Honor Thy Woof

HONOR THY WOOF, the Snuffie Memorial Exhibition, is a surreal photo-documentary of the funeral, on Ash Wednesday 1987, of The Gangster Woof of Amsterdam. It opened at Ins & Outs Press on the evening of Friday, November 6th, the occasion of Herbert Huncke’s reading there, and remained up for about one year. All the original prints are now in the Eddie Woods Archive at Stanford University. Hereunder you have scanned copies of those photographs, this time round with captions.

The Book of Woof  has yet to be written. And the story is too long and lovingly complex to try and tell here. Suffice it to say that for several years Snuffie was at once Eddie Woods’ constant companion and his personal guru. About whom Jack Micheline began one of his many handwritten letters to Eddie with the words: “Snuffie is not a dog!” Harold Norse said the same thing, only he whispered it into Eddie’s ear. William Burroughs spent a good half hour ‘conversing’ with the Woof; and as the whole world knows, Bill Burroughs was mainly a cat lover.

Snuffie collapsed and died on March 1st 1987 in a small Tex-Mex restaurant, owned by an American couple named Max and Bonny, called The Texas Embassy. He was there with Eddie’s then-girlfriend Karin Musso, as Eddie had an appointment elsewhere. Max tried to revive Snuffie by giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, but to no avail. By the time Eddie returned, the animal ambulance had arrived and “A Whiter Shade of Pale” was playing. Eddie immediately began making arrangements for Snuffie’s burial.

The funeral was held in a large cemetery in Diemen, just outside Amsterdam, on March 4th, a bitterly cold and heavily overcast Ash Wednesday morning. Some 20 people were in attendance, including children. Before leaving the house, Eddie grabbed a book from one of his shelves, T. S. Eliot’s Selected Poems. During the taxi ride out he opened it at random. To the poem “Ash Wednesday.” So that’s what he recited over the open grave. Biscuits were tossed onto the casket after it had been closed, and then each and every person followed by throwing on the traditional shovelful of earth. The entire service was doubly recorded. Not long afterwards, William Levy featured the recording on his Dr. Doo-Wop radio program. “Whoever thought that I would one day sit shivah for a dog?” he remarked at the post-funeral Ins & Outs wake, to which 60 or more people came. In due course, enshallah, we’ll get a podcast of the recording up. Only not yet, it’s still on audio cassette, and there’s other work to be done.

The prints exhibition was presented by Kali, Inc. and was the combined effort of Eddie Woods, Marion Beyer, Peter Edel and Triplocolor photo lab.

All color photos are © 1987, 2012 by Marion Beyer.
All black & white photos are © 1987, 2012 by Eddie Woods.
The individual photographs pop up bigger when clicked on.

Enjoy. And don’t forget: SNUFFIE is still watching…!

THE PROCESSION (The Vampire, The Cowgirl, The Gangster) Left to right foreground: Karin Musso, Chrissy Richman, Eddie Woods. Plus Kirkie, Rael, and Elrah Wilson. Near background: Kirke Wilson and Ronnie Dreyer.

Left to right: Chrissy Richman, François Content, Karin Musso, Kirke Wilson, Loesje Wilson, Ronnie Dreyer.

Eddie holstering his (water) machinegun prior to reciting a poem; with Jane Harvey, her flute at the ready, looking on.

Eddie reciting T. S. Eliot's "Ash Wednesday" over Snuffie's casket, accompanied by Jane Harvey on flute.

"Why should I mourn / The vanished power of the usual reign?"

"Teach us to care and not to care / Teach us to sit still."

Karin Musso (Prince Valiant).

Jane also putting earth on the casket

Marion Beyer (+ Kirke and Jane).

Caretaker in full military dress.

François Content playing Beethoven's Sixth Symphony over Snuffie's gravesite.

"In the name of the Father..."

"And of the Son..."

"And of the Holy Ghost. Amen."

Their first-ever funeral. Left to right: Panther Content, and Myrthe, Rael, Kirkie, & Elrah Wilson (with Rael and Kirkie holding the 1984 Ins & Outs Press 'Snuffie Is Watching You' card).

Left to right: Chrissy, Kirke, François, Ronnie and Loesje

Mijnheer Smit, head caretaker at the Diemen cemetery

Chrissy clutching a bottle of Jack Daniel's, Loesje doing 'something,' Karin expressing 'disapproval,' with Ronnie finding it 'all so amusing.'

Left to right: Kirke Wilson, Jane Harvey (holding Eddie's Remy Martin-filled 'duck cane'), Anuragi (Harry Rutten) and Loesje Wilson. (Both Anuragi and Kirke were recording the entire funeral.)

Left to right: Jane Harvey, Anuragi (Harry Rutten), Chrissy Richman

Taking Back the Garden of Eden. Left to right: Kirke, Karin, Chrissy, General Smit, The Gangster Poet.

Karin Musso and Elrah Wilson (with a Snuffie card).

Lady Marion Beyer with her camera.

Left to right: Chrissy Richman (with Snuffie's bone), Kirke Wilson, trumpeter François Content, Ronnie Dreyer, and Loesje Wilson.

Karin Musso (The Exquisite Vampire).

Marion Beyer and camera, alongside the cemetery 'sloot' (canal ditch).

Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil. Chrissy, Loesje, and Ronnie indoors at the cemetery after the funeral.

The Godfather.

SNUFFIE is still watching... Limited-edition silkscreen print by Kirke Wilson (based on a black & white photograph by Eddie Woods). Photo reproduction digitally enhanced by the artist.

SIR SNUFFIE © 1987, 2012 by Karin Musso was originally published, together with an EW photo of Woofie, as an Ins & Outs Press poemcard (1987).