Mt. Airy Days

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Location: United States

I am an animation producer, director, designer, and animator. This is a blog-folio of some of my artworks. Contact me:

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Dark Side of the Moon

I listened to Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon today, and yesterday, and the day before, and it is still a great album. When it came out, the only cut to get air play in Philadelphia was the top forty hit, Money. I had no idea there was such good music on the record until I heard it on the radio in art school in the etching studio. The radio was usually tuned to 93.3 WMMR, a progressive rock station, which meant they would play cuts from albums that were more than three minutes long. And sometimes these pieces would come on and stay on, for twenty minutes.
And sometimes the DJ would actually tell you what the cut was he just played. And one time he said it was Pink Floyd. I looked at the album in the record store, and it had two prisms on the cover, with a rainbow. Pretty cool. But I had other records to buy, with what little money I had at the time. I heard a cut from one of their albums, Welcome to the Machine which is on Wish You Were Here. That record blew me away. I still did not buy Dark Side of the Moon. So years pass. I came to Los Angeles. I found Pink Floyd's album, Animals, used, $1.19. I had heard a couple of the cuts in school, a few years before, and it was another great record. I Realized I had to buy Dark Side of the Moon. I was not disappointed. This album is so great, it stayed on the Billboard top 300 list for years. If you don't have it already, get it. It'll blow yer mind, as they used to say back in the day.
I'll be back next week with another memory of a great record and how I first heard it on the radio.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Finding a song heard on the radio....

Today is September 13, 2006.
I was thinking about a time when I was trying to find a record I heard on the radio.
I was supposed to be studying for final exams, but was listening the radio. I switched stations alot, sometimes coming in on the middle of a song. At some point, I heard couple of good songs on one station, and taped them. I switched the station, listened for a while, then swiched back to the first staion. A song was on, and it sounded like a new sound to me. It was a very stong guitar and hand clapping. Nobody did that back then. I had taped the last part of the song, thinking the DJ would announce the title afterwards. Of course he didn't, and I was left trying to find this song/group for the next few years. Remember, this is before the internet. I walked into the local record shops, asking if anyone knew of a song that ended with guitar and hand clapping. Blank stares is what I got. Nobody knew anything. I asked people in school. More blank stares. Years go by. I was in a record store in New Jersey, talking to the one of the guys who worked there, and asked him about the song. He said it sounded like a group called King Crimson, and that it might be on this record of theirs called Lizard. I bought it for $3.99, took it to my cousin's house, and it was not the record. But something about it told me it was this group. I just had to find the catalog. So I bought more of their records, still no luck with the song I heard on the radio. I was in a record store in downtown Philadelphia, talking to a guy who worked there, describing the song, and said it might be on this record, King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black. A really great record, but still not the one. Next trip downtown, I walked into the store saw the guy in the back of the store, and without saying a word, he handed me a record called Red, by King Crimson. He said this was the one. I took the record home, put it on the turntable, and listened to a few bars of each song. The third song on side one was THE SONG. It was called, One More Red Nightmare. It blew me away! It was the most intense record ever recorded in the history of rock music. It made everything called HEAVY METAL sound like whiny crap. It blew Black Sabbath to the back wall. I had always heard that Sabbath was the epitome of Heavy Metal. I bought one of their records, the one with Iron Man, and it was so weak, I laughed at it. I realized you had to be high on something, like airplane glue, to really like that music. Listening to Crimson was a revelation of what music could be, and should be. It was amazing. I have a lot of Crimson music now, and whenever I need a brain blast of real music, I listen to Red. My brother says I looked like I was in a very far away place when I listened to the album Red. Well, that was memory of King Crimson. The other music on the original tape I made was a song by 10cc called The Worst Band in the World, and a song by Yes, called The gates of Delirium. Not a bad mixture of music. I wish I had saved that tape. They do last a long time.
I will post more music memories later.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Back in junior high school....

