Lester Chambers, former lead singer of The Chambers Brothers, highlights the hard reality of the record company’s exploitation of its artists. Chambers sang such hits as “Time Has come Today”, “People Get Ready”, “Uptown”, “I Can’t Turn You Loose” and “Funky”, went for almost thirty years without seeing a royalty check, and has still to see the majority of payment due to him for all of his recordings.
Last year, Chambers was inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, which is an honor, but hardly full recompense for all the years of being screwed over by record companies.
I AM the former Lead Singer of a 60’s BAND. I performed before thousands at Atlanta Pop 2, Miami Pop, Newport Pop, Atlantic Pop. I did NOT squander my money on drugs or a fancy home. I went from 1967-1994 before I saw my first Royalty Check.
The Music Giants I recorded with only paid me for 7 of my Albums.
I have NEVER seen a penny in Royalties from my other 10 Albums I recorded. Our Hit Song was licensed to over 100 Films, T.V. & Commercials WITHOUT our permission. One Major TV Network used our song for a national Commercial and my payment was $625. dollars. I am now 72, trying to live on $1200 a month. Sweet Relief, a music charity is taking donations for me.
Only the 1% of Artist can afford to sue.
I AM THE 99%
Check here for the Lester Chambers’ Sweet Relief Charity Fund.
The Chambers Brothers perform “The Time Has Come Today”.
Stiv getting the V.I.P. treatment at The Starwood, Los Angeles. Photo: Jenny Lens.
Lords Of The New Church appearance on this 1982 edition of Nickelodeon’s ‘Live Wire’ is really quite extraordinary. Stiv Bators seems in a fugue state (probably hadn’t slept) as he talks about dreams, trance writing and the mystical act of creating music. And the young female audience not only gets it, they’re intrigued and curious. As Edgar Allen Poe is evoked, a sweet and acrid scent of blossoming gothettes fills the air and the cathode ray tube transmitting the vibe flickers like the shadows of falling angels bisecting the rays of a dead moon. Yes, these pubescent blond women will be going home and dying their hair jet black tonight and in the afternoon when they wake they will see themselves as they truly are: trash, beautiful unadulterated trash, and they will go forth and become slaves to the Lords of rock and work in strip joints to buy their heavy metal lovermen new guitars and tight leather pants. Yes, ‘Live Wire’ was the secret spawning ground for a generation of enslaved rock bitches. Nickelodeon, the Devil’s network
In the mid-80s my band was on a tour of West Coast clubs that was one day behind The Lords tour of the same. We’d arrive the day after The Lords had played the club the night before. As part of Stiv’s stage show he would place his head in a noose and swing out over the audience. The following day when my band would arrive at the club there was usually a piece of cut rope still dangling from a ceiling beam. Like Hansel and Gretel, Stiv had left his trail behind him, a lethally impotent necklace of hemp
Stiv Bators was one of the sweetest men I’ve ever known. He was fearless, reckless and foolish. He thought his body was immortal but a taxi cab in Paris proved him wrong.
Ten Years in an Open-Necked Shirt is a thoroughly entertaining 1982 documentary about poet, songwriter, punk comedian and recording artist John Cooper Clarke. Among Clark’s many accomplishments: he was the only poet to open for The Sex Pistols and The Buzzcocks.
This is the first part of my life story.
Take a look at me now.
Genius or a madman.
All the answers are forth… the answers are forthcoming in the following chapters.
Ten years in an open neck shirt.
The real story.
From slums to stardom.
Well, not even slums.
Not even… I used to dream of living in…
The Gyp… Gypsies used to come ‘round and complain about me.
No, wait a minute, that’s their version.
See, I’ve written a censored version for the “News of the World”.
Don’t want to offend anybody, do I?
John C. Clarke, that’s me.
Long out of print, Ten Years in an Open-Necked Shirt is a ramshackle affair, filled with exuberant energy, very much like the brilliant raconteur himself.
The film features Clarke’s good friend Linton Kwesi Johnson.
I still marvel at how groundbreakingly cool Prince was before he cleaned up his act and started witnessing for Jehovah. The bitch was a real provocateur…as can be seen in this video from 1980 in which Prince appears ready to sex-up the entire universe.
Draped in a be-jeweled flasher raincoat and wearing some lonesome cowboy’s red bandanna, Ann Margret’s leggings and Little Richard’s jockstrap, Prince’s outré fashion sensibilities echo the quirky mashup of new wave and funk in the infectiously groovy “Dirty Mind.”
Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon talk about the infamous Bond’s concerts, their image, the film project with Don Letts Clash On Broadway which was eventually abandoned, New York City…and more. This was broadcast in 1982 on the NBC affiliate in NYC.
The intent of Clash On Broadway was to document the events and performances centering around the band’s historic seventeen consecutive shows at Bond’s International, a club located in Time’s Square, NYC, extending from May 28-June 13, 1981. Footage included Topper Headon strolling around NYC at night & being interviewed while riding in a taxi, the group sitting on a rooftop watching a group of young black kids rap and breakdance, the graffitti artist Futura plying his trade, the backstage scene, and stellar performances from the Bond’s shows.
Although the film itself never materialized, the footage that was shot provided the basis for the “This is Radio Clash” video and formed much of the backbone of Letts’ 2000 documentary of The Clash, Westway to the World.”
The interviewer is Sue Simmons and she’s quite good as is Joe’s fairly new dental work.
It’s rare these days for a film to genuinely creep me out. After decades of watching horror movies, the great, the good and the intolerably bad, it takes a lot to shake me up. So when I tell you that Ben Wheatley’s Kill List got under my skin like one of those leech-like critters in David Cronenberg’s They Came From Within, it’s both a warning and a recommendation. Kill List should come with its own rating FYU (fuck you up).
Kill List manages to to do something that only really good art does: it is the thing it is about. This hellaciously unnerving film is as evil as the evil it depicts. When I reflect on some of the most disturbing films I’ve seen - Psycho, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Exorcist - I recall them not as compositions of various crafts - acting, direction, etc. - I re-experience them in their totality, a dark brand seared into the folds of my brain matter. These are not mere movies, they’re a form of magic, as arcane as alchemy and as modern as Blu Ray. They deposit the Devil’s cash in your memory bank, where it gains interest over the years, but the only checks you can write against it are in your nightmares.
Kill List has a mindbending plot, fine acting, direction and a superb score. You can find out more about the film online. The critical chatter is mostly positive. But this is not a review. It is, as I said, a warning and a recommendation. For fans of the kind of horror that sinks into you like the fangs of a blood-famished vampire, Wheatley’s infernal concoction should do the trick.
After Samuel Beckett heard Patrick Magee read extracts form his novel Molloy and From Abandoned Work on the radio, he wrote a one act play specifically for the Northern Irish actor. Beckett said Magee’s voice “was the one which he heard inside his mind,” and best suited his intentions for this dark and disturbing monologue on creativity, memory and mortality. Originally titled “Magee Monologue”, it soon became Krapp’s Last Tape.
Krapp’s Last Tape focuses on a man reviewing his life through a series of recordings, each made on the eve of his birthday. Krapp is a sixty-nine year-old, would-be writer who still believes he has the potential to create a great work of art, which will change the world. On listening to his past recordings, Krapp becomes aware of the different aspects of his life that have shaped him. Memory defines who he is, while wearing him down, limiting and inhibiting, until finally, impotent and in despair, Krapp recognizes the futility of his ambitions to create something, anything meaningful.
I suppose you could call this “playwright has mid-life crisis”, but still its themes are universal, and hit at the core of personal creativity and ambition.
Magee originally performed the play at the Royal Court Theater in 1958, under the direction of Donald McWhinnie, and this is the BBC 1972 version of that famous production.
Republican loud-mouth, attention-seeking buffoon and draft dodging he-man man’s man, rocker Ted Nugent, has given his manly men men men seal o’ fuckin’ approval to Mitt Romney. The Motor City Madman gave the son of popular Michigan governor, George Romney, his blessing via Twitter:
“after a long heart&soul conversation with MittRomney today I concluded this goodman will properly represent we the people & I endorsed him”
That a serious presidential candidate can be reduced to kissing the ring of a twat like Ted Nugent in order to garner the votes of morons says much about the decline of the Grand Old Party. Imagine the indignity of having to buddy up to the likes of Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Sheriff Joe Arpaio! And when all is said and done, Romney’s still gonna lose.
In honor of this historic and important political endorsement, I dredged up the text of an October 1977 High Times interview with Nugent that I remembered from when I was a kid (I’d have not even turned twelve yet when this issue—which had Johnny Rotten on the cover—came out. Why did I have a copy of High Times when I was eleven??? What sort of degenerate sold it to me? It shows what kind of child I was, already visiting the local head shop when I was in the 6th grade):
High Times:How did you get out of the draft?
Ted Nugent: Ted was a young boy, appearing to be a hippie but quite opposite in fact, working hard and playing hard, playing rock and roll like a deviant. People would question my sanity, I played so much. So I got my notice to be in the draft. Do you think I was gonna lay down my guitar and go play army? Give me a break! I was busy doin’ it to it. I had a career Jack. If I was walkin’ around, hippying down, getting’ loaded and pickin’ my ass like your common curs, I’d say “Hey yeah, go in the army. Beats the poop out of scuffin’ around in the gutters.” But I wasn’t a gutter dog. I was a hard workin’, motherfuckin’ rock and roll musician.
I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body. No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin’ and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie. I had long hair, and it started gettin’ kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before, I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop, little jars of Polish sausages, and I’d drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up.
See, I approached the whole thing like, Ted Nugent, cool hard-workin’ dude, is gonna wreak havoc on these imbeciles in the armed forces. I’m gonna play their own game, and I’m gonna destroy ‘em. Now my whole body is crusted in poop and piss. I was ill. And three or four days before, I started stayin’ awake. I was close to death, but I was in control. I was extremely antidrug as I’ve always been, but I snorted some crystal methedrine. Talk about one wounded motherfucker. A guy put up four lines, and it was for all four of us, but I didn’t know and I’m vacuuming that poop right up. I was a walking, talking hunk of human poop. I was six-foot-three of sin. So the guys took me down to the physical, and my nerves, my emotions were distraught. I was not a good person. I was wounded. But as painful and nauseous as it was – ‘cause I was really into bein’ clean and on the ball – I made gutter swine hippies look like football players. I was deviano.
So I went in, and those guys in uniform couldn’t believe the smell. They were ridiculin’ me and pushin’ me around and I was cryin’, but all the time I was laughin’ to myself. When they stuck the needle in my arm for the blood test I passed out, and when I came to they were kicking me into the wall. Then they made everybody take off their pants, and I did, and this sergeant says, “Oh my God, put those back on! You fucking swine you!” Then they had a urine test and I couldn’t piss, But my poop was just like ooze, man, so I poop in the cup and put it on the counter. I had poop on my hand and my arm. The guy almost puked. I was so proud. I knew I had these chumps beat. The last thing I remember was wakin’ up in the ear test booth and they were sweepin’ up. So I went home and cleaned up.
They took a putty knife to me. I got the street rats out of my hair, ate some good steaks, beans, potatoes, cottage cheese, milk. A couple of days and I was ready to kick ass. And in the mail I got this big juicy 4-F. They’d call dead people before they’d call my ass. But you know the funny thing about it? I’d make an incredible army man. I’d be a colonel before you knew what hit you, and I’d have the baddest bunch of motherfuckin’ killers you’d ever seen in my platoon. But I just wasn’t into it. I was too busy doin’ my own thing, you know?
Yeah, man, lay off, the Nuge was just doing his own thing!
(Full disclosure: When I was eleven, I thought this was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.)
Below, a preposterous fucking idiot in an Indian headdress plays “The Star Spangled Banner” on his gee-tar for an audience of Neanderthals: