Sunday, December 26, 2010

Michael Gira on Elton John etc/The Murk of Daily Existence/Give Me the Cramps Any Day/Take Me to the Pilot of Your Soul

When did Patti Smith stop wearing B.O.C. t-shirts? After she and Lanier broke up? Anyway, one before the fall. A barn archive photo from left: Clive Davis, Elton, Patti, Peter Frampton and John Reid. Elton holds a ribbon present from Patti prior to performing before 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden. John-ologists will know John Reid as none other than president of Elton's Rocket Records, his personal manager for Dick James Music and a member of the Rocket Board of Directors along with Bernie Taupin and Gus Dudgeon. I plan a Frampton Humble Pie era write-up in 2011.

I recently read a great and intriguing interview with Michael Gira in Self-Titled that made me laugh out loud. Who knew that Gira and Alice Bag bonded over Elton John while Gira was in LA? Here is Alice, Michael and Rick Jaffe in late '78 or early '79 at Alice's parents' house from Alice's excellent webpage.

This of course being prior to Gira's leaving for New York to found the Swans and world-wide fame. Did I mention that he is coming to Auckland early next year and has asked Pumice personally to open the show. In the interview, Gira waxes upon his love of the Mothers, early Yes, "No New York," Dylan, Willie Nelson and Elton - in short, a sweet read:

Elton John. I listened to Elton John, David Bowie and Roxy Music obsessively when they came out. I haven't heard it in years, but the austerity of that second Elton John album stands out. In the early days he was more earnest and low-key, but I like the way he turned into Liberace. . . [a]nyway, I saw a special on Elton John on TV maybe a decade ago, and I was in awe. Creatures like him are what make the rest of us retreat and slink away into the murk of daily existence, cowering and furtive, only to emerge again when the light and sound and magic of an Elton John lures us, hypnotized, out of our dismal caves.

There are a lot of great quotes to break down, but for my pals Damon and Darren, here is Gira on "punk" - not revisionist, but let's say, honest:

Any straight-down-the-line punk rock. Anything by the Clash. Ha ha! I hate the fucking Clash! I'm sure they are (or were) nice fellows, but they always seemed like temporary rebellion music for college students. And Gang of Four--don't get me started on them. Blaaarrrgggghhhhh! Give me the Cramps any day. "Anyway, I think, ultimately, though it erupted at the right time and was an assault on complacency initially, and at least nominally aggressive and virulent--all qualities I applaud-- punk rock was music for joiners, for people who needed to be a part of something, and inevitably it became very claustrophobic and stylized. True punk rock would be Throbbing Gristle or SPK. "Then again, to contradict myself, I liked-- though I couldn't listen to them now--Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys, the Germs, and later even the Buzzcocks, Magazine, Wire, the Fall, etc. Hardcore??? [It's] veiled homo music for jocks.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

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

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, December 18, 2010

Oh, I forgot the important thing, the group's record is excellent/Big Star "When My Baby's Beside Me" 45/UA Records "House Freak" Marty Cerf

Name checked in Marty Cerf's February 1973 Big Star 45 review: Paul McCartney, Emmit Rhodes, the Count Five, the Yardbirds, the Guess Who, Alice Cooper, Albert Hammond (Snr.), the Troggs, Roy Head and the Traits, Johnny Kidd and the Pirates, Vince Taylor, Elvin Jones, Sonny & Cher, the Hollies, the Beatles, the Honeycombs, the Doobie Brothers and the Byrds. For some reason, Marty never really gets his due as a writer. He and Greg Shaw were responsible for making Phonograph Record Magazine so great during its brief and golden run. Meltzer even said that Marty was one of the few editors who let the writers write. Always nice for an excuse to look into some of the referenced artists - maybe some records you need to dig out yourself. From the barn archive and the PRM stash purchased from the Shaws.

