Sunday, December 27, 2015

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

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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Rock Culture Shock/"Those great giant idiots"/Australian TV 1979/"You gotta wait till the mid1980's"

Though Leif Garrett may be the click bait (and his slightly naïve take actually would fit in interestingly with the other talking heads in The Decline Part I), let me just give you the rundown from this 1979 Aussie program with some of yer faves giving their lowdown on the punk phenomena and some very perceptive takes. You know how you wondered what say, Macca’s take on punk was (a big thumbs up if you don’t watch), you also get after the lead in live clip from the Angels: Bowie, Paul Cook, Kate Bush (in a ballet studio?), John Lydon (PIL mode), Macca, Mick Taylor (lookin' straight out of '72 in '79), Steve Harley ("I'm 28"), Leif, Stevie Wonder ("violent can be good") , Cliff Richard (copping Ron Ashton/David Fricke’s style a bit and riffing on a new wave trifecta!), Meatloaf, Maurice Gibb, Alice Cooper (hates disco!) and Peter Gabriel (as Noel Gallagher). Quite a bit to chew on, no? And with less than 50! views, the Angels on Countdown 1977:

Monday, August 17, 2015

Rodney in an Original Imperial Dogs Shirt

While it might not have the moneyed cachet of the Seditionaries collectables these days (think PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Met ferchrissakes), and the fact that you probably can't find one outside of Don Waller and Fred Patterson's storage spaces, you know which shirt ya need. If I had one, I could send a kid to college so rare are these shirts. First in line for the rescreen!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Juncosa Pt. II!

When I was back in LA last year, I was lucky enough to head down the road from my place with Professor Darren to help Sylvia Juncosa celebrate her 50th birthday with 100 Flowers, Jon Wahl solo and then a great Sylvia power trio with Steve Reed. Yes, it was OTT and Sylvia shredded fer sure. Now, I am not sure that this photo would have registered when I originally saw it in ’82-83. Had the first Leaving Trains single even come out yet? Sylvia on KEYBOARDS. Clearly before the Warf Rat Tales comp lp (was Sylvia on those LT tracks? Too lazy to check in the barn. A lot of great comps to check out. After Yes LA and Tooth and Nail, Beach Blvd. came Hell Comes to Your House, The Future Looks Bright, Public Service, ROTR series and the Life is Cheap/Ugly/Beautiful series. Anyway, Before SWA (my new band name!) Sylvia tearing it up somewhere in Southern California.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Claude Bessy Reviews the Desperate Bicycles "The Medium Was Tedium" 45: "Back-up Vocals That Remind One of the Incredible String Band's Simplistic Moments"

"Right now the chaotic world of new single releases is the most exhilarating thing in the business": Kickboy Face at the tail end of 1977 even before the onslaught of great LOCAL singles to follow, and before he decided to sing (in public at least) with a little encouragement from this single no doubt.  One of those recent wowzer moments is when I was told that Ryan "Ryebread Rodeo" Richardson had made all issues of Slash available here for your own scholarly research with a small coin toss to Medecins Sans Frontieres. I sorta inadvertently donated to Ginn's cat rescue mission at the Hollywood Palladium so this was the least I could do. From the actual "Year One" Exene cover (Vol.1 No. 6) December 1977, Claude Bessy referencing the Incredible String Band in a review of the first Desperate Bicycles single was totally unexpected and dead on.  "Yet I like this record alot."

