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The brief 1976 collaboration of New York Doll Arthur ‘Killer’ Kane & Blackie Lawless of W.A.S.P.
03.29.2016
09:50 am

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Music
Punk

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Killer Kane Band, 1976
The Killer Kane Band back in 1976.
 
I’m not telling you anything you probably don’t already know when I say that the divorce of glam punks heroes, the New York Dolls was a messy one. In 1975 members of the Dolls were completely fucked up on drugs—bassist Arthur “Killer” Kane (R.I.P.) was often too inebriated to even join the band on stage—and constantly fought with each other behind the scenes. After a five-date tour of New York’s outer boroughs, the Dolls parted ways.

During all this glittery chaos, and while on tour in Florida, Johnny Thunders and drummer Jerry Nolan abruptly left the band. Thunders was replaced by future heavy-metal codpiece enthusiast, Blackie Lawless, the soon-to-be vocalist for W.A.S.P. Which leads me to the topic of this post—the time that Arthur Kane made some sweet mid-70s rawk and roll with Blackie Lawless who was then known as “Blackie Goozeman” in the Killer Kane Band.
 
Arthur
Arthur “Killer” Kane, Blackie Goozeman, and Andy Jay of the Killer Kane Band, 1976.
 
Keep reading after the jump…

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Patti Smith pays homage to reggae genius Tapper Zukie
03.24.2016
09:45 am

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Music
Punk
Reggae

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Robert Mapplethorpe’s cover for the Mer Records reissue of Man Ah Warrior

Since its founding in 1974, Lenny Kaye’s Mer label has put out a total of five records. Of these, two are by Patti Smith, one by Kaye. The other two releases belong to the only artist on Mer who wasn’t in the Patti Smith Group: toaster, DJ and producer Tapper (a/k/a Tappa or Topper) Zukie.

Smith has said that she practiced reciting her poems over Zukie’s first album, 1973’s Man Ah Warrior, before she worked them up as songs. Presumably, she heard the album through Kaye, who writes that he brought it back to NYC from a “West London back alley reggae stall” when it was brand new. Three years later, when both Zukie and the Patti Smith Group had achieved cult fame in the UK, the “M.P.L.A.” singer joined the band onstage in London. Kaye:

...in November 1976 at the venerable Hammersmith Odeon, Tapper Zukie joined the Patti Smith Group onstage for a babylon-burning rendition of “Ain’t It Strange,” and we became friends. Tapper came to visit us in New York, preparing a dinner of roast fish just after he got off the plane; and we released Man Ah Warrior on our Mer label. He opened for us at the Rainbow Theater in London the following year, and with such hits as “M.P.L.A.” and “Go Deh Natty, Go Deh” and the sinuous “Pick Up the Rocker,” encapsulated a moment where two different musics with the same sense of apocalyptic vision and revolutionary spirit could go forth and conquer.

 

 
Smith seriously injured herself in Tampa on January 23, 1977, when her ecstatic spinning during that night’s performance of “Ain’t It Strange” took her over the lip of the stage. She fell fifteen feet, fracturing two of her vertebrae and smashing her face on the concrete floor. Shortly after the accident, she told a Sounds writer that writing the poem “Tapper the Extractor” during her hospital stay aided her recovery:

...it’s the best poem I’ve written for a real long time. Tapper’s poem kept me from losing consciousness; it’s all about ‘the thread of return.’ ...Yeah, the thread of return kept me here.

 

The back cover of Zukie’s Man from Bozrah LP, featuring “THE TAPPER EXTRACTS”
 
This poem, or a version of it, appeared as the liner notes of Zukie’s outstanding 1978 LP The Man from Bozrah, where it was credited to “PATTIE [sic] SMITH & L. Kaye”: 

THE TAPPER EXTRACTS
“one does not hold the key, he extends it”

Zu-Kie, the Tapper of precious blood, looks down at his mother bending over the river beating the clothes w/a stone. in/space the Tapper extracts; the sky full of numbers . . . the mute procession of the 12 tribes . . . the insatiable dreamer that totems the manor . . . the rude Zugernaut . . . a Mesopotamia hotel . . . Taj Mahal . . . keeper of bees . . . aluminum comes exuding the icing of light. awareness is relative and anyone relating to the Tapper feels the fluid of the future flooding his veins . . . the screen projects deliverance . . . vague silver members . . . the lost years of Jesus + Cleopatra . . . Tablets unearthed from the dawn of time . . . a rose glow . . . searchlights over the labyrinth . . . rube flux and a vibrant twist of thread . . . .

Tapper, the extractor, ties it all together. like a playful cat he taps the raveling ball . . . sending it in/space like a corvette over Detroit landing on the throat of the babbeling son of ritual.

he cried ah/men oh/men
his bodily fluids coagulate into a smooth stone
etched w/the synchronizing symbols;
words of power/words of light
cries from the valley of the forgotten
the gentle panorama/the shackles of slaves opening like a laughing wound
the shining faces of the liberation
the ma/sonic key of the Tapper is turning
the ball of thread is unraveling . . .
the walls of the labyrinth are splitting . . .
and the people are rushing . . .
Rushing like the blood of the lion merging w/Zu-kie, the Tapper of blood, looking down at his mother bending over the river and his father working in the Field.

A slightly longer and differently punctuated version of the poem, in which “Zu-kie” is spelled “zookey,” can be found in Smith’s Babel.

After the jump, hear the two sides of Zukie’s Mer single, “Viego” and “Archie, the Rednose Reindeer”

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Peepshow: Watch over two hours of incredible Siouxsie and the Banshees TV performances
03.23.2016
01:29 pm

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Music
Punk
Television

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Fans of Siouxsie and the Banshees had their minds melted when Universal released the three CD and one DVD box set At the BBC back in 2009. At the BBC collected 84 BBC radio sessions, live concert tracks and TV performances recorded between 1977 and 1991. (You can find it reasonably priced used on Amazon these days, for around $20.)

The DVD featured over two dozen live-in-concert sessions shot for The Old Grey Whistle Test, Rock Goes to College, The Oxford Road Show and of course some (barely) lip-synced Top of the Pops appearances. It’s a fantastic visual chronology of one of the greatest and most powerfully iconoclastic bands of the era. Truly this was a group who did things their way. The Cure’s Robert Smith is featured on guitar on several songs, including an early TV session from 1979. We also see the great John McGeoch and their early guitarist, the unsung and underrated John McKay, in action with the Banshees as well.

Most of this stuff has been on YouTube for years, but never before in this sort of quality.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Art show features dollhouse rendition of an archetypal ‘punk house’
03.21.2016
09:29 am

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Art
Music
Punk

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“America’s greatest living ‘Art Garbage Movement’ painter,” Derek Erdman, has been the subject of a few posts here at Dangerous Minds. We’ve profiled his unique “outsider” paintings, as well as his hilariously bizarre phone pranks. Now Erdman’s back on our pages with a brand new piece he produced for the Soaring and Boring and Fawning and Yawning art show at Make.Shift Gallery in Bellingham, WA. This one is close to my heart because it represents a space I am very familiar with. Erdman has produced a dollhouse representation of an archetypal “punk house.”

Having spent a over a decade touring in bands, playing and crashing in dilapidated spaces like the one represented in Erdman’s creation, I can vouch for the authenticity—right down to the flyers, graffiti, empty food boxes, and fucked up kitchen linoleum. I wonder, though—does it come with dollhouse-sized scabies?

Erdman’s inspired “artist statement” on the piece:

Abandoned Punk House in Brunswick Ohio, 1988

Found materials, latex, acrylic, photocopies, fabric

Abandoned Punk House in Brunswick Ohio, 1988 is modeled after an actual house that I visited as a teenager. Brunswick was an interesting town at the time, small and mostly white trash, with a progressive record store that made it an oasis for punks, metal heads, and skateboarders. Ohio was usually behind on cultural trends, and in 1988 there were a lot of teenagers into ramp skating and the hardcore/metal crossover music scene that already happened elsewhere a few years earlier. As an agricultural region in the time before alternative rock, being a punk or skater meant being a misfit under the constant threat of beatings by the typical roving pack of jocks. Luckily, it also meant an instant camaraderie with anybody who looked remotely similar in an outcast fashion, or with the same taste in music.

The house was in a rural area, fifteen minutes by car from the town center and a quarter mile away from the nearest neighbor. In the early 1980s it was the stately family home of an executive of Ohio Bell, the region’s largest telephone company. The oldest son of the family was a seminal punker who was allowed to remain in the house to finish high school while the rest relocated two hundred miles south to Dayton. The unsupervised son started hosting parties and punk shows in the house, and eventually people started living there for various periods of time. It was a fantasy situation of a no rules free for all, where many local teenagers got their first taste of drinking, drugs, sex, and violence. Legend has it that it hosted shows by local bands 0DFX, Starvation Army, & the Pink Holes and was a tour stop for national groups like MDC, the Accused, Corrosion of Conformity, Life Sentence, and many others.

Unfortunately, I didn’t know the house in that era. By the time I first visited, it was free of inhabitants and way past its prime, the punker landlord far away at a private college out of state. I’m not sure if there was an understanding that allowed the house to continue for the sake of “the scene,” or if somebody had the unfortunate belief that it was locked up in fine condition waiting for an eventual sale. There was no need for a key because the lock on the front door was broken, as were several windows. For a time there wasn’t even a back door, though it was sometimes fixed with the intention of making it a rent free place to live (unfortunately without electricity, heat or running water). The house always quickly went back to its default state of residential apathy: broken bottles, indoor fires, shitty graffiti, and wasted teenagers downing cough syrup at the crossroad of getting their shit together & seeing the rest of the world or staying wasted and seeing the rest of Ohio.

Some of the detail of Abandoned Punk House in Brunswick Ohio, 1988 is exactly as it was at the original house. The graffiti of Crass lyrics on the outside, probably written during a short lived political phase. The mostly missing wood shingles and shutters, the kitchen without a sink or any appliances, only some empty food boxes. Sometimes the rooms were full of garbage, sometimes they’d be completely emptied, which is how I remembered it in late summer 1988, when my girlfriend Ericka lived there with two other people for a short period of time. They slept in sleeping bags in the only vaguely decent bedroom on the second floor, staying up late smoking Camel lights while listening to a tape of the Cure’s Standing on a Beach with a battery powered clock radio. It was in that room during a bonfire keg party in early October that I lost my virginity while “Charlotte Sometimes” warbled away, months before Ericka began her five year trek of following the Grateful Dead while I switched high schools and fell out of touch with everybody I’d known until then. I hope everybody has a place like this for some period of their adolescence, because as dumb as we were, those days fucking ruled.

The Soaring and Boring and Fawning and Yawning art show at Make.Shift Gallery in Bellingham WA runs April 1st to 30th.
 

All photos provided courtesy of Derek Erdman
 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Godlike video of Bad Brains destroying the shit out of Babylon in 1983
03.18.2016
08:16 am

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Music
Punk

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Bad Brains’ vocalist, H.R. Photo by Lucian Perkins from the book “Hard Art, DC 1979”

Here’s some godlike video footage of Bad Brains playing Berlin in 1983. I thought I had seen every bit of classic period Bad Brains video out there, but somehow this one avoided my radar until now. Strange I’d missed it, as it’s been up on YouTube since 2011 and I’m certain I must have searched “Bad Brains live” at least a dozen times in the past five years—but sometimes, you know, incredible stuff just bubbles up to the surface. As we’ve said before at Dangerous Minds: “The world will never run out of ‘newly uncovered’ (insert band name here) videos.” The Internet, like Jah, mon, always provides. 

There are actually two shows on this video. The first show is from The Loft in Berlin on May 22nd, 1983. The second show begins at about 37 minutes in. I believe it’s also from Germany. Despite some issues with video and audio quality (some of these issues clear up a bit as the show progresses), this is some of the best footage around of the Bad Brains. The band is absolutely on fire. Although the video quality is far from the quality of the commercially available DVD Live at CBGB 1982, I think the band’s performance at this Berlin show eclipses the CBGB performance.  The sound quality on the second show is a bit better than the first.

It’s interesting to witness the German audience’s reaction. They are certainly much more stoic than the frenzied pit maniacs you’d have seen at an American Bad Brains show in 1983. And they don’t seem very excited about the reggae numbers AT ALL. The audience highlight is clearly around 25 minutes in when the band launches into “Pay to Cum.” This was probably their most well-known track at the time as it had not only appeared on their first single and the self-titled ROIR cassette, but also on the widely European-distributed Let Them Eat Jellybeans compilation on Alternative Tentacles. The crowd goes absolutely pogo apeshit when “Pay to Cum” kicks in. The ritualized American circle-pit hadn’t yet made it to Germany.

It’s worth noting that there are a few songs in the first set that I don’t recognize: two reggae songs and one hardcore song. The band split up for a brief time following this tour, so perhaps that’s why they didn’t get around to recording these songs.

Bad Brains’ singer, H.R., and guitarist, Dr. Know, have both been in the news recently for unfortunate health issues. H.R. is currently raising money to combat a neurobiological disorder that causes extreme cluster headaches, just a week after Dr. Know set up a GoFundMe page to recoup $100,000 in medical expenses incurred from a recent cardiac arrest that left him on life support. It may come as a shock to some, but punk rock doesn’t come with a great insurance and retirement benefits package.

As we keep these guys in our thoughts, let’s remember how absolutely unrelentingly raging a musical force they were.

If you’re a Bad Brains fan and haven’t seen the video after the jump yet, well you’re in for a TREAT…

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The Slits: College radio standoff between ‘a coven of witches and a mob of townspeople,’ 1980
03.15.2016
12:35 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Music
Punk

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Disc jockey: “What do you think about President Reagan.”

Slits:

“Oh boring.”

“Boring.”

“Ugh.”

“I can’t deal with that.”

“He’s full of shit.”

The Slits had driven to college radio station WORT-FM in Madison, Wisconsin directly after a gig in Chicago and were exhausted and obviously rather testy when they arrived. They immediately set about destroying the show and hilariously insulting most of the male listeners. They were slightly nicer to the female callers, even offering to put one of them on the guest list.

This lengendary recording came in various forms, as a promo record, bundled with The Return of The Giant Slits LP or on the cassette release of that album. It’s also on the 2008 CD release of The Return of The Giant Slits.
 

 
Waxidermy had this to say:

Resembling some sort of mythical, technologically-mediated encounter between a coven of witches and a mob of townspeople (most of them men), this “interview” is hilarious, profound, and scary all at the same time.

More Slits after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
When the drugs were still working: Cheerfully insane footage of the Butthole Surfers backstage, 1986
03.10.2016
01:27 pm

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Music
Punk

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This laugh-out-loud funny footage of backstage mayhem at a Butthole Surfers show was taped at Atlanta’s 688 Club on February 28 1986. It’s probably one of the two or three most sublime (non-musical) moments caught on tape of the Butthole Surfers in their lysergic prime (when the drugs were still working for them and not against them, in other words). It’s right up there with the “Bed In” interviews seen on their infamous classic Blind Eye Sees All home video release from the year before.

I’ve had a copy of this video courtesy of the person who shot it—the late New York-based video artist Nelson Sullivan—who, knowing I was a big Butthole Surfers fan, gave it to me himself just a few months after it was taped, along with the entire show, which is more or less too dark to really enjoy. But the after show hijinks? This is a true classic. If you are a Butthole Surfers freak, trust me on this one. I’ve posted this here a long time ago, but in case you missed it then, well, don’t make that same mistake this go round… Not unless you want to miss Gibby drawing a dick on a mural of Thor or not find out what he discovered when he went lookin’ for “Louis” & Clark.. and other things.
 

 
Here’s something that you have to know to be able to make maximum sense out of what’s going on here: Nelson—who had been invited to the show by then-drummer, Cabbage (Kytha Gernatt)—was behind the camera obviously. However, what you can’t see is that he was attired in an absolutely outlandish outfit comprised of red, white and blue plaid matching bell-bottom pants, vest and cap. It was truly an ensemble that “Rerun” from What’s Happening!! would have been ashamed to wear out of the house. The sight of Nelson—who was probably 37 at the time, but who came off as much older—in this getup was perplexing to say the least, under any circumstances or in any setting, including yes, even backstage at a Butthole Surfers’ concert.

