Update, Chicken on Burncast.tv and Frenchy’s Burning Man Movie on Saturday…

April 29, 2009 - Leave a Response


photo by Nick Winterhalter

Well it’s ask and ye shall receive over here. Today is Wedensday. All bruises healed and the white of my eye is again, white. I sold 180 bottle rockets @ $10 a pop and a guy named David McGraw used his frequent flier miles to get me to Venice and back. I leave in a few short days.

missed me!


Photo by Neiltron

There is a video of me on Burncast this week, if ya wanna see me blither on about nothing… Burncast is a pretty cool Burning Man thingity thing thing run by DaBomb. IT’s like what the BM Company should have as their content, but instead has that banal dreck they shovel out as like the over-giddy happy happy camp councilor for the Special Olympics of art: Where everyone plays and everyone’s a winner!!!! Super!!!!!! The Burning Man Company has this REALLY EXCITED guy named Will Chase who spins a monthly email to make it look like the entire Earth is turning to the Burning Man Company to answer questions about sustainablity and the almalgamation of culutural relevancey. But as always, the Burning Man Company has no actual product for you to consume. They are a broker of other people’s ideas and they just take a cut. A huge cut. 99.999% of any and all credit for one and they don’t really do much in the way of advances for the content. It’s like the Elks club for really rich, really stupid people who like whip-it’s. Burning Man as an event is now totally irrelivant, and as we watch the stewards grow old and fat and confused, we also watch them flail around and attmept to control the history and preserve their legacy which is funny because they will only ever be known (if they are known at all) as people who got in the way of the money before we figgered out how to eliminte the money process from art. They mostly ignore things like Burncast, from time to time they will kick at it a little because they don’t control it so they fear it because someone like DaBomb could stumble on something that is interesting and the truth but it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the Burning Man Company so they would prefer to eliminate it from the face of the Earth.

Kinda like this movie that is playing this Saturday, where Larry makes such an ass of himself you will spit your beer out.

Finnally, you can participate in the spoiled rotten Larry I have had to endure all these years. It’s finally on film. Once they put Paul Addis in jail, they elimintated me ever seeing them as actual human beings anymore. I mean, they used the fucking cops. On one of us. The only lower thing is to use the IRS. Which by the way, is legal. You can call the IRS and cost someone like $30K in accounting fees. Hey, these are just words… not actions. I’d never call the IRS on someone. But then again, I’d never put anyone in jail. I’ve been to jail. Don’t go there.

The movie is called Dust and Illusions. It starts at 7:00 on Saturday. You should go…

Delancey Street Foundation Theater
600 Embarcadero Street
San Francisco, CA 94107

It was made by some french guy. You will laugh and cheer watching the LLC make complete fools of themselves. Ya know, like they always do but this time edited by a French guy who’se lips aren’t purple from drinking the Kool Aide. Larry makes such an ass of himself, actually, that after watching the movie you will never again spend a penny of your own money making art for the festival and this feeling that you will have I absolutely guarantee. And it’s a good movie. It’s got a good arc and it’s got Jim Mason. Ya can’t go wrong. All proceeds go to the Tom Kennedy family. By the way, I’m the star of the movie. Which means that I make a fool of myself about as much as Larry, but I’m funnier and not so full of myself that I’m gonna explode.

Burning Man as an event has become a rite of passage for all Canadians.

Frechy made a good movie. Go see it.


New awesome edited video…

April 27, 2009 - One Response

Please spread this one far and wide….

Wow… the bottlerocket thing is working…

April 25, 2009 - Leave a Response

Wow. Today I got $640 in Paypal of Proxy bottlerockets. That’s funny. $10 at a time. How exciting. I can’t see why anyone would want to shoot a bottle rocket at me…


photo by Neil Berrret

The show is at NIMBY Tonight, Saturday night. Midnight. Sock it to me….

Paypal your $10 to get a photo of a bottle rocket with your name sharpied on it and video of me getting creamed by bottlerockets. Once in a lifetime opportunity.


Shoot bottle rockets at me on Saturday night…

April 24, 2009 - 2 Responses

This Saturday I’m performing at NIMBY For the How to Destroy the Universe show along with my old pals The ART of BLEEDING (LA Cacophony). I’ll be doing 1 Karaoke song. I’m gonna sing: “Come Sail Away” by Styx. In a sailor suit. The song is 6 minutes long. I’ve got 400 bottle rockets for sale for $10 each. Who’s in?


Paypal Chickenjohn@chickenjohn.com

You Paypal me $10, you get a photograph of the bottle rocket with your name sharpied on it, and a video of me getting pummeled by (up to) 400 Bottle Rockets. (here is the event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=57345729036&ref=ts)

At midnight, I’m gonna walk on stage in my sailor suit and grab the mike and go to war. Because that’s what it takes to fund-raise for the arts in April of 2009. I mean really, it’s what people want. And ya gotta give people what they want. People wanna shoot bottle rockets at me, while I sing Styx. You can do it too, by proxy.


Photo by the awsome Tod Seelie

All proceeds go to bridging the funding gap for the Swimming Cities project, crashing the Bianalle with junk boats and all… I’ve been concentrating my efforts paying off debts the project incurred over the last few months, but time now grows short and I don’t even have a ticket. (hint hint, anyone have miles they wanna donate? I have a bunch on Virgin…) I have done totally great. The project is ON! There are 25 people there right now, building. They don’t need me yet, they have to build the art stuff. I don’t do that. When they are done, I put the motors on and deal with steering and stuff. I work around the art. I know, stupid. That’s the deal.

Picture 2

Photo by the sexy and talented Tod Seelie

I need to be there by the first week of May. I’m working my ass off, but it woudn’t be a giant, stupid mess art project if I didn’t come up with an absurd fundraising stragey.

So here it is.

Buy a bottle rocket. Or a few. Buy one for your friend, who I threw out of the bar that time. Buy one for that girl that I stood up. Buy one for Jim Mason. Actually, buy a dozen for ol’ Jimmy. Make me jump. Put welts on my arms. Catch what’s left of my hair on fire. Hurt me. Make me sorry. For $10, you’ve never had it so easy.

Picture 3

Photo by that guy, Tod Seelie

Fundraising. Oh boy!

Please pass this on to anyone you think may find it amuzing. Or anyone who would like to spend $10 singe-ing me.

Ask Dr. Hal Show tonight…

April 22, 2009 - One Response

Tonights the last one, this is some of what you will be missing!!!!

I knew it…

April 21, 2009 - Leave a Response


Gavin tweeting his intention of global domination, phto by nathan ballet

So. Not that you all already didn’t know that this was going to happen: Gavin Newsom has declared that he wishes to be president of the United States of America, unless Michelle Obama wants to be (you heard that here first, folks). In order to be President, he’s gonna have to slum it for 6 ½ years as Govenor. Just like he’s slumming it now as Mayor. Will it work? Yup.

gavin finger

Gavin shaking the finger warning me that the Ethics Commission are not nice people,
photo by lane hartwell http://www.fetching.net

But remember, Gavin… “Don’t count those chickens…”

I havn’t come up with a strategy to milk Gavin’s campaign for Govenor yet, but I will. It could be a lot worse. But he will win. I need an angle, in which to form an opinion. I am a little baffled by all of it. Why would anyone want to be Govenor of California? I kinda feel sorry for the guy. Things could have been different, of course….

chicken and dammit go to city hallphoto by lane hartwell http://www.fetching.net

Chicken and Dammit making fun of civilization, photo by lane hartwell http://www.fetching.net


Texas Hold ’em, tonight at 7:00 and farewell to Caleb…

April 18, 2009 - Leave a Response

OK, we’ve got like 6 seats open for tonight’s game if ya wanna play. Texas Hold ’em is poker, with half the cards face up on the table. It’s a fun game, and it’s easy to learn. Lemme know if yer commin’…


We now say farewell to Caleb Schaber (aka Shooter). Suicide has always puzzled me and although I had done an excellent job of alienating Caleb for a decade, I really feel sorry for the people close to him. Adding Caleb to the pile of bodies the gun has taken from us (including Felicity) this is now 18. 11 of which are suicides. As I am to understand, he shot himself in the face, with that very intention, in front of his girlfriend. Pretty horrific.


I will always see guys like Caleb as war victoms, even though they never were in the military or whatever. Drunk with guns and duty or something. I’ve never been able to relate. The best I can do is offer some memorial here, and to say quite plainly that I truly hope that he’s getting what he needs. And as we drags our bodies through time, that we will harvest the wisdom to understand and respect the people whose actions baffled and infuriated us. And to define Caleb in a way that would have made him proud: he was hard-core. That means that not only was he hard on the outside…. he was hard all the way through… to the center of his being. Hard, to the core. Hard-core. Godspeed, Caleb. There was no one quite like you.


Sissy and the Odeon Cocaine All Star Band Sunday at Amnesia

April 17, 2009 - Leave a Response


This Sunday night, at the Amnesia Bar on Valencia Street… My band from the 80’s is gonna make all those accordian dorks look like Jr. Varsity. I mean really. Sometimes you just gotta rock. I like a ukelele just as much as the next chubby Italian guy from Jersey, but sometimes I just need a hook and a bassline. Know what I mean?


Sissy was a great band. Still is. Playing in a band is so much easier then doing something like Lost Vegas. And you get to actually PLAY!!!! I was at Cell Space at 4:00 Sunday AFTERNOON!!!! Ya play in a band, you load your truck up takes 5 minutes. Easy. You don’t have to build a motorcycle jump out of foam-core and teach lighting cues to 4 people. You just show up and rock. Do a pile of blow in the dressing room, collect the money and take a few girls home. Oh. Right. That was the 80’s. OK, that wasn’t actually the way it was then either. Oh the humanity.


Gonna do a few songs with Dr. Hal as well. It’ll be fun.


Also Mika and Tora with Tiger Honey Pot on first. Mika is the guitar guy from the Yarddogs. He’s pretty good. For a hobo….


Poker on Saturday, Sissy and the Odeon Cocaine All Star Band on Sunday

April 15, 2009 - One Response

OK. So I put my old band together to do a recording session. I’m trying to piece my past together. Since I put the band together, I figgered why not do a gig. Sounds fun. But now I gotta promote it. So here goes: please looky loo at this video of me from 22 years ago playing in the band Sissy, and singing like a little girl. Make sure you laugh the entire time.

And make sure you leave horrible comments as well. I’ve actually got a few HUNDERD hours of video to upload. I don’t know who would ever want to watch any of it. Except there are a few hundered of you in the videos as well. So maybe there is hope.



My gig is at Amnesia on Sunday, at 9:00. I think the admission is like $5 or $7. We are playing with some people from the Yarddogs doing like Yarddogs unplugged or something. Come on time if ya wanna check that out.



We’ll be doing 5 or 6 Sissy songs with the help of the Paper Dolls, because I can not hit the high notes anymore. Then Dr. Hal will do a few poems to music. It’ll be fun.


There is also a poker night at my house on Saturday. We have room for 30 people, and we have like 20 signed up. So room for 10 more. First come, first serve. Here are the details:

Chicken John’s Texas Hold ’em Tournament Fundraiser!!!

At Chez Poulet

3359 Army St. (Cesar Chavez) @ Mission

$40 buy in


7:00 – 7:30 Registration and Tutorial!

This tournament is not just for the die hard poker players, all are welcome! From 7 to 7:30 the experienced can register and have a beer while the beginners get an instruction on how the tournament is played, from poker basics to how the tournament will work.

7:30 Tournament Begins!

Tournament begins with your $40 buy in for 1000 chips. Blinds start at 10 and 20 (if you don’t know what this means, no worries! Just be there for the tutorial) and go up every 15 minutes (see chart below). For the first 4 rounds (1 hour), you will be allowed to add on 500 chips for an additional $20 if your stack goes below 500 chips. After that it will be sudden death elimination, meaning that once you are out of chips, you are out of the tournament. Tables will be kept at as even a number as possible.

This is a fundraiser for the junk boat project, which as most of you know lost a majority of its funding. Last week we held LOST VEGAS, as sort of fractured and demented casino, and this Saturday will be a sort of annex to that, a totally fun and laid back poker night, with the money going to the project, and prizes set up for the top 4 players in the tournament.


1st Prize: $100 cash prize

$150 gift certificate to Acme Chophouse

$50 Amoeba Music Gift Certificate

6 bottles of XXXXX Wine (valued @ $25 each)

10 pounds of Ritual Coffee

2nd Prize $ 50 cash prize

$ 25 Amoeba Music

$ 50 gift certificate to Held Over Vintage Clothing Store

3 bottles of XXX Wine (valued @ $25 each)

5 pounds ritual coffee

3rd Prize $25 cash prize

2 bottles of wine (valued @ $25 each)

2 pounds ritual coffee

4th prize 1 Bottle of Wine (valued @ $25)

1 pound of coffee

I AM STILL ACTIVELY SEEKING MORE PRIZES!! If you want to donate something, contact me and we will add it on!

Blinds: Increase Every 15 Minutes

Round small big blind

1 10 20
2 15 30
3 20 40
4 25 50
5 50 100
6 75 150
7 100 200
8 150 300
9 200 400
10 300 600
11 400 800
12 500 1000
13 600 1200
14 800 1600
15 1000 2000

No Dr. Hal, Poker Saturday, SISSY Sunday…

April 14, 2009 - 2 Responses

OK, so we were supposed to do a Dr. Hal show this week, but Tom Kennedy’s passing has made us all very sad and slow. I was gonna do the whole “It’s really the last show, EVER!!!!” thing. Please be surprised when I do it next week.

But in other news, we are having a poker tournament as a benefit for the Boat Project this next Saturday at 7:00. Totally fun, at the Chez Poulet. Email for more info.
Did you know that I’m playing at Amnesia this coming Sunday? 9:00 or so…

Sissy was a band in the late 80’s and early 90’s that I played guitar and sang in with Chuck Clearwater. It was a good time to be a rock ‘n roller. We were actually so new wave, that we were in the process of changing our name to Sissy UK when Chuck died. And that was the end of that.

chicken head shot

The years have gone by. Like 20 of ‘em since the inception. I have always wanted to finish the Sissy record, which was abandoned due to overwhelming sadness.

Picture 3

A few weeks ago, I went into the studio and laid down the final tracks to complete the CD. I booked a show at Amnesia this Sunday and with the help of the Paper Dolls, Sissy is gonna play a short set. I can’t sing like a girl anymore… so I need help hitting the high notes. But I can still sing in 4/4 and play in ¾ and make that guitar solo face.

chicken elvis suit guitar

I love to play. When that stupid guitar is in my hands, I wonder what I’m doing fuckin’ around with boats or cars or whatever. It still works. From the first time, all those years ago. I’ve still got my V, the one Spedding gave me. I’ve got my half stack. And I’ve got a great band.


(Chris Spedding playing the yellow V he would later give me. Chris Spedding, if you didn’t know, the greastest living guitar player… And I? In my early 20’s, I was his roadie tech guy… a great, great honor.)

We’re gonna do like 5 Sissy songs, then Dr. Hal is gonna come rock the mike and do a buncha songs. Chris Campbell plays drums and Jason Stein plays the bass. Jolene, Emily and Heather-Marie from the Paper Dolls make it awesome.

At Amnesia, Sunday April 19th. 9:00. Opening act Tiger Honey Pot

RIP Tom Kennedy… very sad

April 13, 2009 - 8 Responses

So today is the day that I’m supposed to mail out to you guys a note saying that our dear beloved gravel-voice maniac Flash has made it to the big time.


Tom Kennedy wrote me an email on Saturday. I’ll share that with you now:


The intention of this email is to let you

know that Flash has a Discovery Channel

TV show premiering Monday evening,

called Doing Da Vinci. I believe that

it is scheduled to air at both 7 & 10 PM.

Flash does not have a publicity

department back here, but I thought

it was important to let his friends know that

his show is about to air. If I was to help

him spread the word, I would send out

a few emails. Tell your friends of course.

And for you tech savy Flash fans, go to

Discovery.com and search for the show called

Doing Da Vinci and you can view over ten clips

that show the team of builders, including Flash,

build some amazing machines out of the

sketchbooks of Leonardo DaVinci. Building

mostly war machines, the crew sometimes

encounter disagreements on how to get

the job done…and Flash will be Flash….

…Your mission, if you decide to accept it, is

to watch (or record) TV on Monday night.

This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds….

Over and Out,

Major Tom

Doing DaVinci

Discovery Channel

Monday, April 13th

7 & 10 PM

My response to Tom was terse. I had a show that night. I actually wrote back to him the follow note, in total:

“on it.”

No signature. No fun. Nothing to denotate that he was a mentor to me and I loved him and that he was one of my most favorite people on the face of the planet. Nope.

Just “on it”. Taking for granted that he would always be there to muse with and advise me and make impossible, truly impossible creations that baffle, astound and impress t he people… me included.

Tom saw his last sunset that day. He drown at Ocean Beach on Sunday, caught in a mother of a rip tide.

His passing leaves us impoverished.

This is a big man, a giant almost. Stong. Powerful. Hard worker. Hands like medium Cornish hens. How a tide could get him and not others is either baffling or there are some super-tides out there. I have always feared the rip tides. I will now be terrified of them.

I met Tom for the first time in 1995, he made Ripper the friendly shark. At his request…. Actually his INSISTANCE, I took a 30 person circus to his town, Houston Texas, for the annual art car parade. Which was a great experience for a young showman and forever changed my perception on what “family” entertainment could (and should) be.

The art car parade was amazing. It was a freak festival. In 1997 we brought the Vegomatic of the Apocalypse and it won First Place! This is a festival of freakish proportions with 400,000 people in attendance. And it happens probably because of Tom Kennedy.

Tom built this whale:



Tom build this bus:

topsy turvy art car

Tom’s body of work is astounding. He built American Art, the Art Car. And took us all along for the ride. Without fear or a parking spot for any of them. He lost his art to the tow truck many times. Can you imagine?

Sad. But I really feel blessed to have known him at all. I’m kinda in shock, I guess. Because I havn’t seen him in a little bit, and was expecting to see him tonight.

I’ll let ya’ll know when the things are. So it goes.

Life is fragile. I will miss Tom Kennedy. So will a million others. The really sad thing here is all the kids that will miss his work… the work he never got to make. Lets make sure that we always have a spot for Tom to park…. visit Laughing Squid for memorial updates and blog comments on this truly remarkable life.


Last Lost Vegas Post. i promise…

April 11, 2009 - One Response

Well, I’ve done all I can. I booked this event 6 days ago. The boat project needed a benefit show or two. I’m doing a poker night at my place next Saturday as well. That’s what I got. I hope it brings in some money for the project, but who cares really. I forgot how much fun it was to build events like this. No wonder why I used to do these things all the time. We have been laughing for days. The event will be stellar no matter what. The Otto jump will be a new low… I dunno. I’m pretty happy with what a guy can do in 6 days.

Here is what you will be missing tonight if your not at Lost Vegas:

Mirium Telles on the Trapeze photos by Eric Gillet

mirium 1

Mirium 2

the world famous photoboof will be there. You can take tons of photos and stuff…


Wink and Yoni, just back from their tour of Eli, Nevada…

wink and yoni

Tango #9, featuring Zoli on the mike!

tango #9

The Chese Puffs ROCK! Photo by Fling93

Cheese Puffs

The demure Mark Growden Trio

Mark Growden @ Crash Mansion



The only Devo Cover band playing lounge versions, MONGOLOUNGE photo by Scott Beale

Lost Vegas

Sparkle Motion


If you can’t come, you can tune in here, live streamed by BurnCast:


Lost Vegas dysfunctional casino and show

April 10, 2009 - Leave a Response

Chicken John presents: LOST VEGAS Saturday April 11th @ CELL Casino 9:00 $20ish

The ENTIRE proceeds of this event benifit the Swimming Cities of Serrenissima project: junk boats made of rubbish crashing the hoity toity Bieanalle art festival in Venice, Italy. A project of impossible scale and impeccable timing. Please attend to have fun and support this amazing project:

Picture 1

photo by Tod Seelie

Lost Vegas is a dysfunctional casino environment with actual games and live entertainment. It’s got all the stuff the real Vegas has, only it’s right here…
but only on Saturday April 11th.
You can get chips, to gamble on the games.
There’s a wedding chapel with rings, for short duration marriages officiated over by Church of the Subgenius founder Dr. Hal Robins and Ben Burke!
Tango #9 featruing Zoli on the mike and aerialist Mirium on the Trapeze
The Secret Room where they will be filming the movie “The Sexy” starring the Wink and Yoni show, a washed up Hawaiian lounge band.
Mark Growden Trio.
Freaktronic with Sean Kelly and 15 hot dancers in wifebeaters grinding to the Miami sound. Freaktronic is one of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed.
Jesse Roadkill starts our night with her songs of the road and her unique timber.
Mongolounge. Lounge versions of Devo songs. They have a xylophone.
The Cheese Puffs! Burlesque to Richard Cheese, famous Vegas singer!
Sparkle Motion, the 80’s never danced so Phil Collins. Smoke machine.
Shake Well, Eric McFadden and Robin Commer rock out with his cock out.
Contortion by Tara Quinn.
The Naked Fire Babes!
The Photo Boof will be there!!!!

Hosted by John Hell (doing his famous Vic Double-longo)

Picture 3

photo by Tod Seelie

Our headlining performer Otto Von Danger will jump the Ramp of Death (again). Inside CELL SPACE, Otto will jump on a real motorcycle over the Ramp Of Death over 20 NAKED CHICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!! Hosted by Chicken John

There is also a photo studio where you can gets you photo taken on a bearskin rug in front of a fire. These photos are taken on a super fancy camera and the photographer is amazing. If you want to get your photo taken, I suggest you come EARLY! All proceeds go to the boat project. Check out these photos…


Soft Embrace

Sailor Jess

photos on the bearskin rug by Neil Berret

All gambling is real. You play with chips, that you cash out for valuable prizes like Ritual Coffee and other stuff. This is less spectacle and more action-oriented. You place the bets! You race the roaches! You spill your drink! It’s all about you!!!!

Karaoke &amp; Redemption Center

photo by Scott Beale

The games this year:

Cockroach Racing
The wheel of SMUT
Quantum Dating Game
Human Wheel of Death
Rat Roulette
Craps And much much more!!!!!!

Cockroach Racing

Cockroach track photo by Scott Beale

Cockroach Racing

Cockroach track photo by Scott Beale

Cockroach Racing

photo Scott Beale

LET IT RIDE: Just like the big boys, you can win big! Big! BIG!!!!

ROCK: To the sounds of Shake Well, Eric McFaddin and Robin Coomer!!!

WEEP: Like a baby as our sharks take all your chips!

MARVEL: Mirium on the Trapeze!

VOW: Rev. Hal or Rev. Burke will offer short duration marriages!

CROON: Freaktronic will confuse you!

SWOON: The Cheese Puffs will steal your heart!

CASH OUT: Take home a nice prize at the redemption booth!

OOGLE: Sparkle Motion is a leg-warm-a-thon!

CRY: Out in disgust at our cockroach racing!

SLUR: Your words, by patronizing out bar!

DRESS: To the nines; Lost Vegas has an un-enforced dress code

Lost Vegas
Cell Casino
2050 Bryant St. @ 18th
9:00 $20 or so

Chicken: Who makes these art boats? POST #3 Lost Vegas this Saturday night at CELL SPACE

April 9, 2009 - Leave a Response

So this boat project has a General. Her name is Swoon. Swoon is a redhead. Inside and out. She’s very sweet for a rotten task master. She’s miss Cut ‘n Clip. She makes things with giant sheets of paper and a scissors and lots, and lots of time. He work is stunning. She wheat pastes it hither and fro. You have seen her work. Yes, you have. You just didn’t know. Now ya know.

Callie piehole


Swoon greeen lady

These images are everywhere. All over the globe. In every industrial area, there are her figures, minding their own business. People love them. Look at the comments on Flickr. Her work hangs in the Smithsonian. But hey, they gave me a liquor licence. So whatever. She has kinda arrived. Only to find there isn’t really much there. So she sorta came back.




The boats are 2 things: form and function. All things are. Swoon is the form. I’m the function. Well, me and a small army of others. To us, most of the time art is what we keep hitting our fucking heads on. The art is in our way. The art is picking up wind and fighting us. It’s true comedy, that we are annoyed by the part that is the reason there is the function part. We make it go. They make it pretty. It’s kinda a meathead way of looking at it. But there it is. We eat cheeseburgers. They’re mostly vegans. We drink, listen to Led Zepplin when we work and get filthy dirty like greasy grimy gopher guts. They get paint on themselves and on their baggy Bagdad pants and their sweaters with giant cowl necks that are all warped out of shape because they are made of hemp and unicorn snot. You got your art school kids and you got the gearheads that make bad decisions. The Odd Couple times 20.

foam building boat

tipsy rig

mzb hangin

There are more of the art people then the motor people. So we are always losing the battle. But we win the war. We fake breakdowns whenever we wanna go swimming or stay somewhere another day to hang out with that girl or whatever. One of the pencil and paper girls asked me once if we could make the motors better. Ya know, so they wouldn’t break down all the time and need constant attention. I told her, if we did that… they they wouldn’t need mechanics. And if they didn’t need the mechanics, they would kick us off the trip. And if we weren’t going on the trip, why would we spends months building the engines? That same day she tried to get some outboards to get rid of us, once and for all. It’s amazing how that same vibe at Burning Man is in all of these large scale art projects. I don’t blame her for wanting to find some freedom from machines. I feel that way often. As for wanting to get away from me, she’d miss me the moment I was gone. They all do.

chicken china hat

chick trailer circus

chick drive bus grapes

We’re all beyond that crap now. The boat project is going to crash the Beinalle and secure our place in the annals of history as the best bad idea gone too far ever. For me, a circus with no talent going on tour for 5 years is a warm-up act for what we are about to do. But the thing you gotta understand is that when you’re at sea (the fucking OCEAN) on a vessel that YOU made out of garbage… there is a satisfaction to it that is inexplicable. Not knowing that this freedom was being denied me makes it all even more mind-blowing. I can’t imagine now what it would be like to not know what it means to build a fucking sea-going SHIP our of some bullshit. I can simply not recommend it enough. I’m totally into the whole build a boat outta bullshit and do a show and travel to places that you can not pronounce or spell. Sign me up. I’ll make the engines purr and twist balloon animals and do whatever it takes. They are there right now. The rest of the crew, building. I’ve stayed here to fundraise and since I already spent 3 months building the motors… I’ve only got so much time… Well. I’ll be there soon enough. A little Chicken John goes a long, long way…


photo by Tod Seelie

Have I invited you to the fundraiser that’s happening this Saturday? Your gonna love it. It’s Lost Vegas. It’s a casino. A broken, fucked-up casino.

bicycle slot machine

photo by Scott Beale

You buy a bag of chips at the door. $2 a bag, 3 for $5 10 for $10. You place bets on bizarre and absurd games. You win big! You cash out your chips for valuable prizes like Ritual Coffee or other stuff. There is a Short Duration Marriage Booth, a Secret Back room (with Mark Growden Trio and the Wink and Yoni Show!), a few musical acts, a special contortionist, The Cheese Puffs and Sparkle Motion dance troupes and at midnight, Otto Von Danger will jump the Ramp of Death on his motorcycle over 20 naked chicks!!!!!!!!! For real or 100 times your money back!!!!!!
This Saturday at CELL Space. 9:00. All proceeds collected go towards making the boat project work. All the performers are donating their time, and the bar staff is even thowing the tip jar in the mix! Everyone wants to see this happen and it’s really amazing to watch it all come together. If you don’t already know, we lost $50,000 of our funding when a gallery went under or whatever they call that… Thank you for passing this on…

Here is the Facebook Page for info http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=99983607432

Lost Vegas
Saturday April 11th 9:00PM
Cell Space 2050 Bryant Street SF 94110

What are these art boats? POST #2 Lost Vegas this Saturday night at CELL SPACE

April 7, 2009 - One Response

So people are asking how the boat project got started and all that stuff. And it’s pretty simple. The boats are made of foam and plywood. Like 2 coffins, filled with scrappy foam.


The foam has air in it. So there is the miracle of buoyancy. You know this miracle if you ever tried to turn a Pepsi bottle upside-down in water and let it shoot up like a missile. So the design is a pontoon design. With 2 pontoons. So the water that the pontoon displaces has somewhere to go. It’s called a displacement hull. We use dagger boards to true the course.


foam pontoon

The boats are kinda like a dock, if that helps you. They are very sturdy and very stable in the water. The bigger the boat, the less the chop affects it. They are by no means water-proof. Water fills the pontoons. But the foam is in there to push up. Yes, Timmy. Like a wonder bra. If you were to purchase the foam and the lumber new, this boat would cost $1,000 or so.

maria in queens

For propulsion, I use Mercedez 240 D diesel engines. 4 speeds. I pull the engine out of the car but leave the front tires on. The front tires then become the bearing the allows me to pull the propeller out of the water. The engine sits in a cradle called a 5th wheel. It’s the thing you see in the back of a pick-up truck for a horse trailer. I just got a few of those and modified them. You literally move the entire engine module to steer the craft. If you look, you can imagine how it works. It’s ridiculous, amazing and totally functional. No one has ever done anything quite like it. It’s not an out-board or and in-board. I call it: the ON-BOARD.


6196 - Camp Tipsy


Anton Berteaux is the engine guru. He sets the engines up to run well in 2nd gear so the prop has some functionality in reverse. The engines are complete, with radiators and buttons to start and stop and even a radio. The wheels even have their orignal Mercedes hubcaps. Salty boat guys rub their eyes the first time they see the boats. Some people hate them.

anton cowboy

Boating is something that you think of as either a trade or a leisure time activity for the very rich. You simply don’t think of a boat as transportation or housing. Until something like Katrina happens. I can make a boat out of inflated garbage bags and trash cans lids and survive a flood. In 20 minutes. You see a gallon of milk. I see 30 pounds of lift. There are some things that we have done that are pretty stellar.


There are some things that didn’t work out too well…

It lives!photo by ani thompkins

Then there is the hot tub boat. Which is a singularity. Just look at it. And not only is it totally cool, and kinda fast… it makes all the girls take their clothes off! Then you take off to the middle of the lake, pretend the battery has gone dead and you become the last man on Earth!!!!!!

hottub boat

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about Swoon, the artist who directs the sculptural component and what her story is. And we’ll talk about the vegans. Oh the humaninty. Here is last years crew


Lost Vegas is the event in San Franciso that is supporting this endevour. It’s this Saturday. It starts at 9:00, at the old CELL SPACE 2050 Bryant St @ 19th.

vegas - 45

photo by Caution Mike

Chicken John's Lost Vegas

the ramp of death photo by scott beale

Lost Vegas

photo rat roulette by scott beale


champion racers photo by mo mo

By coming to CELL SPACE you are supporting the boat project this year. We are putting in the water in Slovenia and motoring to the Venician Beinalle, the bi-annual art festival that doesn’t want us anywhere near it. We think that they just need to get to know us. So we’re crashing their festival. With a $50,000 garbage liability. Sometimes you have to push a little.

Build a boat out of garbage and go on an art adventure in another country. How’d I get so lucky?


Send the junkboats to crash the Beinalle, Lost Vegas this Saturday night

April 7, 2009 - 3 Responses


photo by Tod Seelie

The idea is to take the junk boats to Venice, to this event called the Beinalle. It’s a super high faluton mosters of rock art thing. If your in the Beinalle, you win. I mean, if the Beinalle curates your work. It’s a festival. It happens twice a year. From what I understand, it has destroyed Venice. Venice is now outnumbered 4 to one with regards to tourists to people who live there. They come from all over, and it’s not the jellato. This festival ignores outsider art. Complelty. We are going to crash it, with out boats and our clown show. Like gangstas. What the fuck are they gonna do? Venice, as a city, is bankrupt. Where there once were beautiful squares there are now giant adverts and billboards for Coke and Cell Phone this or that. The distain for this festival is growing, and I’m happy to help push.

3 boats

this photo is by Jag, notice how the junk boats look as compared to a $500,000 sailboat? Interesting… this is by Tap And Zee bridge, Hudson. There are 7 junk boats in total, in that mush.

If they impound our boats, they are embracing a $50,000 garbage liability. I’d like to see the cops arrest clowns in front of all the kids. I mean really, what are they gonna do? We’ll fake some paperwork and start making balloon animals. The boats are in Slovenia, in a container. I was scheduled to go there this week and start building. But there is no money. So I booked a fund raiser. It’s this Saturday, at CELL SPACE. Here is a write up. I’m gonna write more about the boat project this week. It’s a buzy week in Chicken Land. Pardon the traffic on the list, please…


Cockroach Racing

photo by Scott Beale

The roach decided to stop right there. These 2 guys are trying to encourage the champion racer to continue. It’s a great photo…

Ramp of Death

The RAMP OF DEATH, which is on FUCKING FIRE!!!! Otto Von Danger jumped this ramp. Sure he did. Yea, prove it.

photo by Scott Beale

Lost Vegas is a dysfunctional casino environment with actual games and live entertainment. It’s got all the stuff the real Vegas has, only it’s right here… but only on Saturday April 11th. You get chips, to gamble on the games. There’s a wedding chapel with rings, for short duration marriages. Tango band. Trapeze arielist. The Secret Room where they will be filming the movie “The Sexy” starring the Wink and Yoni show, a washed up Hawaiian lounge band. There is also a photo studio where you can gets your photo taken on a bearskin rug in front of a fire. A Devo cover band that plays lounge versions of all the hits. The Cheese Puffs, Sparkle Motion, The Naked Fire Babes… the list goes on and on …

vegas - 13 Caution Mike snapped this photo of Ben Burke doing his wedding chapel thing in NYC’s Lost Vegas hosted by Madagascar Institute.

The games this year:

Cockroach Racing

The wheel of SMUT

Rat Roulette

Quantum Dating Game


Human Wheel of Death



Short duration marriages (with Dr. Hal and Ben Burke)

Live music

Boy rental

All gambling is real. You play with chips, that you cash out for valuable prizes. Ahem. This is less spectacle and more action-oriented. You place the bets! You race the roaches! You spill your drink! It’s all about you!!!!

Our headlining performer Otto Von Danger will jump the Ramp of Death (again).

Inside CELL SPACE, Otto will jump (on a real motorcycle) the Ramp Of Death over 20 NAKED CHICKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!


photo by Caution Mike

Lost Vegasphoto by Scott Beale

alice bridgephoto by Tod Seelie

video of the boats

October 19, 2008 - One Response

So the project happened. I brought a laptop with me and it got wet the first day. I didn’t blog once, obviously. It was hard. Super hard. I could write and write about it… someday I will. But here is a video of a film that was shot using the boat project as the set. The film has nothing to do with the project, which is really quite cool if ya think about it. Here is a link. Enjoy:


Tod Sealy is a great photographer. He shot the boats. Take a moment and check this out. It’s stunning.


Video of the Boat Project

August 13, 2008 - 9 Responses

Buy a ticket to the moon!!! Help the boats!!!! Watch the video!!!!!

(Thanks to Eddie Codel!!!!!!)

To buy a ticket to the moon, you can send PAYPAL

or you can mail to Chicken John 3359 Army SF Ca 94110.

Make sure to include your mailing address so we can send you your ticket…

Why, hello there…

August 7, 2008 - 8 Responses

I have been writing for decades now. Disjointed email posts that I send out whenever the mood strikes. I’m going to do that here now, as I suspect that it’s all going into spam folders now. I will just start now by saying that I’ve sold 32 tickets to the moon in the last month, I’ve been living in Troy NY, arguing with spoiled rotten angels about what floats ‘safely’ and what is just unsafe. So put a propeller on a driveshaft of a car that drove to the accident. Go ahead. Bolt it to a swivel and put a hose into the river so cool the monster. Go ahead. Do it. Build a rudder out of old real estate signs. Whatever. Just make sure you argue with the guy over there about the design of the staircase that leads to nowhere on a ‘boat’ that is fashioned of detritus. Huh? Welcome to an art project that WAY too many people are going to take WAY too seriously.

Leeme splain…

You see, this girl, Swoon, she is an artist. Not like a real artist that like sells work in a gallery or something. She’s one of us. She looks like us. But, actually… she sell her artwork in a gallery. It’s all very confusing. Not like a painting. Like, if you had to paint a picture but all you had was lint and a pile of broken alarm clocks. OK, that’s a bad example. It’s more like a birdhouse that has wings or a fruit bowl filled with brass cleats off a sailing ship. Or even a dozen cotton dresses on a clothesline, doing a chorus line in the wind. Some things are just all possibility. Others require you stretch the truth to even explain them. But they all exist. Here’s a few photos….

(if’n ya click on it, it gets way bigger…)

Swoon makes boats. Well. She causes boats to be made. Like static electricity causes lightning and thunder. Same same. She makes boats that remind me of Bangkok. I give her motors like the longtails in Cambodia. Huh? I’m the propulsion guy. The boats are junk. We get along famously. Here’s a photo of a 350 Chevy with a turbo 700 trans that runs on coffee grinds and acorns:

There is a vision, I guess. You can see it:


But the vision of the boat trip is probably different for me than for others. I’m the grumpy mechanic. I’m hard to deal with. Where they battle the artistic, I conquer the science. It’s math. Reduction. Gasoline exploding and forcing pistons to turn cranks and cams and propellers. The aesthetic is accidental. On these boats you see the guts on the outsides. And you hear ’em, too. I’ve also probably worked a harder work then the other 55 people who are dedicated to see this process meander down the Hudson river this summer. Trying to manage all the nuts and bolts and gaskets… and engineering auto parts to talk to aqua parts… maddning. Here is what they did to a perfectly good steam-ship:

And here is a good example of what public art isn’t:

Brian Goggin eat your heart out. Ya see, with no restrictions to truncate vision or scale… you can literally create dreams that skim across a river that runs in both directions contemporaneously. This river, which fights the estuary tides of the Atlantic Ocean and it’s northerly source of ice melt in Newfoundland was named the Hudson River after noted douchebag navigator Henry Hudson who a million years ago piloted a craft named the Half Moon up the river to where our boat will set off before turning around and then being mutinied and set adrift in a dingy without so much as a paddle. What a waste of a good pair of boots.

But I digress.

The boats float and the motors roar. 7 vessels in total, 50 or so persons committed to drizzle down/up stream to New Amsterdam. When they park next to each other, it’s hard to figger out where one stops and the next one starts:

And this is the boat that is named after my Grandmother:
The Maria DelCarman Boucharisa

So August 15th is when the crafts desembark. Should be interesting. Thanks for lookin’…