HAPPY SPRING CLEANING DAY

The image above is from the first RENNIN comic I published back in 1997. Tom Rennin, in his distinctive Brooklynese, refers to the date as "April Fort," meaning, April fourth. The title of the story was "Spring Cleaning." In the rest of the story, chaos and hilarity ensues.

The date was not picked arbitrarily.

I started drawing these characters back in 1969. Tom and his wife were based on the next door neighbors of my best friend, Patrick Brett. There's a long story of how the cartoon representation of this guy evolved into this pointy, bird like character, and I'm not going to go into it now. But once that image stuck, that really kind of kicked things off and I've been drawing him off and on for the past 40 years.

40 years ago today, my friend Patrick was assigned some spring cleaning by his parents and I helped. Why do I remember this? Because Patrick had a piece of chalk and drew a cartoon on the wall that showed the heads of Tom and his wife and type below that said "Spring Cleaning with Tom and Fran. April 4, 1969." (Fran being the name of the real person whose cartoon persona evolved into "Flo.") I seem to have this steel trap memory for the minutiae of my childhood, and this was one of those trivial details that just got stuck. Actually, Patrick and I joked about it for years afterwards, so the repetition probably helped to embed it in my brain.

So, on this most obscure of anniversaries, I offer the above tribute that I made 28 years after the fact, 12 years ago.

TULL NUTS

The band Jethro Tull is going to figure prominently into these stories of the early days. At this time, 40 years ago, I was about to discover them. Obscure in America, they were already rising in popularity in their homeland of the UK. This performance first aired in December of 1968 as part of the legendary TV special, The Rolling Stones' Rock and Roll Circus, which only made its first official appearance in the US for the first time in 1996, when it was released on home video. Not a great performance, but it's the earliest look at them that I can offer.

UP IN ALBANY

So what's the story with this ancient photo?



I will tell you about it in a couple of days. For March 26, 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of when it was taken. I am in there, almost exactly in the center, if you strain your eyes. For now, I will just tell you that the title of this particular post should be read/sung like the "Love is all you need" refrain in the Beatles' song "All You Need is Love." ("Up in Albany, Up in Albany, Up in Albany...etc.") It was a memorable day in my youth, for several reasons. As you will discover.

RENNIN RADIO

Eventually, I need to figure out how to embed this in the sidebar. For now, this will do. This player consists of music I was listening to during those glorious months of late 1968-early 1969, when I first became a music geek and discovered the FM band. Well, some of these were played on Top 40 radio. But I couldn't find everything I wanted on Project Playlist. Consider this the start of the soundtrack for this site.

I thought I had this set up for random shuffle play, but I guess not. I suggest that if you come back to this site from time to time, just click the little "turn shuffle on" icon in the upper right corner of the player.

And those busted icons at the bottom are promotional links from Project Playlist. I haven't been able to figure out how to delete them yet without completely screwing up the code.


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones!