Anyone who has seen “Young Turks” at the Downtown Independent knows that there was a mystery that could not be solved by the filmmakers, Stephen Seemayer and Pamela Wilson, during the re-editing of the film. While two of the 13 artists featured in the movie had passed away, and 10 are still around the country making art, one could not be found anywhere. A Google search for Eric “Randy” Johnsen, the “Action Critic,” had only led to a citation in a book about artist William Wegman, for whom Randy’s old friends knew he had worked after leaving L.A. But no one had a contact number, an email or any other way to reach him.
So it came as quite a surprise when Leslie Carlson, one of Wilson’s former colleagues at the Los Angeles Times, approached Wilson at the World Premiere on Friday night and said, “We came bearing a Turk.” Lo and behold, through the door of the Downtown Independent, in walked Randy Johnsen, a little older but as feisty as ever. That was the highlight of an amazing evening.
The World Premiere went off without a hitch with a good and appreciative crowd, a lively Q&A with Wilson and Seemayer, and the presence of several people who are in the movie, including James Duck and Fred Arbegast of Party Boys, Josie Roth of Fat & Fucked Up, performance artist Richard Newton, and of course, the mystery man, Randy Johnsen.