Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sing Me Back Home


August 4, 1928
August 29, 2009

Today is the three-month anniversary of the passing of my friend Carlyn’s beloved mother, Lenore Logan Lindsey. When I proposed adding a dedication to her mother to the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog, Carlyn immediately saw what a good fit the idea was. So today, we also remember Lenore.

Carlyn was happy about the idea because she said her mom had led a simple small town life, focused completely on caring for her children. Come to find out Lenore educated her self and worked her entire adult life as a professional type-setter. This was at a time when most small town Kentucky women had few educational opportunities and were more likely then not, massively employed at home. The fact that Lenore did all three tells us that she must have had some extra-ordinary pluck, something that she can be happy about having passed on to Carlyn.

This picture was taken when Lenore was only 14 years old. Think of it! She obviously had tremendous beauty and grace. Carlyn said she was married within just a few years.

The music I have chosen for today is from the recording of a set at the Paradise Café, south of Market Street, in San Francisco in 1988. Scot was playing drums in this line-up for his friend Edward Bachmann. The name of the band was “E.B. White.” We have heard two KA tracks from this gig in the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog Already. The amazing harmony vocals are by Miss Judy Tampa.

The tune is by Merle Haggard. The fact is, Scot was just sitting on the drums during this song not playing, so it only technically qualifies as a piece he’s on. I really wanted to use though, because this time I wanted something really specific, and this song and these harmonies so beautifully capture the sentiment and structure of everything I’d like to say to Carlyn and to Scot and to my mom and dad and to all our loved ones who have crossed over.

The artwork for today is just an accompaniment to everything else in the entry—a sweet sadness. This piece comes straight out of a book of Gospel Hymns. Scot’s line work was done with a calligraphy brush and India ink. The color is transparent acrylic. This piece was done in 2001.

May the memory of our ancestors guide and keep us. May we remember that love connects us to our loved across the veil. May we also remember that our loved ones live on through us.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rock Solid

At least Scot knew where he was going with this song. Scot loved this song and included it in his repetoire in the early 1980’s in a series of music he called ‘Folk Punk’. Scot took all of the raw power chording of the ‘Punk” genre with the politically urgent lyrics of the folk song. This track comes from a ‘Basement Collaboration’ session.

Jerry Farnsworth, the chief creator of the concept and the reality, rolls his eyes when he hears some of the tracks I’ve selected for the T. Scot Memorial Blog because they aren’t perfect—there are clinkers here and there. What I find amazing is actually how few mistakes there actually are on most of these tracks.

On today’s track Scot steps up to the mike for a go around with “Going Down the Road.” I mentioned earlier in the blog that Scot really took singing lead and playing bass at the same time as a serious learning project. This recording confirms the success of his mission. Everything else seems to be falling apart, but Scot hangs in there throughout—despite all the bumps and zingers.

Today’s artwork in another from the series, all done in the year 2000, which have been featured in the last few days. This piece is a perfect example of how beautifully the transparent acrylic glows with the glazed layers of color Scot has laid down.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Beauty So Surpassing

Today’s musical track is another one from the “Plank Road” barn session—raw planks, splinters and all. This is another one of John Williams’ songs—“Sheeva”—which is based on an actual dream he had. “Plank Road” was such a sweet, quiet conversation.

Artwork for today is a pen and ink drawing, complete with spatters. I love John’s description of the goddess—about the chalk outlines of the people fallen in the nearness of her fearful beauty. This is a hard song to illustrate, but I think this drawing does admirably.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

White Raven & the Corn Maiden

Had an interesting conversation with my son James today. He asked me what might have happened if the Native Americans hadn’t care what happened to the ‘pilgrims’. I wonder, might things have unfolded differently if the ‘pilgrims’ had been left to their own devices? If a little more time had gone past could the Iroquois Confederacy, possibly gained an international voice? Today’s song is another one by John Williams, called “White Raven & the Corn Maiden”. John and Scot (aka “Plank Road”) recorded the track in 2007. John got to spend time with some Native American folks on a ‘long walk’ from Colorado to Washington DC, which ended some 400 strong.

Artwork, what a lovely bird! More P & I w/ T A done in 2000.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pass the Sweet & Sour Sauce

Today’s musical track is a very sweet and straight to the heart piece—another solo demo. Scot has tapped out the quirky electronic drum part, laid down a live bass track and then dubbed another live guitar track in top of that. A triple helping of Scot Halpin in one very sweet & sour sauce. This recording was done in 1990.

Today’s artwork comes from a series of these ‘spiral people’. I find the face in this drawing to be especially beautiful. A mask of classic proportions, topped off with a pomp of a great mystery. This is, no mystery, pen & ink with transparent acrylic, done in the year 2000.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Is This You?

This entry goes out to all the people who are surrounded by the people they love, live in safe and comfortable homes, eat their fill every day, have a way to provide for themselves and their loved ones…people who have all this stuff and are still grumpy and take it out on the people around them. Why do we do that? The way I'm seeing it these days, I don't thing we should treat life like a bring down. Here we are, circling around to the holiday season once again, starting out with Thanksgiving--a holiday that provides us all with an opportunity to revisit the key lessons of gratitude and thanksgiving.

Today’s homily came straight from the tone of today’s musical track, another cut from a BC session. Scot is talking the lead on vocals as well as slotting in the groovy bass. Checking on the organ player—otherwise it’s our regular Jerry—Kenny—
Scot line-up for the BC that night, doing ELO’s! “Don’t Bring Me Down.” I definitely did not realize this was an ELO song. I realize that may make me look stupid. Oh well.

The artwork for today is just one of a million little drawings I have to choose from here. What I liked about this is that it kind of had two reads. First I saw a guy on a roof scooping up a giant ice cream cone. Somehow this fit with the musical track—providing—don’t bring me down. I can also see it another way. A guy with a big heart opening up a series of channels, through which energy is flowing, finally down through a funnel into someone’s home. The drawing was done in 2002.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Out of the Wizard's Box

“Keep on going down.” So instructs Scot, to himself. Not sure what this little tape was—why Scot is cueing himself throughout the track. He’s clearly the only one in the room. Again with the breathing. This track so thoroughly captures the utter sweetness of Scot’s voice. It was recorded in 1983, the year we got married.

Today’s art work is a pull from a new source. I just opened a box of illustration work Scot did in the 1980’s and 90’s. This is an illustration for a children’s book, also done in 1983. To create this illustration, Scot started out with a glossy stock. He drew with a fairly wide-tip illustrator’s marker. The inside of the box he used some sort of calligraphy tip. The shadow under the shoes looks like possible a darker marker. This is classic early Scot Halpin illustration—bulbous pointing fingers, anything with laces, Grocho glasses.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coloring in the Lines

Pass the Jam, please. Lemon marmalade in this case. On Sundays I always look for something mellow—something smooth and soothing. To I choose a version of a Jamula classic for today’s entry of the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog. These pieces do have names, but for today, it’s called “Sunday Jam.” My guess is “Snake Doctor” keyboard player, Larry Vessily is playing with the boys, but I have to check. The date on the session is April 7, 2007. Scot bass work on this track is nothing short of pretty.

Today’s artwork is another piece that’s been hanging around, waiting for its slot in the blog. This is a pen & ink drawing—a quill pen, that is. The kind of pen you have to dip in each time. I loved this line—so classy, but Scot thought it was a pain. He so much preferred the speed line of a ball point pen. Once again, Scot lays down those transparent acrylics. On this piece I call your attention to the nifty freedom Scot expresses when it comes to coloring in the lines. How with a stroke, he can affect such a watery shadow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Continents Are Shifting

Coming to the present, unadulterated ‘Plank’ as played and recorded out in John William’s barn. “Borders” is another one of John’s originals. I am particularly fond of the insertion of the Native American chant in the arrangement and the warmly accurate balance of Scot’s bass work and John’s guitar and vocals. This track was recorded in 2005.

Today’s artwork is another piece from 2006 with its own fair share of graphite scribbling—that and the usual MO of transparent acrylic and a modicum of India ink wash. As Scot set about healing himself, continents did shift. New constellations of reality formed. By the time he left, it was on the Angel Express.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Case For Sunflowers & Chihuahuas

Music for today is a return to the magic of “Carlyn Lindsay & Snake Doctor” dashing things off in their own electrical way. This is the version of “Hound Dog” we heard the band first working out in rehearsal in an earlier entry. This is a live recording made at the Encore Café in 2003. Carlyn and the band are playing tomorrow night in the Frangipanni Ballroom at the IU memorial union. I can’t wait!!!!!!!!

Today’s artwork is a sweet simple drawing entitled “Angel with Sunflower and Chihuahua.” In the spring of 2007 Scot broke down and let James and I bring home a Chihuahua puppy. Couple this with this sweet fact that I think of Scot as the Sunflower Man. When we moved to Indiana, Scot began growing sunflowers. He’d save his seeds and it was a big deal every year when he’d plant them. This combination seemed at great antidote to the low down slow down. This are different colors for Scot. I like how the blue edges form an abstract frame. This drawing was done in 2007.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seventh Inning Stretch

So you say, but here I am back at it again—with the old boo-hoo. Catch-up time. This is the third entry I’ve included in the T. Scot Halpin Memorial blog from this tape made in 1988. The absolutely perfect “Heave Ho’Jericho”, the Reggae blast and now this Page H&^&$ of the Scot Halpin notebook. That’s how Scot titled his files—random strokes across the keyboard. Makes for damn interesting archiving. Today’s song is probably the first recording of a song called “Ventilation”—pre lyrics. Ventilation seemed like a good theme for an entry called “Seventh Inning Stretch”.

Today’s artwork has captured me body and soul. I love this piece. As a result of pressure of various different sources, I have joined facebook and I’m thinking of using it for my picture. There’s all kinds of stuff going on with this piece. More spray paint—green in lower RHC. India ink—big loose washes. Lots of graphite on this one. The face—the eye in the ball--the shadow across the ches-- the ghostly face in the lower RHC. On top of that we’ve got the frosting of the hot pink house paint for feathers and hat.


Ride This Vehicle Of Freedom

Catch up time. Here are the basics. This is another solo demo version of Scot’s tune, “Heave Ho Jericho” written in 1988. In this track we hear him conceive of the final part of the song, on the spot.

Artwork for today is a really wild and loose transparent acrylic treatment on a very simple drawing. This piece was done in 1999

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Turn of the Tides

I’ve been likening the blog to a pregnancy, and hypothetically speaking I’m feeling in about the seventh month. You know it’s going to end, but you can’t imagine that it ever will. By the seventh month however, even the most joyful expectant mom is starting to get ready to ‘revisit the idea of not being pregnant.’ I admit, I’m starting to get ready to have my commitment to the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog be fulfilled.

Today’s music has a really cool reggae groove. I love Reggae music and so did Scot. This is what I would call a ‘sound track demo’ in that Scot would set about laying down a set of track upon which he could lay a groove. This recording was made in 1989 on Page Street. Reggae music has a pull on me like the turning of the tides.

Today’s artwork is another from a ‘pink series’ also previously featured in the blog. Scot almost always worked in series. He’d line up the surfaces, no matter whether he was working on canvas, clay, wood panel, or his beloved PAPER! It would always be the same--a series with its own tides. Yesterday we talked about resistance—today we see the pull of attraction and more India ink. Recently we had some pasta that was dyed with squid dye—made for wild, delicious, very black pasta! Something in me is thinking squid dye in a tide pool now, when I Iook at this piece.

Still having problems getting the feed over to the blogsite. In the meantime the audio feed is available at:

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Don't Mean Maybe

Returning to the here and then, back to the music format, today’s track is another one off the “Funhouse-Live at Pat O’Shea/11-1-85” tape previously featured around St Paddy’s Day this year. I love this tape because it captured that time in Scot’s career when he was really learning to be a showman. His chops were sharpened from a lot of practicing and a lot of performing—in all kinds of hair-brained gigs. Singing along side Scot on this track is the fabulous Judy Tampa. Judy and Scot’s voices fit so well. Judy has a full-blown gift for harmonies, her lead vocals always reminded me of Tammy Wynette. The song on today’s track, "BE BOP A LULA" was written by the very cool, Gene Vincent, with the help of Donald Graves in the lyric department.

Today’s artwork is another piece from Scot’s ‘Art on Music’ series. In this piece there is a whole lot of cutting out with black going on. The drawing is graphite—but Scot has gone in with cans of spray paint and laid down some sparkles of color. On top of that he’s laid this fairly thick wash of India ink that does not like the oil base spray paint. Scot enjoyed these types of resistances. I like how this girl’s roses look like maracas!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Scot ala Alan Watts

Coming of age in the late 1960's, I remember listening to broadcasts of scratchy tapes of lectures given by Alan Watts—early nudges in the Buddhist direction. Today I was digging through a box of tapes in search of today’s musical entry. I ended up coming back to this spoken word, before there was spoken word, tape of Scot really laying it out on the line. This tape was recorded in 1988.

It was recorded in the front room of our Page Street apartment. The sounds of the city become part of this discussion in a very important percussive way. There are breaks along the way in this tape. Hang in there. Scot had a hard time with the spoken word—he was ever so much better suited to the picture or the song, but in this case, I think it’s fair to say, that by the end, it’s a good thing that he took the time to sit down and record all of this for us to uncover later.

Today’s artwork is a simple pen & ink drawing done in 1998, not unlike so many of the others Scot created for us—here is the story of an individual motoring along with baggage, or is that shelter? Above shines the light of the crescent moon. Simple primary color washes. Simple here it is and here he was and here we are.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Just One Key

If only there were just one key in music, it would make things so much easier. I’m pretty sure ‘love’ is the key being talked about in the song. Today’s musical track is a recording that comes from a “BC hosts Plank Road” Session. Just because it’s such a wonderful song, I am playing a song I have already played on the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog (Angel’s Sigh/3-5-09)--“Come On People” by Dino Valenti. There are a few rough pockets on this track, but by the end, they found a pocket. Scot’s bass work on this song was breathtaking.

Today’s artwork is a pen & ink drawing with very playful, light and loose transparent acrylic color washes. This piece was also done in 1999. I definitely recommend that you click on both of this image and yesterday’s to fully appreciate both the line and color work of these pieces.

Can't Do It All By Myself


Sorry about the gappage. The truth is, doing this daily blog is hard. I am practically always thinking about the blog. If I don’t do it first thing in the morning, I worry all day about when I’m going to get a chance to put the day’s entry together. If I miss an entry, I feel really bad about not keeping up my commitment.

A teacher of mine recently reminded me how debilitating it can be to make yourself give when you are truly unable to give. I don’t think I have all what it takes to do this blog stored up inside me. I need help. The help I need come from another source, gently urging my gaze to a certain cassette tape—or sometimes I’m drawn downstairs toward a very specific box of drawings. It’s fun and easy that way and that’s the way I want to play out these last three months of the blog.

Yes, someone asked me to clarify that. The T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog is set to run from February 9, 2009 to February 9, 2010. After that, entries will be posted on an irregular and impromptu basis. Today’s music is a “Basement Collaboration” session recorded on April 26, 2005. Don’t know who the harmonica player is who is also doing the lead vocals on this track. As per all blog gaps, hopefully soon a crew will be along behind me mapping the gaps so that I can eventually revisit those entries and due my due.

Today’s artwork is a lovely study in purple and gold. Nobody here has got any arms. I chose this piece because something about it seemed to illustrate how very much none of us can do it all by ourselves. Especially the important work. As Winnie would say, “Be sure to open that 1,000 petal lotus you have on the top of your head.” This piece was done in 1999.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Karmic Debt

In the process of hunting up as many versions of “Gary Cooper” as possible, I came across a true treasure. It is a rehearsal tape of Scot working out with his band “Folklore.” I have intimated here in the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog that when we reached this juncture—with this body of music, I thought for sure Scot was on to something that would bring on board the people we needed to help move things to the next level. The reason I think this tape is a treasure is because the mix allows us to climb inside the structure of the music—its sophisticated simplicity.

The song is about a homeless person. Sadly, and with no disrespect, a lot of these people were veterans. This song is about a guy who trades his worn out nylon hose for a rubber dingy, because the rain is coming down and his wife shaves with 'Nair'. We lived in downtown San Francisco for the last twelve years we were there. We live half a block from an elevated freeway, no longer there thanks to the Loma Preita quake in 1989. There were tens of thousands of homeless people living there, most of them had bad mental problems and were substance abusers in a big, big way. There was a huge cohort of Viet Nam Era Vets.

We tried to book “Folklore” all over San Francisco in 1987. I guess the timing just wasn’t right. Frustrated, Scot dropped the project like a hot potato. Today’s track is one of the few bare bones representations of the band that we have. The band played two private parties—one at the Roosevelt and one in a loft south of Market Street, neither of which were documented.

There are two official recording sessions and this one rehearsal tape. That’s all we have of “Folklore”. I plan to play most of this tape. There are some KA drum parts being played by our friend Johnny Law. Scot loved Johnny’s orchestrial style. Edward Bachmann was Scot’s main man at the time. They did tons of creative work together over the years backing each other up on their project. Edward is the man playing also very orchestrial bass on the track. Scot was really at the top of his game with his vocals. His guitar playing was tight thanks to all those years of Rockabilly gigs. There are a few klinkers in the tape, but actually—not that many, and what there is, is a lot of very raw and very powerful music. This recording was made on Tuesday, January 27, 1987.

Today’s art entry is a ‘throw away piece.” Something has either been spilled on it or it’s growing something. It’s been cut up and severely cut into, but the eyes say it--they speak their own volumes. “A man for all seasons, who didn’t pack no clothes” living in a jungle—where the monkeys don’t mind and the zebras don’t care. “Soon the moss grew in his toes and arms.” A throw away drawing is one thing—throw away people quite another.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Brain Explodes Just Like a Bomb

I remember the day that I came home from work and Scot sat me down to hear a new song. He was playing it live. Singing it straight out to me. He’d read an article in, I’m pretty sure, “Rolling Stone Magazine.” It was a story of a Viet Nam era vet who had returned from Viet Nam “with a stone for a heart.” We know a lot more about this now than we did then. The words of this song are largely taken straight from the article.

Gary Cooper returned from Viet Nam with two purple hearts and a stone in his heart. There were not the words we have now to protect him and going mad in his own kitchen, he was shot down. His wife pleaded with the police. She knew. I have always been deeply touched by the tone of this wife the Scot was able to capture in his high plaintive plea.

I fear this woman’s pleas may become a sentiment that many/most of our people, young and old, returning from the wars are weary beyond sustenance. PTS is a new incendiary device now being planted into the roadways of our lives. At least now we know what it is. So as that it is Veterans’ Day, may I just say, thank you to all who have served with their best intention. I am sorry for you wounds.

I hope that I never stray from a tone a respect in this entry. “Gary Cooper” is a story of service and how important it is not to discard our heros, especially in their own kitchens. Today’s track is Scot’s friend, Edward Bachmann’s, mix of “Folklore’s” recent session. This was 1987.

Today’s artwork was done in 1996. Scot’s usual transparent acrylic is cut to the quick with thick opaque.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Home For The Last Time

I have let slip the veil between this memorial blog and the real world by letting enter the topic of politics. I do it again today. Sorry. By politics today, I am thinking about the approach of Veterans’ Day tomorrow. I have been thinking all year about the song I am going to play tomorrow—a song which is the story of a real Viet Nam vet named Gary Cooper, who was shot in his home after an episode of what we now know is post traumatic stress. I am so sad for all the innocent victims of war. Today’s musical track is a soundtrack for all those who are coming home for the last time. This track was recorded the kitchen of our Page Street Apartment in 1986. That's me in the background fixing dinner.

Today’s artwork is another drawing from a little booklet Scot made in the late 1970’s called “Money,” in which all the drawings were based one way or another on this dollar stamp. Scot could get very political. He always wanted to teach a history class using Herb Block. I think this drawing very succinctly illustrates how the big money machine can chew up the innocent for dinner. All wars have one thing in common--it is in the best interest of the people making the weapons to keep things stirred up, which actually is easy but decidedly difficult to calm once things reach the boiling point of the blood feud.

Drone airplanes have much the same ring to me as the helicopter had in the Viet Nam War. Drones are quickly becoming the new way war is waged, at how many million a pop? As an alternative, I suggest we create a Corp of Americans charged with the duty of taking the money we might otherwise spend on the drones and the whole war machine, directly to the countries involved. Once there, it would be their job to partner with local people and organizations to build and invest in infrastructure that would enhance the actual well-being of those innocents whose lifestyles and well-being have been so long and horribly crushed by the hand of war. May it be ‘Butter, Not Bombs’ for us all.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marching Along

“Marching Along” is an expression Scot and I would often use together. One of those phases you say over and over to one another. “Marching Along” to us meant doing our job—making our own sweet little progress. Sometimes it seemed like Scot had a 24/7 conduit going on in terms of being connected to the great creative spirit.

The beauty and purity of today’s track needs no liner notes to point things out. ‘Page 127 of the Song Writer’s Notebook, is a song about getting up the courage to do it all over again. The courage to be creative—to actually put yourself out on the creative line—time and again. Scot would always be looking down the creative pike, and was always ready to hitch a ride with the next passer by of a creative project.

Today’s artwork is from a killer series of drawings I unearthed today that Scot did using mostly India ink. I love the pulling of perspective that is going on in the drawing. I choice the piece with the wagon because today’s entry is in general an invitation to roll on down the road of mellow enjoyment, while still ‘Marching Along.” This piece was done in 2000.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Even on Sunday

For today’s musical track we got to thank ‘the Plank’. The recording comes from the same session as yesterday’s killer version of “Brother Can You Spare Me A Dime?” which I characterized it as “BC hosts Plank Road”. Actually, this is plain ole “Plank Road” but---engineered by Jerry Farnsworth in his studio! Sounds good Jerry. I remember when Scot came home from this session. We both remarked on the warmth of John’s vocals as well as the great room sound. I usually listen to a track all the way through before I load it into to the pod caster. Today I didn’t thinking—yeah yeah, I'm sure it's OK—I'm sorry to say it cuts off a bit abruptly. Sometimes I know that and play it anyway. Today I didn’t and am sorry.

Art work for the day comes from an ‘art-by-the-ream’ stack. I chose it because I liked how the guy seems almost tattooed to the girl. This is kind of an ironic song to post on a Sunday, but the truth is, misery don’t know the names of the days. It does appear too that this guy does seem to be passing off a fish


Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Children of Hard Times

Today I flagrantly use the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog for a political message. Today the United States House of Representatives begins debate on the floor about health care reform. I urge you to call your representative. It’s this simple. 1. The system we have isn’t fair. 2. We can’t compete in the international marketplace because our competitors don’t pay for healthcare like US companies have to. Please call.

Today’s blog entry takes its title from my thoughts of how sad it is to think that we as a nation built have built so many things and now it seems like we are forgetting as a nation how to do that. I was also thinking how ‘Social Security’ was the child of that hard time. I so much hope that we don’t fall down like that again. Can't we reframe these problems. Let's take advantage of all that we have learned about early childhood care and preventative medicine. Let's incorporate advances in complimentary healing modalities. Let's make sure people in our country don't have to go bankrupt if someone in their family gets sick. Let’s make national health care the child of our own hard times.

We have opportunities galore all around us. We are just too busy fighting stupid foreign wars and knee-jerk domestic social wars. This song, sung so sincerely, by John Williams reminds us of just how bad things can get. The track is a recording of “Plank Road” singing “Brother (sometimes Buddy) Can You Spare a Dime by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney .” I’m biased, but even with the little flub at the ending, I think this may be one of the best versions of this song I’ve ever heard. Scot and John were able to weave such warm fiber into their arrangements—enough to hang a lot of mood on. This recording was engineered by Jerry Farnsworth from a session a “BC” host “Plank Road” session in 2005.

Today’s artwork is another piece Scot did in his editorial magazine illustration career in the 1990’s. This piece went to “E—the Environmental Magazine.” Don’t remember the story that day, but it sure fits our story today. This guy definitely has the look of a banker. This piece was done with pen & ink, then airbrush (spraying India ink), which he then copied on the magic copy machine at San Francisco State Library, the prints of which he colored in several variations with the airbrush. Scot liked to work with masking areas, which is how he achieved the tight lines on the border around the piece.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Glow From Within

I reached into a big stack of “Basement Collaboration” recordings. This session was down to Kenny, Scot and Jerry. I believe this is one of Jerry’s (Farnsworth) originals. Right Jerry? Jerry did want me to pass on one correction. In my yet to be identified entry, I credited the vocalist as being our very good friend Irene—who can also sing down real low. When I found the track, I didn’t remember it from the other “Blue Jazz” session.

Here’s why, it is actually another Bloomington female jazz vocalist (you can’t believe how many good ones we have here), by the name of Loretta. I remember when Scot and I started hearing about this new female vocalist. Scot was excited to work with her.

Today’s artwork is actually a scan of a laser print of a drawing. Scot got heavily into the laser print in the early 1990’s. He was fascinated by the thick glowing characteristics of the prints. Check out how that midnight blue sky glows from within. Scot would befriend the clerk at the copy shop and go in ‘after hours’ so that he could go behind the counter and manipulate the machines. He had all sorts of specialized settings he’d worked out for skin tone and such. This piece was done in 1991.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be My Guest

More of “T. Scot Bottom & the Rockabilly Funhouse”—this time doing Freddie Ford’s classic “Sea Cruise” at Gabe’s—Iowa City—1982.Travel back with me.

Today’s artwork is an example of one of my favorite styles of Scot’s artwork. Please enlarge by clicking on this image—it is so special. The background came first-some beautiful abstract work. The graphic drawing came next. Inside the graphic he blocked out just a hint here and there of almost opaque white.
This piece was done in 1997.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Before Too Long

Standing on my spot, along with my fulcrum, I gaze across the piles of possibilities for today’s musical track and art heaped up in ways to make an archivist shudder. Being in a double entry situation, I'm going for an ‘easy couple of songs’—in this case a couple more from the first set at Gabe’fs—way back in 1982—T. Scot Bottom & the Rockabilly Funhouse—launching into Scot’s version of “The Beatles” “I Saw Her Standing There.”

Yes—the insane banshee at the end of the song is me. Extra points to regular blog listeners who have already identified my whoops and hollers at the end of practically every live tape. This one is particularly embarrassing and sent Scot to the dressing room looking like this:

Back to today’s artwork—“I Saw Her Standing There” –is a delightful pen & ink drawing complete with transparent acrylic and spattering! Easy to see why his heart went zoom. This drawing was done in 2000.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Message From Tennessee

The veil is still rather thin. Here’s the next song on the tape that brought us “Swamp Thing.” “Hey Now Children Hey” want on to become part of Scot’s Rockabilly set, “Swamp Thing” not so much. Here we go again with a shot of Scot straight-up. Nothing here but Scot, his guitar and a few feet of running tape. This track was recorded in 1983.

Today’s artwork is a full on painting. Scot started out this series with a fat graphite pencil and some beautiful cream cotton rag board. Once he’d laid out the drawing, he’d begin to color in the basic elements, using his various transparent acrylic techniques. ‘Done’ with these elements, he’d move over to some thick opaque enamel.

Using a medium-sized brush, he’d quickly and very gesturally move over the background, creating horizons, skies, clouds, in this case with the brown, the earth. Last but not least the spatter. Scot loved to add this effect to his graphic work. I think for him it signified the explosion that takes place when one connects with ones muse, which happened routinely for Scot and which he attended to with great devotion. This piece was done in 1996 and is called “Music Magic.”

Monday, November 2, 2009

All Souls 'R' Us

We’re starting into the third and final month of the T. Scot Halpin Memorial Blog. Being the beginning of a new month, I’d thought I’d I pull up one of Scot’s wonderful electronic meditations. This is another one that takes some time to unfold, but if you hang in there and consciously make yourself listen to all the parts as they unfold, I guarantee you will have undergone a tune-up—brain-wise—by the end.

Scot was a genius for understated development—development so gradual that sometimes you don’t realize how far you’ve come. It is a definite spiral journey. You keep passing yourself, and thinking everything is the same, but it’s not. Scot used tracks like these to help him meditate. Sitting in a quiet state was difficult for Scot. This track was done here in Bloomington in our Sherwood Green Condo in the year 2000.

This track shifts through an awakening. Today’s artwork is also about a little awakening. This is a hand colored etching. Scot started doing these tiny little plates in response to the super giant pieces he did for his graduate work. The plate for this piece is about 1.5 x2”. It looks like a little piece of jewelry. The process of etching metal was actually a jewelry making technique before it was a printmaking technique.

The image herein is a little strange. I think we all have a different take on what is going on here. Since I’m in the driver’s seat here, I’m going to throw out my take on this piece. The mirror is reflecting our souls and our souls are made up of love. It’s hard for us to see this some times. We tend to look away, some times out of fear and some times out of pain. The etching reminds us to look to our souls for the love we need.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Thinnest of Veils

Here we find ourselves on the day they say the veil that separates us is thinnest now. I can feel it. I’ve been feeling dreadfully sad lately. Hearing Scot’s voice like this. I can definitely close my eyes and imagine that he’s here in the room with me—alive as alive can be.

Today’s musical track is another one from 1985. Scot was in a song writing frenzy at the time. He was still heavily into his Rockabilly mode. He and his compadre Edward Bachmann, kind of got into a cycle of monster and jungle creatures gone wild songs. On this track Scot is thumping along solo on an acoustic Conrad bass our friend Jeff Armstrong laid on Scot which Scot later laid on my own dear nephew Chris Schnieders, who I’m sure still has it today.

Today’s artwork is an ‘art-by-the-ream' piece. Scot is using his special pen that makes washes, discussed earlier in the blog.

Today’s is all Saint’s Day too. Here’s to all the saints.