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Stray Cat Beat Girl: Meet the electrifying ‘Aretha Franklin’ of Japan, Akiko Wada
10.25.2016
10:40 am

Topics:
Feminism
Movies
Music
Pop Culture

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Akiko Wada.
 
The arrival of the “beat girl” archetype in Japanese culture back in the 60s came with numerous girl rockers taking the helm of bands, cranking out garage rock sounds and pop-inspired hits some of which would go on to sell more than a million copies (such as the 1965 smash sung in English by Emy Jackson “Crying in a Storm”). Of the many that were a part of this movement, one of the most notable was a woman often referred to as the “Japanese Aretha Franklin,” Akiko Wada.

Born Akiko Iizuka (according to her website) to Korean parents, she soon adopted her maternal uncle’s name (Wada) and started skipping school (before dropping out of high school entierly) to enjoy the nightlife of Osaka. At the age of seventeen she had added “runaway” to her growing rebellious teenage resume after a trip to Tokyo. Wada’s “look” was perceived as “unconventional” even during her childhood. In elementary school Wada was already over five-feet tall and by the time she stopped growing she stood approximately 5’9. Not only did Wada sound more like a man she was also taller than most of her male counterparts on the hit parade. Due to her unique looks and vocal style she was often referred to as being “butch.

It’s important to note here that being labeled as “butch” is a distinct inference of homosexuality. And being gay in Japan isn’t merely frowned upon, it is also considered an “unacceptable” lifestyle (though there has been some progress over the last two decades). Despite assumptions regarding her sexuality Wada has been married to a man (photographer Koji Iizuka) for the past 35 years.

Wada would embark on her recording career in 1968, singing on an astronomical number of records (somewhere in the neighborhood of 70 singles) since the release of her first single “Hoshizora no Kodoku” (“The Solitude of the Starry Sky”). Fast-forward to 2016 and the unstoppable Wada shows no signs of slowing down. Her latest release “All Right!!!” came out in July of this year—three months after her 66th birthday.

Wada also appeared in a few memorable films, a few which audiences outside of Japan may be familiar with such as the 1970 Japanese chick biker-flick (the first of the long-running franchise) Alleycat Rock: Female Boss where Akiko gets to play the cycle-riding biker girl “Ako.” Wada would reprise the role of “Ako” in the follow-up film, Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo. Wada has also hosted her own TV show, Akko ni Omakase (“Leave It To Akko”), as well as a radio show DJ Akko No Panic Studio. I’ve included a number of cool tracks from Wada’s vast catalog for you to listen to below and the groovy trailer for Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo (which was lovingly remastered back in 2014 by Arrow Films) that features Wada looking larger than life, rocking out in a sweet brown pantsuit.
 

The trailer for the 1970 film ‘Stray Cat Rock: Wild Jumbo’ featuring Akiko Wada.
 
More Akiko Wada after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Meet the ‘black Charlie Chaplin’ who devised the Moonwalk before Michael Jackson
10.18.2016
10:29 am

Topics:
Dance
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:

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Johnny Hudgins is not the first name to come to mind when considering influential 20th century comic performers—but perhaps he should be.

I had never heard of Johnny Hudgins until about a week ago when his name popped up in a conversation about long forgotten vaudeville stars. An old archivist friend was telling me how there were once many African-American blackface performers—among them Johnny Hudgins who became an international star in the 1920s. Hudgins was more than a star—he was hailed as “the colored Charlie Chaplin.” Famed for his trademark dance and comedy routines, Hudgins literally spawned a host of imitators I was informed—most notably Josephine Baker who copied his act and took it to France where she became a star.

I noted my friend’s information—it was one of those useful kernels to be tucked away for later use.

Then last night while catching-up on TV, I watched a documentary called Trailblazers of Dance—one part of the excellent Trailblazers of… series narrated by Slade’s Noddy Holder no less. From what I’ve seen of this series, it’s certainly one I’d recommend. Anyhow—in this documentary Hudgins again popped up—this time being credited as the originator of the “moonwalk”—the impossible-seeming dance step Michael Jackson made famous in his video for “Billie Jean.”
 
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Johnny Hudgins with the Blackbirds.
 
This spot of serendipity led me to do a little research on Johnny Hudgins.

For someone whose career apparently influenced the iconic Josephine Baker and Michael Jackson, who had Duke Ellington serenade him at supper, whose portrait was painted by Kees van Dongen, who was even filmed by Jean Renoir and who was so famous he had a kid’s doll made after him in France—there really isn’t a heck of a lot of stuff out there on dear old Mr. Hudgins—well, other than passing mentions in academic texts like this from Choreographing Copyright: Race, Gender, and Intellectual Property Rights in American Dance:

Virtually forgotten in the early twenty-first century, Johnny Hudgins was a celebrity in his day. Born in Baltimore in 1896, Hudgins began performing as a song-and-dance man on the burlesque circuit before joining Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake’s all-black revue The Chocolate Dandies in 1924. A successor to the song-writing team Sissle and Blake’s earlier hit, Shuffle Along (1921), The Chocolate Dandies was more ambitious—it featured extravagant stage settings, including live horses running on a treadmill during a horse race scene—but ultimately less profitable, closing on Broadway after ninety-six performances.

During his run in the musical, Hudgins developed a series of comic pantomime acts that won him acclaim nationally and internationally. The most famous of these was his “Mwa, Mwa” routine, in which he opened and closed his mouth in silent mimicry of the “wah wah” sounds of an accompanying trumpet or cornet.

Branded both the successor of the celebrated blackface vaudevillian Bert Williams and “the colored Charles Chaplin,” Hudgins spawned a host of imitators, among them Josephine Baker, who appeared with him in The Chocolate Dandies.

After touring Europe for several years in the mid-1920s, Hudgins returned to the United States to star in Lew Leslie’s Blackbirds of 1928. By 1930 he was reported to be the “highest paid night club entertainer of his Race.” He continued to tour Europe, South America, Canada and the United States through the 1940s. Due in no small part to his use of blackface, Hudgins fell out of favor with a later generation of performers and critics. He died in 1990.

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Disgusting hyper-realistic busts of Ren and Stimpy
10.14.2016
09:17 am

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture
Television

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The Ren & Stimpy Show, often simply called simply Ren & Stimpy, was a madcap and often subversive cartoon show produced by John Kricfalusi for Nickelodeon between 1991 and 1995. The sometimes controversial program featured Ren, “an emotionally unstable chihuahua,” and Stimpy, “a good-natured, dimwitted cat,” and was filled with gross-out humor and and jokes that only the adults in the audience were likely to get. The show paved the way for more adult-themed cartoons such as Beavis and Butthead and South Park, and still enjoys a large cult audience today.

Artist Andrew Freeman of Immortal masks has recently paid homage to Ren Höek and Stimpson J. Cat by creating “hyper-realistic” silicone busts of the duo.

The masks are absolutely grotesque, keeping in line with the original show which often featured disgusting close-ups of the cartoon pair. The intricate details on these busts are amusingly disturbing, from the gross rotten teeth to the “magic nose goblins” in Stimpy’s nostrils.

The full silicone busts were designed, sculpted and painted by Andrew Freeman with the assistance of his team at Immortal Masks, and the finished pieces are being displayed at Think Tank Gallery in downtown Los Angeles October 8 through the 31st

Happy happy, joy joy!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Psychedelic Day-Glo screenprints of Marilyn Monroe by ‘Last Sitting’ photographer Bert Stern
10.13.2016
09:52 am

Topics:
Art
Pop Culture

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Photographer Bert Stern is forever tied to the legacy of Marilyn Monroe by dint of one fateful job in 1962—a three day photo shoot/bender with Monroe at L.A.’s Hotel Bel-Air, which turned out to be the last shoot Monroe would pose for before her overdose death. Posing nude on white luxury hotel linens with champagne and gauzy scarves, Monroe produced some of the most iconic images of her career, with a simultaneous playfulness and resignation poking through the photos’ sex appeal, mirroring her career as a comic actress whose gifts could never emerge from under a crafted glamorous image too powerful to yield to a real human being. The fact of her death so soon after the shoot made the photos a badge for her martyrdom to the star system, which was creepily underscored by the many images in which she’s Xed out with red marker—Monroe had crossed those images out of the contact sheets herself, but her death gave them an unintended meaning. The shots have come to collectively be known as “The Last Sitting,” and naturally, they’ve been the subject of a few books.

Less well known than those photos was the series of psychedelic silkscreen prints Stern produced from those images a few years later, printed in Day-Glo colors so bright as to threaten the viewer with a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The March 1968 issue of Avant Garde magazine published a portfolio of the prints, and they had this to say about it:

Hundreds of artists have been hung on Marilyn Monroe ever since she died five years ago (including Dali, De Kooning, Linder, Rauschenberg, and 38 other greats who participated in an “Homage to Marilyn” show at the Janis Gallery in New York last month. Perhaps none has been more preoccupied with the image of Marilyn, however, than photographer Bert Stern who, through a quirk of fate, became the last man to photograph her. Stern’s portraits of Marilyn, shot at the Bel Air Hotel in Hollywood on June 21, 1962 are classic and have been published time and again. “Still, I have never been entirely satisfied with them,” says Stern. “Because of photography’s technical limitations, they never quite communicated the dazzling image of Marilyn that existed in my mind’s eye at the time I photographed her.” As a result, over the past five years Stern has been experimenting with various new techniques that would enable him to capture and preserve the image of Marilyn he saw at the time he photographed her. Just this past fall he hit upon the answer: an amalgam of the dramatic technique of serigraphy and the blazing colors of Day-Glo ink.

Stern must have made TONS of the prints, because they’re astonishingly affordable to procure. There seem to always be some available on auction sites, and they tend to go for ballpark $30-50ish. Comparisons to Warhol’s 1962 Marilyn screenprints are unavoidable, but Stern’s prints, despite the magnified vividness of their colors, are coarser works that delight in a psychedelic extremity that the Warhol works can’t touch. The images that follow are spreads from the aforementioned Avant Garde portfolio. Clicking spawns a larger image.
 

 

 
More Marilyn after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Mind-blowing psychedelic 60s posters of Hendrix, Dylan, Pink Floyd, Yoko Ono & The Who
10.12.2016
11:08 am

Topics:
Art
Drugs
Music
Pop Culture

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Martin Sharp, ‘Exploding Hendrix,’ 1968.
 
The late great counter cultural figure, poet and publisher Felix Dennis collected an incredible array of psychedelic advertising posters during his lifetime, from the 1960s and 1970s.

Dennis (1947-2014) started off as co-editor of Oz magazine and was responsible for the legendary issue #28 of the magazine better known as “Schoolkids Oz” which led to the magazine’s famous obscenity trial in 1971. After his experience with Oz, Dennis went onto become a very rich and successful publisher of various magazines like Maxim, Fortean Times, Bizarre and Viz Comics.

Apart from publishing, Dennis also had a passion for collecting—the scale of which was only apparent after his death in 2014. Dennis collected original American underground comic book artwork, woodcuts by Eric Gill, and some 23,000 books—including rare editions by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Louis Stevenson. However, books and comics were for reading and enjoying—his real passion was collecting original psychedelic posters.

Dennis was very particular in which posters he collected—he was more interested in following individual artists than “obsessively ticking things off a list.” He was a fan of original Oz artist Martin Sharp, and followed other graphic artists such as Hapshash & the Coloured Coat, Victor Moscoso and Ivan Tyrrell.

The following selection is but a small selection from the Felix Dennis Collection—but gives a rather dazzling (if retina burning) flavor of 1960’s psychedelic art in all its glory.
 
