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Tag Archives: 2019
RIP Quentin Fiore (1920 – 2019)
This happened two years ago but I only just found out.
Quentin Fiore was an American graphic designer best-known for The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967) which he made with Marshall McLuhan, being a rumination on the adagium the medium is the message.
RIP Reinhold Aman (1936 – 2019)
This happened in 2019 but I only found out today. How? Well, I consider writing a book, an anthology of haatspraak.
Haatspraak is Dutch for hate speech and the book would be something along the lines of Rants and Incendiary Tracts (1989).
For this purpose, I wanted to get Maledicta from my university library. They do not have it.
Who was Reinhold?
Reinhold Aman was the editor and founder of Maledicta. Incidentally, maledicta means male (bad) and dicta (things people say).
Reinhold appears to have been a colourful figure and spent some time in jail for sending what he called “prank” postcards to his ex-wife to be, but which the judge considered to be threats.
RIP William Levy (1939 – 2019)
William Levy was a maverick of post-war underground press and counterculture. He was involved with IT and founded Suck.
The documentary, Beyond Criticsm (2013) by Malcolm Hart, gives a good overview of his life and work.
RIP Michael de Benedictus (1951 – 2019)
This happened on October 17, 2019, but I only found out yesterday.
Michael de Benedictus co-founded the Peech Boys who released several twelve inches and one album: Life Is Something Special (1983).
De Benedictus was part of the New York dance music scene which was centered around two discotheques: the Paradise Garage and the Loft. I leave out Studio 54 on purpose.
I believe I told this story before, but for many years I hunted Antwerp flea markets for vinyl. My prey were records played by DJ Larry Levan at the New York discotheque Paradise Garage.
I was assisted in my hunt by a internet list of records I had found in 1996. You can find that list of 1100+ records here. I printed it and tried to learn the names by heart and started hunting.
At the time, I was already a fan of house music. I listened to radio shows by Pierre Elitair and the guys behind Liaisons Dangereuses. But now, finally, I found the antecedents of that kind of hedonistic nightlife music.
I gradually delved deeper, learning which labels to buy (Salsoul, West End, Prelude), which producers to focus on (Patrick Adams) and which artists to follow (Arthur Russell).
Where had this fascination with dance music come from?
I don’t know.
I remember when I was in my early twenties, walking along the Meir, hearing “Rotation” by Herb Alperts, and being intrigued by this music which could not be heard on the radio.
This world continues to fascinate me.
Michael de Benedictus role in that world was short and modest but large enough for me to document his legacy during a couple of hours on a lost coronavirus afternoon.
RIP Rene ‘Massacre at Central High’ Daalder (1944 – 2019)
Rene Daalder was a Dutch director best known for his film Massacre at Central High (1976), marginally interesting because of its echoes of Lord of the Flies (kids are cruel). Not very good but interesting enough.
But please judge for yourself.
RIP Neil ‘Monty Python’ Innes (1944 – 2019)
Neil Innes was an English comedian (Monty Python), musician (The Rutles, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band) and writer.
RIP Sue ‘Lolita’ Lyon (1946 – 2019)
Sue Lyon was an American actress best-known as the nymphet of Lolita (1962).
My film bible Cult Movie Stars has this:
“Amid much publicity stating she was too young even to see the film, an unknown blonde was cast in the title role in Lolita.”
Lyon’s final film role was in the mildly amusing Alligator (1980).
RIP Alasdair ‘Lanark’ Gray (1934 – 2019)
Alasdair Gray was a Scottish writer and artist.
His magnum opus Lanark (1981) features a skin disease called ‘dragonhide’.
Adjectives applicable to this work are grotesque, fantastique and rabelaisian.
The book has a tendency to depress.
Update: The skin disease ‘dragonhide’ reminds me of Maldoror: “I am filthy. I am riddled with lice. Hogs, when they look at me, vomit. My skin is encrusted with the scabs and scales of leprosy, and covered with yellowish pus.”
RIP Garrett List (1943 – 2019)
Garrett List was an American musician, known as a trombonist, vocalist, and composer.
Other trombonists I admire include Rico Rodriguez, Peter Zummo, Vin Gordon, Don Drummond, Fred Wesley and Willie Colón.