Still a bi-weekly more than a year into it. Soon, I suspect, we will discover that we have become a weekly. In this issue many revelations with reporting by Scott White, Tim Harvey, Paul Sawyer, John Bixler, Henry Erlich, another Crowley Weltschmerz and Cunnick Dump Truck Baby and my own report on the Piano Drop. For that the editor gave himself the centerfold and managed to again almost hide the text behind the split-font superimposed graphics. Three full pages given to record ads means we certainly managed to pay for this issue.
Ron Edge who has made both the weekly scans of every issue and enlivened the chosen masthead with colors copied from the paper itself notes that this week he has nothing to work with. As Bill White and I elaborate at the beginning – or “front page” – of this week’s audio commentary, the cover photo of County Joe was snapped in the SeaTac sundries store. The film was colorless Tri-X. Normally Joe would travel with the band, but this time he was alone. I drove him to the airport. For this “set up” he did his own art direction tucking bills into his shirt and tunneling his vision with a roll found somewhere. The red “Helix”at its center is the only color for Ron to borrow – tomorrow. I wonder what he will do.
In proper order and again below is the next issue of Helix, and the commentary by Bill White and myself. In this issue John Bixler makes his first appearance – on a motorcycle stopped by some plainclothes police ready to slap on him the tough charge of not having paid off a parking ticket. In that reportorial snap, the Helix office can be seen across Harvard Ave. E. (beneath the freeway). Hereafter John will be an enduring participant in our productions, except when he was away doing road work for the band The Youngbloods. In Jef Jaisun’s 1992 shot taken for the 25th anniversary of the founding of Helix – Not So Strait John Bixler appears far right with those posers who made it out of the Blue Moon and onto the sidewalk in front it. They are, right to left, John Bixler, Jacque Moitoret, Tom Robbins, Walt Crowley, Alan Lande, Paul Heald, myself, and standing in front with his own row, Maury Heald. We have printed this earlier and will probably print it again later. (Thanks again to Ron Edge in Lake City for steadfast wrestling all this Helix matter on the blog that ends with the last name of our editor in Paris.)
We searched for the date, but found none, although surely a finer search of the text may stumble on one. Sometime in March of 1968 – perhaps the First of March given that the last issue was dated Feb. 15, 1968. By this time our publishing was routine, but not for long. Soon – perhaps next week? – with the optimism of Spring HELIX will become a weekly.
The audio commentary attached is a continuous confession of my ignorance as I did not prepare for the recording but by arrangement with Bill White entered blind into that tabloid pulp as we looked at it together – I for the first time in 44 years. Bill, however, was prepared to ask me startlingly informed questions from his fresh reading of the entire issue. While not entirely fair it was fun.
In this issue Helix gains four pages for twenty in all, although the tabloid is still published every other week. As Bill White notes in our discussion that is attached as an audio file, this Helix it very unlike last week’s. This one is stuffed with counter culture concerns and reports. Volume Tow Number Nine pulls Five R. Cobb cartoons from the Underground Press Syndicate, some representative Alan Watts, and five years after still more about the Kennedy assassination.
The audio attached to this issue is “new and improved.” Bill White, the editor of both the weekly audio and the Helix page on Facebook, interviews me about the issue, to more energetic effect.
On the back cover of this odd issue – 12 pages with neither advertisements nor news – I discover that part of its art involves a snapshot line-up of the Helix staff – or a small part of it. It was printed there in negative, so I “captured” it and inverted it to positive. Still I cannot identify – yet – the three faces on the right. Otherwise the row goes so: far left Joe Caine, I think. Following Joe are Pat Churchill, Tim Harvey and either Billy Ward or Walter Crowley. Bill thinks that it is more likely himself, for he thinks that Walt would not be inclined to lay his cheek against Tim’s shoulder. Continuing: me (Dorpat), Inger Anne Hage – we lived together then – George Geise (George worked at the P-I – like Ray Collins – and was a great and steadfast help in many ways,) Scott White, and Jack Delay. And then, as just noted, I don’t know – although the middle figure could be Bill Ward “again.” Bill agrees that it could be him, although he thinks that the Billy far left – snuggling with Tim – is a more likely Bill. Insights and/or corrections welcomed.