Sunday, June 22, 2008

Interlude with FILLMORE V. DOBBS / 1969 to 1993

We join my father now as he tours Europa in 1969, fairly recently cut loose from his wife and kid in Missouri.
Above: Kicking back, no doubt, at the Heineken Brewery in Amsterdam. I wonder...I could swear, looking at this, that it's the same balcony that appears early on in the movie Modesty Blaise (which I love), it's just so familiar...I'll have to look at the film again and compare.
Below:
Conway, Wales. At Bodidda. Which I imagine is the name of the estate of Mr. Roberts, shown here (as on the back it is captioned, "Mr. Roberts, Bodidda, Conway, Wales").
Obviously some dairy farming going on...
Mr. Roberts family, at Bodidda. I'm assuming that Fill stayed with them at least part of the time while in Wales.
"View of Conway from Castle Wales"
Two shots from a long series taken at Prince Charles' investiture (1969), again, in Wales. He sent back some neat stuff for me from Wales, all dragon-related. Sadly, the leather investiture-bookmark souvenir is gone, but I still have the dragon history book, which as a child made me wonder what "mead" was. Later I found out, and it's delicious!
I can still remember the wonderful smell of that leather bookmark! Not exactly like any leather I've ever huffed since. It was probably left behind when I moved from Missouri to California, as I had to leave tons of amazing things back in Missouri.
"Paris Bust. Arrestacion les hippies Americains et les agents de police." 1969
Beach at San Sebastion, Spain. "Cubiertos para limitar el sol." 1969
"Camping, Calella Spain. Aleman circa de Barcelona." 1969
"Tangier. Las casas Arabe" 1969
___________________________________________________
I love these two shots of Fill at his Hermosa Beach flat. I remember well that heavy-ass leather vest with the fur trim, he still had it when I moved out in 1980, and it was awesome. I can still picture those wacky apartments, waterbeds and amazing art posters. He was always near the beach, at whatever place that I would come out for my yearly visit to, from Missouri, reinforcing my desire for ocean and mountains and the outrageous hippie cultural styles on the coast.
Both March 1971, but then, it's imprinted on the pictures, so convenient!

Hmmm, a vintage 1970 CDL. Pretty crude by today's standards, it's printed on a really flimsy piece of (barely) cardstock. I would assume that the address given is of the Hermosa Beach dwelling above.
These two photos and the one below, with the burro, are a continuation of an earlier BlogSpot entry, in the sense that they were separated from the set reproduced in that popular entry, and later turned up, and now finally all of the pictures can be seen. All are from July 1973.
Directly below, left, is Boulder Creek, California, in a setting very like the cabin he later lived in in Ben Lomond.
Right, Bellingham, Washington, and another look at that commune. I recommend looking at the other entry as well, and absorbing the whole set together. Gee, I wish he were still around to give me the backstory on all of this, it must have been something!

Cripple Creek, Colorado, 1973. Katrina makes a friend while sitting in Fill's Beetle. I like the protruding ear coming into frame on the right. Curiously, Fill's luggage rack isn't mounted on top of the bug, I wonder if he owned it yet. They were hard to come by back then.
Fill and the beloved Katrina in 1974. I think this house was in Long Beach. I hope I'm not getting Long Beach/Manhattan Beach mixed up, as I believe he lived in both.
Basically a tiny building behind the main house. It was here that I saw my first underground comix (in any quantity- there had only been very small glimpses in Missouri) and heard my first Monty Python/George Carlin/National Lampoon and other essential albums.
I also ate my first granola here (lol) and other staples of current 'health food'. Pretty heady stuff for this 13-year old. Come to think of it, this was the year I first smoked pot at a party in Missouri, but didn't get high on it, naturally.
Anyhoo, I was given a splendid underground comic art compilation book (very obscure small press job- probably a pirate edition, wish I still had it!! Spain Rodriguez in particular was very inspiring and scary, and of course Robert Crumb made an impression, even more so the more I saw a bit later, and I was confused and mystified by Rick Griffin), and a Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers magazine, to take home, beginning my collection of 'outsider' art.
Boulder Creek, Ca, 1975. Central Avenue, looking south. Below that, looking north.
After moving away from Southern California, Fill first lived in Boulder Creek, before settling more permanently down the hill a bit in Ben Lomond. Myself, I preferred Ben Lomond. The area still looked just like this when I moved out there (to The Lantern in Ben Lomond, up Love Creek Road) from Missouri in 1980.


BELOW:
Santa Cruz, Ca. Downtown Mall,
1975. Pacific Avenue, the Cooperhouse. This view is gone now, a victim of the 1989 earthquake. The downtown was never the same after that. I feel lucky to have lived in and enjoyed the Santa Cruz downtown vibe in the early 'eighties.
It's interesting that there was an exodus of a lot of Californians from SoCal in the mid/late '70s, just as I was part of a mini-exodus of people from Santa Cruz to San Francisco in the mid/late '80s (as I later figured out. I met more and more interesting people who had lived there and moved away, some I knew in Santa Cruz, some I didn't). The Mall really was a very fun and special place to spend a day.
Later addition:
A typical day/evening on the Mall, circa 1980-83. A hangout/scoping spot for coffee, that would be Pergolesi, sit outside and check out and be checked out. I also used to have coffee and tea up the street on Pacific ave, just across Market, at this little cafe on the corner where Tyler worked for a while- I forget the name- Tyler, help me out here, it had a little triangular patch next to it which grew into a homeless hangout, back when homeless folks and Deadheads weren't yet a 'problem' in Santa Cruz. Anyhoo, the cafe was the most hard-core Hippied-Out establishment around the Mall, more exclusive that way than Pergolesi. They served a lot of chai tea, which in 1980-81 I had no idea what it was, I assumed that since the really hairy, dusty hippies lapped it up so readily, that it was probably bitter, seaweed-like, not pleasant. Probably tasted 'healthy'. Now of course I know better and love it.
There were at least three records stores to hang out in, the new-records store in the middle of the Mall, Universes, where my friend Tyler worked and I managed to score some nice store displays and Gary Panter-designed Ralph Records t-shirts.
Just off of the Mall, one street over, catty-corner from India Joze restaurant and the Art Center, was an independent record store called Cymbaline that was pretty fun to shop at, managed by one Polio Ferrari, who fronted a new wavey band in SC, weren't they called JJ-180, or something like that? I remember his girlfriend Nan Tracy, who had a funny way of talking and slurring her dialogue, we used to have great fun imitating that couple. I love that name, Polio Ferrari, a good '80s name.
No trip downtown would be complete without a swing through Logos books and records, no telling who you'd see in there. I got a lot of amazing records and books there over the years. I loved the look of dismay I'd get sometimes bringing a record up to the counter, and having the familiar clerk go "Oh, no- where'd you find that?? How did that get into the stacks past me?? dammit!"
For all of your essential bizarre home furnishings and new wave tchatchkes and apparel, there was of course Lily Wong's, way down at the end of the mall. That place was a huge emporium of mostly useless, yet very cool stuff. I seem to have done my last move leaving my plastic barbed-wire necklaces behind, which came from Lily's, which is too bad, if it's true, those were very nice items, but then I got an awful lot of wear out of 'em over more than twenty years. I liked to put the fake barbed-wired around my neck really nice and tight, so that it was digging in to my flesh. Very punk. Fashionable.
The Cooperhouse, shown below, was full of little boutiques that were fun to look at, but I don't remember ever buying much of anything in there. I think it was mostly for tourists.
The Velvet Boot bud. Mr. Herb Farmer, loupe in hand. All the better to see you with, my dear.
Taken at the The Lantern, Love Creek Road, Ben Lomond, Ca, 1979.
At the Giant Camera-Obscura, Cliff House, San Francisco, 1993.
Dedicated to Fillmore Victor Dobbs, 1933-1996

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21 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cymbaline records was the store near the art Center, and Universes the indy one on the mall- besides the godlike Logos where I picked up the Return of the Super Ape JA pressing for 3.00...

-Jonathan

11:23 PM  
Blogger mindwrecker said...

Thank you Jonathan! I knew you'd be the one who would save me on this one! Universes was indy, eh? I'm sure you're correct. And yes, there's no way to give LOGOs it's due...many of my favorite old books of my father's, and some that I still highly prize, came from there.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I get inordinate amusement just reciting names of places in S.C. Bonesio's Liquers. Pizza My Heart. C'est Bon Plaza. Petrelli's Steak House, with that cursive letter "P" that split in two when you opened one of the doors.

My favorite place from pre-quake SC was The Tea Cup restaurant, upstairs at the head of the mall. Great "ah so" font neon sign, big Buddha behind the bar. Great dimly lit Raymond Chandler-esque place to drink.

Great blog entries Drew. I'll be in touch soon.

-Jonathan

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heh, just remebered the jazz w/ vibes band that used to play at the Cooperhouse- "Warmth"! Used to see their homemade album on sale at Logos. Cheap.
Remember the snowy-haired, bearded, bespeckled Gandalf on vibes? The black singer with only one hand? I remeber watching him gesture soulfully with his stump... Also the kinda-famous trumpet player (Randy Something?), who also had a gimp arm, and played with his skeletal elbow cocked at an odd right angle.

Good times... (Hey! "Good Times")

--J.

3:23 AM  
Blogger mindwrecker said...

Wow- a great sinkhole of 1980's Santa Cruz data! I vaguely remember that band--but not THAT well! Ye gods! This part of the chapter deserves a whole blog all it's own. Actually---I have another area of the autobio coming up where more data about Santa Cruz could be put in. After the BCO chapter is writ- I'm going back into my personal photo file and finish it up, going forward from 1961 to 1985.
Thanks for the reminiscences---awesome stuff!

12:38 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

I was roommates with Phil during the early 70's, in a house in South Redondo Beach, along with Katrina and a bunch of other folks.

I have some stories, if you are interested. . .I would love to hear more about his life after I lost touch. I kept in sorta contact and the last I saw him, he was way out in the boonies in the Santa Cruz Mts, up a dirt road.

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