Legendary post-punk performer James Chance (aka James White, aka James Black, best known for the classic “Contort Yourself”) features on a fetching new tie print by Vivienne Westwood.
If you are a fan of late 70s No-Wave skronk AND snazzy ties, then this is may be of interest (here’s looking at you Richard!) However, to purchase this tie you’re going to have to hunt for it, as it is not featured on the Westwood website’s “Men’s Accessories: Ties” page.
And while we are on the subject, here’s a clip of the re-formed Contortions playing live in Poland in 2008:
Watch a young, fresh-faced Robert Smith and The Cure running through seven songs at the “Berg En Bos” Dutch rock festival, held in Apeldoorn in 1980. The band’s line-up at the time was Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Laurence Tolhurst and Matthieu Hartley.
The set list: “A Reflection,” “Play For Today, “In Your House,” “M,” “Jumping Someone Else’s Train,” “Another Journey By Train,” and “A Forest.”
I was living in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The year was 1964. I was thirteen. Beatlemania was running wild and millions of kids across the USA were buying cheap Japanese electric guitars, drum kits, and forming garage bands. My dad bought me a set of Kent drums at Sears and I formed a group called the Continentals. We covered tunes by The Beatles and The Stones, of course, and had a set list that included “Louie Louie,” “I Got My Mojo Workin”, “Shout,” “Hang On Sloopy” - a couple dozen three and four chord rockers. We played at local firehouse dances, supermarket openings and, along with groups like The Mojos and The Ascotts, the Princess movie theater’s Saturday morning kiddie show. We actually performed songs live as opposed to lip-syncing to some Four Seasons or Jan and Dean tune. We were the real fucking deal.
I had a moptop and it got me into trouble at school, where the rule was no hair over the ears and bangs had to be the width of two fingers above your eyebrows. I broke the rules on a consistent basis. A pattern I would follow my entire life. One day I was sent home for wearing madras pants to school. Those were some fucking slick slacks. But, when all the other kids were wearing Gant shirts and Weejun loafers, my madras pants were an affront to the refined sensibilities of the pre-yuppie status quo of the early 60s. In those days, high school had a caste system composed of longhairs, straights, jocks and greasers. I was a longhair. And greasers hated the longhairs. But I dug the greasers. Cause they were rockers. We were fellow parishioners in the church of rock and roll. It took a woman to help me discover this. Her name was, and I’m not bullshitting, Rhonda.
The Continentals were working the crowd before a screening of a cartoon marathon at the Princess. We were tearing through “Eight Days A Week”, “Not Fade Away” and “Gloria,” working up a sweat under our matching lime-green Nehru jackets, as the audience of pubescent teenyboppers bobbed their heads and swayed in mystical union with the almighty power of rock and roll. I felt like Elmer Gantry with drum sticks. We finished our set, took our bows, and walked off the stage.
As I made my way up the isle to the concession stand, there she was: Rhonda, a greaser goddess from the planet Maybelline. She had a jet-black beehive that defied gravity. Marie Antoinette had nothin’ on this home girl. Rhonda’s do was sculptural: a follicle wonderland where Antonio Gaudi and The Ronnettes sniffed hairspray and dreamed of Mayan pyramids. Rhonda had the fairest skin, the pinkest lips and the palest blue eyes I had ever seen. She was graceful and tall and moved with a slow serpentine stroll. She was way out of my league. This was woman in all her archetypal majesty – Shakti with a serious wighat. To my amazement, she was smitten by me. She said she liked the way I played the drums and she leaned over and gave me a kiss that tasted of lipstick and cigarettes. My knees buckled and I felt for the first time that rock and roll was more than music, it was supernatural.
The Princess theater is now a church. But in its own way, it always was.
This 1967 film footage of a Battle Of The Bands at Pierre Van Cortlandt Junior High School Gym in New York captures that tectonic time when thousands of suburban garages all across America shook, rattled and rolled.
In Kill Your Idols director Scott Crary attempts to find some connection between No Wave bands of the late 1970s like Teenage Jesus And The Jerks, Suicide and Swans with contemporary post-punkers Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Black Dice, Liars and others. The link is too tenuous to stand up to close scrutiny, but the movie is fascinating none-the-less for its exciting archival footage and compelling interviews with New York City’s avant-garde old guard. Listening to Lydia Lunch’s bilious rant about rock and roll’s new breed of hipster bands as a “pandering bunch of mama’s boys” who are “desperate to have their music used in the next car commercial” is a hoot. As are similarly contemptuous critques from Lee Ranaldo and Arto Lindsey.
Contrasting the newer bands with their older influences hits a resonant chord when DNA’s Lindsey describes the 1970’s NYC scene as an era when “we didn’t have a whole industry selling us back to ourselves.” This is the significant difference between creating and re-creating. In their self-consciousness, the new bands lack the vision, fearlessness and recklessness that no-wave’s pioneers brought to the mix every time they stepped on stage. It is impossible to replicate the “shock of the new.” Nothing seems dangerous anymore because everything has been radiated in the pasteurizing glow of our retro-obsessed culture. Rock and roll is disappearing up its own asshole. It wasn’t always this way. With every note, No Wave hit the self-destruct button. Gone. This doesn’t mean that the new groups aren’t good - I love Yeah Yeah Yeahs - but trying to find the link between them and the original no wavers is like trying to find fingerprints on water.
Update: The numbnut who uploaded Kill Your Idols pulled the movie from their Youtube channel. If you have a Netflix account, it is available to stream here.
I’ll be the first to admit that this may be a new all-time low for Dangerous Minds. So sue me.
GG’s tormented soul lives on in the parallel world of the Internet to haunt the likes of Simon Cowell.
On a side note: I was at Allin’s last gig at The Gas Station on Manhattan’s Lower East Side in 1993. It was truly total pandemonium. My girlfriend and I were among the hundred or so people who followed GG, who was wearing only a gloppy veneer of shit, as he scurried down Avenue B. It was without question the punkest thing I’d ever seen and perhaps the saddest.
Love him or loathe him, the guy did manage to walk it like he squawked it.
Richie Teeter of The Dictators has died at 61. Cause of death has not been reported but he was battling cancer.
The Dictators were punk pioneers and one of the seminal rock bands to come out of New York City in the 1970s. Teeter joined the group in 1976 and played on their albums Manifest Destiny and Bloodbrothers. He left the group in 1979. Later, he joined Twisted Sister for a brief stint in 1980.
Dictator front man Handsome Dick Manitoba and keyboardist/bassist and songwriter for the group Andy Shernoff reflect on their friend and bandmate Teeter:
SAD SAD news: Former Dictators drummer, Rich Teeter passed away today.
Besides being an excellent drumer and singer, Rich was one of the sweetest guys I ever met.
He had an amazing disposition, and was impossible to hate. He was “one of those guys” who was always even keeled. Even when he wasn’t …..he WAS!…
Listen..I got lots of shit to talk about people in my life, but I don’t now, nor have I ever had a bad word to say about Rich Teeter. A sweet, sweet, gentle man, who I am proud to have called bandmate, and pal. Rest in Peace, DEAR RICH….” Handsome Dick Manitoba
When Richie Teeter joined the Dictators he was a few years older and already married, which instantly made him more mature than the group of nihilistic, knuckleheads that recorded “The Dictators Go Girl Crazy.” Suddenly we had a responsible guy who could keep a beat, sing like a bird and provide a solid foundation that never wavered.
When the music business snubbed our first album I was determined to write songs that would allow me entrance into their exclusive club … naively assuming I actually belonged there. Richie’s voice and rock-hard drumming upped our game and provided the sheen that enabled The Dictators to finally garner some radio play.
I wouldn’t say he totally embraced The Dictators lifestyle but we bonded over our intense love for all things music. Richie was way more accepting than me, appreciated everything from anarchic British punk to wimpy pop to German prog-rock. His taste was so genuine and authentic that I wouldn’t even make fun of him when he listened to Genesis. He wasn’t concerned with trends; he just honestly loved an amazingly wide assortment of sounds.
My last communication with Richie was his request for a vinyl copy of the Dictators compilation “Everyday is Saturday.” Unsurprisingly, he told me he had given up on CD’s and was only listening to music on vinyl. I knew he was going through treatments for esophageal cancer but his ‘gonna beat it’ attitude disguised the difficult stage he was really at.
