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Meet Wilma Burgess, country music’s first openly lesbian singer
05.02.2016
04:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Queer

Tags:
Country music
Wilma Burgess
Owen Bradley


 
When country singer Chely Wright revealed to her fanbase that she was a lesbian back in 2010, many of the magazine articles at the time referenced k.d. lang or Melissa Etheridge, to name two earlier gay performers who opted to be true to themselves in public, but very few mentioned an even earlier lesbian country music singer to come out of the closet.
 

 
Actually, Wilma Burgess, who had several hit singles in the mid-1960s was never in the closet to begin with. Burgess was a protege of the great country music producer Owen Bradley, one of the chief architects of the slick, string-laden “Nashville sound” of the 50s and 60s. Bradley, who had been Patsy Cline’s producer, heard in Burgess’ powerful voice a performer able to do something similar to the deceased singer and he signed her to Decca Records in June of 1964. Interestingly Burgess was reluctant to perform teary ballads where she was singing to a man, and preferred her material to be gender neutral and ambiguous. When she did agree to sing a song like “Ain’t Got No Man” it was something she negotiated with her powerful hit-maker mentor: One song she liked but that he didn’t have to, for every one of his choices that she went along with but wasn’t too fond of. Their partnership worked well and produced several hits, most notably the Grammy-nominated “Baby,” a 1965 hit Burgess was seen singing in the Jayne Mansfield B-movie The Las Vegas Hillbillys, and “Misty Blue” in 1967.
 

 
For obvious teasons, Wilma Burgess ultimately found herself frustrated by the strict and ostensibly pious Nashville scene and left the music business in 1978. She would go on to open The Hitching Post, the first lesbian bar in Nashville, in the late 80s with the money she made during her career. Wilma Burgess died at the age of 64 from a heart attack on August 26th, 2003.
 

 
More clips of Wilma Burgess after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Gorillas make up ‘little food songs’ while they eat: Listen to them here
05.02.2016
02:38 pm

Topics:
Animals
Food
Music

Tags:
gorillas


 
According to an article by Brian Owens in New Scientist, a German scientist working in the Congo has discovered a fun new fact about gorillas, that they hum and even sing during mealtimes. Food-related calls had been documented in chimpanzees and bonobos, but never in gorillas.

But far from just vocalizing, gorillas appear to generate two different types of sound while eating. One of them was “a steady low-frequency tone” that sounds rather like a sigh of contentment, or a hum:
 

 
The other was “a series of short, differently pitched notes” which resembles “a random melody”:
 

 
And it’s not like they “sing the same song over and over,” commented Luef. “It seems like they are composing their little food songs.”

According to Ali Vella-Irving of the Toronto Zoo, “Each gorilla has its own voice: you can really tell who’s singing. And if it’s their favorite food, they sing louder.”

The behaviors, however, differ according to whether the primates are in captivity or not. In zoos every individual sings during meals, but Luef found that in the wild “it was generally only dominant silverback males that sang and hummed while eating.”

She speculated that vocalizing might be the silverback’s method of informing the group that the meal is not yet concluded and that the time to move on has not yet arrived. “He’s the one making the collective decisions for the group,” Luef says. “We think he uses this vocalization to inform the others ‘OK, now we’re eating.’”

Because there is so much variation in calls both between individuals and species, food calls provide a good way to study the origin of language, says Zanna Clay, a psychologist at the University of Birmingham: “It gives a good insight into the origin of meaning in animal signals, and also the social pressures that might drive the flexibility we see in language.”

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The Monkees’ Peter Tork plays Bach and Elvis at CBGB during the height of the punk era
05.02.2016
12:34 pm

Topics:

Tags:
The Monkees
CBGB
Peter Tork


A bearded Peter Tork, around the time of his 1977 CBGB solo set. Can we call this his “head” shot?

In 1977 The Monkees TV show was nine years in the rearview mirror, the Monkees hadn’t been active for six years, and an outfit going by the name Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart had released an album a year earlier.

The post-Monkees years had not been easy for Peter Tork. He tried to start a band with his girlfriend Reine Stewart that was to be called “Peter Tork and/or Release,” but they never, ah, “released” anything (Tork says that he possesses Release demos to this day), and in 1972 he got busted for possession of hashish and did three months in an Oklahoma penitentiary. By 1975 he was a teacher at Pacific Hills School in Santa Monica.
 

This pic comes from the September 22, 1977 issue of Rolling Stone—the same issue that memorialized the passing of Elvis Presley
 
As improbable as it sounds, in 1977 Tork played a solo set at CBGB, the legendary venue catering to punk and new wave on the Bowery in Manhattan. The date was July 31, and no less a personage than Lester Bangs wrote a review of the show for the Village Voice.

Tork’s jaunty, amateurish set was all over the map. Playing some guitar but mostly piano, Tork played “Prelude #2 in C Minor” as well as a two-part invention by Johann Sebastian Bach and Elvis’ “Don’t Be Cruel” and Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” and Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” and Jerry Lee Lewis’ “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On.” One of the numbers was a Russian folk tune titled “Kretchman” that I recommend a certain DM contributor adopt as his new personal anthem. He played “I’ll Spend My Life with You”  off of Headquarters and “Pleasant Valley Sunday” off of Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd.
 

This CBGB ad appeared in the Village Voice, August 1, 1977 issue
 
Lester Bangs quotes Tork as saying before the show, “This is pretty much a one-shot for me; I was booked in here by a journalist friend of mine who’s helping me do a book on the Monkees trip, and after it’s over I’m gonna go back to California and teaching. I couldn’t do this on the West Coast; CBGB’s is psychedelic.” (To which Bangs blandly responds “If you say so.”)

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘20th Century Toy’: Behold the glam-rock glory of this customized ‘Marc Bolan’ Lambretta scooter
05.02.2016
12:30 pm

Topics:
Heroes

Tags:
Marc Bolan
T. Rex
Lambretta scooter

Danielz, the vocalist for the T. Rex tribute band, T.Rextasy sitting on the customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter
Danielz, the vocalist for the T. Rex tribute band, T. Rextasy sitting on the customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter.
 
In May of 2012, this vintage, customized Lambretta scooter plastered with images of T. Rex frontman, Marc Bolan sold for a whopping $17,372.22 in an Ebay auction. And once you see the images of said scooter, you’ll understand why.
 
The customized
Customized Marc Bolan Lambretta scooter.
 
Made in Italy, this model of Lambretta (a “TV 175” according to the listing) was manufactured in 1964. The seller, who aptly dubbed the tricked out ride “20th Century Toy,” completely rebuilt the engine before a team of experts “glamified” the scooter in nearly every possible way. Such as the addition swan-shaped mirrors, the modification to the Lambretta’s handlebars that include an engraved nod to T. Rex’s smash from their 1972 album The Slider, “Metal Guru,” as well as the brake & clutch levers which were cleverly fashioned into Gibson “Flying V” guitars. Bolan was fond of using the Gibson Flying V during the 1970s, and one owned by the “Jeepster” himself sold for $36,000 at a Christie’s “Pop Memorabilia” auction in 2007.

More photos of what possibly may be the coolest scooter ever, follow.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
Someone had to have invented the first selfie stick in history, right?
05.02.2016
11:34 am

Topics:
Amusing
History

Tags:
selfie stick


 
I do particularly loathe the term “selfie stick” but what else could I call this shot of Helmer Larsson and his wife, Naemi Larsson, taken all the way back in 1934? I mean, he’s taking a picture of himself and he’s using a stick for Pete’s sake! Now I know this isn’t the first self-portrait taken with a camera, but it is the first vintage photograph I’ve seen where a stick was employed to push the shutter button by the subject.

Whatever the case, I find the image adorable.

via The Kraftfuttermischwerk

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Fake girlfriend guy and the art of the fake girlfriend selfie
Forever alone: Pretend you have a friend with the Selfie Arm!
Forget the Selfie, here’s the Shelfie
George Harrison’s 1966 selfies from India
Stevie Nicks’ selfies from the 1970s
Vampira’s Selfies

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention get caught up in a German student riot, 1968

02exfzbe68.jpg
 
1968 was a year of great political unrest across Europe. The psychedelic summer of love had quickly faded—replaced by angry students hurling cobblestones at police in Paris or instigating loud and bloody demonstrations against the Vietnam War in London. It was against this background that Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention paid their first visit to Germany on the band’s second tour of Europe. The trip to Germany was to prove memorable for two very different reasons.

Firstly on October 6th, 1968: Zappa and co. appeared on Beat-Club where they jammed through a superb set of tracks including “King Kong,” “A Pound For A Brown On The Bus,” “Sleeping In A Jar” and “Uncle Meat”—all of which would appear on the band’s next album Uncle Meat. There was also an instrumental version of “Let’s Make The Water Turn Black”—from We’re Only in It for the Money; an early attempt at “Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Sexually Aroused Gas Mask” and some interesting takes on Richard Wagner’s prelude to act three of Lohengrin and Edgard Varese’s piece for a small orchestra Octandre. All jolly stuff and very agreeable too.

However, any youngsters catching the Mothers on tour at this time may have been fooled into thinking Zappa was the ringleader of some revolutionary collective—which leads us dear reader on to our second reason this was such an interesting occasion..
 
03fzb3.jpg
The Mothers 1968—Ron Kroon / Anefo / Nationaal Archief.
 
A week after their appearance on Beat-Club Zappa and the Mothers played one of Hitler’s old stomping grounds, the Sportpalast in Berlin. It was here Zappa was approached by a group of young German radical students who—depending on which book you read or version you hear—either wanted their pop idol to demand the release of Fritz Teufel—founder of the radical group Kommune 1 who was currently under arrest; or to denounce capitalism from the stage that very night; or show his support for the imminent glorious socialist revolution or wanted they wanted Zappa’s help with their plans to riot for a “socialist education policy.” Take your pick.

Having witnessed the Civil Rights movement in America, Zappa was none too impressed by these grievance hungry students, who had mistakenly taken their cue from the length of the Mothers’ hair and Zappa’s subversive songs that he and they would willingly sign on to the student demands. Understandably, Zappa said “nope” or perhaps he said “nein.”

Undeterred, the students demanded Zappa to order the audience at that night’s concert to go out and set fire to the Allied Command Building on Potsdamer Strasse. Again and none too surprisingly Zappa said “no.” The students felt doubly betrayed.

They soon made their disappointment known at the gig that night when these red kerchiefed malcontents bombarded the stage with vegetables and blasted air horns. The Mothers carried on regardless, as Zappa later recalled:

We had to play a two hour show in the middle of all this bullshit. And these guys were out there stomping around and throwing stuff and the people on the bandstand are getting hit with hard vegetables, you know, cucumbers [laughter]. Squash. you know they really hit you like a rock up there. And they were throwing eggs, and cherry bombs. And then they grabbed this big fence, like a restraining device to keep the audience away from the performers at those events. It was made out of pipes this big around with a chain link fence in between and concrete feet. And about thirty of them picked it up and tried to throw it on stage, which would have killed both of our drummers by pinning them against the amplifiers, you see.

So our manager Herbie [Cohen] and this German promoter Fritz Rau caught it in mid air and threw it back on them. And then this other guy charged the stage and Herbie put his foot through his face. And then they kept on throwing things, and then they kept on trying to get up onto the stage. We kept pushing these guys back—and we’re up there humming and strumming…[laughter] and it was really a very unusual situation.

So then we had to take an intermission, see. We left the stage after an hour of fun and merriment. And during that time the ordinaries, that the local promoter had hired to keep everything under control at the hop thought that we had run off, so they ran away. And when they ran away, about a hundred of these kids went up onto the stage and started stomping all over our equipment.

So we come back from intermission, and here’s all these people milling around on stage. They don’t even know why they’re there. They look like cows. They’re standing there like this. But they’re standing, you know, on drums, and they’re knocking things over, and a few of the guys had stolen small pieces of equipment and disappeared into the audience. They were just making a lot of noise and standing around. Just completely blank. They don’t even know what their revolution is about.

So we started pushing them off the stage. We started putting our equipment back together. We got the PA system working. And I gave them a speech for about 15 minutes, wherein I discussed the possibility that they were acting more like Americans than anything I’ve ever seen. And that pissed them off. And they’re out there yelling “Revolution, Revolution”—and I’m saying “You people need evolution, not revolution.”

And they said, “No take it back you’re the Mothers of Reaction.” And I told them they were [beeped], and they understand English. I told them whether they liked it or not we were going to continued to play the second half of the program. So gradually they shut up, and they sat down. The only thing that happened during the second hour was one cherry bomb on stage.

And we had played about 45-50 minutes, and we were into a long instrumental piece, which was going to be our closing number, and I’d reduced the volume of the tune so that I could say goodnight to the nice German people. At which point the student leader with the red rag around his neck comes running up on stage and grabs the microphone and starts raving in German. I just knew he was telling these people, “I’ve got the matches come with me.”

So we played real loud so nobody could hear what he was saying. Two people were taking the instruments off the stage, you know piece by piece pulling things away until it was just me and the organist left on stage playing one full-volume fuzztone loud ugly note that was just going BLAAAAAH.

And it was the only thing that kept people back off the stage, ‘cause they kept trying to get up onto the stage and this noise would hit them and they’d go ...

