A day of presentations including Mickey Leigh, Godlis, Andy Shernoff, Monte Melnick, and Me !! (Fly-O). I was thrilled to be included in this event, all thanks to Marc Miller. I put together a "Hey! Ho! Slide! Show!" of some of my Ramones Artwork (which really only features Joey). All of the presentations were really good and I had a front row for most :: except Monte (sorry!!) because by then I was in the back doing a merch table with Mickey.
Here is some of my Ramones Art and also some sketches that I did that day.
Panels from my comic (seen below) plus stencils and flyers and PEOPs Portrait of Arturo Vega :: AND Photos of Dee Dee's paintings taken at Arturo's loft :: right around the corner from CBGB's, where he lived from the early 70s until his death in 2013.
Me & Joey and Joe
I drew this comic after having a Very Very Intense Dream (on Dec. 22 2002) in which I was dating Joey Ramone and in the dream I was So Happy. When I woke up I didn't realize I had been dreaming and I felt so sad and missed Joey So Much. When I turned on the radio I heard the news that Joe Strummer had died :: while I was sleeping :: I have been a HUGE Fan of the Clash since Day One and as a teenager had a Massive Crush on Joe Strummer. It was a heartbreaking morning.
This comic was included in the Weird Tales of The Ramones phenomenal box set that included a comic book and full library of Ramones releases. It was a Huge Deal for me to be included :: thanks to Rick Altergott who saw my comic in a zine that I sent to Ariel Bordeaux for hooking me up with this project !
One of the Original Punk Musicians talking about his book "I Slept With Joey Ramone" which is a fantastic, very personal and illuminating memoir of his life growing up with his brother Jeff Hyman, who later became Joey Ramone :: both of them, in different ways, being part of the birth of this thing called Punk!
Fantastic Photographer (one of the few) who captured the early days and beyond of NYC Punk. His book "History Is Made At Night" is a collection of some of his best :: beautiful images of the creation and turmoil of Generation Punk.
One of the founding members of legendary NY punk band The Dictators :: Andy shared some very personal stories about his long friendship with Joey Ramone :: about growing up in Queens, the early days of punk and sadly, his last moments with Joey as he passed away. He wrote and produced a beautiful tribute called Sweet Joey :: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTwGTdxUeTA
PEOPs Portrait by Fly-O
I drew this while hanging out with Arturo in his loft around the corner from CBGB"s in 2010. It was the first time I had been to his home and it was amazing to see all of the art that he had. It was like a museum of Ramones. He had such a fantastic collection of Dee Dee's paintings ! Sadly Arturo passed away in June of 2013. He was incredibly sweet and loved by many. Very Much Missed.
The Feast of Saint Joey
Flyer by Fly-O
Feast of Saint Joey (2006) was organized by the Hungry March Band, largely Ben Meyers, Joe
Tuba, and Sara Valentine. The "punk pilgrimage" involved about a
dozen people, including a couple of Swedes and a British father-daughter, but
people petered out along the way and only Ben, Joe, and the Brits made it,
including walking through a heavy thunderstorm that cracked the late afternoon.
march from TSP to CBGBs was, believe it or not, permitted by the local
precinct, who closed down a lane of traffic on Second Ave for the processional.
We told the community affairs cops ahead of time that it was a religious
procession (WHICH WAS TRUE!), and no more questions were asked. If I recall
correctly, there were probably ~200 people involved.
I got the idea for this when I noticed that whenever I would type "joey" on my iPhone it would auto-correct it to jpeg :: it was driving me nuts becuz I have a lot of friends called Joey. Then I came up with the idea to create a new band called "The Jpegs" and instead of everyone having the same Last Name, everyone would have the Same First Name :: so it would be Jpeg Ramone, Jpeg Strummer, Jpeg Shithead - - - - and - - - I couldn't think of another very famous Joey or Joe punk musician.
I made this stencil into prints and t-shirts so if you are interested in acquiring then please contact me :: email@example.com
Squat Europe Kollective :: A Research Network focusing on the Squatters Movement in Europe. A Networking and Public Resource especially for Squatters and Activists.
I was invited by Alan Moore who has been producing an International Squat Magazine called HOUSE MAGIC for over a decade :: The main hub of the conference was a "legalized squat" called "Poortgebouw" :: it is a pretty cool building in a very conservative area of Rotterdam. It is cool because it spans two sides of the street :: with a little tunnel in between. It is quite Massive and about 6 stories with a Cafe and Huge Kitchen and a space for bands to play. That is the space I did my NYC Squat History Slide Show which had a great response and I met some really cool and interesting people
But it was a Really Hard Day for me :: I had just left New York on May 15 and as I was about to get on the plane I got a call from my brother telling me that my mum had just died. Just suddenly and unexpectedly :: she was 83 and not in the greatest health :: having a bad time with arthritis and just survived colon cancer :: but nothing life threatening :: she was still mobile and in good spirits :: I was crushed
I still got on the plane because I knew she would have wanted me to. I had just talked to her the night before leaving and we had a great conversation. She was excited about my trip and I told her not to worry :: that my phone would be working so she could call me anytime. I told her I would be back on June 3rd and would then come to visit her soon after. The last thing I said to my mum was "I love you and I'll see you soon"
I'm so glad I called her that night.
I arrived in Amsterdam to a warm welcome from Bart, Nina and Paloma Plantenga who put me up in their lovely home and wined and dined me. I felt SO much better after a rare good night sleep but then almost immediately had to get on a train to Rotterdam where I had no idea where I was going to stay.
So the day of my presentation in Rotterdam I spent the afternoon sitting by a canal, crying and writing a piece to be read at my mum's funeral the next day. I was heartbroken that I couldn't attend. Accommodations had Not turned out so my last resort was staying a few nights in a weird hostel that reminded me a bit of a low security prison :: full of well scrubbed gangs of young tourists who smelled strongly of soap :: Not My People !!)
As a result of everything disastrous combined I was in a Very Bad State when I got to the Poortgebouw where one of the organizers was not so nice :: at all :: (they shall remain nameless) and I will not get into the details but they did not make me feel welcome and seemed uninterested in my presentation. Maybe it was just a Dutch thing. It really was just one person and they might have been nicer if they knew what I was going through. I just needed a little empathy.
Alan Moore was a Big Support (he was the one who got me there in the first place) and got me some wine which helped immensely :: a very sweet girl Jeannette made some delicious carrot soup that I will never forget as I was so hungry I was going to faint. My slide show went great ! I don't remember everyone I met that night but I had a great conversation with writer and former dutch squatter Hans Pruijt :: also hung out for most of the night in the cafe with a really sweet guy from the USA called Tim :: now squatting in Prague :: these are some quality PEOPs I am remaining in touch with and want to work with in the future.
The weekend of presentations and screenings and meetings was interesting and enlightening although I could not attend a lot of the meetings as I had to go back and forth to the Coolest Skate Shop in The World !! To get my rolly bag fixed :: The guys there were So Nice and put the coolest skater racing wheels on my rolly !! They said they would "never forget" me but I'm not sure if it was because I am cool or because I am a wing nut.
For the most part Rotterdam was Great - - I had aLOT of good walks and ended up staying in a Fantastic Space called De Player all due to a Great Friend & writer, Bart Plantenga who literally saved my life hosting me in Amsterdam and hooking me up with his friends in Rotterdam :: Annemiek, Peter, and their kids :: Teddie and Otto :: and Coz ! Also of
De Player which is a Very Cool Music and Multi-Media Performance Space :: they also put out some rare and fantastic vinyl :: they distro cool stuff :: music, books :: they have some old school tech including photocopy machine ! This place reminded me a LOT of the Gargoyle Mechanique Lab NYC (1980's into the 90s). I had a fantastic day exploring the market with Annemiek, Peter, Teddie and Otto. Ate some new delicious things and taught Teddie how to make a mini comic :: I was So Happy that when I was leaving I got a present from her :: she made me a little mini comic !! Just for me !! That made me So Happy !
Then it was off to the train to Amsterdam for a day at Casa Plantenga and then head to Napoli for the Tien'Ament Conference Festival !
:: Here are some of my drawings from the Rotterdam SqEK Conference ::
May 21 :: 2016 :: Poortgebouw
I did not get this guys name but he is Dutch and had some very interesting things to say
May 21 :: 2016 :: Miguel Martine
Presentation about La PAH :: Plataforma De Afecados Por Hipotegas ::
A Spanish organization fighting for the rights of the poor but not associating themselves with the squatter movement.
May 22 :: 2016 :: Poortgebouw SqEK Meet
Different issues discussed, Actions, Projects, Future Organizing.
I was impressed by the time-keeper !! All discussions kept on schedule !
SO Different from our NYC Squatter Meetings.
May 21 :: 2016 :: Audience for Presentations
Some Very Cool Stuff happening all over Europe.
At one point Tim Weldon came up to give a presentation about his Prague Squat which he had just heard was under threat of immediate eviction ! He had to leave right away after he gave us the run down and took a group photo of support !
May 22 :: 2016 :: Poortgebouw
This day was for Meetings to Discuss Ideas and Strategies and to Network and Plan for Projects and other Actions.
May 22 :: 2016 :: Alan Moore
Reading excerpts from his recent book "Occupy Culture"
May 22 :: 2016 :: Alan Smart
Speaking on Culture of Art and Rebellion
May 23 :: 2016 :: De Player
Playing with Rubber Stamps and Tape just before leaving. I cannot thank you all enough for the amazing stay. So Great to meet you. Like meeting family.
Hoping to see you all Some Day not too distant Future ! xxx
Squished up on a tiny ledge on the corner of a very busy and Narrow Scooter Street a few doors down from the Tien'Ament Venue :: Waiting for Bostick to take me there and there is a Saint up on the boarded up Church looking down on me with disapproval and looks like he is wielding a bat :: an Italian women came up to ask me for directions at one point then Bostick came up asking me for spare change :: didn't recognize him with the big beard hahaha.
The venue called Tien'Ament has been squatted since 1989 and is a Huge and Beautiful Complex which used to be a Children's Prison so it was also a bit creepy. There were still cells in some areas :: with padding and no windows :: a little hole for a toilet :: just a slot very high up in the door so the kids could not see out. I met a guy at the event who had been incarcerated in this prison when he was a kid. He was a really nice guy.
Also in the Complex is a Theatre and a huge courtyard :: walkways around the second floor :: lots of abandoned decrepit rooms that were filled with Artist's Installations :: a lot of cool little nooks and crannies.
All of the presentations took place in a Huge Church that is attached to the complex :: Very Beautiful but also commandeered and converted to the Religion of the Radical with massive portraits of a Rebel Woman and a Pirate and other Proclaimations as well as a Cross set up so you could take a "Selfie with Jesu" . The ceiling was Incredibly High and inhabited pigeons. Everyone was smoking and dogs were welcome. It was a Very Beautiful Place.
I had an AMAZING TIME in Napoli and Hope to be back Next Year !!
Huge Thanks to Lucia, Bostick, Vanni, Fernanda, Alessandro and Everyone Else.
05. 28. 2016
Speaking on a Panel with Jim Fleming moderated by Vanni D'Alessio
I could actually get a lot of what he was talking about even though it was all in Italian.
05. 28. 2016
Jim Fleming Panel with Bifo and Vanni
I had done my presentation just before this one and both me and Jim had to have Italian Translators. It was funny because they kept having to have little discussions to figure out how to translate what we were trying to say. At least I had a lot of visuals. Next Year I am going to be Much More Prepared.
05. 28. 2016
Afterwards I asked him if he had been involved in the Stonehenge Festivals that Penny Rimbaud writes about in Last Of The Hippies and Shibboleth :: Yes he had been ! Also asked him if he had worked with Spiral Tribe :: YES of Course !! This guy was great and not just because he spoke english so I could understand him. He was a fun guy.
05. 29. 2016
I don't know what this guys name was but Lucia told me he was a Communist. When I got to the huge church where all the presentations were happening I wanted to sit in the front so I could draw so I went to the front pew and sat next to this guy who was still waiting to speak. Wow he sure gave me the Stink Eye! Then :: While he was speaking someone asked a question and he got Really Pissed Off! His face turned bright red and he started yelling and Talking Really Fast. He was a Very Aggro Communist.
05. 29. 2016
Russian Women's Choir
Showed up to sing for us. They were pretty Amazing. It was around 2pm and we had started drinking wine about an hour before. Then was the Round Table Discussion which was a lot of fun with more red wine. I could drink that wine all day and not get drunk or have a hang over. It was just Happy Time !
05. 26. 2016
Wow :: have not seen Andrea since 1998 !! The last time a was in Napoli. He was as crazy as ever an hilarious as ever.
05. 27. 2016
Bostick and Lucia Vitrone
Opening Statements from Bostick and Lucia :: both members of Legendary Italian Punk Band Contrapotare :: I was staying with Lucia who is one Badass and Amazing Lady ! I had stayed with her back in 1998 as well. I wish I could have stayed longer.
05. 27. 2016
Anarchist and Communist Panel
Vanni moderated this panel which I could not understand as it was all in Italian. I wish I could have! These guys were all from Rome and involved in squatting and social centers. I drew in the background the top of the ceiling which was very high and had that Arch on it.
05. 29. 2016
Guy with Hands
I Loved This Guy ! I was so captivated by his hands. I was looking intently trying to draw as he was moving at lightening speed. He noticed how intensely I was concentrating on him and I think he thought I was really into what he was talking about because he kept looking at me and was sort of talking at me in that way.
05. 31. 2016
Vocabulary Lession from Lucia Vitrone
Much Needed! Wrote these notes as we were Finally having the Very Delicious Neapolitan Pizza that I had been craving since my arrival ! And also the Most Exquisite Italian Pastries. Last time I was in Italy it was 1998 and just after a 3 month God is my Co-Pilot tour so I was used to speaking foreign languages and I was slightly proficient in French so I had been able to speak and understand a bit of Italian. But this trip I was not prepared at all. So Yes :: Thank You Lucia for refreshing me on the essentials.
05. 29. 2016
Round Table Discussion
With Jim Fleming, Fernanda Spina, Alessandro Bresolin, Vanni D'Alessio and others. Interesting discussion thankfully in English. Very different and also similar takes on Art Culture, Rebellion, Squatting, Activism.
05. 27. 2016
Bostick and Opening Panel
I could not understand a word. But some great drawings !