Showing posts from 2017

A Short Message

Christmas Eve and I can't sleep. It's been a challenging year, to say the least, but we've made it out intact and alive, and, for that, I am thankful. Despite the setbacks, and the losses, there's a lot to be positive about - new friends made, old friendships repaired and existing friendships strengthened. Projects were finished, new ones undertaken, discussions had and existing projects worked upon. To paraphrase, you've given me a lot to think about, a lot of great discussions and I'm a better person for knowing each and every one of you and I thank you all. As 2017 moves to a close I will reflect upon the insanity that it was (hey, nobody has told me I can't say Merry Christmas to anyone - imagine that) and put it behind me. I won't forget it, but I shan't dwell, or agonise, over it anymore than I need to. May 2018 bring prosperity to us all, and a calmness that the world, and all of us in it, so desperately need.

Editorial: Hollywood's Eternal Shame

A Los Angeles task force has been created to evaluate cases concerning accusations of sexual abuse in Hollywood Task Force, my arse! Don't make me laugh. What a load of bullshit. Rape, misogyny and violence against women have been a part of Hollywood culture since Hollywood began - casting couches were a fixture in every producers office and it was expected that, if a woman wanted to make it, they'd eventually have to sleep with a sleaze bag producer. The results were unwanted pregnancies, abortions, damaged people, failed careers suicides and more. And let's not mention, no, let's do mention, how a lot of Hollywood heavyweights (read males) who liked to prey on the children. Nothing was done then, and nothing will really be done none, and this is despite producers bragging about it then and still do today - it was a mark of honour for these fuckheads. It's continued through to today. Hollywood loves it's rapists and paedophiles- they giv

The Moment Michael Hutchence Became A Brand

There's an exact moment that the late Michael Hutchence ceased being the singer who fronted INXS and became a brand name, and that moment can now be revealed. Pictured above is the letter that the Executor of the Estate of Michael Hutchence, one Andrew Morrison Paul, drafted and signed on the 25th of May, 2006, in which all the rights to Hutchence were assigned to Chardonnay Investments Ltd, which, of course, is owned by Hutchence's solicitor and self-confessed closest friend, Colin Diamond. Diamond's handling of the Estate has been contentious, to say the least, and far be it for me to start dredging up all the dealings that have gone on, most of which has seen all the money and assets of the Estate owned by Diamond. Each time you buy an INXS CD, or a download, Diamond gets Michael Hutchence's share of the royalties - not Hutchence's daughter, but Diamond. Diamond has been collecting all of Hutchence's royalties since 1997 and continues to do so. Each

Jim Russell's Charlie Chaplin (And A Couple Of Nazis)

Smith's Weekly , 25 April, 1932 If I have to tell you who Jim Russell was then it's like you don't know me at all.  Again, from the late, lamented Smith's Weekly , via Trove , comes this brilliant study of Charlie Chaplin, drawn to commemorate the release of the film Modern Times . It's very odd now, looking back to the late-1930s, to think that Chaplin was considered a communist and an enemy of America. This was due, in part, to the themes that Chaplin was exploring in his films  Modern Times , and The Great Dictator , and also because he was very publicly advocating assistance to the Russians in their fight against Germany in WWII. But then, in the 1930s, and through to the 1940s, many prominent, famous and (later) legendary Americans, true, red white and blue blooded flag waving Americans, such as Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford , were out and out Nazis who were advocating the entry of America into WWII - but on Hitler's side. Henry Ford receivin

The Myth of the Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle Ban

The Myth of the Fatty Ban The 1920s had barely begun when a real life situation developed that would lead to the first officially announced ban in Australia on an actor and his entire output, past, present and future, as opposed to a single film. Incredibly the ban had nothing to do with on-screen horror, instead the ban was enforced upon one of the most popular cinematic comedians of the silent era and, even more incredibly, despite the ban was official, it was also widely ignored. Roscoe Arbuckle, better known to the movie going public by his nickname, ‘Fatty [i] ’, was one of the most popular of the early silent comedians. He worked with the greats of the era, Mabel Normand, Charlie Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton and acted as mentor to the young Bob Hope. His popularity was reflected in his three year contract with Paramount Pictures which would see him earn a whopping $1,000,000 a year. Arbuckle was box office gold, only behind Chaplin for sheer money making capacity

Syd Miller's Dracula

Smith's Weekly, 22 August, 1931 Over at the Trove site the legendary newspaper Smith's Weekly has just been uploaded after being digitalised. This should be a massive deal for anyone doing any form of research in Australia for the years the tabloid existed - 1919 to 1950. I know that, for me at least, this is huge. At it's best, Smith's Weekly was untouchable, at it's worst it was still essential reading. Even better than the words was the artwork they used. Artist such as Syd Miller, Stan Cross, Jim and Dan Russell, Mollie Horseman, Joe Jonsson, Emile Mercer, Eric Jolliffe and many more all worked for Smiths . If you're keen on seeing some of the best art of the era, go and browse the title and check out the amazing art. Such as the utterly amazing image of Bela Lugosi as Dracula by the incredible Syd Miller . As you can see, it didn't get much better than this.

They Don't Make Ads (Or Albums) Like This Anymore: Real Life

By the ghost of Magilla Gorilla, Heartland   by Real Life was, and still is, a masterpiece. Mind you, try finding it on CD these days. Expensive? You don't know the half of it. But, quality costs and if you're as old and decrepit as I am, it's worth it for the memories that it beings back as soon as the synth starts up. A shame record companies don't do expanded editions of these albums, but then, when you're dealing with trying to find out who owns the rights, especially when the Wheat is involved, good luck!

Basil Gogos: A Celebration Of A Famous Monster

Famous Monsters #20 (November 1962) Growing up in Elizabeth, which is a fair distance away from Adelaide, the capitol of South Australia, I'd scour second hand shops and newsagents for my reading material every Saturday morning, rain and shine.  I'd buy almost everything I could find that grabbed my interest - the local library would sell their old books for a whopping five to ten cents each, and the Elizabeth South Secondhand Shop would sell me magazines and comics for around ten cents too - lots of Marvel and DC Comics, Gredowns, Yaffa reprints, Newton Comics - you name it, I devoured it.  One magazine that always caught my eye was Famous Monsters of Filmland .  I'm one of those rare creatures who thought Forrest Ackerman's prose was a bit, shall we say, redundant when it came to the amazing images that populated the magazine, and the incredible covers that the book featured.  Even the ads were great. Over the years I lost all of my collection, but as I've g

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