Finally, when they got all the drums and all the rest of the stuff out of the way, we just unplugged and split off the stage. And they all came milling back up there. And they looked around and they didn’t know why they were on stage again. That’s Germany today.

Zappa later wrote about it all in the song “Holiday In Berlin”:

Look at all the Germans
Watch them follow orders
See them think they´re doing
Something groovy in the street.

See the student leader,
He´s a rebel prophet
He´s fucked up
He´s still a Nazi
Like his Mom and Dad.

Cheap shot, maybe. That’s what happened in Berlin.

After the jump Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention perform a fantastic improvisational set on ‘Beat-Club’...

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Free love, free press and lots of nude hippie chicks
05.02.2016
10:05 am

Topics:
History
Literature
Sex

Tags:


 
When I got to San Francisco, the Summer Of Love was in full effect and I was crashing at a pad on Waller street in the Haight. There were a couple dozen of us in a large multi-room apartment sleeping on the floor, on couches, wherever we could find a few unoccupied square feet. I had a nice setup in an oversized closet. I knew the guy who rented the apartment (we had gone to junior high together) and so I got some preferential treatment. Everyone in the place were pilgrims from all over the United States and we were all under twenty.  And, like I said, it was the Summer Of Love. So a lot of fucking was going on.

Everything you’ve read or heard about “free sex” in the Sixties is pretty much true. It was a love fest and the worst that might happen is that you got the clap or crabs. No one was dying. And for awhile no one that I knew was having babies, either. It was as if God had said “go for it.” And we did. I’d lie in the black light glow of my closet tripping on acid and listening to the zipping and unzipping of sleeping bags as young lovers migrated from one to the other, their giggles and moans mingling with the steady drone of KSAN radio playing the soundtrack to our lives.

In the world of commerce, far from Hippie Hill and Panhandle Park, the free sex “thing” was a great way for newspapers and magazines to sell product. There was an international explosion of hippie-themed publications that dealt with sex, politics, art, etc. Some were legit. Some were pure exploitation. Some were both. A lot of periodicals actually contained the writings of well-respected thinkers like Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary and were read by the counter-culturists they were intended for. Others were designed to appeal to the gawkers and the “raincoat crowd.” Hippie shit sold and there were a bunch of easy angles for marketing it: sex, drugs and rock and roll. If you didn’t have the balls to be a part of it you could always imagine. Burn some incense, put on some sitar music and pull your pud as you pictured yourself surrounded by a bunch of flower children wearing beads, headbands and patchouli. Your very own hippie oasis in a rec room tricked out in plywood and shag carpeting. Walter Mitty as imagined by R. Crumb.

Here’s a collection of covers that run the gamut from authentically cool alternative press publications to some really goofy softcore pulp. As I was compiling these it became quickly apparent that putting naked hairy dudes on the covers was never part of the marketing plan. The free love movement still had some old school hangovers from Playboy magazine.
 

 

 
More groovy hippie shit after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
‘Bernie Sanders’ and his ‘f*cked-up noise band’
05.02.2016
09:08 am

Topics:
Amusing
Politics

Tags:
parody
Bernie Sanders


 
I probably found this way funnier than I should have, but maybe it’s just that it appeals to my soft spots for both Senator Sanders and for “fucked-up noise bands.”

Still this bit of YouTube tomfoolery had me legit LOLing at the name “Frog Piss,” the shot of Sanders in the barber chair getting his terrible wig cut, and the line “nobody likes us and we don’t like nobody, and that’s how we like it… [pregnant pause]... we also like having a strong middle class.”

You can check out more from the jokers behind this at their Facebook page. And why not donate to the good Senator’s campaign? Bernie is promising to take it all the way to Philly. This is going to be the best summer for politics since 1968. Maybe EVER. Why let the Republicans have all the fun? (Did you know that the difference in pledged delegates between Sanders and Hillary Clinton—with ten states including California still to vote—is but 327?)

Frog Piss, FOREVER!
 

Posted by Christopher Bickel | Leave a comment
The single greatest Public Image Ltd. bootleg, ever: The original band, live in New York, 1980


 
In the 80s and 90s heyday of the “VHS tape trading underground”—from whence oozed choice fare like Jeff Krulik and John Heyn’s “Heavy Metal Parking Lot,” Todd Haynes‘ unorthodox Karen Carpenter bio Superstar and Apocalypse Pooh—the territory was covered in every major city and college town by a small cast of characters—often marginally employed losers who gained a certain amount of notoriety and geek pecking order prestige by the scarcity of their video treasure chests.

