I had heard about Crafted which was a craft and art market in town and decided when I had gotten were I needed to be with guitar lessons it was time to try having my own shop. I got more serious abot taking care of my self because I needed more mobility to run my shop too. I take walks around Crafted's warehouses all the time. I pick up rock in the parking lot each time to keep myself distracted from the fact I am actually exercising. The guitar lessons were exercise too. I still play guitar all the time at my shop and at home. I have not played "little Jenny" for awhile now as the shop has taken over most of my time now but I will play her this Christmas week because yesterday I got a call from my sister Jenny to tell me she is cancer free. Which was the best Christmas present I ever got. So paint that picture, play that guitar, go for a drive, pet your pet and if you have family and friends around tell them you love them and give them hugs. Thank you to my friends and family for saving my life. To my sister Jenny.... Take care of yourself, you are very loved... Move forward and live your dreams. I love you. You are my hero.
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Two or three years ago on my birthday I got bad news from my sister that she had cancer. I was so overwhelmed that I decided to take a long drive to take my mind off of things. I never expected to hear this kind of news about My little sister Jenny and I had just recovered from another long depression and I was determined not to fall into another one. I tended to comfort myself with food and it was time to stop that. I had thought about what I had not done with my life yet. I had tried to start bands, but had still not played a whole song all the way through with a group yet. I had a clear acrylic green plexi glass bc rich guitar that was in mint condition, but it really was for show and if I scratched it it would lose value so I decided to go to Norms Rare Guitars in the valley which was about an hour and a half away to trade it in on something I could play and not just look at. The main thing in mind was to work on my life. I had become very aware how short life is after losing my Uncle who was a great friend and mentor. I thought about life on the way to Norms and cried a lot. I got there and looked around for a nice telecaster. The workers there told me they did not want my guitar, but then Norm himself walked over and gave me a good deal in trade. I wanted an American made one, but decided on a nice wood finish Mexican tele that was just like the USA model. It was a special edition. I also brought my sparkle gretsch historic series to find a nice used hard case for it which I got for very cheap. I had told Norm my story and he was such a nice guy he helped me out. My friends in town that were in bands said they would help me kick out the jams. The first attempt I choked. I tried another group of friends after I had got my new tele which I named "Little Jenny" after my sister. I got through it, but I almost had a heart attack, due to being out of shape. We took a photo that day of the three of us which I look at every time I need to get myself going. I was very out of shape, but my pals were there for me. I started guitar lessons and asked myself what else I had to do with my life. I wanted to start my own buisness but to do that I had to get healthy. I started guitar lessons for discipline and structure that was needed in my life. My instructor Walter was a younger thrash metal guitar player who is also classically trained. Guitar had slowly become a bigger part of my life which is what I wanted. Walter was a very good listener as well as being very wise for his age. He gave me encouragement in life as well as guitar. I went to see his band Shadows Entwind at the Key Club and we bonded over comic book talk now and then. I started a doctor supervised liquid diet class for the third time in my life and told myself this was going to be the time I do this for a better life. I was diagnosed as being pre-diabetic and my knees were having trouble supporting my weight. I had my guitar to practice, my painting to do for my business, and now I had a band (even if it is more like a group of new friends). I had built up lots of paintings at home in my spare time after being downsized at my last job. I really worked much more on my art at home than I did at my day job anyway. Day after day and one step at a time, and by keeping busy I kept my mind so busy I had no time to be sad. Every day was a struggle at first, but at the end of the day I felt like by making good choices and putting in the work I felt I had small victories each day.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014
An old friend who I had not spoken to in a while (mostly because he always wants to use my art to make money for him) called me this week with yet another job for me. It had a 3 day deadline but I was promised a good payday and I really thought maybe this friend was trying to help me out. He baited me with old stories to get me excited about the project and even talked about taking a road trip to visit another friend. Everything was awesome... I got the work done and sent it in. Once it was in their hands I was told it wa not what they wanted even though I sent lots of concept art and sketches. It looks like I may not get paid at all for 3 days of my life, but sometimes just getting people like this out of your life can be the reward. The job was for a hotrod company. The art that was rejected is posted above. I was told it was too much of my thing... My first mistake was picking up the phone to talk to him.
My new path has less of these people on it. I am glad this happened. I signed no contracts so I guess I still own all of this art. I am sure they will try and sell it to the company they were working with. Who knows.... I just draw the art and stay on the path. Humans sure are strange sometimes. That's how it goes...
Sunday, November 2, 2014
We are loaded up with new work down at the shop which is inside a craft market called Crafted 110 e.22nd street in warehouse 10, San Pedro, Ca, 90731... My shop is called Aicher's Pop Kustom Shoppe located in space 118a. I'm there Friday thru Sunday from 11am to 6pm. The market has many weekend events and lots of other shops that sell handmade things. Some weekends we have live music and wine tasting (they call it sip and shop) it's family friendly and their is a creation station with activities for the young ones. My shop is located in the back left hand corner. Look for the banners with the honey bees out on 22nd street. Warehouse 9 in in front of warehouse 10 and is being converted to a brewery and artisan food market and I am told they are planning some events before they open next year to give folks an idea about their beers and plans... I don't drink but I have talked to folks that are raving about how good the beer is. They travel the world for their ingredients and they tell me they will have a cafe too.
I am working on two or three new book projects that should be done by the beginning of next year (soon) so when I can I will let you know when I am ready to launch them. Finally we got some rain and hopefully more soon. The clouds inspire me often and I love the day after the rain. The sunrises and sunsets have been glorious lately and if you have not seen them in a while you should. Living in and growing up Southern California it sometimes escapes me how pretty it is here.
Be kind to humans... See you at the market!
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
Tuesday, September 23, 2014
I have noticed this younger generation has found their voice. The new music escapes me and hipster culture has arrived... Don't be confused grungers we are indeed old and are in no way "hip". We are, however, the last pre digital age. I started painting classes when I saw the art of Robert Williams' first books. It blew my mind that art may become as radical and bitchen as surfing and rock and roll so I set out to build an art ark (a big body of paintings) to sail out of the 90's and into the future. Now that we have the digital age and folks just steal any image or recording they want it is all the more important to show these eager young hipsters how to paint and draw. Due to the leftover stoner culture of yesterday it is now,"cute" and "hey that's neat" to paint or draw by hand. At least that's what they tell me. Don't talk about it, do it. Do it while they still make paper and canvas. It does not cost much and your mind will take you to new places if you open it up enough. Once apon a time we had art departments to run and the hipsters took them over. Don't lose your sense of humor but let's not be just crass and slapstick... Make it good! I see hope for us all still, but it takes hard work. I don't care if you want to use your cell phones or play video games all day. That's stress relief for some. On line shopping will convince you you need it even more. The machine has begun its mission to overthrow humanity and humanity is eagerly craving more. I am reaching out to those of you who still care as I do. If you see an artist and you like the work and buy it it makes a difference. U2 wants your mind and money. Another Irish band had a song about a suspect device. They still play today too. Joey Ramone is spinning in his grave. I had to rant a bit about this. Thanks for listening. Get to work! ...did you get the new Motörhead cd yet?
Monday, September 15, 2014
All hands on deck, ya pirates! The mighty Sacchrine Trust is playing in town. I have know Jack for some time now and if you have not attended a Jack Brewer show in person you are missing out. He is by far the best poet in Los Angeles (ask around) his show is always unpredictable and have never left a show of his without feeling changed for the better for being there to witness it. This band in particular is legendary and blazed huge new paths in sonic power since they began. Then you got Joe Biza... Far and away the most amazing guitar player, and if not for getting a flyer draw by Biza years ago I may not have ever attempted drawing flyers (the first flyers I got were by Pettibon, then when I got a Biza flyer I knew that's what I wanted to do...) This show is being put on Guitar Safari who if you don't already know is the one and only place to get vintage guitars and a history lesson in punk at the same time.
Here's my Jack Brewer story... My friend John played bass in Jack's band and I sometimes did flyers for him. In the 90's I worked at Peanut Records in Lomita and was kind of hooked on buying records. My fave band at the time (and I was obsessing on them) was Sonic Youth and I had a Kool Thing for Kim Gordon... So much that I painted her on my leather jacket next to Lydia Lunch (I was digging her too) they did an in store at Rhino Records in Westwood...it was secret but I knew about it and brought my leather and black light sonic youth poster from tannis root to get signed.
So when I got to Kim I was all excited and I showed her my jacket and suddenly standing by Thurston Moore (they were married) I felt like a stalker... Well Jack Brewer was playing the show and stopped over to talk to me and Kim said,"you know Jack?" And Thurston started talking to me about how much he loved Saccharine Trust and when Jack took the stage Kim and Thurston hung out with me the rest of the day.
The next day I went with my friend Dave Naz and Lee Ranaldo to a Robert Williams singing at Golden Apple comics, and told him I wanted to paint like him, but did not have enough time... Robert told me,"you have to make the time..." So I did. I can also tell you this...Lee Ranaldo is the nicest guy in rock and roll.
I still have my jacket, tannis root sonic youth black light poster, and signed robt. Williams poster.
I get by with a little help from my friends...
Go to the show!
Thursday, August 14, 2014
That's my flyer right there under the n's... I made that flyer the day before the show and I rushed it out because I knew this was a big deal gig, but Fletcher was always saying things like, "yeah, I guess if you want to make a flyer you can, but only if you want to..." That's because there is no real money in punk rock or rock and roll, whatever. It's not about getting high or drunk either...although years ago I did, but I had to battle my depression then, and the best thing for it that I ever found was rock and roll. To hear it correctly you surround yourself with some friends and talk about your shitty life (well at the time I felt pretty bad) then when you are done and maybe a tear rolls down your cheek, and instead of your buddy laughing at you, he gives you a hug and turns up the cassette tape in the boom box. We took the bus and rode our skateboards everywhere because any pocket change we had went to things for relief like smokes, booze, drugs and the priority in my case was always...records. I went all over Los Angeles anyway I could to find them. Zed's in long beach was the best but it meant a long day on the bus and skate to get there. Hollywood had Pouser (made famous by Redd Kross tune "standing in front of Pouser" on their first record. They also started at "the church" which was were we hung out in front of some days just to feel the vibe of it. Back to the story... The first local place for me for my record fix was platterpus in Rivera village. I bought the Germs gi, oingo boingo 10 inch ep, more specials and for my moms birthday I bought Dolly Parton's Crackers used with my leftover change. When punk was starting up I remember saying goodbye to loving cheap trick's budokan lp and hello to X's Los Angeles. It was the unheard music. Music by you friend who rode the same bus you did. They playe one or two "good" songs on the radio, and on the weekend you had Rodney on the Roq for homework. Lines like "butcher baby, they're gonna put you away" and "I'm not no animal" "Manimal", "Wild in the streets" filled my head with a healing hand just like Iggy said in the tune "Raw Power". Back then I was a Stooges fan and I often saw Iggy on the beach with pretty girls. real pretty girls. One day I got the courage to talk to him. I walked up and said,"I am a really big fan" he said "who do you think I am?" I said, your Iggy! He said, no I'm Jim. You seem like a good kid go ride your skateboard. Then he turned a rubbed lotion on the French cut bikini ass of the tan girl on the beach. That is rock and roll. In that moment I understood. Over the years I met many rock stars but back to the ones who were yet to be. I fucked up in school at Redondo high and had to make an attempt to finish at summer school at Costa. I rode the scroc bus from Redondo high to Southern California regional occupational center with Johnny Reb who chewed tobacco and shared herb with. When I went to Mira Costa in Hermosa for summer school I met Kenny John's brother and of course we ditched everyday and went to his house. He had a band, he put out records with the money he saved. He had a great record and flyer collection, and that was when I decide to make punk flyers. That was what my Raw Power was. If you went to the gigs these were the prizes. They were the trophies. Ever time I look at them I go right back then, anyway... Hermosa had Either or Bookstore which was very hippy and where I got my copies of Bukowski books and most important... The Rick Griffin art book which I called "rick griffin, I" because I did not understand that his signature looked like a cross, and the top looked like an"I" to me. The other shops were Restyle on pier ave then they moved to Hermosa ave and changed to Restyle Too... Next door was the Cove Theater wher Red Cross played with Twisted Roots and eventually they had a riot and changed the name to the Bijou where they showed art movies. I went on many dates there and got funky in the back. (Mostly animation festivals) a bit later on Theo opened Alternative Groove records on pier avenue. This was the best place ever for records as Theo was one if us. He hung pictures of us on the wall in Polaroids and I was one. I had met Fletch at a party and we bonded because I had hung out with his brother Christian at some Fenders and Olympic auditorium gigs and skated around town with. Well, the record shop is where the stories got told, and you did you homework, which was reading fanzines like tripping corpse by pettibon, Flipside, maximum rock and roll. In those pages told more stories and in the Flipside comic relief issue Shaun Kerry drew a lesson on how to draw skulls and pointed out "you draw them, because I am sick of them..." These kinds of thing get in my fabric.Theo was putting out records and put out early PW stuff. At the time I was hanging out with My friends in Down by Law who were signing with Epitaph. I was hanging out I think with Fletch and Theo at Alt Groove one day and talking about Down by Law and Epithaph and I think that was the start of how they got on there. I think Theo had much to do with it, but that was the launch of how they progressed. we also hung out at GoBoy in Redondo too. Keith Morris worked there and many times Jeffery Lee Pierce visited him while we hung out there and talked about art and groovy bands like Arthur Lees Love and played bubblegum and girl group records. It's hard to tell all of this story as I am still living it. Some days I still feel no one is listening, so now and then I get with my bros and turn that around. The message of the wise was always "you get one life, make it count" and like my pal Mike Watt says after ever gig "START yer own band!" There was a shirt in thrasher that said "be more than a witness" if it's in there, let it out... Until next time, see you all at Oki Dogs....
