Joey Ramone, famed front man of the Ramones, was the real deal. And the personal property from his private estate are definitely the genuine article. Selected items to be presented by RR Auction include a stage-worn leather jacket and pants, a pair of his trademark shades, guitars, hand-written notes and song lyrics, as well as his personal vintage record and poster collections. Refer to our online catalog for a complete listing of items in this exclusive first-time offering. And make them your own.
The auction will happen on 2/21/2013. Go here for more information.
From the archives of Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong comes this excellently shot video of The Dead Boys, with Stiv Bators in all his glory.
Ivers and Armstrong have nearly 100 musical performances from New York City’s punk era (1975-80) that they’re currently restoring. Check out the archives. It’s mindblowing. The collection would make an amazing DVD box set. Ivers and Armstrong were there, right in the middle of it all.
William Seward Burroughs, the literary prophet of everything weird that would happen during the latter half of the 20th century (including the 23 enigma) was born 99 years ago today, in St. Louis, MS.
Jack Kerouac called Burroughs the “greatest satirical writer since Jonathan Swift” while Norman Mailer described him as “the only American writer who may be conceivably possessed by genius.” J. G. Ballard considered Burroughs to be “the most important writer to emerge since the Second World War.” Richard C. Kostelanetz wrote that “Naked Lunch is one of the more truly original and exciting pieces of prose to emerge from the fifties.”
Then there was the flip-side of that: English critic Philip Toynbee called both Naked Lunch and Nova Express “boring rubbish, insufficiently redeemed by passages of brilliant invention.” Writer John Wain wrote of Burroughs’ work “From the literary point of view, it is the merest trash, not worth a second glance,” while Burroughs’ arch enemy, Truman Capote, had this to say: “Norman Mailer thinks William Burroughs is a genius, which I think is ludicrous beyond words. I don’t think William Burroughs has an ounce of talent.”
William S. Burroughs traveled to the Western Lands at the age of 83 in Lawrence, KS in 1997.
Below, William Burroughs shooting Ralph Steadman’s William Shakespeare portrait dead. Video by Andrea Di Castro, Lawrence, Kansas, 1995.
On the fourth anniversary of the passing of the dearly beloved Lux Interior, I present The Cramps performing in Trenton, New Jersey in 1982 at the legendary City Gardens.
We’re always asked how long we can keep going. But it’s not really an issue for us. Besides, what else could we do? We must be among the world’s most unemployable people. If we hadn’t been in The Cramps, I can’t imagine the trouble we’d be in. We often find ourselves wondering about the difference between what we do and being locked up. It’s a pretty thin line. Rock ‘n’ roll is the greatest way for weirdos like us to find a purpose in life. In that sense, our goal has never really changed. We just want to carry on getting away with it. Not getting caught – that’s our only ambition.” Lux Interior, NME.
Caitlan Clarke, Andy Kaufman and Debbie Harry,1983
Teaneck Tanzi: The Venus Flytrap was a 1983 Broadway play that starred Debbie Harry as “Tanzi,” Caitlan Clarke as “Tanzi” and Andy Kaufman as the “referee.” Debbie Harry and Caitlin Clarke had to alternate in the lead role of “Tanzi” because of the strenuous nature of the wrestling.
Apparently the play didn’t do too well, though. Despite its success in London, Teaneck Tanzi closed on Broadway after just a single performance.
From a 2007 Gothamist interview with Debbie Harry:
What can you tell us about your Broadway debut alongside Andy Kaufman in Teaneck Tanzi?
The Venus Flytrap? [Laughs.] Well, it was a very interesting little musical play. At the time, way back in the beginning of the ‘80s, Chris [Stein, co-founder of Blondie] and I were very big wrestling fans and we used to go to the Garden all the time because we had a friend who did all the promotion there and she would get us ringside seats. We had a great time and started going to wrestling many, many years before Cindi [Lauper] starting hanging out with Lou Albano. So then all of a sudden I got this script and I thought it could be really fun. So we did the show for about three weeks in previews, downtown in a nice sort of loft space Off Off-Broadway. And it was great; the audiences were loud and everybody was shouting at the wrestlers just like a real wrestling match. And then they decided they were going to open it on Broadway and it opened and closed almost instantly! So I guess it was a little bit premature for Broadway.
My good friend Binky Philips writes a column for The Huffington Post which basically recounts what it was like being in a rock band in Manhattan during the 70s. It’s a lovely column that is full of telling details about the scene surrounding CBGB and Max’s at a time when we were all trying to form bands in an all-out assault on the musical status quo. Binky was in the middle of it, but somehow managed to stay sane enough to have a cleared-eyed take on the scene. Binky’s a fanboy with just enough cynicism to keep it real.
In this excerpt from his column, Binky writes about his first encounter with Patti Smith. You can read it in its entirety here.
One day, about a month into my tenure at Guitar Lab as their gopher the summer of 1970, Bruce, this hotheaded very not-politically-correct kid from Long Island working there, a master repair and modification man at age 22, walked into the back room and said, “Hey, Binky. Ya wanna see Keith Richards with tits?” Uh, yes! I do!
I walked out to the main customer area and there was this skinny pale black-haired ragamuffin chick (I never use that word, but this was a chick) holding a beat up Fender Duo-Sonic (at the time, a total loser/beginner’s guitar; I’m now a proud owner of a 1964 worth more than $2,000) and she was just about falling out of a really large, loose, and worn-out-to-paper-thin t-shirt with prominent and frankly fabulous breasts. She was frantically and inarticulately explaining over and over again that her Duo-Sonic was…
“Buzzin’! It sounds like shit. I mean, it’s buzzin’. It’s buzzin’ bad. You can fix buzzin’, right? God, this sucks, it’s bad buzzin’ alla time. Really buzzin’ bad, man. Why’s it buzzin’?”
Almost like she had Tourette’s.
And, as it turned out, Bruce’s description was utterly on the money. Her haircut was exactly Keef’s in Gimme Shelter. Her cheeks were gaunt, the black eye-liner was thick, the bone earring was in place, as was a skull ring, ditto old black ankle boots with rundown heels, (maybe more Dylan in the footwear department… what with the price of snakeskin, even then). No hips in ratty black skin-tight jeans. Even at the age of 17, I could see that she was so immersed in her dream that she was genuinely unaware of the effect she was having on five 1970 chauvinist pig guys who worked in a guitar shop. We were all smitten and totally in novelty lust with her. At least two Guitar Labbers kept her there talking for quite awhile. But, after a few minutes, I kinda drifted away and went back to opening cases of guitars left for repairs that I could drool over. I guess I was the least infatuated. I mean, I dug her. Her look was down so cold. I was jealous, even in my ultra-cool Granny Takes A Trip boots. But she seemed like she really was a total urban-hillbilly goofball. Actually, just not sexy at all.
Yeah, it was Patti Smith.”
Here’s a clip of The Patti Smith Group live in Spain in 1976. By this time Patti had come a long way in the six years since Binky had first encountered her. This is quite a stunning performance. Buzzin’ and all.
This is rather special - pages from John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil’s revolutionary Punk magazine, as held by The San Francisco Academy of Comic Art Collection and the Ohio State University Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.
These pages come from issue No. 6, which featured The Legend of Nick Detroit, a fumetti or photo-story written and directed by McNeil and edited by Holstrom, with Roberta Bayley as director of photography.
The fictional Nick Detroit was a “...former top international Agent and super-killer now become world-weary mercenary battling the infamous Nazi Dykes and their schemes for world domination.” The strip starred Richard Hell as Nick Detroit, with David Johansen as Mob King Tony, and Debbie Harry as Debbie Nazi Dyke. There were also appearances by Lenny Kaye, David Byrne, and “a ton of others including Terry Ork, Anya Phillips, and Nancy Spungen (in a crowd scene).”