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‘The Game is Over’: Previously unreleased Ministry song from 1983
04:52 am


Al Jourgensen

In late 1983, after completing the With Sympathy tour, Ministry hunkered down at Pierce Arrow Recorders in Evanston, IL, to write and demo new music. Four songs were tracked in what would be just about the last gasp of the band’s first incarnation. The band’s singer/guitarist/keyboardist Alain Jourgensen, keyboardist Robert Roberts, and drummer Stephen George were joined by touring bassist Brad Hallen to work on the songs “The Game Is Over,” “Let’s Be Happy,” “Same Old Scene,” and “Wait,” none of which were ever officially released.

Which may have been because the band was about to change dramatically. Founding keyboardist John Davis was already out, and Roberts would exit for good soon after these sessions, and while George and Hallen would remain on board in diminishing capacities, appearing last in a remix of song that made its way onto the Twitch LP, Jourgensen’s increasing interest in the danceable industrial music typified by Cabaret Voltaire was steering Ministry away from the dark synthpop they’d been pursuing, and towards the much more aggressive sound of the band’s lasting fame. But from what one can hear of those four dead-end demos, Ministry may well have evolved satisfyingly even without such a major sea change. Here’s “The Game is Over.” It’s never been heard before—I couldn’t even find it bootlegged, and believe me, I hunted. It’s of a piece with all of Ministry’s early work, but, and perhaps this is due to the prominence given bassist Hallen, it feels more organic and flexible than With Sympathy, and more in line with the band’s live recordings from that era.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘How the Rules of Evidence Handcuff the Piano Man’ and more from the Billy Joel law conference
09:11 am


Billy Joel

Billy Joel surveys the damage done by a rock-throwing hoodlum
If you’re like me, you can’t hear the Billy Joel song “All for Leyna” without wondering whether Leyna would have benefited a solid grounding in tort and accident law. And Brenda and Eddie, from “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant,” who “got a divorce as a matter of course,” who represented them in that legal matter? Well,  wonder no more.

In Central Islip, NY, legal scholars from all over North America gathered to honor Long Island’s foremost bard, Billy Joel with academia’s most esteemed form of celebration: the academic conference. Yes, that’s right: the Touro Law Center hosted a two-day conference called “Billy Joel and the Law” at the Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center on March 22 and 23.

The program promised the following: “Speakers at the conference will include judges, lawyers, law professors, and music scholars, who will discuss ways in which Billy Joel’s work relates to American law, society, and culture.” The brainy festivities included “a wine and cheese reception with musical performances related to the educational content of the program.” No, in case you were wondering, Billy Joel did not supply the music for the conference. 

There were the usual paper titles that played on Joel’s song and album titles, such as “Downeaster Alexa: a Perfect Storm of Regulations,” “Behind the Nylon Curtain: Billy Joel, the Reagan Revolution, and the Unraveling of the ‘Me’ Generation,” and “The Minstrel Testifies or How the Rules of Evidence Handcuff the Piano Man.” How did they neglect to do anything with “You May Be Right.” And not a single mention of “Lawyers in Love”!! (Oh wait, that’s Jackson Browne.)

Here’s my best guess as to what Billy Joel would have looked like had he not become a rock and roll troubadour but instead had decided to become a law professor:

via Lawyers, Guns, and Money

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
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Are you a musician? Here’s how your art is killing you
07:48 am


Dianna T. Kenny

A fascinating series of articles has appeared on The Conversation, probing mortality among musicians. All written by the University of Sydney’s Dianna T. Kenny, the first compared the life expectancies of musicians and non-musicians (quelle surprise, musicians lost), and the second examined and debunked the “27 Club” phenomenon. But the third piece is a doozy—it breaks down musician deaths not just by age but by gender and genre. The article is worth reading—all three are, and actually, if you’re not reading The Conversation yet, just get on that already—but this chart sums it up very nicely for the tl;dr crowd:

Notice how there’s very little difference in life expectancy between genders among musicians, as compared to the notably higher life expectancy for women in the non-musician population? Also, can you help but see that HUGE spike in women’s favor correlating with musicians in that nebulously-named “World Music” genre? I can’t even imagine why that might be. I also noted with interest that blues, jazz, and country musicians tended to outlive non-musicians.