September 9th is coming up. For me, its a bad date. In 7th grade, it was 9-9. That was the first day of notes to take for science class with Mr. Tracton. And just before first report cards came out, he wanted to see all of our "daily work" and other notes from the first day of class, all the way up to that point. 9-9. And someone in class kept asking him about the first date that should be on the daily work, and he kept repeating, with a smile, "9-9 is the first day of daily work, and you should have that page on top." I, of course, had nothing to hand in. Because when I got to class, I more or less daydreamed until he began talking. Which was ten minutes into classtime because he was late. So the daily work was to keep us busy until he got there. Once, I was at his desk with Nanette Paroto, asking him a question about an "E" I recieved on a short quiz. I asked why the answer to one question was wrong, and Nanatte pointed to the numbers on the weather map I had written down. She said barametric pressure never goes as high as thirty-seven. If I had done the daily work, or paid attention in class, I would have known that. I think I got an "E", Unsatifactory, for science class first quarter. And I always remembered that, it started on 9-9.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The Doobie Brothers, summer of 1973, and comic books

I heard the Doobie Brothers song, "Free Ride" on the way home today. Took me an hour and a half to get home from Burbank. Its the start of the holiday weekend. I took surface streets the entire way. Took me an hour to get to downtown LA. On the radio at one point, the Dooboie Brothers song, Free Ride was playing. I thought back to the summer of 1973, when I got my first summer job, working at the telephone company. In the office was a radio tuned to a top 20 station. That was the summer of big hits like Free Ride, Smoke on the Water, Feelin' Stronger Everyday, and We're an American Band. Those songs were drummed into my head. For lunch, I would eat at the hot dog stands for $1.50, or go to Dewey's for a burger and soda, $2.00. One lunch hour, I was walking down 20th Street, and almost walked past a store that sold back issue magazines, and, it turns out, old comic books. I walked in, just as the owner, an old lady, watched a man walk out. She told me that she was pretty sure he had just stolen a copy of Oui magazine, a porno mag, by slipping it under his suit jacket. I saw on the counter some boxes of comic books, and started to flip through them. They all cost 50 cents. No matter how old they were. I picked up some Thor comics that filled in the gaps in my collection that my cousin had given me the year before. I knew there was a market for old comics, I had read about it in a school magazine called Scholastic. Needless to say, I was in the store at least 4 times a week. Buying comics.
Then, one day I walked in, and the old lady was not there. There was a guy behind the counter, named Ed. He charged dollars for old comics. And they were exspensive. I kind of introduced myself, and figured out he was now charging market value for the old comics. The good times were over. I dropped a lot of dough at the comic shop that year. I would go downtown after school and buy comics instead of studying, instead of saving my money for college. Well, I guess it wasn't so bad. I did not go overboard and wind up with ten thousand comics. But I had a few.
Somewhere in that time frame, a 2nd comics shop opened downtown, right around the corner from Ed's store. It was run by Ron and Bob. And it was located above a porn supply shop called The Pleasure Chest. Every once in a while, somebody would wander in, look around for a few seconds, and Bob would tell the person, "its downstairs", and the person would smile, nod, and walk out. Bob would just shake his head and smile. Ron and Bob sold comics in a well lit store on Walnut Street, and they had glass cases to disply the comics. It was the exact opposite of Ed's store. It was air conditioned and the heater worked in the winter. A very good place to buy comics, and they were very knowlegable about their products. I think I spent more coin there than Ed's place. Its where I bought a Russ Cochran black and white reprint of Frank Frazetta's old comics, "Untamed Love". Seven dollars well spent. I became a Frazetta geek at that point. I spent some weeks debating whether or not to buy it. And there was also a set of Famous Funnies covers by Frazetta, reprinted by Cochran, for twelve dollars. Could not bring myself to spend the loot. I wish I had now, they were beautiful. Now, you can see them on the internet, but back then, you could only see them on old comics or in this collection by Cochran. I also bought the Steranko History of the Comics. That really put the hook in me. I wanted to get into the comics field as an artist, and draw as well as Frank Frazetta, Neal Adams, Will Eisner, Jack Kirby, Alex Toth, and a slew of other guys.
So that was the summer of 1973. The beginning of my descent into the artworld.
I'll have more memories later.