PRM Magazine, February 1973

And a little gratuitous Guess Who - first a Neil cover and then a ripping "Shakin' All Over":

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Rockcritocracy 1970-1971/Jonathan Richman on Schmucky Stage Performers/The Great 1970 Fusion Funhouse Debate/Ben Edmond's Perfect Hair

The socratic method of teaching was in full force when I was in law school last century. In rock criticism, not so much, eh? However, we do have an example of some serious Paper Chase styled socratic battling - by honest to goodness Bostonians no less - slugging it out over perhaps the greatest lp of 1970. At some later date, I will argue with one and all that pre-mustachio Gordon Lightfoot's "Sit Down Young Stranger" captures the ennui of 1970 on personal terms just as valid as Iggy's or Altman's Brewster McCloud. Some forty years on, I equate 1970 with Johnny Bench, "L.A. Blues," "If You Could Read My Mind" and the Astrodome.

Who are these Bostonians tackling the Stooges in real time? Well none other than Jonathan Richman and Ben Edmonds. For historians, these are primary source documents. I have included them many times in bound readers for my pre-punk history of American music course. I haven't seen the Robert Matheu Stooges book and unless a copy is going to be air dropped into the bush and/or money lent, I won't see one soon. This "debate" may in fact be reprinted therein so do let me know. From the barn archive, Fusion Magazine 1970, courtesy of Chris over twenty years ago, and boat freighted to the other side of the planet for your enjoyment NOW. Chris always seemed to take Richman's review as a total pan. I guess it turns into a mild ad hominem attack on Iggy at the end but even that is tempered somewhat. American icon Ron is given much praise. WHOA Jonathan, not many people can say that they got off the Stooges bandwagon by 1970 because they didn't like "Funhouse" as much as the first lp and because Iggy's "schtick" got old. Jonathan is one smart cookie as he reads the tea leaves and sees the the blowback excitement of "Metallic K.O." three years early. As to the Christopher Milk ad, yeah Mendelssohn is pictured in the great rock crit shot from an early 1971 Phonograph magazine and I dug the first half of the "I, Caramba" book. A Davies fan for all time.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

"The Psychic Starship that is Called Can"/O.D.'d On Life Itself 1977/Psychic Guerillas/Teenage Depression/Michael Karoli’s Cheekbones

There were a couple of ways to go with your Can fandom in 1970’s Britain. You could be like the Godfrey brothers, spectacularly harnessing the Can canon into something completely new. They fully assimilated and mutated “Full Moon on the Highway” off the underrated and essential avant-garage classic that is “Landed” like none of their contemporaries. That Epic Soundtracks could later record such heartbreaking solo tracks that wouldn't have sounded out of place on "Runt: The Ballad of Todd Rundgren" or a Brill Building compilation is just proof of how far reaching and omnivorous their musical consumption.

There was another path to follow if you liked Can. As a time capsule of the sensibility of a particular group of young persons circa 1977 (Oxford), you could do a lot worse than to examine the particulars of “OD” magazine. OD adheres to the three "H's": Hammill, Hillage and Harper (also known as "psychic guerillas" to the OD crew).

Remnants of a post-hippie but staunchly "progressive" mentality coming to grips with punk and dedicated to underground comics, krautrock and “freek festivals,” there is no real counterpart in the states. Here is what Steve Lake said in 1977: “The way I see it there are two versions of Anarchy in the UK 1977. There’s the Mark P. blueprint which consists of everybody producing magazines and posing in fashionable clubs while sipping expensive government drinks. And there’s the alternative view which says you go out and take your freedom . . . if a few weeks of alternative living in rural Britain’s cosmic countryside, dropping loads of acid and warming up around firey chillums, appeals to you – then any one, or several, of the following events could well be your ‘cup of tea.’” Uh, thanks Steve, but I think I would rather hang around and see the Heartbreakers with drinks than sit around "fiery chillums" with the great unwashed.

Stonehenge is listed as the June 18th-26th site and even better, at 1976's Meigan Fair in South Wales, Steve Hillage AND Nik Turner turned up to jam! Did I mention that this was written by a the same guy who helped found Crass-anarcho styled rockers Zounds! Who knew?

