The Swami is 80

X Swami X celebrated his 80th Birthday at the annual Winter Solstice Party held at Sponto Gallery, 7 Dudley Avenue last month.

The Swami invented stand-up comedy on the Ocean Front Walk. Beginning in 1971 he would stand on a park bench and alternately amuse and insult his audience. His routine was half monologue and half banter with the audience. His poems have appeared in the Beachhead over the years and an in depth interview with Swami was conducted by Suzy William in the January 2003 Beachhead, which can be read at <>.

The party and art opening sponsored by the Circle of Color brings back the spirit and good times of 60s Venice. This year’s event spilled out into the street while the music never stopped. Circle of Color artists include Shige, Ibrahim and Diane Butler, Ralph Ponsa, Leland Auslender, Ra Superstar, Lani Ware and True.

Music included Black Shoe Polish, Venice Beach Drum Orchestra, Marla, Ramen Empire, Swami X and the Off Their Jingle Bell Rockers, a group that sings offbeat Christmas carols and parody songs.

The show is dedicated to the late homeless artist Michael Devalcourt. Circle of Color also sponsors a Summer Solstice party at Sponto’s.

Posted: Wed - January 4, 2006 at 05:02 PM