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The crazy night Iggy Pop, Blue Öyster Cult, & KISS shared the same stage on New Year’s Eve in 1973
12.31.2018
01:25 pm
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Iggy Pop making sure the stage doesn’t go anywhere at the Academy of Music on New Year’s Eve, 1973.
 
Before we delve too deep into what went down on Monday, December 31st, 1973 at the Academy of Music in New York City, there are a few essential things you should know about the show which almost didn’t include KISS. If you’re now shaking your head because the idea the audience in attendance that night would have been better off without seeing KISS, well, you’re entitled to that opinion. However, the fact of the matter is the show at the Academy of Music would mark KISS’s official “industry debut” and the first time they had played for a big crowd. It would also be the first of many times Gene Simmons would accidentally light his hair on fire while spitting fire on stage.

Until the day of the show, none of the other bands knew KISS would be playing with them that night. Initially, when ads for the show started popping up in the Village Voice, Iggy Pop & The Stooges were billed as the “special guest stars” of Blue Öyster Cult. This would change a few weeks later when New York all-girl band Isis was added to the roster, only to be dropped shortly after and replaced with another New York band, Teenage Lust. Still, there was no mention of KISS being a part of the fast-selling show, though their management team was busy creating the early image of KISS which would open the gig that night. In the book, KISS: Behind the Mask—Official Authorized Biography, KISS co-manager at the time Joyce Bogart and her then-husband, Neil Bogart (Bogart had just signed the band to his new label, Casablanca Records) were out raiding stores in the West Village such as sex shop the Pleasure Chest to find spiked dog collars for the band to wear onstage. They also hired a fashion designer to help create the leather clothing KISS would wear as conceived by the band, the Bogarts and KISS’s manager Bill Aucoin.

Now, let’s get to how things went down the night of the gig, starting with Iggy and The Stooges.

The Stooges had been touring non-stop in support of Raw Power since the end of March, almost always kicking off their set with the defiant song named for the album. As it was New Year’s Eve, people were dressed to impress—and for Iggy, this meant a pair of colorful hot pants and black knee-high boots.

Guitarist Ron Asheton hit the stage decked out in a questionable looking uniform. He opened the show by greeting the crowd in German—wishing them a Happy New Year. (Asheton, a fan of WWII collectibles, wore a Nazi Luftwaffe fighter pilot’s jacket (as the best man) to Iggy’s wedding to Wendy Weissberg, daughter of The Stooges’ Jewish manager). In their review of the show, Variety magazine had this to say:

“Iggy entered clad only in pink tie-dyed trunks and black boots. He gyrated, insinuated and sang up a storm.”

Other reports from the show note Iggy seemed to be especially slurry, and Melody Maker’s review of the night shaded Iggy calling his vocals “unintelligible.” At one point during the show, while introducing the band, Iggy rambled about having spent a week in San Francisco with a Transylvanian masseuse. Perhaps this is why, about half-way through the gig, Iggy ended up roaming around the crowd in front, thrusting his microphone in fans faces so they could sing the lyrics for him. According to one fan who was there that night, Iggy ended up getting thrown back onstage because he couldn’t figure out any other way to get back on it. If this wasn’t bad enough, rumors were circulating before the show that Iggy was going to off himself on stage at Madison Square Garden for a million dollars which had been offered to him by a local NY promoter. The notion of Iggy’s upcoming suicide-on-stage was disputed by Andy Warhol, but only because Andy was sure Iggy was going to do it at the Academy show on New Year’s Eve (noted in the 2009 book Your Pretty Face Is Going to Hell: The Dangerous Glitter of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed). We all know Iggy didn’t off himself at the Academy of Music in 1973, but as far as the band’s record label Columbia was concerned, Iggy’s “performance” did kill their relationship with the band because the recording of the show was so off the rails they were not able to release it as a live album.

Very little footage of The Stooges antics from that night exists except for footage shot by Pop’s pal and future member of Patti Smith’s band (among many other things), Ivan Kral who was there with his Super 8 camera. Unfortunately, according to Kral, when the band kicked into “Raw Power” the crowd rushed the stage, and he and his camera ended up on the floor (which was covered in broken glass), trampled by unphased Stooges fans. After all this madness, it was finally time for BÖC, the headliners for this nutty night of New Year’s Eve rock and roll revelry, to take over.
 

A print ad for the New Year’s Eve show at the Academy of Music in 1973. The addition of a second 11:30 p.m. late show was short-lived and never happened.
 
Like The Stooges, Blue Öyster Cult had released a new album in February—their second, the rather mysterious Tyranny and Mutation, with a little lyrical help from Patti Smith who was in a romantic relationship with BÖC co-founder Allen Lanier. Guitarist Buck Dharma was excited to play the venue saying that when you got to play the Academy, you realized you had a “certain draw of power there.” As you might imagine, by the time BÖC was ready to play, the crowd had seen a lot of crazy shit go down. Show supporters Teenage Lust didn’t even want to go on after KISS after seeing their set open with pyrotechnics and a massive Las Vegas-style sign displaying their name. According to Harold C. Black of Teenage Lust, the first words out of his mouth were, “OH FUCK,” after coming to terms with what he had just seen. But, BÖC had some wild plans of their own for their set and weren’t about to give the night up to KISS.

Presumably, after dining at Lüchow’s, a popular German restaurant near the Academy, BÖC asked the oom-pah band at the joint to join them onstage that night, which they did. Next, vocalist Eric Bloom rode a motorcycle out on stage and proceeded to make good on a promise to shave his beard in front of the audience. Lastly, a guy named Karl Burke, who happened to be working the backstage for the Academy that night, ended up standing by Buck Dharma when KISS came off the stage. As they passed by, Burke “chuckled” to which Dharma responded that he shouldn’t laugh because BÖC would probably be “opening for them soon.” Two years later to the date, Dharma’s vision of the future would turn out to be correct as BÖC opened for KISS at the Nassau County Veteran’s Coliseum in New York during the Alive! Tour. So what about the crowd’s reception to KISS, a band nobody in the venue had necessarily come to see that night?

KISS was added to the bill at the urging of Bill Aucoin and management types at Warner Brothers. However, for the show, the WB suits asked Aucoin to have KISS “take off their makeup” because they “didn’t believe in it.” Aucoin and the band told Warner Brothers to suck it and the makeup stayed on. After seeing KISS’s candle-lit set, Stooge James Williamson said he “didn’t really care” about them. His bandmate Scott Asheton disagreed, calling the band “pure entertainers who took no prisoners.” Melody Maker would refer to KISS as a “local glitter band” in their review, which appeared to be “cashing in” on the popularity of glam rock. The review in Melody Maker also reveals more details of Simmons’ accidental hair fire, sending a member of the audience to the hospital with burns on his head and face. To be fair to Simmons, he hadn’t really wanted to be the one to learn how to breathe/spit fire on stage and had volunteered by mistake. To help Simmons, Bill Aucoin, along with Neil and Joyce Bogart, brought in a local magician named Presto to teach Gene how to breathe fire (also noted in the KISS: Behind the Mask bio). His first attempt took place in Joyce’s office during which Simmons’ enthusiastic fire-spitting/breathing scorched her newly painted walls. 

In their review of the show, Variety called KISS “ghoulish” giving them a rating of four out of ten. Though Variety wasn’t impressed by KISS, pretty much everyone one else at the show was, many of whom had no fucking idea who KISS was before that night. KISS brought something very different to the Academy during their historic 30-minute set, and it wouldn’t be long, as Buck Dharma predicted, before KISS would take over the world.

Below are loads of photos taken at the show, as well as some footage of The Stooges set shot by Ivan Kral, who, along with his camera, survived the night with only a few cuts and bloody footprints on his jacket.
 

An image of the all-girl New York band, Isis from the back of their 1974 debut album, nude, covered in metallic body paint on the front and back cover. Isis were originally on the bill, but suddenly taken off for unknown reasons.
 

New York band Teenage Lust which had the misfortune of following KISS.
 

The Academy of Music’s marquee advertising the show, before the last-minute addition of KISS the day of the show.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.31.2018
01:25 pm
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The amazing, psychedelic cover of ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’ by pre-ZZ Top band the Moving Sidewalks
12.28.2018
08:52 am
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45
 
The Beatles have been covered countless times over the years, and while it’s essentially impossible to best the original recordings, there are a few choice cover versions out there. One of the most interesting that I’ve heard was done by a Houston band in 1968.

The Moving Sidewalks were fronted by Billy Gibbons, who’s best known today as the guitarist for ZZ Top. Beginning in 1967, the Moving Sidewalks released a handful of singles and an album, before calling it a day by the end of the decade.
 
Moving Sidewalks 1
 
Though they started out as a garage rock band—check out the Gibbons-penned “99th Floor”—their sound would soon evolve. Taking inspiration from local heroes the 13th Floor Elevators, as well as the debut record by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Moving Sidewalks morphed into a bluesy psychedelic band. In February 1968, they were asked to open four shows for the Jimi Hendrix Experience—and jumped at the chance. Following the Fort Worth gig, Gibbons was invited to participate in a backstage jam session with Hendrix, and afterwards the two traded guitars. Hendrix would later praise Gibbons in the media, citing him as one of his favorite guitarists. 
 
Moving Sidewalks 2
Jimi Hendrix with the Moving Sidewalks, Fort Worth, Texas, February 17th, 1968. Billy Gibbons is second from the right.

The non-LP A-side of the third Moving Sidewalks single, released later in 1968, was an inspired cover of the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” Re-imagined as a psych tune, it’s slow-n-heavy, reminiscent of the sort of treatment the Vanilla Fudge gave the Motown song, “You Keep Me Hanging On.” There’s also speculation that the arrangement was influenced by Hendrix’s cover of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” which he had been performing live. Regardless, it’s an amazingly cool version.
 

 
50 years on, the way-rare 45 has yet to been reissued, so if you want a copy of the Moving Sidewalks’s cover of “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” your best bet is their 2012 compilation, The Complete Collection.
 
Moving Sidewalks 3
 
The Moving Sidewalks performed “I Want to Hold Your Hand” during their reunion show in New York City on March 30th, 2013. It was their first gig in 44 years.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The explosive teenage garage rock of Pittsburgh proto-punks, the Swamp Rats
‘The Black Door’: This dark-n-moody 1968 song is a Doors rip-off—and it’s awesome
The Koala: These snotty ‘60s garage punks put out just one album—and it’s fantastic

Posted by Bart Bealmear
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12.28.2018
08:52 am
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‘Origins’: Chris Carter of Throbbing Gristle talks about his formative years in music
12.27.2018
08:10 am
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Portrait of Chris Carter by Plastic Crimewave (via Lush)

After the fashion of The United States Steel Hour and General Electric Theater, the cosmetics retailer Lush provides a whole mess of branded “lifestyle content” through its multimedia netwebs player. I have no use for most of their programming; then again, I’m not exactly their ideal customer. However, Chris Carter, the soft-spoken electronics whiz whose analog synthesizers and ingenious gadgets made up so much of Throbbing Gristle’s and Chris & Cosey’s sound, is the guest on the most recent episode of “Origins,” and Chris Carter can have access to my nervous system whenever he likes. Just put the dishes in the sink and leave the key under the mat before you go, Chris.

He talks about his early enthusiasm for the Nice, Genesis, and Van der Graaf Generator, though he says the really pivotal moment was seeing Pink Floyd’s light show on acid at Fishmongers Arms. That inspired him and his friend (another Chris) to start their own light show, which soon illuminated Yes and Hawkwind in live performance. He also discusses his first experiments with tapes, crystal radios and circuits, and his first solo show, Waveforms.

The occasion for the interview is Carter’s retrospective box set Miscellany, which includes the albums Mondo Beat, Disobedient and Small Moon, along with a disc of previously unreleased solo material from the seventies. Earlier this year, he also released an (excellent) new album, Chemistry Lessons Volume One, and a related EP, Coursework. Enjoy.
 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
A Dangerous Minds exclusive: Carter Tutti Void talk about their new album, ‘f(x)’

Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.27.2018
08:10 am
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A Classic Ghost Story for Christmas: ‘Whistle and I’ll Come to You’
12.26.2018
09:31 am
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03whistle.jpeg
 
The sole object of a ghost story, wrote M. R. James, is to inspire “a pleasing terror in the reader”. James was an academic and writer who reinvented the ghost story for a new era. He believed ghosts should be “malevolent or odious” rather than those “amiable and helpful apparitions” that appeared in stories by authors like Charles Dickens in say A Christmas Carol. In an essay on ghost stories, he claimed the most successful tales “make us envisage a definite time and place, and give us plenty of clear-cut and matter-of-fact detail” but:

...when the climax is reached, allow us to be just a little in the dark as to the working of their machinery. We do not want to see the bones of their theory about the supernatural.

Montague Rhodes James was a scholar of medieval history, who served as Provost of King’s College, Cambridge University. Each Christmas Eve, he would invite a small group of friends and colleagues and students to share some sherry around a fire while he read his latest ghost story. He wrote one story a year and most of his tales of the eerie and the supernatural were set in the world of antiquities and academia, where an individual might accidentally stumble across some ancient secret or forgotten artefact that unleashes unnameable horror. 
 
02whistle.jpg
 
Among the best known of James’ short stories is “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad” (1904) in which a rational, you might say somewhat skeptical, and bookish academic called Parkins discovers an ancient whistle among the dunes of a deserted beach while on holiday. The whistle has strange occult markings on one side and an inscription on the other that reads “Quis est iste, qui venit?” which Parkins translates as “Who is this, who is coming?” By removing the whistle from its burial place, Parkins soon finds out what rather than who it is that comes after him.
 
01whistle.jpg
 
In 1968, the multi-talented Jonathan Miller brought the tale to television. Miller edged more towards a psychological (if not quite Freudian) drama in his adaptation of James’ tale which made the film’s supernatural elements all the more disturbing. Parkins or rather Parkin as he is called in Miller’s film, was played by Michael Hordern as a slightly stuffy, retiring man, who mutters and mumbles his way through the story—much of his performance was improvised—as if he is subconsciously aware his actions in finding the whistle symbolizes his own repressed desires and fears. Or as horror writer Kim Newman put it:

...a case of severe sexual frustration leading to absolute dementia

It’s a classic tale beautifully told and one of television’s most chilling and effective ghost stories.
 

 

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
Haunted: Mark Gatiss goes in search of the ghost writer M.R. James
Ghosts in the machine: Occult fun with trick photography
‘Ghosts’ photobomb portraits of their loved ones
The Victorian woman who drew pictures of ghosts
Spectropia, the popular 19th-century method of conjuring demons and ghosts

Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.26.2018
09:31 am
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Eric Stanton & The Bizarre Underground (plus the fetish culture origins of Spider-Man!)
12.24.2018
02:26 pm
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kvhghduc
 
In Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground the sordid tale of the fetish world, this so-called “bizarre underground,” is revealed to be less steeped in the creepy/sleazy milieu it is normally portrayed as coming from. Author Richard Perez Seves details how the fetish subculture had many allies and partners in the supposedly more innocent OVERground world of the happy Fifties and Sixties. This long awaited book tells this story as it should be told, with LOADS of black and white and color art reproductions, histories, collectors’ checklists with detailed descriptions and more. It’s a very “modern” book in the sense that it’s perfect for the short attention span world and can be read in, or out, of order as info is needed.

But I’m not saying there’s not much to read, because there is! And it’s written in an appropriate timeline, with copious notes and a great index. It doesn’t come off like an encyclopedia, nor does it speak down to its audience, and best of all it’s a big hardcover book that is really affordable. It’s actually way cheaper than it should be! Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground can be found on sale as you read this for around twenty dollars on Amazon! Which is insane! Even the queen of burlesque Dita Von Teese has put her stamp of approval on the book.
 
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Everything I love and collect culturally seems to lead to the same time period, that fuzzy period around 1954 when things started bubbling into what we now know as rock n’ roll, teenage and monster cinema, the Beats, MAD Magazine, and the “bizarre fetish underground.” All of these things were initially seen as a threat to society the minute they became a “thing” that had an identity. This identity represented rebellion and freedom. All of these things had been brewing for varying periods of time, some for very long periods of time, by single-minded freethinkers experimenting with obsession, be it art, literature, music, or sex. But there’s a moment when a rebellious idea becomes a thing, meaning something that other people realize is happening and so they join in and start doing it as well. Then it becomes… a threat! And when kids get involved it makes it easier for the “critics” and politicians with agendas to start the finger pointing, blaming, set-ups and knock downs, political committees and so on.

These “things” were such a threat to the powers that be that they were portrayed as causing Communism, crime, drugs, pregnancies and worse. The premiere form of presentation in print of the fetish underground was, in fact, comics. Of course there were “dirty” photos as well—notably the classic Bettie Page shoots that informed male libidos of several generations—but it’s worth noting that—at the very least—50% of all published fetish materials were comics, which is quite odd and interesting. These were comics that were not read by children. It doesn’t seem like many women read them either, of course.
 
khd
 
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The price is from 1958, which is pretty remarkable!
 
Unlike most artists, who simply drew what guys like Irving Klaw paid them (very little) to draw, Eric Stanton was very interested in the sexy subject matter he was working with, which is what injected his art with that extra shiny, whip-cracking “something.” He was also instrumental in bringing Gene Bilbrew (aka “Eneg” and other pseudonyms) into that world. Bilbrew was the yang to Stanton’s ying in a sense in that Stanton was a healthy, very fit, white suburban (at that time) family man, and Bilbrew was, as they say, living the life. Gene was an African-American heroin-addicted jazz musician living in, and at the end, dying in (of an overdose) in a porno bookshop on “The Deuce” (42nd Street between 7th and 8th Avenue). Their styles were very similar at first (Bilbrew worked for Will Eisner and Jules Feiffer early on and he and Stanton met at the Cartoonists and Illustrators School, where they also met Steve Ditko and struck up a fast friendship). Bilbrew’s art got consistently weirder and weirder as time and his drug addiction went on, becoming so weird that it seemed to be intentional. And maybe it was, but I’m talking weird on two levels, one in subject matter with everyone, including the “pretty girls” used to sell the books he was illustrating becoming monstrous and bizarre (in the traditional sense) and downright ugly! On the other hand he seemed to lose his sense of perspective with arms and legs getting rendered too short, people looking like midgets, really big, almost square, wall-eyed heads, etc. (If all this was , er… on purpose, then Bilbrew has become my all-time favorite artist! Taking a concept as simple as using sexy women to sell hard up guys horny reading material and taking this idea and turning it on its head into a truly bizarre version of itself.)
 
kfutes
 
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Three paperback covers, all with Gene Bilbrew art.
 
The big revelation in Eric Stanton & the History of the Bizarre Underground is the direct connection between the world of the adults-only sex underground publications and the burgeoning creation of Marvel Comics. In this book all the guessing, rumors and wondering that has been whispered about for decades is spelled out in words and in pictures!

Eric Stanton was married to a religious extremist who was massively opposed to what he started to do for a living. Stanton realized more and more how much he was turned on by this world he happened to step into and things went very wrong at home. In classic style Odd Couple-style, Stanton moved his studio into his art school buddy’s space. This friend happened to be one Steve Ditko, who would later go on to co-create Spider-Man with Stan Lee.

Keep reading after the jump…

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Posted by Howie Pyro
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12.24.2018
02:26 pm
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Raquel Welch and a bikini-clad Playboy playmate crash ‘Mork & Mindy’ in 1979
12.24.2018
09:16 am
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A candid shot of Raquel Welch (as Captain Nirvana) and Robin Williams as the lovable alien Mork on the set of ‘Mork & Mindy’ in 1979.
 
I was still of a tender age when one of the most gorgeous women to ever woman, Raquel Welch showed up looking a bit like a busty, tanned David Bowie in thigh-high silver boots on Mork & Mindy. Are you with me? Good. Because in addition to Raquel’s role as Captain Nirvana—the leader of the very sexy-sounding fictional alien race, the Necrotons, we also get to see Playboy’s Playmate of the Year (1978), Debra Jo Fondren in a bikini in a golden cage. If any of this sounds like a blatant ratings grab, you’d be right. Originally, the episode “Mork vs. the Necrotons,” was going to be presented as a one-hour special but ended up airing as a two-part cliffhanger. If you remember anything about this show, it is likely this very episode or the perplexing thirteenth episode of the season when Mork became the first male Denver Broncos cheerleader. It’s hard to say. I came across a quote from Williams when he was asked about his feelings on the show, a contentious one for the cast:

“There were a lot of little kids who went through puberty watching that episode, and I think we lost a lot of the audience.”

It’s been well documented that Williams, Pam Dawber and the entire crew were challenged by Welch’s diva demands and behavior during filming. At one point the episode’s director, Howard Storm says Raquel suggested her younger, female hench-chicks should wear “dog masks” and she should lead them on to the set “on leashes.” Usually, this would sound like a pretty terrific idea given the fact that A) it came from Raquel Welch, and B) I rest my case. However, Storm mentioned to Welch she didn’t need to do anything but “snap her fingers,” and the girls would “drop to their knees.” Raquel liked this idea very much, and interestingly, the leash idea made its way on to the show anyway, and that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

I rewatched clips from both episodes while putting this post together, because of course, I did, and I laughed nearly to the point of exhaustion at times thanks to the gift which never stops giving—the comedy genius of Robin Williams. Much of Williams’ comedic outbursts on the show were improvised and timing to accommodate the actor to do so was written into scripts early during the show’s first season. After being so pleasantly reminded how great and profoundly weird the show was, I picked up season one and two on DVD for less than twenty bucks and will be binging on the show as soon as they show up. In anticipation of this blessed event, I’ve posted some great photos including some sweet, candid shots of Williams and Welch on the set, and footage of Williams and Welch from the show. Nanu Nanu!
 

Another candid shot of Williams and Welch.
 

 

Playmate of the Year 1978, Debra Jo Fondren (Kama), Raquel Welch, and Vicki Frederick (Sutra).
 
More Mork after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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12.24.2018
09:16 am
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The avant-garde works of Creedence Clearwater Revival
12.21.2018
08:52 am
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CCR promo photo
 
When one thinks about Creedence Clearwater Revival the terms “psychedelic” or “avant-garde” usually don’t come to mind. The Bay Area unit was first and foremost a rock-n-roll group, their unpretentious, southern-flavored style standing in contrast to psychedelic rock, and San Francisco jam bands like Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. So, it might come as a surprise—as it’s rarely talked about—but CCR did actually dabble in psych and the avant-garde.

While Creedence’s self-titled debut album, released in the summer of 1968, did include a handful of songs with psychedelic elements, and the group would stretch out on some of their subsequent album tracks, few would categorize any of it as experimental. One notable exception is the final number on their sixth LP.

Released in December 1970, Pendulum did expand on the CCR formula, bringing horns and keyboards into the mix, but even still, this wouldn’t have prepared Creedence fans for the album’s closing number, “Rude Awakening #2.” This instrumental starts off sounding very much like a standard CCR tune, before morphing into something else altogether. It’s definitely psychedelic, but also has dramatic qualities. To my ears, it sounds inspired by the Sgt. Pepper’s track, “A Day in the Life.” It’s definitely weird, but, ultimately, the song doesn’t really go anywhere, and after six-plus minutes, “Rude Awakening #2” simply fades out.
 
Pendulum booklet
 
In his autobiography, Fortunate Son, band leader John Fogerty wrote about the track.

The only thing we ever really collaborated on as a band was the six-minute-plus instrumental with sound effects called “Rude Awakening #2.” (Which begs the question, what was “Rude Awakening #1”?). The Beatles had done this “sound collage” called “Revolution 9”; that type of thing was in the air. I’d recorded a beautiful fingerpicking song that I did with a split pickup guitar. I liked the song, but the stuff added on after it is just free-form nonsense. Doug [Clifford, drummer] farts on the track—that was his contribution. So that’s the one and only Creedence collaboration. A masterpiece? No.

 

 
I would definitely agree that “Rude Awakening #2” isn’t CCR’s pièce de résistance, but I think the comparison to “Revolution 9” is more apt in regard to an even more bizarre Creedence work.
 
45 label
 
A couple of months prior to the release of Pendulum, a promotional-only CCR 45 was sent to radio stations. The two-part “45 Revolutions Per Minute” was described by Fogerty in Fortunate Son as a “little two-sided narrative for the fans.”
 
45 cover
 
While the text on the cover of indicates the 7-inch is “meant to thank radio disc jockeys,” the record is, in part, a parody of the sort of interviews in which band members are asked the usual, banal questions by dopey DJ’s. It’s also the strangest thing Creedence ever issued, an avant-garde exercise with lots of tape manipulations and sound effects. Think “Revolution 9” and the Beatles’s wild comedy number, “You Know My Name (Look up the Number).”
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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12.21.2018
08:52 am
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Having a ‘Cosmic Christmas’ with the Rolling Stones
12.20.2018
08:34 am
Topics:
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Released in December 1967, Their Satanic Majesties Request had the working title of Cosmic Christmas, and the Stones imagined it on display in the shops at Christmastime with a 12” x 12” photo of Mick Jagger’s crucified, nude body on the cover. Or so I read in Billboard:

… the Stones originally wanted to call the LP Cosmic Christmas and have its cover featuring Jagger naked and nailed to a cross, Jesus-style. The band’s label, aka the only parent left in the room at this point, nixed it.

A vestige of the concept survives on the finished album in the form of “Cosmic Christmas,” aka “We Wish You a Cosmic Joke,” several seconds of music tacked on to the end of side one after “Sing This All Together (See What Happens).” The unlisted track, an electronic rendition of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with psychedelic percussion, is often credited as a Mellotron performance by Bill Wyman, but I believe the few sources that identify the instrument as an oscillator. According to fan lore, you’re supposed to change the speed from 33 to 45 when “Cosmic Christmas” comes on; I’ve embedded a YouTuber’s approximation of the sped-up version below.
 

 
A clever bootlegger pressed “Cosmic Christmas” onto a green vinyl single, mono on one side, stereo on the other, and slipped it into a seven-inch replica of Satanic Majesties’ inner sleeve. A comment on Discogs say this legit-looking “promotional” release came out in ‘78 or ‘79. Could the bootlegger have been trying to steal some Xmas cheer from Keith’s “Run Rudolph Run”? What kind of monster would do that?
 
An amateur comparison of ‘Cosmic Christmas’ at regular and fast speeds:
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.20.2018
08:34 am
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Little Ziggy: Photographs of a young David Bowie
12.19.2018
12:39 pm
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01ddkid.jpg
 
According to his parents David Bowie was a smart kid. He was rolling paper into a typewriter and tapping keys writing gobble-de-gook lines and even using a phone—the old-fashioned rotary kind—by the time he was three. His parents thought he was special, just like every parent does, but they were right. They never talked to him as child, no baby talk, no goo-goo, ga-ga, they treated him as a mini-adult because they thought him smart, intelligent, someone who had chutzpah, someone who just might do something. Not that his teachers thought the same. He was an average student who could always do better. One former school friend (Trevor Blythe) said of him:

‘He was a very bright guy, but he never applied himself. He was fairly good at art, but overall he tended to wander through. He was a butterfly. I was old-fashioned and could knuckle down and do the job. He was the opposite to that. There was a creative spirit, but no-one could’ve guessed where it was headed.’

Bowie was born David Robert Jones on a cold foggy Wednesday morning, January 8th, 1947. His old man, “John” Hayward Stenton Jones (b. 1912) was a fairly well-to-do Yorkshire man, who had inherited £4,000 (mega bucks in those days) from his parents which he quickly invested in setting-up and managing a London nightclub near King’s Cross in 1933. It seemed a fairly good investment. Jones met his first wife, a singer called Hilda Sullivan, at the club. They got married. When the club inevitably ran into financial difficulty due to a lack of experience, Jones bailed and spent the last of his inherited wealth on a joint-partnership running a seedy bar in London’s notorious Soho district. He was conned by his business partner who split with most of the cash and left Jones “holding the can.” His fall was buffered by the start of the Second World War. Jones signed-up with the Eighth Army and served the duration of the war. By 1945, his marriage to Hilda was over, but the pair didn’t divorce.

