Tag Archives: tragedy

DING DONG CHARLIE MANSON IS DEAD!

We’re not in Wonderland anymore Alice

-Charles Manson

 

Maybe we can all sleep a little more sound knowing that yesterday marked the passing of one of the world’s most notorious criminals – Charles Manson.

Infamous for bringing a dark turn to 1969’s Summer of Love co-ordinating a string of horrific murders in the Hollywood Hills of 7 highly influential and well-to-do victims including the heiress to the Folger coffee fortune, owners of a successful grocery chain, and iconic beauty – actress and model Sharon Tate.

You could say 8 victims total if you include that Tate was pregnant.

While he never committed any of the murders with his own hand – there is little doubt that his cult-like hold on his followers was so powerful that he was able to control and manipulate seemingly ordinary people to do some of the world’s most vicious atrocities using his strange magnetic quality, and the help of psychedelics like LSD.

{THROWBACK: “The Night Roger Sterling took LSD with Angela’s Mom from ‘My So Called Life’}

The three women also charged in the murders have all given chilling accounts of the murders, as well as the hold Charlie had over them.

{read Susan Atkin’s account of the murders from December 14, 1969}

And whilst Manson and his black witches were put away, they were spared the death penalty when it was deemed unconstitutional in California in 1972- Manson still garnered countless followers and fans who worshipped the man like a God. Most recently he was even engaged to a 20-something woman named Star, only later to call it off when it was revealed to him that their relationship was a ploy to acquire his body and set up a Lenin-esque tomb in Los Angeles after his death to make money.

All across the internet you can buy merch featuring his face and words, countless best-selling books about the man, his cult, and their crimes, successful feature films, and even an NBC series ‘Aquarius’ featuring the handsome Gethin Anthony as the cult-leader. 

Most recently the popular FX series American Horror Story featured a scene in their latest season ‘CULT’ depicting Evan Peters telling his own followers about the legend of Charles Manson and the murders that incited his revolution. This episode aired only less than two weeks before his death, in a strange twist of fate with Peters also doubling as Manson, and series stars Sarah Paulson, Bilie Lourd, and Leslie Grossman as Susan “Sexy Sadie” Atkins, Linda Kasabian (granted immunity for her testimony at the trial), and Patricia Krenwinkle – California’s longest serving female prisoner.

Personally it felt a bit like a gross glamorization of a horrific act, and a bit of a gratuitous showcase of violence (which is very AHS these days), and the thought that these twisted fuckers could get any kind of glorification from something like this was disgusting.

We’ll post it here, and let you decide:

Then it was announced that Charles Manson was dead, and somehow it seemed like a door had been closed on all that, and maybe we can feel good that some strange twisted energy has been depleted from this world.

Or maybe, its only out there running rampant looking for its next conduit….either way:

Ding Dong Charles Manson is DEAD!

 

We collected some fascinating headlines from the murders and trials, and thought they made for a unique visual of the horror and terror these seemingly simple-minded and harmless people brought onto this world.

His legacy will live on for better or worse, and if there is one thing we can learn from Manson is that evil truly does exist in this world, and we can never underestimate its reach. He may have indeed incited some kind of wickedness when you consider all the messed up things that have begun to avalanche in our society.

 Also, never underestimate a starving artist scorned!

 

From the world of darkness I did loose demons and devils in the power of scorpions to torment.
-Charles Manson

 

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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+RARE+ JUDY GARLAND’S ‘VALLEY OF THE DOLLS’ WARDROBE SCREEN TEST

We love Valley of the Dolls…

And we love the myth and legend of Judy Garland, so to discover this rare gem on the interwebs, was to say the least, a huge score!

If you haven’t seen the film, “Valley of the Dolls” was based on Jacqueline Susann’s best selling novel about several young ladies entrapped in the tumultuous world of the entertainment industry.

It is camp, it is glamour, it is a bona fide classic piece of cinema starring the late Patty Duke as the self-sabotaging but talented Neely O’Hara, Barbara Perkins playing a naive small town girl trying to make it in the big city of New York, and Sharon Tate as their gorgeous pal who is forced to do some “shameful” business to make a little cash . . .

One of the antagonists of the film is the character of Helen Lawson, who is a big-shot Broadway star of the ages who Neely goes up to bat against during the production of a play. There are plenty of bitchy moments that incur, which make the film a true joy to behold.


With this in mind, we were shocked the find out that Helen Lawson had originally been given to none other than JUDY GARLAND!!!

This was big news at the time, with the contract being signed February 1967, and a press conference with Judy and Jacqueline Susann at the St. Regis Hotel on March 2, 1967.

“Lets face it; the role calls for an old pro over 40. That’s for me. It’s for sure I am no longer Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…the part of Helen Lawson is no more me than the part in Judgement at Nuremberg. It doesn’t pertain to me…”

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Work on the film began shortly thereafter with songs being recorded, and scenes being shot. However, many of this footage hasn’t survived, and many claim the scenes that were shot were few and far between and mostly unusable, with Judy refusing to leave her dressing room.

Things reached a head on April 27, 1967.  Judy was fired.

Fox announced that she had resigned for “personal reasons”, which Judy quickly denied citing that she had showed up on set ready to film at 6am and had no idea!!! In the end, she admitted to objecting to certain obscenities in the film, and many fans agree that this film was far beneath her talents….so in the end, everything works out (I guess, minus the fact she died 2 years later from a heavy drug overdose)!!!

Oh, Hollywood….so strange. So weird. So mysterious and odd. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, lets get to the point of this all – the wardrobe tests!

You know we love fashion and style, and William Travilla’s glorious designs for Valley of the Dolls are one of the highlights of this film, and Helen Lawson’s costumes are no exception. In these clips, Judy does her thing showing off the designs, as only she could.

If that doesn’t shock you just a little, I’m not sure what will.  The legacy of Judy Garland is so odd and sad. So young and full of talent; thrown into a monstrous machine that only cared to crank out dollars from her…in the end, she lost her vitality, and her mind.

Let her be a lesson to us all to stay true to yourself, and never be a pawn to those in authority. It’s just not worth it. You live one life. Let it be the best life you can imagine!

In the end, the role of Helen Lawson would go to Susan Hayward, who was a legend in her own right, and had even won the coveted Best Actress Academy Award in 1958 playing a death row inmate in I Want to Live!

I guess, things happen for a reason..

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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Music Minute: Krzysztof Komeda “Rosemary’s Baby Interlude”

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Setting Up For Stan- Rosemary's Baby- Scream

“A chance to sit quietly and find out who you are; where you’ve been and where you’re going.”

-Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby

{published in 1967}

 

I called this an interlude because of its sauntering sweet nature between the high stakes and drama that is”Rosemary’s Baby”.

Polanski’s iconic film had many claiming he had beckoned the murder of his glamorous superstar wife, Sharon Tate just months following the film’s release, with this chilling tale of a wife sold to a coven of witches to give birth to the child of Satan!

The track is featured in a montage of Rosemary’s gleefully completing the contemporary turn-over of her new apartment (just before receiving a visit from her eccentric neighbour, Minnie).

The myth of the curse on the film was further perpetuated when John Lennon was murdered just outside the historic and now notorious Dakota building (below) just across the street from Central Park in New York City.

Seting Up For Satan- Rosemary's Baby-The Dakota

in·ter·lude

noun \ˈin-tər-ˌlüd\

3. a musical composition inserted between the parts of a longer composition, a drama, or a religious service

So enjoy this brief interlude, and sail away with this new vintage classic. . .

+ALL OF THEM WITCHES+

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Until next time,

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{MUSIC MINUTE} Jennifer Warnes sings “Easy to be Hard” from HAIR #LoveWins #PrayforOrlando

jennifer warnes - easy to be hard- the eye of faith vintage blog

How can people be so heartless
How can people be so cruel
Easy to be hard
Easy to be cold
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In the wake of the tragedy that struck us early Sunday morning in Orlando, we were inspired to post this very moving {MUSIC MINUTE} in honour of those lost, hurt, and affected by this unspeakable crime.
To imagine that in 2016, we are still dealing with repression, bigotry, and hate to such a violent extreme saddens us beyond belief. It truly goes to show how important it is for us to keep being invigorated and reminded of OUR {PAST} in the {PRESENT} to help shape the {FUTURE}.
The nightmares and horrors of yesterday, are the nightmares and horrors of today, and the more we keep ignoring them, the worse our world will become.
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Many of you know that we just finished a successful sold out run of the musical HAIR at Hamilton Theatre Inc. and what truly drew us to this show was its message of friendship, freedom, peace, and love; and through being a part of this iconic show, we truly feel that it is our duty to continue spreading the groovy revolution.
Before she was crooning “I’ve Had the Time of My Life” and “Love Lifts Us Up (Where We Belong)” in the 1980s (winning Grammys and Academy Awards along the way), she starred as Sheila Franklin in the West Coast cast of HAIR.
Here is her soaring rendition of one of our favourite songs whose message is ultimately timeless and true especially after the unforgivable terror that was imposed on a vibrant and loving community.

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+ + + Requiéscant In Pace + + + 

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Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY {MARCH 25, 2016}

EOF SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY - BOMBING FOR PEACE IS LIKE FUCKING FOR VIRGINITY

+AMEN, SISTER-FRIEND+

What the hell are we fighting for?

Make LOVE / Not WAR

Will we ever learn?

(Fucking broken record)

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{PHOTOBLAST} It Smells Like Teen Spirit ! ! ! #whome #bitchimightbe

Nirvana is Nirvana- The Eye of Faith Vintage- Style iNspiration Blog the eye of faith- rowdy boys

 

Here we are now, entertain us . . .

 

With September unfolding, seems like we can’t help but get wrapped up in all the back to school spirit. The youth is on fire in the streets, and we’ve been given the chance to meet so many unique young individuals in the city and around the world. In fact, it’s impossible to not feel inspired!

We got the title of this {PHOTOBLAST} series from the classic Nirvana single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” which still wreaks its foul mouthed odour over our culture and society.

On top of that, one of our favourite Youtube channels React by the Fine Bros. released a Teen React to Smells Like Teen Spirit video that just had our mind gushing with limitless energizing spirit.

 

Shock me one last time before I go back to the garden

 

This {PHOTOBLAST} is dedicated to the fiery souls of the cult of Teen.

It’s really more of a headspace, just like anything else. So don’t be shy, or feel embarassed when all you feel like doing is kicking back with your friends and having a good time. It’s right no matter how old you are.

Plus, it always pays to look good while you’re doing it.

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Full of Grace- Die Bitch Die- West Side Story Rebel Teen Realness- The Eye of Faith Vintage- Style Inspiration Blog Garden of earthly delights- bosch smells teen spirit - the eye of faith vintage- style inspiration blog

 

I can see my baby swingin’
His Parliament’s on fire and his hands are up
On the balcony and I’m singing
Ooh, baby, ooh, baby, I’m in love

Don’t forget to visit the {SHOP}!

Things have been busy, so all your favourite finds might be gone already.

Always remember – XIXIXI gets you 25 % OFF at the Checkout.

Don’t be shy. Here we are now . . .

Entertain us.

{SHOP}

Until next time,

{theEye}

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+ STYLE IDOL+ A River Phoenix Runs Through It . . .

river phoenix

Wicked and wild. Gorgeous and full of life.

You can see sometimes in the eyes of this strange boy; a burning fire that piercing your soul. Even past the screen, beneath the surface of every photograph of him, there is a brilliant mystery still waiting to be discovered and the very depth of the man named River Phoenix.

He was the most beautiful child you’ve ever seen, like a little Elvis.

-Iris Burton, River’s manager

 

River Phoenix - Stand By Me- Vintage Style Idol

River Phoenix - Academy Award Nomination Ceremony- Graphic Sweater- Cool Guy- Vintage Style Idol

martha plimpton and river phoenix- academy awards- vintage style idol

It’s more the history of these awards that is so special to me . . .

His acting was top notch, and before the age of …. he found himself nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor with dozens of offers at his feet thereafter.

Fame was of little consequence to him, though, and instead he sought a life of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the business. The industry was not the priority, and from his very core, River was an undeniable artist who not only excelled in the art of acting, but was also an accomplished musician, humanitarian, environmentalist and animal rights activist.

River Phoenix - Prada Meinhoff- The Eye of Faith

river phoenix surf god

You’ll never find him fur or leather as he was the original vegan style star- before it was in vogue or a trend. He had a soft and sensitive heart for world issues, the future of our planet, and most especially the well-being of animals.

While we think of the 80s for all its excesses, River appears the total antithesis to this vision of America. Even with his popularity and success, River defied typical Hollywood standards through what he wore; appearing at major red carpet events sometimes in only a graphic T-shirt, or a cool graphic sweater.

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River Phoenix is Fierce- Vintage Style Idol

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Martha Plimpton and River Phoenix- Hollywood Grunge- Vintage Style Idol

river phoenix looking GQ- Vintage style idol

"Batman" Los Angeles Premiere

Plaid shirts, graphic sweaters, denim jackets, patterned shirts, and over-sized blazers were a staple for the young star, whose quirky style seems right in tuned with the vibe of the street today. And yet we probably never even realized that River Phoenix made his mark over twenty years ago in the same garbs we rock today.

Perhaps this was indicative of his adventurous heart, the way he dressed. A co-star in probably his most accomplished and enigmatic acting effort, My Own Private Idaho, Jimmy Reardon described a moment the two shared together shortly after filming the 90s art-house flick about a narcoleptic male hustler decked out in pure grunge glory:

One time we were up in the mountains, and the clouds came right up to the top of the mountain. River grabbed (my) arm and said, “We’re going to run and jump into these clouds and our whole past lives will dissolve, and everything will be new from then on. Hold on.” And we did that…it was incredible, and we landed on this soft iceberg kind of ground covering. But we jumped through clouds, literally.

It’s hard to imagine a star today who could even imagine being as fearless, but that’s just how River really was. Fearless.

river phoenix- japanese cool- graphic shirt- vintage style idol- the eye of faith

river phoenix splash

river291

Born River Jude Bottom, River grew up in a religious cult in South America known as the Children of God. He was named River after the river of life in Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, and Jude from the Beatle’s song. When their parents found that they were being embezzled by the cult and its leaders, they uprooted their children and moved to California where River was soon getting noticed for his movie star good looks, even as a boy.

He quickly began to take interest in acting and modelling, and it wasn’t long before his career took off. No one could deny the boy. He had a special edge that he never let go of until the very end.

Edward Lachman, superior director of photography for ‘Dogfight’ said:

 When I first met River, he had very long hair and he struck me- as he came out of an elevator-as an angel, some kind of supernatural being. An angel could be Gabriel, but an angel could be Lucifer too. He could as readily delve in to the deep dark recesses as he would fly up to the lofty, illuminated (places).

Certainly a zest for life was a strength of River, but it would definitely come into play with his tragic demise most mysteriously on Halloween night of 1993 at friend Johnny Depp’s bar – The Viper Room.

There is no doubting his talents, but there’s also no doubting the foolishness of getting involved with people who do not have your best intentions in mind. River was the unfortunate victim to a brainless party mentality that is ever prevalent in our society. Was it really worth it in the end?

River Phoenix- This Road Will Never End....

river phoenix death

river phoenix in paisley- the eye of faith- vintage style idol

river phoenix casket

I don’t want to die in a car accident. When I die it’ll be a glorious day. It’ll probably be a waterfall.

-River Phoenix

This year the world was shocked by the death of another young star who kicked the bucket at the expense of his family, friends, fame, and fortune – Cory Monteith, who died of an overdose much the same way River did. Heroine and alcohol. The same toxic cocktail that took the life of many more before them including Amy Winehouse,  Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin.

