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My Interview with Amethyst Realm: The Woman Engaged to a Ghost
12.13.2018
06:29 am
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October 30th may have been what they call a ‘slow news day.’ Gangster Whitey Bulger was murdered in prison. Pharrell sent a cease-and-desist letter to Trump. Kanye now wants to distance himself from politics. Woman who has had sex with twenty ghosts is now engaged to one. Wait wait, hold on - what happened?
 
To me, this was the day that I read one of the most incredible stories of my lifetime. It was a headline that should have run in the National Enquirer or the Daily Mirror. In fact, it probably did.
 
The suspicious timing near Halloween made this international news. I even got a push notification about it. The woman’s name is Amethyst Realm and she is from Bristol, UK. And, as the headlines have stated, she is marrying a spirit. I know what you are probably thinking - this is rubbish. I would think so too, if I didn’t believe her.
 
I needed to learn more about this paranormal love affair, so I reached out to the source herself. We spoke on my radio show about her prior relationships, proposal, and plans for the wedding. If any of the below speaks to you in ways like it impacted me, remember, she’s working on a book.
 
Bennett Kogan: Okay, just to make sure I understand this correctly. Your fiancé is – a spirit?

Amethyst Realm: Yes, that’s correct.
 
And this isn’t your first spirit lover… let’s hear a little bit about your past experiences with the occult.

I’ve always been very open spiritually and aware of other presences. When I was around eighteen, I moved into a new house and met my first spirit romantically. And since then, I’ve had a few lovers. It’s been… yeah.
 
But that was your first time with a ghost?

Romantically, yes. I’ve always been aware of them. It’s something that’s been sort of normal to me. I can pick up on different presences - like if I were to walk into a room. I’ve always had that kind of sense.
 
How does an intimate relationship with a ghost compare to one with a human?

In a lot of ways, it’s pretty similar. For me it’s totally normal, so I find it quite difficult to explain. We’ll still go out on dates and things like that, but we don’t really need to communicate in the same way than with a partner of this realm. It’s much deeper and a lot more emotion based. And intimate.
 
What was the realization that these encounters would become something that was meant to last for an eternity?

It was just something that felt so much more real and serious. Kind of in the same way if you met someone in the living world that you fell in love with instantly. It was love in first sight, in a way. “Love at first sense,” maybe. When you meet someone, you look into their eyes and feel something. You feel that energy. For us, it’s just that energy.
 
The spirit that you are now engaged to, how did that introduction occur?

I was in the outback of Australia, not looking for anything. Just walking and enjoying the amazing scenery out there. When suddenly I just felt their presence. And it just felt right from the start. I just knew it was a real, serious thing. It wasn’t gonna be a fling.
 
Were you able to address him by a human name?

We never really bothered with names. It wasn’t important. I have now given him a name because it makes it much easier. He showed himself in photo that a friend took of me. He appeared as a ray of light shooting across the photo. So now, I call him “Ray.”
 
Can you visualize his face?

No, because I can’t see him. He definitely has a presence. His energy and emotions form like an emotional shape almost.
 
Are there certain characteristics that you’ve been able to sense since first meeting him?

I guess he feels strong. And very solid and there. Recently I got a reading with some psychics who told me a little bit about what they felt his history was in his past life. And now, I can say that he is male. Before that, it was so unimportant to me what he looked like that I didn’t know what his gender was - and it didn’t matter to me.
 
Is Ray there with you right now?

Yeah, he came back on the plane with me to the UK.
 
And that’s where the proposal occurred?

We went up to Somerset one weekend. And while we were there he really wanted to go to the Wookey Hole Caves, which are quite a ways away. I was a little bit confused by it. Because I’ve always trusted him, but thought maybe he’s got an ex-phantom lover there, or something? It’s a quite heavily haunted spot. So, we went on a tour around the caves. While we were there, he asked me to hang back from the rest of the crowd. And then he proposed.
 
So now you’re engaged and looking forward to the big wedding. What type of ceremonies do you have prepared?

We’re planning a spring wedding, I think. I want kind of something based around a hand-binding ceremony, rather than a traditional wedding. Because obviously, spirits don’t have hands. I’ve been referring to it as a “soul-binding” ceremony. We’ve got a really special venue lined up as well, which is very exciting.
 
Your family and friends, what were their initial reactions to this kind of news?

They were really happy for me. My family and friends are quite alternative, so they’re just happy that I’m happy. They understand that there is more to this world than what you see.
 
It was interesting how the media portrayed your story. I’m looking at a headline right now that just states, “Woman who had sex with 20 ghosts is now engaged to a spirit.”

It seems that the world at the moment is really interested in the concept of alternative relationships versus the traditional ones that everyone has. Of course, I expect some people to disbelieve me. I hope I’ve made those that are having the same experiences as me feel a little more comfortable with it. Or those that aren’t satisfied with a normal, mainstream relationship can feel like there is an alternative.
 
I’m sure people have been reaching out to you since your news went viral.

So many people are asking me if Ray can set them up with one of his spirit friends.
 
I’m definitely open to the opportunity.

I’m in talks with publishers about writing a guide about how to seduce a ghost. It seems like so many people want to do it. I’m hoping that I can educate some people and maybe help them along their path.
 
I’m sure that our everyday paranormal encounters could have escalated into the same experiences that you’ve had. For those who are reading this now and aren’t convinced by your story, what advice do you have to offer them?

I know what’s going on and I know what’s real for me. Keep an open mind and heart. And just be aware of the signs, really.
 

Posted by Bennett Kogon
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12.13.2018
06:29 am
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Freddie Mercury really loved his cats
12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Freddie Mercury had many loves in his life. One of his big passions was his love of cats. Mercury so loved cats he was once described as “rock’s greatest lover of cats.” According to his last partner (and the man he called his “husband”) Jim Hutton, Mercury “treated cats like his own children.”

He would constantly fuss over them, and if any of them came to any harm when Freddie was away, heaven help us. During the day the cats had the run of the house and grounds, and at night one of us would round them up and bring them inside.

When on tour, or away recording, Mercury regularly phoned home to speak to his beloved felines. During his lifetime, Mercury had ten cats starting in the seventies with Tom and Jerry (who he shared with the woman Mercury described as his “common-law wife” Mary Austin), Tiffany (a present from Austin), and then a cluster of cats (Delilah, Dorothy, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo) who he shared with Hutton at their home in Garden Lodge, Logan Mews, London. As Hutton later wrote in his memoir Mercury and Me, Mercury’s favorite feline was his calico cat named Delilah:

Of all the cats at Garden Lodge, Delilah was Freddie’s favourite and the one he’d pick up and stroke the most often. When Freddie went to bed, it was Delilah he brought with us. She’d sleep at the foot of the bed, before slipping out for a night-time prowl around Garden Lodge.

Delilah was a spoilt cat and depended on Freddie for everything, even protection from the other cats. They would gang up on her and she would run into our bedroom—it was a cat sanctuary, In many ways the cats were Freddie’s children, and we all thought of them that way. The slightest feline sneeze or twitch and he’d send them off to the vet for a check-up. And we were old-fashioned when it came to having to have sex in total privacy. Whenever Freddie and I jumped in the bedroom to make love, he would always ensure that none of the cats were watching.

Mercury dedicated his solo album Mr. Bad Guy (1985) “to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else!” and so loved Delilah that he wrote a song about her on Queen’s Innuendo album in 1991:

Delilah, Delilah, oh my, oh my, oh my - you’re irresistible
You make me smile when I’m just about to cry
You bring me hope, you make me laugh - and I like it
You get away with murder, so innocent
But when you throw a moody you’re all claws and you bite

Delilah once peed all over Mercury’s Chippendale suite—something that apparently happened quite often with all of the cats on other fixtures and furnishings. Not everyone in Queen was so enamored by Mercury’s song to a cat, drummer Roger Taylor claimed he “hated it.”

Before he died in 1991, Mercury told one journalist he planned to leave everything to “Mary and the cats.” And here are some of those little darlings who outlived Freddie and inherited his wealth.
 
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Jerry.
 
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Romeo.
 
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Oscar.
 
More of Freddie’s furry feline friends, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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12.05.2018
06:46 am
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Atomic Punks: Van Halen hanging out with their teenage fans at a Dallas, Texas record store in 1978
11.27.2018
10:24 am
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Van Halen waiting to meet their fans inside Sound Warehouse in Dallas, Texas 1978.
 
