The Strange Life and Times of Mendelson Joe
Musician, artist, anti-smoker, ecological gadfly — here is Mendelson Joe’s story, in his own outrageous word.
He believes that speaking out can make a difference, that women are the only hope for the future, and that there’s truth in a good blues song. He doesn’t believe in God, compromise, or schmaltz. Meet Mendelson Joe: musician, artist, activist, and avid writer of letters to Canadian politicians and editors.
Alien brings together some of the best of Joe’s artwork, along with extensive interviews with the man and the people who know him. Joe holds forth on the things that fascinate him: the female body, motorcycles, rabbits, nature, art, and music. He tells of touring the world with his blues-rock band Mendelson McKenna Mainline in the early ’70s, sharing concert stages with burlesque strippers, and discovering a passion for art after rescuing a set of acrylic paints from a garbage can. He also talks about the things that make him angry: the stupidity of humans, who “piss where they drink,” destroying the environment through greed and carelessness; the treatment of women by men; racism. And Joe’s friends and colleagues talk about knowing this funny, talented, and deeply principled guy who’s never afraid to speak his mind.
Mendelson Joe’s career began with Mendelson McKenna Mainline, and then took a painterly turn. Known as an artist today, Joe continues to surprise with his political attitude and outspoken opinions.