poet, teacher and performance artist Joseph
Martin Stanco died
of malignant melanoma Wednesday evening June 5 2002 at home with
his wife Michele and daughters Hilary, Natalie and Gabrielle.
"Get back, cancer" were
his final words.
Farley Scott, Joe Stanco and Gary
onstage at a Victor
Dada performance March 2, 1994. Here the
guys are choral reading canned goods contents. Venue unknown
— although it might have been Club Dada, which was named after
the group. Not pictured are Dada members Tom Henvey and Ken
One of the joys of this editor's life was to have been considered an honorary
member of the group, and
to have been publicly greeted when I entered the venue.
was co-founder, with Gary Deen, of the popular Dallas music and
performance poetry group Victor
Dada (& The Ten O'clock Koan), a long-time Dallas Arts Revue
contributor and friend. He taught creative writing at Richland
College and headed their
Honors Programs where he encouraged and inspired hundreds, perhaps
thousands of literary and otherwise creative students along the
Joe was an instigator, organizer,
lyricist and avid performer
— in Victor Dada, Recent Civilization, Stanco & Company
and other groups. He starred in a series of videos by artist, video-maker
and friend Dwayne Carter, and Joe's daughters
were The Ideal Females, a popular Dallas singing group in the
early 90s, while they were still in school. Daughter Natalie
Stanco is one of the driving forces of performance comedy group
Viva La Vulva ( Read Joe's biased
based in Austin.
Joe bashes a coconut to
smithereens in his front yard during the
First Annual Fruitball
Games on his last birthday, July
4, 2001. JR Compton photo
Victor Dada's greatest hits
included such titles as His & Herpes,
Ranch Style Beans from Outter Space, Monotony, (Take
Me Up Your) Love Canal and
No Jacuzzi, among many
other more serious Dada and nonsense works.
In addition, there are Victor
Dada tapes, Joe's book and CD, Dallason,
videos, tapes and his and Gary Deen's delicious chapbook, WordScrawl
BrainStorm. DARts readers might want to download
Joe performing his Thinking
About Language live ( 2.7 mebabyte MP3 ) with Victor
Dada, for a tiny taste. Although it's eerie to hear his voice
so clear and sharp now.
Membership page includes some of his poetry and
some old favorites. The last time I talked with him — at daughter
Hilary's Graduation Party
2002, he said he wanted
to publish a 17-page poem about the death of his sister 20 years
ago and other works "only on Dallas Arts Revue."