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Why DID Bad Brains frontman H.R. duct-tape himself to a chair?
10.30.2014
09:11 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Punk

Tags:
Bad Brains
H.R.


H.R. smoking the good stuff with a Brooke Shields look-alike (or is it really her?)
 
Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jennifer recounts the tale of one of the band’s more memorable shows… This happened sometime in the 80s when frontman H.R. had himself duct-taped to a chair while the band performed on stage. According to Darryl, no one knew in the band exactly why H.R. had decided to do this. They were a little surprised themselves:

So I know this one night my big brother H.R. seemed a little uncomfortable. And you know I, you know everyone knows H.R. can be eccentric, you know? But he seemed a little uncomfortable. So I was like ‘What’s up?’ and he said, ‘I’m good, I’m good.’”

snip~

I see my man sat down on stage and on top of that my man had one of the techs come out and duct-tape him to the chair. So you know, I figure it’s Bad Brains. Even me I’m in the band and I’m like what happens must be some wild punk shit I don’t even know about.

Annnnd, the rest is history, folks. Watch this amusing animated tale below to find out the real reason why H.R. had himself duct-taped to a chair.

 
Via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
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Blackout! The mysterious story behind Black Sabbath’s first US gig
10.30.2014
07:26 am

Topics:
Heroes
Music

Tags:
Black Sabbath
folklore
mysterious

Black Sabbath 1970
Black Sabbath, 1970
 
On this day 44-years ago, Black Sabbath played their first-ever show on US soil. However, as the subject of this post insinuates, the actual location of the gig is some debate, depending on the sources you choose to believe.
 
Black Sabbath London 1970
Black Sabbath, London 1970
 
Riding (quite literally) high on the huge successes of their first two albums, Black Sabbath (released on February 18th, 1970), and Paranoid (released on September 18th, 1970), both Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and vocalist Ozzy Osbourne historically credit the location of their first US show in their respective autobiographies as legendary Manhattan club, Ungano’s. In Iommi’s 2012 autobiography, Iron Man: My Journey through Heaven and Hell with Black Sabbath Iommi recalls showing up to Ungano’s and was horrified at what a “shithole” the club was. Their roadie plugged their Euro gear into Ungano’s US only-sockets and subsequently blew the clubs fuses. After a short unplanned pre-show intermission, the power was back on and Black Sabbath’s first gig was history. Or was it?
 
Black Sabbath at Glassboro Esby Gymnasium, October 30, 1970
Black Sabbath jamming at Esby Gymnasium at Glassboro State College?
 
Other sources claim that the band’s first gig took place at Glassboro State College (now known as Rowan University) in New Jersey. And the story is quite similar to Iommi’s. Claims made by rock promoter Rick Green, the brother of Stu Green who with his brother ran Midnight Sun an influential music promotion company that started out in Pennsylvania in early 70’s, has been quoted as calling himself the “promoter” of Black Sabbath’s “first US gig” at Glassboro. On the surface, it’s not hard to believe. The Greens booked everyone from Lou Reed and Alice Cooper to the Patti Smith Group at the historic Tower Theater in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania, not far from Glassboro State.

In an interview that Rick did in 1992 with The Philadelphia Daily News, he spoke about the gig in strangely similar detail to Iommi’s recalling that Sabbath blew out the power at Tower after plugging in their amps into incompatible sockets. This caused the gig to be rescheduled until the end of Sabbath’s inaugural tour. Hmmm. So what about Glassboro? Was it real, or was it just a bad memory? Here’s another version of the Glassboro story according to an article from The Seth Man, a journalist who writes over at Julian Cope Presents Head Heritage. The post also cites Rick Green’s Daily News interview as a source, but includes more detail:
 

The band’s (Black Sabbath’s) passage through customs at Kennedy Airport in New York proved to be “a day-long trauma that left the group tired and humiliated,” causing them to be three and a half hours late for the gig. Finally appearing onstage at 1:00 in the morning, the power to their sound system cut out during the first song. It was fixed within a few minutes, but once they recommenced they caused a second power outage that not only knocked out their sound system but the power to the gymnasium, the campus and “...most of the power in the neighborhood. The street lights were out and there was darkness.” Appropriately enough, the date was Mischief Night: exactly half a year away from Walpurgisnacht on October 30th.

 
Is this Black Sabbath? The SG Gibson may provide a clue
Black Sabbath perhaps snapped during the Esby show
 
As I mentioned earlier there are many resources, some trustworthy, that credit Glassboro as Sabbath’s first American gig that include British author Garry Sharpe-Young (specifically in the book, “Metal: The Definitive Guide”) and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s timeline on Sabbath. I’ve even read accounts that seem legit that tell the tale of a young Ozzy Osbourne, who was allegedly so distraught during the Glassboro gig that he wandered off into a messy pile of tears in corner of Glassboro’s Esby Gymnasium (where the mythological gig was held), while shouting “I hate America and I want to go home!”. Of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that said article spelled Ozzy’s name “Ozzie”, and also notes that Ozzy was 20 at the time, when he was actually 22. I’m probably nitpicking but for what it’s worth, I’d like to present another piece of this very weird puzzle.  Below is a strange show poster for the Glassboro show supposedly created by promoter Rick Green’s little sister. The poster went to auction at Christie’s in 2007. The auction items bio states a bit of maybe-history noting that after the power went out during the first song, Sabbath wasn’t able to continue and the show was made up later at neighboring Montclair State University.
 
Black Sabbath Glassboro show poster Christies
Black Sabbath show poster for Glassboro State College. Christies auction 2007.
 
So what to believe? In my mind, it’s hard to conceive that Tony Iommi’s recollection of Sabbath’s first gig would be incorrect. I mean, he was there, man. And despite the fact that it’s nothing short of a miracle that Ozzy remembers anything from those early days (although in his book “I Am Ozzy” which I’m currently reading, he remembers a lot), the fact that he corroborates Iommi’s heavy metal history lesson just adds credibility to the show taking place at Ungano’s. So let’s put an end to this folklore once and for all. In the pages of the the Fall 1998 issue of Rowan Magazine the University historians took a look back at the many famous visitors they have hosted through the years such as Blondie, Elton John and Jane Fonda. The publication, that the University publishes itself, makes no mention of Black Sabbath. So there you have it. Black Sabbath’s first live US show PROBABLY took place in a small, skuzzy club in Manhattan on October 30th, 1970, not some upper-crust college in New Jersey that was more accustomed to the stylings of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. The END (or is it?).

Posted by Cherrybomb | Discussion
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Less with the raw, still with the power: James Williamson resurrects lost Iggy & the Stooges songs
10.29.2014
06:32 am

Topics:
History
Music
Punk

Tags:
Iggy Pop
James Williamson
Stooges


 
The last five years must have felt like a triumphant return for Iggy and the Stooges’ James Williamson. After a decades-long alienation from the music business, during which he improbably landed a job as an electronics executive—not even a slightly typical afterlife for a proto-punk rager—the man best known for his sick guitar playing on the epochal 1973 album Raw Power reunited with his old band in 2009, and recorded the album Ready to Die with them last year. But with that band on hiatus again after a 2013 world tour, Williamson turned to some long-unfinished business. There was a very very large pile of old songs, dating back to the ‘70s, that he’d written with Stooges singer Iggy Pop for the intended follow-up to Raw Power, but which had never been recorded in a studio. A few were on the live Metallic K.O. album, some had circulated among obsessives as really rough-sounding bootleg dubs, and many of them turned up on the Open Up And Bleed! live collection released by BOMP! Records in 1995. But those were the only traces of those songs; sketchy-sounding live versions.

The Stooges, minus Iggy, have remedied that. With the Stooges’ touring band, that being bassist Mike Watt, drummer Toby Dammit, and saxophonist Steve Mackay, Williamson has recorded Re-Licked, a 16-track collection of those old songs, with a revolving door of singers. The lineup of vocalists is impressive—it HAS to be right? They’re standing in for a young Iggy Pop! I’d love to call it an all-star lineup, but a lot of these people aren’t really quite “stars,” though pretty much all of them kick high ass. The BellRays’ amazing Lisa Kekaula, Jello Biafra, Ariel Pink, ex-Dicks Gary Floyd, former Foetus honcho J.G. Thirlwell, Mark Lanegan, Alison Mosshart, and Primal Scream’s Bobby Gillespie all make appearances. Last April, a Record Store Day 7” teaser single was released, with the gifted Austin, TX blues belter Carolyn Wonderland singing “Open Up and Bleed” and “Gimme Some Skin.” Both also appear on Re-Licked, which saw its release this week.

Williamson was kind enough to make some time to talk to Dangerous Minds about the album.

You joined the Stooges after Fun House, but they broke up. Then when they were reconstituted as Iggy and the Stooges, you played on Raw Power. After that, you appeared on a couple of Iggy albums, and that’s pretty much it, right? What did you do in all the years since then?

After we were unsuccessful at finding a record label, Iggy and I kinda gave up on the Stooges. He went off with Bowie, who’d offered to take him under his wing, and that launched his solo career, and I was kind of fed up with playing music at that point so I went to work at a recording studio in Los Angeles. I learned a lot there, but one of the things I learned was that I really wasn’t cut out to be a recording engineer. It was the disco era by then, and I couldn’t stand the work. One thing is worse than playing with musicians you don’t like, and that’s recording them every day. It was a training ground for me, though, because it got me interested in electronics, and since those were the early early days of the personal computer, that led to an interest in the possibilities of computers, so I decided to become a real electronics engineer. I got a job in Silicon Valley, and I’ve been here ever since.


 
And what got you back into playing?

I had a 25-30 year career in electronics, and ended up as an executive at Sony. Around when Ronnie Asheton died in 2009, I was toying with taking early retirement. With the economy, these companies were offering that, and it looked attractive. At the same time I got a call from Iggy asking if I wanted to rejoin the band. At first I turned him down. I couldn’t imagine doing it, and I wasn’t even sure I could do it, since I hadn’t been playing at all. But I decided I owed it to them to give it a try, and I could do it because of the retirement. Then it turned out that Sony didn’t want me to leave so they hired me back as a consultant, but still I had some time to do some woodshedding, and I got good enough to play the first gig in Sao Paolo, Brazil, to a HUGE audience compared to anything I’d ever seen before. So I was back. A lot of things happened all at once.

So the material you recorded for Re-Licked was late Iggy and the Stooges stuff that never got released on an LP. There’ve been two Stooges albums since their reunion, The Weirdness, which you’re not on, and Ready to Die, which you’re on. None of these dormant songs turned up on either of those albums. How come?

We did discuss it. We had that conversation. The fans always wanted that album, and the bootlegs are out there, so people are familiar with it. What we decided was if we did an Iggy and the Stooges album, it was a given that it’d be compared to Raw Power, and it probably would be a difficult comparison with the old Stooges vs the young Stooges. Iggy’s voice has changed a great deal, like everyone’s does, with age, and I’m not even sure he could sing some of these songs now, they’re not all easy to sing. In the end we decided that rather than beg that type of comparison, let’s just write new songs. Sure, it’s still going to get compared, but it’s going to get compared as new stuff. I’m very proud of Ready to Die, we spent a lot of time writing it, Iggy stepped up on the lyrics and the vocals, it’s a good album.

The fact was that we still hadn’t done these songs, though, and I had it in mind that I really wanted to do them. Once we stopped touring last September, I had the time. I only started out with one song, I rearranged “Open Up and Bleed,” and my wife and I were talking about it and thought it would be great to get a Janis Joplin type singer for it. So I searched and searched and searched, and finally an old friend of mine In Austin sent me a link to Carolyn Wonderland. She did like three takes and it was over, and I was so blown away I said, even before I came back from Austin, yeah, I can do this, I could do a whole album. Luckily for me I found a lot of people of that caliber who could do it.

How did you choose the singers? There are some inspired choices. Gary Floyd doing “Cock in my Pocket,” I just love. And the guy singing the other version of that song, he’s from the Hellacopters, right?

Yeah, Nicke Andersson. Those were people who were recommended to me, so were a lot of people on the album. I got lots of recommendations. There was a lot of interest in doing this album, so I didn’t have any problem attracting people. Where I did have a problem was I didn’t know a lot of them, so I would go and if they had any material I could get access to or if I could watch them on YouTube, I’d get a feel for their style. So the people that actually ended up on the album were narrowed down from a very big list. I didn’t really have anyone who turned me down. There were a couple of people who couldn’t do it because they were busy, but no one was disinterested. That’s one thing I really like about this album, you can hear the singers’ enthusiasm about it, it just feels like they’re into it and they’re bringing their A-game to these songs.

It’s interesting that there are so many female vocalists on the album.

Well, it all started with Carolyn, and after her I thought, well, this works pretty well. The Stooges never had any women on anything, so it was a different thing, but it worked really well. This isn’t a Stooges album, it’s a tribute to those songs, so I didn’t want think about making it sound like the Stooges, but just bring the best people on that I could find.

Yeah, Lisa Kekaula, especially, she’s pretty fabulous.

Oh, MAN, yeah!


 
Have you seen the BellRays live? You must have, right?

No! What happened was I was down at Joe Cardamone’s, he’s the Icarus Line’s singer. I worked a lot with him, he let me use his little studio for stuff where a little studio would work, and I was sitting with him and was looking for another vocalist, and he asked if I’d ever heard Lisa Kekaula, and I said no, and he said to call her. She just came right over, and I only had one track available at the time, that was “I Got a Right,” and she came in and just NAILED that song.  My jaw dropped. Unbelievable. So I had to do a single with her, so later I came back and recorded “Heavy Liquid” for her. It was a lot of fun to do these sessions.

So is this it then, these are the canonical studio recordings of these songs? The Stooges won’t finally make the lost album?

I don’t see that as being in the cards. I made an open invitation to Iggy to sing on these. He wrote them with me, so he has every much a right to sing them as I have to play them. But I sincerely doubt that we’ll do that. Frankly I don’t know if we could improve on this.

How do you imagine it’ll be received? People who know these songs at all only know the really really gnarly versions from nth generation dubbed tapes, or else from K.O. or the Open Up and Bleed live thing.

So far the responses and reviews are incredibly good. It’s exceeding my expectations by a long shot. There’s always going to be people that don’t like something, and there’s a lot of “Iggy bigots” that are gonna hate it because he isn’t on it. I’ve always had to live with the people that wouldn’t recognize anything that came after Fun House. But so far, on balance, the responses are really amazing, if for no other reason than that, because of all the people singing on it, this is reaching people that possibly wouldn’t have listened to the Stooges. All of these different people bring their own audiences into play, so there’s this wider group you’re exposing this music to.

So is there anything happening with the Stooges in the future?

We haven’t discussed it. I’m beginning to have my doubts, because next year, Iggy’s going to be 68 years old. Think about going out and like, stage diving, at 68 years old. Think you could do it?

I’M NO IGGY POP!

*laughs* Well, the only thing that makes me say it could happen is that if anyone will do it, he will. I have doubts. And I also have to admit I’m a part of that equation, and right now I don’t have to think about it, but if I had a serious offer to do it, I’d really have to think about it. I’m not getting any younger either, but then, all I have to do is play guitar. So I could go out and do that, but I also feel a kind of duty to uphold the honor of the name. I don’t want us to be like the Rolling Stones. To me, they’ve ruined their brand. They’re just too frickin’ old. They’re still really cool guys, but they’re really cool REALLY OLD guys. I’d never go see ‘em anymore. So do I want the Stooges to be like that? No, I want people to remember us like, even the last tour we did, we were still really burning up the stage, some people at any age can’t do that. That’s what I want the memory to be. At this point I’m open to it if we can pull it off, but there are lots of reasons not to do it, too.
 

 
Williamson was right about these songs getting compared to the old versions, because we’re going to do that right now. Here’s the Stooges’ demo for “I Got a Right.” This has ended up on various bootlegs, and even got a small but legit release, on a super limited deluxe edition of Raw Power. This song completely fuckin’ smokes.
 

 
And here’s a teaser of the version with the BellRays’ Lisa Kekaula. This also completely fuckin’ smokes. If you’re watching at work, be advised there’s a stripper in the video.
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Talking Heads: Max Headroom interviews Sting and David Byrne


 
Max Headroom, now there was a weird-ass experiment. In hindsight the digital character is the very definition of a “curio.” It takes only a few seconds of watching Max to remember just how irritating he was, a stuttering, condescending, smarmy non-entity (literally) who is devoid of content (making him a natural pitchman for Coca Cola, which he was for several national advertising campaigns). Watching authentic artists like Sting and David Byrne interact with Max is a little painful. 

Before the narrative sci-fi show Max Headroom descended on U.S. shores in 1987, British audiences had been “enjoying” The Max Headroom Show, which featured interviews and music videos, throughout 1985 and 1986. In the first clip, Sting is promoting The Dream of the Blue Turtles as well as The Bride, his first movie after Dune, so it must be 1985. True to Max’s essential vapidity, they discuss shoes for most of the interview. The strategy of intersplicing unmotivated stock footage resembles nothing so much as a short film by Lelaina Pierce as recut by Michael Grates, to invoke the Winona Ryder and Ben Stiller characters from Reality Bites.
 

