Arthur Russell vs. xXx

     |    Wednesday, der 4. May 2011

Following reports on the release of music sessions with avantgarde composer/cellist/dance music producer Arthur Russell and Beat generation co-founder Allen Ginsberg (see blog post), another, even more unlikely collaboration has surfaced. In 1986, Russell recorded with a young rapper and breakdancer he discovered in the West Village by the name of Mark Sinclair Vincent. Gary Lucas, avantrock guitarist and Captain Beefheart sideman, organised the abortive session at Battery Sound studio.

Russell, who died of AIDS in 1992, fell into relative obscurity before his work was re-discovered and celebrated by both the dance music and modern composition worlds around the turn of the millennium. And what happened to Vincent? About the same time of Russell’s posthumous comeback, Vincent became an action superstar. After a decade of supporting roles in such films as Penny Marshall’s Awakenings and Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Vincent hit the big time in the Australian sci-fi sleeper hit Pitch Black as Riddick, a character he would reprise in a later film. Now sporting a shortened version of his last name as his first and adding a high octane sounding stage name, Vincent morphed into Vin Diesel. And the rest is history.

Join or log on to Soundcloud and listen to a track from the 1986 Russell-Vincent sessions here.

Related film: MAKING IT IN HOLLYWOOD on realeyz.tv is a documentary about looking for that first Tinseltown break. It takes place in the 70s, over 20 years before Vin Diesel’s acting career took off. The more things change, the more they stay the same?