Saturday, June 27, 2015

"Rodney Goes to (Girl)School"/ROTR 1982

Not a bad representative of what you would actually hear. Note Rodney's omnipresent Germs badge. I plan on posting as many of these as I can track down in the barn. I have posted the one English Disco top ten I found in the barn here. Some of these were clearly local hits like the Inflatable Boy Clams and Mr. Epp, and I remember having a discussion in the late 80's with friends outside of LA who couldn't believe they were "hits" in the loosest sense - probably even had a discussion with Arm about that fact at some point on one of his tours. That No Crisis might even have made it into the main KROQ playlist at odd hours. I hadn't listened to it in over 30 years and kinda remembered the piano being more prominent. Outside of the obvious ones (first Bangs 45, Red Kross, Sin 34, CH3, Agent Orange), that Tuff Muffin spoken word got played a lot and you can tell that it was the LA rockabilly moment as well (Stray Cats, Stingrays,and Rockin' Rebels etc.) Out of all of these, the track that has probably gotten the most play in my house the past couple of decades is Fowley's genius "Invasion of the Polaroid People."

Monday, June 22, 2015

American Primitive Spiritualist Video: John Fahey at The Euphoria Tavern, Portland 1976/The Real Bicentennial Style

I am a big fan (and minor scholar of sorts) of spiritualist photography. The quality and color of this footage matches perfectly - like an old double exposed ghost on the split screen. Apparently there are plans to release the whole tape. Who knew when old videotape degrades it turns brown . . .

Sunday, June 14, 2015

"Velvet Underground: Music and Mystique Unveiled" in June 1970/When Mel Brooks met Mel Lyman by Proxy [repost June 2011]

I swear when the Velvets decided to reform and tour Europe in 1990, it was pretty tempting to sell everything I had at the time and go follow them around.  Friends can attest to that aborted plan.  It didn’t happen and I thus still own the June 1970 issue of Circus below.  I have derided Circus in the past, but occasionally, there were some astute pieces.  The cover story on the Airplane was set to go to press almost at the exact time Spencer Dryden was being ejected/retired from the group.  Luckily, the editors found that photo of Joey Covington to slap on the cover as Dryden is still mentioned in the pages as drummer.  That said, Covington’s contribution “Thunk” from the underrated “Bark” is one of the better Nashville Skyline/doo wop/funk hybrids out there and a reet track to boot. Unfortunately, when Dryden left so too did all of his early Zappa-inspired creations ("no man is an island!"). As I have said previously on these pages re early JA up through "Bark": file next to Royal Trux.  And why the fuck is the Howling Hex not hitting these shores this year?  A future post on the greatness of even the concept of  a Victory Chimp audiobook when I hear it.

But I digress. When Clinton Heylin published his Velvets reader All Yesterday's Parties, he did include the great piece below on the Velvets just on the cusp of releasing “Loaded.”  In the end, Chris would have been a better choice to edit the thing and methinks Heylin knows that in his bones.  But as I have said before, it is far better to SEE and read the primary source.  It must have been weird in that spring of 1970 to now have all these folks claiming they were always fans of the Velvets.  Nothing could be further from the truth but just look at the critical consensus gaining speed when you read them all together in All Yesterday's Parties. Where were all these hacks when Cale was around? At least Gleason reprinted his SF Chronicle VU swipe in his Airplane book.  And why is Richman so prissy as to not have his Velvets juvenilia reprinted in Heylin’s book – I may need to scan it myself and post.  I have been listening again to the essential “Fully Loaded Edition” from a few years back and the outtakes are fantastic to hear in better fidelity than the late 1970's boots.   The whole thing just warms you up like that Plastic People of the Universe live tape of all Velvets covers from 1971 (or '72 or is it as late as '73?) which reeks of broken pint bottles sloshing around the floor - the atmosphere is that good and thick as to rival the Live at Max's lp .  This Circus article hit the newsstand and drugstore racks in June 1970, Brigid Polk records the band at Max’s on August 23, 1970 and Lou is out of the band within weeks.  Go figure.

So the back cover of the June 1970 Circus is an ad for the soundtrack to Zabriske Point.  You would get the impression after reading How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life that Fahey would at least get a mention in the ad.  This is all the excuse I need to post the Mel Lyman "cult stars" of the film Mark Frechette & Daria Halprin schmoozing and doing the creepy crawl with the irrepressible Dick Cavett – and Mel Brooks and Rex Reed (most action post the 7 minute mark).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Major Label Guitar Soli

According to Jorma, "Embryonic Journey" dates from 1962 as part of a guitar workshop in Santa Clara. Yet, clearly Jorma and Fahey would have crossed paths in the Bay Area pre-1965 (by which point Fahey was there) and Jorma would have seen him and Basho playing? Similar influences bring us back around to close to the same place but not quite. Still like Jorma's Quah lp (great cover art on that one out of the Liquorball/Blackjack Records variety) and his electric guitar work on those first 5-6 JA albums is as underrated as Neil Michael Haggerty. Anyway, my first introduction to the American Primitive method though I just didn't know it at the time. The second version of the major label variety is none other than the great Leslie West who managed to sneak in this piece amongst all the O Rex approved heaviness on 1970's Climbing. Readers, lets hear of more major label examples in the comments.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

This Could Be the Night/"He had good mike technique, good delivery"

Man, one of the best singles of the sixties goes unreleased and just keeps sounding better. A song that links the No Neck Blues Band (via Jerry Yester) to Fred Neil (via Cyrus Faryar) to Phil Spector, Harry Nilsson, Brian Wilson, the Sidewinders (Andy Paley) and the Monkees. Not to mention Henry Diltz and Rodney Bingenheimer. Just waiting for the choicest set of covers lps you never heard via Home Brewed Nuggets to tackle this gem of our radio teendom.

The Modern Folk Quartet had opened shows for both Woody Allen and John Coltrane before their link with Phil Spector and rebrand as the folk rock MFQ. Spector hoped they could be his Byrds. Underused in my opinion as the theme to the follow-up to The T.A.M.I. Show, The Big TNT Show, Nilsson wrote the song as a Brian Wilson tribute who then brought the song to Spector who shelved it for "River Deep, Mountain High." According to Mark Ribowsky’s He’s A Rebel (E.P. Dutton, New York, 1989), one night in 1966, Spector jumped on stage with the MFQ at the Trip with a twelve string guitar while they were doing their set and did a set of fifties covers backed by the MFQ. According to Kim Fowley who was there: “Amazing, man, and the pity was that there was a lot of kids in there who didn’t know what the fuck was happening . . . I think about it now and it’s like, how’s that for a memory? And he was good too. I’d never heard his voice. He had good mike technique, good delivery. He sounded like he would’ve been a good lead singer.”

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Over Easy

I am pretty sure that Charlotte Caffey first tipped me off to the excellence of Mimi Pond's illustrated memoir of 1970's California, Over Easy (Drawn and Quarterly, 2014), which includes her stint at art school and subsequent work at an Oakland cafe. Over Easy straddles the post-hippie era into fully fledged new wave-dom. A nice way to spend several hours transported back in late 70's Northern California. File it alongside Michael Ritchie's unsung film Smile from 1975 which captures another slice of California life. What did startle me though (in a good way) was the actual cameo of Ted Falconi from Flipper. Great stuff and apparently there is a part two on the way.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tomata du Plenty and David Lee Roth

As you would expect in David Lee Roth’s Crazy From the Heat (1997 ed.), there are not many references to punk, though in an amusing conflation he oddly and belatedly hands the year 1978 over to Van Halen, the Sex Pistols and the Bee Gees. All three get a passing nod. There is also a passing reference to Henry Rollins and to LA scenester Tequila Mockingbird. I know that Pleasant has thought that David Lee Roth was an investor in the Zero Zero gallery as you can read here. There are also references to the club in the excellent Peter Ivers bio In Heaven Everything is Fine. In Crazy From the Heat, Roth confirms that he was in fact a partner, and was where he had his initial meeting with Steve Vai “actually after a police raid at the local Zero One Gallery, an after hours spot where I was a partner. We got busted every three months: there is supposedly no after-hours in L.A.” Arguably the better anecdote and one that has only somewhat recently been brought to my attention is that DLR and Tomata du Plenty knew each other and that the Zero Zero was the common denominator.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Interphase 1/100% Impure Punk/A Warholian Freak Show/A Mutant's Eye View of Black Oak Arkansas [from Jan. 2011]

I must have tracked this one down in the late 1980’s based on the $2.99 price. From Wilmette and Chicago/DeKalb Illinois comes Interphase 1, edited by Cary S. Baker, Jeff Silberman and Harlan Hollander. What interests us most about this 'zine is the unbelievable who’s who slice of pre-punk Americana straight out of 1975. This includes the writing crew that would coalesce into Gulcher the magazine, and the brilliant uber-teenage Gizmos, prior to their March 1976 recording debut. During the 1990’s, when there were a slew of must read magazines and zines, including Forced Exposure, Jewish Beatle, Black to Comm, Modern Rock Mag (later Rock Mag), Superdope, 200lb Underground, Wipeout, Feminist Baseball, Popwatch, Bob Bert’s BB Gun, Opprobrium and others, one of the best and hardest to obtain, i.e., least distributed, was Eddie Flowers’ digest size Slippy Town Times. Slippy Town Times was really the only one that could link you directly to the primordial days of original, early 70's high energy rock criticism which still included righteous coverage of current stuff such as the latest avalanche of Sun City Girls releases. You may know Eddie from his time fronting one of the best and unheralded free form rock bands of the past (what is it 25 years now and running?), Crawlspace. But Ed had a previous incarnation as one of the more astute music writers among the generation after Bangs, Meltzer and Tosches et al. Slippytown went online with a mailorder side as well sometime in the 2000's I think.

Included in Interphase is a great tag team interview of Black Oak Arkansas’ Jim Dandy by Ken Highland, Bob Richert and Eddie entitled “Jim Dandy to the Recluse” aka “Talking With Jim Dandy: A Mutant’s Eye View of Black Oak Arkansas in Middle America.” Sounds like a title to swipe for my cultural studies dissertation, no? Richert’s “Beyond Our Control” gets some repeated mention so it does pre-date Gulcher.

Also of note are write-ups on both the Dictators and Crème Soda PRE “Go Girl Crazy” and “Tricky Zingers.” Eddie wrote the piece reproduced here with the only available release at the time being “I’m Chewin’ Gum.” Eddie has put this on the Slippytown site though not in its original incarnation.

The “Innerfazing” list is a hoot. Claire Panke of “Prehensile Tongue” fame is described as “Chicago’s most curvaceous Anglophile, and believes that Alex Harvey is God,” David Newberger who gives the you are there account of the Dictators is described as “a rock enthusiast, a friend of Blue Oyster Cult’s and quite a nice dude.” Of course, “Eddie Flowers is to Southern rock what Ken Kesey is to acid” and Ken Highland is “a very enterprising rock and roll punk.” Amen. While special thanks go out to Lester Bangs, Adny Shernoff and Murray Krugman, who is Tim Love, described as “DeKalb’s top roadie, a Jim Dandy/Iggy nut and an expert on Mississippi River Rat Rock.”

Art Schaak of “Roller Reader” is the zines LA correspondent, but I have to say provides some very low energy rock and roll wattage given the total lack of Zolar X coverage and inclusion of Tull’s “War Child.” I will give a thumbs-up breakdown on the first JT lp at some point in 2011. Probably more I could scan but this should do. There are some sweet live shots of Steven Tyler by Claire Panke and a short MC5 write-up which I think I will post at some point: “the MC5 are deified Motor City rockers. Their three out-of-print albums go for anywhere from $1.99 in the bargain bins or $10 on the black market.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sparksiana via Joseph Fluery, December 1973/Sparks Ltd

One from the barn. From December 1973 and Alan Betrock’s The Rock Marketplace, Joesph Fluery as Sparks’ propaganda minister/shadow manager/#1 Fan in Heaven, sponsors a full page ad saluting Sparks for signing to Island. Was Joseph managing Milk & Cookies at this point in Brooklyn? Soon after, Joseph heads over to London to work with John Hewlett as Kimono My House is about to be unleashed onto the world (only a few months later than Joseph states - June instead of March 1974). Joseph is also given the unenviable job of terminating the great Martin Gordon right after the lp takes off, whose Rickenbacker sound on that lp should have been a mainstay on Sparks’ 70’s output. Joseph goes on to manage the Mumps, the Dickies (who play NZ for the first time Sunday night!) and of course Sparks. I have written about Joseph previously, but another secret tastemaker of the 70's who had the vision to see the music of the 1980's in 1973.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

And you, of course, want the latest "New Wave" releases?/The Weirdos' 1977 Bomp Store Ad

From the classic November/December 1977 Back Door Man No. 13 (Tom Petty cover "Call me a punk and I'll fucking cut you!" - don't worry Tom, we're not). Nice typo in original ad copy as well. One of the "must see" locations (5230 1/2 Laurel Canyon Blvd) on my SFV drivng tour.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Black Flag Debut 4 Song E.P./SST 001/Slash Magazine 1979

Looking at Slash Magazine Vol. 2, No.8 (David Thomas cover), I came across the following small ad in the back. I kinda doubt this is the first SST print ad as it contains the now iconic font Raymond used/created (?) on flyers throughout 1979 and on the "Jealous Again" ep the following August. Also the ad is nearly a year from the e.p.'s release date. Can anyone confirm where an earlier and different print ad appeared?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Philosophical Conversations/Hide with Mirrors/CLE #3/Fauvist Music 1975/See Me on the Bigbeat show [Repost 2010]

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, February 14, 2015

Dangerhouse is bitchen!/Future Direction #2/Nick Gilder [Repost 2010]

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.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Peter Laughner reviews The Harder They Come OST (1973)/"Oosh so sweet and dandy!"

I have written here about the appeal of reggae in real time during the proto-punk era as an aural and cultural signifier. In Richard Hell’s most excellent memoir I Dreamed I Was a Very Clean Tramp (Harper Collins, New York, 2013), he outlined the “basic” disagreement between himself and Robert Quine over reggae. Put simply, he stated: "[Bob's] aversion to reggae was especially mysterious, since that music is so wacky and homemade, the way Bob liked recordings, and Bob liked a lot of New Orleans rock and roll, and reggae comes out of a New Orleans beat. I think maybe these gaps of his came from being so guitar or solo oriented, which reggae and Dylan and country music and punk aren't." Here is a quick take on Peter Laughner's thinking circa 1973. While he identifies correctly the "slightly crazed rawness" (c.f. Hell's on-point "wacky and homemade" articulation), his offhand dismissal of social consciousness in popular music and its supposed deleterious effect on the "rawness" of diasporic music (both in the US and JA) was subsequently disproved by the entire roots era. Laughner couldn't have predicted the rise of roots and culture from CLE though his radar was attuned to it by his early championing (rightly so) of the original Wailers. These days I have to flip a coin as to whether Rockers (Bafaloukos, 1978) or The Harder They Come is the ultimate 1970's reggae film - though again they represent two very different eras of JA music. Also enjoy Keef's take on the insta classic b-side of his 1978 Christmas single, "Run Rudolph Run." Jack and Anjelica supplying photographic evidence that the soundtrack was ubiquitous in discerning households!:

Monday, February 2, 2015

Belinda, Kathy, Iggy, Herbie, Billy, Lionel and MJ/MTV Music Video Awards 1984

Iggy classing it up in a satin tux . . . and accepting the award for the best song of . . . . 1977!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

SST Unreleased/"Help Us Hurt You"/"We Think You Can Handle It"