It’s sad, so very sad, because these stars possessed such a zest for life and original spirit that didn’t need to compensate with heavy drugs and alcohol to make life interesting. They could have been resigned to just be themselves, and love every second of that.

River Phoenix- Bleach Blonde Cool- Vintage Style

This is why our advice at The Eye of Faith has always and will forever be to be yourself. Your truest self, beyond the effects of drugs and alcohol, you can have the most exciting and amazing life. You try to tread the line between reality and dream, and you can do this easily with the power of style and conjuring your idols to give you an extra boost away from the common day to day.

 “You would have thought we was ninety and had died in his sleep. The people who were saying this felt tremendous guilt that they had contributed to his death.

He’s already being made into a martyr. He’s become a metaphor for a fallen angel, a Messiah. But he wasn’t. He was just a boy, a very good hearted boy who was very $%##$% up and had no idea how to implement his good intentions. I don’t want to be comforted by his death. I think it’s right that I’m angry about it, angry at the people who helped him stay sick, and angry at River.”

-Martha Plimpton on River’s death.

We recommend this state of mind for all days and occasions, to keep you safe and elevated beyond the strife of the street.

Most people don’t know, but River was also a talented musician in a band called “Aleka’s Attic”. Here’s one of his songs to send you off with. Hope I gave us all something to think about, and some wicked new vintage inspiration for the road!

Also his long lost last film has been released for the first time. Check out the trailer here.

 

 

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You can totally GET THE LOOK, as we have dozens of individual time travelled articles that will serve you well 

to invoke the spirit of River Phoenix. Above all, don’t forget to be yourself!

A little inspiration never hurts, though . . . 

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Elvis Deluxe- Wicked Pompadour Wig

Out of This World! Rare Buddy Holly & Friends Super 8mm Home Movie.

Was feeling inspired today by Buddy Holly, the chic geek with the rims to match…

There isn’t a lot about this young talent’s style that hasn’t stopped beating, so that’s why we felt the tragic rock n’ roll icon deserved a second look.

After a rocking night at Clear Lake, Iowa’s iconic Surf Ballroom the young star hopped in a plane to take him to his next venue. Amidst a harsh February snow storm, the plane crashed killing everyone on board, but strangely in the quietest of circumstances. No one heard a peep. Legendary rock author Harry Hepcat wrote,

“The bodies lay in the blowing snow through the night…… February indeed made us shiver, but it was more than the cold of February that third day of the month in 1959. It was the shiver of a greater, sometimes senseless, reality invading our sheltered, partying, teenaged life of the 50s.”

His death came for everyone a shock, as this was one of the budding musical talents and stars of the times. Born Charles Hardin Holley in September 7, of 1939, Buddy would live to be only 22 years of age.

Inspired by rockabilly and the teen scene around him, Buddy Holly today is remembered as one of the most influential rock n’ roll musicians of all time (ranked lucky #13 on Rolling Stone’s list of 100 Greatest Artists), as well as one of history’s most stylish individuals.

We found this wicked video online of rare Supper 8mm footage of the rock n’ roll icon at his most natural, comfortable, fun, and stylish self.

The thing with these guys is they aren’t even trying…

They know all it takes is a little guts, and a hell of a lot of glory to achieve those heights. And indeed he achieved. Maybe more than he might have ever imagined.

He was loved by his own, but then highly feared by religious leaders who insisted his work immoral, and hated by the police for inciting frenzy and riots. At just 20 years old, he was already gently shifting the tuning dial for much of modern music…

     

His one-of-a-kind attitude towards his own style is a reflection of this rebellious honesty. Sometimes you just got to do it your way.

And if you ask Buddy Holly, he’d most definitely agree.

So stay true blue, whatever you do. Don’t worry what other people are saying. In the end, it’s your essence which matters most. It’s what is remembered. That is how over fifty years later we still remember Buddy Holly as one of the stars that still shine bright in our world today.

“Death is very often referred to as a good career move.”

-Buddy Holly

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman

A Tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman from Ben Zuk on Vimeo.

Who wasn’t shocked by the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman? He was a genius, in our eyes, and it came as quite a shock to hear the news – he be dead.

philip-seymour-hoffman-death-hoax-hoax

Apparently news about his hoaxed death released a day before his actual death is actually a hoax. 

 

Just another reason one should think twice before befriending heroin.

It’s not gonna work out for anybody. 

Until next time,

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+ Conversations with Author Greg Prato +

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Apart from being one helluva guy, Greg Prato is a New York based journalist, author,  and contributor at Rolling Stone Magazine. He is the author of several unique publications including  ‘A Devil on One Shoulder and an Angel on the Other: The Story of Shannon Hoon and Blind Melon,’ ‘Touched by Magic: The Tommy Bolin Story,’ ‘Grunge Is Dead: The Oral History of Seattle Rock Music, ‘No Schlock . . . Just Rock!,’ ‘The Eric Carr Story,’ ‘MTV Ruled the World: The Early Years of Music Video,’ ‘Sack Exchange: The Definitive Oral History of the 1980s New York Jets,’ ‘Too High to Die: Meet the Meat Puppets,’ ‘Dynasty: The Oral History of the New York Islanders, 1972-1984,’ and ‘The Faith No More & Mr. Bungle Companion.’

We were honoured to get the chance to pick his brain with the help of our trusty correspondent John Wisniewski.

JOHN: What ended or contributed to the end of “grunge”?

GREG: A few different factors contributed to the end of the grunge movement – tops being Kurt Cobain’s death, followed by the break-up of Soundgarden, Pearl Jam not touring as much for a while, and Alice in Chains grinding to a halt due to Layne Staley’s drug problems. Also, add in record companies signing horrific grunge rip-off bands (Bush, Silverchair, Candlebox, etc.) that stunk to high heaven. It was rather sad to see how quickly most rock fans flocked right back to acts of the mid-late ’90s/early 21st century that embraced the same overindulgent “rock star” grossness that hair metal bands flaunted in the ’80s.

JOHN: What made grunge so popular?

GREG: Because most mainstream rock fans seemed fed up with the same predictable/stinky mainstream rock bands that were stinking up MTV and radio at the time. And in my humble opinion, there is nothing better than a hard rock band sounding like real human beings playing their instruments in a “live” sounding manner (a la early Led Zeppelin, early Kiss, Ramones, Sex Pistols, etc.)…something that more artists nowadays (who are under the spell of Autotune, meddling outside songwriters and producers, etc.) should wise up and take note of. Also, I always appreciated that such gentlemen as Kurt Cobain and Eddie Vedder weren’t afraid to speak their minds on a variety of touchy subjects in interviews – something that most rockers post-grunge would never have the cajones to do, because they wouldn’t want to risk losing their sponsorship, commercial ads, clothing line, etc. But most important was the quality of the songwriting – I probably still listen to more bands of that era (Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Faith No More, Primus, Jeff Buckley, Blind Melon, Meat Puppets, Melvins, Truly, Radiohead, Morphine, My Bloody Valentine, Smashing Pumpkins, Fishbone, Sonic Youth, Rage Against the Machine, Tool, etc.), than I do of any other. 

MeatPuppets03

JOHN: Can we speak about the Meat Puppets next, Greg? Did the band anger the hardcore fans, when they began to mix elements of country and psychedelia into their musical sound?

GREG: According to the band when I interviewed them for the book ‘Too High to Die,’ yes, they seemed to anger (or confuse) fans…probably not so much fans of theirs, but fans of the bands they were playing with – specifically Black Flag. Black Flag’s fan base didn’t want to sit though Grateful Dead-like jams, which is what Puppets drummer Derrick Bostrom said they were doing in ’84, during an opening stint for Flag. Personally, I thought it was fantastic for the band to merge punk with country and psychedelia, and many of my subsequent favorite bands seemed to agree – Soundgarden, Nirvana, Melvins, etc. You can certainly hear the proof in ‘Meat Puppets II’ and ‘Up on the Sun,’ two of my favorite all-time albums, that never seem to grow old.

JOHN: What was the relationship like between producer Paul Leary on “Too High to Die”, with The Meat Puppets. Why did they decide on Leary as producer?

GREG: The relationship seemed to be good between Leary and the band on ‘Too High to Die.’ They were friends beforehand (Leary is a long-time member of the Butthole Surfers, for those who don’t know) for a long time. Interestingly, I found out from speaking to Leary for the book that when the Surfers hooked up with Led Zep‘s John Paul Jones to producer the 1993 album, ‘Independent Worm Saloon,’ the Puppets asked Leary to put in a good word with Jones re: if he would produce the Puppets‘ next album (which turned out to be ‘Too High to Die’). Surprisingly, Jones supposedly didn’t care for the music, which is quite shocking, as I would think that the Puppets’ music is more in line with what Mr. Jones would be into.

JOHN: What was the relationship like between Kurt Cobain the Meat Puppets?

GREG: The relationship between Mr. Cobain and the Puppets seemed quite swell, after all, he was kind enough to invite them to tour with Nirvana in ’93, and to play a few of their songs on Nirvana‘s now-classic ‘Unplugged’ performance. But according to Curt Kirkwood, he and Cobain weren’t best friends that hung out – more acquaintances. Either way, I’ll always think it was cool that Cobain made it a point to help promote the Puppets.

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JOHN: Can we speak about Shannon Hoon-what contributed to his death at a young age? It was a shock as was Kurt Cobain’s death, to the music world.

GREG: Blind Melon drummer Glen Graham has a theory (which he discusses in my book, ‘A Devil on One Shoulder…’), that Shannon was bipolar, and was medicating himself with drugs. I believe I remember hearing others say the same about Kurt Cobain, as well. Shannon ultimately wound up dying from a cocaine overdose.

SHANNON HOON- BLIND MELON

I remember being saddened and shocked by both Cobain and Hoon’s deaths (in 1994 and 1995, respectively), but I think Hoon’s may have hit me hardest, because I was more of a Blind Melon fan at the time than a Nirvana fan (since then, I probably like both bands equally). Regardless, some of my favorite all-time singers/musicians/songwriters died during that decade – Cobain, Hoon, and Jeff Buckley, among others.

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JOHN: What was the reaction by fans of KISS, when Eric Carr joined the band?

GREG: I remember it being quite positive. I think most fans – myself included – thought the arrival of a new member may get the band back on track and their next album would be a return to glorious heavy metal, a la ‘Destroyer’ or ‘Rock and Roll Over.’ But instead, Gene and Paul went off the deep end, and Kiss did ‘(Music From) The Elder,’ which was a bombastic rock opera, which turned out to be the band’s worst-ever selling album. And to Eric’s credit, he expressed concern to his new band mates that this was a bad move. Their next album, ‘Creatures of the Night,’ was the return-to-metal album most fans had been waiting years for, and Eric’s drumming was a huge reason why the album sounded as great as it does.

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JOHN: Could you name some of your favorite bands, Greg?

GREG: I listen to a wide variety of music, but if I had to pick a single favorite rock band of all time, it would have to be Queen, since they could pull off just about any musical style, and all 4 chaps were superb songwriters. But off the top of my head, some of my favorites include Soundgarden, Faith No More, Nirvana, Meat Puppets, Blind Melon, Jeff Buckley, Primus, Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, Stevie Wonder, Sly & the Family Stone, The Stooges, Velvet Underground, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, The Pretenders, Joan Jett, James Brown, Led Zeppelin, Kiss, Bad Brains, Talking Heads, Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, The Ramones, Neil Young, AC/DC…I’m sure I’m leaving too many others out, I apologize to those artists!

To see what I’m up to (and for ordering info for my books), feel free to visit twitter.com/gregpratowriter.

Make sure to click here to purchase any number of Greg Prato’s truly awesome publications!

Well, until we meet again!

Talk soon,

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Sincerely,

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