Chris Knowles at Secret Sun comes to mind, but there are other, less literate, examples.
To me, Dick resides squarely in the realm of the outsider. He just lives there in a house built out of science...well pseudoscience, but science none the less.
& I've always had a huge soft spot for the outsiders.
They can best be described as suffering from RDD or Reality Deficit Disorder, but I prefer Jello Biafra's "differently sane" label.
The art world has them. Howard Finster comes to mind.
Like Dick, Howard has an obsession with the heavens. Or, more precisely, Heaven.
But I think Dick would find his closest kin in the world of outsider music, where its denizens share Dick's Moon/Mars/Alien Space Brother obsession to a far larger degree.
There's Joe Meek, the suicidally gay record producer who recorded everything in his apartment.
Meek's biggest score occurred with Telstar, his ode to the first communications satellite, but he also was responsible for countless other recordings, some successful, others not so much.
It has been reported that Meek was fascinated with outer space, even recording a 12 song LP entitled "I Hear A New World" in 1960, of which Meek has said,
"I wanted to create a picture in music of what could be up there in outer space."Then there's Lucia Pamela, whose one lone bit of recorded output is fittingly entitled, "Into Outer Space."
Miss Pamela insists that she recorded this audio wonder on the Moon itself. No doubt in a recording studio long abandoned by some of Dick Hoagland's Ancient Alien Moon Men.
Into Outer Space is, quite frankly an amazing record that is hard not to love. Of it, Irwin Chusid, had this to say,
"Imagine an LP of a peyote soaked klezmer band, recorded with Joe Meek passed out at the console, wavering on your turntable between 31 and 35 rpm."Just as Dick Hoagland believes that the world's pyramids are huge "torsion field generators," Lucia Pamela believed her pink Cadillac could fly. Dick has his "Enterprise Project" while Miss Pamela sought to build an amusement park with a ride that would actually take visitors to another planet.
Then there's Syd Barrett.
It's been said that Pink Floyd only had one album, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. Everything after that was irrelevant as they became "the most expansive of arena schlockers, a lumbering motorcade of fuel guzzling guitars, wide load keys, tanker grade vocals, and drums that don't accelerate beyond second gear. Rock's counterpart to the Chrysler Corporation."
I can't say that I disagree.
Pink Floyd, post Syd, is, to put it mildly, a pompous affair.
But Syd Floyd, that's the real deal. Syd was not only obsessed with outer space, by using copious amounts of psychedelics, he blasted himself into outer space. I'm sure Dick could relate.
Then there's my personal favorite outsider, Captain Beefheart. It's been said of the good Captain that he "took the cracked, primitive, electric country blues of Howlin' Wolf and just kept on going until the 'Delta' he was referencing was not the Mississippi's but a canal on Mars."
I suppose that what I'm trying to say is that I don't doubt Dick's sincerity.
I just don't believe his tale.
But I do love it none the less.