Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Night Pogo 1978 KROQ Radio Ad/Radio Free Hollywood/The Berlin Brats 1976/Rhymes With Seltzer

Is Richard Meltzer embarassed by the 1978 Saturday Night Pogo cover? As a teenager, I was embarrassed by the image. Meltzer was 33 years old when he posed for the cover. At 34, he lionized the Germs (GI) lp in a rave Los Angeles Times review which demonstrated he hadn't lost all his marbles. In fact, it is among his best reviews of albums he actually listened to. Courtesy of Dr. Riff Buttons, you get to hear the LA radio ad for the lp plus some added Rodney bumper commentary:

The Saturday Night Pogo lp would seem to be a b-team of the LA punk era, right? Well yes and no. The Radio Free Hollywood crowd never really got their due with all the revisionist history of what constitutes year zero of LA punk. I agree it is no "Tooth & Nail" or "Yes LA" but there are some shining moments. Who among the best of the old guard Hollywood punks pre-Masque have not gotten their due? Well, let's see. The Droogs are from the Valley (and worthy of their own post) and the Dogs are originally from Detroit. So I guess that would leave Saturday Night Pogo stars, the Berlin Brats. Rubin Fiberglass and I would both agree going back to our Santa Cruz days, that "Tropically Hot" off that lp and the 45 are among the great unsung Dolls/trashy songs you never heard. At Waitakere Walks, that sort of thing is our bread and butter. Both the A and B side of the 45 are among the best pre-hardcore punk 45s to emerge from Los Angeles - that is if you like the Dolls, Stones, early rock n' roll etc. A battle royale of Clap, the Berlin Brats and the Imperial Dogs could get pretty bloody (Daddy Maxfield had already split the scene). As a pre-teen, the fact that the Berlin Brats were in "Up in Smoke" did not register. The Dils later did, but I swear, so brief is the appearance of the Berlin Brats that it is missed if you so much as sneeze. Just as memorable may be the image of Rodney with his glam mullet wearing a Sex Pistols shirt at the side of the stage with Cheech Marin. I wish Fowley had made the cut. Somebody get Lou Adler on the line so we can get the full footage released!! Here is all there is:

Here is the great 45 of Tropically Hot/Psychotic:

What has been a real revelation at headquarters are the 1976 Berlin Brats demos and some live shows of the same era. Here is the demo of "Tropically Hot" slowed down with some very sweet acoustic overdubs, the great "Do I Love You Today" and a live cover of the Animals "It's My Life" from Hollywood 1976 - we need the 180 gram pressing of this stuff:

Back to Saturday Night Pogo, here is a clip of VOM at Malibu Beach (?) performing their track from the lp. Meltzer does undo some of the damage from the lp cover here and we do love Gregg Turner's vocals which he used to great effect in his next project:


  1. Agreed, needs to be vinyl on those other Berlin Brats trax

  2. Mike R. Livingston here, longtime Mau Mau's guitar player (since 1979), What's ironic here is I'm also the kid with the long hair playing guitar in the Vom clip. This was a couple of years before I met Rick. Mau Mau's playing Las Vegas shakedown Aug 14th 2010 by the way.

  3. Thanks for reading Michael. A Mau-Mau's write-up is in order on these pages soon and perhaps an e-mail interview on pre-Mau Maus activities?? Was recently listening to Mau Mau's live at Wolf and Rissmiller's Country Club in Reseda, CA circa 1982. One image that is etched in my 12 year old brain is the Mau-Mau's photo at the Masque benefit (?) in a 1981 in an early Flipside.

  4. Yeah, and that's me, with the meathook, on the drums... my hair's a lot longer than that now!

    And that's MY Melody Maker that Mike is playing!

    (Hey Mike: "How much are they paying you?" :-)