Well, after having been away for far too long, I finally had a bit of time to turn attention again to my photo archives. The plan, originally, had been to offer a different artist, to get the ball rolling again, but a post by the Dangerous Minds blog just this past week, rearranged my initial thoughts on the matter.

Happy Birthday Clint Ruin

What follows, are images captured of Jim Thirlwell, a/k/a Clint Ruin, Foetus, etc., when he appeared in San Francisco, as Scraping Foetus Off the Wheel.

Playing to a pre-recorded backing tape, he came out and performed, something like a twisted burlesque show, with a baseball bat as an accessory, in an ever-growing swirl of stage smoke, to add extra atmosphere to the proceedings.

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus as smoke begins with mic in hand

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus grips the bat and purses his lips

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with baseball bat on shoulder & s

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus stands firm [Scraping Foetus Off

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with bat on shoulder & shades bef

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus baseball bat on shoulder leaning

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with firm chin and bat on shoulde

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with bat on shoulder & shades fac

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus as smoke starts with mic in hand

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus makes his entrance in smoke [Scra

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus looks dead into the camera [Scrap

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus fist pump [Scraping Foetus Off th

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus shrugs off [Scraping Foetus Off t

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with pinkie raised [Scraping Foet

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus eyes closed in leather jacket  [S

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus shouts [Scraping Foetus Off the W

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus profile clutching mic [Scraping F

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus profile shoulder shadow [Scraping

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus rubs his pelvis [Scraping Foetus

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus profile stern look [Scraping Foet

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus on his back [Scraping Foetus Off

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus getting up off the floor [Scrapin

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus crouching in smoke with bat on sh

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus with baseball bat without shades

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus t-shirt being removed [Scraping F

Michael Conen - [PROOF] Foetus uses the bat head obscured [Scrap


     A very satisfying series of images, personally speaking.

Admittedly, the performance was more intriguing for me, moreso than the musical accompianment, I’d have to admit, but I am glad to have witnessed this show for the visual experience, alone.

For more on Mr. Thirlwell’s activities, from about this point in time, when he collaborated a bit with Lydia Lunch, have a look here:

Lydia Lunch – From the Archives


Foetus‘ projects and chronology information is found at this link:



And, should you wish to check out the photos from the opening act for that same evening [Negativland], you may do so here:

Negativland at the I-Beam, SF [3-10-86]


April, 2020: A review of the most recent work released by Mr. Thirlwell; a collaborative effort which has garnered high praise – https://vaguevisages.com/2020/04/27/album-review-jg-thirlwell-and-simon-steensland-oscillospira/



While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, “Supply and Demand”; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach “proof” quality – which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.