This is The Last Supper Punk by an artist called Rodakrodak. I’m afraid I can’t tell you much about Rodakrodak beyond the fact that he/she comes from Mexico – and I only know that because it says so on his/her profile at the Deviant Art website. Check out more of his/her work here.
So here’s the big question, boys and girls. How many of these iconic punk figures can you name? I reckon I’ve got 10 of the 13, maybe 11. I can give you Sid Vicious (taking the role of Jesus, no less) and Joey Ramone to help you on your way. OK, since those are probably two of the easiest to identify anyway, I’ll also chuck in Ian MacKaye from Minor Threat and Fugazi (bald bloke, green shirt, far right). Click on the image for a larger version.
This has to be one of the oddest music-related items to ever appear on eBay. It’s a painting called (and the title is just so perfect) Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet And Hired An Angel To Try And Cheer Up A Clinically Depressed Paul McCartney by US artist Kata Billups. Kata seems to have a bit of a thing about painting Jesus with The Beatles (and also various combinations of Jesus, Elvis Presley, Mick Jagger and pin-up queen Bettie Page) and her work is apparently owned by the likes of Julia Roberts, Sting, Tim Burton and Willie Nelson, as well as all four former members of REM.
Jesus Broke Out The Lamb Chop Puppet has been on eBay for around three years – that might be something to do with its Buy It Now price tag of $177,000 (roughly £110,000) – so you may have already seen it. If you haven’t, click here for the full listing and read Kata’s comments about the symbolism in the painting and her explanation of the cause of Paul McCartney’s suffering. There’s a clue in the fact that he has taken a red marker pen to the three pictures of Yoko Ono on the walls of his room, putting a big cross on one and drawing devil’s horns on the other two.
Kata doesn’t say much about Lamb Chop in her listing, which is a pity. But seeing the painting did make me Google Lamb Chop and I’m very pleased to report that, although the glove puppet’s creator Shari Lewis sadly died in 1998, her daughter Mallory Lewis continues to perform with the puppet to this day. Mallory and Lamb Chop’s website is here.
The lovely Stu Warwick has once again produced a terrific Christmas card for the Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail team. This year’s card, which we have sent to selected members of the Priory of Sion and a handful of our favourite Knights Templars, is a lovingly crafted black-and-white number featuring Rat Scabies, Richard Bellia and yours truly in a scene that’s a cross between “Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark” and “Mighty Melons III” (a superior movie to both “Mighty Melons I” and “Mighty Melons II”, as I am sure you’ll all agree). And if you’re of a mind, you can see Stu’s card from last year here.
Right, I’d better get on. I have important grail business to attend to. I’ve also got a turkey to stuff. Merry Christmas everybody. Not too much fizzy pop now, you hear me?
I’ve been called Push since forever. I won’t bore the details of how I got that nickname. It’s a very dull story. I first used it as a byline when I started writing for Melody Maker in 1985 and I was pretty miffed when Bros titled their first album “Push” a couple of years later. Especially when one or two people asked me if I’d named myself after the Bros record.
Anyway, I’ve just found out that there’s another bloke called Push. I really don’t mind sharing my name with this guy, though. He’s an artist from Los Angeles and he’s been doing his art thing since the mid-1990s, exhibiting across America and also in Europe, Australia and Japan, as well as working for The Seventh Letter, one of the dandiest art and design collectives around.
At the top of the post is a Push triptych entitled Yes Or No (acrylic on wood, 43 feet by 9 feet) and below is Birds Of A Feather, a spray paint mural at the LA Museum of Contemporary Art. Push doesn’t appear to have a website or a blog (which is a pity because I’m sure he would love to have posted something about me), but you can read more about him and see other examples of his work at the website for Known Gallery in LA, where he is currently exhibiting.
I’m a big fan of retro-futurism – something I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about as we tumble further and further into the 21st century – and a big fan of Badger Books, a pulp fiction imprint set up in 1960 by the London-based pulp magazine publishers John Spencer & Co. Badger put out all different kinds of books, but they were best known for their science fiction and supernatural tales. Actually, when I say I’m a fan of Badger Books, I’m not talking about the stories. Like most pulp fiction, they were absolutely bloody dreadful. What I really mean is I’m a fan of their cover artwork, despite them being accused of pinching some of their ideas from the covers of previously published books.
Did I mention I’d written a book called Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail? I believe I did. It’s very good, you know. It’s about what the title says it’s about – punk rock legend Rat Scabies and me on a mind-bending (and probably soul-bending) hunt to find ye olde mystic and elusive Holy Grail – and you can read a couple of extracts here. Go on. You know you want to.
On this seasonal note, that’s about it from me for a couple of weeks. Have a great Christmas. I’ll start posting again when I’m able to extricate myself from the armchair.
Perry Harris has sent me this drawing of the Amazing Metal Vomiting Serving Girl I wrote about a couple of days ago. Click the picture to view a bigger version and scroll down to read the tale of the said Amazing Metal Vomiting Serving Girl. And when you’ve done that, get yourself across to Perry’s website, where you’ll find a phantasmagoria of cartoons, drawings and other visual delights, all rich in detail and brimming with lopsided humour. There’s tons of stuff to explore, so grab a beer or a cuppa before you dive in.
Perry was one of the founders of Vague, which started in 1979 as a post-punk fanzine and continues today as a series of pop psychogeography publications, and the Vague Rants site is worth a look too. Again, expect to be gone for some time.
I can’t find the words to tell you just how much I love this. It was printed across the middle pages of Sounds in April 1977, accompanying an A-to-Z of the first wave of UK punk bands. I’ve lost the first and last pages of the article, and there are no credits on the pages that I do have, but I think the A-to-Z was written by Jonh Ingham and I presume the collage was put together by the Sounds art team, in a style in keeping with the fanzines of the time.
Sounds was several leagues ahead of the rest of the music press in covering the embryonic days of punk. The collage features all the obvious names – Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash and so on – but it also includes less well known acts such as The Models, The Cortinas and Suburban Studs. Click the image to see it in its full glory and keep an eye out for The Police (before they got hold of the peroxide bottle), Skrewdriver (before Ian Stuart Donaldson turned into a Nazi bastard) and a terrific early photo of The Slits. One outfit that you won’t see on there is Iron Maiden – but then you wouldn’t expect to, would you? Well, as it goes, Iron Maiden do appear in the A-to-Z, where they describe themselves as “bloody shock rock”. They were fronted by Den Ace at this point and had somebody called Ron Rebel playing drums.
I had the collage on my bedroom wall for ages and ages, so it’s badly discoloured, but I’d say that adds to its historic value. I’m not sure history will look kindly on me for having censored the “Fuck Off” on Gaye Advert’s T-shirt with a biro, though. At least I think that was me. I don’t remember doing it, but the scribbling out seems to be in blue ink rather than being an original feature of the collage. If it was me, I suspect I did it in case my mum ever took a close look at it on my wall.
UPDATE (posted 30/10/2011)
I was wrong about Jonh Ingham writing the A-to-Z that accompanied the collage. Jonh has been in touch to say that he wrote a big article about punk for Sounds in around October 1976 (The “?” Rock Special), but he had nothing to do with this piece. My next best guess is the A-to-Z was by the late Giovanni Dadomo, another early champion of punk in the music press. As well as being a journalist, Giovanni was a member of Arthur Comics (later known as The Snivelling Shits), who appear in the article between Alternative T-TV [sic] and The Boys.
I’ve been spending way too many hours at The Art of Penguin Science Fiction website, which charts the history and cover art of science fiction paperbacks published by Penguin Books from 1935 to the present day. All of the early Penguin covers featured three horizontal bands, with the book title and the author’s name in black type across the middle band, but the designs became more individual from the late 1950s onwards. I remember taking a battered, sellotaped-together copy of this 1962 edition of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four out of my school library. The other covers shown above are the 1974 edition of Ray Bradbury’s The Day It Rained Forever, Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle (1985), John Wyndham’s The Day Of The Triffids (1999) and Yevgeny Zamyatin’s We (2007).
It’s British Cheese Week. I’m very much in favour of this, not least because I used to have a fanzine called Happy Cheese. I’ll probably treat you to a few scans from Happy Cheese at some point soon. I don’t know what usually happens during Cheese Week, but I should imagine it’s a whole heap of fun. The event is backed by the British Cheese Board, you see. Yes, that is a real organisation.
As part of this year’s festivities, Birmingham artist Faye Halliday has been commissioned to create a number of “cheese pictures” using Primula, one of the world’s oldest and most famous cheese spreads. Faye’s Primula pieces include Barack Obama, Marilyn Monroe, Justin Bieber and, best of all, those ever-loveable fuckwits Jedward, who are pictured here in their full stinky glory.
Now if you’ll please pass me the brown sauce…