Wavy Gravy, my old boss’ husband.

I worked for Jahanara Romney, this guy’s wife at Grand Central Answering Service in San Francisco from 1976 to 1979. It was a gas. I encountered ol’ Wavy a few times. I played Tuxedomoon’s version of “Night and Day” for him. He said “When I hear this and then the original….it’s like night and day!” A hyuk. I used to see him riding the bus in SF, twanging on a homemade tambura and chanting.

Saint Misbehavin’: The Wavy Gravy Movie – Theatrical Trailer on Vimeo on Vimeo

Cheetah, him gone

Farewell, cheetah. Good night, sweet prince.  He now flings feces at the stars.

He was a star of the silver screen during Hollywood’s Golden Age, but Cheetah, the original chimpanzee sidekick in Johnny Weissmuller’s “Tarzan” movies of the early 1930s, passed away quietly Saturday at a Florida primate facility. He was believed to be 80 and succumbed to liver…

I dreamt of the King on Christmas Day

Merry Christmas.
Last night I dreamt of elvis. He was sitting in my living room playing and singing CC rider on an acoustic guitar. I was singing along from the kitchen.  I told him “Elvis, you should do it like that in your show. The people would die! You would be bigger than ever!” He said “thank you very much”. Later I was at his show. The crowd were being led by some MC in a Hare Krishna-like chant of “Elvis Presley! Elvis Presley! Elvis PresLEEEE!”
 
I woke up to discover that Elvis’ picture in the living room had fallen down and was coming out of its frame! Ooooo-eeeeee! Too much, man.
 
Then I woke up and it was Christmas morning in Athens. Santa didn’t bring me nothin’. Maria gave me a scarf. I like it. It is black and blue. Last night, on our way home from the cinema there was a really good swing band playing Jingle Bells in the Platia Klathmonos. I dug it the most, cats. I found out later that they were the Athens City Band. Public employees.
 
Now we see what Christmas day brings. Ho ho ho.
 
later that same day….
 
Had some amazing food at an architect friend’s house. I overporked, so came home to lie down on my yoga mat and listen to christmas programs. I guess that’s that for that. Next big event is New Year’s Eve in Rijeka, Croatia. Stay tuned.
 
 
 
 
 

Is Wonderful Life

Elvis-At-Christmas-elvis-presley-9437658-502-392.jpg

Yes it is, I guess. You know, certain types of “Christian” are always on about how Christmas is a pagan holiday and has little to do with Jesus Christ and/or how society seeks to secularize it by saying “Happy Holidays” and so on. I say, “yeah, why not?” Why not just accept that Christmas is a winter festival of light like those in pretty much every human culture? During the winter when the sunlight is in short supply, humans like to light up their habitats in an effort to feel better and less afraid of what lurks outside in the darkness and the cold. As one with a tendency towards seasonal depression, I like these kinds of holidays. Why not just accept Christmas for what it is, the celebration of a series of syrupy mythical assumptions and folk tales developed in the 19th century to sell goods manufactured by the industries which arose during the industrial revolution? All human myths and folk tales came into existence in this manner, at some point they were initiated by a culture in order to enshrine and express the world view of that culture at that time. Our culture pretty much came into existence in the early 19th century, especially in the 19th century media landscape of print publishing in books, magazines and especially newspapers. The embryonic framework  of the global consensus hallucination of our daily raging media storm was in place by the mid-nineteenth century, especially in England and America.

Who can deny that Santa Claus, for instance, is largely the invention of  cartoonist Thomas Nast? Or, indeed that he was further refined and defined by the Coca Cola company?

Coca Cola Claus

 

I have no trouble with all of this. I say that this is the festival that we celebrate, with little to do with the Middle Eastern cycle of myths upon which it is loosely based.

And so, Merry Christmas once again.  In celebration, here are the final scenes of “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Pigeons moving up intellectual pecking order

 

Pigeons Can Learn Higher Math as Well as Monkeys, Study SuggestsBy now, the intelligence of birds is well known. Alex the African gray parrot had great verbal skills. Scrub jays, which hide caches of seeds and other food, have remarkable memories. And New Caledonian crows make and use tools in ways that would put the average home plumber to shame.

Kim Il Sung death sparks natural wonders

Interesting to note that the thing with the bird was a standard event in ancient times when a deified tyrant snuffed it.

Telstra BigPond News and WeatherEven Mother Nature is mourning the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, with ice cracking around his birthplace and expressions of grief from a bird, according to Pyongyang’s official media.

The Juche Idea

Juche is the only government-recognized ideology within North Korea. Not traditionally considered a religion, but more of a combination of philosophy, educational strategy, and religious practices, Juche could be described as nationalist, secular, ethical ideology. Juche, literally “main body,” has often been translated within North Korea as meaning “independent stand” or “self-reliance.” Created in 1955 by North Korean President Kim Il-Sung, traditional Juche holds that even though humanity is independent and the primary agent in its own destiny, it also contains a collective unconsciousness grounded in the “Great Leader.” Juche teaches that the North Korean people need to be organized and guided by the “Great Leader,” who was Kim Il-Sung himself. Many consider Juche to be a personality cult created by Il-Sung to promote himself, his family, and his ideas. As a social and political ideology, many of the components of Juche are similar to Marxism as well as some Communist ideologies of China (Maoism) and the former U.S.S.R. (Leninism). Originally constructed as an ideology to assist North Korea with its independence, Juche also claims to be an ideology to assist other developing countries with understanding and developing their true independence. Juche ideology developed further in 1994 when General Secretary Kim Jong-il, Kim Il-Sung’s son and successor, added some of the ethical components of Confucianism to Juche, including doctrines addressing material possessions, family values, and self-sacrifice. Even though small pockets of Juche have developed in other countries, the great majority of Juche followers live in North Korea.

The Prophet Is Dead: Juche and the Future of North KoreaAs the North Korean government announces the death of Kim Jong-il, the future of the “hermit kingdom,” along with its 25 million people, remains largely uncertain. It is no secret that life under the Dear Leader was no picnic.

The North Korean government and associated organizations use a variation of the Gregorian calendar with a Juche year based on April 15, 1912 CE (AD), the date of birth of Kim Il-sung, as year 1. The calendar was introduced in 1997. Months are unchanged from those in the standard Gregorian calendar. In many instances, the Juche year is given after the CE year, for example, 27 June 2007 Juche 96. But in North Korean publications, the Juche year is usually placed before the corresponding CE year, as in Juche 96 (2007).[38] Calendar schemes based on political era are also found in the Japanese era name (Nengo) system and in the Minguo calendar used in the Republic of China (Taiwan), though these are not based on the birth of an individual as in the Gregorian and Juche calendars. Incidentally, the year numbers of the Juche calendar, Minguo calendar, and Japan’s Taishō period correspond to each other even though they were not meant to be related.

In August 1997 the Central People’s Committee of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea promulgated regulations regarding use of the Juche Era calendar, according to which for dates occurring before 1912 the Gregorian calendar year is used exclusively, so that there is no “negative” Juche year, or “Before Juche” concept. For example, 1682 is rendered as “1682”, while 2011 is rendered as “Juche 100, 2011” or as “Juche 100 (2011).”[39] Critics of Juche charge that the “Juche dating system”, as it is based on a person’s birth date rather than a political era, reflects a dynastic tradition where era names are specified for ruling Emperors of Japan and China, as well as the Korean sovereigns.[40]

Blow, winds!

Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! rage! blow!
You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout
Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!
You sulphurous and thought-executing fires,
Vaunt-couriers to oak-cleaving thunderbolts,
Singe my white head! And thou, all-shaking thunder,
Smite flat the thick rotundity o’ the world!
Crack nature’s moulds, an germens spill at once,
That make ingrateful man!

 

From King Lear, by Jackie Collins

Woke to quite a raging storm. Rain and wind in the night. I’m dreaming of a wet christmas.

Yesterday some kind of bug hit my picasa galleries and substituted all sorts of weird photos in the place of my elvis and christmas photos. It may have had something to do with upgrading to Picasa 3.9 while the web sync function was on in the galleries. while the library was updating, temporary photos uploaded to the web galleries from the local ones. It was a drag. I had incorporated the picasa galleries all over my website and my blog. Don’t want to think that they are not reliable, since they make things so much easier for image management and display. Looks like things are back in order again.

White Christmas

Hear my son’s 6th grade choir singing “White Christmas”. They were pretty good, actually. The music teacher this year was pretty good. Last year’s had seen too many episodes of “glee”. All karaoke singing and dancing.

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And here’s Ian after the show, carrying a snare drum and his top-fighting arena (looks like a dog bowl).

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Ian’s Sixth Grade White Christmas

New Camera

all lit up by acropolis

Yes, thrill of thrills, my new camera arrived today. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. I was afraid that it would get lost in the chaos of cutbacks at the post office, strikes, general malaise around here, but no. The most excellent thing about this arrival, aside from the fact that I got it on ebay for 100 euros less than it costs around here is the fact that I paid for it entirely from revenue generated by Bandcamp, in particular my theatre and dance album. Oh frabjous day! And this here thang, she takes HD videos and panoramic photos and even 3d photos, so very cool. My other camera, which is a most excellent Sony as well will now go to my beloved Maria.

Scene from my bike ride

I am also thrilled because I mounted my other ebay purchase on my bicycle, an LED light which mounts on the wheel and displays geometric patterns which it renders based upon the number of times it passes a magnetic sensor mounted on the frame. I hope to be a Rhinestone cowboy out there on the night streets of Athens. I was even humming Rhinestone Cowboy to meself out on the bike.

And tonight, Maria comes back from Cyprus. I will be happy to have her back in my arms but I have also been content to be on muh own for a spell.

Maria’s Birthday

It’s my baby’s birthday today. I sang a fingerpickin’ version of happy birthday this morning. yesterday we took a bike ride down to piraeus. we rode around the harbor, which is wonderfully empty this time of year, made our way to a lighthouse where a fairly grizzled old guy was fishing for octopus. He would grill his catch, he told us, and eat it with some friends over ouzo.

octopus fisherman

Tomorrow she will go to Cyprus for some performances of the show she currently inhabits, “Plath’s Kitchen”. It will be me and my computer until Friday.

Bodhi Day

It’s Bodhi Day, chillun! It’s also St. Nicholas day and Peter Principle’s birthday. Huzzah!

 

Bodhi Day 2011: Commemorating The Enlightenment Of The BuddhaBodhi Day is a Buddhist holiday that commemorates the day that the Buddha achieved enlightenment, translated as bodhi in Sanskrit or Pali. Bodhi Day is celebrated on the eighth day of the 12th lunar month. In 2011, Bodhi day is observed on Thursday, Dec. 8.

 

tuxmo040020.JPG Peter at La Villette Paris, 2004

The temple of Elvis

I been workin’ on the venerable “temple of elvis” on my website, trimmin’ away the dead wood, addin’ some more.

thank you very much.

See a live shot of Graceland 24/7 via our GracelandCam.

 

 
 
 

Elvis Gallery

Interview with BLR

corso interview

This is an unusually wide-ranging interview I did earlier in 2011 with Raphael Smarzoch for the Deutschland Funk radio program “Corso”, recorded by me from a Skype conversation. In it, I speak of the origins of Tuxedomoon, the late’ 70’s scene in San Francisco, the history of San Francisco, gay surrealism, punk rock, the Mabuhay Gardens, meditation, the creative tension in Tuxedomoon, man’s place in the universe and on and on and ever anon. Lend me an ear.

Pueblo City Limits

I was so proud to be included in this woman’s blog. She writes about the wonderful music scene in Pueblo, Colorado (my home town) in the 60’s and 70’s. Here is her entry about me and the salient bio information it contains.

Last year I was contacted by a reader of this blog, who told me that I should contact Blaine Reininger, the talented multi-instrumentalist, and one of the founders of Tuxedomoon. COMING NEXT POST: Solve The Mystery – Jack Shipley and the Blue Ridge Boys

Falling Infinities (with mp3)

In 1995, I collaborated with 2 DJ’s from Cologne and Frankfurt, Dr. Atmo and Ingo Schnorrenberg in the studio of producer Michael Pagenstedt. We had a series of enjoyable sessions which resulted in the CD and vinyl releases “Uvoii, sound of Heaven” for Pete Namlook’s legendary Fax Records and  “Falling Infinities–Kingdom of Dreams.” for Sony’s Dance Pool label.

“Cadillac Nights” is one of my favorites from that effort.