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John Mendelsohn aka John Mendelssohn, American composer, music critic, graphic designer, actor/playwright/director, essayist, and wit.

He was born in Washington, D.C. during the presidency of Harry S. Truman, but moved with his parents to southern California aged six months. He lived briefly in the San Fernando Valley, but mostly on the coast, first in Playa del Rey, and later above Pacific Coast Highway just south of Topanga Canyon Blvd. He studied at the University of California at Los Angeles, thus avoiding military service in Vietnam. He began contributing music criticism to the Los Angeles Times and Rolling Stone while still a student, continuing all the while to dream of rock stardom of his own. With bass player, Ralph Wm. Oswald, with whom he'd played in a sucession of ragtag college groups (including recording a demo album with a nascent Sparks), he formed a serious version of their group Christopher Milk in mid-1970. The group recorded for United Artists and Warner Bros. Records before disbanding in 1973.

Having failed to become a rock star, he resolved to become a musician and composer (in Christopher Milk, he'd served primarily as lyricist). He released an EP on Greg Shaw's Bomp lable, John Mendelsohn's the Pits, in 1975. Rhino released a package comprising his authorized autobiography, I, Caramba, and a compilation of song demos, Masturpieces, in 1995.

He relocated to the United Kingdom to reside there with his English second wife Claire in 2002, during which he composed and produced his own solo album, Sex With Twinge, and Mistress Chloe's much-praised Like a Moth to Its Flame. Over the course of the next half-decade, he composed and produced albums for Sadie Sings and Do Re Mi Fa (Cough), and wrote three published books (Dominatrix: The Making of Mistress Chloe, Waiting for Kate Bush, and Gigantic: The Pixies and Frank Black) and a great, great deal of unpublished fiction, not to mention several teleplays. He directed and starred in two scripted sketch comedy revues, The Ministry of Humour and Clear & Present Rangers.

He abandoned the UK in frustration late in 2007, and spent 10 months in the Midwest before buying a home in New York's Hudson Valley, where, between November 2008 and November 2009, he composed, performed, and recorded his second solo album, Sorry We're Open, due for release on Groundhog Day, 2010. Please see



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