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Rock starts: Your favorite rock stars when they were children
06.29.2015
12:04 pm

Topics:
History
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
rock stars as kids


Nick Cave
 
This morning, my husband sent me the above baby Nick Cave photos for a chuckle (talk about a “bad seed” wonk wonk). For whatever reason, it became my mission, dear Dangerous Minds readers to find even more photos of rock starts (that was a typo, but I’m leaving it) as children. So, yeah, this what I’ve spent my morning doing. YOU’RE WELCOME.

We were all babies once, you know!


Debbie Harry (who turns 70 on July 1!)
 

David Bowie
 

Dolly Parton
 

Brian Eno
 

Kathleen Hanna
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Hungry Freaks, Daddy: Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention’s ‘Freak Out,’ a listener’s guide
06.29.2015
11:00 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Frank Zappa
Mothers Of Invention


 

These Mothers is crazy. You can tell by their clothes. One guy wears beads and they all smell bad. We were gonna get them for a dance after the basketball game but my best pal warned me you can never tell how many will show up…sometimes the guy in the fur coat doesn’t show up and sometimes he does show up only he brings a big bunch of crazy people with him and they dance all over the place. None of the kids at my school like these Mothers…specially since my teacher told us what the words to their songs meant.

Sincerely forever, Suzy Creamcheese, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Freak Out!, the 1966 debut album by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention was one of the first two-record sets of the rock era (Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde beat it by a week) and it was definitely the first two-record debut by any group. Although the album wasn’t a commercial success, making it only to #130 on the Billboard charts, it immediately established the archly intellectual Frank Zappa in the very first rank of rock musicians. In fact, Paul McCartney was said to be so impressed with Freak Out! that the album apparently provided the initial inspiration for The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s album. At first there may not have been a lot of listeners, but most certainly the right people were tuning into Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention’s freaky vibe from the start.

Freak Out! was produced by legendary African-American record producer Tom Wilson, who also worked with Simon and Garfunkel, Sun Ra, The Velvet Underground, Eric Burdon and The Animals and Bob Dylan (Wilson produced three Dylan albums and the “Like a Rolling Stone” single). The story goes that Wilson signed The Mothers to MGM thinking that they were a white blues band. He had heard just one song. “Trouble Every Day,” when he saw them at a club on the Sunset Strip and incorrectly assumed the group was something like Al Kooper’s group, The Blues Project!
 

 
They were anything but. The Mother’s uncompromising sound was an unheard of combination of corny doo-wop (which Zappa both loved and parodied mercilessly), R&B, tape manipulations, musique concrète ala Zappa’s idol Edgard Varese, free jazz, shifting time signatures, classical music touches and trenchant satirical social observations (Zappa was nasty to both “straights” and hippies in equal measure, even his own audience had their noses tweaked by Frank Zappa, one of history’s ultimate non-conformists).

The story of the early days of the Mothers of Invention is a fascinating one, but basically, the Cliff Notes version is this: In 1965, Frank Zappa, a would-be film soundtrack composer, recording studio owner and rock guitarist living in the incredibly boring San Bernadino country city of Rancho Cucamonga, CA was invited to join a local rhythm and blues band called the Soul Giants. The band was renamed “The Mothers” (as in “motherfuckers,” indicating how good of musicians they were). The Mothers started gigging in Los Angeles and soon Frank Zappa was the “Freak king” of Hollywood. (Historical note here: LA’s “Freaks” were basically weirder hippies and they dressed differently from the way San Francisco hippies tended to dress, which in 1965-66 was far more “Edwardian” than it was tie-died. The LA vs SF, freaks vs hippies issue was a short-lived one, but a distinction that is important to note. The “Freaks” were the people (mostly Valley girls) who congregated around Carl Franzoni (“Captain Fuck”), teenage Szou and her “aging Beatnik” boyfriend (later husband) Vito Paulekas. “Vito and his Freakers” participated in sex orgies and went out to art openings and the clubs on the Sunset Strip enlivening every event they attended with their distinctive dancing. This clip, from the “mondo” film You Are What You Eat was actually shot at a Mother’s performance, but the filmmakers couldn’t get the music rights and used a song by the Electric Flag instead. It’s probably as good of a representation of Vito and his Freakers as exists).

