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E.O.F. TALKS: Film Maker Craig Highberger Talks Andy Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis

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Here at The Eye of Faith we worship the spirit of individuality. Escaping the everyday, and letting your uniqueness shine is something Andy Warhol superstar Jackie Curtis was no stranger to.

Born February 19, 1947 in New York City; Jackie Curtis slayed the scene with a gender bending style and booming persona that should never be forgotten.

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That’s why we’re bringing her from the clutches of the past to the forefront, and it’s no better time, really; gender is undergoing quite a shift in this last decade, and many changes are still abound.

+ READ ALL ABOUT IT: COVERGIRL’s Cover Boy +

Our faithful correspondent John Wisniewski spoke with film maker and author Craig Highberger whose 2005 film “Superstar in a Housedress” explored the star’s groundbreaking art and life!

{ J.W. } What interested you about the life of star Jackie Curtis, Craig?

{C.H.} I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which is Andy Warhol’s hometown. My Uncle Sam Highberger had gone to Carnegie Mellon University with Andy and was in some of his classes and talked about him and so I became aware of and I loved Warhol’s art and that whole world. I also loved new wave cinema and without telling my parents I snuck out to these film screenings at Carnegie Mellon of Warhol’s films “Chelsea Girls” and “Flesh”.

And in “Flesh” there is this scene I will never forget, in which Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling, in drag, are sitting on a couch reading a movie magazine and chatting while nearby Joe Dallesandro is getting a BJ from Gerri Miller! I was 16 years old and I mean this was just fabulous to me!

In high school I was very aware of what was going on in New York City, pop art, Max’s Kansas City, the Warhol scene. I knew I wanted to be a part of that.  There was a magazine out of New York called “After Dark” magazine that had these really hot photos of Joe Dallesandro, and Jackie Curtis, Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling by photographer Jack Mitchell. I wanted to go to film school in New York and meet Andy Warhol and the Superstars and that is just what happened.

I was a freshman at NYU the fall of 1972, it was just a few years after Stonewall and gay liberation was happening and the first NYU gay student group wanted the University to allow the group to meet officially on campus and the administration did not immediately agree to this so there was a big demonstration announced – a sleep-in, actually in the basement of my dormitory at NYU and Jackie Curtis showed up for it in his signature drag, because Jackie knew that there would be press coverage and maybe TV cameras and Jackie was a publicity hound. And I was just entranced, I recognized him immediately and introduced, told him I was from Pittsburgh, that I loved Andy Warhol, that I loved him (Curtis) in “Flesh” and “Women in Revolt”, that I was majoring in film and television and wanted to film his plays and performances documentary style.

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We became instant friends. And I went around with Curtis to parties, to Max’s Kansas City, we hung out with Holly Woodlawn (who is still a great friend), Candy Darling, and I met Andy Warhol a couple of times. 

In 1974 Jackie played the starring role in his play “Glamor, Glory and Gold: the Life and Legend of Nola Noonan, Goddess and Star”, it was off-Broadway at the Truck and Warehouse Theater on the Lower East Side across the street from La Mama directed by Ron Link. And I told Ron I wanted to film the entire play and he allowed me to if I would show it at cocktail parties for his prospective backers. So I did that.

Everything about Jackie was amazing and exciting and I really wanted to make a documentary about Curtis’ life from the moment I met him. I loved Jackie. 

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{J.W.} How and when did Jackie Curtis meet Andy Warhol?

{C.H.} Jackie told me in August 1967 he and Candy Darling were walking in Greenwich Village and Jackie saw Andy Warhol and Fred Hughes coming out of the Leather Man store on Christopher Street.

Warhol had just bought some leather pants. Jackie ran up to Andy and introduced himself and asked for his autograph on the shopping bag Curtis was toting around. Warhol asked Jackie what was in the bag and Curtis told him it was satin shorts for the tap dancing scene in his play “Glamour, Glory and Gold” which was opening in September, Jackie invited him to come.

Jackie told me he went to the Factory with four tickets and gave them personally to Andy Warhol. He came and afterwards congratulated Curtis, the author and the start of the performance, Melba LaRose, Jr. played the lead Nola Noonan, and Candy Darling played Estelle and was reviewed as a woman.  Curtis asked Andy Warhol for a review quote and Warhol said of the play:  “For the first time, I wasn’t bored” which they used in advertisements! 

{J.W.} Jackie starred in the Paul Morrissey directed film “Flesh”. What was that like for Jackie? How did this film come about, Craig?

{C.H.} Warhol’s “Flesh” was Paul Morrissey’s response to “Midnight Cowboy” which was filming on location in New York City in 1968. Morrissey knew that Hollywood would tone down the subject matter and nudity and wanted to do something more gritty about a hustler (played by Joe Dallesandro) working the streets trying to raise money for his wife’s girlfriend’s abortion – talk about controversy in 1968 – that very concept was designed to stir up publicity and fill movie theater seats, especially with Warhol’s name attached to it.

Warhol and Morrissey already knew Jackie Curtis and Candy Darling and so Morrissey came up with an idea to have them sit on a couch and talk extemporaneously about a movie magazine while Joe Dallesandro is getting a blowjob from Geri Miller practically next to them in the same room!

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This was Jackie’s dream, to be in a movie in theatrical release on the big screen, and you bet that Curtis went to every screening and that it propelled him into more self-publicity (I believe this was the moment Curtis had 1000 Jackie Curtis shopping bags printed up which were sold in Greenwich Village head shops)!

{J.W.} Could you tell us about The Jack Mitchell Archives, Craig?

{C.H.} When I first began thinking about making “Superstar in a Housedress” I knew I would need lots of archival photographs of Jackie Curtis, and Holly Woodlawn and Candy Darling, Andy Warhol and the whole crowd. And I immediately thought I need Jack Mitchell photographs, he photographed them more than any other photographer. But how was I ever going to afford license fees? I got on Google and did some research and found that Jack Mitchell had retired in 1995, he lived in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and he did not have a website. So I thought I will offer to do a website for him and to be his webmaster in exchange for the rights to his photographs. And that is just what happened.

Jack and his partner Bob Pavlik came to the opening night of the film at Film Forum in New York and everyone was there, they were very impressed, and loved the film and seeing his photographs in a feature length film in a theater with a packed audience. And the film toured film festivals and we had a theatrical run and it was broadcast on cable and Jack loved it all. It brought him new attention. And I called him and said I know what my next documentary subject is and it is you!

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+Jackie Curtis by Jack Mitchell+

I want to do a film about your life and work. And he was very pleased and excited. He put me in touch with people who were old friends and people he had photographed who loved his work that I could interview on camera, like Broadway diva Patti LuPone, playwright Edward Albee, Alvin Ailey dancer Judith Jamison, famed choreographer Merce Cunningham, and many others.

And I made the film “Jack Mitchell: My Life is Black and White” and Jack said that it was the greatest honor of his life. He and Bob came to the opening in New York and they came to film festival screenings and Jack did Q&A sessions afterwards with me and he loved it so much.

About a year later Jack and Bob called me and told me that they had decided to leave me Jack’s archives, the entirety of his life’s work, all the vintage photographs, his negatives and color transparencies, his files and memorabilia, everything. Bob died in 2009 at the age of 77 during an operation. Four years later on November 7, 2013 Jack died just weeks after his 88th birthday. I was there with him when he passed away and moved his archives to a vault.

A few months later I began the full time work of cataloguing and digitizing everything. It is a huge job. Jack Mitchell’s career as a professional photographer began just after World War II, when he moved to New York City and continued for about the next five decades. The negative files are almost 6000 photo sessions and there are thousands of boxes of color transparencies as well. There are 77 boxes of vintage prints. I have been working on it for almost two years and have many years of work left. It is very exciting and I make new discoveries with every box I open and every negative file that I scan.

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{J.W.} What was Jackie Curtis’ finest hour?

{C.H.} Jackie Curtis’ finest hour?  Any of the countless hours Jackie performed – whether is was in his hit play Glamour Glory and Gold, or Cabaret in the Sky, Vain Victory, or singing at his grandmother’s Slugger Ann’s Bar – Curtis was an incredible star of amazing brilliance. So many people remarked upon his being a genius: La Mama founder Ellen Stewart and comic icon Lily Tomlin among them.

Jackie Curtis had an electric charismatic magnetism that enthralled and thrilled audiences. I loved Jackie. Jackie put all of himself into every performance for the love of the art, and that is why it is really impossible for me to zero in on one performance, one hour, one moment. Now that he is gone, I think of him and a whole kaleidoscope of incredibly beautiful moments of sublime artistry blossom in my mind. As others have said, he was sui generis – absolutely unique.

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{J.W.} What will your next book be about, Craig? Any other projects that you wish to tell us about?