Bowie’s mother, Margaret Mary Burns (b. 1913) came from a working-class family of six ruled by a violent and brutal ex-soldier of a father. Burns was rebellious and left home at the age of fourteen. She became a nanny and had a brief relationship with a wealthy businessman. She became pregnant to this man, who quickly abandoned her, and had a son named Terrance (b. 1937). The child was given to her parents to raise. Burns took up work in a factory where she met another man and fell pregnant once more. This time she had a daughter Myra Ann (b. 1943), who was given up for adoption. Burns never saw her daughter again. After the war, Burns met Jones while she was working as a waitress/usherette. The pair lived together, as Jones was still technically married to his first wife Sullivan. In 1947, the couple’s son David was born, and the family lived in a terraced home at 40 Stansfield Road, Brixton. Eight months later, Jones was divorced and he married Burns.

Bowie was the focus of his parents’ love. His older half-brother Terry was never quite considered part of the family. However, it was Terry who first guided Bowie towards jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and the literature of the Beats.

Bowie was precocious as a child. At junior school he was known as a bit of schoolyard scrapper, but he was always considered bright, smart, and someone to watch, if only he would work just that little bit harder. But Bowie’s mind was elsewhere. He was looking for something else. This came the day he saw one of his cousins dance to Elvis Presley’s record “Hound Dog.” As he later said:

‘I had never seen [my cousin] get up and be moved so much by anything. It really impressed me, the power of the music. I started getting records immediately after that. My mother bought me Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill” the next day. And then I fell in love with the Little Richard band. I never heard anything that lived in such bright colours in the air. It really just painted the whole room for me.’

Bowie was nine years old when that occurred. He formed his first band the Konrads when he was fifteen. He was twenty-two when he hit the charts with “Space Oddity.”
 
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More young Bowie, after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.19.2018
12:39 pm
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The Radiophonic Workshop creates creepy score for ‘Possum’ with help from the late Delia Derbyshire
12.18.2018
04:51 pm
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I normally don’t post about a film I haven’t yet seen but I’m saving Possum until the holidays are here—I gotta have something fun to watch—so allow me to concentrate on the film’s remarkable soundtrack. That I have heard, and if the film it accompanies is half as good (or even a quarter as creepy) it’s gonna make for the perfect Christmas day horror movie.

Possum, by the way, tells “the story of a disgraced children’s puppeteer who returns to his childhood home and is forced to confront his wicked stepfather and the secrets that have tortured him his entire life.” The film is the directorial debut of Matthew Holness, who American audiences will know as the star and co-creator/writer of the classic British TV cult comedy Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. (Along with Holness’ hilarious portrayal of self-absorbed/delusional sci-fi and horror writer Marenghi—“author, dream weaver, visionary, plus actor”—this show also marked the breakout roles for Richard Ayoade, Matt Berry and Alice Lowe.) The film is an adaption of Holness’ short story of the same title.

The original score for Possum was created by the recently revived Radiophonic Workshop, the pioneering BBC electronic sound laboratory responsible for the Doctor Who theme and the sound effects for a host of radio and television programs over the past sixty years. You would think that at least once during their long association that the Radiophonic Workshop would have scored at least one feature film for theatrical release, or collaborated on a major score for something together, but this has not been the case. Until now. And what a fascinating and major piece it is, reminding the listener of Ennio Morricone’s anxiety-ridden giallo scores and the darkest soundscapes of Coil.

Holness and the film’s editor Tommy Boulding had used sound cues from the Radiophonic Workshop in their rough cut and approached the newly reformed group about using their archival work in the film. To their delight the Radiophonic Workshop offered to do an original score.

And if all that wasn’t enough to pique your interest—and it should have been—the Possum soundtrack features sound elements and drones taken from the archives of Delia Derbyshire who famously created the original Doctor Who theme. These elements were discovered in boxes of tapes stored in the late composer’s attic, have been restored and were used in the foundations of the film’s scary/tense soundtrack and sound design.
 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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12.18.2018
04:51 pm
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