Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sleaze - Sleaze (Sing Sing Records 2012, recorded 1975)

Some of 1975’s best US/UK rockist records off the top of my head: Late Night Movies, All Night Brainstorms, 30 Seconds Over Tokyo/Heart Of Darkness, Landed(FRG), Go Girl Crazy, Siren, Horses, Indiscreet, Dressed to Kill, Toys in the Attic, Little Johnny Jewel, Young Americans? Heaps more no doubt. Does it matter if only 50 were pressed? If not then we may have to include the (somewhat) recent vinyl only reissue of TV Smith’s first band Sleaze from 1975. The Adverts Crossing the Red Sea With is one of the best class of 1977 lps that seems to get better with age, and this is what TV Smith was up to before he and Gaye up and left for the big smoke (Gaye does not play bass here but took the photos). Just the sort of art school rock that we like and in fact it was formed while Smith was at art school. What struck me about the Sleaze lp is its affinity with the first Doctors of Madness lp, which is a good thing though the sound is not so similar. Similar in that hybrid of prog, glam and Velvets with a bit of snarl and longish, prog length tracks. Of the tracks fer instance, “Dum de Dum” is like a molasses version of Mirrors “Inside of Here” – Velvets thump and probably originating nearly the same time that Mirrors were playing their track at the Viking Saloon. Just shows that whereas Mirrors were actually at La Cave for the Velvets (and recording it for posterity), TV Smith (not unlike Perrett’s England’s Glory), were inhaling the Velvets fumes second hand via Bowie and Lou solo. Another track, the opener “Show Biz Kid” sounds like it has a riff that Michael Belfer from the Sleepers would have hatched. All in all another excellent job from Sing Sing and worth tracking down if you missed it, as is the TV Smith BBC doco below.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

"To get my face on more screens" - Iggy to Tony Wilson 1977

These 1977-78 Iggy Euro TV lip-syncs, which are at minimum 35 years old, have the nonchalant air of someone who just showed up at the tv studio. But as I have written about here, more is going on. In any event, they hold up, no? Not necessarily a video supplement to The Idiot and Lust for Life, but interesting in that they don't diminish the songs either. "Sweet 16" in black and white just adds to a late 70's UHF vibe but spares no amount of energy for the 100 people in the tv studio. That "Lust for Life" with the pantomime face paint from the Psychedelic Stooges/Nico days! The French TV interview (wow!) as a counterpoint to the seriousness of the Tony Wilson interview - one has to view all the continental tv appearances as part of his broader practice. Man, somebody on the Dutch broadcasting service loved Iggy - no less than three solo appearances in a year and a half! Still cant believe that Dinah Shore had Iggy on so can't say we were totally deprived in the US (I remember seeing Alice on Dinah Shore circa "Welcome to My Nightmare"). I guess all you had to do was play golf to get on that show. While we in the states had to satiate ourselves with the Runaways on the "Rock and Roll Sports Classic" filmed at UC Irvine in 1978 (a winner well worth yer time - see below), the Dutch got Iggy goofing on the recording of "I Got a Right."

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Kickboy Face on R. Stevie Moore 1979/"David Bowie Started It and Roxy Music Strengthened It"

I was fortunate enough to finally see R. Stevie Moore live earlier this year with old friends in LA after listening to his music for a couple decades now, and even got to hear the original Halfnelson demo lp from R. Stevie as well about 10 years ago via the US Postal Service. It was also R. Stevie who tipped me off to the Mael Bros. appearance in the T.A.M.I. show crowd - Zappa was there as well! Which brings me to Kickboy's review of his 1978 "New Wave" 45 in Slash. Far from what you may think, there were no hard feelings. In fact, in 1980, Slash even published a review by Mr. Moore of Andy Partrdge's 1980 solo lp which you can read about right here. I have always liked the lyrics to "New Wave" as I am pretty new wave myself:

everybody's talking 'bout the
new direction rock and roll is
heading and the debut albums
coming every day
i am very happy just to
know i'm taken care of when it
comes to satisfaction in the
records that i play
1980's coming, don't you
feel it are you smart enough to
take it and accept it as a
renaissance of change
are you keeping up with all the
fever and the pace of every
musical involvement today, i say

new wave
dick clark meets stanley kubrick
don kirshner don't you like
new wave
electric underground
that just wants to be loved, yeah

everybody labels it and
uses it to wipe their ass
they criticize the lack of
expertise it has to show
then again there are some folks who
listen to it every chance they
get just to escape from
all the barry manilows
david bowie started it and
roxy music strengthened it and
now the latest incarnation's
eno and devo
ten or twenty years from now
i hope r.stevie moore will be
included in the list of telling
music where to go

new wave
bill haley's great great grandson
listens to trouser press
new wave
electric avant garde that
just wants to be purchased, yeah

i'm the only one i know who
feels so much regard for
XTC and talking heads and
the ramones and robert fripp
i don't have the time for anything
but 10cc and residents and johnny rotten
and i can't forget cheap trick
anybody listening can
understand ambition but i'm
going just a little overboard
with this whole trip
how it means so much to me
how little it must mean to you
the future is depending on the hip (eat shit!)

new wave
what's wrong with robert stigwood
he should adore the trend
new wave
recorded suicide that
just wants to live

Friday, October 24, 2014

Shoes This High "Nose One" ep advertisement 1981

While working on a review of Jack Name's excellent Light Show (the best Eno lp since 1975?!!), I was asked by a local why I didn't spend much time on NZ music on Waitakere Walks. I think I need to rectify that. So into the barn for an ad for one of the best NZ recordings of the early 80's. Siltbreeze put out a great live set earlier this year which tacks on the whole ep on the digital edition. For a first, I may even review a current local lp here on this site, Arthur Ahbez's Gold, my favourite local release since Chant Darling.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

"Iggy Pop was seen downing 10 aspirins"/Rodney and His Glitter Kids/Who else would have played Alice Cooper's request for a Troggs medley

I am pretty sure that Rhino’s 3-lp box set of The History of Flo & Eddie and the Turtles have never been reissued, which is a shame. Listening to it recently, what struck me about the set is the final lp of interview excerpts from Flo and Eddie’s 1970’s radio show. Anyone who is a fan of Iggy’s 1976 “cameo” on Patti Smith's Teenage Perversity bootleg at the Roxy in early 1976 MUST hear Iggy’s interview on here with backing vocals by Flo & Eddie. My guess is that the interview is from 1974. A brief audio vérité snapshot of where Iggy was at in the years before Kill City. I will figure out a way to post that here at some point. The list of guests that appeared is pretty crazy: Lou Reed, David Bowie, Keith Moon, Ringo, Dean Torrence,Albert Brooks, Todd Rundgren, Alice Cooper, Marc Bolan and Mickey Finn (playing their own Flo & Eddie theme!), Harry Nilsson, and Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan together for a mini Move reunion while ELO and Wizzard were in LA. What the Rhino set also has to recommend is a printed booklet (almost identical in size/print to the old Flipsides that came in the Posh Boy Rodney compilations), and the GREAT Richard Creamer photo here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Old Bums & New Bums (Marriot, Frampton, Chasny, Quinn)

I don't think I've missed a record by Chasny in the past 15 years now (ditto Neil Young and who else?), so was pretty happy to see the first night of the New Bums tour back in Los Angeles at the Church on York in March. If anyone is gonna make an lp like Veedon Fleece these days, bank on Chasny or Quinn (or Beck). I like the two guitar approach both electric and acoustic, and I know I have seen the "private press" reference here and there in connection with reviews of the record. For some reason it has me thinking instead of a contemporary version of two of my favorite lps of 1969: Humble Pie's WAY underrated second lp, Town and Country, and Peter Laughner and Terry Hartman's Notes on a Cocktail Napkin. I have been thinking a lot about both of those records for years now and plan to write something here soonish. Not that either of those records sounds exactly like Voices in a Rented Room necessarily, it is more the, I dunno, ambience or something . . . thus the photo. Not to get too musicologist on you and another one I have not seen anybody note before, but somebody listen to Humble Pie's "Take Me Back" and tell me that Buckingham Nicks did not swipe the turnaround for "Races are Run"!! Listen to "Races are Run" at 2:20 onwards!! Both great songs and why I have always probably liked both tracks so much. What do you think?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Peter Laughner as heir to the Holy Modal Rounders/Michael Hurley/Fugs/Racoon Records continuum?

