PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

Horsing Around With Action Figures

The PopCult Toybox

Last week I ran a preview of this photo essay, and as promised, this is our big, shot-on-location, collection of photos of Stevo’s Toys newly-reissued horses, which use the actual 50-plus-year-old molds for the original Marx Thunderbolt horse, the faithful steed of Johnny West. I belive the horses you’ll see today are offically named “Rowdy” and “Ringo,” but if you buy your own, you can call them whatever you want.

Our photos came out great.  If you want to see them slightly bigger, just click on the image. We shot these at an undisclosed location which was not nearly as rural as it may look. Behind us was a very busy highway, and to my left a truckstop/gas station. In fact, I was standing on pavement when I shot most of these pictures. It’s the magic of the camera.

However, it is not the magic of Photoshop. Of all these images, I only color-corrected one, and I only cropped a couple of them. The sun was shining and the weather was perfect and our only problem was a little bit of wind. It was a great day to get out and play with toys while you’re pretending to be working.

As I told you last week…

Six years ago I told you about my friend, Steve Corn, who bought the original molds for Johnny West’s horse, Thunderbolt, and put them back into production. You can see the full story of Steve’s quest for Thunderbolt HERE and HERE.

Steve sold out of his first run of white and black horses, and now he’s back with new horses, still made from the original molds, but this time in gray and dark brown. You can order these from Stevo’s Toys, and they are an absolute treat. the definitive horse for 1/6 action figures.

Steve sent me a couple of his new horses, and Mrs. PopCulteer and I headed out last Saturday morning to find a location and take advantage of the good light.

These are terrific 1/6 scale horses, perfect for any 12″ action figure (or fashion doll). You can order them HERE, and be sure to check out the rest of his site for other cool Western accesories for your 1/6 scale cowboys.

Now, let’s jump into the photos, complete with captions…

Rowdy and Ringo, fully kitted-out with red and white saddle and tack. You can order solid-color sets from Stevo’s Toys. For this photo shoot, I mixed and matched the two sets, switching the blanket and saddle bags.
Here they are, face-to-face. These horses just look fantastic with their complete gear (and without, too).
Here we have a salmon-bodied Jane West, astride her mount. These are the figures that this horse was made for, and they balance perfectly.

Continue reading…

Wednesday afternoon The AIR brings you brand-new episodes of Beatles Blast and Curtain Call!  You can tune in at the website, or or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player right here…

At 2 PM, your loyal blogger is back with a new Beatles Blast. This time we open with brand-new music from Ringo Starr. On his newly-released EP, Change The World, Ringo covers the Bill Haley classic, “Rock Around The Clock.” I used that as a springboard to kick into a mixtape of The Fab Four, together and solo, performing classic hits from the early days of Rock ‘n’ Roll (with one 1950s pop song  thrown in for good measure).  You’ll get to hear the Beatles sing songs made famous by Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Carl Perkins and many more of their musical heroes.

Check the playlist for all the rockin’ tunes…

Beatles Blast 075

Ringo Starr “Rock Around The Clock”
The Beatles “Rock and Roll Music”
John Lennon “Peggy Sue”
George Harrison “I Really Love You”
Paul McCartney “Twenty Flight Rock”
Ringo Starr “Hey Baby”
The Beatles “Twist and Shout”
Paul McCartney “That’s All Right, Mama”
John Lennon “Rip It Up/Ready Teddy”
The Beatles “Kansas City/Hey Hey Hey”
Ringo Starr “Only You”
John Lennon “Stand By Me”
The Beatles “Roll Over Beethoven”
George Harrison “Between The Devil and The Deep Blue Sea”
John Lennon “You Can’t Catch Me”
The Beatles “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby”
Paul McCartney “Maybe Baby”
Ringo Starr “Oh My My”
Paul McCartney “Lucille”
George Harrison “Got My Mind Set On You”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday afternoon.

At 3 PM on Curtain Call, Mel Larch also brings you a mixtape. With Curtain Call Mel continues the tradition of showcasing the Tony Award winner for best musical.

The 2020 Tony Award for Best Musical went to Moulin Rouge. Based on Baz Lurhmann’s 2001 film, and with a book by John Logan, this anachronistic jukebox musical tells the story of a young composer who falls in love with a cabaret singer in the Montmartre Quarter of Paris, France, during the Belle Epoque at the turn of the 20th century.

If the idea of Tolouse Latrec grooving to the sounds of LaBelle, The Police, Fatboy Slim, Madonna, Sia and The Rolling Stones sounds like fun to you, then you are in for a treat as Moulin Rouge combines a few original songs with an apparently random assortment of very recognizable songs from pop music’s most famous artists.

This week’s Curtain Call brings you highlights of the show, but to be honest,  to get the full effect, you should witness the visual spectacle too. Still, there are a few thousand catchy tunes shoe-horned into this show.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday at 8 PM and Monday at 9 AM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evening starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

It’s Tuesday on The AIR  so try to contain yourselves! We have new stuff on the internet radio. Today we bring you new episodes of Radio Free Charleston and The Swing Shift. That’s two mostly-new programs totalling four hours of particularly neat-o keen internet radio!  You simply have to point your cursor over and tune in at the website, or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the cool embedded player right here…

We have a  killer new Radio Free Charleston at 10 AM and 10 PM Tuesday.  This week we open with a loaded new hour of RFC goodness, and then we re-present a 2019 edition of Radio Free Charleston International that only aired three times before.

The first hour of RFC is jam-packed with new music, much of it local, from the likes of GLDN (a new band that includes Greg McGowen of Time And Distance fame), The Dollyrots, The Renfields, Shelem, Lost Decades, Lindsay Buckingham, Hawkwind Light Orchestra and more. Then our second and third hours present a two-hour mixtape of pure, freeform radio, running the gamut from Cherry Poppin’ Daddies to Hollywood Vampires to Yoko Ono to the Aristocrats, with many a bizarre stop in between.

Check out the playlist below to see all the goodies we have in store (live links will take you to the artist’s pages)…

RFC V5 063

hour one
GLDN “River City Runaway”
The Dollyrots “Breed”
The Renfields “Scene Club”
The Aquabats “We Got This”
Red Audio “Edger”
The Science Fair Explosion “Coinslot”
Emmalea Deal “Sugar and Champagne”
Shelem “Suga Water”
Lindsay Buckingham “Swan Song”
Static Fur “Connection”
Tautologic “That’s What I Hear”
Hello June “War”
Lost Decades “Do You Need This”
The Bounty “Big Love”
Hawkwind Light Orchestra “The Virus”

hours two and three

Cherry Poppin’ Daddies “Live Like An Animal”
The Stranglers “Freedom Is Insane”
Adrian Belew “Heaven’s Bed”
The Who “Magic Bus (live)”
Crowded House “Now We’re Getting Somewhere”
P.P. Arnold “Last Thoughts of Woody Guthrie”
Hollywood Vampires “I Want My Now”
Conspiracy “Lonesome Trail”
Shakespeare’s Sister “C U Next Tuesday”
Buck O Nine “Dust It Off”
Sublime with Rome “For The Night”
YES 50 “Close To The Edge”
Yoko Ono “Move On Fast”
The Dave Clark Five “Inside and Out”
Sleeping Giant “Visions III”
Mike Love “Rockaway Beach”
John Lennon “Well Well Well”
The Aristocrats “Last Orders”

You can hear this episode of Radio Free Charleston Tuesday at 10 AM and 10 PM on The AIR, with replaysWednesday at 9 AM,  Thursday at 3 PM, Friday at 9 AM, Saturday at Noon and Midnight,  and  Monday at 11 AM, exclusively on The AIR. Now you can also hear a different encore episode of RFC every weekday at 5 PM, and we bring you a marathon all night long Saturday night/Sunday morning.

I’m also going to  embed a low-fi, mono version of this show right in this post, right here so you can listen on demand.

After RFC, stick around for encores of MIRRORBALL at 1 PM, and NOISE BRIGADEat 2 PM.

At 3 PM we have a brand-new episode of The Swing Shift. This week we bring you another Swing History show. Our focus this time is the man who should be a household name, Fletcher Henderson. He led a critically acclaimed big band at the dawn of the Big Band Swing era, but after dealing with financial setbacks and a lack of management acumen, he joined the Benny Goodman Orchestra, as a staff arranger, after having sold many of his hit arrangements to Goodman for years. His distinctive sound was a key part of Goodman’s success.

This week’s Swing Shift brings you Fletcher Henderson’s band, from their peak years, 1931 to 1937.

Fletcher Henderson Special

“You Rascal You”
“Sugarfoot Stomp”
“Singin’ The Blues”
“Sugar”
“I Want To Count Sheep Until The Cows Come Home”
“Casa Loma Stomp”
“How Am I Doin’ Hey, Hey”
“New King Porter Stomp”
“Nagasaki”
“Phantom Fantasy”
“Harlem Madness”
“Limehouse Blues”
“Shanghai Shuffle”
“Rug Cutter’s Swing”
“Blue Lou”
“Jangled Nerves”
“Grand Terrace Rhythm”
“Sing Sing Sing”
“Knock Knock Who’s There”

You can hear The Swing Shift Tuesdays at 3 PM, with replays Wednesday at 7 AM, Friday at 8 PM and Saturday afternoon only on The AIR. You can also hear all-night marathons, seven hours each, starting at Midnight Thursday and Sunday evenings.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Monday Morning Art: Reflecting On Charly

I don’t usually feature the work of other artists as Monday Morning Art here in PopCult, but this week I’m making an exception. Last week we lost Charly Hamilton, a legend in the Charleston art scene, and a friend of over three decades. Saturday I ran an old episode of Radio Free Charleston in this blog that featured host segments shot in front of Charly’s giant West Side mural.

I pulled the feature image for that post from the raw footage for the host segments, and while digging through the folder for that I found a five second camera test clip that I shot pointed inside Mel’s car. When I looked at the clip, I saw Charly’s mural reflected in the side-view mirror, and it just struck me as appropriate for this week’s Monday Morning Art.

I call this image “Reflecting On Charly,” because I figure he’d get a laugh out of it.

If you want to see the big image a bit bigger, just click on it.

Meanwhile, Monday at 2 PM on The AIR, we bring you an encore episode of  Psychedelic Shack, followed at 3 PM by another encore edition of Herman Linte’s weekly showcase of the Progressive Rock of the past nmalf-century, Prognosis.  You can listen to The AIR at the website, or on the embedded radio player right here…

The Haversham folks are buried under paying work this week, and will return next week with new shows.

Psychedelic Shack can be heard every Monday at 2 PM, with replays Tuesday at 9 AM, Wednesday at 10 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday at 9 AM. Classic episodes can be heard Sunday at 9 AM as part of our Sunday Haversham Recording Institute collection.

You can hear Prognosis on The AIR Monday at 3 PM, with replays Tuesday at 7 AM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at Noon, and Saturday at 10 AM. You can hear two classic episodes of the show Sunday at 2 PM.

At 8 PM, stick around for an 11-hour marathon of Mel Larch’s Disco showcase, MIRRORBALL.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Sunday Evening Video: A Hard-hitting Journamalism Report

Above you see a meticulously-researched expose on the Entertainment Industry by award-winning BBC journalist, Michael Squeamish. Every fact and bit of history in the above film has been vetted and found to be one million percent accurate by the International Organization of Accuracy In Media and Weights and Measures, or at they are more commonly known, IOOAIMAWAM.

Assisting Squeamish in this spectacular and shining example of journalistic excellence are contributing writers, Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry, who are also known for their work on the documentary series, Toast of London.

The RFC Flashback: Episode 216

This week we are departing from our usual chronological presentation of the Radio Free Charleston video shows to bring you something a little more recent, and a little more special.

At the end of 2018, after the video show became pretty much an annual event, I put together a show with music from Brooke Brown, The Velvet Brothers, and from Chicago, Alan Gresik and The Swing Shift Orchestra. I also animation from Third Mind Incarnation and Frank Panucci.

