Yesterday I was floating around the Record Store Day website looking for limited releases coming out on that day. At the bottom of the page I noticed a trailer for a movie about independent British record stores. As I watched all of the talking heads flash on the screen, Johnny Marr appeared. On his jacket he had a button, and on that jacket was a Ray Johnson bunny pin.


I wasn't sure what to make of this? Is he a fan of mail-art, does he do mail-art, or is he just that cool?


You can see the pin at 2:19 in the trailer for the documentary Last Shop Standing

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I don't know. But his new album Messenger is pretty catchy!

Jon, I know for sure there was a lot of cross over between mail-artists in Seattle in the 80s and the musicians who became Grunge. Maybe there were similar connections other places.

Otherwise, Ray Johnson is pretty well known. There have been lots of shows in the last few years.

@ Kerri - I haven't heard the record yet, but I have seen it on the record store shelves. Never really been a Smiths fan, but that's probably due to the general issues I have with Morrisey, but oh well.


@ DeVillo - Although there have been a few shows recently, Johnson still seems to be a guy on the margins. I guess Marr's just on it?


Also De Villo, I was wathing that documentary on Gensis O-Pioridge and she / he had a box in one of the shots marked "mail-art." Do you know if Genesis sends things out or...

oh Jon. How Soon is Now I am not your friend. 

ha ha I joke.

Sure, I mean...yeah, it's just one of those bands that I could never really get into. Too many friends have yelled at me for this.

Jon, I only know of Genesis O. Pioridge because I saw Throbbing Gristle used Blaster Al's words as lyrics for "Hamburger Lady" song. Looks like someone who was involved in Neoism & thus mail-art. If you can get an address, I'll bet you get a response.

Istvan Kantor (aka Monty Cantsin, aka The Hungarian Bob Dylan) is still active doing music & performance in Toronto (?). Lots on Youtube. I'll bet you get lots of good stuff if you mailed him. I questioned him for the David Zack investigation. Seems accessible.

I guess I need to do a little searching with Genesis. I'm sure the response would be something impressive.


Oh ok, I'll send these folks some mail.

Great info, allison. There was a search for genesis a few years back related to this discussion. At the time, genesis was located in the NYC area. I'm not sure if anyone ultimately mailed anything.

I agree genesis left the network long ago but stayed involved longer than your estimates,I think. Some of the Neoists still at IUOMA were involved w/ on various levels. Blaster Al (sadly deceased) wrote a Throbbing Gristle song.

I did not know about the WS Burroughs connection until recently. G sent WSB a letter saying basically: "Stop using my name in public to advance your career." Burroughs found that hysterical, wanted to meet g and so it began.

This was a fascinating thing: The m-a network of the 80s and 90s was an important (underground) conduit for a lot of bands and music that later became popular and influential. You have to consider tape circulation and music fanzines merged into the m-a network along w/ all kinds of experimental art. Industrial music came out of the network as did what later was called alternative and grunge.

So Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and others owe a great deal to pre-internet m-a. They were blocked from the mainstream but managed to build very large audiences.

O geez, Johnny Marr is one of the greats, IMHO. Don't let Morrisey throw you off.

Kerri's been pimping that new album & I'm a believer.

Luis Drayton aka Queen of All Pus is an IUOMA member & great correspondent. Sends cds as well as art:

Sorry, I just can't do it. Morrisey is just too annoying for me to get past his persona. Marr is great, great tone, and great player, but I cannot get into the Smiths even though I've tried and tried. I have similar issues with The Misfits, and for almost the same exact reason. Gotten yelled at a lot for that one too!




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