Saturday, January 17, 2009

Moonpie 1: The Preface

(Click for larger, clearer image) Here is an enhanced scan of the preface of Moonpie, which appears on the inside front cover and added after the fact (A-Duhrrrrr) by Vance. It appears opposite the title page shown earlier. As the flysheets are orange and written in Bic pen, they were difficult to read. I had to play around with it a bit in GIMP in order to get a stronger contrast.

The top of the page features three faces drawn by Vance (Pre-Faces)(yuk-yuk)
It reads as follows:

This expidition (sic)was never carried out. Rick went on to boot camp with the ARMY and Vance and Martin stayed behind to attempt to solve the mystery of life's meaning. Read this book in good health. If you don't understand it, I wouldn't be to conserned (sic). ENJOY. don't worry about the speeeling (sic), it's your eyes.

At some point I will create a PDF version of the book's scans, with notes, for any scholars who feel compelled to study this history of the late 1970s.

UPDATE 1/18/09:I've replaced the image here. It still looks like shit at thumbnail level, but if you click it, it will open up a good sized shot that let's you examine the detail better. In all honesty, the scanner I used on these kind of sucks.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A good day's work

Today I completed scanning the entirety of Moonpie book 1 and.... wait...

Awwwww. A little coyote - probably born just this last summer - just went loping down the ditchbank in front of my window. They always look at you like, "What you gonna do about it, daddy?" No wonder they have that trickster reputation.

Anyhoo.... yeah, scanned the entire book, plus some damning letters from Martin Maskill. I'll be posting images soon.

And, of course, at some point, Vance or I need to really tell what the actual Moonpie Expedition was all about. Or supposed to be about.

Gotta jet, yo.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

New shit in the shop

There's some new stuff in the Moonpie Online Shop at Cafe Press. Look for Vance's original Collage of the Rally Van (seen elsewhere on these pages) now on two versions of a long-sleeved T. Totally bitchin' and made from 100% high-cotton.

Waymore's Blues

I was listening to the late, great Waylon Jennings while I was out taking the dog for a run in the field down the road. He one of those artists I never tire of, never think “Oh, jeeze, this song’s been played into the ground.”

In high school, of course, we would have been appalled at the thought of listening to “stomp” music—stomps being what the cowboy types were called in those days.

There were two major FM stations then. KRST was the rock station (which oddly enough went country about 6 years later and is still—if you can call much of that pop drivel “country.”) The other station was the now-defunct KMYR, and it played some rock, but was more singer-songwriter driven. All the cool kids listened to KRST and I, I listened to KMYR (because I was cooler!) They played stuff like Dylan “Story of Hurricane,” or Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (before they went country.) The Band (Up on Cripple Creek she sends me. If I spring a leak, she mends me.”) Renaissance’s “Ocean Gypsy.”

When I went into the army, I was stationed up in Washington State, at Fort Lewis. I had a friend, an older guy, who played guitar and turned me on to Jimmy Buffet, John Prine, and Jerry Jeff Walker. By extension, I got into Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, and the other Outlaw Country artists. These are all people I still like today and am not embarrassed to admit. Unlike others. [cough] Leo Sayer and [cough-cough] Ted Nugent.

I guess a lot of people of my generation turned to country as they got a bit older, rock having taken off in some weird direction for a while. I think cocaine ruined the industry for a while. Most rock music of the early to mid 80’s just blew total chunks.

Nowadays my musical tastes is all over the boards, and I probably have at least one song in my collection for everyone. (This collection is something like 18 continuous days of music, according to iTunes.) I’ve got a substantial folk collection. Some interesting alternative (Eels, Cake, The Hold Steady, Decembrists, Built to Spill). I also started collecting Celtic music about 9 years ago. I’ve got everything from traditional ballads sung in Gaelic, to the Vancouver celtic punk bar band, The Real McKenzies. Great stuff.

And that’s my story. Music makes me happy, though I don’t get to listen to it nearly as much as I’d like.

LEXICON: Aiee, Sahib!

"Aiee, Sahib!"
This phrase could have meant several things,though most often it meant simply "yes" or "OH!"

It was never meant in a racially deprecating sense, but rather more to express a most-modern ironical statement.

Vance started it.

It seemed to be one of those things that Vance and I used while I friends looked at us as though wed just hopped off the short-bus. Of course, I secretly suspect they secretly envied us. That's a double secret, therefore.... Ummm out in the open. We had a few different bits like this that we thought were hilarious, but others just did not get. (SEE: Right, Marlin? Right, Jim.)

Moonpie 1: Title Page. Gaze in wide wonder, ye mortals.

Here we see the title page of the first book. I guess this is a good place to note that the actual title of book one was "The Moonpie Expidition" (sic). The Chronicles moniker is really the name for the collective works, both in print and oral. (Click any images to enlarge)

Here we see a close-up of this page. The amazingly stellar calligraphy was done by Rick with what appears to have been a Bic pen, probably some sort of crystal stic variety. I think it was done in one shot, but the double line on the title may have been added at a later date.Carbon 14 dating tests are inconclusive.The pointing hand below the title and credits is clearly in the earlier style of Vance.

