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Riot on Times Square: The Clash on Broadway!
06.10.2016
04:32 pm

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From the Dangerous Minds archives:

In May/June of 1981, The Clash were booked to play at the curiously named “Bond International Casino”—a discotheque that was previously a swanky supper club in the 1940s, and then a low-rent clothing store called Bonds until 1977 and they just kept the sign—in New York City in support of the sprawling three record set Sandinista! album. They were meant to play just eight gigs in the smallish Times Square space—capacity 1800 people—but the performances were dangerously oversold by greedy promoters. Fire marshals and the NYC Building Department closed down both of the May 30th concerts, but the band vowed to honor each and every last ticket and so the number of shows was extended to seventeen, with matinee and evening performances added.
 

 
The Clash’s Bond Casino shows became an integral part of the rebel band’s legend and featured hand-picked opening acts like The Fall, Dead Kennedys, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, The Treacherous Three, KRAUT, Funkapolitan (who opened for The Clash when I saw them the following year), The Slits, ESG, Bad Brains, The Bloods, The Sugarhill Gang, their pal from Texas Joe Ely and others. Many of the groups were openly booed by the rowdy crowds.

One of the shows, on June 9th, was professionally recorded for an FM radio broadcast and widely bootlegged. You can easily find it and every other of the Clash’s Bond shows—all of them were bootlegged—on audio blogs. But not a lot of footage has been seen from the Clash’s Bond residency. There were some tantalizing clips that were seen in Don Letts’ excellent Grammy-winning Westway to the World rock doc (released in 2000), as well as in the abandoned short “The Clash on Broadway” (on Westway DVD as an extra), but sadly the docs didn’t give you an entire song. However, Letts’ Bond footage was apparently shot on the same day as the FM recording was made and an enterprising Clash fan has restriped the stereo audio from that source and synced up some other angles found in various other places (mostly Letts’ docs). The results are probably the best glimpse we have at what went on at these shows.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Debbie Harry dominates DEVO in the funny pages of Punk Magazine, 1978
06.08.2016
04:56 pm

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Punk

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At the start of 1978 Blondie had released its self-titled debut album and was about to put out its sophomore follow-up Plastic Letters; the band’s masterpiece, Parallel Lines, would be recorded in the summer and released in the autumn. Meanwhile, Akron’s DEVO had been bouncing around with sublime creativity for several years, but their mind-blowing debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was still several months off.

Still, the two staples of smart American pop music were apparently well known enough even at that moment, such that PUNK magazine could feel it worthwhile to commission a silly comic strip involving the two bands, featuring photographs as the panels, as in the fumetti form often seen in Italy and also, as it happens, in frequent use by National Lampoon right around this time. 

The title of the strip was “Disposable DEVO,” and the plot was rife with the “devolutionary” concepts that DEVO’s own name made so famous.
 

 
The comic appeared in issue #12 of Punk Magazine, which came out in January 1978. Chris Stein took the photographs. In the strip “a malfunctioning android cleaning lady” played by Debbie Harry attempts to sweep away a pile of humanoid debris (i.e., DEVO) only to find, against all expectation, that the five identically outfitted “zeroids” are actually capable of feeling sensations (pain).

You can actually buy this issue for a mere $75 (it’s also available on Amazon for a bit less)—or read “Disposable DEVO below. (You can do both, too.)
 

 
via Post Punk Industrial
 

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
That time John Belushi and Divine played with the Dead Boys, 1978
06.08.2016
09:15 am

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Music
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John Belushi’s connection to music, as far as most of the world is concerned, is his famous labor of love for R&B, the Blues Brothers. That album and film were exercises in rock-star wish fulfillment gone spectacularly right, and both remain justly exalted to this day. But Belushi was also an ardent supporter of the punk scene whose rise coincided with his heyday as a Saturday Night Live star.

Surely Belushi’s most famous expression of punk fandom was when he arranged for the notorious L.A. band Fear—reprobate contrarian dicks even by punk rock standards—to appear as SNL’s musical guest. Utter chaos ensued. The story’s been retold often, including on this very blog, so I won’t flog that dead horse here. But what’s less widely known, and really shouldn’t be, is that Belushi played drums with the Dead Boys at CBGB in 1978.

This was not a particularly happy event—Dead Boys drummer Johnny Blitz had been stabbed, almost fatally, and CBGB was holding a series of benefit concerts for his medical costs. Over 30 bands performed over the course of four days, and naturally the Dead Boys performed, with New York Dolls drummer Jerry Nolan filling in for the waylaid Blitz. But during the band’s signature song, “Sonic Reducer,” a song plundered from Blitz and guitarist Cheetah Chrome’s previous band, the Cleveland proto-punks Rocket From the Tombs, John Belushi played drums. And he did really well. Divine and the Neon Women—her dancers from her stage production The Neon Woman, which was running at the Hurrah Discotheque at the time—joined the band that night as well, as go-go dancers.
 

This pristine Arturo Vega shirt from the benefit sold on eBay for $749 in 2014.

Pat Ivers, who shot the footage below, related the story of that night to the New York Times a few years ago, and included the details of how Belushi came to be in the Dead Boys’ orbit:

Everyone from Blondie to Belushi showed up when we brought our camera down for the fourth and final night. But first, a few words about John Belushi. Four months earlier, at a party in the West Village, we met him and Dan Aykroyd while having a smoke on the balcony. We began needling them, because that weekend Saturday Night Live had booked the Sex Pistols (a gig that never happened: Elvis Costello ultimately performed instead). “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night? Where’s the New York bands; have you ever seen any play?” We invited them down to CBGBs that weekend. Belushi came, he saw, he fell in love with the Dead Boys. Billy Blitz [Johnny’s brother] remembered, “He used to call our house looking for my brother. My parents had no idea who he was, it killed me!” It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The Blitz Benefit was everything that was best in the CBGB scene: it was wild, unpredictable and small-town in its own peculiar way. We remember Cheetah Chrome as MC, taking on a leadership role… he was the glue that held those nights together. And who could forget Kathy Kurls, friend of the band, who stripped to “Sonic Reducer” right down to her pasties. Among so many others, Syl Sylvain and Arthur Kane, formerly of the New York Dolls, performed with their bands, the Criminals and the Corpse Grinders. Jeff Magnum, Dead Boys bassist, recalled using different drummers every night to fill in for Johnny. “It was cool to play with [ex-Doll] Jerry Nolan – he was a great drummer and Belushi was a lot of fun. To the tons of our friends who played for the benefit, we are eternally grateful.”

After the jump, the video evidence!

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Cooking with the Butthole Surfers: Gibby Haynes’ dessert and drink recipes
05.27.2016
10:35 am

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Food
Music
Punk

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If you were going to ask musicians for recipes, the Butthole Surfers might seem like unlikely candidates. There isn’t a Martha Stewart type among them; indeed, their dancer, Kathleen, once mixed her own urine in with the macaroni and cheese. But reading through the band’s old interviews has more in common with taking a Home Ec class than you might expect.

“I can cook a bad-ass peach cobbler,” Gibby Haynes bragged in the June ‘86 issue of SPIN. The interview concluded with the recipe for Gibby’s Spillane Peach Cobbler, named for Haynes’ old college basketball teammate Jeff Spillane, whom Gibby named alongside Ed Asner as one of the band’s heroes:

He’s this weird kind of straight guy with heavy beard growth and a hairy chest. He’s a nice guy, but he’s kind of geeky. He used to wear this lime-green polyester leisure suit. He’s the first person I ever saw light a fart. We usually sing songs that have Jeff Spillane in them, like “Back on Spillane’s Gang.” I think he’s now an accountant somewhere.

 

 
SPIN doesn’t say if Gibby read these very precise instructions off the back of a foxed, four-by-six recipe card inked with a grandmotherly scrawl, or (as I prefer to imagine) reeled them off from memory.

GIBBY’S SPILLANE PEACH COBBLER

Stir together ½ t. salt and 2 c. flour. Cut in ½ c. shortening until crumbly. Add ⅓ c. milk and stir with a fork until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. On a lightly floured board, roll the dough into a rectangle a little less than ¼ in. thick. Put it on a baking sheet and bake it at 425° until it’s lightly browned. Then put mixed-up water, brown sugar, egg white, and cinnamon [5 egg whites, ¾ c. water, ½ c. brown sugar, ¼ t. cinnamon] on top of the crust and bake it until it foams up like a custard. When it starts to look cooked, take it out and put sliced fresh peaches on it. It’s amazing. It’s a killer dessert.

