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'For No Good Reason' — A Film About Ralph Steadman

'For No Good Reason' - A film about Ralph Steadman

JOHNNY DEPP pays a call on his friend and hero RALPH STEADMAN and we take off on a high-spirited, lyrical, raging and soulful journey discovering the life and works of one of the most important radical British artists of modern times. Steadman rose to prominence in the early 70’s when his impassioned and stirring images gained recognition through popular cultural publications and press both in the UK and US for their bold comment on world politics and human rights infringements.

FOR NO GOOD REASON is a richly creative, visual feast of a film about the power and importance of art to achieve Steadman’s aim "I learnt to draw...to try to change the world". Director Charlie Paul spent 15 years meticulously amassing the footage and creating the remarkable animations for the film to match the same anarchic energy, anger and free spirit of Steadman's pictures. It is riot of stories and images that literally blast out of the screen as we take a trip through the wild and dark days of Steadman’s time and consignments with ‘Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas’ writer Hunter S Thompson, the Rumble in the Jungle, gun fights with literary giant William S Burroughs and his fiercely heart-felt politics.

Through Depp’s lead in this intimate portrait, we are able to reach to the heart of what make this artist tick, his friendships and fallings out, his love for art and passion for civil liberties.

This is an inventive, energetic, occasionally harrowing but inspiring and uplifting film with contributions from TERRY GILLIAM, RICHARD E GRANT and music from Slash, All American Rejects, Jason Mraz, James Blake, Ed Harcourt and Crystal Castles, all FOR NO GOOD REASON.

Learn More Here.


Steadman Guitar for Charity Auction on Display at Musical Instrument Museum

Steadman Strat

A one-of-a-kind guitar, owned by legendary musician Nils Lofgren and his wife Amy, will be on display at the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) beginning the first week of August before it is auctioned for charity.

The white Fender Stratocaster features portraits of the late Hunter S. Thompson, hand-painted by artist Ralph Steadman. The Lofgrens are auctioning the one-of-a-kind "Steadman Strat" to benefit Scottsdale’s Vista del Camino social service agency and Central Arizona Shelter Services.

Steadman does not sell his original art, and says, "if you have an original Steadman, it’s been stolen."

"We are fortunate that the Musical Instrument Museum has graciously agreed to display this guitar and in such a prominent area," say the Lofgrens. "Not only is it the perfect venue, it provides an opportunity to showcase the guitar for those who may be interested in owning it."

As part of the winning bid, Nils will also give an afternoon crash course in blues guitar instruction.

The Lofgrens, who are hoping for a six-figure bid, say the auction is a win-win for all. Not only will charities get needed assistance, the winning bidder will own a truly unique piece of art.

Vista del Camino Manager Kathy Breen says the Scottsdale-based Lofgrens have been long-time supporters of programs that help the underserved. "They’ve quietly and unselfishly championed important causes."

"MIM is pleased to have this opportunity to work with the Lofgrens and display the Steadman guitar," says MIM President and Director Bill DeWalt. "We are delighted to share this special guitar with our guests."

The guitar will be on display for about six months at MIM, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd., Phoenix.

Those interested in bidding and getting details can go here.



Mad God Universe

Mr. Steadman recently received a link to this stunning work, which he did with the artist Keith Newstead. Newstead writes...

I collaberated with the artist Ralph Steadman on this automata. It was commissioned for an exhibition called Devious Devices in 1990. It features God rising above storm clouds. Below the earth is supported on 4 elephants which in turn are supported by strange creatures. It was about 10 feet high and I have no idea where it is now.

Mr. Steadman writes:

I have found the drawing I did to be used by Keith Newstead when he constructed the machine . Oddly the date on the drawing is later! Actually on the drawing I had called it the Newsteadmanaton- incorporating our names.and describing the mechanical device.

