Comment from Alex Eve 2004 Feb 12

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From: Alex Eve
Date: 2004 Feb 12
Subj: nice journal

Hi total stranger,

your time in England seemed unfortunate in some respects, though nothing is wasted.

Found you whilst looking up stuff for my students about Icons, and thought the Bechers convert things into icons, for some reason linked to and started reading your Paris London diary and read it right through. Your enthusiasm for conveyors is warming. I am beginning to photograph roundabouts (where lots of roads meet) at night by lying down on the middle of wet roads to get their sodium light black and white chevron Stonehenge drama. Some of your comments made me laugh.

Do email me before you come to UK again - I can guide you to some more interesting places (though interestingness has long worried me as to its sufficiency being such a malleable thing. As a student I spent time studying boredom and waiting (as did some of my arty friends). Then I discovered photographer Martin Parr who published his personal collection of "Boring Postcards" (e.g. Hendon Shopping Centre, The M1, Hornchurch Underground Station, etc) which has become a best-seller. In a lecture he said he decided early on to make the boring, the normal and the mundane, common and vulgar stuff his subject matter. He has done several books on the English. Interesting border country between anthropological art photos and kitsch. I live near Oxford, married, 3 beautiful children. Visited SF in 1973 saw "Last Tango" with my girlfriend, then went south, but overall my experience there was much like yours in London - cultural alienation, but ever since I've thought of SF as my favourite city in the world (well equal with Vancouver and Amsterdam.) - saw a string quartet in tails playing Beethoven in the street and bought a gram of chewing gum for 15 dollars. Went in search of Richard Brautigan and Ken Kesey, but didn't meet Kesey till the 2001 Total Eclipse in Cornwall, then he died soon after. I have some excellent pictures of Further Mark ll.

You're wrong about English Ska - my friend Erin has produced some CDs of retro and contemporary ska. He's a lovely bloke, never went to school but a great musician.

'The Erin Bardwell Collective Volume One' has been made 'Ska/Reggae album of the month' in Scootering Magazine. On sale in all high street newsagents (like WHSmith etc).

Pop-A-Top releases currently receiving airplay in Belgium............... For more info go to :

My friend Mahesh may be able to advise you about English comics.

Nice to meet you,

Alex Eve I sent off for the Erin Bardwell Collective Volume One album. (OK, as I write this, I haven't actually sent off for the album, but I have addressed the envelope, and just need to find time to bring it to the post office.)

March 14 update: The CD arrived, and it was good. Some reggae, some early-style ska. You want this album. When I wrote to Mr. Eve to thank him for the good recommendation, he wrote:

Hi Larry,

Glad you think it's good too. Erin's the son of some old old friends: he's been collecting ska since he was ten - didn't go to school (parents are street theatre performance artists) - but learnt to play music and be a truly gentle person. His previous very fast ska band played for my 40th birthday party and nearly caused some premature deaths through exhsustion, infarction etc.


The next time some kid tells you that school is a waste of time, consider: the kid might be right.