Friday, April 13, 2007
Kristian Hoffman is the essential other half comprising Mumps' genius. In fact, I think he is the genius half. On the one hand, there's Lance, the handsome, personable and gregarious wild front man. And then there's Kristian, the music master and sophisticated songwriter in league with both Ron Mael and Cole Porter, and yes, I do believe that!
Kristian was given to some interesting stage presence, too. Notice the shirts pictured below!
And how about the Halloween mask?
While you could count on Lance to sing, dance and sweat the heart & soul of a song, you could count on Kristian for the perfect accompaniment and counterpoint, musically and performance-wise.
You could definitely take Kristian out from behind the piano and put a guitar in his hand, too.
In the Summer of 2001, before the world changed...I was filming Kinks brother #2, the inventor of electric guitar feedback himself, Dave Davies performance. Much to my surprise, as I was loading the camera, I hear my name. And it was Kristian! It had been ages since I had seen him (probably from a Congo Norvell show in the 90s?) and not only was I happy to see him, but proud to see him playing with a member of one of my favorite bands ever, The Kinks. I think Kristian is right up there, songwriter-wise, with Ray Davies in terms of cleverness and musicality.
And just last year, at the gala opening of the Don't Knock the Rock Film Festival in Los Angeles, Kristian was one of the guest vocalists who performed with the remaining members of the Gun Club and he did a bang-up job (I could NOT resist the pun; oh so sorry. is that not punk?).
This photo of me, Kristian and fellow punk rock photographer and baker extraordinaire, Dawn Wirth from the Don't Knock the Rock opening night and Gun Club show was taken by Dawn's daughter, Sarah!
Kristian Hoffman is one of the most talented renaissance men alive. As a musician and songwriter, he's worked with some of the most groundbreaking artists, not to mention, being one himself. Click on his name and check out Kristian's website. One of Kristian's solo albums, "&" (that would be "ampersand" for those of you who know what that symbol means but can't remember its name) is a collection of duets he did with an eclectic bunch of singers. There is no end to Kristian's imagination and talent.
You've got to read up on the Mumps! which is why every day this week, during the Mump a Day tribute, the title has been a hotlink to the Mumps website.
In 2005, Kristian worked very hard on putting together the beautiful Mumps compilation, "How I Saved the World," a must-have! I'm pleased to say that he included some of my color photos of the band from our wonderful times together. No record collection is complete without it! It's on the wonderful Sympathy for the Record Industy label (which is NOT going out of business, ok?)! The Mumps music is available from many places. Don't be left out! Ordering info is here!
This has been such a fun and sentimenal week putting up this Mumps tribute. After all is said and done, Mumps are one of my favorite bands ever, right up there with the Kinks, Sparks and Beatles as well as all the punk bands I couldn't live without, The Cramps, Ramones, Dils, Dead Boys and others whose faces you see on these pages every day.
Before I go, I want to wish a Happy Friday the 13th Birthday to many of my fellow April Fools!
Jimmy Destri of Blondie, pictured here backstage at a show where they opened for the Kinks
Photographer Windy Mayes, from Memphis but now in Michigan. Here she's at the Ponderosa Stomp with Matt Pendleton
Scott Rogers, Memphis music man in many bands you know and love: Brand New Love Affairs, Cool Jerks, the Jenny Jeans and plenty more
Norah, of Shit Sandwich Records, one of Chicago's premier indie punk rock labels in a photo I just lifted from her website