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Raw Power: Rare 1973 footage of Iggy and the Stooges escapes right into your living room!
10.17.2016
12:41 pm

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Music
Punk

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Much has been said about musical miracle man Ivan Kral here on Dangerous Minds. Born in Czechoslovakia where rock ‘n’ roll was heavily frowned upon, Kral came to the United States with his diplomat parents in 1966. After the Warsaw Pact Invasion in 1968 he decided to stay here as a refugee.

Young Ivan bought a Super 8 film camera to keep a visual diary & filmed loads of rock n roll starting with Murray The K shows in the mid 60s. As time progressed this all around talented musician played with Blondie, Shaun Cassidy’s teen glam band Longfellow, a long and fabled stint with the Patti Smith Group, Iggy Pop and many many more. During the early years of the dawning of punk he was filming everything, much of which was edited into two underground films Night Lunch and Blank Generation which were shown all the time at Max’s Kansas City, and were the first glimpses my generation got of the early days of our favorite bands that we had just missed due to our age.
 
kdtghity
Ivan Kral and friends
 
Watching people in his films like the Dolls, Wayne County, Ramones, Television, Blondie, Talking Heads all before they made records (except the Dolls) and watching these films in the clubs they were filmed in while the same bands were still playing there was strange to say the least. I can’t imagine what seeing them now for the first time would feel like. These very primitive silent films were shot on crude black and white film stock that made the participants look like they could be from some decadent 1920’s Dada club, or from any time besides NOW. It’s wild to think that these films were just about two years old when I first saw them!

Of his most infamous short films that never made it to these two compilations is the footage Kral shot of Iggy and the Stooges in 1973 at the Academy Of Music on 14th Street in New York, where I spent much of my teenage life seeing middle-sized touring bands on their way up (or down). The infamous yearly Frank Zappa Halloween shows were held there before and after the name was changed to The Palladium, outside of which I can be seen as a kid making a fool of myself in the Zappa film Baby Snakes. Whenever The Stooges films have showed up they have been in black and white and very short, like under a minute.

My old friend, rock superfan and writer Madeline Bochario alerted me to this wild color footage with sound that just appeared on YouTube. A way better and quite lengthy version of the Ivan Kral footage.

Search and destroy, while you can, after the jump…

Posted by Howie Pyro | Leave a comment
Corrosion of Conformity member’s parents tell hilarious tale of legendary 1984 punk riot show
10.17.2016
09:41 am

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Music
Punk

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Corrosion of Conformity have been at it for over three decades now. Formed in 1982 as a hardcore punk band in Raleigh, North Carolina, within a couple of years of existence they came to the forefront, along with DRI and Suicidal Tendencies, of the burgeoning “crossover” scene, which was the initial melding of hardcore punk and thrash metal—two subcultures that were strangely previously at odds with one another in the early ‘80s.

COC has continued successfully, throughout the years, eventually settling in to a slower, heavier, bluesy-metal sound.

This week, COC will be playing the North Carolina State Fair, but it’s not the first time they have made an appearance on that stage, as The News and Observer reports:

Thirty-two years ago, Dorton was the site of a battle of the bands called “Battlerock ’84.” COC, whose members were still teenagers, was among the contestants. And no one outside of Raleigh’s punk cognoscenti knew what to make of them.

COC’s performance would end almost immediately after security mistook the crowd response for a riot and shut it down. In the ensuing scuffle, COC vocalist Eric Eyche was arrested, COC guitarist Woody Weatherman’s mother had an altercation resulting in charges – and a legend was born.

The scene, as described by band members, was a misunderstanding between security and concert-goers with the officials being confused over the slam-dancing, freaking out, and shutting the show down, which merely escalated the volatile situation.

They moved to shut COC down and pulled the plug. The head of the stage crew wound up onstage in a confrontation with [vocalist Eric] Eyche, and he sustained injuries after being thrown into the crowd. That got the cops’ attention.

“What ensued was a misunderstanding,” said Steve Bass, the promoter. “They saw Eric as instigating a riot, so they tried to restrain him, put hands on him and it did not go well with the crowd.”

Once the music stopped, multiple altercations broke out between band members, State Fair police and the stage crew. Eyche was the only one arrested on the scene – taken offstage as the crowd chanted “T.J. Hooker,” a reference to the cheesy cop series starring William Shatner.

...

In Eyche’s telling, the cops’ treatment of him was not exactly gentle.

“When they took me out back, a female officer was detaining me by a squad car,” Eyche said. “I kept asking her what I’d done, she kept telling me to shut up and I finally said, ‘Baby, (expletive) you.’ She grabbed the back of my head and slammed me into the car. ‘You shut up now,’ she said. ‘O.K., got it!’ ”

But Eyche wasn’t the only one who got into trouble with the law at that fateful show…

See who else ran afoul of police at the show, after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
‘Shock And Awe’: How platform shoes, mascara and glitter saved rock ‘n’ roll
10.12.2016
10:13 am

Topics:
Literature
Music
Pop Culture
Punk

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In 1972 rock music rolled out of the 60s as pale and cold as a corpse on a hospital gurney. There was the occasional death twitch but rigor mortis had set in and for most of us rockers there was a sense of hopelessness as we listened to vapid shit coming out of our radios.

How bad was it? Here’s the top ten tunes of 1972 according to Billboard magazine:

1 “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” Roberta Flack
2 “Alone Again (Naturally)” Gilbert O’Sullivan
3 “American Pie” Don McLean
4 “Without You” Harry Nilsson
5 “The Candy Man” Sammy Davis, Jr.
6 “I Gotcha” Joe Tex
7 “Lean on Me” Bill Withers
8 “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me” Mac Davis
9 “Brand New Key” Melanie
10 “Daddy Don’t You Walk So Fast” Wayne Newton

That list is completely devoid of anything that remotely could be called “rock and roll.” With the exception of Joe Tex’s “I Gotcha,” virtually every song falls into the easy listening/pop category. Sentimental, corny, goofy, maudlin and over melodramatic, none of this stuff rocks. The closest the top 20 got to rock that year was Neil Young’s “Heart Of Gold.” And as lovely as that song is, it’s one of Neil’s most middle-of-the-road creations and still more folk than rock. In the entire Billboard top 100 of 1972 there are two songs that could be categorized as hard rock with some bonfide badass attitude. They were Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out”  and T.Rex’s “Bang a Gong (Get It On).” Elton John, Derek And The Dominoes, Badfinger and The Hollies all had hits with power ballads or top-forty schlock. The Hollies aping Creedence Clearwater with “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)” may be memorable, but it also could have been recorded by just about any half-decent band. Completely unidentifiable as a Hollie’s song. 1972 was also the year that arguably the greatest rock composer of all time, Chuck Berry, released “My Ding A Ling.” This was the kind of shit that made a rock fan like myself weep.
 

 
In 1972, I was 21 and writing record reviews for a newspaper in Boulder, Colorado. At the time, record companies were very generous in sending out review copies of LPs to just about anyone claiming to be a rock critic. As a result, I was receiving well over a hundred copies of new record releases each month. Every day the postman would drop a load of vinyl on my front porch and I was like a kid at Christmas. Unfortunately, most of the freebies were real shit. But some good stuff would squeak through and occasionally the good stuff would be better than merely good. There were records among the dross that would eventually change my life.

From ‘72 to ‘75, when I did most of my reviewing, the albums that blew my mind were coming from reggae artists like Bob Marley and Toots And The Maytals followed by Brit rockers T.Rex, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Mott The Hoople, Cockney Rebel and American outliers Lou Reed, The New York Dolls, Sparks, Alice Cooper and Suzi Quatro, among a handful of others. What these performers shared in common was an energy that recalled some of the best of 60s garage bands, British Invasion, doses of psychedelia and a theatricality that was eccentric, fresh and provocative. Their songs tended to be short and to the point, with strong hooks and infectious beats. And they were sexy! This was the beginning of what eventually became known as glam rock. I know calling Marley glam is a stretch but let’s face it, Bob was glamorous and songs like “Lively Up Yourself” could be dropped into a mix with Bowie and Marc Bolan without missing a beat. Even if the twain does meet, we’ll still keep reggae out of the mix for sake of argument.
 

