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‘Till Death Do Us Part’: Ghoulish bride & groom serve their ‘severed heads’ as cake at their wedding
05.04.2017
10:50 am
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Natalie and David Sideserf’s ‘severed head’ wedding cakes. Nice.
 
You know you have found your partner for life when you both agree that making cakes in the image of your own bloody, severed heads to serve guests at your wedding is the right thing to do. Not only do you serve the all-too-realistic cakes, but you make them together. Now that is love. And that is exactly what Natalie and David Sideserf did for their wedding in 2013.

According to Natalie, the creative force behind Sideserf Cake Studio in Austin, Texas, she and her husband are huge horror movie fans, inspiring the ahem, “no brainer” concept of making their wedding cakes in the design of two decapitated heads. The cakes, which took approximately 40 hours to complete, were served on a platter dripping with faux blood that read “Till Death Do Us Part.” Awww. Some gloriously NSFW images of the macabre cakes follow below. Also included are a few more of Sideserf’s hyperrealistic cakes, such as her remarkable Willie Nelson cake and other ghoulish/horror-themed designs that only the dark of heart could love and eat.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.04.2017
10:50 am
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‘A flying saucer landing in Heaven’: The ecstatic music of Alice Coltrane is revealed
05.03.2017
10:25 am
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Photo by Sri Hari Moss

Filled with sorrow after the death of her husband in 1967, Alice Coltrane experienced visions, weight loss and insomnia before beginning on a path of Eastern spirituality. First she sought out the famed Woodstock festival-opening yoga adept Swami Satchidinanda (who’d begun on his own spiritual journey after the young death of his wife) and later the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. Largely leaving the secular world and the music business behind by the mid-70s, Coltrane established her Vedantic Center spiritual community as a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1976. She took the name Turiyasangitananda (Sanskrit for “the bliss of God’s highest song”) and performed the swamini duties as the spiritual leader of the Sai Anantam Ashram which was established in Agoura Hills, California in 1983.

Encouraged by her children to buy a synthesizer, Coltrane performed devotional music during formal and informal Sunday morning ceremonies at the 48-acre monastery. It was also the first time that she would sing, because God had told her to. Solo and group chanting with community members was accompanied by her harp, organ and synthesizers, Eastern and African percussion, and handclaps. Over time this evolved into complexly structured compositions—traditional Vedic and Sanskrit mantras filtered through the sensibilities and nervous system of a great female African-American musical genius from Detroit who’d been raised on gospel—which Coltrane laid to tape with the assistance of her longtime studio engineer Baker Bigsby, who she’d worked with since 1972’s World Galaxy. Four cassettes—Turiya Sings, Divine Songs, Infinite Chants, and Glorious Chants—were privately released to members of the ashram from the mid-80s to the mid-90s. The music heard on these tapes was not made with any sort of commercial purpose in mind—apparently only a few hundred were ever duplicated—but solely for use by the members of the ashram, so that they could tap into the divine by way of the Swamini’s music—-described as sounding like “a flying saucer landing in Heaven”—any time they wanted to, just by popping a tape into their SONY Walkmans.

Tomorrow David Byrne’s Luaka Bop label will release a compilation culled from these rarely heard cassettes The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, the first installment in their World Spirituality Classics series. In my household, this is an event. When the album advance arrived in the post over the weekend, I’d already been impatiently looking forward to it for over a month. I’ve been an Alice Coltrane fanatic for many years—I’ve even been to the ashram, twice—and I’d already been all over the extensive press website that Luaka Bop had prepared for the release, but I didn’t want to listen to any of it before the record was in my hands. I’d requested a vinyl copy as I wanted to smoke a big fat joint, kick back in the dark with headphones on and fully absorb this epic bounty.
 

Photo by Sri Hari Moss

The packaging is stunning and sturdy—befitting and respectful of what’s waiting inside—with a gorgeous colorful photo of the matriarch Turiya, looking wise and beautiful in her orange robes, surrounded by members of the community, many of them children. The liner notes are exceptional, featuring quotes from several people who were involved with the ashram including her children and her great-nephew Steven “Flying Lotus” Ellison, a musical visionary in his own right. The vinyl pressing is particularly noteworthy, with Baker Bigsby having supervised the tape transfer from the original recordings and the exquisite 1/2 speed mastering done by Paul Stubblebine. You know how you can hold certain platters in your hands and just look at the grooves and know for certain you’re about to hear something that will sound really, really good? This is one of those records. If The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda doesn’t get nominated for all kinds of Grammy awards, then these awards would be meaningless. On every level—including, or even especially, the religious one—it’s an achievement.

Even if you are not a spiritually-minded person, it’s plain to see that this isn’t bullshit.

Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.03.2017
10:25 am
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‘My God, ‘Maxwell’s Silver Hammer’ was so fruity’: George Harrison dishes Beatle dirt, 1977
05.02.2017
08:54 am
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At the end of 1976, George Harrison released Thirty Three & 1/3, a return to form after a few moribund years in the mid-‘70s—even critics who’d been pretty dismissive of Harrison’s solo work (*cough* Robert Christgau *cough*) found it praiseworthy. It earned Harrison’s first unqualified raves since 1970’s lauded 3xLP All Things Must Pass, and Harrison promoted the work heavily. He made three videos from the album—over five years before MTV was even a thing—and two of them were directed by Monty Python’s Eric Idle.

The album’s release was the occasion for a major interview in Crawdaddy’s February 1977 issue, titled “The Quiet Beatle Finally Talks.” Harrison opened up to writer Mitchell Glazer for nine pages of substantive chat, including a ton of inside information about the Beatles’ working methods and their dissolution, and he didn’t conceal any bitterness about his relationship with Paul McCartney, which was a habit of his, actually.
 

 

I got back to England for Christmas and then on January the first we were to start on the thing which turned into Let It Be. And straightaway again, it was just weird vibes. You know, I found I was starting to be able to enjoy being a musician, but the moment I got back with the Beatles, it was just too difficult. There were too many limitations based on our being together for so long. Everybody was sort of pigeonholed. It was frustrating.

The problem was that John and Paul had written songs for so long it was difficult. First of all because they had such a lot of tunes and they automatically thought that theirs should be the priority, so for me I’d always have to wait through ten of their songs before they’d even listen to one of mine. That’s why All Things Must Pass had so many songs, because it was like you know, I’d been constipated. I had a little encouragement from time to time, but it was a very little. I didn’t have much confidence in writing songs because of that. Because they never said “Yeah, that’s a good song.” When we got into things like “Guitar Gently Weeps,” we recorded it one night and there was such a lack of enthusiasm. So I went home really disappointed because I knew the song was good.

Paul would always help along when you’d done his ten songs—then when he got ‘round to doing one of my songs, he would help. It was very selfish actually. Sometimes Paul would make us do these really fruity songs. I mean, my God, “Maxwell’s Sliver Hammer” was so fruity. After a while we did a good job on it, but when Paul got an idea or an arrangement in his head…but Paul’s really writing for a 14-year-old audience now, anyhow.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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05.02.2017
08:54 am
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Adorable Divine doll dressed as gun-toting ‘Babs Johnson’ from ‘Pink Flamingos’ (gun included!)
05.01.2017
09:16 am
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There are many days while I’m doing my “job” here at Dangerous Minds when I think I’ve pretty much seen it all. Then there are days that I stumble across something on the Internet that reminds me that there is still plenty of fantastic trash out there for all of us, specifically those of us who are connoisseurs of filth and all thing low brow. Which is exactly what I have for you today—a sixteen-inch doll in the image of John Waters’ greatest muse, the legendary Divine.

Made by My Best Fiendz based in Rockland, Maine, little Divine was made by a horror-movie-loving husband and wife duo who used a standard baby doll as the base then transformed it into a pretty spot-on “Babs Johnson” who looks like she’s dying to tell you to “eat shit” in full makeup, custom-dyed flaming-hot hair and a pistol. There are also a few other strange items in the Fiendz’s Etsy store that might also be of interest to our sleazier/horror-inclined readers such as a bizarre “jumpin’ jack” of GG Allin that would keep everyone (including dogs and rats mind you) off your lawn, an utterly fantastic jumper of Swedish pro-wrestler/actor Tor Johnson, and that nasty murderous clown “Captain Spaulding” aka “Johnny Lee Johns” as portrayed by actor Sid Haig in the films House of 1000 Corpsess and The Devil’s Rejects. The Divine doll will run you $130 and the wooden jumpers are about $40. I’ve posted images of the oddities below. If any of this is your thing (because filth really is your life), more details on ordering and other items in the shop can be found here.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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05.01.2017
09:16 am
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Stunning airbrushed images & other lurid artwork created for ‘A Clockwork Orange’
04.27.2017
01:02 pm
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An airbrushed painting created by illustrator Philip Castle for ‘A Clockwork Orange.’
 
Illustrator and artist Philip Castle’s catalog is impressive, but of particular interest are three rather remarkable contributions. His artwork from both A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket as well as the sad, singular teardrop-like image dripping from David Bowie’s clavicle on the cover of 1973’s Aladdin Sane are all collectively indelible. If the accomplished Brit had done nothing else beyond this fantastic trifecta of artistic expression he would still be as praiseworthy today. (He’s also done the posters for Paul McCartney’s “Wings Over the Word” tour, Tim Burton’s Mars Attacks and the cover of Pulp’s His ‘N’Hers album.)

That said, I must admit that I had never seen most of Castle’s airbrushed pieces for A Clockwork Orange until just recently, and there’s something to be said for the way Castle uses his airbrushing technique to make images from the film appear even more sordid than when they are onscreen. The story of how Kubrick and Castle got together is slightly surreal when you consider the odds of how it occurred: soon after graduating from art school, Castle sent in an ad to a newspaper soliciting his availability as an illustrator. Kubrick’s publicist responded to the ad and requested that the young artist pay a visit to the great director at his home outside of London in order to discuss engaging his services for A Clockwork Orange. Castle would get the honor of designing the original poster created for the film featuring the unforgettably sinister image of actor Malcolm McDowell as the diabolical “Alex DeLarge” reaching out to slit your throat with his mouth poised in a predatory grin.

Flash-forward more than 45-years later and the spectacularly violent, controversial film has lost none of its skin-crawling appeal. However, back when it hit the big screen for the first time it was demonized in the UK after a few violent crimes were committed allegedly in the spirit of events depicted in the film. Kubrick passionately defended Clockwork but eventually pulled the trigger himself and removed it from distribution in Britain which would stay in place until Kubrick passed away in 1999.

Here’s more from the master filmmaker with his spot-on thoughts on the age-old relationship between violence and art:

“There has always been violence in art. There is violence in the Bible, violence in Homer, violence in Shakespeare, and many psychiatrists believe that it serves as a catharsis rather than a model. I think the question of whether there has been an increase in screen violence and, if so, what effect this has had, is to a very great extent a media-defined issue. I know there are well-intentioned people who sincerely believe that films and TV contribute to violence, but almost all of the official studies of this question have concluded that there is no evidence to support this view. At the same time, I think the media tend to exploit the issue because it allows them to display and discuss the so-called harmful things from a lofty position of moral superiority. But the people who commit violent crime are not ordinary people who are transformed into vicious thugs by the wrong diet of films or TV. Rather, it is a fact that violent crime is invariably committed by people with a long record of anti-social behaviour, or by the unexpected blossoming of a psychopath who is described afterward as having been ‘...such a nice, quiet boy,’ but whose entire life, it is later realized, has been leading him inexorably to the terrible moment, and who would have found the final ostensible reason for his action if not in one thing then in another.”

Naturally, this did not bode well for anyone associated with the film in the UK and there is at least one historical account of an attempted rogue showing of A Clockwork Orange by a group of UK movie-club junkies who were summarily sued for even trying to show the film at their gatherings in the 1990s. Castle would work with Kubrick again for 1987’s Full Metal Jacket and the artist still owns a gift sent to him by Kubrick—the infamous “I AM BECOME DEATH” helmet (worn by actor Adam Baldwin who played “Animal Mother” in FMJ) which Castle conceptualized. I’ve included some of Castle’s early sketches for Clockwork, a variety of airbrush art and a few movie posters that the artist created for the film below. And if you haven’t already guessed, they are all pretty much NSFW.
 

A French movie poster for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ featuring Philip Castle’s artwork.
 

More UK print artwork for ‘A Clockwork Orange’ from Castle.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.27.2017
01:02 pm
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Salvador Dali’s bizarre but sexy photoshoot for Playboy, 1973
04.25.2017
10:19 am
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Salvador Dali providing direction to Playboy photographer Pompeo Posar and a Playboy Bunny in Cadaqués, Spain in 1973.
 

“The meaning of my work is the motivation that is of the purest – money. What I did for Playboy is very good and your payment is equal to the task.”

—Salvador Dali on his collaboration with Playboy in 1973

For his photo shoot for Playboy magazine, Salvador Dali, long-time Playboy photographer Pompeo Posar, a gaggle of Playboy Bunnies and a giant egg headed to Cadaqués, a seaside town in Spain near where Dali lived in Port Lligat, a small village on a bay next to the town. The event would turn the sleepy village upside down during the shoot and local Dali-devotees would wait outside his home so that they could pay homage to the Surrealist by chanting “Master! Master!” whenever he left the residence to go to work under the blistering hot Spanish sun.

Working closely with Posar, Dali created a few sketches of his vision for the shoot which ultimately ended up including a giant egg, an equally fake large snake, various collage images that ran the gamut from a Coca-Cola bottle to Renaissance-style architecture, and of course, Playboy Bunnies cavorting around wearing little to nothing because this is Playboy magazine we’re talking about. Dali—who was 69 at the time—ran the shoot like the master that he was and residents of Cadaqués would watch the artist’s every move from the hills surrounding the location.

The final photos live up to Dali’s provocative, boundary-pushing style, and are gorgeously bizarre to behold. I’ve included a few of Dali’s preliminary sketches that detail part of his artistic vision for the shoot and many others including the master at work, as well as the finished product that appeared in the December 1974 issue of Playboy.

Pretty much all of them are NSFW. But you hate your stupid desk job anyway, don’t you?
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.25.2017
10:19 am
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Jean Cocteau’s poem for Orson Welles
04.21.2017
08:16 am
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Orson Welles by Jean Cocteau (from the frontispiece of André Bazin’s book on Welles)
 
Orson Welles and Jean Cocteau first met at a performance of “Voodoo Macbeth,” the all-black Shakespeare production Welles staged in New York in 1936 with funding from a New Deal program. They remained friends and encouraged one another’s rascality, according to Simon Callow’s account of the 1948 Venice Film Festival in One-Man Band, the third volume of his Welles biography:

He and the perenially provocative Jean Cocteau formed a sort of anti-festival clique, clubbing together to commit what Cocteau rather wonderfully called lèse-festival. [...] Together in Venice, the two men behaved like two very naughty boys. Welles shocked his hosts by ostentatiously walking out of the showing of Visconti’s uncompromisingly severe masterpiece, La Terra Trema.

 

Cocteau and Welles in Venice, 1948
 
Welles was a member of the Comité d’Honneur at Cocteau’s 1949 Festival du Film Maudit, at which both The Magnificent Ambersons and The Lady from Shanghai were screened. (Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks made its European debut there, too, and Artaud’s “Sorcery and Cinema” was first published in the festival catalog.) Cocteau contributed this sketch of his friend to the program for Welles’ The Blessed and the Damned, an evening of two one-act plays that opened in Paris in 1950:

Orson Welles is a giant with the face of a child, a tree filled with birds and shadows, a dog who has broken loose and gone to sleep in the flower bed. An active loafer, a wise madman, a solitary surrounded by humanity, a student who sleeps during the lesson. A strategy: pretending to be drunk to be simply left alone. Seemingly better than anyone else, he can use a nonchalant attitude of real strength, apparently drifting but guided by a half-opened eye. This attitude of an abandoned hulk, and that of a sleepy bear, protects him from the cold fever of the motion picture world. An attitude which made him move on, made him leave Hollywood, and carried him to other lands and other horizons.

Quoting some of the increasingly hysterical praise for Welles printed elsewhere in the program and then in the show’s reviews, Callow wonders: “At least Cocteau had the excuse of being an opium addict; what were these chaps on?”

Keep reading, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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04.21.2017
08:16 am
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Oh, you pretty thing! Polaroid portraits of Andy Warhol in drag
04.20.2017
09:07 am
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Andy Warhol in drag taken with a polaroid camera.

Back in 2013 auction house Christie’s sold off 62 of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid photos for the tidy sum of $978,125. Fifteen of the Polaroids were of objects such as shoes and Absolute Vodka. Another 37 of the shots in the group were portraits taken by Warhol that he would then use to create silkscreens of his famous friends and muses like Grace Jones or Jean-Michael Basquiat. In a fascinating (at least to me) analysis done by Exhibition Inquisition, it appears that Andy’s Polaroids of women sold for vastly less than their famous male counterparts—by an approximate margin of $7,000. Even in the art game, us girls can’t seem to get a fair shake. Who knew?

Exhibition Inquisition also broke down Warhol’s “top ten” selling Polaroid portraits which included some of the artist closest acquaintances like Debbie Harry and Dennis Hopper. Farrah Fawcett also made it into the top ten as well as former governator of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and Muhammad Ali.

Now let’s discuss the topic of this post—Warhol’s drag self-portraits which were taken in the early 80s. In this series, we see Warhol in full make-up and bombshell red lipstick wearing a variety of different wigs from a smart, short black bob to full-on, teased-up heavy metal hair and black eyeliner. Here’s more on the creative process that got Andy ready for his closeup as a girl from the Getty Museum’s website:

Andy Warhol enjoyed dressing for parties in drag, sometimes in dresses of his own design. He admired “the boys who spend their lives trying to be complete girls,” so in 1981 he and a photographic assistant, Christopher Makos, agreed to collaborate on a session portraying Warhol in drag. In many ways, they modeled the series on Man Ray’s 1920s work with the French artist Marcel Duchamp, in which the two artists created a female alter ego name Rrose Sélavy for Duchamp.

Warhol and Makos made a number of pictures, both black-and-white prints and color Polaroids, of their first attempt. For the second round of pictures, they hired a theater makeup person. This stage professional better understood the challenge of transforming a man’s face into that of a woman. After the makeup, Warhol tried on curled, straight, long, short, dark, and blonde wigs.

Warhol might not have been the most attractive fella (or dame) but he knew how to give great “face” and his drag self-portraits are absolutely mesmerizing. Curiously, they are not as covetable to collectors as one might think. Warhol’s selfies out-of-drag have sold for far greater sums that his drag portraits. And it seems that the most covetable Polaroid images of Andy are the ones that were taken of the pop culture icon in his famous “fright wig” (you know, this look) which have sold at auction for $50 grand apiece. I’ve included the drag Polaroids of Andy below for you to check out. Warhol’s Polaroids can be seen in the wonderful, well worth owning 2015 book, Andy Warhol: Polaroids.
 

 

 

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.20.2017
09:07 am
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Girls just wanna be punk: Early recordings and demos by the Go-Go’s
04.19.2017
03:46 pm
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An early single by the Go-Go’s on Stiff Records.
 

AMERICA AND THE MUSIC INDUSTRY, meet the Go-Go’s: International, Filthy Rich, Jet-Setting Rock- and Screen-Star Bitch Goddesses

Rolling Stone journalist Steve Pond being very, very right about the Go-Go’s back in 1982.

 
Easily the most famous all-girl band in the world, the Go-Go’s played a hugely influential role in the emerging punk/new wave scene in Los Angeles. In the late 1970s before they became the Go-Go’s they called themselves the Misfits despite the fact that the name was already taken by a group of muscle-bound horror punks in New Jersey led by a certain Glenn Danzig. Belinda Carlisle was unsurprisingly a cheerleader in high school in her hometown of Conejo Valley, but that all allegedly changed after she saw the half-naked image of Iggy Pop on the cover of the Stooges’ 1973 album, Raw Power. At nineteen Carlisle left home with her pal Theresa (aka the future “Lorna Doom” of the Germs) bound for Hollywood. Once the Germs were born Carlisle did a brief stint with them playing the drums and calling herself “Dottie Danger.” She and Doom dropped acid, Carlisle did some modeling and in her autobiography Lips Unsealed: A Memoir she confesses to having had a make out session with Alice Bag.

Prior to getting with the Go-Go’s timekeeper Gina Schock was drumming for John Waters’ star Edith Massey and her punk band Edie and the Eggs. Before rhythm guitarist Jane Wiedlin joined the band, she was a seamstress in a sweatshop in downtown Los Angeles who preferred crystal meth to coffee so she wouldn’t fall asleep on the job. While at her day-job Wiedlin would use the paper that the sewing patterns were printed to write her punk poems, parts of which would make their way to the band’s albums. Wiedlin and Carlisle ended up living across the way from each other (Carlisle was rooming with Lorna at the time) and their friendship would eventually lead them both to the Go-Go’s.

When the band started playing gigs around town it didn’t go unnoticed. They partied as hard as their male counterparts, did tons of coke, popped pills and excelled at the rock ‘n’ roll 101 skill of destroying hotel rooms. Early on their gigs were kind of a hot mess. Their first set was opening for the Dickies at LA punk club, the Masque. For a short time, the band was just a trio comprised of Wiedlin (who was going by the gonzo name of “Jane Drano”), Margot Olavarria on bass and with Carlisle front and center on vocals. According to Olavarria even though they really didn’t have a clue as to what they were doing it really didn’t matter because at the time there was “no shame in being a horrible musician.” In another punk rock six-degrees of separation type moment worth noting, Olavarria found out she had been given the boot by Belinda and her bandmates from none other than Exene Cervenka of X. The reason for Olavarria’s dismissal was said to have stemmed from her getting pinched by the po-po trying to score some cocaine. Oh, the shifty-eyed, typewriter-jaw irony that is two coke-heads accusing another coke-head of doing something shady. Tisk tisk.
 

Jane Wiedlin.
 
The then very new Stiff Records had the girls make a bunch of great recordings including a single that you may have heard of before called “We Got the Beat.” Their early recordings and demos are not only really fucking good but are a real scream to listen to if you’ve never heard them for some of the in-studio banter between the band members. Later I.R.S. head-honcho Miles Copeland (the brother of Police drummer Stewart Copeland) came calling and signed the Go-Go’s and they embarked upon making their first record which they had always envisioned as a punk record. I.R.S. was already a home away from home for other punks like The Cramps, The Damned and The Fleshtones. But the production team behind Beauty and the Beat of Rob Freeman and Richard Gottehrer had other ideas. Beauty and the Beat was miraculously completed in three weeks while the party animal antics of the Go-Go’s terrorized New York City and Penny Lane Studios. When the girls first heard the record they were pissed off. Go-Go’s guitarist Charlotte Caffey said she and the rest of the band and even cried while listening to it the first time. It wasn’t a punk album, it was pure pop perfection (Which is a good enough reason to shed a few tears if you ask me). They went over Gottehrer’s head and appealed directly to Miles Copeland to have the record remixed. Copeland refused and the album, which was released in 1981, would go down in history as one of the most successful debut albums by a band in history.

I’ve included a few choice photos of the band from their early days as well as various songs, demos and recordings of the band rehearsing back before they became America’s sweethearts in the early 80s. If it’s been a while since you’ve thought about the Go-Go’s, I hope this shines a light on the fact that they were pretty much the best and deserve way more credit (as many female musical artists do) for the deeply impactful mark they made. And that my friends is a goddamned fact.
 

Belinda in a Germs t-shirt back in the day.
 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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04.19.2017
03:46 pm
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The Sex Pistols, The Clash and Siouxsie and the Banshees on early TV documentary ‘Punk’ from 1976
04.18.2017
08:46 am
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0xesslotsipjr76.jpg
 
There had been a killing. But no one was quite certain where it had happened or where the body was hidden. Maybe it was in the library bludgeoned with a lead pipe? Or sprawled across the conservatory floor throttled by some rope? The press carried snippets. People were shocked by the news. How could this happen on our streets? How could this happen to our children when Abba was still number one? There was outrage. There was fear. There was a dread that this was only the beginning of far greater horrors to come.

They were right.

In some ways, it was a mercy killing. It had to happen. It was inevitable. It was putting the poor beast out of its misery. The old horse was now lame and blind and in constant pain and could barely perform its act. Yet still, they wheeled it out for one more turn for the rich people to ride and clap and cheer while the old nag bravely tried to canter around the ring.

But the children turned away. They wanted something different.

There had been noises of strange new things going on for months. Small signs in venues all across London. A growing sense that something had to change. The old horse was dead and the business was out of touch with its audience. The kids wanted something to happen.

A band called the Sex Pistols were playing gigs in and around London. Promoter Ron Watts saw them rip up the joint at a gig in High Wycombe in early 1976. It was like nothing he’d ever seen before. This was the start of the future. This was what everyone was waiting for. He booked the band to appear at the legendary blues and jazz 100 Club in London. He organized a weekend festival called The 100 Club Punk Special for September 20th and 21st, 1976. The line-up was the Sex Pistols, the Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Damned, the Buzzcocks, Subway Sect, Stinky Toys and Chris Spedding & the Vibrators.
 
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Sex Pistols poster for the 100 Club Punk Special, September 1976.
 
When the Sex Pistols hit the stage, everything changed. “In one night,” Watts later wrote in his autobiography Hundred Watts: A Life in Music, “punk went from an underground cult to a mass movement.”

The Sex Pistols had killed off one generation’s music and announced something new.

...[T]his was the big one, the first day of a new era. Nothing could compare with it either before or since.

Onstage, Johnny Rotten was “insulting, cajoling everyone in the room, his eyes bulging dementedly as he made the audience as much a part of the show as the band.” The group tore through their set to a thrilled and enthusiastic audience. The Clash played their set, while Siouxsie and the Banshees had improvised a set around “The Lord’s Prayer.” A week later, a crowd 600 deep formed a line at the door of the 100 Club.
 
Watch the Sex Pistols, Clash and Siouxsie in “Punk,” after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.18.2017
08:46 am
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