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‘Hiya Dogface!’: Wasted Iggy Pop goes totally off-the-rails on Australian TV, 1979

Iggy Pop, I'm Bored, 1979
In honor of Iggy Pop’s 69th birthday today I thought I’d share this footage of Iggy’s very “Iggy” interview and off-the-rails lip syncing of “I’m Bored” that aired in 1979 on the Australian television show, Countdown.

The video starts with an interview with a glassy-eyed Iggy conducted by Countdown‘s host Molly Meldrum. Despite repeated requests to focus on the “questions” he was asking, Iggy jumps up and down out of his chair, sneers at the audience, and in general acts like a five-year-old version of himself because he’s plainly high as fuck. Then, in what appears to be an unplanned event, Iggy leaves the interview and is nowhere to be seen after a commercial break, which causes Meldrum to advise the audience not to worry about Iggy because he’s “fine.” Right.
Images from Iggy Pop's 1979 appearance on Australian show, Countdown
Iggy Pop on ‘Countdown.’
I was lucky enough to see Iggy’s electrifying gig a few weeks ago in Seattle for the first stop of his Post Pop Depression Tour and can say without a doubt that Iggy is still “Iggy.” He has no need for such things as shirts, loves the word “fuck,” and jumps around on stage like his pants are on fire.

Happy Birthday, Iggy! Never change!

Iggy Pop ‘perorms’ ‘I’m Bored’ from his ‘New Values’ album in 1979

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The Combat Zone: A look back at Boston’s mythical dens of sleaze

The Naked i cabaret in Boston's old
The Naked i Cabaret in Boston’s old “Combat Zone.”
I grew up in a small town just outside of Boston called Somerville. And like pretty much like any other teenager, I worked quite hard at the craft of getting into trouble as often as possible. I ran with a crowd that was comprised of teenage losers that enjoyed passing the time stealing beer from delivery trucks. As far as you (and my parents) know, I (mostly) never did anything more than drink said stolen beer under train track bridges while underage.
Combat Zone, 1974
Combat Zone, 1974.
But when it came to a right of passage in Boston, if you were a late teen or mostly of legal drinking age in the late 80s, you hit up Boston’s Chinatown after last call to eat food full of MSG and drink “cold tea.” In Boston, (and perhaps where you grew up, too), “cold tea” was code for “beer” (usually flat) that you could order slightly before or after closing time that was served up in white teapots in certain restaurants in Chinatown. Of course, after a night of youthful boozing, we would occasionally have enough “beer balls” to walk through the red light district of Boston that bordered Chinatown known as the Combat Zone. I remember one particular night when, after a couple of pots of cold tea, someone dared me to sprint through the Zone alone as fast as I could, which I did. Because what could go wrong when a blond teenage girl decides to run through the seediest part of town full of peep shows, dirty book stores, prostitutes and pimps?

Although widely considered a place of ill-repute, the Combat Zone’s history is important to Boston for many reasons. Specifically, thanks to its “relaxed” approach to adult oriented pursuits, the Combat Zone was also home to a wide variety of drag clubs and gay bars frequented by Boston’s LGBT community. Which is in part why in 1976 The Wall Street Journal dubbed the area a “sexual Disneyland.” In other words, there was something for everyone in the Combat Zone. And that wasn’t always a bad thing. In 2010, an art exhibit at the Howard Yezerski Gallery showcased photos taken in the Combat Zone from 1969 - 1978. Many of the images from the show as well as others taken during the Zone’s heyday, follow.
A sign outside the Combat Zone riffing on a famous line from JFK's inaugural address
Combat Zone, 1978
More Beantown sleaze, after the jump…

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Meet ‘Iron Virgin’: The Scottish glam rock band that time forgot
09:42 am


glam rock
Iron Virgin

Iron Virgin, a Scottish glam band formed in 1972
Iron Virgin, a Scottish glam rock band formed in 1972.
Back in 1973, riding high on his work with Thin Lizzy, Decca records sent out producer Nick Tauber off in search of a hot act to help them promote their other label called Deram Records (which put out David Bowie’s first self-titled album a year after it was established in 1967). Tauber ended up in Scotland and happened to catch a gig from Edinburgh-area band, Iron Virgin. Tauber signed the band to Deram and got them into the studio to record.

Iron Virgin was making a pretty good name for themselves before Tauber found them by playing Slade and Bowie covers, as well as their own original music all around Scotland. They dressed like their idols - decked out in sky-high platform boots and makeup. The band’s vocalist, Stuart Harper (now a high-end tie designer, pictured with the nifty “NO ENTRY” chastity belt codpiece above), made most of their stage clothes which consisted of embellished leotards, tights, and jumpsuits. Because it isn’t really “glam rock” unless your genitals are being strangled to death by something shiny and tight. 1973 was shaping up to be a pretty great year for Iron Virgin, who had only been around for about a year before Tauber “discovered” them.
Iron Virgin
Iron Virgin posing for their lives in their homemade “American Football” uniforms, as well as glammed-up Scottish tartan duds made by their vocalist Stuart Harper, early 1973/1974.
Iron Virgin single for
The single for the super-catchy Iron Virgin track, ‘Rebels Rule.’
According to an interview from 2014 with Iron Virgin guitarist Gordon Nicol, when they went into the studio with Tauber, they were “told” that they would be recording a cover of “Jet” originally recorded in 1973 by Paul McCartney and Wings for the album, Band on the Run. In addition to “Jet,” Iron Virgin also recorded a version of Rick Derringer’s “Teenage Love Affair” (from Derringer’s 1973 album, All American Boy), and a cover of the 1972 song “Shake that Fat” by Jo Jo Gunne (a band comprised of former members of Spirit), as well as three original songs, “Ain’t No Clown,” “Midnight Hitcher,” and the fist-pumping, T. Rex-y anthem, “Rebel Rules.”

Although the band enjoyed some success with their cover of “Jet” (which Deram released as a single in February of 1974), it was eclipsed by McCartney’s version that was released as a single that very same month - effectively delivering a death-blow to the up-and-coming band who would disband without ever recording again. Speaking of recordings, any physical copies of Iron Virgin vinyl are extremely rare and when they turn up, are pricey and highly-sought-after by collectors. In 2007, Rave Up Records reissued all six Iron Virgin singles on 12” vinyl, which swiftly sold out. The track “Rebel Rules” can be found on the great 2003 compilation of obscure glam released between the years 1973 and 1975, Velvet Tinmine. I’ve posted audio of all the Iron Virgin recordings I could dig up, which I coincidentally think you will really dig, below.

The name Iron Virgin is now taken by “the ultimate Iron Maiden tribute band.”

Iron Virgin, ‘Rebels Rule’
More Iron Virgin after the jump…

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‘Brown Acid: The Second Trip’—Listen to DM’s exclusive stream of rare psychedelic fuzz from the 70s

Brown Acid: The Second Trip
Brown Acid: The Second Trip.
Today I have the great pleasure of bringing to your ears a Dangerous Minds exclusive - a full album stream of the second compilation full of rare and gritty fuzz from the 1970s curated by RidingEasy Records and L.A. retailer Permanent Records, Brown Acid: The Second Trip.

As with RidingEasy’s first Brown Acid release, The Second Trip contains a stellar collection of rare heavy-hitting, proto-metal psychedelically tinged rock tracks from bands so obscure, most flew far under most rock and roll radars back in the 1970s. In fact, one track by Spiny Norman (who sound like Jethro Tull only heavier and tripping balls on acid), “Bell Park Loon” was never physically released, and languished in a collectors archive on reel to reel for 38 years until Lance Barresi of Permanent Records joined forces with Daniel Hall of RidingEasy, and reached an agreement so “Bell Park Loon” could finally see the light of day on Brown Acid: The Second Trip.
Iron Knowledge promo for their single, Show-Stopper, mid-1970s
An ad for the Iron Knowledge single, ‘Show-Stopper,’ 1972.
I’ve no doubt that DM’s legions of readers are going to deeply dig kicking back and turning up tracks from bands they have likely never heard of before. Like Youngstown, Ohio band Iron Knowledge and their out-of-sight squealing-jam “Show-Stopper,” or the Sabbath-like grind of Australian psyche-rock band Ash, and the throbbing prod that makes up their 1971 track “Midnight Witch.”

Pre-order info can be found here.

You can listen to the entire album stream of ‘Brown Acid: The Second Trip’ after the jump…

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Super-strange 1978 PSA film might give you an acid flashback
09:16 am

Pop Culture

safety tips

“Safety Woman” from the school safety video “Safety: In Danger out of Doors” from 1978.
This late 70s school safety video is full of so much weirdness that it’s hard not to feel like you’re suddenly having an unplanned acid trip while watching it.

In this short film from 1978 menacingly entitled Safety: In Danger out of Doors, we meet the fictional character Miss Karen Kingsley, who the narrator describes as “a youthful, gifted, attractive, successful, freelance architect” who spends her free time volunteering as a school crossing guard. The fourteen-minute PSA plays out much like a lost B-movie when the multi-talented Miss Kingsley somehow becomes “Safety Woman,” a shiny-jumpsuit-wearing superhero (who came to be thanks to some sort of sketchy divine alien “interaction”), that shows up just in time to save her accident prone school-age pals from certain death. If this video had been made in the 80s, that jumpsuit would have reeked of Enjoli perfume for sure. Check out all the possible scenarios that put children of the 70s in peril, like skateboarding or swimming—which we (or at least most of us, I suppose) somehow miraculously survived—after the jump…

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Footage of Keith Moon crashing a Led Zeppelin gig then jamming with the band in 1977
08:49 am


Led Zeppelin
Keith Moon

Keith Moon sitting at John Bonham's drum kit while Jimmy Page looks on, June 23rd, 1977
Keith Moon sitting at John Bonham’s drum kit while Jimmy Page looks on, June 23rd, 1977.
While many (most?) drunken escapades end up badly—but especially when they’re taking place in front of thousands of people—the time The Who’s antic-prone timekeeper Keith Moon crashed a Led Zeppelin gig in 1977, was thankfully not such an occasion.
Keith Moon and Robert Plant on stage at the Forum in Los Angeles, June 23, 1977
Keith Moon and Robert Plant on stage at the Forum in Los Angeles, June 23, 1977.
Keith Moon sitting behind John Bonham's mythical drum kit, June 23, 1977
Keith Moon sitting behind John Bonham’s mythical drum kit, June 23, 1977.
On June 23rd, 1977, the perpetually drunk Keith Moon unexpectedly joined Led Zeppelin onstage at the Forum in Los Angeles, along with his bongos and a tambourine during “Moby Dick” and the band’s encore. At one point after Moon’s impromptu materialization, he commandeered Robert Plant’s microphone and began to regale the crowd before Plant, who was chopping away behind Bonham’s kit, shut him down.

The action with Moon, who engages in what I can only describe as an awesome “drum duel” of sorts with Bonham, starts at about 5:40. Sadly, it would turn out to be the last time Moon would perform on U.S. soil as he passed away just over a year later in September of 1978 at the all-too-young age of 32. Bonzo wouldn’t last that much longer himself, dying in his sleep on September 24, 1980. He was also just 32 years old.

After the jump, watch footage of Keith Moon crashing Led Zeppelin’s party at the Los Angeles Forum in 1977…

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Vintage 70s Bootsy Collins ashtray will hold your funky butts
11:07 am


Bootsy Collins

Bootsy Collins reacts to the vintage 1970s Bootsy Collins ashtray the way we all did
Vintage 70s bust of Bootsy Collins ashtray and the real Bootsy.
Currently this covet-worthy Bootsy Collins ashtray is up for auction on Ebay for a mere $19.99—a bargain at twice the price for such a funky piece of 1970s goodness. If the voice inside your head just screamed “Shut Up and take my money!” then congratulations—everyone else reading this post heard the same thing.

As the listing points out, the top of Bootsy’s head can be removed to reveal the inner sanctum where you can put your spent butts (or trinkets as I’d prefer to use it to store my collection of rhinestones). Here’s the link to the auction. GOOD LUCK! 
Vintage 1970s Bootsy Collins ashtray
More Bootsy, baby, after the jump…

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

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 “Killer” Kane, Blackie Goozeman, and Andy Jay of the Killer Kane Band, 1976.
Keep reading after the jump…

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Intergalactic pimp: Donny Osmond dresses as ‘David Bowie’ and covers ‘Fame’ in 1976

Donny Osmond and David Bowie
I grew up watching the Donny & Marie show back in the 70s. I never missed a episode. Sadly, I was too young to have possibly appreciated Donny Osmond covering David Bowie’s “Fame” (from Bowie’s 1975 record Young Americans) on a show that aired during the first season of Donny & Marie in 1976. And guess what? It’s actually pretty good. Mind blown!
Donny Osmond dressed as
Donny dressed in his finest “David Bowie” drag perhaps, or is he trying to be an intergalactic pimp?
I’m not really sure, but it appears that the costume department for Donny & Marie must’ve thought “Bowie-esque” meant a sort of showy, Liberace-meets Elton John-meets-Superfly type getup. Once you look past that (if in fact you can look past Osmond’s ridiculous costume), it’s hard not to appreciate his 90-second little Bowie cover. This beautiful and bizarre bit of pop culture goodness that I had no idea existed before today (and can’t stop watching), is posted below. The full episode (which stars the great Ruth Buzzi) can be seen, here.
H/T: Kitsch Bitsch on Facebook

Donny Osmond gets down, gets funky

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The MC5 kick out the jams next to a busy Detroit highway in 1970
08:40 am



MC5, early 1970s
The MC5, early 1970s
On July 19th, 1970 the MC5 performed at Detroit’s Tartar Field at Wayne State University (alma mater of MC5 bassist Michael Davis, (RIP) and drummer Dennis Thompson), while cars roared by on the I-94 highway behind them, unable to drown out the sonic boom coming from the Michigan natives at the top of their game.
An ad for the MC5's second record, 1970s, Back in the USA
An ad for “Back in the USA”
According to a 2014 interview in Detroit Rock n Roll Magazine with MC5 drummer Dennis Thompson, the band had just returned from a small, rural farming town in Michigan called Hamburg, where they had recorded their second album, 1970’s Back In The USA, produced by Rolling Stone journalist (and future Bruce Springsteen manager) Jon Landau. Thompson was not “into” Landau at all, and would refer to him a “fascist.” He was also deeply concerned that the 23-year-old didn’t have enough industry experience for the job.

But perhaps Thompson’s initial negativity toward Landau had more to do with the fact that he forbid the use of drugs and booze (the band were huge fans of LSD and were avid pot smokers), and even had them on a strict diet and exercise routine while they were in Hamburg. In a nutshell, Landau had the MC5 doing the exact opposite of what every other band (or most young people for that matter) in the 70s were doing. And the result is what many fans consider to be the band’s best outing, despite the fact that it was somewhat of a commercial failure when it was released.
Jon Landau and Wayne Kramer, 1970
Jon Landau (right) and Wayne Kramer

This footage captures the band performing “Looking at You” from Back in the USA, for the very first time live, as well as “Ramblin’ Rose,” (during which Wayne Kramer does a pretty hot imitation of a James Brown-style shuffle), and “Kick Out the Jams” from their first album, Kick Out the Jams. The looks on the faces of the awestruck crowd is one of the many highlights from this ten-minute piece of fuzzed-out rock and roll history.

Set your speakers to stun!

The MC5 performing songs from 1969’s “Kick Out the Jams”, and their 1970 album “Back in The USA” at Wayne State University’s Tartar Field, July 19th, 1970

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HATE! KILL! REVENGE! ‘Josie and the Pussycats’ meet Satan, 1973

Josie and the Pussycats
A panel from Josie and the Pussycats “Vengeance From The Crypt” comic, October, 1973, #72

In 1954, The Comics Code Authority was formed by the Comics Magazine Association of America in order to allow publishers to regulate comic book content in the U.S. themselves, without input or governance the government. In 1971, The Authority lightened up a little and allowed comic book writers to include some new angles into their storylines, such as the use of vampires, werewolves and ghouls. This decision may have perhaps paved the way for issue #72 of Josie and the Pussycats, “Vengeance From The Crypt” published in October of 1973. In it, the sweet ginger-haired Josie gets possessed by a satanic spirit. Dear Hollywood, please adapt this storyline into a major motion picture immediately.
Josie and the Pussycats, Vengeance From the Crypt, October 1973
Josie and the Pussycats, “Vengeance From the Crypt”, October 1973
In the weirdness that is issue #72, The Pussycats (along with mean-o-nasty non-Pussycat member, Alexandra) ditch their guitars and amps, and head off to pay their respects to Alexandra’s recently departed grandfather at the local mausoleum. For some reason Josie wanders off to some bizarre lower chamber of the mausoleum and is enveloped by an “invisible malignant presence.” After that, Josie goes on a punk-rock style rampage smashing stuff up. When Josie has a psychotic reaction after coming in contact with a copy of the Bible that the clean-cut gang just happened to have lying around, things get really fucking weird (if they weren’t weird enough already).
Josie and the Pussycats, Vengeance From The Crypt, October 1973
The entire story—and zowie, it’s a doozy—after the jump…

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Black Sabbath in 1970: ‘Black magic is not our scene’
08:46 am


Black Sabbath

Black Sabbath, 1970s
The nice, church-going boys from Black Sabbath, early 70s

Back in 1970 when Black Sabbath was just starting to explode (the band had recently broken an attendance record set at the popular Birmingham venue Henry’s Blues House by Tony Iommi’s former band of about five seconds, Jethro Tull), they were also trying to shake the misconception that they were dabbling in “black magic” after changing their name from Earth.

