September 14, 2012
Turns out the $3,000 number I quoted about Shakespeare performers in California in the 1860s is low! Just heard from Gay Mathis, quoting from a theater history book: "These expenses do not include the frequently high salaries paid to stars which often exceed $6,000 for six successive performances."
Amazing. So nothing has changed that much. We have long paid our celebrities the long dollar.
Been working on the Kid Curry death scene for the next issue of Classic Gunfights. Did this sketch of the scene based off a photo from Mike Bell, from Birmingham England, who trekked out to the site near Rifle, Colorado and took a panorama photo (the guy standing on the rock is where Curry fired from. The posse came up the draw at middle):
The Scraggly Dressed Wild Bunch
Sent this query to Mike Bell (no relation) this morning: Is it just me, or does Kid Curry, Tom O'Day, Ben Kilpatrick and Ole Beck look like homeless people? Granted most of them are photographed in death, but their clothing seems quite ragged, with holes in the coats and sweaters. Logan's coat seems especially torn up and ragged in the death photos. Do you think this is from wear and tear after his death, or was he, in fact, in need of a new outfit? I want to illustrate him as he looked before the Parachute robbery and I want to utilize his clothing from the death photo, but I'm at a loss as to how much I should distress his coat.
True, these photos were taken a week after he was brought down off the mountain, but before he was buried. I thought that these were of him after he was dug up for further identification but that was another week and he had mold on him! Crazy.
Meanwhile, here's fellow Wild Bunch outlaw Tom O'Day looking quite like a transient:
I realize they did not dress like Tom Mix or Lash LaRue, but this is quite a striking difference between the Fort Worth Five photo.
"Don't drive your horse with the whip—use the oat bag."
—Old Vaquero Saying