 
Of course Sting is inherently annoying—check out his shades—but it’s really not his fault in this case; David Byrne’s naturally distanced temperament works a lot better. Unfortunately, the clip, put up by the official Talking Heads YouTube account, gets badly out of sync after a couple of minutes, but given that it’s Max Headroom, it hardly matters. Byrne is there to promote True Stories, his only directorial feature, so it must be about a year later than the Sting interview.

The Max Headroom Show, not to be confused with the narrative show Max Headroom, was the original Short Attention Span Theater. As many have noted, it was the perfect plastic entertainment for the Reagan era, so much so that Garry Trudeau in Doonesbury turned the sitting president into an unfunny imitation called Ron Headrest.

In retrospect what’s interesting is that the technology was so evidently driving the car—the technical feat of an electronic Matt Frewer cackling at Sting is actually impressive, but the form was miles ahead of the content. Space Ghost Coast to Coast, which hit in the 1990s, evened the scales a bit more successfully.
 
Max Headroom interviews Sting:

 
Max’s interview with David Byrne after the jump….

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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‘Charles Bukowski, Jeff Spicoli & Lester Bangs on PCP’: Origins of ‘The Derek Tape’ revealed!


 

“Hey, did you get the boot off?”

“Dude, mission accomplished! Gnarly.”


Greetings exchanged, so begins “The Derek Tape,” a fascinating phone conversation between a very relaxed record store clerk (Kurt) and a full-time hesher (Derek) in Los Angeles circa 1992. If it sounds familiar, you’ve likely heard it before. Derek does most of the talking (there’s a good reason it’s not called “The Kurt Tape”), much of which concerns Derek’s reasons for wanting to put his neighbor, Terry, in the hospital, and his intention to do just that. Once the conversation turns to metal lore, though, and Derek’s enthusiasm kicks into high gear, it is hard not to get carried away with him as he talks about the important things in life: the occult significance of Morbid Angel guitarist Trey Azagthoth’s name; the distinction between “tripping” and “flipping” on acid; the relative merits of guitarists Robin Trower, David Gilmour, Jimmy Page, and Ritchie Blackmore; and the comparative belief systems of Deicide, Mercyful Fate, Morbid Angel and the Grateful Dead. If only going to the theater could be more like listening to this.

Once jealously guarded and traded among initiates, the tape has taken on a life of its own on the internet. Recently, it’s even been serialized and animated, as you can see at the bottom of this post. I had an inkling that my friend Sean Kelly—whose great old band, Tight Bro’s From Way Back When, was named after a memorable phrase of Derek’s—might be able to give me a clue to the origins of this tape. As it turns out, Sean knows more about the origins of the recording than anyone on Earth, other than Derek and Kurt themselves.
 

Bassist Sean Kelly, second from left

When did you first hear this tape? How did you get a copy?

I moved to LA in the early 90s chasing the obligatory teenage rock stardom dream and ended up playing in a band with a bunch of misfit weirdo drug casualties, one of whom was the now legendary “Kurt” (his name really IS Kurt, but he’s become so mythical to me at this point that quotation marks seem necessary). Shortly thereafter, and after one too many life-threateningly self-destructive episodes, I found myself transplanted to San Francisco, but still remained in contact with Kurt. On one very fateful occasion he came up from LA for a visit and happened to bring along a rare gem that will henceforth and forever be known as “The Derek Tape.”

Kurt was a great collector of the funny and absurd—weird underground art, obscure music, prank call tapes, etc.—but I don’t think he realized how special the gift he created actually was. He just offhandedly gave me the tape and said “Oh hey, I recorded this—you should listen to it sometime—it’s pretty funny.” I don’t recall how long it took me to sit down and listen to it, but suffice to say, and using Derek parlance, “I was blown away just like everyone in the whole fuckin’ place was blown away.” I promptly proceeded to play it for the friends of mine who I thought would appreciate it and only one, really, my comrade Jason Traeger, realized the brilliance of it; most people that heard it were repulsed by what at first aural glance was the insane violent rant of a lunatic, and missed the mostly unintended, but genuine genius of this epic, absurd, comic, tragedy.

I don’t remember anyone but Jason and I listening to it in SF—it was very much our own private little thing that we obsessed over—but we DID make copies of the tape and gave it to the many bands that used to crash on our floors with a “Here’s a little something for you to listen to in the van on the rest of your tour,” and no explanation other than that. I’ve oftentimes been bewildered by how many people know about this thing (I certainly thought I had been keeping it in the family), but I suppose that’s how it got disseminated—the Johnny Appleseed-ism of touring punk bands! In fact, two of my oldest and best friends, Jon Quittner and David Wilcox, who along with Jason and I are equal custodians of the tape (I’d go as far as to call us scholars at this point—ha!), met each other and forged our friendships from different parts of the country over our mutual and rabid appreciation of the tape. I suppose on a smaller level my former band’s name, which is from a line in the tape, helped spread it around too. Kurt, as far as I can tell, had nothing to do with it getting spread around other than happening to put it my filthy mitts almost 25 years ago.
 

 
What else can you tell me about the scenario? They’re talking about the LA area.

Kurt used to work in a record store somewhere in LA (can’t remember where or which one but I’m sure it’s gone now) and Derek was a frequent customer, obviously, obsessed with death, black, and Satanic metal. Kurt was a collector of the weird and absurd and realized how amazing this guy’s obsession was with the genre. He hatched a plan to get him on the phone to talk about his favorite bands and record the conversation clandestinely to add to his collection of oddities. He had no idea that he was going to get the epic tale that ended up unfolding. You can even hear him on the tape periodically trying to get Derek back on the subject of music, not being fully aware of the magically maniacal saga that that was being hurled at him on the other end of the phone. That all being said, I never got the impression, despite the questionable ethics of recording someone without their knowledge, that Kurt was taking advantage of Derek or trying to make fun of him—I think he was genuinely fascinated by Derek’s passion and certainly never intended for it to become what it has—that appears to be entirely my fault! I’ve actually been in the room where it was recorded. Kurt was living there before I moved to SF. It’s in an apartment complex near Franklin and Cahuenga—I never drive by it without thinking that it all happened there!
 

 
Can you shed any light on these two characters?

Well, as far as Derek goes, I only know as much about him as anyone who’s listened to the recording does! Total and utter enigma. Kurt told me very little about Derek, mostly because I haven’t seen him since the day he gave me the tape and I never got the chance to follow up! As far as Kurt goes, I can tell you he was a really cool, sweet guy—very talented guitar player too—who wasn’t nearly as much of a ding-dong as he appears to be on the tape. I’m pretty sure that his conversational demeanor was dictated by a combination of him consciously being a foil to Derek’s madness, and almost certainly being profoundly and epically stoned at the time of the call!
 

 
What makes this thing so fascinating?

Oh man, where do I begin? I feel like this tape could be the source of a university-level psychology, sociology, or Underground Art of the American 20th century class! I could write a fucking dissertation at this point—ha!!

To begin with, it’s an absolutely amazing voyeuristic—and maddeningly finite—slice of the life of a completely unknown, quasi-brilliant American underground character, who basically lets us in on the epic saga of his insane life and all of his passions in a mere 45 minutes. While I stated above that I know nothing about Derek, which is strictly factual, I actually feel like I know EVERYTHING about him through his willingness to reveal so much in this conversation. Hearing this for me was like discovering an unknown mean streets of Los Angeles anti-hero who is the combination of Charles Bukowski, Jeff Spicoli, and Lester Bangs on a heavy dose of PCP. A true folk art discovery in my book. His use—or, more accurately perhaps, abuse—of the English language is extraordinary too. He absolutely creates his own lexicon through the sheer passion for what he’s expressing. I can’t even begin to tell you how many Derek-isms are part of my everyday conversation.

Most people default to the brilliance of this tape being his monologues on the ultimate truths about his favorite Satanic bands and the greatest guitar performances he’s witnessed, which are undeniably and endearingly hilarious, but I think what ultimately makes this recording so fascinating and enduring is the real life tragedy, pain, and suffering of a person struggling to get by in an unforgiving environment on display here, who in the end finds reprieve in his obsessive passion for the music he loves, and thank all the evil gods of the Necronomicon, he just happens to be an unintentional comic genius while delivering this LSD-fueled slice of profane pulp non-fiction!

While this is clearly Derek’s tour de force, it’s also undeniable how perfect a foil Kurt is for the proceedings. His peaceful, stoned counterpoint to Derek’s rabid verbal violence keeps everything in order and, most significantly, probably saved the life of the severely maligned and lazy Terry! Ha!
 

Anton LaVey and King Diamond: “tight bros from way back when”

If they’re still among us, what do you think Derek and Kurt are doing today?

Derek, again, I know absolutely nothing about, which to me makes his enigma so fascinating. It’s like he only existed on the planet for these 45 minutes and that’s all there ever was to him. For a long time I thought I wanted the back story, but now, no way. I love not knowing what he looked like, how old he is, what happened in Oklahoma City, or how he got his head wound! I would say it’s safe to assume, based only on the 45 minutes of his life that I’m aware of, that unless Derek had some sort of serious spiritual epiphany, things most likely didn’t end up too well for him. But then again, who the fuck knows!

About eight years ago I was working at Sub Pop in Seattle and, completely randomly, I heard Derek coming through the speakers of a co-worker’s computer. I was thoroughly and utterly stunned—there was no way I was aware of that could be happening—I certainly hadn’t given him the tape or even talked to anybody at SP about it, ever. Turns out WFMU in New York had gotten ahold of the tape and was streaming the death metal parts of the conversation on its website, and my buddy was listening to it online. That was the first instance I realized that it had sprouted up out of the underground, and almost simultaneously, people started contacting me inquiring about releasing it, as the word had got out that someone in Tight Bro’s From Way Back When had something to do with it and tracked me down.

Now, I’ve always felt VERY protective of the recording—it’s like a family heirloom to my friends and me—and I never intended to, and still have not attempted to, exploit it, but at the time it seemed inevitable that it was going to happen. So through the wonders of the internet, I actually tracked down Kurt after what would have been about thirteen years since the last time I had seen him, to let him know what was happening. He was living in SF at the time and doing well (walking dogs for a living, if I remember correctly) and totally blown away, to say the least, to hear from me and also to hear this very unexpected news about the tape. He was very interested in capitalizing on it, and we had a few conversations on how that might be possible and then we promptly fell out of contact again—haven’t heard from him since.

He did reveal one gem to me, though. Apparently he recorded another short conversation with Derek that the world has yet to hear, in which Derek muses on what he would say to God regarding his life if he encountered him in the afterlife:

“Well, that sucked!”

Below, the first episode of Found Magazine’s cartoon version of “The Derek Tape”:

 
And for purists like me, the original audio recording:

 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Discussion
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Graveyard Rock: SICK SOUNDS from Intoxica Radio!
10.28.2014
08:28 am

Topics:
Music
Occult

Tags:
Halloween

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For all of you fellow rock and roll monsters, here’s my ninth annual Halloween radio show. It can be played or downloaded free or just press play below. I’ve spent my life collecting records and horror film memorabilia among tons of other pop culture items. The combination of horror, monsters and rock n roll is the ultimate for me and many thousands of creeps worldwide. This is the original insane punk music.

There is a big difference between some of this stuff and silly novelty music, which I also like and play on the show, but you won’t hear the “Monster Mash” here, ever. You will hear “Graveyard Rock” by Seattle’s answer to Vampira, the Tarantula Ghoul, and many other crazy 45’s by horror hosts from TV across fifties and sixties America. You’ll also hear teenage garage bands, rockabilly lunatics and wild ads for old live spook shows, horror movies and monstrous toys. I even speak into an echo machine. This is something I do every week, not just on Halloween, hahaha), but THIS is the most special show of the year. Enjoy it!

The show’s basic description is this:

Howie Pyro plays the weird stuff… 50’s and 60’s rock and roll, psycho surf, garage, rockabilly, hillbilly horrors, voodoo R & B, insane instrumentals, religious nuts, teenage hell music, vintage global garbage, peppered with bizarre old movie ads & radio clips & general echo-fied screaming….wild, unhinged primitive 50’s and 60’s rock n roll played every Tuesday at 9PM (California time) from original 45 RPM records at Luxuria Music—Running wild since 2006!

 
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Past guests include Kid Congo Powers (Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave), Miriam Linna (Cramps, Norton Records, Kicks Books), , Kim Fowley, ? of the Mysterians, Thee Midniters, Sylvain Sylvain, Cheetah Chrome, Tim Warren (Crypt Records), Reverend Beat Man, Boyd Rice, El Vez, J.G.Thirlwell, Todd-O-Phonic Todd, Sweeney Todd, Lee Joseph, Haunted George, Richard Elfman, Thee Cormans, etc.
 

 
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Posted by Howie Pyro | Discussion
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KISS rocks out on ‘The Paul Lynde Halloween Special,’ 1976
10.28.2014
07:02 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Television

Tags:
Halloween
KISS
Paul Lynde


 
Nothing better exemplifies the “everything but the kitchen sink” entertainment mentality of the 1970s than “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special,” which includes the following components: swishy comedian Paul Lynde, Margaret Hamilton as the Wicked Witch, Florence Henderson, Billy Bartie, Tim Conway, “Pinky” Tuscadero (no, not “Leather”), Donny and Marie, Betty White, Sid & Marty Krofft’s Witchiepoo, and ... KISS!
 

 
In addition to being Samatha’s campy Uncle Arthur on Bewitched, and supplying the voice for Templeton the Rat in Charlotte’s Web, Lynde was best known for being the “center square” on the Hollywood Squares, from which perch he would uncork as many double entendres as the format could sustain. He was gay and didn’t apparently seem to care if anyone knew about it, meaning that the home audience could be assumed to be pretty much clueless on the matter. (At the wrap party for Bye Bye Birdie early in his career, Lynde quipped in a toast, “Well, I guess I’m the only one here who doesn’t want to fuck Ann-Margret.”) In any case his jokes are super corny—only masochists will want to sit through the whole thing.
 

Ace Frehley hanging out with Billy Bartie
 
Apparently this was the first prime-time network appearance for KISS—anyone know?

Here’s the part you want to see—KISS doing “Detroit Rock City”:

 
The entire special after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Future Feminism: Antony and the Johnsons’ stunning new concert film, ‘TURNING’


 
On November 10th and 11th, the new CD + DVD of Antony and the Johnsons live in concert TURNING film (co-directed by Antony Hegarty and video artist/filmmaker Charles Atlas) will be released respectively by Rough Trade in the UK and Europe and the Secretly Canadian label in North America.

TURNING is stunning, a magnificent and moving arthouse documentary/concert film of a fall 2006 tour of Europe. That live show featured Atlas’ live video portraiture of thirteen women in close-up as they were spinning on a human-sized turntable, like a nicely updated version of Andy Warhol’s “13 Most Beautiful Girls” screentests. These projected portraits are the backdrop of nuanced performances—alternately tender and forceful, joyous and bittersweet—by Antony and the Johnsons (Antony, Maxim Moston, Rob Moose, Julia Kent, Parker Kindred, Jeff Langston, and Thomas Bartlett), captured in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome and Braga.

You can watch the trailer for TURNING here.
 

 
I asked Antony and Charles some questions about TURNING via email.

The feminine energy that’s celebrated in TURNING isn’t entirely biological. I was wondering if you could clarify what your (preferred) definition of “femininity” is?

Antony: We all have bodies that naturally produce estrogen and testosterone, so I am a bit confused by your assertion about biology. My definition of femininity, which is always evolving, has partly to do with motherhood and the impulses of motherhood, to treasure, to protect, to nurture, to give selflessly. I have observed femininity often manifest as a greater sensitivity to one’s relationships with one’s surroundings, a heightened sense of oneself within space. I often think of the word femininity as congruous with creativity. Another feminine archetype is the capacity for intuitive and emotional intelligence.  On the other hand, there are the Kali-esque faces of femininity. But for me, even when femininity is destructive, as in the case for instance of a natural disaster, there is something essential about it; Nature is not frivolous in her violent manifestations. And inevitably, pastoral life flourishes in the the shadows of volcanic eruptions and tidal waves.
 

 
You’ve screened the film at festivals over the past two years. It’s not merely a concert film, there’s something deeper and much more profound going on; however the reviews I’ve read, some get it, and some plainly just didn’t. There’s that scene where the French press called the TURNING performance a “transsexual manifesto” which obviously illustrates this somewhat, but the New York Times focused on this as well in their brief review. Did you find that some audiences and critics were confused by what the “message” of TURNING is?