The moving 'sculpture' was shown in an exhibition under an umbrella title, 'DEVIOUS DEVICES'. All was displayed in a Town Hall in Croydon (SOUTH EAST London). The Town Hall is referred to as The CROYDON CLOCKTOWER. So you see that there was an idiosyncratic and playful theme which involved good old Clockwork- still one of my own favourite power sources and pre-electronic back in 1990. Somebody must know where the actual machine/contraption resides if indeed it still exists!!Maybe someone may see this on the site and Keith himself may re-emerge, because I have lost touch with him too!! You might consider this to be very careless of me as well!! I have also a couple of mobile figures fashioned by Keith which move when you wind a small crank on either one. Maybe we should show those as well when this is sorted.

Keith is a very ingenious individual!!

Maybe he will re-emerge too. It would be fascinating to know where he is....

OK. I attach a working drawing  which oddly yet shows a later date but which is very definitely connected to the working model made by Keith. Curiouser and curiouser!!!!!

Mad God Universe


Blue Sky Traffic

Blue Sky Traffic

Mr. Steadman recently did the artwork for the Justin Kalk Orchestra's newest release "Blue Sky Traffic". And just what is Blue Sky Traffic all about? We'll let them explain it:

"Blue Sky Traffic" is a wolly mammoth of a debut from U.S.A's Justin Kalk Orchestra. Featuring 16 original songs and album art by gonzo painter Ralph Steadman (Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Rolling Stone, Flying Dog Beer) the album was recorded from 2007 - 2009 at the legendary Blackbird and Dark Horse recording studios in Nashville, Tennessee.

 Opening with the arena-shaking "I've Changed Too" the record is sure to quickly resonate with just about any animal. After Michael Green's triplet-based half time shuffle and the bands unbelievably simple groove carries the song to the second chorus, Justin's guitar solo pushes his own vocal out of the way as if erupting from the bowels of a monster.


The JKO's signature brand of FONQ Rock continues through "Cold Blooded Killer' and the Obama tinged, politically-oblivious hip hop of "1983" before settling down with Nashville's top session players for the bluegrass pop song "Frown, Frown, Frown".  The ghost like Pedal steel and train hopping Banjo are the perfect compliment to Justin's Lennon-esque tale of woe and want.

Justin's story continues on the most soulful song of the album "Pancakes & Syrup".  The stirring guitar lines and vocals slowly build before a string quartet led by violinist - Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Bela Fleck, Lyle Lovett) introduces what may be a perfect stratocaster solo. 

After a 4 song mini symphony seemingly about sleeping in late, we find out why Mr. Ralph Steadman chose to paint a Giraffe on the cover.  The dream-like Gershwin influenced "Aurora Bora Palace" opens with a french horn (Vanessa  Barbee) as Kalk croons "Kelienne, far off the Giraffes neck, up, up away...".

The FONQ continues with more Insect / Super Nintendo hip hop featuring bassist SteO Britton.    After breaking down to the dark blues harmonics of "Painting a Wall" (written by Kalk at age 19), Brent Burgee wraps up the nearly 60 minute roller-coaster by taking us to the gospel tent with his overwhelming B-3 Organ chops on "Back In Love".  The rotating speaker by itself makes it impossible to listen to the JKO's  "Blue Sky Traffic" without leaving their world in a joyful mood.  Watch out for your ears!"

www.justinkalk.com



Cathedragogue

Cathedragogue

Mr. Steadman recently had a letter published in Architecture Week, outlining his concept for the Cathedragogue. And what is the Cathedragogue?

Read on....

"Outline Planning permission for development of the site is required to establish a spiritual centre, a multi-denominational church — a "Cathedragogue," to welcome all faiths in a spirit of mutual understanding, including the Buddhist, atheistic, agnostic and secular. Based on the premise that if there is a God, i.e. not a God of flesh and blood, but as human beings, the God we must all perceive to be the same one and only God, worshipped by all, or not, in the case of non-believers. How this manifests itself in our myriad ways on Earth cannot alter the nature of this omnipotent Being, acknowledged creator of the Universe, of which we are all a part. "

Read the full article on the Architecture Week site here.



Garibaldi's Biscuits!

Garibaldi Cover
Garibaldi's Biscuit

Mr. Steadman has written and illustrated a new book for children: Garibaldi's Biscuits!

...THERE was great excitement when General Garibaldi returned to his beloved Italy after many years abroad. He had come to fight the greedy French Bourbons, who had invaded the country. Wearing ingenious pizza buckles on their belts and wielding water balloons, Garibaldi’s army soon defeated the rascally French, and the now world-famous Bourbon and Garibaldi biscuits were born . . .

In this little known footnote to history, the inimitable Ralph Steadman has created a magnificent tour de force.

Buy Garibaldi's Biscuits online.

Garibaldi's Illustration1
Garibaldi's Illustration2

GONZO:
THE LIFE AND WORK OF
DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON



Mr. Steadman and his art are featured prominently in GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON. From Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney and producer Graydon Carter comes a probing look into the uncanny life of national treasure and gonzo journalism inventor Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. A fast moving, wildly entertaining documentary with an iconic soundtrack, the film addresses the major touchstones in Thompson's life — his intense and ill fated relationship with the Hell's Angels, his near-successful bid for the office of sheriff in Aspen in 1970, the notorious story behind the landmark Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, his deep involvement in Senator George McGovern's 1972 presidential campaign, and much more. Narrated by Johnny Depp.

Find out more here.

Gonzo Movie Poster

GelaSkins

Mr. Steadman's art is now featured on GelaSkins. Gelaskins provide a way to express your style and personality through your iPod, while keeping it protected from scratches and daily abuse.

GelaSkins are very thin (< 2mm), protective iPod covers made with premium grade 3M vinyl and adhesive technology. Patented micro-channels in the adhesive prevent bubbles from forming during application. They are crafted using the same process and materials used in the automotive customization industry. An ultra-clear, scratch resistant, glossy coating is then applied to the GelaSkin for added durability and a photo quality finish.

Find out more here.



The Joke's Over

UK Version (Available 5 OCT 06)

Order From Amazon UK

US Version (Available 2 OCT 06)

Order From Amazon.com

My new book, The JOKE's OVER emerged as a form of therapy after the shock of sudden death following the suicide of my friend of 35 years, Hunter S. Thompson. He always said that he would do it but that does not prepare you for the reality of the brutal act. As I once printed on a brown paper bag in hand set type, damn near 35 years ago, 'I have always known that one day he would take that road, but yesterday I did not know that it would be today'.

But the fat is in the fire and it's a wretched mess. So I set to and wrote myself out from under the shadow left behind. Hunter always hated me to write anything and warned me that it would bring shame on my family. So be it, but that would only be the case if what I wrote was bad. As it turns out I am proud of what I did write and my family need not live in shame. Few people meet someone who has such a significant and fundamental effect on another's life, but Hunter had such an effect on mine, both personally and creatively. Our meeting in 1970 cemented my relationship with America for good or ill, at a time when it's politics were undergoing a cataclysmic and venal change. It absorbed me and satisfied my curiosity in it's monumental opinion of its own worth and uncluttered regard for its self-appointed sense of universal importance, displaying both the lowest and the highest aspirations that any nation can attain. I was hooked and remain so for reasons that are as perverse as they are honorable.

Providing that the fundamental human rights of all peoples of all religions, race and disposition are still on the agenda of things to fight for, irrespective of a current trend to sweep them aside, then I think there is still some purpose to life. My book is in there somewhere providing food for thought and a very personal account of a crazy, wonderful man who thought much about these things too. The book is published on October 6th, 2006, by Heinemann in the United Kingdom and simultaneously in the United States by Harcourt, New York. Read it.

It has been my good fortune to know a great American Writer and one of his country's strongest and perceptive critics, KURT VONNEGUT. I value the generosity of the words he has contributed to my book in his Foreword. I am honored that he is my friend- and funny too!


I · Leonardo

I Leonardo

I·Leonardo

For this book, Steadman became Leonardo da Vinci. He retraced the artist's life from the time he was born to the time he realized there was nothing else. Throughout his journey Steadman discovered the human being through Leonardo's inventions, paintings and thoughts. This book is considered to be one of the high points of Ralph Steadman's career. This paperback edition published in 1988 by Pan Books, Ltd. Each book is signed by Ralph Steadman.

Signed paperback. $60.00



Stop Smiling

Mr. Steadman was recently featured on the cover of Stop Smiling Magazine. Here's a little teaser:


STEADMAN ON STEADMAN: RALPH STEADMAN

By Sally Vincent

“The Bush administration will hammer Iran and use that as an excuse. Like children. Wham, now see what you made me do. You started it. A whole-world Hiroshima. Easy come, easy go. The planet will reassert itself in a few billion trillion years and what’s a few billion trillion years between drinks?”


You can find out more by clicking here.


Drawing Breath: A Retrospective Whisper from Ralph Steadman

Mr. Steadman's work was on exhibit at the Art Institue of Boston, in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Drawing Breath: A Retrospective Whisper from Ralph Steadman ran from January 30 to March 19, 2006.

You can check out the show here.


Untrodden Grapes

Let's face it: If anyone could claim to know wine, it would be Ralph Steadman. The man has tromped through the vineyards, smelled the air and sampled the work of wineries on five continents.

That is why Mr. Steadman is quite pleased to announce the release of his latest book, "Untrodden Grapes." So pleased, in fact, that he's taken to walking about the shores of his sceptred isle with a copy of the book and a rather silly hat, all in the hope that someone — anyone! — will ask him about it.

We'll save you the trouble: Mr. Steadman has followed his previous book on the subject — the award-winning "The Grapes of Ralph" — with another delightful sampling of his work. From California to Chile, from Cabernet to Chardonnay, Mr. Steadman has traveled the world of wine, and he's more than happy to bring you along. His keen eye, sparkling wit and amazing art will make you glad you took the trip.

And don't worry about things getting all wine snobby on you. After all, this is the man who once wrote — and we're taking this dreadfully out of context — "If someone is describing the notes of raspberry, wide swathes of apricot vapours and pomegranate overtones- and they are wearing a suit, then pour your glass of whatever over them and say, ‘Appreciate that!’"

So if you like wine, wonderful writing or absolutely brilliant artwork, we'd suggest that you carry yourselves down to your local bookseller (or Amazon.com) and let them know that you'd like a copy of "Untrodden Grapes." Tell them Ralph sent you, and that he'd like to take off the hat.



Torn From the Headlines

Quite Literally...

This letter to the editor recently appeared in Time Out London.


Captain Scarlet! (or, The Red Scare)

From the Yorkshire Post

Cartoonist sees red after Internet appeal reaches records office

THE biting political satire of cartoonist Ralph Steadman may be red in tooth and claw - but he decided it was not quite bloody enough.

For the shades of crimson at his disposal never quite passed muster. They somehow did not convey the required gory tone.

The cartoonist was convinced that what he needed was good, old-fashioned red ink - but where to get it?

Cue a last throw of the dice - an appeal on the Internet. The cyber request was answered by conservator Stephen Allen in the North Yorkshire county records office in Northallerton. Something in Mr Steadman's plea jogged his memory.

"I knew just what he meant because I knew that somewhere we had some Stephen's Scarlet Writing Fluid from the 1930s and it was still in its old stone bottles. They were from the days when the county council's accounts were hand- inked," he said.

"I got in touch with Ralph Steadman and sent him a bottle which was unopened and still with its wax seal intact. He was thrilled with it and by return of post he sent me a print of his - The Alchemist - which he had endorsed in the red ink across the bottom".

Mr Allen, 58, who has worked for the county records office for 13 years, added: "The subject is rather appropriate because my previous career was as a chemist. He didn't know that so it's quite a nice coincidence. Anyway, I've now got it framed on my wall".

In his original appeal Mr Steadman said: "It has to look like blood it if it is any good, which is why murder is the best method for achieving my desire."

 

 

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