Monday, April 7, 2014

Twist & Shout '77/Legs & Co./Northern Dreamin'/Before You Were New Wave (repost from August 2011 with video links up again)

I can thank Ricky for originally introducing me to the Holyground staple of records by dropping A-Austr on me several years ago. Next, I stumbled upon a Canadian fanzine from 1977 in the barn, Twist & Shout, which had some excellent crossover coverage of material that 1977 "punks" getting whole heartedly behind the new wave probably pretended they never listened to just twelve months before. What is pretty great about Twist & Shout is that it lacks that insularity that comes from a lot of year zero punk zines. Dude, you did like all the Chinn-Chapman singles and you may have even had a Yes record at one point. Hell yes, Twist & Shout liked Status Quo, Sparks, Be Bop Deluxe and pub rock as much as any current import punk 45 from south of the border or the UK. At least they didn't lie about it. In 2011, I guess we can proudly call people like the Twist & Shout folks record nerds. What A-Austr and the cover story of Twist & Shout had me curious about was the involvement of Bill Nelson in the whole Holyground enterprise and his shaggy, bearded and sneaker wearing self before the takeoff of Be Bop Deluxe. He may look like Bill Fay's relative, but "Northern Dream" aint "Time of the Last Persecution." That said, it is worth checking out to see how far Nelson came in such a short time before "Axe Victim." Not so sure about that dodgy cover cartoon cover art - I would have opted for the photo on the side of the bed writ large.

As has been pointed out, there is something Thin Lizzy-ish about this great 1975 single. But it is clearly in that the band is incredibly tight. Was there another Kiwi musician with as high a profile in the UK at that time as Charlie Tumahai. Gotta say that Nelson cleaned up pretty nicely by ditching both the early 70's beard and 60's mustache. Can you touch the guy sartorially? "Landed"/"Unlimited Edition" Can comes pretty close - Exhibit A from the barn below. Compared to the 1975 other pop hits, this one is pretty classy.
I have to say, that this oddball Top of the Pop clip clip will give you newfound appreciation for Be Bop Deluxe's crossover appeal (if you can avoid creepy Saville - which was a story that broke after I first published this back in 2011). A great 1974 live version of "Sweet Jane" sounding as good as Laughner's Cinderella Backstreet version of the same year? Here is the whole Twist & Shout interview. The Sparks interview is great and needs a full reproduction here soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Quick in the Studio with Kim Fowley and Earle Mankey (Mondo Deco sessions)/Rodney and the Flamin' Groovies/Dee Dee on L.A. & More/Blast Celebrity Rock Magazine December 1976

The December 1976 Rolling Stone magazine covers: Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Maurice Sendak. Almost a parody that Belushi would have had a field day with if given more writing time during the 1976-77 SNL season. Blast which billed itself as a "Celebrity Rock Magazine" (my kinda celebs for the most part, I might add) in their December 1976 issue: the Who on the cover with generous features on BOC, Bryan Ferry, Burning Spear/Toots/Marley and Tosh, as well as a 1960's SF rock family tree ala Zig Zag. Gotta say that Blast wins the December 1976 battle royale with a team including Jon Tiven, Trix A. Balm (Lauren Agnelli) and edited by Michael Gross (who had some nice NME articles circa 73'74). The Ferry piece was written by Mick Rock who also supplied the photos. Also among the contributing photographers for this issue are a who's who of rockist photographers including  Richard Creamer (who I consider the Brassaï of glitter Hollywood), Richard Aaron, Chuck Pulin, and the great Brad Elterman, my man from the SFV. For your enjoyment are two thumbnail photos by Brad a little larger for your perusal (where are the full negative sheets of these sessions!!). Historically, I think these two pictures would now get the full feature treatment given how important the events documented in the photos. The Quick at the Mondo Deco recording sessions.  The Flamin' Groovies with Rodney was taken by my guess at the joint Ramones/Flamin' Groovies bill at the Roxy, August 12, 1976. Sire Records double bill.  In the audience we can only guess the Denney Bros., Claude and Philomena, Mike Kelley, the entire nascent Masque scene, the Runaways, the Back Door Man crew, Plez and Kid Congo, Greg Shaw, Gene Scalutti, Gregg Turner (was Meltzer in LA by late 1976). Anyway, Brad WAS there to take the photos. Any crowd shots? Even better is Dee Dee's take on LA nightlife circa 1976 . . . .
The announcement of the start of Rodney on the Roq!


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Snoop Sisters and Alice Cooper/People Magazine March 4, 1974/Lance Loud & Dennis Wilson

I saw Alice Cooper last November in Las Vegas (at a casino!) and it was one of my favorite shows of 2013, and easily the best performance by any 65 year old I have seen recently (not to be ageist, U Roy put on an incredible performance last year as well and he is into his 70's!). But those great Cooper years of 1964-1974 (the same years covered in the excellent rarities/outtakes 4 cd set "Old School" that came out a few years ago). The good years when Alice Cooper was still a band and not a person. There are lots of good Alice Cooper Band covers though some days I am partial to the Laughing Hyenas takedown of "Public Animal #9," featuring one of the top vocalists/frontpersons of the rock era (Alice included) , John Brannon.  Anyway, sometimes the over-the-counter culture magazines do feature an inkling of what was bubbling up. So from over 40 years ago this month, we take a look at the March 4, 1974 issue of People Magazine found at the local thrift shop. So post "Muscle of Love" and pre Hollywood Vampires, we get Alice helping kindly Helen Hayes infiltrate a coven of satanic witches on NBC prime time. Try getting that on TV today, but in a Watergate/Manson girls/Exorcist world it all made total sense. See kids, things WERE better back then. And clearly Glenn was taking note of the Crimson Ghost suit in between spinning Sabbath records back in Jersey.

So watch Alice (sans band) guesting on "The Snoop Sisters":

What also jumps out in the March 1974 People Magazine, is the continued coverage of the Loud Family. So far the performance of LOUD from the Cavett vaults has yet to surface but we really hope it does. See the Santa Barbara public access performance of the classic, soon to be classic Mumps track, and we can only hope to see the Cavett performance. By the way, anyone ever see Dennis Wilson and Lance Loud in the same room together? I hear Dennis grew the "Pacific Ocean Blue" beard to keep people from calling him Lance!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Lemming "Father John," "Queen Jacula"and "Lucifera"/"Don't Look Behind (Trampa macabre)

One of my favorite contemporary video pieces that I saw in Mexico City back in January, at the show "La voluntad de la piedra" at el Museo de Arte Carrillo Gil, was "Don’t look behind (Trampa macabra"), Leo Marz's giallo-inspired, critical exegis of terror (or is it curatorial horror given the Mexican art world cameos).  I doubt Leo is familiar with most excellent Dutch glam rockers Lemming but I think he would like the low budget Argento/Suspiria vibe that their Dutch television performances from 1974 to 1975 reek of: the essential "Father John" (about a monk!) and "Queen Jacula."  And I will posit it here first. Is not Lemming's great dancer in these clips, Lucifera (RIP), the continent's low budget glam answer to Stacia? Thanks to Robin for originally introducing me to the greatness of Lemming back in 2006.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Greg Shaw Reviews Clap's "Have You Reached Yet?"/Who Put the Bomp! Summer, 1974

I have been a huge fan of Clap’s 1973 lp “Have You Reached Yet?” lp ever since the first time I heard it on a kinda muddy sounding bootleg, and have mentioned them a bunch. Just a perfect out of tyme - or ahead of your time - lp for the 70's (kinda like Fortune Teller's "Inner City Scream"). "Have You Reached Yet?" was clearly one of those lps you didn’t think you would ever get to hold in yer hands, let alone a new vinyl edition of the lp in MONO (which sounds fantastic). So, I finally landed an out-of-print copy put out by perhaps the best reissue label in the world, Sing Sing outta NY. What jumped out in the new liners by Phast Phreddie Patterson is that he says: “around 1976, I gave my copy of “Have You Reached Yet” to Greg Shaw, who wrote about it in his Bomp! Magazine – thus igniting the legend of Clap.” Well, while I was researching to find real time reviews of the lp, I found that Greg Shaw reviewed the lp as early as the Summer 1974 issue of “Who Put the Bomp!” when the lp itself may have only been a year old (even though Greg says the lp is from 1971 in the review - perhaps said in the grip of "Love It to Death" comparisons). Did he end up reviewing the lp twice? What is intriguing is also that the review says “the cover’s great too – its got a photo of a lizard-skin platform boot on a stool with a flashlight beam on it!” Does anyone know whether there was an earlier press of the lp with that cover? The boot photo is on the back cover as a small snap, even smaller than the band photo or logo. Anyway, another essential purchase if you can still find it.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

La Libre Expresión in México Canta ("The Magazine of the New Wave"), October 1970

A recent find in the D.F. has been México Canta, an underground Hit Parader of sorts. Heavy Beatles coverage in the two issues I have from 1970, and little did I know how big CCR was in Mexico ("Lodi" was #1 on the charts in the issue below from 1970) and the non-Fogerty CCR Revisited is playing at the awesome Auditorio Nacional in March. What jumped out was a feature on La Libre Expresión (assuming it is the same band). I have had a repress of the 1968 (or is it 1969) lp by this great Mexican psych-garage band for about a decade. Almost entirely covers (Creedence, Blue Cheer, Hendrix, Zombies X2, Bee Gees and the totally underrated (Young) Rascals - who need a post of their own - it just flows like an slightly mersh u-ground jukebox of the day (in Spanish of course). The same issue has a nice feature on Quicksilver Messenger Service as well. So, possibly reprinted for the first time in 43 years, una entravista con La Libre Expresión:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Slade en el D.F.

Made in Cuernavaca in the state of Morelos, 197? A recent find at one of the best Sunday outdoor markets in the world, El Mercado de La Lagunilla.