Antony: One of the reasons we made TURNING is because we were not sure we “got” TURNING ourselves! The form was mesmerizing and we just kind of fell into it. It came to mean a lot of different things to different people. For me, what is interesting and relevant about TURNING today is its intuitive embrace of the intersection between trans-feminism and “Future Feminism”, a genre of feminism that I have been working with several of the women involved in TURNING to articulate over the last few years.  At the heart of TURNING is the impulse to form a circle of community and create space for each other, to witness and empower one another.

Charles Atlas: Another reason we took charge of the filming and production of the TURNING film ourselves (rather than accepting offers from TV companies to make the film) was precisely to allow all of the meanings of TURNING to emerge. At the public screenings I attended and the follow-up Q & A’s, I felt the audience came away with the feeling of the universality of the message of self-actualization.
 

 
Aside from the beautiful production values, which I thought was stunning on every level—I mean THE BAND!—the backstage preparations, traveling and “sisterhood” aspects of the project were so fascinating. The thing that was so riveting to me—and I know some of the women who were onstage with you—was watching the faces of each of them as they listened to the lyrics, as if the songs were about them and about their own lives, struggles and triumphs. There seemed to be a “psychodrama” aspect to the performance for the “beauties.” The Puerto Rican girl, Nomi, at the beginning seemed like she’d experienced a sort of beatific transcendence about herself and her place in the world. Connie Fleming also seemed very deeply in thought in front of a few thousand people. Can you discuss this?

Antony: The process for the participants was intimately meditative and at the same time extroverted and performative. To be watched in a state of stillness, from every angle, challenged each of the subjects in different ways. There was a tremendous sense of support for each other amongst the models. Each person seemed to develop her own inner narrative that guided her on the pedestal. And for each of us, different things emerged from the process. In the concert itself, the models appeared anonymously; there were no life stories (besides mine, embedded in the song lyrics), only images of women from many ages, backgrounds and experiences. Behind the scenes, many feelings and ideas started to stir.

Charles Atlas: For me, the individuality of the women and their variety of experiences—in concert with Antony’s music, was deeply inspiring. At each performance I entered into the world of Antony’s music and was moved to create video mix portraits in the moment that attempted to rise to the level of beauty of that potent combination.
 

 
Below, Antony and the Johnsons perform a stunning version of “Twilight” while Johanna Constantine turns:

“The performance artist Johanna Constantine appeared as one of the 13 subjects in TURNING. Johanna and I met in our first year of university in California and she has been a huge influence on my life and work.  We moved to NYC together in 1992 and co-founded a late night performance collective called Blacklips. We have always considered ourselves two sides of a whole: she seems to present a threatening, alien, armored face, while as a singer I exhibit a vulnerable interior. As the years have worn on, we have subliminally exchanged these roles, even from minute to minute. Johanna Constantine is also a founding member of an exhibition project we are now working on called Future Feminism. We first coined the term “future feminism” to describe the work of a handful of female artists from NYC that work on a frontier by themselves, using their bodies as material, exploring themes of violence, femininity, alienation, innocence, eco-collapse and survivalism.”  Antony Hegarty

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Cathy’: Kate Bush as a young girl
10.27.2014
10:32 am

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
photography
Kate Bush
John Carder Bush

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A rare book of photographs of Kate Bush as a young girl entitled Cathy is to be re-published next month. The book contains an incredible selection of beautiful black & white images of Kate taken by her brother the poet and photographer John Carder Bush.

Cathy was first published in a limited edition of 500 copies in 1986 and is now to be re-published with new previously unpublished photographs and additional text. Copies of Cathy can be ordered here.

The following images come from the original 1986 publication of Cathy via the site Cat Party.
 
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More pics of young Kate, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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Do you really want to out me?: The trial of Kirk Brandon vs. Boy George

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The golden rule: Never sue anyone unless you know you are going to win.

Eighties pop star Kirk Brandon should have considered this when he sued Boy George (aka George O’Dowd) for “malicious falsehood over allegations of homosexuality” contained in the singer’s autobiography Take It Like A Man and his song “Unfinished Business.”
 

 
Brandon is known as the frontman of band Theater of Hate, who had several hit singles in the 1980s most notably “Do You Believe in the Westworld?” Boy George is Boy George, and as everyone knows has achieved global success as a solo artist, DJ and with the band Culture Club notching up a string of number one records. Back in 1980, Brandon and George were members of the Blitz Kids—the young trendsetting New Romantics who were creating a club scene and were soon to dominate the pop charts.

In 1997, Brandon was incensed that George had “outed” him by writing about the couple’s “alleged homosexual relationship in the early 1980s.” (What’s wrong, I wonder, with just saying “relationship”?) Brandon said the “gay allegations” had damaged his career as a musician, claiming he “was terrified of being ridiculed as `some blond peroxided poof’.” A damning quote that tells you all you need to know about Mr. Brandon.
 
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The Blitz Kids: Kirk and George, 1980.
 
By 1997, Brandon was married and had a child, his wife Christina said, “It’s every woman’s worst nightmare to be told their partner is gay”.

Christina, 28, first read about the alleged affair in the gender-bender’s autobiography, Take It Like A Man, which was published in July, 1995.

And as she skimmed through the book in a bookshop her world fell apart.

“We had only been married a year and I just couldn’t believe what I was reading,” she says. “I knew that Kirk had been friendly with Boy George. I loved hearing about their time together. But, all of a sudden, I was reading about this intimate, sexual relationship they were meant to have had. I felt confused. Betrayed and humiliated. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. Then I felt angry.

“I rushed home to confront Kirk. I wanted the truth. Why he had lied to me? This could so easily have destroyed our marriage.

“But I know Kirk really well and I believe him when he says it’s not true.”

Yet, Brandon’s litigation was to prove otherwise.
 
