Cop Shoot Cop: Seattle Video

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on October 12, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

Freed from the vaults. An old video for “Seattle”, from Ask Questions Later (Cop Shoot Cop). I didn’t even know this existed! Enjoy. I promise I will write more words soon.

LAck of Security

Posted in Phylr, Uncategorized on September 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
Helen Keller

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Posted in Uncategorized on June 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

Today I am bald. This wasn’t always the case. I actually like being bald. My head feels nice and cool and smooth. But sometimes I miss the days of hair. I recently found some pictures of me back in these days:

cripple passport photo

This one was from an old passport. Surprised they let me in to any country with this. I had a number of Passport control agents tell me that my passport was too mangled. It was still valid, but the picture was cracked and falling apart. I remember getting this photo & passport hours before leaving to Japan with Cop for our first tour outside the US. I had been up for 3 days. We almost missed the plane because I was waiting for the last drop of drugs, which in those days I didn’t think twice about bringing on the plane. I think I hid it all in my sock. The problem was that when we left on tour, no matter how many drugs I brought along, I would inevitably run out within a few days. Then I would be in this dark sick place for 23 hours a day, where everything was bleak. But that 24th hour, the one when we were on stage, was brilliant. It was like sun through a magnifying glass. Playing live was like electricity. It was nice when I finally stopped my chemical romance, I found that this electricity could be tamed, controlled, and brought in to the ebb and flow of my daily life, though it was still inevitably amped up when performing.


This photo was taken in an apartment in Washington Heights. I was living up there for a while with Reid (on the left). She came out of the Haight Ashbury San Francisco post hippie heavy drug life, had gotten her shit together to some degree and was a waitress at The Whitney Museum. She drank though. A lot. She saw what I was, a functioning addict (if there really is such a thing). And she wanted to save me, I think. She ended up teaching me to drink, while I ended up getting her back in to hard drugs. It’s like gravity: it’s always easier going down than up. We both ended up getting out of that lifestyle around the same time, though we were no longer together by then, and we had different paths. I have often wondered what happened to Reid, and have reached out once or twice to try to get in touch. Always a dead end. Reid, if you are still alive and reading this, let me know.

csc option 1

This was a picture from an article in Option magazine. I was too messed up to make the scheduled photo shoot. Natz, Phil and Tod did the shoot with just the 3 of them, plus a number of photos with an old homeless career drinker from the Bowery. We all thought it was a good idea to run those photos and name him Jim. But that ultimately didn’t happen, so I had to have a separate photo shoot. I was pretty ragged and gaunt by this point. I remember the photographer talking to me about how she understood me. Never quite coming out and saying, “You are totally fucked up”, but making ongoing cloaked statements. I don’t know if she wanted to get high with me or if she wanted to save me. But I never fessed up, never got honest with her or myself.


One last big hair picture. Reid is here again. She went on a few tours with us to sell Merch. My old friend Clay is here, with an old girlfriend of his whose name I can’t recall. I think we were in Europe here, I can’t remember where. I apologize for making this my online photo gallery, but I happened to run in to these pictures and wanted to put them up here, along with their associated memories, before it all goes black.

Memories of Dave / Art School

Posted in art school, jim coleman, personal histories with tags , , on June 25, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

1979 – 1981: Hartford Connecticut

I can’t fucking remember Dave’s last name. I really wish I could. I wonder what the hell he is doing now. He could be an extremely successful car salesman. He could be an actor or he could be in politics. I lived in Hartford CT for 2 years (1979-1981) and Dave was a close friend, along with my roommate Seth. It was Seth who motivated me to go in to Hartford Art School, which totally changed my life. These images are examples of my early work there.

This first image is of my first outdoor sculpture. This was really aesthetically based, these wings that framed a walking path by the art school.

sculpture contact

These drawings were the start of ideas, which led to my first performance. I was looking at ways of using these lockers in a performance. I ended up placing 2 lockers side by side (with about 2 feet between them) in a common area, where people would sit and take breaks. In one locker was a dismembered female mannequin. I was in the other locker, in a 3-piece business suit. This performance started at 9 AM. People could open the lockers and do whatever they wanted to, but there would be no response from me. I would remain completely detached, an object. This affected people in interesting unforeseen ways. I remember one girl getting so pissed at me, she was just kicking the locker as hard as she could right at my head. So I stayed in there, prone, until 12 Noon. I then got out, walked to a table in the room and sat at the chair there. A woman in a maid’s outfit served me a double martini, which I drank over the next hour. I then re-entered the locker at 1 PM and stayed in until 5 PM, at which point the performance was complete.

locker in the earth

Anyway, back to Dave.

Dave was without question the class clown. Always high, always laughing, always funny to the point of pain. He could take anything, any source, and run miles and miles with it, way past the point of decency, way past the point of logic and sense. He would daily take us on journeys, in which none of us knew where we were going, but we went, trusting that Dave would ultimately return us to the world as we knew it, with our sides aching from laughing so much.

We’re all familiar with the comic art form of prank phone calls. Dave was not only a master of this, but he was a pioneer. He would call up McDonalds and, speaking in extremely broken English, with a mid eastern inflection, attempt to make reservations for his family of 13.  He would not let the poor associate off the phone, he would work his way up to the manager. He could keep these calls going for 30 minutes easy.

Dave would make blind phone calls and just start insulting people. Repeatedly, he would get people so worked up that they would agree to meet late at night at some shopping mall parking lot to fight it out, man to man. The goal was to get 2 or more people to agree to meet up at the same place to fight. It was a huge missed opportunity that we never actually showed up and watched from a distance, but we would inevitably end up too stoned.

Another favorite call of Dave’s would be the “man on the edge” call. This one worked best when a woman answered the phone. He would come off as an individual on the verge of suicide. These poor people would want to help so badly. And Dave just had that gift of being able to wrap almost anybody in to his reality, whatever that happened to be at the moment. He was just completely convincing, whatever persona he took on was his reality.

Snapshot memories:

–       Dave showed up at my apartment one winter’s night during a snowstorm after parking his car. I looked down a few minutes after his arrival and noticed that he was barefoot. When I pointed this out, he was surprised. He had just walked almost a mile through the snow, barefoot, and didn’t even realize it

–       One night at 2 AM, I got a call from Dave. He was quite excited: “Jim, get over here right now! Bring your camera!” I threw on some clothes and ran over to find him and our friend Seth covered from head to toe in shaving cream. No explanation, but they did want to capture the moment.

–       One night we were in Dave’s car. He sped through a parking lot area that had a guard in it, the car fishtailing. I saw the guard writing something down. Assuming he had made note of Dave’s license plate, I urged Dave to talk to the guard, so he would not be reported. He actually convinced this guard that he was cleaning the “gunk” out of his carburetor

–       Drug memory #1 with Dave. Thai stick. Lying down on a bed, listening to Pink Floyd. I felt that I was really lying in a field, watching a grid of Turtles flying past me in the sky.

–       We had weird drugs back then. Actual Thai stick. Hash oil that people would drop in to their eyes, or paint on to cigarettes or joints. Fresh Mushrooms. Liquid LSD, also dropped in the eyes. Dave made bongs. I recall one he made out of numerous tennis ball cans, about 7 feet high. It took 2 or 3 people to work it, and would only yield smoke after doing about 5 hits. One thing we used to do was to take a bong hit while a helper would put 2 whippets in to a plastic bag. Then, you would exhale the bong hit in to the plastic bag and then breath the bagged whippet air in and out, in and out. You would end up in a very very different place. Once while doing this, we were listening to the Doors, while the TV was playing a Liberace concert. The music and visuals ran in perfect sync, each cut was right on the beat, each accent in the music had corresponding visuals.

–       Another disparate non Dave memory arises from this. But this was from the same time. My long time friend and co-conspirator Clay Ketter (google him please) were high and driving in the wee hours of the morning (well past midnight). It was rainy, extremely foggy. The radio was stuck in between stations, it seemed to be picking up about 8 stations at once. But I heard a voice cut through this static and mix of noise, talk and music. It was speaking to me. Or to us. And I know this sounds like typical clichéd auditory hallucinatory shit due to drugs and lack of sleep, but it felt true, genuine, real. I was tempted to just drop it, but couldn’t. I looked over at Clay and asked if he was hearing this. And he was. I luckily never got in to closing the shades and freaking out about all the undercover government agents in front of my house. But that doesn’t mean that they weren’t there!


Posted in Cop Shoot Cop, personal histories, photos, Phylr with tags , , , , on April 4, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

I was just going through a bunch of scans I did a while back and have run in to a number of various pictures which conjure memories:

philmore hallThis is Philmore Hall. He was my first french horn teacher, when I was just a wee lad. In my later years of grade school, and through Junior High School, I played in his jazz band. We would tour around various schools and also play  assorted events around the area. Even made it on TV. He was an early teacher of Dizzy Gillespie, until Dizzy started teaching the teacher. But every time Dizzy came through town (DC), we would go out to see him, and hang out a bit with him after the show. Philmore drove an old Chrysler Newport I think, or it might have been a Dodge Polara.

jim horn

And this here is me playing horn around that time. I still play a bit, but it’s rough. I use it in my recordings, but usually need to massage it a bit in Logic. That’s what happens when you don’t practice every day.

sculpture contact

This here is a contact sheet of several photos of the first sculpture I ever made. Well, maybe not the first. I remember making clay figures when I was in first grade. But this was the first “sculpture” I did, with focus and intention. It was actually a collaboration with someone whose name I forget.

locker in the earth

And these drawings were studies for the first performance I ever did. In the drawings, a full length locker is buried in the ground, with the front door facing up. I was going to lie in the locker. In the end, the performance ended up a bit different. It took place in a lounge that was actually in the building that we see in the background of the drawing. I had 2 lockers, lying down on the floor, evenly spaced in the center of the room. There was a table with linen and a chair by the window. The performance went from 9 Am to 5 PM. In one locker was a nude disembodied female mannequin. I lay in the other, in a three piece suit. at noon, I got out of the locker, went and sat at the window. A waitress came and served me a double martini. At one, I went back in the locker until 5 PM.

People got really pissed off. I don’t know why. They were trying to goad me in to responding to them, which I wouldn’t do. They opened the locker, yelled at me, kicked the locker by my head. And some of these people were friends. From 9 AM it took me a while to relax in to it. By around 10:30 I started getting in to the zen of it, it felt good. After the martini, it felt even better. Until about 3 PM, when I really needed to piss. This discomfort increased exponentially until 5 PM.

cop on cop

I have several photos from the days of Cop Shoot Cop. I’ll just put them up here with minimal comments.

This first one I always liked: lounging on the totaled cop car.

CSC coney

And out in Coney. This old parachute jump has always been one of my favorite pieces of NYC architecture. I wish I had been around at the turn of the previous century, so I could have seen the old Elephant hotel out there.


Natz, Phil and I soak up the local culture in Belgium.

Tour bus

This was our beloved low budget tour bus. Always loved this thing, despite it blowing out over 3 transmissions. I would live in it from time to time in Brooklyn. It had a pretty comfortable bed in the back.

csc option 1

From Option Magazine. I was in kind of rough shape at this time. I couldn’t make it to the photo shoot with the rest of the band, so I ended up doing a separate pick up shot.

cripple passport photo

And my passport from around that time.


I have more picture with more stories and experiences, so more to come…

confession number one

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

A non verbal confession of sorts, though this video also dabbles in questions, perception and the depths of hope.

This is Madness?

Posted in jim coleman, personal histories, Phylr, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 26, 2013 by jimcolemanmusic

Cyclonesandy coaster







Sometimes I think I’m losing my mind. This has happened several times through my life, in several different ways, and usually due to something that I could eventually track down.

Sometimes right before I get sick, I feel like I’m going nuts. Like everything I thought I knew and took for granted was wrong. Like I’m Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. All of a sudden, everything feels disconnected. There is nothing to hold on to, no firm ground, no certainty. I recall one time when I was home from college, I was in my parents basement, and that feeling came on instantly. It brought me to my knees. I didn’t know how to move or to go on in any way. An hour later, I had a temperature of 104, and was laying in bed. It was with a huge sense of relief that I realized I was just really sick.

I think I have told this story in another of my  log entries, but from a different angle. On a cross country trip I made in my 20’s, I unintentionally ended up in Florida in spring break. I was camping wherever I could. After finding a spot and pitching a tent, I went out and ate dinner, which included a bunch of raw clams. A few hours later, madness crept in. I had already gone to sleep in my tent, but after sleeping for an hour or two, I suddenly woke up in a different reality. Everything was threatening, every noise and light was like a razor. Nothing had meaning or reason. It mystified me why humans did what we did: why do we put on clothes, how is it possible that we ever figured out how to make things? Why should I move. Well, pretty soon I realized that I needed to move in order to vomit outside the tent, not inside. I must have vomited for over an hour. In the middle of that hour, I became really happy though because I realized I was dealing with food poisoning, not a mental breakdown.

In college, I was doing a bunch of experimental films, performances and installations. One of these installations was called Short Wave Funk Muzackackack. This took place in a small planetarium  which was just an open space, it didn’t have any of the projection equipment in it. I had recorded hours and hours of snippets from late night radio talk shows and mixed these with cut up excerpts of funk music. I gathered 10 boom boxes, had 10 different 45 minute cassettes of these mash ups, and distributed the boom boxes evenly around the circular room, facing upward, right at the base of the dome. The door was open to the outside, and it was freezing cold. There were no lights. At 8 PM, the first tape started, and every 4 minutes, another tape was started. So at the 40th minute, all 10 were playing. And then they automatically shut off in succession, until just the 10th one was playing. The problem was that I had taken some mushrooms at about 7 PM. At around 8:45 or 9 PM, I had a solid plan that mad perfect sense. I knew what I needed to do with my life. Quit school, and voluntarily sign myself in to a mental institution.

Drugs, especially hallucinogens, definitely took me in to various states of madness and mental despair. Some places I would have gladly languished in forever if I could have. Other places lasted way longer than I wanted them to. The first time I ever felt the effect of LSD was like that. I was best friends with this  hippie couple when I was living in Hartford, CT. They were really great people. Very open and loving. I still have a real place in my heart for them. They were throwbacks to the 60’s though, no doubt. They had tripped hundreds of times. So I felt like I had seasoned guides. I had actually tried acid before this, but hadn’t felt anything. We arranged to trip one day. It must have been late morning when we each swallowed three tabs. I while later I was having this awesome time, everything was fluid. Some hours later though, it got in my head that I would not ever come down. That this state of mind was now permanent. Life would be like this from here on out. I expressed this fear to the girl, looking for some consolation that it would pass. But she said, “Yeah, I know. I feel like that too.” Oh, fuck. I sank deeper in this. I figured out eventually how I would survive. Within a few days, I should acclimate. I should be able to go down to the deli and get some lunch meat… I did eventually come down (I think). But this trip lasted through the next week, with varying degrees of intensity.

For sure, acid was no friend of mine. Every time I took it, I had some fear. I didn’t know what would happen. One time I remember being in a fetal position in a huge cold loft in Philadelphia, certain that death would come that night. When I finally shared this feeling with my girlfriend, she laughed in my face. On another occasion, I was on a complex chemical mixture that included LSD. We thought it would be a good idea to drive to Coney Island. Once there, I got lost from the friends that I had driven there. I bought a ticket for the roller coaster, then waited in the line for a while to get in to a coaster car. While on line, I lost track of my ticket. Then I recalled that I had had a deep discussion with the guy behind me (who I didn’t know). And in this conversation I had given him my ticket. So when we got up in line, and it was time to board, I asked the guy for my ticket. He looked at really weird and said he didn’t know what I was talking about. I realized at this point that my perceptions were off, and I mumbled sorry and stepped out of line. But when I got outside, I started getting really pissed, thinking that this dude had gotten over on me and still had my ticket. Motherfucker. I waited at the exit with the intention of having it out with this guy. But by the time he come out, I had wandered off somewhere else. Later on, I drove home. At the front door, when I reached in my pocket for the house keys, what did I find? Sure enough. Ticket for the roller coaster.

Relationships can make me lose my mind. Thankfully, I am now in a healthy loving relationship. Given the wreckage of my past, and the fact that destructive behavior at times feels like gravity, I’m amazed. The relationship I was in prior to this one drove me nuts. I’m not saying that flippantly. Nor do I mean stark raving nuts. It’s more like I became somebody else. I was stuck in quicksand. I didn’t have the courage or strength to get out. I tried but it never worked. We were both unhappy for a long time. Maybe it’s that we stuck together out of fear and out of habit. Like the hell I knew was better than an unknown reality. Fear and habit. Addiction. I talk a lot a bout the drugs, but they are just a symptom. The addiction underlies anything and everything: drug use, relationship & sex, money, eating, and on and on. There are endless ways to be addicted. I know that unless I deal with the addiction and not just the symptoms, I’m a goner. And it’s an ongoing process. Anyway, when I finally got out of the aforementioned relationship, I felt so light, so alive. I had chosen to live in this dark cave for too long. A place where in some weird way, I felt like an amputee. Like some part of me was cut off. It was definitely madness of a sort.