FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
CRASSCAR: the mashup no one asked for
09.22.2017
07:48 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Let’s see… things I am and am not a fan of: The UK anarcho-punk band Crass? Yes, I am a fan. NASCAR? No, but my parents seem to like it quite a bit. The fetishization of the Confederate flag? Nope, not a fan. Mashups? Not generally, but...

I guess every now and then there’s a mashup that is so exceedingly clever or well-done that it gets a pass based on those merits.

The CRASSCAR shirt is not one of those.

Still, though… I have to admit, this thing did make me chuckle. Quite a bit, actually. It’s like “who is the audience for this?”

This shirt with the Crass logo done in a confederate flag style with the stencil lettering (based on lyrics from Crass’ “Reality Asylum”) “Earnhardt died for his sins, not mine” is certain to piss off both racing fans AND peacepunks alike.

I guess that’s why I sort of love it. It’s just obnoxiously wrong on every level.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
09.22.2017
07:48 am
|
Their gender has everything (and nothing whatsoever) to do with what made the Slits so great
09.20.2017
03:13 pm
Topics:
Tags:


Typical girls?

Everyone has something—that ONE THING—from their youth that they wish they had kept and still had today. Mine? The most regrettable thing I’ve ever loved and lost? A nearly lifesize cardboard cutout “standee” advertising the Cut album by the Slits. All three of them, covered in mud and at least 4 1/2 feet tall. In pristine condition, too. Yep, I used to own that. I can psychically feel the envy of several of you reading this. I bought it for eight pounds at the Portobello Market sometime in 1983 and carefully dragged it home via the London underground back to my squat on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton. I loved that thing. It was unquestionably my prized possession at the time. Problem was, when I moved to New York in late 1984, there was no practical way to get it across the Atlantic that wouldn’t have been prohibitively expensive to then 19-year-old me without bending it and fucking it up too much. It was too fragile and unwieldy for anything other than fine art shipping, so I ruefully gave it to a friend who was more than happy to eagerly take it off my hands.

I’m bummed out just thinking of it. It sucked then and it still sucks today, some 33 years later. Don’t think I haven’t scoured eBay for years searching for another! Can you imagine how much such a museum-level artifact of punk would go for today? SHIT!
 

 
I bought Cut when it first came out and I saw it filed in the “import” section of the local mall’s Musicland store (the same bin where I’d also discover X-Ray Spex, Henry Cow, Peter Hammill and Tubular Bells). Its punky reggae sound was very, very appealing to me straight off the bat. I’d read about the Slits, in books like Caroline Coon’s 1988 and in the few issues of Melody Maker that made their way to my rust belt hometown, but they were probably the last of the formative punk bands to put a record out. When I did finally hear them, Cut was a bolt from the blue to my teenaged, rock-crazed brain and the Slits more than lived up to the larger-than-life idea that I already I had of them. It sounded exactly like I expected it to, in other words. The Slits were, to my young ears, amongst the most sonically “far out” and experimental of the post-punk groups, in the same category as Public Image Ltd. (who were my #1 favorite band) in terms of the astonishing originality of their music.

For the Slits’ sound was like none other, a perfectly melded hybrid of playfully loopy, almost itchy punk, dub-drenched reggae and Afro-pop with the riotous white-Rastafarian-cum-St. Trinian’s-girl-run-amok front woman in the form of Ari Up (who was all of fourteen when she joined the group). Truly the unruly, inspired, nearly uncategorizable MUSIC of the Slits deserves a better place in the history of modern music than it’s been accorded thus far. Of course, their gender has everything and nothing whatsoever to do with what made the Slits so great.
 

 
One reason for this disconnect between their by now historically well-established reputation as formative feminist icons of British punk and how amazing and special their actual music was, is clearly the fact of the relative unobtainability of Cut‘s arguably better follow-up Return of the Giant Slits. That album was never released in America at all. Additionally, for the better part of 26 years it was only ever available from 2004 on as a pricey Japanese import CD until it was finally reissued in 2008 by Blast First. Sadly, to this day few people know the album, including no doubt many, if not most, of the people who profess to love its more roughly-hewn predecessor.

