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Taylor Mead

Ron Rice, The Flower Thief, 1960, 16 mm, black-and-white, sound, 70 minutes. Flower Thief (Taylor Mead). Photo: Anthology Film Archives.

“ASK ME SOME MORE QUESTIONS.” Long a great fan of underground legend Taylor Mead, I finally got a chance to meet the actor, poet, filmmaker, and amiable longtime fixture of New York’s Lower East Side in November 2008. I attended one of his Monday evening readings at the Bowery Poetry Club, and we hung out at the bar afterward, during the queer bingo event hosted by New York drag personalities Linda Simpson and Murray Hill. Not long before, in Berlin, I had screened Mead’s predominantly single-frame 16-mm film of his travels in France, Italy, and Greece, European Diaries (1966), in a film series investigating transatlantic connections among underground film scenes from the mid-1960s to the mid-’70s, so I was particularly curious about his period abroad from 1964 to 1967.1 Although Mead’s work in the ’60s American underground has been relatively well documented, his European period

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