Two of my biggest influences have left the Earth in the past month.

Published on 2018-05-11

A couple of weeks ago, Mel Gordon passed away.  He wrote Voluptuous Panic, one of the most magnificent books in the universe, along with fascinating volumes on decadent dancer Anita Berber, and Erik Jan Hannussen, Hitler's Jewish clairvoyant.  And just a handful of hours ago, Adam Parfrey–the man who published these books–joined him in the afterlife at a mere 61 years of age.

Adam was the founder of Feral House, and there is no other publisher like them on the planet.  I don't know what the future of the company is; the vision was so singular and visionary it seems impossible for them to continue in any form other than just maintaining the existing stock.

I was lucky enough to know Adam, and even more lucky to meet Mel a couple of years ago at Cinefamily in Los Angeles.  Curator Jodi Wille invited me to assemble an exhibition of Weimar-era artworks to go along with a Mel Gordon lecture, and I was lucky there, too, because Jodi asked me to present him, and I got to tell the sold-out room how much his research meant to me and had influenced me.  After, he paid me the generous compliment of saying "I'm pretty certain that was the nicest introduction I've ever had."

Do yourself a favor and check out Mel Gordon's books.  There's not a single bad choice in the list.

Buy from an independent bookseller, or use smile.amazon.com and pick a charity in their honor.

Tom