Tuesday, December 31, 2013

An Afternoon Of Vintage Rock Flicks On Turner Classic Movies

On New Years Eve Turner Classic Movies ran a series of rock and roll movies from the late 1950's & early 60's. Other than a couple of Elvis movies to wind things up most of them were pretty obscure. My favorite was one called Let's Rock with Julius La Rosa although I didn't get a chance to watch them all.

Just finishing is Go Johnny Go w/ Chuck Berry & Richie Valens

Starting at 9:45  CST is Let's Rock w/ Julius La Rosa this is more of a ballads fight back movie that also features Paul Anka, 
with some really scary eyebrows. But it does rock out at times like this number by  the Royal Teens.

and it also features some dynamite stepping as four young kids do The Stroll.

11:15 It's Trad Dad which is a British film with Chubby Checker & Gene Vincent

12:45 Rock Around The Clock w/ Bill Haley
2:15 is Twist Around The Clock w/ Chubby Checker
3:45 starts an Elvis Presley double feature with Jailhouse Rock followed by at
5:30 Viva Las Vegas

After that they switch over to the That's Entetainment series.

Forest Park Il. Newest Store, 20th Century Retro, Objects Of A Bygone Era

Forest Park Il. newest store isn’t a place you go to. 20thCentury Retro comes to you, in two ways. First we bring our store to where ever you are through the Internet. But nowadays who doesn’t, right? Then the second way is if you live in Forest Park or are willing to travel there we offer you a generous (at least 20%) discount.  A lot of people want to use the Internet to sell things all over the world. I would like to use it to sell things to my neighbors and others in my community.
Ok sounds good. What kind of store is this? What do you sell? With a name like 20th Century Retro you might guess we are some kind of vintage resale store. And you would be right.  Now it is mainly a sale of my own collection of books, postcards and various odd objects from that last century.
You see back when it was the 20th century I was a vintage collector and at one time had a basement full of everything from postcards to pinball machines. Twenty years of moving, parenthood, divorce and unemployment had eliminated most of my stuff. Now I’m cleaning house and at the same time offering  a new service at the same time.

.Because I’m making this store available local businesses or individuals in the Forest Park / Oak Park Il. area who would like to sell online but don’t have time. You see I am more interested in developing online networks then exploring ways to use them  for marketing  than I am having a business that involves buying, selling, storing and shipping stuff.  So why not let me go to work for you? For now I'm looking for those who also have vintage / antique items from the 20th century they would like to sell. 

Check out 20th Century Retro today

Thursday, December 26, 2013

A history of organized crime in Chicago Part 1

Chicago Crime Now & Then
A history of organized crime in Chicago
The life and death of the American dream / The United States 1850-1980
It’s about the rise of Chicago a city that rests on a stinking swamp at the edge of an inland sea. We will see a city that almost burned to the ground rise from the ashes and soar to the heights and become a center for commerce and transportation. At the same time it remained in its soul a frontier town a place where civilization met the wild. A city with a dark heart full of sin, vice and political corruption.

It is   look at the history of that dark heart that will be the prism through which we tell our larger story. This is a story that I have been telling for the past few years here on ChiTownView “Chicago Crime Now & Then”. We show a clip of place as it looks today and then tell the story behind it. But the story has no real structure each “page” of the story has been printed separately and released in random order with no cohesion. That is what we are doing here on our blog where we can bring together our videos along with the story, maps photos and other elements. I've made individual posts from this series but now we are doing them in order.

They'll all be there; Big Mike Mc Donald, Roger Plant, the Carter Harrison’s, the Lords of the Levee, Big Jim Colosimo, Johnny Torrio, Al Capone, Frank Nitti,Tony Accardo, Paul Ricca, Sam Giacana, the Spilartro Brothers and many others. their crime, their haunts and their myths.

Part 1, The 1850’s
We start in the year 1850 because it sets the stage for what is to follow. In Chicago an area of vice is literally burned to the ground and its ashes spread. But instead of ash it’s seeds that are spread and vice will go on to grow and expand and eventually at times overtake the political system. On the national level the Civil War is coming and along with it the long struggle for equal rights for all citizens. In Chicago we see the rise of the “know nothings” and the great Chicago Beer Hall riot.

The Chicago Vice Tour Pt.1

When the giant statue of Marilyn Monroe was erected on Chicago's "magnificent mile" many proper residents of the windy city were outraged. But perhaps whoever chose this spot for the statue was a student of Chicago's early history. Because while now it might be home to landmarks like the Wrigley building, Tribune tower and all the other high priced real estate this was home to "the sands". A rough collection of shacks of prostitutes and other vice that serviced the sailors from the docks. It was the first of a series of vice districts that enjoyed a degree of civil tolerance for a time and then were forced to a new location. Usually a couple of blocks further south.

This is where it all began right where they decided to erect this giant statue of a Hollywood star with her legs spread and died by killing herself. The beginning of the and of the sands took place in 1857 because of the “prostitute war”. Here is an excerpt from the everything2 web site.

“In early 1857, Mother Herrick lured away one of Anna Wilson’s best girls by offering her more money and a clean dress. Anna did not take kindly to this and for the next several days, prostitutes and their respective madames raged though downtown Chicago in a series of streetfights. The war remained a stalemate until the night of April 3, when Gentle Annie, with three more of Madame Wilson’s girls and several pimps rounded up from the Sands, made a surprise attack on the Prairie Queen. They broke down the door with clubs, smashed the furniture, chased away the customers, and administered beatings to Mother Herrick and many of her girls. Gentle Annie returned to the Sands in triumph, bringing back not only the stolen strumpet, but also the choice pickings from Mother Herrick’s flock.
Several years later, Gentle Annie opened up her own house of prostitution. She called her house the Sunnyside Hotel, and it was so popular that the street it was on is named Sunnyside Avenue today.”

Unfortunately for the denizens of this little hell on earth it sat on land that former mayor William Ogden bought cheap and wanted to redevelop as that area of the city was about to go upscale. So with whores brawling in the downtown streets extreme measures needed to be taken. So Ogden went to current mayor Long John Wentworth who came up with a plan. This part of the story comes from the Chicago Crime Scenes site.

“On April 20, Wentworth organized and advertised a major horse race at a Chicago race track. Most of the male residents of the Sands were inveterate gamblers, so the event attracted the substantial majority of their population. While the men were gone, Wentworth and Ogden crossed over to the Sands, accompanied by a team of horses. After serving eviction notices, the horse team was hitched to the foundations of several of the shanties, and each was pulled down. The destruction led to a small riot, with the remaining residents of the Sands running into the streets, looting their neighbors' properties, and destroying most of the rest of the district in the process. A few hours later, what was left went up in flames. “

A couple of years earlier were the Beer Hall Riot of 1855. Which was the other major Chicago event in the 1850’s? It began with the election of Levi Boone as mayor of Chicago in 1855. Levi was indeed the nephew of legendary frontiersman Daniel Boone. Chicago from time to time elects a “reform” mayor who is going to clean the city up. This usually doesn’t work out so well and they don’t have a habit of getting reelected.

Mayor Boone was part of a party called the know- nothings who, among other things, were anti immigrant were early prohibitionists. They got their name because they were semi secret and when asked about joining the party they were supposed to day “I Know Nothing”  And no, I’ m not making this up.

So Mr. Boone gets elected and he raises the taxes on the liquor licenses and then closes all the German beer halls on Sunday. He then tripled the size of the police force, hired only native born Americans and then when he had enough men sent them in to close and arrest the German and Irish halls and their operators.

“In their arrests, the tavern owners became martyrs.  The Irish and the Germans had seen enough discrimination in the land that was supposed to be their golden opportunity.  It was time to fight back.  A large force planned to meet together on the city's north side and storm City Hall on that April 21, 1855 day.  They made it up to the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River.  At that point, the Mayor created a scene reminiscent of Batman Begins and ordered the bridge raised.  Once there were enough cops put together, the bridge were lowered and the rioters stormed the police.  Despite a free for all that involved guns and a crowd with a running head start, only one person, a German rioter, died.  This is most remarkable too because the Clark Street Bridge skirmish was the flash point of the riot but not the end.  Little battles were fought throughout the city that day.  When all was said and done, sixty rioters were arrested but  only fourteen were charged and no one served any jail time. “

While the Irish and Germans might like to drink they also go out and vote and the overall response to Levi Boone was so negative he would not run for reelection in 1856. More than a century later the protesters are still with us and the video also shows the Occupy protesters walking the same ground. So ends the first part of our series next week we will be taking a look at the era of 1860-1890.


Check out our playlist of all the videos in this series.

