Our friends at todaysdocument challenged us to share five of our favorite finds in our archival collections, so here they are!
1. Excerpt of handwritten lyrics to “Blue Valentine” by Tom Waits. 2011 inductee Waits is to songwriting what Charles Bukowski is to poetry, Jack Kerouac is to prose, and Edward Hopper is to painting. A true original, Waits’ specializes in stories about all kinds of beautiful losers: nighthawks, grifters, drifters, dreamers, con men, and other flotsam from the underbelly of American life. Obviously, this is a personal favorite. From the Jeff Gold Collection.
2. Punk, no.1 (January 1976). Punk magazine was created by cartoonist John Holstrom, publisher Ged Dunn, and “resident punk” Legs McNeil in 1975. It popularized the term “punk rock” to describe the music coming out of the CBGB scene, including the New York Dolls, the MC5, Stooges, and Ramones. We just love this inaugural cover of Lou Reed by John Holstrom.
3. KMPX staff photograph,October 1967. Photographer Baron Wolman. In the spring of 1967, well-known Top 40 disc jockey Tom Donahue took over programming for KMPX (106.9 FM) in San Francisco. The station quickly became the birthplace of underground radio with these quirky folks at the helm. From the Dusty Street Collection.
4. Conceptual drawing for the Parliament-Funkadelic Mothership. The Mothership existed both as a “fictional vehicle of funk deliverance” and as a physical prop central to Parliament-Funkadelic concerts. David Bowie’s tour producer, Jules Fisher, also a renowned Broadway lighting designer, helped bring the Mothership to life, and it made its debut landing on October 27, 1976, at Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans. From the Jules Fisher Papers.
5. Photograph of Aretha Franklin in the studio, circa 1968. In January 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded her hit “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)” at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. After a heated argument between Rick Hall and Franklin’s husband Ted White, Atlantic record executive Jerry Wexler and Franklin left FAME permanently. Wexler went on to use the FAME rhythm section to finish Franklin’s album and others in New York. This photo is likely from a recording session for the album Aretha Now. From the Spooner Oldham Papers.