This is a comic script I wrote for Clive Barker’s Hellraiser Anthology on Boom! that was never used supposedly because it was “too long” so I thought I would give it to you, Occupy Midian! After you read it, give me an opinion. I tried to keep with the twisted perspective of the original concept. Enjoy! Merry Christmas!
Go here to visit our Indiegogo “Crowd-funding” Campaign for Ghost Trek: Confederate Ghouls. It’s a feature film that you will love to participate in; a fun, campy, supernatural-horror-comedy concept. Make sure you watch the hilarious promotional video. Here’s the link: igg.me/at/livedead
TEXT & PHOTOS BY MICHAEL PLUMIDES
I had an opportunity to catch Drive-By Truckers at the Fillmore in Charlotte, NC on Saturday evening. The veteran Athens quintet is out supporting two new release set to drop on November 18 (details below).
This from the DBTs website:
“We are thrilled to announce the English Oceans Deluxe Edition CD and Black Ice Vérité DVD and LP coming on Tuesday November 18, 2014. Some of you might remember, we recorded a live performance of our latest album last February at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club. All hell broke loose, weather wise, but The Show Went On and our friend Jason Thrasher caught it all on film. The end result is a film we’re really all proud of, running through the new songs in front of a small crowd at one of our favorite rooms on Earth.
“The Black Ice Vérité LP (and bonus CD on the Deluxe Edition) is a collection of 8 songs recorded live, three acoustic performances from The Hay Bale Session we recorded the morning of our Bonnaroo performance, and 5 tracks from this year’s HeAthens Homecoming Weekend in Athens GA. A few old songs, a few new songs and a few very different versions. Available on Glorious White Vinyl (with DVD of Black Ice Vérité included).
“The English Oceans Deluxe Edition CD/DVD includes the album, our most acclaimed work in years, along with the DVD of Black Ice Vérité and a CD of the Black Ice Vérité Bonus Tracks.”
Photos by me.
The 14th Annual Weenie Roast was held in Charlotte, NC, hosted by 106.5, The End (WEND-FM – Clear Channel) and Live Nation. With roughly ten thousand in attendance on a balmy September Saturday, So-Cal geek rock aficionados, Weezer, headlined the all day affair with notables, Foster the People, Fitz and the Tantrums, long standing alt. rockers, Fuel, The Pretty Reckless, and others.
Weezer celebrates the 20th Anniversary of their debut release entitled, Weezer (certified “Triple Platinum”), with a a brand new album entitled,Everything Will Be Alright in the End featuring the single, “Back to the Shack”– dropping October 7th.
The Mighty Joe Young of ANTiSEEN among a few recent greats that have passed recently. (Photo: Moloich Photography)
By Michael G. Plumides, Jr. JD
In the immortal words of David Lee Roth, “Where have all the good times gone?” My rock-n-roll comrades are dropping like flies. I guess when you achieve a certain age, it ‘s unavoidable. Death is a part of life, as they say. But in a short period of time, we have lost a few visionaries here in the Southeast, and as I write this, It’s hard to be poetic. I’m a little more misty about the tragic losses of these men because they all touched my life, some for good and some for bad. However, each of these men left an indelible mark on me in my formative years, that would be an intricate part of my definition.
Joe Young- ANTiSEEN (April 30, 2014) Lenoir, North Carolina
When I was sixteen (circa 1981), Joe Young worked at the Record Bar at Southpark in Charlotte – yes, the legendary sludge-rock guitarist worked at the mall. I wanted to work at the mall record store too but they wouldn’t hire me. Didn’t matter how much I knew about music, everyone employed there was easily ten years older than me (except for Joe) and I knew nothing about retail.
While in college at South Carolina, ANTiSEEN was making a big splash at the college radio station where I worked. I think we had one single that received a considerable amount of airplay on the “punk” show, “Raucous Waves”. I hosted occasionally with Keith Bullard (now deceased). But their first LP, Honour Among Thieves garnished the band some attention with their brand of loud, southern dis-hospitality.
After graduating college in 1988, I moved back to Charlotte – only 90 miles up I-77. When the 4808 Club opened on 7th Street, ANTiSEEN became a fixture, first opening for bands like TSOL, and Soundgarden, then headlining shows. Jeff Clayton, the band’s lead singer and long-time partner of Young, was even married at my club in December, 1989, with Joe, Tom O’Keefe, and Greg Clayton playing the wedding march. Joe and I even shared a girlfriend at one point. I remember one time Joe trying to encourage me to come to see G.G. Allin’s show at his “Church of Musical Awareness” – he said, “Mike, you really oughta come see G.G.’s show in October. He said after the set, he’s gonna bring a loaded revolver out on stage and shoot five people in the audience and save the last bullet for himself.” My response was, “Why the fuck would I want to be there?” Joe died suddenly of a heart attack last April after playing with his band for thirty years.
Jeff Lowery – Pterodactyl Club/13-13 (August 3, 2014) – Charlotte, North Carolina
If I had an arch-nemesis, it was Jeff Lowery. At one time, I admired Jeff, and wanted to be part of the new scene he was constructing in the Queen City – first, from the shambles of the legendary punk mecca, the Milestone, inheriting the Tuckaseegee shit hole from Bill Flowers and making a go of it again, bringing in alt. acts like Flaming Lips, and Camper Van Beethoven. Then Lowery opened the Pterodactyl Club, and there was nothing like it in Charlotte. I remember the summer of 1987, I applied for a job as a deejay there. Lowery hired me and then fired me before I had spun one record. It seems the other deejay didn’t like me. All the more reason to open my own place in 1988.
Whether I want to admit it or not, Lowery was an influence – but not just on me. Andy Kastanas, Bob Okamoto, and Conrad Hunter opened the original Park Elevator on South Boulevard and had hosted some shows beginning late 1987 – Gang Green, King Diamond, Psychic TV, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers to name a few. Then I opened the first 4808 Club on Central Avenue, a rock’s throw from the now-leveled Eastland Mall. I brought in the likes of Johnny Quest, Dumptruck, Dark Angel, and Widespread Panic. But both clubs were operating on shoe-string capital – unlike Lowery, who was killing it – with bands on Wednesday, and progressive dance music Thursday through Saturday. Problem was, Lowery didn’t like competition.
As Park Elevator was operating on a month-to-month lease, Lowery snaked their venue out from under them, forcing them to relocate – and Lowery opened 13-13. He later did the same to me at my last 4808 location on 5th Street. Lowery and I had gotten into a bidding war over GWAR, but I got the contract – me, being stupid enough to allow an all-ages show. Lowery didn’t like that too much, so he bought my building. And to add insult to injury, allegedly, he tipped off Daniel Sellers at Alcohol Law Enforcement who raided my club and arrested Oderus Urungus and myself. Coincidentally, Lowery was on the guest list and watched with a needful eye as the chaos unfolded, snickering in the shadows during the incident.
Lowery also went out with a few of my ex-girlfriends – it was weird and incestuous. At a gathering last night to celebrate Jeff’s life at Amos’ Southend, I went, out of politeness. If anyone was shitty, I was going to tell them, “I only came to gloat.” His ex-partner, Tim Blong, tried to convince me of Jeff’s fondness. “Mike, you’ve got it all wrong. Jeff liked you. He said you made it interesting.” Kris, who was Lowery’s long-time girlfriend in the early nineties retorted, “I heard a different story.” We all laughed about it, however tragic. I’m sure me filing Bankruptcy in 1991 was “interesting” enough for the night club entrepreneur and property mogul, with 3 million supposedly in a Cayman account at the time of his demise. But as my Dad used to say, “You can’t take it with you.” Lowery was found dead in his home on August 3, 2014. A toxicology report is pending.
Dean Riopelle – Masquerade Club (September, 24, 2013) Atlanta, Georgia
In the waning days of the 4808 Club, I had befriended Greg Green, who worked as an assistant at the Masquerade Club in Atlanta. Dean Riopelle, his boss, was a night club owner from Florida, who had a string of venues, more notably, The Ritz in Ybor City, and others. Greg would become manager of the Masquerade in the early 1990’s. While I was in law school, circa 1994, Dean decided to start the Masquerade Recordings label. Greg suggested me as “General Manager’. Dean and I discussed terms and he hired me on the spot. I didn’t last too long there. Dean would always walk by my office not saying a word, pausing momentarily in the doorway, then he would go up to his office and call Greg down the hall. Then Greg would come and tell me whatever Dean’s gripe was.
Dean was also in a theatrical outfit called “The Impotent Sea Snakes” – who were mostly a raunchy drag queen troop who incidentally were also musicians. Some of the guys even lived downstairs in the practice space in the bowels of the club at the old Excelsior Mill. They did have a little notoriety though, with guest appearances by the likes of Lemmy Kilmister, Jenna Jameson, and Ron Jeremy. They were a weird group of folks, really into BDSM, which was something that made me a little uncomfortable. Some were into heavy drugs – but not Dean. Dean didn’t drink or do drugs to my knowledge. Dean even used to chastise band mates if they were abusers and encourage them to give up their drug of choice.
When I discovered that Dean had died of a heroin overdose last September, I was dumbfounded. It didn’t make any sense to me, but there again, I knew a guy who started smoking at 40, so what’s the difference? Turned out, Dean was allegedly given a lethal dose of heroin by his girlfriend, Alix Tichelman, who is implicated in the murder of a Google executive. Dean and Alix were all into the bondage thing and had recently done an interview with fIXE Magazine, a fetish rag, where they talked about their master-servant relationship. Also, Tichelman allegedly bit Dean on the hand after an argument at the club, where later he had her arrested. Dean was dead within a week of her release. Tichelman, who made the 9-11 call, left Atlanta in some haste to became a call girl in Silicon Valley. That’s where she met client, Forrest Hayes, on his boat – where she allegedly injected him with heroin. There’s video of her stepping over Hayes’ corpse, finishing her glass of wine, and exiting. The “Black Widow”, Tichelman, is being held without bond. Riopelle was reexamined in July after Tichelman’s arrest in California: A tragic end to a legendary club owner.
David Brockie/Oderus Urungus – Lead Singer of GWAR – Richmond, Virginia
Dave Brockie. What can I say. He was a real sick genius. Interestingly, the above photo was taken at the Masquerade Club in 2009, shortly after the release of my book, Kill the Music. David and I were friends. We happened to share the same jail cell Jeff Lowery put us in by tipping off the cops that fateful September night in 1990. First conversation Dave and I ever had was in the back of a squad car.
On the eve of his memorial before the Gwar-B-Q in Richmond on August 15th, I write this: Brockie and I were arrested together after a live show that allegedly violated North Carolina obscenity statutes, during the moral hysteria of the PMRC years. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanors, and Gwar was banned from performing in North Carolina for a year. The incident was covered by the national media including The Associated Press, Billboard, Rolling Stone and MTV. My 4808 Club in uptown Charlotte was closed by authorities shortly after the arrests.
In its wake, the band shot to stardom, eventually scoring two Grammy nominations, touring the world and becoming known for highly offensive, tongue-in-cheek shows that landed somewhere between Alice Cooper, Monty Python and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” He was an extraordinary painter, a talented musician, a criminally ignored lyricist, a quick-witted comedian and actor, and a mesmerizing frontman. Brockie performed with musical acts X-Cops, Death Piggy and DBX, appeared in several movies, was the “Intergalactic Correspondent” on late-night Fox News program “Red Eye” and was on two seasons of Fearnet’s “Holliston.”
Brockie and I had continued our relationship in the 25 years since our incarceration. I promoted a number of Gwar shows in the Southeast in the early ’90s and wrote a book, “Kill the Music,” which chronicled our experience during the PMRC era, interviewed Brockie at Bonnaroo in 2010 for an article titled “Bonnaroo Must Be Destroyed,” and wrote frequently about Gwar for Blurt and my blog. He even asked me to work on a “Blackbeard” project he was working on. Gwar overcame many obstacles and changed lineups over the years, but Brockie remained the consummate taskmaster at his company, Slave Pit Enterprises, and was the last original member to play with the group. His death followed Cory Smoot, the long-standing guitarist, found dead in his bed on the tour bus coming back from Canada in 2011.
I knew Dave had dabbled in all sorts of drugs and debauchery, but I didn’t think he habitually chased the dragon. Dave died of heroin overdose shortly after getting back from a very successful tour of Australia and Japan.
Don Drakulich (aka Sleazy P. Martini of Gwar) may have said it best: “If there is any solace in this, it’s that there was little suffering. He went out on a high point in his career. And he will never know the feeling of just fading away. He went out like a rock star. My biggest regret is not getting a chance to say goodbye.”
Art Boerke – Rockafella’s Night Club (February 17, 2013) – Columbia, South Carolina
Art Boerke was huge – but he was also a big influence on me. He was a legend at my college radio station. In 1988, when he was the Program Director at 95-7 FM, I asked him for a job while I was still in college. He told me, “You talk to much!” Funny, coming from Art because he seldom would let you get a word in edgewise once he started going. But Art was a brilliant guy. He was also a great promoter and owned the iconic Five Points club, Rockafella’s. Art gave acts like Edwin McCain, and Hootie and the Blowfish their start.
I learned a lot from Art, both what to do and what not to do. I said for him not to buy that Quiet Riot show he lost his ass on, and supposedly, he told me not to do an all-ages GWAR show. Admittedly, I did it so Lowery wouldn’t get it – that was a life choice. Art became dear friends with my brother Damon, and was always with us for as far back as I can remember. But it was Art Boerke who put Columbia on the map for music in the 1990’s. The Impotent Sea Snakes played at Rockafella’s, so did GWAR, and ANTiSEEN. Art, me, and Lowery, all did business with a guy named Chris Bojonavich, who used to work for Cecil Corbett. We all popped into each other’s clubs from time to time.
Art got out of the night club business, went back to school and up to the time of his death, was a college professor. Art and my brother Damon wrote a children’s book together called, The Adventures of Caterwaul the Cat: Feline Pie. Art died after falling on his head when he was released prematurely from Carolinas Medical Center, after he had taken too many Ambien, prescribed for a sleep study, in February of 2013.
These guys were punk pioneers in their own right, before the corporations took over. I wrote about each in my memoir, just a few short years ago. They were all still alive in 2009. It makes me feel very alone thinking about them. Nothing lasts forever,it seems… but their tales will echo in eternity.
Pat McCrory: Killing North Carolina film and television jobs one at a time.
Opinion by: Michael G. Plumides, Jr., JD
Let me count the ways: On the behest of Sheila Schmidt Brothers, head honcho at Wilmywood Daily, I offer this op-ed piece describing why the newly empowered GOP in North Carolina felt the necessity to decimate the film and television production business in our beautiful state of flux.
Regarding the embattled “Film Incentive”, Governor Pat McCrory said to WECT the other day that, “We need to have some compromise on it because, frankly, there was some abuse of it.” The Republicans haven’t brought this theory up much – at least, not until they’ve been under the eye of voter scrutiny. And the “abuse” he refers to is obviously politically motivated, citing that the Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte in 2012 hosted The Daily Show, which received a rebate of $190,211 (although McCrory claimed the payout was $400,000). Not only did he single The Daily Show out, but he had to lie about how much to make it look egregious. Brothers says, “McCrory just spews out misinformation and goes about his business.” http://wilmywoodnc.com/2014/07/10/the-wilmywood-daily-07102014-govs-false-claim-of-abuse-emmy-noms-for-nc-film-and-more/ If you’re a free thinking Democrat, you watch Jon Stewart on a regular basis – and you know the Republicans don’t like him much – but that’s really not the point I’m driving at here. That’s more of an aside – but reveals the “smoke-and-mirrors”, ‘throwing-the-dart-and-painting-the-bulls-eye-around-it” tactics they have resorted to, even blaming the film business for lack of monies for teacher salaries – using Jesse Helms’ tactics from yesteryear to smear the local film employee. I smell Karl Rove. http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20140709/ARTICLES/140709718
Senior Republican, Phil Berger, from Rockingham County, has had a hard-on to dismantle the incentives since it’s inception. After the filming of the neo-pornographic yarn, Hound Dog, shot in Wilmington, circa 2007, Berger was on a crusade, of sorts, using the lurid film as an excuse to force content censorship on visiting productions – those who would apply for a tax credit, would also have their scripts approved by an appointed political panel in Raleigh http://www2.nccommerce.com/eclipsfiles/15836.pdf .
Then Governor, Bev Purdue, nixed Berger’s proposal and instead bumped the program up to 25% as opposed to 15% so North Carolina could compete with Georgia and Louisiana – humiliating Berger. Berger vowed that if the GOP ever were to retake the NC Congress, he would squash the “Film Incentive” – which is really a misnomer because it applies to all “Qualified Business Ventures” under the tax code. http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/bustax/overview.aspx
And although they accuse “Hollywood” of stealing NC tax dollars, they offer no evidence of “abuse” but also no measures to “even the playing field” for entrepreneurs and start-up business, because frankly, they don’t give a shit.
And as we all know, it doesn’t matter how many pie charts, or graphs, or other trappings of investigation you produce to Republicans in support of the incentive (or “global warming” or “coal ash” for that matter), or how many college professors with tenure at N.C. Universities offer their 50 page comprehensive, scientific extrapolations, once the Republicans make their minds up – that’s it. And the North Carolina GOP is directed from higher ups.
When I met with then (now disgraced) Charlotte Mayor Pat Cannon last December, he already knew what they were going to propose – stating they intended to siphon money from the counties who most benefit – and he was in tight with McCrory, et al. Ol’ Pat has been bound and determined to “sunset” the tax credit and that determination is evident in their many unreasonable, ridiculously-lopsided and undesirable proposals (including an unworkable grant program) are written. Many of the proposed bills are destructive and vindictive (a la Berger), flushing North Carolina’s hard earned film and television production infrastructure down the toilet. This “Tea Party” obstructionism doesn’t take into account the five thousand full-time employees, another twenty-thousand part-timers, tourism, or the local businesses and rental houses for that matter – all of whom pay state taxes, and fees. Let the mass exodus begin just like NAFTA.
Art Pope and the John Locke Foundation? No. Higher. Americans for Prosperity a la the Koch’s? Maybe. There is a colluded effort here. They are propping up McCrory for a top slot in the program – and they are slowly taking states like Texas and North Carolina – anywhere that has an inkling of progressive thought. The rich, white plutocracy intends to send the political competition packing and us back to the stone age. http://www.publicintegrity.org/2012/09/05/10793/north-carolina-governors-race-awash-out-state-funds
As I’ve always said, follow the money… and although there’s not a lot of Republicans in the production business, there are a lot of Republicans that own land and operate down Georgia way. The “Chick-fil-a” Cathy family – and God bless ’em, knew what was good for Georgia, and their burgeoning Pinewood Studios endeavors – and they wanted a rigged game. So, they saw their opportunity to grease “Gubnah Pat” through a super-pac or two – to get him elected (as millions of outside dollars flooded the state in 2012) to plant the seed of political unrest regarding the incentive – the same way Berger did a number of years before that resulted in low film production numbers that year. The flux resulted in Pinewood landing the Marvel contract for four years. Didn’t NC just film the blockbuster, Iron Man 3 here? http://www.southernstudies.org/2014/06/art-pope-nc-featured-in-national-debate-on-campaig.html
Now, another studio is in development in Georgia – at Jimmy Carter Boulevard and I-85 – a combination of studio soundstages, back lot, office complex, film school, and hotels. Supposedly this is a billion dollar enterprise. Nobody plans this stuff overnight – the Atlanta Media Campus and Studios by Jacoby Development will break ground this summer. http://www.gwinnettdailypost.com/news/2014/feb/23/progress-movie-studio-is-8216catalyst-project8217/ A similar project was proposed for Charlotte on the old Eastland Mall site – but fell on its face. Oh, and coincidentally, Screen Gems has filmed two projects on that Gwinnett County, GA site – Fast and Furious and Hunger Games: Mockingjay – so, there’s some cloak-and-dagger, back room dealings going on here – Wilmywood should be asking some questions, with EU sending truck loads of equipment south.
Without repeating myself, let’s just say, the GOP is anti-union, they are anti-media (because those in production are usually Democrats), they are anti-green, and anti-Hollywood. and if they run all the Democrats out of Wilmington and Charlotte, the better chance the GOP has in securing New Hanover and Mecklenburg counties next time around with little “tree-hugging” opposition.
Let’s face it. There’s gonna be a big c@nt punch to the NC film industry and there’s no easy answer to why, or who – but I think it’s fair to say that the emotionally- charged press the GOP has created, takes North Carolinian’s eyes off of their “robber baron” intent to frack and mine, and in the process, poison our water supply, create earthquakes and sinkholes, and litter the coastline with oil platforms.
I used to live in Wrightsville Beach on Asheville Street, four doors down from Dino DeLaurentiis… it won’t be a pretty sight.
If you want to read about this subject ad nauseam, go here and be among the 60,000 readers who have viewed it:
The Koch’s are at war with North Carolina’s film industry. But as I have publicly said for almost a year, they are not targeting other “Red States” like Georgia or Louisiana – or even Texas. Austin is doing well. So, this may be all to benefit the Cathy’s endeavors and others who stand to profit from building production hubs and infrastructure built by GOP-friendly companies so they get their piece of the action of an industry they do not profit from presently in North Carolina.
The latest in a series of unsettling revelations – the Koch’s share the same lobbyist with the NC Production Alliance – so it’s just become a big shit sandwich and we’re all gonna take a bite. But the Koch’s aren’t opposed to programs that afford big incentives to companies building facilities in states like South Carolina, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas (where Glenn Beck just built a studio). http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/glenn-beck-moves-movie-production-696274
The Koch’s are bolstering the aforementioned states and destabilizing others like New Jersey, Florida, and North Carolina. I think once the developments are underway, they will re-institute the North Carolina incentives, so the GOP favorites can benefit and get a piece of an industry they so fiercely fight against, once they control the facilities. This has been a concerted effort by Republicans to get their piece of a very lucrative industry at the expense of the film worker.
I always said, “follow the money.”
And it turns out, unbeknownst to me, the Kochs own Georgia-Pacific along with other manufacturing entities in our neighboring Southeastern State. These industrialists are trying to corner the market for their facilities and run everyone out of the production business in North Carolina – and our people will have to relocate to SC, GA, or Louisiana, or CA. The Kochs will bolster their interests in Georgia presently. If you want to know how they operate, go here. http://realkochfacts.com/even-non-attending-koch-cronies-get-shout-out-at-secret-donor-conference/
Douche-Burgermeister McCrory kills any chance of reinstating the film incentive – kicking the can down the road: http://www.wfmynews2.com/story/news/local/2014/09/13/gov-mccrory-says-he-wont-call-nc-special-session/15579831/