In a previous post on this blog has and interactive Google map with all our locations as well as links to our videos.

This is a production of MindsiMedia, visit our web portal at MindsiMedia.info.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Traffic More, 1967 Psychedelic Christmas Concert

Christmas on Earth Continued was a legendary 1967 of British psychedelia. It was an all day and night event on 12/22/1967 at Olympia Exhibition Hall in London. Among the performers were;  The Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd with Syd, Traffic, The Move, Soft Machine, Tomorrow and Eric Burdon & The New Animals. The entire thing was professionally filmed but the film they used was out of date so most of the footage was lost.
We have gathered the surviving parts we could find and are presenting them here. I had never heard of this concert until a couple of weeks ago when I was updating the Jimi Hendrix page on my web site. I found the Hendrix footage from this concert as well as another dynamite Jimi rarity. In this one he starts out sitting in a small club watching Buddy Guy and then he gets up onstage and jams with him. You find both those videos and more Hendrix @MikesDiggs Jimi.

The concert was notable as being the last appearance of Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd. The following is an account from someone who was there. It and the other comments that follow are from an article in Record Collector magazine No. 20 Dec 1997. I came across it on more extensive post on this event at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums site. There you will find more comments from Pink Floyds managers at the time.
John Newey (Punter):
“There’s a legend about Syd Barrett, that he sat in the dressing room and dolloped this crumbled Mandrax (a prescription sleeping drug) and Brylcreem on his head, which melted under the lights and ran down his head. I remember seeing this liquidy stuff – I thought his black eye make up was running. And he was sweating profusely.
It was Syd’s last big gig with Pink Floyd. He just stood there as if he was on another planet. He contributed very little and his arms were hanging limply down. It looked sad and all over the place. They had coloured perspex triangles on stage that lit up. There were long rambling ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ jams. But it was far from Floyd at their best.”

Jeff Dexter (Punter):
“Pink Floyd: Not a great gig. A sad night for them. People had realised Syd was losing it but that was acceptable, if you were on the underground scene, man! It was all experimental, but it got boring – they carried on with an experimental riff for what seemed like ages.

David Larcher filmed it for the promoters, Image Inc. It was early days and Hendrix was
overpriced for those times in the U.K., and there wasn’t enough money to pay everybody. The idea was that they’d sell the film to pay the cost of putting on the show, because shows didn’t make any money. But old film stock was used, which wasn’t very good, so most of the film was pretty useless. The Hendrix clip is the only bit to have surfaced – on Live At Monterey.”

John Love (Co-organiser):
“The real disaster, long term, was the the film was no good. The person who took care of the filming bought outdated film stock which, had it been good, would have made us all millionaires. Very little was usable.”

Noel Redding (Performer):
“Syd Barrett was going silly by that point.”

More at the Steve Hoffman Music Forums site.

Here are the other clips I found.

Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends promo
Among other bits this promo contains footage of Syd Barrett with Pink Floyd, Traffic & Jimi Hendrix, filmed on 22nd December 1967, at the Grand and National Halls, Kensington Olympia, London, "Christmas on Earth Continued". Also of interest is the Beatles footage which show out-takes from the 'A Day In The Life' promo filmed at Abbey Road on 10th February 1967. Many of these clips were NOT used in the official promo for the song.

From Mark Jones  YouTube station

Traffic - Christmas on Earth Continued, 22-12-1967

From Robstar Savage YouTube station

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chicago Crime Now And Then, An Interactive Map

Chicago Crime Now And Then is a series of videos on ChiTownView / YouTube. Each short clip visits the site of an important place in the vast and colorful history of crime in Chicago. We have been focused on organized crime which dates back to the  1850's and we go up to the 1980's. All the infamous names and places are here; Al Capone, Sam Giancana, Tony Accardo, The St. Valentines Day  Massacre, The Levee and much much more. Over sixty clips so far. We have posted the new releases here on this blog and have collected all of them in the "Chicago Crime Now And Then" playlist on the ChiTownView station.

Now we made a Google map so you create your own Chicago gangster tour and go to the spots they don't cover in the paid tours. All the spots have video links so you can see the video and read the accompanying story. Where you see the red lines and pins you have one video showing more than one spot. We have also embedded a couple of videos from the series below the map.

This is an ongoing project we will be expanding. We are also interested in tips or suggestions from viewers out there. Perhaps you have a story to tell or some pictures or film you might want to share? If you do let me know.

View Chicago Crime Now & Then (organized) in a larger map

ChiTownView has hundreds of other videos posted most of them relating to the windy city stop and pay us a visit. We are produced by MindsiMedia you can find our web portal at MindsiMedia.info

Thursday, December 12, 2013

My Life In The Leigon of The Cramped

Lux Interior has been gone for almost five years now and the last time I saw them a decade ago they were trading on past glories. But there was a time when The Cramps were the greatest rock and roll band in the world. I was there and was lucky enough to experience it. 

Lux &  Ivy never pretended they offered anything new, revolutionary or radical. They were a living pastichie of the sights, sounds and looks of the world they surrounded themselves in. A world of sex, exploitation and a musical mayhem of garage ,surf, rockabilly and other kinds of greasy rock and roll. It was a heady brew and a cup I drank deeply from.

It all came back this fall when I was cleaning out my basement and came across a cache of Cramps artifacts. There was a collage I made as a tribute to Lux when I heard about his death. I also found a set of slides I took when they headlined their first show in Chicago. Including a shot of Lux with his pants open and “flag flying”. These slides have never been published until now in the video on the right.

My favorite find though was a video and the event it captured I’d forgotten all about, The Cramps Live At Napa State. Now this Napa State isn’t a college but rather a mental institution. They are playing for an audience made up of the patients and it’s a perfect match. Here on the right we have posted that video.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

The Christmas Episode Of Dragnet That Caused Controversy With The N.R.A.

Part 1 of 2 there is a link at the end of the first episode to the second.

Controversy and espousing "liberal" causes are two things one doesn't associate with Jack Webb and hi show Dragnet but such is the case with this episode.  It was first broadcast in 1949 when the show as still on radio. Despite complaints and a letter writing campaign from the National Rifle Association it ran for the next three holiday seasons. When the police chief of LA was asked about his response he said he hoped there would be more shows about the danger of giving guns to kids. When the show migrated to TV a version a new version was broadcast on December 18, 1952.

In the story Friday and his partner investigate that was e the disappearance of two young boys. The only clues are some blood in the backyard and a .cartridge from a rifle. The story ends tragically as it turns out one of the boys was accidently shot while playing with a rifle that was an early Christmas gift.

From OakParkVideo a sister station to ChiTownView
Both are part of the MindsiMedia network.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Frank Lloyd Wright In Oak Park, Two Homes On Fair Oaks

Last week we posted videos of two Frank Lloyd Wright homes on north East Ave. in Oak Park Il. Now we return to that same area and visit two more homes designed by the prairie school master. They are both located on the 500 block of Fair Oaks one block east of the homes on North East.

Frank Lloyd Wright In Oak Park, The Warren Furbeck Home 

At 515 Fair Oaks we find this unique house that Frank Loyd Wright did in 1897 at the start of his period of transition and experimentation that led to his modern "prairie" style. It's second story columns are fairly unique in a Wright design. This is one of two Oak park homes Wright designed for wealthy stockbroker Warren F.Furbeck. Which he in turn gave away as wedding presents to two of his sons. It is also one of two Wright homes on ts block.

Frank Lloyd Wright In Oak Park The William G. Frickie House

About a half a block north and on the other side of the street from the Furbeck house we find the William G. Frickie house at 548 Fair Oaks in Oak Park IL. Built in 1901 for a man who made his fortune in the school supply business. The garage is not part of the original structure. It was designed by Wright and added on five years later. There was also an open air pavillion on the south end of the house that was torn down and replaced with a brick colonial home about 20 years later.

And here's a Google map of Wright designs in the Chicago area.

View Frank Lloyd Wright In Chicago in a larger map

Here is a link to the Frank Loyd Wright Preservation Trust where you can get all kinds of information on tours. http://www.gowright.org/

 The Wikipedia entry on Wright is fairly extensive it is also well worth checking out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Frank_Lloyd_Wright_w...

We offer throughout MindsiMedia other Wright related photos, videos, interviews and more.
On ChiTownView / YouTube we have a Wright playlist.
And a board for him posted on Pintrest.

You may find Wright related items at ChiTownView, our Shopify store.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Early Film Animation From George Milies & Thomas Edison

We have brought back our old YouTube station MindsiMedia. It was terminated earlier this year over three alleged copyright violations over a five year period when we uploaded hundreds of videos. So we lost hundreds of videos that had no copyright problems. Since then we've put some up on ChiTownView but a lot of them just don't fit in there.So we have taken our YouTube station My Beautiful Vision and renamed it MindsiMedia Home.

Among our initial uploads we have a couple of early examples of film animation by two of the giants of early film; George Milies & Thomas Edison.

The Devil in a Convent (1899)
(aka Le Diable au Convent)
Directed by Georges Méliès

This is an early fim by George Melies who made the first science fiction and horror movies. "The Devil In A Convent " may be one of the first films to explore the supernatural. It features special effects created by Milies that for 1899 were considered amazing.

In the film a priest departs a chapel and right away it is taken over by a demon. This devil redcorates the holy spot and brings in some of his minnions and they begin to party. They are soon confronted by the nuns who chase off his helpers and then the devil does battle with a series of men before being defeated by St. Michael who comes down to save the day. All this in three minutes.

Director: Georges Méliès
Writer: Georges Méliès
Stars: Georges Méliès (as The Devil)
Country: France
Release Date: 30 June 1900 (USA)
Also Known As: The Devil in a Convent
Also Known As: The Sign of the Cross
Production Co: Star-Film
This movie is part of the collection: The Georges Méliès Collection

Director: Georges Méliès
Producer: Georges Méliès
Production Company: Star Film Company;
Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.

Edison Film From 1900, The Enchanted Drawing Early Animation

United States : Edison Manufacturing Co., 1900.

From Edison films catalog: Upon a large sheet of white paper a cartoonist is seen at work rapidly sketching the portrait of an elderly gentleman of most comical feature and expression. After completing the likeness the artist rapidly draws on the paper a clever sketch of a bottle of wine and a goblet, and then, to the surprise of all, actually removes them from the paper on which they were drawn and pours actual wine out of the bottle into a real glass. Surprising effects quickly follow after this; and the numerous changes of expression which flit over the face in the sketch cause a vast amount of amusement and at the same time give a splendid illustration of the caricaturist's art. 100 feet. 15.00.

Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 16Nov1900; D21656.

Performer: J. Stuart Blackton.
Camera, Albert E. Smith.
Duration: 1:26 at 18 fps.
Paper print shelf number (LC 1592) was changed when the paper prints were re-housed.
Filmed ca. September to early November 1900, on Vitagraph's rooftop studio in New York, New York.
Sources used: Copyright catalog, motion pictures, 1894-1912; Library of Congress video collection, v. 3, Origins of American animation, 1900-1921; McIntire, J. Silent animated films at the Library of Congress, 1995; Musser, C. Edison motion pictures 1890-1900, 1997, p. 641; Niver, K.R. Early motion pictures, 1985; Edison films catalog, no. 105, July 1901, p. 81 [MI].
Digital file includes a piano score composed and performed by Philip Carli.

Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0

Monday, December 2, 2013

Henry Darger's Room and Realms of the Unreal

Henry Darger's Room 1973 

Here we have a silent film I came across on archive.org."Henry Darger's Room" takes us inside the world of Chicago outsider artist Henry Darger. Darger is one of the least known most promminante artists of the 20th century. He was orpahned as a child and spent a lot of his early years in foster care and asylums. As an adult he was a largely solitary person living on the margins of society. He spent more than forty years living in the apartment featured in this movie. It was located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. This is here where he created his "world" of artwork and writings.

This movie was made by Coleen Fitzgibbon, assisted by Michael Thompson. It was f ilmed on super8 film at Mr. Darger's apartment on a camera by Coleen Fitzgibbon, filmmaker and Michael Thompson late spring 1973 in Chicago, IL. Invited to film by Nathan Lerner and Michael Baruch. The room was cluttered with art materials, Darger's books and artworks and newspaper clippings.
For more information on Henry Darger follow this link.http://www.hammergallery.com/artists/...

This movie is part of the collection: XFR STN Project
About the  XFR STN Project
“XFR STN” initially arose from the need to preserve the Monday/Wednesday/Friday Video Club distribution project. MWF was a co- op “store” of the artists ́ group Colab (Collaborative Projects, Inc.), directed by Alan Moore and Michael Carter from 1986–2000, which showed and sold artists’ and independent films and videos on VHS at consumer prices........."

While researching Mr. Darger I also came across this filmIn "the Realms of the Unreal" a 2004 about him that is also excellent.