We all know of the cinematic collaborations of Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch. Let’s see. There is the seldom seen Where Are You Going? from 1983 with Exene. Then there is R. Kern’s The Right Side of My Brain (1984) with a Rollins cameo. Then there is 1990’s Kiss Napoleon Goodbye by Babeth Mondini vanLoo. Straight to euro TV and VHS? What you may not know was that in 1985 there was a planned and shelved SST LP collaboration that even had a release number and date attached to it. Right at the height of Flagdom. Do you even care? I guess I still do. Certain Dylanologists have dissected the written work of Rollins to discern any seepage into the lyrical content of some of Dylan's best late period works like Time Out of Mind (1997). I was a fan of Black Flag pre-Henry Rollins and have kept an interest (that waxes and wanes) in his doings up to this day (saw him in LA back on his 50th). I can remember going to the old Music Plus in Sherman Oaks and buying Damaged the week it came out (with a mitzvah gift certificate and thus not from my usual Moby Disc). No real trepidation as I knew of SOA in advance and liked immensely what I heard (Flex Your Head – violin pressing, borrowed and taped from Fiberglass through a mutual friend). A high water mark for 1982 and a game changer no doubt, though I think that My War is the band’s (or GG’s) definitive artistic statement. Post My War, and until I originally bailed for Santa Cruz, when Rollins would make a spoken word appearance in LA, me and my pals would try to go. The Lhasa Club usually. Perusing the March 1985 New Releases schedule (thanks Grady!), SST 40 was supposed to be the Rollins/Lunch lp Help Us Hurt You. SST 40 ended up being the 1986 Das Damen release instead. Somehow we missed this performance/reading (and the one with Nick Cave as well), though it is unclear what year Help Us Hurt You took place, and if it was even a live taping of the "happening." A little research has turned up a bit. Carducci referenced the live spoken word performance on Watt's hootpage:
In 1985 or so, Henry Rollins and Lydia Lunch performed at the Club Lingerie for the hipsters of Hollywood. The attendees lined up and went into a room one at a time only to find themselves verbally accosted and physically abused by these two scamps. The L.A. Weekly's La De Da column the next week was full of outrage directed at La Lunch and El Rollins on behalf of friends of the editors. The performance was called, 'Help Us Hurt You.'
I also found reference to the Rollins/Lunch live piece in James Parker’s Rollins bio Henry Rollins: Turned On (Orion Books, 2001), but not as an lp. Help Us Hurt You sounded like the children’s tactile dome at MOTAT except you were assaulted with vague psychological terror by the Rollins/Lunch tag team. A great rock record or spoken word verite document it doesn’t sound like. From Parker:
The Rollins/Lunch double-act’s most notorious outing took place at the Lhasa Club in Hollywood, in late 1983. The flyer for the evening ran: Why You Murder Me Productions presents the dynamic duo of Rollins and Lunch versus You. . . Lunch’s concept was for her and Rollins to occupy a darkened back room of the club and await the punters, who would enter one at a time to be raked with a torchlight and savage wit. On the other side of the door, friends of the duo were deployed to spread fear among the crowd. Lydia Lunch: “According to how you reacted to being thrown into a pitch dark room with me and Rollins, that’s how you were treated . . .
Henry also makes no mention of it in Get in the Van: On the Road with Black Flag (2.13.61 Publications, 1994). So far no insight from Messrs. Schwartz and Farrell though Henry is likely to provide some more information. To be continued.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Love Over Gold/To the Hawk Who Prays in His Sleep/The Spotlight Kid [repost January 2011]

A still unframed poster from the barn to air out on a warm summer day and a nice day to think about the Captain - what with all the birds out and about doing their thing (tuis, mynahs, kererus, tomtits etc). Did Peter Max design the poster and if so, why not use Don's own artwork? How did Don feel about it? Any readers know the designer? The "Clear Spot"/"Spotlight Kid" 3 cd outtake set is the holy grail up there with the "Funhouse" boxset. I first heard them on the great "Another Chapter From the Lives and Times of Captain Beefheart" 2 lp set (the first lp BBC sessions, the second outtakes). A whole book could be written on those sessions and if you search the web, it kinda has.

Here is the cover of the "Life and Times" lp. Well worth tracking down.