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Wonderful Guise

West Berlin : Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 9/22/13 (9:29am)

Old pal, Tony Millionaire, best known as the illustrator of Maakies, adds me to one of his comic strips this month. He portrays me singing 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds' -- in German -- at a concert in either Munich or West Berlin at sometime in the mid-Eighties. I can't exactly recall the episode but he follows up (offline) with a description of my attire:

...[Y]ou had a potato sack on your head and shoulders with a hole for your mouth.

You can see the complete comic strip in all its original glory here...


Concert in Evanston with Stew

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 12/2/11 (4:39pm)

Old pal from the Wonderful Guise, Stew and his band had a concert at the Space in Evanston. I got there a little late because I had reference at DePaul but we got together after the thing and hanged out at Bar Louis till they kicked us out.

UPDATE (2/1/2012): Here's his interview with NPR.


NY Times ArtsBeat Blog: Stew in Africa: A Long Time Coming

Submitted by Leo Klein on Wed, 8/3/11 (3:18pm)

"Pathetic Eurocentric Negro!" That's how Stew, an old pal of mine from my Berlin days begins an account of his first trip ever to Africa. He's working as one of the creative advisers for a program in Kenya that coaches upcoming African theater people. He's also agreed to share his experiences by posting regularly on the New York Times' ArtsBeat Blog. Stew was the lead guitarist of a good-time band we had in Berlin called 'The Wonderful Guise'. Tony Millionaire was also a member of the group. Anyway, it's good to see Stew maintaining the spirit of those free-for-all wild times in passages like this:

The workshop I'm giving on Manda will probably consist of a song by song analysis of the Rolling Stones 1966 release "Between the Buttons" which I'll compare and contrast with "King Lear," even though I've never read "King Lear" and I'm almost certain absolutely no connection between the two works actually exists. But Sundance can handle this sort of thing.

You can read the whole post here...


Tony Millionaire achieves 'Cult' Status

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sat, 12/12/09 (1:32pm)

ArtTonyMillionaire.jpg Apparently cartoonist, Tony Millionaire has achieved 'cult' status. At least that's what Cory Doctorow says in his short-but-sweet review of Tony's new book, The Art of Tony Millionaire.

Tony is an old pal of mine from my Rome and Berlin days and I have to admit I'm kind of jealous of someone who earns this kind of praise from the author of Boing-Boing:

[Tony Millionaire] manages to turn out some of the weirdest and angriest comic strips in the business while simultaneously writing sweet and lovely children's books employing the same characters (some trick!).

"Weirdest and angriest"? How can anyone compete with that?

More Berlin Stories - Stew and 'Passing Strange' on NPR

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 8/30/09 (7:17pm)

So I'm listening to NPR's 'All Things Considered' and they start talking about an old pal of mine from my days in Berlin, Stew. The segment is called, "Wondrous 'Strange': Spike Lee Makes A Musical" and it's about how Spike Lee produced a film version of Stew's musical 'Passing Strange' which won a Tony last year (see my write-up).

The musical is about Stew's experiences growing up in L.A. and then going to Amsterdam and Berlin. Since that's when I knew him (we were in the same group called the 'Wonderful Guise'), I look forward to seeing the film. Below is the trailer.


Anthony Millionaire

Submitted by Leo Klein on Fri, 7/4/08 (2:22am)

I caught up with old pal and former Wonderful Guise Anthony Millionaire while in LA.

Currently, he's working on a tv show for Cartoon Network's "Adult Swim" based on his comic strip, "Maakies".

Old Friend Mark Stewart Up For Tony Award

Submitted by Leo Klein on Sun, 6/15/08 (7:57pm)

Finally someone I know is famous!

In the 80's in crazy Kreuzberg, West Berlin, a bunch of us belonged to this good-time group called the 'Wonderful Guise'. Mark Stewart Stew was one of the lead musicians.

Well, Mark Stewart Stew is now up for a Tony award as "Best Musical" for his show 'Passing Strange'. According to a write-up in the Village Voice, this Bildungsroman in musical form "takes him to Amsterdam and then to Berlin, where he's indoctrinated into hardcore bohemian life."

Hardcore bohemian it was! Above is a shot from a concert we gave at the venerable SO36. Mark's on the left, followed by Enrico, Freie Freya, Art and me. Not pictured were Marek the drummer and Anthony Millionaire (of Maakies fame) who did the costumes and sets.

UPDATE: Results are in. 'In the Heights' won out over 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' for Best Musical which kind of makes sense considering the subject and location of each show. 'Passing Strangely' 'Passing Strange' did get the 'Best Book' Award which is still pretty good.

UPDATE (5/27/2013):The content of this page is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License.