1988 — Sherilyn Fenn stars in ‘Two Moon Junction’

“Two Moon Junction” was a fairly forgettable erotic thriller from 1988. It actually had a fairly reasonable cast, featuring Louise Fletcher, Milla Jovovich in her first film role and Burl Ives in his last, but given that it was an erotic thriller, it was naturally the beautiful and desirable Sherilyn Fenn who was front and centre.

The film was neither a great flop nor a great success, although it did well enough to inspire a direct to video sequel some years later. In fact, aside from inspiring Screaming Jay Hawkins to write a song about how much he wanted to have sex with Ms. Fenn as a result of it, the film contributed little to the world. Hawkins did have a point, though.

Referenced in:
Sherilyn Fenn — Screaming Jay Hawkins

1988 — Albert Goldman’s “The Lives of John Lennon” is published

One of the most controversial celebrity biographies of its era, Albert Goldman’s “The Lives of John Lennon” was almost universally denounced as a hatchet job. Goldman alleged, among other things, that Lennon was manipulative, anti-Semitic, dyslexic and schizophrenic. Lennon was also, apparently, involved – in a highly negaitve way – in several suspicious deaths, including those of Stuart Suttcliffe and an unborn child of Yoko Ono (who he apparently caused the miscarry by kicking her in the stomach during an argument).

Lennon’s associates, friends and family were near unanimous in their condemnation of the book. Cynthia Lennon (his ex-wife) and Yoko Ono both denounced it – Ono even threatened a libel suit at one point. Paul McCartney advised people not to buy it when asked about it in interviews (and he was one of the few people treated well in its pages). Other Lennon biographers have largely dismissed the book, and many of those Goldman interviewed in researching it later claimed that their words were misquoted or otherwise misrepresented.

Referenced in:

God Pt II — U2

This date is approximate – I have been able to narrow it down no more precisely than “late August”, and have thus chosen the latest possible date in August.

1988 – TISM release “Great Truckin’ Songs of Renaissance”

In 1988, the anonymous masked men who comprise TISM a.k.a. This Is Serious Mum released their first album, “Great Truckin’ Songs of the Renaissance” (actually a double album, although a single CD). This 27 track magnum opus featured a mixture of songs, snatches of interviews, random strangeness, and the poetic ranting that is “Morrison Hostel”.

It reached #48 on the Australian charts, and failed to chart anywhere else. There are any number of reasons why this occurred, but the unavailability of the album on any basis other than import probably had a little to do with it.

Referenced in:

Morrison Hostel — This Is Serious Mum

1988 – “Die Hard” is released

Die Hard was the first film in what would become one of the most popular franchises of the last three decades. A massive commercial success, it also created a set of expectations for the career of Bruce Willis: people expected that his every new film would start a franchise. From Hudson Hawk on, through The Last Boyscout and Striking Distance, every film was supposed to be the foundation of another great franchise.

But these other characters did not have the staying power of John McClane. It turns out that the same shit tends to only happen to the same guy once when it comes to successful film franchises (unless that guy is Harrison Ford, obviously).

Referenced in:

“Live Free Or Die Hard” – Guys Nite

1988 – Dorothea Puente is arrested for murder

Over the course of seven years, from 1982 to 1988, Dorothea Puente killed 9 people. All of them were residents of her boarding house, which catered to the aged and the mentally retarded. Dorothea would cash her tenants’ social service checks, and keep the money from them. The nine she killed (although she was only convicted of three of the killings) were those who objected to this practice – Puente continued to collect and cash their checks long after their deaths.

A career criminal, this was hardly the first time that Puente had pulled off this scam, although it was the first time that it involved murder. She had also been convicted of owning and running a brothel in 1960, and was well-known to law enforcement in her area. Her increasing carelessness in concealing her crimes led to her arrest, and she remains in prison as of this writing.

Referenced in:

Dorothea’s Dead Folks Home — Macabre

1988 – The Tompkins Square Park Riot takes place

The Tompkins Square Park, by the late eighties, had become overrun by “drug pushers, homeless people and young people known as ‘skinheads'”. The Manhattan Community Board 3, the area’s local governing body, introduced a 1 a.m. curfew for the previously 24-hour park. On July 31, 1988, a protest rally against the curfew saw several clashes between protesters and police. A second rally was was scheduled for August 6.

At this second rally, the police charged the crowd of protesters, and a riot swiftly ensued, with bystanders, activists, police officers, neighborhood residents and journalists were caught up in the violence.

The neighborhood, previously divided over how to deal with the park, was near unanimous in its condemnation of the heavy-handed actions of the police. More than a hundred complaints of police brutality were lodged following the riot. Much blame was laid on poor police handling, and the commander of the precinct in charge was deprived of office for a year.

Referenced in:

Hold On – Lou Reed