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Donald Trump takes a fatal shit on ‘Too Dumb For Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs’
11.16.2017
09:02 am
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A year to the day in the making, Tim Heidecker’s Donald Trump protest numbers have been collected together as a new album Too Dumb For Suicide: Tim Heidecker’s Trump Songs.

While some people find themselves sapped of the will to live by Donald Trump, Heidecker clearly finds him creatively inspiring, albeit in a bitter/rancorous sense. Steadily rolled out since that dark day the most horrible human being of all time managed to squeak into the White House and get handed the nuclear football, Heidecker says “Most of these songs were written and recorded quickly, with the blood still boiling from whatever indignity or absurdity had popped up on my newsfeed that day.”

Too Dumb For Suicide features a credible Elvis Costello pastiche about POTUS squeezing out a toxic and painful black KFC turd and ultimately dying whilst taking a shit on his gilded toilet; an inspiring number about beating neo-Nazi goofball Richard Spencer about the face and neck; an explication in jaunty song about what exactly it will take to make America great again and a beautifully-backhanded Randy Newman-esque “tribute” to Trump’s weasel-like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. There’s even a cover version “bonus track” of Heidecker’s “Trump’s Private Pilot” by Josh Tillman doing his very best Father John Misty impression as a pilot ready to sacrifice himself for the good of the human race and asking everyone to support a Kickstarter for his kids.

Too Dumb For Suicide is all this and more, although noted weenie Paul Simon refused to allow “I Am A Cuck” (an alt-right take-off on his “I Am A Rock”) to be included. I asked Heidecker a few questions via email.

Dangerous Minds: Is it safe to assume that you don’t really like Donald Trump all that much?

Tim Heidecker: What’s to like? He’s everything we’re taught not to be.  But he’s also totally absurd and very funny to me. So I reflect those two sides; some funny stuff, but also some very dark stuff.

Tell me how you really feel…

Tim Heidecker: It’s all broken and pointless and folks should start thinking about living in the woods again.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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11.16.2017
09:02 am
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‘Undead’: The Book Every Bauhaus Fan Will Covet is Arriving Soon
11.16.2017
08:36 am
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It’s been a busy year for former members of Bauhaus, despite there being zero actual Bauhaus activity. Bassist David J did a well-received solo tour—I saw him do a living room show in Detroit, and it was goddamn magnifique—and has signed on to join his former band’s singer Peter Murphy in performing their classic material in San Francisco this February.

Meanwhile, the band’s drummer and guitarist, Kevin Haskins and Daniel Ash, reunited under the name “Poptone” to resurrect material by one of their other former bands, Tones on Tail. I saw that too, and they killed it—bass was handled by Haskins’ daughter Diva, and damn, she’s GOOD. That tour is still ongoing though December 10, and if you get a chance to catch a show, I recommend taking it.

And now, Haskins has announced—and released pages from—a new book of Bauhaus recollections and ephemera, titled Undead, a nod to Murphy’s famous chant in the band’s debut single “Bela Lugosi’s Dead.” (The full title is the rather unwieldy Bauhaus – Undead: The Visual History and Legacy of Bauhaus) According to the indispensable Slicing Up Eyeballs:

Haskins promises readers will be taken on a visual journey from the inception of the band…in 1978 through the group’s initial reunion in 1998 and its famed Coachella performance in 2005.

In addition to Haskins’ own writings, the book includes images from the drummer’s memorabilia collection: handmade flyers, backstage passes, ticket stubs, band artwork, letters, set lists, recording contracts, band sketches, fan club material, tour itineraries, handwritten lyrics, invoices, posters and more.

Preorders are being taken now via Cleopatra Records.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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11.16.2017
08:36 am
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Angry Samoans, Dickies, Suburban Lawns and more in a cable TV report on L.A. punk (c. 1980)


 
What’s Up America was a newsmagazine show that ran on Showtime from 1978 to 1981, covering “topics such as BB guns; female boxers; urban cowboys; Elvis Presley impersonators; chariot racers in Pocatello, Idaho; and a couple who lived year-round on Liberty Island in New York Harbor,” as well as pay TV premiums like “pornographic film actors, strippers, prostitutes, and a nude beauty pageant.”

One segment, roughly contemporary with The Decline of Western Civilization, profiled the Los Angeles punk scene. There are not-so-familiar faces and voices, like those of Orange County’s Nu-Beams, and slightly more familiar ones, like those of Claude “Kickboy Face” Bessy and Phranc of Catholic Discipline, BÖC lyricist and VOM singer Richard Meltzer, and DJ Rodney Bingenheimer.

Speaking of Rodney, the warm feelings showfolk used to pretend to have for one another are not much in evidence on this broadcast: the Angry Samoans name the former English Disco owner as one of the people they would like to murder, along with Kim Fowley, Phil Spector, and “Rockefeller” (Nelson?), who, as one member points out, is already dead. The report opens with the Samoans at Blackies (the club Black Flag’s then-singer Ron Reyes mentions during the introduction to “Revenge” in Decline), playing their love song “You Stupid Asshole.”
 

 
The Suburban Lawns are in there, performing their self-released first single “Gidget Goes to Hell,” then in its second pressing. (I think this dates the show to ‘79-‘80, or else the Lawns would be plugging “Janitor.”) Bassist Vex Billingsgate expresses the wish that a record company will soon relieve the band of its independence. The show saves the Dickies, the first L.A. punk band signed to a major label, for last. Singer Leonard Phillips spells out the Dickies’ ethic, or lack of same:

We’re not really aggravated about a producer taking our live sound and transforming it into a commercially successful product, because we’re capitalists, and if it’s going to help us sell more records, I certainly would make a compromise.

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.16.2017
08:29 am
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Interactive Sonic Youth timeline, curated by the band members themselves
11.16.2017
07:44 am
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Sonic Youth have, for reasons so thoroughly well-publicized they hardly merit rehashing here, been very, very quiet since their 2011 split, though its individual members have continued to keep prolific release schedules in various bands. But the ongoing lack of an extant Sonic Youth does nothing to change the fact that 2018 is coming, and that year is full of huge milestones for the incalculably influential band: Their first album, Confusion Is Sex, will turn 35. Their masterpiece, Daydream Nation, will turn 30. And their final statement as a band, The Eternal (SO inaptly titled in hindsight), will reach the tenth anniversary of its recording.

As there are no plans currently for the band to reactivate or for any further reissues (Daydream Nation already had a pretty damn posh set for its 20th, and yet another vinyl reissue in 2014), Caroline, the long-enduring label/distro, has produced, with the active participation of the band’s former members, a pretty amazing web tool for fans to navigate—it’s an interactive timeline of Sonic Youth’s history, that offers free music from crucial points in the band’s lifespan via the Spotify API. (You need to be registered with Spotify to hear the music, but is anyone still not?) It works out to be an interesting way to engage with the band, as it quickly underscores the drastic changes they underwent across the decades—how amazing is it to consider that only five years passed between the primitive “Kill Yr Idols” and the epic Daydream Nation? And the sheer amount of activity crammed in to the ‘90s is impressive.

Highlights include the original versions of “Death Valley 69” and “Brave Men Run” from a 7” on Iridescence Records, the anarchically casual and wonderfully scattershot 1987 E.P. “Master=Dik” and the self-released live LP Hold That Tiger. There are bummers, too…

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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11.16.2017
07:44 am
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Patti Smith would have been stoked to pose nude in Playboy
11.15.2017
02:11 pm
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Patti never made the Playboy scene, but she was a CREEM Dream at some point in the late 70s

Bebe Buell was one of the most famous rock and roll girlfriends of the 1970s (she doesn’t like the term groupie, calling Pamela Des Barres’ scene in L.A. “West Coast crap”). Her first relationship with a rock star came when she dated Paul Cowsill of the Cowsills; she was 16 at the time. During the 1970s she also had romantic involvements with Mick Jagger, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Elvis Costello, and Jimmy Page. Famously, she gave birth to Steven Tyler’s daughter but knowingly named her with the “wrong” name Liv Rundgren to shield her from Tyler’s addiction problems. Although Todd Rundgren and Buell were breaking up around around the time of Liv Tyler’s birth, Rundgren committed to the deception and for years did not divulge that he wasn’t Liv Tyler’s biological father. Liv Tyler herself didn’t know the truth until she was nine years old.

One of the major turning points in Buell’s life was becoming the Playboy Playmate of the Month in November 1974. She didn’t need Playboy to date Rundgren, whom she’d already been seeing for a couple of years. (In her Playmate Fact Sheet, she lists “My boyfriend, Todd Rundgren” under “Favorite Performer.”) While posing in Playboy probably didn’t help her recording career any, it did have the effect of elevating her status among the rock elite—as she said, after “I did Playboy ... the rock stars came-a-hunting.”
 

 
Another notable woman living in NYC at that time was Patti Smith, who had yet to record any music under her name. She also had some fairly serious dalliances with Rundgren, and was also friendly with Buell. According to Buell in the essential oral history of punk Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, it was actually Smith who convinced Buell that she should say yes to Playboy.

More interestingly, Smith would have been totally down with posing for Playboy herself.

Here’s Buell on the subject:
 

The person that talked me in to posing for Playboy magazine was Patti Smith. At the time I was doing well as a cover-girl model for Revlon, Intimate, and Wella. I had four or five big accounts. But my role models weren’t models. I admired girls like Anita Pallenberg and Marianne Faithfull, those were the girls I looked up to and aspired to be like.

So when Playboy asked me to pose, Patti said, “I wish Playboy would ask me, I’d do it.” Patti had really big boobs, a lot of people don’t realize that. She was extremely well-endowed and she always thought that kind of stuff was really cool. She showed me pictures of Brigitte Bardot, Ursula Andress, Raquel Welch, and all these Playboy pictures. She’d say, “Being in Playboy is like Coca-Cola. It’s Andy Warhol. It’s American, you know, it’s part of America, this magazine.” She said, “Do it. It’ll be great. It’ll fuck up that fashion thing.”

-snip-

Patty’s idea of feminism seemed to me to be about not being a victim–-that women should make choices in full control of their faculties and make a rebel stand.

Posing for Playboy was a rebel move. It almost ruined my career as far as legitimate Fashion work went. The only magazines that ould book me after that were like Cosmopolitan and stuff. I lost all my bread-and-butter clients. I lost Avon and Butterick. All the straight fashion magazines stopped booking me.

But how could I regret it?

 
So there you have it. Patti Smith, of course, did not end up ever posing for Playboy but instead released Horses in 1975 and eventually became an inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Posted by Martin Schneider
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11.15.2017
02:11 pm
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An interactive map of every record store on Earth. You’re welcome.
11.15.2017
10:05 am
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Blue Arrow Records, photo via Facebook

I know of very few vinyl obsessives who’ve never availed themselves of the global online music database at discogs.com. A crowdsourced and fact-checked project of 17 years standing so far, its every entry is a deep trove of information, including every known global release of any given official release, bootleg, promo, off-label release or vanity press. In all the years I’ve used it, I can think of maybe twice that a release about which I sought information was unknown to the database. All of this, it merits mentioning, is free of charge and free of advertising. There’s even a marketplace, putting users and shops who’re selling items together with frustrated crate-diggers who haven’t been able to find them the old-fashioned way. That feature has repeatedly posed a mortal threat to my checking account.

In the last few years, they’ve expanded their model, creating similar sites that seek to comprehensively catalog books, films, pieces of musical equipment, comics, and even posters—all with their own potentially wallet-decimating marketplaces. But their most exciting project, to my mind, is VinylHub, their endeavor to create an interactive map of every brick-and-mortar record store on Earth, a perfect resource for the world-traveling vinyl obsessive. I was in Bangkok last spring, and had I only known how close I was to the selection of international indie rock at 8 Musique and the DJ hub Quay Records, I probably could have come home with armloads of amazing finds. (Next time…) If you’re going to be in Ulaanbaatar, Azerbaijan, or Nairobi, and you’re just JONESING for a crate-dig, you’re covered.
 

Quay Records
 

8 Musique (Photos from the shops’ respective FB pages)

But as I have no major travel plans in the works for now, what’s been most fascinating to me has been looking for the outliers, and a recent post on Discogs’ blog has some interesting breakdowns for data geeks. The single city with the largest density of shops is Tokyo—had you asked me to guess I’d have probably said London. The most remote record store on Earth is a cluster of CD stalls above a produce market in the tiny Pacific island Kingdom of Tonga, but Vinyl Run, located on the tiny Indian Ocean island of Réunion, sure looks like a contender. The northernmost is in Alta, Norway; the southernmost is in Invercargill, New Zealand. But there remain huge uncharted swaths of the globe, and this is a crowdsourced project, so if you’re a Discogs member (which, again, is free) and you know of an unlisted shop, you’re free to contribute and make VinylHub as complete as possible. I mean, there have to be record stores in Vladivostok, no? Yet VinylHub lists none.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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11.15.2017
10:05 am
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‘Don’t Kill the Animals’: PETA’s 1987 experimental compilation produced by Ministry’s Al Jourgensen


 
Celebrity endorsements of PETA are nearly as infamous as the company’s graphic and often-questionable awareness campaigns. Since the animal rights organization was founded in 1980, influential figures from the arts and entertainment world have voiced their concerns over animal cruelty, whether in favor of vegetarianism or in disapproval of product testing on animals. Even Iggy Pop and Nick Cave are known proponents.
 
