Daze & Nights Ic
Studios, The Nameless Uncarved Block, Commercial Art, and the 9th &
(Above & Upstairs) The 1st Avenue Studio.
(Left) A rare minute of relaxation in my busy 1970's.
I made up my mind in 1973 to escape my dangerous dead-end industrial
job, and really start finding a way to make a career as an artist.
moved into a studio near the University, and went about
taking photographs, drawing, and painting away from the Art Department.
I was still taking classes there, but knew that the key to the future
was finding something different to do that would put my many interests
to work for me. I gambled on Portable Video, and am still telling
THAT story elsewhere (just follow the handy links below). This web
page is devoted to some of the other projects that occupied my time
and energy as I was first learning about Dance and Theatre with the
Studio in the University District on First Avenue
and Makeup were already artistic interests of mine before I ever walked
as a model while studying Modern Dance. See my
complete drawing of her.
studio was an absolute delight! Although I used it to continue my
artistic studies, it was fun being in close proximity to other young
people my age who were learning about life on their own. These surrounding
pictures were done in cooperation with professional model Mary, a
dancer who lived nearby, and introduced me to many creative people
in her scene.
Super Low Culture on Canvas and Illustration Board
of a detail from one of my Rembrandt-esque 'Spaceman' paintings.
in constructing figures out of my head, like in this composition,
but they took an awfully long time to complete.
went to the University to learn how to draw and paint human figures,
knowing that it would be a long, hard process. By the time I rented
the studio, I knew a few things, but there was so much more to learn.
The examples above show me being much more comfortable with drawing
than painting -- and still enjoying Pop Art, or was it Post-Adolescent
Pulp Art? Whatever was going on, my devotion to figural art drew me
to Modern Dance, Ballet, and Pantomime, all which employed the human
body for expressions that were as profound as the best novels, poetry,
movies, or visual imagery.
Studio at Ninth South and Ninth East
The 1st Avenue Studio experience came to an end when the main house
out front was sold to a family, and the apartments were all closed.
After an INTENSE six months with the Mime Troupe, I took a break from
them and shared a space with my friend Curt Setzer near his shop Round
Records at 9th East & 9th South, which had been a center of creativity
and alternative culture in Salt Lake City since the original Cosmic
Aeroplane began there in 1967.
Setzer was a musician, and knew people who played in every genre throughout
the area. He led an informal gathering of 1) real players and 2) enthusiastic
amateurs who performed as THE NAMELESS UNCARVED BLOCK. (I belonged
to the second contingent.) Below is a digital reconstruction of the
studio, with my Volkswagen parked in back, based on a photo taken
by the author circa 1992.
We jammed every Sunday for many months in the music room. I set up
my equipment in the other half of the place and tried various projects,
like a guitar instruction video with a local music teacher, and a
Zen Television number featuring violinist Richard Jonas in
the woods. (Twenty years before Kenny G discovered the same idea.)
Mostly though, I concentrated on keeping my job and mending my health,
after abusing my body making the long commute between Kennecott Copper
Corporation and the University of Utah for almost five solid years.
about the Ninth South & Ninth East Community
Me and my first
painted window at Round Records, in the same storefront where
the Cosmic Aeroplane started. They
had been recently prosecuted for selling underground comic books.
I did a few more windows on other themes, and so did my friend Jim
Lake Seagull Bombers torching the Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence,
U.S. Constitution, and Robert Crumb's ZAP Comix.
The 9th East and
9th South Community at the time also boasted a health food store;
a dress shop named Mother's Earth Things; An alternative store
called The Connection, run by a former Cosmic Aeroplane partner;
The dynamic, sexy Skin Company, which sold leather goods, and
hosted fellow art students Sparry and Robin. They also ran a sign-painting
buisness out in back, where a high school friend named Blaine Swanson
worked. The Tower Theater was across the street, showing foreign
movies, and films like Woodstock.
to A Different Drummer!
My ad for Round Records was published in the Salt Lake area.
decorated the walls of The Connection with
mural-sized Robert Crumb quotations.
I had met Curt
Setzer at the University of Utah, but I'd known his business partner
Dave Fagiolli since we were both finishing High School in 1968. We
met as comic book collectors -- he also collected San Francisco posters,
and still trades in them today. He was a first-rate musician with
a great ear, so it made sense that he'd try turning his interests
into an enterprise. He owned a house a few blocks away that he shared
with fellow bibliophile and artist Jim Neilson. They'd published an
underground magazine called Aardvark Papers a year or two earlier,
which included work by myself, Jim, Neil Passey, Bob and Parley Holman,
Larry Farrington, Al Davoren, Kent Case, and Pat Eddington, but that's
a story to tell elsewhere, when I discuss my first years at college.
to the Studio! -- Members of the 'Nameless Uncarved Block'
Setzer: Guitars, Keyboards, Saxophones
Fagiolli -- Saxophonist Extraordinaire
Jonas: Electrified Violin
Bailey: Rhythm & Jazz Guitar
Dankers: Electric Lead Guitar
Other contributers to THE NAMELESS UNCARVED BLOCK included Cosmic
Aeroplane partner Sherm Clow, who created the concept, Rodney
Daynes, Nick Snow, Walt Churchill, Al Payne, Stu Goldberg, and many
While 'The Block' made music -- Me and Model Linda
made video tapes
characters while musicians played in the studio.
We made music
videos long before MTV.
it was fun to jam with real musicians, and get polite compliments
for my percussive talent, I had no discipline as a player to rely
on, so I experimented with making videotapes as artwork. Model Terry
practiced Kundilini Yoga, and we did a couple of Zen Television
pieces, one which featured an incredible sax solo by Dave Fagiolli.
I even invited Paul Blackwell, Stu Curtis, and Patsy Droubay from
the Mime Troupe to come over and participate on a few occasions.
extemporize beyond belief.
I just say? Oh, we'll watch it again on TV."
best times`we had at the 9th & 9th Studio were the Sunday evening
jams, especially when Model Linda started improvising various characters
on videotape, while the band created music on the fly. We set up a
TV studio in a separate room, for the sake of clear sound, and she'd
take off and fly verbally, while sporting a variety of costumes and
wigs. When the musicians took their breaks, we'd show them what we'd
all accomplished together. She received many more compliments for
her rancontuer de forces than I'd ever got for my percussion,
which was only fair. We all went home feeling satisfied with the time
we'd spent at the studio when things came together creatively like
that -- THANKS LINDA!
In honor of Linda,
I've created a Warhol-esque assemblage reflecting her many videos,
most of which don't even exist any more. A piece like this as a logical
expansion of Video Art, and represents work I might have undertaken
at the time. It is dedicated to models Terry, Mary, Brenda, Alice,
Becky, Linda V, Ella, Barry, Larry, Lynne, and Heidi, from whom I
learned so much. My apologies to those many others whose names I've
Looking back, it
seems odd that I didn't see Model Linda socially, except when we saw
the great bluesman Willie Dixon LIVE at the University of Utah together.
Matthew Child from the Mime Troupe sat with us, and I believe we spoke
about moving into yet another new studio on Capitol Hill during
the course of the evening.
I frankly missed the various combinations of structured preparations
and spontanious performances I'd experienced in the Dance Department.
Through successes and failures, the freewheeling 'Block' was fun,
but nobody even pretended it was anything more than that. The Mime
Troupe consisted of performers actually going somewhere in their careers,
and that quirky little group was their chosen vehicle. I was pleased
to be asked to help them with my own barely-tested talents.
( Continued in Part