Monday, September 15, 2008

Two photos fall out of an envelope

Ok, so out of the blue, just a few moments ago, while looking for something else entirely, I found two photos of the Consumers. One of David, the other of Paul and Greg. I'll post them, sure, certainly, definitely, but not right now. First I want to sketch them in.

They were stuck in an envelope originally sent from "Radio Ethiopia," Patti Smith's communique/marching orders-issuing fan club ("Box 188, Mantua NJ") as sent to Browbeat ("109 W. Merrill, Phoenix, Arizona"), our xerox punk fanzine, dated 1977. (Stamps cost thirteen cents back then, by the way.) I mean, it's weird that I even still have this stuff at all, and even weirder that I'd have it with me here in Paris. Weird. Ultra-weird. Beyond ultra-weird.

(I think Patti Smith's mom was addressing the envelopes, because her handwriting is a lot nicer than Patti's. Patti, meanwhile, was declaring herself "R.E.F.M.," which stood for Radio Ethiopia Field Marshall, swear to God. She was sending us missives and manifestos and such so we could print them — verbatim, from Yahweh to Her to Us; Tinkers to Evers to Chance, in the second issue of Browbeat. We just haven't gotten around to putting out a second issue of Browbeat yet.)

Okay, but the photos...! One's at a gig, one's at a band practice. The band practice one is less mythic maybe, but it says a lot. I can guess the date, sort of, because Greg hasn't cut his hair yet. So it's gotta be late '76 or early '77. It's not like he's got particularly long hair or anything, just suburban Phoenix Arizona hair from the mid-70s. He's

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