THE CLUB IS A RECORD. by Peter Belsito
Richard Kelly does not get excited by much. Although in a recent phone conversation he mentioned that he was excited because Julie Andrews ("She's totally lacking in spontaneous emotion") and Sammy Davis ("I'd spit on him if I met him in the street") were appearing together on a television program. Kelly gave only the tiniest vocal indication of his facetiousness - only a minute inflection of his calm and articulate voice. He is not one to overboard for the next big thing. In fact, he says it is not his place in the musical scheme of things to be pursuing fly-by-night styles.
He isn't beyond studying Lawrence Welk in search of devices. On the contrary, he's methodical about his studies of musical gadgets. By now I'm sure his mind is a warehouse of musical gadgetry waiting for the right time and place. As for the use of these devices, Kelly is a deviant. "It isn't the important work of an artist to be creating new frontiers. The people who think they're the Beethovens and Stravinskis are ignoring the fact that the rest of us are being consumed. Everything is being consumed. Artists should be dealing with the problems of living in a consumer society. Destroy what destroys us."
Richard Kelly is the soul of Club Foot and Alterboys International, its non-profit umbrella corporation . He is fond of quoting various sources when speaking about corporations. For example this quote from Rodchenko: "The man who can get organized will inherit the future". Kelly has updated this for the post-situationist 80s to read "The man who has the appearance of organization will inherit the future." Or is it the organization of appearances that will lay claim? We simply don't know, but to begin with, it's becoming less unusal to find someone talking about the future. Not long ago there was a group of people shouting "No Future"... and now Johnny Lydon "appears ready to join Greenpeace."
To varying degrees, all musicians grasp the concepts of image and myth and their implications on music in consumerland. The course taken by Club Foot is a particularly heartening one for those who are (still) attracted to self-production and deviance.
With most Club Foot literature you'll find the motto "Moving In The Direction Of History" -- it is a blunt admission to the aspirations of Alterboys International which is a cenacle comprised of Kelly, J.C. Garrett, David Swan, Matthew Heckert, Carol Detweiler and Cindy Buff. Their most recent project, titled "Club Foot", is a compilation LP of New Jazz offerings by the Longshoremen, The Alterboys, Naked City, Bay of Pigs and The Club Foot Orchestra; all groups who were fostered at Club Foot on 3rd Street in San Francisco. p.10