One Hell of An Eye
The Official Blog of Mike Salisbury
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Cousin Joseph and the eye-roller, photographer Erica Lennard

“I am your father’s brother’s nephew’s cousin’s former roommate!”–Black Helmet, Spaceballs

The Alfa was mine. That is my cousin Joseph; the woman in the Alfa is his cynical girlfriend of the era, photographer Erica Lennard.

Mike mingles...

This week’s blog was going to be about an off-road motorcycle ride I took from the perfectly-formed waves of Miraflores and the giant sand sculpture candelabra that lured ships to the pirates, through Peru across the endless bone-strewn Ica desert, into a plane above the extraterrestrial Nazca lines, back on the bikes up over the Andes, past pink flamingos on an isolated deep water lake with no horizon, down a crater into Cuzco, a zig zagging dash up to Machu Picchu and down through the cloud forest to the coatimundi and parrots of the Amazon with four lads from the UK who could ride like the Four Horseman of The Apocalypse and drink like Errol Flynn and spit on Cavia porcellus barbecoa. The most interesting men in the world.

But no. That story is going hopefully to the world of ink and paper.

Big Bill Devery, NY's first police chief and great grand uncle of my cousin Joseph

The replacement article I had in mind concerned discovering the cousin above and our familial through-line from the Mayflower, the Irish Potato Famine, to the first Chief of Police of New York City, the New York Yankees, and the stealing of the holy grail of sports — the Yankees’ justifiably titled iconic logo. But oh no.

Possibly sold that article too.

Thanks. Team One Hell of an Eye.

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Just perfect! Thank you so much 🙂 Richard L.

Like. Scott R.


Boy I loved that car. The GTV is the only car I still long for. I owned a puke green 69 Giulia Spyder that was held together with layers of bondo and paint, but had a fierce engine. Astonishing that I wasn’t killed in the thing many times over. Used to drive it up the NJT from DC to NY in winter…. But I really always coveted the GTV. It just looked like it could jump straight up in the air if it wanted to. That great slender stick shift…. There was one for sale along the side of the road in our town in Conn about 10 years ago. Red/black– the ONLY color for the car in my opinion– and a little rugged here and there. The owner’s son had left it and moved out west; he just wanted it out of his garage. Make an offer. He would have taken anything. And I didn’t, to my everlasting regret. It’s another thing I blame my wife for– along with everything else. P. Cooke

This one could take the roller coaster curves from the Virgin Mary figure at Loyola near the Bel Air gates to the beginnings of the flats of Beverly Hills better than any car I had. My budget had a choice between it and a ’59 Porsche Roadster and of course probably would still have the Porsche if rust didn’t kill it but the Alfa was just so much more sexy. And red is the way to go but there weren’t many of any color in LA (and it is her fault:) MS

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Larry Flynt photographed wearing black fly shades as an ad concept by Mike Salisbury

Larry Flynt photographed wearing Black Flys shades as an ad concept by Mike Salisbury

The goal was to get Larry’s perspective on his Supreme Court case…live.”

(NOTE: video at end of scroll)

Larry Flynt, at thirty four, with no expression on his face under bright red hair, walked out of the Beverly Hilton Hotel in a white tailored outfit, the shirt having no buttons, an open collar over pants flowing down and flaring wide enough to cover his shoes.  With him was his brother James and Jean-Louis Ginibre, the editor of the new magazine Larry would publish from California.

Playboy cover; art direction by Mike Salisbury

I had worked with Jean-Louis in Paris and Chicago adapting the French magazine Lui for Playboy as Oui.

Chic spread illustrated by Mick Haggerty; art direction by Mike Salisbury

Chic was glamorously oversize yet Larry’s sense of humor and satire was not lost.

The big format photography was retouched in Switzerland directly on larger color separation transparencies made from the photographs taken by the French photographers and the magazine was printed by the best.

I used the best illustrators and had most of the titles for articles hand lettered.

It was not cheap.

Chic was closed.

Rage cover photo by Aaron Chang; logo by Mary Evelyn McGough; art direction, design & concept by Mike Salisbury

Years later Bruce David asked me to help create another publication for Flynt that was to be “not your father’s Playboy.”  Rage.

Rage too was closed.  But not until we all created some of our best editorial work.  About 2000 Bruce and I teamed up again to redesign Hustler, which was aging in look at that time.

Between Chic and Rage a lot happened in Larry Flynt’s life.

Hustler cover sketch by Pam Hamilton; concept/art direction by Mike Salisbury (with thanks to Ellen von Unwerth)

A group of creative friends– art director Mark Francolini and writer Nelson Quintal of Toronto, writer/director Alan Metter, all around film guy Greg McClatchy (who did the preliminary edit), and cinematographer Kevin Donovan — came in with me to put this interview on film. Greg McClatchy, Ben Fine, Ted Woods and Lorraine Devon Wilke came in later to do titles, editing, and general technical assistance.

We did it for posterity. For future reference. For a good time.

The goal was to get Larry’s perspective on his Supreme Court case LIVE – the one that was the basis of the film, The People vs. Larry Flynt – and my involvement (with writer Terry Abrahamson) in that infamous case.

The rest of it?  Off the cuff Larry, some of it prompted by the interviewers (the director, though, thanks him for the compliments).

With what is going on with the Supreme Court and the First Amendment cases currently before it, it’s worthwhile to revisit Larry’s case. The Hustler Magazine parody of Jerry Falwell we created was deemed to be within the law because the Court found that reasonable people would not have interpreted the parody to contain factual claims.  Is an obvious parody the same as what these zealots are doing “demobstrating” at the funerals of fallen soldiers?


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Nice piece. Funny thing is, I start watching Larry and he’s kinda smiling and I just start smiling. I paid some rent with a couple of days or a week’s worth of CHIC proceeds back in 1977, so I got that debt 0′ gratitude for the Flynt Empire trickle-down. Thanks for sharing. I’m still smiling.  Ken A.

Thanks for the ink. Where’s my check? Terry A.

OK, so with the long list of people you have met, who is the one person you haven’t and would like to?  Sergio B.

This is very cool – so great.  S. Geffen

Very interesting, Mike. One of those things in life: to have been places when things happened but even more than that, to be awake and aware most of the time. Memory has very little to with just remembering things — much much more about having understood stuff enough to make a worthwhile comparison between then and now. It’ is the “processing” which is enduring – the past and the present are gone even before one becomes aware of them.  Philip C.

Amazing piece. Amazing time and achievements. Wonderful tribute to be distilled down, defined and quoted as “always thinking.” Impressive and enjoyable, a little intense, yet fun! Thanks for sending it along, Mike. Linda K.

Fuckin’ A…always thinking.  Humpydogg