The man behind the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals’ most controversial campaigns is Senior Vice President, Dan Matthews. Much earlier in his career, before more famous people like Paul McCartney, Pink and Pamela Anderson got involved, Dan reached out to none other than Ministry frontman Al Jourgensen—an inspired choice, I think you’ll agree—about a compilation album to benefit PETA. With Jourgensen on board as the album’s primary producer, Matthews put together a different kind of record; one that would find a correlation between music and animal activism.
 

 
Featuring a forlorn monkey in a laboratory on its cover, Animal Liberation was released by legendary Chicago independent label Wax Trax! on April 21st, 1987. All songs on the compilation were donated to PETA by the artists (some had been previously released) and featured subjects of animal cruelty. Among key contributors to the album were musicians like The Smiths, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Captain Sensible, Chris & Cosey, Shriekback, and a collaboration between Nina Hagen and Lene Lovich. Song clips between tracks featured ominous segments of “actual dialogue from animal experimenters and meat farmers and actual alerts from TV and radio shows.” While Jourgensen did not contribute any actual music to the project, the interlude clips were all produced by him.
 
From the album’s linear notes:
 

In 1985, Dan Matthews (PETA) approached Al Jourgensen (Ministry, Wax Tax) about helping put together a “different” sort of benefit album - for animal rights. Sympathetic artists from across America and Europe were approached to donate material on animal issues (some songs previously released). From all these submissions, ANIMAL LIBERATION has surfaced - the songs interspersed with action segments containing actual dialogue from animal experimenters and meat farmers and actual alerts from TV and radio shows. The introduction carries, in 11 languages, the central theme: “ANIMALS ARE NOT OURS TO EAT, WEAR OR EXPERIMENT ON.”

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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11.13.2017
01:23 pm
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Time slips in Maria von Hausswolff’s new video for Scanner’s ‘Spirit Cluster’
11.10.2017
08:10 am
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Scanner, also known as Robin Rimbaud, is a London-based experimental musician who took the name of his act from the quasi-legal radio device. He appeared on an episode of The South Bank Show in 1997, showing off the gear he used to pick up cell phone conversations and other circumambient signals:

Essentially, I mean, what we’re seeing here is a big aerial. It’s the kind of thing where they say, “Size doesn’t matter,” and you know, maybe it does sometimes. And I use this handheld radio device, called a scanner, which is where I inspirationally took my name from, and what it is is a long-range radio receiver.

It’s like, at home, if you have a domestic radio that goes from 88 to like 106, I think it is, this goes from zero to 1,000, and it just speeds through the universe of sound out there. It starts at the bottom of the scale. Around zero to four are things like hearing aids, microwaves, and so on. And you move through taxi drivers, trains, hospital paging systems, army bases, and so on. You move through aeroplanes—and these devices are commercially sold, so you can park your car outside an airport and listen to the aeroplanes going overhead. So, make of that what you will.

 

 
Since then, Rimbaud has collaborated on records with DJ Spooky, Mike Kelley and Alva Noto, played guitar in Colin Newman’s band Githead, and scored a ballet based on The Chronicles of Narnia, among other things. Anna von Hausswolff’s Pomperipossa Records is releasing the excellent new album Fibolae, Scanner’s first studio album of the decade, on December 1. Below, see Maria von Hausswolff’s brand-new video for the track “Spirit Cluster,” which seems to be set in the same temporally distorted dimension as the clip for Cabaret Voltaire’s “I Want You.” The director says:

The video is set in a recently burnt down apartment: a mysterious and uncanny world where energy is stuck in a loop of repetition and rituals.

Watch it after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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11.10.2017
08:10 am
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Shirley Temple’s brutal death metal rendition of ‘On the Good Ship Lollipop’
11.10.2017
08:08 am
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Shirley Temple, “America’s Sweetheart,” on the cover of the sheet music for “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” which sold over 400,000 copies in its day.
 
Shirley Temple, the curly-haired moppet who ruled the Depression-era box office, first sang her signature song, “On the Good Ship Lollipop,” in the 1934 movie Bright Eyes where it became a beloved, wholesome American standard.

This week, vocalist Dori Kreisz from Hungary! and composer/musician Andy Rehfeldt took that beloved, wholesome standard and rendered it brutal as all fuck.

Rehfeldt is also responsible for the death metal versions of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious,”  “Jolene,” and “You’re the One That I Want” that we’ve written about before here at Dangerous Minds.

The dubbed video, using footage from Bright Eyes, really works because of Temple’s exaggerated expressions as she sings. 

If you can’t get enough of these, you can see more of Andy’s work on his YouTube Channel.
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel
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11.10.2017
08:08 am
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‘Undercover of the Night’: That time the Rolling Stones got banned for ‘glamorizing violence’

01undcov.jpg
 
How to stay relevant. It’s a question we all face at some point in life. Mick Jagger was thinking about staying relevant. It was 1983. Punk had come and gone. New Wave was still a thing. Electronica and the New Romantics were still fashionable. Where did a rock ‘n’ roll band like the Stones fit into the mix? Jagger was going through what Keith Richards calls “Lead Vocalist Syndrome.” The point where a band’s singer thinks he/she is bigger, better, and more important than the rest of the group.

Richards had quit heroin. He was clean. After years of fucking around, Richards was back and wanted to take up his fair share of the burden Jagger had been carrying. But Jagger had control of the Rolling Stones and wasn’t going to give Keith an inch.

“Shut up, Keith, that’s an idiotic idea,” was how Jagger dismissed Richards.

To keep relevant, Jagger was checking out the competition. He wanted to know what Bowie was doing, what Rod Stewart was doing, what was the latest tune played on the dancefloor at Studio 54, and which bands were snapping at their heels. He was chasing his own tail.

The best way to stay relevant is to be and do.

Jagger and Richards wrote their first song on a kitchen table. They didn’t care what other people thought or who they sounded like, it was their song—that was all that mattered. Now, the relationship between Jagger and Richards was fractious. It was falling apart. Jagger had control and he was taking the Stones where he wanted.

Yet, checking out the opposition, chasing the trends meant sometimes Jagger got it right. He was and still is a shrewd businessman—let’s not forget, he had been a student at the London School of Economics. He had also been very successful in taking the Stones in unlikely directions, like that time he pulled them into disco music with “Miss You.” But sometimes his ideas were as popular as that time Family Guy replaced Brian with the ghastly mutt, Vinny. Still, Jagger was always open to suggestions, always looking for something new, always wanting to be at the front of the crowd.

Jagger had read William Burroughs’ book Cities of the Red Night. It was the book everyone was supposed to be reading. It had received, at that point, the best reviews of Burroughs’ career. Which shows weird only lasts as long as it’s something new. Now Burroughs was an eminent grise living in a bunker in NYC hanging his used condoms out to dry on the washing-line.

Burroughs was the starting point for Jagger writing the song “Undercover of the Night” in Paris around late 1982. As he later explained in the liner notes for The Stones’ compilation Jump Back, “Undercover of the Night” was “heavily influenced by William Burroughs’ Cities Of The Red Night, a free-wheeling novel about political and sexual repression. It combines a number of different references to what was going down in Argentina and Chile.” Though he did deny he had “nicked it.”

The Burroughs’ influence is evident in Jagger’s lyrics:

Hear the screams from Center 42
Loud enough to bust your brains out
The opposition’s tongue is cut in two
Keep off the streets ‘cause you’re in danger
One hundred thousand disparu
Lost in the jails in South America

Curl up baby
Curl up tight
Curl up baby
Keep it all out of sight
Undercover
Keep it all out of sight
Undercover of the night

The sex police are out there on the streets
Make sure the pass laws are not broken
The race militia has got itchy fingers
All the way from New York back to Africa

“Undercover of the Night” is a classic Stones’ track. A brilliant vocal, a great guitar riff, and a memorable hook. It was Jagger’s song, as Richards later recalled:

“Mick had this one all mapped out, I just played on it. There were a lot more overlays on the track because there was a lot more separation in the way we were recording at the time.”

When it came to making the promo for the song, the Stones approached Julien Temple who was the hip, young director with a fine resume of work with the Sex Pistols, the UK Subs (Punk Can Take It) and the promo for “Come on Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. He had also famously directed the Pistols big screen adventure The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle.