I also shot many of the host segments in front of Charly Hamilton’s epic mural on Charleston’s West Side. We lost Charly this week, and I told you a little bit about him on Wednesday, but I thought it might also be nice to show off some video I shot of his mural. This was a few months before Charly undertook a restoration project to restore the lower parts of the mural that had been worn off, but you can still see plenty of Charly’s brilliance on display behind my ugly mug.

It was part of a really special show.

Short Notes and XTC On The AIR

The PopCulteer
September 24, 2021

We have a few short items, plus a playlist for a very special show on The AIR to tell you about, so let’s dive in, shall we?

DC For Me, See? Uh…not now. 

Ten years ago DC Comics intiated a company-wide reboot, dubbed “The New 52,” and while it did boost their sales for a while, the endeavor turned out to be a long-term disaster creatively, to the extent that ten years later, DC is still foisting annual “major events” on their readers to try to fix things.

I announced that I would read and review each of the 52 first issues here in PopCult, and…I failed miserably. I only made it through a bit more than half before I had to stop for the sake of my mental health. They almost broke me.  A typical review went like this one. Many of these comics were just bad, and the few that were good still had the stank of desperation on them.

Most of the changes ushered in with the New 52 have since been ushered back out. Superman got his damn pants back and he’s not dating Wonder Woman. Lobo is Lobo again and not a gothed-up male model. All pretense of the superheroes only being around for five years at the beginning of the reboot were forgotten or abandoned. Green Arrow and Black Canary got their past together back.

Most of the rebooted DC titles were cancelled within the first two years, and five years later DC attempted to fix things by doing a “Rebirth” reboot, and dumping the “New 52” logo. However, things continued to be convoluted and confused, and I went from reading almost everything DC published to just picking up one or two DC titles, and those aren’t set in their main universe.  Now they pull some kind of company-wide stunt every year, so that we wind up with a Black Batman, a teenaged Superman, a Brazillian Wonder Woman and a Gay Aquaman. And in a year or so, they’ll all be back the way they were before, when the sales fall off. DC Comics has incorporated the vicious cycle into their business model.

On the anniversary of this reboot, which turned out to be an extinction event for much of DC’s long-term readership, Graeme McMillan has compiled an oral history of the many things that went wrong, over at Polygon.

Friends of PopCult

Congratulations and all the best wishes in the world to PopCult buddy and occasional collaborator Mark Blackwell (Wolfe), who will be getting married this weekend!

Another PopCult friend, Elliott Stewart, has emigrated to Chattanooga, and is publishing a ‘zine called Porch Beers.

It’s a great chronicle of a trans man living in Chatanooga who is into cool stuff, misses his home state…a little,  and writes about it in a compelling and entertaining manner. You can order the first two issues HERE.

I said I wasn’t going to do Stuff To Do for a while, but since The Swivel Rockers are friends of PopCult and this is an outdoor show, I’m just dropping this here for you to consider…

 

XTC on Sydney’s Big Electric Cat

Friday on our sister interent radio station, The AIR,  at 3 PM we have a very special new episode of Sydney’s Big Electric Cat. Sydney Fileen devotes the entire two-hour show to the music of XTC, from 1978 to 1986. You can tune in at the webpage if you’re reading this on a phone, or if you’re using a computer, just click on the cool embedded player right here…

Andy Partridge, Colin Molding and Terry Chambers, along with Barry Andrews and Dave Gregory, created a body of work that stands among the most impressive of any band of the New Wave era.

From the buzz surrounding their pre-signing performances on John Peel’s BBC shows to the end of the New Wave era, XTC were a beacon of creativity. Friday you can tune in for two hours of the ultra-intelligent art-pop of XTC.

Check out the playlist…

Big Electric Cat 077–XTC Special

“Meccanic Dancing”
“Science Friction”
“Statue of Liberty”
“This Is Pop”
“The Rhythm”
“Are You Receiving Me”
“Making Plans For Nigel”
“Day In Day Out”
“Ten Feet Tall”
“Reel by Reel”
“Generals and Majors”
“Respectable Street”
“Don’t Lose Your Temper”
“Towers of London”
“Burning With Optimism’s Flame”
“Living Through Another Cuba”
“Jump The Cup”
“Sgt. Rock Is Going To Help Me”
“Senses Working Overtime”
“Ball and Chain”
“It’s Nearly Africa”
“English Roundabout”
“Beating of Hearts”
“Love On A Farmboy’s Wages”
“Wonderland”
“Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her”
“I Bought Myself A Liarbird”
“All You Pretty Girls”
“Washaway”
“Grass”
“Earn Enough For Us”
“1000 Umbrellas”
“Dripping Basin”
“Dear God”

Sydney’s Big Electric Cat is produced at Haversham Recording Institute in London, and can be heard every Friday at 3 PM, with replays Saturday afternoon, Monday at 7 AM, Tuesday at 8 PM, Wednesday at Noon and Thursday at 10 AM, exclusively on The AIR.

RAW 10 Series Two

McFarlane Toys has announced a second series of RAW 10 action figures, exclusive to Walmart. In July of 2020 I told you about the first series HERE. Below you can see Hoof and Terror-Don. Pre-order them by clicking on their names.

And that is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for fresh content every day as your humble blogger stays busy as a bee, doncha know?

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Coming Attraction: Hold Your Horses

The PopCult Toybox

Today I’m going to bring you a brief photo essay which is a preview of a much bigger photo essay that will (with luck) be posted here next week.

Six years ago I told you about my friend, Steve Corn, who bought the original molds for Johnny West’s horse, Thunderbolt, and put them back into production. You can see the full story of Steve’s quest for Thunderbolt HERE and HERE.

Steve sold out of his first run of white and black horses, and now he’s back with new horses, still made from the original molds, but this time in gray and dark brown. You can order these from Stevo’s Toys, and they are an absolute treat. the definitive horse for 1/6 action figures.

Steve sent me a couple of his new horses, and the plan was to get them all kitted out and take them out and photograph them in the wild. And I do plan to do that, weather permitting, this weekend.

However, the horses look so fantastic that I wanted to give my loyal readers a preview. So today you get to see one of the new gray horses decked out in dark brown riding tack.  Chuck Wheeler, of the CXR clan, stepped in to show how cool the full set looks with a rider.

Steve hand-paints each horse, and he offers several styles. He also has the saddle and other riding gear molded in three colors, dark brown, white and red. Next week you’ll get to see both the gray and dark brown horse in action, and they’ll be sporting different colored tack. You can order them HERE, and be sure to check out the rest of his site for other cool Western accesories for your 1/6 scale cowboys.

But for now, I wanted to bring you a quick preview of one of the horses, photographed in the wilds of my kitchen floor,  to show you how cool these new horses are. As an added bonus, they are made entirely in the USA. If all goes well, next week I’ll have way more spectacular photos and won’t have to resort to digital painting for the header image.

Here is the horse, in all his (or her) nekkid glory!
Here we see Mr. Horse with a his full tack, including blanket, saddle, reins, rifle scabbard, bit, headgear stirrups, cinch and saddle bags.
Detail on the saddle, and a tip: You want to have an X Acto knife or small scissors handy to separate the pieces, and you want a pair of tweezers to aid in the assembly. Reading glasses might not hurt any, either.
The saddle seem from the other side. When I was a kid, I developed the bad habit of tucking the saddle bag flaps inside the bag, because it was so hard to get them to stay closed. I still do that out of habit. Sorry.
Here we have Chuck, ready to ride. This is the style of figure for which this horse was made, but they also work perfectly with GI Joe, Barbie (if it’s a doll whose legs bend), and many other 1/6 scale action figures.
This has just been a quck preview. We will bring you more elaborate photos of more of Steve’s horses, in more exotic locations, next week.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Beatles Blast Is New, Curtain Call is Clairvoyant

Wednesday afternoon The AIR brings you a brand-new episodes of Beatles Blast and a very timely encore episode Curtain Call from 2020.  You can tune in at the website, or or you could just stay on this page, and  listen to the convenient embedded radio player right here…

At 2 PM, your truly returns to host a collection of mostly solo Beatles songs, plus a set of performances recorded live that kicks off with an unexpected cover. Check out the playlist here:

Beatles Blast 074

Paul McCartney and Beck “Find My Way”
Ringo Starr “Zoom In, Zoom Out”
George Harrison “Wah Wah (day two demo)”
John Lennon “Instant Karma (Elements Mix)”
Paul McCartney “Slidin'”
Toto “With A Little Help From My Friends”
George Harrison “Bangla Desh (live)”
John Lennon and Elton John “Whatever Gets You Through The Night (live)”
Wings “Soily (live)”
Ringo and the All Starr Band “Don’t Go Where The Road Don’t Go (live)”
The Beatles “Dizzy Miss Lizzy (live)”
The Traveling Wilburys “Every Little Thing (extended mix)”

Beatles Blast can be heard every Wednesday at 2 PM, with replays Thursday at 11 PM, Friday at 1 PM,  and Saturday afternoon.

At 3 PM on Curtain Call, in advance of this Sunday’s special delayed presentation of the 2020 Tony Awards on Paramount +, we bring you an encore of Mel Larch’s June 2020 episode that speculated on what the nominees might have been, if it weren’t for that meddling pandemic.

You will hear selections from Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, Jagged Little Pill, Six, American Utopia and Moulin Rouge. In the background of Mel’s introductions you’ll hear Oscar Peterson playing “Something’s Coming,” from the musical, West Side Story, the controversial revival of which I don’t believe was nominated for anything.

This was as close as we could get to bringing you the annual Curtain Call Tony Nominees show last year. The same musicals I just mentioned will be featured on a “Broadway’s Back” special Sunday night on CBS right after the awards ceremony on Paramount +.

Curtain Call can be heard on The AIR Wednesday at 3 PM, with replays Thursday at 8 AM, Friday at 10 AM, Saturday afternoon and Monday at 9 AM. A six-hour marathon of classic episodes can be heard Sunday evening starting at 6 PM, and an all-night marathon of Curtain Call episodes can be heard Wednesday nights, beginning at Midnight.

Special note: PopCult may disappear from this location at The Charleston Gazette-Mail soon. Don’t miss out on our new posts at our NEW HOME. Bookmark the new site, and subscribe to our RSS feed. You can also follow PopCult and Rudy Panucci on social media at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Remembering Charly

The world became a little less colorful yesterday.

Charly Jupiter Hamilton passed away after an illness, and Charleston’s art scene is in mourning for a man who was a talented and brilliant artist, but also a wonderful, supportive and loving human being.

I first met Charly in 1989.  He was standing in the engine compartment of an old Volvo right outside the front door of The Charleston Playhouse. I asked if he needed any help, and he asked if I knew anything about Volvos.

I said I didn’t, and he replied, “Crap…I don’t either.”

We became friends and hung out at the Playhouse, and on four or six occasions, we collaborated on tablecloth doodles at the fabled Charleston music and arts venue. They had paper tablecloths at the Playhouse, and they put crayons on each table to encourage creativity. At the time I was doing psychedelic abstract doodles, and Charly had already developed his trademark style of technicolor cosmic tribal art that eventually gained him an international following.

A few times we were at the same table, doodling away while a band played, and my solar flares and space flowers would intermingle with his wild animals and polka dot people. I didn’t keep any of these pieces, and I don’t believe Charly did either. I was later told that the waitstaff would fight over who got to take them home.

After the Charleston Playhouse closed, I withdrew from the local scene for a prolonged period while I was taking care of my ailing parents, but I followed Charly’s career, and it was just so cool to see how successful he’d become. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, seriously.

When I started writing PopCult and got back into the arts scene following the death of my parents, I’d run into Charly and we’d chat for a few minutes and catch up.  He was still the nice, unassuming, quiet and supportive guy I’d known back in the day. I wish I’d had more of those brief visits with him.

I’m not alone in that wish. Charly touched the lives of thousands of people, in person and with his art, and it’s through his art that Charly will live on.

I’m really gonna miss Charly. I wish I could do more than write this brief post and do a quick digital painting, but this one really hits hard.