Experimental YouTube video and storytime

My first YouTube video

I’ve intended to make YouTube videos since I discovered this new process for my art, so I recently procured a smartphone camera stand with a LED ring light. My first video is just me working with music added. Since I make several pieces all at once, it’ll be difficult to film a single piece throughout each stage of creation. I’ll be selecting a couple of pieces to do that with from my next production run. It’ll take a while to make one video since each piece takes several weeks to complete.

Storytime

It was 1986. My friend Edie and I along with two male skater companions, mike and Dan, drive to Atlanta from Huntsville Alabama to see a PIL show live. If you’re not familiar, PIL, Public Image Limited, was a punk band fronted by Johnny Rotten, John Lydon, from the 1980 punk band Sex Pistols.

Mike was tall and thin and oh so cool. He’s driving with his left foot hanging out the driver-side window, going 80 miles an hour while Oingo Boingo’s “Just Another Day” is blaring on the stereo. I remember feeling nervous going that fast with the driver’s foot about the window, but I didn’t say anything. The scene was set, and it felt cooler than cool.

We arrived in Atlanta and the first order of business was for Mike to skate down the inside of a six-story parking garage on his belly. We then made our way over to Little Five Points where other skater types, hippies, and misfits lived and hung out. We shopped the Junkman’s Daughter and then ate at Fellini’s Pizza. There we met up with our friend D. She was a vision in black and white with her pale skin, long black dress with thin shoulder straps, and her almond eyes painted in black cat liner. We hung out and shopped for a while and for some reason, D and I were separated from Edie and the boys.

D and I roamed around Midtown by ourselves. We stopped at one of her friend’s place. No one was home, so she let herself in. She washed the black dress that she was wearing in the sink and wrung out the water. She put the dress back on, touched up her eyeliner, and we were ready to go to the show. We wandered through Atlanta until we arrived at the subway. She knew a trick to ride the MARTA for free. She picked up the red phone, or was it a white phone, and said that the turnstile had taken her token. We were let through. I have no idea where we were or where we were going, but she sure did.

We arrived at the show venue. She got us in for free. It was a dive. Just one large room with a bar and a stage. Side note: I did some research preparing for this story. I could not find the name of the venue. The official PIL website has an archive of all tour dates since the late 1970s. The only ones listed for Atlanta were in larger theaters, not dive bars. This must have been a one-off show.

The show was already raging before we arrived. The mosh pit swelled moving back and forth, and round and round with slam dancers. Johnny Rotten was spitting into the crowd of his adoring fans, and they were eating it up. I followed D through the crowd and around the mosh pit to the left of the stage. She pulled back the black curtain and proceeded to climb up onto the stage, and I followed.  We sat on the band’s equipment cases and watched the show for a while from side stage until a stagehand saw us and promptly escorted us off the stage and out the front door. We hung around outside for a while and by that time, they were no longer taking tickets, so we just went back in and finished watching the show.  

These are the only details that I can remember from that trip though I must have told this story a dozen times in 35 years. It was an experience that I will never forget. I found D on Facebook several years ago from an old profile that I have since deactivated. I recently found her again on Facebook.  D was always a free spirit, never conforming to anyone’s idea of what she should be. She’s lived in Flatbush Brooklyn New York for over a decade where she has taught English and has helped adults get their GEDs. She never knew just how cool we all thought she was. I think that made her even more cool.

I use recycled materials to create art that you will need.

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