Violet Snuff. Don’t care for chewing tobacco or dental snuff.

I also like Al Capones Vanilla Snuff, which I’ve only ever found in the Leipzig train station.

One of the things that comes to mind from the film is the great spectrum of things where you have been involved with artistically and otherwise over the years. Is there something that you still would have liked been included in the film or excluded from it?

I’m not particularly bothered either way. That film is from two years ago at least and not me or anyone remembers what was or wasn’t in it. At least it wasn’t boring.

One of the more surprising things in the film were your thougths about reincarnation – you said in your talk with Bob Larson that you consider nowadays that a reincarnation might be possible. Do you still think that way? What has made you to consider that reincarnation might be possible?

I’ve always known things that I’ve never been taught. At a very young age my son said to me “when you were a child I was a man, now I’m a child and you’re my father”. This seemed quite odd to me at the time. When I visited my fathers sister a week later I told her of this conversation, and showed her a picture of my son. She said that the strange red marks my son was born with on his nose were identical to the scars on my grandfathers nose that he got when his model T truck was driven over a cliff. This sort of thing is very common in tales of reincarnation. As a child I had very specific memories of things and places I had never experienced. When I asked my parents why I had these memories they told me they were probably only dreams, but I knew they weren’t.

I’ve always known things that I’ve never been taught.

I still think ideas like genetic memory or ancestral recall are valid, at least in some cases, but my actual theories about reincarnation are too complex to explain in a format like this.

Bob Larson is featured in the film among many other persons. Your encounter with him in the film is pretty different from the early 90’s radio shows where he interviewed you. Has your view of Bob changed during this time? Do you think Bob really believes in the stuff he talks about or is he really like P.T. Barnum, as you once stated in his radio show?

Bob has been extremely consistent ever since he published his first book, in around 1970 or something. I don’t think you can fake something like that for over 40 years. I met his father one time and he was a True Believer. Of course Bob is a showman and understands how to play his audience. So was Anton LaVey… and P. T. Barnum. Nothing wrong with that!

What do you think of teenage girl exorcists Bob has apparently trained into the job? Is Bob a little bit dirty old man or is this just about the showman part you mentioned?

I think it’s pure showmanship. But it would make a good premise for a TV show — a sort or christian Charlies Angels.

In the film you tell about some of the pranks you have done, for example the famous goat head prank. What do you consider as your best pranks ever? Who are your favorite pranksters alive nowdays?

We snuck into a good friends house and left a bottle of maple syrup in his refrigeratator. It came in a bottle shaped like an old woman, and the incident totally freaked him out. He began carrying a gun with him everywhere the very next day. But the best pranks are when you draw someone into an absurd world of your own making and your fantasy becomes their reality, even if just for a short time. Therefore, the best pranksters now are mainstream politicians because that is their full time job. They are the best, because they’re the best conmen, but not necessarily my favorites.

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Scandinavia, ABBA, Finland and the future

NON gave a live show in Norway the last year. How was it? 

It was great. A lot of people from Finland traveled there to see it and a lot came to my show at The Roundhouse in London. I am looking forward to my visit there. See you soon.

You are an ABBA fan. What’s cool about ABBA? Do you have a big ABBA collection?

I have enough obscure ABBA songs that I could put together an entire album… songs that the band didn’t really release because they considered them imperfect or too weird. But of course the worst ABBA song is better than the best songs from a lot of bands. I wanted to cover them and put out an album called ABBA LEAD (as opposed to ABBA GOLD). I pitched the idea to Rose McDowall, but she didn’t seem interested. Shame… because that could have been huge.

The worst ABBA song is better than the best songs from a lot of bands.

That is a shame, indeed! Maybe she will change her mind about the project one day… I think you would make a fabulous cover of “Waterloo” and “Does your mother know” with maybe a bit changed lyrics. What do you think of this in addition of making covers of ABBA’s more obscure songs?

Don’t ask. None of this will ever happen anyway.

You are going to have a concert in Helsinki on 6th of November this year. This is the first time you’ll have a concert in Finland. What are you expecting and hoping from your visit here? How long you’ll stay here, any places you plan to visit, etc.? What kind of associations Finland brings to your mind?

I met people in London who flew all the way from Finland to see my show at the Roundhouse, and more people in Norway who did the same. So I’m looking forward to my trip there and have wanted to see it for a long time.

I recently met the daughter of Saarinen, and found out there is some sort of Saarinen museum just outside Helsinki… I’d love to see that and anything connected with the man or his family. He’s my favorite architect.

What kind of projects you are working with nowadays? What can we expect from you in some near future?

Most of this year I’ve been working on a book of my art for a British publisher — paintings, photos, montages & graphic design. It’s nearly done. Later this year a number of my essays are coming out in Outre Journal out of Australia. I also just filmed some scenes for Richard Wolstencroft’s new film The Second Coming, which is based on the poem by William Butler Yeats. I just returned from NYC where I spent time in the studio recording some new stuff. So I keep busy…

What makes you happy?

Animals make me happy… prairie dogs, foxes, squirrels and cats… coatis, bunnies, capybaras and kiwis.

But I still love consternation. I still love pissing people off. I love knowing that my very existence causes certain people great discomfort. And they deserve it… in spades!

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Thank you for the interview, Boyd!

Boyd Rice will perform at Kuudes Linja in Helsinki on 6th of November. You can buy tickets to the concert from Tiketti. Facebook page for the event can be found from here.

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Related links:

Boyd Rice/NON official webpage.

Boyd Rice/NON official Facebook page.

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Related previous posts:

Boyd Rice live at Kuudes linja, Helsinki, 6th November.

Church of Satan is dead.

Boyd Rice: An Embodiment of the Wolf’s Hook.

Larry Wessel speaks!

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Boyd Rice: An Embodiment of the Wolf’s Hook

As many of you know, I wrote an article “Church of Satan is dead” some time ago. That article got me in touch with a documentary movie maker Larry Wessel, who’s interview “Larry Wessel speaks!” I then made. Wessel’s latest movie, Iconoclast, was six years in making. The result is a four hour long ride that goes through Boyd Rice’s life in three parts. This includes a good deal of history of pop culture and art too. After watching the movie I knew I wanted to write a review of it. However, after reading Carl Abrahamsson’s excellent review I thought I would have nothing to add to what he had said, because he put it all so well. You can find Abrahamsson’s review from here. Well, I thougth I could still write something about the documentary. If nothing else, I could write down my notes of the contents of the film and some of my rambling notes in between. What follows might be boring reading as it pretty much just lists the contents of the film. For those who are interested in Boyd’s art, life, and persona and have not seen the film yet, my notes and ramblings might still be interesting. So, with this note, or warning, let me begin.

Part One: Lemon Grove

Part one of the movie starts with Boyd reading his poem Secrets:

That is most powerful which remains unknown

Except unto you, and to you alone

There are secrets that slumber behind these eyes

And I stand by my secrets, my truths and my lies

There are secrets that soar where the eagle flies

Above man’s truths and beyond his lies

There are secrets that slither like snakes in the night

Coiled in shadows, far distant from light

There are secrets that confront you in the midday sun

Yet remain unknown to everyone

A secret burns bright when its law is obeyed

But is doomed to fade when that law is betrayed

For that is most powerful which remains unknown

Except unto you, and to you alone.

It seems to me that in some poetical way the ethos of this poem carries through the whole documentary. I don’t know Boyd but it seems to me that the poem carries the spirit that is present in all that Boyd has done and what he is like. He is difficult to label, he is multidimensional. He is often labeled this and that, often as something sinister and suspicious. But the truth probably lies somewhere between the lines, one could say between the opposites. I was reminded already at this point of the film of the wolf’s hook rune and how it really well seems to symbolize the essence of Boyd and his work.

After that Bob Larson does exorcism, Boyd goes to a tobacco store and buys a whole box of Samuel Gawith snuff. Wait! Is that that nasal tobacco? Yes it is, you can see Boyd taking it later in the film, in part three of the documentary, at the Absinthe studios. I have never tried nasal snuff, but I enjoy a lot the kind of snuss (especially portioned General) that you can buy in Sweden (I am having one portion under my lip right now while writing this).

A family history follows. A whole bunch of old pics. A story of a neighbohour average man’s everyday routine and how Boyd decided he will never be like that. We hear of a tv prank and a good deal of a tiki-culture. Already at this point my idea of Boyd starts to get new dimensions. I did not know that much of his interest in tiki and of things related. My idea of Boyd had previously been formed pretty much through some of his NON-recordings and his association with the Church of Satan. I think I am not the only one  like that. Much more interesting new dimensions to Boyd and his works is about to follow. This is getting really interesting.

We hear what happened in 1969. We hear of a Dark Shadows character who said: “Two natures have always existed in man, one good the other evil, perhaps with this we can bridge the gap in man’s divided nature”. Boyd comments on this: “And like a portal opened in my soul”. I am again reminded of the wolf’s hook rune and its essence. It is becoming apparent that the symbol has found a resonance within Boyd very early and that he has ever since worked to unfold the symbol’s mystery.

“Two natures have always existed in man, one good the other evil, perhaps with this we can bridge the gap in man’s divided nature”.

We hear of Strange paradise. We hear of Anton LaVey, Charles Manson, and Tiny Tim – how they were totally different and still much alike. We hear a story about Martin Denny. We hear a story about a man who lost his keys in Italy and found them from Florida. We hear about decadent Hollywood and its coolness. Rodney Bingenheimer. Glamrock. Principal in a nazi uniform poster prank. We hear a story about Boyd making a life size cross in high school and his work at Taco Bell – and of eating a moth there every now and then. Bean-qhr-qwr-qhr. We hear about how to make photos of things that does not exist, St. Jean Cocteau and Captain Beefheart’s nightly calls. Then Boyd tells about dada, surrealism, alchemy. I like it all, I can totally relate to what I hear. An image of Boyd as an artist starts to surface, an image that is new to me. The guy starts to get more and more interesting, minute by minute.

Boyd tells us how “women like it weird”. He tells us of his open-ended paintings, and again the wolf’s hook rune comes to my mind. The principle is there again. Skinned sheep’s head gift to the first lady is pure gold. A priceless prank, instant art performance. Next we hear how Boyd was living dada real. Steve Hitchcock illuminates us about how magic and alchemy is part of what Boyd does: “Boyd was someone who introduced me to the idea of alchemy of thought, where by you take negative or valueless proposition and turn it to your own advantage, by sort of inverted perception of it, which can be done, it takes a disciplined mind, a disciplined mentality if you want to make use of that, but it certainly is a valid principle”. Do you see the wolf’s hook and its principle at work again here? I do.

We hear of Boyd meeting Genesis P-Orridge. We hear of 1977 and the famous The Black Album, Boyd’s deal with Mute records, the birth of NON, and why punk was just glam rock with harder edge. Next we hear of something in which Boyd was again ahead of the time: Pagan muzak record that can be played with different speeds. This happened years, years ago. The first time I heard of such a record was when Butthole Surfers’ Hairway to Steven came out in 1988. Before of that I had for my own amusement listened to lots of records with different speeds – pretty much with the perspective of “open-ended paintings” of which Boyd spoke about earlier in the documentary. You can find the same thing interesting with different angles, perspectives. Things are most of the time not black and white, but composed of many colors and shades.

Who invented tape-loops? It was Boyd. He tells us how nothing in the world is fixed. We hear of “the world’s weirdest record”. We hear of the first NON show, which was “louder than Led Zeppelin”. There is a note of music as sounds, not so much as songs. Iitywimwybmad. Roto-guitar. Stuff ahead of the time. Live sounds from that part of the documentary remind me of some amazing underground noise gigs that I attended at Some Place Else in Turku, South-West of Finland around 2004 and 2005. Boyd did that kind of stuff about 30 years earlier. I find that rather impressive.

Part two: San Francisco

Part two of the movie deals with Boyd’s years in San Francisco area. We hear of Incredible strange films and research involved. Director Ray Dennis Steckler is revealed to be also actor Cash Flagg. The amazing scopitone machines are introduced. Boyd tells us of “close-ups of tits shaking a few seconds too long” and girls doing dances in bright colors. Sounds and looks good to me.

Then comes something I knew there was going to be covered, Boyd’s association with Anton LaVey. “Living in San Francisco it was inevitable that our paths would cross”. Blanche Barton tells about getting to know Boyd and why Boyd and Anton got so well along. “Role of the Devil has to be… one that challenges”. Barton also tells that Boyd also understood the trickster, prankster side of satanism… which is something that not everyone understands. Coop, the artist, tells about “making it hot for them”… and that “of course that applies to Boyd, perfectly”. We hear of Blinky the friendly hen’s funeral and resurrection. Vampire aesthetics. There is a note about romance and cultured gentleman in a vampire – and how below that side is a beast. A perfect wolf’s hook principle at work again.

Stanton LaVey, Anton LaVey’s more known daughter’s son, appears briefly in the film too. His first sentence in the film is “Boyd did fuck my mother!” which is followed with a warm laugh. He clearly has positive thoughts of Boyd. It seems that Boyd has had much warmer relationship with Zeena than I had. Back in the late 90’s and early 2000 I met Zeena few times, corresponded with her and it was an ongoing argument. Zeena and her husband Nikolas thought that I was trying to put too much love into the left hand path. They even called me “Jesus of darkness”. But that is another story.

Beth Moore-Love is an artist who I was not familiar with earlier. We see some of her amazing paintings. She says of Boyd: “He’s very intelligent. I like people who not only think outside of the box, but outside of the entire packeting industry… Boyd is one of them”. Boyd tells a chilling story of San Francisco’s Chinatown and its rats. It is very easy to believe. I lived in the city for some time in 2004 and Chinatown was one of my favorite places there. I visited it quite often and wondered about the smell of the place. Rats fit in the picture well.

“He’s very intelligent. I like people who not only think outside of the box, but outside of the entire packeting industry… Boyd is one of them”.

Next Boyd tells us how all the women who he brought to LaVey’s house had the next night a dream of having sex with LaVey. Boyd tells of LaVey’s different alter egos, the crime boss, the china man, and how LaVey could keep with a role for hours. The stories are hilarious and Boyd cracks up telling them. To readers of LaVey’s works it comes as no surprise that LaVey was living in a sort of alternative reality or realities he chose to live in. We hear very interesting angles on the subject. The famous Johnson & Smith’s catalogue is covered, and how “consternation” is the word related to it. Whoopee cushion. Remote controlled fart machine. How Anton programmed his keyboard with different fart sounds. The movie has been very fun already from the beginning, not just at this point. Barton tells how she and Boyd got Anton to record his music. It is very much likely that without them there would be no recorded music of LaVey.

Then comes the part dealing with Charles Manson. “Two minutes after meeting him he is giving me this you-are-me-and-I-am-you -routine”. Boyd tells us how Manson has one feet in the world of a fantasy, another in reality. We hear a story of Charlie telling to Boyd about taking a helicopter and visiting Ajatollah Khomeini. We hear that there are secrets Manson has told to Boyd – and which Boyd has promised to not tell to anyone while Manson is still alive (this reminds me of Boyd’s poem Secrets, with which the movie begins). Why Boyd got in touch with Manson in the first place? Why he seems to have interest in individuals who have been labeled very “sinister”? Some of Boyd’s associates gives a perspective on this: “Boyd has always been sort of attracted to those people who disrupt society in some way, that cause, that show the limitations of what we pretend to be civilized, I don’t want to put words into Boyd’s mouth but I know that’s part of what attracts him to this stuff”. I think this is a good angle to the question. The documentary gives a broad context where one can reflect on that. I think the documentary also gives an idea of the wolf’s hook rune, its essence and principle in artistic action – pursued by a questioning mind that does not see things in black and white but as “an open ended paintings”. Things are not fixed. In his pursuit Boyd is not afraid of putting himself in positions where he can easily get misunderstood. He is not so much afraid of social pressure as most of the people are.  Such a courage in looking at the human equation is hardly a bad thing. I would rather argue that seeing things in black and white is a bad thing. Finally, we hear of how Manson got into a solitary confinement for two weeks because of a bullet that happened to be in Boyd’s pocket – and how that ruined their relationship.