In an interview with Melody Maker in July of 1970 with Sabbath drummer Bill Ward, journalist Mark Plummer inquired if the band was into the occult. To which Ward replied that not only had Black Sabbath never “practiced black magic” on stage, they were actually “anti-black magic.” In fact, according to Ward, the lyrics to the song “Black Sabbath” specifically denounce the infernal arts and “all its implications.”
NO black magic for us! Black Sabbath, 1970s
Black magic? Never heard of it!
Ward’s sentiments were echoed by an (allegedly) stone-cold sober Ozzy Osbourne in an interview he gave later that same month to NME journalist Roy Carr. According to Ozz, not only were the occult rumors not true, Sabbath actually wanted to help “stamp out” black magic. The belief that the band was aligned with the dark forces was creating huge headaches for them. Especially, in of all places, Germany:

It’s got so bad that recently a German promoter who had booked us sent along return airfares for the group—and if need be a one-way ticket if we decided on using a sacrificial victim (on stage). The press has blown everything out of proportion. With our name Black Sabbath, people therefore assumed that this (black magic) was our scene. For some unknown reason, people seem to expect something out of the ordinary when we appear. We don’t need to have naked birds leaping all over the stage or try to conjure up the devil.

Black Sabbath looking kind of evil, 1970
Nothing evil to see here, move along
Tony Iommi even went so far to speculate that the band might have to “change up some of their lyrics” to avoid “trouble” especially while they were in the U.S., where rumors of their alleged love of evil were running wild. Thankfully, that never happened and despite Ozzy’s concerns about naked birds and having no plans to conduct a Satanic sacrificial ritual on stage, Sabbath got to keep making records homaging sex, drugs and the supernatural. While Satan sits and smiles of course. Nice.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Master of disguise: Peter Gabriel’s mind-blowing make-up, masks and costumes from the 70s
11:51 am


Peter Gabriel

Peter Gabriel in costume as
A 23-year-old Peter Gabriel of Genesis in costume as “The Watcher in the Skies,” 1973
During the tour for their cosmic 1974 double record, The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (the subject of an excellent book by the same name by Kevin Holm-Hudson), Peter Gabriel and his many different theatrical personalities took center stage. But that wasn’t the first time Peter Gabriel tripped his bandmates out with his on-stage personas.

In an 2012 interview, Gabriel recounted how the audience reacted the first time he appeared on stage in his wife’s dress, and a custom made fox head back in 1972 during Genesis’ tour for their album Foxtrot.

With the costumes, I started wearing bat wings and stuff, and getting a little more outlandish, and then on Foxtrot I wore the fox head and the red dress. My wife, Jill, had a red Ossie Clark dress which I could just about get into, and we had a fox head made. The first time we tried it was in a former boxing ring in Dublin, and there was just a shocked silence.

Peter Gabriel as the Fox during the tour for the 1972 album, Foxtrot in his wife's dress and a custom made fox head
Peter Gabriel as “The Fox” during the tour for the 1972 album, ‘Foxtrot’  with his wife’s red dress and a custom made fox head

When it comes to how the other members of Genesis felt about Gabriel’s getups, he said that “some of them hated it” (I’m looking at you Phil Collins). According to Gabriel, none of the members of Genesis knew what “clothing” he had packed in his suitcase for the six-month Lamb tour, until he arrived to rehearsals. After the last performance of the tour, Gabriel left the band.
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as “Old Man Henry” during a performance of “The Musical Box” from the album ‘Nursery Cryme
If for some reason you’re not acquainted with this era of Genesis (which is perfectly understandable if you are of a certain age), the following images of a young Peter Gabriel, will probably blow your mind (man). Even if you are long-running fan of the band, it’s nearly impossible to not admire Gabriel’s pioneering weirdness, and chameleon-like ability to look like anyone but himself.
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as the deformed “Slipperman” (Phil Collins’ most hated costume of the ‘Lamb Lies Down’ tour)
Peter Gabriel as
Peter Gabriel as “Britannia” 1973
More after the jump…

