This outfit reminds me of that episode of Friends where Joey wears everything in Chandler’s closet.
As much as our culture overemphasizes the value of being and looking young, I would not want to be a minute younger than I am. Because if I’d been born in the eighties or nineties I wouldn’t have been alive to experience firsthand an era of rock music when bands like The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Queen and the Alice Cooper band were together and releasing new music that didn’t sound like it came from a can. How many 20 year-olds can say that they were able to see Queen in concert five times before Freddie Mercury even came out of the closet, or paid just $12 to see The Who back when Keith Moon was still alive? I feel sorry for anyone who ever scalped tickets to attend a Blink 182 concert or uttered the phrase “Limp Bizkit is my favorite band!” How unbelievably sad.
I remember when Rock Stars were Gods that Walked the Earth as Men instead of generic, indie-rock doofusses dressed in identical t-shirts and ripped jeans. Those days are gone for good, of course, and I cherish my memories of that time, but it’s nice also to be reminded of musicians that earned their legendary status when somebody makes a good documentary about a seventies band. Right now, you can rent or own a DVD of the fantastic documentary, When You’re Strange, a Film About the Doors directed by Tom Dicillo and featuring narration by Johnny Depp. The Doors are a band that’s easy to take for granted, because all of their songs are amazing and Jim Morrison remains enigmatic as an artist immortalized by a premature death. I don’t claim to be the hugest Doors’ fan on the planet, but I do realize when I hear “The Crystal Ship” or “Riders On The Storm” that their music is fucking genius.
I thought I knew a lot about the story of The Doors and their ill-fated lead singer, but really, even if you are a die-hard fan you are going to learn something from watching When You’re Strange. Dicillo approaches the story in such a refreshingly linear fashion, using tons of never-before-seen, archival footage of The Doors live, in the studio, back stage and also including high-quality “lost” footage of Morrison’s own film, HWY. Depp’s narration is matter of fact and unpretentious, and the music just speaks for itself: so many fantastic songs by a band that – with inclusion of Ray Manzarek’s “lead organ” riffs – had a truly unique and inimitable sound. There is no denying that Jim Morrison’s death at the age of 27 was a tragedy. But instead of thinking about how sad it is that Morrison died “before his time,” viewing When You’re Strange led me to conclude that we should just be happy and celebrate the fact that we had Jim for as long as we did, and that he left such a rich and enduring legacy. It’s so obvious that he was an artist who really gave all he could. Like Jimi, Janis, Kurt and Jean-Michel – all gifted artists who died at age 27 – I really don’t think he was built to last.
The Worley Gig Gives When You’re Strange Five out of Five Stars.
Geoffrey and I learned our lesson a few week’s ago about “just showing up” at NYC’s Museum of Modern Art and trying to get in to see the Tim Burton Retrospective on the strength of our Corporate Memberships. That lesson was: it doesn’t happen. I cannot put too fine a point on letting you know that advance tickets are an absolute necessity. Otherwise you’ll never be granted access to what is surely the most overwhelmingly amazing and impressive art exhibit I’ve seen in my life. And I have seen a shitload of art.
Dangerous Toys (Photo By Geoffrey Dicker)
I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts that Tim Burton’s films are consistently hit or miss with me – the hits being Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Ed Wood and 80 percent of Beetlejuice; the misses being, oh, just about everything else he’s directed. But what have always resonated with me are Burton’s outrageous visual sense of the absurd and his darkly humorous predilection for the macabre. Despite his lack of ability to just tell a fucking story, it cannot be denied that he’s a staggeringly talented visual artist.
Another Friend of Mine Named Jeff Visited the Exhibit and Let Me Post This Shot of him at the Gallery Entrance! Coolness! People Behind Him Are Watching the Stain Boy Videos.
I barely know where to start in describing how mind-blowing this exhibit is, but maybe the best place is at the beginning of the galleries, with the series of short animated videos featuring the twisted adventures of Burton’s Stain Boy character. Stain Boy is a diminutive, mutant superhero whose only superpower is that he leaves a stain wherever he goes. Each of these five or six videos are about 3 minutes long, and although you have the option of skipping them and taking an express lane into the main exhibit, I strongly urge you to take the extra time to view each one, because they are genius. Inside the main gallery you’ll find what Geoffrey and I estimated to be between 700 and a thousand pieces of art from Burton’s collection, (many dating back to his high school days in Burbank, California) of caricature sketches, rough notebook drawings, canvases, story boards, sculptures, short films and on to personal correspondences, props and costumes from his many movies. Represented are items from Beetlejuice, Planet of the Apes, Mars Attacks, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Sleepy Hollow, Sweeny Todd, The Corpse Bride, Edward Scissorhands, what is arguably Burton’s most popular film, The Nightmare Before Christmas, and everything else he’s ever had a hand in or on. Comprehensive!
Corpse Bride (Photo By Geoffrey Dicker)
There was not one item in the entire collection that did not make me stop and say “Wow.” So, high Wow Factor and all, I think you need to see this thing. Photography is not allowed, but Geoffrey always seems to find a way around that, thank god. It was extremely crowded as well and it took us two hours to walk the entire exhibit, but it was so well worth it. Our viewing time was at 3:00 PM and we were done by 5:00 PM. Afterward we went out for Mexican food, what a fun day!
Tim Burton at MOMA runs through April 26, 2010. For more information and to purchase advance tickets for just $20 (which includes full admission to all galleries at the Museum) visit MOMA Dot Org.