joe dallesandro


one of the most overlooked and surely classic images of the 1970’s was the kid in a duffle coat walking home from school with a long player gramophone record tucked firmly under one arm.
i too would often carry a record to school ,even though i had no reason, other than making some sort of wilful statement to the world.
it was tricky….the delicate record sleeves were subjected to school bus rides…rain…or even confiscation.
one time a teacher took away my copy of sticky fingers, and i couldn’t understand why,
but of course now it all seems so obvious.
luckily it was given back to me at the end of the day,with a warning to never bring it into school again…
it didn’t occur to me the artwork was loaded with subversive homoerotic imagery.
i just liked the record, and loved the way his tight jeans fitted so much better than my grey flannel trousers…
i was twelve going on thirteen.


much to my delight a few years ago,the very man on the cover of that record contacted me through youtube.
his name is joe dallesandro.
he’d watched and liked this little homemade video i’d done around 2001, and asked if i was influenced by the andy warhol films.
i told him i’d not seen much,but i knew a certain amount about them.
however…that sticky fingers album cover was seared into my mind.
when i edited this little video clip,i laughed at how badly shot it was,
but was also fascinated how my emotional investment in sticky fingers had subconsciously risen to the surface without me ever planning it.
i also knew the myth around joe from the lyrics in lou reeds walk on the wild side,
and now joe himself had sweetly sent me a private message through the ether.
i love how homemade videos have got so much better than the haphazard things i post.
i’d be wise learning to shoot things better,or get involved with someone hip and kind who can,
but i will say this…
i have also seen a lot of slick videos,and heard a lot of expensively recorded music that say nothing.
my attitude is, a clear idea executed shabbily is a lot less of a crime,than a slick piece of nonsense that says fuck all.
i watched a thing on an arts channel the other night where they interviewed a great character called leee black childers.
he recounts a fun story of when he first let andy warhol see his photographs..
andy rushed them over to his own business manager and gleefully moaned,
“gee ,look at leees photos..they’re all over the place and out focus…aren’t they great?!”
so i’m happy that even my song on this…recorded live and simply in one take, onto a cheap digital dictaphone,is at least the truth for sure.


stay warm dear reader…
mary of the wilderness.
nice ass shot
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15 Responses to joe dallesandro

  1. Tim Ballard says:

    Nice to get the story behind this one. My friend Lenny taught me all about Joe Andy and co. How great to have heard from him personally……Lovin’ those Levis


  2. hi tim…he’s a very down to earth chappy…lives in hollywood and is an electrician…a lot of the warhol stars are consumed by their moment all those years ago,but joe has a healthy detachment from it…proud of it all,but busy working to pay the rent.

    it was filmed on one of those tiny sony digicams that came out at the beginning of the century in soho…i thrust it into thomas’s hand and told him i was going over the road and to just film me no matter what happened…but he kept getting hassled by some drug dealer-ish fellas,who kept asking him what he was doing…they seemed paranoid…that area is right where they arrested dodgy ones a few weeks ago for human trafficking….brewers st/walkers court.

    one time i went down there on my own with the camera, and from a discreet distance innocently/foolishly started videoing ‘the girls’…they came after me and tried to prize my camera from me…three fierce girls just pulling at me…scary….needless to say they didn’t get my camera,and were off like a rocket when my own adrenaline kicked in,but they were hairy girls!


  3. Pingback: joe dallesandro | mary cigarettes

  4. Marianne says:

    Great story ,nice song and a well shaped arse 😛if you dont mind me saying 😄
    Have a wonderful christmas 🎅🎅 All the best from Dk xx


  5. m says:

    now from the other marianne… perhaps the most iconic vision in our life times is that kid in the duffle coat walking home from school with a long playing album tucked firmly under his arm… don’t ever let anyone take it away from you, whatever you do despite the hairy females, firmly hold on! n yeah i have to agree with the other Marianne, she got that right too! … tho my thing is the winter solstice lol ; )


  6. Tony Lawson says:

    “my attitude is, a clear idea executed shabbily is a lot less of a crime,than a slick piece of nonsense that says fuck all.” Yes.


    • i love watching videos from the pre video era..dylan holding up the cards n’all…there’s a haphazard urgency to those clips,as if they were shot by news reporters instead of directors,and the editing is very blunt..they reveal more ,and time has given the limitations some sort of aesthetic appeal……

      tony….all the very best with your indieguild website in for the new year…i know i’ve said it before,but you really are jewel in the crown of those musicianly websites…i noticed on my soundcloud page that in italy, my song ‘next years ghost’ had done real good,and i know you’re there,so i dunno..its very likely it had something to do with your good work.


  7. Peter says:

    I love love love what you do and how you execute it. If only we lived closer. I’d love to film you and edit it all together. It’s something I love doing. I could spent hours editing bits of film together. In my opinion simple is best. Let’s not distract too much from that wonderful music and that wonderful voice.


  8. oh yes..the music is the foremost thing peter…..though that little clip is a curious thing…the song wasn’t written,when i did the footage…and when i got it up and running on the screen,i lifted my guitar and just started improvising along…the very song was born out of watching the silent movie…..but i agree…i don’t want the music distracted by a video .
    maybe down the road,i could send some footage and song for you to work on in your own time.

    love to yourself and lyndsey[i always pull my hair out trying to figure if i spell his fine name with an e or an a


  9. jennydevildoll says:

    Very cool to hear of your correspondence with Joe Dallesandro. I’m of an age where we weren’t quite carrying records to school and cassettes didn’t quite have the same visual punch, but writing the names of bands you liked on any available surface seemed to be a way of making a similar statement.


    • hi jenny…yes..that thing of writing the names of bands you liked on any available surface,shows just how much cultural force music had back then…some would say it still has,especially when you look at the size of the festivals…they’re bigger than ever,but to me they’re more about the event than the actual music…..when i watch old archive footage of the audience in the 60’s and 70’s,it almost looks like a religious experience….and yet maybe it’s a good thing than no one sees singers or bands as gods anymore.


      • jennydevildoll says:

        I think music still has force for those first discovering it, but I can definitely see what you’re saying about festivals being more about the event than the music…possibly it’s in large festivals you’re more likely to get the bands that are put together by commercial formula rather than passion for music? But even in the local music scene I see how some people are really into the music, while others are more into the scene, who’s there, who can they pick up or suck up to, etc.


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