Although it is obvious, one aspect of Peter Laughner's work that I have not seen fully articulated anywhere (and I'm gonna say it now folks!!) is his position on the Holy Modal Rounders/Michael Hurley/Fugs/Youngbloods/Racoon Records continuum. Now this may seem distasteful to all you punk purists who flinch at the thought, the "truth" is the truth. While much is made of his Velvets/proto-punk credentials, there is an equal argument that given his omnivorous personal tastes (music wise, buddy), he could have recorded a MONSTER acoustic lp for Jessee Colin Young's Racoon Records offshoot or Rounder. Another coulda, shoulda been, but not. Coulda been electric for that matter given "Moonshot." I write this because I don't think I have seen this flyer anywhere online. Exhibit A for my argument is the name lifted from an early incarnation of the Holy Modal Rounders: the Temporal Worth High Steppers. I guess there is the session with Bangs and Peter Stampfel as well. The flyer is from from a residency at the Oar House, on the edge of Cleveland State University. Can anybody tell me if this is now a parking lot? Then there is Laughner's transatlantic love of the work/playing of both Michael Hurley and Richard Thompson. Did Laughner like the ISB? Gotta hand it to Chris for articulating this acoustic guise of Laughner's career so that I don't really need to. I would add that Laughner's Michael Hurley cover on that 1972 WMMS Coffeebreak set with the Wolverines is as good as any . Take it Chris (referring to the still unreleased Wolverines set): "rolling through a set of oldies and newies, even doing Little Feat's "Willin'" w/o comin' off like a singer/songwriter in the worst ROLLING STONE meaning of the term. Gotta hand it to the guy for being able to crank out music along these lines and still being able to get me to sit through an entire hour of it. That's pure talent, and it ain't because the guy was so universal in his tastes that he could listen to and enjoy the Grateful Dead, Bruce Springsteen and Laura Nyro as well as the Stooges, Lou Reed and Roxy Music!" I think I need to post Laughner's review of "The Harder They Come" soundtrack next! Laughner as reggae fan!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Welcome to the Faabulous Seventies! [repost September 2011]

One of the best and most influential record reviews of the 1970's by Nick Kent. Holds up to this day. Archived by thirteen year old Steven Morrissey and reproduced in his slim tone on the New York Dolls originally published in 1981. From the 25 August 1973 NME.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White!/The Dirty Three 1st US Tour

When I went to the LA release show for Mike Donovan/Sic Alps' solo lp "Wot" last year (on a double bill with Sun Arraw no less!), my old pal Ricky joked he thought it was Warren Ellis when I walked in given my hirsute and sport-coated appearance. A good laugh was had and it made me recount my first of many live encounters with Mr. Ellis. Back digging through the barn, I remembered I used to take the occasional photo(s) at shows. One of my favorite 1990's shows was the first US tour by the Dirty Three in San Diego at the Casbah (I am guessing 1994?). Weeknight and there were maybe 15-20 people there by their set. I had seen Venom P. Stinger in LA a few years before (on a bill with Claw Hammer in Hollywood if my memory is right) and both my friend Darren and I were super impressed by Mick Turner and Jim White. Anyway, here is one of the better photos. Just a transcendent and FUNNY set, with Warren killing it with his Friar's Club routine between songs.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

"Always be prepared for the Instant Bummer . . . " (Terminal Zone, 1977)

From a barn copy of Terminal Zone #1, 1977 (Chuck Berry cover). Issue has a long piece on The Aesthetics of Rock as well. Terminal Zone was a conscious turn from pure fanzine writing to something I dunno, more scholarly in an American cultural studies sort of way. Footnotes and whatnot (not that I have anything against them ).  Something that would get the stamp of approval of the Dean if ya know what I mean. This may be the only thing in there which doesn't quite have that stench. Just nice to see the state of the art record disease from 1977, and a nice LA record store tour as well ;

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Exclusive DANGERHOUSE Recording Artists: Black Randy and His ELEGANT Metropolitan Squad, X, Alley Cats and the Deadbeats/Amanda Lear and the Pack 1977!

Better than Sparks' appearance in Rollercoaster but perhaps not as great as the Pack in a 1977 Amanda Lear exploito film, is Black Randy's appearance in The Fabulous Stains. That Pack lp from 1978 just sounds better and better every year. Who woulda guessed? Also, from the barn a great DANGERHOUSE exclusive ad:

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Turtles Cover Judee Sill's "Lady-O" (1969)/Flo & Eddie Interview Lou Reed on the Midnight Special/Turtlesmania

Is the Turtles cover of "Lady-O" not one of the best pre-solo Sill covers out there and a great early promo film to boot (what ranch is that?). Flo & Eddie in the early 70's were on such a great roll: Mothers, T.Rex (Slider, Electric Warrior), Alice (Billion Dollar Babies) and their own 1973 lp with a GREAT Small Faces cover ("Afterglow"). I recently came across the Lou Reed connection again which I had forgotten about with the barn archive Bottom Line clipping and the Midnight Special interview (a sceen capture for you as well!). Also digging the Turtles "Outside Chance" with one of the best "Taxman" lifts outside of "Start."

Saturday, August 16, 2014

"Five Really Gone Gone Girls Direct From the Canterbury"/Black Randy's Soul Sister

I was recently wondering what Van Nuys, California's Rock Corporation was like: a "valley biker joint with a TV dinner tray for a stage" that's what. Possibly the earliest (non-gossip) coverage of the Go-Go's in Slash, 1978. Unfortunately, I didn't get to see them until the fall of 1981 with the Fleshtones at the Greek Theater (LA). By that time, quite a different proposition. GREAT descriptions of the Middle Class as well. Photos by Steve Samiof and Melanie Nissen. Review by . . . .

Monday, August 11, 2014

So Kickboy, How Do You Really Feel About VOM/"Some of you are very clever people"/"It was reaching terminal boredom proportions"

Richard Meltzer and Kickboy Face aka Claude Bessy. Both born in 1945 (May 11 and June 20 respectively) and among the select group of music writers whose work transcends the genre. Both based in Los Angeles during a golden age of American music (approximately 1976-1983) and both with pretensions to act as rock frontpersons in their thirties (not that there is anything to fault with that). So who knew that the Metal Mike/Brendan Mullen spat dates back to at least 1978? I have previously written about it here. It's like Bessy drafted Mullen's talking points a couple of decades in advance. In the present day I like both Catholic Discipline and VOM, though given Catholic Discipline's VU/Can/Nuggets hybrid it would have produced one of the finer lps to come out of post-Masque/pre-hardcore Los Angeles if someone had dragged them into a studio. One could assume that Meltzer felt no animosity to Bessy by 1979 (see "Cocktails With Claude," LA Weekly 1979 interview of Claude by Meltzer, Meltzer’s review of the Germs “G.I.”). What Bessy writes is really about more than VOM. What were his thoughts on the Dictators fer instance - did they get a pass even though a writer was in their midst? Mind you Chris D. and Ranking Jeffrey were on the Slash staff.  How harsh is this: "they couldn't be naive enough to think that even on the fringe of that fringe phenomenon there is room for a bunch of would-be satirists with resentment and bitterness in their hearts, pot bellies behind their their tattered stage costumes and panic at their sudden irrelevance behind their contrived aggressiveness. They couldn't be vain enough to hope that the punx might fall for it and actually (irony of irony) make them into heroes or villains." No really Kickboy, how do you feel about VOM? An hey, enough with the slams of would-be satirists with resentment and bitterness in their hearts, and pot bellies behind their their tattered stage costumes and panic at their sudden irrelevance behind their contrived aggressiveness. Hitting a little too close to home buddy!
Over to Metal Mike in his attack on Mullen and Spitz' We Got the Neutron Bomb : The Untold Story of L.A. Punk:
Not once in this book is there a mention of the March 1978 Dickies/VOM 2-night, 4-sets stand at the Whiskey, which was one of the wildest,craziest, most chaotic spectacles of "punk rock," anyplace, anywhere, anytime. Re: Paul Grant's 2-page article describing the opening night show in national slick-mag NEW WAVE ROCK...I was there (at the Whiskey), it was that hysterical/nutty/wild and then some. Never laughed so hard in my life. Ah, wait, wait, wait, back up the truck-there is no mention of 1977-78 LA punk band VOM (with rock critic and brilliant Blue Oyster Cult lyricist Richard Meltzer) anywhere in this book.Now this is getting interesting. 

