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‘Manifesto’ or new sounds for a new decade: Roxy Music live in concert, 1979
11.05.2018
12:56 pm
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1979: After a four-year break between studio albums, Roxy Music regrouped and recorded their sixth LP Manifesto. The question was not whether it would be any good, but whether Roxy Music was still relevant in a post-punk world? A week may be a long time in politics, but four years is one helluva career in pop.

Not that Roxy’s key members Bryan Ferry, Andy MacKay, Phil Manzanera, and drummer “the great” Paul Thompson were slouches during the band’s downtime. Ferry had established himself as a highly successful solo artist. MacKay had worked on two seasons of the ground-breaking TV series Rock Follies for which he had co-written 49 songs. Manzanera had recorded and released two solo albums Diamond Head (1975) and K-Scope (1978), the first being correctly described by Kurt Loder in Rolling Stone as “one of the great British rock albums of the mid-Seventies.” Thompson gave his talents to his bandmates’ solo projects and played with other bands.

That’s the backstory to 1979.
 
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As a band, Roxy Music was the sound of the future filtered through the past. Just their name alone suggested a 1930s dance band with some Brylcreemed lead singer crooning love songs into a silver microphone. The music, starting with the debut single “Virginia Plain” in 1972, was unique, utterly original, and influenced a host of bands from the Sex Pistols, Siouxsie and the Banshees (who apparently met at a Roxy concert) to Madness and Duran Duran. During their first decade, Roxy Music produced a body of work—eight classic studio albums—which sounds as new today as when they were first released.
 
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Which brings us to Manifesto. Though the album was eagerly anticipated there were questions as to what exactly a group of thirtysomethings could offer the music world after the seismic shift caused by punk, new wave, disco, synth, and the early hints of New Romantics. Though the album could be described as a mix, it was still an exceptional A-.

In some respects, it was a kind of work-in-progress that tapped into the early, “futuristic sound” of Roxy and the new, mature, soulful, sophisticated rock that would reach its zenith with Roxy’s eighth studio album Avalon. Ferry was always a crooner. Listen to him on the second-half of “Mother of Pearl” or the beautiful and haunting “Chance Meeting.” He was once (aptly) described by writer Michael Bracewell as “Jay Gatsby meets Marcello Mastroianni.” He had always been a crooner, a soulful singer, who gave his very own distinctive vocal-sound to Roxy’s artpop.  Now he was creating a new sophisticated sound which was best indicated by his song “Dance Away” and those co-written with MacKay (“Angel Eyes”) and Manzanera (“Trash,” “Still Falls the Rain,” and “Manifesto”). The opening lyrics to “Trash” (“Are you customized or ready-made?”) suggest Ferry’s own ambiguous role of being both an artpop-provocateur and a traditional singer. He was moving away from the youthful “rock” to more plaintive ballads. This switch can be heard in the startling difference between the album version of “Angel Eyes,” which was more rock ‘n’ roll than the lush and superior sounding single version. Roxy Music was now on the verge of their greatest success, as Manifesto saw the band score big in the US market and become a staple of FM radio. 

More, plus Roxy Music in concert, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.05.2018
12:56 pm
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Watch Mike from ‘Better Call Saul’ in a bizarre 1980s motivational video
11.05.2018
08:26 am
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Season 4 of Better Call Saul, which wrapped up a few weeks ago, is on the shortlist of my favorite seasons of television ever. The Emmy people have not shown Better Call Saul undue respect—it has never won a single Emmy for anything—but in my view the Vince Gilligan/Peter Gould creation is running rings around every other show in a bunch of different ways. It’s got the best acting, the best writing, and the best direction, for starters. Particularly in the writing arena, it’s a little preposterous that any other drama would beat Better Call Saul, at least that’s my opinion.

One of the amusing aspects of Better Call Saul is that it showcases so many different depictions of excellence in its narrative. Jimmy McGill (later to become Saul Goodman) is a world-class con artist, his brother Chuck is a genius-level attorney, Mike Ehrmantraut is an unusually gifted all-purpose security dude, Gustavo Fring is a regional/international drug kingpin of distinction, and Jimmy’s girlfriend Kim is a pretty gifted negotiator of plea deals and the like as a sideline to her regular gig of representing multinational corporations (with Jimmy, she also grifts unwitting saps for fun). The show has a deep abiding interest in professionalism and excellence in all of its forms.
 

 
As portrayed by Jonathan Banks, the utterly unflappable Mike Ehrmantraut has become the object of no small fascination. I know several people who’d swap places with him in an instant, given the option. Until he landed the role of Mike in Breaking Bad, Banks was a respected if by no means famous character actor whose notable credits had included the TV series Wiseguy and the movies Freejack and Gremlins.

One of Banks’ early credits was a bizarre self-help videotape from 1985 called You Can Win! Negotiating for Power, Love and Money. The videotape was intended to showcase the penetrating insights of a lady named Dr. Tessa Albert Warschaw. I’m guessing that You Can Win! was tolerably successful in its day—before most everyone had the ability to call up life advice on the Internet—for as recently as 2015 she was appearing at a TEDxPasadenaWomen event discussing the importance of resiliency.

In You Can Win! Banks is given the task of portraying the idealized “type” of “the Dictator,” the unpleasant, exacting prig who has precise expectations in every interaction. The video alternates between explanations from Dr. Warschaw and demonstrations of the insights by a team of NYC actors who are really not bad at all, the whole thing is really fairly good but just horribly dated. Skip through it for the bits involving Banks (who knows, you might have a use for a clip of Banks saying the words “Massage! ... ha ha ha ha ha ha, don’t be perverse”). But mainly it’s best to think of it as a highly bizarre conceptual play.
 

 
via r/ObscureMedia
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
‘Twin Peaks,’ ‘Better Call Saul,’ ‘Mad Max,’ & more as ‘70s-style Topps trading card wrappers
The hilarious ‘Squat Cobbler’ scene from ‘Better Call Saul’ will become legendary

Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.05.2018
08:26 am
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Nirvana, Mudhoney, and the audience battle shitty security guards during Sub Pop’s ‘Lame Fest,’ 1989
11.02.2018
09:51 am
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Lame Fest poster
 
Sub Pop is one of the most important and influential American record labels. Started in 1988 by Jonathan Poneman and Bruce Pavitt, and based in Seattle, Sup Pop put out early recordings by such groups as Mudhoney, the Afghan Whigs, the Flaming Lips, Soundgarden, the Screaming Trees, and Nirvana. Poneman and Pavitt not only have good taste and a keen sense for what will sell, but are also masters at branding and marketing. For example, their Sub Pop Singles Club, in which subscribers willingly fork over their money with no prior knowledge of the participating bands, was a game changer, and the label came up with a t-shirt with the word “Loser” emblazoned across the front, and the Sub Pop logo on the back. The shirt is now iconic.

On June 9, 1989, Sub Pop’s “Lame Fest” was held at the Moore Theater in Seattle. Nirvana, Mudhoney, and another young Sub Pop group, TAD, were on the bill. It was a wild night, with the bands and the crowd battling the security guards.
 
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Dangerous Minds has an excerpt from the upcoming Gillian G. Gaar book, World Domination: The Sub Pop Records Story, in which details of the event are told. The passage also gets into the second Lame Fest, as well as the Nirvana contract, insisted upon by the band, that would one day benefit the label. The text begins with reference to the recent attention Sub Pop acts had received in the British press.

Sub Pop’s profile was further heightened stateside at the label’s first “Lame Fest,” held on June 9 at Seattle’s Moore Theatre, featuring Nirvana, TAD, and Mudhoney and billed as “Seattle’s lamest bands in a one-night orgy of sweat and insanity!” Initially, there had been doubts that the show would make any money; local bands played clubs, not a fifteen-hundred-seat theater. But the concert ended up selling out.

“Booking the Moore was an epic gesture, which is how we did things,” Bruce Pavitt notes with pride. “The bands were killing it live, so we knew Seattle would go o if we could get people there. The theater’s manager let most of his security staff go prior to the show, thinking that nobody would show up. And there was complete pandemonium. Google those YouTube videos, kids, it’s an epic moment!” The show doubled as a release party for Nirvana’s first album, Bleach (the first thousand copies on white vinyl).

 
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Nirvana had also recently become the first act to sign a record contract with Sub Pop. Earlier in the year, Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic had turned up at Bruce’s house one evening, demanding a written contract; previously, Sub Pop had only made verbal agreements with its artists. Jon [Poneman] hastily drafted a one-year contract, with options for two further years; the contract was signed on June 3 but backdated to January 1, 1989. “Righteous heaviness from these Olympia pop stars,” was the Sub Pop catalog’s assessment of Bleach. “They’re young, they own their own van, and they’re going to make us rich!”

 
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The success of the first Lame Fest led to a second one being held overseas. “Jon and I had very little resources but a lot of enthusiasm at that time,” Bruce recalls. “And we were constantly brainstorming and trying to piece together strategies that would help convince the rest of the world that Seattle had an amazing rock scene. Once we saw that model work in Seattle, we were really dead set on getting all three bands playing in London and getting as many press people and photographers there as possible.”

With Nirvana, TAD, and Mudhoney all touring the UK and Europe that fall, a Lame Fest date was arranged for December 3 at London’s Astoria Theatre. Bruce cites the concert as “a true turning point in the international stature of the Seattle music scene.”

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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11.02.2018
09:51 am
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The NYC hardcore episode of ‘Regis and Kathie Lee’
11.02.2018
09:47 am
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Raybeez, Jimmy Gestapo and Lemmy at the Ritz, 1986
 
This video of two members of Warzone on The Morning Show with Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford has been circulating due to the recent death of Todd Youth, whose improbable career connected Agnostic Front and Glen Campbell. When Todd was 16, he and four other members of the scene shared an enormous couch belonging to WABC. He’s sitting next to Natalie Jacobson, the show promoter and writer then attached to Jimmy Gestapo of Murphy’s Law; to his right are a Pratt student named Christine, Todd’s late bandmate Raybeez and fanzine writer Debbie. 

Natalie complains about her treatment on a recent episode of Donahue (“I’m sorry Phil, but you really blow”) and the way Peter Blauner portrayed her in a New York Magazine profile of NYHC bands and fans. But what may seem like a friendly reception from Regis and Kathie Lee is really just the inability to listen, see or think that made the hosts favorites of the morning-show audience. Kathie Lee wonders how the HxCx crew is different from the beatniks of her childhood; Regis asks Dr. Joy Browne to explain the hardcore phenomenon from a psychiatrist’s point of view. If you need any more proof of Schopenhauer’s doctrine that perception is an intellectual faculty, just watch Regis and Kathie Lee trying to size up the struggle and the streets.
 

 
via Reddit

Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.02.2018
09:47 am
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RIP Hardy Fox, ‘primary composer’ and ‘co-founder’ of the Residents
11.01.2018
08:35 am
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Hardy Fox, 1945-2018 (via hardyfox.com)
 
Almost nine years ago, I was interviewing Hardy Fox, the president of the Cryptic Corporation, by Skype. He was telling me about hopes the Residents had expressed over the years for advances in stage technology: touring holographic productions that would fit on a disk, music that would cause everyone in the audience to have a simultaneous orgasm. And then he said the most surprising thing anyone’s said to me during an interview:

Actually, they always wanted to have an album, like a gatefold album that when you opened it, it was just a hole—and it would give you instant vertigo, like you would be terrified to open it because you could fall into it and get lost.

Like a bottomless pit—inside the record? Is that what you’re talking about, Hardy?

Exactly. It opens up—it would just terrify you because it would just be so empty.

I strongly suspected Hardy had more to do with the Residents than he let on, but I was too much a fan of the band to have any interest in unmasking its members, which would not only spoil the mystery, but unmask me as a discourteous jerk. Invading the privacy of the coolest people in the world doesn’t make you a brilliant sleuth; it makes you an asshole. Who wants to be the guy staking out Thomas Pynchon’s apartment with a telephoto lens? So I didn’t bring it up, nor did I have to, considering how he ended our conversation:

Actually, I feel honored that someone of your youth seems to have as much knowledge and information about things that I have spent my life working on, and so that somewhat honors me that it wasn’t just working out into the void that’s inside that album cover, waiting.

I supposed he could have been talking about all the marketing work he’d done for the Residents, but it sure didn’t sound that way.
 

 
Hardy’s former role in the Residents has been hiding in plain sight for some time now on the home page of his website. It’s right there in the first paragraph of his bio:

Hardy Fox grew up in Texas. After college he moved to San Francisco reveling in the free love days of 1967-68. He co-founded the much loved cult band, the Residents, where he was primary composer.

Hardy retired from The Residents in 2015 but continued to compose for the group through 2018. In addition to his work with that band, he has recorded as a solo artist under various names including Charles Bobuck, Combo de Mechanico, Sonido de la Noche, Chuck, TAR, among others.

Hardy talked about leaving the Residents and undergoing heart surgery in an interview with Musique Machine earlier this year. Last month, the dates “1945-2018” appeared on Hardy’s website and Facebook page, and he sent out a message to the Hacienda Bridge mailing list that began: “I’m 73. Dying of a head thing that will get me soon. So what.” On Tuesday morning, this notice turned up in my inbox, accompanied by the photo of Rod Serling below:

RIP
BRAIN CANCER
HARDY FOX
1945 - 2018

 

 
That evening, the Residents posted this obituary at residents.com:

It is with with great sorrow and regret that The Cryptic Corporation announces the passing of longtime associate, Hardy Fox. As president of the corporation from 1982-2016, the company benefited from Hardy’s instinct for leadership and direction, but his true value came from his longtime association with The Residents. As the group’s producer, engineer, as well as collaborator on much of their material, Fox’s influence on The Residents was indelible; despite any formal training, his musicality was nevertheless unique, highly refined and prolific. Blessed with a vital sense of aesthetics, a keen ear, and an exquisite love of the absurd, Hardy’s smiling face was a constant source of joy to those around him. He will be missed.

After a series of recent health problems, Hardy succumbed to a brief illness. He is survived by his husband, Steven Kloman.

Ave atque vale, Hardy Fox. Thanks for a billion hours of musical pleasure.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.01.2018
08:35 am
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Cast and crew remember Orson Welles and his legendary film ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ in 1993 doc
11.01.2018
08:35 am
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Wind poster
 
We’re on the eve of Netflix’s worldwide debut of The Other Side of the Wind, Orson Welles’s legendary unreleased film. After four decades in limbo, the picture was finally completed earlier this year. A new documentary on Orson Welles and Wind, entitled They’ll Love Me When I’m Dead, will be available via Netflix on the same day as Wind, November 2nd. Though now obscure, there’s another documentary—directed by Welles’s friend and right-hand man—that largely focuses on The Other Side of the Wind.

Gary Graver was Orson Welles’s cinematographer from 1970 until Welles’s death in 1985. Graver was hired by Welles after cold-calling the maverick director, and the first picture he shot for him was The Other Side of the Wind. In 1993, the documentary he directed, Working with Orson Welles, was released. The doc zeros in on The Other Side of the Wind, which might seem odd, as only Orson’s most faithful would’ve known about the picture, but it speaks to Graver’s belief in the project. Working features interviews with some of the cast and crew (which often overlapped on Wind), including Peter Bogdanovich, Curtis Harrington, Peter Jason, Cameron Mitchell, Susan Strasberg, and Frank Marshall, who wore many hats during the original production, and as producer played a major role in the completion of Wind. Graver also talks at length about the movie, and some of his test footage for it is seen in the documentary. Everyone expresses their fondness for the enigmatic Welles, and while they acknowledge that he was often difficult and unpredictable, one gets the sense they wouldn’t trade the experience of working with Orson Welles for anything. There’s a lot of love here.
 
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A candid shot of Gary Graver, Oja Kodar (actress and Orson Welles’s longtime companion), and Orson Welles on the set of ‘The Other Side of the Wind’ (photo by Frank Marshall).

Graver’s documentary was a straight-to-video release, and is now out of print. The doc is low budget, tends to jump from topic to topic, and is short on clips from Welles’s films (due to licensing issues, no doubt), but I think most Orson fans will look past its shortcomings and dig it. With anticipation high for the pending release of The Other Side of the Wind, the time for Graver’s documentary is now. It’s made all the more important as Mitchell, Strasberg, and Graver are now deceased.
 
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L-R: Orson Welles, Peter Bogdanovich, Oja Kodar, Gary Graver, and others on the set of ‘The Other Side of the Wind.’

‘Working with Orson Welles’ has recently been uploaded to YouTube. Watch after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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11.01.2018
08:35 am
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How George Romero found the perfect music for his zombie horror classic, ‘Night of the Living Dead’
10.31.2018
08:20 am
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Poster
 
Just in time for Halloween, Waxwork Records is releasing the 50th anniversary vinyl edition of the Night of the Living Dead score, marking the first time the full soundtrack will be available in any format. As fans of the movie know, its score is highly effective, so it may surprise many of you that the music was written and recorded by composers and musicians who had no knowledge of the film.

In the foreword of a recently published book, George A. Romero, the director of Night of the Living Dead, tells readers how he came to select the music for his game-changing zombie picture.

When I made my first film, Night of the Living Dead, in 1968, I found myself with barely enough of a budget to complete the project, let alone hire a composer. The finished film played…mmm, pretty well, but something was missing. It needed music. Several friends of mine and myself had a small production company at the time, the Latent Image, which was surviving on beer commercials, industrial films, and the like. In order to make Night of the Living Dead, we partnered up with an audio production company, Hardman and Associates. (Karl Hardman ended up playing the despicable Harry Cooper in the film. Marilyn Eastman and Judith Ridley, both “Hardmanites,” ended up playing Helen Cooper and Judy. This was truly a homegrown production.)

As it turned out, Karl’s audio company had hundreds…I might say thousands (it seemed like thousands)...of records, vinyl discs that contained countless hours of music. None of it was specific to any film, but there were passages titled “Anticipation,” “Suspense,” “Sudden Shock.”

The composers of all this music had conjured the needs of low-budget filmmakers and had provided scores that could be bought for a fraction of what it might cost to hire a composer and / or an orchestra. Each “needle drop” cost a prescribed amount of money that was easily affordable. (The collection that Carl had in house was the Capitol Hi-Q library.)

All of a sudden, Night of the Living Dead inherited a score. Karl and I spent days, weeks, months listening to tracks. I pulled out musical candidates and would bring them back to my editing room to audition them against scenes from the film. Informed, I suppose, by Captain from Castile, Mockingbird, and The Quiet Man, I constructed a score that I believed to be not only cohesive but supportive of the film’s narrative. I like to think that I, with Karl’s help, pulled passages from those library tracks that served our film almost as well as if we had been able to hire a composer. (from Unusual Sounds: The Hidden History of Library Music)

 
French lobby card
French lobby card.

Waxwork’s definitive Night of the Living Dead soundtrack is a double LP set pressed on “Ghoul Green” vinyl, which comes housed in a gatefold sleeve with new artwork. A booklet with previously unseen images is also included. Get it via Waxwork’s website.
 
Waxwork
 
Waxwork has uploaded a handful of the tracks to their Soundcloud page:
 

 
More zombie mayhem after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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10.31.2018
08:20 am
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Genya Ravan’s duet with Lou Reed
10.31.2018
08:20 am
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Lou Reed and Genya Ravan performing ‘Aye Co’lorado’ at the Bottom Line

In 1978, Lou Reed and Genya Ravan appeared on one another’s solo albums. Ravan contributed backing vocals to Reed’s Street Hassle, and Reed sang on “Aye Co’lorado,” Ravan’s song about a Puerto Rican boyfriend/dealer on the first side of her Urban Desire. (Which also had a John Cale song on side two: “Darling I Need You,” from Cale’s great Slow Dazzle.) 

In her memoir Lollipop Lounge, Ravan writes that when guitarist Ritchie Fliegler introduced the New York rockers at the Urban Desire session, Lou made a characteristically charming allusion to Ravan’s history with Goldie and the Gingerbreads:

The first thing Lou said to me after we’d been introduced was: “My grandmother bought your records years ago.”

There was a deathly silence in the studio.

I looked him in the eye and said, “Yeah, well at least someone in your family had good taste in music. What happened to you?”

He laughed, the tension eased, and we quickly became friends. He immediately accepted that I was the one in charge here, that I called all the shots.

I gave him the handwritten lyric of “Aye, Co’Lorado” and we went into Studio A. The mikes were already on, ready to go, and we stood facing each other. We ran the song down to the track. It was great!

“Okay,” said Lou. “I think I got it now.” I grinned. I’d let him believe we were just rehearsing, but in fact I’d signaled to the engineer to get the tape rolling. It was a deliberate deception on my part, one I often practiced with singers when I wanted to get a “live” feel . . .

I let Lou do three more takes of the song with me, out of respect for his wishes, but as I’d thought they would they all sounded a bit cold after that, lacking in the real feel. That first take was the one we used. Lou agreed with me after hearing all the takes he’d done.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.31.2018
08:20 am
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Hey! Ho! Halloween! Ramones fans decked out in costume at a gig in a college gym, October 1978
10.30.2018
08:45 am
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A flier for a Halloween-themed dance party in a gym belonging to Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) on October 28th, 1978.
 

“The Ramones are on the verge of making it big. Their dreams will come true in their quest for stardom. Now that bands like Black Sabbath and Foreigner are letting the Ramones be their opening act, it will eventually lead to the others’ demise and the Ramones’ rise. Johnny is confident that the kids will see the difference in energy, and finally let bands like Black Sabbath fade and die.”

—the words of a journalist for the Commonwealth Times going by the name “Million Dollar” Gamble in a review of the Ramones’ Halloween gig at the Franklin Street Gym.

In September of 1978, the Ramones released their fourth album, Road to Ruin which included the sing-along anthem, “I Wanna Be Sedated,” a song Joey Ramone often referred to as his favorite recording with the band. It was also the band’s first record with Marky Ramone (Marc Steven Bell) who replaced original drummer Tommy (Thomas Erdelyi). In their review for the record in 1978, Rolling Stone called it a “really good album” noting while Road to Ruin didn’t have the power of their 1976 self-titled debut, this was in no way an indication the Ramones were “losing their grip.” Since 1976 their tour schedule was relentless taking them around the world—in 1978 alone they played approximately 147 shows often playing bigger venues and college campuses sharing bills with Blondie, The Heartbreakers, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, The Cramps, and Patti Smith. One such show went down in the gymnasium of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) the Saturday before Halloween on October 28th, 1978. VCU billed the event as a “Halloween Dance” and if you were a student attending in costume, tickets were only $2.50 with the promise of a certain “golden beverage” being on hand at the show.
 

Illustrations and signatures from Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Marky Ramone published in the Commonwealth Times, 1978.
 
As a veteran participant of all things Halloween (I went out to a party last weekend dressed as Ronnie James Dio because of course, I did), I can assure you the Saturday preceding Halloween is serious business for revelers like myself. So when VCU put out the word the Ramones were playing the annual Halloween Dance and there was going to be beer, you better believe the kids came out in costume to see it all go down. A few weeks later, and as noted by “Million Dollar” Gamble, the Ramones would play a gig with Black Sabbath and Van Halen during VH’s first world tour. This event also relates back to what Gamble said in the quote at the top of this post indicating it was time for bands like Black Sabbath to “fade and die” as the original version of Sabbath was about to implode anyway. In addition to the review of the show, I also came across a very cool recollection from a former VCU student named Doug who was not only at the show, but held the dream-job position of “dressing room security.” Get ready, because Doug’s story is really, really something:

“My favorite Ramones memory was at a 1978 VCU Halloween concert in Richmond. I had just joined the school Concert Committee and was assigned to dressing room security. Basically, the job entailed hanging out with the Moans before and after the show and attending to their simple needs. I remember running back to my dorm room to get my crappy black & white TV so the boys could watch the KISS movie (Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park) before their turn on stage. I also did a horrible poster for the show with a silhouette of the band from their first album cover. Tommy had left by then, so when I got the band to autograph it, Marky Xed out Tommy’s head before he signed.