 
Glam rock blew open the doors for the punk scene that quickly followed on its heels. There’s not a single rock band that emerged in 76/77 from CBGB, Max’s, or The Marquee Club that weren’t inspired by glam bands. A few hate to admit it, but most know it’s true. From Johnny Rotten to Joey Ramone to Patti Smith, the visionaries in platform shoes with glitter in their hair like Marc Bolan, Bowie and The Dolls turned budding punks’ heads around and pointed them in a direction that would change them forever… just as they did for me.
 

 
Glam rock was fun at a time when rock wasn’t. The music I loved had become too self-important or too inconsequential to capture my heart and gut. Easy listening “elevator music” on MOR radio tossed with the pompous orchestral rock of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes and the blowhard power ballads of Kansas and Styx created a mind salad that was all cellulose and little fiber. Even bands I had once looked to for some hard-edged three-minute rockers, The Who, for instance, were creating pretentious rock operas that were large-gestures but intellectually feeble. I wanted plain old pinball machines without the wizards. When rock songs started taking up entire sides of an album, I found myself dragging out my old Seeds and Music Machine albums. Few rock artists could sustain the longform song for me. Only the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and The Velvet Underground could pull that off.
 

 
So glam put the fun back into rock. It also put sex back into rock and returned some color, glitter and style to a musical culture that had turned to faded denim, faux blues and pretentious bluster. It was bigger than life, but as light as moonbeams. While Rick Wakeman and Mike Oldfield were pumping hot air into the balloon of pop culture, Sparks and Roxy Music were sticking needles in it. Underneath their wild threads and crazy hair, the glam rockers were smirking at the artifice of it all, using the theater of rock and roll to remind us that rock music was as silly as it is essential.
 

 
Simon Reynolds book Shock and Awe: Glam Rock and Its Legacy, from the Seventies to the Twenty-first Century is the definitive book on the music and pop culture explosion that put style, extravagance and a sense of—yes—absurdity back into rock and roll. Written from a place of genuine love for his subject, Reynolds’ 700 page history is formidable in its research and thoroughly entertaining. It’s smart without being academic and contains none of the “hey look at me” smarty pants rock crit that focuses more on the writer than the subject at hand. Reynolds is passionate about what he’s writing about and it’s truly infectious. From the big lights of Bowie, Roxy and Bolan to lesser known, but equally amazing, groups like Wizzard, The Sensational Alex Harvey Band and The Tubes, Reynolds covers dozens upon dozens of artists starting with proto-glamster Jerry Lee Lewis, The Stooges, through the rock scenes impacted by glam including punk, new wave, hair metal and techno. Like with his terrific book on post-punk Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984,  Reynolds obviously knows what he’s talking about. As well-researched as his books are, they’re never larded with too much minutiae or footnoted to death. They move like rock and roll moves. Shock And Awe has the energy and exuberance of a tight chugging Marc Bolan guitar riff. You can dance to it. Buy it here. Really, buy it. At 12 bucks it’s a fucking steal. Thank me later.
 

 
After the jump, a special video mix inspired by ‘Shock And Awe’ containing songs from Marc Bolan, Mott The Hoople, Slade, Roxy Music, Suzi Quatro, Cockney Rebel, Sweet, Wizzard, Sparks, Mud, The Osmonds and Jook….

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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
Brian Setzer’s pre-Stray Cats new wave band
10.10.2016
09:42 am

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Music
Punk

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Brian Setzer rocketed to stardom in the early ‘80s with his band the Stray Cats, thanks to a handful of very popular MTV music videos that were in inescapably heavy rotation between 1982 and 1983. The Stray Cats were part of that decade’s rockabilly revival which also included bands like the Blasters, the Rockats, and Robert Gordon, among others.

Many are unaware of Setzer’s prior group, Bloodless Pharoahs, which bore little resemblance to the rockabilly stylings of the Stray Cats. Bloodless Pharoahs were a new wave outfit active in the late ‘70s New York and Philadelphia scenes. Though not as full-on scronk as their NY “no wave” brethren, they traveled in the same circles and certainly skirted more of the “art” side of the burgeoning new wave spectrum. Their “sound” has been described as “a cross between early Roxy Music, Modern Lovers, and Talking Heads.”

Anyone interested in obtaining some of their recorded output might first check out their two tracks on the Marty Thau Presents 2x5 compilation. There also exists a CD of mediocre-sounding live recordings titled Brian Setzer and the Bloodless Pharaohs.

But the entire reason for this post is to show off some incredibly rare live footage of the band playing live in NYC at Max’s Kansas City taken from Paul Tschinkel’s Inner Tube public access television program. Tschinkel’s documentation of the early NYC punk and alternative music scene is absolutely crucial and his YouTube channel sporadically updates with new archival footage every few months (not often enough, if you ask me!)

The first of the two tracks is the more interesting. The second is a quirky cover of the Perry Mason theme. Setzer’s guitar playing, particularly on the first track, is reminiscent of the punky-surf sound that East Bay Ray of the Dead Kennedys would become known for, though Setzer’s backing vocals may leave something to be desired.

See it after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
A young Patti Smith and Jonathan Miller star in a 1971 BBC doc about New York City
10.07.2016
09:05 am

Topics:
Literature
Music
Punk
Television

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Jonathan Miller became famous in the cast of the great 1960s comedy show Beyond the Fringe, sharing the stage with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and—I can’t tell if a heart emoji would be out of place here—playwright Alan Bennett. To this day, Dr. Miller is well-known in the UK as a public intellectual, prominent atheist, TV documentarian and opera director. (During the early 1980s, Miller was briefly famous in America, too, as the host of the popular PBS history of medicine, The Body in Question, and as the author of the best-selling book of the same title. He was often a guest on Dick Cavett’s talk show for an entire week at a time.)

In 1971—YouTube says ‘72, but I’ll take Miller’s biographer’s date—Miller returned to New York, a city he’d first visited when Beyond the Fringe played Broadway a decade before, and he brought a BBC camera crew. West Side Stories: Two Journeys into New York City juxtaposed his impressions of New York City and those of a very young Patti Smith.
 

 
She looks and sounds like Rimbaud if he just stepped away from a stickball game, which is to say she’s already, as Oliver Stone made Ray Manzarek say, “making the myths.” Patti talks Godard, rock journalism, “slopping the hogs,” spending the whole day on 42nd Street for fifty cents, and the first porno double feature she watched (Orgy at Lil’s Place and Blonde on a Bum Trip), all with unusual verbal facility and charm for a 24-year-old.

In my whole life, no matter where I lived—Chattanooga, Chicago, South Jersey—I was always an outcast. Y’know, even in my own neighborhood, even in my own family. I looked different than my whole family. I always felt alien. Not that I wasn’t loved, but people thought I was weird-lookin’ and skinny and all that. I had an eyepatch which I’ve since got rid of. And I never had no friends or boyfriends. When I came to the city, my whole life changed.

The uploader of this footage, YouTube user Pheidias Ictinus, claims it was the cameraman’s idea to interview Patti:

This film was made by the director Tristram Powell. At the suggestion of his cameraman he went to meet Patti and she ended up as an integral part of the film he was making with Jonathan Miller. The decision was made on the fly, during filming in New York, it was not part of the original concept. That’s what you call creative freedom.

Who would Jonathan Miller’s cameraman tell him to interview in today’s Manhattan? Some tech guy? I can’t wait to turn on the TV in 2047 and hear some tech guy reminisce about New York on the roof of the Chelsea Hotel. Lord, take me now. . .
 
Watch after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Twenty hilarious minutes of Hugh Cornwell from The Stranglers insulting the audience
10.06.2016
09:11 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Punk

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The Stranglers arrested for inciting a riot in Nice, France, 1980
 
One of my favorite Stranglers tracks belongs to the spoken word genre. The B-side “An Evening with Hugh Cornwell” is just 20 minutes of Hugh talking to audiences on the Aural Sculpture tour, c. ‘84/‘85. It’s a bit like Lee Ving from FEAR winding up the crowd in The Decline of Western Civilization, but slower to build and, for me, even more hilarious. It made me sob uncontrollably with laughter the first three or four times I listened to it.

The other two tracks on the Stranglers’ Official Bootleg twelve-inch, “Hitman” and a live version of “Shakin’ Like A Leaf,” surfaced on the recent B-sides compilation Here & There, but “An Evening with Hugh Cornwell” has never been released in digital format.

A sampling of Hugh’s wit and wisdom that doesn’t spoil the best laughs:

What’s wrong? What’s happened? Has it been a depressing day in Sheffield… again?

If you paid ten pounds, you’re a mug! You’re an absolute mug. I wouldn’t pay ten pounds to see us. I wouldn’t! I’d go out and buy two LPs.

Most—all musicians would come up here and say what a great place Newcastle is and you’re all such wonderful people, but I’m not going to say that, ‘cause I think that Newcastle’s awful. Oh, it’s an awful place.

Someone up here is really thick ‘cause he’s thrown his identity card here. He’s gonna forget who he is. Oh no, it’s a lady.

Listen, after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Proto-goth obscurities: Killed by deathrock
10.03.2016
08:45 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

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Indie label Sacred Bones has been really killing it lately with experimental releases such as the upcoming Uniform 12 inch and the godlike John Carpenter Lost Themes volumes, as well as their reissues of classic weirdo stuff like Funeral Parade, the Eraserhead soundtrack, and my personal favorite: the Killed By Deathrock compilation.

Killed By Deathrock is, as the title suggests, a compilation of classic punk obscurities in the vein of the ever-popular Killed By Death series, but with a darker, creepier, white foundation and black mascara bent. “Deathrock,” for the uninitiated, was more-or-less the original unofficial name for what eventually morphed into the thing known today as “goth.” The term “deathrock” originated in the L.A. punk scene in the late 70s, used to describe punk bands that incorporated horror elements and spooky atmospherics, such as Christian Death, 45 Grave, Kommunity FK, and Radio Werewolf. For a time, some used it as a blanket term to also describe European post-punk bands such as Bauhaus or Southern Death Cult, but “goth” eventually emerged as the genre-identifier that stuck. There was certainly a marked difference between the campier, punkier L.A. bands and and the more brooding Euro set.

Whatever you feel comfortable calling these groups with pale skin and chorusy guitars and Bowie-impersonation to the nth degree vocals, there were a whole slew of them out there in the early ‘80s, many of whom are virtually unheard of today. Thankfully the good folks at Sacred Bones are plundering the graveyards to dig up some of these remains. 

I can’t recommend Killed By Deathrock highly enough, so I was thrilled to learn that a second volume in the series is being released next month.

Checking the track list, I’m familiar with only about half of the bands, so this is going to be a treat:

1. Gatecrashers “Spectator”
2. Middle Class “A Skeleton at the Feast”
3. ADS “Waiting for the War”
4. Veda “Whiplash”
5. Skeletal Family “Promised Land”
6. Flowers for Agatha “The Freedom Curse”
7.  “Dark Spirits”
8. Crank Call Love Affair “What’s Wrong Yvette”
9. Red Zebra “I Can’t Live in a Living Room”
10. Vita Noctis “Hade”

That’s a great Middle Class track from their underrated Homeland album, which was a far post-punk cry from their first seven inch—a record many punk historians consider to be the first “hardcore” record. This track has the Middle Class sounding much more like Bauhaus-like:
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
What a Buzzcock did next: Drummer John Maher’s stunning photographs of abandoned homes
09.23.2016
11:13 am

Topics:
Activism
Art
Punk

Tags:

007RustinPeaceJMaher.jpg
‘Rust in Peace.’

The chance decisions we make in our teens can sometimes bring wondrous returns.

John Maher was just sixteen when he was asked to play drums for a local band called the Buzzcocks in 1976. The Buzzcocks had been formed by Peter Shelley and Howard Devoto in Manchester in late 1975. Maher didn’t really think about it—he just said yes. His first gig playing drums with the band was supporting the Sex Pistols at their second (now legendary) appearance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester, in July 1976.

When he was eighteen, Maher bought his first camera—an Olympus Trip—just prior to the Buzzcocks tour of America in 1978. Photography was something to do on the road—but for Maher it was soon became a passion.

After the Buzzcocks split in 1981, Maher played drums for Wah! and Flag of Convenience. But his interest in music waned. When the Buzzcocks reformed in 1989, Maher opted out—only ever making occasional guest appearances with the band.

Maher had an interest in drag racing which led to his launching an incredibly successful business making high performance engines—John Maher Racing. His engines and transmissions are described as the best built in the UK. The success of his company allowed Maher to retire. It was then that he returned to photography.

In 2002, Maher relocated from Manchester to the Isle of Harris in Scotland. The beautiful, bleak Hebridean landscape was in stark contrast to his busy post-industrial hometown of Manchester. The land inspired Maher and he became fascinated with the deserted crofts dotted across the island. Homes once filled with working families and children now lay abandoned in disrepair—belongings scattered across wooden floors, empty chairs faithfully waiting for a new owner, wallpaper and paint drifting from the walls, windows smashed, and gardens long untended.

Maher started documenting these abandoned buildings that spoke more to him about human life than most museums. He took long exposures to achieve a certain look—often blending analogue and digital images to create the best picture. For example, the photograph TV Set was created from “a compilation of nine separate exposures.”

His fascination with the deserted crofts started an idea to have these homes reclaimed and reused bringing new life back to the island. As Maher told the BBC earlier this year:

“What started out as a personal project—documenting abandoned croft houses in the Outer Hebrides—has had an unexpected side effect.

“As a result of displaying my photographs, there’s now a real possibility of seeing at least one of the properties becoming a family home once again.”

Maher’s photographs led to a joint venture by the Carnegie Trust and the local housing association to start renovating some of Harris’s derelict buildings for habitation. Maher’s photographs have been exhibited on the isle and across the UK. “It shows,” he says, “that looking through a lens to the past can help shape things in the future.”

See more of John Maher’s work here.
 
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‘Waiting Room.’
 
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‘Blue Chair.’
 
More of ex-Buzzcock John Maher’s work, after the jump….

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Get ready for tedious and predictable aging punker outrage: Converse has Clash Chuck Taylors now
09.21.2016
10:41 am

Topics:
Fashion
Punk

Tags:


 
It’s hard to say that punk ever died, given that both its distinctly non-hippie anti-authoritarian spirit and its fashion sensibilities have survived over four decades now, but its ongoing vigor doesn’t stop its own lifelong adherents from proclaiming it dead anyway. Some would pin the death of punk on the Sex Pistols’ Winterland concert. Others still peg the death of punk at the time of death of a given leading figure from that scene (much of that sort of sentiment accompanied the recent passing of Tommy Erdelyi, the last original Ramone—definitely a very sad milestone), evidently blind to the reality that a sufficiently compelling ethos will survive the last gasps of its originators. But if boring social media poutrage is our metric, punk dies anew literally every time a goofy punk-related consumer product hits the shelves, whether it’s Sex Pistols credit cards or Sex Pistols shoes. It’s invariably a lot of semi-coherent hurfdurf about rebellion being co-opted for corporate consumer products that ignores the plain fact that all those Ramones, Sex Pistols, Clash and DEVO albums have themselves always been corporate consumer products.

Look for those exact comment threads to be repeated today, as Converse has announced two styles of Chuck Taylors—inarguably one of punk’s go-to uniform items—honoring the Clash. More specifically, their issue this week is pegged to the 40th anniversary of the 100 Club Punk Special festival, a historically significant two day event at which the Clash appeared with the Sex Pistols. The bill also featured Siouxsie and the Banshees, the Damned, and the Buzzcocks. Seriously, what would you give to be able to time-travel for that? Both of the shoe designs feature skull motifs that featured in the band’s graphics, a pink pair wallpapered with the “Radio Clash” skull-and-lightining-bolt imagery, and a black leather pair with the artwork from the “Straight to Hell” single stitched in.
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
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