Monday, March 12, 2012

Crime, Jobriath and Ann Magnuson

I am not sure what I find more entertaining - Ann Magnuson goofin' on Jobriath and Bowie (with much affection) which I have seen in person or the actual Midnight Special performance by Jobriath (with Gladys Knight as host) backed by a band that can only considered a proto-Crime given their haberdasher and flying v. That is EXACTLY the glammy look I imagined the pre-Crime bands the Guitar Killers or the Space Invaders to have sported circa 1974 as they partied with/hosted the Dolls on their historic west coast tour in SF. Or am I reminded on a black clothed Zolar X?

Can't figure out why "Rock of Ages" is credited on the first lp to the trad. publishers when in fact Jobriath's lyrics are right of the then current 1950's revivalism school of Mott the Hoople, Wizzard, Dusty & Sweets McGee/American Graffiti and the David Essex/Ringo vehicle That'll Be the Day (which I have recently screened again). Here you go:

So what if a-wop-bop-a loo-bam boom didn't rhyme
Billy Haley and the Comets drove me to the prom in time
A Little Richard goes a long long way
More than twenty long years to this day
Rock of ages roll away, rock away, roll away

We were dancin' in the streets and shapin' our lives in school
When we were simply thirteen, God saved the Queen in Liverpool
A mop top Mersey goes a long, long way
More than ten long years to this day
Rock of ages roll away, rock away, roll away

Three plays for a quarter is ancient history now
But the Stones roll away and rock that jukebox till
Satisfaction goes a long, long way
Much more than five long years to this day
Rock of ages roll away, rock away, roll away
A Little Richard goes a long, long way
More than twenty long years to this day
Rock of ages roll away, rock away, roll away

Unfortunately, none of Ann's Jobriath performances are available online though her goof on Wilde's Salome at LACMA has enough camp to give Patti Smith a run for her money.

How did I miss this Zolar X auction:

Friday, March 9, 2012

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

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:

Addendum: anyone know of how to get in touch with Dr. Riff Buttons?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Gene Clark's Descent From the Cosmic Mount

And the LORD said unto Gene, come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tables of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. Exodus 24:12-13. Of course a paraphrase, but Gene did return with two tablets, "No Other" and "Roadmaster" (with "White Light" and various Byrds tracks in his denim hip pocket).

According to Thomas Jefferson Kaye, in 1973 Dylan and Neuwirth said their three favorite songwriters in the world were Dylan (duh!), Bobby Charles and Gene Clark. See Zigzag, June 1977. Gene below as stand-in for Rock Action. Anyone ever see those two guys together in the same room?

Saw Gene perform almost 30 years ago thanks to Danny Benair and Michael Quercio inviting the man to sing. A commanding and compelling figure on stage. On the bookshelf again for some Dillard & Clark and Gosdin Brothers research: Mr. Tambourine Man: The Life and Legacy of the Byrds' Gene Clark by John Einarson.