Tag Archives: Bobby Breen

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 62 THE BEATLES (Part N The last 4 people alive from cover of Stg. Pepper’s and the reason Bob Dylan was put on the cover!) (Feature on artist Larry Bell)

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Today we are going to look at the four men on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s that are still alive today:   Bob Dylan, Dion, Larry Bell and  Bobby Breen.

Great article on Dylan and Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Cover:

A famous album by the fab four – The Beatles – is “Sergeant peppers lonely hearts club band“. The album itself is one of the must influential albums of all time. New recording techniques and experiments with different styles of music made this album more of a piece of art than just an LP. The cover of the album was a work of art on its own.
The cover won a Grammy Award. It featured lots of famous people like Edgar Allan Poe, Karl Marx, T.E. Lawrence, Laurel & Hardy and Albert Einstein. The Beatles themselves are represented by wax statues of the young beatles at Madame Tussauds. But offcourse, i’m referencing this album because one of the celebrities featured on the album is Bob Dylan himself.
Dylan’s portrait is shown in the top right corner, overlooking the rest of the pack.

[sgt-pepper_bob_dylan.jpg]

In the very fine article, The Sgt. Pepper’s Album Cover: Faces in the Crowd,” by  on  March 29, 2015, she made this observation concerning the picking of  BOB DYLAN to be on the cover:

Although his debut album had been released only five years previous, Dylan was already a giant figure in the minds of his fans—including the Beatles. Everything they had written since the Rubber Soul era carried a touch of Dylan’s influence, if only in the way he opened up the possibilities of rock lyrics to subjects other than boy-meets-girl.

 

sgt-pepper

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 is correct that the Beatles were heavily influenced by Dylan and I wanted to make a further observation down those same lines. Dylan’s songs pointed out over and over that the previous generation was bankrupt in their values of PERSONAL PEACE and AFFLUENCE and this new generation was not interested in just “keeping up with the Joneses.”  Dylan was consistently bringing up the big questions in life and those were the questions the Beatles wanted answered!!! Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

Dylan and Lennon pictured below:

DYLAN AND LENNON IN CAR IN LONDON PT1

johnny-cash-and-bob-dylan

I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know whenthis series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”

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Four people still alive that appeared on the cover:  Bob Dylan: The man who introduced the Beatles to marijuana.  Dion: Besides Dylan, the onetime heartthrob was the only pop music figure in the gallery. Larry Bell: American sculptor who worked as a bouncer at the Unicorn in LA. Bobby Breen: Child star of the 1930s. I am going to take a look at four of their lives below.

In the book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer wrote:

In this flow there was also the period of psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs, by the use of a certain type of music. This was the period of the Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Strawberry Fields Forever (1967). In the same period and in the same direction was Blonde on Blonde (1966) by Bob Dylan. 

Actually Schaeffer spent a lot of time talking about Bob Dylan.

 

BOB DYLAN AND JOHN LENNON IN LONDON PT2

Ballad Of A Thin Man

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Bob Dylan looked into the modern thought  of the 1960’s and he saw that the educated class did not have the answers and he was looking for the answers to the big questions of life in his writings. Over and over again back then reporters were asking him what his songs meant. Actually his songs were an effort to bring up the big questions but he did not have the answers. In the song “A Ballad of a Thin Man” Dylan ridicules the reporter “Mr. Jones” throughout the song for his lack of understanding of this new generation.  “Oh my God, am I here all alone?” is the feeling that Mr. Jones has after following around Dylan because he doesn’t even to begin to understand the deep seated dissatisfaction of this new generation with the status quo. Every person that ever lived has had this feeling at one time or another and Romans chapter one discusses the inner conscience that everyone has that points them to the God of the Bible that created the world and put them on this earth for a purpose. 

Francis Schaeffer in his film series THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE  made the following points concerning the young people of the 1960’s:

I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought

II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism

Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed Values

A. General acceptance of selfish values (personal peace and affluence) accompanied rejection of Christian consensus.

1. Personal peace means: I want to be left alone, and I don’t care what happens to the man across the street or across the world. I want my own life-style to be undisturbed regardless of what it will mean — even to my own children and grandchildren.

2. Affluence means things, things, things, always more things — and success is seen as an abundance of things.

B. Students wish to escape meaninglessness of much of adult society.

1. Watershed was Berkeley in 1964.

Bob Dylan also was writing in his music about the disconnect between the young generation of the 1960’s and their parents’ generation. Francis Schaeffer noted:

It is called “A Ballad of a a Thin Man” and it apparently was written by Bob Dylan himself. Last time I read you the back cover of the album and I pointed out that when you go to the museums and also in the Theater and  in the pop records you see this same message. This is far from nothing. The very music is tremendous. It is great communication. It is like pop art. It is very destructive and just like the Theatre of the absurd although it destroys everything and leaves you with nonsense seemingly yet when you listen to the words with great care it has made a very selective destruction. Let me read the words.

You walk into the room
With your pencil in your hand
You see somebody naked
And you say who is that man?
You try so hard
But you don’t understand
Just what you would’ve said
When you get home

Something is happening
But you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

You sneak into the window
And you say, “Is this where it is?”
Somebody points his finger at you
And says, “It’s his”
And you say, “What’s mine?”
Someone else says, “Where what is?”
And you say, “Oh my God, am I here all alone?”

Something is happening
But you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

You hand in your ticket
And you go see the geek
Who walks up to you
When he hears you speak
And says, “How does it feel
To be such a freak?”
And you say, “Impossible”
As he hands you a bone

Something is happening
And you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

You have many contacts
Out there among the lumberjacks
To get you facts
When someone attacks your imagination
But no one has any respect
Anyway they just expect
You to hand over your check
To tax deductible charity organizations

The sword swallower walks up to you
And he kneels
He crosses himself
And then he clicks his high heels
And without further notice
Asks you how it feels
And says, “Here’s your throat back
Thanks for the loan”

Something is happening
And you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

You crawl into the room
Like a camel and you frown
You put your eyes in your pocket
And you put your nose into the ground
There ought to be a law
Against you comin’ around
You got to be made
To be wearing a telephone

But something is happening
And you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

Something is happening here
And you don’t know what it is
Do you Mister Jones?

Songwriters
Bob Dylan

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Francis Schaeffer observed:

In the June 28, 1966 issue of Look Magazine in the article on California the writer concludes, “It may seem ironical that a highly technical society demands a means for mystically exploration and this is LSD.” All of these may sound different. LSD and Bob Dylan may sounds miles apart. A tremendous art work in one of our great museums and the kids in a concert listening to Bob Dylan but in reality the message is the same. The tension is that according to all logic and rationality ALL IS ABSURD, yet man at the same time can not live with this and he is in this tremendous tension. He just can’t get away from being human. This is exactly what Paul was talking about in the Book of Romans and that man really knows about God and he knows about God in his conscience and from God’s external [creative] works.

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At one point in his life Bob Dylan did come to the same final conclusion that Solomon did so long ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes  when he observed the world around him and Dylan expressed this same conclusion in his song “Gotta Serve Somebody” back in the early 1980’s.

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil.

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In fact, at this same time, Dylan joined my favorite Christian musician Keith Green and played the harmonica for this song below:

I pledge my head to heaven

NOTICE BELOW THAT JOHN LENNON REFERENCES DYLAN’S SONG “A Ballad of a a Thin Man” IN THE THIRD STANZA.

John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Mitch Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix

Uploaded on Jul 1, 2010

John Lennon (Beatles), Eric Clapton (Cream), Keith Richards (Rolling Stones), Mitch Mitchell (Jimi Hendrix Experience) – Yer Blues

“Yer Blues”

2,3Yes I’m lonely wanna die
Yes I’m lonely wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Ooh girl you know the reason whyIn the morning wanna die
In the evening wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Ooh girl you know the reason whyMy mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth
I’m lonely wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Ooh girl you know the reason whyThe eagle picks my eye
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones
Lonely wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Ooh girl you know the reason whyBlack cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock ‘n’ roll
Wanna die yeah wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Ooh girl you know the reason why
By Tom Breihan / November 7, 2014 – 11:19 am

The producer Glyn Johns worked with people like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Who on some of their peak-era classics. And according to Johns, he almost worked on something that could’ve been a bigger deal than any of the real albums on his résumé. In his new memoir, Sound Man, Johns claims that Bob Dylan enlisted his help in making an album with both the Beatles and the Stones. Together. Honestly, it’s probably best that the album never happened; the entire baby boom generation might’ve immediately immolated.

According to Rolling Stone, Johns writes that he encountered Dylan at a New York airport and said nice things about his work with the Beatles and Stones. And then, Johns writes, this happened:

He said he had this idea to make a record with the Beatles and the Stones. And he asked me if I would find out whether the others would be interested. I was completely bowled over. Can you imagine the three greatest influences on popular music in the previous decade making an album together?

Johns contacted all the relevant parties and tried to make it happen, but a few key parties were just not down with the idea:

Keith and George thought it was fantastic. But they would since they were both huge Dylan fans. Ringo, Charlie and Bill were amicable to the idea as long as everyone else was interested. John didn’t say a flat no, but he wasn’t that interested. Paul and Mick both said absolutely not…. I had it all figured out. We would pool the best material from Mick and Keith, Paul and John, Bob and George, and then select the best rhythm section from the two bands to suit whichever songs we were cutting. Paul and Mick were probably, right, however I would have given anything to have given it a go.

Sound Man is out 11/13, via Blue Rider Press.

Great Album

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Beatles Comments about Bob Dylan

Traveling Wilburys – End Of The Line

TARNISHED WILBURY’S:

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

I’D HAVE YOU ANY TIME:

Friday, June 8th, 2012

PALOMINO JAM?:

Monday, May 21st, 2012

GEORGE AND BOB:

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

HARI AND ZIMMY PLAYING TENNIS ON THE ISLE OF WIGHT 1969:

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

THE WILVER SILBURIES:

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

CAMPEST MAN BOOTS EVER:

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

ZIMMY AND RINGY:

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

WORDS FROM A MASTER:

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

“They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is.

“I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up… He’s just so effortless.”

Bob Dylan 2007.

BOB AND GEORGE:

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Traveling Wilburys – Handle With Care

Traveling Wilburys-Runaway (Del Shannon`s song)

The True History Of The Traveling Wilbury’s

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When I think about the group THE TRAVELING WILBURY’S and the close friendships that Bob Dylan had with many of the Beatles it makes me think of the song A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS and that song is discussed below:

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

The Beatles – Girl

62

‘Girl’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: November 11, 1965
Released: December 6, 1965
Not released as a single

Like so many of the love songs the Beatles were writing on Rubber Soul, this deceptively simple ballad sounds like the confession of a man who’s vulnerable and confused in the presence of a woman who’s tougher and more independent than he is (“The kind of girl you want so much/It makes you sorry”). Yet even as she keeps making a fool out of him, his voice is full of admiration and affection for her as he sings, “She promises the Earth to me/And I believe her/After all this time, I don’t know why.” “When I heard this, as a young teenager, it hit the nail on the head,” Jackson Browne told Rolling Stone. “It embodied the feelings I was living with every day — completely burning with sexual desire, with almost a regret at being so overpowered.” The obvious inspiration is Bob Dylan, but Lennon surpasses him here — “Girl” makes “Just Like a Woman” sound like kid stuff. Years later, Lennon said that the fantasy girl in the song’s lyric was an archetype he had been searching for his entire life (“There is no such thing as the girl — she was a dream”) and finally found in Yoko Ono.

Appears On: Rubber Soul

61

‘With a Little Help From My Friends’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Ron Case/Getty Images

Writers: McCartney-Lennon
Recorded: March 29 and 30, 1967
Released: June 2, 1967
Not released as a single

The Beatles cut this in an all-night session after the photo shoot for the Sgt. Pepper cover. At dawn, Starr trudged up the stairs to head home — but the other Beatles cajoled him into doing his lead vocal then and there, standing around the microphone for moral support. Though nervous and exhausted, Starr delivered a magnificently soulful vocal, right up to that final high note.

The lyrics about loneliness and vulnerability were in some ways more revealing than Lennon and McCartney might have written for themselves. But there’s also a typical Beatle joke. As McCartney admitted, “I remember giggling with John when we wrote the lines ‘What do you see when you turn out the light? I can’t tell you, but I know it’s mine.’ It could have been him playing with his willy under the covers, or it could have been taken on a deeper level.”

Appears On:Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

JUST LIKE DYLAN DION ALSO HAD A CONVERSION TO CHRISTIANITY AT A LATER POINT IN HIS LIFE.

Dion — Abraham, Martin and John — Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.

Published on Dec 16, 2014

Remembering heroes of the past, wondering about today’s role models.

Dion DiMucci

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dion DiMucci
DionDiMucci.jpg
Background information
Birth name Dion Francis DiMucci
Also known as Dion
Born July 18, 1939 (age 75)
The Bronx, New York, United States
Origin Italian-American
Genres Rock, pop, doo-wop, R&B,blues
Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1957–present
Labels Laurie, Arista, Mohawk, Columbia, ABC, Warner Brothers, Dayspring, Blue Horizon
Associated acts Dion and the Belmonts, Dion and the Del-Satins, The Timberlanes, The Wanderers
Website http://www.diondimucci.com/
Notable instruments
Martin Guitars (acoustic)

Dion Francis DiMucci (born July 18, 1939), better known mononymously as Dion, is an American singer-songwriter whose work has incorporated elements of doo-wop, rock and R&B styles—and, most recently, straight blues. He was one of the most popular American rock and roll performers of the pre-British Invasion era. He had more than a dozen Top 40 hits in the late 1950s and early 60s. He is best remembered for the 1961 singles, “Runaround Sue” and “The Wanderer“, written with Ernie Maresca.

Solo stardom: 1960–1964[edit]

By the end of 1960, Dion had released his first solo album on Laurie, Alone with Dion, and the single “Lonely Teenager“, which rose to No. 12 in the US charts. The name on his solo releases was simply “Dion”. Follow-ups “Havin’ Fun” and “Kissin’ Game” had less success, and the signs were that Dion would drift onto the cabaret circuit. However, he then recorded, with a new vocal group, the Del-Satins, an up-tempo number co-written with Ernie Maresca. The record, “Runaround Sue“, stormed up the U.S. charts, reaching No. 1 in October 1961, and No. 11 in the UK,[7] where he also toured. “Runaround Sue” sold over a million copies, achieving gold disc status.[8]

For the next single, Laurie promoted the A-side, “The Majestic”, but it was the B-side, Maresca’s “The Wanderer“, which received more radio play and climbed swiftly up the charts to reach No. 2 in the U.S. in February 1962 and No. 10 in the UK (the 1976 re-release made the UK Top 20).[7]

By the end of 1961, Dion had become a major star, touring worldwide and making an appearance in the Columbia Pictures musical film Twist Around the Clock. He followed with a string of singles – “Lovers Who Wander” (No. 3), “Little Diane” (No. 8), “Love Came to Me” (No. 10) – in 1962, several of which he wrote or co-wrote. He also had successful albums with Runaround Sue and Lovers Who Wander.

At the end of 1962, Dion moved from Laurie to Columbia Records. The first Columbia single, Leiber and Stoller‘s “Ruby Baby” (originally a hit for the Drifters) reached No. 2, while “Donna the Prima Donna” and “Drip Drop” (another cover of a Drifters hit) both reached No. 6 in late 1963. (Dion also recorded an Italian version of “Donna the Prima Donna” using the identical backup vocals.) His other Columbia releases were less successful, and problems with his addiction and changing public tastes saw a period of commercial decline.

While Dion’s career appeared to be nearing an end, he still retained enough credibility to be, along with Bob Dylan, one of only two rock artists featured on the album cover of the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.

In April 1968, Dion experienced what he identified as a powerful religious experience. After getting clean once again from heroin addiction, an experience he documented in his 1970 song “Your Own Backyard”, he approached Laurie Records for a new contract. They agreed on condition that he record the song “Abraham, Martin & John“, written by Dick Holler (also the writer of the Royal Guardsmen‘s “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron”) in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and those of Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy during the summer of 1968. The success of this song – later recorded by many others including Marvin Gaye – which reached No. 4 in the US charts and No. 1 in Canada, resuscitated Dion’s career. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[8]

Mature and Christian period: 1969–1986[edit]

For the next few years, Dion’s music became radically different, moving to more contemplative and mature material. He released several albums essentially as a singer-songwriter, to moderate sales, moving to the Warner Brothers label in 1969.

There followed a live reunion show with the Belmonts at Madison Square Garden on June 2, 1972, which was recorded and released as a live album by Warner. A year later, in 1973, Dion and the original Belmonts performed once more, doing a sold out concert at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island, New York. However, no recording of the 1973 reunion was ever released. This was followed in 1975 by the album Born To Be With You, produced by Phil Spector. The album was a commercial failure, but has been subsequently praised by such artists as Jason Pierce of Spiritualized and Pete Townshend of the Who.[citation needed]

In 1978, Dion released an album drawing on many of his teenage influences, Return of the Wanderer, another commercial failure.

In December 1979, there was a radical spiritual change in Dion, who had become a born-again Christian.[9] Thereafter, his recordings for several years were in a contemporary Christian vein, in which he released five albums on the DaySpring Recordslabel, a division of Word Records in Waco, Texas. These albums reflecting his evangelical Christian convictions were Inside Job (1980), Only Jesus (1981), I Put Away My Idols (1983) which charted at #37, Seasons (1984), Kingdom in the Streets (1985) and Velvet & Steel (1986). Several singles were successfully released to Christian radio, notably “Still in the Spirit” from Kingdom in the Streets.

In 1984, Dion won the GMA Dove Award (Christian Music Award) for the album I Put Away My Idols. He was also nominated for Grammy Award for Best Gospel Vocal Performance, Male for the same album.

On September 24, 1985, Dion was a guest on 100 Huntley Street.

It Was 20 Years Ago Today Documentary

Published on Jun 8, 2012

The beginning of the 1987 documentary that examines the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, released in 1967. This beginning is not included on the YouTube version that is already posted, so here it is.

Good map of people on cover below:

  1. Sri Yukteswar Giri: Indian guru, one of four chosen for the cover by George Harrison.
  2. Aleister Crowley: Notorious mystic, polymath, and drug user chosen, designer Jann Haworth says, by John Lennon.
  3. Mae West: “What would I be doing in a lonely hearts club?” she reportedly joked. Ringo Starr appeared in her 1978 film “Sextette.”
  4. Lenny Bruce: By 1967, the Beatles shared some of the late comic’s persecution complex.
  5. Karlheinz Stockhausen: Avant-garde composer who (though chosen by McCartney) once credited Lennon as the crucial link between pop and “serious” music.
  6. W.C. Fields: Wisecracking actor, apparently chosen by Peter Blake.
  7. Carl Jung: Psychoanalyst who famously dreamed of “dirty, sooty” Liverpool (the Beatles’ hometown), where he discovers Self in the form of a blooming magnolia.
  8. Edgar Allan Poe: Chosen by Lennon, who would soon write the line “Man you should have seen them kicking Edgar Allan Poe” (”I Am the Walrus”).
  9. Fred Astaire: McCartney, a big fan, has said “Here, There and Everywhere” was inspired by “Cheek to Cheek.”
  10. Richard Merkin: Self-proclaimed “literary painter” chosen by Haworth and/or Blake.
  11. Vargas girl: Iconic pinup. Haworth now finds the cover’s preponderance of blond bombshells (and lack of other influential women) “scathing, terrible.”
  12. Leo Gorcey (missing): Actor who starred in 1930s-’40s comedy-drama serials “Dead End Kids” and “Bowery Boys” asked for $400 for permission to use his image and was painted out.
  13. Huntz Hall: Gorcey’s fellow actor in “Dead End Kids” and “Bowery Boys” series.
  14. Simon Rodia: Immigrant construction worker who created the Watts Towers in Los Angeles.
  15. Bob Dylan: The man who introduced the Beatles to marijuana.
  16. Aubrey Beardsley: Influential Victorian-era illustrator whose work enjoyed a ’60s revival.
  17. Sir Robert Peel: UK prime minister of 1830s and ’40s who reformed the police force.
  18. Aldous Huxley: Author of “Brave New World,” advocated psychedelic drug use.
  19. Dylan Thomas: The Welsh poet, who died in 1953. As a child, Lennon took comfort in stories about artists such as Thomas and van Gogh, who “seemed to see things other people didn’t see.”
  20. Terry Southern: Novelist and satirist. Ringo starred in 1969 feature film of his novel “The Magic Christian.”
  21. Dion: Besides Dylan, the onetime heartthrob was the only pop music figure in the gallery.
  22. Tony Curtis: The actor, a family friend of the Haworths, inspired a generation of hairstyles in late ’50s England.
  23. Wallace Berman: West Coast collage/assemblage artist chosen by designers Haworth and Blake.
  24. Tommy Handley: BBC comedian of the Beatles’ childhood eulogized by the bishop of London for his “satire without malice.”
  25. Marilyn Monroe: Famously sang “Happy Birthday” for JFK; contrary to popular belief, McCartney does not own the rights to the song.
  26. William S. Burroughs: Experimental writer, influenced McCartney with his cut-up tape recordings.
  27. Sri Mahavatara Babaji: Indian guru.
  28. Stan Laurel: British-born comic actor, one half of the duo Laurel and Hardy.
  29. Richard Lindner: “Mechanistic Cubist” painter chosen by the designers.
  30. Oliver Hardy: Laurel’s comic partner.
  31. Karl Marx: Though an avid reader of his work, Lennon was an uncertain revolutionary (”Don’t you know that you can count me out”).
  32. H.G. Wells: Science fiction pioneer (”War of the Worlds,” “The Time Machine”) and utopian thinker.
  33. Sri Paramahansa Yogananda: Harrison liked to give away copies of his “Autobiography of a Yogi.”
  34. (Window dummy)
  35. Stuart Sutcliffe: Ex-Beatle whose premature death haunted Lennon.
  36. (Window dummy)
  37. Max Miller: Risque comedian of McCartney’s beloved music hall era.
  38. Petty girl: Like Vargas’s, George Petty’s pinup girls were World War II icons.
  39. Marlon Brando: In “The Wild One,” the rival biker gang is called the Beetles.
  40. Tom Mix: Early Western film star.
  41. Oscar Wilde: Another of the artists who “suffered because of their visions,” as Lennon once told Playboy.
  42. Tyrone Power: Hollywood star of the Beatles’ formative years.
  43. Larry Bell: American sculptor who worked as a bouncer at the Unicorn in LA.
  44. Dr. David Livingstone: Scottish explorer and African missionary.
  45. Johnny Weissmuller: Movie Tarzan whose famous whoop preceded McCartney’s.
  46. Stephen Crane: “Red Badge of Courage” author who died at 28 after living the last years of his life in England.
  47. Issy Bonn: British comic and singer whose raised right hand just behind Paul’s head — an Eastern death symbol? — was seen as a clue to the rampant “Paul is dead” rumors.
  48. George Bernard Shaw: Playwright, critic, socialist, vegetarian.
  49. H.C. Westermann: American sculptor and printmaker, chosen by the designers.
  50. Albert Stubbins: Midcentury English footballer whose best years were with Liverpool.
  51. Sri Lahiri Mahasaya: Indian guru.
  52. Lewis Carroll: Lennon, a big fan of the “Alice” author, took Carroll’s verse “The Walrus and the Carpenter” as inspiration for “I Am the Walrus.”
  53. T.E. Lawrence: “Lawrence of Arabia” famously portrayed by Swinging Londoner Peter O’Toole.
  54. Sonny Liston: Wax image of the former heavyweight champ, whose nemesis, the future Muhammad Ali, posed for photos with the Beatles.
  55. George Petty girl
  56. George Harrison (wax): Wax images of the youthful Beatles were provided by Madame Tussauds, which threw in Liston and Diana Dors for good measure.
  57. John Lennon (wax)
  58. Shirley Temple (hidden behind wax Lennon’s left shoulder): First of three images of the child star (including the doll wearing the Rolling Stones jersey), a bit of overkill for which Haworth blames herself.
  59. Ringo Starr (wax)
  60. Paul McCartney (wax)
  61. Albert Einstein (hidden behind real-life Lennon’s right shoulder): Scientific genius who said, “I live my daydreams in music.”
  62. John Lennon: “Sgt. Pepper” outfits designed by Manuel Cuevas, who still sews flashy costumes in Nashville. He hardly remembers it: “I made a bunch of funny outfits for them,” he says.
  63. Ringo Starr: Declined to make any suggestions and doesn’t recall the photo shoot — “I suppose I must have been there because I’m in the photograph,” he has said.
  64. Paul McCartney: Originated the “Sgt. Pepper” concept; chose most of the showbiz celebrities.
  65. George Harrison: “Within You Without You,” his sole contribution to “Sgt. Pepper,” reconfirmed his interest in Eastern philosophy.
  66. Bobby Breen: Child star of the 1930s.
  67. Marlene Dietrich: Once shared the stage at the Prince of Wales Theatre with young Beatles.
  68. Mohandas Gandhi (blacked out).
  69. Order of the Buffalos Legionnaire
  70. Diana Dors: British Marilyn whose second husband was Richard Dawson.
  71. Shirley Temple

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How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

The Beatles Dont Let Me Down Rooftop Concert 1969

The Beatles Get Back Rooftop Concert, 1969 360p

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Bobby Breen in “Rainbow on the River”

Bobby Breen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bobby Breen
Bobby Breen.jpg

Bobby Breen
Born November 4, 1927 (age 87)
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Occupation Actor, singer
Years active 1936–1964

Bobby Breen (born November 4, 1927) is a former Canadian-born actor and singer who reached major popularity as a child star in the 1930s.

Life and Career[edit]

He made his professional debut at age four in a night club in Toronto and was an immediate sensation. He made his radio debut soon after. He played in vaudeville and his sister paid for his musical education. Breen went to Hollywood in 1935. His first major appearance was on Eddie Cantor‘s weekly radio show in 1936, and he soon became the leading child star at RKO Radio Pictures. He is best remembered today for his films, and for the fact that he was a boy soprano. His first film was Let’s Sing Again (1936), followed by eight more, including Rainbow on the River (1936), Make a Wish (1937), Hawaii Calls (1938), Way Down South (1939), and his last film, Johnny Doughboy (1942). He was RKO’s biggest child star at this time and, while he played the leading part, his co-stars included famous actors like Basil Rathbone, Alan Mowbray, Charlie Ruggles, May Robson and Dolores Costello.

He continued working as a singer in nightclubs and a musical performer in stock theatre, later serving as a guest pianist for the NBC Symphony Orchestra on radio, and hosting a local TV show in New York. He also recorded briefly for the Motown label, singing on two singles and an unreleased album in 1964.[1][2] In 1953, Breen appeared on ABC‘s reality show, The Comeback Story, to explain how his career nose-dived as he entered his teen years and how he fought to recover.

As of 2002, Breen was living with his family in Tamarac, Florida and worked as the owner/operator of Bobby Breen Enterprises, a local talent agency, and even appeared sometimes as a singer at smaller concerts.[3]

Filmography[edit]

Bobby Breen with Louise Beavers in his second film Rainbow on the River

In popular culture[edit]

Featured artist today is Larry Bell:

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(Look at the 9:45 mark to 16:00 mark and he used a glass piece that had broken because of chance creation of it, “Serendipity” of it and mentions Marcel Duchamp )   (at 34:25 mark “Some people trust Jesus but I don’t) (at 39:30 tells the Peter Blake story)

Quickfire: Larry Bell

(In the video below I learned that Peter Blake saw a show of his at Robert Frazier Gallery in London and liked his work and Peter was also a friend of Dennis Hopper who had taken the picture of Larry and put him in)

Meet Larry Bell, Artist – Artistic Evolution

Uploaded on Oct 31, 2011

Meet Larry Bell, Artist
We caught up with Larry Bell during the Artist Panel on October 6, 2011. To ask him a few questions about the Artistic Evolutions show, his first memories of the Museum, and The Beatles.

Larry Bell: Seeing Through Glass

Published on May 24, 2013

Filmed in his Taos studio, Larry Bell demonstrates how he uses glass and an industrial process called vacuum deposition of thin films to create his stunning sculptures. He also shares his thoughts about the conservation of his work.

More about the GCI’s Modern and Contemporary Art Research Initiative at http://www.getty.edu/conservation//mo…

Meet the Artist: Larry Bell

In a career that spans over 50 years, artist Larry Bell has had his work featured all over the world, including at the Langham Place in Mong Kok. This autumn, he is showcasing some of his recent works in Hong Kong. He speaks to Laura Chan about his work and his impressions of the city.

By Laura Chan | Sep 11, 2014

Over the years, Larry Bell has taken on all kinds of creative endeavors, from abstract paintings to sculptures to experimentation with thin film deposition. You may have seen his “Happy Man” sculpture outside Langham Place in Mong Kok—or maybe you’ve seen his likeness on the album cover of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. He has been hard at work in his US studio in New Mexico, and is coming to Hong Kong this fall to exhibit his more recent creations as part of White Cube’s “Light and Red” exhibit, through November 15.

HK: Last time you were in Hong Kong, in 2004, you unveiled your sculpture outside Langham Place. How did that feel?
Larry Bell: I was thrilled. When I came, a year or so before to look at the site, it was so hard to tell what kind of a space it was to sit in; it was all big building equipment, cranes and half-built foundations. But all around, the place was so full of people. I thought [that] it was a great high-visibility site. The big pieces I’ve done have are mostly in sheltered places, like businesses and schools, but this was in front of everybody.

HK: Do you think Hong Kong has changed since then?
LB:
Last time I came, I spent all my time in Kowloon. Over there, it has really changed. There are so many big buildings that have popped up over the last 10 years.

HK: Do you prefer sticking around the studio, or traveling for exhibits?
LB: Making is the most fun. It’s great fun to come to a place like [Hong Kong], with great people, and such incredible food. But in the studio, I’m not a tourist: it’s my scene and it’s what I do. The studio is a special place to be, whether I am working on something, or waiting for a muse to kick me out of the chair to work.

HK: Your career spans over 50 years. What has changed about the art world since the 60s and 70s?
LB:
When I started, contemporary art had no audience. There was a giant argument going on [as to] whether anyone had the right to paint abstractly without knowing how to paint the figure. Somehow non-objective or abstract work was less credible than figurative work. But then, if there’s an audience who wants stuff, and there’s some suggestion that it has some value—financial value—the audience grows. It’s not the history of art that establishes the value of work, it’s the perversity of merchandising. It has nothing to do with art. Art is probably something that only artists experience in their studio when they’re working.

HK: What are you most proud of?
LB:
That I made it 54 years; I’m celebrating my 54th year of unemployment. There have been good times and rough times, but I’m still hanging on. If the whole thing falls apart tomorrow—I still did all of that.

HK: How did you get on the cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album?
LB: I don’t really know… but I know this much: I had a show in London around 1964 or ’65, in a gallery of a guy named Robert Fraser. He was really close with a lot of music people, who would go to all his art shows. So I think one of the Beatles saw my show, because, as I understand, the people on the cover were chosen by the musicians; one of them must have said to put me on it. One day I got a letter from the music publisher asking to use my picture, which was actually taken by Dennis Hopper on Venice Beach. But I had no idea it would become an icon like that. That’s all I know about it; I virtually had nothing to do with it.

HK: Any thoughts on their music?
LB: Well, I wasn’t that nuts over the Beatles. I always liked the Stones better.

Works featured in Light and Red:

Light Knot made with polyester coated with aluminium and silicon monoxide.
Photo: Jack Hems; © Larry Bell; courtesy White Cube

Part of Bell’s new series of collages on red Hiromi paper
Photo: Alan Shaffer; © Larry Bell; courtesy White Cube

Through Nov 15, Larry Bell’s Light Knots and Collages will feature in “Light and Red” at White Cube (50 Connaught Rd. Central).

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Larry Bell

Larry Bell has had a long and varied career, and also influential enough to land himself on the cover of The Beatles’ 1967 albumSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Born in 1939 in Chicago, Illinois, and now based in Toas, New Mexico and Venice, California, his earliest work were, like Donald Judd, Abstract-expressionist paintings.

In the 1960s, Bell began making some of his most recognisable works: Cube structures that sit on transparent plinths. Three of these works were featured in the influential 1966 minimalist exhibition Primary Structures, which also featured the work of Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Ellsworth Kelly, Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt (amongst others).

I often see people disregard the relationship between the plinth and a sculpture, and furthermore the plinth’s sculptural presence. It’s always refreshing to look at Bell’s work, because he brings an awareness to the plinth by making it part of the work itself.

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Born in Chicago in 1939

Larry Bell’s work emerged in the mid-1960s, and is often included in major exhibitions of Minimal art. His work was shown in the first exhibit to focus on Minimal art, Primary Structures, at the Jewish Museum in 1966. Bells work was also included in the seminal Museum of Modern Art exhibit, The Responsive Eye in 1965. More recently, Bells work was prominently presented in the Museum of Contemporary Arts show, A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968, and discussed at length in the catalogue essays.

Bell is one of the most prominent and influential artists to have come out of the Los Angeles art scene of the 1960s, first showing at the Huysman Gallery, and then at Ferus. He became associated with the most important movements at the time, such as Light and Space art and what was described as Finish Fetish (a term coined by the late critic John Coplans). Bell has continued to investigate the complexities of highly refined surface treatments of glass, as well as large-scale sculptural installations.

Larry Bell was born in Chicago, and currently resides in Taos, New Mexico. The artist now maintains studios in Taos, New Mexico and Venice, California. Having grown up in the San Fernando Valley, Bell attended Chouinard Art School in Los Angeles from 1957 through 1959, where he was a student of Robert Irwin. He was extraordinarily successful as a young artist, and showed regularly at Pace Gallery in New York between 1965 and 1973. In September of 2005, Pace Wildenstein presented a show of works titled Larry Bell: The Sixties.

His work is in public collections throughout the world, including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; Art Institute of Chicago; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Larry Bell (artist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Larry Bell
Born 1939 (age 75–76)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Known for Sculpture
Movement Minimal Art, Geometric abstraction

Larry Bell (born in 1939) is a contemporary American artist and sculptor. He lives and works in Taos, New Mexico, and maintains a studio in Venice, California. From 1957 to 1959 he studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles as a student of Robert Irwin, Richards Ruben, Robert Chuey, and Emerson Woelffer.[1] He is a grant recipient from, among others, the National Endowment for the Arts and theGuggenheim Foundation, and his artworks are found in the collections of many major cultural institutions. Bell’s work has been shown at museums and in public spaces in the United States and abroad over the course of his 40-year career. Larry Bell is one of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cutouts.

Critical analysis of work[edit]

Larry Bell’s art addresses the relationship between the art object and its environment through the sculptural and reflective properties of his work. Bell is often associated with Light and Space, a group of mostly West Coast artists whose work is primarily concerned with perceptual experience stemming from the viewer’s interaction with their work. This group also includes, among others, artists James Turrell, John McCracken, Peter Alexander, Robert Irwin and Craig Kauffman On the occasion of the Tate Gallery’s exhibit Three Artists from Los Angeles: Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Doug Wheeler, Michael Compton wrote the following to describe the effect of Bell’s artwork:

At various times and particularly in the 1960s some artists have worked near what could be called the upper limits of perceptions, that is, where the eye is on the point of being overwhelmed by a superabundance of stimulation and is in danger of losing its power to control it… These artists sometimes produce the effect that the threat to our power to resolve what is seen heightens our awareness of the process of seeing…However, the three artists in this show… operate in various ways near the lowest thresholds of visual discrimination. The effect of this is again to cause one to make a considerable effort to discern and so to become conscious of the process of seeing.[2]

1960s[edit]

Untitled (1964), bismuth, chromium, gold, and rhodium on gold-plated brass;Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Bell’s earliest pieces are paintings in the Abstract Expressionist tradition. He began incorporating fragments and shards of clear and mirrored glass into his compositions. At the same time, he began in his painting to produce angular geometric compositions that alluded to or represented three-dimensional forms. These works frequently depicted rectilinear forms with truncated corners. Next there came a series of shadow boxesor “ghost boxes”, three-dimensional cases whose surfaces often featured shapes reminiscent of those in the preceding paintings. Of this transition, critic Peter Frank has observed:

The earliest boxes contained within them, coated onto the glass or even defining their parameters, the angled contours and beveled edges with which the paintings had inferred three-dimensionality; the illusion of volume was thus conflated with actual volume.[3]

As happy as Larry
The American artist behind the ‘Light and Red’ exhibition now showing in Central speaks to Fionnuala McHugh about rage, age and hallucinations.
Bell in White Cube.

Larry Bell – painter, sculptor, long-distance driver, dog lover and 1960s icon – was in Hong Kong recently. Usually he divides his time between his studios in Venice, California, and Taos, in New Mexico, but he’d come here for the opening of his exhibition titled “Light and Red”. His work is being shown at White Cube, which seems appropriate because if there’s any shape with which Bell is associated, it’s a cube.

For years, he created boxes out of glass. If you look at them now, you eventually reach a point where you can’t quite decide if he’s trying to express the beauty of containment or if he’s signalling a desperate urge to escape. In 2011, as part of the 54th Venice Biennale, six of his 1960s cubes were set on six pedestals in one of the gilded rooms of the Palazzo Contarini Degli Scrigni. The photographs of the installation capture a wonderfully translucent zoo of caged light.

I’m unfit for employment of any kind – if I went into the army, everyone should sell their defence bonds
That exhibition was titled “Venice in Venice: Glow & Reflection – Venice California Art from 1960 to the Present”, and showed the work of a group of young, experimental Californian artists who hung out together in Los Angeles under a sky so perfect it had, 50 years earlier, attracted what used to be called the moving-picture industry.

The Light and Space artists, as they were collectively termed, aren’t internationally renowned – the most famous is probably James Turrell – but even if you’ve never heard of Bell, you’ll almost certainly have glimpsed him. He’s featured on the cover of “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, the 1967 Beatles album that became a defining moment of 60s iconography.
Larry Bell with pieces from his “Light and Red” exhibition at White Cube, in Central.

And the bronze stick-man outside Langham Place, in Mong Kok, which weighs an un-spindly 2,700kg, that’s by Bell. It’s No26 in a group of 27 works from his “Sumer” series.

The figures grew out of some electronic doodling on his Mac in 1993, which he initially sent to long-time friend, architect Frank Gehry, who wanted ideas for a client’s house. The series takes its name from the Sumerians, who lived about 7,000 years ago in Mesopotamia, the cradle of human civilisation, and it has been interpreted as a commentary on “the post-human condition”. There may be those who wonder if this cultural reference in Mong Kok on a busy Saturday afternoon is, rather like the glass boxes, sending out a mixed message.

At any rate, it was the architect of Langham Place who called the figure Happy Man. Bell’s namecard has a whole row of them stick-dancing, stick-bending, stick-arms-akimbo.

IN A BACKROOM IN White Cube, in Central, early on the evening of the Mid-Autumn Festival, as the city prepares itself to focus on (moon) light, Bell – rather heavier than he was when a pal, the actor Dennis Hopper, took photos of him nattily dressed in striped trousers and corresponding shoes half a century ago – is craggily handsome in a red gingham shirt.

He’s now 74. Is he a Happy Man?

“I can’t tell sh** without these,” he says, holding out the two hearing-aids, like a pair of pink broad beans, he’s just removed from his ears to be admired. “Sometimes they work, sometimes they get plugged up with wax.”
The cover of the 1967 Beatles album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was a defining piece of 1960s iconography and features a picture of Bell. Can you find him?

Bell bears an ironic name. When he was 46, he was told by a consultant that he’d had profound hearing loss his entire life. He’d only made the appointment because someone in Los Angeles, who collected his work, had slammed her cutlery on the table at a smart dinner-party and shouted, in frustration, “Larry, get your damn ears checked!”

…In 1962, he had his first show at Los Angeles’ influential Ferus Gallery. Shortly afterwards, three men in suits knocked on his door. Bell – in a response which may be familiar to some of Hong Kong’s creative residents – was convinced they were building inspectors and, as he wasn’t supposed to be living in his studio, hid. Eventually, after peering through a crack in the window, he invited the trio in, misheard the introductions, and only when the visit was well-established did he realise he was hosting artist Marcel Duchamp.
The cover of the 1967 Beatles album “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” features a picture of Bell.
The episode sounds appropriately surreal, although perhaps more Magritte than Duchamp – you imagine the men in bowler hats, the interior artist with his eye at a keyhole, the over-arching blue sky. When asked, Bell obligingly begins to paint a verbal picture of the return visit he made to Duchamp in New York a few years later.

First of all, what was he wearing? “Oh, I was pretty well turned-out,” Bell says, comfortably. “Duchamp was a pretty slick guy himself, a very conservative dresser. Formal. He was sitting in his parlour, smoking a cigar. He did it very eloquently. Very elegantly. He smoked it like this.”

Bell borrows a pen, places it between the little finger and ring finger of his left hand, makes puffing gestures.

“I was 25, he was 73, 74. [Actually, Duchamp was 78.] It wasn’t a big room, about the size of this one” – a glance around White Cube’s back office – “but there was a Brancusi, a de Chirico, a Magritte. I couldn’t take my eyes off the Brancusi and he paid no attention to it. I thought, ‘I’m in a room with a guy who thinks being with a Brancusi is nothing.’ Brancusi was my great hero, everything he did was so simple.”

Teeny, Duchamp’s second wife (who was American and had been married to Matisse’s son, Pierre), brought in some food. The dazzled Bell, on the launching pad of his career, sat while Duchamp – who would die three years later – talked about a show he was planning of his early work. “I said, ‘Really, how early?’ And he said, ‘Oh, I was four or six.'”

Now the slim-hipped, fashion-plate dude he was is almost as old as Duchamp on that afternoon in 1965. As if reading my mind, Bell says, unprompted, “I’m not jealous of my age then. I like myself more now than I did when I was younger.” Why? He pauses. “I’m celebrating my 54th year of employment. I’ve managed to do my thing all of this time. I don’t feel any value in my trip other than working … I’m nothing but what I do.”

The reason he was in New York that year was to exhibit his work at Pace gallery. The show was a success: a West Coast statement of artistic arrival intended to be heard along the East Coast. At the time, Bell was paying to have his glass-coating process done in Los Angeles by a company he’d found in the phone book, but someone suggested that he start doing it himself; so he bought the necessary equipment second-hand in New York (it was huge enough to be nicknamed The Tank), plus an instruction manual titled Vacuum Deposition of Thin Films, and based himself in the city for the next few years.

In an interview in Hunter Drohojowska-Philp’s book Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, Bell is quoted as saying, “I made more money when I was 25 than my dad made in his whole life. I was totally unprepared … It gave me a nervous breakdown by the time I was 30 and turned me into an alcoholic.”

“There were hard times financially,” he admits now.

He was married (he’d met his wife, Gloria, at a Duchamp opening at the Pasadena Art Museum) but the money was flowing through his fingers and he was adrift. Success made him feel simultaneously guilty about those artists left behind in Los Angeles and baffled by those artists he met in New York. He returned to California and then, in 1972, to New Mexico. In deliberately-enforced isolation, the work – the muse, he calls it – kept him going.

His son, Oliver, is a videographer, and nowadays, of course, the whole world can watch short films of his studio on Vimeo. “I don’t believe in intellect,” Bell says firmly. “It has to be hands-on.”

In the clips, Bell and his assistants (he has five) move around wearing white face-masks: the vacuum process requires that the glass be spotlessly clean. There’s an iconic note to that, too. Hopper told him that the masked look he wore, to devastating effect, in his role as Frank Booth in the film Blue Velvet was partly inspired by Bell.

Time for Bell’s close-up.

“Squish your hair, Larry,” says Herskovic Ponder before he goes off to be photographed, adding, fondly, “These artists are such hippies.” (Bell’s sign-off to his emails is, indeed, Peace and Love.) Decades ago, Bell had been a customer at her parents’ photography store in Los Angeles, which had a stellar clientele; other customers bringing in their snaps for printing, in those pre-digital, pre-selfie days, had included Elvis Presley, Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis.

They met again several years ago, by which time Bell was divorced, had re-rented his former studio in Venice – “After 30 years, I needed a scene where there was some action”, he says – and was commuting there from Taos.

This is his third show with White Cube. At the London opening, last October, Sir Peter Blake – the British artist who co-designed the “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” cover with his now-ex-wife – came to say hello, and to show him photographs of how the image was created. In an early montage, Adolf Hitler (one of John Lennon’s choices) was standing to the right of Bell until wiser counsels prevailed. In the end, Bell was placed between Tyrone Power, the actor, and David Livingstone, the missionary explorer to whom Henry Stanley addressed his famously presumptive remark.

On the gallery’s walls are a series of scarlet-bordered collages he created on paper he had made in Japan. The red is the loudest red he could find. He was, he says, playing with the idea of strength. He points out the design of the glass boxes: they’re a little deeper at the top than the bottom to make them less reflective so what you see isn’t just surface light but the texture within. Downstairs, his “Light Knot” sculptures, made from polyester film, float calmly in space, as if they carry no weight at all. Those glass boxes have been specially designed, too; they’re wider at the top than the bottom, “to change the feeling of the container”. It is, he says contentedly, “a very good show”.

He always does the 1,000-mile journey between his Venice and Taos studios by car; he’s clocked up 400,000 miles in his Chevrolet Suburban. Until a month ago, when the coughing got too bad, Bell – like Duchamp – was a cigar-smoker and the only constant companion who would tolerate the auto-fug was Pinky, his bulldog. That’s when he does his meditating, when Pinky and he are on a road trip. He switches off the radio, takes out his hearing-aids and drives with his thoughts through the happy, silent night.

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