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Iggy Pop and Steve Jones’ druggy, doomy remake of ‘Purple Haze’
08.13.2015
10:50 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Iggy Pop
Jimi Hendrix
Steve Jones
Purple Haze


Steve Jones and Iggy Pop circa 1988
 
There exists a recording of the Stooges playing a straight-ahead cover of “Purple Haze” sometime in the 70s (see the dodgy-looking Anthology Box), but I’m in love with this weird, opiated bum-out version of the song Iggy recorded with Sex Pistol Steve Jones a decade later.

Along with several Pop/Jones compositions and Sly and the Family Stone’s “Family Affair,” “Purple Haze” was one of a number of songs the pair demoed in a home studio in L.A.‘s Hancock Park neighborhood in 1985. According to at least one crummy fan bio, Bowie was so impressed by the Hancock Park demos that upon hearing them he decided to reunite with Iggy for Blah-Blah-Blah.
 

 
Instead of the Day-Glo flash of acid, Iggy’s “Purple Haze” evokes the feeling of stumbling through a Ralphs supermarket at midnight on a handful of downers. (Despite the track’s druggy feel, Iggy biographer Paul Trynka says both men were clean and sober during these sessions.) It’s a radical rewrite of the song, with a new bridge, lyrics that mention The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and like none of the distinguishing features of the original. The vibe is more like the Stooges’ “Sick of You” than anything Hendrix ever played; Jones’ arpeggios remind me a bit of that gorgeous guitar break in the middle of Black Sabbath’s “Cornucopia,” and Iggy croons in his low register.

As on the previous Pop/Jones collaboration, the immortal “Repo Man,” Jones gets in a “Secret Agent Man”-style figure, though here it replaces one of the most famous rock guitar lines of all time. Unless I am merely going deaf, there is also a high-pitched drone throughout the song, reminiscent of the piano on “I Wanna Be Your Dog.” Maybe this is what happens when you take the “brown acid”?
 

 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Bob Dylan records with members of the Sex Pistols and Clash, 1987
12.03.2014
07:10 am

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:
Bob Dylan
Paul Simonon
Steve Jones


 
Bob Dylan played with just about everybody on his 1988 album Down in the Groove: Sly and Robbie, Eric Clapton, Ron Wood, Mark Knopfler, most of the Grateful Dead, and, yes, Kip Winger all appear on this record. Why, your dear old dad probably blew a little harp on it, too. The album is not one of Dylan’s best, but its cover of Arthur Alexander’s first single, “Sally Sue Brown,” is notable because it features Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols on guitar and Paul Simonon of the Clash on bass.

If you’re expecting rebel rock on the order of “God Save the Queen” or “The Guns of Brixton,” you will certainly be disappointed—let’s call this version of “Sally Sue Brown” a historical curiosity. Jones described the session to Dylan biographer Howard Sounes in Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan:

Why Bob chose to contact Steve Jones remains a mystery to everybody, including Jones himself, who had never met or even spoken to Bob before. “He called me up and said can I put a band together to do some sessions in the studio? I said, Yeah. Paul Simonon was in town at the time, from The Clash. So was the guitar player I was working with [and] a drummer from Pat Benatar’s band.” They met at Sunset Sound in Hollywood. “It was a strange, fucking surreal day.” Bob had a long list of songs and, without preamble, began working through them. The band had to keep up as best they could, but were unable to get a very satisfactory take on anything because Bob would move so rapidly on to the next number. “It was like that all night, basically just fucking about,” says Jones. The only track to make the album was “Sally Sue Brown.”

According to the exhaustive Dylan “session chronology” at punkhart.com, the band recorded six songs on that night in March of ‘87: in addition to “Sally Sue Brown,” they played “Wood In Steel,” “Heaven,” “Shake Your Money,” “Chain Gang” and “If You Need Me.” So far as I know, none of the five unreleased songs has yet surfaced on any medium, bootleg or legit.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
The Sex Pistols: Vintage interview with Steve Jones and Paul Cook, 1977

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A year on from the release of The Sex Pistols first single “Anarchy in the U.K.” and their infamous appearance on the Today show, Steve Jones and Paul Cook gave their first interview to Australian television.

Lest we forget, it was Jones, more than Johnny Rotten or Sid Vicious, who launched the Pistols into the headlines with his stream of abuse at TV presenter Bill Grundy, and certainly without Cook’s disciplined drums and Jones’ era-defining guitar (together with Glen Matlock‘s bass) and their song-writing talents Never Mind the Bollocks would have been a much lesser album.

In this interview from 1977, Jones and Cook talk about the Pistols’ back history, records, and their appearance on the Today show:

Jones: If someone wants an argument, you give them an argument back, don’t ya? He started it. He said, “Go on, you got another 5 seconds.”

Cook: What did you say, Steve?

Jones: I fucking gave him a load of abuse. He asked for, didn’t he? It was pretty funny. It’s like, you know, they put all that on the front-fucking-page for all that. Just for swearing on television. Stupid.

Cook: We forgot about the whole thing, a couple of hours after, we didn’t expect nothing to happen from it.

After The Pistols split, Jones and Cook formed The Professionals, and released the rather neglected album I Didn’t See It Coming.

Check more info at Kick Down The Doors: The Cook ‘n’ Jones site.
 

 
Bonus: Full Version sadly not available in US, after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Who Killed Bill?: The Sex Pistols for Dummies

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Who Killed Bill? is a Sex Pistols for Dummies, bargain-bin video, consisting of a mixed collection of original archive news stories (mainly culled from London Weekend Television) and documentary footage, which tells the rise, demise, and return of the legendary band. It’s worth watching for the first fifty minutes or so, before the film veers off into a section on Vivienne Westwood’s fashion, then returning for the Filthy Lucre tour of 1996, and then beyond.

As it’s all original TV archive, there are some classic moments, including the early Janet Street-Porter interviews with the Pistols, and then with Lydon after his spilt, as well as coverage of the public’s fury for the band, and one disgruntled councillor who riffs off a long list of adjectives to describe his distaste for Punk Rock, before finishing with:

“Most of these groups would be improved by sudden death.”

There is also sections on Sid and Nancy the tragic couple and Alex Cox’s film. What’s quite startling is how The Pistols all look so young, and Lydon comes across as a shy, tense, nervous individual who seems ill at ease with his celebrity, describing its affects:

“It ain’t the person who changes, it’s people’s attitude towards them.”

Sadly, no classic tracks, just bogus lift muzak interpretations of a rhythmic Punk guitar. And the Bill of the title is, of course, Bill Grundy, he of the infamous launch-pad, “Filth and Fury” interview.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Superb documentary on Malcolm McLaren from 1984

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This excellent documentary on Malcolm McLaren was originally shown as part of Melvyn Bragg’s South Bank Show in 1984, when McLaren was recording Fans—his seminal fusion of R&B and opera.  Apart from great access and behind-the-scenes footage, the film and boasts revealing interviews with Boy George, Adam Ant, Bow-Wow-Wow’s Annabella Lwin, Sex Pistol, Steve Jones, as well as the great man himself.

Everyone whoever came into contact with McLaren had an opinion of the kind of man he was and what he was about. Steve Jones thought him a con man; Adam Ant didn’t understand his anarchy; Boy George couldn’t fathom his lack of interest in having success, especially when he could have had it all; while Annabella Lwin pointed out how he used people to do the very things he wanted to do himself.

All of the above are true. But for McLaren, the answer was simple: “Boys will be boys,” and he saw his role was as:

“To question authority and challenge conventions, is what makes my life exciting.”

It did, Malcolm, and still does. Enjoy.
 

 
Previously on DM

Who Killed Bambi?: the Roger Ebert Sex Pistols screenplay


Scenes from the Malcolm McLaren funeral


 
More from Malcolm McLaren after the jump…
 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Rare Footage Of San Francisco’s Avengers
04.26.2010
04:54 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Sex Pistols
Steve Jones
Avengers
Penelope Houston

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Ah, Avengers!  Led by art student Penelope Houston, the San Francisco-based band opened, of course, for The Sex Pistols during that final, disastrous show at Winterland.   And, yeah, maybe his band was imploding, but Steve Jones liked what he saw.  The Pistols guitarist went on to produce the band’s first EP, which, IMO sounds far more ferocious than their still glorious (and still out-of-print) full-length, Avengers.

The clarity of the following clips—both of them, gulp, 32-years-old—is absolutely astounding.  I’m assuming the first one’s from SF, but the second one takes place at LA’s legendary Masque.  Click play, watch, repeat!

 

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
Jukebox Hero: Jonesy’s Jukebox returns online

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When I moved to Los Angeles from New York in 1991, one of the first things I noticed right off the bat (besides the 99 Cents Only stores, the vast number of strip malls and the LA Weekly ads for butt cheek implants) was how great L.A. radio was. Notice I wrote was... as in past tense.

Cut to 2009 and the radio landscape in the City of Angels is getting kinda lame. If you’re not into the far right talk of Dr. Laura, the all reggaeton, all the time stations or Britney Spears, you’re pretty much out of luck these days. When Indie 103.1 morphed into the Latin format of El Gato earlier this year, it really felt like the final nail in the coffin for L.A. rock radio. High-profile rock DJs like Henry Rollins and Sex Pistol Steve Jones were cut adrift from their loyal listening audiences and there was sadness in the streets.

But now rock fans, rejoice, for Jonesy is back! Jonesy’s Jukebox is operational again, but this time on the Internet, streaming live for one hour a day on the www.iamrogue.com website run by producer Ryan Kavanaugh.

Now L.A.‘s finest DJ can spin for the rest of the world. I, for one, certainly will be listening.

Below: Young Mr. Jones and some of his mates swearing on live television in 1976:

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment