WILLIE "LOCO" ALEXANDER'S 1970s SCRAPBOOKS

Willie 60s early 70s Scrapbook FRONT VIE
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 1 COVER COPY C
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Willie Loco and Wayne County May 7 2019
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 158.jpg
Willie 60s early 70s Scrapbook SPINE COP
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Willie Scrapbook 1 P32.jpg
Willie Scrapbook 1 P116.jpg
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A P48 BACK COVER

Boston’s Willie “Loco” Alexander is a true living rock legend. Making music in Boston since 1962 as a drummer, percussionist, keyboardist and vocalist, he was in the pioneering post-Beatles-invasion group The Lost from their formation in late 1963 until the band parted ways several years later. After stints in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s with groups including The Bagatelle, Nonie’s Blues, The Listening, Bluesberry Jam, the later days of the Velvet Underground, the Radio Hearts and others, he officially launched a solo career in mid-1975 with the release of his single “Kerouac” / “Mass Ave,” on his own Garage Records label.

 

In the early 1970s, besides making music, the un-matriculated art student started compiling scrapbooks from the ephemera that he had been saving over the years. His first (and largest) was a compilation of various items going back to the early 1960s. From then on, he would compile his scrapbooks on a timetable closer to “real time,” from 1975 throughout the decade. To this day he still, as he says, “squirrels away” all manner of found photos, magazine articles and other pieces of inspiration and pastes them together into works of art. His top floor “man cave” at his house in Gloucester has these collages pasted everywhere there is space, from floor to ceiling.

 

Willie’s amazing 1970s scrapbooks are incredible time capsules of Boston during the 1960s and ‘70s. They include glimpses into Willie’s own life – personal and musical – but they also cast a wider net, documenting his social circle, from family events to happenings by musical peers like Jonathan Richman, Third Rail, Mickey Clean & The Mezz, Reddy Teddy and many more. The books are also a “high school yearbook” of sorts for hugely important clubs like The Rat and Cambridge’s The Club (later known as Nightstage).

 

As Willie told me, “Everybody was sending me stuff and everybody was doing stuff. We'd send each other stuff. Third Rail [group leader Richard Nolan], he was one of the first guys who put up posters on the street, even before the copy shops came in. During 1975, when ‘Kerouac’ came out, I was putting out promo sheets at a rapid rate. I would hang out with people and they would become my photographers, and my partners in crime. There was a lot of craziness.”

 

During this mid-‘70s era another figure appeared: Willie’s promotional alter-ego and never-seen-in-public publicist: Al Lorenzo Drake. He explains, “Lorenzo would write [my] promo sheets. He would write three lines about his band and then talk about his friends to fill up the rest of the page.” When pressed about why Willie needed a fake publicist, he says, “Somebody's got to do the dirty work. Not the rock star shit, not the eating your caviar and writing your songs. Somebody's gotta get out there and go to the copy shop and get the promos and stick them up all over town. Lorenzo Promo Services were established in 1975. He never charged anyone for his services.”

 

Repurposing found accounting and other office ledgers as his not-so-blank canvases, these backdrops add even more texture to Willie’s fertile and artistic mind, as he laid each page out in his own inimitable way – sometimes just a photo or flyer, and sometimes many different images and articles jammed onto a page, with handwritten notes.

 

Whether he realized it or not at the time, these scrapbooks are Boston punk rock and indie rock’s baby pictures, unfolding one page at a time.

 

Willie is still making art and performing amazing music today, based in Gloucester, MA, where he has lived since the 1990s. Check out his most recent album on Bandcamp at https://willielocoalexanderandthefishtones.bandcamp.com/releases and his always awesome “Fisheye” videos on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/willieloco13/videos.

 

The slideshows on this page show merely a glimmer of the full majesty of the books (to wit: Willie’s Scrapbook 1 has almost 300 pages on its own), but you get the idea.

SCRAPBOOK ONE HIGHLIGHTS [1960s - 1974]

Willie Scrapbook 1
Willie Scrapbook 1 09
Willie Scrapbook 1 10
Willie Scrapbook 1 17
Willie Scrapbook 1 32
Willie Scrapbook 1 52
Willie Scrapbook 1 53
Willie Scrapbook 1 65
Willie Scrapbook 1 80
Willie Scrapbook 1 90
Willie Scrapbook 1 96
Willie Scrapbook 1 107
Willie Scrapbook 1 116
Willie Scrapbook 1 121
Willie Scrapbook 1 122
Willie Scrapbook 1 146
Willie Scrapbook 1 155
Willie Scrapbook 1 164
Willie Scrapbook 1 185
Willie Scrapbook 1 200
Willie Scrapbook 1 204
Willie Scrapbook 1 216
Willie Scrapbook 1 219
Willie Scrapbook 1 228
Willie Scrapbook 1 236
Willie Scrapbook 1 241
Willie Scrapbook 1 243
Willie Scrapbook 1 250
Willie Scrapbook 1 256
Willie Scrapbook 1 261
Willie Scrapbook 1 266
Willie Scrapbook 1 269 back
Willie Scrapbook 1 271 BACK COVER
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SCRAPBOOKS 1A AND TWO HIGHLIGHTS [1975 - 1976]

Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 48 BACK COVER
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 42
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 30
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 12
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 78
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 6
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 14
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 203 article in
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 202
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 201
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 1 COVER
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 5
Willie Loco Scrapbook 1A 40
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 193
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 188
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 32
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 180
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 174
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 173
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 165
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 158
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 154
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 146
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 117
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 104
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 101
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 97
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 92
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 68
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 56
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 40
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 30
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 24
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 21
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 15
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 13
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 10
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 3
Willie Loco Scrapbook Two 4
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