Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Who's On First?"/Metal Mike California trip report, October 1971

I have to admit that the whole Brendan Mullen/Marc Spitz/Metal Mike spat over "We Got the Neutron Bomb: The Untold Story of L.A. Punk" made me so exasperated that I felt like I was watching the great Abbott and Costello's "Who's On First" routine. Our friends over at Terminal Boredom give you the Cliff Notes version for everyone who missed it here. Thanks guys. Let's just say that Metal Mike's bona fides are unassailable. I am guessing that a lot of folks made the mistake of passing up on Metal Mike's 1999 cd called "Surf City or Bust." What they missed was the most excellent FOURTEEN bonus tracks comprising his and his brother Kevin's previously unreleased 1969 lp as The Rockin' Blewz entitled "I'm a Roadrunner Motherfucka." I first heard one track some time last century on a cd comp Chris put out. Raw and as hi-energy as you would expect from two high school brothers recording in the bedroom or family lounge. It is in Metal Mike's s own words "a pre-Beatles garage band style (2/3rds covers)... Bo Diddley, Buddy Holly, Ronnie Self, Ernie K-Doe, Shirelles--that kind of material, played with your vintage 60's Fender and Gibson equipment of the time, some pretty crude cool sounds. Wacked out 'originals' that could have been on a Bonzo Dog Band or Mothers of Invention album." Came across this great letter again recently from when Metal Mike was in the midst of his statistics degree in Austin (written from the UT library?) which had me thinking of Metal Mike. I do think Future does not get its due and "Out of the Question" is just as good as anything on the first two lps.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

It's So Happening We Can Hardly Stand It!!

I have been thinking that the late Richard Creamer was the Brassaï of Hollywood in the 1970's. Why there has been no retrospective is truly a shame. No books for that matter as well. Just piecing together the photos that actually made it to print, mostly in periodicals of the throwaway variety.  "If you weren't at this party, darlings, you're a failure in Hollywood."  From my archive copy of PRM, April 1973.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Clint Eastwood is Boss/Will The Real Clint Please Stand Up

From the 28 July, 1979 NME featuring the Talking Heads (cover), Swell Maps and Pretenders. I wonder what Lee Perry thought of Clint talking to the chair at the Republican National Convention? I have always liked the Upsetters lp named after him (with the great "Dry Acid"). My guess is he would have approved and could possibly claim that he came up with the idea first. I did see Scratch interrogate/talk to both E.T. and R2-D2 set up on the edge of the stage at a memorable show in the 1990’s, well before the phantom BHO conversation on national television. I revisited Clint’s convention performance recently and enjoyed it (as much as I enjoyed all the great late 1970’s travelogue footage of the San Fernando Valley and Burbank in Clint’s “Every Which Way But Loose” which surprisingly has aged well). Clint was a somewhat unlikely though solid JA icon from the 1960’s onward. Given the steady stream of spaghetti western, kung fu and grindhouse fare into JA, it is not surprising that Clint in his outlaw guise was a constant lyrical trope outside of strictly liturgical subject matter. Then there are the numerous tributes to GREAT American 1970’s television, some with the great production of Joe Gibbs. How many Starsky and Hutch 12 inch singles are there? David Soul and Paul Michael Glaser as Kingston icons! And so was Kojak! Can we ask David Katz why there is no Scratch produced cover version of “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” to sit alongside the great cover by Sharon Isaacs of Morris Albert’s “Feelings” (which some friends swear by). The hybrid liturgical/hard case cinema stuff is the most intriguing. Clearly, the JA gospel/gangster precedent does not get quite the recognition that it should from American hip hop in its wake –(e.g., the lyrical content of certain of the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony catalogue, Jay-Z and his occasional gospel/gangster foray etc., etc). Which brings us to this article from the archive from the NME. Music lawsuits and the threat of music related lawsuits. All of the current legal tussle between GG (as RP refers to him on possibly the most engrossing and interesting Twitter feed out there here ) has me thinking it might be time to put my lawyer hat on and do some court reporting from the Central District of California to break down some legalese for you tell you how the current Black Flag legal saga all shakes out.

Monday, September 9, 2013

L.A. Scene Report: November 1977/"Three Bands Stand Out. The Weirdos, Backstage Pass and the Screamers"/Nickey Beat Has "Movie Star Potential"

In an alternative universe, the Weirdos' lp from 1977-1978 (that they never got the chance to make) would make the all time top ten list. More importantly, how could two of the world's greatest bands of 1977 - the Weirdos and the Screamers - not record a single lp ("Condor" excluded)? Maybe the Weirdos were too picky for an lp deal or maybe Sire could have invested something in LA. Was Lou Adler sitting on the great LA punk live lp from the rejects of the "Up In Smoke" sessions? Was Crime courted by the major labels up in SF? After the success of the Runaways, why not Backstage Pass, perhaps the most criminally underdocumented of all the early LA punk bands?? As a teenager, I was able to find domestic cutouts of "Radios Appear" and "(I'm) Stranded." Why couldn't a teenager in Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney find a cutout of the Screamers lp, one of the greatest major label underground lps of the 1970's outside of the Hampton Grease Band. It simply was not meant to be. Continuing a Screamers theme, some scans from the archive from my favourite US/FR zine, IWBYD:

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

1977's Answer to the Four Preps

The long gone innocent days of the American, male harmony vocal trios and quartets. The Four Preps, the Lettermen and the Beach Boys front line of Wilson, Wilson, Love and Jardine. Inspired by Pleasant Gehman's recent post on the Screamers, as well as Alice Bag's upcoming local reading, I dug this one out of Hoffman, Denney, Pyn and Du Plenty. Kristian has posted another photo from the same event by Douglas Cavanaugh here, but this one is by the late, great Herb of the Screamers fan club published in Seattle in 1978. Back-up to Black Randy at the Masque in 1977.