Long Gone John (born John Mermis) has accomplished a lot for someone who struggled to make ends meet from an early age. He spontaneously began Sympathy for the Record Industry in 1988, a label that sought to maintain a diverse artist roster including the psychedelic drone of Skullflower, country-flavored goth of Gun Club, offbeat punk from Turbonegro, and even the first three White Stripes albums.

As if running a label with over 700 releases in the last 19 years weren’t enough, Mermis further solidified his image as a cult personality by starting Necessaries Toy Foundation, which has released work from Camille Rose Garcia, Fawn Gehweiler, and Mark Ryden.

The Grand Central Art Center will dedicate a Saturday night to Mermis on February 3, where Pictures of the Gone World will air from 7-10 p.m. The film documents Mermis’ eccentric art and musical obsessions, includes a complete tour of his house, and at the same time provides a broader take on the world of indie culture through interviews. It will be shown alongside the first public appearance of “A Pirate’s Treasure Dream,” a Todd Schorr painting that features Mermis.

Pictures of the Gone World runs February 3 – March 18, 2007.

CSUF Grand Central Art Center
125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, CA

Cameron Octigan