These social outcasts and otaku misfits usually kept tight reins on what they had. The less uptight of these guys would trade a full two hour tape for another full two hour tape, whereas others would demand two tapes for every one they traded you. Many were real pricks and would only trade for something they wanted, not something that you wanted. (The sort who might say “Sorry man, but rules are rules.” You know the type.) In this way, back then bootleggers and tape traders were the clutch point between collectors and what they coveted most. It wasn’t unusual for bootleg VHS tapes to sell for $50. “Deals” would be brokered between two assholes, one with a pristine 2nd generation of the demented TV movie Bad Ronald, the other frantically bargaining with him because, of course, acquiring a copy of a shitty movie like Bad Ronald was a matter of extreme importance. With Bittorrent, and before that eBay, this vibrant—albeit somewhat stunted and idiotic—fanboy culture eventually evaporated.

I cannot tell you how many of these dumb “negotiations” I was involved in myself, often with some pretty petty Gollum-like characters. Luckily I had several good “trading cards” in my hand to play, so I always got what I wanted. Three “top traders” that I will admit to back then were Robert Frank’s rarely seen Rolling Stones documentary Cocksucker Blues that I got via a guy I worked with who had himself transferred the film to tape under Robert Frank’s personal supervision; another was the oddball black and white latenight TV commercial for Captain Beefheart’s Lick My Decals Off, Baby album (dubbed by me from an ancient 2” videotape master possessed by an MTV producer who told me to make a copy for myself) and a sharp, first generation dub of an off air recording of Public Image Limited on American Bandstand.

I bring up the PiL clip in particular just to mention that the version that was used on a well-circulated bootleg PiL DVD anthology—one which Amazon used to sell like it was a legit release—that came out about 15 years ago was a grandchild (at least) of my Bandstand clip. I could tell this—definitively—because of the split-second of what preceded it, an outtake of the same Cramps set that was shot for Urgh! A Music War. The clip had been trading around for maybe fifteen years at that point and now it had come full circle. (As for Cocksucker Blues, if you see a brief videotape warble just as the title card fades out...)
 

 
But that’s how those things used to get around. They were quite literally copied one at a time and spread from hand to hand. Which brings me to the topic of this post, another PiL performance—unquestionably the greatest live PiL performance on video—director/editor Paul Dougherty‘s short document of PiL performing at the Great Gildersleeves, a low rent heavy metal bar in NYC, on April 22, 1980 that was bootlegged on this very same DVD. When I bought my copy—at the Pasadena Flea Market—as I scanned the contents and saw that this was on it, I thought I’d hit bootleg PiL paydirt. Sadly it was poor quality.

Now I know Paul. I actually met him at a screening of the PiL Tape, his video for Suicide’s “Frankie Teardrop” and his classic clip for Pulsallama’s “The Devil Lives in My Husband’s Body” when he was showing them at the ICA in London. Many times over the years I’ve asked him for a copy of the PiL Tape—he knows that I’m a complete PiL freak—and every time he just firmly said “No.”

He gave an interview to the The Filth and the Fury fanzine about the so-called PiL Tape in 1999:

Have you any idea how the bootleg videos of your film surfaced? The amazing thing is that until a couple of years ago no one even knew PiL had played the gig, let alone knew that it was filmed!

Paul Dougherty: I have a strong hunch how it leaked but I’m not certain. Because I know all too well how easy it is to copy videos, I was able to keep it bottled up for over 15 years.

Keep reading after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Burly fireman stars in his own ‘sexy’ cheesecake calendar
04.29.2016
05:57 pm

Topics:
Sex

Tags:
cheesecake


 
Any woman (or man, for that matter) who has ever walked into an auto garage and rolled their eyes at the ridiculous pinups on the wall featuring scantily clad woman draped on top of Ford Torinos or holding Valvoline motor oil, will probably appreciate these bawdy pics.

This fantastic photo shoot was done to help a nonprofit called Books To The Rescue Yavapai County, which seeks “to help first responders limit the emotional impact of adverse childhood experiences” by providing comfort packages with books and toys.

The nonprofit was founded by Jasmine Castigliano, who had the idea of enlisting her photographer husband Chad for an, erm, “provocative” photo shoot that, in addition to being hilarious, also does achieves something important by lampooning some outdated gender images.

All we know about the hirsute firefighter in the pics is that his name is Tim—although he now goes by the moniker “the whimsical woodsman.”

You can buy your “Whimsical Woodman” calendar here—a portion of the proceeds does go to Books To The Rescue Yavapai County.
 

 

 
More hilarious and sexxxy pics after the jump…...

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
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