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March 27, 2011


michael c

Amazing stuff as usual. would like to read this in book form!


Fun read. Spent some time this morning looking for the Merv Griffin interview, do you know if it's online anywhere?

steve s

many inaccuracies, wrongly attributed quotes, garbled timelines, etc.

Michael Powers

Mel Lyman. Just so comprehensively depressing. And Frechette, the leading man in "Zabriskie Point," a movie everybody heard about incessantly during the run-up to its release. One of the wackiest stories I've ever read, especially the bank robbery and prison play attended by Ted Kennedy, not to mention being murdered with a barbell. I'd like to see the Steve Allen/Johnny Carson appearance and the Cavett interview, which I think I watched in utter confusion during its original telecast.

Cavett is a national treasure and has been ever since his career began. He has a new column on his NY Times blog about Elizabeth Taylor with a link to a fantastic vintage Time Magazine article about her by his wife Carrie Nye, who appeared in a TV-movie with Taylor. Her writing sounds exactly like his, which either speaks volumes about why they stayed married or he rewrote it for her at some point, and I'm imagining it's the former.

Believe it or not, two of the most entertaining clips on youtube are the early-1950s appearances on "What's My Line?" by the two most beautiful actresses of that era, Taylor and Ava Gardner. They each look astonishing and Gardner's even more charismatic than in any other context in which I've seen her.


Illuminate us Steve S...??


I went through high school with Mark Frenchette. He was a very friendly boy. His sister was in a few of my classes and she was absolutely gorgeous. They were both nice people. It seemed to me they came form a good family. Such a shame.


Thanks for writing this up.

You can see the Cavett clip here:

I didn't think that the couple were nearly as weird, nor as silent, as I was expecting. A bit terse and quieter than normal, but not a freak show and not zombies. Especially so as talk shows of the era allowed some breathing room, pauses for reflection, longer segments and other conversation normalcy almost entirely lacking from our shows today.

Lester - Adult Tricycle

I can't believe I just finished reading the whole article. Amazing stuffs!


As I recall the Rolling Stone cover story on Mel and the gang (ca. early 1972?), some of the Fort Hill crew were sporting lugers and close-cropped hair and muttering racial epithets, perhaps in hardcore repudiation of the hippie creed, especially Richie Guerin, an architect by trade, and an enforcer of sorts.

At present they live large. Check out the link.

Dick Waterman

That is my Bob Dylan photograph being used without permission. It is protected by copyright.

Dick Waterman

Scott West

Dick Waterman, sorry to hear you're so hard up. Meet me at the corner of 35th and 8th tomorrow at Noon and I'll give you a sandwich.

Elizabeth Butters

I absolutely loved this article. I think you meant to attribute the quote about performing 'I'm A Woman' to Maria, not Geoff Muldaur though.


Cool article. I'm pedantically noting some essentials missing from the bibliography, so:
- read Joe Boyd's "White Bicycles" for a great recap of the Newport Festival (and because it is just a great book, period)
- the creepy collection "Apocalypse Culture" from the late 80s has some good Lyman stuff too

Using your Photo!

fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck your dylan photo Waterman - dont be a dick. when you are gone we will all be using it all over the internet and whatever comes next whenever and however we want!

You chance to be legend, moron

Hollis J. Sheperd

I personaly enjoy a friendship with two former members of the family.They are down to earth good people.

Tony Jordan

I knew Mark Frechette before he was cast in Zabriskie Point. He was friends with Richard Whittington and Geoff Coffee who had a sort of comunal house they rented outside of Columbia, SC. A bunch of U of SC students used to hang out and take acid while Richard and Geoff would read random passages from the Avastan, the bible of Zoroastrianism. This presages Mark's fascination with Mel Lyman and his penchant for cultism. Richard was from Alexandria, VA and at my suggestion enrolled at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT. Tragically Richrd and Geoff were both killed in a motorcycle accident in Vermont in '69. I last saw Mark when I went with Richard's father and brother to retrive the motorcycle and to lay Richard to rest next to his mother in a cemetary on Long Island. Mark met us at the ferry at Bridgeport, CT.

DRS and Associates

Mel Lyman sure was a character, great write up of his life.

Mela Alexian

Here is the archive of material on the Family including the complete Rolling Stone expose, also material by Mel himself including the complete Autobiography of a World Savior and Mirror at the End of the Road.

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