Sixty-seven brought the flower children to San Francisco. But the real action lay a few hundred miles to the south, in Los Angeles.
For Father’s Day, my daughter sent me an official set of Sid Vicious pencils. They were created for the current Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
For the record, I saw Sid perform, backed up by ex-New York Dolls Jerry Nolan and Killer Kane, at Max’s Kansas City in September of 1978. A couple of weeks later he went to jail after stabbing and killing (allegedly) his girlfriend Nancy Spungeon. A few months after that, while out on parole, he died of misadventure. I’m not sure he ever made it to the Met.
Here’s another of my favorite cinematic endings, a pretty definitive one, from Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point.
The political point kind of gets lost in the sheer beauty of shit getting blown up in super slo-mo. Or maybe the political point is the sheer beauty of shit getting blown up in super slo-mo.
I’ve been on a Two-Lane Blacktop jag recently. (If you have Comcast cable with on-demand, you can watch it to your heart’s content, free — in HD, even.) Directed by Monte Hellman, it stars a young, sullen James Taylor and a young, sullen Dennis Wilson as a couple of gearhead hustlers vaguely making their way eastward in a primer-grey 1955 Chevy that looks like a cross between a hotrod and a hearse. Along the way they cross paths with Warren Oates, playing a jittery, Goat-driving rambler being kept afloat on benzedrine, booze, and bullshit — “Everything is going too fast and not fast enough,” he says at one point — and Laurie Bird, playing the hippie chick. Nothing much happens. It’s glorious.
Here’s the goofy trailer:
Here’s how it all ends:
More: Interview with Hellman.