Uh, "wildest,craziest, most chaotic spectacles of "punk rock," anyplace, anywhere, anytime." Are we talking about the same set of shows here?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Let's Head to the Rock Corporation

Can you believe this lineup from 1978 in VAN NUYS! Currently the location of a panel beater/body shop.  Like Van Nuys needed another one!  The Valley and punk. I remember a lot of shows at the Country Club and later at BeBop Records but that was the next era. So were the shows at Devonshire Downs and Godzillas.  Technically, I lived closer to the Rock Corporation (great name that one!) than Fiberglass, but it would have been close as to who could bike there first.  What was so great about first wave LA punk were all the weekend MATINEE shows!  The Whiskey had them as well.  What comes to mind when I think SFV punk hall of fame are the Dickies, Shock, FEAR, Bad Religion, RF7, Killroy, etc. What I don't think of when I think of Van Nuys are following folks heading there (intentionally): the Eyes, F-Word, Simpletones, Controllers, Plugz, X, Middle Class, Bags, Flesh Eaters, etc.  Did the Germs play the Rock Corporation? Claude Bessy in the valley, please. Can any readers share what the venue was actually like.

Monday, August 4, 2014

$2 Checks Payable to Chris Desjardins/Available September 21 (1978!) from Upsetter Records

Was 1978 the highwater  mark for punk singles in LA - lps are another story? Let's see - the street date for this EPIC release was September 21 (ad swiped from a barn copy of Slash September 1978 - Peter Tosh cover).  The following month, October 1978, Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown" e.p. is released though recorded well before that.  What else came out in '78: the Weirdos double A side "We Got the Neutron Bomb"/"Solitary Confinement," the Bags "Survive," the Germs "Lexicon Devil," X "Adult Books"/ "We're Desperate," the Middle Class "Out of Vogue" and on and on . . . 

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Baby Jane's in Acapulco, We are Flying Down to Rio/Dan Flavin and Stairway to Heaven/The Pensioner [repost from May 2010]

For the past several decades, I keep coming back to the first five Roxy Music lps as a highwater mark of seventies popular music. Can you name another group or artist who had as good a streak during the 70's and claims the VU as a front and center influence and put out FIVE great albums in a row (other than the Ramones)? For most critics, Eno gets a free pass for his 70's solo work. When he moves past his suppressed rockist tendencies, the music goes limp. It seems his extracurricular activities gives him the high grades. He records Television with Richard Williams at their near height and then co-opts an entire scene a few years later (thank you for the document though). However, Ferry as person and solo artist is ridiculed. Below is Bryan at CBGB's in 1975 catching the Ramones pre-lp (photo courtesy Danny Fields) - where were you:

What drives the hatred? Is it as Iggy said off the cuff: "you can throw any thing at me but your girlfriend will still love me you jealous @@*&$$$#s!" Succint. I think the 70's rockcrits deeply felt this is panning the solo lps. Devo had another possible theory - in my mind likely derived from spending too much time with Eno:
We first got those blue firemen's jumpsuits and we wore those masks that took your faces away, cause what we decided that what we hated about rock & roll was STARS -- we watched Roxy Music, a band we liked, slowly become Bryan Ferry & Roxy Music. If you got a band that's good, you bust it up and sell three times as many records. Take the Beatles for instance, the magic was in the combination -- nothing that any single Beatle did after that matches up. (Search & Destroy, 1978).
Well I can argue that one with Mothersbaugh till I am blue in the face but it won't change his mind. Eno is lionized for his solo lps (rightfully so in some cases) and Ferry is accused of being a STAR. And, as anyone who knows me well, I can talk the merits of "Beaucoup of Blues" as ranking up there with Beatles '65. (Aquarium Drunkard image of first four post-Beatles solo singles). Here is Ferry paying his respects as only he can (with Spedding on guitar). Dig the great Dan Flavin/Powell & Pressburger homage. Eno can only wish he could grow such a beard!!:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Middle Class "Out of Vogue" Advertisement May 1979

