R.I.P., Jim Whittle
We lower the flags at Casa Diablo with great sadness in noting the passing of Jim Whittle. While Jim was a truck-driving man for the past quarter-century, anyone involved in the local beatnik-art underworld of the ’60s and ’70s knows him as a rock ‘n’ roll drummer and musician with probably the longest resume in the art-rock bands of that era. This Pawtucket native was one of the kindest and gentlest of people. He had a sly sense of humor and a personality that drew people to him.
Jim worked in a number of projects with hipster legend Jefferson Thomas. He was a member of George “Elvis Sinatra” Leonard’s Bozo Band, headed the road crew for the Fabulous Motels, and was a charter member of the Young Adults. As “Little Jimmy Jesus,” he was the star of one of the most notorious performances ever given by the Adults, the infamous Easter Passion Play at Lupo’s.
The Lauren A. Whittle Educational Fund has been established for Jim’s daughter, and we urge his any friends and fans to send a check to it c/o Bank of RI, 137 Pitman St., Providence, RI 02906. This was a good and loving man, and our hearts go out to Lauren, Jim’s wife, Pamela, and his sister, Joyce.
Peck at what cheer
Chris and Jennifer Daltry have a cool little antiques store (What Cheer Antiques + Vintage) in Providence’s Wayland Square. They are putting on their first art show this Sunday, October 22, featuring the work of the legendary Mad Peck.
Those who have seen the ongoing “Wunderground” show at the RISD Museum may be interested to know that Our Little Towne was a hotbed of rock ‘n’ roll graphics long before the fabulous Fort Thunder. In the late ’60s, the Mad Peck’s posters for rock events were highly prized examples of the genre.
This show, a retrospective of his work, will be a very special event. Peck, of course, is most famously associated with his “Providence Poster” from the ’70s, which is still sought in poster and postcard format. Phillipe recalls how the line about Providence being the city “where Friendship is a one-say street,” was inspired by an incident in which, after both worked the day shift bartending at Leo’s, the fabulous Ms. Donna Rose was giving P. a ride home and some bonehead running a stop sign on Friendship sideswiped them.
We understand that Ted Widmer, Casa Diablo’s favorite historian, will make some introductory remarks at the show, and rumor has it that wild, primitive Rhody music will be performed. This is one of those soon-to-be-mythic events that you really don’t want to miss.
Ancient tales from the newsroom
It is a truism that police stations and newsrooms are epicenters of dark humor. This may have something to do with the gloom and doom that both deal with on a regular basis. (In the case of newsrooms, it is generally at a remove, and God bless the good people of law enforcement.)
Anyway, we wanted to share this recent “Talk of the Town” item in the New Yorker with all you non-cops and non-reporters.
Veterans of the old New York Herald Tribune, one of those great metropolitan newspapers that closed shop way back in 1966, have regular reunions. Martin Steadman, who was the Trib’s investigative chief, related this story to the New Yorker’s Mark Singer: