Mike McCarthy's art is based on three original Pop Culture contributions that America gave the world during the twentieth century: Comic Books, Rock and Roll, and Drive-In Cinema (not just the physical things themselves, but the ideas behind them). The most progressive and brilliant period of this pulp trinity occurs between 1935 to 1977 ("Bride of Frankenstein" to "Star Wars", Will Rogers death to Punk Rock, the first comic books until the death of underground comics); and the Life and Death of Elvis Presley.

Elvis Presley is not just the king of rock and roll, he is the king of American Pop Culture.

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John Michael McCarthy revisited Tupelo on Elvis's birthday at the invitation of Morgan Cutterini and Upsilon Sigma and Iota Zeta Chapters of Phi Theta Kappa to speak on comparative spirituality regarding Elvis Presley as a metaphysical being with similarities to world religions. Inciting Jospeph Campbell and Carl Jung in stating that Elvis was indeed born under a sign, JMM made such statements to an estimated 40 people such as "If America is the greatest country on Earth why do we import our religion?". Elvis's lifespan of 42 years was also examined as the "Golden Age of American Pop Culture". The 40 minute speech was culled from previous JMM writings at the Rise and Fall of American Pop Culture pages where the powerpoint prestantion can also be [eventually] viewed.

"The audience looked rather dazed, but when I invited everyone to join me a short distance away at Jesse Presley's grave a busload of 25 students followed. When we arrived at the Priceville Cemetery we discovered an actual funeral was about to take place right next to the Presley lot - so I hurriedly spoke, placed a flower and left." The short trip also included a stop at the birthplace of Elvis where many new amenities have been added, like a 42 year path that encircles the tiny two room shack and a boyhood statue of Elvis. As always, Elvis' stillborn brother Jesse Garon is barely noted.

JMM, dressed in ceremonial Super Tupelo cape, received a plaque and $200 from Morgan Cutterini. Special thanks to Robert Gordon for making this happen. Fotos by Marty Perez.

BILLY of Guitar Wolf dead 3/31/05

Hideaki Sekiguchi aka Billy (shown here 2nd from left) bass player from the Japanese rock'n'roll band, Guitar Wolf, died March 31st from an apparent heart attack in his sleep in Nagasaki. He was 38 years of age. RIP Billy

More at the Goner forums.

All fotos by Elizabeth Harris and Michael Dillon.


JMM has been invited to London to the prestigious Barbican theatre where he will screen ELVIS MEETS THE BEATLES and the new JIM DICKINSON "Down In Mississippi" video for the month-long IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS event (based on the book by Robert Gordon).

JMM will be in the fantastic company of other Memphis (music) stalwarts including Ike Turner, Jim Dickinson, The Tearjerkers, Billy Lee Riley, Sonny Burgess and the Pacers, The Bo-Keys, Tav Falco and more! Plans are afoot to document the Tearjerkers and shoot b-roll for Paul Duane as Paul continues to produce Robert Gordon's "IT CAME FROM MEMPHIS" documentary which establishes the theme for the London show.

There will also be a special April Fools Night screening of BROAD DAYLIGHT at the swanky Lady Luck Club. This event was organized by Nino! Another fabulous BROAD DAYLIGHT screening will take place in Paris at the first ever ROCKENSCOPE show happening at the Cinematheque. The band Les Synapses will perform. This event was organized by David Duez and Anne! Also see www.lesvoutes.org.

JMM has shown Superstarlet A.D. and Elvis Meets The Beatles in London previously with the help of Paul Duane at the Horse Hospital - but this is the first UK show that JMM will personally attend LIVE and "In Persona".

Starlet Dawn Ashcraft and daughter HMM will also be along for the trek as well as the original PSYCHEDELVIS; Musician and Master Carpenter: Michael Moore! Look for JMM in a handsome gentlemens cape designed by Paula A. Minydzak.

JMM wishes to acknowledge the good will of Josh and Nadia (to be wed later in April in Memphis!) and the Memphis Film and Television Commission and the honorable Mr. Shoemaker for their faithful assistance. Cheerio!


SUPER TUPELO visits the room where POP CULTURE was prounounced DEAD! Yes, It is true that Elvis died at home. But he was officially prounounced dead later that afternoon at the Baptist Memorial Hospital Emergency Room on August 16th, 1977. That means American Pop Culture died in this room. The imposing Baptist Memorial Tower which houses this yellow tiled space on the ground floor will be imploded in the Fall of 2005. Lisa Marie was born here as was Starlet Dawn Ashcraft and a hundred thousand others.

