#89 Guns & Roses & Joe at the Fotoplayer

89 Guns & Roses


#89 Guns & Roses
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Amperbr& series

First watch Guns & Roses & Joe at his Fotoplayer

What you see is Joe Rinaudo at the Fotoplayer he restored. What you hear is a very clever Guns & Roses overdub by adnmusic.

 


Joe Rinaudo

Amper­Art #89, Guns & Ros­es, was inspired by a my best friend of fifty years, Joe Rin­au­do, who prob­a­bly does­n’t even know who Guns n’ Ros­es is — he’s more into Scott Joplin. We were both into “old stuff” — I col­lect­ed & refur­bished old office machines (mimeo­graphs & type­writ­ers) & Joe col­lect­ed 16mm films of ear­ly cin­e­mat­ic com­e­dy — Char­lie Chap­lin, Buster Keaton, the Key­stone Cops, Fat­ty Arbuck­le , & of course Lau­rel & Hardy (Amper­Art #99).

Today Joe is a 35mm silent film col­lec­tor, refur­bish­er, itin­er­ant pro­jec­tion­ist, and con­sul­tant to the Acad­e­my of Motion Pic­ture Arts and Sci­ences, as well as the Library of Con­gress Nation­al Film Preser­va­tion Board. Vis­it his web­site, SilentCin​e​maSo​ci​ety​.org.

Short­ly after high school, Joe restored a Mod­el 20 Foto­play­er, a play­er piano/​organ/​percussion con­glom­er­a­tion that would add music and sound effects  to silent cin­e­ma. This is now in his liv­ing room. His neigh­bors love him.

There are near­ly a mil­lion posts on YouTube of Joe play­ing his Foto­play­er, which was fea­tured on Huell Howser’s Cal­i­for­nia Gold. How­ev­er, the sound you hear above is a very clever over­dub, per­fect­ly timed and enhanced, by adn­mu­sic on YouTube.

To hear the actu­al music Joe is play­ing, and to learn more about the Foto­play­er, step right over here.

Vis­it SilentCin​e​maSo​ci​ety​.org, Joe’s new web­site for old enter­tain­ment.



INTRODUCING A NEW AMPERART THEME: 

Amperbr&

Amperbr& fea­tures brand names which con­tain the word “and,” a con­trac­tion such as “n” or the amper­sand itself. In each case, the con­junc­tion is replaced by an amper­sand which is set or styl­ized in the pri­ma­ry type­face of the brand’s logo. Guns & Ros­es is the first Amperbr& issue. Search Amperbr& for oth­ers


How did Guns & Roses get its name?

I find brand nam­ing fas­ci­nat­ing when it just falls into place. Sort of like my for­mu­la for inspired design: luck+talent=that’s it! (Read about it here.) The Guns & Ros­es sto­ry fits the for­mu­la:

GUNS N' ROSES RETURN FOR HISTORIC NORTH AMERICAN SUMMER STADIUM TOUR: Founder Axl Rose and Former Members, Slash and Duff McKagan, Regroup For The 'Not In This Lifetime Tour' Produced by Live Nation (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation Entertainment)

In 1984, Hol­ly­wood Rose mem­ber Izzy Stradlin was liv­ing with L.A. Guns mem­ber Tracii Guns. When L.A. Guns need­ed a new vocal­ist, Stradlin sug­gest­ed Hol­ly­wood Rose singer Axl Rose. Guns N’ Ros­es was formed in March 1985 by Rose and rhythm gui­tarist Stradlin, along with lead gui­tarist Tracii Guns, bassist Olé Beich, and drum­mer Rob Gard­ner of L.A. Guns. The band coined its name by com­bin­ing the names of both pre­vi­ous groups.  —Wikipedia


Popular mid-​century phrase

Many “old­sters” will recall the term guns & ros­es being used after World War II, as some peo­ple had to learn that “life is not all guns & ros­es.” Of course, that’s not yet a brand name so it would not be an Amperbr& theme. But it could still be Amper­Art!


How many Amperbr&s can you think of?

(That’s a brand that’s got an amper­sand in its name.)

M&M’s?  Smart & Final? Smith & Wes­son? Add yours here.

Take this fun Amperbr& quiz.



Production notes for #89 Guns & Roses:
Original size: 20 x 30 inches

Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Cornivus
Ampersand: Cornivus (brand’s logo font)
Guns n’ Roses logo: enter​tain​men​trocks​.com
Video: adnmusic, YouTube
Quiz: sporcle​.com — quizzes

You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​inch poster, click on the image.


For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#99 Laurel & Hardy

Click this image to download hi-​rez pdf:

Laurel & Hardy AmperArt


#99 Laurel & Hardy
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing & framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Joe RinaudoAmper­Art #99, Lau­rel & Hardy, was inspired by my best friend of fifty years, Joe Rin­au­do, whom I met in sev­enth grade. We were both into “old stuff” — I col­lect­ed & refur­bished old office machines (mimeo­graphs & type­writ­ers) & Joe col­lect­ed 16mm films of ear­ly cin­e­mat­ic com­e­dy — Char­lie Chap­lin, Buster Keaton, the Key­stone Cops, Fat­ty Arbuck­le , & of course Lau­rel & Hardy. I sure had fun going to his house & watch­ing those old films. As a teenag­er he already had a large col­lec­tion of 16mm films, both silent & sound. Lat­er, Joe began invest­ing in 35mm silent films & acquired a Power’s 1909 Cam­er­a­graph Mod­el 6 Motion Pic­ture Machine which he restored to pris­tine con­di­tion. He also became an expert at restor­ing the old films & acquired vast knowl­edge about the ear­ly cin­e­ma indus­try.

Vis­it SilentCin​e​maSo​ci​ety​.org, Joe’s new web­site for old enter­tain­ment.

Today, besides run­ning Rin­au­do’s Repro­duc­tions, his Vic­to­ri­an lamp busi­ness which repro­duces & cus­tom designs superb light­ing fix­tures of the Vic­to­ri­an, Crafts­man & Art Deco peri­ods (you’ll find many of his lamps through­out the Dis­ney parks — yes, those mas­sive chan­de­liers in the Empo­ri­um are his), Joe Rin­au­do con­tin­ues to col­lect, restore, & host itin­er­ant shows of the silent era, as that is his ulti­mate pas­sion. He fre­quent­ly lec­tures & hand-​cranks his beau­ti­ful antique pro­jec­tor at the Acad­e­my of Motion Pic­ture Arts & Sci­ences — to pro­duc­ers, direc­tors & stars, many of whom have lit­tle knowl­edge of how their indus­try start­ed. They are always in awe when Joe presents his shows (in full turn-​of-​the-​century cos­tume, no less). He also hosts small­er itin­er­ant shows, sim­i­lar to when pro­jec­tion­ists would trav­el from town to town where there were no for­mal the­aters & project at a hall, church, or even inside a tent —hence the term “tent show.” Twice a year Joe teams up with able assis­tant Gary Gib­son & organ­ist extra­or­di­naire Dean Mora at the Mighty Wurl­itzer to present a spec­tac­u­lar show com­plete with col­or­ful glass lantern slides at inter­mis­sion (or when the film breaks). This event is held at the Nether­cutt in Syl­mar, Cal­i­for­nia, usu­al­ly in Octo­ber & Feb­ru­ary.

Most recent­ly Joe has formed an orga­ni­za­tion called Silent Cin­e­ma Soci­ety “for the preser­va­tion & pre­sen­tion of the art & tech­nol­o­gy of silent cin­e­ma.” (It was orig­i­nal­ly named SCAT — Silent Cin­e­ma Art & Tech­nol­o­gy — but we’re still try­ing to obtain that domain.) I had the plea­sure of cre­at­ing Joe’s web­site, SilentCin​e​maSo​ci​ety​.org, where you’ll find most inter­est­ing & enter­tain­ing infor­ma­tion about the art as well as the tech­nol­o­gy of the silent cin­e­ma era. Be sure & sub­scribe to his newslet­ter, “The News­reel,” to learn of upcom­ing silent film shows & news in gen­er­al. (It’s always excit­ing when a 100-​year-​old lost reel is found in a store­room or attic, usu­al­ly pris­tine but so frail that it must be han­dled gen­tly & with the great­est cau­tion, as old nitrate film is spon­ta­neous­ly com­bustible.)

See Laurel & Hardy in Burbank June 4, 2016

Joe’s upcom­ing Clas­sic Silent Come­dies itin­er­ant show will be held in Bur­bank, Cal­i­for­nia, Sat­ur­day June 4, 2016, at 7pm. Joe will hand-​crank his 1909 Pow­er’s pro­jec­tor as Scott Lasky embell­ish­es each scene with live piano accom­pa­ni­ment. Gary Gib­son will project glass lantern slides of the era. The show is near­ly 2 hours with light refresh­ments for sale. Admis­sion is $10. Full details here.

Joe Rin­au­do is espe­cial­ly excit­ed about this show, fol­low­ing the sur­pris­ing turnout for the show in March. The audi­ence was a live­ly, young crowd inter­est­ed in this old tech­nol­o­gy & art form, the results of pro­mot­ing the event on Face­book. More on that sto­ry here& a bizarre scene of a danc­ing pig.

Adding sound to silent…

Joe Rinaudo playing his American Fotoplayer. Plug your ears!

Although ear­ly films were silent, as in no dia­log or record­ed music, there was plen­ty of sound in most the­aters. Large the­aters employed an orches­tra. Small­er the­aters & those with low­er bud­gets relied on a pho­to­play­er. The pho­to­play­er (“pho­to” from pho­to­play & “play­er” from play­er piano) was built specif­i­cal­ly to pro­vide music & sound effects for silent movies. These machines appeared around 1912 & were used in medi­um sized the­aters. Pho­to­play­ers were inex­pen­sive to oper­ate because you didn’t have to be a musi­cian to play them — they were also playable by way of play­er piano rolls. But the per­son at the bench did change rolls & add the sound effects, as you can see in this demon­stra­tion.

Joe Rin­au­do is play­ing his Amer­i­can Foto­play­er in the video above, which was fea­tured on Huell Howser’s Cal­i­for­nia Gold.

The pho­to­play­er used a fas­ci­nat­ing com­bi­na­tion of piano, organ pipes, drums, & var­i­ous sound effects designed to nar­rate the action of any silent film. Ped­als, levers, switch­es, but­tons, & pull cords were all used to turn on the xylo­phone, beat a drum, ring a bell, cre­ate the sound of thun­der, or chirp like a bird.

When sound films came into being in the late 1920’s, the pho­to­play­er became passé. Of the thou­sands of Amer­i­can Foto­play­ers made dur­ing their hey­day, sad­ly less than 50 sur­vive, & of those only 12 are known to be in play­ing con­di­tion. One of those 12 is in Joe’s liv­ing room. & his neigh­bors ask him to leave the door open when he’s play­ing the instru­ment, as they love the hap­py sound.

Joe dis­cuss­es the Amer­i­can Foto­play­er in depth, with video & pho­tographs, here.

Intermission

Laurel & Hardy: greatest comedy duo of all time

Quot­ed from The 25 Best Com­e­dy Duos by Mar­tin Chilton at The Tele­graph:

Writer Kurt Von­negut once said that his favourite come­di­ans were Lau­rel & Hardy. “I used to laugh my head off at Lau­rel & Hardy,” said the author of Slaughterhouse-​Five. “There is ter­ri­ble tragedy there some­how. These men are too sweet to sur­vive in this world & are in ter­ri­ble dan­ger all the time. They could so eas­i­ly be killed.” What sur­vives of the come­di­ans – Amer­i­can Hardy died in 1957 & English-​born Lau­rel died in 1965 – is 107 films released between 1921 & 1951. Their catch­phrase was: “Well, here’s anoth­er nice mess you’ve got­ten me into!” & their mix­ture of slap­stick, word­play & utter­ly charm­ing com­e­dy makes them the great­est com­e­dy duo of all time. The Music Box, which depicts the pair’s hap­less attempts to move a piano up a large flight of steps, won the first Acad­e­my Award for Live Action Short Film (Com­e­dy) in 1932. “Those two fel­lows we played,” Oliv­er Hardy told an inter­view­er, “they were nice, very nice peo­ple. They nev­er got any­where because they were so very dumb, only they did­n’t know they were dumb.”

Above all, Lau­rel & Hardy are won­der­ful­ly, uplift­ing­ly, sil­ly:

Ollie: “Call me a cab.”
Stan: “You’re a cab.”

(Anoth­er Fine Mess, 1930)


 

D'oh!D’oh

Lau­rel & Hardy’s influ­ence is alive & well in The Simp­sons. Home­r’s repeat­ed use of the word “D’oh” was inspired by Jim­my Fin­layson, the mus­ta­chioed Scot­tish actor who appeared in 33 Lau­rel & Hardy films.


 

Another fine nice mess (d’oh)

The famous catch phrase of Lau­rel & Hardy, from Anoth­er Fine Mess, is often mis­quot­ed as “Well, here’s anoth­er fine mess you’ve got­ten us into.” The actu­al phrase in the film is “Well, here’s anoth­er nice mess you’ve got­ten me into.” 


 

Laurel & Hardy

This scene is from “The Stolen Jools,” a short made in 1931 “with more prominent stars than have ever before appeared in any one feature” as stated at the beginning of the film. The stars appeared as cameos to help raise funds for the National Variety Artists tuberculosis sanitarium. You can watch the entire film here on YouTube. It’s great to see all the old stars in one film & there are some funny lines & gags.

Who is your favorite comedy team with an ampersand?

Lau­rel & Hardy? Abbott & Costel­lo? Burns & Allen? Lucy & Desi? Mar­tin & Lewis? French & Saun­ders? Tom & Jer­ry? Wal­lace & Gromit? Any oth­ers?

Com­ment here (or below if you see a big blue box).

Finis


chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at Des​i​moneDesign​.com, my com­mer­cial graph­ic design web­site. It’s most­ly about design, typog­ra­phy, print­ing, pub­lish­ing & mar­ket­ing, but on occa­sion I’ll divert to a side­ways top­ic that just can’t escape my rant­i­ng & rav­ing.

#92 1 2 3&4

 

1 2 3&4

 


#92 1 2 3&4
Click to view full-​size or download hi-​rez image for gallery-​quality printing and framing.
This is a high-​resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

Remem­ber Lawrence Welk? He would use a lot more than just one amper­sand in his musi­cal count…

A one & a two & a…”

I’m keep­ing the count sim­ple: two quar­ters, two eighths and anoth­er quar­ter.

This Amper­Art con­cept, “1 2 3&4,”  was inspired by a book cov­er I designed recent­ly for one of my favorite clients, Jen­nifer Eklund. She has a fab­u­lous piano instruc­tion series called “Piano Pron­to.” Her lat­est book, in col­lab­o­ra­tion with piano instruc­tor Kris Skalet­s­ki of Kid­dyKeys, is called “Road­trip! Your Musi­cal Jour­ney” and is per­fect to keep the kids enter­tained and edu­cat­ed whether in the car or tak­ing a “pre­tend trip” in your home. This fun music learn­ing book will be avail­able in time for Christ­mas. Sub­scribe to Jen­nifer­’s won­der­ful newslet­ter at pianopron​to​.com. You’ll be noti­fied when “Road­trip!” is avail­able.

PianoPron​to​.com fea­tures piano instruc­tion for “all ages and all stages.”

Kid​dyKeys​.com fea­tures music explo­ration and piano prepa­ra­tion for preschool-​age chil­dren.


chaz sez ...

The count 1 2 3&4 is what I hear every time I take cha cha lessons. I’m still a begin­ner, although I’ve tak­en the same begin­ner class sev­er­al times already. (I get my 1’s & 2’s & 3’s & 4’s mixed up.)


Production notes for #92 1 2 3&4:
Original size: 20x30 inches
Program: Adobe Illustrator
Font: Bodoni Poster
Ampersand: Bodoni Poster Italic
Credits for #92 1 2 3&4:
Staff & notes repurposed from client’s Piano Pronto book cover design. Visit pianopron​to​.com for a superb piano lesson course—pronto!

For pro­fes­sion­al graph­ic design, please vis­it Des­i­mone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!