I don't think I have seen this full color print ad reproduced since 1979 so a great excuse to revisit this seminal record from 1978. The eminently quotable Brendan Mullen on the Middle Class in a 2002 profile of the late and much missed Mike Atta:
“Many hold the Middle Class up as probably the first American hardcore band, which basically meant playing faster downbeat tempos than the first wave of 'Hollywood' proto-hardcore bands like the Germs and the Bags. . . They certainly pre-date Bad Brains and the D.C. straight-edge Dischord scene with that one, despite how it seems to have been erroneously recorded elsewhere . . they were definitely a major, uncredited Hollywood-to-OC segue band during 1978. . . . The Middle Class is Exhibit A in the case for affirming that openly suburban teen bands like the Zeros (San Diego County), F-Word (Covina) and the Middle Class (Orange County), young bands not pre-fabbed and controlled by Kim Fowley and Rodney Bingenheimer; non-fashion bands who didn't dress or look the part of archetypal Britpunkers, were in fact very much included in the earlier 'Hollywood' punk scene. I say this because I feel strongly that the old scene that coalesced around the Masque has been falsely stereotyped by a famously documented South Bay hardcore band with a revisionist agenda who has repeatedly dissed us geezers as elitist and exclusionary to bands simply because they came from the 'burbs . . . or didn't 'look the part' of fashionista punks.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Kim Fowley Reviews Alice Cooper's "Musle of Love"/The Hollywood Stars "Shine Like a Radio: The Great Lost 1974 Album"/Richard Creamer Shoots Alice

So did Kiss decide to enlist Bob Ezrin for Destroyer after Fowley’s mash note or prodding? I dunno. The review is spot on nevertheless and pretty funny. Having seen Kim perform a few times, I can even imagine him reading this as a funny spoken word piece. I still like the title track and Teenage Lament ’74 from Muscle of Love but come on Kim, that one sounds like the Band?? I re-read Fowley’s piece in Bomp! on the greatness of the Hollywood Stars (pre-major label article) recently and then listened again to the Hollywood Stars Shine Like a Radio: The Great Lost 1974 Album that came out last year. Yeah, the original Hollywood Stars lp is a bit of a stinker, at least Shine Like a Radio has some good and almost great moments. Live they would have been excellent. Well worth grabbing if you see it. Fowley is right about the failure of Muscle of Love owing to the dropping of Ezrin – I like the Ezrin-produced Kiss cover of “King of the Nighttime World” more than the original, but that may be due to 1970’s saturation or my old roommate Darren’s repeated playing of the lp back in Santa Cruz. Maybe if the the Alice Cooper Band hadn’t fought with Ezrin in the studio, Muscle of Love would be up there with all the lps that preceded it as an undisputed classic. Or maybe they should have let Fowley produce it. I mean that is around the same era as Fowley’s Jimmy Jukebox persona on "Motorboat," which is one of 1973’s top singles worldwide. Do enjoy Kiss on the Paul Lynde show from 1976 (ouch!). Somehow I missed it the first go round. Watching it made me wonder whether Paul Stanley is to thank or to blame for naming Ezra Feinberg's great combo Citay with his pronunciation of the word on the track?

Sunday, July 20, 2014

"If Alice Cooper Had Remained A Midwestern phenomenon": Alan Betrock Reviews the Pink Fairies' "Kings of Oblivion" PRM, January 1974/The Third Wave of British Heavy Metal

Hand it to Alan Betrock to review all time classic "Kings of Oblivion" and clearly articulate why it stands far above their first two platters ("boring riffs and psychedelic mishmash," duh). Not only that, he positions the lp as clearly in the spiritual tradition of Detroit circa 1968-1973 (SRC, Frost, Cooper), whilst in his discographical disposition nodding to the Deviants (he can't resist - at least no catalogue numbers!). The muscularity of the lp lands "Kings of Oblivion" alongside "Ball Power" IMHO among THEE standard bearers of '73 (beyond "Raw Power" and RFTT of course). My heads in '73 indeed! For all his various obsessions (freakbeat,girl groups, then current Max's happenings via Television/Patti, etc), the guy totally had it sorted with what he terms the u-ground "Heavy Metal Pipeline": Budgie, Dust, Bang and now the Pink Fairies. What was so great about Betrock's writing is that it is a concise history lesson in the guise of a short review. Name checked this go round: Deviants, Grand Funk Railroad, Terry Knight and the Pack, Twink "Think Pink," Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Alice Cooper, SRC, the Frost, Catfish, T.Rex, Dust, Budgie and Bang in one review. Enjoy the GREAT live 90's version of "When's The Fun Begin" in all its degraded and wobbly VHS glory with Mick Farren.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar/Peter Laughner and Lou Reed December 1973/"I don't know, man, I mean you're the guy who played the lead on 'I Heard Her Call My Name . . .'"

Back in action and a nugget for ya from Laughner's December 1973 interview of Reed in Zeppelin at the time of Berlin's release. Apparently there exists an audio tape of the entire conversation which veered from topics including Ray Davies, Kant and Nixon,and a whole slew of unprintable gossip. Maybe Smog Veil can dig it up for the box set . . . .

Friday, June 6, 2014

Rockcritocracy 1970-1971/Ben Edmond's Hair/Jonathan Richman on Schmucky Stage Performers/The Great 1970 Fusion Funhouse Debate [Repost from December 2010]

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 dug up from a barn archive copy of RPM ordered from the Shaws decades ago , 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 as well.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Twist & Shout '77/Legs & Co./Northern Dreamin'/Before You Were New Wave (repost from August 2011 with video links up again)

I can thank Ricky for originally introducing me to the Holyground staple of records by dropping A-Austr on me several years ago. Next, I stumbled upon a Canadian fanzine from 1977 in the barn, Twist & Shout, which had some excellent crossover coverage of material that 1977 "punks" getting whole heartedly behind the new wave probably pretended they never listened to just twelve months before. What is pretty great about Twist & Shout is that it lacks that insularity that comes from a lot of year zero punk zines. Dude, you did like all the Chinn-Chapman singles and you may have even had a Yes record at one point. Hell yes, Twist & Shout liked Status Quo, Sparks, Be Bop Deluxe and pub rock as much as any current import punk 45 from south of the border or the UK. At least they didn't lie about it. In 2011, I guess we can proudly call people like the Twist & Shout folks record nerds. What A-Austr and the cover story of Twist & Shout had me curious about was the involvement of Bill Nelson in the whole Holyground enterprise and his shaggy, bearded and sneaker wearing self before the takeoff of Be Bop Deluxe. He may look like Bill Fay's relative, but "Northern Dream" aint "Time of the Last Persecution." That said, it is worth checking out to see how far Nelson came in such a short time before "Axe Victim." Not so sure about that dodgy cover cartoon cover art - I would have opted for the photo on the side of the bed writ large.

As has been pointed out, there is something Thin Lizzy-ish about this great 1975 single. But it is clearly in that the band is incredibly tight. Was there another Kiwi musician with as high a profile in the UK at that time as Charlie Tumahai. Gotta say that Nelson cleaned up pretty nicely by ditching both the early 70's beard and 60's mustache. Can you touch the guy sartorially? "Landed"/"Unlimited Edition" Can comes pretty close - Exhibit A from the barn below. Compared to the 1975 other pop hits, this one is pretty classy.
I have to say, that this oddball Top of the Pop clip clip will give you newfound appreciation for Be Bop Deluxe's crossover appeal (if you can avoid creepy Saville - which was a story that broke after I first published this back in 2011). A great 1974 live version of "Sweet Jane" sounding as good as Laughner's Cinderella Backstreet version of the same year? Here is the whole Twist & Shout interview. The Sparks interview is great and needs a full reproduction here soon.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Quick in the Studio with Kim Fowley and Earle Mankey (Mondo Deco sessions)/Rodney and the Flamin' Groovies/Dee Dee on L.A. & More/Blast Celebrity Rock Magazine December 1976

