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Punk+: Sheila Rock’s photos of The Clash, Siouxsie, The Buzzcocks, The Sex Pistols and more
05.10.2013
01:19 pm
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Siouxsie Sioux (Feb 1979) This is certainly a young woman who knew exactly who she was, wouldn’t you say?

Nevermind those sterile museum retrospectives, First Third Books has just published Punk+, a gorgeous new coffee table monograph featuring Sheila Rock’s documentation of the formative London punk scene. Although many of the faces are familiar, the emphasis on punk as a youth culture, as a tribe, makes this a welcome departure from many other books of punk era photography. These shots are from when the participants were still really young and Rock’s intimate images haven’t lost any of their power from being overused (85 to 90% of the photographs are unseen according to her estimate).

I get sent books like this, well, frequently, and Punk+ is far and away one of the best. Speaking as a former publisher myself, this is a high quality piece to be really proud of.

With a brief introduction by Nick Logan and commentary from some of the participants, Punk+ wisely lets Sheila Rock’s portraits do the talking. I especially loved the pics of a young John Lydon in what appears to be his own flat.
 

Jordan outside of Malcolm McClaren and Vivienne Westwood’s SEX boutique
 

Girl (Leather Jacket)
 

Subey (June 1977)
 

The Subway Sect, Chalk Farm (Dec 1976)

Rob Symmons: “They’re the only public photographs of us that exist from that time because we wouldn’t have any photographs taken. When you (Sheila Rock) rang the door bell, (that little black door at the side Rehearsal Rehearsals) you asked for The Clash and were disappointed they were not there, didn’t believe us and came in to see. To save a wasted trip, you reluctantly photographed us. After we told Bernie [Rhodes] you had come to the studio one evening and taken our pictures, he was cross. I remember his exact words: “When the cat’s away. the mice will play”

 

Generation X (1977)
 

The Buzzcocks (Nov 1977)

Paul Simonon: “We did a couple of shows with The Buzzcocks and we used to go on stage with Jackson Pollack Shirts. One time they did a show with us and came on with Mondrian shorts. It was great!”

 

The Damned (Nov 1976)
 

Paul Weller of The Jam (1979)
 
Sheila Rock’s Punk+ is available as a signed limited edition and standard edition directly through First Third Books.

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.10.2013
01:19 pm
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CBGB’s toilet: Museum recreates punk rock’s legendary pisshole
05.09.2013
04:52 am
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The Metropolitan Museum Of Art’s “PUNK: Chaos to Couture” exhibition includes a re-creation of the legendary bathroom at CBGB’s, the Mecca of merde. But, as we see in the above photo of the museum’s replication of the tortured toilet, duplicating mayhem is impossible. Like most forms of wildlife, if you remove it from its habitat you kill it.

As someone who waded into that hellhole with the regularity of a bottom-feeding crustacean with a bad beer habit, this feeble installation doesn’t come close to evoking the dank horror of the place. The shithole at CBGB’s was punk rock’s Petri dish, spawning a virus that would radiate outward and forward into the future changing pop culture forever. Rock ‘n’ roll’s DNA was re-tooled in this stool garden.  Oh, how I miss it.

For the sake of historical accuracy, the bathroom’s floor should be soaking wet, the toilets overflowing with shit and piss and shards of broken beer bottles everywhere.

This was one of the few bathrooms in Manhattan where it was impossible to snort a line of coke discreetly and every bowel movement was performance art. The toilet truly lived up to the appellation of “throne.” You had to ascend a small staircase to reach it. You defecated from on high while below drunken rockers staggered around the urinals trying to hit their mark in an appallingly comical version of Sin City’s dancing fountains. This was Las Vegas for cockroaches.

Here’s a photo of the real deal. Lean into the monitor and smell the stomach-churning aroma of punk rock.
 

 
Via The Gothamist.

Posted by Marc Campbell
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05.09.2013
04:52 am
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Destroy Boredom: Punk Rock and the Situationist International
05.07.2013
10:30 am
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On the Passage of a few People through a Rather Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International 1956-1972 is an interesting short film by Branka Bogdanov primarily documenting the work of ultra-leftist French philosopher Guy Debord, author of the influential post Marxist study of 20th capitalism Society of the Spectacle. The film explores Debord’s influence on the Paris riots of May 1968 and the nihilistic aesthetics of the punk rock era.

