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When half of Throbbing Gristle ended up on a UFO LP cover, making out pantsless

In 1975, the notable British buttrock band UFO released Force It, a barrage of boogie riffs and and double-entendre lyrics about fucking. As hesher-metal albums go, it was fairly interchangeable with a lot of the era’s hard rock, but its cover art has proven durable even as the band’s sound has aged. It’s a photograph depicting what could be read as a coercive sexual advance between a couple of indeterminate sex, one of whom is sans pants. Collaged into the photo are many, many faucets.

Faucet. Force it. You get it, ha ha, let’s move on.

The cover was designed by one of the era’s most distinctive and forward-thinking design studios, Hipgnosis. The firm consisted of designers Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, and were responsible for singularly surreal album art for Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel, and Led Zeppelin, among many, many other clients. Force It was hardly their only controversial work, but it ranked high on that score. The US version of the cover was censored, by making the aggressively embracing couple half transparent. The irony here is that the models for that cover were already known for works that made the Force It cover look kid-friendly. From Neil Daniels’ High Stakes & Dangerous Men: The UFO Story,:

The artwork was risky for the time and because of the amount of flesh on display was almost banned—well, it was the 1970s, a non-PC age, but also surprisingly prudish too. It was toned down for the USA release, where they were even more prudish. One point of interest, is that the gender of the couple remained a cause of debate amongst UFO fans, but the couple turned out to be Genesis P. Orridge [sic] and his then girlfriend Cosey Fanni Tutti.


Kissing and buttocks mercifully ghosted for delicate American sensibilities.

Many of this blog’s regular readers know that Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti were, at the time, the principals behind COUM Transmissions, an art group known for incredibly transgressive performances that included heavy doses of kink, up to and including unsimulated bleeding and vomiting, violence, and even live sex—so this “controversial” photo was actually one of the tamest things they’d ever done. The year after Force It, COUM would evolve into the pioneering industrial band Throbbing Gristle, and Throbbing Gristle included in its membership one Peter Christopherson, who in the mid ‘70s was an assistant at…Hipgnosis.

More after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
UFO contactee Howard Menger plays ‘Authentic Music from Another Planet’
09:14 am


Howard Menger

At the age of ten, Howard Menger was playing in the woods near his home in Hunterdon County, New Jersey, when he claims that he encountered a beautiful blonde from Venus wearing a “ski-type outfit.” It was the first in a series of alleged contacts with extraterrestrials that culminated in the alleged landing of an interplanetary spacecraft at Menger’s house in High Bridge, New Jersey in 1956, and included a musical transmission from Saturn that Menger was allegedly instructed to deliver to the human race.

From the sleeve notes of Menger’s only LP, Authentic Music from Another Planet:

Howard Menger met a man from Saturn who played for him on a Saturnian instrument very much like our piano. He instructed Howard Menger that he was to bring this music to the attention of the people here on Earth by playing it for them on a piano. Howard Menger never played a piano before and had no knowledge of music whatsoever. Yet he was assured that, when he sat down at the piano, his hands would be guided and he would be able to play. From that time on, Howard Menger has been able to play the piano. He plays best after midnight. On several occasions he played for hours without rest, while his spellbound friends listened in appreciative silence and awe. This music as played by Howard Menger is never duplicated in his interpretation. When he is playing, it has an exhilarating effect on many people hearing this music.


Released by Newark’s Slate Enterprises, Inc., Authentic Music from Another Planet is a recording of Menger talking about his encounters with aliens and playing three pieces of music. The two selections on side one, “Marla” (for his wife, Connie, a/k/a Marla Baxter, the author of My Saturnian Lover) and “Theme from the Song from Saturn,” are merely “interpretations taken from the actual music that came from another Planet,” which is good, because they sound like all-too-human accordion music from Buca di Beppo. Side two is devoted to “The Song from Saturn,” the music the Space Brothers told Howard to bring back to Earth for our spiritual benefit. I think they gave their best tunes to Sun Ra, but I will say that it sounds like the music of the spheres compared to side one.

You can read Menger’s “incredible” story in his book From Outer Space To You, edited and published by Gray Barker, the notorious ufologist and hoaxer who probably came closest to revealing what he knew of our space masters’ secret agenda in his poem “UFO IS A BUCKET OF SHIT.”

All of Authentic Music from Another Planet is up at Internet Archive in the “Saucerology” section of Faded Discs Archive, Wendy Connors’ enormous hoard of UFO audio. Below, hear “The Song from Saturn.”

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Wild early UFO footage featuring Larry Wallis from Pink Fairies and Motörhead
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Pink Fairies
Larry Wallis

UFO Wallis
Larry Wallis is not pictured in the UFO image on the left. He never recorded with the band.
Check out this rare footage of Larry Wallis (Entire Sioux Nation, Shagrat, Bloodwyn Pig, Pink Fairies, Motörhead, “Police Car”, etc.) playing with UFO on the French TV music program, Rock En Stock from 1972. It’s a fantastic, fuzzed-out, raw mini-set featuring three tunes: “Galactic Love,” “Silver Bird” and a righteous version of Eddie Cochran’s “C’mon Everybody.”

Wallis was only with UFO on a 1972 European tour from February to October after original guitarist, Mick Bolton left the band in January of that year. Wallis never recorded with the group and this has to be one of the very few performances of the proto-punk guitarist jamming with UFO ever captured on film.
UFO with Larry Wallis
UFO 1972 from left to right: Singer Phil Mogg, drummer Andy Parker, bassist Pete Way, and temporary guitarist, Larry Wallis.

Here’s Wallis in a 2002 interview with Tony Rettman discussing his brief relationship and rather hilarious separation from the band:

TR: After Bloodwyn Pig, you answered an ad in the Melody Maker that read ‘Gigantic Rock Band, No Names, Needs A Guitarist. You’ve Got To Look Great.’ Am I correct? 

LW: It was all very secretive for some reason. Eventually I found out it was U.F.O. It was the winter of 1971. I toddled off to the audition. When I got there, Andy Parker (drummer for UFO) and Pete Way (bassist) were there, along with a video camera. No Phil Mogg (singer). He probably had a plumbing job that day. Now, at the time I had the full set up… the long hair… the cool hippie garb. When I came in, Pete said ‘He looks like a star.’ We plugged me in and the day before I heard Hendrix on the John Peel radio show and he’d whacked out something called “Drivin’ South,” so I just started playing my version of that. And that was that. I had never heard of UFO, but I didn’t tell them that. Mark Hannau was our manager. He had just parted ways with the successful Curved Air. We thought the Curved Air pedigree was great until we figured out they must have fired him for a reason. He signed us a publishing deal for 8000 pounds, which was a respectful amount in those days. We were about to go off on a tour of Germany, so naturally we spent the money on a sound system bigger than anyone else’s and a second hand Bentley. The tour ended when the German gangsters running one of the shows nicked the Bentley. Apparently Mark Hannau made them believe we were going to stay in Germany and tour for them. It was then we figured out Mark wouldn’t be giving Peter Grant (Zeppelin manager) any sleepless nights.

When we got back, Chrysalis got involved and gave us a chap named Wilf Wright to look after us. They kept us busy touring Italy and these were great times. One night, I got drunk and told Phil Mogg what I really thought of him and he kicked me out. Pete and Andy were real upset, but whatcha gonna do? The roadies hated me leaving so much they dropped my amps off at my parents’ house. This caused Wilf to have a meeting with me where he said the amps weren’t mine and I would have to give them back. I said ‘No’ and Wilf pointed out it would be a great shame if the police were told anonymously that dope was kept and smoked at my parents’ house. I called him a string of names that I felt suited his behavior and made an exit. Fuck him and the stolen horse he rode in on!

TR: And right after that was when you were asked to join The Pink Fairies. 

LW: I wanted to be a Pink Fairie more than anything in the world.

You can read the whole interview here.

After Pink Fairies (for whom Wallis wrote the majority of the tunes on Kings of Oblivion), Wallis would go on to become a founding member of Motörhead and, as a producer at Stiff Records, a seminal figure in the late seventies transition between heavy rock and punk in Britain.

After working even more briefly with Bernie Marsden, UFO would find a slightly more long-term guitarist in Michael Schenker who stayed with the band until 1978 before taking a long break and returning in 1993.

It’s almost criminal that the Rock en Stock commentator couldn’t have waited until after Wallis’s killer sounding guitar solo on “Galactic Love” to do his spiel! 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Watch every episode of your cult TV favorites playing at the same time

Why? How? Who cares! This is just rather awesome!

YouTube user Omni Verse has put together ten minute packages of your favorite cult TV shows in an intense “videoggedon,” where all the episodes are played at the same time!

From Star Trek and The Twilight Zone, to Kolchak—The Night Stalker, Planet of the Apes and Doctor Who. This is like a ten minute sugar rush of cult TV heaven!

‘Star Trek’ all 80 episodes played at same time.

The Twilight Zone’ all 156 episodes at the same time.

‘Kolchak—The Night Stalker’ 20 eps all at once.

‘Doctor Who’ all 178 Tom Baker episodes.
More cult TV all at once, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Gerry Anderson: Creator of ‘Thunderbirds’, ‘Captain Scarlet’ and ‘UFO’ has died

Gerry Anderson the creator of Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons, Stingray and Joe 90 has died at the age of 83.

The announcement of his death was made by Jamie Anderson, on his blog site:

I’m very sad to announce the death of my father, Thunderbirds creator, Gerry Anderson. He died peacefully in his sleep at midday today (26th December 2012), having suffered with mixed dementia for the past few years. He was 83.

Please make donations in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Society via this just giving link

Gerry Anderson was a major influence on generations of youngsters growing-up in Britain during the late 1950s to mid-1970s. His programs shaped play activities, games, toys and inspired imaginations. Anderson was as influential as Walt Disney, if not more so to young Brits.

