FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
Dead to Dan: Steely Dan’s amazing guide to giving up the Grateful Dead and becoming a Steely Dan fan
08.03.2017
09:42 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Do the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan occupy opposite poles of some optimist/skeptic spectrum? I’ll allow that they just might. The two bands definitely have little in common aesthetically, what with the Dead’s trademark move being the lengthy improvised guitar jam and the Dan opting for a much tighter method that might just involve importing several seasoned sessionists in order to nail down a difficult solo, as famously happened with “Peg.”

If you picked lyrics from the two bands at random and presented them in the form of a quiz, most knowledgeable music fans would have little trouble telling the two apart.

Which brings us to the official Steely Dan website, which has an unusual status among such entities for two reasons: its existence runs back very nearly to the very dawn of the World Wide Web, and Becker and Fagen clearly perceived it as a potential venue for their own personal expression.

According to the Internet Archive, Steely Dan’s website first surfaced no later than April 11, 1997, which is two years after the accepted inception of the WWW but remarkably early for an act as established as Steely Dan. The site is so old that it was was and running several years in advance of Steely Dan’s return to presenting new studio material to its audience, namely Two Against Nature, released in 2000, and Everything Must Go, released in 2003, both of which events it duly documented and promoted, as well as the many tours the Dan has undertaken over the years (remember when Steely Dan didn’t tour?).

The website has an unmistakably personal touch. As stated, whoever is running the website is expansive and expressive, with all sorts of pages dedicated not only to their albums and tours but also to such matters as the Dan’s tongue-in-cheek letter campaign to get set the terms of the band’s inevitable induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which didn’t last long because it happened in 2001 (the Dead beat them by seven years).

Amusingly, much of the website is in straight HTML, enough so to make one positively nostalgic for an Internet without any way to spread the word to LinkedIn or whatever. One such page is an amazing guide for music lovers who aren’t yet sure if they can handle Steely Dan, with detailed instructions on how to make the leap from Grateful Dead fandom to Dan fan status.

The “Deadhead/Danfan Conversion Chart” offers detailed illustrations of how to shed the “rectangular granny glasses” favored by Deadheads in favor of the “LA Eyeworks clipons” that are more typical of the pussyhound/drugrunner characters one might encounter in Steely Dan songs. In each case there is a transitional item named, occupying the creepy and simultaneous “Deadfan/Danhead” category—in the aforementioned example of eyewear, “rayban knockoffs” occupies that slot.

There are 20 such triads (Deadhead—Deadfan/Danhead—Danfan) and nary a weak one on the list. As a kicker, the final entry offers the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan themselves as start and end points, but I won’t name which artist they picked to be the transitional figure. But it’s kind of genius.

Here it is, but you can see the original version here:
 

 
Thanks to Sydney Aja Peterson for the find.
 

Posted by Martin Schneider
|
08.03.2017
09:42 am
|
Atomic blonde: Blonde bombshell Mamie Van Doren looking cooler than we’ll ever be
08.02.2017
11:42 am
Topics:
Tags:


Mamie Van Doren with NFL player Jim Sears, 1954.
 

“I’ve always taken care of my health—never been much of a drinker, never smoked cigarettes, never done drugs much, except smoking pot occasionally, and that’s been decades ago. I’m NOT an 80-year old virgin. Good sex really does help.”

—Mamie Van Doren

If you’ve heard better health advice from someone, and I mean anyone—take it. As of this writing, actress Mamie Van Doren is 86 and still looks like this. The pinup powerhouse has done pretty much everything, even getting into the musical arena putting out a few albums including a campy, rockabilly-esque compilation back in 1986 called The Girl who invented Rock ‘n’ Roll and a 2011 digital-only release, Still a Troublemaker. She also carried on love affairs with some of Hollywood’s most covetable men such as Steve McQueen and Frank Sinatra. She’s done tons of films and has even written a book. Join me DM readers as I celebrate Mamie Van Doren.

