Edmond Chibeau looks at performance and theatre from the avant-garde communication perspective

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Location: Mansfield, Connecticut, United States

Friday, May 10, 2013

Andy Warhol+Taylor Mead = Art Performance

Taylor Mead Superstar and Human Being 12/31/24-5/8/13

“I want to heat up/ the spoon of your intellect/ to feed my sensuality,” says Taylor Mead in his 1968 book Taylor Mead On Amphetamine and in Europe.

photo: diaart

In the early 1980s Taylor and I were sitting next to each other at a Museum of Modern Art poetry reading that was located near the west side train yards on W. 30th street.  Robert Kelly was reading.  A videographer took his camera off the tripod and walked down the middle aisle toward the poet.  Kelly, deeply offended, stopped reading and called down a cosmic malediction upon the videographer.  He then said that he would not read anymore and was leaving.  I was sitting next to Taylor and I shouted out from the back of the room, “Read the poem Bob!”  The poet continued his reading, which was wonderful, profound and rich with layers of meaning.  (It was Robert Kelly after all.) 

Taylor asked me then and there if I would be videographer for, The Taylor Mead Show.  It was being recorded at Chinese Chance and then moved to The Mudd Club.  This was before I did the Willoughby Sharp Show or hosted the Midnight Muse.
Stephen Paul Miller was producing and booking the show. He worked well with Mead; he kept things sane among the upstairs crowd at this downtown club.  Most of our run was in the upstairs room at the club.  Miller was quiet, intellectual and sane; he was a perfect contrast to Tailor’s persona of fey, frenetic, decadence.
Steve Mass bought The Mudd Club building from Ross Bleckner and it became an important venue.  Some very amazing people were among the performers.  I remember seeing the B-52s early on. William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg, The Talking Heads and a lot of people who were never heard from again had great moments at The Mudd Club.
I was the videographer and read my own work on various nights.  Everybody did everything.  Marilyn Schrut took lots of still pictures.  I shot a lot of video at the Mudd Club and a little at Chinese Chance that I hope will help preserve the legacy of Taylor Mead and the downtown performance scene.  Taylor Mead may have penned his own best epitaph when he wrote, “Some of these lost people are the best lovers on earth.” EC