During their first world tour supporting their monumental first album Van Halen, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, his brother Alex and Michael Anthony did a “See and Meet” event at Sound Warehouse in Dallas, Texas. Fans of VH lined up for hours before the 2:30 PM start-time and the band was already cracking into cans of Schlitz Malt Liquor, because they are Van Halen and they needed to be in peak form for their first of two shows at the Dallas Convention Center opening for Black Sabbath later that evening.

Van Halen had been making the record store rounds during the final leg of their 174-date tour including one at the Dallas location of legendary chain Peaches Records & Tapes. These kinds of events were really common back in the 70s and 80s, and if you grew up during either decade (or previous ones for that matter), you probably went through the ritual of waiting in line for hours, clutching something sacred to be signed by your chosen rock idol(s).
 

A shot of Van Halen’s in-store visit to Peaches Records & Tapes in Dallas in November 1978.
 
The photos you are about to see were taken 40-years ago, almost to the day, and what a day it was if you were lucky enough to have been there. While you’re scrolling, take notice of the Van Halen albums on the wall—all of which were signed by the band while they were throwing back Schlitz Malt Liquor, smoking cigarettes, waiting to meet their fans. Also, while conducting my critical “research” on vintage ‘78 VH, I came across a comment left by a dude calling himself “Dave Jr.” noting that the “blonde” smiling in a photo (pictured below) as DLR signs an album for her friend, was his mother. “Dave Jr.” went on to say he arrived in the world nine months after the photo was taken, making him wonder if Diamond Dave might be his dad. Though the words spoken on the VH classic “Unchained” by record producer Ted Templeman come to mind (“Come on, Dave, Gimme a break!”), knowing DLR’s debaucherous track record, it’s not unfathomable to think Roth may have sired a mini-me along the way he doesn’t know about. Where the fuck is Maury Povich when you need him?
 

 

Here’s the photo “Dave Jr.” was referring to of his mother and his “Dad” David Lee Roth. I’m assuming she is the one smiling because only she knows the answer to Dave Jr.‘s question.
 
More mayhem, after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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11.27.2018
10:24 am
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Before ‘Grand Theft Auto’ there was ‘SCAM: The Game of International Dope Smuggling’
11.12.2018
07:37 am
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Monopoly recently released a new version of its board game called the “Cheaters Edition.” It’s exactly what you think it is. Instead of moving around the board purchasing property like society has educated us to do, players are now encouraged to LIE and CHEAT their way to commodity and wealth. Because life isn’t supposed to be fair. This realistic portrayal of the business world rewards those who can stealthily commit white-collar crimes, such as steal money, swipe properties, and basically, fuck over everyone else out there trying to make an honest living. If you get caught in the act, however, you will be forced to wear a stupid plastic handcuff that is chained to the game board. So we’ll see if it was all worth it, RIGHT DONALD TRUMP?
 

 
According to Hasbro, Monopoly: Cheater’s Edition was created after a product survey revealed that nearly half of its players cheat at the game. So, they made a version that encourages that sort of behavior. It’s no surprise then, why video games like Grand Theft Auto are so popular. We like to be bad without facing the consequences (except for maybe a plastic handcuff). I don’t have the patience for fucking Monopoly, either.
 
Let’s take a moment to pay respect to a real OG in the underground board-gaming world. This one’s called SCAM: The Game of International Dope Smuggling. Released by Berkeley’s Brown Bag Enterprises in 1971, the year Nixon declared a federal “War on Drugs,” SCAM is all about slinging dope and getting paid. Players move around a colorful, hand-drawn board collecting “Connections” and “Paranoia” cards, which will either help or hinder as one navigates the underground and strikes drug deals. Along the way, you will travel to exotic locations of criminal activity and drug trafficking, such as New York, Afganistan, Mexico, South America, Uranus (!), and maybe even jail. The game, which came rolled up in a tube designed to look like a big doobie, was popular among the hippies and trippers of counterculture and, as many have described it, was particularly advanced given its illicit subject matter.
 