In other words, there was a “built in” scene for Frank Zappa to take advantage of when the Mothers moved to Los Angeles. He came to town, looked around and he took it over. Quickly. By 1966, Zappa was a figure who loomed large over the Sunset Strip.
 

 
The first songs the Mothers (rechristened “The Mothers of Invention” at the insistence of MGM) recorded with Wilson were “Any Way the Wind Blows” and “Who Are the Brain Police?” In The Real Frank Zappa Book, FZ described the scene in the studio:

“I could see through the window that he was scrambling toward the phone to call his boss—probably saying: ‘Well, uh, not exactly a “white blues band,” but…sort of.’”

Wilson would champion Zappa’s creative vision to the label, securing him an unheard of recording budget for Freak Out! and putting his own career on the line for the ambitious young composer/bandleader. The album’s psychedelic cover art direction was a bit misleading, perhaps, but due to the freak “hot spots” map of Hollywood, the liner notes indicating all of Zappa’s “friends and family” and inspirations (David Crosby, Tiny Tim, Charles Mingus, Guitar Slim, Eric Dolphy, Igor Stravinsky and others are all there, now the subject of a documentary called The Freak Out List) and the fact that it was a two-record set gave his new fans something to immerse themselves in and obsess over (Zappa fans are an obsessive lot, trust me on that one). Zappa understood his audience well: Freak Out! was the rock music equivalent of getting into Marvel Comics and discovering that there was an entire Marvel “universe” to pour over. It was if Zappa and his freaky scene landed like Martians during the middle of the Lyndon Johnson administration. It was fortuitous timing, right as the world was about to go from Black and White to vivid color.
 

 
Because Freak Out! was deleted from the MGM catalog in the early 1970s and was not in print again in the USA until Rykodisc released the Zappa catalog on CD in the late 1980s, it’s not really an album that tons of people have heard. It’s an album that should rightfully be held in the same high regard as the debut albums by the Velvets, Jefferson Airplane, Love or the Doors and is tragically less well-known than it should be (no, I’m not saying that Freak Out! is an obscure album, because it’s not, but how many people who are hip to something like, say, Forever Changes, have never heard even a single song from it?)

Although it can safely be assumed that the music on Freak Out! is indeed pretty freaky, it’s not at all inaccessible. The very first song I’d play for someone to introduce them to the album would be “Trouble Every Day,” the same song that intrigued Tom Wilson enough to sign the band on the spot. In it Zappa describes watching the Watts Riots on TV:
 

 
Continues after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Spend the night in a Cramps-themed trailer in the Mojave Desert
06.26.2015
08:04 am

Topics:
Design
Music

Tags:
The Cramps


 
There’s a motel in Joshua Tree called Hicksville Trailer Palace, and it’s one of those Southern California attractions that makes me wish I had the late Huell Howser‘s job, if not his permanent expression of incredulity. I can almost hear Huell’s voice rising in astonishment as I review the rooms: a gypsy wagon that was used in Big Top Pee-Wee, an Airstream done up like a 70s bachelor pad, a frontier-type trailer with a wooden front porch, and a zombie-themed cabin, among others. There are amenities, too: a saltwater pool, miniature golf, a teepee, a recording studio, a film and video editing room, and something called the “Corn Hole” about which I am afraid to ask.
 

 
What really piques my interest in Hicksville, though, is its homage to the Cramps. “The Lux” is decked out in rockabilly/tiki/horror style, and while “tasteful” definitely isn’t the word I’m looking for, it looks like the designer knew what he or she was doing. I have a feeling that if they let me spend just one night in this place, which has a diner’s booth and on-table jukebox, a black and white TV that only shows horror movies, and a few attractive Cramps posters, I might start to talk loudly about squatter’s rights down at the Corn Hole.
 

 
Below, in a clip from MTV’s Extreme Cribs (ick), the owner of Hicksville Trailer Palace gives you a tour of the Lux at 1:16.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Cars, McCartney, and Bowie, remade by Replicants: When Failure formed the greatest cover band ever


 
I’ve been fairly unrestrained in expressing my abiding fandom of the commercially underachieving ‘90s rock band Failure, both in real life and on Dangerous Minds. They had everything I loved—dense and creamy distorted guitar tones, gripping tension-and-release dynamics, emotive, anxious melodic and lyrical content that FAR surpassed the one-dimensional angst typical of the period’s radio rock. The poor sales of their masterpiece Fantastic Planet contributed to the band’s end, though time has rehabilitated the album and it’s now considered an influential classic, which set the stage for Failure’s reunion last year. The announcement of that tour made me as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning, and I drove three hours to once again catch a band I utterly adored but hadn’t seen in concert since 1992.

As it happens, there was more than just a tour in the offing—Failure have fully reactivated, and their first album in 19 years, The Heart Is A Monster, will arrive next week. I’m confident that fans of Fantastic Planet will be more than satisfied—I typically take a dim view of reunions, and if Monster was in any way unsatisfactory, I’d be properly bitching up a storm about it. But no. It’s goddamn glorious. The band conceived Monster as a continuation of Planet, and even picked up the numbering of its interstitial segues from where the prior album left off. I’ll not subject you to lengthy gushing, it’s streaming in its entirety on Entertainment Weekly’s web site if you want to judge for yourself. I recommend listening from beginning to end in a sitting if you can swing the time. (I should add that they’re on tour now, and later in the summer they’re doing dates with another neglected ‘90s favorite of mine, Hum, about which I’m kinda headsploding.)
 

 
One of Failure’s most illuminating, and just flat out most fun albums wasn’t even a Failure album, but a 1995 time-killer project. Waiting for Fantastic Planet to be released and unable to tour, Failure prime movers Ken Andrews and Greg Edwards teamed up with ex-Tool bassist Paul D’Amour and keyboardist Chris Pitman (Tool, Blinker the Star, and I shit you not Guns N’ Roses) to record a superb album of transformative ‘70s and ‘80s cover songs under the name Replicants, a winking Blade Runner reference. What could have just been a goof turned out as an extremely strong work in its own right, and their eponymous album is not just my favorite covers album, it’s been one of my favorite albums period for 20 years.

A contemporary article in the UCLA Daily Bruin of all places provided a look at the band’s formation and intent:

Ken Andrews, lead singer of the Replicants, has been stuck in a “Warehousy loft-type space” for about a year. Tired of the white-walled complex and its “big air conditioning ducts,” he wants to be out and on the road. But the tortured musician must continue mixing and producing in his “utilitarian” studio.

“I’m really sick of it. I really want to play live now,” complains Andrews. However, the current band member of Failure and frontman for his side project the Replicants manages to remain laid back and positive. And with good reason. The Replicants have just released a self-titled album of covers of tunes ranging from the Beatles to the Cars. Snatching countless enthusiastic reviews, the project includes the talents of one Tool member (Paul D’Amour), one Eye In Triangle musician (Chris Pitman), and one other Failure member (Greg Edwards). And, once Andrews’ soon-to-be-released Failure album hits stores, he will be able to return to his beloved stage.

 

 

Strangely, a four-track demo tape of the haphazard group landed on a desk at Zoo Entertainment. Before they knew it, the Replicants were an official band with an offer to record an entire album of cover songs. “At that point, we had no idea what to do,” explains a baffled Andrews. “Everyone would just bring up songs and either we would all agree or we wouldn’t and I think everyone sort of got their one song that maybe other people didn’t want.” However, they could all agree on one thing: The Replicants would have their own musical freedom.

“We like doing the Replicants because we could do different versions of these songs in ways that Failure or Tool wouldn’t,” Andrews says. For instance, neither spawning ground for the creative forces of the Replicants would think to record Missing Persons’ “Destination Unknown” with an industrial/techno spin. Each song was dealt with individually, following no preconceived notion of the album’s overall sound. This system provided a good musical balance for Andrews and his associates.

Some of the transformations are huge (John Lennon’s “How Do You Sleep?”), some are closer to mere production-values updates (obligatory cover-band “Cinnamon Girl”), but pretty much every revamped tune on the CD has some kind of a tonal shift to the darker. One simple and actually sorta brilliant minor-key modulation imparts a wholly unexpected sense of dread to Replicants’ version of the Cars’ bouncy “Just What I Needed.” See if you ever unhear it.
 

 
More Replicants, after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Breaking into a large pharmaceutical company to steal drugs: The solo music of Yello’s Carlos Perón
06.25.2015
07:48 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
synthesizer
Yello
Carlos Perón


 
You know, I consider myself a pretty major Yello fan (”Bostich” is one of my all-time favorite songs), but I was unaware until recently that Carlos Perón, one of the two founding members of the band (along with Boris Blank; vocalist Dieter Meier was asked to join later) who left in 1983, has had a flourishing recording and soundtrack composing career ever since. Perón’s last album with Yello was You Gotta Say Yes to Another Excess, but he’d already been recording and releasing solo work prior to leaving the Swiss trio, as early as 1980.

American label Dark Entries is releasing a 4-track EP (vinyl only) by Carlos Perón, Dirty Songs, a collection of songs recorded between 1980 and 1986. The recordings were made with the core setup of an ARP 2600, Roland’s Drumatix, TB-303 and TR-808. “Nothing Is True; Everything Is Permitted (Instrumental)” recorded in 1984 was inspired by William S. Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. “Breaking In (Instrumental)”, from 1984, is a proto electronic body music number meets Chicago acid house (and featuring snare drums played by hand though an Ovaltine box). Originally featured on the soundtrack for a film called Die Schwarze Spinne, the song accompanied breaking into a large pharmaceutical company to steal drugs. On the B-side is “A Dirty Song (Instrumental)”, originally recorded in 1986 which uses one of the earliest Roland SH synthesizers, the SH-1 A, as a solo instrument. “Et” was recorded in 1980 on a 4-track and later and remixed to 8-tracks for Perón’s 1984 Frigorex EP.

All songs have been remastered for vinyl by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. You can listen to Dirty Songs below, courtesy of Dark Entries:
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘In the future everyone will be bisexual’—Alice Cooper, 1974


 
Man, the fuckin’ ‘70s… It’s no secret or surprise that teen magazines’ content started to skew a bit more adult in that decade, mirroring significantly more permissive times, but I was floored by the August, 1974 issue of SPEC, a sometimes quarterly, sometimes bimonthly, typically more pin-up heavy special publication of 16 Magazine. While 16 tended to keep details of teenybopper stars’ sexual lives obscured in favor of probing questions into Bobby Sherman’s favorite (sorry—FAVE, always fave) color or David Cassidy’s fave dessert, SPEC offered up a Grand Funk “Be Our Groupie” contest, a ridiculous shirtless crotch-shot centerfold of Rick Springfield, and an advice column addressing how to touch a guy if you want to turn him on, fittingly written by a gentleman named “Rod.”

And as if to prove that clickbait is nothing new, here’s what ultimately grabbed me:
 

 

OK, I was curious what I’d need to do to marry an Osmond, too…

It speaks volumes about values dissonance over the decades that that could be printed at all, let alone on the COVER of a magazine, let alone the cover of a magazine for junior high and high school girls. And not even JUST on the cover:
 

 

 
Sooooooo I’m still confused—is Alice Cooper or is he not a fag? We’ll have to refer to the ridiculous interview to find out:

SPEC: People say all kinds of things about you.
Alice: I know, I know.

SPEC: So what’s the story, Alice? Are you gay? Are you straight? Are you bisexual? Which?
Alice: Oh, I’m straight. I’m attracted only to members of the opposite sex—girls, that is.

SPEC: But you have a girl’s name, you wear all that make-up. Don’t you expect people to get the impression that you’re not straight?
Alice: Well, I have a girl’s name, but that’s kind of a goof. And lots of men who perform wear make-up—that’s a theatrical tradition, it has nothing to do with sexuality. And I do not attempt to look like a girl, in case you haven’t noticed. I’m not a transvestite—I don’t imitate women. Did you ever see a woman who looked the way I do? If one did, she’d really get called a weirdo!

SPEC: Nevertheless, we get all these letters saying “Alice s a fag!” I’m sure you get them too. How do you account for that?
Alice: To some extent, I must admit, we do encourage that impression. But I’m not a “fag”—you know I don’t like using that word because it’s insulting to gay people.

SPEC: What impression do you encourage?
Alice: Oh, you know, bizarre, kinky, neither-here-nor-there. But I never went out of my way to lead people to believe that I was actually homosexual. After all, make-up and costumes have nothing to do with homosexuality—the only pertinent behavior is whether or not you’re attracted to people of your own sex.