“Boyd has always been sort of attracted to those people who disrupt society in some way, that cause, that show the limitations of what we pretend to be civilized, I don’t want to put words into Boyd’s mouth but I know that’s part of what attracts him to this stuff”.

Then the documentary comes to the symbol that I’ve already mentioned few times, the wolf’s hook rune. We hear of the balance point between creation and destruction, “exactly the meaning that has been the guiding force in my life”. Adam Parfrey enters the picture – the guy is “on the same wavelenght “with Boyd. We are informed about the Apocalypse culture, 8-8-88 at Strand Theatre, San Francisco. We hear of the nazi accusations Boyd has been thrown with. “Boyd was not, is not, and will never be a nazi… you could take it as seriously as the Producers movie”. Anyone who has watched the documentary thus far must agree with that.  To say that Boyd is a nazi is absurd. We hear about the victim culture that likes to whine about everything. We learn of a mexican poster and ABBA-book that was stolen from Boyd (whoa – I did not know that Boyd likes ABBA. I have always liked them too. In my article “Church of Satan is dead” I pondered how much common ground I might have with Boyd. It seems there is much more than I thought). The San Francisco part of the movie ends with a story of Boyd moving to Denver. We hear why the place is cool. We hear that the building Boyd lives in was built in 1890. We hear how Boyd had a Carnival of souls welcome to Denver.

“Boyd was not, is not, and will never be a nazi… You could take it as seriously as the Producers movie”.

Part three: Denver

Part three deals with Boyd’s time in Denver and the stuff he has done since moving there. There is a recording session at Absinthe studios. Fredrik Nilsen gives another perspective on Boyd that tells of his wolf’s hook nature and approach to things: “He is a scholar of evil. He’s not evil. In fact, he’s a very sweet, loving, guy. But he seems to have an incredible knowledge of the nature of evil and he seems to be willing to chronicle and look at it in a sort of… empirical way, I’m not sure it is empirical… aesthetic way. And I think he is pretty great”. We see a footage of Boyd’s guest lecture “Regarding evil” at Massachusetts institute of technology. We hear of Oswald Mosley and his ralleys – and how his symbolism influenced Throbbing Gristle and David Bowie. We hear how Marilyn Manson (who has called Boyd his mentor) also used the Mosley symbolism after Boyd noted to him about it and about “a cross between glam rock and Nürenberg rally”. We hear about how to manipulate archetypes – how to step into a role you want to be in and how it then flows into you. There is a funny anti-fascism demonstrators talk with Boyd. After that there starts a really interesting part where Bob Larson talks with Boyd. He says with a big smile: “Bob has been working with me for the past 14 years… he doesn’t give up”. Boyd’s sense of humor is great and a watcher of the documentary is blessed with tons of it.

“He is a scholar of evil. He’s not evil. In fact, he’s a very sweet, loving, guy. But he seems to have an incredible knowledge of the nature of evil and he seems to be willing to chronicle and look at it in a sort of… empirical way, I’m not sure it is empirical… aesthetic way. And I think he is pretty great”.

We hear of the Partridge family & Partridge family temple: “Our religion is based on fun”. We hear of archetypes on TV. Giddle Partridge speaks. A story of Boyd as a catholic priest “blessing” kids rosery beads is pure prankster Boyd. Gidget Gein speaks how his idea of Boyd went up and down. The subject of social darwinism is touched upon. Another angle to wolf’s hook is given: Abraxas – an entity that is good and evil at the same time. We learn that Boyd has Charles Manson’s copy of the Bible. Bob Larson tells Boyd that “maybe you need an exorcism”. Boyd and Bob talk about paradigms of reality, good and evil. All in a very good spirit, pretty different from what it was like in Bob Larson’s radio show in the early 90’s. Boyd tells about Might is Right by Ragnar Redbeard and about Lions Lair and women who got spontaneously naked for him there. We hear of Tiny Tim and his phonecalls, talk about women. Nutcase letters LaVey got. LaVey’s guns. We hear a hilarious prank that Boyd did with “Got milk?”-campaign’s billboard that featured David Copperfield. The billboard had  a picture of Copperfield’s face with some milk on his upper lip and a text saying “What’s the magic word? Calsium”. Boyd changed “Calsium” with some paint into ”Cum”. I once made a similar prank with Canal plus billboard… maybe you guess what I painted it to be? Margaret Radnick tells about Boyd’s love letters to her. Boyd’s friendship with Rozz Williams is covered. Douglas P. tells an amazing story about nazi-monkeys attacking old German men with bananas. Boyd’s bar Tiki-Boyd as an alternative reality is covered.

The talk between Boyd and Bob Larson continues. If there has been lots of interesting, even surprising turns in the film thus far, it gets even more such at this point. Boyd and Bob talk about some kind of possibility to survive death, and Boyd even tells that he nowadays thinks that some kind of reincarnation of consciousness might be possilbe. Bob comments: “You may have to turn back your Church of Satan card!” Boyd: “I tried and they wouldn’t take it!” Bob: “What happened to your old misanthropic idea of things? Obviously you must have mellowed in your hatred for humanity”. Boyd: “I’m still fairly misanthropic, I just don’t think I’m not actively misanthropic. Because I’m a very happy individual and I just find it if I treat everybody with a certain degree of civility they usually treat me with civility so generally they’ve used to people treating rotly and when somebody comes along who is nice to them it is big change for them and I gotta see the best sides of everybody if I treat everybody decently and they in turn are nice to me”. Bob says back in amazement: “Do you realize what you just said? You have just recited a part of Sermon of the Mount. You have just articulated one of the most important ethics that Jesus taught! Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you”. Bob continues: “At least you’re not at this point trying to bring back Thor and declare total war!” Boyd says smilingly: “Yea, I need to change the lyrics…” We hear “People” with improvised lyrics. The movie ends with Boyd’s poem, just like it started. The ending poem is Boyd’s Gift:

On my own

Hour after hour

Sipping cocktails

And reading Schopenhauer

Living in a world

Without imagination

I see that hope

Is a lack of information

I turn my back

I shut the door

I lock the key

A prisoner in my home

But it’s lovely to be free.

After that we hear Boyd singing Terry Jacks’ Seasons in the Sun. The film ends.

As I said, the movie is multidimensional. It covers a lot. It is funny as hell. It is thought provoking. It is surprising. It gives a picture of Boyd that one might not expect. Anton LaVey said once that “Boyd is a true iconoclast” and one cannot but agree. As it has most likely become clear, I would like to add that Boyd is an embodiment of the wolf’s hook rune, the symbol he has carried with him since his childhood.

Larry Wessel has made one hell of a film and I highly recommend it to everyone who is even cursorily interested in Boyd and his art. This documentary is a classic.

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One thing leads to another. After writing my post Church of Satan is dead I got in contact with Larry Wessel who has made a documentary Iconoclast about Boyd Rice.

Who is Larry Wessel? If you don’t know him already his website Wesselmania is a good source to learn more:

“The impact of Larry Wessel’s style can be seen everywhere from the advertising campaigns of Madison Avenue, to the proliferation of ‘Reality Television.’ Larry is known for his original, colorful and highly graphic collages. His artwork has been exhibited at museums and galleries including the Laguna Art Museum, La Luz de Jesus, Mark Moore Gallery, and Outré Gallery. Collectors of his collages include Adam Parfrey, Nick Bougas, Anton Szandor LaVey, Coop, Rev. Steven Johnson Leyba, Martin McIntosh and Johanna Went. Wessel’s collages have also appeared in the pages of magazines such as HUSTLER, Answer Me!, CHIC and MALEFACT, and Martin McIntosh’s books Taboo: The Art Of Tiki and Beatsville, as well as the cover of Adam Parfrey’s Cult Rapture & Gene Gregorits’s Midnight Mavericks.