Anderson was born Gerald Alexander Abrahams in Bloomsbury, London on April 14th, 1929. Anderson’s family were refugees from Eastern Europe, and his mother changed the family name by deed poll from Abrahms to Anderson in 1939.

His older brother Lionel joined the Royal Air Force at the start of the Second World War. He was transfered to the United States for training and wrote back of his training at Thunderbird Field - a name that was to prove highly significant to the Lionel’s younger brother.

Anderson began his career at the young age of 14 as a film trainee for the Ministry of Information, working for the British Colonial Film Unit as photographer and editor. After National Service, he returned to work at Gainsborough Pictures in 1947, slowly beginning his career as writer and director.

In the mid-1950s, Anderson set up a series of companies with his cameraman Arthur Provis, leading to the eventual formation AP Films, which produced the successful children’s puppet series The Adventures of Twizzle - about a boy who could stretch his limbs to any size. Anderson met and worked with puppeteer Christine Glanville, special FX technician Derek Meddings, composer Barry Gray and Sylvia Tham, a secretary who became his wife. Together this talented group would make Fireball XL5, Stingray, and Thunderbirds, amongst many others.

After the success of Twizzle, Anderson produced Torchy the Battery Boy, which though successful left Anderson frustrated by the problems of working with puppets. This changed in 1960, when Anderson devised Supercar with Reg Hill, which used an electronic system that made the puppets or marionettes respond in a more realistic fashion. This process was called Supermarionation and became one of the defining characteristics of Anderson’s best work.

R.I.P. Gerry Anderson 1929-2012

Read more on Gerry Anderson, plus remainder of ‘Mr Thunderbird’, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
UFO caught on TV news over Houses of Parliament?

While British MP Tom Watson was discussing recent developments in “Hackergate” on Channel 4 News today, a strange, unidentified object sped through the back of frame, over the Houses of Parliament. Though best known for their hard hitting, intelligent journalism rather than any extraterrestrial frivolity, Channel 4 News still wondered if they had accidentally captured a UFO on tape? Or, perhaps the Murdochs leaving the country? What do you think?

Via Channel 4 News

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Bizarre memo said to ‘prove aliens landed at Roswell’

Curiouser, and curiouser… The Daily Mail reports on a memo that appears “to prove that aliens did land in New Mexico.”

A bizarre memo that appears to prove that aliens did land in New Mexico prior to 1950 has been published by the FBI. The bureau has made thousands of files available in a new online resource called The Vault.

Among them is a memo to the director from Guy Hottel, the special agent in charge of the Washington field office in 1950.

The memo has been published on the FBI website. In the memo, whose subject line is ‘Flying Saucers’, Agent Hottel reveals that an Air Force investigator had stated that ‘three so-called flying saucers had been recovered in New Mexico’.

The investigator gave the information to a special agent, he said. The FBI has censored both the agent and the investigator’s identity.

Agent Hottel went on to write: ‘They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50 feet in diameter.

‘Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall,’ he stated.

The bodies were ‘dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots.’

He said that the informant, whose identity was censored in the memo, claimed the saucers had been found in New Mexico ‘due to the fact that the Government has a very high-powered radar set-up in that area and it is believed the radar interferes with the controlling mechanism of the saucers’.

He then stated that the special agent did not attempt to investigate further.

The release of the secret memo is likely to fuel conspiracy theorists’ claims of a government cover-up.

The town of Roswell in New Mexico became infamous after reports that a flying saucer had crashed in the desert near a military base there on or around July 2, 1947.

The bodies of aliens were said to have been recovered and autopsied by the U.S. military, but American authorities allegedly covered the incident up

Military authorities issued a press release, which began: ‘The many rumours regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence officer of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc.’

The headlines screamed: ‘Flying Disc captured by Air Force.’ Yet, just 24 hours later, the military changed their story and claimed the object they’d first thought was a ‘flying disc’ was a weather balloon that had crashed on a nearby ranch.

Amazingly, the media and the public accepted the explanation without question. Roswell disappeared from the news until the late Seventies, when some of the military involved began to speak out.

Another memo published in The Vault from 1947 claimed that an object ‘purporting to be a flying disc’ had been recovered near Roswell.

The disc was ‘hexagonal in shape’ and ‘suspended from a balloon by a cable’, according to the memo, marked as ‘Urgent’, to the FBI director.

The memo noted that the disc resembled a weather balloon - but claimed that a telephone conversation between the Air Force and the field office ‘had not [word censored] borne out this belief’.

The disc and balloon were being transported to Wright Field for further inspection, the memo noted.

It added that the information was being flagged up because of ‘national interest’ in the episode, and noting that both NBC and the AP were set to break the story that day.

Of course, such loose-leaf documents are easy to forge, but it should be possible to confirm the existence of “Agent Hottel”. If it is a forgery, I doubt it will effect the interest in Roswell or, stories of alien landings. Indeed, the Daily Mail ran another story on Roswell in 2007, in which an officer’s deathbed confession confirmed extraterrestrials had landed back in 1947. This report can be read here.

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment