nyc makers

There was a substantial population of anti-war activists in the country. “American Firsters” and other non-interventionist groups were well-organized. Then there was the German American Bund. They were all over the place, heavily financed and effective in spewing their propaganda of hate; a fifth column of Americans following the Third Reich party line. They organized pseudo-military training camps such as ‘Camp Siegried’ in Yaphank, Long Island and held huge rallies in such places as Madison Square Garden in New York. Our irreverent treatment of their Feuhrer infuriated them. We were inundated with a torrent of raging hate mail and vicious, obscene telephone calls. The theme was “death to the Jews.” At first we were inclined to laugh off their threats, but then, people in the office reported seeing menacing-looking groups of strange men in front of the building on Forty Second Street and some of the employees were fearful of leaving the office for lunch. Finally, we reported the threats to the police department. The result was a police guard on regular shifts patrolling the halls and office.

No sooner than the men in blue arrived than the woman at the telephone switchboard signaled me excitedly. ‘There’s a man on the phone says he’s Mayor LaGuardia,’ she stammered, ‘He wants to speak to the editor of Captain America Comics.’

I was incredulous as I picked up the phone, but there was no mistaking the shrill voice. ‘You boys over there are doing a good job, ‘ the voice squeaked, ‘The City of New York will see that no harm will come to you.’

—  Joe Simon, in “The Comic Book Makers”, on why America First-ers hated to see a Nazi punched and how a Mayor protected Captain America

so my first day of work was yesterday and we were rehearsing in pearl and the room next to us was reserved for the phantom of the opera and the room down the hall was reserved for the american theatre wing and I was thinking damn I have have a real theatre job this is so exciting!!!! but at the same time I was thinking wow how easy would it be to fight the entire american theatre wing I mean they’re right there

The Design Interactions Studio is in full swing! Stop by for hands-on fun for all ages through November 14. 

[MoMA Design Interactions Studio (October 21–November 14, 2015). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Gretchen Scott]

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I could live in this shop forever.  More fun from my visit to retrofret, Brooklyn NY, last week:

  1. There’s so much to talk about in this shot.  Left to right (from what I remember…), a pair of late 50s LP Specials, ~‘65 SG Jr, ~'62 Les Paul SG Jr. (note the “hold” tag on it…dammit!), another mid 60s SG Jr., '68 Melody Maker II SG style in sparkling burgundy and probably the cleanest example of one I have ever seen!
  2.  Chinatown.  Not the Roman Polanski film and not actually in Brooklyn!
  3. On the right is a 1968 Fender Champ drip edge silverface (for only 400 bucks…what a deal!), and on the left is a very exciting piece of Fender amplification history…and original Champion 600 from 1951!
  4. Mid 1930s Gibson HG-00 (H for “Hawaiian”, which basically means the nut is much higher than on a “Spanish” guitar so you can play slide (i.e. Hawaiian-style music that was popular at the time).  Tiny bubbles…in the water… :D
  5.  And here is the non-Hawaiian version of the same guitar.  Gibson L-00 (I believe it was a 1936 model).
  6. 1966 Rickenbacker 335
  7. Now THIS is Brooklyn.  4th Street to be exact.
  8. A pair of 1953 Fender Tele basses.  Wow!
  9. Across the Street from the shop.