Richie was quite possibly the nicest guy I ever met which makes it even more depressing to acknowledge that he is the first member of the expanded Dictators family to pass away. We beat the odds for so long but time’s relentless march takes no prisoners… it was great to know and play with you my friend, we won’t forget.” Andy Shernoff
In this live clip from 1977, Richie sings “Hey Boys.”
In 1977, King Crimson founder Robert Fripp—who left the world of music in 1974 when he dissolved the group—moved to NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen (later the Bowery) and immersed himself in the city’s punk and “new wave” music scene. Inspired by New York’s frantic energy and wanting to combine the new sounds he was hearing with “Frippertronics,” the droning tape loop system he had developed with Eno, the final product was his solo record, Exposure.
The ambitious Exposure is one of the ultimate art-rock documents of late 70s New York, a classic album that sadly seems to have fallen through the cracks for many music fans. It’s a brilliant and underrated missing link between what was to become King Crimson’s next incarnation, the “Berlin trilogy” of David Bowie and Brian Eno (and indeed Fripp and Eno’s own collaborations), Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and believe it or not, Hall and Oates!
That’s right Exposure was meant to be seen as the third part of a loose trilogy that included Daryl Hall’s Sacred Songs and Peter Gabriel’s second album (both produced by Fripp). Daryl Hall’s management threw a wrench in the works, concerned that Hall’s decidedly more esoteric solo material might confuse his fan-base expecting catchy, “blue-eyed soul” AM radio-friendly pop tunes and that this would harm his commercial appeal. Additionally, they insisted that Fripp’s own Exposure album be credited as a Fripp/Hall collaboration. As a result, Fripp used just two of Hall’s performances on the album, recording new vocals by Terre Roche and Van Der Graaf Generator’s Peter Hammill.
Sacred Songs didn’t come out until 1980 and sold respectably well. Both albums include the snarling buzz-saw rave-up, “You Burn Me Up I’m a Cigarette.”:
The first voice you hear in the “Preface” is Eno’s and the voice before the phone starts ringing is Peter Gabriel’s. The vocal however, is obviously Daryl Hall, but not as we’re used to hearing him. Fripp later described Hall as the best singer he’d ever worked with and compared his musical creativity to David Bowie’s. High praise indeed.
Another highlight on Exposure is Peter Gabriel’s amazing performance of his “Here Comes the Flood,” perhaps the best version of the many he has recorded: Gabriel disliked the orchestral arrangements for the song on his first album, considering it over-produced. He did a different version on Kate Bush’s Christmas TV special in 1979 and still another on on his Shaking the Tree greatest hits collection. The rendition heard on Exposure is sparse, haunting and moving. I think it’s one of his single greatest vocal performances. Eno, Fripp and Gabriel are the only musicians on this track:
In 1985, a remixed “definitive edition” of Exposure was released and finally, in 2006, a remastered 2 CD set came out on Fripp’s own label with the original 1979 album and a second disc containing yet a third version of Exposure with bonus tracks including the Daryl Hall vocals as originally intended.
Below, a promotional video for Exposure. Not a lot happens here, but in the context of 1979, this would have seemed absolutely futuristic. I’m assuming that this was shot by Amos Poe (director of Glenn O’Brien’s cable access show TV Party) or else Blondie’s Chris Stein:
After the jump, Robert Fripp being interviewed Wayne’s World-style on NY cable access in 1979.
It’s a fine selection of songs, which highlights The Jam’s musical progression from the influence of sixties Mods, through Punk to New Wave and onto Paul Weller’s distinct political commentary with “Eton Rifles”. Excellent stuff. Mind you, it’s still hard to believe Tory PM and professional nincompoop, David Cameron was naive enough to claim he had a great liking for “Eton Rifles”, during a radio interview in 2008. However, the Eton-educated Cameron’s admiration for the song did not impact on his politics, something Paul Weller picked up on:
“Which part of it didn’t he get? It wasn’t intended as a jolly drinking song for the cadet corps.”
The song reached number 3 in the U.K. in November 1979, and was the beginning of The Jam’s dominance over the charts until 1982, when guitar bands were replaced by Blitz Kids, and synthesizers.
During their 5 years of recordings, The Jam brought an edge to pop music by fusing musical ambition to strong Left-wing conviction, which wouldn’t happen on such a similar scale until Pulp in the 1990s, and the likes of which are very much required today.