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‘Yellow Submarine’ style short depicts a jaunty stroll through a bad trip (set to Tiny Tim!)
06.24.2014
08:54 am

Topics:
Animation
Drugs

Tags:
Tiny Tim


 
Whether you find it nauseatingly cheerful or hyperactively sweet (and I’m partial to the latter), Tiny Tim’s “Livin’ in the Sunlight, Lovin’ in the Moonlight” is the perfect backdrop to this ironically dark piece of animation from the Layzell Bros. Our down-and-out protagonist, played by English comedian Adam Buxton, takes a huff off a cheerful cartoon pipe, and is transported to a Yellow Submarine-style wonderland where his antics are rendered childishly delightful—nevermind his wanton destruction of property and growing troubles with the local authorities.

At one point the psychedelic dreamland becomes a little too ominous for our hero, but no matter! His magical pipe friend makes quick work of the darkness! Just say no to drugs, kids! Or just say yes if that’s what you want…
 

 
Via Juxtapoz

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Red, White and Blue Sleaze: Al Goldstein’s infamous ‘Midnight Blue’ cable access program

Al Goldstein holding a copy of Lenny Bruce's book,
 
The term “public” or “cable access” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For some, visions of two bewigged Aerosmith loving dudes in their basement immediately spring to mind, even though that film came out well over 20 years ago. (There’s a harrowing thought for you!)

For others, the term means a mode of truly democratic expression, free from Madison Avenue standards and middle-of-the-road network TV conventions. One cable access show that fit that bill to the extent of challenging community standards was Al Goldstein’s brilliant and often infamous Midnight Blue.
 
Midnight Blue Title Screen
 
Starting in 1974 on Manhattan cable, Midnight Blue went on to have a lifespan of over 25 years, making it more tenacious of an animal than any of its peers. Most TV shows are lucky to make it the ten-year mark, much less 25. Taking all of the cultural subversiveness and unapologetic sleaze from its progenitor, Screw magazine, Midnight Blue challenged first amendment issues, scored some brilliant interviews and featured some of the strangest commercials to have emerged in the sexual Wild Wild West era of the 70’s and early 80’s. We’re talking swingers clubs, including the notorious Plato’s Retreat, phone sex lines, some rather unfriendly looking vibrators and, my own personal favorite, synthetic cocaine. Where else were you going to see an ad for faux coke? It certainly wasn’t running during Too Close for Comfort!
 
Got a hot date? Pick up some Synth Coke!
 
The beating heart and soul of Midnight Blue was the man himself, the late, great and inimitable Al Goldstein. A larger than life figure, whose humor, rage, smarts, self-effacement and pure dedication to speaking his mind no matter what consequences may emerge, Goldstein was the living definition of brass balls. Whether it was bragging about his cunnilingus skills, ranting about any number of hypocritical politicos and Hollywood celebs, ranting about a photo lab store in Queens, ranting about the sandwich he had earlier or just ranting in general, any chance of a dull moment was neatly incinerated by the presence of Al Goldstein.
 

 
One of the hallmarks of Midnight Blue was the wild array of interviews featured on the show. Over its tenure, the guest list ranged from adult industry pioneers like Harry Reems and Georgina Spelvin to celebrities like Debbie Harry, R. Crumb and the absolute zenith, Gilbert Gottfried. The Gottfried interview is a thing of comedic divine wonder, as if the humor gods snorted a megaton of amphetamine and then touched the shoulder of the already brilliant comedian. It’s a riffing onslaught that involves oral sex and Colonel Sanders, among other topics. Seeing Goldstein laugh so hard that he can barely wheeze out a question is the proverbial cherry on that cake.
 

 
The beauty of both a publication like Screw, as well as having an access show like Midnight Blue is the proto-punk rock nature of it all. There are some that tend to write off both creatures as just another passenger car on the smut train but doing so is not only an injustice to Goldstein and company’s hard work, it is an injustice to yourself. Subversiveness and a willingness to explore sexuality as the strange, multi-faceted creature it is, ruled Goldstein’s work. The man was openly bisexual back in the 1960’s and in fact, Screw was one of the very few adult related mags that would advertise both straight and gay films. (For more information, definitely check out Mike Edison’s brilliant book, Dirty! Dirty! Dirty!) If you look at Midnight Blue et al and all you see is tits, then you are only seeing the most obvious, superficial layer.

Years later, a lot of the cultural hangups that were attacked front and center on Midnight Blue are still the same. If anything, it feels like our culture has devolved a little bit since the apex of Goldstein’s work. The communication landscape has most definitely changed. Print medium, while still existent, has become more and more overshadowed by its digital counterparts. Cable access still exists, but has dwindled significantly over the years, though its seeds have sprouted into sites like YouTube, Vimeo and millions of blogs. But no matter what, the legacy of Al Goldstein and Midnight Blue will always live on as a surely pure testament to the necessity of thumbing your nose at the status quo and creating something irreverent, id driven and occasionally really sharp. Midnight Blue might be cold in the hard ground at this point but its spirit, thanks in part to DVD companies like Blue Underground and the aforementioned YouTube, will continue to live on. And with that, so will the legacy of Al Goldstein. There will never be another.