Return of the Giant Slits represented a huge leap forward for the group who were joined on drums and percussion by Bruce Smith of the Pop Group. Aside from Ari’s almost childishly obnoxious vocalizing, there was precious little in common with their first album. The shambolic, off-kilter feel of Cut was replaced by a lighter, more nimble sound. Viv Albertine’s guitar sound went from being (perfectly) plodding to scratchy, skittish, skipping, full of uniquely oblique angles and wonderfully complemented by Smith’s complex Afrobeat-inspired percussion and Tessa Pollitt’s rubbery bass. Much credit is deserved by the noted British multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford whose tripped-out, atmospheric sound effects, melodica and trombone contributions—he’s all over the album—elevate the proceedings to another level entirely. Once I was able to get my hands on some “real” (Jamaican) dub, I was disappointed that it seldom lived up to the psychedelic standards set for me by Return of the Giant Slits.

Take a moment, won’t you, and LOUDLY play “Earthbeat,” the incredible lead off track from Return of the Giant Slits:
 

 
Much more Slits after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
09.20.2017
03:13 pm
|
Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!

dcgvgj
Here’s a drink ticket—enjoy the post!

“If you’ve been standing here for more than ten minutes you’re not coming in” announces Richard Boch in a stern but cute, almost teenaged stoner way. Don’t get me wrong, he means it. This was how “normal people” were greeted much of the time at the door of the Mudd Club (and many other ultra hip clubs in New York City at the time). This made getting in a huge badge of honor and being turned away a major disgrace. Imagine riding on THAT possibility just to pay to go into a nightclub? An anonymous “sniper” refused entrance once even hit Boch with a dead pigeon from a few yards away and sped off in a taxi cab!

Back then these normal people showing up at Manhattan nightclubs were mostly referred to as the “bridge and tunnel” crowd (Queens, Jersey, Brooklyn) a term not heard much these days, but once heard hundreds of times every night in NYC clubs. Some were 9-5ers, some wealthy disco-types expecting to stroll in on the doorman’s view of their Rolex or hot girlfriend. These regular folks were basically told to cool their heels or fuck off while an 18-year-old kid like me dressed to the hilt in what may have looked to them like idiotic rags, parted the seas and strolled in like I was Mick Jagger. This was not Studio 54 as they would find out soon enough. What it was, though, was a trip into known and unknown galaxies of hip culture throughout history, like a living, breathing museum/funhouse/drug den/concert hall/discotheque, mixed with nitroglycerine and LSD and thrown into a blender to create the unknown. The future. THE NOW!

The Mudd Club was almost literally unbelievable. Inmates running the asylum on an outer space pirate ship. This vessel was founded, funded and schemed by Steve Mass, who was on every side of the street all at once. When I first met Steve, he was roommates with Brian Eno and got that input, but he STILL drove me out to my parents’ apartment in Queens to help pull my record collection from under my bed, my parents shrugging their shoulders until reading about us a year later in the New York Times, thereby making it “Okay.” But really he was always very curious, constantly grilling me, getting inside my head. I once told him I thought he should round off the corners and ceiling of the Mudd Club like a giant cave and have live bats flying around the club. He actually considered it! He did this with certain other kids, rock stars, Warhol superstars, models, designers, Hollywood royalty, junkies, freaks and lord knows who else. We all had a bit of our heart and soul in that place.
 
sdfghjk
Mudd Club owner Steve Mass. Photo by Kate Simon

The above mentioned Richard Boch is the author of a incredibly well-written new book from Feral House titled The Mudd Club. Boch was the main doorman there and the book is his autobiography or a coming of age story told in pretty much the aftermath of the glorious Sixties during the truly, in retrospect, harsh, dark, real version of what was hoped for, but lost in that previous decade. Richard’s story is all of our stories, those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to have grown up or wound up in New York City’s grimy punk/art/drugged musical and historical mish-mosh. It was the Velvet Underground’s songs come to life after waiting a decade for the world to catch up to it, or crumble to its level.
 
To quote Richard:

I’ve always referred to the Mudd Club as the scene of the crime, always meant as a term of endearment. It was the night that never ended: the day before never happened and the day after, a long way off. There was nothing else like it and I wound up right in the middle. I thought I could handle it and for a while, I did.

 
lkjlkjlkj
Author Richard Boch. Photo by Alan Kleinberg
 
Boch was given marching orders orders early on to avoid bloated seventies superstars and the limo crowd. On one of his first nights of work he was faced with a huge, loud, and very sweaty Meatloaf. “Definitely not something I wanted to get close to, physically or musically,” Boch says, and ignored him. My first ever DJ gig was early on at the Mudd Club and I was told told by Steve Mass to do things like play Alvin and The Chipmunks records when it got a bit crowded, to “make everyone uncomfortable,” including myself. Of course I had the record. I also gouged a 45 with scissors insuring the record would skip horribly and then pretend that it wasn’t happening. Just long enough to get the asylum to freak out a little bit.

Later this stuff went out the window but it was quite a formative experience. Humor filtered through even to the most deadly serious moments there. The Mudd Club was a place where twenty people could literally have had twenty different experiences on the same night during the same hour as there was just so much happening on different mental/pharmaceutical levels and different floor levels. Everywhere you turned there was someone amazing. From the way I had grown up, seeing Andy Warhol, John Waters, David Bowie and the Ramones within a twenty minute span was “my” Studio 54. Watching Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while standing next to Jean-Michel Basquiat, seeing the Soft Boys, girl groups like the Angels and the Crystals, Frank Zappa, Bauhaus, Nico, the Dead Boys, Captain Beefheart, John Cale, a Radley Metzger film presented by Sleazoid Express or an impromptu freakout by Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, well this was my dream come to life!

My dream hasn’t changed in 40 years. I’m still in awe that it happened. And in the middle of all that I was allowed to put on my own demented conceptual events with friends (“The Puberty Ball,” etc.) and be a regular DJ. The people I came to know in the punk world who wanted more found it at the Mudd Club. Our mad obsession with the Sixties, especially the Warhol/New York sixties, informed much of what we did, and at the same time the Warhol Factory itself became more corporate. The Superstars were by then getting older and pushed out, but they were looking for more themselves, and they were looking to us to inform them, making for some extremely insane morality and immorality plays coming to life before our eyes. Mudd had the pull of what the press called “downtown,” and for the downtown types, well our voices were about to be heard loud and clear.
 
jhgfd
David Bowie and Dee Dee Ramone. Photo by Bobby Grossman
 
jhfndbf
Howie Pyro deejaying at Mudd

Richard Boch understood all this, and was also an artist himself so he knew who everyone in the art world was, as well as all the new punk stars and celebutantes, no wavers, new wavers, culture vulture gods and the ones who would become gods themselves in a year or so. In the book he talks about being nervous about starting working there but man, he was the one for the job. In the pages of The Mudd Club, Boch’s quite candid about everything you’d want to know (gossip but not mean gossip: sex, drugs, more drugs, and getting home at ten AM, having done every drug and a half dozen people along the way—normal stuff like that). It reads in one, two, or three page sections, my favorite kind of book. You can put it down in ten-minute intervals or read it in any order you want, IF you can put it down at all. I have literally read certain sections backwards for 40-50 pages while looking for something and didn’t really notice. It made me laugh out loud, and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s kind of like “Please Kill Me, the Day After,” though it’s not an oral history as such, as it is written from Richard Boch’s point of view, but it has the same immediate anecdotal feel.
 
kuyhd
‘TV Party’ at Mudd. Photo by Bob Gruen
 
The club’s benevolent benefactor, Steve Mass, was responsible for making this incredible witches brew keep bubbling and kept the happenings happening. He was willing to do anything, just for the sake of doing it. Steve originally owned an ambulance service. For my 19th birthday they had a huge party for me on the second floor of the Mudd Club. Since Steve had medical connections, and since we were ALL junkies (well, a good 85% of us were), he furnished a massive cake with dozens of syringes with the plungers & needles removed so they could put the candles in the open syringes. This of course turned into a massive cake fight with the participants looking like the Little Rascals (with pinned eyes). Steve was always down for this sorta stuff. As for the main floor, the bands, writers and performers that I saw in a single month’s time was staggering! More than some people see in a lifetime.
 
From the book:

January 1979. The Cramps freaked out The Mudd Club with a loud Psychobilly grind that included such hits as “Human Fly” and “Surfin’ Bird.” A few months later, the “big names” started to appear…

He goes on to say:

The legendary Sam and Dave got onstage a few weekends later, and it was the first time on my watch that I got to see the real deal. By late summer, Talking Heads took the stage while Marianne Faithful, X, Lene Lovich, and the Brides of Funkenstein waited in the wings.