Thursday, August 7, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Went to Pop Monster toys in Torrance today and bought an Astroboy zipper pull, a book on Japanese mascots and talked about having some of my art in this shop. went to f.y.e next for toys and bailed quick cause that place is lame, lame, lame. last was an antique shop on pier ave. in Hermosa where mrs. Gooches used to be. I bought an Addams Family thermos for a friend who has the box, but if he has it already I will keep it. Got my copy of Gary Panter's Dal Tokyo in the mail this week too so tomorrow I will dream I am in Japan buying toys.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Took a look yesterday at some old shops I have not been to in awhile. Memory Lanes was first and I found a Snoopy Toothbrush in the box from 1974! I had this as a kid but I was not sure I needed this (the box was beat, but amazing it was all there) it was on sale (20% off) so I got it. Found 2 kid cups too. A Hanna Barbera and a Pink Panther cartoon cup. I left behind a Planet of the Apes cup because I think I have one already in my junk dungeon. The next stop was a few blocks over to Street Faire Antiques on Satori in old Torrance. I found 3 old kids reference books on cars and space with cool illustrations and the odd thing I found was a Kenny Loggins comes Alive RCA video disc which I thought would be a buck or two but they wanted 15 so sadly I left Kenny behind. (could have been a cool gift for my pal Pete who is his cousin.) I might go back (maybe some rainy day) for it because now it's in my mind and on my blog. What is this junk worth? Well, what it means to me is a smile in the morning when I drink my coffee. Someday it will find another home or who knows, but for now I will be glad that now and then a good hunt is still fun. I may need to garage sale some old stuff to get more junk when I need to get out of the house. All in a day....
Monday, May 26, 2014
This is how it looked when I got it fro Dirk at Guitar Safari which is a local shop on 6th Street in downtown San Pedro, CA. It was from damaged stock which he repaired for me before I bought it (he saves me the re-purpose ready ones he comes across, but his shop is chock full of vintage goodness not just guitars. A great place to find treasure.)
This is the mouth at the headstock
The finished guitar.... ready to get to shredding or hang on some dudes man cave rock wall.
Can you dig it?
Sunday, May 4, 2014
The Minutemen once played at this park with Red Cross. I went to get produce at the farmer's market and walk with my health class. Turns out just me showed up. (You can't always get what you want, but fresh produce is something I need. I strolled solo for a bit. I bought Sharon some flowers. They were so dense we had to use 2 vases.
Monday, April 14, 2014
The Mego Happy Hays gang made it to my porch via Epay and Dorothy (My mother in law... she finds things I like at flea markets and garage sales and sometime we hunt for things as a family) found a Yoda Pez (well he's not in the photo that's the Kiss pez she gave my for Christmas... how does she know what I like? She is a good listener with a big heart she and George are good people and I thank my lucky stars my beautiful wife has such great parents!) and this Scottie Bank for me which I will use to save my rainy day funds in for future treasure hunting.
That handsome gent in the photo with me is The Professor (Barry) he has a photography/art space down at Crafted. He is an amazing philosopher and scienetist who formulates his dreams via his passion for aviation into things of wonder and I am told he is Spongebob Squarepants' number one amigo and I have a great deal of respect for him. He is a good friend and took his place in my heart very fast. We had some serious fun yesterday down there and I think Tito wanted to join us but was too busy doing workerman things, but he is welcome to join us when Squidword is not looking (I love you Tito!) One day I will bring in my Snake vs. Mongoose Hotwheels track and race my amigos with it, but even I need to focus on real life time now and then, but you can't make me....a little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.