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The Stranglers’ live performance of ‘Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’ with a bunch of strippers from 1978

Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell<br />
Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell on the stage at Battersea Park in London, September 16th, 1978
Jean-Jacques Burnel and Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers on the stage at Battersea Park in London, September 16th, 1978
Back in 1977, the members of the Greater London Council were not the biggest fans of punk rock instigators, The Stranglers. According to legend, (and detailed in the book, England’s Dreaming: Anarchy, Sex Pistols, Punk Rock, and Beyond) at a show at The Rainbow in London, Strangler vocalist Hugh Cornwell wore a shirt with the word “fuck” on it. This didn’t go over well with the GLC, and The Stranglers set was cut short. After that, the GLC banned the The Stranglers from booking and playing gigs around London. Finally, on September 16th, 1978, the band was able to organize and play an outdoor gig at Battersea Park in London. And thanks to the fact that The Stranglers love trouble, it wouldn’t go off without a good dose of controversy.
Hugh Cornwell and his
Two of my favorites things; Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers and the word “fuck”
Showbill for The Stranglers at Battlesea Park, August 16, 1978
Showbill for The Stranglers show at Battersea Park, August 16, 1978

The line-up for the show at Battersea included Peter Gabriel, Scottish punks the Skids, English band The Spizzoil (better-known in the US as Athletico Spizz 80 and for their “Where’s Captain Kirk?” single, also known as Spizzenergi and The Spizzles), a band called The Edge, and a comedian that was being managed by Cornwell at the time known as “Johnny Rubbish.

Everything was pretty mellow until nearly the end of The Stranglers set when the band slid into “Nice ‘n’ Sleazy” from their 1978 record, Black and White. During the song, The Stranglers brought a group of strippers onstage (both male and female) and a guy with a whip (because why not?), who all proceeded to serve up some daytime strip-club, full-frontal glamor for the audience. Although the show was filmed, the footage that’s gotten around isn’t amazing quality by any means. Lucky for us, the five-minutes of the completely bonkers (and NSFW if you haven’t already figured that one out) performance of “Nice ‘n’ Sleazy” is pretty great, and I’ve posted it below for your viewing pleasure.

The Stranglers and their stripper posse performing “Nice ‘n’ Sleazy” at Battersea Park, London, 1978

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The controversial (and lampooned) bondage-themed billboard for The Rolling Stones’ ‘Black and Blue’

The bondage-themed print ad for The Rolling Stones record, Black and Blue, 1976
The magazine version of the controversial advertising campaign for Black and Blue from 1976

In 1976, the Rolling Stones released Black and Blue, their first record with new guitarist, Ronnie Wood. To help promote the record, a billboard was erected over the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles. The boundary pushing advertisement featured a racy image of model Anita Russell (who Mick Jagger originally considered “too pretty” for the part).
The billboard hanging above Sunset Strip, 1976
The billboard on the Sunset Strip, 1976

Jagger took one for the team and tied Russell up himself for the bondage-themed photo shoot. In the 14 x 48 foot billboard that hung above one of the busiest thoroughfares in Hollywood, Russell is tightly bound, her clothing ripped and the inside of her legs are bruised, as she sits spread eagled on top of the gatefold cover of Black and Blue with the caption:

I’m “Black and Blue” from The Rolling Stones—and I love it!

For some weird reason nobody in the Stones PR camp thought that the billboard would bother anyone, much less send the message that female fans of the Rolling Stones like to be physically abused. Of course the outcry to remove the billboard, especially from feminists who defaced the billboard with red paint, was immediate and it quickly disappeared.

But the news about the controversial photo and message had already garnered the band worldwide press coverage, and Black and Blue (a record infamous rock journalist Lester Bangs called “the first meaningless Rolling Stones album”—he was right) eventually went platinum in the U.S.
Mick Jagger and Anita Russell in a promo for Black and Blue from National Lampoon, 1976
The tables turn on Mick in this spoof that ran in National Lampoon’s “Compulsory Summer Sex Issue” in August of 1976

And because now I’ve got Black and Blue on the brain, here’s the band (with Billy Preston) looking like absolute plonkers in the “Hey Negrita” video.

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