There were so many great performances: Scheduled, impromptu, logical and out of left field. The locals and the regulars were the staple and the stable and performed as part of the White Street experience. They included everyone you could imagine and some you never could. John Cale, Chris Spedding, Judy Nylon and Nico, John Lurie and Philip Glass were just a few. Writers and poets such as William S. Burroughs, Max Blagg, Cookie Mueller, and “Teenage Jesus” Lydia Lunch all wound up on the Mudd Club stage. The talent pool was so deep and occasionally dark that even Hollywood Babylon‘s Luciferian auteur Kenneth Anger got Involved.

Steve’s willingness and generosity along with his guarded enthusiasm offered support to a local community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Together with Diego (Cortez)’ and Anya (Phillip’s) short-lived but “dominating” spirit, the Mudd Club became an instant happening, a free-for-all with No Wave orchestration and very few rules.

Diego described the Mudd Club as “a container, a vessel, but certainly not the only one in town.” What made the place unique was its blank-canvas emptiness. When the space filled up, IT happened and everyone wanted to be a part. A living, breathing work of art, it was beautiful and way off center, a slice of golden time.

I was lucky, and soaked it all in.

 
dfkujnbd
Nico playing her wheezing harmonium. Photo by Ebet Roberts

All of us who got to be there were lucky. This was a timeless world of it’s own. A world that could be compared to any and all magical artistic movements, scenes or spaces. Dada. Warhol’s Factory, the Beats in NY and SF, Surrealism, etc.—times, places, people all endlessly written about as there’s just so much to say. Everyone involved had a unique experience, true to themselves. This wasn’t just a nightclub, it was so much more. It almost seemed like a private place where, on the best nights, people’s lives and fantasies were put on display and the public was allowed to watch. The public who just came to do coke and dance (as we all did) but who accidentally got touched by a bizarre and wonderful world that lived in the shadows of the city then, usually just brushing against them like a ghost in the night. Whether they even noticed or not, well, who cares?

This first book on the subject (I guarantee it will not be the last) is Richard Boch’s own experience, peppered with those of us who he interviewed for the reminders. This book is about his eyes opening, his chain-wielding power stance, his blowjobs, his drinks, his drugs, all of which are plentiful. It includes a little of most of us, the people we loved, the ones we lost, the games we played, and the love we shared of each other and our mutual history. Still though, there are a million stories in the Mudd’s microcosm of the naked city, this is just one of them.

And what a glorious place to start: right at the front door.
 
ljkhgdbhfnjg
 

The trailer for the book
 
More Mudd Club after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Howie Pyro
|
09.19.2017
02:47 pm
|
Rare concert photos of Blondie, Zappa, Iggy, Fugazi and more, from the Smithsonian’s new collection


 
In December 2015, the Smithsonian Institution began an ambitious crowdsourced history of rock ’n’ roll photography, calling on music fans to contribute their amateur and pro photos, launching the web site rockandroll.si.edu as a one-stop for accepting and displaying shooters’ submissions. One of the project’s organizers, Bill Bentley, was quoted in Billboard:

We talked about how it could be completely far-reaching in terms of those allowed to contribute, and hopefully help expose all kinds of musicians and periods. There really are no boundaries in the possibilities. I’d like to help spread all styles of music to those who visit the site, and show just how all-encompassing the history of what all these incredible artists have created over the years. What better way than for people to share their visual experiences, no matter on what level, to the world at large.

The project, sadly, is now closed to new submissions, but it’s reached a milestone in the publication of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen, authored by Bentley. The book is a pretty great cull of the best the collection had to offer, full of photos rarely or never seen by the public, chronologically arranged, and dating back to the dawn of the rock era. Some of them are real jaw-droppers, like the concert shot of Richie Valens taken hours before his death, Otis Redding drenched in sweat at the Whiskey a Go Go, Sly Stone looking like a goddamn superhero at the Aragon Ballroom in 1974. From Bentley’s introduction:

Although the sheer breadth of the offerings was overwhelming, that fact only underlined the importance of an organizational strategy. The publisher sorted through the submissions, categorizing them by performer and date to create a complete historical timeline of rock and roll. Approximately three hundred photographs are included in the following narrative, many of them by amateurs whose enthusiasm and passion for their subjects are here presented to the public for the first time. The balance of the photos were taken by professional “lens whisperers,” whose shots were selected to flesh out this overview of rock and roll. The results, spanning six decades, aim for neither encyclopedic authority nor comprehensive finality, but rather an index of supreme influence.

Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen isn’t due until late in October, but the Smithsonian have been very kind in allowing Dangerous Minds to share some of these images with you today. Clicking an image will spawn an enlargement.
 

Blondie at CBGB, New York City, 1976. Photo Roberta Bayley /Smithsonian Books
 

The Clash at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, September 19, 1979. Photo Catherine Vanaria /Smithsonian Books
 

Frank Zappa at Maple Pavilion, Stanford University, CA, November 19, 1977. Photo Gary Kieth Morgan /Smithsonian Books
 
Many more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
09.18.2017
11:00 am
|
The Illuminati of rock and roll: Remembering Pat Fear, a real-life Robert Anton Wilson character

sadfxae
 
It was recently the birthday of one of my lifelong best friends, Bill Bartell (1961-2013)

Bill aka “Pat Fear” was a walking, talking anomaly, a living Robert Anton Wilson conspiracy theory, a wisecracking character out of a Firesign Theatre sketch, a Discordian trickster imp of the perverse. His credit card even said “The Illuminati” under his name (for real, I swear!). Bill also went by the names “Kixx”; “Sitting Bill”; “Pat ‘Slowhand’ Fear”; “Billy Jo Gun Rack,” etc., etc., and these are just the ones that he used on records! I can’t even imagine the secret pseudonyms he used “off stage.” I also can’t actually believe that he is not still alive. It seems like some kind of shitty cosmic joke. The world that doesn’t get to know Bill is a sad world.

Bill did so much for our culture, mostly by ridiculing it. He was a super mega ultra fan of so many disconnected things. He lived to tear down so many idols. His band White Flag was formed originally solely just to piss off Black Flag (one of his favorite bands). Bill pissed many people off, which was his life’s mission or so it seemed.
 
dcvbfknjl
 
He was just SO good at it!
 
xcfghvdtf
 
Bill’s side project, but really his life’s work as it was so open-ended was a grouping called Tater Totz. This project dealt with Bill’s obsessions. As it grew, many people from his obsessions wound up on Tater Totz records. Who? Man, so many! Always Redd Kross of course, but also members of the Runaways, Germs/Nirvana, Partridge Family, Sonic Youth, Lovedolls, Tesco Vee, El Vez, The Zeros, The Posies, Jimmy McNichol (!!??!!), Hole, Sator, Starz, Zeros, Melvins, Shonen Knife, Go-Go’s, Adolescents, Pandoras, Roman Coppola, Circle Jerks, Frightwig, Chemical People, Sin 34/Painted Willie, myself and just about everyone else who came into Bill’s orbit. The main focus of Tater Totz was Bill’s Yoko Ono obsession, followed closely by his interest in Os Mutantes, the Beatles, Blue Oyster Cult, even a mashup of John Lennon and Queen. Their greatest moment, in my opinion, was when they showed up at a Beatlefest convention and did all Yoko Ono songs, driving the Beatle nerds to violence and riot! They literally chased them out of the building and down the street like the villagers did to poor Frankenstein’s monster! Part of this is on YouTube and can be seen here on Dangerous Minds (link at bottom of this post). Bill, of course, immediately put it out as a double seven-inch bootleg EP called Live Hate at Beatlefest, one of the best titles ever, obviously.
 
vcghdkbj
 
Bill Bartell also single-handedly turned the entire world onto Os Mutantes, a bizarre Brazilian band from the 60s whose first LP his sister, an exchange student there, brought back to him in the Sixties. Bill went around throughout the 80s with a Walkman with Os Mutantes on it and plopped the headphones on to everyone he met.

This is in fact, how I met him.
 
bbkgf
 
He also did this to his buddy Kurt Cobain who, when he got famous, and toured in Brazil, went on the news and asked where Os Mutantes were, and said that his friend Bill who “has a mustache” told him about them. He then held up a drawing he did of Bill. This, from the then biggest rock star in the world! Os Mutantes, who had broken up for decades have publicly stated that their resurgence was totally due to Bill and they came from Brazil on their own dime to play at his memorial in LA.
 
More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Howie Pyro
|
09.13.2017
11:06 am
|
‘The KKK Took My Baby Away’: The Ramones on ‘The Tomorrow Show,’ 1981
09.12.2017
08:45 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Tom Snyder’s late-night talkfest The Tomorrow Show was one of the more reliable sources of stimulating programming in the 1970s and early 80s. Snyder was a lanky Midwesterner with an emphatic speaking style and a certain fearlessness about presenting off-kilter content on TV. When John Lennon and the Clash appeared on the show in 1975 and 1981, respectively, the result was frankly riveting television. It didn’t always click to that extent, such as the Ramones’ visit to the Tomorrow studio, primarily because Snyder himself was on vacation, with regular guest host Kelly Lange stepping in.

Lange seems like a perfectly nice lady but in all honesty she didn’t really make much sense as a guest host for a show that highlighted the “provocative” so strongly, and she was certainly not a very good choice to interview the Ramones! The Ramones were supporting Pleasant Dreams and they were firmly in their permanent state of disappointment in terms of generating sales after the Phil Spector-produced End of the Century, which was widely interpreted as a move to shake things up.  Pleasant Dreams features at least one stone-cold Ramones classic, in “The KKK Took My Baby Away,” but the sales didn’t live up to expectations.

The Ramones’ segment on The Tomorrow Show starts with a rendition of “We Want the Airwaves,” after which we get a few minutes of fairly innocuous chitchat. After the conversation the Ramones re-take the stage and play “I Wanna Be Sedated” and “The KKK Took My Baby Away.”

According to Marky in his book Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone, the band didn’t care too much that they hadn’t gotten Snyder himself for the interview:
 

We liked The Tomorrow Show because an interview with Tom was not standard fare.

Tom sat you down like a guest in his own living room and plunged headfirst into your situation like a half-journalist/half-shrink. If three million or four million people happened to be watching, so be it. He laughed hard, he scoffed hard, and he set the bar for a good interview right around the bar for good sex—nothing short of sheer exhaustion was acceptable. Once Dan Aykroyd of Saturday Night Live had captured the manic flap of the head and arms in his brilliant impression, Tom Snyder was permanently etched into the brain of everyone who stayed up past eleven thirty.

The official name of The Tomorrow Show was Tomorrow with Tom Snyder, but that applied to tomorrow, not today. Tom was out, so for our afternoon taping we were getting the substitute host, Kelly Lange. Lange had done the news with Snyder out in Los Angeles and was a fairly regular stand-in, but she was no Tom Snyder. We didn’t care. We were happy to get a national spot.

 
Sensitive Joey, however, may not have been able to shrug it off so easily. According to Joey’s brother Mickey Leigh in his book I Slept with Joey Ramone: A Punk Rock Family Memoir, Joey said of the appearance, “We waited all these years to come on The Tomorrow Show and meet Tom Snyder, and we find out he was on vacation. Tom doesn’t even show up!”

One of the best things in this clip is the tight close-up of Marky’s nervously bobbing Chuck Taylor—if you watch you’ll see what I mean.
 
Watch the video after the jump….....

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
09.12.2017
08:45 am
|
Sammy Hagar’s influence on the early Clash
09.08.2017
07:50 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
With a nickname like “the Red Rocker” and a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, could the Clash have mistaken Sammy Hagar for a left-wing militant? No. But by the time David Lee Roth dismissed the Clash as too serious for rock and roll, the man who would succeed him in Van Halen had already left his mark on the punk group, like a time-traveling vandal.

Writer Greil Marcus heard some of the Clash’s second album, Give ‘Em Enough Rope, in the studio, and he was disappointed by Sandy Pearlman’s production of the finished record. Not only was it thin, but Pearlman had neutered the best song to cover up its debt to Sammy Hagar, Marcus wrote:

Mick Jones had picked up the central, explosive guitar riff of “Safe European Home,” the album’s strongest song, from the live version of Sammy Hagar’s “I’ve Done Everything for You,” on the radio constantly as the band worked in San Francisco. Pearlman erased the riff from the final master, fearing it would sound like a cheap cop, and thus erased the voice of the tune.

The riff may have been erased, but the resemblance between the two songs is unmistakable, and can never be unheard.

Keep reading after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
09.08.2017
07:50 am
|
Ex-Strangler Hugh Cornwell has an internet radio show about film history and movie music


 
Hugh Cornwell, who was once the lead singer and guitarist in the Stranglers, has a new internet radio show devoted to movies and their music. You wouldn’t know it from his most famous song about Hollywood, but Hugh loves the moving pictures.

