26 July 2015


my discovery online of several photographs of Rudolph Valentino with a hermit in Palm Springs led me all over the place today.

the man with beard & guitar was William Pester. he was a nudist & local character who some think was the inspiration for the song "Nature Boy."

digging deeper I discoverd that shortly before he died Peter Wild publishd a bio of Pester.  I have a couple of connections to Wild. we share the same birthday (altho he was born 3 years before me). & we both had sweet little books publishd at the same time by Abraxas Press.

mine was my first book -- Into the Sea.  his was Three Nights in the Chiricahuas.

the reason I know they were publishd together is that at some point I was sent some extra covers by the press & they included the cover for Wild's book. they may have even been on the same page when the cover stock was printd.

I love knowing that both Valentino & Wild have Palm Springs connections.


MjB said...

That's a great photo. Is Valentino playing some sort of rhythm instrument--a small shaker maybe? It looks like he's holding something in his right hand. The guitar looks like a Weissenborn slide guitar. They're a distinctively shaped instrument and were popular during the Hawaiian music craze in the 1900s-30s or so. I wonder what the music sounded like? Here's a video of Cindy Cashdollar playing a 1927 Weissenborn. She tells how she bought the guitar and plays a little bit at the end. I wonder if Pester and Valentino were jamming to Hawaiian sounds or something "of the moment" or . . . what?


Take care,

Alex Gildzen said...

when I was researching Pester I found a blog entry abt him & his guitars. I'm sure you can find it easily.