More after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
When Wendy O. Williams guest-starred in an episode of ‘MacGyver’
03.10.2016
10:25 am

Topics:
Amusing
Punk
Television

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Here’s something I didn’t know about: that time when Wendy O. Williams guest starred on MacGyver!? The episode aired on November 5th, 1990. You see Wendy wielding around a gun and in an ice skating rink getting an ass whooping by a nun played by none other than Richie Cunningham’s mom of Happy Days, Marion Ross. 

Added footage in this video includes scenes from the 1989 film Pucker Up and Bark Like a Dog. Someone who claims to have worked on the film chimed in the YouTube comments and had this to say:

i was a camera assistant on the movie Pucker Up…fun moments with Wendy O. Curiously enough she did not know how to ride a motorcycle so she was “pushed” into the shot from off camera. The hallway whipping scenes were 90% improv…was intense being in there.

 

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Sky-high boots and platform shoes worn by David Bowie, Marvin Gaye, AC/DC, Keith Moon & more
03.10.2016
09:09 am

Topics:
Fashion
Music
Punk

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Marvin Gaye's signature silver platform boots, 1970s
Marvin Gaye’s signature silver platform boots made by Gaye’s wife, Janis, 1970s
 
As I’m sure many of the more academic readers of DM are aware, the history of guys strutting around in big heels goes all the way back to the Baroque period when it was considered to the calling card of a truly “masculine” kind of man. Oh yes. Wearing heels made you taller and being taller made one appear more menacing. And for men in positions of power or prestige, being intimidating was helpful with ensuring that you maintained your position in society. Aristocrats and elites like Charles II of England were often depicted in paintings wearing high-heeled footwear. 
 
An early version of AC/DC with vocalist Dave Evans looking very glam (far left) with Angus and Malcom Young
An early version of AC/DC with vocalist Dave Evans looking very glam (far left) with Angus (the only one not wearing heels) and Malcolm Young.
 
David Bowie, 1970s
David Bowie, 1970s
 
Johnny Thunders and David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 1973
Johnny Thunders and David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 1973
 
Plenty more platforms and manly man masculine high-heels after the jump…

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Vomit, piss, shit: Freak icon Leigh Bowery’s deliberately offensive art-punk performance art, MInty
03.07.2016
02:00 pm

Topics:
Art
Fashion
Music
Punk
Queer

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Although there is currently but a skeletal entry for Minty on AllMusic.com, the tags alone are intriguing enough:

“Harsh.” “Outrageous.” “Provocative.” “Quirky.” “Self-Conscious.” “Stylish.” “Uncompromising.”

Who wouldn’t want to see a provocative, quirky, harshly outrageous and self-consciously stylish, uncompromising pop act? Count me in. Yes, please!

Minty were an obscure fashionista/club kid/performance art musical combo from the early 90s. If they were really known at all, they were known for the fact that freak icon Leigh Bowery was the original lead singer. Bowery formed Minty with knitwear designer Richard Torry, his wife Nicola Bateman, and club promoter Matthew Glammore. When Bowery died suddenly of an AIDS-related illness on December 31, 1994, after a time the rest of Minty decided to carry on without him. They recorded just a small number of singles—including Bowery’s amazingly foul-mouthed “Useless Man” rap—and one highly original album—Open Wide—that was, I think, unjustly neglected, although the AV Club named it as one of the “least essential albums of the 90s.” I totally disagree.
 

 
Although they hailed from London, Minty were hardly what you’d call a Britpop group. They had little to do with the likes of Blur or Oasis, but they did have a benefactor in Pulp who asked them to be the opening act on one of their tours. The outrageous, deliberately offensive avant garde group was banned from several venues in Britain when word of Bowery giving birth to a shit and blood-covered “baby” (Bateman) onstageno really—got around. To say nothing of the urine drinking, vomit and the stuff he did with the chocolate! In 1994 the Westminster City Council closed down a two-week long Minty residency at London’s Freedom Cafe after only one night.

Although Boy George would later play Leigh Bowery onstage in the Taboo musical, Minty were probably a lot closer to the Butthole Surfers than Culture Club. I have also described them as “Plasmatics meet Soft Cell” or “COUM Transmissions meet Dee-lite,” and even as “the B-52s meet Hermann Nitsch...”

Get Minty fresh after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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