Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit


Orchestral Maneuvers of the THEY SUCK Kind? Well...Take Off Your Skin and Dance in Your Bones!

I have learned after many years never to say a certain type of music sucks...because I always find myself later studying it and loving it. It happened with jazz...HATED it, then discovered Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. It happened with Country...HATED it, then the appreciation of it literally filled my life. Blues? The same three chords...then I discovered Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters and that deep, rich, well of music which has sustained me for a lifetime. Gospel? Please...now I love it and have barely scratched (pun intended) the surface.

But you know? I don't think I'll EVER get into these guys. Hey, wait a minute! Dan Russo and his Orioles Orchestra recorded a song titled "Taint No Sin (To Take Off Your Skin And Dance Around In Your Bones)" Maybe I should just give a listen...

Collection of Gig announcement and Radio show Promotional real photo post cards all circa 1930-1935. Collection Jim Linderman

Do You Tumblr? I Do. The Frontier of Photography.

Do you Tumblr? I do. HERE. I use it to try out ideas for my blogs, for the instant feedback, for the way selected images reveal much about the folks who post them, for the inspiration and mostly as a way to generate interest in my own particular taste. More than anything, I use it to promote my books. It doesn't work, as most of my fellow tumblrs seem to be as broke as me, and besides are young and I doubt they even read books much. No insult, just that they are visual, busy, involved and living their lives, but they are also, at least my followers, extremely intelligent, artistic and many with curatorial skills which would match those of the professionals.

It is a very intimate and personal forum...nothing reveals more about a person than the visual images they love and select to share. Graphics, Art, Homemade art, Photographs they have collected OR taken, some stolen from others. It is a frontier for photos.
For the most part, I consider my tumblr posts outtakes. B-sides. Things I have or have found which I believe deserve sharing, but not necessarily interesting enough for me to ponder for long...but I've been convinced otherwise on occasion.

The beauty of Tumblr is that others indicate their interest or appreciation of the image by voting, by forwarding it or by responding in some way. The genius of tumblr is the instant reinforcement for your own taste. A community builds...my community probably says more about me than them, but the misfits who follow me, most of them anonymous, have my support. If they post an image which offends me (and some frequently do) I "unfollow" them. If one of my posts receives a plethora of approvals, I'll consider expanding it and put it on a blog.
Above is a selection of my recent posts on Tumblr. You can follow too if you like. Many duplicate (or lead to) posts on what I consider my REAL blogs. But if you like pictures without my blathering, this could be the place for you.

Group of anonymous photographs from the collection of Jim Linderman
All Tumbled at some time.

Jimmy Donley Talented Tortured and Tormented Swamp Pop

Prostitutes, knives, sexual abuse, mental illness, suicide, alcoholism, attempted murder, wife-beating and an ill-fated decision to sell the rights to his songs to the crooked preacher Charles Jessup HERE) all add up to one damn good reason to BUY A CD instead of downloading some songs.

I swear, there is no way a tiny digital impulse which costs 99 cents and hurts your ears because the sound is so bad can even BEGIN to compare with a real CD and a real BOOK of liner notes, and the Jimmy Donley CD from the incredible Bear Records label in Germany is not the only reason, but it is a good one.

I can't even do justice to the disc, the liner notes, or the simply hard to believe story which unfolds as you listen. Suffice to say if you still own a CD player, this belongs. I've been a big fan of Swamp Pop for a long time, it is one of the last vestiges of a music junkie, and it has been on my mind even more since British Petroleum broke the Gulf with misguided greed and a rush to profit.

Swamp Pop comes from the same place now being gobbed with oil, and that the area just to the south of New Orleans has made a musical contribution equal to their cooking should not escape anyone. Like Bobby Charles, who I have also profiled here, Donley got some songs into the hands of Fats Domino, yet another reason to be glad to be alive...and if you know that beat and rhythm, you can begin to understand swamp pop. This would be a good CD for you to start with, and after you have read the simply incredible 40 page story included with the disc, if you don't have second thoughts about all that money you're electronically transferring directly to Apple...then I give up.


Jimmy Donley The Shape You Left Me In Bear Records 2010 1 CD and 42 pages of text. Linked at right. BUY

The Ventriloquist who refused to be a Stripper

Here is a sordid little tale from the annals of talking dummys. According to the information on the reverse of this press photograph from 1937, "She didn't mind traveling about the country gypsy-like when Ellis K. Short, her husband, quit his bank job, Mrs. Annabelle Short testified in court yesterday. But when he ordered her to work as a strip-tease dancer she quit him, according to her testimony. Photo shows Mrs. Annabelle Short, who is a ventriloquist, with her dummy, after judge Charles has granted her a divorce." There is no quote reported from the dummy (or "vent figure" as they are properly called)

Original Press Photograph 1937 Collection Jim Linderman

Handmade Book of Crap! The Homemade Book of Useful Information

A homemade trove of useful useless information! Constructed by an eccentric somebody from Cleveland around 1920, there are nearly 50 pages of teriffic tidbits clipped and glued in this used composition book. As blank pages towards the end ran out, maker started to panic and began layering them, so there are leaves and leaves of true facts, one over the other. Gifted by my dear friend Anne, a long lost but now found friend who has retained the charm and beauty of a high school sweetheart.

The world's largest tree? Who invented the parachute? The size of Lincoln's Hat? How much would a million dollars weigh? It is all here, in glorious yellowing newsprint. When a newspaper couldn't fill in all the spaces, the call would go out for a few of these little tidbits. And what would that call be?

Jay Thorwaldson, a long-time member of a printing family, wrote the following to describe these little filler items:
"Galleys of short "filler" items—such as a paragraph telling how many llamas there are in Peru—would be kept on hand to fill up small spaces at the bottom of stories. These items were also called "crap," clearly a double-meaning word that came to be synonymous with "filler." Thus, when a printer said someone’s head was "full of crap" it could be a compliment of sorts, meaning the person knew a lot of miscellaneous facts" They would be inserted, glazed over and forgotten. Except for our obsessive bookmaker, who seemingly created the first of the successful "Bathroom Reader" series.

As the newspaper continues to wither, it is increasingly unlikely we will hear anyone scream "I need four inches of crap" but facts are facts, and if you need to know where Jefferson Davis was born or the full first name of Baseball player Ty Cobb, I can tell you.

Useful Information circa 1920

The Invention of the Dashboard Camera Art Crime and Photography

By Jim Linderman from Dull Tool Dim Bulb
The mounted dashboard camera, as we all know from “America’s most horrible ruckus” on the flat screen, is de rigueur today for every cop car. Sideswipes, weaving drunks, runaway crackheads…we see them all through the electronic eye of the police car windshield. But did you know the apparatus was invented by a Weegee like ambulance chaser named Mell Kilpatrick who took accident photos for Los Angeles Newspapers in the 1940s and 1950s?
Mell Kilpatrick was a self-taught master photographer with Weegee skill and fortitude. In fact, the precious few times his name is mentioned, Weegee’s often follows. 

Living in Orange County when it was literally a county of oranges, Mell was attracted to photography young and certainly had the right eye. In the only photo I’ve found of him, he is posing as if squinting into a lens finder. Like a Weegee in sunshine, he traveled light…camera, flash, tripod and a trench coat when the road was slick. But he also had a camera mounted on his dashboard pointing through the windshield These photos were shot with it. Like a hard-boiled P.O, whenever California blood was spilled, he was there. Crime, Crash, Insurance Fraud…he squinted through them all in black and white. A James Ellroy with a speed graphic camera and a police-band radio. 

Mell is probably best known for the iconic photo “It’s lucky when you live in America” which depicts a car overturned in a field after having crashed through a billboard advertising a mountain fresh brand of beer. These photos of Mell’s skid marks, so to speak, are mild compared to the gruesome carnage shown in his work (and which should be shown to every driver using their cellphone)

In an extraordinary article which draws comparisons with the car crash silkscreens of Andy Warhol and the car crash fetishists of J. G. Ballard, writer Nathan Callahan attributes Kilpatrick’s vision to those he saw while working as a projectionist at the Laguna and Balboa Theaters in the late 1940′s, where he watched film noir masterpieces while waiting to change the reels. He learned well and got used to the dark. All these photos have his identification stamp or notes, but only one provides the time: 5 am.

