Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar 1991


21 thoughts on “Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar 1991

  1. God, it was 1978 and I went into Krishna Copy on Dwight & Telegraph to xerox some copies of my latest comic strips. And Duncan was at the next machine xeroxing off copies of Tele Times, this little 16 page zine he was publishing. And the rest is history. . .

  2. Yeah. We had a pretty much nonstop collaboration for 25 years. I contributed to Duncan’s Tele Times zine in the late ’70s. And when I started my underground newspaper Twisted Image in 1982 Duncan was one of my editors as well as the number 2 man on the staff. We collaborated on comic strips together. We did an art gallery show together featuring Berkeley street artist. God we did all sorts of stuff together. For years i wouldn’t send out a new batch of comic strips without running them by Duncan first. If he liked them I knew they were either good or weird. Which is what I was always shooting for.

  3. Artistic collaborations are always difficult to maintain. There’s individual egos as well as different agendas. The 15 year collaboration I had with Duncan on the Telegraph Street Calendar was probably as close to a perfect collaboration as I’ll ever have. Pretty much exactly a 50-50 collaboration. And even though I came up with the idea for it, Duncan had already been doing photo documentation of the Berkeley street people. So its impossible to even give credit to who exactly originated the thing. For years Duncan would describe me to other people as “my partner Ace Backwords.” And it was very much like an artistic marriage. We had kind of a weird Laurel and Hardy chemistry. And after every success — whether it was producing yet another brillian piece of art, or just scraping up enough bucks for the next pack of cigarettes — we’d toast and say: “Yet another successful Backwords and Duncan collaboration!”

    1. Those sound like some productive & good times. It sounds like your whole circle of friends at the time were cool people, or as close to a “scene” as you can find. I can’t find anything like it these days, and you can testify that I hit the road a looking for it. All I find is one fucking bad scene after another. All creativity is destroyed by either exhaustion (people working two jobs just to pay the rent) or on hard drugs, which seems to have absolutely saturated the suburbs & everywhere else. I see why you are reminiscent, because it seems like the 90s was the final flair up before…well, it is pretty obvious where things are going

      1. Knowdja’ mean. Some people scoff at the idea of “scenes.” But its a fundamental human need to find some kind of community. Like-minded people. Whatever you call it. I should know. I go weeks without talking to anybody these days. Sheesh. We live in a pretty alienated society, I guess. Every now and then I’ve been lucky to have a scene sprout around my general vincinity. They never last long. I dug being part of the San Francisco bike messenger scene.. Then there was the punk/zine scene. And the Telegraph Avenue scene. But maybe as you get older you realize the real action is dealing with yourself and your psyche, as opposed to the people “out there.”

  4. Hi… Anyone there? I see the 2013 date but thought I’d throw it out and see if anyone gets this. I live in Indiana. In the late eighties and early 90’s I called the abe home and it’s people my community. I was thinking of the wonders of the world wide web and set about trying to view the Telegraph Homeless Calenders from 1990 and 1991….I have found several references and interesting reading… Did you know that U of M has a copy in their archives! Pretty cool. Unfortunately there aren’t any visual images available online.
    Rest in Peace BN Duncan… And continued health and wellness Ace Backwards if you recieve this. Peace

    1. Cool. Thanks for the nice words, Christy. That’s a trip that one of the Calendars made it to the U of M archives (Duncan’s archives by the way are being housed at the Ohio State cartoon museum). I miss those days of the early 1990s. *sigh” Someday I’d like to get a scanner and post the entire collection of TELEGRAPH STREET CALENDARS on-line, all 15 issues from 1990 to 2014.

      1. I was in one of those calenders… Chicken Man. I was a drunk punk on the streets of Berkeley and upper Haight if anybody has any photos please send here or text em here 206-300-1261 I am 20+yrs off the streets and sober. Anything will help thanks… I am getting old and would like some help with photos so my new wife can understand my past. And if anybody has a gig going on, we would love to give up our home and drop everythingvand come to California and give back to the community that kept me alive during all my drunk punk days living in people’s park. Thanks

      2. I remember you. You were the punker with the rooster on your shoulder, right? I’ve been homeless for the last 10 years so most of my stuff is way packed away in storage. But if I come across a copy of that photo I’ll try to send you a copy.

      3. Oh man that’s no good… My deepest sympathies… Fuck I could never wish a life on the street ever again…. Man I wish I was there to help out

  5. I am trying to find photos of myself when I was living on the street I had a few different chickens “Ralph” and “whiplash”and lived on those Berkeley streets for about 8yrs.i know there are photos because I was listed in the calender. Not sure what year but I was pictured I am off the streets(20+yrs)and want to give something back to the homeless in sanfranciscao and Berkeley text 206 300 1261 thank you. Joseph Von Zipper

  6. I am trying to find photos of me. Chicken Man…. Text 206 300 1261 anything will help. Getting up in age, need to find old photos when I lived in people’s pa4k thanks

  7. Ya know, I was on a calender. I need pictures…. I will get a motherfuckin lawyer. Oh the name on the street was “chicken man” punk rocker from backbone the day text 206 300 1261 or send photos to thanks

    1. There was a punk looking guy with a rooster on his shoulder who was in the Telegraph Street Calendar. I believe it was the 1993 issue. All my stuff is packed away in storage right now and I’ve been living on the streets for the last 10 years. But if I come across a copy of that issue I’ll let you know.

  8. I know this post is old but so what? I lived in Berkeley off and on through various periods starting in 1974 and through a lot of the 70s, much of the 80s and about half the 90s (I moved around a lot). From everything I’ve read on the Interwebs over the years I’m finding that the 90s were the last gasp of what was once a dynamic, vibrant and very alive Telegraph Avenue. Also from what I’ve seen and read, The Ave is pretty much dead and gone and is no longer the Telegraph that we all once knew and loved.

  9. Hello to Ace Backwords and everyone from Bottleneck (Mr. June on the 1994 Telegraph Avenue Street Calendar). Just a note to let you know that I saw Ace a few month’s ago along Fulton St. and had a short conversation. He looked and sounded great, but I believe he may still be unhoused. We were both busy working, and hopefully, I’ll see him again, subsequently, and have more time to talk. Also, shortly afterward I talked to JC Orton (2004 Calendar cover) and he is fine, and still helping street folks, via Night on The Streets, as well as delivering the Street Spirit to vendors. After a dozen years living on the streets, I have been sober for 21 years and have been blessed with a roof over my head for 16 years. All the best to all my friends!

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