Friends in the Los Angeles area will be able to get their hands on a new record featuring my short story ‘A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ and music from Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, which launches on 12 July.

Grant Mudford

Grant Mudford


That’s when a new exhibition called “My Little Boat of Sorrow” and curated by artist Steven Hull opens at Rosamund Felsen Gallery in LA. The exhibition includes artworks by Tami Demaree, Alex Evans, Tanya Haden, Gibby Haynes, Allison Schulnik, Jim Shaw and Marnie Weber, and will feature large scale sculptures, drawings, video, sound and paintings — a sinking boat, an army of skeletons, and sculptures of masked heads. During the opening there will be a special marionette performance by Alex Evans and a musical performance by Tanya Haden, Petra Haden and Anna Huff.

The launch is also a record release party for a puppet show, a gatefold vinyl record that documents Steven Hull’s installation at Glow on Santa Monica Beach in September 2013. The record features music by Gibby Haynes (FYI, Butthole Surfers fans), Steven Hull, Tanya Haden, Petra Haden and Anna Huff, and audio of my new short story ‘A fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ — a fictional piece of Carlos Castañeda apocrypha that formed the basis of Hull’s amazing puppet show.

Carlos Castañeda once told this parable about the Conquistador Hernán Cortés. He didn’t write it down, so you won’t find it in any of his books or among his papers, but in any case I heard that Castañeda once spoke of a legend about Cortés, one that he in turn perhaps had heard from his own teacher, don Juan Matus. The legend tells that late in his life – but before his final fall from grace – Cortés and his closest allies, maybe his generals and one or two of their mistresses or companions, stopped on the beach in what is now Santa Monica and stayed there for a short time. Their tangled hair and beards would have been bleached by sun and salt, and their breast plates and helmets ‘battle forged,’ which is to say rusting and dinted; misshapen by innumerable blows.

10409551_10152557177793447_2884448099285032872_nThe record includes images from the marionette performance by Alex Evans and Eric de la Cruz, and Steven Hull’s a puppet show as installed on stage (right). The record was designed by Tami Demaree and Steven Hull with an introduction by Christopher Schneiders. The order and titles of tracks on the record may have varied in production, but this was the tracklisting from an early proof.

A Side:
#1 “A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors” Story by Tony White and sound by Steven Hull, 12:50 min.
#2 “Horse Parade” by Petra Haden, Tanya Haden and Anna Huff, 3:47 min.

B Side:
#1 “Maigizo ya Bandia” by Gibby Haynes, 10:12 min.
#2 “Conquistadorable” by Petra Haden, Tanya Haden and Anna Huff, 4:51 min.


‘My Little Boat of Sorrow’, curated by Steven Hull. Exhibition opening reception and record launch party: Saturday 12 July, 5-7PM. Watch this space or follow me on twitter for information about purchasing the record.

Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. B4, Santa Monica, CA 90404

JULY 12 – AUGUST 9, 2014 — Gallery Hours: Tue–Sat, 10AM–5:30PM