This newspaper clipping was added many years later (late 1990s? 2000?) and mentions the Freak Wall at Eldorado.

No matter what anybody tells you.....

....This shit never ever happened.

And, of course, skateboarding was big in the mid-70s

It was the second resurgence of what is now a ubiquitous sport.

And 10-speed bicycling was also popular. Even to this day I find it to be stimulating.

Part of today's ongoing series of photos and art we didn't do ourselves. We just want to set the mood.

Classic 70s art.

Yeah, we thought this was class back then. I'm sure some people did a lot of coke back then, but it was rarely available (or affordable) anywhere I was living. That didn't stop us from wearing the razor blade jewelry or having the little coke straw on a chain. "Be prepared" was the stoner motto of the day.

Later in the 80's, Crystal Meth, aka "Crank," got real big. I guess it still is. "Poor Man's Coke" they call it. Nasty shit that will pull you in so fast you won't believe it.

And of course, coke went on to freebasing, and nowadays it's seen as crack.

It's all bad shit. Never take any drug that has been processed chemically. Chemicals are bad!! Also, they don't make you cool, and they don't get you naked chicks like these.

Daddy. What was it like in 1976?

Well, son. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone danced to disco music. We did, however all eat SPAM!
Man: Well, what've you got?
Waitress: Well, there's egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam;
Vikings: Spam spam spam spam...
Waitress: ...spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam...
Vikings: Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

I'm digging the one sandwich here that appears to be a baked beans and spam. Aieee, Sahib!

On the hair front, Balsam was big. All shampoos were required to contain it. Apparently, 90% of the population suffered from balsam allergies, which resulted in their hair swelling to unusual proportions. It also acted as an early short-acting form of Botox. This woman is nearly 80 years old.

For some great photos from 1976, check out the variety here on Flickr.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A cultural icon of our time, dead at 88

"Genuine Corinthian leather" is a phrase that children of the 70s grew up with. That and "De Plane!"

A cultural icon, Ricardo Montalban, has hopped on that plane from Fantasy Island. Rest in Genuine Corinthian leather, amigo.

Place everyone. Places!

Hunter S. Thompson

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
~ Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson was a huge influence on me from the first (of countless) time I read “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.” For many years I could recite the first chapter by heart. Even now I remember…
“We were somewhere near Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take effect. I remember saying something like, ‘Maybe you should take the wheel,” when suddenly the sky was filled with what looked like huge bats.”
I think I first read it when I was in the Army cooking school at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. It was not a good thing for me to have, but have it I did and I emulated Thompson’s excesses to… umm… excess.

More later….

Bill-Yun Doll-ah Bay-beeees!

"Rubber little monster, baby, I adore you
Man or woman living couldnt love me like you, baby
We go dancing nighty in the attic
While the moon is rising in the sky
If I'm too rough, tell me
I'm so scared your little head will come off in my hands"
Above are the members (and the eponymous lead singer) of Alice Cooper, a rock and roll band of some reknown. They were our generation's Marilyn Manson. Only Alice wasn't such a nancy as Marilyn. They were a popular recording act in our day and performed many concerts around the world.

Today Alice plays a lot of golf. He might even be a Republican like that poor retarded boy, Ted Nugent.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Mangy Moose Magical Mystery Tour

I'll just say a little bit about this photo, then Vance can say his piece.
Vance created this image the old-fashioned way. We didn't have any fancy Photoshop back in those days. This was all painstakingly and meticulously hand-cut and glued. Note the nipples in the headlights, a delightful playing with the euphemism for a woman's breasts.

l to r in this photo are: Tod Deniston, David Lewis, a photo of a naked woman, Vance, me, Blane, Martin, Bullwinkle, and Richard "Clergy" Cleary.

And then there was the first time Jones took acid.....

...and it looked something like this drawing by Jim Woodring...

"Jones! Are you trippin?"
"I don't know, man."

Jones and acid went together about as well as Jones and booze, which is to say not at all.

It was at a party in, I think, December of 1979 when I was home on leave after re-enlisting in the Army. It was snowing, anyway.

Someone had acid or 'shrooms. I forget which. Me, Vance, and Jones did them, Jones for the first time. He sat on his knees in staring at a coffee table, sweating like a pig.

Of course, it was hotter than hell in there. I'm thinking maybe we were trying to convince Jones that that was where he was, too.

Later on, Vance and I split, deciding to drive up to Sandia Crest. We were drunk and tripping. But about the time we hit Cedar Crest, where the snow was about 10 inches deep, and no one else had traveled the road, the hallucinogen wore off. Suddenly we were just drunk. Vance hit a slick spot and the truck spun a 180. He didn't seem to notice, and I thought it was best to not mention it.

I guess we made it home safe and sound, though I have no clear proof of that.

Monday, January 12, 2009

There are classics, and then, there are CLASSICS.

This photo says Moonpie in so many ways, not the least of which is the fact that we just dumped a bag of Vance's dad's empty Coors cans on our laps and PRETENDED that we'd drunk them all.

This was actually shot for a photography class Vance took.

