I hear the sirens calling
As the rain is gently falling

The punk supper club

thelastsupperpunkbyrodakrodakThis 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.

Related posts: 1977 punk collage from Sounds, Jesus save Paul McCartney, Shooting John Lydon

Jesus saves Paul McCartney with a glove puppet

katabillupsjesusmccartney1katabillupsjesusmccartney2This 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.


More grail hunting at Christmas

ratscabiesxmascard2012The 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?


Another bloke called Push

Yes Or No by PushI’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.

Birds Of A Feather by Push


Back to the future

Doomed World by RL FanthorpeA 1000 Years On by John E MullerThe Mind Makers by John E MullerThe Microscopic Ones by Leo BrettMarch Of The Robots by Leo Brett

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.

A vast number of the Badger sci-fi books, including all five of the titles above, were written under a variety of pseudonyms by Lionel Fanthorpe, who some of you may remember as the host of the “Fortean TV” series during the late 1990s. Fanthorpe is also a fully ordained Anglican minister, the president of the British UFO Research Association, and a qualified weight-lifting instructor – not that I should imagine he goes in for much weight-lifting now he’s not far short of 80 years old. He wrote a staggering 180 books for Badger between 1960 and 1967, which is something like two new titles every month, an achievement all the more astonishing since he had a full-time job as a teacher throughout this period. However iffy Lionel Fanthorpe’s writing might have been, that’s got to be some sort of record.

Grail hunting at Christmas

Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail, Christmas 2001 (front)Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail, Christmas 2011 (inside)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.

Several of the episodes described in Rat Scabies And The Holy Grail have been turned into cartoons by our arty friend Stu Warwick, some of which Stu has published as limited edition prints and auctioned off for charity (lovely bloke that he is). Each year since the book came out, Stu has also produced a small run of Christmas cards for Rat and me – and his 2011 card is my favourite to date. The front shows Rat and me with photographer Richard Bellia, who occasionally joined us on our questing (that’s a technical term us grail hunters use), and the inside has a secret message hidden in Stu’s specially adapted version of one of the coded parchments from Rennes-le-Chateau in France, a place which features heavily in the book. Click the images to see them nice and big and readable.

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.


Witchy doings (continued)

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.