SPEC: I understand you’ve been criticized by people in the gay liberation movement for exploiting homosexuality and making fun of it.
Alice: I’m sorry they feel that way, but there are a lot of gay people who don’t mind what I do also. It’s all in fun, and it’s certainly not meant to be malicious in any way whatsoever.

 

 

SPEC: Don’t you think a lot of your fans want to believe that you’re gay?
Alice: Yes, I know they do. Isn’t it curious? They’ll read this interview, and they’ll say “Bull! We know he’s queer!” Nothing I could say or do could convince them that I’m not.

SPEC: Why do you think that is?
Alice: I figure it probably makes these kids feel far-out to think that they can dig a performer who’s supposedly gay. I think it’s groovy of them.

SPEC: Would you admit it if you were homosexual?
Alice: Of course, and I wouldn’t just admit it, as if it were something you’re supposed to conceal. I’d just be it. I’d be natural about it, and I don’t see where it would be very much different for me, except I’d be making it with men instead of women.

SPEC: Aren’t you even just a little bit bisexual?
Alice: You mean do I mostly like girls, but do I like boys sometimes? No, I only like girls, but if I could have chosen my own sexuality, I think I might have chosen to be bisexual.

SPEC: Why is that?
Alice: It would give me twice as many people to pick from!

SPEC: Do you really mean that?
Alice: Sure—I think in the future everyone will be bisexual. And everything would be so much simpler then—you’d just make love with anyone you liked, and it wouldn’t matter what sex they were, and maybe it also wouldn’t matter what color they were, or what age, or anything, except that you liked them.

That’s a way better chat than you were expecting, no? Me too. I’ve conducted a fair few interviews and I can’t imagine in a million years bluntly asking someone if he or she is gay, and Cooper handled that all really well—especially for 1974. It goes on for a bit longer, with a lot of silly, if period-appropriate, shockrocker gobbledygook about pansexuality as a panacea for social ills blah blah blah. What’s transcribed above is the worthy stuff.

Here’s some more rare ‘74 vintage Alice—a mimed version of the Billion Dollar Babies cut “Sick Things,” from a short-lived TV mystery series called The Snoop Sisters. They were actually NAMED “Snoop” AND they were snoops, you guys. Why did that not last?
 

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
‘Moe Gets Tied Up,’ Andy Warhol’s ultra-rare 1966 movie starring the Velvet Underground
06.25.2015
07:16 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Music

Tags:
Andy Warhol
Velvet Underground


 
A very, very seldom-seen Andy Warhol movie, called Moe Gets Tied Up or, alternatively, Moe in Bondage, is up on YouTube, and it has had a scant 89 views as I type. While this Velvet Underground footage is not quite as much fun as A Symphony of Sound, Warhol’s must-see film of a VU and Nico rehearsal jam—mainly since there’s no music in this one—boy, it sure is seldom encountered. Shot in 1966, it predates their once-despised, now-lionized debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico.

The “Moe” of the title is the Velvets’ drummer, Maureen Tucker, whose bandmates have tied her to a chair and are now hanging around nibbling on sandwiches and pieces of fruit. It is sure to disappoint the pain fetishists among you. Look at it this way: if you’d never heard “Venus in Furs,” this film might give you the impression that the Velvets’ sex kicks consisted not so much of S&M as benign neglect.

Very little information is available about this movie because so few people have seen it, but the 32-minute version below seems to be missing a large chunk. A Velvet Underground filmography claims that the original is “a two-reel set for double screen projection” and notes the existence of “35-minute unofficial video copies,” one of which is likely the source of this vid. When MoMA screened Moe Gets Tied Up in 2008, the Village Voice reported that it “begins with Lou Reed and Sterling Morrison tying Moe Tucker, quite inexpertly, to a chair.” Since Tucker is already tied up at the start of the video below, and since the Voice review gives the movie’s length as one hour and six minutes, I’m going to bet that this is roughly the movie’s second half. (Incidentally, the review says nothing about double screen projection.) The Voice writer, who is mysteriously identified in the byline as “Village Voice Contributor,” also complains that almost none of the movie’s dialogue is audible, so don’t blame the buzzing soundtrack of this bootleg if you can’t make out what Sterling Morrison is mumbling about sandwiches. If you really need to know what people were talking about at the Factory, you can always read a.

Now if someone could please upload Velvet Underground Tarot Cards...
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Little-known Lou Reed poem about ‘Janis, Jimi, and Me’ from 1971
06.24.2015
10:04 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Lou Reed
poetry


 
In the July 4, 1971, issue of Crawdaddy there appears a most curious article authored by Lou Reed, recently of the Velvet Underground, on the subject of spectacle. This poem appeared during one of the most interesting phases for Reed, after his departure from Velvet Underground but before his trip to London to record his first solo album with Rick Wakeman and Steve Howe, among others. Months before that solo album appeared on the horizon and having recently worked in his father’s accounting firm, in the spring of 1971 Reed might well have thought of himself as a “former” rock musician and more of a poet, or a hybrid of the two.

As a rock and roll musician, Reed, in the prose section of this Crawdaddy contribution, understandably isolates “spectacle” as the terrain dominated by big, famous rock groups with large-scale, expensive stage shows, what was surely the state of the art in spectacle at that moment. Is there any envy in these words, or more like an avant-garde artist’s insistence on the values of a smaller coterie?
 

Prancing and dancing, mincing and twisting, jerking and bumping and grinding to the incessant pounding, to the beat of the drums, as they say, and back to the burlesque houses and g-strings and fingers inserted in orifices, drugs ingested so the audience won’t miss a thing, the air thick with pot, the belly dancer with the snake round her spine, the carnavore guitar, the mountainous amps, the display of POWER, electrical power interplaying with the sinewy vibrations of the many-tentacled audience, writhing in collective spasms for the moment, waiting for the moment it will happen, and all will explode in a giant frenzy of shriek, howl and whistle, stomp, boot, clap and coo.

 
From this slightly contemptuous portrayal of big expensive showbiz (so very Greenwich Village of him), Reed then transitions to the question of what is the version of that spectacle scaled down to the level of the individual, rather than the group, and concludes that the natural representative of spectacle is ... the town drunk. Reed argues that the aimless patter of the dipsomaniac harks back to the oral tradition as embodied by The Iliad, and from there to the ballad as “a fine method of enlightening others and boring some, a situation which can only be termed successful when the person involved has been bodily ejected from the pub, hence, made a spectacle of himself.”

Tongue lodged firmly in cheek, Reed tells of a “ballad I found written on the men’s room wall of the Houston St. subway station,” which he claims to have memorized and intoned at “the Third Avenue Blarney Stone,” an act that caused him to be ejected from the premises. The title of that ballad is “There Are Devils Outside That Door.” Then, confusingly, Reed then switches from that song to a second “tasteless morsel” called “Janis, Jimi, and Me” that he discovered a “14-year-old derelict” singing in Tompkins Square Park. Reed insists that it should be “recited in a nasal, twanging monotone, preferably with the sounds of sniffing and o.d.ing supplied by a friend.”

The article ends with that ballad, a long one, with thirty verses, most of them quatrains, a poem with what appears to be two titles (both titles would fit the material equally well), a poem to which Reed assigns two different provenances (subway graffiti & the teenage derelict). Reed was working overtime to obscure his authorship of this bitter little piece of versification.

But here’s the strangest aspect of this bit of poetry: I can’t find the merest reference to it on the Internet, and that includes any reference to the Crawdaddy prose section, which is entitled “Spectacle and the Single You.” By “Google” I am also referring to plenty of full-length books about Reed and VU, of course, although that investigation is necessarily incomplete. If anyone out there is aware of this Reed composition, they’re doing an excellent job of concealing it. I couldn’t find any of the titles associated with this article in conjunction with Reed, and I also couldn’t find several of the lyrics when entered into Google as a string.

The poem itself is written in an “old-timey” mode, something akin to an Irish drinking song or a pirate shanty, or both. The poem, if it means anything, is about the perils of the local wastrel taking his or her gift for spectacle on the road in search of a wider audience, i.e. rock superstardom. The poem is about a blacksmith who joins “a minstrel show” and betrays his beloved Rosie with “that harlot Red Mary.” Eventually the poem segues to the subject of Woodstock—the spectacle to end all spectacles—and ends as a kind of joyous death dirge, complete with gongs being chimed (BONG), for the untimely demise of Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, who had died about a year before this poem saw publication.

