Bob Bruhin, an amateur photographer whose work is included in the show “Eraserhood Foever” at Philly MOCA (Mausoleum of Contemporary Art) stands in front of the Lasher Building, an Art Deco building in the Callowhill Industrial Historic District, a.k.a. Eraserhood. (Peter Crimmins/WHYY)
Lynch moved into Fisk’s tiny apartment at 13th and Wood, sharing the corner with a greasy spoon diner, the Heid Building (home of an accordion-fold-envelope manufacturer) and the old city morgue. Lynch would stare out the window at the bodies being dropped off, or the body bags being hosed down outside; after a while, he received invitations to go inside the morgue and see the bodies up close.
…Both Reavey and Samuelson noticed a shift in Lynch’s early paintings, from bright colors to grays and blacks and darker narratives. Samuelson thinks the constant apprehension Lynch felt living in the city may have played a part in that. “You can’t help but have your environment influence you,” he says, noting that at the time he also lived in a somewhat rough part of Philly, about five blocks from Lynch. “A lot of my work has been dark and grey and distorted figures. One of the art critics described my work as grotesque and violent. David got that, too.”
“In Heaven,” plus thirteen covers.
Panorama 1272 on Flickr.
Industrial Castles12th and Callowhill StreetsPhiladelphia. PACopyright © 2012, Bob Bruhin. All rights reserved.(via bruhinb.deviantart.com/art/Panorama-1272-314365293)
[Mural creation of local artist Evan Cairo.]
It looks like the new developers’ preference for calling the area “Callowhill” may catch on, if only because it doesn’t evoke images of squalling mutant babies. But PhilaMOCA, a few blocks away from Lynch’s former digs, is reacting to the seeming inevitability of neighborhood rebranding with a new Eraserhood mural, Jack Nance’s hair poking proudly over the top of the building. The party for its unveiling involves more art, live music from Void Vision and Full Blown Cherry and curiosity-piquing sets of Lynch-themed sketch comedy and burlesque.
Fri., July 13, 8:30 p.m., $10, PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., 267-519-9651, philamoca.org.
The Church of the Assumption, a building on the city’s Historic Register that had been the focus of court fights over its possible demolition, was sold on July 5 to a real-estate developer.
The new owner is John Wei, of JI Investments LLC, said Cathy McGuire, executive director of Siloam, a nonprofit that provides counseling for people HIV/AIDS and other services. The organization had won permission to demolish the church from the Philadelphia Historical Commission but stiff community opposition scuttled that plan.
There’s a long tradition of Eraserhead-inspired art.
Poet and author Charles Bukowski referenced the film when interviewed on the subject of cable television. Bukowski said, “We got cable TV here, and the first thing we switched on happened to be Eraserhead. I said, ‘What’s this?’ I didn’t know what it was. It was so great. I said, ‘Oh, this cable TV has opened up a whole new world. We’re gonna be sitting in front of this thing for centuries. What next? So starting with Eraserhead we sit here, click, click, click — nothing.”
A number of rock bands take their name from the film: the 1980s London punk rock group Erazerhead; the Northern California band Eraserhead, and The Eraserheads, a rock band from the Philippines. The band Henry Spencer take their name from the main character.
Apartment 26 are named after Henry’s address and they feature a sample from the Lady in the Radiator’s In Heaven at the end of their song, Heaven. The 1980s London indie rock band Henry’s Final Dream also owe their name to this film.
In Heaven, the song sung by the Lady in the Radiator, has been covered by, Bauhaus, Devo, Miranda Sex Garden, Tuxedomoon, The Danse Society, Pankow, Pixies, Desolation Yes, Bang Gang, Zola Jesus and Forgotten Sunrise. Indie rockers Modest Mouse borrowed lines from In Heaven for Workin’ on Leavin’ the Livin’, as did the anarcho-punk band Rubella Ballet for their song Slant and Slide. TheDead Kennedys reference the film in the song Too Drunk to Fuck in the line “You bawl like the baby in Eraserhead”. An Eraserhead T-shirt was available from the band’s label Alternative Tentacles for some years, and even the official soundtrack.
Eraserhead, along with five other low-budget films from the 1960s and 1970s (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Pink Flamingos, El Topo, The Harder They Come and Night of the Living Dead), was the subject of a 2005 documentary, Midnight Movies: From the Margin to the Mainstream. Lynch was interviewed for the documentary.
Panorama 1271 on Flickr.
Beneath the Trestle
11th and Callowhill Streets
Copyright © 2012, Bob Bruhin. All rights reserved.