At the age of seventeen, and still going by her birth name of Joan Olander (a nod by her parents to actress Joan Crawford), Van Doren married her first of five husbands, Jack Newman, a sportswear mogul. Less than a year into the marriage Van Doren split after realizing that Newman’s unpredictable and often violent behavior was going to get her nowhere fast. She would then catch the eye of Howard Hughes and the pair dated for several years. Hughes introduced Van Doren to Peruvian pinup painter Alberto Vargas who hired her to pose for his upcoming calendar for Esquire magazine. Soon Universal Studios came calling with an offer of a film contract, and Joan Olander would change her name to the sexier-sounding Mamie Van Doren. The actress and timeless beauty has dedicated most of her life to animal rights activism after developing a deep empathy for animals and their welfare while growing up on a farm in South Dakota. Her experiences visiting troops during the Vietnam war and her disgust with Ronald Reagan helped shape her mostly liberal political beliefs.

If you’d like to learn more about Van Doren’s remarkable life, I highly recommend picking up her 1987 memoir Playing the Field: Sex, Stardom, Love, and Life in Hollywood. To help reinforce how impossibly cool Mamie is, I’ve posted some equally remarkable images of her doing everything from kicking a football in a pair of hot pants and heels (pictured at the top of this post), to a photo of the platinum blonde bombshell in an impromptu jam session with Eddie Cochran during rehearsals for the 1957 film Untamed Youth. They don’t make ‘em like this anymore kids. Dig it.
 

 

 

Posing for the costume designer, Edith Head.
 
More Mamie after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
08.02.2017
11:42 am
|
Spiritwalkers: Incredible early footage of The Cult when they were known as ‘Southern Death Cult’
08.02.2017
10:10 am
Topics:
Tags:


An early photo of Southern Death Cult. Vocalist Ian Astbury is pictured to the far left.
 

“I was a devotee of Crass, and it had a huge, huge influence on me. I saw those guys 36 times. I used to follow them.”

—Vocalist Ian Astbury of The Cult reflecting on his youth.

While the statement above from a young Ian Asbury of The Cult sounds like the ideal formative punk rock experience, it left the then eighteen-year-old Astbury homeless and dependant on dole checks which amounted to around 40 U.S. dollars each week. While he was obsessively following Crass around on tour, he met up with a group of punks from Bradford, a town in the north of England, who offered him a room to stay in anytime he found himself there. With little going for himself and tired of sleeping in bus stations, Astbury headed off to Bradford. When he arrived, he found their squat was inhabited by all kinds of counter-culture types—writers, painters, and of course, musicians. At the time, Astbury had cultivated quite a striking look for himself which was reminiscent of Adam Ant’s Native American war paint persona only tougher (and a bit lower rent.) Astbury’s mohawk and unique style impressed the band that was rehearsing in the basement of the Bradford squat. In need of a vocalist, they asked Astbury to join them and Southern Death Cult was born.

The band started making music immediately, and their first live gig would take place less than a year after Astbury’s arrival in Bradford, at the Queen’s Hall in 1981. In 1982 the band would finally release their first studio recordings—a three song seven-inch that hit number one on the UK Independent Singles Chart. Following this success, Southern Death Cult took to the road touring with several bands including Bauhaus. The group seemed to have everyone’s attention including the legendary BBC disc jockey John Peel. Peel would record a live session with Southern Death Cult that was broadcast on the BBC on June 10th,1982. Sadly, the band would call it quits when Astbury pulled the plug on SDC in February of 1983.

After they disbanded, the groups only record, The Southern Death Cult, was released by Beggars Banquet which included everything from the 1982 seven inch and the Peel sessions from 1982. Following their breakup, Astbury joined forces with Theatre of Hate guitarist Billy Duffy, who was once in a band called the Nosebleeds with Morrissey. Duffy was also longtime pals with future Smiths’ guitarist Johnny Marr. The two spent their younger days as kids listening to punk rock and learning how to play the guitar together. In fact, we have Duffy to thank for introducing Marr to Mozzer at a Patti Smith gig in 1978. You can probably figure out how that all played out without too much effort.

Once Duffy and Astbury got together, they would change the band’s name to Death Cult hoping for some residual notoriety left over from Astbury’s previous band. They would put out some well-received singles, and their loyal fans would pack any room the band played. Then, in 1984, Death Cult officially became The Cult announcing their new name when they appeared on The Tube in January. And the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve posted some cool ephemera from The Cult’s early days below including video footage of the band before Astbury fully transitioned his look to be more in line with a goth version of El Topo.
 

A photo of a twenty-year-old Ian Astbury on the cover of NME magazine, October 2nd, 1982.
 

Southern Death Cult.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Cherrybomb
|
08.02.2017
10:10 am
|
Calf born on July 28 looks exactly like Gene Simmons of KISS
08.01.2017
09:12 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Well, maybe not exactly. I mean, the calf isn’t trying to trademark “devil horns” or anything absurd like that. But you gotta admit the calf, appropriately named Genie, does bear a rather striking resemblance to the bass-playing, tongue-wagging “God of Thunder,” Gene Simmons. 

Born on 28 July at a ranch in Kerrville, Texas, apparently the calf is even sticking out her tongue in honor of Simmons.

The good news is, Genie will not be turned into someone’s dinner, but will serve as a mascot for a steakhouse. Okay, let me take that back, maybe that’s not such good news.


 
via The Sun

Posted by Tara McGinley
|
08.01.2017
09:12 am
|
The Ladybirds: The world’s first all-girl topless rock band(s)
07.31.2017
03:05 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
The Ladybirds was apparently quite the popular name for female pop groups in the 1960s. There were several all-girl bands in the 1960s named The Ladybirds, some of them who performed fully-clothed and some who did not.

But let’s narrow it down to just the Ladybirds who got their kits off, shall we, leaving out a California-based group by that name who opened for the Stones for at least one performance during their 1965 US tour and also the Ladybirds, an English all-girl vocal harmony group often seen on The Benny Hill Show.

Now as it turns out, there wasn’t just a single band of topless Ladybirds, either. There were two! What are the odds of that?

First we have the American Ladybirds, a garage rock group that was comprised of five showgirls and begun in San Francisco (some sources say NJ) sometime in 1966. When they first started out their act was just a T&A gimmick—I’m guessing one that was inspired by Charlotte Morman’s topless cello playing, then in the news, although topless waitresses were already a “thing” at that point—with the ‘birds shaking their tailfeathers (and tits) at punters but miming along to backing tracks in places like the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas, LA’s risque Blue Bunny Club and Tipsy’s, a “cabaret” in San Francisco’s then wild North Beach neighborhood where they were booked for 14 solid months. Like the Monkees, eventually they learned how to play their own instruments.

Here’s a ridiculous bit of Ladybirds trivia: None other than World Golf Hall of Fame golfer Raymond Floyd managed the group, at least for a while. A 1998 Sports Illustrated article about Floyd called him an “investor” in the Ladybirds. Floyd was apparently a rather notorious party boy in his younger years and the owner of a nightclub called Coke’s. He probably co-managed the group with Voss Boreta who also managed stripper Carol Doda, at least for a while.

And then there are the Danish Ladybirds who also got topless. It’s known for instance, that this Copenhagen-based group played a double bill with Led Zeppelin—then still called the New Yardbirds for contractual reasons (Ladybirds/Yardbirds, geddit?) at the Fjordvilla Club in Roskilde, Denmark, on September 8th 1968. These Ladybirds stuck it out until 1986 before calling it quits.

From the shots below you can see both the predominantly brunette US incarnation and the blonder Scandinavian variant of Ladybirds. Frankly I don’t expect we’ll be seeing any sort of 50 year anniversary reunions from either of them.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
07.31.2017
03:05 pm
|
Graham Nash is auctioning his R. Crumb originals, including a cover for the long-lost Zap Comix #1
07.31.2017
09:17 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Graham Nash, the singer/guitarist of durable British Invasion band The Hollies and the eponymous Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash (and sometimes Young), has consigned an impressive collection of original comix art by underground godhead Robert Crumb, including an intended original cover for Zap Comix #1. This may not have been THE intended cover—Crumb drew and rejected a fair few versions, and the original art for that comic was lost before it was published.

Underground comix fans will likely know the basics of this tale, but it’s assembled from various accounts, so God only knows, but what’s beyond dispute is that the comic that was released as Zap #1 was in fact the second Zap. Lore has long held that intended publisher Brian Zahn fucked off to India, possibly with the original drawings still in his possession, so Crumb drew an altogether new comic, and Don Donahue released that work as Zap #1, paying for it by trading a tape deck, and in the process, founding Apex Novelties. After Crumb re-inked the lost pages, using as guides not quite print-worthy photostats that he may have recovered from the possession of Viking Press, the intended debut issue ended up being the third, finally released in 1968 as Zap Comix #0, and with a very similar but significantly less penisy cover. Whether and when Crumb ever recovered the originals from Zahn is unclear, and sources differ on the matter. And given that in this case “sources” mostly means guys around 70 who used to take a lot of drugs, that they’d all remember things differently should hardly come as a surprise.

Via Goldmine:

The top prize among the Nash’s offering of art by master Robert Crumb likely will be a dramatic Robert Crumb Zap Comix #1 Cover Original Art (1967), which carries a pre-auction estimate of $100,000 and up. The image is a perfect example of Crumb’s refusal to hold anything back, with the word “Zap” being written across the top in electrified lettering over the image of a nude man being jolted through a cord attached to an electrical outlet. The image was intended by Robert Crumb to be on the cover of Zap No. 1.

Also expected to sell for as much as $100,000 is an extraordinary Robert Crumb American Splendor Complete Six-Page Story Original Art (Harvey Pekar, 1979). Crumb and the story’s author, Pekar, were friends before Crumb became famous; one of the interests they shared was collecting records. Pekar lacked artistic ability, but convinced his friend to do the artwork for his stories by acquiring 78 RPM records – often blues, one of Crumb’s favorites – for Crumb.

Here’s that Zap cover, followed by the one that actually ran as #0, and the framed lot that includes Crumb’s hand-inked color masks—no rubylith for him, he was probably too broke. Then, just because we could, we composited the colors, sampled from those masks. For whatever it’s worth, this could be the first time ever that anyone’s ever seen this artwork more or less the way Crumb intended it.
 

 

 

Click to enlarge
 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
07.31.2017
09:17 am
|
David Lee Roth’s insane isolated vocals from ‘Runnin’ With the Devil’ make a really great ringtone
07.28.2017
02:42 pm
Topics:
Tags:


The great David Lee Roth back in the late 1970s.
 
So first off, yeah, I know that David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from Van Halen’s 1978 juggernaut, “Runnin’ With the Devil” have been making the rounds out on the Internet for a while. But perhaps what you didn’t know is that there is a site that allows you to download them in neat little MP3 files so you could, as I’d strongly suggest, use them as ring tones for your smart phone. So let’s all help make our smart phones great again by ditching those irritating pre-loaded ringtones and replacing them with Diamond Dave’s straight-up mythical war cry from the stoner teen anthem, “Aaahhh Haaa YEAHHH!”

Of course, it’s easy enough for most people to DIY this themselves, but on Soundboard.com you can even text DLR’s vocals to anyone you want in the United States. If DLR isn’t your cup of tea (???), don’t despair as there are over 485,000 other sounds on Soundboard, including famous quotes spoken by Samuel L. “Say WHAT again” Jackson and Christopher Walken. There’s also an entire category called “Nicolas Cage loses his shit” that includes a downloadable MP3 of Cage rage-screaming the word “fuck” for five full seconds. Nice.

In case you’ve never heard Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil,” here’s a video compilation of that audio:
 

David Lee Roth’s isolated vocals from “Runnin’ With the Devil.”

Posted by Cherrybomb
|
07.28.2017
02:42 pm
|
‘It’s All True’: Experimental opera based on Fugazi’s live tapes?
07.28.2017
09:46 am
Topics:
Tags:


Photo of Object Collective by Henrik Beck
 
Object Collection, an experimental performance outfit from Brooklyn, has recorded an “opera-in-suspension” based on the Fugazi Live Series. Like a more pretentious “Having Fun on Stage with Fugazi,” all of the opera’s musical and verbal material comes from between-song ephemera:

Grounded upon the Live Archive series of the Washington DC outfit, composer Travis Just and writer/director Kara Feely’s work uses only the incidental music, text and sounds, none of Fugazi’s actual songs. An obsessive leap into 1500 hours of gig detritus spanning shows from 1987 to 2002, and encompassing random feedback, aimless drum noodling, pre-show activist speeches, audience hecklers, and the police breaking up gigs. All of this material is the foundation of an ear-body-and-mind-flossing 100 minutes for 4 voices/performers, 4 electric guitars/basses and 2 percussionists.

The press release describes It’s All True as “a radical incitement to action,” which sounds like a euphemism for massive audience walkouts during the first five minutes. But the members of Fugazi have given the production their blessing. Guy Picciotto says:

All of us were both blown away and disoriented by the work – it was well beyond anything we had anticipated when agreeing to Travis’ early request. We feel moved by Object Collection’s engagement with our archive material and salute everyone involved for their hard work and patience and for wrestling with such integrity with our sounds and words.

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
07.28.2017
09:46 am
|
Stevie Nicks’ recipe for Fleetwood Mac Fiesta Dip
07.27.2017
08:43 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Dedicated to the memory of the Pretenders’ brilliant lead guitarist, James Honeyman-Scott, by his widow, Peggy Sue, Rock ‘n’ Roll Cuisine is a 1988 collection of recipes solicited from the day’s fabulous singing sensations. You know, Paul Stanley’s Caesar salad (of course he misspells “Caesar”),Tina Weymouth’s baby food, Ian Astbury’s spicy chickpeas, Roy Wood of the Move’s parrots (potatoes stuffed with carrots), Ronnie James Dio’s wassail bowl. Many of the recipes come from artists whose names have been obscured by the mists of time. For example, did you know there was once a band from Los Angeles called “Rough Cutt”?

Every member of Fleetwood Mac except Lindsey Buckingham contributed to the cookbook, but one recipe in particular cries out to be shared with DM’s hungry, hungry readership, while the summer is still hot, the cooler is full of Canfield’s Diet Chocolate Fudge soda, and there is plenty salmonella poisoning for the whole neighborhood: Stevie Nicks’ Fleetwood Mac Fiesta Dip.

Get Stevie’s festive Fiesta Dip recipe after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
07.27.2017
08:43 am
|
Junkie Business: John Frusciante meets Timothy Leary in Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes’ ‘Stuff’
07.27.2017
08:31 am
Topics:
Tags:


Johnny Depp in Berlin, 1993
 
Some movies make rock stardom look like hell. The reason it’s so hard to see Cocksucker Blues is not that it’s such an appealing advertisement for life on the road, but that it makes the lives of the characters in Glengarry Glen Ross look like a lot of fun compared to the Rolling Stones’.

Stuff belongs on the same shelf. Directed by Johnny Depp and Gibby Haynes in 1993, the unreleased short film is a documentary about the squalid junkie crash pad in LA that John Frusciante used to call home. Cameras drift through the house soaking in the bummer ambience as Frusciante’s Portastudio recordings play on the soundtrack. There’s no dialogue.
 

P’s self-titled debut on Capitol Records
 
If there’s a ghost in the movie other than Frusciante’s spectral presence, it’s River Phoenix. Depp and Haynes were bandmates in P, the group that was onstage at the Viper Room when Phoenix OD’d. According to Bob Forrest’s memoir Running with Monsters, Phoenix spent the days before his death at Frusciante’s house getting “deep into a major-league drug binge,” and even by drug-den standards, Forrest says the place was fucked up:

We all lived close to one another. Johnny only lived a couple minutes’ drive from Frusciante’s house and the apartment I kept nearby. The Butthole Surfers’ Gibby Haynes, when he was in town, mostly stayed with Johnny. Sometimes I’d stay there or at Frusciante’s. I was hard to pin down. River usually stayed at St. James’ Club on the Strip, a flashy, high-end art-deco luxury hotel, also known variously as the Argyle or the Sunset Tower. The Viper Room was our headquarters, but Frusciante’s place saw almost as much use, although things had started to take on a dark and forbidding atmosphere there. It still didn’t stop anybody from dropping by. If any of us were working or out on tour, Frusciante’s house was the first stop as soon as we arrived back in town.

Frusciante’s place offered something the Viper Room had in short supply: privacy. But that also made it a liability. What had started out as a party place had devolved and spiraled into some dank drug den. Walls were covered with graffiti. Furniture was damaged. Walls and doors had huge, gaping holes. There was a current there—bad vibes and degeneracy. It was out of control and the kind of place that could make the hardest of hard-core junkies blanch and run in the opposite direction.

Watch ‘Stuff’ after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
07.27.2017
08:31 am
|
Page 2 of 775  < 1 2 3 4 >  Last ›