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Brandon and George in the early 1980s.
 
When the case came to trial in April 1997, bucking the trusim that the man who is his own attorney has a fool for a client, Brandon represented himself. He told the court how he had helped Boy George from his first band and that they were good friends, adding:

He would sometimes stay at the singer’s squats—but was away on tour when he is alleged to have had the affair.

Mr Brandon said: “[Boy George’s] career took off and his mind was otherwise occupied. He was totally ambiguous and never confirmed or denied any sexual preference, terrified of rejection and the obscurity which would follow.

“Unbeknown to me, in the midst of his wealth, his obsession for me turned into something bitter, some might call it evil, a grudge. Somewhere in his mind he believed I had dumped him. Perhaps somewhere in his drug problems or whatever, his hatred focused on me. Some years later became a cleverly calculated possibility. As [George] stated himself, his book would be his revenge. He wrote his book and wrote of the relationship he really imagined he had had.”

Mr Brandon said he also believed that the attempt to ‘out’ him which would gain publicity for the book and song was part of a ‘sickening and totally reprehensible strategy.’

 
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Brandon’s opening gambit made him sound as if he was the man obsessed with Boy George, and bitter at his former lover’s success. He then began to interrogate Boy George asking him if he thought outing people in the public arena was a good idea? A question that implied Brandon himself had been in the closet.

“I don’t think you should be ashamed of what you are,” O’Dowd replied. “I don’t think you should wilfully drag people out of their closets, but our relationship was public knowledge. It was not something you denied at the time, You denied it later on.”

He told Brandon he was being “homophobic” in bringing the court action. “I said in my book that you were very talented and I loved you,” O’Dowd said. “Where is the damage in that? I am much more brutal about myself in the book about myself than anybody else.”

Avoiding the accusation of “homophobia,” Brandon changed tact accusing George of having “a kind of vendetta” against him:

“Why have you been obsessed with me all your adult life?”

O’Dowd: I am not obsessed with you.

Brandon: You were obsessed and you probably still are. Have you ever thought of leaving me alone?

O’Dowd: I would not say I am obsessed. I would say the obsession would be more on your part if you thought I was insane, why take this action? Why not just shrug and say: ‘He’s mad?’

Brandon: I would say you are a professional liar.

 
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The questioning shifted to the lyrics of Boy George’s song “Unfinished Business” from the album Cheapness and Beauty that George admitted was about Brandon.

He said the lyrics the lyrics included the line “You lie” and “You walk like a jack but are more of a queen”.

He added: “It says that [Brandon] has lied about our relationship and continues to do so. Songs are a way of exorcising feelings.”

Brandon: You get pleasure out of writing vindictive songs.

O’Dowd: Kirk, you were in a band called Theatre of Hate. You weren’t called the Blushing Flowers.

Brandon: Theatre of Hate was an art-house name.

 
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The questioning sounded like the petty tiff of two former lovers rather than a formal cross examination. Any points Brandon thought he had scored were undermined by the appearance of one of Brandon’s former lovers Naimi Ashcroft who suggested the two men had been sexually intimate.

She said that she and Brandon had to hide from O’Dowd in nightclubs: “He did say George was upset and was looking to beat me up.”

Brandon told her: “You are here to fit Mr O’Dowd’s jigsaw. Can’t you just simply forget about me and get on with your own life?”

Every piece of a jigsaw has its own place and the picture the trial revealed was not one that Brandon particularly wanted to see.
 
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Brandon admitted sharing a bed with George in a squat in central London in 1980 but denied any sexual activity.

George recalled: “I said, ‘I don’t have a spare bed,’ and he said: ‘I will be safe won’t I?’” Both kept their T-shirts and underwear on as they shared the mattress.

George added: “Kirk pulled hold of me and we started kissing.

“But on the first night, it was mainly hugging, kissing and touching, very affectionate, but no sexual activity.”

George admitted that in the morning he was unsure if he would see Brandon again in such an intimate way, but he returned with a bag and stayed for several days at the squat. George admitted he was very inexperienced at the time.

“Kirk never said he thought of me as a woman, but outside of the bed I did a very good job of looking feminine,” added george, “We slept together more than 100 times.”

George went on: “We were very close. Kirk was the great love of my life at that time. We were inseparable, holding hands in public and I was walking around in high heel shoes.”

Eventually the relationship finished and Brandon moved out claiming he needed “space.” George described how he “smashed up” his room and “cried for a while and walked in the rain.”

The trial lasted seven days at the High Court in London, with Judge Douglas Brown ruling in favor of Boy George, describing him as “an impressive witness.” As he gave his verdict, Kirk Brandon sat staring straight ahead as the Judge said:

“It’s difficult to believe Mr Brandon did not have a physical relationship with Mr O’Dowd.

“Mr Brandon agrees he knew Mr O’Dowd was a homosexual who was sexually interested in him, but went and stayed in his bed without protest, and without asking whether there was an alternative place to sleep.”

The judge added he did not believe Brandon:

“I am satisfied he has not been truthful about their physical relationship.”

Brandon was ordered to pay an estimated £250,000 in costs, but said he was unable to do so as he was bankrupt. Outside the High Court, he told reporters he had no regrets in taking Boy George to court:

“It was a matter of honour.”

The trail wasn’t about “honour” it was about Brandon’s misplaced personal sense of pride and vanity. His actions made him look foolish, petty, and dishonest. Boy George was vindicated, and left the court telling reporters that the verdict was “a great, great day for gay rights.”

A gallery of photographs of Boy George and Kirk Brandon in the early 1980s and clippings about the trial from 1997 can be found here.

A now bearded Boy George and Culture Club tour the USA this November details here. Theatre of Hate tour the UK this December details here.
 

 
H/T The Blitz Kids.
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
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