Here are two pages from Gothic Blimp Works
#2 (1969). Above is an ad for an Allen Ginsberg LP on Douglas Records with artwork by John Thompson, who briefly lived in New York in 1969. Scroll to the bottom for Thompson's background on the creation of this ad.
Below is another of my Gothic Blimp
collaborations with Larry Hama. Ron Haydock wrote the page, and I inked Larry's pencils. Haydock, screenwriter for Ray Dennis Steckler, also arrived in New York in 1969, and he wound up crashing at my West 12th Street apartment. He seemed in a near catatonic state. Since he had no money, no job and was incapable of contributing to the rent, I suggested he begin scripting. I would leave each morning to work in the Product Development department at Topps Chewing Gum in Brooklyn, and when I came back in the evening, Ron would show me what he had written. Two of these were scripts for stories I packaged as finished art and sold to Jim Warren for Creepy
: "Valley of the Vampires" (#28) and "Spellbound" (#29).
Ron soon returned to the West Coast, and in 1977, after a failed attempt to raise some cash by selling a script to Steckler, he was killed by an 18-wheeler while hitchhiking back to LA from Vegas. Miriam Linna, who interviewed me about Ron in 1990, has written extensively about his career as a writer and rock musician in Sin-a-Rama
and elsewhere. Her Norton Records label offers a CD compilation of his recordings, 99 Chicks: Ron Haydock and the Boppers
John Thompson recalls: "In the Oxford University Press History of Berkeley in the Sixties
, I'm mentioned as one of the two leading graphic artists in that Scene. In the Summer of Love 1967, at 21, I graduated in Art History from UC and found myself at the center of a countercultural whirlwind. Thus, I'm also mentioned in The History of the Haight Ashbury
with those poster artists, though I was part of a group of aspiring poets in Berkeley.
"During the next couple of years, Ginsberg and his lover Peter were often a strong part of that scene. But my favorite poet/artist was Daniel Moore, who was close to Allen (to see his writing and art google danielmoorepoetry.com). So that's how I met Allen and saw him at EVO in 1968 and again when I lived near EVO
in 1969. As much as I enjoyed 'some' of Allen's poetry, he was taking too many drugs at that time and was a sex addict. So because I was good looking with long, long hair, he often hit on Lin and I and tried to get us high. Aside from that aspect of his crazy persona, he was very kind to me.
"Allen and I knew record producer Alan Douglas (later Jimi Hendrix producer), so Allen sang some songs of William Blake's for me. I was a Blake scholar, so Allen's jubiliant over-the-top voice didnt really capture Blake's intentions. Nonetheless, Alan and Allen asked me to design, pencil and ink art to promote their album. They liked the compostion I penciled, but I inked Allen's profile that resemble his profile and beard and glasses but made his skin look older (because at my age Allen seemed like some old guy).
"Thus, Douglas liked it, but Allen was troubled that his profile didnt look younger and cuter. Douglas paid $100 to me to use it on the back page of EVO
(or Gothic Blimp
), and it would take several pages to decode the symbolism in that image."
Labels: gothic blimp, john thompson, larry hama, miriam linna, norton records, ron haydock