OD magazine decided in a stroke of Solomonic genius to print two covers to the same issue. On one side you get a “reet” cover of Irmin Schmidt. Flip the magazine over and you get the Eddie and Hot Rods cover. What is of interest here at Waitakere Walks, and the source of much amusement, is the shaggy dog story of the two Oxford free-festival minded heads trying to interview the uber-classy Irmin Schmidt of Can. The setting is the “Saw Delight” tour in 1977 after travelling to London from Oxford with some elaborate theory of the I-Ching to drop on the “psychic starship that is called Can.” The sophisticated continental style which cares more for the adoring blonde fans and "scoring" chocolate bars than the two loon pant clad interviewers is in such contrast to the “freedom” ethos of the zine that these two guys don’t gather that they don’t breathe the same air as the rock elite whose music they adore and take copious drugs to.

Here is "Saw Delight" era Can live:

We had to keep the gratuitous shot of Roy Harper who really deserves a future write-up.

Even though it is two years earlier, a track from what to me was the best avant-garage lp of 1975 - at least until I heard the Rob Jo Star Band lp recently. My guess is that OD rated "Landed" as too mersh and/or simple - their term is the backhanded "patent ordinariness." Fucking hippies:

I have no idea who these guys are but they may be on to something – dig the vocalists slippers. This will do until I can post Crawlspace with Ed Flowers and now joined by guitarist Grady Runyan tackling this classic in the way that only the 'space can do. Joe can tackle Rosko any day and Bobzilla is a modern day Jaki if there ever was one.

More antics from O.D. - almost Savage Pencil-esque in the photo booth hi-jinks.

What is a bit of a wake-up to the OD folks is that their other cover stars, Eddie and the Hot Rods, give them much the same treatment via the press office of Island Records: “5,000 people are phoning me up every day asking if they can speak to the Rods.” We do like "the Rods" in 2010 and find the lyrics to "Teenage Depression" a-ok despite the TV "clean" version and "Do Anything You Wanna Do" a great pop number as well. The Seger cover rocks as much as a Seger track can (and some clearly rock).

Here is Eddie and the Hot Rods. Come on guys – one of my favorite 70’s pop lyrics CHANGED: well im spending all my money and its going up my Nose!!!!

This front man ain't no Ricky Williams:

Monday, November 22, 2010

When Alice Met Stevie and Lemmy/Hawkwind at the New York Academy of Music 1974/Gonna Have a Real Good Time Together!/"Local Talent"/Planetarium Rock

Folks said they wanted more Hawkwind so back into the barn archive for a look around. Let's see. Warhol superstars. Check. Alice Cooper. Check. Danny Fields AND Lee Black Childers. Double check. Stacia. Yep. Stevie Wonder, Cherry Vanilla and Spencer Davis. The collaboration between '74 era Wonder and Hawkwind makes the mind boggle. The competition was always interesting and the Coop was there as usual to check them out (or poach Stacia for his own stage show). Most impressed by the "local talent," uptown from checking out the Stilletos, Harlots of 42nd Street or Magic Tramps and hoping to get close to Dave Brock, Nik Turner or Lemmy. Dig Nik in full Arkestra mode! Rock Scene's bold assertion that it featured the "the stars backstage" was never truer.

Rock Scene (June '74).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

UA's Attempt to Sell Hawkwind to US Teens Circa 1972-73: Space Poet and Intergalactic Chanter/A Mindblower in the 1967 Tradition

“Like the early San Francisco bands, Hawkwind are vitally linked to the community that spawned them, the hip subculture of London’s Notting Hill district. Also in the tradition of their mid-60’s San Francisco progenitors, they’re as eager to play for love as for money, having performed free more than any other group in Britain . . ." (emphasis added). Whoever came up with this ad copy at least got it right that SF possibly peaked in '65-66. Been working on an upcoming short post on the much maligned Jefferson Airplane - just finished Gleason's 1969 trade paperback on JA in which he repeats his insipid VU trashing (why out yourself AGAIN as a MORON on the subject of the VU for a NATIONAL book as late as 1969 when nobody outside of the Bay Area read your 1966 bash in the first place and could have left it at that - was that one syndicated like his other columns?). Not a horrible book all in all but a bit fawning and self-congratulatory (surprise surprise when the subject is the JA). And yeah, please don't lump in Hawkwind with the self-important crew that RUINED the reputation of the JA try as I might to disassociate the music makers from the music (Volunteers even sounds as good to my ears as Briggs-era Royal Trux at the moment.) Anyway, as to the barn scans, I remember buying a box of various issues of Phonograph Record Magazine from 1972-1974 from Greg and Suzy Shaw about 20 years ago. Before they all fall apart, I copied some and hope to post more of my favorite reviews and ads here soon.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

File Next to Rock and the Pop Narcotic, Get In the Van and Enter Naomi/Rock My Religion

Stop the presses as it has been pointed out to me that Byron and Thurston have published Dave Markey and Jordan Schwartz’s collected We Got Power run in far better quality than my scans can do justice to. We can’t wait to see the finished result entitled Party With Me Punker: The Early 80s Southern California Hardcore Scene. Not only that, there are apparently heaps of previously unpublished photos including the one below of the Flag and Carducci giving back to the scene with some attentive spectator participation. Let’s hope there are more candid shots of gig parking lot haircuts, Godzillas and RF7. We will see if a copy of this book makes it to the bottom of the world for a review prior to your Christmastime coffee table book purchases. You can order it here. Tip courtesy of the always interesting New Vulgate.

One of my all time favourite Thurston/Black Flag connections is of course Dan Graham's "Rock My Religion" and is excerpted below. I did not see it until the 1990's in its entirety but it would have connected a lot of dots vis a vis the SST/SY axis had I seen it around the time of "Evol."

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Carducci - The Man, the Shirt/Try to Lower Yourself to Our Level/We Got Power 1981-1982

I remember as a teenager buying all the issues of We Got Power in real time as they came out from the very first issue. I found the issues again recently in the barn archive and I have to think they may be some of the only copies of We Got Power in the southern hemisphere. It has been at least 25 years since I have looked at some of the issues. It was a little like looking at a yearbook (that is if you went to school with Watt, Rollins, Schwartz, Markey, the McDonald Bros. and Julie from Sin 34). Countless hours were spent looking at them in the early 1980’s, often accompanied by the music covered in the magazine itself. I remembered all the “scene" photos/collages that were featured in early issues, that guy’s hand-stencilled Husker Du symbol on his army jacket (when all we all could find in the Valley was “Land Speed Record” w/insert for the upcoming tour dates), a youthful, pre-shaman Merrill Ward wearing a striped shirt, Danny Spira as a “prep,” full page photo of John Macias in tartan pants, Pettibon artwork, early Ed Colver photos including a memorable one of the Meat Puppets where they all looked a little like Bill Gates but more handsome and poorer.

At the time, I noted that the first issue or two originated from Isla Vista, even though the coverage was mostly, or so it seemed, West LA. One image that really stood out was an SST ad for “The Punch Line” (SST 004) and “Pagan Icons” (SST 006) both of which were bought in real time prior to seeing the ad and to this day evoke many memories of being 13-14 and discovering the pure joy/intensity and intricacies of the music which opened wide other musics like free jazz and Beefheart in the near future. Air guitar to Ginn w/walkman was easy enough – Baiza was now another matter. That ad featuring the Carducci shirt was an inside joke that I didn’t get until Rock and the Pop Narcotic (the first edition) fell on me like a ton of bricks. It was an articulation of an SST-centric worldview that I held privately and shared with all but had not yet seen in print and to which I could now point others to. In retrospect, I have to acknowledge that We Got Power played a role in shaping my SSTphilia now in its third decade. When people talked about “the year punk broke,” I directed them to Rock and the Pop Narcotic, the We Got Power film empire and the review of the first Meat Puppets lp in We Got Power. It only confirmed what we already knew to be the case of the historical import of what Ginn had started in the 70’s. Enjoy Overkill live in Goleta, a collage with Watt and the always entertaining Misfits in great form from Issue No. 2 in 1982.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Iggy Stooge Came as Himself (1974)/The Great Kiss Party/Lisa Robinson's "My Latest Fling"/Richard Creamer’s Negatives

Ah, the 70's. Neil Bogart threw quite a party that launched his Kiss goldmine. I don't think such a party would/could exist in the shambles that is today's "record" industry. From his stint at the delisted Cameo-Parkway, somehow Bogart just knew that there was gold in them hills. The movie "Casablanca" was the theme. Hugh Masekela came dressed as a Nazi, Iggy Stooge as himself! Now we normally don't associate Iggy Stooge in any way with Casablanca records. Yet his band did share the stage with Kiss (and BOC) just months earlier on New Years Eve 1973 at NYC's Academy of Music. Thanks to Lisa Robinson we have evidence of both Alice Cooper and Iggy checking out the scene/Kiss at the launch party of the weird label that was Casablanca. Again, we ponder who has Richard Creamer's negatives. I volunteer to edit the coffee table photo book for free. Even stranger for any Los Angelenos out there was the locale - the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City. At the Century Plaza hotel!! That hotel is the basecamp for political campaigns on election night and not for dressing in Nazi finery (even if was for Casablanca the movie). Now all we get at the Century Plaza is the stage where the likes of the Reagans, Andy Williams and foreign fundraisers are held. Wow, the 70's were weird and the money was crazy in the music biz and only about to get bigger for Casablanca. Beyond the weirdness of the photos, the hypocrisy of the costumes should not be lost on any Stooges historians out there. So, let me get this straight, Ron gets heat for wearing his, um WWII "collectibles," but Hugh gets a pass. Ron was ahead of his time on all fronts and fashion forward. I still try to emulate the guys style in 2010 to no avail.

At least the Coop came in a newsboy cap with beer in hand to see who would soon dethrone him in the teenage camp. Come on Alice "Muscle of Love" to "Welcome to My Nightmare"? Sorry dude, but I have to say the string of "Kiss," "Hotter Than Hell," Dressed to Kill," "Destroyer" "Alive" and "Rock and Roll Over" - in the span of two years - kinda trumps the dancers and cyclops. Bonus points are given for the great "Only Women Bleed." In my book the Coop's 1969-1973 run (earlier if you include the AZ singles) beats anything Batliz or the "Demon" scraped together. There was time when it was ok to like the Dictators, the Coop, early Kiss AND the Stooges. See what too much exposure to these folks courtesy of reality television can do to your place in the teen rock canon.

Pose for the camera Iggy.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Knox on Cave/Flying Nun 1982/"Do Not Buy This Product"/Who is Bobzilla?

One of my all time favourite musicians is Chris Knox. Chris is also a great music/film critic and illustrator. Here is a 28 year old review of the Birthday Party's "Junkyard" from the barn archive which kinda says it all in approximately 200 words or less. Don't get Chris started on the Beatles or the Incredible String Band or we could be here all day. I know if Rollins reviewed this lp in '82, he would have had a hard time keeping it under 1,000 words. Please support Chris and purchase "Stroke" here.

From "Rip It Up" (November, 1982).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Roxymania Cleveland Airport 1975/Non-Alignment Pact

Certain cities seem to embrace foreign artists and out of town acts like hometown heroes. It just seems that Cleveland had the best taste. See Exhibit A above. CLE were amongst the "early adopters" (to borrow the parlance of the cigarette profiteers) of the Roxy/Eno axis. Exhibit B, the various live tapes of the VU at La Cave recorded by Klimek and crew.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Judee Sill/The Outside Man/Weisberg 4/Hit Parader

Not many people bridge our love of Masque-era punk and the golden age of the Los Angeles singer-songwriters. Judee Sill did that via her fleeting relationship with Brendan Mullen in 1975.* I remember reading Mullen’s first hand account of his brief affair with Sill several years ago (before her recent critical reappraisal, reissues and popular ascendency), and it really registered with me. The perfectly formed music almost mathematical in its construction coupled with crystalline religious/personal lyrics – nearly the only religious lyrics I can stomach in popular music outside of born-again Dylan - made by what Mullen likened to a huge, reptilian "serpentine cadaver" into Rosicrucian manuscripts and Aleister Crowley's "Snowdrops." Mullen could be describing a seduction right out of the Jimmy Page 70's playbook? And no, I am not even considering your private press, thrift store, religious lps or xian psych records. Forget the late night, “higher key” gold, “Ladies of the Canyon” folk singers. Start naming those lps and who recorded two back to back that hold up with such a consistency? I can recall not so long ago when you could still find the Sill lps in the fifty cent bins of record stores. What other Asylum artist (other than perhaps the first J.D. Souther and Clark’s “No Other”) warrants your hard earned dollars in 2010?

But I am getting ahead of myself here. I have been working on a biopic script of Sills life. The casting I have pitched so far includes Warren Ellis and Seth Rogan as Flo and Eddie (for "Lady-O" era Turtles) and James Franco as David Geffen. Ricky has decided I will play Graham Nash based upon my current resemblance to "Wild Tales" era Nash and my propensity to collect and take photographs. The role of Sills is the tricky proposition. I do know that whoever plays Sills will likely score Oscar gold. The story has such a tragic element to it and for me personally, the locales are all so familiar: the San Fernando Valley, bank robbing arrogant junkies, reform school musicians, prostitution, the Association and the Turtles, Encino, Echo Park, the Trobadour, Souther, Geffen, Mama Cass, Nash, Crosby and a pit stop at the Source. Think "Cisco Pike" meets "Dusty and Sweets McGee" with a sideswipe at Jacques Deray's "Un Homme est mort" (the Outside Man).

Speaking of “The Outside Man/Un homme est mort,” the Jesus freaks of Hollywood Boulevard in the early 1970’s were real and slipped into popular culture worldwide via the then current music and films. "The Outside Man" has some of the best footage of 1971 Los Angeles outside of "Cisco Pike" and "Dusty and Sweets McGee." Starring Ann-Margret, Roy Scheider, Jackie Earle Haley, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Angie Dickinson, the film goes from downtown to LAX, Beverly Hills to Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica to Ventura Boulevard. The still below, right there at Hollywood and Vine, shows Jean-Louis Trintignant unknowingly picking up a cartoonish, Jesus freak hitchhiker clad in all denim not long for this life.

How prevalent were these folks on Hollywood Blvd, Santa Monica Blvd and the Sunset Strip? So prevalent that Bernie Taupin after EJ’s Troubadour run latched onto it with the lyrical turn that you couldn’t keep off the radio in 1971: “Jesus freaks out in the street/handing tickets out for God/ Turning back she just laughs, the boulevard is not that bad." Of course, you won’t admit knowing those lines (though Alice Bag might), but they are from “Tiny Dancer" from “Madman Across the Water." Did Geffen think that Sill could clean up with a whole lp of similar lyrics for the jesus and junk crowd?

By chance I recently read a fascinating and wide-ranging 1973 interview with David Geffen and Elliot Roberts in Hit Parader, the sister publication of Rock Scene, and was struck by the image above of Judee Sill, which I don’t think I have seen reproduced since. Seeing that image in the barn archive is what inspired the whole post really. The photo of Sill above is captioned as a Geffen signing for Asylum with no mention of her in the article at all though Geffen in the interview has some harsh words for Grand Funk Railroad and already has dollar signs in his eyes for Frey and Henley who were finished with work on their sophmore lp. GFR deserves their own post for "owning" the rock and roll world along with the Coop circa 1972-73 but are also written out of the history books or derided as mere cartoon rock. Here is a gratuitous scan of my euro 45 from the barn archive:

Then I finally finished Fred Goodman's "The Mansion on the Hill: Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerce," which is highly recommended for an insight into those artists and at other times a nauseating mash note to some of the Boss' handlers. Great Dylan anectdotes and a fuller picture of Landau, John Sinclair and “Back in the USA.” I kept asking myself where the hell was Judee Sill. She's not even mentioned at all in connection with Asylum or Geffen-Roberts management which only merits mention of Young, Henley, Frey, Souther, Jackson Browne and Ned Doheney. While Goodman's tome is highly recommended for those interested in how we get from Albert Grossman to Geffen to the producer credits on "Avatar," the book by now is already totally outdated by the developments in the record industry (a footnote even discusses the profits of the consolidated dinosaur industry where the suggested retail price was $15.98 for a cd - where was Tom Petty when that price was laid on us!) Sill captured the zeitgeist of that time like few others ("Raw Power" among others). She meant it man and she lived it. The records didn’t sell, and as Goodman recounts without mentioning Sill, Geffen was mostly into personally marketing his pretty boy Eagles and Browne, rebuffed her personally as we know and the downward slide to 1979 began. Sill is also absent in the semi-recent "definitive" tome on Laurel Canyon. Where the hell is Judee Sill? Everyone pays homage to her now but she is erased until the recent reissues.

For Sill completeists here is a leftfield source. A&M recording artist and flautist Tim Weisberg is not someone I thought I would give any spotlight to on this page, but nevertheless, he had Sill and Mr. Tommy Pelteir appear on Weisberg 4. Watch how these records disappear from the 25 cents bins. What a beatific glow off that hair and backlighting!!

Not looking unlike the Jesus freaks out of The Outside Man," these folks allowed Sill onto their record. The results clearly speak for Sill as auteur. She owns these tracks and they sound like instrumental interludes off "Heart Food." Enjoy:

Just a couple of extras. Sill on the OGWT 1973:

Two covers of "Jesus Was a Crossmaker." I guess Graham still had some pull with the Hollies on the "Romany" lp and then there is Mama Cass:

As soon as I can rip a version off the Hollies lp I will post it here as it is the superior cover version.

* Mullen's account has been removed from the net in recent years. Hoskyns quoted from it in his 2007 Sill profile in the Guardian. Another individual who links the Masque and the LA introspective singer-songwriter is Beck Hansen. His own work and his grandfather naming the Masque and witnessing his dad record the likes of the Screamers and the Controllers will be the subject of our future interview with Beck .

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dangerhouse is bitchen!/Future Direction #2/Nick Gilder

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.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Know Your Rock Writer: Alan Betrock/Lou Reed in a Nudie suit

We can only speculate who came up with the great column idea in Rock Scene of "Know Your Rock Writer." My guess is that it originated with Lenny Kaye aka Doc Rock but even money says Richard Robinson or Lisa Robinson. Does it really make any difference? They only featured the best writers in the column and this prime example from January 1976 just makes it seem sadder that the much missed Alan Betrock is not around to introduce us to greatness that was right there under our noses. We know him from Jamz, Rock Marketplace, New York Rocker and Shake Records. As per usual, you have to click on the image to actually see the whole thing. Gotta love the PSG/Television flyer there on the back wall. And the beefcake pose? Brilliant move. Try that one Mr. Record Nerd. Personally, Betrock is responsible for my introduction to the Neon Boys and possibly to D.Boon and Watt's first listen to the Hell classic "Time." Not many of the great rock journalists and fanzine writers of the 1970’s ever published books worthy of their hard earned reputations - reputations based upon yards of written periodical space and all night sessions editing, writing and typesetting. Alan Betrock was one who did, writing what may be considered the definitive book on girl groups. Let's just say that there were a lot of music books published by hacks who did not have anything near the taste that Alan had and who now get read in college sociology classes as decoding punk's early 20th Century roots in various European movements. Uh, I think I will take a pass and just hand me my copies of Jamz and Bomp thank you very much.

From the Lou Reed in a Nudie suit issue of Fusion, comes this great letter from Alan setting the record straight. Other than Who Put the Bomp, Jamz was the ultimate record nerd guide. Enjoy Alan's good hearted take down of Jon "Prix" Tiven and David Newberger and their lack of erudite knowledge on Van the Man's back catalogue. Mere mortal, do you really think you can outsmart me. Apparently New Haven Rock Press was a good fish wrap if you wanted actual recording data and details. Makes me wonder what Alan's take on the great 1974 lp "Veedon Fleece" was? First is the great Lou cover then Alan's "take that" letter. If anyone would like it, I can post the Lou article.