Monday, September 1, 2014

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White!/The Dirty Three 1st US Tour

When I went to the LA release show for Mike Donovan/Sic Alps' solo lp "Wot" last year (on a double bill with Sun Arraw no less!), my old pal Ricky joked he thought it was Warren Ellis when I walked in given my hirsute and sport-coated appearance. A good laugh was had and it made me recount my first of many live encounters with Mr. Ellis. Back digging through the barn, I remembered I used to take the occasional photo(s) at shows. One of my favorite 1990's shows was the first US tour by the Dirty Three in San Diego at the Casbah (I am guessing 1994?). Weeknight and there were maybe 15-20 people there by their set. I had seen Venom P. Stinger in LA a few years before (on a bill with Claw Hammer in Hollywood if my memory is right) and both my friend Darren and I were super impressed by Mick Turner and Jim White. Anyway, here is one of the better photos. Just a transcendent and FUNNY set, with Warren killing it with his Friar's Club routine between songs.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Always be prepared for the Instant Bummer . . . " (Terminal Zone, 1977)

From a barn copy of Terminal Zone #1, 1977 (Chuck Berry cover). Issue has a long piece on The Aesthetics of Rock as well. Terminal Zone was a conscious turn from pure fanzine writing to something I dunno, more scholarly in an American cultural studies sort of way. Footnotes and whatnot (not that I have anything against them ).  Something that would get the stamp of approval of the Dean if ya know what I mean. This may be the only thing in there which doesn't quite have that stench. Just nice to see the state of the art record disease from 1977, and a nice LA record store tour as well ;



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exclusive DANGERHOUSE Recording Artists: Black Randy and His ELEGANT Metropolitan Squad, X, Alley Cats and the Deadbeats/Amanda Lear and the Pack 1977!

Better than Sparks' appearance in Rollercoaster but perhaps not as great as the Pack in a 1977 Amanda Lear exploito film, is Black Randy's appearance in The Fabulous Stains. That Pack lp from 1978 just sounds better and better every year. Who woulda guessed? Also, from the barn a great DANGERHOUSE exclusive ad:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Turtles Cover Judee Sill's "Lady-O" (1969)/Flo & Eddie Interview Lou Reed on the Midnight Special/Turtlesmania

Is the Turtles cover of "Lady-O" not one of the best pre-solo Sill covers out there and a great early promo film to boot (what ranch is that?). Flo & Eddie in the early 70's were on such a great roll: Mothers, T.Rex (Slider, Electric Warrior), Alice (Billion Dollar Babies) and their own 1973 lp with a GREAT Small Faces cover ("Afterglow"). I recently came across the Lou Reed connection again which I had forgotten about with the barn archive Bottom Line clipping and the Midnight Special interview (a sceen capture for you as well!). Also digging the Turtles "Outside Chance" with one of the best "Taxman" lifts outside of "Start."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Five Really Gone Gone Girls Direct From the Canterbury"/Black Randy's Soul Sister

I was recently wondering what Van Nuys, California's Rock Corporation was like: a "valley biker joint with a TV dinner tray for a stage" that's what. Possibly the earliest (non-gossip) coverage of the Go-Go's in Slash, 1978. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see them until the fall of 1981 with the Fleshtones at the Greek Theater (LA). By that time, quite a different proposition. GREAT descriptions of the Middle Class as well. Photos by Steve Samiof and Melanie Nissen. Review by . . . .

Monday, August 11, 2014

So Kickboy, How Do You Really Feel About VOM/"Some of you are very clever people"/"It was reaching terminal boredom proportions"

Richard Meltzer and Kickboy Face aka Claude Bessy. Both born in 1945 (May 11 and June 20 respectively) and among the select group of music writers whose work transcends the genre. Both based in Los Angeles during a golden age of American music (approximately 1976-1983) and both with pretensions to act as rock frontpersons in their thirties (not that there is anything to fault with that). So who knew that the Metal Mike/Brendan Mullen spat dates back to at least 1978? I have previously written about it here. It's like Bessy drafted Mullen's talking points a couple of decades in advance. In the present day I like both Catholic Discipline and VOM, though given Catholic Discipline's VU/Can/Nuggets hybrid it would have produced one of the finer lps to come out of post-Masque/pre-hardcore Los Angeles if someone had dragged them into a studio. One could assume that Meltzer felt no animosity to Bessy by 1979 (see "Cocktails With Claude," LA Weekly 1979 interview of Claude by Meltzer, Meltzer’s review of the Germs “G.I.”). What Bessy writes is really about more than VOM. What were his thoughts on the Dictators fer instance - did they get a pass even though a writer was in their midst? Mind you Chris D. and Ranking Jeffrey were on the Slash staff.  How harsh is this: "they couldn't be naive enough to think that even on the fringe of that fringe phenomenon there is room for a bunch of would-be satirists with resentment and bitterness in their hearts, pot bellies behind their their tattered stage costumes and panic at their sudden irrelevance behind their contrived aggressiveness. They couldn't be vain enough to hope that the punx might fall for it and actually (irony of irony) make them into heroes or villains." No really Kickboy, how do you feel about VOM? An hey, enough with the slams of would-be satirists with resentment and bitterness in their hearts, and pot bellies behind their their tattered stage costumes and panic at their sudden irrelevance behind their contrived aggressiveness. Hitting a little too close to home buddy!
Over to Metal Mike in his attack on Mullen and Spitz' We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk:
Not once in this book is there a mention of the March 1978 Dickies/VOM 2-night, 4-sets stand at the Whiskey, which was one of the wildest,craziest, most chaotic spectacles of "punk rock," anyplace, anywhere, anytime. Re: Paul Grant's 2-page article describing the opening night show in national slick-mag NEW WAVE ROCK...I was there (at the Whiskey), it was that hysterical/nutty/wild and then some. Never laughed so hard in my life. Ah, wait, wait, wait, back up the truck-there is no mention of 1977-78 LA punk band VOM (with rock critic and brilliant Blue Oyster Cult lyricist Richard Meltzer) anywhere in this book.Now this is getting interesting. 

Uh, "wildest,craziest, most chaotic spectacles of "punk rock," anyplace, anywhere, anytime." Are we talking about the same set of shows here?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let's Head to the Rock Corporation

Can you believe this lineup from 1978 in VAN NUYS! Currently the location of a panel beater/body shop.  Like Van Nuys needed another one!  The Valley and punk. I remember a lot of shows at the Country Club and later at BeBop Records but that was the next era. So were the shows at Devonshire Downs and Godzillas.  Technically, I lived closer to the Rock Corporation (great name that one!) than Fiberglass, but it would have been close as to who could bike there first.  What was so great about first wave LA punk were all the weekend MATINEE shows!  The Whiskey had them as well.  What comes to mind when I think SFV punk hall of fame are the Dickies, Shock, FEAR, Bad Religion, RF7, Killroy, etc. What I don't think of when I think of Van Nuys are following folks heading there (intentionally): the Eyes, F-Word, Simpletones, Controllers, Plugz, X, Middle Class, Bags, Flesh Eaters, etc.  Did the Germs play the Rock Corporation? Claude Bessy in the valley, please. Can any readers share what the venue was actually like.