Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Going Psycho

A sneak peek at the Bates Motel location!

An exact replica of the original Bates Motel resides in a secret off-limits location somewhere in Aldergrove, British Columbia.... currently being used for A&E's Bates Motel mini series... but being a working set doesn't stop curious Psycho fans from finding it every now and then and snapping a few quick pictures! Heck, who could blame 'em - I would love to poke around that set myself!!!

Here are a few shots as it looks today during it's second season, courtesy of Cecilia Flaming Photography, and a couple of season one pics I came across credited to yvrshoots where evidently they matted in the top of the Bates house using CGI in post production. Sometime just before filming for season two they managed to add a real one.

Psycho buffs will tell you, the original Psycho house on the back lot at Universal Studios was built to two-thirds scale to make it appear much higher and much farther away from the Bates Motel than it really was - but this one is full scale size, done so with the intention to enable it's actors to get up close and for the cameras to utilize it to it's full potential. Just as the previous houses were - the ones used in production of the Psycho movies that came after Hitchcock's original - the house is just a facade... and inside scenes for this current production are shot in Vancouver.

Regarding the Bates Motel itself only a few rooms are used as sets, the rest of the "rooms" are again, a facade. In an interview I saw recently with Vera Farmiga (who plays Norman's mother, Nora Bates) she revealed that in-between shooting scenes on cold nights they use cabin #4 to warm up in - as it's equipped with heaters and other comforts - and she said she believes that the ghost of Anthony Perkins must be making visits - as it always locks her in when no one is around, and usually a stagehand or someone else needs to be called upon to open it for her!! How's that for spooky, eh?

Well, after the pics make sure to check out the videos below where a reporter stays the night at the Bates Motel and lives to tell about it - and a clip from A&E's Bates Motel website that shows you more of what goes on behind the scenes as explained by cast and crew members.

Season Two, the house is complete (well, at least that's what your eyes will tell you)...

 Season One, The Psycho house was topless...


Inbetween seasons...

The windows and doors get all boarded up, fences go up around the house and the property, plastic tarps cover the motel, the steps and the neon sign, a security guard polices the area - and Hitchcock watches over everything! (Note the silhouette!)


A candid shot...

Alfred Hitchcock and Anthony Perkins, without whom none of this.......

Twelve cabins, twelve vacancies...

And last but not least,

Freddie Highmore (Norman Bates from Bates Motel) visits the original Psycho house at Universal Studios Hollywood for the first time...

Monday, April 28, 2014

What's an Out Of Bodies?

Found this old band description from the now long defunct IUMA Underground Music Archive... the explanation given as to why the OOBS have never bothered to take their act further than their own bedrooms deserves some sort of spin doctor reward!

The Out Of Bodies began when two aspiring young artists, Donald Jefferes and Dan Banic, met while attending the High School of Art & Design in the late 70s. Throughout the 80s they were joined by Don's long term buddy Lloyd Goldfine, Don's cousin Joe Vento, and another A&D artist, Mark DeGross. Traveling back and forth to each others homes in the Bronx and College Point, Queens they recorded all of their music on a beat up portable 4-track Fostex recorder, and occasionally a boom-box they dubbed "the wheezer".

A creative group of artists/film makers/horror buffs - The Out Of Bodies have worked on many projects both on their own and in collaboration with each other - but their most notable body of work continues to be their music. As diverse as their own personalities their music has been compared to, foremost, The Beatles (as a group and solo artists) - but they also share a particular interest in the diverse musical and vocal styles of Harry Nilsson, Cat Stevens, Sting, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Jeff Lynne and the Electric Light Orchestra, Beck, Squeeze, Radio Head, Neil Innis, David Bowie, Motown artists, Michael Penn and Sly and The Family Stone - to name but a handful.

None of them professional musicians, with the possible exception of Dan - who has self taught himself to play virtually anything - one can easily find themselves perplexed on why, throughout the years, the Out Of Bodies have never bothered to cut an album for themselves or to record any of their material in a studio. It is only their close friends and relatives that can tell you how they've witnessed themselves, that unlike your average band, the OOBs prefer to commit their bursts of creativity to tape spontaneously and without obligation. In short they will tell you that they do it "just for fun."

Whatever the reason, it is perhaps this "quirk" that makes the OOBs so appealing rather than being the nemises that holds them back. Within their vast collection of their music on cassette tapes, many of their songs are sandwiched between comedy skits, impromptu takes, and a whole lot of laughing. They're a silly bunch. Individually and a little bit older the OOBs are still drawing a curious audience.

For more on the Out Of Bodies including more photos, songs, fan commentary, bios and up to date OOB information, make sure to visit their external website. Submit your own commentary to their recently added "OOB TALK" page and read what others are saying.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Thousands Show Up For 50th Anniversary of Worlds Fair

NYS Pavilion Named 1 Of 44 'National Treasures' In United States

APRIL 22, 2014 - - CBS NEWS

Fifty years ago, the New York World's Fair opened in Queens. Many who were there returned Tuesday to mark a very happy anniversary. They lined up by the thousands, just like they poured onto the grounds on this day back in 1964. They carried their World’s Fair identification cards, and so many memories.

“It brings chills to me because it was a very special time in my life,” Gail Fiorelli told CBS 2’s Dick Brennan. 
“I grew up dirt poor in Brooklyn, and this was like beyond Disney World to me,” Sheldon Lapidus added.

In an age before theme parks, there were exhibits and rides at the World’s Fair. “To ride the monorail was like the new subway, I thought,” Tom Piragnoli said.

Hans von Rittern said he attended the fair and told Brennan he became obsessed with the “It’s a Small World” exhibit. “Yes and it can’t leave your head, and it’s still in everybody’s head today,” von Rittern said.

“Everybody my age remembers the Pieta,” Maureen O’Connor said, referring to the famed Michelangelo sculpture that was brought to the fair.

The fair also brought the introduction of a breakfast revolution, including the Belgian waffle, and the unisphere, which, despite being a target of destruction in the movies, still stands 140 feet tall.

Restoring The New York State Pavilion

Best known as the centerpiece of the World's Fair, The New York State Pavilion has been designated as a “National Treasure” by The National Trust For Historic Preservation.

Officials made the announcement during a special celebration marking the anniversary of the fair. The famed pavilion in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is now one of 44 “National Treasures” in the entire United States. The designation is given to “structures that are built to our architectural, social and political history. The kind of buildings we cannot imagine being without,” said Paul Goldberger of The National Trust For Historic Preservation. The pavilion was designed by renowned architect Philip Johnson.

It closed following the World's Fair, though was occasionally used as a concert venue and a movie set. Through the years it fell into a state of disrepair and has been rusting away for decades. Recently there has been a push by activists to preserve the pavilion. Volunteers have even taken to painting the lower level of it red, white and yellow to spruce it up, CBS 2's Scott Rapoport reported. Now with it's newly minted designation as a National Treasure, many are hoping that talk of preserving and restoring this special structure will turn to action.

Tuesday was the first time in decades that visitors were allowed to go inside an tour the pavilion.

“I hope they fix it up and make it nice for the future generations to see,” said Tom Robinson, of Lindenhurst, who was first in line to take the tour. “I grew up here, I saw this back in ’64, I rode with the Mustangs in the Ford pavilion, I had my first Belgian waffle here.”

It will cost about $40 million to restore the pavilion, preservationists said.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Haunted Barn closes (for now)...

A couple of days ago Joey packed up the last remaining artifact of wonder from his garage-turned-museum "The Haunted Barn". On his Facebook page he announced ", it is just a barn again" - in which I replied, "Joey, it will never be JUST a barn again..."

Good luck my friend, on your eventual move - and wherever the NEXT Haunted Barn ends up...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Royd's release their debut album, Royd Rage!

Hey friends, please check out (and purchase) my nephew Andrew's debut album, The Royd's "Royd Rage", now available for download at Share it, pass it around, shout about it - I was very much impressed with their sound - my personal favorite song being "Rebound Girl"... reminded me a bit of something Mike Nesmith might've done with The Monkees, sort of... kind of... but the many sounds on their album here (while no doubt influenced by many) is very much their own. I was drawn into all their songs immediately, and with each listen I notice something else that makes me smile... and there's a sense of humor on there too - I almost spit out my coffee when I heard "My Boots Give Me Street Cred" and "Divinity Of Mr. Johansen"... those silly guys... oh, and "The Park Is Closed" - I wonder how many people besides myself have caught THAT innuendo!

Jump back a few months from now... I was happily surprised when Andrew and Robb asked me to do their cover art, asking (almost apologetically) "really? You know my style, right?" and Andrew answered flatly "yeah, that's what we want!" - so I was really glad when after sending the fellas the art Andrew called it "brilliant" - that was really quite nice!! The guys already had a color scheme worked out in their heads, and they knew exactly what they were looking for.

The finished album cover.

Thanks guys for helping bring me out of a sort of lazy, somewhat semi-retirement - it seems to be a nice match to the album's contents and I'm already envisioning it on promo cards and t-shirts!... this was a great experience and I think you guys are really going to get some really cool feedback!!....

The pencil sketch. 

Incidentally, Andrew's other band "Swear To Me" just played Mulcahy's last night - sorry I missed it, I will have to catch you guys the next time!