Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Rory Hayes Underground:

Change. Disconnect. Evolve...

Rory Hayes

underground comics artist not to everyone's taste, he was certainly an inspiration to me as a young comics fan, showing me that anyone can do it.

I esp. studied his iconic splashes, heavy black inks, wiggly titles & double outlined letters.

My Demented 1-pager, influenced by R. Hayes, was published in the San Francisco Lowell High School newspaper (1970, weekly offset press).

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Rare Underground Comix apa-zines from 1969-1970

"Shitty Comeex" and "Mountain Motors Comix"

Underground comix apazines I published in 1969 and 1970. Submissions drawn on ditto masters mainly by me and my high schoolmates include pages by actual underground artists hanging out at the San Francisco Comic Book Co.

Rory Hayes did Granny Crackbaggy for SHITTY and Mad Stoz for Mountain Motors; Art Spiegelman and Jay Lynch teamed up on a very detailed Pro-Junior cover for Private Papers of the DOPPLER GANG.

Gary Arlington's hole-in-the-wall store was my main library for most of '69.

Rory, Crumb and Griffin inspired me to channel their lettering styles, pie-cut eyeballs, tear drops (cum again?); my sense of humor was borrowed from Kurtzman's MAD, Uncle Scrooge (Barks) and Fighting American (Simon & Kirby) as well as ZAP.

My good friend Mu (Mark Ungar) saved some of this obscure stuff from disappearing into the ozone.

"The Good Old Days", by Mark Ungar.

My first exposure to the world of underground comics was Robert Crumb's Keep On Truckin' black light poster. (Not this cheap imitation posted here!)

At Lowell High School, Ken "Crawford" Kaffke and I first met as members of the SFFWWTC (Science Fiction, Fantasy, Witchcraft and Weird Things Club). Ken was well into Carl Barks and EC comics, but was particularly focused on the new undergrounds.

Up until this time, I had found the artistic technique in Zap Comix incomprehensible.
Ken helped me to appreciate the individual pen strokes and to revel in the magnificent blackness of the ink.
The black and white printing served to evoke the accessibility and freedom of the form.

You didn't need to be a corporation to publish, and publish we did, in The Private Papers of the Doppler Gang, the SFFWWTC's zine.
- Mark Ungar

The Private Papers of the Doppler Gang, cover (1970) by Art Spiegelman and Jay Lynch. The had stumbled upon our "weird stuff" as they called it, on the bottom shelf of the SF Comic Book Co.

A Checklist of Underground Comics was another of my projects in 1969. My ad, seen here as it appeared in Rocket's Blast #66, was rushed to meet RBCC's advertising deadline. Note the misspelled title!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Super List: All Shows Attended

An attempt to list every LIVE show I saw from 1970-2006.

For now, the acts are listed randomly, as they came to mind, without much rearranging, though date corrections and gig o'bites have been and will be added.

One commenter saw many of the same shows in the San Francisco area as I did, and more besides.

I'm not saying I out-attended everyone of my peer group, in fact I went sporadically during much of my life, because I didn't have a lot of extra money for tix.
Especially when I was in my teens, mainly buying old comics and first printing underground comix with my limited earnings.

Then in the '80s, refreshed by seeing Blondie twice on the same night in 1977; The Jam and Roxy Music on the same night in 1979 at nearby venues (see poster below)... I ramped up my live gig attendence in several ways: working at The Stone nightclub; winning tix off of college radio stations (thanks KUSF!); and volunteering as an Usher for Bill Graham shows such as The Kinks at Berkeley Community Theatre.
In fact, the first ticket I ever won was for The Kinks, in 1977, from KRQR.

Here are the days... and nights, that I can recall:

Jimi Hendrix 1970 early show Berkeley Community Theater
James Taylor/Carol King 1971 Cow Palace
ELO / Deep Purple 1974 Cow Palace
Led Zeppelin /The Tubes 1973 Kezar Stadium
Mott the Hoople /Family 1970 Fillmore West
The Kinks (4 shows from '71 to '88)
Jerry Garcia & Tom Fogerty 1971 Harding Theatre
Black Crowes 1990 Oakland OMNI
Toxic Reasons 1983 On Broadway, Mab
John Cipollina -
QMS 1970 FW; Copperhead '73 GG Park Bandshell; '75 Aquatic Park;
Freelight Pam Tillis '77; 1-1-78 Old Waldorf: Zero '87 Fillmore w/Naomi Eisenberg
Hot Tuna & Allman Bros 1971 FW, 5 mid-'70s shows

X 1984 Old Waldorf
XTC 1981 The Stone
Stranglers 1981 The Stone
Undertones 1981 The Stone, Keystone Palo Alto
Echo & The Bunnymen 1981 Old Waldorf
U2 1981 Old Waldorf, 1981 California Hall
Stiff Little Fingers 1981 Stone (singer at our record party after gig)
SVT, Contractions, Stray Cats, Romeo Void
Readymades, Naomi Vice, Midnight Sun
Devo 1984 Civic Center
Three O'Clock & The Bangles 1984 The Stone, GG Park Bandshell
Rain Parade 1984 Oasis
Beau Brummels 1984 Oasis

Cecil Taylor 1979 Jazz Workshop (No. Beach club)
Pentangle 1986 Great American
Tom Petty & Carl Perkins 1997 Fillmore
Bob Dylan 1982 (?) Slow Train Comin' Tour- Warfield
Bob Dylan/Grateful Dead 7-24-1987 Oakland Col
George Harrison 1974 Cow Palace with Ravi Shankar
Rolling Stones 1981 (Tattoo Tour) Candlestick Park
The Who/The Clash 1983 Oakland Col
Bowie 1983 Oakland Col
Grandmaster Flash & Furious Five 1982 Old Waldorf

Flamin' Groovies 1970 Family Dog, 1980 Temple Beautiful, 1981 Stone 1986 VIP Club

Grateful Dead/Miles Davis Quintet 1970 FW -my first live show
Jefferson Airplane 1970 Winterland (the night Janis died)
Moby Grape 1986 (?) Union Square (with Skip Spence)
Love 1978 Old Waldorf (with Brian Maclean)
Paul McCartney 1989 Berkeley

Siouxsie & The Banshees 1981 I-Beam
New Order 1981 I-Beam, Warfield
James Brown 1981 The Stone
VKTMS 1981 Mab
Pere Ubu 1981

Carl Perkins 1979
Mott The Hoople, & Family 1970 FW
Van Morrison 1973 Lion's Share + SF club
Steve Miller Band 1970 FW

Hüsker Dü 1984 I-Beam
The Jam 1979 Oakland, 1981 Warfield
Plasmatics 1981 Stone
Lyres '86-'88 I-Beam...
Gary Neuman 1982 WARFIELD
Buzzcocks/Dead Kennedys 1979 Temple Beautiful
Gang of Four/Buzzcocks 1979 Temple
Delta Five 1981 Savoy Tivoli
Ramones 1981 Oakland
Pointed Sticks, Offs, Malaise
Peter Tosh 1977 Berkeley Greek
English Beat 1981 Warfield

Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks various early '70s
Teardrop Explodes, Soft Boys,
Nick Lowe, Loons, New Riders,
P.I.L. 1981 SOMA Cultural Center
Yardbirds 2002 330 Ritch St. club
Pretty Things 2000 Bimbo's
Coasters/Shirelles 1986 Calistoga
REM 1984 Warfield, 1985
Green On Red, Game Theory 1985
Toxic Reasons 1983
Mutants 1981
Dead Kennedys 1981
Bauhaus 1982 Berkeley Square
Fear 1983 Old Waldorf
Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan, DNA 1991
Flipper, Dwarves, Ultravox,
Richard Hell & The Voidoids 1982 Old Waldorf
John Cale 1981 Old Waldorf
The Slits 1981 The Stone

Sky Saxon/She Mob Halloween 1999 Purple Onion
Sneetches, Penelope Houston,
Magazine, Mummies, Mermen,
Mentors, Electric Prunes, Mojo Men

Chocolate Watchband, The Zeros
Phantom Movers, Mechanical Bride
Jim Carroll, Chris Issac & Silvertone

Unclaimed, Morlocks, Chesterfield Kings
Phantom Surfers, Ventures, VS.
Eye Protection, Trashwomen
White Trash Debutantes

Todd Rundgren 1973 GG Park
Blondie/Nuns 1977 Old Waldorf
Roxy Music 1979 Oakland
The Go Gos 1980 Temple Beautiful
Soul Agents 1988 Morty's Fuzz Club
Sylvester 1970 Palace Theatre
Trixx 1980 Ye Rose & Thistle
Miracle Workers 1986 Farm, Swedish American Hall
The Fall 1984, Dickies 1981
Fuzztones 1988 I-Beam
Pandoras 1985 Mabuhay

Frank Zappa 1976 Winterland
Red Hot Chili Peppers 1986 I-Beam
The Red Legs 1977 Sausalito
Big White 1976 Sausalito
1st Lollapalooza

Lollipop, Loons, 5 6 7 & 8s: Purple Onion '99
Count Backwards, Dukes of Hamburg "

Tribal Stomp 1977 Berkeley Greek
OMD, Leila & the Snakes, The Cult
Pearl Harbor, The Termites
Cramps, Punts, Lewd
D.O.A. 1981 The Stone
Star Spangled + Cyril Jordan 2002 Avalon
Starlight Desperation 1999 Purple Onion

Neil Young 1992 (?) Shoreline
Jerry Garcia Band 1981 Stone
Jefferson Airplane reunion 1991 GG Park
Grateful Dead 1973 Cow Palace (Wall of Sound debut)
Starship/Grateful Dead 1975 Lindley Meadows
500 frisbees tossed when Ride The Tiger started.
Grateful Dead - several times with NRPS in 1970 at FW 1970,
the infamous freak-out at Winterland 1971 (?), Winterland 1977 (snuck in),
several times in the '80s in the East Bay, Bill Graham wake at GG Park 1991(?)
with John Fogerty

Can't remember all the bands
I saw when I worked at
The Stone, Morty's & Purple Onion...

or all the bands I saw at:

Deaf Club, Back Door, X's
10th St. Project, Project Artaud
Garden of Earthly Delights
Tool & Die, Ye Rose & Thistle
Chatterbox, Graffiti, Bruno's

Were you at any of the above?
Name that show!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Papa Was A Rolling Stone

Welcome to the life's work of an original Beat, Papa Bob Kaffke.
He was singled out by the Hearst press and other watchdogs desperate to rouse Americans against the advocates drawing literal interpretations from the Bill of Rights guaranteeing every citizen free speech and the right to travel.
Conditional invalid freedoms in the Cold War world, which this new breed of left-wing nuts was putting to the test; at a time when Voter's Rights and Civil Rights was making progress.

The 60's were on the march, and now this bunch of kooks was taking advantage of the momentary confusion on the right.

One of them appeared to be a potential campus leader, adept at networking in several cities on his own, without appearing to be carrying a card to or working for one party, which is the mark of a person not thinking for themself without parroting the dogma.
Others were bigger, better known, such as Mario Savio in Berkeley... but pardon me if I note that often the loudest ones were perhaps demagogues, in any case limited to one area, one cause, and really influencing different kinds of people who saw Savio and similar greats rant on TV. Average Americans would never be convinced by students yelling and telling them what was wrong with America.

Young leaders were preaching to the choir, and the right wing didn't worry too much that the fringes would truly catch on.

But those who were looking closely at sublevels lost sleep over Robert Kaffke, who was a natural athelete, soft spoken, likable by average Americans... ok, he was taken as a serious threat. someone who had to be caught delecto en flagrante.

Imagine if you can, police car searchlights shining on the front window in the dark of night. He was staying on Grandma's couch in the living room, and I on a cot in the dining room*.
I saw the lights sweep the picture window once myself, so it wasn't unfounded paranoia. Though maybe fear was the intended effect.
Dad couldn't be easily intimidated. So the tactics to discredit him were ramped up a few levels.

Reactions to Kaffke's 1968 curriculum at SF State college was a blitz of coordinated attacks from Hearst, Assemblyman Leo Ryan (best known for being murdered as he stormed into Jonestown), TV and Radio talk show hosts sounding the alarm and radicals so far left they accused Instructor Kaffke of being "right" - then they accused a CIA plant. He responded with reason and logic without protesting his innocence too much, but the reverse ploy worked, a dirty trick that the faculty president who had stuck with him through the onslaught was aware further resistance would mean his own resignation as well, and with regret he asked and received - without bitter words fired back at the faculty - my dear Papa's resignation.

He left behind a promising future in teaching anymore courses at University level. He did find a steady job thanks CYO leader, Chuck Ayala. as a boxing coach in the Latino community.

My Dad was a very intelligent educated man, as evidenced by his profoundly calm, articulate discussions remembered by friends in the deeply felt tributes published in Papa Kaffke's obits.
Being human, he could revert to earlier learned forms of chauvinist behavior, as did on occasion the best Beat-era greats and near-greats.
Kaffke was friendly with famous writers such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who still remembers my dad; and his many other friends were generally good people from all classes, rich and poor, all with strong sense of respect for reality.
So my Dad never took up with losers, suicidal martyrs, bar-flys or winos over-doing the beatnik shtick.

Like, hey man, when it was real cool to talk the jive derived from junkie Jazz cats.

Dad didn't hang out all day at cafes... He was right there at the round table with the other bohos blabbing over java; but when it was time to split, he split, you dig? When breakfast was over, he was gone. 2 cups maximum.
He never spent the morning after sleeping-in unless seriously under-the-weather, like sick.
He wasn't constantly employed, preferring to work 1 or sometimes 2 jobs at a time, for about a year or so before cruising abroad or at least to the countryside up North living on his earnings until gradually running low.
He kept figures in notebooks of his in/out expenses, and never lived beyond his means. Never had a credit card in his life.
A sports car or horse were the few occasional luxury items he splurged on; followed by careful spending in other areas.
Not the lifestyle of an organization man or team-player perhaps, but he was no mooch or panhandler, paid back his few loans and never sank into credit debt.

He was a good man, down to earth, deeply spiritual and intellectually scientific: a teacher not a preacher. He never underestimated what a good meal meant to a hungry stomach, or a humble air mattress needed by a weary guest with no place to sleep.

Just browse through some of the surviving archives, though nothing quite replaces the man in flesh and blood.

Letters, manuscripts, photos, and newspaper articles
from his Golden Gloves bouts in the 50's,
the experimental seminars in '68 at SFSU,
to his last stand as a waterfront preservation advocate.

* (The spare bedrooms were being sublet to students by Grandma to very polite exchange students not studying politics).

Among many hours of vintage KRON Assignment Four newsreels, I salvaged footage of the 1964 Cadillac demonstration featuring Papa Kaffke.

I also found a few frames of Kaffke in "The Squaresville Tour" 1959 beatnik counter-invasion of Union Square.

Luria Castell meets the press with Bob Kaffke (center) in 1964. Castell was a founding member with Chet Helms of The Family Dog.

Art, audio tapes, film footage and photos.
The rare Cuban edition of 59 TO CUBA.

Missing from the SF Main Library Newspaper microfilm files, apparently ripped from the page of the library's bound volume of News Call-Bulletin, is a June 1943 article.
It's a forgotten footnote of the War. The photo at the top of the page captured a grinning 15 year old Bob Kaffke on his way home from Europe - days before becoming the youngest American soldier to enter the Mediterranean theatre.

WANTED! The Pat Michaels Show (KTVU, April 10 1968) Originally aired in color, is a b+w kinnescope or even a photo extant in the vaults of KTVU? I do have a transcript of the debate between Kaffke and Pat Michaels.

WANTED: any tapes, art, slides, or views featuring Roberto - please call or email!

Rockin' Houseboat Rebels in the 60's & 70's

Laurie Lipson & Roberto Kaffke on Nicaragua

The San Francisco Beatnik Boxer