In addition to collage, Larry Wessel is well known for his extensive documentary film work. He produces, directs, writes, shoots and edits profoundly twisted and provocative video work. Bloody bullfights, cool artists, obsessed collectors, way-out writers, the transgender underground and the dark side of Los Angeles, are just a few of the subjects of this wild man’s throught-provoking documentaries. Academic discussions of Wessel’s films can be found in the books Killing For Culture, by David Kerekes and David Slater, and Psychotropedia by Russ Kick. Interviews with Larry Wessel have appeared in numerous publications, such as Headpress and PANIK, as well as the book Sex & Guts 4, by Gene Gregorits and Lydia Lunch and the book MIDNIGHT MAVERICKS by Gene Gregorits.”

I was more than happy to get a chance to interview the man. Here, ladies and gentlemen, Larry Wessel speaks!

 

If this interview could take place anywhere, real or fictional place, in any period of time, where you’d like us to sit and talk of things? At your homebase in Los Angeles?

On the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden where my wife Tora and I plan on moving.

Iconoclast has finally come out. It’s a four hour film that was six years in the making. Quite a project. How do you feel about it? Are you happy with the outcome? What has the response been like?

I am very happy with Iconoclast! The response has been 100% positive. Many who have seen it use the word “Masterpiece” in describing it.

You’ve made 16 films previously. How does Iconoclast differ from your previous work?

6 years is the longest I have spent working on any previous film. I also believe that Iconoclast is more epic in scope than my other films. More than just about Boyd Rice, Iconoclast covers 50 years of American Pop Culture history.

How did the whole documentary get started?

I received an email from Boyd Rice declaring that he was a fan of my documentaries and he said that my films were more than just mere documentaries, that they were like “experiencing a phenomenon”! He asked if I would like to do a documentary about him and of course I said, “Yes”!

Was it a smooth process to do the documentary, were there any special challenges in making it?

It went real smooth and was a lot of fun all the way!!

Setbacks, happy surprises, interesting and funny turns?

No real setbacks that I can think of. Lots of happy surprises, interesting and funny turns all the way through! It was a lot of fun for me to look up people from Boyd’s past and interview them. They all had very amusing stories to tell that reveal a lot about Boyd Rice.

You interviewed lots of people for the documentary. Did you get all the people interviewed you wanted to?

Mostly. There were very few people who refused to be in it.

How was Bob Larson?

Bob Larson was fantastic!! He and Boyd engage in deep philosophical discussions throughout Iconoclast and Bob allowed me to film him performing an exorcism as well!!

You’ve known Boyd well before making the documentary. How did you get to know Boyd in the first place?

I met Boyd in 1997 at a concert he was supposed to perform at the El Rey Theater in Los Angeles with Death In June. A group of protestors succeeded in getting the nightclub to prevent Boyd from performing that night.

Did making the documentary change your view of Boyd and his work somehow?

I really got to know Boyd very well during the making of Iconoclast and gained a keen understanding of how much of his work is rooted in humor. He is absolutely one of the funniest people I have ever met. I have had the pleasure of seeing Iconoclast in crowded cinemas in Los Angeles and San Francisco and people laugh their asses off and applaud throughout the entire film from beginning to end!! I think that perhaps one of the most surprising aspects of Iconoclast is how very funny it is!!

What is Boyd really like in person when one gets to know him better?

He is extremely charming, funny and infinitely mysterious. He constantly challenges one’s ideas. A true iconoclast.

How does his public image differ from his private personality?

He is very much like Anton LaVey in this way. His public image is widely perceived as very harsh whereas his private personality reveals a very intelligent, soft spoken gentleman with an intense sense of humor.

What do you most like in Boyd and his work?

His sense of humor.

Both you and Boyd have a long association with the Church of Satan and Anton LaVey. LaVey was a big fan of certain kinds of movies and he also really enjoyed your works. What part does LaVeyan satanism play in your movies? Do you consider your movies to be acts of magic? If so, what kind of results do you aim to gain from your magical films?

Anton was one of my closest and best friends that I have had the good fortune of having in my life. He has always been infinitely inspiring to me and always will be. I don’t want to sound pretentious but I consider creativity to be a very magical act. To create something from nothing by definition makes one a God. I like to think of my films as magical spells that inspire people to think for themselves. One can learn from and grow from experiencing my films. People tell me that they get a lot of inspiration from my work.

Iconoclast is out there on DVD. Can you tell us something about the DVD?

Here is the description from the back of The Iconoclast 3 Disc DVD Set…

ICONOCLAST is a 3 DVD Set:

Disc One: LEMON GROVE 1 Hr. 25 Min.

Disc Two: SAN FRANCISCO 1 Hr. 02 Min.

Disc Three: DENVER 1 Hr. 26 Min.

ABOUT ICONOCLAST:

Boyd Rice may well be the only person alive who’s been on a first name basis with both Charlie Manson and Marilyn Manson. His career has spanned more than three decades, during which time he has remained at the epicenter of underground culture and controversy. Rice first came to prominence in the 70’s as one of the founders of the genre known as Industrial Music, and soon gained a reputation for live shows that were deemed the most abrasive, minamalist and loudest concerts ever staged (his shows regularly clocked in at 130 decibels, whereas a jet plane taking off was a mere 113 decibels). As early as 1980, he was already hailed as The Godfather of Noise Music.

Since then, Rice has extended his creative pursuits to numerous fields, even lecturing at The Massachusettes Institute of Technology, despite being a high-school dropout. “My life”, says Rice, “is a testament to the idea that you can achieve whatever the hell you want if you posess a modicum of creativity, and a certain amount of naivete concerning what is and isn’t possible in this world. I’ve had one man shows of my paintings in New York, but I’m not a painter. I’ve authored several books, but I’m not a writer. I’ve made a living as a recording artist for the last 30 years, but I can’t read a note of music or play an instrument. I’ve somehow managed to make a career out of doing a great number of things I’m in no way qualified to do”.

Larry Wessel’s documentary, ICONOCLAST is a 4 hour long tour de force, 6 years in the making; an in depth expose of Boyd Rice’s life, career, and personal obsessions. No mere documentary, ICONOCLAST is more of a roller coaster ride through the fevered mindscape of one of the most controversial and unique artists of the modern age.

The ICONOCLAST 3 DISC DVD Set is available for purchase for $30 (includes free shipping worldwide!) at WWW.ICONOCLASTMOVIE.COM

Are there plans to show the film at some film festivals? Other plans related to Iconoclast?

Although I have had many offers, there are no current plans to screen Iconoclast at film festivals. There are plans for theatrical screenings coming this Spring, 2011 or Summer 2011 at The Anthology Film Archives in New York.

You have a Swedish wife, Tora.

Yes! Tora and I have been married since 2006 and our love grows for each other every day!! Among her many talents, Tora is starting to be known as one of the most talented photographers working in the world today! She has a website in the works called WWW.WESSELMANIAPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

Have you been in scandinavia or Finland?

I have been to Sweden and Denmark. I am looking forward to visiting both Finland and Norway as well.

Anything you’d like to say to your Finnish fans?

Thank you very much to all of the many Finnish fans who have purchased Iconoclast!! I am very grateful to all of you and have enjoyed the Rave Reviews you have given Iconoclast .

Do you have plans for the next film already in mind? What can we expect from Larry Wessel next?

Yes…there are 3. The first is about collectors and the obscure objects of their desires featuring artist extraordinaire, Jason Mecier! The second is a documentary about another artist extraordinaire, Beth Moore-Love. The third one is Pt. 3 of a trilogy about Los Angeles.

What makes you happy?

My marriage to my one and only true love…The love of my life, Tora Wessel.

 

Thank you for the interview, Larry! Mesikämmen blog wishes you success with Iconoclast!

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