Fifty Outsiders : 11 - 20

Kenneth Anger to Holy Modal Rounders
kenneth-anger.jpg
Read part two of Kris Needs Fifty Outiders list for Clash magazine's Outsider issue taking in Joe Meek, Allen Ginsberg, The Fugs and more.

11. KENNETH ANGER

One of the most influential independent filmmakers in cinema history, notorious for surreally unsettling works such as 1964’s Scorpio Rising, 1969’s Invocation Of My Demon Brother and 1972’s Lucifer Rising, injecting homoerotica, gay culture and his abiding fascination with Aleister Crowley

12. MONTGOMERY CLIFT

Personalised inner turmoil roles while becoming a heartthrob in films such as From Here To Eternity, Clift got into booze and prescription drugs after a disfiguring 1956 car crash, his drug-addled post-accident career described as ‘the longest suicide in Hollywood’, which finished in July, 1966.

13. JOE MEEK

Producing groups like The Tornados in his home studio above a shop on Holloway Road, Meek pioneered reverb, overdubbing and electronic effects. A troubled, complex character; homosexual when it was still illegal, occult-obsessed, prone to rages and warped by drugs. On February 3rd, 1967, killed his landlady then himself with a shotgun.

14. ALBERT AYLER

Free jazz took music outside its comfort zones as the real rebel music before rock and folk got hip. Ayler took the tenor to shattering levels of skronking intensity. Beset by inner turmoil, he suffered a nervous breakdown, his body found in New York's East River on November 25, 1970.

15. OUTSIDER ARTISTS

French artist Jean Dubuffet’s 1948 definition of ‘art brut’ (raw art) was translated into ‘outsider art’ by critic Roger Cardinal in 1972, referring to extreme work created outside traditional constraints with no connection to mainstream institutions or commercial achievement. The first well-known ‘outsider artist’ was 1920s Swiss psychotic mental patient Adolf Wolfli.

16. ALLEN GINSBERG AND THE BEAT POETS

The Beat Generation raised a radical finger at right wing, cold war-paranoid America, Ginsberg smashing taboos experienced through his own homosexuality while redefining poetry with the lyrical Tsunami of 1955’s Howl, William Burroughs bringing graphic portrayals of drug addiction, while Jack Kerouac defined ‘beatniks’ with On The Road.

17. HARRY SMITH

Harry Smith was a law to himself, whether as psych pioneer artist, experimental filmmaker, musical archivist (his Anthology of American Folk Music kickstarted the US folk revival) or producer of The Fugs.

18. THE FUGS

Activist poet Ed Sanders formed the notorious Fugs in 1965, celebrating sexual freedom and drugs while railing against the Vietnam war, accumulating a healthy FBI file.

19. THE GODZ

New York City’s anarchic ESP-Disk imprint became a haven for outsider singers and musicians after starting in 1964 as an outlet for free jazzers, also releasing discordant proto-punk shambles The Godz, whose 1966 debut, ‘Contact High With The Godz’ was met with hostility, although Lester Bangs’ later enthusings helped turn them into a cult.

20. HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS

Demented mountain-speed duo Peter Stampfel and Steve Webber collided with ESP-Disk, having spent the first half of the Sixties wreaking anti-folk carnage in this often most precious of mediums.

Find out more about Clash Magazine's Fifty Outsiders list.

Have your say

Sign in or Register to leave comments
-