 
Someone was able to scan the official game rules, an excerpt of it can be read below:
 

Generally, SCAM goes like this: you begin on the drop out of College square and keep moving around the AVE until you have enough money and CONNECTIONS to get off the AVE. You then work the COUNTY and NEW YORK until you get enough money to put together a smuggling SCAM. This involves FLYING to MEXICO, AFGANISTAN or SOUTH AMERICA, buying dope, smuggling back to the States and selling in NEW YORK (where there’s more money) or in THE COUNTY (where there’s less PARANOIA). To win the game, you have to make ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

If any of the following rules seem vague, unclear or stupid, feel free to change them to suit yourself.

 
Every so often, an original SCAM board game pops up for sale online. Prices usually range between $150-$350, but Triple Beam Games has a ripped-off bootleg version available on Amazon for $25, titled TRAFFIC: The game of INT’L dope smuggling. Add that to the growing list of drug dealing board games from over the years, including Dealer McDope, Beat the Border, and Gilbert Shelton’s Feds ’N’ Heads. Smack not included.
 

 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.12.2018
07:37 am
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The hilarious Renaissance art GIFs of ‘Scorpion Dagger’
11.07.2018
07:50 am
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Artist James Kerr was looking for something new to do, so he decided he’d start making GIFs ‘cause he thought that’d be fun. “Somehow,” he tells me, “I figured the best way to learn was to try and make one per day for an entire year, and see where it all went from there. This was back in 2012.”

Kerr shares his work under the name Scorpion Dagger. Over the past six years, he has produced hundreds of GIFs featuring artwork from northern and early Renaissance paintings. He has also produced a book which features some of his best and most popular work. But Kerr didn’t start out as an artist, he was a Political Science graduate who spent his time at university hanging “with lots of art school kids who really inspired me to make art.” I like Kerr’s work—they’re funny and clever and remind me of those brilliant animations Terry Gilliam made for Monty Python. I contacted Kerr to find out more about his work as Scorpion Dagger.

What’s with the name Scorpion Dagger? Where did it come from?

James Kerr: Essentially, it’s all to annoy my friends. It comes from working construction with these guys a long time ago, and us joking around about needing some tough sounding nicknames. I came up with Scorpion Dagger, and they all hated it. Them hating on it made me want to try and make it stick even more, so when it came time to name the GIF project, the choice was obvious.

How do you make your GIFs?

JK: At first, it was all made in Photoshop. I’d hunt around for interesting images, cut them up, and animate all in PS. I’ve slowly started using After Effects more-and-more, but there’s some quality issues that I don’t like with it—it’s too clean! I like a slightly messier aesthetic. But, it does save me tons of time, so now somewhere around I’m 50/50.

What brought you to these specific sets of paintings?

JK: It goes back to making GIFs every day for an entire year - it was a real struggle finding inspiration for what to animate, so I would do these totally random google image searches where I would pull out whatever struck a chord. At some point I noticed that I kept going back to these specific paintings, and noticed that the inspiration got easier. I find the paintings from that era to be quite comical on their own, especially those of the Northern Renaissance, and that they were a perfect muse in helping me say what I wanted to say.

What has the response been?

JK: Pretty amazing. During that first year I figured that I may be able to find a gallery show where I would project them all once it was all done, and that would be that. But, as time went on, I couldn’t see myself ending it. I was having way too much fun. Now, this whole silly project has turned in to a career. Definitely lucked out.

You produced a book out—can you tell me something about it?

JK: Do You Like Relaxing? came out a few years ago, and it is (we think) the first ever (and perhaps only) physical book of animated GIFs. It presents itself much like any old art book, with still images and such, but you can animate a good chunk of them on your device using an augmented reality app. It all came about when I was looking around for someone to help me out with an AR project I was trying to pitch, and a friend introduced me the Antesim (the publisher), who were looking for someone to do an AR book with.

What motivates you?

JK: Not entirely sure. Not to sound too clichéd, but at times art feels as if it’s something I need to do. If I haven’t made something in a while, I tend to get this uneasy feeling. In a sense, I just really love making stuff, and don’t feel whole unless I’m working on something.

What’s next?

JK: No idea. I’m sitting on a couple projects that will slowly roll out over the next year that I’m really excited about. One of which is another book, but this time it’s in collaboration with some writers who wrote this fun story. One thing that’s been on my mind is that I would love to experiment a little more, and get back in to posting on my socials a little more regularly, which, for me, I think go hand-in-hand.

