Coming Soon to A Purple Pinup Guru Panache Platform Near You…

28 Feb

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I’m having one of those off-blogs, where I originally was going to prepare a little tribute to the current state of true life crime stories in comic book form, but my world has been in a blender of late due to all the awards season events held in my town but I spent Oscar weekend instead with friends visiting out of town that had me nowhere near a laptop and the Purple Pinup Guru’s penis left dangling and exposed on his failure of picking Academy Award winners.

Rather than scour the e-mail archives or re-post repeat performances from the mothership, http://www.purplepinupguru@blogspot.com, let’s just preview what ideas I have in store for the next two months instead of digging up regurgitated time machine soliloquys from a decade or so back.

Like I mentioned two paragraphs ago, I’m interested in cobbling together a little investigation into the current crop of crime comic books being published today. You would think the major publishers such as Marvel, DC or Dark Horse would have this market clinched. But believe it or not, a publisher from across the pond, Titan Books, a small flourishing company in my hometown of Sherman Oaks called Aftershock Comics, and Archie Comics – yeah you heard me- the house of Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Josie & the Pussycats AND recently the developers behind the brand new show, RIVERDALE which give the Archie mythos a delicious Twin Peaks type of slant which debuted on the CW last month, ARE the companies putting out spectacular comic book gumshoe adventures. I’d like to examine that in two weeks time, PROVIDED that I get the chance to read the reference materials.

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By month’s end, I need to write a follow up to my Jonny Quest blog that was a hit sensation on this blog. I recently discovered some great gems other than the acquisition of the entire REAL ADVENTURES OF JONNY QUEST series that bears some serious investigation and deep rooted Saturday Morning cartoon analysis (in my case, late Saturday evening plus whatever bottle of Absolute Vodka I manage to crawl out from )- plus by that time, I’ll have a good idea of how well the forthcoming amalgamation between the DC Universe and the Hanna Barbara is shaping up.

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Also by the time I get around to posting those two- data should be presented of the Live + 3 and Live + 7 numbers of how all the comic book genre shows performed for the February sweeps.

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Switching back to music, I have my fingers twisted in knots that K-Scope Music will have their US distribution problems resolved by late March or April. I’ve been very irate at how their American distribution just without a word of warning, decided to bail and shut their doors without a word to fans of bands such as Anathema, North Atlantic Oscillation, Gazpacho, The Pineapple Thief, and most especially the release of the new Blackfield V album being head hostage from February to March. I wanted to dedicate a tribute blog to the band and perhaps reprint another concert review of the band just like I did with Asia in my previous entry.

And finally, late spring will be the last reminiscence of my late good friend Harry Perzigian on the third anniversary of his passing in late April. I will be backtracking the events that led to Harry Perzigian’s downward descent to confront his personal demons..

Fun times ahead.

 

 

 

 

“Been Chasing Rainbows For A Lifetime” said the Bass Player with a Lugar Strapped to His Thigh

17 Feb

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John Wetton, the everyday solidary man and favorite session & lead bass player and also a very distinctive lead singer for a who’s who resume of progressive rock bands died in his sleep on January 31st of colon cancer. I have to admit folks, that this one really tugs at my heartstrings.

Wetton was one of my favorite all around versatile bass players, harking back to high school  when I first discovered his amazing ferocious power playing when teamed up with boy genius violinist/keyboardist Eddie Jobson and the meticulous powerhouse drumming of Terry Bozzio touring as the tantamount trio known as U.K. as they stole the thunder of Jethro Tull in support of their fall of 1979 Stormwatch album. I remember barely getting to my seat at the Madison Square Garden when I was a risk taking sophomore taking trips to New York City by myself to attend concerts until the following year of my 1980 junior year when I started asking girls out to accompany me. But back then I was ‘solo in the game’ and if I remember correctly: I think I went back to the same venue shortly for Foreigner by myself when “Head Games” was released.

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But I distinctly remember being mesmerized by UK up on that stage as an usher was leading me to my seat. The grandiose performance of mostly songs from the Danger Money album released earlier that year such as “Caesar Palace Blues” “Nothing to Lose” “Time to Kill” and the ever instrumental defying gravitational digit dexterity of “Carrying No Cross” of Jobson switching back and forth between the savage attack of a swinging bow plexiglass violin  and a large keyboard assemble lead by its’ classic Yamaha CS-80 synthesizer as blinding flashing neon sign of the letters U an K slowly tipped forward as to engulf the trio, there was Wetton in the center standing as cool as a cucumber ending the show and thanking us all for their patronage. Then Jethro Tull followed with their rocking stranded ship at sea stage craft of their newly crafted Stormwatch, although as great as Ian and company were – Jobson, Wetton, and Bozzio managed to make more of an impression on me. Anderson did give an equally brave performance as he was singing on stage for “Too Old To Rock’n’ Roll, and Too Young to Die,” a careless female fan threw a rose onstage to Anderson which struck his eye, causing it to bleed. My seat in the arena that night hobbled between of what I could see onstage and also what I could see backstage, and during a good portion of the set, I could see Anderson running back and forth between instrumental breaks to grab fresh towels to dab at his eye.

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I’m going all over the place with this reminiscent, just as  Wetton’s career did I suppose. As I grew older in high school and expanded my prog rock vocabulary to bands such as King Crimson, Roxy Music, or Uriah Heep, I’ve learned that they too all shared the Wetton stamp of approval. However, as time marched on through my overall music appreciation, I look back at Wetton’s contribution to the 1972-74 period of King Crimson’s output as his most innovative and improvisational. Those three albums would be Lark’s Tongue in Aspic, Starless & Bible Black, Red, and the somewhat live USA accompaniment that former Roxy Music band member (and later on U.K) Eddie Jobson helped with violin overdubs. It was with King Crimson that Wetton got to spread his creative chops and proved that he was a songwriting tour de force with songs such as “Easy Money“, “One More Red Nightmare” , and “The Great Deceiver” eventually leading up to the pinnacle of epic finales, “Starless“. Those three studio albums were a phenomenal must listen to back in my high school and I will regard them as the final straw of dividing myself from the status quo of a normal high school teen-ager. Founder Robert Fripp, along with Wetton’s tremendous front man contributions was aghast with tonal experimentation and served as the progenitor to the birth of grunge and alternative rock of the latter 21st century masses led by Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Tool, or even Nirvana. There aren’t many bands to this day that perform along the Sunset Boulevard at either the Roxy and Whisky crowd that don’t cite the album Red as one of its’ main instigating influences.

After the break-up of UK, and before Wetton formed that was perhaps the most powerful supergroup in progressive rock pop history known as Asia,  Wetton briefly served a stint as a collaborator of the twin neck guitar blues rock band Wishbone Ash in a special guest star capacity. On the 1981 album, Numbering the Brave, Wetton contributed one song called “That’s That .”

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I suppose wandering aimlessly into the clutches of A & R record label matchmaking of Geffen Records who were back in the early nineteen eighties a label still finding their voice with the likes of signing  Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell and the tragic death of John Lennon (or rather stealing each individual artist away from their former labels) gave them enough star power, but not really much of an identity or a thumbprint. John Kalodner seeing as how progressive rock bands such as UK, Yes, Emerson, Lake, & Palmer were dropping like flies in the advent of punk rock, managed to set Wetton up with ex-Yes and ex-Buggles keyboardist Geoff Downes to see what would stick And with the recruitment of former Yes guitarist Steve Howe and the ELP drummer Carl Palmer;  voila! Asia was born and so was the anthem of my senior year “Heat of the Moment” took center stage blazing up the single charts.

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Getting to see that initial world tour in support of the debut album was no easy task. Tickets sold out like gangbusters and I had no choice but to scalp my first ticket off the streets of New York at The Palladium along 14th street. It was a 100 bucks I paid, but after I was attempting to get to my seat with my official tour shirt, I got hassled by an usher claiming I had a counterfeit ticket and I had to bride the fucker who was shaking me down for an extra fifty bucks to keep me from kicked out. That tour was especially memorable because they had debuted new material, “The Smile Has Left Your Eyes” and “Midnight Sun”  for the second album that wouldn’t see the light until next year.

I was originally supposed to take Linda Freeman (now Yarosh), my high school gal pal to the 1983 second tour in support of Asia: Alpha in Forest Hills, NY  as the condition of having me taking her to see David Bowie, but of course, she neighed on her word but I wound up taking her older sister, Lisa instead. The stage was bigger and amazing. Keyboardist Geoff Downes had the entire upper tier of the stage to myself to house all 24 of his keyboard synthesizers that had him practically doing marathons to be in cue to reach certain keyboards to be within arms’ length. I don’t think I ever seen John Wetton on such as massive stage as I did on that tour. Sadly, the Alpha tour hemorrhaged a ton of money before it could end and some west coast dates had to cancelled due to poor ticket sales.

And Asia was done. I didn’t get to see John Wetton perform again until a 1995 solo tour that brought him to Los Angeles as part of a progressive rock festival held out here. He also had another outstanding keyboard player working for him by the name of Martin Orford formerly of IQ and Jadis who worked heavily on producing a few of John’s solo albums such as Sinister and Welcome to Heaven for the Giant Pea Electric label that Martin ran for his two bands. I believe that was the only time I ever got the time to say a few words to the man (such as ‘hey, how’s it going. Looking forward to the show tonight.’) as I sat a couple of tables down from him at the fabled eatery, The Pantry hours before he was slated to take the stage.

It was also during this period that Wetton made periodic journeys to Los Angeles to work on demos with various area songwriters and musicians such as my late friend Harry Perzigian and guitarist Brian Young who later went on to play in a Van Halen cover band Atomic Punks where he was then quickly snatched up by the real David Lee Roth to be the lead guitarist for his band.

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To my utter amazement, I came across three songs co-written by John Wetton and Curt Cuomo along with Harry entitled “I Can’t Tell You”, “Back in Your Loving Arms” and “Power, Sex, & Money” in a box of demo tapes that the Perzigian family told me to take to burn as a compilation to give to attendees of any LA memorial service. Big freakin’ deal. They were only 7 of us that bothered to even show up, but I used the first two songs on that collection.  The latter song was re-tweaked by John Wetton and Geoff Downes to be included on their Icon 3 album released in 2009. Harry nor I were aware that John brought that song back out of the mothballs. I gave up looking for it in the record store bins a long while ago, even though I own the first two records in the Icon series. I’m sure if Harry was aware of its’ existence, I’d think he’d be a very different man today. I wish I had the know how on how to download audio files, otherwise I’d share them all with you.

Finally Asia kicked John Wetton’s replacement, John Payne to the curb to regroup with its’ original members, Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and Grand keyboardist extraordinaire Poobah Geoff Downes. Deep down, in my personal regard, I think Wetton realized that during his absence Payne sort of matured the band into other unfamiliar covered areas such as world music, jazz rock, ambient, and calypso on the Arena and Aura albums, so some of the music that Wetton c0-written on albums Phoenix and Omega had to reflect a more serious tone. I talk more about this subject in the special commemorative review I wrote of the band’s Las Vegas appearance in support of the Phoenix tour.

So my final words on John Wetton:

He certainly had a love affair with the word ‘solidary’.  The word has crept up in individual songs for three of his bands, King Crimson, U.K., and Asia. And I’m pretty sure, WHILE we weren’t looking, it’s more than likely, it’s reared its’ ugly head in a few of his solo songs.

I have not heard his first solo “Caught in the Crossfire” since I moved away from New Jersey. It’s probably still buried in my mom’s shed at her house in Parsippany, NJ.

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The last place I saw John Wetton alive on Asia’s Gravitas tour 2014 (along with Keith Emerson, who was there to cheer Carl Palmer on.) The Saban Theater, Beverly Hills, CA

 

Wetton’s death was shocking, but not totally unexpected. He had many bouts and issues with the bottle same as my friend did, (but not as loopy as Harry did). In fact, I remember a story I heard about a time when he was totally too soused to attention a fan convention held in his honor somewhere out in Pennsylvania, where they kept finding him passed out the front doors of the hotel lobby or sleeping it off on a park bench. But his battle with colon cancer was long and courageous. He stuck it out thick and thin. not giving into the pain and suffering as Keith Emerson did as he copped out. He kept performing even as his body was distressed. I remarked at one time how frail he looked when he made an appearance on the dvd video portion of  Arjen Anthony Lucassen’s last Ayreon project, The Theory of Everything that he had a guest starring role on. The passing of John Wetton is a different sort of feeling;  Wetton, while not really a household name had a voice that was remarkable identifiable with the mass audience that know him through Asia. So basically, he was a musician that surely had crossover appeal.

The review below has previously appeared on a European website dedicated to progressive rock news and reviews called http://www.dprp.net (you can also find another review of mine of a Asia concert with John Payne on that website as well).

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Asia

3rd May 2008
The House of Blues, Mandalay Bay
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Article By Cary Coatney


 

The Four Original Members Of Asia In Lost Wages

My first ever concert review in Las Vegas, NV @ the House of Blues Mandalay Bay

Having seen Asia probably a good handful of times ever since David Geffen assembled the band in 1982 – including both tours featuring the early founding members and later on, with other members of good standing such as John Payne, I thought I might not had nothing more to add since I’ve already reviewed the band for this website a few years ago (at a Border’s book signing no less) – but this new tour in support (or not so much support, depending on how you look at it) of the first studio recording in more than twenty-five years with the line-up of all four original members: John Wetton, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer, and long stalwart gatekeeper Geoff Downes called “Phoenix” merits a mention.

The Asia concert I saw over at the Mandalay Bay House of Blues Casino in support of the new Phoenix disc was the first concert that I saw in which I can safely say served as a crossroads in a difficult defining moment that I’m going through in my present life – both happy and sad. On the happy side, I wasn’t the one who bought the concert ticket, instead I was treated to this show by the printer of my new comic book series, who’s very proud of the professional quality that I put into the new product (for the record, it’s called the Deposit Man: Playgod). Sad – that the whole new publishing venture has left me practically penniless (or euro-less for those reading across the Atlantic) and my day job’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable in cutting off my overtime at the time I was paying off the balance – which leaves me pretty much in the red. Sad, also because of my father who lives in the Las Vegas area is also going through a similar situation with his job.

The show for the evening also held a double entendre as far as euphoria was concerned. It was a gathering of my old friends of who I grew up with in a sleepy New Jersey town called Parsippany and they used the Asia concert as an impromptu bachelor party for one of the oldest of my high school friends who just happens to live in the Las Vegas area. He was getting married that weekend and couldn’t get me an invite to the nuptials (I didn’t know he was living in Vegas until his brother e-mailed me a few days before heading out) so once he heard that I was in town, he made sure to declare the Asia show the unofficial bachelor Asia Gig. So in addition, of seeing the Four Original Members of Asia performing some Alpha material – some of which hadn’t been heard or performed live in some twenty-five years was also on par with some people I hadn’t seen in that same duration of time away from my high school days such as their uncles and cousins. I was simply wrapped up in the nostalgic moment, being around so many memories that I couldn’t really bear to nitpick the performance itself… but….

However, I was mildly disappointed in the fact that when you’re announcing that you’re touring in support of a new album – PLAY SOME OF THE NEW ALBUM!!

I thought this was going to be a monumental milestone in the band’s history – as management has sort written off the last 15 years or so John Payne collaborations as something that might have occurred in a parallel dimension as to it never happened as it pertained to a parallel world. I’m sure, it’s nothing personal on Geoff Downes end, as I have personally hung out with both gentlemen in the past, and I could attest of never catching a whiff of animosity between the two. So, if the band with all the original members is psyched about releasing their first recorded album together after a quarter century has passed, you’d think once they herald in a bunch of the new songs, the boys would be anxious to test them out live. BUT what happened? Only two got to pass the smell test, the bookend tracks: the opener, Never Again (which sounded marvelous) and the end song: An Extraordinary Life.

With that being said, I will now draw your attention to the show itself. Now, please keep in mind that this was the first ever concert that I’ve seen in Las Vegas rather than being pulled away from rather my old Los Angeles Sunset Blvd stomping grounds of the Whiskey or The Roxy. I was in town to finish up business with the new book – and the convenience of having them stop over in town coincidentally was too good of an opportunity to pass up (I was also in town to take my dad to see the Iron Man movie – as an early father’s day present). I’ve heard rumors from people who attend shows regularly in the LA area that there is a restriction on performers in the LV area. You’re required to finish your show by 11:00PM so they can set up some stupid DJ and have disco dancing go tirelessly on until 4 or 5 in the morning. I don’t know who came with this stupid rule or why the entire town has to cap all live music by some unholy witching hour – just chalk it up that it’s freakin’ Las Vegas and there’s usually no such thing as a rational argument.

With no opening act, the four original members of Asia took the stage at 8:30PM and immediately led off with a virtually rare performance of a ‘Alpha’ B-side called “Daylight’ (if I remember correctly, I think it was on the flip side of the “Don’t Cry” single ) which was a real treat. Most of the show was strictly a routine of the last reunion tour with a few slight variations. Plenty of the song list repertoire once again focused on mostly the first Asia album and some from the second, Alpha. There was only one song, Voice of America, represented from the Astra album, which was on the third one, and the first to feature the dissension within the ranks with the abrupt departure of Steve Howe and being replaced by Krokus guitar player, Mandy Meyers – so there was really no hope of hearing choice meaty selections such as Go or Rock and Roll Dream being performed that night. Which was fine by me, having already heard John Payne do fantastic renditions of them on the tours he’s done with the band in the past. Most of the show stoppers of the evening were of course, the bits and pieces pulled from each individual’s past and present bands – one or two selections from either Yes, ELP, King Crimson, or the Buggles were the ones that drew the most applause from the audience.

However, personally, having already been there, done that…..

I can’t stress enough when witnessing these bits performed for the umpteenth time: without trying to sound like the harbinger of a telegraphed Moody Blues set list: but I can’t figure out why they have John Wetton try to sing Roundabout. The song just isn’t written for him and when one of my friends caught me shaking my head in dismay, he pulls me to the side and says: “dude, you got to remember, he’s trying to cover both parts that (Jon) Anderson and (Chris) Squire used to sing”. And does every Steve Howe solo bit have to include the Clap? Or Mood for the Day? I know it gets a little more dramatic with age – but how about Mr Howe for once would mix it a few other Yes guitar melodies such as Giants Under the Sun, or perhaps, even that small little track he did for the Union album called Masquerade in which he got nominated for a Grammy for best rock instrumental? It’s just with Steve Howe, it’s redundant and very, very quite mechanical he’s got such a wide catalogue to his name and he’s always reduced to performing the same two numbers over and over. Geoff Downes did an impressive solo spot utilizing some of his solo work and mixed it all (I think you can hear a demo of it on his myspace page) in with the orchestral Fairlight sampling coda that closes out the next to last track on the first album called Cutting it Fine.

As I mentioned before, John Wetton performed the only track from the Astra album, Voice of America, just on vocal and guitar. the floodgate of progressive rock’s beginning was showcased by the alluring haunting performance of King Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” which to this date baffles me because that song was written by Greg Lake when he was in the band and when John Wetton replaced Lake, Wetton never performed the song when he was with Crimson. Personally, I thought better if Wetton had done some of the songs he did with U.K., such as In the Dead of Night, or Rendezvous 6:02. U.K. was the band that was discarded before Wetton joined forces with Asia. The highlights of the prog masters’ tribute series was when Geoff donned dark sunglasses and sparkling silver coat for a rousing rendition of Video Killed the Radio Star and the virtuoso pulse pounding of all four original members of Asia for ELP’s version of Fanfare for the Common Man simply brought the house down and brought them to a standing ovation – however – me and my lot were having a lot of stoned induced giggles when the video monitors all around started showing off each individual member ‘s close up on their playing techniques framed against some kind of psychedelic visual effects( while trying to keep score of the stoical freezeframes of each rock star pose).

Another oddity during the show worth mentioning is when Geoff Downes and Carl Palmer were finished performing their drum and organ solos respectfully during the middle of “The Heat Goes On” Wetton returned to the stage to resume the final chorus – but there was no sign of Howe to help put away the number. Steve was mysteriously missing from the stage. You could see the bafflement on both Wetton’s and Downes faces which slightly threw their playing off – but as soon as the monumental historic Ab minor chord opening of Heat of the Moment sounded the gladiatorial clarion call, Howe was up front and center with his Stratocaster as if nothing had happened. Someone told me that he was too busy backstage trying to get his slide guitar tuned up for the encore “Don’t Cry” . I hear he’s very picky when it comes to people tuning his instruments.

My personal favorite moments from the show was the opener Daylight, like I mentioned before and another was an acoustic version of another rare b side from the first album “Ride Easy” . That flip side of the “Heat of the Moment” single was such a monumental memory for me growing up because I remember, my high school sweetheart Linda Freeman would come over my house sometimes just to put that song onto my stereo system. I was joking to my buddies – that maybe they would pull another rarity out such as “Lying to Yourself” which was the flip side of The Smile Has Left Your Eyes single. They all echoed fat chance of ever hearing that one performed live.

Sorry I had to rant one with a few discrepancies here and there – but I was really hoping to hear a good portion of the new stuff performed. I really enjoy the new tracks from Phoenix such as Alibis – which has this brilliant coda ending that sounds very similar to Paul Mauriat’s Love is Blue – and the lengthy multi-parter, Parallel Worlds. Although, John Wetton takes credit for most of the writing on this album he’s takes on a more serious approach on some of the songs – instead of the usual bubble gum overblown verse /chorus fluff that’s a mandatory pre-requisite in the sound of most 1980’s AOR recordings ( forgiving some of the trespasses on tracks such as Heroine and I Will Remember You ), you can’t help wonder if Wetton is taking a page out of John Payne’s spiritual thirstiness that’s so heir apparent in his lyric work with in new songs such as An Extraordinary Life and Nothing’s Forever. Anyway, I really don’t want to turn this into a record review, at least I should be knocking on the DPRP asking for a contest winner handout.

The total gig time with encores was approximately 2 hours and 15 minutes. Plenty of time left over to get all jiggy with it on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning.

Had some real snazzy merchandise goodies this year, but the guy working the souvenir booth wasn’t very enthusiastic about selling Asia T-shirts and hats (broadband wrist bands that record the show? That’s what they were touting for $60 a piece to take home a copy of the night’s performance and download it to your computer. I tell ya, These techno whizz kids these days!!) as evident when someone wanted to buy a wall clock of the band. He told the customer that the clock was guaranteed to work at least twice a day. I just settled for a simple $25.00 t-shirt to take home and all the memories of that gig is imprinted on that t-shirt forever more ….or at least until the true colors start to fade away in the wash.

Setlist
Daylight
Only Time Will Tell
Wildest Dreams
Never Again
Roundabout
True Colors
Geoff Downes keyboard solo featuring the coda to Cutting It Fine
Steve Howe solo – The Clap & Mood for the Day
John Wetton solo – Voice of America & the Smile Has Left Your Eyes
Ride Easy
Time Again
Open Your Eyes
Fanfare For The Common Man
Without You
An Extraordinary Life
In the Court Of The Crimson King
Video Killed The Radio Star
The Heat Goes On – Pausing for a Carl Palmer Percussion Moment
Heat of the MomentEncores:
Don’t Cry
Sole Survivor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Grandfather Sky, Goodbye Grandmother Earth.

30 Jan

ef7bbe59155b3ba643194d407a81a570My brain is a little short circuited on coming up with something new this week, seeing as how taxed I was assembling all those November sweeps ratings for all our favorite comic book genre shows in my last entry.

So as I was rummaging through my old storage boxes, I came across this little ditty of the time when I almost swallowed the hype that Hyapatia Lee had actually died.

Looking back fondly , it was amusing to speak ill of the dead, WHEN they’re not really dead.

Today Hyapatia Lee is still very much alive and well and I’ve learned recently that she will be part of a quartet of classic porn queens coming out to Los Angeles on February to give a little talk on secret behind the scene stuff that went on porn sets back in the glorious days of the late eighties and early nineties moderated by hairy gorilla Ron Jeremy (groan!).

The event is called The Golden Age of Adult Cinema and it will take place over the course of three weekends starting February 12th. Nina Hartley leads a panel on the first weekend. Modern age blonde bombshell (and professional cos player/gamer) Alana Evans is on a panel next weekend, whilst Hyapatia leads the third and final weekend. The event will be taking place at the Cupcake Theater in North Hollywood, Ca.

Hopefully there will be a tribute to William Margold, a back page columnist for the LA X=Press (now changed to the Hollywood X-Press) who passed away a few weeks ago.. Not only did Margold serve as the one of the greatest and wittiest film critics that Los Angeles had to offer, but he was instrumental in getting the  Free Speech Coalition up and running.

I think I originally wrote this for Jay Allen Sanford for an essay to include in one of his Carnal Comics editorials circa 1998 or 1999.

GOODBYE GRANDFATHER SKY, GOODBYE GRANDMOTHER EARTH

By Cary Coatney

It’s never easy coming up with goodbyes, especially one so belated. You get so caught up in the minimalism of counting lofty goals that you forget to take a short breath now and then to give thanks to one who has been a guiding force of moral support during ideas of conception. After all, I didn’t slide easily in this newly appointed role of professional extrovert spinning yarns and related treatises for the raison d’être by simply waxing vestiges for those fallen in forever silent slumbers. This was never in the job description.

So how is it that I’m constantly sucker punched into sitting before a lonely keyboard trying to come up with the delicateness of a perfectly fitted eulogy for those in memorial?

I’ve been fortunate enough to pay tribute in recent memory to a few considered to be a major influence in my often unappreciated easily ridiculed chosen mode of profession in the pages of the Comics Buyer’s Guide. Great men and women compassing the likes of Bob Kane, Archie Goodwin, and Roz Kirby; people I barely knew or briefly made the acquaintance of, but along comes a celebrity that I somehow to raise a rapport with over the course of the past year and her tumultuous loss has really hit home.

The merest mention of  Hyapatia Lee makes my heart sink like the proverbial stone. To lose someone so young and so vital as she is pitifully devastating.

Here I am in the prime of my life with things slowly trickling towards the limelight with me. A few months back in March of 1999, my first joint self published venture with a small upstart publishing company, Death Comics published their first (and only) issue of Malice featuring the debut of my outlandish theologically perplexed bashing enigma, The Deposit Man finally arrived incognito to very slow sales of 500 copies. But yet, I have something published with my name in it and I was in the process of sending off comp copies to friends and relatives. Last being on my list was a care package for Hyapatia with her complementary copy enclosed.

But it never got sent. In fact, it’s still sitting here in my in and out basket at work, still signed, sealed, and addressed in an oversized manila envelope.

I humbly apologize for being such a morbid nerve wracked mess using this non sequitur approach. I should instead, probably retrace a few steps back and reconnoiter various precious vignettes with this once vibrant, no-holds barred boisterous woman whose obstinate campaigning for safety and health awareness in the adult film industry resulted in a lifetime achievement award from the Free Speech Coalition. The result of accepting this prestigious award (in the porn industry) also served as a shot heard around the adult film world.

Hyapatia Lee, a Native American born of both Cherokee and Irish decent blossomed into a long black raven haired beauty ultra-curvaceous sultry siren who stumbled into the porn industry in 1983 and was a mainstay for a little over a decade after competing in numerous nude dancer competitions. She diversely performed, produced, and wrote almost 40 x-rated movies including Snakedance; an homage to the mating rituals of her Native American upbringing before gradually getting work in legit B movies with such recognized actors as John Savage and Tim Allen. During the course of this up and down variegated odyssey, Hyapatia suffered and survived a traumatic abusive marriage to one husband who directed several of her films, conquered a cocaine addiction, and has done something totally unexpected and unheard of in this detached paced industry much to the detriment of fans and colleagues alike: she took the time out to give birth to two children and wound up homeschooling them ( Updated Editor’s note 2017: one of them eventually made it into UCLA!).

Hyapatia during her porn star heyday, found time to front two rock bands: W41K (Double Euphoric) and Vision Quest, whose songs focused primarily on issues dealing with her ancestral birthright.

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An album from the prog band Space Needle with a song dedicated to Hyapatia Lee. Cover by Roger Dean.

 

I was first introduced to Hyapatia during the summer of 1995 at the San Diego Comic Book Convention and Expo by Jay Allen Sanford ( Edit note 2017 #2 I’m sure you’ve heard that name before- check my near end of the year blog for his assistance in bringing some rare unseen Yes comic book artwork for all of you to see) world renown entrepreneur of the adult line of comic books called Carnal Comics who was at the time was basking in the reverie of record sales in adult bookstores. Jay had just come off the presses with Hyapatia’s autobiographical first issue and that particular issue wound up being the line’s hottest seller (Deposit Man’s penciler Larry Nadolsky having helped). Jay regarded me as one who campaigned an revocable stance when it came to conservative ridicule in the news and other media. This was evident in my more glorious contributions to the Comic Buyer’s Guide (which earned me an honorable mention on the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund website) making Jay generous enough to invite me on several occasions to go behind his booth at the convention and introduce me personally to plenty of starlets that have been subjects of other issues in the Carnal Comics line of biographies.

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Hyapatia instantly stood out from the otherwise somewhat vainglorious crowd. She was easily approachable, her graciousness and beauty spoke for herself and it was a trait you never had to second guess when confronted with her eloquence in articulated conversations. You could practically talk up the world with her. Later subsequent meeting with her in the Los Angeles still maintained the courteous demeanor of our first meeting. Further confrontations were almost the equivalent as having a remote chance encounter with the Devine Mother herself.

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Whilst Hyapatia was in the midst of putting her artistic explicit past behind her, she was still attracting controversy. Shrewd comments were still being said and printed in local and national publications over her appearance at the San Diego parading around in a North Beach leather fringed dress (since the Republican convention was held at the same venue in 1996, the whole city of San Diego in general has since gone through some eccentric changes). I raised to her defense and vouched for the garment’s appropriateness.

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During the course of late 1997 and throughout most of 1998, I was privileged to be regarded as one of Hyapatia’s e-mail correspondents. We talked the whole gamut that varied everything from Chris Carter’s The X-Files and spin-off show, Millennium to her eclectic tastes in music. We kept each other appraised of each other’s writing projects until in the midst of writing her autobiography she made light mention of trying to combat a childhood illness that was once again creeping upon her like an ugly dark shroud.

I thought nothing of it at first, but as time marched on her e-mail replies began to dwindle and get shorter and shorter. Some even went unanswered at all.

Then a happenstance occurred last February when I picked up a copy of the local alternative paper, the Los Angeles New Times, a cover story on local porn gossip ‘diva’ (and I mean that in the most sincerest unflattering way) Luke Ford made a slight mention of ex-porn star Hyapatia Lee ‘faking her own death’.

Immediately I dismissed it as the most absurdist thing I ever heard of – but within a few days of reading the smear campaign article, an envelope arrived for me in the mail addressed from the Hyapatia Lee fan club-a club that I had no real affiliation with other than getting mail out to her- sent me a letter. The letter informed me that Hyapatia did indeed passed away accompanied with a mini-catalog asking for donations either by money contributions of purchasing videos, photo-stills, and any remaining props or costumes to raise funds for her funeral expenses.

Stranger still, the envelope looked addressed in her own handwriting, comparing the envelope to the Christmas card she once sent me.

My first indication or rather my immediate reaction was that Hyapatia was probably in need of a divorce from the business altogether for the final time tying up the loose ends of associations with a lukewarm profession that brought her more pain rather than fortune. Before I knew it, a conversation with Jay at last summer’s convention had him verifying Hyapatia’s passing.

It was too late to say goodbye.

Out of respect for her husband and family, I won’t go into details concerning her passing. Her friendship meant so much to me to simply disclose it such a private matter; besides I couldn’t even begin to explain it in medical professional layman’s terms. Although, I can’t help wondering that her spirit still remains roams the earth, perhaps raging further controversy and admiration amongst her ancestors as she quietly vanishes away from the public eye like a hibernating will-o-the-wisp. The scenario is just like she described to me in a e-mail: “It’s very sad when people pass on, but try to look at it as going up on a spiral. Everything in life is cyclic in nature, and even through death – change and transformation are all part of it.

From those words, Hyapatia was equally deserving of the same tranquil treatment.

And it is with these words I do lament:

There was supposed to be a Cherokee translation of the title of this piece, but apparently I stumbled across the wrong edit of the article in my storage.

Here’s a fairly recent photo of Hyapatia from her facebook account give or take a decade:

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The Noble Nifty November Sweeps Contest of Competitive Ranking Champions

23 Jan

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Welcome to the very first PP Guru hot blog topic of 2017 just mere days of  before the inevitable gestapo transition team of the world’s worst unqualified candidate to ever breach our political systems takes office.

But I’m not here to inundate or spew my political hatred for a complete poser who can simply think he can a write a check and treat the highest office in the United State as if it were a prize trophy, we’re here to tie up some loose ends from 2016.

Notably the November sweeps of the opening salvo of the 2016 – 2017 television season AS IT PERTAINS to the GENRE of dramas and comedies based on COMIC BOOK PROPERTIES.

And we sure do definitely have an abundance of them galore.

From September to mid-December there were a total of 9 shows, 1 cable broadcast (The Walking Dead), 1 streaming (Marvel’s Luke Cage), and 7 broadcast productions (Supergirl, Gotham, Lucifer, The Flash, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Arrow, & DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) . When mid-season resumes, two more new broadcast productions, Riverdale based on the Archie line of comics and Powerless, a comedy developed by DC Comics and NBC will be joined online with the debut of Marvel’s Iron Fist on Netflix along with the premiere of Legion, based on the X-Men franchise on FX next month..  Also later on when May sweeps are getting underway, shows that will be returning for late spring and summer runs include iZombie, Wynonna Earp, Fear the Walking Dead, Preacher, and Outcast.

If the past show that aired during the November Sweeps period were running in the same race, the results would still be the same. Walking Dead seems to be unconquerable with it’s overall average of 9.6 to 12.1 million viewers, even though it’s slightly down from last year, but STILL remains the top rated scripted television show.

And with combined ratings of the streaming giant Marvel’s Luke Cage on Netflix, it’s total rookie season combined even manages to gather a plethora of viewers to beat out the OTHER rookie season of its’ related show, Jessica Jones by nearly 1 million more viewers, but not enough to upset the apple cart of last spring’s season of Daredevil from the top streaming spot. BUT regardless, if counted in the over-all race, Luke Cage would still be reigning second place champion over all the broadcast shows.

But for now, we have to settle for all gathered intelligence that puts all the shows in each of its’ respectful competitive categories.

I cobbled all the data for broadcast and cable from mostly the TVbythenumbers website and SAM, (Symphony Advanced Media) for my streaming information.

Now if all this assembled data seems mundane or boring to you, or if you discover yourself nodding off, at least HERE ARE some pictures of SUPERGIRL PANTIES will guarantee to stroke that kryptonite erection stirring in your red flaming panties back to life.

November Sweeps period ran from October 27 – November 23, 2016. Unfortunately, that period of Nielsen measurement did not include the Invasion crossover episodes that occurred between all four of the Greg Berlanti produced CW/ DC Universe shows

We begin with Walking Dead’s performances.

“The Walking Dead” remains atop the cable ratings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6 after three days of DVR and on-demand viewing.

The show’s Nov. 2 episode more than doubled both its adults 18-49 rating and its viewer total in the Live +3 ratings. It went from 1.2 to 2.8 in adults 18-49 and from 2.2 million to 5.01 million viewers.

“The Walking Dead,” meanwhile, also put up its biggest three-day gain of its three episodes this season, adding 2.4 points to its 18-49 rating (5.7 to 8.4) and just over 4.5 million viewers.

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 7-13, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18-49 rating 8.1 Gain vs. Live +SD 2.4 % gain vs. Live +SD 42%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Nov. 7-13, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 Viewers 15718 Gain vs. L +SD 4316 % gain vs. L +SD 38%

The cable Live +7 rankings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6 hold little surprise: Once again, “The Walking Dead”  stands well above the rest of the pack.

The Walking Dead” grew by 2.9 points in adults 18-49 (5.7 to 8.6), equaling its gain from the previous week. It also added nearly 5.5 million viewers.

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L+SD (000’s) 5.7 L +7  (000’s) 8.6 7 Day Increase 2.9 7 Day % Increase  51%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000s) 11721 L +7 (000s) 17208 7-Day Increase (000s) 5487 7 Day % Increase 47%

The Walking Dead” trailed some of the cable news election-night coverage in the same-day ratings for the week of Nov. 7. After a few days of DVR and on-demand catchup, that’s no longer the case — not by a long shot.

The AMC show grew by 2.3 points in adults 18-49 in the Live +3 ratings for the week, improving to a 7.7 rating (fron 5.4). It also added 4.32 million viewers, also topping all of the prime-time election coverage.

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +3 18-49 rating 7.7  Gain vs. L +SD 2.3  % gain vs. Live +SD 43%

The Walking Dead” has declined markedly in overnight ratings since its near-record season premiere in October. Ratings after a week of DVR and on-demand viewing are down as well, since the portion of the audience that catches up after the initial airing is pretty stable.

The Nov. 20 episode of the show added 2.7 points in adults 18-49 to its total, rising from 5.2 to 7.9. That’s in line with other episodes this season, which have risen from between 2.3 and 2.9. “The Walking Dead” is still huge — the Nov. 20 episode had the biggest gains by far in both adults 18-49 and viewers — but its losses in the same-day ratings are more or less reflected in the delayed-viewing numbers as well.

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD 5.2  L +7 7.9  7 Day Increase 2.7 7 Day % increase 52%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +SD (000s)10996 L +7 (000’s) 16308 ( 7 Day Increase) 5312  7 Day % Increase 48%

Yes, “The Walking Dead’s” ratings are falling since its big season premiere, and the Nov. 27 episode dipped to a four-year low in the overnight ratings.

It’s also true that it’s still the No. 1 show on cable by a long shot, even in its lower-than-usual state. Case in point: With three days of DVR and on-demand viewing, the Nov. 27 episode grew by 2.0 points. That’s as big or bigger than the three-day total for all but one other cable show, “Monday Night Football.”

Down? Yes. Out? Hardly.

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Top 25 cable shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 21-27, 2016

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC L +3 18-49 rating 6.9 Gain vs. Live +SD 2.0 % gain vs. Live +SD 41%

Top 25 cable shows in Live +3 viewers for Nov. 21-27, 2016

The Walking Dead” hit a four-year ratings low with its Nov. 27 episode. The show gained a lot with a week of DVR and on-demand catchup, but its Live +7 numbers are on the low side too.

The AMC show is severed head and shoulders above the rest of the field with a 7.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 15.1 million viewers after a week. But the raw numbers are down from the previous week (7.9 and 16.31 million), and the show’s growth was smaller as well (2.5 vs. 2.7 points in adults 18-49, 4.69 million vs. 5.31 million viewers).

Adults 18-49 – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD 4.9  L +7 7.4   7 Day Increase 2.5  7 Day % increase 51%

Viewers – total gain

1 THE WALKING DEAD AMC  L +SD (000s)10403  L +7 (000s) 15096  7 Day Increase 4693  7 Day % Increase 45%

Fuller House” was more than just a massive hit for Netflix this winter, it was one of the most-watched TV series of the year – on par with “The Walking Dead” and “Sunday Night Football.” That’s according to data from Symphony Advanced Media, which has been using its own methodology to measure viewership on streaming services like Netflix and Amazon, both of which refuse to release ratings on their own.

According to Symphony, “Fuller House” episodes averaged 14.4 million viewers among adults 18-49 within its first 35 days of its Netflix premiere date (Feb. 26). That’s the equivalent of a 10.4 rating in the demo. Take a look at our 2015-2016 TV season broadcast/cable ranker, and that would put “Fuller House” at No. 1 among all TV series for the entire year.

Of course, it’s apples and oranges. Per Netflix’s usual strategy, “Fuller House” premiered with all 13 episodes at once, and Symphony’s Live + 35 data for Netflix is very different from the Live + 3 or Live + 7 ratings we normally see for broadcast and cable.

But nonetheless, that 10.4 rating / 14.4 million adults 18-49 viewers is huge, landing “Fuller House” in the upper echelon of TV series. If you were just counting the first 7 days after “Fuller House’s” launch, it still attracted 10 million viewers in the demo. That puts it just below “The Walking Dead,” which averaged a 9.6 rating – translating to 12.1 million viewers in the demo (according to Live+7 viewership).

Broadcast L + 3 section.

Since the majority of the comic book genre perform adequately well in the overnight markets (check my Sunday weekly facebook statuses for talk about overnight performances) , they barely need to make an impression in the L + 3 barter ratings.

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However due to election coverage on the first week, many were properly out voting and needed to set up their dvr or demand services to watch as soon as they came home

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2016

THE FLASH CW L +3 18-49 rating 1.7 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.7 % gain vs. Live +SD 70%

Top 25 broadcast shows (including ties) in Live +3 adults 18-49 for Nov. 21-27, 2016

23 GOTHAM FOX  L +3 18-49 rating 1.7 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.6  Live +SD % 55%

27. THE FLASH CW L +3 18-49 rating 1.6 Gain vs. Live +SD 0.5  Live +SD % 45%

image-uwsupgpntytu-2-watermarkBroadcast L +7 section.

Here’s where the main event unravels to a full blown death match. Now these L +7 ratings have proven so far to be Joss Whedon’s main sustenance for survival, now that ABC had no choice but to move Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD into the dreaded Tuesday 10 PM DEATH SLOT as proven to be the swift guillotine sleigh of hand delivered by the cancellation bastard bear executioner to two freshman shows last year: “Of Kings & Prophets” & “Wicked City“. New hot black chick ABC television executive extraordinaire who helped kick previous television executive failure bitch boy Paul Lee to the curb due to his incompetence to pick rating winners, Channing Dungey thought it may be a good idea to move “Agents of SHIELD” (a show she helped get the network to buy into when it wasn’t originally developed as a connection to the Marvel Universe) since the show would be darker in tone with the introduction of the Ghost Rider as a recurring guest star. Agents of SHIELD was the earliest to leap out of the box in mid September with its’ fourth season, but it’s really not impressing the advertisers since the show has been dropping like the proverbial anvil week to week in its’ Live +SD overnights. HOWEVER, it’s Live + 7 numbers are nothing short of miraculous as you can see evident by it’s first sweeps week performance. We’ll see if they’re able to keep up the same momentum by next month when February sweeps begins. ABC is going to have to rely on the strength of its’ L +7 numbers if the show is able to crawl on its’ belly to a fifth season otherwise it’s only degree of success lies in revamping it for the more appreciative Netflix crowd. Ironically, harkening back to my Sony Picture Television days, the BIG NEWS then was Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse being the first official television show to be ever granted a L +7 reprieve for a second season renewal, but its’ luck eventually ran out for a third relying on the same kind 0f data.

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Also another show to benefit greatly from L +7 numbers as you will see is DC’S Legends of Tomorrow, which also has been performing poorly in the overnights, but the CW is paying attention to its’ report and is seeking to make amends by making room for the series debut of “Riverdale” on Thursdays and being gracious enough to move the sophomore super hero team series to immediately follow the Flash on Tuesdays at 9:00PM. Now you will have wall to wall three hour comic book show prime time action between The Flash & Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and having Legends of Tomorrow sandwiched in-between, makes it two nights in a row that comic book shows have a majority seat in prime time television, other than comedies and police dramas.

Here are the Live +7 rankings for Oct. 31-Nov. 6, 2016. The rankings include first-run series and specials only, not repeats.

Brought to you by WINNER WINNER, TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER, rubber and tin foil in a basket.

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7. AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.8 L+7 1.7 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase)  113%

8. LUCIFER FOX L +SD 0.9 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase)0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

9. THE FLASH CW L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 90%

15. GOTHAM FOX L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

23. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.6 L+7 1.2 (7 Day Increase) 0.6 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

4 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD 0.8 L +7 1.7 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 113%

9. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.6  L +7 1.2 (7 Day Increase) 0.6 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

11. LUCIFER FOX L +SD 0.9 L +7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

15 THE FLASH CW L +SD 1.0 L +7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 90% –

WINNER WINNER , TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

16 ARROW CW L +SD 0.6 L +7 1.1 (7 Day Increase) 0.5 (7 Day % Increase) 83%

18 GOTHAM FOX L +SD 1.0 L +7 1.8 (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

24 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW L +SD 0.6  L + 7 1.0 (7 Day Increase) 0.4 (7 Day % Increase) 67%

Viewers – Total gain

18 LUCIFER FOX L +SD (000’s)  3417 L +7 (000’s) 5816 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2399 7 Day % Increase 70%

22 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC  L +SD (000’s) 2433 L +7 (000’s) 4568 7 Day Increase (000’s)2135  7 Day % Increase  88%

23 GOTHAM FOX   L +SD (000’s) 3159 L +7 (000’s) 5219  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2060 7 Day % Increase  65%

24 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2765 L +7 (000’s) 4775 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2010 7 Day % Increase 73%

Viewers – Percentage gain

3 AGENTS OF SHIELD ABC L +SD (000’s) 2433 L +7 (000’s) 4568 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2135 7 Day % Increase 88%

7 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2765  L +7 (000’s) 4775  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2010 7 Day % Increase 73%

10 SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD (000’s) 2217  L +7 (000’s) 3804  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1587  7 Day % Increase 72%

12 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3417 L +7 (000’s) 5816  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2399 7 Day % Increase 70%

15 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3159  L +7 (000’s) 5219 7 Day Increase (000’s) 2060 7 Day % Increase 65%

16 ARROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1612  L +7 (000’s) 2646 7 Day Increase (000’s) 1034 7 Day % Increase 64%

20 LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1745  L +7 (000’s)2737 7 Day Increase (000’s) 992 7 Day % Increase 57%

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

November 7 – 13

11. LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 80%

12. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2 L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 67%

18 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD 0.7  L+7 1.4  (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 100%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

6. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.4  (7 Day Increase) 0.7 (7 Day % Increase) 100%

13 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0  L +7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

22. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD  0.6  L +7 1.0 (7 Day Increase) 0.4  (7 Day % Increase) 67%

23. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2  L +7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 67% WINNER WINNER, SWANSON TV CHICKEN DINNER!!

Viewers – Total gain

18 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3515 L +7 (000’s) 6026  (7 Day Increase) 2511 7 Day % Increase 71%

Viewers – Percentage gain

6 LUCIFER FOX L +SD (000’s)  3515  L +7 (000’s) 6026  7 Day Increase (000’s)2511  7 Day % Increase 71%

7 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s)  2471  L +7 (000’s) 4183  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1712  7 Day % Increase 69%

16 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3519  L +7 (000’s) 5469  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1950  7 Day % Increase 55%

17. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1768  L +7 (000’s) 2746   7 Day Increase (000’s) 978  7 Day % Increase 55%

22. ARROW CW  L +SD (000’s) 1946  L +7 (000’s) 2952  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1006  7 Day % Increase 52%

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

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November 14 – 20

13. THE FLASH CW L +SD   1.2  L+7 2.1   (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 75%

27. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.2  L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 58%

30. LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7  1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.7  (7 Day % Increase) 64%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

7. SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.3  (7 Day Increase) 0.6  (7 Day % Increase) 86%

10. LEGENDS OF TOMORROW CW  L +SD 0.6  L +7  1.1  (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 83%

14 THE FLASH CW  L +SD 1.2   L +7  2.1  (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 75% WINNER WINNER  TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

19. ARROW CW  L +SD  0.7  L +7  1.2  (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 71%

Viewers – Percentage gain

3 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 3013 (L +7 000’s) 5072 (7 Day Increase) 2059 7 Day % Increase 68%

9 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3869 (L +7 000’s) 6130 (7 Day Increase) 2261 7 Day % Increase 58%

10. SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD (000’s) 2434  (L +7 000’s) 3854 (7 Day Increase) 1420 7 Day % Increase 58%

18 GOTHAM FOX L +SD (000’s) 3628 (L +7 000’s) 5447 (7 Day Increase) 1819 7 Day % Increase 50%

Here are the Live +7 rankings for Nov. 21-27, 2016. The rankings include first-run series and specials only, not repeats.

Adults 18-49 – Total gain

5. GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.9 (7 Day % Increase) 82%

10. THE FLASH CW L +SD  1.1 L+7 1.9 (7 Day Increase) 0.8  (7 Day % Increase) 73%

11. LUCIFER FOX L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase) 0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

28. SUPERGIRL CW L +SD  0.9 L+7 1.4 (7 Day Increase) 0.5 (7 Day % Increase) 56%

Adults 18-49 – Percentage gain

7 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD  1.1  L+7 2.0  (7 Day Increase) 0.9  (7 Day % Increase) 82% – WINNER WINNER, TV SWANSON CHICKEN DINNER

8 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD  1.0 L+7 1.8  (7 Day Increase)0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 80%

14. THE FLASH CW  L +SD  1.1  L+7 1.9  (7 Day Increase)0.8 (7 Day % Increase) 73%

21 SUPERGIRL CW  L +SD 0.9 L+7 1.4 (7 Day Increase) 0.5  (7 Day % Increase) 56%

Viewers – Total gain

15 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3631  L +7 (000’s) 5875  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2244 7 Day % Increase 62%

17 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3444  L +7 (000’s) 5503  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2059  7 Day % Increase 60%

19 THE FLASH CW L +SD (000’s) 2947  L +7 (000’s) 4932  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1985  7 Day % Increase 67%

Viewers – Percentage gain

6 THE FLASH CW  L +SD (000’s) 2947  L +7 (000’s) 4932  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1985  7  Day % Increase 67%

8 LUCIFER FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3631  L +7 (000’s) 5875  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2244  7 Day % Increase 62%

10 GOTHAM FOX  L +SD (000’s) 3444  L +7 (000’s) 5503  7 Day Increase (000’s) 2059  7  Day % Increase 60%

13 SUPERGIRL CW L +SD (000’s) 2631  L +7 (000’s) 3980  7 Day Increase (000’s) 1349  7  Day % Increase 51%

luke-cage

Oh Streeeeamm, Stream, stream, stream 

Right out of the gate, Marvel’s Luke Cage has become one of Netflix‘s most popular shows. But how popular? Brand new SVOD ratings show that the action drama series starring Mike Colter clocks has drawn 3,518,000 total viewers, making it the fifth most popular Netflix Original premiere of all-time.

According to Business Insider, new viewership data obtained by data tracking outlet SymphonyAM shows that Fuller House still leads the way as Netflix’s all-time most popular show with a whopping total of 8,709,000 viewers. Luke Cage managed to surpass the ratings for Marvel’s Jessica Jones, but fell behind the platform’s hit series Orange Is The New Black, Marvel’s Daredevil, and Stranger Things.

Marvel’s Luke Cage” opened well for Netflix, but not well enough to have caused a weekend outage on the streaming platform.

“Luke Cage” executive producer Cheo Hodari Coker would love to claim Saturday’s Netflix blackout was caused by “Luke Cage” bingers, but that’s highly unlikely as there are four other shows that rate higher than “Luke Cage” and didn’t crash the service.

In its premiere date, September 30, and the five days after, “Luke Cage” has been watched by an estimated 3.52 million adults under the age of 50, according to SymphonyAM, whose app listens to sounds from users’ televisions and takes that data to extrapolate viewership.

Those numbers place the newest Marvel show in fifth place after Netflix’s original series “Fuller House,” the fourth season of “Orange Is the New Black,” season two of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” and “Stranger Things,” based on their respective premiere dates and following five-day viewership.

Among Netflix’s Marvel series, “Luke Cage” does beat “Jessica Jones,” which is in eighth place..

3. Daredevil Season 2  Adults 18 – 49 2.90  4.1 total million viewers

5. Luke Cage Season 1  Adults 18 -49 2.54  3.5 total million viewers

8. Jessica Jones Season 1  Adults 18 -49 2.00 2.8 million viewers

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The next Marvel series for Netflix, “Marvel’s Iron Fist,” premieres March 17, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

ALL AND ACCOUNTED FOR IN THE CRAZINESS OF STATS, IN THE CRAZINESS III

30 Dec

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Program cover to President Trump Inauguration ceremony as imagined by Sparky Santos 

Welcome to the 2016 Celebrity Apocalypse End is Nigh edition of the Purple Pinup Guru Panache Plaza.

What a fucking awful, awful, awful, awful, and I can’t stress the hell enough AWFUL 2016 we all shared whereas needless displays of loss of life and voting in a presidential election resulted in a grab for power via genital clutched superiority and the kindly assistance of Russian hacking, we now have a person who will be running this country with no knowledge of how government works. The orangutan in chief doesn’t even have a Cliff Notes of the version of the Constitution sitting by his side, but rather instead decides to wing it and make it up as he goes along.

I’ll try not to resort to posturing this blog into the magical fairy land of sour grapes, but rather fling oneself to the salutations for better luck next time into 2017. but I can’t be strangely amiss if I didn’t feel that 2016 took a better stressful chunk out of my psyche than most. I mean, who imagine that two-thirds of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer would be wiped out mere months apart from each other. The passing of Greg Lake earlier this month was like another shoe dropping, further demonstrating that NOT EVEN the giants of Progressive Rock are not immune from the wily charms of the Grim Reaper.

I’ll miss Greg Lake more so than Keith Emerson, as you may have read (all 5 of you, if you’re keeping track stat wise) I was not very kind to the way how Keith handled his ‘easy way’ of an out of control situation that could have remedied with counseling and further medical tests. However in Greg’s case, we all kind of knew that Greg was going through a nasty bout of health problems, including a raging case of severe diabetes.

Other than David Bowie, the only other musician I feel remorse for losing in 2016 was the guitarist for the Polish Progressive Rock band, Riverside, Piotr Grudzinski, who unfortunately died of a heart attack earlier last February. His death came just as the band’s sixth album, Love, Fear, & The Time Machine was building such a huge following, picking up new recruits along the way in heralding perhaps to be regarded as the ‘worthy successors to Pink Floyd.

And then there’s Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds.

Absolutely uncanny parallels could be made between Harry Perzigian and Carrie Fisher perhaps they were separated by death rather than birth. Harry would have been 60 if he were alive today. Carrie was 60. Both suffered mighty cardiac arrests on a Friday. Both were sent to the emergency room at Ronald Reagan Medical Center at UCLA. Both Harry & Carrie were in stable condition throughout the weekend UNTIL the following Tuesday when they both had passed away.

But I imagine when the autopsy results comes out on Carrie Fisher, I guarantee that there’s going to be something ‘fishy’ about her death. I’ve been my ear low to the Hollywood elite ground, and there is speculation that an addiction to diet pills may be a contributing factor to her unfortunate demise.

In Sherman Oaks, when I lived in my surrogate sister’s house for a period of a near decade, the cross-section of Valley Vista & Sepulveda Blvd where Woodcliff would intersect was a house where Eddie Fisher had raised Carrie. As for a Coatney connection to Debbie Reynolds, who a familiar pillar of strength through the North Hollywood theater community especially at the El Portal Theater, old PHS alumni  Joe Zullo and I lived mere blocks from her dancing studio on Lankershim Blvd during 1993 (unfortunately, it’s located smack dab in the middle of some topless bar and 25 cent wank booths) and Harry’s scumbag middle brother rented a house from Debbie Reynolds which she refused to live in anymore because gangbangers practically took over the neighborhood that it was located in. Remember, back in the day, celebrities used to have a major presence throughout the San Fernando Valley until house prices deteriorated and crashed at some point during the George W years that even tear dropped tattooed cholos could put money down on houses.

Personally, I can’t say this time around that 2016 has been a complete disaster to me, other than I spent another year failing a comic book project off the ground. The artist who is teaming up with me on a sequel series to Deposit Man just literally delivered his final two character designs and is about to embark upon designing the first few pages for hopefully a try out run with Heavy Metal.

My lawyer Paul Levine is butting heads with DC Comics over a proposal I submitted in which the editorial office had a field day cherry picking though and has shown up in a mini-series that currently being published of which would prove not to be in my legal favor if I reveal what it is.

Larry Nadolsky and I are negotiating terms for him to do the final book of the Deposit Man series and maybe plans to continue it as an online comic strip.

On the positive bright side, we’ve got this blog with nearly doubled its’ audience from last year with a total readership of 5849 and I’m working staff at one of the best Hollywood industry labor unions in all of Los Angeles. So money is rolling in and shows no signs of stopping anytime soon.

Alright, enough reminiscing. Let’s get to the stats.

Let’s get to the numbers that are playing the bills on this site.

THE TOP TEN BLOG POSTS OF THE YEAR 2016 are:

10. YES LOGS: A CORRELATION OF RECORDED LIVE EVENTS 54 reads. A moldy hold over from last year chronicling the live Yes sets

9. “The Beef Curtain Misadventures of Rikki Lixxx & The Escape of Hazeltine Hellmouth” 68 reads. It seems as there was a small portion of this blog that captivated by my torrent off and on romance with the ‘porn actress next door’ Rikki Lixxx during the years 2005 – 2007. This is the deluxe edition cobbled together from my sister blog http://www.purplepinupguru.blogspot.com

8. (tie)  “101 Dishonorable Deaths of Pikachu”  &  “YES LOG 1989: As The Vitamin Packed Vultures Circle Slowly Around the Solana Beach Sky”  both with 91 reads A coin toss between an old editorial I wrote for Comics Retailer Magazine and my blissful years living in North San Diego County with the ABW&H serving as the backdrop to my romance with my roommate’s sister, Jennifer Ellis.

7. “The Mighty Midseason Super Hero Show Showdown” 118 reads. If you think upskirt shots of Supergirl can keep you from nodding off during my explanation of L+3 and L+7 ratings of comic book shows, wait until you see what I have planned for next month.

6. “YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL LATE 2016 Side B: As An Unpublished Yes Comic Book Mystery Opens” 124 reads. Sadly, I was disappointed by the performance of this blog entry. I thought this entry was going to break the download seeing as I had original unseen artwork from an unpublished Yes comic book that just begged to be talked about but the people on Jon Anderson’s Facebook page were hijacked by Donald Trump supporters who directed the focus of my post alert on my referring to Trump as an orangutan that totally derailed the conversation from what I was originally intended. Jon Anderson has Trump supporters? What would Jon Anderson actually think of that as his lyrics intend to promote peace and good will towards his fellow-man.

5. “YES LOG 2014: IF ONLY THESE SUBWAY WALLS BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH COULD TALK” 196 reads – The introductory blog to me discovering my best friend, Harry Perzigian having a heart attack and my failed effort to save him

4. “YES LOG 1979: YOU COULDA BEEN A GOLDEN AGE CONTENDER” 202 reads. Quite proud of the performance of this blog detailing an incident that occurred during a dark period in my teen age years while a continent away, Jon Anderson & Rick Wakeman were waving bye bye to the rest of the group in Paris in the midst of recording an album.

3. “JONNY QUEST: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE TENSE” 205 reads

Not everything is Yes related on this blog. Sometimes I branch out in other area like cartoons and comic books. This is my ode to my favorite cartoon idols that I plan on writing a follow-up to now that I own all three versions of the show on DVD.

2. YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL LATE 2016 Side A: As Another ARW Mystery Closes…” 269 reads. My best performance blog wise this year was reciting my recent Las Vegas concert going experience with my favorite Zullo brother Mike and bringing a black girl to experience the amazing wonderment of hearing Yes music in concert with the reunion tour of Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin, & Rick Wakeman together again for the first time as ARW.

1.”ONE MOURNING LATER IN THE EXTRAORDINARY AFTERLIFE of HARRY PERZIGIAN” 1616 reads. For the second year running, the one year anniversary honoring the life of my best friend Harry Perzigian is the number one downloaded blog of the year which is pretty much unnecessary and over read in my opinion especially when I’ve written three other related blogs that no one seems to know about. It’s like having the record stuck.

The record stuck…

The record stuck….

The record stuck…

The record stuck…

The record stuck…

How fucking times is someone going to read the same damn thing over and over and realizing that it’s not going to fucking change. So please, READ the other three blogs for the rest of the story.

AND NOW FOR THE TOP TEN NATIONS:

10. Japan 44 reads

9. Mexico 57 reads

8. Italy 67 reads

7. Brazil 72 reads

6. Australia 77 reads

5. Canada 181 reads

4. France 225 reads

3. Germany 299 reads

2. United Kingdom 540 reads

1. United States 3652 reads

The Top Ten Search Terms

10. Unknown Search Terms 1668

9. “When did Yes Make The Golden Age?” 2

8. Hyapatia Lee Indian

7. Supergirl upskirt 3

6. Harry Perzigian Dies

5. Harry Perzigian songs

4. sci-fi plaza

3. Harry Perzigian obituary 6

2. Harry Perzigian death 12

1.  Harry Perzigian  32

My popular day and hour that people most likely log is on Thursday @ 7:00PM

Until next time, November sweeps and data gathering on the streaming performance of Luke Cage.

 

 


YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL Late 2016 Side B: As An Unpublished Yes Comic Book Mystery Opens

19 Dec

 

Never underestimate the power of a gift horse in the mouth from one Yes fan to another.

Perhaps my reasoning for this gift will serve you all as an opportunity (no experience necessary, if you pardon the pun) to amalgamate the best of my both possible worlds for me: progressive rock and comic books.

And with the help of couple of friends in the comic book business, we’re going to explore something unique and different: a very rare unseen look at a couple of unfinished cancelled comic books based on telling the biographical story of Yes.

Now we’ve always known that Yes had some sort of aesthetic appeal to the average wandering science fiction book fan by either the palpable eye-catching Roger Dean largely alien world painted covers or by the cryptic machinations of post apocalyptic societies in search of peace and tranquility in Jon Anderson‘s lyrics, or the lavish futuristic set designs also by Dean and his brother Martyn – it’s a positive no brainer that some of the band’s concepts could cross pollinate with comic book inspired  bookworms. After all, it’s what attracted me to the band in the first place, other than singing along as an eight year old to the mellifluous tonal quality to the ‘Roundabout‘ harmonious backgrounds playing on my AM transistor radio.

So it would make perfect sense to take some of Yes’s concepts to be shared amongst the four-color communities. The phenomenon of Kiss getting their first Marvel Super Special in which members of the band had samples of their blood mixed into the ink used to print the first issue was the first out of the gate to get this special kind of genre treatment up and rolling after making a surprise guest appearance in an issue of Howard the Duck that sent alarm bells to collectors to start manning the torpedoes. In this issue, They even got to hang out with Doctor Doom, main antagonist of the fabled Fantastic Four. Months later, in that same titled series, Marvel also told the story of the Beatles to capitalize on the success of the Broadway play Beatlemania– but unfortunately, it wasn’t as much of a bigger selling behemoth as it was with Kiss.

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The one comic book that merged the whole dangerous liaison between four-colored fantasies & aural ear masturbation.

By the time after a handful of Kiss related specials ran their course (with the band years later reverting their likeness to Todd McFarlane for a series of action figures and comic books) or the right to license though Marvel , Marvel would experiment with other musical acts in comic book form, most notably with Alice Cooper in a three issue series in junction with a concept album of the same name based on a storyline written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by painter Michael Zulli. With the publication of that mini-series, the appetite for high quality comics based on rock acts were high in demand.

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Marvel’s second foray into the comic book immersed world of rock musicians. Cover by Dave McKean, who went on to design album covers for Magna Carta Records whose artists included the bands Kansas & Magellan.

 

However, half a decade prior, a small imprint named Revolutionary Press begun in San Diego by a lone kid who just moved in from the Midwest kid named Todd Loren went and got the presses rolling on pile of unauthorized biographical comic books based on sports figures, famous politicians, and most especially, classic rock acts and boy bands were the real ceramic molds that got comic books into the media masses with placements in head shops, college book stores, and flea markets. Their popularity got so overwhelming, that attorneys for some of these bands began to take notice, and therefore Todd Loren possibly became the first kid on his block to be sued by the LAWYERS of the New Kids on the Block and Guns & Roses for unauthorized biographies and likenesses.

Nonetheless, Revolutionary Press got the world’s attention with their line of “unauthorized and proud of it’ seminal biographies and sales went through the proverbial ‘black light poster’ roofs of most head shops around the country with comics based on Gun & Roses, Led Zeppelin, & Pink Floyd, to name a collected few. I distinctly remember back to the time I lived in the lucid sleepy San Diego community known as Ocean Beach and seeing stacks and stacks of these comics being sold at all places, The Black – a very popular smoke and gift shop along the town’s boardwalk.

Later on, through correspondence and essays published in the weekly comic book newspaper called the Comic Buyer’s Guide, I struck a very valuable friendship with Jay Allen Sanford when he particularly started to switch gears into publishing comic books based on the lives and fantasies of adult film stars. Through Jay, I got hooked up with artist Larry Nadolsky, who had worked with Todd Loren on the very first issue of Rock N’ Roll Comics with Guns & Roses and we went off to produce eight issues of my own anti-social political super being series entitled the Deposit Man together, and also I became e-mail pen pals for a while with Native American adult actress Hyapatia Lee. I’ve written in a couple of letters and editorial content to the Oh So? section of The Comics Buyers’ Guide in defense of Jay’s right to display his rock’n’ roll/pornography comics at most major comic book conventions after family complaints were lodged with San Diego Comic Con Board of Directors. It was certainly a fundamentally  First Amendment right bash on Jay and his company way before the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund was still in tax exemption leak proof pampers.

Now that was the unauthorized portion, let’s pause briefly to talk about the ‘authorized authentic comic book magazine  that had some involvement in production from the subject artists themselves.

After the Alice Cooper comic book experiment with Marvel ran its’ course, Marvel had soon acquired Malibu Comics, a blossoming comic book company known mainly for their state of the art West Coast computer coloring facility in Calabasas, California, the border on which the San Fernando Valley ends and where Ventura County begins. In addition to their special line of super-heroes such as Prime, Prototype, and Hardcase, they were looking to venture out with comic books based on real authorized biographies of rock musicians told by the actual artists themselves.

Portions of the next six paragraphs were lifted from a Wikipedia entry:

The first comics company to latch onto the new confluence of popularity was California-based Malibu Comics. In 1993, they partnered with music powerhouse Gold Mountain Management and launched Rock-It Comics, an imprint for new series devoted to popular musicians. Among the handful of titles they released were a Metallica biography comic, an issue of “Lita Ford: Heavy Metal Queen” (featuring the former Runaway as a guitar-wielding super-powered avenger), a Pantera comic full of demonic insanity, companion volumes devoted to Black Sabbath and Ozzy Osbourne, a book devoted to World Domination Recordings. In May of 1994, they issued a Santana biography by noted artist Tim Truman, detailing the guitarist’s views on his life, career, and search for enlightenment through psychedelically-illustrated interview transcripts. The Rock-It imprint folded shortly thereafter when Malibu was acquired by Marvel Comics; announced but never released were to be one-shots featuring The Doors, Anthrax, Megadeth, Primus, Soundgarden, Yes, The Smithereens, and hip-hop acts Naughty By Nature, P.M. Dawn and The Pharcyde.  

John C. Anderson of the marketing and promotion company International Strategic Marketing liked the Rock-It concept enough to sign on as a third partner. His company will have the finished books selling alongside the X-Men in comic book shops, and alongside Rolling Stone in music outlets and at newsstands. Future plans may have the $3.95 comics sold at concerts as inexpensive alternatives to tour programs.

It’s a great cross-pollination,” says Ron Stone, president of Gold Mountain, whose acts include Nirvana, the Lemonheads and Bonnie Raitt. “Comic book culture and rock ‘n’ roll culture head toward each other anyway, and both are taken very seriously by some people. Comic books are no longer the domain of pimply-faced 12-year-olds. A lot of people read them, and a lot of those people listen to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Stone and Jack Jacobs, Gold Mountain’s director of acquisitions, began discussing a blending of rock ‘n’ roll and comic books two years ago when they were looking for a novel way to publicize World Domination, Stone’s newly formed alternative record label.

In all, nearly 30 bands have become interested in working with Rock-It, and confirmed forthcoming titles will cover such diverse acts as Santana, Pantera, Pharcyde, the Doors, Yes, PM Dawn and the Lemonheads. Many groups have provided exclusive photos and interviews to for their comic sagas.

The flesh-and-blood rockers depicted in the Rock-It line couldn’t be happier about being rendered two-dimensional–they helped to create their books.

The one featuring Yes was solicited in Diamond Comics Catalogue in March of 1994 for a June 1994 newsstand/ comic book specialty store release to coincide with the release and tour of the album Talk, so the comic book wouldn’t have sported a Roger Dean logo, but rather the updated Peter Max painted logo that served as the album cover. For those not familiar with the retailing side of the comic book business, Diamond Comics Distributors serves (to this very day) mostly the supplying of monthly comic books, graphic novels, and all assorted related collectible merchandise that includes apparel and poseable action figures.

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Rock It-Comics went for a glossy polished look during their mid-nineties short run.

 

I personally remember seeing the solicitation for the Yes issue and ordering five copies for the now long defunct Rookies Allstars Cards & Comics, a store I used to manage in the mid-nineties out in North Hollywood, CA on the promise from one of the owners that I would ‘eat’ them if they weren’t sold, even though we had good luck with selling out the Ozzy Osborne and Metallica.

Rock-It-Comix editor, Robert V. Conte recalls his experience in putting the official Yes Comic into motion. Both Robert and I were hoping to find some artwork for that Yes Special in Robert’s files, maybe a reproduction of the cover, but Robert was unfortunately unable to turn them up in time for this blog’s posting as he has said that  ‘they are buried deep in storage’ ( and knowing me  – I am my own worst pack rat enemy myself, so I can definitely relate), but Robert however did sit down with me for a few minutes to reminisce about that unpublished issue:

“My assistant editor joined me on the trip to Jon Anderson’s house in Los Angeles CA and it was an awesome experience. We interviewed him for about two hours and created a story where the group would be called upon by an extra-terrestrial being to spread the idea of peace throughout the universe through their music.”
Conte is currently working on his book, My Kiss story which includes a chapter about his days writing and editing music themed comic books. It is due for release in early 2018.

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These two pages of an unauthorized condensed history of Yes are the only comic book version of the group ever made available to the public. Cover to Rock ‘N Roll Comics  issue 65 is seen below.

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And now  Jay Allen Sanford talks about his unpublished Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics Yes Comic Book Story:

Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics #61, about the band Yes, was scheduled for a July 1993 release, BUT was reported to be blocked from publication due to an injunction from Great Southern Management.

Of which Jay immediately disparages that a lawsuit from the band management had actually occurred during his tenure as editor.

What an odd supposition for someone to make, we were two years past any lawsuits – after we won the New Kids case, no musicians tried to block any of our releases (sports figures were another story, but we prevailed in all those actions as well). Nope, the only reason it wasn’t published was because the first art sucked and the clock ran out before the second batch could be completed, with three subsequent issues already on the stands. Besides, Great Southern Management mainly works with the hard acts such as Guns & Roses and Pantera. Whoever reported that to you is a wacko. 
 
The Yes comic was only one of over a dozen music comics that were in production when we locked up the shop.”
 

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The cover to where the above two page story originally appeared.

According to Jay,  the above two-pager is only what remains  left of the artists that originally turned the original artwork in before Jay decided that Ross give it a try to redo the 38 page unauthorized opus from the other artists who didn’t do a bang up job before the entire line got shut down.

In Jay’s words:

“Yeah, the inked two-page spread was from the first version of the comic drawn by a studio whose sample work was far superior. When they turned in the first batch of pages, I was horrified at how badly the art was rendered and hired Marshall Ross to redo. I think the only reason I ran the two pages in the Sci-Fi Rock issue was because I felt bad for the original guys and wanted to at least send a small payments for the two pages.
 
The script was actually bigger than the average rock comic – instead of 28, I think it was 36 pages. The writer Carl wanted to go longer, but that’s the most we could do without having to raise the price. Marshall penciled most of the pages, but it was difficult to get good Xerox copies of all but the ones I scanned and posted.
 
It was Carl’s first and only script for us, and it was very good. Even sticking to the “golden age,” there’s a ton of characters and a lot of events to cover. He had a good visual knack too – that page with the roadie falling to his death off a scaffolding is drawn pretty much exactly as Carl described, with a very cinematic and dramatic layout.
 
Marshall Ross also drew Hard Rock Comics #1 (Metallica Early Years), and issues on the Scorpions, Jane’s Addiction, and Kate Bush (with a cover painted by Ken Meyer Jr.).  He was still a teenager at the time.”
 
The following pages are presented here for the first time with Jay’s enthusiastic permission, since he had always desired to see this project in print since he’s proclaimed himself to be a full pledged Yes fan.  Pencils are by artist Marshall Ross from a script by famed Yes bootlegger Carl Lins-Morstadt. It would have been the first Revolutionary Press Rock and Roll Comic to have been cover to cover with no ads as the page count would have expanded beyond the original 28 page format to 36.
Regrettably I do not have the page numbers, but I did spend practically a week on this blog putting the pages in as much as the proper sequence as I possibly could. Please direct any questions about the material you may have to Jay and I in the comments section and we’ll try our best to get them answered as quick as we can.

 

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Thumbnail sketched two page spread detailing the Roger Dean stage design of the Relayer tour with Patrick Moraz.

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Note: Yessongs II eventually became the bootlegged concert video Yes Live 1975 at Q.P.R.

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And that’s where it cuts off. If Carl and Marshall had gone around to finish the originally intended 38 pages, we probably would have caught up to the 1991 Union tour and covering all events in between such as guitarist Trevor Rabin elevating the band into number one status with 90125 & their first number one hit, “Owner of a Lonely Heart“, the brief acrimonious splitting the band into two different factions, the formation of Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe, and then later, the imminent emergence of the two into one to form Union.

Since Jay doesn’t publish much in the way of comic book magazines anymore, he sold the rights to a mutual friend, Steve Crompton, but keeps a steady hand in reprint rights such as souped up and remastered editions of the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and multiple volumes of pages pulled from other issues to serve as the general over all history of rock music were marketed by Bluewater Press and maybe are still available through Amazon and other related online outlets.

In 2005, BulletProof Film released a documentary film titled Unauthorized and Proud of It: Todd Loren’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics. The film features interviews with Loren’s family, surviving “Revolutionaries,” comic book colleagues, adversaries, supporters and past and present rock ‘n’ roll stars featured in Revolutionary’s comics. Appearing in the film are Alice Cooper, publishers Gary Groth (Fantagraphics) and Denis Kitchen (Kitchen Sink Press), famed groupie Cynthia Plaster Caster, underground painter and RevCom cover artist Robert Williams (known for his controversial album art for the first Guns N’ Roses LP), Jay Allen Sanford, Gene Simmons (audio only), and more.

The film also details the San Diego police department’s investigation into Todd Loren’s 1992 murder; interviews with Loren’s coworkers and family members suggest that the police failed to follow-up on all available leads. The film was released on DVD in April 2012 by Wild Eye Releasing, under the title Unauthorized: The Story of Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics. The DVD includes over two hours of bonus footage, interviews, news footage, and art galleries, and liner notes by long-time Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics writer-editor Jay Allen Sanford.

Currently in terms of rock comics in general, a gentleman by the name of Mel Smith keeps the subgenre going by publishing a series of Rock and Roll Biographies based on the newer crop of current bands such as Opeth, Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, and Exodus through his publishing venture called Acme Ink. Another good friend of mine in the LA area, writer and artist Michael Aushenker penned the Exodus issue.

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The new wave of mergers between unauthorized rock ‘n’ roll biographies & comic books, same as the old wave of mergers between unauthorized rock ‘n’ roll biographies & comic books.

And if you’ve been a dedicated reader of this blog, you would’ve known, I myself have once tried my hand at conceptualizing the fabled 1974 Genesis double album, The Lamb Lies Down at Broadway into a four-issue opus until it got shut down by Genesis and Phil Collins’ manager, Tony Smith, who wouldn’t give the project his blessing. However, mine wouldn’t have been a biographic effort, rather I was going for telling an original story based on the characters created by Peter Gabriel. The funds raised for the pitch to my lawyer Paul Levine, who also handles some of Jack Kirby’s estate was co-financed by my deceased best friend, Harry Perzigian, who, if were still alive today was going to help me write pitches for a Frank Zappa project and a David Bowie project based on their concept albums. The only sole exception of this format was a mini-series based on Rush’s Clockwork Angels published by BOOM! Entertainment in a written collaboration with sci-fi author Kevin J. Anderson and the band’s drummer, Neil Peart.

That’s a step I think some publishers like Jay (if he should rejoin the fray) & Mel should take, rather than write and draw their life stories, but to instead,  rework what the musicians are trying to convey through their lyrics and cover artwork to try to clarify clearer the stories that they’re meaning to say through their music.

I’m sure there’s an epic four issue mini-series somewhere in either Yes’ Fragile or Relayer. I’m sure Jon Anderson, wouldn’t bulk that’s there’s an epic graphic novel in his first beloved 1976 solo effort, Olias of Sunhillow.  But I doubt it would sell a billion or so copies like the latest Batman or Superman that you would find out on the newsstands.

Next: our year round-up in our second annual IN THE CRAZINESS OF STATS, IN THE CRAZINESS. And once the new year arrives, it will be time to start researching those crazy L + 3 & L +7 November sweeps numbers of all our favorite comic book genre shows.

Be well and happy holidays to all.

 

 

YES LOG SUPPLEMENTAL Late 2016 SIDE A: As Another ARW Mystery Closes…

30 Nov

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I can imagine Chris Squire projecting in an astral voice inside Jon Anderson’s head saying:

“You’re bloody at it again. Didn’t you learn anything the first time with ABWH?”

Apparently not.

If you’re in the mood for nostalgia circa 1989, then ARW  (Anderson, Rabin, & Wakeman) will indeed fill the void left over waiting for that second ABWH (Anderson, Bruford, Wakeman, & Howe) album that will never arrive.

Not THAT these legendary musical stalwarts have any new material to display, but the combination of merging two different Yes camps into one as was attempted in the last Union tour back in 1991 was only half the battle. And if you remember, public opinion historically stated: too much progressive rock chefs were left to spoil the broth. Two guitar players, two keyboard players, and two drummers fought for ego supremacy, and therefore the experiment went all disheveled and the result of it all accumulated into another long-winded hiatus, until the West Coast faction of the band would return with 1994’s Talk.

Now in 2016 we now find ourselves condensed to one representative from the classic seventies era and one from the so-called ‘modern era’ of the eighties, you get to hear arrangements that are more concise rather than jumbled together by eight egomaniacal fighting for his solo to push the faders up on the soundboard. It’s a treat to hear Rick Wakeman’s interpretations of the 90125 and Big Generator era as much as it is to hear Rabin put his spin on some very few Yes classics such as “Perpetual Change” and “Awaken“.

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Who could ever imagine that Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin could work so well together? But then again, the evidence was always there since they both collaborated on a song for Rick’s 1999 sequel to “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” aptly titled “Return to the Centre of the Earth” on a song entitled ‘Never is a Long, Long Time.”, but to go full-out on reimagining some of the classic Yes material from the each of their respective eras and amalgamate it into one cohesive unit? Well, that is the magic of ARW.

Only problem is, there was no time to assemble or preview any new material. as all the three have done is contribute bits and pieces of song ideas which according to Anderson, ‘sound unique’ and Rabin has concurred that rather than frustrate themselves into learning to performing new material, rearranging the old material to sound fresh and topical was top priority. And definitely truer words were never spoken, as witnessed on the evening of November 19th as I sojourned northeast from my usual stomping grounds of Los Angeles (unfortunately their show booked for the Orpheum was on a ‘school night’ aka work day) to a fun weekend of reuniting with the only Parsippany NJ High School Alumni member that I only speak with to this day, Michael Zullo and I were instantly stupefied in awe at their appearance at the Pearl Theater located within the casino cavernous confines of The Palms.

The seventies to eighties kept flipping back and forth like calling a coin heads or tails, as the set was constantly unpredictable (unless you peeked online at the set list early), as Trevor gave his guitar twist on several numbers I never heard him perform before such as “Perpetual Change” or the hallmark “Awaken“, but it was Wakeman who really outshone on the 80’s Rabin material, especially on “Hold On“, “Changes” and bringing the house down with a dazzling synthesizer solo tacked on to the tail end of  “Rhythm of Love” that expanded a little above and beyond the Brian Love/Beach Boys homage.

Joining as side members were bassist Lee Pomeroy who gave it his all for a tribute to the late great Chris Squire on “Long Distance Runaround/The Fish” and drummer Lou Molino III, longtime friend of Rabin and former member of another Yes offshoot band, Yoso with Billy Sherwood and Tony Kaye was equally impressive.

Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman perform at Hard Rock Live held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The only real non-Yes song performed that evening was the tear inducing “The Meeting” a duet between Anderson and Wakeman that originally closed the first half of the only ABWH album. I had brought a date with me of whom I’ve been friends with on facebook for six years and I had just happen to have glanced to her in the seat next to me during this performance to be delighted to see tears of happiness well up in her eyes.

There’s always a first time for every thing and exposing someone generally a decade younger or two to something you’ve grown up to is perhaps the most gratifying thing in ones’ way. It’s a way of passing the baton as I’m sure it was the way it was with Chris mentoring Billy to take hold of the Yes reins before the inevitable caught up with him. At the end of the show, I outlined to my date, a basic history and discography of the band of where she could find the songs that she enjoyed, EVEN revealing to her that the new leader of the official Yes Camp back in LA, Billy Sherwood was born and raised up in Las Vegas and comes from a long line of legendary local Las Vegas Strip performers. My date was particularly impressed and remarked about how a singer such as Jon Anderson, rocking it out at the age of 72 can still sound and look so youthful and appear vibrant.

Now, if I happen to post this on November 30th, please note that if you’re in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, ARW, An Evening of Yes Music and More will be appearing at The Grove in Anaheim on December 2nd that ends the US portion of the 2016 tour. When I got back to LA that weekend from Las Vegas, KABC AM radio host Peter Tilden (also a television writer, most recently on an episode of The Simpsons) was talking heavily about the band while announcing that he giving away tickets for the Anaheim, referred to them as ‘the real deal’ and ‘that you can’t beat seeing the original singer, Jon Anderson up on stage’ which is great praise indeed, but then he went on to refer to the current band with Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, and Alan White and labeled them as a bunch of imposters.

Which is absolutely not true at all.

There’s been a lot of back and forth on social media of some harsh backlash on whether Yes should just disband completely because anchorman Chris Squire passed away and the spark is gone of showcasing any new material and variations on the album series has left considerable voids in the hearts of the diehards.

Remember what happened the last time Yes released a new album called “Heaven & Earth“:

The fucking audience didn’t want to hear it. The tour two years back in support of it only yielded two songs while the rest of the show bookended entire album performances of “Close to the Edge” & “Fragile“.

So as I was listening to Peter berate the current line-up on AM radio of all formats to stand upon a soapbox, I was reminded of a social media controversy that ignited on Prog Magazine’s facebook page a few months back by a Dom Lawson, who’s usually a stanch supporter of everything that Yes releases as evident by his own website Tales From the Edge or on the band’s main website itself (and I believe he’s written a few books on the band too).

But now that time has somewhat passed since Squire’s shift off the mortal coil, Lawson has been given both camps a tremendous shellacking and here are some italicized bits and pieces to paraphrase:

The problem is that the current Yes lineup (after the passing of Squire)  comprises no one’s idea of a classic or even particularly credible formation for the band. Steve Howe’s presence ensures that the whole thing isn’t a dishonest farce, but even he isn’t an original member. Surely the last nail in the coffin for the notion that this is actually Yes, rather than a well-intended tribute by ‘Steve Howe and pals’.

Yes, this band have had an absolutely insane number of lineup changes and purposeful reinventions over the last 40 years or so, but Squire was omnipresent and his absence has forced Yes into uncharted territory. They’re gamely keeping the flag flying onstage, but is there any real enthusiasm for this lineup to make new music? It seems unlikely.”

Well, let’s be clear on one time: There was a long hiatus of non-activity in Squire’s homestretch. If we all remember correctly, There was hardly any new material belted out by Yes for an ENTIRE DECADE between 2001’s Magnification & 2011’s Fly From Here, other than a greatest hits collection featuring a EP disc of new acoustic renditions of Fragile era songs and one new Dylanesque song entitled “Show Me” which unfortunately served as Jon Anderson’s swan song to the band, AND a live box set. The now Sherwood led band has been in this sort of ‘album series limbo’ ever since the last few tours with Anderson, pausing only to promote the heck out of “Fly From Here” was released with Huey Lewis look-a-like Benoit David on vocals and Oliver Wakeman taking on daddy’s role back in 2010-2011. During that interval of non writing activity, IF there was any new material being written, Squire would usually hand it off to Billy Sherwood for an outside album pow wow get together with some other prog greats willing to collaborate on a giant concept album or sending them off as e-mail files to Steve Hackett for a solo album project or the duo that they formed as Squackett.

Yes are unequivocally on the home straight at this point. It would be unfair to begrudge these musicians a steady income, of course, but does it need to be earned under a banner that no longer seems appropriate.

Meanwhile, Yes fans are readying themselves for the launch of ARW, a much-anticipated collaboration between Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman. Keen observers of the band’s frantic revolving personnel door will know that this trio did perform together on the Union tour in 1990, but that they have never joined forces on a Yes studio project. As a result, the new(ish) band’s claims to be “the definitive Yes lineup” are nothing short of ludicrous, and yet it’s hard to deny that by most sensible reckoning, any band featuring the man who sang on every one of Yes’ most revered records and the keyboard maestro that most diehards regard as the Yes ivory-tinkler – not to mention a quintessential prog icon – is going to effortlessly, and rightly, overshadow the rabble of hired hands and stand-ins currently performing under the Yes banner.

I don’t remember reading anywhere about ARW as referred to being the ‘definitive Yes line-up’ but I do have memories of whether I heard either Anderson or Squire usher their thoughts for the future for the band whether it be on the Yesspeak DVD from a decade back or the Yesstory 1991 VHS tape that Yes is the kind of band that would forge on with new members and offspring, of whomever wants to take over the mantle and wasn’t Oliver Wakeman, the youngest son of Rick who stepped up to the high-rise multi-keyboard plate to try to prove himself worthy of his musical inheritance?

Well, maybe the rest of the band were underwhelmed in the long run with Oliver, BUT AT LEAST, a  spawn generated by a revered band member actually ACHIEVED a writing credit (“Into the Storm” on the “Fly From Here” album)  amongst the pantheon of greatness.

When and if Sherwood ever gets the current line-up to develop new material, Sherwood will be at the helm and I’m sure with Howe on his side showing no signs of slowing down, writing wise that is, he’ll make the Squire legacy proud.

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Speaking of developers of new materials, Jon Anderson has not been resting on his laurels. In addition to last year’s fantastic collaboration with legendary violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, for APB, Anderson also spent a good two years writing online with The Flower Kings maestro, Roine Stolt (who also tours as a member of Steve Hackett’s band) after bumping into each other on a progressive rock cruise. And from that fateful meeting, we are now pleased as progressive rock punch to have a masterful sounding new disc that is the perfect seasoned blend of The Flower Kings and the best of whatever solo workings that Jon Anderson has spent his entire career bringing us. There are echos of Jon’s earliest solo ventures such as Olias of Sunhillow, the South American and calypso exploration of Deseo, and most definitely some monumental Jon & Vangelis inspired beauty.

Anderson wrote the lyrics and sang the vocals from his San Luis Obispo California home and e-mailed them off to Stolt in Sweden where he was also joined in the studio by some FK alumni such as Jonas Reingold on bass & drummer Felix Lehrmann on drums, and flying in all the way over from New Jersey, 2001’s Magnification tour session keyboardist Tom Brislin, somewhat finding himself once again entrenched in the battle of Yes Camps.

tombrislin_keys Oh no, not this guy again!!

Honestly, it’s a wonderful album of brand new Anderson Yes inspired music, and I’m sure many die-hard Yes fans will come to regard it as official canon or a malformed bastard child be tossed away like “Heaven & Earth.”

This Yes Log is to be continued with a very, very, very, special Yes yuletide special edition of material pertaining to YES that you will NOT HAVE SEEN ANYWHERE ELSE. There will be two collaborators on the blog with me next week to present something that many of you may not have seen before. So on December 15th (ish) come with us once again to the YES WAY BACK MACHINE to 1994 for a surprise treat that I can hardly wait to show all of you.

 

 

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