What to make of it? Now, I’m completely ready to accept this as a Lou Reed composition. There’s only one detail that seems out of place, and that is the copyright credit after the poem, which reads, “Lyrics Reprinted with the Permission of Cowardly Lion Music.” Which is supposed to mean one of two things, that “Cowardly Lion Music” is a reference to Reed’s publishing company or that this song had appeared in a musical or something. Again, Google was no help.

It’s difficult for me to credit Lou Reed actually seeing Jimi and Janis with an un-jaundiced eye, but I wouldn’t have necessarily guessed that Reed would have written “Jesus” either, if all I knew about him was “Walk on the Wild Side” and “I’m Waiting for the Man.” The poem is in that old-timey register, which doesn’t seem all that Reed-ish, and its apparent valorization of Hendrix and Joplin is double-edged at a minimum.
 

Dear,
There is sanctity in my domain
that separates us from evil
If you cross the door no good will come
for outside there are devils.

I was a blacksmith years ago
I made the anvil ring
But since my Rosie up and died
niether of us sing.

My children went away long ago
to far and distant shores
leaving me to beg and steal
copper pennies from the whores.

Often when it rains out
I make a spot of tea
and concentrate on consequence
and how I left Rosie.

And seeing how you look so much
as she once did before
I thought that I would tell you
There are devils outside that door.

When I was but a smirky youth
I joined a minstrel show.
I covered my face with red paint
And told a joke or two.

I thought that I was quite the lad
but experience has shown
I was only made of wood while
castles require stone.

Rosie saw my failure, clown,
and loved me with it all.
A mother’s heart beat in her breast
as it does in women all.

So I opened up a smythe shop
and shoed the horses round
till sin came on silken heels
And took my Rosie down.

Her name was Mary, what a laugh
no Virgin Mary she.
Her perfume took my breath away
and liquor made me sing.

I did for her my minstrel prance
and even got a laugh.
But the joke was on me for that night of stealth
snuffed out my Rosie’s life.

My daughter, an apprentice seamstress,
was wandering through the snow
and hearing her dear father’s song did
peer through the window.

And Savage Grace please set me loose
the night that she did see
was her own father intimately intertwined
with that harlot Red Mary.

And I like drunken sailors do
the next morning had a head
and when I went unto my berth
I found my Rosie dead.

In her hand I found a note
Crushed to her still opened eyes.
In it she’d writ in letters big
“There are Devils Loose Outside”

So you see my dear
why I’ve brought you here
Please let an old man speak
For your eyes are clear
and you have no fear
and I am far too weak
to ask but only for one thing
and it will not take long,
let an old man spill his heart
out in a little song:

“Oh fairy maid and garden rose
I’ve loved you for a time
and if I send for Black McGhee we’ll
have a good old time.

“The waters flow and dancers strut
for camaraderie now
so let’s get off to the beerman’s pub
and laugh and drink and love.

“Oh I’m a friend of Black McGhee
and he’s a friend of me
and both of us have had our sport
of life without money.

“And though our wives be black as death
we’ll always have our times,
so here’s to sport and here’s to love
and here’s to my friend McGhee.”

So you see my girl it isn’t long
to have your portrait done
I do it with my eyes and words for
of paint I do have none

But my mind has of late come obsessed
all stories sound the same.
Rain to me seems winterish
and sunshine lays no claim.

McGhee is gond, my children too
and Rosie far too soon.
while age creeps round me like a withering vine
that makes me seem the prune.

So I hope that you will understand
when I say as but before,
be careful when you leave this room
there are Devils outside that Door.

* * *

I am no longer afraid of dying
I am no more afraid of death
for I know what does await me
when I take that final step.

I will go to Woodstock Heaven
and listen to the guitars there,
all the singers who are waiting
to serenade me in the sky.

Ohhh Janis, Jimi, and me
will dance among the moonbeams and the clouds,
and no one there will ever hassle us,
it’ll just be Janis (BONG) Jimi (BONG) and me.

I no longer listen to the radio,
my favorite music is no more,
all the musicians are in the Woodstock Choir
following the manic depressives law.

There is Frankie Lymon in his Golden robe
and Brian Jones is on the flute
and Baby Huey is softly playing
in a beautiful silver suit.

Oh I’m going to Woodstock Heaven
and dance among the moonbeams and the clouds.
And no one there will ever hassle us,
It’ll just be Janis (BONG) Jimi (BONG) and me.
BONG . . . . . .BONG . . . . .BONG

Janis, Jimi, And Me: Lyrics Reprinted with the Permission of Cowardly Lion Music) (BMI). C. 1971

 
Here’s the page from Crawdaddy; you can see a larger version by clicking on this image.
 

 
I found this issue of Crawdaddy at the Rock Hall’s Library and Archives, which is located at the Tommy LiPuma Center for Creative Arts on Cuyahoga Community College’s Metropolitan Campus in Cleveland, Ohio. It is free and open to the public. Visit their website for more information.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Woman transforms her face into Frank Zappa, Iggy Pop, Keith Richards and more


Lucia Pittalis before transformation

As RuPaul once said, “You’re born naked and the rest is contour and shading.” And Italian portrait painter and artist Lucia Pittalis proves that point with these insane makeup transformations. Lucia uses her own face as a canvas and turns herself into these iconic characters that are simply fan-fucking-tastic. She nailed Keith Richards, IMO.

If you want to see more of her work, you can follow Lucia on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Frank Zappa
 


Iggy Pop
 

Bette Davis
 

Keith Richards
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Watch ‘Cucumber Castle,’ the Bee Gees’ goofy 1970 TV movie
06.24.2015
07:15 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Television

Tags:
Bee Gees


 

Once upon a time, a king lay dying. His loyal subjects were overcome with grief—and non-payment of wages.

So begins Cucumber Castle, a 1970 BBC film and an oddity in the Bee Gees’ oeuvre. Of course, if the Bee Gees are known for their involvement in a film, it’s Saturday Night Fever, the ‘70s disco movie that became so popular as to pose an existential threat to rock ‘n’ roll itself, but all the really good Bee Gees fans know about their original psychedelic period. If you need to be brought up to speed, this can be done briefly: the early Bee Gees’ four albums from 1967’s Bee Gees 1st to 1969’s masterpiece Odessa are indispensable psych-pop GEMS with which no fan of that era’s rock would be unfamiliar in a better world. I feel like having a home without Bee Gees 1st is as incomplete as having a home without a dog or cat. Sure, it can be done, but why would you want that?
 

 
After Odessa, the band experienced a falling-out. Vocalist Robin Gibb (RIP 2012) left the band for a brief period, leaving the group as a trio of his twin brother Maurice (RIP 2003), elder brother Barry, and drummer Colin Petersen, who himself would be soon out the door. The remaining band’s next endeavor was Cucumber Castle, an affably goofy, mildly Pythonesque musical film about a dying king (TW3 comic Frankie Howerd hamming it up through the damn roof) dividing his kingdom between his sons Frederick and Marmaduke (Barry and Maurice Gibb) into the Kingdom of Cucumber and the Kingdom of Jelly, over which spoils the brothers immediately proceed to quarrel. The Gibbs aren’t half bad comedic actors in a stilted, they’re-not-really-actors way, and the film includes appearances by Bind Faith, Spike Milligan, Vincent Price, and Lulu (who was married to Maurice at the time), with abundant uncredited cameos whom I won’t name, as it’s more fun to watch the hour-long special and do your own trainspotting. And of course there are shloads of musical numbers—though it should be mentioned here that I know of nobody who considers the Cucumber Castle LP essential.

The Brothers Gibb played host to Hit Parader’s Margaret Robin during Cucumber Castle‘s filming, and Barry offered this take, published in that mag’s April, 1970 issue.

The concept was of a Laugh-In type of show, but set roughly in Tudor England. The way that a lot of the sketches worked out was that the punch-line was in the sudden contrast between the Tudor times and a confrontation with the 20th Century.

We are very pleased with the results we have seen so far, but we know that the real art of making a comedy film is in the editing, and we are getting the best professional help that we can in that department.

It was when we began to really work on the story that we both realized that the outline of the story contained so many parables relating to reality. So it worked out that several of the sketches—for us, anyway—have a meaning above and beyond the obvious joke.

 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds
‘Idea’: Incredible pop-psychedelic Bee Gees TV special, 1968

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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