Jerry M. Modjeski (1935-2017)

Dad at the Grill

Dad at the Grill

Here’s a tribute to the man behind some of Scorchedear’s talents, Jerry M. Modjeski, lifelong resident of Winona, Minnesota, who passed away recently. (Obit)

I shared several important passions with Dad, including love of classic country-western music. He tape recorded himself at home playing instrumental guitar-harmonica on simplified arrangements of old favorites and standards. (Listen)fullsizerender

 

 

 

 

Dad was also keenly interested in UFOs, bigfoot and all things paranormal.

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For me, the Christmas gift of a yellow transistor radio encouraged my lifelong passion, along with noting my Dad’s late-night listening habits: clear-channel KDKA-Pittsburgh; Jim Bohannon; long-time fan of inquistive, acerbic Art Bell; back in the ’70s, WIND-Chicago’s Eddie Schwartz kept tabs on locals like ghost-hunter Richard Crowe, and from the Center for UFO Studies, Dr. J. Allen Hynek.img_0001

Dad, cartoon by Wayne Modjeski

Dad, cartoon by Wayne Modjeski

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Mechanical Spider Christmas

Santa_spiderTurn back the crock exactly thirty years to KFAI-FM’s digest of silly satire, The Mechanical Spider Clinic, featuring holiday-themed advertising, Consumer Survival Biscuit, Lazlo Morbid, TV Guise, and a satire about the over-commercialization of Christmas (inspired by Jerry’s idol, the late Stan Freberg’s Green Chri$tma$).

Stan Freberg (from Jerry's 1977 sketchbook)

Stan Freberg (from Jerry’s 1977 sketchbook)

Bonus: The Elvis After-Xmas, After-Life Sale at Chez Bob’s Detail Recount Store, also Consumer Survival Biscuit and TV Guise tributes to the King from January 3, 1986. Bat Lenny and The Toy Lovers team up for a sound composition Gangbusters Christmas.

Featuring the talents of Mark Masyga, Chuck Isle, Rob Shapiro, Diana Swan, Bob Rynkiewicz, Leigh Bowser, Andy Schultz. MSC Theme by Bat Lenny.  Listen: https://archive.org/details/mechanicalspiderclinicchristmas

Thanks to Mark Masyga, Wayne Modjeski & Chris Waterbury for assistance on this post.

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LCS ’89: Altering Realities

img0011989 was a busy year marked with experimentation on the Little City in Space show. Substitute players like Brian Anderson, Chuck Isle & Mark Masyga helped keep things aloft–Post-Voiders Peter Stenshoel, Stu Mathews & Jerry maintained the weekly KFAI radio commitment while logging many hours off-the-air tape recording the syndicated LCS series. img001 Early ’89 they (with Bat Lenny) threw a mad space-jam party in downtown St. Paul during a blizzard; The Post-Void Radio Theater appeared on-stage at Minicon for The Philip K. Dick Van Dyke Show; on KFAI, the LCS Universal Top 12 became 10; the show’s first hour format was tweaked (to match the hour-long national show under construction) and the second hour, Little City in Space Farther Out, allowed for diverting, more mysterious excursions outside any boundaries: from sound collage & spoken word to Golden Internet Archive logoCage/Radio Mortuary, it was anything goes.

We’ve collected more highlights from 1989 shows: The Best of Little City in Space Vol.2 with Peter, Stu & Jerry features special guest Mark Masyga: the pie-chute mystery of Stan Baxter‘s disappearance and re-appearance begins here! Tribute to Mel Blanc (d.1989), music by The Crash Dummies, The Toy Lovers. Sponsors include Old Dotage Fig Paste and Moot Point Resort. Listen: https://archive.org/details/LCSBestOfVol2

June 28, 1989: Jerry with Mark Masyga, Brian Anderson; the trio’s Farther Out portion is one of LCS’ all-time best; also Nowhere News, sports, joblines & Gil Goose editorial; ads for Screaming Phoenix Edible Bi-Product Dispensation Outlet; Deja Food. Listen: https://archive.org/details/LittleCityInSpace1989-06-28

September 20, 1989: Jerry with Chuck Isle, Brian Anderson; ads for The Samuel T. Party Gompers; Mom’s Maply Syrup; Geek Weekly; Hi-Fiber Cellulogs (#2). Music by Zoltan & Squidley, Snakefinger, Gaby Pahinui. Conspiracy theorist Alabama Neptune‘s commentary on Stan Baxter. Listen: https://archive.org/details/LittleCityInSpace1989-09-20

img003The Void-Posts (#3 and #4) were published from the Post-Void in 1989. #3’s hot pink reflects some mind-bending visions for the eye. Art by Ernie Bushmiller (left) and (above) Wayne Modjeski.

Little City in a Flask

Chuck Isle joins Jerry & Peter aboard LCS-1, this 1989 in-person appearance Chuck’s first since a very impromptu on-air cameo during Cancelled Edition in 1980. Long-time Little City in Space show listener Chuck has no difficulty navigating the satellite with its quirky alien cultures, and he quickly rises high to the occasion as emcee for the opening introduction, Nowhere News, Sports and Joblines.

Chuck Isle

Chuck Isle

Sponsors include Mundane Gruel / The Batter Chalks Cafe / Brick’s Bat Caves  / Hypno – Goggles. Alien composer Moteb Rindfeld #2 is featured. Listen: https://archive.org/details/LittleCityInSpace1989-08-09

With the talents of Brian Anderson, Stu Mathews, Rob Ordahl, Wayne Modjeski. Broadcast 8-9-89 on KFAI Minneapolis-St. Paul. Produced by The Post-Void RadioTheater.Internet Archive logo

Heroes & Villains

Captain Bamboo Steamer & first mate Tugg Neato

Captain Bamboo Steamer & first mate Tugg Neato

You can listen to the tales of Captain Bamboo Steamer, sailor boasting of “me fists the size o’ two bunk beds” in a Best Of collection, Heroes and Villains, that also features far-off adventurers “Ace” Banning and his sidekick “Chubby” in the old-time radio spoof, I Love Danger, Action, Murder and Keen Stuff Like That;  movie parody The Mummy’s Hand-Stand; commandos of The Scuba Patrol battle Count Dracula, Santa Claus, and a trampoline; Tommy and Jimmy are heroes of the saga Earth Versus The Flying Dorseys. dorsey_bros Villain Pablum Picassowhat tries to outwit crypt-kicking cartoon kid Danny Phantom.

Danny Phantom

Danny Phantom

Hear all these thrill-packed melodramas at Archive.org.Internet Archive logo

Illustrations by Wayne Modjeski.

Danny Phantom 3: Placebo

img006(2)Like most super heroes, Danny Phantom has a sidekick. His name is Placebo. img002If Placebo helps Danny in any way, he must be doing it unknowingly.img003(3) Artwork by Wayne Modjeski. (Above) Early sketch of Danny & Placebo.

Danny: “You shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket, Placebo.”img004(1)

Postman: “I have a delivery of eggs in one basket for a Mister Placebo.”

The Void Post: Journal of the Post Void Radio Theater

Void Post 1The Void Post was the printed newsletter for fans of The Little City in Space.  It ran for five issues from June 1988 to Spring-Summer 1990. Here’s some of what fans got to see (Click on images to enlarge). WayneArtwork by Wayne Modjeski.

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Featuring the talents of Stu Mathews;  Mark Masyga.img009  More Void Post in digital form on Facebook.img011

Danny Phantom 2: Back to the Drawing Board

“…In another dimension, an artist brainstorms to create a new look for a forgotten cartoon character…img005the crypt-kickin’ little ghoul named Danny Phantom.DannyDanny Artist

“… the idea is rejected by the artist’s editor, and thrown in the waste basket.”img005img006img006                         

img005Wayne Modjeski‘s img005unpublished artwork for a Danny Phantom newspaper strip (c1994). Danny’s introduction in Jerry’s 1986 radio play,  The Search for Danny Phantom, inspired his brother Wayne to visualize ideas like having a cemetery as Danny’s home, with new supporting characters such as a trio of bats, a couple grave-diggers, and a zombie. (illus.)img006

Danny Phantom 1: How a Cartoon Star is (re)Born

TV cartoon star Danny Phantom, created by Jerry on The Mechanical Spider Clinic radio show, was re-interpreted by artist Wayne Modjeski, for Funny Pages newspaper as a proposed comic strip, never published.

“In the nebulous realm of Possibility…Fate and Will conjur the formation of Danny Phantom. His re-birth is observed in a swirl of printer’s ink, celluloid and good, old-fashioned primordial soup…”

Look for more rare, unpublished Wayne Modjeski artwork at ScorchedEar in 2013.

Wayne Modjeski

Jerry’s brother, Wayne Modjeski, is a gifted cartoonist who created an amazing poster in honor of the Little City in Space‘s 10th Anniversary in 1989. It’s worth taking a close look!

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