Kilpatrick’s negative collection, well organized and labeled, sat for 35 years until being turned up by photography collector and dealer Jennifer Dumas. She compiled them into a coffee table book “Car Crashes & Other Sad Stories” in 2000 published by Taschen, linked below.

Remarkably, there was another side to Mell. As Orange County turned into Disneyland (literally) Mell turned his camera to the construction. Soon he was loaning his darkroom to other Disney photographers, and Uncle Walt himself granted him full access to the construction site. Mell’s granddaughter has published no less than five books of his early Disneyland photographs. As Callahan reports, she “sold the most gruesome ones…they brought a bad vibe to the house.”

Forensic Photography would seem to be a growth industry, what with all the teenage texting going on at 75 MPH. It was probably a good gig for Mell…even if most of them seem to have been taken at 5:00 AM.

Original Accident Scene Photograph by Mell Kilpatrick circa 1952-1953 Collection Jim Linderman 

Black Herman and Robert Johnson Hoodoo Voodoo Mumbo Jumbo Magic Spells Charms Death and the Grave

Robert Johnson would have been 102  today, some say. Johnson's music was seeped in voodoo, hoodoo, black magic, spells, charms and the devil. There is only one thing wrong with Robert Johnson's music...there won't be any more. The last missing track, version two of "Traveling Riverside Blues" turned up in 1998. Where did his mumbo-jumbo imagery come from? Maybe from Black Herman.

One of the most obscure folks in history, and one of the few African-American magicians I can think of, died in 1934 just two years before Johnson made his recordings.
Actually, Black Herman died MANY times as it was a regular part of his act.

Black Herman was Benjamin Herman Rucker. I don't know if he is related to Darius Rucker, A.K.A "Hootie" or "Blowfish" but with genetic testing we might be able to find out. Herman did the medicine show routes and sold an African tonic. Like most tonics of the time, pretty much all alcohol. He abandoned that ruse as his magic skills increased, and soon he was performing numerous conjuring tricks which included, most notably, his own death. For a big finish, Herman would be buried alive and placed in "Black Herman's Private Graveyard" from which he would miraculously reappear THREE DAYS LATER and continue his act. There was just one problem. One day Black Herman died for REAL.

Some folks even claimed he died on stage and everyone thought it was part of the act, but this has been shown to be false. He just croaked. But that still wasn't the end of the act. His assistant charged admission to the viewing in the funeral home, where paying customers were allowed to poke Black Herman with a stick.
The above is an advertisement for his only book, appropriately "ghost-written" titled "Amazing Secrets of Black Herman" which appeared long after his death in a 1943 pulp magazine...the October 1943 issue of "Gay Love." (A magazine title which should be resurrected today like Herman) A similar ad, with a drawing of Herman decked out in his turban appears in the April 29, 1939 issue of The Afro-American, so someone was still making money on him long after he croaked...just like Robert Johnson!

Herman has a Wiki entry, but the best historical examination by far is on the Magic Tricks site HERE. And how could you NOT want to read more.

Black Herman Ad from Gay Love Stories October 1943 Collection Jim Linderman


Make-Do Love Coloring Book "Value Added" Pulp

A Make-do coloring book created from a "Love Fiction Monthly" pulp magazine from July 1942. Every lip quivering story has been embellished by hand. I suspect the hand of the little sister, and I also suspect the volume has been rendered valueless to a REAL Pulp Fiction collector, but to me, this makes the steamy tales all that better.

Hand Colored Love Fiction Monthly July 1942 Collection Jim Linderman

Robert Frank, Photographer (But Filmmaker) The Rolling Stones, Exile, Drugs, Law, Art

I'm still not sure the legal status of "Cocksucker Blues", the second of two legendary films master photographer Robert Frank made in 1972. When I lived in New York City, once in a while someone would show a bootleg copy of it at a party, and for fund raisers the Anthology Film Archives would be given permission to run it for a night or two. Boy, was that a heavy audience. Want to feel really, really special? Go see "Cocksucker Blues" and tell all your friends you just saw "Cocksucker Blues." I guess today you could tweet a link to the entire "Cocksucker Blues" to all your friends (I'm straight, but I love typing that film title) Frank did another legendary (and prescient) film way back in 1959, Pull My Daisy, which is just as beautiful and as far as I know the only film written by Jack Kerouac. Oh, these kids today. They think Lady Gaga is SO special. Pffft.

Black and White movies of folks on too many drugs are on my mind as I've been waiting for the remixed release of Exile on Main Street, probably the best (and going out on a limb here, the ONLY) real blues album ever made by white people.

Some fun facts about the disc? Bill Wyman plays on only a few tracks as the level of drug use was so extreme he left in disgust. Mick Taylor, the temporary Rolling Stone slide guitar master you forgot about gives a mighty contribution. And Dr. John, a genuine hero, plays piano on a track or two.

I usually try to avoid the strings of contributed blather on websites, as they alternate between stupid and stupider, and always leave me thinking the human race is in trouble. But listening to tracks from the album on youtube I found a few worthy of printing, and I present them here. Let the great unwashed speak!

"I've probably worn out, smashed, had sex on, melted, lost, scratched, and replaced 100 copies of Exile. Still, I never tire of listening to it."

"This album was the rock & roll bible in Plattsburgh NY in the late 70s. For the juicers, anyway. The douchebags all listened to the Eagles"

"like... you are entering a kingdom"

For the uninitiated, I present here excerpts of a film Robert Frank made of the "anti-Beatles" wandering around the ghetto in search of authenticity they already had by virtue of their copious drug use. It was shot as the Stones were finishing up the album. I'd link to the other films, but I'm still not sure it is legal. This film, quite beautiful, has sound problems. They clear up and return. It just adds to the murky, junk daze. The album is being released on May 18, and yes, there is a vinyl version if you need something to roll joints on.


AMERICA'S MOST FAMOUS ARTISTS and the 100 Million Dollar Picasso

You know, the recent record-breaking sale of Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust" has me thinking about investing in art, so I did a little research to make sure I didn't plunge into anything too quickly. I found a list of America's Most Famous Artists and intend to make my purchases wisely from this list.

Famous Artists Schools from "inside cover" of Inside Detective Magazine February 1964

Jefferson Machamer Teacher, Girly Gag Artist, Cartoonist

A funny and talented man, Jefferson Machamer was that rare comic artist who was not only a fine gag, gam and garter artist...he was successful out of the basement! THIS close to be recognized as a REAL artist, he was also a joke writer in Hollywood WAY back, and he authored the strips "Petting Patty" and "Hollywood Husband" during his illustrious illustration career. He also worked as a writer on the films "Cute Crime" "Fun's Fun" "Gags and Gals" and believe it or not "Koo Koo Korrespondance Skool" in which he played himself...thus satisfying the rigorous award criteria for vintage sleaze "clever use of alliteration." Born 1901 in NYC, he ended up in Hollywood where he passed away in 1960, so the work here should be counted among his last. His most important contribution, other than the slightly perturbed dames like these he "tossed off" (but always took time to pattern their dresses) is his book "Drawing The Female Figure" which shows his generous side...he made it easy for thousands of young pervs to practice the fine art of pulchritudinous penning and his clever, humorous instruction made drawing the figure easy indeed. One page is shown here. A master, and for his persistence in drawing hot babes despite success in other endeavors, even to the end of the last ink bottle, hereby recognized as an unrecognized genuine genius. Bonus points for his marriage to a hot Hollywood actress who starred in 25 Hollywood B flicks

Jim Linderman

Original Drawing "The Date Caper" by Jefferson Machamer, circa 1955 Collection Jim Linderman

Monster Sighted in Duluth Minnesota

Prize Winning Float Duluth, MN
Anonymous photograph Dated 1926
Collection Jim Linderman