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
It’s 1980’s trash-horror films a go-go with Bleeding Skull!


 
For those of us who grew up during the golden era of VHS, the shelves at the local Mom & Pop video store were the equivalent to visiting some king of gloriously mutated version of Disneyland. The beauty of that era was that because the format being new, all kinds of movies came out of the woodwork. Films like First Blood or E.T. had a great chance of playing in theaters ranging from the metropolitan to box-shaped bergs in the smallest of corn-town America. But what about titles like Psychos in Love, Death Spa or Black Devil Doll From Hell? Forget it, but that was the beauty of VHS is that it truly made the movie going experience more personal and democratic.
 

 
This was never more true than for the horror genre, with the 1980’s being the apex decade for some of the most lurid, grue-filled, nudity-ridden and straight up crazy films in the field. Thanks to the fine folks at Headpress, there is a funhouse ride of a book dedicated to these films. The tome in question? Bleeding Skull: A 1980’s Trash-Horror Odyssey. Originally a website started back in 2004 by Joseph A. Ziemba, who was later joined by Dan Budnik, Bleeding Skull, both as a website and book, is a compendium of all the horror films that more academically minded or overall discerning writers would quickly bolt from. This is, naturally, a highly positive thing!

That fact alone makes Bleeding Skull worth noting, but the added bonus is how entertaining both Ziemba and Budnik are to read. They both have the whole “snark with love” vibe down to a fine art. There are some incredibly funny lines in this book, but they never override the overall reviews. There’s a sensibility to the whole thing of a guy sitting next to you at a bar,  telling you about this weird movie that he just saw that was directed by the guy that made The Giant Spider Invasion and stars Tiny Tim as a sweaty and depressed clown named “The Magnificent Mervo.” (The film in question, by the way, is Blood Harvest. and yes, it exists. Glory.) Who else is going to talk about obscure, made in Wisconsin horror films with Tiny Tim as a clown in them? Not many but that right there captures the essence of Bleeding Skull.
 
Bleeding Skull Book Cover
 
Another impressive thing about this book is that Ziemba and Budnik have truly combed the depths of ultra-obscure horror films for your enjoyment. This was an area of film that before reading this book, I was fairly confident that I knew more than the average bear. Which, while I still do, compared to these guys, I AM the average bear. If it was a no-budget, shot-on-video one day wonder from two guys in Duluth, Minnesota, then dollars to donuts, it is written about in this book!

Headpress continues to cement their already solid reputation as one of the finest purveyors of fringe culture with Bleeding Skull. So crack open your favorite libation, dust off your VCR that’s been gathering dust in your attic and be prepared to read about some of the best, worst, trashiest, sleaziest and gonzo trash-horror films from one of the darkest decades in cinematic history.

Below, for your viewing pleasure (?) Blood Harvest starring Tiny Tim as “Mervo the Clown”:
 

Posted by Heather Drain | Leave a comment
Tiny Tim reissued—on Edison cylinder: Next, we clone the dodo!
09.11.2013
09:08 am

Topics:
Music
One-hit wonders
Pop Culture

Tags:
Vinyl
Tiny Tim
Obsolete

tiny tim lp cover pic
 
In a wonderful bit of news for far-gone vinyl collectors looking to up the stakes on unnecessary depths of obscurantism, the Ship to Shore Phonograph Company is releasing a version of “Nobody Else Can Love Me (Like My Old Tomato Can)” cut by musician/antiquarian/delightful freakshow Tiny Tim - on the utterly obsolete Edison Cylinder format. Per Hyperallergic‘s Allison Meier:

Only 50 of the cylinders were recorded by Benjamin Canady (aka “The Victrola Guy“) who has been working with ongoing experiments of recording on old Edison cylinder phonographs. As the Vinyl Factory points out in their coverage of this momentous music resurrection, the cylinder record hasn’t totally vanished — Beck also used this tech recently as inspiration for his tracks cut into a beer bottle this year — but there’s been no wide release for the round records since the early 20th century. And if you decide to buy one of the Tiny Tim recordings for $60, it’s quite likely you’ll have no way to play it, although they each do come with a digital recording of the song blaring from some antique phonograph horns. This isn’t the analogue age, after all.

 

 
If the only bells the name “Tiny Tim” ring for you are Dickensian, he was an out-of-left-field media star in the late ‘60s. Even in a decade as indulgent of oddities as that one was, Tim’s (nee Herbert Khaury) weirdness stuck out farther than most. He was a musician of an old-timey archivalist bent, and he might have made a fine fit for the early ‘60s folk revival if that movement hadn’t been so grimly earnest. His stage presentation was disarmingly odd - coming off as a pudgy, sartorially randomized, lysergically Jewy hybrid of Carl Sagan and Danny Devito’s Penguin, he sang hits and obscurities from the turn of the 20th Century to the Depression era in an improbable falsetto. He rose to fame and had a massive hit single with “Tiptoe Through The Tulips” thanks to appearances on TV comedy/variety shows that appreciated his eccentricity, most notably Laugh-In and The Tonight Show. It was the latter program on which, at the height of his fame, Tim notoriously got married in front of an audience of over 20 million. As he was utterly genuine in his love of the music he performed, his act fell out of step in changing times, which inevitably led to his waning popularity. Though he did eventually add some modern material to his repertoire, doing so only served to underscore his diminished stature from a popular conservator to a fringe dwelling novelty act. He died in 1996 of a heart attack suffered onstage in Minneapolis.

Here’s the seldom-seen A Special Tiny Tim from 1970:
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
From the secret life of ukuleles: David Bowie eyeballing Tiny Tim
04.26.2013
01:21 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
David Bowie
Tiny Tim


 
Tiny Tim hobnobbing with Princess Margaret, Dusty Springfield and Lou Christie while David Bowie looks on in the background. London Palladium, 1969.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Blink & you’ll miss him: David Bowie’s 2 second cameo in ‘The Virgin Soldiers,’ 1969

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The agony and ecstasy of Tiny Tim: A remarkably candid interview with Morton Downey Jr.
04.11.2013
10:13 pm

Topics:
Music
Television

Tags:
Tiny Tim
Morton Downey Jr.


 
Tiny Tim was born 81 years ago today.

In this clip from 1994, Morton Downey Jr. drops his usual maniacal bluster and manages to get up close and personal with Tiny Tim. The result is a compelling and at times grim interview.

Downey’s seedy bedroom manner lures Tiny into the confessional and the cuckolded singer doesn’t tiptoe through the tulips, he dives head first into the flower bed as he grapples with failed romance and fatherhood. The whole thing is more than just mildly creepy.

Two years after this was filmed, Tiny died of a heart attack at the age of 64. I doubt that he ever came to terms with the one thing that appeared to genuinely bewilder him in life: women.    
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Tiny Tim and The Supremes candles by Vicki Berndt
09.19.2011
11:05 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
Tiny Tim
candles
The Supremes
Vicki Berndt


The Keene Supremes, $45.00
 
I’m digging these Supremes and Tiny Tim candles by Los Angeles-based artist and rock photographer, Vicki Berndt. They’re available for purchase on Vicki’s website or over at her Etsy page.
 

The Coronation of Tiny Tim Candle, $15.00

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Cryogenics, domestic violence and Tiny Tim
08.20.2010
11:06 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Tiny Tim
cryogenics

 
Dangerous Minds pal Chris Campion writes:

Cryogenics, domestic violence, a Freddie Mercury look-a-like on bongos and Tiny Tim. Tiny Tim joins the new wave half a decade too late. Someone had a lot of money to burn on Tiny in 1989.

Tiny Tim’s single and music video from 1989, “Won’t You Dance with Me?” Note presence of Laugh-In’s Judy Carne.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Man who once managed Tiny Tim hopes to open museum for 8-track tapes
03.11.2010
06:37 pm

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Tiny Tim
8-tracks

image
 
James “Bucks” Burnett is a “collector.” He used to write the Mr. Ed Fan Club newsletter and he managed the one and only Tiny Tim. Now he wants to open an eight-track museum.

From the WSJ:

“There are only two choices. A world with an eight-track museum and a world without an eight-track museum,” he says. “I choose with.”

Shortly after the show, the planners of a music conference in Denton, a music-loving college town about 40 miles north of Dallas, made Mr. Burnett an offer. They would find him a vacant space and pay $4,000 to build a temporary museum for a one-month run beginning Friday.

Mr. Burnett accepted and is readying his collection for another display, this time in a former lingerie factory in Denton. He plans to showcase and play a few hundred tapes, including a baby-blue copy of The Who’s “Tommy,” a copy of the “Easy Rider” soundtrack with sun-bleached cover art signed by Peter Fonda and a rare copy of Lou Reed’s 1975 avant-garde homage to noise called “Metal Machine Music.”

Play It Again: Promoter Has One-Track Mind About Eight Tracks (WSJ)

[Pleased to say I own a copy of Metal Machine Music on 8-track. Displayed proudly on my book shelf. I think it might be the first or second oldest possession I have, dating to when I was probably ten years old. I think it cost a dollar, still sealed, at a white trash department store my mother shopped at in Wheeling, WV.]

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Tiny Tim Performs Apocalyptic Ditty With Children
07.22.2009
11:48 am

Topics:
Amusing
Art
Kooks

Tags:
Tiny Tim


Tiny Tim sings and dances to his mutant psychedelia “The Other Side” with an audience of little girls.  I wonder what the kids were thinking?

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment