googled06bb313055e587a.html Rock N Roll Rehab for the Control Of Rock and Roll Starring Greg Piper and The Tooners: April Fool’s Day Memories

April Fool’s Day Memories

Today is April first also known as April Fool’s Day, a day of jokes and of lies told in jest. To me April Fool’s Day always reminds me of my friend the late Jim Rumph. Jim would always leave an  out going message on his telephone answering machine each day that was his early version of a Tweet. If you ever wanted to know what he was up to all you had to do was give him a call. You didn’t even need to speak with him, just listen to his daily message. But on April Fool’s Day his message was always something like a volcano had opened up on Sepulveda Blvd. and he was being evacuated followed by a hearty “April Fool’s!”

I met Jim at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire where he had a stand where he sold his unique fantasy sculptures. His sculptures were appropriate to the theme of the Faire with trolls and wizards and dragons but always incorporated into something practical like a mug or a stein or an ashtray or a planter. I became a collector of his work and he became a friend of mine.

I first attended the Renaissance Pleasure Faire when my father took the family to the very first one. He was a school teacher and either he knew the teacher who created the Faire or he knew of her and that first one was on the level of a school carnival with cardboard booths and felt and crepe paper costumes. I was about ten years old when I went to that first Renaissance Faire. When I met Jim I was in my twenties and the Faire had moved from the asphalt of an elementary school playground to the forests of Malibu Canyon and the structures were now semi-permanent wood buildings, full size gypsy wagons and Arabian tents. Even the pasted on beards and long wigs the men wore were now real and the costumes were elaborate, authentic appearing and expensive.

When I was in school in San Diego I became fascinated with Holography and took a physics class in order to be able to make holograms. I’m probably one of a very few Art majors with an “A” in Physics. Back then you needed to shine a light through a hologram to see it and that made them impractical to hang on a wall as a piece of art. I realized that if you mounted a hologram on a mirror you can shine a light from in front, have it reflected off the mirror back through the hologram and that way it can be mounted flat to a wall. To me the obvious idea for a commercial hologram would be a “Magic Mirror” as in Snow White.

I contacted Jim Rumph one day and told him my idea for the Magic Mirror. He liked the idea and said I should do it. I’m not a sculpture I told him and I can’t afford to hire you to do it. He said he liked the idea and if I would let him do it in his down time he would sculpt me a frame to hold the hologram for $500.00 and let me use one of his finished sculptures for the hologram. I jumped at this chance and used one side of a large planter I had of his that had a Sorceress face on one side and an ugly demon’s face on the other as the hologram. He then sculpted an elaborate frame with a wizard’s head at the top and griffins and dragons  on it, all looking as if carved out of wood. I had a couple dozen Rumph Haunted Mirrors made and they’re now collector’s items for Rumph fans.

My painting of the Rumph hologram inside the mirror.
Mounted on a mirror and needing exact lighting makes
the real thing near impossible to photograph.

Okay, Jim Rumph reminds me of April Fool’s Day but this is blog about Rock & Roll, so where’s the Rock & Roll? Here it is: I got the hologram of the face on the planter made at an holography studio on Sunset Blvd. called The White Light Gallery. When the studio called me and told me I could come pick up my Rumph piece as the hologram was finished I got down there first thing the next morning. I was carrying this large sculpture, which takes both hands, up Sunset from the Gallery towards the Whiskey A Go Go when a Mercedes Benz pulled up at the light. It was early in the morning and Hollywood was deserted, the green Mercedes was the only car on the street and I was the only person on the street. I could tell that the passenger window was down and that the person inside was staring at me. Being the only person on the street and carrying a two large headed sculpture made me stand out I guess. When I looked over at the car I saw that the passenger was Ringo Starr! I couldn’t wave as my hands were full but I must of smiled from ear to ear. Ringo smiled back, tilted his head slightly to one side and gave me this slow, broad wave that arced over as if he was wiping the window, a real “Ringo” wave. Then the light turned green and the Mercedes drove away.

I know this is April Fool’s Day but I’m not joking about this.

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