Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tomata du Plenty and David Lee Roth

As you would expect in David Lee Roth’s Crazy From the Heat (1997 ed.), there are not many references to punk, though in an amusing conflation he oddly and belatedly hands the year 1978 over to Van Halen, the Sex Pistols and the Bee Gees. All three get a passing nod. There is also a passing reference to Henry Rollins and to LA scenester Tequila Mockingbird. I know that Pleasant has thought that David Lee Roth was an investor in the Zero Zero gallery as you can read here. There are also references to the club in the excellent Peter Ivers bio In Heaven Everything is Fine. In Crazy From the Heat, Roth confirms that he was in fact a partner, and was where he had his initial meeting with Steve Vai “actually after a police raid at the local Zero One Gallery, an after hours spot where I was a partner. We got busted every three months: there is supposedly no after-hours in L.A.” Arguably the better anecdote and one that has only somewhat recently been brought to my attention is that DLR and Tomata du Plenty knew each other and that the Zero Zero was the common denominator.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Interphase 1/100% Impure Punk/A Warholian Freak Show/A Mutant's Eye View of Black Oak Arkansas [from Jan. 2011]

I must have tracked this one down in the late 1980’s based on the $2.99 price. From Wilmette and Chicago/DeKalb Illinois comes Interphase 1, edited by Cary S. Baker, Jeff Silberman and Harlan Hollander. What interests us most about this 'zine is the unbelievable who’s who slice of pre-punk Americana straight out of 1975. This includes the writing crew that would coalesce into Gulcher the magazine, and the brilliant uber-teenage Gizmos, prior to their March 1976 recording debut. During the 1990’s, when there were a slew of must read magazines and zines, including Forced Exposure, Jewish Beatle, Black to Comm, Modern Rock Mag (later Rock Mag), Superdope, 200lb Underground, Wipeout, Feminist Baseball, Popwatch, Bob Bert’s BB Gun, Opprobrium and others, one of the best and hardest to obtain, i.e., least distributed, was Eddie Flowers’ digest size Slippy Town Times. Slippy Town Times was really the only one that could link you directly to the primordial days of original, early 70's high energy rock criticism which still included righteous coverage of current stuff such as the latest avalanche of Sun City Girls releases. You may know Eddie from his time fronting one of the best and unheralded free form rock bands of the past (what is it 25 years now and running?), Crawlspace. But Ed had a previous incarnation as one of the more astute music writers among the generation after Bangs, Meltzer and Tosches et al. Slippytown went online with a mailorder side as well sometime in the 2000's I think.

Included in Interphase is a great tag team interview of Black Oak Arkansas’ Jim Dandy by Ken Highland, Bob Richert and Eddie entitled “Jim Dandy to the Recluse” aka “Talking With Jim Dandy: A Mutant’s Eye View of Black Oak Arkansas in Middle America.” Sounds like a title to swipe for my cultural studies dissertation, no? Richert’s “Beyond Our Control” gets some repeated mention so it does pre-date Gulcher.

Also of note are write-ups on both the Dictators and Crème Soda PRE “Go Girl Crazy” and “Tricky Zingers.” Eddie wrote the piece reproduced here with the only available release at the time being “I’m Chewin’ Gum.” Eddie has put this on the Slippytown site though not in its original incarnation.

The “Innerfazing” list is a hoot. Claire Panke of “Prehensile Tongue” fame is described as “Chicago’s most curvaceous Anglophile, and believes that Alex Harvey is God,” David Newberger who gives the you are there account of the Dictators is described as “a rock enthusiast, a friend of Blue Oyster Cult’s and quite a nice dude.” Of course, “Eddie Flowers is to Southern rock what Ken Kesey is to acid” and Ken Highland is “a very enterprising rock and roll punk.” Amen. While special thanks go out to Lester Bangs, Adny Shernoff and Murray Krugman, who is Tim Love, described as “DeKalb’s top roadie, a Jim Dandy/Iggy nut and an expert on Mississippi River Rat Rock.”

Art Schaak of “Roller Reader” is the zines LA correspondent, but I have to say provides some very low energy rock and roll wattage given the total lack of Zolar X coverage and inclusion of Tull’s “War Child.” I will give a thumbs-up breakdown on the first JT lp at some point in 2011. Probably more I could scan but this should do. There are some sweet live shots of Steven Tyler by Claire Panke and a short MC5 write-up which I think I will post at some point: “the MC5 are deified Motor City rockers. Their three out-of-print albums go for anywhere from $1.99 in the bargain bins or $10 on the black market.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sparksiana via Joseph Fluery, December 1973/Sparks Ltd

One from the barn. From December 1973 and Alan Betrock’s The Rock Marketplace, Joesph Fluery as Sparks’ propaganda minister/shadow manager/#1 Fan in Heaven, sponsors a full page ad saluting Sparks for signing to Island. Was Joseph managing Milk & Cookies at this point in Brooklyn? Soon after, Joseph heads over to London to work with John Hewlett as Kimono My House is about to be unleashed onto the world (only a few months later than Joseph states - June instead of March 1974). Joseph is also given the unenviable job of terminating the great Martin Gordon right after the lp takes off, whose Rickenbacker sound on that lp should have been a mainstay on Sparks’ 70’s output. Joseph goes on to manage the Mumps, the Dickies (who play NZ for the first time Sunday night!) and of course Sparks. I have written about Joseph previously, but another secret tastemaker of the 70's who had the vision to see the music of the 1980's in 1973.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And you, of course, want the latest "New Wave" releases?/The Weirdos' 1977 Bomp Store Ad

From the classic November/December 1977 Back Door Man No. 13 (Tom Petty cover "Call me a punk and I'll fucking cut you!" - don't worry Tom, we're not). Nice typo in original ad copy as well. One of the "must see" locations (5230 1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd) on my SFV drivng tour.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Black Flag Debut 4 Song E.P./SST 001/Slash Magazine 1979

Looking at Slash Magazine Vol. 2, No.8 (David Thomas cover), I came across the following small ad in the back. I kinda doubt this is the first SST print ad as it contains the now iconic font Raymond used/created (?) on flyers throughout 1979 and on the "Jealous Again" ep the following August. Also the ad is nearly a year from the e.p.'s release date. Can anyone confirm where an earlier and different print ad appeared?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Philosophical Conversations/Hide with Mirrors/CLE #3/Fauvist Music 1975/See Me on the Bigbeat show [Repost 2010]

Nothing like seeing John Morton and Dave. E's lyrics Hit Parader style. Just the words you know as well as any school poem you memorized. From CLE Magazine #3 found in the barn. How could I have missed the Elton John reference in "Cyclotron" until now though I did know about Mirrors?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Dangerhouse is bitchen!/Future Direction #2/Nick Gilder [Repost 2010]

Not to be confused with Greg Prevost's fantastic and iconic east coast fanzine "Future," writ presumably when Greg was not rocking, here is a real time, 1978 fanzine in the truest sense of the word. Straight out of South Pasadena/Arcadia/Covina/San Gabriel Valley. Written by two gals at their best, Chere and Janaee, with contributing writers Kimberlee and Tami Dingle. I guess 1978 high school or college students given their clear disdain for midterms. Not sure how many of these freebies would have even slipped out of Southern California given the home mimeograph quality to the thing and price (3 stamps). Not unlike the "real people" music genre: a "real person" fanzine. Slash/Flipside/Search & Destroy it aint. No Samioff or Vale art design creds. The pages ooze the push-pull some people felt about going public with their love of punk/high energy music aka "new wave" to mall denizens in these banlieues. Interestingly, the zine itself is totally in the punk camp with Chere and Janaee having to deal with the occasional lunkhead band locals still into the Gazzari's covers scene (hello Diamond DLR!) Not always the case though. In an interview with local band Item (together since 1975!), when asked which local bands they like, Joe said "I like the Screamers , the Alley Cats." There is some mersh coverage like pre-"Ticket to Paradise" Eddie Money but clearly it may have provided some free tickets and drinks on the Sunset Strip. Their hearts are totally in the right place as the record of the issue is Patti Smith Group's "Easter."

Cover stars: Alley Cats, Nick Gilder, Gen X, Eclypse, Grand Ave, the aforementioned Money – a lot of South Pasadena, Arcadia locals (who all look a little like Rapid Fire versus the “new wave” Cotton Candy).

Straddling the local tug and pull of hard rock versus punk, the coverage varies between full page Dangerhouse salute (below) to interviews of the local kingpins whom the gals like. I can relate as per our "Over the Edge"/Cap n’ Swing post, i.e., we like the first Van Halen and Cheap Trick lps as much now as those Dangerhouse singles. The Copemeister would agree m’lud. Other reviews include UK music that was in vogue circa 1978 before people hepped to the fact that the LA music was just as valid as anything the UK could churn out (review on Boomtown Rats, Costello, Nick Lowe, Gen X, Sex Pistols status as a viable band). But you also get a review of yanks called White Hot on Casablanca Records (the label itself tangentially the subject of a forthcoming post here).

Below is a review of a triple bill I would have liked to have seen on the Strip: the 1978 line-up of "Hawk Wind" (sic), Nick Gilder and MDB's Detective. Yes, you read that right: Hawkwind and this ain't your momma's "Hawkwind Show" (thank you Rubin, Grady and Scott). After splitting Sweeny Todd and thus paving the way for the world of Bryan "Cut's Like a Knife" Adams, Gilder released the most excellent first solo lp "You Know Who You Are." Glamtastic, bombastic and catchy as hell. Here are "Tantalize," "Roxy Roller" and "All Across The Nation (The Wheels Are Rolling)." One of the worst lp covers of the 70's means it is doomed to be found in dollar bins "all across the nation" for lucky crate diggers. Really an undiscovered post-glam gem.