Monday, December 29, 2014

Having a cup o' Joe.... with Joe!

The best part about living in College Point back in the day was the fact that at one time Joe and I lived just a few blocks from each other and we'd often meet up for breakfast. There's something really nice about that - and Joe, no matter where he lived, was always great at parlaying his interests in monster movie nostalgia into great communal gatherings of people with like interests! Whether it was at his home, showing movies on a giant inflatable screen - or welcoming curious onlookers into his barn-turned-museum, which he called the Haunted Barn - he was always doing something in remembrance and celebration of a very special place within our collective childhoods.

Today, Joe continues with that tradition, in part, with his "Monster Kids Club" breakfast meetings! He had one just this past weekend, and here he is... mmm, those waffles look good!!

Hope to meet up with you one day soon, Joe - I do miss you all!! Now if I can just figure out how to fit my life-size wolfman into my trunk...

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

The French Restaurant Skit

I debated with myself for a little while about ever revealing this silliness to the masses... the improvisational comedy Lloyd and I would commit to cassette tape whenever we got together - I mean when we weren't immersed in our OTHER habitual pastimes like making movies, recording music or drawing comics. But eventually you reach a point where you think, well, WE enjoyed it - perhaps even if you don't get some of the in-jokes - perhaps others can TOO? Well - that's yet to be seen - as apart from a clip or two and that time I posted our Abbott & Costello stuff - I'm ASSUMING SOME PEOPLE may be listening and enjoying it... it's a little difficult to discern. Surely the blog traffic increases every time something like this gets posted - but WHO'S really listening and what the hell could they be thinking? Heh heh heh..... I dunno.....

Anywho - - been too busy to give these clips any permanent home on the OOB site, but I'll get to it eventually, I guess. In the meantime, here's a little improv skit Lloyd and I recorded that we titled "The French Restaurant Skit"... You can kinda see where it's going!!... enjoy?

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Dan Banic shines bright in Beautiful Sun!

I love this tune... and what a great discovery to find Dan's live jam rendition of it while going through the Out Of Bodies archives for the website! Here's to wishing everybody, including of course my Out Of Bodies brothers Dan, Joe, Lloyd and Mark, Happy Holidays and all the best in the New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Way Home

Still trying to teach myself a little video editing, and not doing half as good as I'd like to (imagine, they sell this software WITHOUT instruction booklets!)... but I managed THIS (and that's not too bad, eh?) Dug deep into the Out Of Bodies archives and found this little "wheezer" track that Lloyd and I patched together. The guitars sound a little out of tune, but that may just be collateral damage caused by the cruder than crude way we recorded it... rotating cassettes in a double deck "boom box" recorder, adding chintzy overdubs via a mix microphone. Yeah, I know, ludicrous... but it was all we had. I'd like to think that if someone like George Martin saw what we were doing that he'd at least give us an "E" for effort... I mean, BEFORE he threw us out on our asses...

Anyway, this is Lloyd singing - and I think we were both playing guitars - influenced by Bob Seger's "Night Moves"? Hmm... maybe at the one part when Lloyd goes... eh, you'll hear it... ENJOY!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Bed Time Story

Another impromptu comedy skit from the twisted minds of Lloyd & Donald... is ANYBODY out there LISTENING to this crap?...

Monday, December 8, 2014

One Game Leads To Another

Was talking with a friend the other day about the good old days of the video game arcades. This instantly brought up memories of playing at one of the most bizarre places on Earth, Adventurer's Inn - which is now just a faint whisper in the wind blowing down the road on Linden Place, just off the Whitestone Expressway in Flushing, NY. Then, ironically (almost magically) I came across a recording that my buddy Lloyd had made while I was digging through my cassette archives tonight - an ode to those glorious days, and our #1 biggest arcade game obsession - Popeye!

Lloyd took the Fixx song "One Thing Leads To Another" and turned it into a song about our inability to walk away from the Popeye arcade game and called it "One Game Leads To Another"... anyone who remembers being as fixated with that one-eyed freak as much as we were will find themselves humming this song when they least expect it... enjoy!!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Grampa Chews Gum

You've all been asking about it, so here's a little sneak peek (or sneak LISTEN) to what's coming to our website when we launch our new Out Of The Archives segment! Aside from a seemingly endless pit of musical surprises we've also unearthed some rare COMEDY, from the somewhat twisted minds of two young fellas I recognize...


Saturday, December 6, 2014

Something rare, well done...

Something rare I found while digging through the Out Of Bodies Archives today - a theater of the mind commercial Lloyd and I recorded promoting a comic story I had just completed at the time called Yummy Yummy Yummy I Got Jimmy In My Tummy! I totally forgot we had done this!!...

and then, if you dare... READ the comic here!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

More Surprises to come from out of the archives!

My cassette to MP3 converter arrived earlier than expected this week, so I'm happy to announce that I gave it a try and it worked fairly easily... (and lately I'm not used to things working out easily) - - so the real news here is that I'll be cracking open the Out Of Bodies archives and uploading never-before-heard SUPER RARE recordings, long forgotten jam sessions and comedy bits for the "Sides" section of our website!!

Just to test out the equipment I grabbed the first cassette I could see (which was unlabeled) and did a quick transfer without fussing with any of the settings - just "boom" - whatever's on there, here it is!! It turned out to be Dan doing an impromptu, live jam version of "Runaway", and I know he's going to cringe - but hey... it's still fun hearing this after all these years! Rough takes, mistakes, uncontrollable laughter - I plan on revealing it all! You want clean, organized, antiseptic crap? Well, there's too much of that stuff out there already... don't you think?

Honestly, I really don't know what to expect when I go through these tapes - there's going to be LOTS of stuff in those archives I haven't heard since the day we recorded it... so for me, this is going to be like taking a ride in one of those theme parks where you haven't been in years - a surprise every turn, and perhaps a few displaced invertebrate!!

I'll be announcing these new additions as I get 'em done - - soooo...

Stay tuned!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In My Garden

Just listening to some "Lost" Out Of Bodies tracks and came across this one... I was laughing to the point where I couldn't breath... take a listen, but be reminded it's not for the faint of heart!! heh heh heh...

Friday, November 28, 2014

RIP Wheezer

It was bound to happen one day... we all saw it coming... but my ole' Sharp Double-Deck cassette recorder (aka, the "Wheezer" due to it's infamous excessive tape-hiss noise) has finally BIT THE DUST tonight...  (Actually it's technically a Wheezer II, but let's not confuse things by getting into THAT!!)

Yes...... It has ceased to be!...  It's expired and gone to meet it's maker!... Bereft of life, it rests in peace!... It's metabolic processes are now history!... It's kicked the bucket, shuffled off it's mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!!!...

Recording in the living room with Dan and Joe, 1995.

The very, very last cassette tape to MP3 transfer I was able to squeeze out of it was THIS... and already you can hear the death rattle. The hubs began to slip... the tape began to unravel... and in spite of my last ditch effort to clean the heads and oil all of it's accessible moving parts it was clearly the end. 

I'm going to miss the ole' gal - the other fellas and myself enjoyed hours of fun and hi-jinx kneeling down before her and recording Out Of Bodies songs, comedy bits, and what have you... and now, well, it feels like an END to an era...

Lloyd and recording in my attic bedroom, 1986.

I haven't even begun to think about what would I possibly get as a replacement cassette to MP3 transfer device... perhaps I shouldn't be thinking about that quite yet... perhaps it's too soon... I need to mourn a bit first!!... Rest In Pieces - - uh, I mean Rest In Peace, Wheezer... you will be missed...

Someone actually took the Wheezer before the
garbage trucks showed up...
perhaps it hasn't met it's end after all!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Pondering Freaks

Hey, apparently somebody got it right... just happened to come across this little review of Tod Browning's "Freaks" (1932) - one of those movies that kind of... *stays* with you, whether you like it or not - and it brings up pretty much everything *I've* wondered about the film... only I've never bothered to say it out loud! Heh heh heh... Anyway, you can check out the review I stumbled upon here... Enjoy...

Friday, October 10, 2014

A little flashback...

I suppose I am a nostalgia buff harboring a not-so-secret fondness for things I grew up with as a kid... old toys, puppets, the TV shows and cartoons which filled my afternoons, and lots of little childhood memories - all of which continue to reside in a seemingly bottomless pit of my brain that surprises me every now and then with an impromptu flashback...

I have no idea what prompted this one - perhaps because it's almost Halloween, and Halloween reminds me of monsters and ghosts? Anyway, something took me back to my old bedroom on Vanderveer Street in Queens Village, NY. There was my brother Vinny and I as two little nine year old kids... sitting up in our beds, playing in the dark as we often did - trying not to make too much noise as we were both supposed to be sleeping. Upon hearing approaching footsteps we'd flop down and try our best to look like we've been sleeping for hours - usually successfully, sometimes not.

We were caught playing with toys so often (which subsequently meant us getting in trouble) that after a while we devised a way we could play WITHOUT them - simply by using our own HANDS as puppets! I called it the "Duck and Bee Show". What was hilarious about that, was that while it remedied us from being caught holding up TOYS - we were STILL caught laying on our backs, holding up our arms in these peculiar hand formations - like we were two deaf kids conversing in sign language! My mother probably thought, what's this sudden obsession with their hands? But she would just whisper "go to sleep" and close the door. She was well accustomed to our odd behavior - perhaps even a bit thrilled, that in spite of our usual preferences to do things apart from each other, we were at least doing something which appeared collaborative.

What the Duck and Bee Show might look like today.

Well, anyway - back to the flashback... this one time we heard the steps approaching but before we could dive into sleep mode the door swung upon and in stepped my older brother Jeffrey. Normally when someone came into the room all we'd see was their silhouette with the bright hallway light beaming in from behind them - but THIS time was oddly different - there were two glowing objects in Jeffrey's hands, approximately a foot in height each, that were illuminating him from the front! It was a little spooky seeing Jeffrey come in that way holding two glowing objects in his hands. Both Vinny and I sat up and tried to determine what these two glowing objects were.

As it turned out Jeffrey had surprised us both with buying us two glow in the dark Casper The Friendly Ghost coin banks! Today, a hard to find collectible - made by the Transogram Company in the USA. These stood approximately 12" tall, so one could imagine after filling them with coins you probably couldn't lift them off the ground without rupturing your spleen.

Picture two of these
glowing at once!
We probably thought
we were hallucinating!

Coincidentally, Jeffrey had also bought me my very first ventriloquist dummy - which was both a source of delight and horror to my brother Vinny and I. Because he reminded us of Jerry Mahoney from the Paul Winchell Show, that's what we named him. It wasn't until years later as an avid eBay buyer and seller that I discovered he was more or less a Jerry Mahoney knock-off, referenced simply as the "ventriloquist's friend" (probably due to copyright issues)...

Me, Jerry and Vinny.
Funny though, how these little flashbacks pop into your head again... Vinny and I playing in the dark, those Casper The Ghost Banks, and my brother Jeffrey - who had a real knack for surprising us with the coolest things!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Play your metallic piece...

Dan always mentions the lo-fi limitations he had recording this song, and I suppose yes - it's true, but regardless of that - this is still probably my most favorite out of all of his songs. It always boggles my mind that Dan recorded this whole thing by himself in his bedroom on a beat-up Fostex 4-Track recorder. It's an ambitious piece - layers upon layers of sound - sort of reminds me a little of early Bowie... and even though Dan is not the type of guy who ever explained what his songs were about - this one is perhaps the most self explained...

Dan created an android and taught it to play guitar... "the rockin' man was built to make you swoon and sway... he's a rockin' little robot, you know - I taught him how to play..." My favorite part of the song is when Dan leads his friend into the guitar solo when he goes "Play your metallic piece!" Then there's that sound... how did he make that sound? It's a guitar, I know, but it's different somehow - sort of like an orchestra at half-speed. I've listened to this song many times and I still don't know what he did there. It's a secret we may never know.

Anyway, give the song a good hard listen and tell me what you think... oh, and thanks, Dan!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014


Today, when I woke up my bleary eyes were happy to discover that my long quest for Yul has been answered by a drunken hobo.... well, actually a collector of white doo-wop music who's screen-name was DrunkenHobo. He was happy to share the details I had compiled, along with my rare publicity photo of The Companions on his blog - and even more-so his YouTube video of the song - and now I'm thrilled to share it with all of you!! It really is a great song and I'm glad I can now hear it whenever I want - cruising around with the top down in my car (well, technically I can't do that because I drive a Hyundai Sonata, but YOU get what I mean!)... ENJOY!!...

A download of the song "I Want A Yul Brynner Haircut" is also available here!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Off The Wall

Just some random funny pics done for Facebook friends... granted, they probably won't make a lick of sense to anyone else... or maybe they will??...

While standing in line to get a bagel and coffee one
morning, an old woman who looked just like this
cut the line.

Dan was convinced he could outsmart
Facebook's Timeline Conversion by laying low.

I altered Mark's cover photo.
He wasn't about to blow his brains out in HIS version.

There's a LOT of cute on Facebook.
I hate cute.

Best Birthday gift ever.

My reaction after the 1,000th Bubblerock
advert from Dan.
What's a Bubblerock? ...Exactly.

Avant Garde Don.

Another Bubblerock reaction. Not good...

A somewhat controversial observation.

Someone's kid had built this bird feeder.
I added the note from the cat next door.

Mark's profile pic reminded me of Lester.

Something to ponder.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Otto, George and John Lennon!

Throughout the years I've heard the names Otto and George come up every now and then - mostly during conversations with comedians on various shows - but I never really got to fully appreciate who Otto and George were, until just recently, when Otto suddenly passed away in his sleep - and suddenly the internet was aflood with Otto and George YouTube clips. My brother Jeffrey was the first to tell me the news. He said he's been watching lots of Otto and George clips and laughing so hard he was crying. And so I did, and within seconds I was crying too.


In summary, Otto & George was an adult-themed ventriloquist comedy team composed of comedian Otto Sol Petersen and his dummy George Dudley. Petersen began performing with George as a street act in Manhattan and Brooklyn in the early 1970s. In the late 70s the act moved into night clubs and began to evolve into an X-rated act. Most of the clips on YouTube that you'd find are Otto from this later period. If you're easily offended I'd suggest you stay away from them - but I found his act to be hilarious. Filthy... but very, very funny...

Anyway, for THOSE clips you can do your own searching - but here's a little something I came across (a safe, terrestrial radio clip)... in which it's revealed that a young Otto Peterson during his street performing days met up with John Lennon! ....JOHN LENNON!!!

Jump to 8:53


Otto back when he met John Lennon.
It was the bowler hat that caught Lennon's eye.

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...