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Heavy Metal Kids: The missing link between glam rock, punk, cult TV and William Burroughs
10.11.2016
10:00 am

Topics:
Music
Pop Culture
Punk
Television

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And here we go!
 

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

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

Topics:
Advertising
Heroes
Pop Culture

Tags:

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

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

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

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

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

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Evil little F*ckers: Hilarious spoof covers for ‘Bad Little Children’s Books’
09.30.2016
09:32 am

Topics:
Amusing
Books
Pop Culture

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This is something every home should have Bad Little Children’s Books—-a hilarious anthology of 120 fake kids’ book covers features such devilish titles as Polly Paints a Penis, Don’t Lick the Stripper Pole, Even Girls Fart, Rockets and Missiles of the Islamic State and Uncle Creepy. Those of a certain age may recognize the original source material for these parodies which come from more innocent times—I certainly owned a few of ‘em when I was a tot.

The covers are credited to the fictional artist Arthur C. Gackley who was supposedly born in 1923 and was “the creator of many children’s books, none of which were ever actually published.”

Mysterious and hermetic by nature, he spent his life living and working in a small New England village, but was likely washed out to sea or fell penniless into an abandoned wishing well shaft in the winter of 1978. No body was ever found, but unfortunately his book parodies were.

You can order your copy of Bad Little Children’s Books here and follow the life of evil genius Arthur C. Gackley on Facebook.
 
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More of Arthur C. Gackley’s hilarious book covers, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Dude spent $26,000 to look like David Beckham (SPOILER ALERT: Well, you’ll see…)
09.28.2016
10:33 am

Topics:
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
This guy right here, yep this one, named Jack Johnson, has spent around $26,000 (so far) to look like his idol David Beckham. Where to start, right? I don’t want to be cruel to the guy but he looks nothing like David Beckham. Nothing! Who the hell was his plastic surgeon? That quack should be tarred and feathered for taking Johnson’s money!

Sad part is, Johnson plans to spend another $40,000 to achieve Beckham’s “exact look.”

You can watch the whole depressing interview below:

 
via Esquire

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Corey Feldman isn’t the only actor with a ‘terrible band’
09.26.2016
09:14 am

Topics:
Movies
Music
Pop Culture

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Corey Feldman has been all over the news in the last couple of weeks, mostly for a musical performance of the song “Go For It” on The Today Show that many (who probably have not been actually following his musical career for decades) described as “bizarre.” It was really par-for-the-course stuff from Feldman, who has been trying hard but not quite hitting the mark for a long time. His attempts at trying to break through as a singer have been parodied since the 1990s, most famously with the “Josh Fenderman” bit on Mr. Show, which if you haven’t seen yet… watch it right now:
 

 
Feldman took a lot of heat for his “Ascension Millenium” video from three years ago, which was widely panned across the Internet, but to be honest, aside from the video itself which is cringe-worthy, I thought the song was kind of a jam.

Of course all of the recent discussion of Feldman’s musical career has led to renewed speculation as to what exactly happened to Feldman during his childhood in Hollywood. He has been very open, both in interviews and in his autobiography Coreyography: A Memoir, about being molested by show-business executives, but has thusfar declined to name his abusers.

This past week Radar Online ran a mega-viral piece which claimed that they would be revealing the “kingpin” of the child sex ring that had ensnared Feldman and his Lost Boys co-star Corey Haim, but so far all the public’s gotten has been a whole lot of “we know who this is and we might tell you soon.”

The situation with child stars like Feldman and the abuse they suffer is utterly heartbreaking, but the fact that Feldman has been so upfront about his molestation perhaps offers some insight into why something like “Go For It” even exists in the first place. An outlet is an outlet and those outlets may not always be pretty or make much sense to anyone but the artist himself.

All of this talk about Feldman’s music recently led me down the rabbithole of examining other actors with dubious musical careers, and eventually brought me to my new favorite Tumblr page: Actors’ Awful Bands.

After the jump, a selection of my favorite “awful bands” from Actors’ Awful Bands…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Everything you always wanted to know about the Krampus but were afraid to ask
09.23.2016
09:45 am

Topics:
Books
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
Last year here at Dangerous Minds we declared that Krampus had hit the American mainstream, and just a couple of weeks ago we told you “fuck the elf on the shelf, here’s Krampus in the corner.” As we begin to see the department stores trot out their Christmas wares, we are reminded that Krampustime will soon be upon us.

If you’re looking for a Krampusnacht gift for someone special, we have a suggestion:

Feral House has just published the definitive work on Krampus and assorted other dark pagan Yuletide terrors. The exhaustively-researched The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil by Al Ridenour explores the origins of the Krampus myth, its recent popularization in the United States, the various celebrations and traditions associated with the creature, as well as similar European Christmas beasts.
 

Click here to order this title via Amazon. 
 
Krampus, for anyone out of the loop, is a horned, anthropomorphic, demon-like creature who, according to Alpine folklore, is a companion to Saint Nicholas. He acts as the yin to Santa’s yang—punishing the naughty children while Saint Nicholas rewards the good. Krampus provides the dark balance to Saint Nicholas’ light. Traditionally, Krampus is thought to beat naughty children with sticks. Children that have been extra bad are treated more severely: they are stuffed into bags and thrown into the river. It’s really quite a brilliant legend: if your kids are misbehaving, scare the shit out of them with the threat of being flogged and tortured by the Christmas devil!
 

 
The Krampus and the Old, Dark Christmas: Roots and Rebirth of the Folkloric Devil is jam-packed with information on the history and meaning of the Krampus as well as scads of photos and art prints. The dozens of photos of celebrants of myriad regional-variant Yuletide festivals in bizarre and terrifying costumes is worth the price of admission alone. Award-winning designer Sean Tejaratchi has laid everything out gorgeously, augmenting Ridenour’s thoughtful analysis. I really can’t recommend this highly enough. If you have any interest in the subject, this book is simply a must-have.
 
More Krampus after the jumpus…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
Holy Mashup Bat-fans!: What if Batman and The Joker got genetically spliced?
09.21.2016
10:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Pop Culture

Tags:

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Picture if you will a world where superheroes are genetically spliced with super villains to create freakish hybrids who deal justice and terror out in equal measure. A world where no good deed goes unpunished, and no evil unrewarded. Welcome to the world of BATMAN™: Rogues Gallery….

DC Comics Variant Play Arts KAI are producing a series of Batman action figures mashed-up with nefarious villains from the caped crusader’s rogues’ gallery. Earlier this year, a Batman and Two-Face combo was announced that featured a charred and scorched Harvey Dent (aka the coin flipping Two-Face) melded with Gotham’s finest crime fighter. Now a sneak peak of the next Batman mashup has just been released, this time featuring the Dark Knight and his most evil adversary—the Joker.

The Batman-Joker figure is dressed in a “tattered straitjacket is erratically adorned with dynamite, a flower, cans of pepper spray, and an alarm clock.”

Combined with his playing cards and a pistol with a flag as interchangeable parts, this ensemble shows the character’s madness, oozing from within.

The pale skin and bloodshot eyes accentuate his eerie quality, while his trademark purple and green lend dark shadows to his coloring. The bat mark roughly painted on his chest can almost be construed as a laughing mouth. It seems to make a mockery of Batman, offering a glimpse into how The Joker’s twisted mind ticks.

This collectible Batman/Joker figure goes on sale March 2017. The Batman/Two-FaceSquare-Enix.
 
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More Batman-Joker hi-jinks, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Classic covers from ‘The Monster Times’
09.21.2016
09:08 am

Topics:
Art
Movies
Pop Culture

Tags:


 
I couldn’t begin to tell you why The Monster Times failed in only four years. It seems like a great idea—a sci-fi/horror/comics tabloid newspaper with poster quality cover art? It’s not like horror fans are so small a niche, but the paper launched in New York in 1972 as a bi-weekly, then soon went monthly, then sporadic, until its quiet death in the summer of 1976, when an all-poster issue failed to revive its fortunes.

You can hardly blame it staffers for its demise—it was helmed by people who knew their business, veterans of The East Village Other, Famous Monsters of Filmland, and Screw. The result was a snarky, streetwise variation on Famous Monsters with deep coverage. But clearly the mag’s cult wasn’t enough to sustain it. Fangoria announced plans to revive the publication in 2009, but those plans were cancelled, along with plans to republish the original issues online. There’s a terrific and obsessively detailed rundown of the magazine’s history on Zombo’s Closet of Horror because of course there is. Back issues are findable on Amazon, mostly in the $15-$30 range, but can be had on eBay for under $10.
 

 

 
More Monster Times after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
You can buy two locks of Marilyn Monroe’s hair. Seriously.
09.20.2016
08:53 am

Topics:
Movies
Pop Culture
Superstar

Tags:


 
Few actors have come to symbolize glamor qua glamor for generations like Marilyn Monroe. Her icon status is unassailable, and was already pretty much cemented during her lifetime—basically a female Elvis; her pop culture penetration is such that one needn’t have even seen any of her movies to have her most iconic moments embedded in one’s consciousness. And if you seriously haven’t seen any of her movies, good lord, see The Misfits NOW. Her tragic suicide (drama addicted tinfoil hatters and Norman Mailer would say murder) by barbiturate overdose elevated her status—revelations of her troubled private life made her as relatable as Elvis’ hayseed roots made him—making her both the sex symbol that the studio system cultivated and a martyr to that status, a badge for the culture industry’s still ongoing reduction of women to objects of desire, leaving some of its most talented figures to struggle for respect in a milieu where the only currency is fuckability.

Due to her deification, trade in her image remains a brisk business over a half century after her death. The celebrated portraits of her by Andy Warhol adorn practically every consumer product that can be emblazoned with an image. And Monroe memorabilia need have only a tenuous connection to the icon to make waves—the replica of her Seven Year Itch dress worn by Willem Dafoe in a Snickers ad is expected to fetch thousands in Julien’s “Icons and Idols” auction this weekend.

But some memorabilia is significantly more, um, personal.
 
 
Lots 724 and 725 in the aforementioned auction are actual locks of Monroe’s hair. Their provenance is fairly compelling, if a bit creeperish—they came from the collection of one Frieda Hull, one of a group of six New Yorkers who basically made a hobby of stalking Monroe after her move there in the mid-‘50s. An astonishingly good sport about this, Monroe often posed for photos with and eventually befriended the group, known as “The Monroe Six,” even inviting them to the home she shared with her then-husband, playwright Arthur Miller. Can you even imagine that happening today? A clique of persistently invasive superfans would seem more likely to be assailed by goons than invited to the country for a picnic.

A lock of Marilyn Monroe’s blonde hair given to “Monroe Six” member Frieda Hull by one of Monroe’s hairdressers. The “Monroe Six” was a group of young fans based in New York City that frequently found out where Monroe would be through the press or by staking out her residence. The group became well known to Monroe who frequently posed for and with them in photographs.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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