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Bob Dylan: Martin Sharp‘s poster ‘Mr Tambourine Man – Blowin’ in the Mind,’ 1967.
 
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Pink Floyd/UFO Club:  Hapshash & the Coloured Coat‘s poster ‘CIA vs. UFO,’ 1967.
 
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The Chambers Brothers: Victor Moscoso‘s poster for a Chambers Bros gig at the Matrix, 1967.
 
More candy-colored psychedelia from the collection of Felix Dennis, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Shock And Awe’: How platform shoes, mascara and glitter saved rock ‘n’ roll
10.12.2016
10:13 am

Topics:
Literature
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

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In 1972 rock music rolled out of the 60s as pale and cold as a corpse on a hospital gurney. There was the occasional death twitch but rigor mortis had set in and for most of us rockers there was a sense of hopelessness as we listened to vapid shit coming out of our radios.

How bad was it? Here’s the top ten tunes of 1972 according to Billboard magazine:

1 “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Roberta Flack
2 “Alone Again (Naturally)” Gilbert O’Sullivan
3 “American Pie” Don McLean
4 “Without You” Harry Nilsson
5 “The Candy Man” Sammy Davis, Jr.
6 “I Gotcha” Joe Tex
7 “Lean on Me” Bill Withers
8 “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” Mac Davis
9 “Brand New Key” Melanie
10 “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” Wayne Newton

That list is completely devoid of anything that remotely could be called “rock and roll.” With the exception of Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha,” virtually every song falls into the easy listening/pop category. Sentimental, corny, goofy, maudlin and over melodramatic, none of this stuff rocks. The closest the top 20 got to rock that year was Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold.” And as lovely as that song is, it’s one of Neil’s most middle-of-the-road creations and still more folk than rock. In the entire Billboard top 100 of 1972 there are two songs that could be categorized as hard rock with some bonfide badass attitude. They were Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”  and T.Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” Elton John, Derek And The Dominoes, Badfinger and The Hollies all had hits with power ballads or top-forty schlock. The Hollies aping Creedence Clearwater with “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” may be memorable, but it also could have been recorded by just about any half-decent band. Completely unidentifiable as a Hollie’s song. 1972 was also the year that arguably the greatest rock composer of all time, Chuck Berry, released “My Ding A Ling.” This was the kind of shit that made a rock fan like myself weep.
 

 
In 1972, I was 21 and writing record reviews for a newspaper in Boulder, Colorado. At the time, record companies were very generous in sending out review copies of LPs to just about anyone claiming to be a rock critic. As a result, I was receiving well over a hundred copies of new record releases each month. Every day the postman would drop a load of vinyl on my front porch and I was like a kid at Christmas. Unfortunately, most of the freebies were real shit. But some good stuff would squeak through and occasionally the good stuff would be better than merely good. There were records among the dross that would eventually change my life.

From ‘72 to ‘75, when I did most of my reviewing, the albums that blew my mind were coming from reggae artists like Bob Marley and Toots And The Maytals followed by Brit rockers T.Rex, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Mott The Hoople, Cockney Rebel and American outliers Lou Reed, The New York Dolls, Sparks, Alice Cooper and Suzi Quatro, among a handful of others. What these performers shared in common was an energy that recalled some of the best of 60s garage bands, British Invasion, doses of psychedelia and a theatricality that was eccentric, fresh and provocative. Their songs tended to be short and to the point, with strong hooks and infectious beats. And they were sexy! This was the beginning of what eventually became known as glam rock. I know calling Marley glam is a stretch but let’s face it, Bob was glamorous and songs like “Lively Up Yourself” could be dropped into a mix with Bowie and Marc Bolan without missing a beat. Even if the twain does meet, we’ll still keep reggae out of the mix for sake of argument.
 

 
Glam rock blew open the doors for the punk scene that quickly followed on its heels. There’s not a single rock band that emerged in 76/77 from CBGB, Max’s, or The Marquee Club that weren’t inspired by glam bands. A few hate to admit it, but most know it’s true. From Johnny Rotten to Joey Ramone to Patti Smith, the visionaries in platform shoes with glitter in their hair like Marc Bolan, Bowie and The Dolls turned budding punks’ heads around and pointed them in a direction that would change them forever… just as they did for me.
 

 
Glam rock was fun at a time when rock wasn’t. The music I loved had become too self-important or too inconsequential to capture my heart and gut. Easy listening “elevator music” on MOR radio tossed with the pompous orchestral rock of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes and the blowhard power ballads of Kansas and Styx created a mind salad that was all cellulose and little fiber. Even bands I had once looked to for some hard-edged three-minute rockers, The Who, for instance, were creating pretentious rock operas that were large-gestures but intellectually feeble. I wanted plain old pinball machines without the wizards. When rock songs started taking up entire sides of an album, I found myself dragging out my old Seeds and Music Machine albums. Few rock artists could sustain the longform song for me. Only the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and The Velvet Underground could pull that off.
 

 
So glam put the fun back into rock. It also put sex back into rock and returned some color, glitter and style to a musical culture that had turned to faded denim, faux blues and pretentious bluster. It was bigger than life, but as light as moonbeams. While Rick Wakeman and Mike Oldfield were pumping hot air into the balloon of pop culture, Sparks and Roxy Music were sticking needles in it. Underneath their wild threads and crazy hair, the glam rockers were smirking at the artifice of it all, using the theater of rock and roll to remind us that rock music was as silly as it is essential.
 

 
Simon Reynolds book Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century is the definitive book on the music and pop culture explosion that put style, extravagance and a sense of—yes—absurdity back into rock and roll. Written from a place of genuine love for his subject, Reynolds’ 700 page history is formidable in its research and thoroughly entertaining. It’s smart without being academic and contains none of the “hey look at me” smarty pants rock crit that focuses more on the writer than the subject at hand. Reynolds is passionate about what he’s writing about and it’s truly infectious. From the big lights of Bowie, Roxy and Bolan to lesser known, but equally amazing, groups like Wizzard, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and The Tubes, Reynolds covers dozens upon dozens of artists starting with proto-glamster Jerry Lee Lewis, The Stooges, through the rock scenes impacted by glam including punk, new wave, hair metal and techno. Like with his terrific book on post-punk Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984,  Reynolds obviously knows what he’s talking about. As well-researched as his books are, they’re never larded with too much minutiae or footnoted to death. They move like rock and roll moves. Shock And Awe has the energy and exuberance of a tight chugging Marc Bolan guitar riff. You can dance to it. Buy it here. Really, buy it. At 12 bucks it’s a fucking steal. Thank me later.
 

 
After the jump, a special video mix inspired by ‘Shock And Awe’ containing songs from Marc Bolan, Mott The Hoople, Slade, Roxy Music, Suzi Quatro, Cockney Rebel, Sweet, Wizzard, Sparks, Mud, The Osmonds and Jook….

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘A Message from the Temple’: First peek at upcoming documentary on Genesis P-Orridge cult looks GOOD
10.11.2016
04:08 pm

Topics:
Belief
Movies
Music
Occult
Pop Culture

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As there is just 23 days—ahem—left of their already half-funded Kickstarter campaign, I wanted to call your attention to a new film, already in production titled A Message from the Temple.

As a close observer/fellow traveler—I was never myself a member or direct participant, I’ve never been much of a joiner—of Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth in the 1980s, I was pleased to hear that a feature length documentary was being planned on Genesis P-Orridge’s fanclub/cult and really impressed by their excellent trailer. The truly inside story of a cult is seldom an easy one to tell, but when it’s done right—like Jodi Wille and Maria Demopoulos 2012 “cult classic” The Source—it can be the very most fascinating sort of documentary. Sure, films about crazed loners are good too, I’ll grant you that, but there’s something about a group of outcasts deciding to do something oddball or unorthodox together that’s just too interesting, cinematically speaking, in my opinion. The groupthink, the leaders, philosophies, the motivations, jealousies, schisms, etc, etc., are so richly dramatic in a situation like that.

Adding harassment by the authorities—often the case for outlaw communities—only tends to heighten that drama.


Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth has been convened in order to act as a catalyst and focus for the Individual development of all those who wish to reach inwards and strike out. Maybe you are already one of these, already feeling different, dissatisfied, separate from the mass around you, instinctive and alert? You are already one of us. The fact that you have this message is a start in itself.

Conceived in the aftermath of the punk and industrial countercultures, Thee Temple ov Psychick Youth (TOPY) was an “anti-cult” that drew on the tenets of provocation, transgression, and the DIY ethos to form an internationally reaching network bound together by an esoteric sensibility.

With experimental pop group Psychic TV serving as the public’s access to Temple doctrine (shattering a Guinness World Record for musical output in the process), the decade long spiritual, intellectual, and sexual revolution that TOPY would instigate, for tens of thousands of members worldwide, represented an unprecedented model for radical communion.

TOPY strove to transcend the normative constructs of culture, sexuality, order, and reason, examine and undermine systems of power, and reach ecstatic states of being. In doing so its members often hurdled past the outer limits of propriety, arousing the moral wrath of “Satanic Panic” era British authorities and causing the subsequent Scotland Yard raid and political exile of the group’s central figurehead, artist and provocateur Genesis P-Orridge.

A Message from the Temple is the first authorized documentary about Thee Temple Of Psychick Youth (years 1981-1991), tracing its influences and inception to its dramatic downfall and enduring legacy.

Told with unprecedented access through the eyes of its members, collaborators, and persecutors via contemporary interviews, personal archives, and historical accounts from the mainstream media, A Message from the Temple will provide an intimate portrait of the artists, occultists, and rock stars that surrounded Thee Temple Ov Psychick Youth.

It is our belief as filmmakers that stories such as this must be told if human history is to survive, progress, or have any meaning whatsoever.

 

 
This weekend in Brooklyn, the film’s producer’s Unclean Pictures will mount a benefit for the documentary. “Ritual Cuttings” is a symposium of Temple related videos and a discussion with Genesis Breyer P-Orridge and other participants in TOPY. Tickets available here.
 
Watch the excellent trailer for ‘A Message from the Temple’ after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Heavy Metal Kids: The missing link between glam rock, punk, cult TV and William Burroughs
10.11.2016
10:00 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Punk
Television

Tags:

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File under Missing Links. Or perhaps: Good Bands who should be better known because they tie a lot of other things together.

Let’s begin with Malcolm McLaren—that cultural magpie who took his inspiration from some very unlikely quarters. When he was punting the Sex Pistols as modern day Artful Dodgers he was taking a cue from another band the Heavy Metal Kids. McLaren was never one to be shy of pinching other people’s ideas to confabulate something of his own. The Heavy Metal Kids were a gritty rock band who had a fanatical following in and around London during the early-mid 1970s. As McLaren used pub rock bands (like Kilburn and the High Roads) to show the Pistols stagecraft, he also saw something usable in Heavy Metal Kids’ frontman Gary Holton’s appearance—a style, a presence, a definition of how he wanted to sell the Pistols. Holton dressed like a Dickensian street urchin. He looked like Keith Richards dressed as the Artful Dodger in top and tails swinging an umbrella menacingly around in his hands. Holton’s swagger, his pure theatricality made a good rock band into something better, something bigger, something more dangerous and out of control.

The Heavy Metal Kids formed out of two other bands—Biggles and Heaven—Holton had been lead singer of both. Biggles were given a lot of hype by the record industry which proved to be money well wasted as Biggles proved to be a “Disaster. A very expensive disaster.” However, all was not lost as it was decided to merge the two bands and create a new one called Heavy Metal Kids in 1972.

The band’s name came from the gang of street kids featured in William S. Burroughs novel Nova Express. It was apt as juvenile delinquency and teenage street crime were rife across London at the time. Bovver boys. Skinheads. Gangs aping Alex and his droogs from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange were running riot. The Metropolitan police even ‘fessed up on a BBC documentary that teenage criminality was at an all time high and that one of the city’s most notorious burglars was an eleven-year-old kid.
 
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Gary Holton plugging the Heavy Metal Kids support tour with Alice Cooper.
 
The original line-up of Heavy Metal Kids was Mickey Waller (guitar), Ronnie Thomas (bass and vocals), Gary Holton (lead vocals), Keith Boyce (drums) and Cosmo (guitar). With Holton’s powerful rock ‘n’ roll vocals and supreme stage swagger, the Heavy Metal Kids were soon spotted by Dave Dee—better known as singer/guitarist with sixties hit combo Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich—who signed them up to Atlantic Records.

The Heavy Metal Kids probably thought of themselves as a rock band but their hard-edged sound was an early sign of the oncoming punk tsunami. Their music mixed hard rock, proto-punk and Weimar cabaret. They were anti-establishment, political to an extent (Holton famously railed against the cops), and idolized by their fans—many of whom (Captain Sensible, Rat Scabies, Paul Simonon and Chrissie Hynde) went onto form their own bands. The Heavy Metal Kids’ gigs were legendary and infamous as Holton related to Sounds music paper in 1975:

“[W]e got banned from just abaht every ‘all we played in. Our act’s a bit lewd, and I fink the management of some of the venues was rather shocked. I was stickin’ knives into the stage durin’ one gig, and afterwards a guy come up to me and said: ‘I wish you ‘adn’t splintered it all up like that, we’ve got a ballet on tomorrow!’”

They supported Alice Cooper on his Welcome to My Nightmare tour and were the only band Keith Richards claimed he listened to in the mid-seventies:

In those days, the mid 70s, about the only thing I remember listening to is the Heavy Metal Kids.

See what you’ve missed with the Heavy Metal Kids, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Your pre-debate musical playlist inspired by Donald Trump!

 
gergenv
 
Hey America! Here’s a wild Donald Trump-inspired playlist that all the hip kids are tuning into! I did an expanded version of this on my Intoxica radio show on Luxuriamusic.com. This should keep you in “the mood” until the debate!

And here we go!
 

 
More Trump-inspired music for all you hepcats and pussycats after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Cheesy Rider: Dennis Hopper sells Fords with a little help from his anti-establishment cred
10.06.2016
10:07 am

Topics:
Advertising
Heroes
Pop Culture

Tags:

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“We blew it” said Peter Fonda’s Captain America to his sidekick Billy—Dennis Hopper—at the end of Easy Rider. He was right. The freedom the counterculture movement touted as some kind of utopian future in the 1960s was just an ad man’s gimmick by the 1990s. In this case quite literally when director/writer/co-star of Easy Rider Dennis Hopper popped up on British TV selling Ford cars. The concept of personal liberty and the open road was repackaged not as the living of a life but as the purchasing of a lifestyle.

Everyone’s gotta make a buck to survive—even Dennis Hopper—and this is a neat ad in which nineties Hopper meets his Easy Rider sixties doppelgänger. But while Hopper was clearly happy to be making a buck selling the latest, grooviest Ford Cougar—he was also in effect saying: “I’m happy to sell out any anti-establishment, free-living, counterculture message my much-loved cult movie may once have contained.”

I have always thought Easy Rider was an archly-conservative movie. It didn’t offer any credible alternative to the society Billy and Captain America wanted out of. Instead, they chased after fast money and cheap drugs and met an early death.

And Hopper’s nineties revisit? It’s well-made and cool, but on a superficial level—which kinda sums up that entire decade, right?
 

 
Bonus making of the ad video with Dennis Hopper, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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