Book//mark - Tomorrow's Eve | Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, 1886

Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, The Future Eve, 1886                                                   Villiers de L'Isle-Adam (1838 – 1889)

“Even among the noises of the past, how many mysterious sounds were known to our predecessors, which for lack of a convenient machine to record them have now fallen forever into the abyss? Dead voices, lost voices, forgotten noises, vibrations lockstepping into the abyss, and now too distant ever to be recaptured!”

“Isn’t it exasperating to think of all the pictures, portraits, scenes, and landscapes that it [photography] could have recorded once, and which are now lost to us?”

“Every human occupation has it repertoire of stock phrases, within which every man twists and turn until his death. His vocabulary, which seems so lavish, reduces itself to a hundred routine formulas at most, which he repeats over and over.”

“There are even some stars so remote that their light will reach the Earth only when Earth itself is a dead planet, as they themselves are dead, so that the living Earth will never be visited by that forlorn ray of light, without a living source, without a living destination. Often on fine nights when the park of this establishment is vacant, I amuse myself with this marvelous instrument (telescope). I go upstairs, walk across the grass, sit on a bench in the Avenue of Oaks – and there, in my solitude, I enjoy the pleasure of weighing the rays of dead stars.”

“Yes, that’s what these women are: trifling playthings for the passing gadabout, but deadly to men of more depth, whom they blind, befoul, and bind into slavery through the slow hysteria that distills from them.”

“I have come with this message: since our gods and our aspirations are no longer anything but scientific, why shouldn't our loves be so too?”

“If I could record them and transmit them to the present age, they would constitute nothing more, nowadays, than dead sounds. They would be, in a word, sounds other than what they actually were, and from what their phonographic labels pretended they were – since it's in ourselves that the silence exists. It was while the sounds were still mysterious that it would have been really interesting to render the mystery palpable and transferable.”

“Dead voices, lost sounds, forgotten noises, vibrations lockstepping into the abyss and now too distant ever to be recaptured!...What sort of arrows would be able to transfix such birds?”

“Brunettes are full of electricity.”

“Thoughts and feelings change sometimes, as one crosses the frontiers.”

“My own self-consciousness cries out to me coldly: how does one love zero?”
“Consider this: when you stand at the entry to a steel factory, you can make out through the smoke some men, some metal, the fires. The furnaces roar, the hammers crash; and the metalworkers who forge ingots, weapons, tools, and so on are completely ignorant of the real uses to which their products will be put. The workers can only refer to their products by conventional names. Well, that's where we all stand, all of us! Nobody can see the real character of what he creates because every knife blade may become a dagger, and the use to which an object is put changes both its name and its nature. Only our ignorance shields us from terrible responsibilities.”

"Drops of sweat stood like tears on the brow of Lord Ewald; he looked upon the features, now glacial in their austerity, of Edison. He felt that beneath this strident, scientific demonstration two things were hidden in the lecturer's infinite range of severely controlled secret thoughts.
   The first was love of Humanity.
   The second was one of the most violent shrieks of despair -- the coldest, the most intense, the most far-reaching, even to the Heavens, perhaps! -- that was ever emitted by a living being."

“The Android, as we've said, is only the first hours of Love, immobilized, the hour of the ideal made eternal prisoner”

“Within this new work of art a creature from beyond the reach of Humanity has insinuated herself and now lurks there at the heart of the mystery, a power unimagined before our time.”

“You're doubtless well aware that most of the great hypnotic patients wind up referring to themselves in the third person, like little children. They see themselves from outside their own organisms, outside their own sensory systems. In order to get further outside themselves, and help them escape their physical personality, some of them, once in the state of clairvoyance, have the curious custom of re-baptizing themselves. The dream name comes to them, no one knows whence, and by this they INSIST on being called as long as their luminous sleep endures – to the point of refusing to answer to any other name.”

“And in any case...there are no more supernatural noises nowadays...”

L'Ève Future / Tomorrow's Eve, Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, 1886
tr. Robert Martin Adams

A brilliant scientist builds an android (an andraiad) with a woman's body but not her base soul. This is the first use of the term Android.

L'Eve Future engravings by Raphael Drouart, 1925
L'Eve Future engravings by Raphael Drouart, 1925

Passengers by Dolph Kessler | Lviv / Ukraine (2012-2014)

Dolph Kessler, Passengers #11, (2012-2014)
Dolph Kessler, Passengers #12, (2012-2014)
Dolph Kessler, Passengers #2, (2012-2014)

Robert Frank, The Americans : Trolley, New Orleans, 1955

"How beautiful the world was when one looked at it without searching, just looked, simply and innocently."

 Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha, 1922

Be My Baby | Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes

The Ronettes, from left Ronnie Bennett, Nedra Talley, and Estelle Bennett, early 1960s

"When Phil Spector first heard my voice, I remember he came to one audition to see if I sounded as great as he thought I did, and he saw us at this little club… 
When he came to a rehearsal, and I sang one of Frankie Lymon’s songs, he knocked the bench over from the piano and said, ‘That’s the voice I’ve been looking for.’…
 I’ll never forget that. And that’s just before they went in and wrote ‘Be My Baby.'"

"Brian Wilson was there when I sang `Be My Baby. They wouldn't let him in the studio, but he
was peeking through one of the little windows. I never forgot that desperate look on his face."

Ronnie Spector, interview from Connecticut.

Brian Wilson has since referred to "Be My Baby" as the greatest song ever written.
"Don't Worry Baby" had an equally profound impact on Ronnie Spector,
as a tribute to Brian Wilson, she recorded this in 1999.

Brian Wilson hears Ronnie Spector's "Don't Worry Baby"

"I look around me and I don’t see any rock’n’roll at the moment. Instead it’s all choreography and stylists and wigs and stuff. It’s like they’re afraid to let the music breathe. 
No one has their own identity like the Ronettes did back in the day. We had the skirts with the slits up the side, sort of tough, sort of Spanish Harlem cool, but sweet too. 
We didn’t have no dancers, we didn’t have no goddamn wigs."

"But, you know, the Stones were my opening act in the Sixties. I loved those British guys, the way they just stood there and shook their hair."

"No one has their own identity like the Ronettes did back in the day."

Ronnie Spector, 1962                       Ronettes / Rolling Stones - Granada Theatre Walthamstow

"The people need to feel the music."

"I love Ruth Brown, not just her singing, but Ruth Brown has more girl power than anyone, because she fought hard against people 
who ripped her off and then helped other artists through the Rhythm and Blues Foundation."

Ronnie Spector, 1961                                                                                                                             Phill Spector & The Ronettes, Gold Star Studios, L.A., CA, 1963, ph. Ray Avery

"My honeymoon night was spent on the floor in the bathroom with my mother."

"I have three adopted children with Phil, and for years I was fighting in court with him over being able to see my kids."

"I never tried to kill myself or anything."

Veronica Bennett, later known as
Ronnie Spector

Ronnie and Phil Spector, 1963

Ronnie Spector was married to Phil Spector from 1968 to 1974.

Ronnie was 17 and Spector was 24 when they met. I ask her what she fell in love with.

“First,” she says, “I fell in love with his coolness. He was very cool. Always had one hand in his pocket. 
And he had a cute butt. I loved his tush, he had the cutest tush. The way he handled the band – here’s a guy, 24 years old, 
yet he’s telling married men with children what to do? That turned me on so much. I fell in love with that power.”

The Ronettes as young Bronx school girls, from left – Nedra Talley, Ronnie & Estelle Bennett, circa 1961-62

The Ronettes consisted of lead singer Veronica Bennett , her older sister Estelle Bennett and their cousin Nedra Talley.

At first, Phil Spector wanted to sign only Ronnie Bennett.  Beatrice Bennett, however, insisted it was a package deal - all three or none at all.  
So in early 1963, the Ronettes became part of Phil Spector’s Philles Records

Be My Baby composed by the trio of Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich (1963)

Ronnie Spector is the only Ronette to appear on Be My Baby. The Ronettes there is also Cher and Darlene Love, helping with additional backup vocals.

“I always commiserated [with the singers] because Phil didn’t pay too much attention to them.  He treated them as if they were another instrument.  
I mean, they weren’t ill-treated, they were just ignored.”

 Larry Levine, studio engineer

Phil Spector with engineer Larry Levine at the custom-made12-channel mixer in the control room at Gold Star.
Cher (far right) at Gold Star studios during session work as a back up singer for the Ronettes.
 Over the other shoulder of Phil Spector is Darlene Love (The Crystals), 1963
Seventeen-year-old Cher (back, right) and Phil Spector in the studio during the recording of A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records, 1963


Eggs | Andy Warhol (1982)

Andy Warhol, Eggs, 1982
Andy Warhol, Eggs, 1982
Andy Warhol, Eggs, 1982

Apparition Of Love | Carlos Drummond de Andrade, 1902-1987

Carlos Drummond de Andrade, 1902-1987

                                                         Sweet ghost, why do you visit me
                                                         as in other times our bodies visited each other?
                                                         Your transparency dampens my skin
                                                         coming together in caresses that can never happen
                                                         no one ever received a kiss from a vanished face.

                                                         But you insist, sweetness. I hear your voice,
                                                         the same voice, the same tone,
                                                         the same light syllables
                                                         and the same deep breath of longing
                                                         with which you dissolved in pleasure.

                                                         And our final rest from love,
                                                         then I am convinced, that I hear your name,
                                                         the only part of you that hasn’t dissolved
                                                         and that continues existing, pure sound.
                                                         I embrace what?
                                                         The mass of air you have turned into.
                                                         And I kiss, I kiss the nothingness intensely.
                                                         My beloved destroyed being, why do you return
                                                        and are you as real as you are illusory?

                                                         I no longer can tell if you are a shadow
                                                        or if you always were a shadow, and our story
                                                        is fiction in a painfully deciphered book.
                                                        Will I one day know your real body
                                                        as today I know how
                                                        to embrace the mist as one embraces
                                                        a platonic ideal in space?
                                                        Does desire endure for you who no longer are
                                                        dear absent one, to persecute me gently?
                                                        I never thought that the dead
                                                        would have the same passion as in past days
                                                        and that they could transmit it to us with kisses
                                                        of blazing fire and multi-colored ice.

                                                       Your burning visit consoles me
                                                       Your burning visit desolates me
                                                       Your visit, hardly a pittance of charity.

                                                       Carlos Drummond de Andrade, 1902-1987
                                                       Brazilian poet, short story writer and chronicler.

Bizarre magazine | John Willie, 1946-59

Bizarre #1                                                                                                                     Bizarre #2
Bizarre #4                                                                                                                   Bizarre #5
Bizarre #6                                                                                                              Bizarre #7

"Bizarre. The magazine for pleasant optimists who frown on convention. The magazine of fashions and fantasies fantastic! Innumerable journals deal with ideas for the majority. Must all sheeplike follow in their wake? Bizarre is for those who have the courage of their own convictions. Conservative? —Old fashioned? —Not by any means! Where does a complete circle begin or end? And doesn't fashion move in a circle? Futuristic? Not even that—there is nothing new in fashion, it is only for the application of new materials—new ornaments—a new process of making—coupled with the taste and ability to create the unusual and unorthodox to the trend of the moment."

Bizarre no. 3, 1946

Bizarre #8                                                                                                                Bizarre #9

Bizarre #10
Bizarre #14

Bizarre #13                                                                                                  Bizarre #17

Bizarre was published at somewhat irregular intervals, from 1946 to 1959 by John Alexander Scott Coutts, aka John Willie (English Slang for penis) in 1946. He was an artist, photographer, writer, publisher and banjo player. The magazine included many photographs, often of Willie's wife (Holly Anna Faram), and drawings of costume designs, some based on ideas from readers. The original Bizarre Magazine was sold purely by mail order. There were also many letters from readers; he was accused of inventing these but insisted that they were genuine. The letters covered interests such as high heels, bondage, amputee fetishism, sadomasochism, transvestism, corsets, and body modification.

Bizarre #18                                                                                                             Bizarre #19
Bizarre #20                                                                                                  Bizarre #22
Bizarre #24                                                                                                      Bizarre #25

The magazine was suspended completely from 1947 to 1951 because of paper shortages and other lasting effects of the Second World War. By 1956 Coutts was ready to give up the magazine, and that year he sold it to someone described only as R.E.B., who published six more issues before "Bizarre" finally folded in 1959.

The g-string tie method of bondage was popularised by John Willie. He regarded it as exceptionally difficult to escape from, 
claiming that even Harry Houdini did not like trying to escape from it.

Bizarre magazine                                                                                            Miss Houdini

"I've tried a corset on myself and it was nothing else but damned uncomfortable. It gives a women a beautiful shape which I like but I shall get 
double pleasure out of using it as an 'instrument of correction'...I don't like extreme cruelty, I simply apply as much as is needed to correct disobedience."

John Willie

Photos from Bizarre magazine

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