Steve Katz is an American born, Australian based artist and musician who has spent most of his working life in the special effects field – putting his skills to work on such productions as ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘The Pacific’ as well as a slew of big budget feature films. Aside from his various artistic endeavours, Steve is also a fan of, collector and dealer in all things vintage, old and dusty – selling goods via his Sasquatch Vintage brand and shop.
Growing up during the 60’s, 70s and early 80s Steve was initially inspired and enthralled by the theatrics of KISS, books such as Where the Wild things are, the works of Dr. Seus and the many world’s conceived by television creators Sid and Marty Krofft. Along with these influences, it was viewing the 1982 film, Pink Floyd’s The Wall that ultimately changed Steve forever. Leading him to feel that the works he was creating and the thoughts he wanted to express would be accepted by the world. Freeing him to pursue a life devoted to the arts.
With Steve noting,
“To say that seeing The Wall for the first time was a turning point for me would be putting it mildly.
To me it was the holy grail of artistic and creative inspiration and it was what I needed to move forward towards a certain artistic direction. The combination of surreal imagery, music and Scarfe’s animation made me realise that the thoughts and images that floated around MY brain were going to be accepted somehow.
This movie knew me.
It was like finally finding a friend that you had everything in common with.
We are still very close and stay in touch often.“
Wanting to get to know Steve better, we sent him some questions to answer over email.
You can read our in depth interview with Steve, below…
Name + D.O.B?
Steve “Katz” Katz
City, State and Country you currently call home?
Ashbury, NSW, AUS.
City, State and Country you’re from?
Charleston, South Carolina, USA.
Please describe some memories from key stages of your life: concerts, art, toys, romance, comic books, hunting, school, politics, crime, religion… ANYTHING really!
* Age 5 – beginnings:
First off, you hit paydirt when it comes to a walk down memory lane with me. It’s a can of overflowing worms that I could elaborate on for days but for the sake of your readers I’ll try to refrain from getting too crazy with it. The issue is that I don’t catalogue my memories too well so WHEN they happened is a bit foggy.
I’ll do my best.
RANDOM CHILDHOOD MEMORY #1: Screaming and crying, chasing my “friends” around my back-yard with a vengeance, because they made fun of my “girly” socks.
MOM, why the fuck was I wearing girly socks?! …oooooooh if I had caught just one of em!
RANDOM CHILDHOOD MEMORY #2: My dad had been staying in the hospital for weeks after his heart attack. My sister and I were finally able to visit one day and we were let in one at a time.
I had drawn a card for him depicting him as completely bandaged up from head to toe with his legs in a sling. They led me into his hospital. As I entered the door, clutching the card with anticipation, I looked up and there he was looking much thinner and with a moustache?? Who was this guy?
…Where’s my dad, I thought…. what have you done with my dad??!!
He reached his arms out to give me a hug and as I approached him cautiously, crying and confused, battling with emotions, I started to feel fuzzy and the whole room went sideways.
I remember waking up in the hospital bed next to my dad and seeing his smiling, moustached face. This would be the beginning of many fainting spells as a child.
BOOKS! Inspiration starts. Dr. Seuss (especially the one called “the 500 Hats”), Where the Wild Things Are, one called The Five Chinese Brothers, Harold and the Purple Crayon and many others… images are entering and catalogued in my little mushy brain. There are certain illustrations in these books that just stick with you the rest of your life.
KID’S TELEVISION! Here we go… Saturday mornings were the shit for kids growing up in the late sixties-early 70s and I still get giddy thinking about how cool kids programming was back then… with real people in real costumes in real sets. Sid and Marty Krofft including H.R. Pufinstuf, Lidsville, Land of the Lost, Sigmund the Sea Monster.
There was so much meat to children’s television during that time including the educational stuff with Sesame Street being in its hey-day, A reading show called Electric Company, Mr. Rodgers, Captain Kangaroo, School House Rock, etc.
I actually feel sorry for these kids who don’t get to experience those old shows like we did. Ultra Man, the Shazam and Mighty Isis Hour and too many cartoons to mention.
The opening credits to Six Million Dollar Man is still one the best in television history.
I could go on way too long about this. There’s so much more.
I would like to add that the Wicked Witch of the West freaked me the fuck out.
* Age 10 – continuations:
Age 10 is 5th grade back in the states and it was a pivotal time. It was 1975 and I discovered there was more to music than the one-hit wonders and disco hits I was subjected to listen to up until then. When he showed me his KISS ALIVE album it blew me away and haunted me at the same time. There was just something about the way it was shot and printed, the muted colours, the smoke, the costumes, the posing… WTF was this?
I was hooked.
From then on it was Kiss all day, every day. Sure we dug the music (c’mon we were only 10) but it was never really about that for me… it was the theatrics, the absurdity, the makeup and costumes… the whole circus aspect and for a budding artist it was an overflowing library of images to literally draw from. My bedroom wall became littered in cut out photos from Cream and Hit Parade Magazine. Even the tiniest little thumbnail made it onto my Kiss wall of fame and I would draw from these photos constantly.
My admiration for Kiss from a musical standpoint quickly faded as my tastes started to get a bit more refined and leaned more towards Sabbath and Zeppelin and I am now a huge music fan of all genres but Kiss was my plummet into the underworld and I’ll always appreciate that.
The other thing I have to thank Kiss being the fodder for what would become my first lesson in supply and demand and the “art” of mass marketing.
MAGS: Not a comics guy believe it or not but I did like Mad Magazine, Creem, Hit Parade, Muscle and Fitness (yep, I was quite the weightlifter starting at around 13), Skateboarder Magazine and Architectural Digest ( I was really into drawing floor plans).
RANDOM CHILDHOOD MEMORY #3: Trying to impress the older cooler kids in the neighbourhood by jumping a ramp on my BMX Mongoose. I jumped it so high that when I looked down I could see the roof of Skipper Johnson’s VW bug. When I turned my head to look forward all I saw was the bark of the tree I was going to hit in mid air.
Then everything went black.
When I came to, my head was on the lap of Skipper Johnson’s girlfriend as she held a wet towel on my bruised forehead while all the guys were telling me what a rad jump that was.
Yeah, that was a good day.
* Age 15 – getting serious:
Oh yeah, soooo serious.
First year of highschool, Van Halen, AC/DC, MTV, soccer team, drinking warm cheap beer at the beach and on hoods of cars, being completely inspired by Pink Floyd’s The Wall. To say that seeing The Wall for the first time was a turning point for me would be putting it mildly. To me it was the holy grail of artistic and creative inspiration and it was what I needed to move forward towards a certain artistic direction. The combination of surreal imagery, music and Scarfe’s animation made me realise that the thoughts and images that floated around MY brain were going to be accepted somehow.
This movie knew me.
It was like finally finding a friend that you had everything in common with. We are still very close and stay in touch often.
My art teacher, Mrs Welch was responsible for getting me into the possibility of applying to art colleges. She was very supportive and encouraging once she saw my potential. Art class in my highschool was a joke to just about everyone except me and this one other kid. It was just an excuse for kids to goof off and throw gum erasers at each other.
I was kind of a peer pressure sucker so I pretended to go along with the shenanigans but deep down I really wanted to excel so Mrs. Welch focused on me and tried to keep me in line. I remember her being so disappointed when I would give into the pack-like hooliganism of the other kids. I could see she was disrespected and that her job was pretty thankless and unappreciated by the other students and I felt bad for her so I was glad to give her some hope that she could get through to at least one kid.
My work ethic in school in general was pretty sludgy at best but man, when I realised that you could go to an art college as opposed to a normal one jumped on it and I applied to some of the top art schools in the country and worked my ass off every night to get my admission portfolios together. My parents were the coolest and couldn’t be more supportive. I was accepted to almost every college I applied to so they decided that they would make a trio of it and go with me to visit all the schools to see how i liked them. I’ll never forget that.
I don’t think I ever really expressed how much that meant to me.
* Age 20 – young adult:
1984, New York City, Parsons School of Design; The most educational, inspirational, impactful experience of my life. And It wasn’t just Parsons that schooled me, it was everything… the people, the city, the street smarts, the food, the music.
In ‘84 NYC was still pretty edgy and dangerous in certain areas and it was just on the outer cusp of the punk and new wave scene. I had never heard of bands like Bauhaus, The Smiths, XTC, Echo and the Bunnymen, Violent Femmes, the Ramones, Bad Brains… none of that. It was all new to me… but within the span of about two weeks I was completely dressed in black, got an earring, wore long black coats and boots and was going to clubs until all hours.
Moving to a place like NYC for a shy southern boy was scary as hell but when you know you’re going to be in Manhattan for a while, you just become Manhattan. You tuck in and before you know it… you’re a New Yorker… or at least you think you are and therefore you are. You get thrown into it and go along for the ride.
So Parsons was full of all these kookie kids like me all coming together from all different directions like in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, they saw a common vision, a common goal and it led them here… to Parsons School of Design and and the big city to pursue their dreams and live out their fantasies of being a successful artist.
Like a sensible kid, I majored in graphic design but when I saw all the kids in the Illustration department making all these cool drawings, I switched to Illustration.
I can’t even begin to describe my time at Parsons and NYC because it’s just too much of everything. Too many new experiences and stimuli to mention here. All I can say is during that time you work hard, play hard, take in every new experience and lesson learned then… you graduate… with nothing but an oversized scrapbook of a portfolio and your Illustration BFA in hand.
You’re woken up by the crashing symbols of the real world and the rent is due. You then, while you’re standing there in the cold waiting for your cheap take-out of vegetable-fried rice, you ask yourself…
Freelance Illustration? Why didn’t I just stick with Graphic Design?
What did I do?
* Age 25 – adult mode:
As the crashing symbols of reality were ringing I managed to get a job with MTV.
During my senior year at Parsons my style involved 3-dimensional art so when I saw an ad for a props builder on a show called “Don’t Just Sit There” on the school job board, I jumped at it. It was my first paid job as an artist. It was hard work and long hours for almost no pay but it was creative and challenging and still to this day, one of the funnest jobs I’ve ever had.
That job led to a string of various television and film art department gigs which was cool but the jobs were becoming less creative. The bigger the budget, the less creative it became. I accepted this, however and working in film and television became my bread and butter.
During this time I did take a break from NYC and lived at home in Charleston SC for a year. While I was there I won a poster competition and my image ended up representing the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, which was the local version of the bigger international Spoleto Festival which is a culture-fest of dance, theatre and music from all over the world.
I ended up getting in the paper, doing phone interviews and having a show in the gallery that I was working for as a framer at the time. My 15 minutes back in my hometown.
It was nice.
* Age 30 – fully formed:
I am destined to be a shapeshifter of careers and pursuits. So… no full forming here. Not on my watch. Besides, my ADHD doesn’t allow it. So, roughly age 30 flash to me hopping on a plane from NYC out to see what life was like on the other side of the country and to sunny Los Angeles I went.
It was only on a 1 year trial basis, which would find me still there 25 years later. Numerous TV gigs as a runner and art department grunt would eventually lead to falling into the special FX makeup world, creating foam latex creature suits and prosthetics and I would continue this career path all the way up to about a year ago. It was never something I thought I would be doing but it seemed to fit well and I was really enjoying the comradery of the whole thing.
It was a community of very talented and nutty artists and craftsmen and I became great friends with a lot of them. I was also fortunate to work under the best in the business like Rick Baker, Roland Blancaflor, Stan Winston, Greg Nicotero and Howard Burger.
After 20 odd years of working in Los Angeles in the makeup biz I had the opportunity to work on some really great productions including Godzilla (first makeup gig), Planet of the Apes, The Grinch, Nutty Professor, Men in Black, Hellboy, Chronicles of Narnia, a handful of Tarantino films and 6 seasons of The Walking Dead.
* Age 35 – meanderings:
Yep meandering for sure. Doing the makeup thing, the art thing, getting into LA group art exhibits here and there.
Hanging at Venice Beach.
* Age 40 – adult meanderings:
Got married. Still meandering. Form a band with 2 friends as bass player and singer. Go to Australia to work on the Pacific for 10 months. Father dies. Get divorced.
* Age 45 – middle age approaches:
Ex-wife dies. Grieve… a lot. Push on.
Win an Emmy for Outstanding Prosthetic Makeup for a Miniseries in 2010 for HBO’s The Pacific along with the rest of our Prosthetics crew including my buddy’s from LA, Chad Atkinson and Ben Rittenhouse.
* Age 50 – middle age:
Big year. Big move.
In a very small nutshell, the whole reason why I’m living in Sydney now is because while I was working for an FX shop called KNB EFX I was sent to Queensland and Melbourne to work on an HBO miniseries called the Pacific back in 2007-08.
Kept in touch with one of the girls I met on the shoot, she then comes to visit in 2012 with sister in tow, we get introduced, we connect, we stay in touch, fall head over heels, I figure she is and always will be the best thing to ever happen to me, decide to make a go of it, get married in Malibu, CA in 2015 and at age 50 I move to Sydney to be with my beautiful wife, Jen and here I am.
Only after a few weeks in Sydney I was lucky enough to get a call from Adam Johanson and Damian Martin, owners of the well established Sydney makeup fx shop, ODD Studios and was invited to head up the foam casting dept. on the movie Alien Covenant. It was a fantastic experience and I was honoured to be a part of their extremely talented crew. I went on to work with ODD on a couple of commercials and the films Pacific Rim and Little Monsters.
I haven’t worked in makeup for over a year now but if I got a call to get on an FX gig, it would be hard to turn down. I guess we’ll have to see what happens with this whole Covid thing. I’m not expecting any calls anytime soon.
This was also the year I was Introduced to the man… Glenno Smith and his amazing wife Gina and they take me in like a lost pup and give me my first art exhibit in Sydney.
I can’t thank Glenno and Gina enough for all the support and enthusiasm these two have shared with me. They are the King and Queen of the Sydney underground art world and I appreciate them letting me have a key to the castle. Thanks guys!
* Age 55 – middle age meanderings:
Prior to having to deal with a life changing whole new heap of bullshit called the Coronavirus, age 55 was a life changing time in my life as it’s also when my wife was invited by our good friend Gina to share a space with her at Lunatiques.
A new career path was formed and Sasquatch Vintage would become a full time gig.
Well I guess “They don’t make em’ like they used to” comes up quite a bit so I’ll go with that one.
When and why did you first start to make art?
… and any pivotal artistic moment(s) / influence(s)?
My first inspiration would have to be my mother, Diane. She worked as a fashion illustrator for the New York Times and was a painter so the smell of oil paint was in the air at an early age. I wold spend time up in the attic going through all her art supplies and looking through all her old drawings.
She is definitely responsible for my initial interest in art and any talent I might have comes from her.
My first inspiring, non-family art critique was in my 3rd grade Sunday school class. I drew some scene from the bible, couldn’t tell you what it was about… I just remember it had something to do with some woman bringing a jug of water to some less fortunate fella.
Anyway, the teacher liked it and showed it off to the rest of the class and it left me thinking that drawing might be something I could possibly be good at.
First influences were probably the illustrations in the books mentioned already. Where the Wild things are and Dr. Seus. Then it was the TV shows like Pufnstuf, movies like Wizard of Oz and Fantasia, then later it was Pink Floyd’s The Wall and that settled it.
First pivotal art moment would be getting back to the Kiss thing and how they were involved in my first lesson on mass marketing my art.
Going back to 1974… One day I brought a drawing I did of Paul Stanly into school to show Devin. He loved it. He loved it so much he offered me his lunch money in exchange for it. I agreed and pocketed the 55 cents. He then took it around to all his classes and showed everyone.
The next day another kid asked me if I could do that same drawing and again I was offered the 55 cents that some poor mother thought they were giving their son to have a good square meal. The next morning as I walked onto the school grounds, I was ambushed by a hungry mob of Kiss fans all wanting the same drawing.
Now I was in over my head. But of course, not wanting to let anyone down, I strapped myself in for a marathon of Paul Stanley drawings. After about 2 or three more drawings I had run out of paper.
I remember running up to the attic where all my mom’s art supplies were and stumbled across an old pad of tracing paper so I just started using that. Then as I’m drawing the next Paul Stanley, a light went off. Why am I drawing on tracing paper when I can actually use it for what it was intended for? So I carefully traced one I had done previously. It looked pretty good in the pad but when I tore it out and held it up it looked… well… traced. I added some shading to help it look a little more authentic and decided to give it a go anyway.
The next day I gave the other two kids their drawings and took their money and as I approached the poor kid that was going to end up with the lame tracing I saw his eyes light up in anticipation. The feeling of guilt overwhelmed me and just as I was about to admit that I traced it, he grabbed it out of my hand and yelled “this is so coooool!” He didn’t care. He didn’t even flinch at the fact that it was on tracing paper. So… it was business as usual and his 55 cents ended up in my pocket. Guilt gone.
I ended up doing a few more tracings and earn enough lunch money to buy a couple of Duncan yo-yos. I moved on from Kiss when my musical tastes actually started to mature towards bands like Sabbath and Zeppelin. But I do appreciate their talent for business and marketing.
I mean, ironically, they’re kind of like my crappy tracings… not much substance but if some makeup and fire-breathing puts a smile on a kids face… who give’s a shit really.
Influence: I had a life-drawing teacher named Dave Passalacqua at Parsons School of Design. He was kind of a guru and a bit of a cult leader in a Charles Manson kind of way. He had kids coming into his classes who weren’t even part of the curriculum. Groupies.
He was a bit militant in his coaching and very charismatic.
It was more about learning how to see rather than how to draw. It was about loosening up and exploring. It changed and matured my whole approach to drawing.
He hated when people didn’t draw dicks. I remember like it was yesterday; we were all diligently drawing in his class and all you could hear was the sound of everyone’s charcoal dragging across their newsprint pads and Passalacqua is slowly walking around behind everyone when all the sudden he yells at the top of his lungs “God-damnit …He’s got a dick! Draw it!” Man, you should have seen the size of those dicks after that.
Please describe the usual process involved with producing your paintings and illustration – from initial idea, to creation and finish?
– Gather music: This could be anything from heavy to atmospheric to jazz. If I can’t decide I’ll just throw on the usual go-to’s; High on Fire, Miles Davis, Oranssi Pazuzu or some ambient instrumental, atmospheric type stuff like a Tangerine Dream soundtrack.
– Surface prep: I developed this technique where I apply texture to the canvas or board using a combination of palette knife and brush. I love the look of those old dutch paintings by artists like Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel The Elder.
This texture application seems to create a similar look and gives depth.
– Once the textured background is complete I then proceed to have a staring contest with the canvas, waiting to see if anything jumps out at me until I finally just dive in. Unless I have a specific subject matter to focus on or a consignment a lot of my paintings just happen organically.
It’s kinda like the brush is more like the planchette on a ouija board. As a matter of fact as I’m thinking of it now, the whole process could be very similar to that of using a ouija board… the brush seems to move on its own… summoning or exposing the spirits or the creatures buried in my subconscious.
Ooooh I like that. That might have to go on my bio now.
– Once the spirits are exposed, I tuck in and proceed to create the image, building layers on top of the texture then dry-brushing the highlights on the peaks. Pushing it back and pulling it out until it starts to take shape.
I paint with acrylics which allows me to do this due to how quick it dries. Recently I started using a glazing type of approach. It’s a bit of a process and it can take a while to finally build it and push the paint to where I want it to go but at this point the process becomes more of a discovery rather than a creation and a story unfolds but there’s a mystery to the story and it’s just a moment in time.
The characters usually have a grotesque or devilish appearance but it’s softened by their mood. Melancholy Misfits I call them. I’m a big fan of devils and demons. I love the whole folklore surrounding the occult and it ends up being a theme in my art quite a bit. Because I’m a pretty harsh critic of my own art, I’m usually not happy with it until it’s almost done.
I struggle with it but it’s a meditative struggle and I can lose myself discovering where it’s trying to take me.
My pen and ink approach is different. The medium requires more control. I’m inspired again by the old dutch etchings of the 16th and 17th century by the likes of Albrecht Durer, Bosch and Rembrandt. I use an ink-dipped quill pen so once again it can be a slow tedious process and it’s mixed with a bit of tension as the quill can be a bit of a brat and spit and spill ink where you don’t want it.
Another passion I have is designing logos. I love a good logo and have created quite a few for people over the years. I like the challenge of trying to represent a company or a brand with a simple bold image.
Favorite other artist(s)?
That’s kind of a tough one because there are so many but there are some that I connect to more than others like Francis Bacon, Marshall Arisman, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Arthur Rackham, N.C. Wyeth, Heironomis Bosch and Ralph Steadman.
With Instagram, the list of current artists is now never-ending so I wont even go there. I actually have a favorite work of art that has been with me for a long time. It’s a 16th century engraving of The Temptation of Saint Anthony by Martin Schongauer. It just feels like something I might have done back then.
I have one of the creature’s tatted on my arm.
Any projects you want to hype?
I’m Looking forward to Glennos next Bein’ Narly show, “Arte Diabolica”. I had just been in his Sci-Fi show when The Bein’ Gnarly Fest was rudely interrupted by that menacing Coronavirus.
I’m sure when the doors are ready to open again Bein’ Gnarly will be back with a vengeance.
Also, although I’m not involved too much in special FX makeup so much at the moment I’ve been toying with the idea of gathering some of my Australian FX makeup colleagues together and having an art show featuring the art they create when not creating it for the screen. We’re talking paintings, masks, mocketts and art of all kinds.
The amazing artist and lord of the dark arts, Chet Zar, who I’ve had the pleasure of knowing through the FX biz in LA, curates the Conjoined art show in Los Angeles and I think Sydney would be a great place to do something similar. I chatted with him a while back about possibly doing the same kind of thing here and I’m pretty sure I got his blessing. I just need to find the time and the resources to get it off the ground.
If anyone wants to get involved in something like this, please let me know.
If people wanted to work with you, have a chat or buy some of your art – how should they get in touch?
I’m happy to chat with anyone over a few beers and some waffle fries.
Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit my art website at https://www.katz-art.com
Visit my graphics and logo site at https://www.katzgrafx.com
I also have some original paintings hanging up at my vintage shop, Sasquatch Vintage which is in the Lunatiques Antique Warehouse, located at 2 Kent Rd. in Mascot.
…And speaking of Lunatiques! How’s that for a segway?
Dealing + Collecting Questions
When and why did you first start becoming interested in antiques and everything vintage?
… and what led you to become an antique / vintage wares salesman?
Why: I guess I’ve always had an old soul type of appreciation for the stuff. My folks had Danish furniture growing up so I think my attachment to Mid-Century started at a young age.
I feel very fortunate to have grown up in the late 60s and early 70’s and have parents that were just coming out of the 50s because I honestly feel that “stuff” was just so much cooler then than it is now. Because of that I’m extremely nostalgic about that era. Everything from toys to TV/film, design, style, architecture, clothing, cars. There was more attention to quality detail and aesthetic. So, yeah I’m a firm believer in “They don’t make em like they used to.”
Mind you, I’m from the States so a lot of what I refer to may not have made it over here. In reference to that, I’m very lucky to have found my partner in crime when it comes to american nostalgia and I married her. It’s great to be able to share that passion with someone.
Sasquatch Beginnings: As stated, Jen and I had always shared a passion for vintage so when Gina invited us to share a space with her at Lunatiques, we jumped at it and Sasquatch Vintage was born.
We now have two stalls there that share the same corner in the shop. I’m pretty much running the whole shebang on my own now but Jen is still very much a part of the business. She’s the silent but not so silent partner. She keeps me grounded and helps me make “realistic” decisions.
I’d be a hot mess without her.
Where and how do you normally source the various wares you sell?
If I told ya, I’d have to kill ya.
Any interesting shop tales you would like to share for posterity with our readers?
I don’t have any shop tales that are very interesting as of yet but I’ve sold a few mid-century lounges and sideboards that might have some stories to tell.
Do you notice any trends in the vintage / antique business at the moment?
Honestly I haven’t been playing the seller game long enough to follow any type of trends. I think it’s like the stock market… it’s up and down; unpredictable. What might be a trend one day, won’t be the next. I’ll have two good weeks and one bad.
It’s a personal taste kinda thing too. Some things sit in the shop for a long time until that one person comes in that falls in love with it and, poof… gone the next day.
I can tell you this… regardless of trends, If I don’t keep moving and constantly hunting and gathering it reflects in the sales. It’s like trying to keep above water. I’ve worked in numerous film and television productions so I can tell you It’s very similar to that but you’re playing all the roles. I’m the Director, Art Director, Producer, Set Dresser/Decorator, Buyer, Swing Gang, and Accountant all in one.
I like being my own boss but man… my boss can be one tough motherfucker.
What do you currently collect yourself; and what is it about those objects that so interests you?
I was collecting hi-fi stereos mostly from the 70’s and early 80s, which in my opinion was the best time for high fidelity, until the reality set in that I didn’t and couldn’t use them all but I still do a lot of window shopping for them.
I love music and I love the sound of music if that makes sense (and I’m not talking about the movie). I enjoy being moved by music and when it sounds its best it’s even better. I like knobs and wood and metal and when they are put together to form a nice sounding stereo, I’m all over it.
So of course with stereo collecting comes record collecting. Still have CDs and still have DVDs. My wife reminds me that I have gathered quite the collection of shoes and jackets so I guess there’s that as well.
What are the top 3 items you own?
My Marantz model 1060 integrated amplifier and 112 tuner with a pair of KLH model 17 speakers.
I have a few Victrolas. This is my favorite.
These two little gremlins are my prized possessions.
Odds and Ends
If you could live in any place, during any historical era – where and when would that be?
…and why would you choose that time and place?
Probably 50’s – early 60’s.
Cool stuff… who wouldn’t want to live in a time where even vacuum cleaners looked like spaceships.
Cool art… Those Fillmore rock posters from the 60’s, have you seem em, C’mon!
What role did toys play in your childhood?
A big one! I still love em! It’s all part of the big nostalgia fest that I’m a sucker for.
Some of these may not have made it over to Australia but the ones that stick in my head are Operation, Stretch Armstrong, Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys, Barrel of Monkeys, Erector sets… (don’t say it), Cap guns graduating to Daisy B.B. guns, Big wheels, Atari, SST cars, Evil Kneivel Stunt Cycle, marbles, Dunkan yo-yo’s, Shrinky Dinks, Slinky, Play-Doh, Spirograph, Simon Says, Mad Libs, Slinky, Rockem Sockem Robots, Battleship, Nerf football, Pong, electric football, Hot Wheels, Tonka, Light-Bright, View-Master and all the toxic stuff from Wham-O.
Drugs – waste of time or gateway to the universe?
Can’t say they were a waste of time for me because I never really gave them the time to waste. I dabbled but it never went much further. I just didn’t trust it.
Coke and speed especially always offended me for some reason… still does. A rapid heart-beat, sweating and chewing your face off just isn’t that attractive to me. I could never understand the need for speed and why anyone would want to throw that kind of money out the window like that. Isn’t life over-priced and moving way too fast already?
I’ll tip back a few beers with ya anytime. I’ll even get stoned from time to time in a social situation if it was getting passed around but I really don’t see the need for much more than that.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
Why: Hot pants
Followed closely by my third grade teacher. Can’t remember her name but she was younger than the other teachers, had long red hair and drove a convertible MG.
For some reason I ended up getting a ride with her one day after school with the top down. The experience and excitement was almost too much for me and I came very close to throwing up all over the passenger seat.
Does sex change everything?
Well, I still can’t do that fingers-in-the-mouth whistle thing. I was always trying to do that as a kid cause my dad could do it… and MAN could he do it! He would whistle for me when dinner was ready and I would be out somewhere with my friends and because we had a small lake in the middle of the neighborhood you could hear that whistle carry from anywhere within a miles radius. Anyway… I just couldn’t get the hang of it. I’d practice and practice and nothin’. The only thing that passed my fingers was hot air.
Then one day I had sex.
In a fight between the two iconic author / illustrators: Maurice Sendak Vs. Dr Seuss – who would win and why?
Hmmm I don’t think I like this question…
As I have already mentioned, these are the two artists that had the most influence on me as a kid so I find it very ironic and disturbing that you now want me to put these two in a fight to the death.
What kind of Sadist are you?
Please describe your last dream in detail…
I’m really bad at remembering dreams I’ve had recently… but I can remember a dream I had before the age of five frame by frame as if it DID happen yesterday.
I find that it’s actually quite relevant in many ways. I’ll walk you through it …
I was visiting the zoo with my dad and suddenly all the animals turned into the Where the Wild Things Are characters. Obviously inspired and haunted by the book. The creatures somehow escaped from their cages and started chasing my dad. It was horrifying. They weren’t the friendly gentle giants Mr. Sendak created. Shit no, They were the bigger, meaner and more evil beasts that I created.
This is where the relevance starts as I have been creating monsters in my head since then… it’s what I do NOW… STILL.
So, anyway… I turn into a superhero with a giant red cape and I fly to the rescue. It’s a bit fuzzy as to how I actually slayed the beasts, but I did and I saved my dad.
If that dream would have ended tragically I think it would have scarred me for life.
SO where its gets relevant once again is I’m pretty sure I had that dream just after my father had his first heart attack which puts me at about 5 yrs old. His absence during his stay at the hospital affected me and he always seemed weaker and more vulnerable after that so from then on I think in my subconscious I always wanted to protect him and save him from the mean heart attack monsters.
Heavy stuff, man.
Other than that, just your typical anxiety dreams like being late for class, not having homework done, losing teeth, being naked in a public place… oh wait… that last one wasn’t a dream.
Shit… I need to make some phone calls.
Of everything you have done what would you most like to be remembered for and why?
Well, I don’t think I have done anything yet that I deserve being remembered for in particular (there’s the self-loathing jew in me) but I know there are a few things I’d rather be forgotten.
For the sake of throwing something down on digital paper I would most like to be remembered for donating my chromosomes to my sister and her wife and being half responsible for bringing a beautiful little girl named Sydni into the world who just happened to wish me happy American Fathers Day for the first time since she was born 10 years ago.
That’s pretty cool.
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