mood: busy Category: Art and Photography
Adventures with one Dave" DOG" Swan
I wrote about the above-mentioned Mr. Swan in a past zine this year and in case you are not on top of things I will be more than happy to update all of you on this divine creature.
I happened to stumble upon him at SF's undisclosed location this last spring. He was holding a video camera taping Master Moth and Le Flang Du Mal, I turned around after catching stills of these fabulous performers and there he sat in a chair documenting the happenings in John Whitehead's musty yet classy basement.
His appearance caught my eye and I asked if I could snap some quick shots of him. He said "sure', I then pulled a chair up next to him to chat for a bit and see what this interesting individual is about.
I piled many back issues of Oblivious Nation in his lap and we proceeded in an in-depth conversation (I think), we hung out a bit more into the night. He told me of his cable access show from the early 90's called "Doghouse" http://www.swandogtv.com/ and his many guests included friends Jello Biafra and Penelope Houston amongst many other groovy characters. He spent much time in Washington in the late 60's and has so many interesting stories to tell. I thought he was super fancy and hoped our paths would cross again.
Low and behold within that week he emailed me and told me of how he enjoyed my publication and how could I ever leave the bay area. We wrote back and forth and he even met up with me again at undisclosed for a brief visit in May. Presenting me with a copy of his beatnik jazzy band from SF 1980's called the Longshoreman (Subterranean Records).
I then lost contact when my yahoo account froze for a month or two, yet I still would send the latest issues every month. I was then able to reactivate my yahoo account, and we were back in constant communication.
I let him know I'd be visiting in October so he took the Friday night off, and planned a high-end adventure for one Miss Oblivious.
He picked me up at Stevens around 3:30 in his impressive 1964 400-ford galaxy with white exterior and aqua vinyl interior. Whisking me over to a warehouse called "Scraps" for dirt-cheap pieces of fabric and whatever else you need to make an out-of-this-world project.
I presented him with his very own Paynecreation doll (which I spaced out on taking a photo of), we picked up his pal and drove around for a bit and then picked up Maria and her friend, so now there was 5 danger rats on the prowl in the streets of San Francisco!
Our next stop would be Mission Thrift and only 10 minutes before we were due to arrive at Dirk Dirksen's (Mabuhay Gardens) film production lab.
By the way I had loaded up on amino acids the night before so I had to relieve my bladder every 15-30 minutes.
Dirk answered the door and put his index finger to his mouth and said "sssshhhhhhh", then closed the door half way and proceeded to scream, (I met Dirk years ago but there is no way he'd remember),
I used the facilities, and then he explained that all the 8+10-framed photos in the hall are for a new book that they are putting together about (you guessed it), punk in the late 70's early 80"s in SF.
We watched a short documentary and it was time for us to head on to Subterranean Records, for shopping and for Dog to get the book he had been promising me. LOSER the Seattle music history starting in the late 1800's to present. By the way thank you!
We stayed at Subterranean for at least two hours Steve was Kind enough to tolerate us reading his books and shopping for music as he filled on-line orders!
This place is a candy-shop for any music collector's sweet tooth! Books, old and new magazines, vinyl up the yang-yang and CD are a forming cavity ready to rot any music victim.
We left and it had to be about 9ish, and neither Dog nor I had eaten and it was definitely time, plus I really wanted a few beers. His pal that had joined us was not up for a meal with us so we dropped him off and headed over to the Mission (My favorite place to eat Mexican Food); we drove to ATM's and while on route, caught a glimpse of the LIVE billboards. Which are woman trapeze artists on a billboard performing.
Soon we arrived at our Mexican Haven and I jumped out to get a table while the car was parked and quickly ordered my Spanish bottle of ale.
Conversation, food and woman filling there tummies with beer and before we knew it, the time was close to midnight, (where did the time go)? Tanya and Cole never met up with us, I never got to see Ally, and our night was closing way to soon.
Dog still wanted to take me to meet his friend Pierre, so he called him up and it was still a go. He was up painting and wouldn't mind some company.
We drove to a south part of SF and rolled up to a glamorous villa, and were greeted by "Mr.Lucky"( http://www.mrlucky.org/ ), also known as Pierre when he paints. Leading us through a classy Spanish style entryway, we then proceeded through his garage were a fancy 1961 Chrysler covered collectable rests, we were then in his painting studio. An amazing artist is he ("abstract humanism" style), which is inspired by lines in his poetry. He is quite the accommodating host.
He soon offered beverages and we were led up to his living domain, which was gorgeous. We popped open our cans of sin and grabbed books, I started looking through a 1990's ReSearch book on swing.
There he was, our host, a full 4 page spread on how he had brought the swing scene into the punk scene via early 1980's. (He gave me the book), was front man for SF punk band via 79-80 " Pressure".
A renaissance type, and surely an interesting creature, he showed us some videos of his band which was a lounge act (Mr. Lucky Experience) in which he'd sing pop songs to such hits as "Billie Jean", "everybody wants to rule the world" in lounge swag.
He even revamped his home on his own.
It was time for us to leave since the sun would be rising in just a few hours. We dropped off Maria and company and I would go check out Dog's living quarters before returning to Steve n Josh's, which happen to be a stone's throw from Dog's. (Huh what a Small world).
We entered through a glass door and had visions of Heathers art (his roomy and co-host for the Doghouse), an Asian accent if you will. I then was able to meet Heather herself, which was watching television; I relieved my bladder for the twenty-first time since noon.
We walked into a most wondrous kitchen very 60's sterile and steel appliances (lovely), but the most glorious area I'd say is the lounge area, which when looking north in the kitchen through a 10+10 foot window is 60's swank style. A circle of cleverly placed chairs, faux furs throw rug, an organ and a bar? I think there was a bar? I was so sleepy by this time, yet we still had photographic plans.
There were attic steps that (duh) led up to the ceiling (another roommates space), and we took the steep stairs down leading to Dog's space.
Which is cleverly decorated and consist of three rooms. A collector of vintage items such as vinyl, toys, books, film, boxes/ packages of items past. Of course there is a covered automobile, one of five that this Car fanatic owns. Which would keep one busy with all the parking restrictions in a traffic filled city.
We went into his room and started shooting the photos for this month's issue and as usual when I click that one image (it may take 5 it may take 20) I know it's a wrap when I get "The One" in my image box.
He walked me half the block and I unlocked the gate and the door and crumbled in to a deep sleep…
I have to say it was one of the best times I've had that neither bars nor sex were involved!
November 2006 issue $5.00