Ziggy Stardust and his alter ego David Bowie have impacted my life in big ways since back in the 70’s. I adore Bowie’s ‘The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust’ LP and wore the darn thing out,
It appears that the music industry owns the streaming sites and are making huge profits and then hiding their assets in off shore accounts using shell corporations to hide the fact. more important now that Congress and the Senate pass the Songwriters Equity Act to reform digital copyright laws and abolish the consent decree. Urge your reps to vote YEA on HR 4079 and S2321!
Teachr’s work can be viewed all over Los Angeles which includes our cozy nook of NoHo Arts District.
Everyday cars fly past Teachr’s “All You Need Is The Right Kind Of Love” on a utility box at Universal Studio’s backlot gate. Most never notice that it’s there let alone know who the Street Artist is. News From The Front was just as guilty until one day last year it stopped and noticed…that was October 2014.
The work wasn’t signed so News From The Front had no idea who it was until several months later in July 2015 at Ringo Starr’s birthday party when a well connected Street Artist by the name of Jimmy Ray Flynn and News From The Front began a dialog. Flynn began asking us if we knew about Street Art and News From The Front began telling him about the pieces that had been seen and had taken photos of during many jaunts around Los Angeles.
When Flynn was told about the electrical box Street Art he said “Oh, that sounds like Teachr. He’s got a grant or something to do electrical boxes.” Flynn added that Teachr had his Street Art all over including Downtown LA. From there the “Google” search was on and News From The Front was truly amazed and felt as if it had hit the mother lode. Excited, we began gingerly clicking the links. News From The Front was curious about this Street Artist named Teachr.
During the link clicking News From The Front also stumbled upon “PAY 2 PLAY” and it’s Director John Ennis. Teachr’s art is featured in this documentary on getting big money out of politics and what an eye opener the featured trailers of the film are.
During our research News From The Front noticed that many journalist’s have written that this Street Artist or that Street Artist is the most prolific Street Artist, but they are wrong…Teachr is the most prolific Street Artist around Los Angeles at the moment.
From Skid Row and Indian Alley to the Los Angeles Arts District to Hollywood and then to the NoHo Arts District there is Teachr’s thought provoking Street Art.
Once there was enough info gleaned from “Google”, it was time to arrange meetings. An awesome piece of Native American themed Street Art on a billboard in Studio City brought home the message. There was Teachr’s brand “TEACH PEACE” cross next to Bandit’s wheat paste depiction of a Native American “Chief” in full headdress…half face and half skull.
Director Ennis was very helpful in tracking down all of the Street Artist’s that were rattled off to him. Turns out Ennis has a book coming out in early October of this year titled “WHERE ELSE BUT THE STREETS” which Ennis describes as a Street Art dossier. According to Ennis, he had a lot of Street Artists’ footage left over from the final cut of “PAY 2 PLAY” and he wanted to use it in another form…the dossier.
When contact was made with Teachr, it was evident that this artist has a deep intellect as well as a lengthy background in the realm of art. Teachr allows that the birth of his twins and their subsiquent public school attendance made him aware of the funding discrepancies in the arts. His campaign began as a result of his realization that he had to get his word out there. When asked if his message was “Peace through art” he concurred.
We began chatting about the book “Gallerie de Street Art:Paris” and how it had been dedicated to the victims of the terrorist attack upon Charlie Hebdo in Paris, France, he dug out his stencil for the same subject matter…syncronicity.
Syncronicity is the key factor here. Even though our generations are far apart and his art is much different from our collage art, we totally agree about where our country is heading if we don’t get down to business and our art work is reflecting that.
On a musical note, Teachr listens to many different genres while he creates his stencils. For inspiration he’ll listen to the likes of Woody Guthrie to Sean Price to Juliette Lewis’ band “The Licks.” For Teachr it depends upon the piece he’s working on…oh my and so it is with our iPod when working.
Ennis has a sterling background in the field of rock music as well as television. He has worked on Reality TV for MTV and has been a writer /producer for FreeMantle Media. In addition, he has also worked on a AOL show titled “Sessions” where he worked behind the scenes with high profile acts such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, MAROON 5, Rihanna and Audio Slave. He worked in the background and would tape the acts as they did their thing. In essance, he was a “fly on the wall” at these “Sessions” and was privy to what the actual range was of these acts and added that no two situations are alike when taping them.
Combined, Teachr and Ennis create a picture worth a thousand words that is manifested through Street Art. Teachr1 and John Ennis can be found on Instagram. Ennis can also be found on Twitter and Facebook with a page devoted to “PAY 2 PLAY” which also features links to his website and a clip of his very relevant documentary. Stay turned folks, because the political climate is about to get interesting. Ennis has handed over a copy of “PAY 2 PLAY” which will more than likely yield another blog. Is it safe to say that News From The Front found these two gentlemen very inspiring? News From The Front isn’t interested in debating the merits of Street Art or it’s prolific “Artisans Templar”. MOCA staged an art exhibit a few years ago that David Geffin and world famous Street Artist “EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP” Banksy funded and featured Street Artist’s such as recent headline grabbing Shepard Fairey. This lends credence that it is a legit art form.
Back in the day, rock rag “Rock City News” played a huge role in the burgeoning local rock scene in Hollywood, CA. It was always a fun adventure at every turn and I thouroughly enjoyed my encounters with Ruben Blue. Blue always seemed to have a finger on the pulse of the local scene, as well as a feel for what was going on around the scene. This knack made it possible for Blue to explain to the locals what was going on that they needed to know about.
All club and gig reviews were not stellar, but that’s life in the “Jungle”. One time I even sent Blue a note that said “Welcome to the zoo, we are all animals here…question is which one are you?” on another occasion I questioned the perfromance of a local rock band and signed it “Ohhhh Baby.”
The first time I went into the office of “Rock City News” on Hollywood Blvd. armed with my trusty Debi Doobie, we were struck by the fact the Blue, Doobie and I were all wearing black and blue. How does that happen when you never communicated the intention? Synchronicity that is how. Blue and I always seemed to be on the same page in a matter of speaking.
Blue’s creedo, called screedo by some, always found it’s way into my psyche like a little wood worm and would leave the most delightful designs.
I felt so secure in Blue’s intentions that I would bring my children and posse to his soiree’s at Griffith Park where we would run loose and have fun. My kids loved playing with the musicians there. One of my kids, Joe, went on to found an excellent band called “Skin Flick” and he wrote most of the music,Joe had been writing songs since he was 11-years-old.
I have a ton of music by “Skin Flick” on my iPod and when I want to hear Joe play I just swipe it and I am there. Joe played bass in the “Skin Flick” and had a mean “Hawk” that he would color sometimes. I remember telling him once that his hair reminded me of the Statue of Liberty, and his answer was that perhaps it was because his was called a “Liberty Hawk.” In a way I credit “Rock City News” for fostering that early desire to be a musician.
Blue and I would run into each other at various gigs and would nod the “cool” nod to one another and would mouth “S’up” and move on.
Things changed in my life and I stopped going to the “Strip” so much and lost touch with Blue and “Rock City News” as I had moved to Santa Barbara, CA to chill.
Over the years I’ve looked a bit here and there for the rock rag and/or Blue, but had no success.
A few years ago I was friended on “Facebook” by Ruben Chandler. We had several friends in common so I accepted the friend request. Each time this guy wrote, it seemed familiar in an eerie sort of way. Lots of guys are named Ruben so I didn’t really pay a whole lot of attention. As time went on I did look around “Facebook” for “Rock City News” and Ruben Blue, but the results were always the same…no matches, no results.
Then, a while ago Ruben Chandler wrote something and a light went on in my head and I thought “Gee, I’ve heard this before.” At the time there was a lot going on in my life and I let the moment slip through my fingers. That is until yesterday when I began to again examine that relationship and thinking I know this guy. Who the heck is he! It took awhile for my damaged brain cells to spark the relationship memory, but it spewed forth and there was Ruben Blue.
Ruben Blue, I am so happy to have found you again and am pleased that you are still yourself and writing away as you’ve done for so many years. However, I am a bit dismayed that you no longer walk the streets of our little “Jungle” pronouncing hits or misses and have chosen to live in the wilderness armed only with your iPod.
Welcome home Ruben Blue.