Cool shot. White t-shirt: fundamental building block of a man’s wardrobe.
Silent power when you’re a boy.
Boys Keep Swinging by David Bowie
I had forgotten how much fun the song and the video are. I took one look at the picture and I knew no other song/video would do.
I saw the premier of this video at an art gallery in San Francisco in 1979, along with two other music videos, Look Back In Anger and I Am A DJ, from his Lodger album. The gallery, Art For Art’s Sake, was a front for a large drug dealing operation. Someone should write a book about the proprietor, Joel Tornabene, aka Super Joel, but I don’t have time. If you google him, the first image that comes up is one with him and my brother Nate, and Joel’s cohorts, Iris and Natalie, whom I just saw at a funeral for another old friend. David Bowie apparently loved Natalie’s dyed-fabric wall-hangings that were hanging in the gallery one time when he visited and he wanted them hanging for the premier of the videos. Unfortunately, he wasn’t there the night I was.
Here’s something I never knew, Tom Waits mentioned Joel in a song, How’s It Gonna End? It’s just another weird Super Joel thing.
Joel Tornabene was broken
On the wheel
Shane and Bum Mahoney on the lamb
The grain was as gold
As Sheila’s hair
All the way from Liverpool
With all we could steal
He was robbed of twenty dollars
His body found stripped
Cast into the harbour
There and drowned
And I want to know
The same thing
Everyone wants to know
How’s it going to end?
—Tom Waits ~ How’s It Gonna End?
Asked who Joel Tornabene was, Tom Waits replied:
“He’s in the concrete biz. Mob guy. He was the grandson of Sam Giancana [not true – one of Joel’s stories] from Chicago. He did some yard work for me, and I hung out with him most of the time. He died in Mexico about five years ago. He was a good friend of [producer/composer] Hal Wilner, and he was a good guy.
“He had an errant–I don’t know how to put this–he used to go around, and when he saw something he liked in somebody’s yard, he would go back that night with a shovel, dig it up and plant it in your yard. We used to get a kick out of that. So I stopped saying, ‘I really like that rosebush, I really like that banana tree, I really like that palm.’ Because I knew what it meant.
“He came over once with twelve chickens as a gift. My wife said, ‘Joel, don’t even turn the car off. Turn that car around and take those chickens back where you found them.’ He was a good friend, one of the wildest guys I’ve ever known.”
I’m telling you, the stories go on forever.