"We are all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing." ~ Charles Bukowski
4sale: $195. Dancing Naked In The Mind Field, 1998. This is a signed and dated first edition with mylar wrap on fine dust-cover and is to be sold bundled with copy of Celebrity Magazine containing an interview with the author that preceded the issue of the book by several years. Other ephemera includes the book’s press release from Pantheon. This is a review copy that was annotated and highlighted in various places throughout by the reviewer.
by Reviewer Rob
I should say this is a review copy that was used for a book review in Reviewer Magazine, first of all, and that I was the reviewer who received this book by Random House/Pantheon in 1998. The interview and article in Celebrity Magazine which preceded the book’s release from 1994 were also written and photographed by me. So all the notes and highlights in the book are mine, full disclosure. It’s not an “immaculate” copy, but other than the annotations it’s in very good if not “fine” condition. I enjoyed reading it only once and then shelved it for almost twenty years until now when I brought it out for sale. I think I covered Dancing Naked In The Mind Field in either issue 9 or 10 of Reviewer, I’m not sure, I’ll have to go back and look.
This bundle includes the signed first edition with the dustcover wrapped in clear plastic, the copy of Celebrity Magazine, and the original press release from Pantheon who released the book.
Cell phone pic of a 4×5 print of me at 25 years-old, summer of 1989: I was driving through La Jolla one day, probably a weekend, and had my Nikon FM2 with a 50mm f1.4 on it with me. I had recently purchased the lens at the local used camera shop in Carlsbad where I lived and was out trying the new hyperfast glass on scenery when I stooped and parked at ‘Euro Beach’, as Windansea came to be called later. From the top of the stairs north of the shack I saw someone I knew sitting on the sand with a couple of girls who I didn’t know, and I walked down to say hi. Robert Maxwell was a local fashion photographer who I met through Trevor Watson at Revolt In Style’s weekly Thursday night “Berlin” DJ night at Sybil’s Down Under where I was shooting club photos for the magazine. He was a few years older than me, a much better photographer and really well known. I can say things haven’t changed in that regard almost 30 years later. I’d only been doing photos of people and models and portraiture seriously for a short while at this point, maybe less than a year, so I was really green and hadn’t started using model’s releases on shoots. I had no idea what they were or why they were important. Robert Maxwell must have known this because he spontaneously handed me a blank model’s release form — which for some reason he had with him on the sand — and said I “should start using models releases”. I kept it, later xerox copied it and immediately began having models sign them during every shoot.
We spoke for a few moments more before he asked to take a picture of me with my camera. Usually when people asked me this I’d say no because at the time I always wanted to ‘take the photo and not be in the photo’ (weird, I know), but this was different, and this is the shot that resulted. The piece of paper in my hand I’m shielding my eyes from the sun with is the blank model’s release Maxwell handed to me. I rarely like photos of me but I like this for these reasons, plus it’s also a good shot… Perfectly in manual focus, exposed correctly and well framed. He got it right the first time.
When I was in high school in 1981 we used to surf 11th Street in Del Mar and then go eat a fish and shrimp Combo sandwich at El Pescador Fish Market and restaurant on the coast highway. This “crew” was a group from Torrey Pines high school and one of them worked the afternoon shift and he’d hook us up with large helpings of smoked fish (shark, I think) in the orders. The price was under five dollars – which was a lot when gas was 79 cents a gallon or so – and so worth it; it was the best food EVER to have while in a post-surf stupor.
Ever since then I’ve returned to El Pescador from time to time, both the one in Del Mar and the one in La Jolla, when I was in the area and had time to wait for a fresh sandwich there. Every time I do I feel like I’m reliving a moment from those 20th century days of carefree surf excellence. Food has a way of bringing back memories for me that music and old friends sometimes can equal. But even those cues can become diminished like photos in a faded magazine, especially when their preparation becomes sadly a lost art.
So I was eating a shrimp and fish sandwich at the group cafeteria-style long wooden table inside El Pescador on Pearl Street in La Jolla two days ago, and when finished put my elbows up. Then I remembered suddenly that my mom, who died over 7 years ago, used to tell me (even after I’d grown up) not to do that. “Don’t put your elbows on the table,” she’d say gently. She’d also say, “Sit up straight,” when I’d slump lazily. Funny how things like that stick with you through life.
I’m 51 now and I took my elbows off the table.
My fish and shrimp sandwich on sourdough with avo at El Pescadore Fish Market in LJ this week was as good as I remember it being over thirty years ago. Now apparently it’s made with smoked salmon and bay shrimp, not shark. While years ago the El Pescador in Del Mar had a Combo sandwich on the menu that had shark but was awesome, there’s no combo listed on their menu now. I had to explain what I wanted to the dude behind the counter and it was a real hassle, a collosal hard time getting my lunch. Then when it came it was three times what I expected it to cost.
Yeah, I miss the old El Pescador I used to know. This boutique and shiny hipster hangout has nothing on the one in Del Mar in 1981 which was inside of an old small wooden California bungalow right on the Coast Highway that resembled a south-of-the-border taco tienda from days gone by. Things change.