One could make all kinds of cracks about how the more socially-disreputable genres punk, metal, and rap/hip-hop have the lowest life expectancies, but recall that those genres haven’t really been around long enough to have all that many elders. Blues, jazz and country have existed long enough to see plenty of their practitioners die of natural causes before metal was even a thing, so that right there could tend to skew the chart in favor of longevity for musicians in the NPR genres. But then, once you get to the cause of death breakdown, you see that, utterly depressingly, homicide accounts for more than half of the deaths in the black genres rap and hip-hop, while the more typically white punks and metalheads’ tendency to die young is attributable to accidents and suicides. And unsurprisingly, musicians in the more venerable genres tend to be taken by diseases of aging.

This is a morbid thought, but this post is about morbidity, so I’m rolling with it: as I’m chiefly a fan of rock music, I was a little disappointed that those ultimate rock death clichés, heroin overdose and small aircraft crash, weren’t given their own categories. In Kenny’s study, overdoses and vehicular incidents both fall under “accident,” and excessive drugs and drink could definitely explain the high number of punk and metal musicians in that category. But back in 1995, in the wake of the Kurt Cobain suicide, that great fount of underground smartassery Motorbooty magazine published “The Rock Death 200,” which similarly (and obviously somewhat cheekily) broke down 200 dead rockers and proto-rockers by age and cause of death. I can’t find it online, and I don’t feel like digging through my basement for it (if memory serves, it was issue #8, and had a blue cover, happy hunting). HOWEVER, the good Christian folk at Dial-the-Truth Ministries have published a list with very similar data, likely as a caution to young members of the flock who may find themselves tempted into sin, debauchery, gambling, ouija boards, organic foods, lots and lots of super-crazy hot nonreproductive fornication, and primetime soaps by The Devil’s Music. Their data collection (and web design) seems to come to a screeching halt in 1998, but interestingly, heart attacks edged out drug overdoses, and cancer took out more rock musicians than plane crashes. Also, drowning > AIDS > fire > choking.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Original Woodstock ads show how much of a slipshod operation the whole thing was
07:16 am

Pop Culture


Below you can see an original ad for the Woodstock Music & Art Festival from the August 1969 issue of Ramparts Magazine and it’s riddled with bad information including the very location of the festival itself right around a month before the whole thing was supposed to go down. Woodstock, of course, opened on August 15th of that year.

Along with the major problem of not being right about where concert goers were supposed to show up, there were also some pretty significant omissions in the ad, showing that the list of performers wasn’t quite locked down a month in advance either. Performers not listed in the ad that actually did play Woodstock include Melanie, Bert Sommer, Quill, John Sebastian, Sly and the Family Stone, Country Joe and the Fish, Ten Years After, Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Sha Na Na.

As is stated in the ad, the original location for the festival was to be in Wallkill, NY.  It was supposed to take place on the property of one Howard Mills who owned approximately 600 acres of land in the area that he eventually hoped to turn into an industrial complex. This according to the book Young Men with Unlimited Capital from 1974 written by Joel Rosenmen, John Roberts and Robert Pilpel, all planners, organizers and financiers for the event, not necessarily in that order. The book is an at times hilarious tome about the nail biting, often poorly thought-out process that led to the festival and the events on and after the legendary weekend. According to the book, Wallkill’s zoning board approved the festival on April 18th, 1969 but as the event grew nearer, the citizenry of Wallkill became increasingly concerned about the safety of their fair town if such an event were to take place. According to Young Men with Unlimited Capital, at the previously mentioned April zoning board meeting, Woodstock’s promoters were presented it as kind of an arts fair that would maybe draw forty or fifty thousand people if the event exceeded all attendance expectations. When asked what kind of music would be played, Joel Rosenmen supposedly responded with:

“I guess the best way to describe it would be, uh, folk. Basically folk. A little swing, too, maybe. A little jazz. You know.”

By July of 1969, however, some of the good people of Wallkill began to feel that they had essentially been duped, and, freaking out about the potential influx of drugs, the volume of the music, nudity and generally unsavory hippie behavior of all sorts, backed out on the deal.

Here’s a horizontal version of the above ad with the not-so-insignificant addition of Jimi Hendrix on the bill, but still listing the wrong location.

It’s amazing that the earlier ad didn’t even show that Hendrix was playing. Huge bonus if you already bought your eighteen-dollar weekend pass!
Musicians in both ads who didn’t end up playing include The Jeff Beck Group, Iron Butterfly and Moody Blues, so you were out of luck if you were planning on seeing any of those acts, I guess. The order of appearances in the ad is all out of whack as well, but the ad does state very clearly “All programs subject to change without notice.” 

A “progress report” from Young Men with Unlimited Capital shows that a month before Woodstock things were indeed far from being in ship shape:

Progress (?) Report: July 15

Land: None

Staff: Same as June, give or take twenty people. Fifty construction workers redundant

Ticket Receipts: $537,123

Talent Bookings: Shaky

Attorneys: One in New York City for Woodstock Ventures; one in New York City for film and record contracts; on in Wallkill for suing; one in New York City for political influence; one in Liberty, New York for land acquisition

Portable Toilets: Another additional 500 ordered, for a total of 2,000

Money Spent: $481,519


After losing the Wallkill site so close to go-time and suddenly facing the prospect of having to hand out $500,000 in refunds, the event organizers were understandably panicked. But, once word got out that the deal in Wallkill had fallen through and people got wind of the kind of money involved, calls started rolling in with offers of land. John Roberts says in Young Men with Unlimited Capital that Max Yasgur, owner of the farm where the Woodstock Festival actually took place offered up his land without first being approached and by July 16th, they basically had their solid location in place again. 

Not surprisingly, Joel Rosenman and John Roberts created a new ad once the final location was established and plastered it, according to Roberts, “for a week straight in every newspaper we could find.”  The new ad depicted the people of Wallkill as reactionary, armed hayseeds and promised a lawsuit at a later date in retaliation for the last-minute change of plans.
Woodstock Wallkill Ad

Posted by Jason Schafer | Discussion
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Peter Hook to perform full Joy Division catalogue, marking the 35th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death
06:27 am


Joy Division
Ian Curtis
Peter Hook

Some amazing news via NME:

Peter Hook has announced that he will perform the complete works of Joy Division at a one-off concert at Christ Church, Macclesfield in May. The date marks exactly 35 years since the death of the band’s singer Ian Curtis.

Hook and his current band, The Light, will play every single song the band recorded in chronological order, including both studio albums ‘Unknown Pleasures’ and ‘Closer’. They will also play the posthumously released ‘Still’ as well as B-sides and rarities.

Looking ahead to the Macclesfield show, Hook added: “For the 35th anniversary I decided that to do a proper celebration we need to play all the music. It will be every song that Joy Division ever wrote and recorded in one go. It’s a bit of a marathon! It’s 48 songs, comprising all the singles, B-sides, and album tracks. You know what – there’s not a duff one in it! I wish I could say that about New Order!”


Macclesfield is the town south of Manchester, England from whence Joy Division singer Ian Curtis originally hailed, and where he kept his residence at the time of his 1980 suicide—DM recently reported on efforts to preserve Curtis’ home. Hook’s concert will be titled “So This is Permanence,” a phrase lifted from the first line of the song “Twenty Four Hours,” from the LP Closer, and which was also the title of a rather lovely book published last year, which collects Curtis’ writings.

Tickets go on sale Wednesday, March 25th at 9:00 AM, presumably GMT. Best of luck.

Enjoy this short but informative and quite good BBC segment on Curtis and Joy Division.

Bonus! Here’s Peter Hook giving a lesson on how to play JD’s signature song, “Love Will Tear us Apart.”

Much gratitude to Valerie Johnson for this find.

Previously on Dangerous Minds
The ‘rare’ ‘David Bowie’ Joy Division cover that hoaxed the internet
You knew this would happen: The inevitable Worf-Joy Division mash-up t-shirt
Ian Curtis’ original handwritten lyrics for ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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‘The Decline of Western Civilization’ trilogy FINALLY gets a DVD/Blu-ray release!

Penelope Spheeris’ brilliant Decline of Western Civilization is an infamous document of the early ‘80s LA punk scene featuring interviews and mind-blowing performance footage of The Germs, X, Fear, Circle Jerks, and Black Flag, among others. Her follow-up, Decline of Western Civilization Part II - The Metal Years, follows the mid-‘80s LA glam metal scene and features Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Ozzy Osbourne, Dave Mustaine and Paul Stanley along with some amusing lesser-known hair-bands. It also famously features one of the most depressing interviews ever caught on film - a brutally pathetic poolside chat with alcoholic WASP guitarist, Chris Holmes. The third film in Spheeris’ trilogy, The Decline of Western Civilization III, is lesser known, but a fascinating look at the crusty squatter-punk scene of the mid-‘90s featuring musical performances by Final Conflict, Litmus Green, Naked Aggression and The Resistance.

Spheeris’ Decline of Western Civilization trilogy has been at the top of countless fans most-wanted DVD lists forever. I’ve personally been trying to replace my well-worn VHS copy since the dawn of the DVD format. Over the years there have been many hints that the films would get a proper digital video release. As far back as the late 90’s there was a website promising an “upcoming” release of the trilogy. As these films, particularly the first installment, have been at the tip-top of my must-have-list, I’ve followed the progress with an eagle eye. Spheeris has dropped hints on her Facebook page for years—at times promising a deluxe set loaded with extras. There were rumors that Black Flag’s notoriously difficult Greg Ginn was holding up the process. Though those rumors are unconfirmed and were never actually put forward by the Spheeris camp, it’s well known that Ginn has prevented film maker Dave Markey from releasing the Black Flag documentary Reality 86’d, as well as forcing him to remove the Black Flag footage from Markey’s other film The Slog Movie—which is itself sort of a low-rent version of the first Decline movie.

A lot of punk and metalhead DVD prayers got answered when, without fanfare or a press-release, a box set of the trilogy showed up for preorder on Amazon.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Discussion
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Flesh For Lulu’s Nick Marsh has aggressive cancer and his family is seeking financial help
02:50 pm


Nick Marsh
Flesh For Lulu

Flesh For Lulu were among the ‘80s bands, along with the likes of the Cure and Love & Rockets, who brought an accessible take on the Batcave aesthetic nearest to mainstream success in that decade. They hit a peak in 1987, when their singles “Siamese Twist” and “Postcards from Paradise” became college radio and 120 Minutes mainstays, and “I Go Crazy” was featured prominently on the soundtrack of John Hughes’ teen drama Some Kind of Wonderful. By 1992, they’d gone the way that most bands of that ilk had gone by 1992, citing “musical differences” as the reason for their breakup. Their singer Nick Marsh continued to make music in bands like Gigantic and Urban Voodoo Machine, and he re-formed Flesh For Lulu in 2013.

But that reunion has to wait. In March of 2014, Marsh learned that he had throat cancer. He underwent surgery, radiation, and chemo, but the cancer returned last month, necessitating further surgery, further radiation, further chemo. As he is no longer able to earn his living as a singer for obvious reasons, his family has established a GoFundMe page to offset his medical costs and living expenses—he’s the father of two young girls, and evidently the family’s straits have become so dire that they’re facing eviction. If you’re able and inclined to help out, here’s the link.

Here’s Marsh in much better days, fronting Flesh For Lulu in 1985.

Thanks to Annie Zaleski for letting us know about this.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Discussion
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Jimi Hendrix’s ‘Foxy Lady’ revealed

Detail from inside gatefold of Electric Ladyland record sleeve

Lithofayne Pridgon has led a truly extraordinary life. She was the lover and muse of some of the greatest musical icons of our time – Jimi Hendrix, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, “Fever” singer Little Willie John and Eddie Hazel, visionary guitarist of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic family tree; she was the best friend of Etta James, hung out with James Brown and Ike Turner and lived with Sly Stone in Bel Air at the height of his There’s a Riot Going On drugs-and-guns craziness. She was also signed on the spot to Atlantic Records by Ahmet Ertegun for an album that was recorded with Shuggie Otis, but never released. But it’s Hendrix with whom she is inextricably tied, becoming his lover in 1963 in his pre-fame Harlem years through till his death in 1970.

Dangerous Minds pal Chris Campion met Lithofayne Pridgon for a very rare interview and argues in the Guardian that, she was the inspiration for not only “Foxy Lady,” but a number of other of songs on Are You Experienced:

The profound influence she had on his life has been so sorely overlooked, it’s likely his love for Lithofayne inspired other songs, too. Certainly, a number of cuts on his debut album, Are You Experienced, seem to have been written with her in mind: the love he clearly felt was written in the stars, destined to last for eternity, of which he sings in “Love or Confusion”; the desperate plea for his devotion to be recognised in “Can You See Me” in which he wails, “Can you hear me cryin’ all over town?” (“If he couldn’t find me,” Lithofayne recalls, “everybody in Harlem knew he was looking for me.” She would visit her usual haunts and people would tell her, “Girl, Jimi, was by here, you better go.”) “And ‘Fire’, in which he determinedly edges every rival suitor for the subject of his affections out of the way.


Lithofayne and Jimi experience the food at Wells Chicken and Waffles in Harlem with Albert and Arthur Allen

The piece includes not only the revelation that she first met Hendrix at an orgy:

That day, she had gone out to run an errand for her mother and, on her way back home with the change, had stopped by one of Fat Jack’s apartments. She asked one of his men who was inside.“This little musician cat,” he told her. “I said, ‘Is he a virgin?’ He said, ‘No, but you’ll like him. He’s your type.’ He just knew what I liked.

“I liked skinny, raw-boned, over-fucked, underfed-looking guys,” she laughs. Hendrix, she says, was “my type.”

... but also that she may in fact be the great granddaughter of Henry Ford:

She was raised, for the most part, in a more well-to-do section of the city called Crosstown, by her paternal grandmother, said to be the illegitimate child of Henry Ford who kept a winter home in Georgia, several counties north. “Old man Henry Ford is supposed to have been my great granddaddy,” Lithofayne says. Although the Ford lineage was never definitely proven, her grandmother had a sizeable portfolio of land in Moultrie for reasons that couldn’t be explained — she earned money by taking in washing at a dollar a load.


With James Brown
Lithofayne Pridgon is said to be writing a memoir of her life in Harlem during the fifties and sixties. You can see her starting just before the one-minute mark in the trailer for the 1973 Jimi Hendrix documentary (look out for a pre-glam early 70s Lou Reed):

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Blood, Guts and Cocaine: Ivan Kral tells us what it was like to write, record and tour with Iggy Pop
07:11 am


Iggy Pop
Ivan Kral

Ivan and Iggy, 1979
Ivan and Iggy, 1979 (courtesy of Ivan Kral)

Ivan Kral sure has led an interesting life. The Prague-born songwriter and musician had his first brush with fame at the age of sixteen when a track by his band Saze broke the top ten in Czechoslovakia. But just as the song was breaking, his family relocated to New York City. In the early ‘70s, Ivan played in glam bands and, for a brief period, was part of Shaun Cassidy’s backing group. In 1974, he played guitar with an embryonic version of Blondie before joining the Patti Smith Group. As part of Smith’s unit, Ivan played guitar, bass and keyboards, appearing on all of her early records (including the seminal Horses ), and was involved in writing a number of her songs (he co-wrote “Dancing Barefoot,” one of Smith’s pivotal tunes). He’s also a documentarian, having had the foresight to capture Iggy and the Stooges on film, as well as the burgeoning punk scene happening at CBGB’s in the mid-‘70s, which became the documentary, Blank Generation.
The Patti Smith Group, 1975
Ivan, center, with the Patti Smith Group, 1975

The Patti Smith Group ended in 1979 when Smith began her self-imposed retirement, which left Ivan looking for a gig. He hooked up with Iggy Pop in time to play on the Ig’s 1980 album, Soldier, and subsequently became Iggy’s right-hand man, touring and writing a number of songs with the Godfather of Punk. Eight of those co-writes appeared on Party (1981), and while Ivan came up with some catchy and interesting tunes, Iggy’s lyrics often left much to be desired, and the production generally felt lifeless. If you’re in the mood for it, Party has its fair share of goofy charm, but it’s hard to imagine it appealing to fans, critics, or the general public at that time—and it ultimately didn’t. Party was a disappointment both critically and commercially, with Ivan quitting Iggy’s band before the year was out.
Ivan is a rock star in his native land (there’s even a mid-‘90s documentary about him, with another in the works), and has released ten solo records in the Czech Republic; the most recent is called Always. For some time now he has resided in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is somewhat ironic, as the college town is also the birthplace of the Stooges.

The following interview was conducted via email. A big THANKS to Ivan for letting us use some photos from his personal archive.

How did you meet Iggy?:

Ivan: There was an unknown blonde guy in a yoga pose—naked in my living room. He gets up, extends a hand and says, “I’m Iggy Pop and I’m producing your next album,” for Luger, my 1973 glam band. I was thinking, “Yeah sure, he’s just another nobody with big plans.” After I saw the Stooges I realized that I was the nobody with big plans.

So, I went to The Stooges show at the Academy of Music in New York City. He owned the crowd. Fans were begging to be humiliated by him. He’d spit and they’d thank him. Never saw anything like it. I was filming with my “movie camera” (no sound) anticipating his next move so I wouldn’t waste film. Every second counted. I’ve posted a few clips on YouTube.

More from Ivan, plus a live Iggy video, after the jump

Posted by Bart Bealmear | Discussion
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The world will never run out of ‘newly uncovered’ David Bowie videos
02:57 pm


David Bowie

One of the questions we used to get asked a lot in the early days of this blog is if we thought we’d ever “run out of stuff” to feature here. After nearly six years if the seemingly bottomless pit of newly uncovered David Bowie videos alone is anything to go by, the answer is a definitive “No.”

Or perhaps I should write “Non” as these two er… newly uncovered clips, via the David Bowie News website, come from France originally. French photojournalist Philippe Auliac first shot Bowie at Victoria Station in London in 1976, the infamous incident (or non-incident as the case seemed to be) where the thin white duke was supposedly doing a fascist salute standing up in a car à la der Fuhrer. Since then he’s shot Bowie several times over the decades and he was kind enough to share his stash of Bowie vids with the world, which haven’t been seen since they were originally aired on French television in the late 1970s. (Two are embedded here, there’s a third, an interview at the Plaza hotel in New York here).

For your chance to win a print of one of his classic Bowie shots signed by Philippe, (as seen in his David Bowie - Passenger book) click over to David Bowie News and answer this question: On what date was Philippe’s shot of Bowie at Victoria Station taken?

After the jump, two ‘newly uncovered’ David Bowie videos

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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