Disco Stu

This was, I think, 1977. Probably just before I went to Germany. This was my PX special 3-piece suit. Perfect for scoring with the babes down at the enlisted club!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Moonpie 1: The Cover. The Fool sayeth in his heart's heart, "There is No Moonpie."

OK, Cue the heavenly choir sounds "Lahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!" This is the cover of the legendary original manuscript of the Moonpie Chronicles. This thing has been floating around since 1976. Vance did the cover art. In case you can't tell, the two "o"s in "Moonpie" are supposed to be breasts.

I felt like I should have been handling it with special archival cotton gloves.

Right now I'm just shooting photos of it. My plan is to eventually scan everything and then, one I post a scanned page, I'll also type out the text and then the various members of the committee can comment and shit like that.

NOTE: As with most photos in this blog, you can click on this image to see a larger version.

Otra present days images

A more recent photo of Vance after he got his shins all blowed off playing around with M-80s.

Two recent photos of me. One is from two years ago. The other, this past summer on my 50th birthday, posing with my son Gabe, and my dad, Gunther.

Moonpie today...

I decided to post a present day photo for the hell of it. I know, scary, isn't it. Anyway, Rick has what little I had left or could find of the Original Moonpie and will be sharing from that soon. I was reading Jones story #1 earlier and it reminded me of a Jones story. I'll be commenting on Jones story later today.

Hot babes

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything, but I still think Ingrid Bergman is hot. I'm currently minoring in Cinema Arts at UNM, and have seen her in several films in that time.

Oh! I know the tie-in! There was a girl named Ingrid(aka Gretchen) that hung with us. She was a freshman when we were seniors. As I recall, she was pretty dang cute. I think she got into heroin later on.

From the Archives

I've been going through a bunch of old computer discs to see what I need to keep and what should go. I've found more from the original Moonpie Chronicles Online site that I was building. Here is a piece I wrote about the origins of the Moonpie Chronicles back in November of 2001 when I was trying to recover from a divorce, the shock of 9/11, and the loss of a really good job with Furr's Supermarkets, which had recently gone tits up. This will be reexamined later
Back in the mid-1970s, I was trying, as Jimmy Buffet once put it, to get by being quiet and shy in a world full of pushing and shove. Having moved to New Mexico from Rochester, New York, I was an outcast from society in general. This, of course, was back in the days before I realized that anyone from east of the Big Muddy were obnoxious vermin no better than a skunk, or at the very least a pesky varmint.

Eventually, I found acceptance through drugs. No kidding. Really. I've always thought that, but just now I realized that half the guys in our little gang didn't do drugs. Well.... That was a real waste of brain cells. It's a moot point anyway, because this is supposed to be about how the Moonpie Chronicles came into being. It was, as best as anyone recalls, about 1975 when Vance D. moved to Albuquerque. I met him through The Kawatiti Kid (AKA Jim Jones, who is a whole other story in himself.)

Vance had come from Memphis. He talked about it a lot and taught us the hip ways of the "Sooooooul Bruthahs."
How to talk: "You fum Maymphee?"*

What constituted classical music: Booker T. and the M.G.'s

How to wear our shoes: You tie the laces when you first buy the shoes and never again. Just mash the heels down and slip them on like clogs.

What to eat: Memphis Soul Food; A.K.A. Moonpie and an RC.
Say what? Moon what?

Vance couldn't believe we didn't know what it was, this classic southern treat. Even Jones and Martin, who had grown up in Plano, Texas hadn't heard of them (in all fairness, I believe that's the heart of Dr. Pepper country). Having the munchies, and no real desire to go to our next class, we took off down to the convenience store to buy some. They looked at us funny when we asked. We went to Circle K, 7-11, Allsup's, Piggly Wiggly, The Donut Shoppe (Pronounced "Sho-Payy") - everywhere. No one had R.C. cola, let alone Moonpies. Every inquiry was met with mistrust, shock, revulsion, threats of police action, requests to buy a joint from us.

Long story short (I'll go into more detail later), one morning, while getting stoned in a storm drain pipe, we were talking again about this elusive treat that seemed to be unavailable in Albuquerque, Martin says "Why don't we just go to Memphis and get some. We were pretty wasted and it seemed like a good idea. Thus was born the Moonpie Expedition.

I happened to have one of those hardbound blank journaling books. We took some magical-type markers and wrote Moonpie across the cover. On the inside we kind or wrote what the plan was, what we were hoping to find when we got to Memphis, fund-raising efforts, progress. We also had photos, drawings and newspaper clippings. The original story was quite short. At this writing that battered volume lies in the hands of Vance, somewhere back in Southeast Maryland. (If I ever get it back, I'll scan and/or transpose some of it and post it here.) I wrote "Moonpie 2", initially in 1979 as I set out to hitchhike around the country. Only portions of this one remain. "Learn How To Pretend" is a rough draft of a novel I've been working on for a couple of years that is based on events that took place just prior to The Moonpie 2 debacle - Ummmmm, I mean, "adventure." There are other scraps here and there. Senseless letters. Photos. We'll see what we can come up with.

* Just to dispel any thoughts of racism here, this was all done with the intent of utmost respect for that culture. We thought it was the shits.