Frank Zappa and Prazsky Vyber, "Improvizace V A Dur S Frankem Zappou," performed live on June 24, 1991 at the "ADIEU C.A." concert in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to celebrate the collapse of Soviet rule in the country. Released on Prazsky Vyber albums "Adieu C.A." and "Komplet."
Improvisation with guitar jam/duel between FZ and Micheal Pavlicek
It ties into the bit I quoted in the other night's post about the biggest enemies of the Communist Czech State being Jimmy Carter and Frank Zappa. Unfortunately but unsurprisingly, the former Soviet Union's still none too friendly a place for political musicians.
Still, hell of a thing, to have been there right after it all came down.
Bissette's got a post up today about The Creativity of Ditko, Craig Yoe's latest gorgeous, thoroughly-documented collection of Ditko's work. I picked up a used copy of The Art of Ditko a couple months ago and I share Bissette's sentiment: it's incredible, but it does have a bit of an uncomfortable undercurrent, knowing that Ditko receives no money from these volumes and wishes they didn't exist.
Bissette covers Ditko pretty regularly. In this piece he links to a couple of previous essays, one of which is a response to Bob Heer's interpretation of the famous story of Ditko using original art as a cutting board. (To summarize: Greg Theakston once told a story of seeing cut-up original artwork in Ditko's apartment and pleading with him to stop using it as a cutting-board; Ditko refused. Heer believes that Theakston is not lying but that he misinterpreted the situation -- Ditko didn't cut up the artwork himself, it was probably returned to him in that condition, and, Ditko being Ditko, he didn't correct Theakston's assumption. Bissette adds that it's very unlikely that Ditko would have been using heavy enough paper stock in those days to serve as a cutting board, and that publishers used to frequently cut up original art after they were done with it.)
And Bissette reminds us, where Yoe doesn't, that Ditko is still active and still publishing through Robin Snyder.
The work is obscure because Snyder is a small publisher and doesn't use the Internet, but Bissette makes the reasonable point that the reason Ditko only works with Snyder is that Snyder is the only publisher who ever treated him right (other than the long-defunct Charlton Comics).
Bissette's covered Snyder's catalog in the past, too; he wrote a great post last year, in the wake of the Marvel v Kirby judgement, about everything Ditko's published about his years with Marvel. He references a long run of magazine articles Ditko published, around the time the first Spider-Man movie was released, which are still available through mail order. I keep meaning to check with my local comic shop and see if they can put in an order for some of those issues -- I'd be happy to order directly from Snyder, but I also think my LCS might be interested in stocking a few extra copies -- but money's been too tight. Still, one of these days...
It includes a response from Craig Yoe himself; among other things he disputes the claim that Ditko is opposed to the existence of these books -- Yoe says he's been in touch with Ditko and, while he's chosen not to participate or profit, he hasn't objected to them either, and approved Paul Levitz's introduction to Creativity. (No word on whether he approved Stan Lee's introduction to Art.)
There are also some fantastically thorough posts by Rob Imes in the comments section; one is a list of recommendations for Ditko's more recent, Snyder-published work, and another is a lengthy rumination on collections like this that do not compensate the original artists.