Other fond recollections include watching Dee Dee use his switchblade to carve the lining out of Joey’s new leather jacket ‘cause it was “too hooooot.” Sitting in and asking a question or two during the prerequisite backstage interview. Joey whining cause he couldn’t find his mineral water. Johnny being quiet and sweet. Marky acting dumb and silent. And Dee Dee drawing vaguely fascist graffiti on the chalkboard.

Ah, youth…”

As they say, not all heroes wear capes, but, as this was a Halloween-themed event, perhaps Doug was wearing one that night. At the very least I hope he wears one when he tells this story. Thankfully, a photographer with the Commonwealth Times was there taking snapshots of fans at the show, as well as a few black and white shots of the band on stage in the gym, which you can see below. I also included the official video for “She’s the One” shot in 1978 which, until recently, had resided inside a nondescript 16mm film canister for 40 years. Rhino unleashed the video in conjunction with the release of a 40th anniversary box set for Road to Ruin late last month. Hey! Ho! Let’s GO!
 

Photos from the VCU gym show.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.30.2018
08:45 am
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I Walk with Demons: Roky Erickson depicts selling his soul to the devil on public TV, Halloween ‘84
10.30.2018
08:23 am
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Does it get any more Halloween than Roky Erickson? The ex-13th Floor Elevators frontman has been at the center of our Hallows’ Eve playlists since his “Bleib Alien” years. With songs depicting themes of old sci-fi and horror films, plus an unsettling personal struggle with mental illness, Roky makes Ozzy look like the Easter Bunny!
 
In 1984, Erickson appeared on Austin Community Television for a music documentary titled Demon Angel: A Day and Night with Roky Erickson. The hour-long special features a rotating interjection of interview and performance segments, with an ever-so cheery and quick-witted Erickson on the devil’s holiday, Halloween.
 

 
The interview portion, which may have taken place on a different day than Halloween, is conducted by Swedish writer Georg Cederskog. The two can be found hanging out and blazing cigs in a sunny backyard somewhere in Austin, Texas. They discuss a variety of topics, including Roky’s belief that he is the only “horror rock artist” and that Bob Dylan is some sort of a demon from another planet. The type of demon that won’t hurt you, however. He then proceeds to play a cover of Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind.”
 
When asked if he likes cops, Roky responds “Sure, I like to wait awhile and then watch their program. They’ve got a show on at night called COPS.” The two talk about serious subjects too, like whether or not Erickson thinks we will ever have to worry about atomic warfare (“I’ve always believed in America”) and if he likes Ronald Reagan (“I’ve liked all the presidents”). They even touch upon Roky’s stint in the state hospital, as part of an insanity plea for possession of a single marijuana joint in 1969. It was during this time, in between electro-shock treatments, that Erickson wrote his poetry book Openers under the name “Roky writing as the Reverend Roger Roky Kynard Erickson.”
 

 
Around the thirteen-minute mark, Roky and George discuss a subject that Erickson has sung about many times before: the devil. Roky claims that he sold his soul to the devil, “about 4-5 years ago.” He then goes on the describe the process - he was alone and “all these pieces of paper appeared” for him to sign his life away. Ironically, this would have been when Roky entered into a record deal with CBS Records Europe (Columbia) for his first solo record, Roky Erickson and the Aliens (1980). He claims that the reason he signed was so the devil would always have possession over him, and therefore he “can never make a mistake.” Don’t shake me, Lucifer!
 
Perhaps even more interesting is the location of the live performance, which liner notes indicate was filmed somewhere at an eerie “underground creek.” Most of the songs are played solo acoustic and electric, with some featuring guitar accompaniment by local producer, Mike Alvarez (the man behind the “Woodshock” festival). They play a dozen-or-so Roky Erickson classics, including “Two Headed Dog,” “Night of the Vampire,” “Starry Eyes,” “Cold Night for Alligators,” and two Elevators’ favorites, “Splash 1” and “You’re Gonna Miss Me.” The entire thing is truly haunting.
 
Spend your Halloween with Roky Erickson in 1984, below:
 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Dancing with a two-headed dog: Historic videos of Roky Erickson
Roky Erickson’s isolated vocals for ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ are crazier than a bag full of snakes
‘Woodshock ‘85’: Richard Linklater’s first short film featuring a young Daniel Johnston

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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10.30.2018
08:23 am
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