The site will be used for yet another cancer research facility - which is fine, but the Emergency Room must be saved for what it is: the physical location for the 'end-point' of American Pop Culture tastes and trends the world over (see rafoapc).

One hundred years from now (i.e.: tomorrow) people will PAY to see this room where the King of Rock and Roll was prounounced dead. The solution is simple: Remove the room (the tiles, the floor, and the fixtures) before the entire building is imploded.

Smithsonian, are you listening?
JMM aka "Super Tupelo"

Top foto: X marks the spot for the Emergency Room.
(see http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=125466)

Fotos below by danball.com. The two upstairs fotos are the 14th floor: (Elvis' private wing.) Thanks to the Memphis Film Commission for access.


Art by Chris Jones

"Local Film auteur John Michael McCarthy needs bodies. No, not for his promised genre and celeb-spinning take on Frankenstein, "Cadavera". JMM needs extras for the video he plans to shoot on Anaheim indie rockers the Willowz, who play at the Buccaneer on Saturday. Interested folks are asked to be at the 1368 Monroe club at 7:30 p.m.. With this collaboration, McCarthy joins the esteemed company of French filmmaker Michel Gondry, who visualized a Willowz song ("I Wonder") and placed their music in his Oscar-winning movie "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". Memphis answer to John Waters is hardly a stranger to rock videos, however. He has made memorable ones for Guitar Wolf, the Oblivians, and Jim Dickinson to name a few. And the Hives have become loyal clients - McCarthy did a video for "A Little More for Little You" when the Swedish band played at the New Daisy Theatre in November, and he (and video artist H.G. Ray) are putting the finishing touches on "Abra Cadaver" for a coming Hives DVD collection.

"It's one video after another," says McCarthy, known for such outrageous triumphs as "Teenage Tupelo", "Sore Losers", and "Superstarlet A.D." "We're just making videos until something else comes along."

(Bill Ellis, Commercial Appeal Playbook, July 22, 2005)
Original artwork by Memphian Chris Jones (aka Chris Combat)
will be available as a Willowz t-shirt soon.

Locations (in 100+ degree heat) included the Buccaneer Lounge, a dead tree, the Powerhouse, and the old VA Hospital at Pauline and Crump which will be destroyed by our old friends Chandler Demolition in about one month (after they're finished destroying the Baptist Memorial). Stay tuned...


Promoter Stan Quarles put on a hell of show on Saturday August 20th! JMM was honored to produce and direct the video shoot featuring living legends Sonny Burgess, Ace Cannon, W.S. Holland, George Klein and others at a 'rockabilly revue' down at the Southaven Arena!

Tupelo's own Jumpin' Gene Simmon's was there singing his hit "Haunted House" from 1960. JMM hopes to make a complete "Haunted House" video for Jumpin' Gene someday soon. The apparition that Gene Simmon's sees may be the ghost of late great Bill Black - who helped him write the song! Also heading up Guerrilla Monster that day was H.G. Ray (camera), Eric Swartz (camera) and Michael Dillon (jib arm)! Prince Mongo was a no-show!

Poster Design by Suzie Millions & Hand-Cranked Letterpress Company.


Art by Chris Jones

Tuesday August 16th. p.m. Murphy's, 1589 Madison, Filmmaker John Michael McCarthy hosts an Elvis tribute concert featuring the goth sounds of SUN SIK (fronted by Eldorado Del Rey from the Ruckus), the Memphis all-girl group the ZIPPIN PIPPINS (Elvis' favorite roller coaster at Liberty Land Amusement Park) and - rescued from an estate sale for $10 - the Super 8 home movies of the late IRVIN LANSKY, longtime hair care specialist and a member of the faily that clothed Elvis for decades. $5 admission. Flyer art by Chris Jones.

See Lanksy's home movie mailers from Summer Avenue Memphis K-Mart circa 1970. read more. . . .


August 8 - 10th: JMM shoots 200 SACHEN "GANZ NEU" video for Sony in Wiesbaden Germany!

Hot off the heels of the WILLOWZ shoot, this video marks a first for JMM leaving Memphis to shoot with a band and crew he had never met. But thanks to Tob le Rone(lead guitar), Katta Strophe(vocals), Lefty Luv(bass), Uzi Mayer(drums), and Fabi Feuer(rhythm guitar), things went incredibly smooth over the three day shoot!

"I thought "Ganz Neu" (or "Brand New") sounded like a cross between the Bay City Rollers and Steppenwolf!". Locations in Wiesbaden included a schoolroom, an ancient sematary, lumber factory, Tob's garden, Petting Zoo, and the street where Priscilla lived in 1958. Sony BMG will release the song on September 26, 2005. read more. . .


"JMM is a worthy successor to the legend of Russ Meyer."

"Two films by underground legend John Michael McCarthy that every true devotee of low-life culture must see! Beautiful burlesque performers and an eclectic garage/trash/exotica soundtrack makes for perfect entertainment. SHINE ON SWEET STARLET is a grainy black and white self-described 'punk rock stag loop'. It's kinda like finding some forgotten Irving Klaw mail-order film from way back when.

I prefer BROAD DAYLIGHT, which has the feel of a long lost SCOPITONE (except cooler and with better music). No way can I single out one performance, especially with the likes of the incredible Kitten DeVille, Lucha Va Voom's Ursulina, Mademoiselle Kitty Diggins, the amazing Fishnet Floozys (Anna Bells & Nikki Novak), Super Teenage, and magnificent Varla covergirl Mimi LeMeaux (to name but a few) to choose from. JMM is a worthy successor to the legend of Russ Meyer."

You can order SHEMP from Hawaii!
KAHULUI, HAWAII, 96732-1736 USA.


If a film crew were a rock band then JMM would be the singer and Wheat would be the lead guitarist! And here they are as guests (with a lovely attendee) at the first annual Phoenix International Horror Sci Fi Festival. While hanging out waiting to greet Tobe Hooper, JMM received calls from Memphis saying that The Hives "Abra Cadaver" (edit/fx by H.G. Ray) had won first place in the newly instituted 'music video' category at Indie Memphis this year. What's more, The Hives are about to release a new DVD, Tussles in Brussels, for which videos by Guerrilla Monster will be included, but you don't have to wait to see them!

Click hear to view "A Little More For Little You" and "Abra Cadaver" - both shot in six hours (mostly against blue screen) in Steve Jones Studio in November, 2004. Additional shots of JMM as Pelle and as the silhouetted bogey man were shot in Summer '05.


Art by Chris Jones

"Italian label Rockin' Bones will release the official soundtrack for ELVIS MEETS THE BEATLES as a ten inch vinyl EP this Summer 2006 featuring all the original songs, dialogue, and a beautiful pen and ink cover by Chris Jones. Hear "Scouse Me Luv", "Get Backward", and "Priscilla '65 ". E-mail jmm@guerrillamonster.com and visit Rockin' Bones for details on exact release date and price! File this one under 'low print run'! Grazie baby!


In 1912 the Titanic sank, Jung and Freud stopped speaking to each other, Tarzan was created, and a wooden roller coaster called the Zippin Pippin was designed and built by coaster mastermind John Miller in East End Park in Memphis Tennessee.

The wooden roller coaster was moved to it's present location at the Memphis Fairgrounds in 1923 (the Memphis Fairgrounds is a 130 year old institution). In the mid-seventies the Zippin Pippin was claimed by a theme park called Libertyland which has now fallen into the red and has closed due to lack of vision by all concerned. Now the Fairgrounds may move elsewhere outside the city.

Stax was rebuilt for 20 million dollars, American Sound studio is still a parking lot and Beale street is gone, replaced by a 'gentrified liquor mall'. Just a few months ago the historic Baptist Memorial Hospital was imploded. History falls everyday in Memphis but somehow the slums remain. When will Memphis stop tearing down it's history? Perhaps when the world knows that it is happening.

Memphis moviemaker JMM is now documenting the efforts of a group called SAVE LIBERTYLAND; A working class bunch struggling to hold onto inexpensive family entertainment while being labeled as 'nostalgic' by the local press. This zero budget effort is tentatively titled DESTROY MEMPHIS (suggesting a likely outcome where politicians and land developers know what's best for citizens who have no rights).

Let the heroes and villains fall where they may and remember that Elvis rode the Zippin Pippin eleven days before he died.

SAVE LIBERTYLAND Mission Statement: "Save Libertyland! Is a grassroots organization dedicated to maintaining a focus on youth by preserving the historical, cultural, and employment opportunities, as well as the beauty and recreational value of Libertyland."

Please see links at www.coaster101.com and sign the online petition at www.detourmemphis.com

Facts regarding the Zippin Pippin taken from "A History of the Mid-South Fair"; Guild Bindery Press by Emily Yellin