MrDeMilleFM is Cornwell’s second internet radio venture dedicated to film. (The interviews he did with Debbie Harry and Brian Eno for the first one, the now-defunct Sound Trax FM, have vanished along with their former home, but Cornwell says they will return in time.)

Where else could you hear John Cooper Clarke set up the themes from Johnny Guitar and Vera Cruz? Only on the half-hour special on the career of onetime Universal City mayor Ernest Borgnine the punk poet guest-hosted for MrDeMilleFM, you lucky bum! Cornwell himself has hosted ten shows so far, among them affectionate looks at the careers of Lee Marvin (whose delivery on “Wand’rin’ Star” inspired JJ Burnel’s on the Stranglers’ “Thrown Away,” incidentally) and the Marx Brothers (whose “I’m Against It” preceded the Ramones’, of course).

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
08.31.2017
09:06 am
|
‘Starry Night’: Music from the wonderful (and criminally overlooked) Chican@ punk band The Brat
08.15.2017
09:21 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
The influence of Mexican-American musicians on L.A. punk is undeniable thanks to key bands like the Zeros, Plugz, Bags, Stains, Suicidal Tendencies, Los Crudos et al sporting either partly or entirely Chicano/a lineups, but the full story really has yet to be told. That’s partly due to a schism in the L.A. scene—bands from East L.A. really didn’t get to participate much. In a segregated and cliquey city, East L.A. bands weren’t typically prioritized by a scene centered in the more affluent West Side areas where all the clubs were located.

But as ALWAYS happens when a sufficiently motivated creative scene is stifled or confined, a vibrant DIY ethos emerged. In 1980, East L.A. venue The Vex began supplementing a thriving gymnasiums-and-backyards gig circuit, and a creative community grew, a community that included the Boyle Heights band The Brat. Formed in 1979 and fronted by vocalist Teresa Covarrubias, the band purveyed an irresistible catchy, poppy, sound that was underpinned with punk aggression, politically conscious lyrics, and three-chords-and-a-cloud-of-dust arrangements. They were championed by Plugz/Cruzados main man Tito Larriva, who in 1980 released their 5-song E.P Attitudes on his Fatima label. They also released, on the 1983 Los Angelinos: The Eastside Renaissance compilation, a song called “The Wolf,” which sounds for all the world like an inspiration for Concrete Blonde’s indelible “Still in Hollywood” riff.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
08.15.2017
09:21 am
|
‘English Boys’: Debbie Harry and Chris Stein visit the BBC children’s show ‘Swap Shop,’ 1979
08.10.2017
09:12 am
Topics:
Tags:


Photo by Lynn Goldsmith (via Morrison Hotel)
 
Blondie is, per Kirsty Young, “the most successful American band ever in the UK.” In December of ‘79, having just topped the chart yet again with Eat to the Beat, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein paid a visit to the BBC’s Saturday morning kids’ show Swap Shop—apparently a rival of Tiswas whose full legal name was Multi-Coloured Swap Shop—where guests offered swag to lucky contestants who wrote in with the correct answer to a trivia question. Some of the dry goods on this episode come from the recently completed “rock and roll comedy” Roadie, in which Blondie’s co-stars were Meat Loaf, Alice Cooper, Roy Orbison and Art Carney.

During the best parts of the episode, Chris and Debbie press phones to their ears as the tiny, halting voices of English schoolchildren blurt out questions and wishes for a happy Christmas:

Ian Rutledge: I wanted to ask Debbie, did she participate in any sports?

Beverly Chinnick: Um, Debbie, who designs your clothes, and um, do you choose them?

Samantha Jarrett: Um, um, Debbie, did you name your group after your hair?

Paulette Baker: Can I ask Debbie a question? Was her hair always that fair color, or was it brown like the other members of her group?

Because the proceedings are so sweet, the mention of the disgraced TV host Jimmy Savile, who was revealed to have been a serial rapist of children shortly after his death, is startling. Brace yourself. (Savile does not appear on the show, though the gross likeness of his gross hair does.)

If Wikipedia is right, BBC wiped its archival tape of this episode in the late eighties. Three cheers for home recording.
 
Watch after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
08.10.2017
09:12 am
|
Page 1 of 130  1 2 3 >  Last ›