Monday, June 25, 2012

Rocket From The Tombs Plays Real "Cleveland Music"

About ten years ago I got to see the first Rocket From The Tombs performance in 27 years at UCLA. I thoroughly enjoyed it front and center and it was a bit surreal to see them given that in my universe (and my pals'), they loomed as large as any of their own influences. Equals. Prescient, in fact, as they synthesized all that was great about the late 60's/early 70's teenage wasteland culture, honed in on the bare essence and made a new music for young people. That they had risen to that stature is even more amazing because we only had a ninety minute bootleg cassette tape (and the bootleg album and single of portions of that tape). That is all that existed for decades. We knew where it ended up but how did it get there. Is not that first Pere Ubu 45 one of the benchmark recordings of the 20th Century and a total headscratcher to boot. Listen to it again and one wonders from which planet did it emanate. How do we get to Pere Ubu up through lp number two and that perfect first Dead Boys record (Cheetah you are too harsh on the second Dead Boys lp). You are to tell me that somehow, some guys in a rundown loft in Cleveland in 1973-1974 started that? Thanks to folks like Chris that legacy never totally fizzled out. The legacy of Peter Laughner is a whole 'nother piece to the puzzle which I have been spending decades to unravel. Do try to find Richard Hell's excellent piece on Laughner in his book of writings and drawings Hot and Cold. The scan below is from BTC #15 from 1989 which Chris will still sell you. Does anyone know which CLE publication originally published this? Guessing from early 1975. This whole memory jog was started by the best rock memoir that I have read in the past year which is Cheetah Chrome's A Dead Boy's Tale: From the Front Lines of Punk Rock. I finally read Just Kids as well which is older and just as fascinating. About this article . . . Whoa! Where to begin with this one. Who was Lucy D. Smart? I read this thing and think - damn straight! Written by RFTT's own Minister of Information. Read the quotes from these guys - Bell, Laughner and Crocus. There was too much brain power in this band for 1975 CLE for it to possibly last. I am serious. What strikes me is that it is refreshing to know that in the pre-punk dark ages, someone gave some serious ink space to an intelligent and original group of musicians who did not have a record deal or shag hairdos at the time. Where was Gene during this interview? Read his book and get some insight to his headspace at the time.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Dennis Wilson and Fleetwood Mac Double Vision/"Only Over You" composed "with special thanks for inspiration to Dennis"

In my opinion, the most interesting historical point of Cynthia Gianelli and Paul Newell's essential 1977-78 documentary "Never Mind the Sex Pistols, Here's the Bollocks" is the mainstream music industry's disgraceful shutdown of KHJ AM in Los Angeles from playing and supporting the Ramones as a singles act in 1977 or thereabouts. At the time, it would have no doubt blown open the Ramones to the ears of the biggest and most influential teen market in the US. I don't have my three editions of "Rock and the Pop Narcotic" handy (to date the definitive non-apocryphyal take on the era), but does Carducci reference this? It would have made a big difference in my house to have won a copy of "Rocket to Russia" instead of Linda's "Living in the USA" from KHJ in 1978. I digress. Dennis doing the promo with Christie for KHJ and wearing a great shirt, the picture of which would make a great shirt or bag itself.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dennis Wilson and Rodney Bingenheimer/Pacific Ocean Blue record signing at Tower Sunset October 1977

Not quite sure whether Rodney was actually playing anything off of Pacific Ocean Blue in between Blondie, the Ramones, Iggy, Annette Funicello and the Sex Pistols during October 1977. I do know that ten years later that you could pick up the lp for a buck in Santa Cruz as I did. I am thinking about a whole week of only Dennis Wilson photos. How sweet would that be. Here is numero uno.