Culture vulture

Photo By I. Daphne St. Brie

Who does love the sun?
Weekend before last the CN&R’s calendar guru, Jason Cassidy, who is also a member of the board of directors of the recently relocated 1078 Gallery, staged a musical benefit for the gallery at Off Limits. The concept of the show was to have as many bands as possible each perform one song by the Velvet Underground.

Culture Vulture has a huge appreciation for the Velvets, and in fact 12 or so years ago did a very pleasurable stint in a Velvets tribute band called the Verves, named after the record label that issued the band’s original LPs. My cohorts in the band were former CN&R editor and calendar editor Joe Martin and Charles Mohnike, respectively, and the divine Lori Campion, who is currently some sort of mucky-muck for the Muzak corporation up in the Northwest.

Probably my personal favorite of the gigs we played was on my 40th birthday, when we did a set at the legendary Whispering Clam annex at Duffy’s Tavern, along with two other bands I was in at the time, The Grassy Knoll and Booze. Video-taped evidence of the event demonstrates that a good time was had by all, including self, who for the grand entrance of Booze appeared wearing my prized gorilla suit alongside bandmates Tom Little, in full-on Colonel Sanders regalia, and Miss Campion in an Aunt Jemima get-up of exceedingly questionable taste but utterly undeniable hilarity.

But, back to Jason’s fundraiser: The guy knows how to throw an event, with a capital “E.” The turnout of musicians and music lovers was tremendous, and despite the Velvet’s dour reputation as chroniclers of heroin addiction and sexual kinks of assorted types, the performances were more celebratory than gloomy. Prize for pop art-damaged weirdness goes to Rev. Junkyard Moondog for his solo performance of “White Light/White Heat” in a “Disco Sucks” T-shirt and bad wig accompanied only by his own tambourine.

Opening the show after a brief musical introduction by Cassidy, who strung together the verses of Jonathan Richman’s song “Velvet Underground” between acts, was a quartet consisting of the lovely I. Daphne St. Brie on bass and backup vocals, Mark Zemple on guitar and lead vocals, Lannie Eclipse on maracas and dance, and C. Owsley Rain on drums performing the classic, twisted pop song, “Who Loves the Sun?” We called ourselves the Imploding Spastic Ephemeral in homage to the Velvets’ first claim to fame, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which was a show produced by pop-art icon Andy Warhol, who came up with the phrase, “In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.” See above. Funny how everything goes in circles, hmmm?

We’re No. 1 [again]!
That’s right, folks! You hold in your hands—or hooks, if you’re Kelly Meagher—the first issue of volume 30 of this fine paper. If we were a woman, we’d be hitting the peak of our sexuality right about now. I’m just sayin', here we go, heading into our 30th year of chronicling the lives and times of this sweet little, weird little, fast-growing and ever-evolving, big little town of Chico. We hope you enjoy the ride.