Gibby also gave a cocktail recipe to Fiz, a short-lived, strongly pro-alcohol punk magazine from Los Angeles. In the 23 years since that issue of Fiz hit the newsstand, I’ve never mustered the courage to fix a Bloody Leroy for myself, but I imagine it would complement the peach cobbler very nicely when dining al fresco on a summer evening. The interview it accompanied outlined the band’s plans for a Joy Division game show in which contestants guess what Ian Curtis is singing (“You get points for correct answers and more points for better answers which are incorrect”), and is worth reading, though the transcription omits the drink recipe. From my personal tear-stained copy of the March/April ‘93 issue of Fiz, here’s the “BADASS BUTTHOLE BEVERAGE” you didn’t know you craved:

GIBBY HAYNES’ BLOODY LEROY

The best drink is barbecue sauce and vodka with a twist of lemon. The barbecue sauce has gotta be real thin. Stir it with a rip up. It’s badass. It’s cold. A Bloody Leroy!

Below, whet your appetite with the savory Buttholes rarity “Beat the Press.”
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Lee Ving of Fear—now in bobblehead form
05.24.2016
09:50 am

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Amusing
Music
Punk

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Fear singer/honcho Lee Ving is a divisive figure who’s been called a LOT of things ending in “-head.” The unabashedly juvenile and boneheaded misanthropy in Fear’s lyrics makes him a hero to anti-PC reactionaries (he’s called himself an “equal opportunity offender” in interviews, which right there is a huge dog whistle), and a juvenile misanthropic bonehead to everyone else. He’s basically a loudmouth who unabashedly speaks his mind, a quality considered highly praiseworthy by people who happen to think like him. I can think of another figure who appeals to reactionaries for “speaking exactly what’s on his mind.” I’ll shut up now.

But whatever you can say about Ving’s assholiness, his band left a pretty remarkably big musical stain on Hardcore. In their 39 year history (of the original band only Ving remains) they released only two truly significant albums—1982’s The Record and 1985’s More Beer. Since then their output has been paltry, sporadic, and lacking in fire. It’s clear the band exhausted its trove of ideas early; their last album, 2012’s The Fear Record, is merely a re-recording of their debut. But that debut was sufficiently loaded with classics that it practically constitutes a best-of in its own right. That, and the publicity generated by their infamously chaotic Saturday Night Live appearance (the were invited by John Belushi) made the utterly misanthropic and hostile Fear, for better or for worse, the band civilians thought of when they thought of Hardcore at all, which let’s face it, didn’t do punk a whole lot of favors in the public relations department. As with all things Ving, your mileage may vary.

So whether you think he’s a savior or a destroyer, it’s fairly inarguable that he genuinely deserves the honor of his own bobblehead figure. Ving lately joins DEVO, Descendents, Mike Watt, Wendy O. Williams, and GG Allin, among other underground heroes, in Aggronautix’s “Throbblehead” line of punk rock bobbleheads. He’s the 30th punk icon so honored, and his edition of figures is limited to 1000, numbered. And it looks a damn shot cuddlier than the real-life model. If these don’t sell, maybe Aggronautix can lop off the middle finger, scrub the Fear logos, and try to pass these off as Joe Strummer.
 

 

 
Pre-orders are happening now at Aggronautix’s web site. The figures are expected to ship this summer.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Of punk rockers, Bad Brains, CBGB & ‘Quincy’: Charming local news segment on hardcore, 1982
05.23.2016
10:36 am

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Punk
Television

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This is another one of those fun, seen-in-retrospect “time capsules” about how allegedly scary punk rock was supposed to be, whilst presenting footage of kids who seem anything but scary. Misfits? Sure. Scary? No.

The time was pinpointed by one of the people interviewed as either 1982 or 1983. The segment was from something called called “2 on the Town” and I’m gonna guess that this was something seen on the local CBS affiliate in New York at the time. Dig the “Let’s Get Physical” location of the host wraparound. Instead of using an actual hardcore punk soundtrack, for some (bad) reason, they decided to cut it to David Bowie’s “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” and “Turning Japanese” by the Vapors. Despite this, there’s a choice clip of the Bad Brains and a look at the sort of explosive melee they inspired. We also see a bit of the infamous “punk” episode of Quincy followed by some disgruntled teenage commentary about it.

There’s even an interview with a cool mom!

See it after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Hilariously angry NYC news editorial tells the ‘scummy’ Sex Pistols where to get off
05.19.2016
04:30 pm

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Media
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I grew up in the suburbs of NYC, so I remember the news coverage of WPIX channel 11 from the late 1970s and early 1980s quite well. For one thing, WPIX had the best sports roundup, hosted by the acerbic Jerry Gerard.

This fantastic clip dates from May 18, 1977, and made an appearance on WPIX’s own Facebook presence yesterday, which proves that they have a sense of humor. In the clip anchorwoman Pat Harper (I remember her) throws it to a lady named Doris Lilly (don’t remember her), who apparently was “previewing” an appearance by the Sex Pistols, to take place at the Elgin Theater, that never ended up happening.
 

 
Did the Sex Pistols have a gig scheduled for the Elgin in late May 1977? Lilly says “later this month.” Please do weigh in if you happen to remember this.

The Elgin Theater was on the intersection of 19th Street and Eighth Ave., and later became the Joyce Theater, a notable center for dance. Interestingly, the Elgin was located just a couple blocks south of the Hotel Chelsea, the site of the final days of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen.

It’s well known that the classic lineup never did play New York City—in that sense, Lilly, who passed away in 1991, must have died a happy woman. The Sex Pistols would have to wait until 1996 before playing their first Manhattan show.

In any case, Lilly wants you to know that she’s had it up to here with these scummy punks and .... just watch it, it’s great.
 

 
h/t: Ned Raggett

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Stranglers’ 1979 cricket match against the UK music press, featuring Lemmy and a bag of drugs
05.19.2016
09:42 am

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Drugs
Punk
Sports

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On September 16, 1979, the Stranglers held a cricket match to promote their new album The Raven and raise money for Capital Radio’s charity Help A London Child. They assembled a black-clad group of punk and reggae musicians to face a team made up of their usual adversaries and objects of abuse: rock journalists. Earlier that year, JJ Burnel had gaffer-taped writer Philippe Manoeuvre to the Eiffel Tower (Burnel: “it was only about 300 feet up”) and left him there, with his pants pooled around his ankles. “He wasn’t best pleased,” Jet Black remembers.

Cricket is played by teams of eleven, but the Stranglers were only four. To fill themselves out to the Stranglers XI for the charity match, the band recruited members of Motörhead, the Damned, X-Ray Spex, Flying Lizards, Steel Pulse, and other bands—a lot of people, according to their opponents in the Music Press XI, who claimed they saw a few supernumerary players on the field. Even Eddy Grant was on the massive team of rockers (“as many as 40 [...] at any one time,” the NME reported) that assembled at Paddington Recreation Ground on that storied day.
 

via Aural Sculptors
 
Lemmy showed up with a note from his doctor excusing him from the match because of a wart on his foot, but he lent his team moral and chemical support, while Kate Bush cancelled, according to Hugh Cornwell’s account in The Stranglers: Song by Song:

That was a fantastic event. [The Stranglers’ publicist] Alan Edwards came up with the idea of playing against the music press and managed to secure Brondesbury cricket ground in north London. Our team were dressed head to toe in black and wore black pads, black gloves and black caps. We even used black bats.

Kate Bush was going to play but pulled out. Lemmy turned up but had injured himself and had a sick note from his doctor, which was quite funny. He said, ‘Don’t worry. I’ll be watching on the boundary. If anyone needs a pick-up, my friend has a bag of whizz!’

Jet played and maybe John did. Some of the Finchley Boys played and a couple of members of the Damned. It just so happened that a friend of our dealer at the time had been a Hampshire [C]olt and was a demon fast bowler in his youth, so we got him out of retirement.

We batted first, with Jet and one of the large Finchley Boys opening the batting. We were all out quite cheaply, but managed to secure a tie because when the other team batted we kept sneaking on extra fielders to stop the run flow.

The opposition started complaining, but it was all for charity, so it got a bit ridiculous. The funniest point was when Richard Williams, who was editor of Melody Maker, came out to bat. He was brimming with confidence and had very expensive new equipment and strode out looking very professional. But our dealer clean bowled him almost immediately and Richard became very upset.

 

via Aural Sculptors
 
The blog Aural Sculptors has three press clippings about the match, and all of them contradict Cornwell on its outcome (“a fairly comprehensive drubbing,” the NME reported; “the Stranglers [...] spent a lot of their time lying down and threatening to take the bus home”), but at least Record Mirror corroborates Lemmy’s “bag of whizz”:

The Motorhead bit of the team had to keep vanishing behind bushes and under trucks. I really couldn’t figure out if this was for Lemmy to rest or to have some more talcum on his feet which he kept whipping out from the little paper bag. At least [I think] it was talcum, you never can tell with these rowdier boys.

Continues after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Expat punks Round Eye totally nail American right wing authoritarianism and paranoia in ‘Billy’
05.18.2016
11:29 am

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Music
Punk

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In 2010, a mononymous musician going by the handle “Chachy” needed a change. His Florida-based prog-punk band Libyan Hit Squad had finished half an album with Black Flag’s Greg Ginn, but he was enduring a serious employment drought and mourning the suicide of his band’s drummer. Attracted to the rather incredible post-punk scene happening in Beijing, he severed his lease and some personal ties and made his way to China. There, he joined up with another American expat, a Southern Rock drummer named Jimmy Jack, with whom he formed a freakish art-punk band with the pre-emptively othering name Round Eye, whose first release was a 2013 split LP with Libyan Hit Squad, a bridge between Chachy’s past and future titled Full Circle. In 2015, an eponymous LP followed.

Based in Shanghai, Round Eye are set to release a new LP this summer—one which happens to feature the final recordings by ex-Stooges saxophonist Steve Mackay—and they’ve made a brutal video for their single “Billy,” a caustic indictment of American police culture’s pathologies that in its anti-authoritarian ethos recalls the finest and most scathing moments from the heyday of ‘80s I-hate-Reagan hardcore. While China is hardly an apt place from which to lob brickbats against abuse of power, Round Eye’s critique is nonetheless dead-on in its depiction of the US right wing’s paranoid fantasies about Muslims, gays, the urban underclass, and non-white people.
 

 
Chachy was kind enough, despite a 12-hour time difference, to answer some questions via online chat.

Dangerous Minds: So you moved to China and formed a new band, and obviously you’ve been following the news from home. You clearly agree with a growing number of Americans that police culture is getting out of control.

Chachy: It’s insane. You know, it’s even more striking and vibrantly illustrated to us how bad things are when we tour the US now having our lives anchored in China, seeing our home as visitors.

Dangerous Minds: Could you talk some about the inspiration for the song and video? There are clear references to specific incidents…

Chachy: When I lived in the States, I was so used to the chaos of being inundated by everything that was happening socially. It’s a common topic right? No one is surprised by racism, bigots, over saturation of pop culture and violence in America. It just is. The Wild West with iPhones and Facebook. DE-evolution has truly arrived. But now, being away from American culture for so long things look sharper and more potent.

Our only news of the west comes from the sensational news headlines and articles on the Internet and whatever the Chinese media platforms will allow to enter the mainland. It’s almost like a perpetual stream of very bad and horrible news.  It’s funny, Chinese media is using what’s happening with Trump and America as an example of why Democracy doesn’t work. Trayvon Martin and the countless other victims of cop insanity, the Klan, the Muslim stigma, LGBT discrimination, all flowing from what seems like one place and then I turn off the computer.

I try to think “it’s the just the news and what they want to show”; surely things can’t be that bad in the States can they? But then we go on tour in the U.S. for something like 60 dates in the deep south and I’m quickly shown that yes, indeed, things are on a very dark path. Shanghai, 24 million people and I’ve never, not once, ever experienced fear in the streets. No guns in China. Then we go play a gig in podunk Florida and 30 minutes after we leave the bar four people are shot and killed over a drunken brawl in the very bar we were at. I kept the news article on that particular incident. I simply couldn’t believe it.
 

 
Dangerous Minds: Yeah, the cherry-picked news info may have a propaganda agenda, but it DOES underscore a valid point: The encroachment of authoritarianism here is really fucking alarming, and it’s accelerating after 30-35 years of steady growth. I trust you’ve been following the presidential elections. What do American expats think about the rise of Trump? And what do the Chinese people think of it, is there a broad consensus?

Chachy: Shanghai’s expat community is very very mixed.  People from all over the globe. In fact I don’t have that many American friends here. They’re from Russia, South Africa, England, Oz, Tazzy, France, etc. etc. etc., so I get a good earful of global opinions on how America is presenting itself and trust me, it’s universally laughed at. They laugh at the fact that it’s gotten this far, and trust me, I laughed with them. It’s all “can you believe this is really happening.” I remember a time only a few months ago when most of my expat/Chinese friends weren’t aware of who Trump was; this is when the astonishment sets in—now everyone knows who he is. Everyone sees the social nightmare he’s dredged up and they start to realize that what was once an American issue is now getting dangerously close to becoming an international one. Not laughing as much anymore.
 

 
Dangerous Minds: So this begs to be said—China is arguably kind of a HUGE glass house from which to be throwing anti-authority stones. How does Round Eye reconcile that stance with living in such a rigidly policed nation?

Chachy: Yeah, totally understand. China is indeed an extremely authoritarian place. There is no freedom of speech here and we’ve felt the influence of the Ministry of Culture quite swiftly when we had a tour cancelled and banned due to ‘unharmonious’ art for a flyer [NSFW-ish image at link]. But when it comes to these sorts of issues with China we feel that we’re in more of a position to support rather than to lead. We’re not Chinese. It’s not our place to criticize Chinese policy within its barriers but it is totally our responsibility and right to criticize American policy. I admire the hell out of the Chinese bands like SMZB, PK14, and Pangu who take a very very real risk in voicing their indignations.  I mean Pangu have been living in exile for nearly a decade because of their support for Taiwanese independence and their seditious content in their music.

But that being said, the line between what is allowed to be criticized and what is not, what is allowed to be played and what is not, who is allowed to perform and who is not, is a VERY blurred one but it’s generally always understood that Big Brother is definitely watching. With “Billy” we were a bit concerned with how the Chinese government could react to this. There isn’t any criticism of Chinese matters, but the very nature of this video and song go very much against Chinese political ideals. The fact that we’re directly addressing problems within our own government could be seen as an ‘unharmonious’ incentive for Chinese citizens to do the same themselves.  We haven’t released this video in China yet, but we may very shortly, and what follows, no one really knows. We’re a bit nervous to be perfectly honest.
 
Watch the video for “Billy” after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Watch the Buzzcocks’ farewell concert before they split in 1981
05.10.2016
11:54 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

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0_1buzz3spjh.jpg
 
The story of the Buzzcocks begins with an ad on a college notice board in 1975. The ad was placed by a young musician named Howard Trafford at the Bolton Institute of Technology. Trafford was looking for like-minded musicians to form a band. A student called Peter McNeish replied and the band that was to become the Buzzcocks was born.

McNeish changed his name to Pete Shelley. Trafford changed his to Howard Devoto. A drummer and bass player were recruited and the foursome played their first gig in February 1976.

They had ideas, they had a sense of what they wanted to do, but it didn’t really all gel until Shelley and Devoto traveled to London to see the Sex Pistols play. This was the kind of music they wanted to play—fast, furious, with purpose and edge. Being enterprising young lads, they booked the Pistols to play a gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester—the venue Bob Dylan played in 1965 when he went electric and was called a “Judas.”

The Sex Pistols first appearance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall was in June 1976. It’s been well documented and fair to say it was one of those gigs that changed musical history.  Among the 35-40 people in attendance that night were Mark E. Smith who would form The Fall, Steven Patrick Morrissey who would go on to form The Smiths, Ian Curtis who became the lead singer of Joy Division, Paul Morley who would write for the NME before becoming involved with record label ZTT and the Art of Noise, and er…Mick Hucknall….which proves that not all revolutionary events end in change.
 
01_buzpost.jpg
He was there: Pete Shelley showing the poster for the Sex Pistols second appearance at the Lesser Free Trade Hall with support from the Buzzcocks.
 
The Buzzcocks were supposed to support the Pistols that night—but Shelley and Devoto couldn’t rally any musicians together. This led to a more professional attitude and a new more permanent line-up. Steve Diggle joined on bass guitarist with John Maher on drums. When the Pistols returned in July, the Buzzcocks did support them this time. The Buzzcocks name came from a magazine headline—a review of the Rock Follies TV show—containing the words “buzz” and “cock.” You can see how this Sex Pistols-inspired name appealed to a group of young guys.

The band formed a record label, New Hormones, to release their first EP (the third ever punk single in the UK) “Spiral Scratch.” Unexpectedly, Devoto quit the band. Shelley took over lead vocals and shared songwriting duties with Steve Diggle—who had moved from bass to guitar while Stephen Garvey eventually joined as new bass player.

Over the next four years, the Buzzcocks produced a selection of powerful, memorable and infectious songs (“What Do I Get?” “Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t've),” “Harmony In My Head” and “Everybody’s Happy Nowadays” to name but four) that were sharp and clever and often lyrically as good as songs written by Ray Davies for the Kinks but with a more frenetic beat.
 
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
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