{C.H.} I have been working on the Jack Mitchell Archives (cataloging boxes of vintage prints, and scanning negatives and color transparencies) since Jack’s death two years ago. There is a lot of material for my memoirs including several years I spent running around with Curtis. I am going to work at what may be my memoirs, but potentially could take a new form (film or multimedia) because I have the journals, and visual and audio elements as well.

Also, I decided to post five of my documentary films on Vimeo for reasonably priced on-demand streaming, as well as downloadable for iPhone and iPad. Here is the link: https://vimeo.com/craighighberger/vod_pages/sort:videos/format:thumbnail

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SPECIAL THANKS TO JOHN & CRAIG FOR THIS INTERVIEW

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BE YOURSELF!

UNTIL NEXT TIME,

{theEye}

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{Music Minute} Black Sabbath’s “Planet Caravan”


In the spirit of the dunes we thought this timeless classic could definitely coincide. . .

This is an ode to Black Sabbath, the mystical heavy blues rockers from Birmingham who knew just the way to make their music crawl.

With the use of the occult and horror-inspired lyrics, and one-of-a-kind 1970s rock ‘n’ roll bohemian swag, we are definitely feeling a brotherhood with this unique quartet!

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So let your spirit float to this one, kids. It is sure to take you somewhere…

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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Pictures loaded by Graham Young, Birmingham Mail. The first ever picture taken of Black Sabbath taken in 1968 of Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, on a bank of grass close to Portland Road, Edgbaston. One hundred prints have been made at £495 each. Jim Simpson says: "If any one band can claim to be the originators of Heavy Metal, then that band is Black Sabbath. Strangely, Heavy Metal was not a term used in those days, though Sabbath certainly prided themselves on being heavier than any of their so-called rivals. In fact, their early publicity claimed, “Black Sabbath, the Heaviest Band Around. Makes Led Zeppelin sound like a kindergarten house band.” Quite how the Sabs changed from being a perfectly good blues band into the musical phenomenon that we all know and love is shrouded in mystery. It all started with Geezer Butler who contributed the band’s name as well as many of the songs. Their music developed naturally from then and it’s hard to indentify exactly what directly preceded it. Hendrix, yes, to a limited extent, but that only partly explains it. Whatever, Black Sabbath are THE Birmingham Rock Band. Ask yourself this. Who is the world’s most famous Brummie? Without doubt, it’s Ozzy. Also loaded: Jim Simpson at the private launch of Jim Simpson - A Photography Retrospective, an exhibition at Havill & Travis showcasing Jim's extraordinary collection of photographs from of pop, rock and blues stars from the 1960s. Jim was the first manager of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. He has run Big Bear Records in Edgbaston for 46 years (to 2014) and founded the 30-year-old Birmingham International Jazz Festival in 1984. Havill & Travis at 14 Lonsdale Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9RA. Tel 0121 427 5763. www.havillandtravis.com The gallery is a partnership between fiends Dave Travis (left), ex rock photographer turned concert promoter and Mission Print founder Gerv Harvill. Pictures loaded by Graham Young, Birmingham Mail.
Pictures loaded by Graham Young, Birmingham Mail. The first ever picture taken of Black Sabbath taken in 1968 of Tony Iommi, Ozzy Osbourne, Geezer Butler, Bill Ward, on a bank of grass close to Portland Road, Edgbaston. One hundred prints have been made at £495 each. Jim Simpson says: “If any one band can claim to be the originators of Heavy Metal, then that band is Black Sabbath. Strangely, Heavy Metal was not a term used in those days, though Sabbath certainly prided themselves on being heavier than any of their so-called rivals. In fact, their early publicity claimed, “Black Sabbath, the Heaviest Band Around. Makes Led Zeppelin sound like a kindergarten house band.” Quite how the Sabs changed from being a perfectly good blues band into the musical phenomenon that we all know and love is shrouded in mystery. It all started with Geezer Butler who contributed the band’s name as well as many of the songs. Their music developed naturally from then and it’s hard to indentify exactly what directly preceded it. Hendrix, yes, to a limited extent, but that only partly explains it. Whatever, Black Sabbath are THE Birmingham Rock Band. Ask yourself this. Who is the world’s most famous Brummie? Without doubt, it’s Ozzy. Also loaded: Jim Simpson at the private launch of Jim Simpson – A Photography Retrospective, an exhibition at Havill & Travis showcasing Jim’s extraordinary collection of photographs from of pop, rock and blues stars from the 1960s. Jim was the first manager of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath. He has run Big Bear Records in Edgbaston for 46 years (to 2014) and founded the 30-year-old Birmingham International Jazz Festival in 1984. Havill & Travis at 14 Lonsdale Road, Harborne, Birmingham B17 9RA. Tel 0121 427 5763. http://www.havillandtravis.com The gallery is a partnership between fiends Dave Travis (left), ex rock photographer turned concert promoter and Mission Print founder Gerv Harvill. Pictures loaded by Graham Young, Birmingham Mail.

PHOTO BLAST!!! Time Traveller’s Academy {Vintage Style Inspiration}


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Hitching a Ride with Time- Young and Wild 1960 - Vintage photo

The question of time travel is a query as old as time itself.

And while science struggles to bring to the forefront the pure mechanics of it all, lucky individuals throughout the centuries have inexplicably found themselves doing the time warp.

Indeed, countless stories of men and women lost between the vortex of the past, present, and future have erupted throughout history (you might remember our story on the Time Travelling Hipster), making the questions all the more difficult to answer in the end.

Take for instance Miss Charlotte Moberly, the headmistress of an Oxford college, and her strange and most unusual tale. . .

Charlotte_Anne_Moberly

It was August 10, 1901 and Miss Moberly had taken the afternoon to visit the palace of Versailles with her good friend, Miss Eleanor Jourdan, only to curiously find themselves, while wondering through the palace’s vast and elaborately decorated corridors, beginning to see many people dress in clothes of the 18th Century – including what Miss Moberly would swear was the late, great, Marie Anotinette. They recounted feeling dreamy and depressed, and their surroundings as flat and unnatural.

Everything suddenly looked unnatural, therefore unpleasant; even the trees seemed to become flat and lifeless, like wood worked in tapestry. There were no effects of light and shade, and no wind stirred the trees.
– Miss  Charlotte Moberly

It then seems as quickly as they found themselves interacting with these ghosts of the past, they were brought back to the present day, ending off their visit with a cup of tea at the Hotel des Reservoirs, and not mentioning it again until several months later when they began to research more heavily into the incident.

No parties were booked on that day, and they found that many of the landmarks they had seen were in fact missing from the present day layout of the palace. The two would publish their tale in a book entitled An Adventure, which was released in 1911 with much praise by various Paranormal societies.

It is a mystery unsolved to this day.

The Power of Time - Egypt - Giza - Lightning Bolt Strike

Time travel used to be thought of as just science fiction, but Einstein’s general theory of relativity allows for the possibility that we could warp space-time so much that you could go off in a rocket and return before you set out.

– Stephen Hawking.

Moustaches Dont fool us anymore- time travellers academy- vintage style

This is just one of many incidents throughout history that people have claimed to somehow slip through the borders of the present to live through the past, and sometimes even the future. There are little to no explanations to how these strange events occur, and perhaps its better off there never be. This phenomenon is known as a Time Slip.

Dating back thousands of years, stories of time travellers run amuck throughout world culture, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight. Who knows how many people have taken the opportunity to slip through the sands of time, and exist completely somewhere else as someone else. How long could this last for?

With future knowledge, these individuals might be set to live their life in a much more bountiful and exuberant way by leaving the present to stake claim on the past. Perhaps this is why man has always taken interest in this idea.

I mean, what better advantage in life would you have if you could simply turn back the clock and erase your mistakes? Stop wars. Cure diseases. But where would we be now if this was to happen?

Time Travellers Helped Bring T Shirts to the Forefront

Time Travelling Teens Know to Take Their Sick Beats to the 1930s

Time Travellers Academy- Dress to Impress- Shock the System - Looking Good Was Never Easier

That’s the thing about the past. We wouldn’t be without it. So to change it, could be very dangerous. . .

Maybe time is a much more powerful entity that can pick and choose as it pleases whom it takes on its journey. Perhaps like any skill, it just takes some practice and training to accomplish. One things for sure, if we were part of the Time Traveller’s Academy, we’d be doing just fine, dressed to nines, looking spiffy in all that vintage clothing the past has to offer.

That’s why we decided to look back, and make it a mission to curate some images of the initiates who may have indeed slipped through the fragile barriers of past, present, and future. For selfish reasons, or style reasons, these are our friends who have locked themselves in the realms of history. What is their mission? What do they hope to find? Will they ever be free?

Time Travelling Wisdom- DARE

That’s just another unsolved mystery.

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The Time Travelling Eye

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When is now? When was then?

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– Bill Nye.

Bad Ass Time Travelling Brother

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {June 13, 2013}

EOF- Crazy Wild Man Falls From Shell Snakes and Beggarmen oh MY

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+until next time+

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Vintage Style: Lucifer Rising at The Eye of Faith

+ So sweet is this song that no one could resist it. For in it is all the passionate ache for the moonlight, and the great hunger of the sea, and the terror of desolate places – all things that lure men to the unattainable . . . +

– Aleister Crowley,  The Vision and The Voice

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+ Awake, arise or be for ever fall’n . . . +

-John Milton, Paradise Lost

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+ Every man that hath seen me forgetteth me never, and I appear oftentimes in the coals of the fire, and upon the smooth white skin of woman, and in the constancy of the waterfall, and in the emptiness of deserts and marshes, and upon great cliffs that look seaward; and in many strange places, where men seek me not. And many thousand times he beholdeth me not. And at last I smite myself into him as a vision smiteth into a stone, and whom I call must follow. . . +

– Aleister Crowley, The Vision and The Voice

Photography & Art Direction by: Aaron Duarte

Model: Paul Heaton

Pants: LEVI’s 504 Regular Inkwash Jeans

Shirt: {E.O.F. Original} Blood Stain Baseball Shirt.

Jacket: Vintage Bob Mackie “Lucifer Rising” Inspired Rebel Black Satin Embroidered Jacket {SOLD}

Shoes: Vintage  Leather Motorcycle Boots

Hat: “Prime Cut Meat” Trucker Hat (coming soon)

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Check out some more wicked finds and exclusive deals HERE !!!

>>>THIS IS THE SECRET<<<

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {January 15, 2012}

Helen Tamaris by Man Ray, 1930.

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Portrait of Helen Temeris, Crazy Beautiful Queen of Modern Dance !

Rocking it out in a photo by Man Ray circa 1930.

She must have known she had it.

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Music Minute: Le Temps de l’Amour – Françoise Hardy (1965)

Here’s just a tiny taste of one of our favourite Parisian songstress of all-time.  The great Françoise Hardy is known for so much more than just her fantastic voice and smooth 60s style.

According to her wikipedia page her credits reach from singer/actress and notes her as a Astrologist (so you better believe we’d be a fan).  Surely claiming a spot as one of our divinities of style based on looks alone, which directly influence fashion house Balenciaga.  Today it’s her voice which has us buzzing.

From the 1965 album The Yeh-Yeh Girl from Paris!’ comes this amazing track which some of you may recognize from the recent Wes Anderson flick Moonrise Kingdom.  Look for more words on this amazing subject in the ‘coming days‘, until then enjoy this delectable peice of 60s sub culture.

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The E.O.F. Presents +++TROUBLE IN PARADISE+++

The time has come, friends, for a bit of a style story done our way.

We added our signature sense of drama and mystery, and hope you can enjoy what has become of it! The entire story was shot using clothes from The Eye of Faith {SHOP} so you can get to know us just that little bit more…

This is a classic story told through words and images…you may not piece it altogether at first, but there is no doubt these images are bound to haunt the imagination…

So please sit back and enjoy a little

+++TROUBLE IN PARADISE+++

Brought to you by,

{theEye}

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+INSPERATA SAEPE CONTINGUNT+

{This latin term appears in our latest style story…do you know what it means? Be the first to email us with the answer and we will send you a special surprise!}

If you like what you see, and want to contact us, email {theEye} at hello@theeyeoffaith.com!!!

We would love to hear from you….
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{More to come…}

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{Marilyn Monroe photographed by Douglas Kirkland, circa. 1961}

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Music Minute: Diana Ross – “Last Time I Saw Him” on The Muppets Show {1980}


As we mentioned in a previous post, 1980 was a fantastic time for The Muppets Show, their roster of guest hosts were truly extraordinary.  Today we share with you a day that was no  exception.  Ms. Ross stepped in  and filled the half hour with joy using her effervescent way like no other.  Glamour Glitter, Fashion and Fame, Diana Ross is everything Stardom is.

 We share the clip of her singing her 1973 hit, Last time I saw him, on the 424 Episode of The Muppets Show in 1980.   Starting out backstage with just Floyd Pepper and Dr. Teeth, eventually moving the performance onstage with the rest of the Electric Mayhem.

{Enjoy, The Eye}

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