You can buy the book Do You Like Relaxing? or follow Scorpion Dagger on Instagram or Facebook or see more of Kerr’s work here.
 
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See more from Scorpion Dagger plus and interview, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.07.2018
07:50 am
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Radio, Radio: Behold, the greatest collection of novelty radios known to mankind!!!
11.07.2018
07:49 am
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About a year ago, I shared a compilation of wacky telephones that I had found in a novelty collector’s book. Shortly after publishing, I received a bizarre, cryptic email from an anonymous individual, identity hidden for security purposes, with a tip about a far greater hobbyist ring. These were AM/FM radios.
 
We exchanged a few emails. The man wanted to be referred to as “The Buzz.” He claimed that he needed to keep his profile a secret in order to protect the “greater good.” By this, he was referring to the topic of discussion: novelty radios. I wanted to learn more. And then he disappeared.
 

 
It wasn’t until recently that “The Buzz” reappeared. Writing from a burner email account, the message read “IT’S BUZZ. I NEED YOU TO CALL ME: 989-###-####.” The area code is Northeastern Michigan. Without a doubt, I thought someone was fucking with me. The joke wasn’t even that funny to begin with, but I was still curious.
 
We talked for nearly forty minutes. He rambled in an erratic manner, and the reception was very poor. I think he was using a voice modulator. To be honest, I could barely understand anything “The Buzz” was saying. Something about “them” and “they.” This unspecified faction has been tracking his every movement since 1987. The collection of gimmicky AM/FM radios, however, that is what they wanted. Allegedly, “The Buzz” has the largest collection of these plastic oddities known to mankind. And he would stop at nothing to make sure “they never got them.” It was pretty weird.
 

 
There are few allies in the underground world of souvenir radio collectors. I would imagine at one point the resistance had only communicated through their product, but “The Buzz” advised me that encryptions were sent using Hotmail’s MSN Messenger. It’s a growing network and, for some bizarre reason, I could be trusted as an outsider. I wonder if they were originally skeptical because I would write a piece on my discovery - exactly what I am doing right now.
 
This morning, I received a discreet file-sharing link to a folder with hundreds of pictures. Yes you guessed it, each a photo of different, beautifully categorized novelty radio. There wasn’t much context behind the immense image dump, but it definitely came from “The Buzz.” He gave me his blessing. Now I wonder, by ‘largest collection’, did he mean in physical or digital form? Because this, what you are about to see below, this could be what he was referring to along. These photos could be what “they” are after - and I could be risking my life by sharing them with you. I tried giving “The Buzz” a call to clarify, but alas, his voicemail was full.
 
Take a look at some of the greatest novelty radios in human history below:
 

 

 
MANY more novelty radios, after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.07.2018
07:49 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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Mondo Bondage: Why Fee Waybill of The Tubes is one of the three most important people in the world
10.21.2018
10:25 am
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Fee Waybill on stage with The Tubes as his stage alter-ego Quay Lewd in 1975. His platform boots are eighteen inches high.
 
If the title of this post and affirmation of the importance of vocalist Fee Waybill (born John Waldo Waybill in 1950) of The Tubes sounds at all familiar, it is because this is precisely how Fee Waybill was addressed in the 1989 film, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Since I know you’re curious, the other two people included in this very important trio were Martha Davis of The Motels (because of course, she was) and the big man himself, saxophone player and long-running member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, Clarence Clemons. Bill and Ted might not have been the brightest bulbs, but they were right to call Fee Waybill important. Because god dammit he was and still is and I’ve got pictures and live footage to prove it. Excellent.

Anyone growing up on MTV remembers The Tubes. “Talk to you Later” was in such heavy rotation it would have been impossible not to absorb the lyrics without even wanting to. Their early, proto-punk records were popular in the UK but didn’t really break through in the U.S., so as far as most MTV kids were concerned, The Tubes they saw on television didn’t exist before “Talk to You Later.” They had likely never heard of the band’s 1975 debut, White Punks on Dope. During their time in the 70s, they became known for their elaborate stage productions which stepped far beyond merely going to see a band, and more like live, interactive, improvisational theater with sick jams.