Interviewees include Greil Marcus, Malcolm McLaren and Sex Pistols graphic designer Jamie Reid.
 
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Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.07.2013
10:30 am
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Paris Calling: Ferocious live Clash show from 1980
05.02.2013
11:02 am
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A few years ago, there was a several gigabyte torrent file going around of every Clash performance from American television, a separate folder of the British TV clips, another consisting of their European television appearances and one that was marked “miscellaneous.” It was gold, to say the least. (The same guy had other similar mega-torrents of The Smiths, The Fall and Mott The Hoople. Naturally I snatched all of them. You know who you are, and if you are reading this, God bless you!)

One of the jewels in that digital crown was this Clash concert in Paris, live from the La Palace nightclub in 1980 in support of London Calling. Exciting, well-shot (with cameramen onstage) and the band is as tight here as you are ever likely to see them.

Set list
Jimmy Jazz
London Calling
Protex Blue
Train in Vain
Koca Kola
I Fought The Law
Spanish Bombs
Wrong ‘Em Boyo
Stay Free
Janie Jones
Compete Control
Garageland
Tommy Gun
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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05.02.2013
11:02 am
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The shop-keeper who unleashed a revolution: Documentary on Punk’s Artful Dodger Malcolm McLaren
04.30.2013
07:40 pm
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Malcolm McLaren unleashed the greatest revolution of the last quarter of the 20th century. This was in part because McLaren was really a shop-keeper, a haberdasher, a boutique owner who knew his market and, most importantly, knew how to sell product to the masses.

Unfortunately, when it came to music, the talent was more than just product, and McLaren regularly mis-used and manipulated the musical talent (New York Dolls, Sex Pistols, Adam and The Ants/Bow-Wow-Wow) for his own personal gain. It was the behavior of a man who couldn’t and didn’t trust anyone—perhaps because (as he claimed) he had been abandoned by his mother—an act of betrayal he never forgave. There is the story of how years later, McLaren was have said to have traveled on a London Underground train, only to find his mother in the same carriage. The pair sat opposite each other, with neither acknowledging the other’s presence, and each alighting at their separate stops.

McLaren was bewitching, relentless and always on the make. But for all his scams and incredible machinations, little is really known about the man himself. He re-wrote his biography so many times it is almost impossible to know what is the truth. He also carefully edited out those who had helped his success, and fabricated wonderful, picaresque tales of misadventure—-for example, the time he failed to have Nancy Spungen kidnapped, in a bid to remove her insidious influence over Sid Vicious.

In essence, Malcolm’s greatest talent was his own self-promotion—his unique role as a cultural PR man, who changed history. If there is anything to be learned from his particular type of genius, it is to make headlines out of even the worst situation. On his deathbed, Mclaren’s last words were said to have been: “Free Leonard Peltier.” As he had done in his life, McLaren had once again grabbed hold of someone else’s notoriety.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Superb documentary on Malcolm McLaren from 1984


 

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.30.2013
07:40 pm
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Growing Up Rotten: Pictures of a young John Lydon
04.30.2013
11:16 am
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Photographs of John Lydon from cute, tartan-clad child, via brainy school portrait, to long-haired, teenaged hippie, who was going to Hawkwind concerts and allegedly selling LSD.
 
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Via The Times, Stereogum, Fodderstompf, and Fark
 
More of young Master Lydon, after the jump…
 

READ ON
Posted by Paul Gallagher
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04.30.2013
11:16 am
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When punk still aced junk: Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers at Max’s Kansas City 1979
04.25.2013
05:54 am
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There are special moments in one’s life that take on mythic qualities. Most of mine have involved sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. One particularly mindfucking moment for me was the night I got shitfaced with Lester Bangs at The Village Gate while watching Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers and their opening act The Senders. Bangs and I agreed it was a mighty night and we celebrated it with reckless abandon, the kind of assault on my body that would probably kill me today. I learned to pace myself. Lester didn’t. He died a year or two later…

Phillipe Marcade, the frontman of The Senders, was a mad Frenchman who was drunk on Chuck Berry and Muddy Waters. And Thunders was firmly embraced but not strangled by the arms of Morpheus. That night at The Gate, the alchemy was like mystical napalm and we all went up in some kind of cosmic smoke. I will say here and now it was a great night of rock a’n’ roll and what I can remember of bullshitting with Bangs was pretty good too. In fact, it was splendid. Having a conversation with Lester Bangs was like trying to stand up in a row boat during a hurricane. The force coming off of Thunder’s guitar provided the ballast to keep me from capsizing.

So all of that is leading me up to prepare you for another fine moment in which The Heartbreakers roared heroically with Johnny’s knees only buckling occasionally under the blow of smack’s velvet blackjack. This footage of the band at Max’s Kansas City in 1979 captures some of the raw excitement of Johnny, Walter Lure (doing most of the heavy lifting), Jerry Nolan and Billy Rath grinding out their punk bliss with the kind of transcendent energy that only loud guitars and big ferocious beats can deliver. The audio is thin, but I can guarantee that being at this show was as breathtakingly intense as being crushed by a subway train. This is Johnny shortly before the dope turned him into a helpless headcase. Savor it.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell
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04.25.2013
05:54 am
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Kool Thing: Kim Gordon on her divorce from Thurston Moore and breast cancer
04.23.2013
01:45 pm
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Vintage shot of Kim Gordon via Suicide Watch

There’s a fascinating must-read short profile of Kim Gordon in this month’s Elle by Lizzy Goodman. In it, the Sonic Youth co-founder discusses being single again at the still Sonically Youthful age of 59, divvying up those pop culture treasures she and Thurston Moore must’ve amassed over the years and her breast cancer treatment:

“We have all these books, records, and art and are getting it all assessed; that’s what is taking so long,” she says after ordering a glass of rosé. But both have moved on. Among her suitors are a restaurateur, an architect, and an actor. “It’s just weird,” Gordon says of navigating new romance. “I can’t tell what’s normal.” And Moore has regularly been seen with the same woman, fueling the rumor that his affair helped doom their marriage. “We seemed to have a normal relationship inside of a crazy world,” Gordon says of her marriage. “And in fact, it ended in a kind of normal way—midlife crisis, starstruck woman.”

Some years ago, a woman Gordon declines to name became a part of the Sonic Youth world, first as the girlfriend of an erstwhile band member and later as a partner on a literary project with Moore. Eventually, Gordon discovered a text message and confronted him about having an affair. They went to counseling, but he kept seeing the other woman. “We never got to the point where we could just get rid of her so I could decide what I wanted to do,” Gordon says. “Thurston was carrying on this whole double life with her. He was really like a lost soul.” Moore moved out. Gordon stayed home and listened to a lot of hip-hop. “Rap music is really good when you’re traumatized,” she says.

The first few months were rough. “It did feel like every day was different,” she recalls. “It’s a huge, drastic change.” But slowly things improved. She adjusted to the framework of semisingle parenthood. (Coco, their only child, is now a freshman at a Chicago art school.) Gordon kept their colonial filled with friends—a musician, a poet, and Moore’s adult niece, with whom Gordon has remained very close. “Sometimes I cook dinner and just invite whomever,” she says of her improvised family life. “Everyone helps out a bit with the dogs. It’s a big house. It’s nice to have people around.” Things were stabilizing. Then Gordon was found to have a noninvasive form of breast cancer called DCIS. “I’m fine; it’s literally the best you can have,” she says of her diagnosis, which required a lumpectomy. “I didn’t do radiation or anything, but I was like, Okay, what else is going to happen to me?”

Read more at Elle.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.23.2013
01:45 pm
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Corky from ‘Life Goes On’ shows his punk/hip-hop side and ‘Fights the Power!’
04.18.2013
12:57 pm
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In honor of Public Enemy’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight, here’s a clip from the Life Goes On TV series where “Corky” shows his more rebellious side and “fights the power.”

And, yes, I’m probably going to Hell for posting this.

  
With thanks to Leopold Stotch!

 

Posted by Tara McGinley
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04.18.2013
12:57 pm
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Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers live on Dutch TV, 1978
04.18.2013
10:38 am
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Simply superb showing by a youthful Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers circa 1978 (Leroy Radcliffe, D. Sharpe, Asa Brebner) from Dutch TV’s Top Pop program.

Starts off with a playful version of “Egyptian Reggae,” Richman’s charmingly clunky white college boy take on the famous riddim from Johnny Clarke’s “None Shall Escape the Judgment.”

“Egyptian Reggae”.
“New England”.
“Abominable Snowman”.
“Cleopatra”
“Buzz Buzz Buzz”
“Affection”.
“I’m A Little Airplane”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger
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04.18.2013
10:38 am
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