Temple soon discovered how difficult the relationship between Jagger and Richards had become:

“I wrote an extreme treatment about being in the middle of an urban revolution and dramatized the notion of Keith and Mick really not liking each other by having Keith kill Mick in the video. I never thought they would do it. Of course, they loved it. I went to Paris to meet with the band. Keith was looking particularly unhappy. He was glowering with menace and eventually said, ‘Come downstairs with me.’ My producer and I went down to the men’s room. Keith had a walking stick and suddenly he pulled it apart. The next thing I know he’s holding a swordstick to my throat. He said, ‘I want to be in the video more than I am.’ So we wrote up his part a bit more. That was Keith’s idea of collaboration!”

 
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Mick Jagger getting lippy.
 
The promo opens on a hotel complex. American tourists are having a good time grooving to the Stones’ music while militiamen patrol the rooftops and streets. Jagger as the journalist (white knight in a Panama hat and very bad stick-on mustache) watches as Keith and his gang of masked vigilantes or maybe revolutionaries or maybe death squad or maybe just a rock ‘n’ roll group on the spur of some internal wranglings (take your pick) sneak into the hotel and kidnap one of the hotel guests or rather kidnap Mick Jagger watching Mick Jagger on TV. Journo Mick watches kidnapped Mick being spirited away by Keith and co. who all drive off in what looks like a military vehicle straight past a bunch of soldiers kicking the shit out of people down on their luck.

Journo Mick makes his way to kidnapped Mick’s hotel room where he finds a woman hiding under the bed covers (ya see what they did there?). Anyway, one thing leads to another, and journo Mick and his girl under the covers watch an execution and then go off (via the police department) to rescue kidnapped Mick. A shoot-out ensues in a candle-lit church—nothing worse than what any five-year-old could see on The A-Team—and kidnapped Mick is saved. Poor old journo Mick dies from a bullet wound.

What it’s saying, what it’s actually about, is none too clear. It’s a dilettante’s take on Burroughs and the criminal activities of government’s and hoodlums in South America. At worst, it might make a viewer go, “Wow, South America looks a fun place to have a party.” At best, it would get the kids talking about politics and shit.

Jagger has sometimes been accused of being a dilettante. Maybe. To be fair, he’s more, as Richards said in his autobiography, “a sponge” who soaks up whatever’s going on and filters it through his music. Just what every good artist does.

The subject matter of the song and its accompanying promo was a rare outing into politics for the Stones. It was over fifteen years since “Street Fighting Man” but “Undercover of the Night” chimed neatly with the edgy political songs released by bands like The Jam or specifically the Clash and their album Sandinista! from 1980, which similarly dealt with the political turmoil in Chile and Nicaragua. The promo was banned by the BBC or rather the Corporation said they weren’t going to screen it, while the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA) were nervous over its perceived violence. MTV was also angsty. It’s difficult to see why the sequences of so-called “violence” caused such concern, as both the BBC and the Independent Television Channels in the UK screened far worse with war films and westerns and TV detective series at peak times. It was more likely the political content—the suggestion that America was in some way sponsoring murderous dictatorships in South America—rather than any bang-bang, shoot-shoot, made “Undercover of the Night” unpalatable. But getting “banned” kept the Stones relevant in a wholly different way.

In 1983 Mick Jagger and director Julien Temple appeared via TV link-up on The Tube to promote the single and defend the video’s politics and violence. They were interviewed by a young presenter called Muriel Gray.

The Tube was the best music show on British television during the eighties. It was launching pad for a variety of young, sometimes unknown artists like the Fine Young Cannibals, Paul Young, and even Twisted Sister who earned a record deal after their appearance. Gray was one of the show’s three presenters, alongside main hosts Jools Holland and Paula Yates. Gray had been selected out of literally dozens, nay hundreds of young hopefuls who attended auditions to be one of the presenters on the show. Gray won out because she had the right kind of attitude, which probably stemmed from the fact her favorite hobby was “arguing—not even discussing” as Gray believed arguing was the best way to find out what a person is really thinking.

It was an awkward interview between Gray, Jagger and Temple. It was almost like a gobby maiden Aunt versus the naughty drunken Uncles. Gray later explained in The Official Book of The Tube, she “wanted Mick Jagger… to justify why he thought the violence in the ‘Undercover of the Night’ video was necessary, what his personal reasons were.” Unfortunately, it didn’t quite end up like that. Television interviewers have a difficult role. They are told by the producer what they have to extract from the interviewee. Their job is a one part sycophant, one part grand inquisitor.

Read more of Jagger and the ‘Under Cover of the Night’ interview, after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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11.09.2017
08:33 am
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