The December 1976 Rolling Stone magazine covers: Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt and Maurice Sendak. Almost a parody that Belushi would have had a field day with if given more writing time during the 1976-77 SNL season. Blast which billed itself as a "Celebrity Rock Magazine" (my kinda celebs for the most part, I might add) in their December 1976 issue: the Who on the cover with generous features on BOC, Bryan Ferry, Burning Spear/Toots/Marley and Tosh, as well as a 1960's SF rock family tree ala Zig Zag. Gotta say that Blast wins the December 1976 battle royale with a team including Jon Tiven, Trix A. Balm (Lauren Agnelli) and edited by Michael Gross (who had some nice NME articles circa 73'74). The Ferry piece was written by Mick Rock who also supplied the photos. Also among the contributing photographers for this issue are a who's who of rockist photographers including  Richard Creamer (who I consider the Brassaï of glitter Hollywood), Richard Aaron, Chuck Pulin, and the great Brad Elterman, my man from the SFV. For your enjoyment are two thumbnail photos by Brad a little larger for your perusal (where are the full negative sheets of these sessions!!). Historically, I think these two pictures would now get the full feature treatment given how important the events documented in the photos. The Quick at the Mondo Deco recording sessions.  The Flamin' Groovies with Rodney was taken by my guess at the joint Ramones/Flamin' Groovies bill at the Roxy, August 12, 1976. Sire Records double bill.  In the audience we can only guess the Denney Bros., Claude and Philomena, Mike Kelley, the entire nascent Masque scene, the Runaways, the Back Door Man crew, Plez and Kid Congo, Greg Shaw, Gene Scalutti, Gregg Turner (was Meltzer in LA by late 1976). Anyway, Brad WAS there to take the photos. Any crowd shots? Even better is Dee Dee's take on LA nightlife circa 1976 . . . .
The announcement of the start of Rodney on the Roq!


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Snoop Sisters and Alice Cooper/People Magazine March 4, 1974/Lance Loud & Dennis Wilson

I saw Alice Cooper last November in Las Vegas (at a casino!) and it was one of my favorite shows of 2013, and easily the best performance by any 65 year old I have seen recently (not to be ageist, U Roy put on an incredible performance last year as well and he is into his 70's!). But those great Cooper years of 1964-1974 (the same years covered in the excellent rarities/outtakes 4 cd set "Old School" that came out a few years ago). The good years when Alice Cooper was still a band and not a person. There are lots of good Alice Cooper Band covers though some days I am partial to the Laughing Hyenas takedown of "Public Animal #9," featuring one of the top vocalists/frontpersons of the rock era (Alice included) , John Brannon.  Anyway, sometimes the over-the-counter culture magazines do feature an inkling of what was bubbling up. So from over 40 years ago this month, we take a look at the March 4, 1974 issue of People Magazine found at the local thrift shop. So post "Muscle of Love" and pre Hollywood Vampires, we get Alice helping kindly Helen Hayes infiltrate a coven of satanic witches on NBC prime time. Try getting that on TV today, but in a Watergate/Manson girls/Exorcist world it all made total sense. See kids, things WERE better back then. And clearly Glenn was taking note of the Crimson Ghost suit in between spinning Sabbath records back in Jersey.

So watch Alice (sans band) guesting on "The Snoop Sisters":

What also jumps out in the March 1974 People Magazine, is the continued coverage of the Loud Family. So far the performance of LOUD from the Cavett vaults has yet to surface but we really hope it does. See the Santa Barbara public access performance of the classic, soon to be classic Mumps track, and we can only hope to see the Cavett performance. By the way, anyone ever see Dennis Wilson and Lance Loud in the same room together? I hear Dennis grew the "Pacific Ocean Blue" beard to keep people from calling him Lance!