Diana Korzenik Andy Warhol and the Objects which Help Children Become Artists

A while ago I posted a theory of mine on a possible childhood influence on Andy Warhol with some striking implications for students, researchers and even the casual fan of our most famous Pop Artist. (Who I was fortunate to see several times and meet once in NYC) When he passed, unexpectedly, there was an empty chill of the parts of the city I loved most. Not just the glitz and glamor life he lived, for he managed to live a lower life at the same time. First, the 26th Street Flea Market, which was where I always began my Saturdays and Sundays at 6:00AM. Andy was often there...The only difference was that I was alone, he came with whoever he hadn't gone to sleep with the night before. Second, one of the most extraordinary things about Warhol, he could not STAND to have a club, or restaurant, or gallery open without him seeing it first. So there he was, at noon, on the opening day of the Tenth Avenue Jukebox Cafe which was on my block, at 45th and Tenth Avenue. There he was. He pulled up in a limo, got out, sniffed around and left.

A LONG intro to this post which is actually on Diana Korzenik. She contacted me immediately after my above theory was posted to support it and such. Turns out she had seen a few of my earlier posts on Childhood art objects and folk art, a interest of mine as well. For years Diana collected "Objects of American Art Education" as it relates to teaching and learning tools. She is Professor Emerita, Massachusetts College of Art, and author of Drawn to Art: A 19th Century American Dream. I was honored to hear from her, and we had a brief correspondence in which her charm was obvious.

The images here come from the splendid book published upon the donation of her collection (1000 items and 500 books) illustrating the types and techniques of childrens art tools to the Huntington Library. You will get the idea by the several illustrations here I am taking liberty to post. The catalog is Objects of American Art Education: Highlights from the Diana Korzenik Collection from the Huntington Library Press and I was fortunate enough to purchase my copy from Amazon. A brief search finds it available from other sources as well. The Huntington Library, which is simply splendid, is surrounded by the most beautiful botanical garden I have ever seen...a bonus! The day I was there, we arrived too late to tour the museum, but the succulent and cacti gardens are extraordinary, and my nephew was able to watch a Venus flytrap have an early dinner.

Convoluted Postcard! Drugstore Cowboy, Tad Dorgan, Las Vegas Kim, Gus Van Zant, James Fogle and the Great Train Robbery (Whew!)

A "Drugstore Cowboy" was a loafer in slicked-up in cowboy duds who hung around trying to pick up women. Decades later, Gus Van Zant popularized the phrase by filming the book of the same title by James Fogle (who spent 35 of his 53 years in prison) and now the term refers to one who gets high with purloined prescription drugs.

The phrase was actually invented by a cartoonist named Tad Dorgan, who was born in 1877. An accident at age 13 took three fingers off his right hand, but he overcompensated and learned to draw with his left so quickly he was hired as a newspaper cartoonist a year later at age 14! Soon Tad was the highest paid sports cartoonist in the country. Known as the "Saloon Sloganist" we can not only thank Tad for "Drugstore Cowboy" but "Dumb Dora" "Twenty-three Skidoo" "Cat's Meow" "Dumbbell" "Yes, we have no Bananas" and "Bonehead." That's plenty of hokum for one fellow to conjure up. I am damn jealous.

Unfortunately, we do NOT know anything about "Las Vegas Kim the Cowboy Artist" who drew this risque image in 1934. If I had to guess, Kim probably loitered around the drugstore coming up with ideas for his doodles while trying to pick up women. Here a drugstore cowboy in chaps he couldn't even walk in takes indecent rootin' tootin' liberty with a red dress.

The card is obviously a sexist parody of the old western cliche in which a cowboy fires his six-shooter at an hombre and orders him to dance. But where did THAT come from? It started with the Great Train Robbery! The now forgotten film from 1903 was the very first to depict a tenderfoot getting the treatment. Watch here at exactly 7:17. Scroll to it, you'll laugh like Gabby Hayes.

All that from one postcard, and I didn't even use a stamp.

Primitive postcard, 1934 by Las Vegas Kim Collection Jim Linderman

Jim Linderman "Writer to Watch Out For" by ARTslant

ARTslant has featured my posts and selected me as "one of the blog writers to watch for" Nice!

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Doctors Drawings 19th Century Milford Michigan Medical Notebook

Pages and illustrations from a Doctor's Notebook, circa 1890. Milford, Michigan Collection Jim Linderman