Then, you have Fee Waybill, taking it a leap beyond the beyond appearing in characters he created for the stage such as a BDSM fan, and a glam rocker called Quay Lewd. Waybill also dressed up like a crazed astronaut from time to time and a masked bad-dude. Others would follow, and Waybill’s revolving cast of characters would make regular appearances during Tubes’ shows for years and years. According to Waybill, Quay Lewd was an “amalgam” of “Rod Stewart, David Bowie, David Johansen, Robert Plant and all the quasi-homosexual glam-rock gay lead singers with platform shoes in the 1970s.”

In 1977 The Tubes played two highly praised totally gonzo sold-out shows at the Hammersmith Odeon with Wire. Both performances were recorded and released in 1978 as What Do You Want from Live. In addition to wanton appearances by Waybill dressed in bondage gear, Quay Lewd also came out to taunt the crowd. Journalist Paul Rambali reviewed the gigs for NME, including the following assessment which I think sums up what the fuck happened at the Odeon: 

“They (The Tubes) are not strictly a rock band, neither are they a show, a satire, nor a marriage of rock and theatre, (although they do admit early inspiration from the original Rocky Horror Picture Show). The Tubes are a spectacle like no other. They present a relentless two-hour onslaught of humor, outrage, parody, idiocy, music, and costume—a feast for the senses.”

 

Paul Rambali’s review of The Tubes gigs at the Odeon in 1977.
 
After the release of What Do You Want from Live, The Tubes returned to California to play a series of shows in San Fran and Los Angeles. After their crazed shows in London, Waybill decided to get even nastier on stage and added a large dildo to his Quay Lewd costume, which has always kind of reminded me of a cross between Wayne Country and Hedwig. Apparently, Cher was in the crowd and would later ask the band to play her Cher…Special (1978), which they did in the most bonkers way possible. The Tubes performed a medley of songs including 1975’s “Mondo Bondage” with Waybill and in bondage gear trying to get Cher to embrace her dark side. During the skit/musical number, another guest on the one-off special, Dolly Parton and her gang of gospel singers roll on in to save Cher’s soul, presumably from rock and roll. Also, since Rambali was kind enough to mention the link between The Tubes and Rocky Horror Picture Show, it seems like a good time to note Waybill took on the role of the deranged Dr. Frank N. Furter for a stage production of RHPS at the Barn Theater in Augusta, Michigan in 1999. Pictures or it didn’t happen? I got you covered, pals.

Classic images of Fee Waybill doing what he does best—you know, being one of the three most important people in the world, follow. Some are NSFW (which does not mean Not Safe for Fee Waybill). Lastly, if you happen to be in Irwin, Pennsylvania or Akron, Ohio, you can see the band live later this month.
 

Waybill on stage in BDSM leather. Fuck YES.
 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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10.21.2018
10:25 am
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Alice Cooper gets pied in the face on ‘The Soupy Sales Show’
10.16.2018
06:38 am
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When the legendary comedian Soupy Sales died in 2009, Alice Cooper issued a brief statement through his publicist:

Being from Detroit, I came home every day and watched Soupy at lunch. One of the greatest moments of my life was getting piefaced by Soupy. He was one of my all-time heroes.

Soupy Sales and a pie in the face have more to do with the Detroit of John Sinclair than you might guess. As “The Heart of Detroit by Moonlight” by the Destroy All Monsters Collective (Mike Kelley, Cary Loren, and Jim Shaw) makes clear, Soupy’s TV image inhabited the same psychic space as Alice, the MC5 and Lester Bangs. Not only was Soupy’s anarchic spirit beloved of Motor City rockers, but his actual sons, Hunt and Tony, played in Iggy Pop’s band in the seventies. The Sales brothers were Iggy’s rhythm section on part of Kill City, all of Lust for Life, and the famous 1977 tour with David Bowie.

And the way Alice Cooper took a pie (cake?) in the face at the 1970 Cincinnati Pop Festival was central to the case for the Stooges’ greatness Lester Bangs made in the pages of Creem:

So there he was: Alice Cooper, rock star, crouched frontstage in the middle of his act with a faceful of pie and cream with clots dripping from his ears and chin. So what did he do? How did he recoup the sacred time-honored dignity of the performing artist which claims the stage as his magic force field from which to bedazzle and entertain the helpless audience? Well, he pulled a handful of pie gook out of his face and slapped it right back again, smearing it into his pores and eyes and sneaking the odd little fingerlicking taste. Again and again he repeated this gesture, smearing it in good. The audience said not another word.

 

 
Here’s the full 1979 episode of The New Soupy Sales Show where Alice takes another pie in the face, cued up to Alice’s bit. Soupy finds a bug in the backyard that can sing and play piano, and he figures he can make big money if he books the insect, Buggy, as the opening act on his buddy Alice Cooper’s upcoming tour. Perhaps remembering the early-morning audition at Frank Zappa’s house that gave him his own entrée into the world of showbiz, Alice drops by Soupy’s place and listens as Buggy tears up “Autumn in New York.” It’s sensational—a star is born! But how will White Fang, the meanest dog in Detroit, react to the sudden rise of this upstart arthropod?

Find out after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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10.16.2018
06:38 am
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Out of Step (with the world): Anderson Cooper’s 1995 News Segment on Straight Edge
10.10.2018
03:01 pm
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I’m a person just like you, but I’ve got better things to do…
 
Ian Mackaye never intended to lead the straight edge revolution. Songs like “I’m Straight” and “Keep it Clean” prove that the punks had restraint before the Dischord-boom. That being said, Ian’s high school band Teen Idles did put out the Minor Disturbance EP, their only release, with younger brother, Alec MacKaye’s valiant, X’d up fists on its cover. The X’s, now a symbol of the anti-inebriation subculture, was meant to signify that he was underage and therefore “incapable” of drinking. In 1981, Ian’s DC-hardcore band Minor Threat released its fundamental, self-titled debut EP - on it included the moniker song “Straight Edge.” During a time when being a punk meant sniffing glue (“Just Say No”), Ian wrote a forty-six second statement about how you could be “straight” and still be like everybody else. So yeah, Ian Mackaye pretty much is the Godfather of straight edge.
 

 
Bands like Youth of Today, SS Decontrol, Gorilla Biscuits, and 7Seconds helped promote the core values of straight edge. Those being that one could rebel through self-control and individuality. And for punk rock, which already was reactionary toward the excesses and hedonism of the boomer generation, being straight edge was yet another way to resist the mainstream. At least I can fucking think…..
 
In the mid-to-late nineties, straight edge caught wide appeal. By this point, newer variations of hardcore began to embrace a lifetime commitment to a substance-free existence. Vegetarianism and social justice issues were integrated into its list of convictions and newer, more radical takes on the subculture began to appear. Hardline was a faction of vegan straight edge that promoted its oftentimes conservative judgements through imposition and direct action, even if by any means necessary. “Hate edge” militant gangs and crews formed, most notably in places like Salt Lake City and Reno, where McDonald’s locations were being firebombed and fellow punks were getting jumped for smoking and drinking. So naturally, the parents of America got concerned.
 

Youth of Today - the most straight edge band?
 
Similar to its interpretation of punk a decade prior, the media had a hard time comprehending the straight edge phenomena. Described as a “strange development,” several local news outlets across the country ran investigative reports into the drug-free hXc lifestyle and what it meant for our communities. Should I be concerned if my son is a straight edger? Mostly no, according to multiple reports, although a few of them profiled the animal liberation guerrilla efforts of hardline activists and the growing wave of violence committed by them. Straight edge was soon the subject of an episode of America’s Most Wanted and even on the daytime talk show Rolonda, in 1997.
 
Back in 1995, CNN’s Anderson Cooper was a correspondent for ABC News. That same year, he traveled to Syracuse, NY to report on a growing youth movement known as “straight edge.” The segment is introduced with shocking new evidence that teenage use of marijuana and illegal drugs is on the rise. Notwithstanding, rookie newscaster Anderson Cooper had supposedly “discovered a small, but growing group of young people who are refusing to engage in such self-destructing behavior.” Among them were brothers Trevor and Justin, the center of our cultural probe, who came upon a drug-free lifestyle to protest the self-indulgence of their generation, and of those past. Cooper narrates the report, but can be seen around the two-minute mark, sitting within a pow-wow discussion group of X’d up hardcore teens.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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10.10.2018
03:01 pm
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