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That time Talking Heads recorded ‘Femme Fatale’ with Lou Reed
01.12.2018
08:51 am
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Tina Weymouth and Lou Reed onstage at CBGB, 1988 (via Tom Tom Club)

“Yes, it’s true”: toward the end of Talking Heads’ career, all four members of the band gathered in the studio with Lou Reed to record the Velvets’ “Femme Fatale.” The result came out on a Tom Tom Club LP (Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom), but the credits sure read like Talking Heads + Lou: Tina Weymouth on bass and keyboard, Chris Frantz on drums, Jerry Harrison on keys, David Byrne on slide and rhythm guitar, and Lou Reed on lead and rhythm guitar. Weymouth sings Nico’s part and everyone else joins in on backup vocals.

Rolling Stone reported news of the NYC supersession in 1987. It provided the happy ending to “Are Four (Talking) Heads Better Than One?,” a profile that suggested the foursome was held together with Scotch tape and chewing gum, and contained some bons mots from Lou:

Back in earlier, calmer days, the band looked to Lou Reed as a sort of patron saint. He doled out advice like “Get some dynamics in your songs” or “David should wear a long-sleeved shirt – his arms are too hairy.” And more profound warnings, which the band still remembers today. Chris: “Lou Reed once told us, ‘Man, I’ve gotta go out on tour again. People want to view the body.’” Tina: “He told us, ‘A band is like a fist of many fingers. Whereas record companies like to ego-massage one finger and break it off.’”

Listen after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.12.2018
08:51 am
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Go to bed with Motörhead, Nick Cave (as Batman), The Cramps & more with these badass duvet covers


A lovely Motörhead duvet featuring three images of Lemmy Kilmister’s unforgettable mug. 86 bucks. Get it here.
 
If you follow my posts here on Dangerous Minds, then you know at times my thoughts are often occupied with all things heavy and metal. Any day I get to jaw about any of my personal headbanging heroes is a good fucking day not only for me but for all you DM readers still carrying a torch for the genre. For today’s post, I feel like I’ve found the “adult”(?) equivalent of a tricked-out teenage bedroom with rock posters wiping out any trace of wallpaper—duvet covers with prints of your favorite bands. Because of course, you want to go to bed with Motörhead, don’t you?

The boss duvets below feature artwork and images from a plethora of punks and a multitude of metalheads such as the Plasmatics, The Clash, The Cramps, Van Halen, King Diamond, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden and others too numerous to call out by name. I do feel compelled to note a duvet cover featuring an image of Nick Cave looking like a neon-colored Batman exists, and it is as excellent as it sounds. Most of the duvets can be had for less than 100 bucks (depending on the size) over on REDBUBBLE, and from the reviews, they all appear to be well worth the investment. Plus, I’m pretty sure a possible perk of owning one of these unique duvet covers just might lead to you getting lucky. (Or maybe not...) In most cases, the prints can be put on other items such as pillows and such because who really wants to grow up. Not me, that’s for sure.
 

Alice Cooper’s famous eyes on a duvet cover.
 

MANOWAR! The duvet cover.
 

Black Flag logo duvet.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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01.09.2018
11:14 am
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Filthy lucre: A Sex Pistols 7” has sold for about $15,000 USD
01.08.2018
11:57 am
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The Guardian once listed an unreleased Sex Pistols single as one of the rarest records in Britain. Discogs.com‘s online marketplace has verified the sale, in November, of one of those unreleased singles for $14,690 USD. This is far from the first time a copy of that record has fetched an exorbitant sum.

March of 1977 was an eventful month for the Sex Pistols. Founding bassist Glen Matlock had just quit at the end of February (reports that he’d been fired for being a Beatles fan were pretty hilarious, but were also total bullshit), and he was quickly “replaced” with non-bassist Sid Vicious. The band were signed to Herb Alpert’s A&M records after being dismissed from their previous contract with EMI “in view of the adverse publicity generated.” Recording of their first A&M single, “God Save the Queen,” had already begun while Vicious was still just beginning to learn how to play bass, so he wasn’t on the sessions, but it hardly mattered, as A&M would swiftly follow EMI in dropping the Sex Pistols, this time without even releasing a single song (the band got to keep all the money both times, a happenstance chronicled in their song “EMI” and The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle). 25,000 copies of the hastily recorded and manufactured 7” had been pressed, and almost all were destroyed.

Per John Scanlan, writing in Sex Pistols: Poison in the Machine:

During the first week of March, as Vicious busied himself learning how to play bass guitar and play the Pistols set, the rest of the band continued recording. The main aim of these sessions was to nail ‘God Save the Queen,’ which was due to be rush-released as their first A&M single, but other songs—‘Did You No Wrong’ and ‘No Feelings’—were also recorded, with Steve Jones playing both bass and guitar. The following week, the Pistols signed with A&M at the offices of their music publishing arm, Rondor Music, so as not to send shockwaves through the regular A&M Records staff, who were located elsewhere in London…

In an attempt to generate early publicity for their forthcoming single ‘God Save the Queen,’ the signing was restaged the following day outside Buckingham Palace. The following week’s sounds, dated 19 March, carried a cover story on the signing in which [UK A&M chief] Derek Green stated his conviction that the Pistols would ‘effect some major changes in rock music,’ which A&M wexcited to be involved with. Unfortunately for all involved, but the time the magazine had hit the streets, the Pistols had once again been sacked by their record label.

The day after the restaged signing, Rotten, Vicious, and their friend Jah Wobble had appeared drunk and disorderly at The Speakeasy, the London club where music industry figures and musicians went to relax. Wobble and Vicious had confronted the Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris and one of his studio crew, George Nicholson, about the absence of the Sex Pistols on their show. According to subsequent reports, Rotten stayed out of the ensuing violence, but Vicious and Wobble landed Harris and Nicholson in hospital, where they had to be treated for minor cuts and bruises. As soon as word of this latest spectacle reached Derek Green at A&M he quickly decided he was wrong to think that he could manage the chaos that seemed to follow the Pistols everywhere, and dropped the band immediately. The company then destroyed as many copies of ‘God Save the Queen’ as it could find (only a few hundred copies had been circulated prior to its official release).

 
Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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01.08.2018
11:57 am
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Teenage Head, the Viletones and more in ‘78 Toronto punk documentary ‘The Last Pogo’
01.04.2018
10:06 am
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The album of ‘The Last Pogo’ concert (which, unlike the movie, omits Teenage Head and the Viletones)

In 1978, Toronto (and some Hamilton) punks answered Scorsese’s The Last Waltz, a movie lousy with Canadians, by putting on their own star-studded farewell concert at the city’s Horseshoe Tavern. The Diodes were missing from the bill, but plenty of other Canuck punks made it: Teenage Head, the Viletones, the Ugly, the Mods, the Secrets, the Cardboard Brains, the Scenics. The resulting concert film, The Last Pogo, is so outrageously Canadian as to make Robbie, Joni, Garth and Neil look like a bunch of rank Topekans. It is in fact more Canadian than a Molson delivery truck parked at a Tim Hortons.

It’s a shame the Viletones do “Last Guy in Town” instead of “Screamin Fist,” but during the thrilling climax, Teenage Head blows away any lingering disappointment with their sublime “Picture My Face”—the only song they’re allowed to play before the Man pulls the plug, and the punks smash up the club.

Director Colin Brunton revisited Toronto punk in 2013’s The Last Pogo Jumps Again, a survey of the scene from 1976 through 1978 that includes notable acts omitted from the original film, such as the Diodes and Simply Saucer. Crash ‘N’ Burn, the 1977 documentary about the Diodes’ government-funded Toronto punk club of the same name, is essential viewing; however, of the versions now playing on YouTube, only this crummy-quality one is intact.
 

Posted by Oliver Hall
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01.04.2018
10:06 am
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‘Should I Stay or Should I Go?’: Mick Jones’ last performance with The Clash at the Us Festival


 
Steve Wozniak may have co-founded Apple, but it was his notorious “US Festival” that makes him one of the greatest rock promoters of our time. First held during Memorial Day weekend in 1982 at the Glen Helen Regional Park outside of Los Angeles, the US Festival (or “Unite us in Song”) was a hopeful outlook toward the coming future and a departure from the “Me Decade” that was the 1970s.
 
At the time, “Woz” was on leave from Apple after surviving a plane crash that left him unable to create new memories for half a year. Hoping to put together the “Super Bowl of Rock Parties” with a lineup of the best acts in rock music, Wozniak teamed up with heavy-hitter San Francisco promoter Bill Graham to help with the booking. Acts like The Police, Talking Heads, The B52s, Oingo Boingo, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Pat Benatar, Fleetwood Mac, and Jackson Browne all performed over three days. In addition to music, the festival was to feature the latest technological and scientific innovations at an on-site expo, while satellites linked attendees with those watching in the Soviet Union. The US Festival was also the first music event in history to use jumbo screens for unobstructed views.
 

 
High ticket prices ($37.50 for three days) and 112-degree heat made the inaugural US Festival a commercial flop. Dedicated to his vision, Wozniak was quick to begin working on his second US Festival, held over Memorial Day weekend in 1983. This time around, Colorado promoter Barry Fey assisted with the booking and they separated each day by genre: New Wave, Heavy Metal, and Rock. The biggest draw of the festival was Heavy Metal Day and its headliner Van Halen, with a record-setting 375,000 tickets sold. Motley Crüe’s Vince Neil referred to it as “The day new wave died and rock ‘n’ roll took over.”
 

 
Van Halen set another world record at the US Festival: “highest amount paid to an act for a single performance.” The Guinness World Book of Records even had to invent a new category in order to include them in the 1984 edition. The group was originally intended to make $1 million on the gig, but upon finding out that the late lineup addition of David Bowie also cost $1 million, Van Halen demanded $500,000 more or they weren’t going to perform. Wozniak agreed, in part due to a favored-nation clause in their contract that stated they were to be paid more than any other act at the festival. Van Halen arrived to their set three hours late and completely obliterated. David Lee Roth was so drunk that he could barely recite the lyrics to the band’s songs.
 
Read what promoter Barry Fey had to say about Van Halen’s fee increase (courtesy of the OC Register):
 

“The festival was completely booked,” Fey recalls, “and Van Halen had a favored-nation clause in their contract that said no one could get more than them – and they were getting $1 million. Then Steve came to me and said, ‘God, Barry, I really love David Bowie.’ I say, ‘Steve, there’s no room. Let’s put this to bed.’ And he says, ‘Well, I really do love David … could you try? It is my money and my festival.’” So Fey called Bowie, who was then touring Europe a month after the release of his blockbuster album Let’s Dance. He would return that August for two sold-out shows at Angel Stadium. “David tells me: ‘We’ll have to interrupt our tour and charter a 747 to bring our equipment and get it right back again.’ So I went to Steve: ‘David’s gonna cost you a million and a half, but it’s gonna cost you an extra half a million for Van Halen.’ He just shrugged his shoulders: ‘So?’ The addition of Bowie ultimately cost $2 million.”

 
Van Halen wasn’t the only problematic headliner at the US Festival. Closing out the first day were guerrilla punk-rockers The Clash, who promised their own political objections to the event. Upon discovering Van Halen’s ludicrous guarantee, band leader Joe Strummer demanded that Wozniak and some of the bigger acts donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. When it was discovered that the ticket price had raised unbeknownst to them, The Clash refused to play unless Apple donated $100,000 to charity. Their guarantee was $500,000.
 

 
Two hours after their proposed set time, The Clash finally took the stage. Projected on the screen behind them was a banner that read “THE CLASH NOT FOR SALE.” Their set was intense, sloppy, and there was a perceived hostility between band members and with the crowd. It was believed that this tension arose from a conflicting abandonment of their punk ethos, while accepting such a large festival payout on the wave of success that was 1982’s Combat Rock. Also, they really hated Van Halen. Throughout the set Strummer demanded hostility from a lackluster audience, stating his disgust in an event that was not focused on the future, but rather on commercialization and big profits. He also mentioned that his band wasn’t walking with what they deserved in comparison to the others, to which the fed-up festival organizers retaliated with fury. Soon afterward, The Clash’s check was projected on the big screen, showing the audience that the non-commercial freedom fighters in front of them were walking with an exuberant payment of half a million dollars. After their set, the band got into a physical altercation with security and refused to play an encore.
 
Four months after the US Festival, guitarist and co-vocalist Mick Jones was kicked out of The Clash. This was his last performance with the band before being replaced by guitarists Nick Sheppard and Vince White. It was also the final performance by Stan Ridgway with Wall of Voodoo. The Clash went on to release one final album Cut the Crap in 1985, before disbanding in early 1986. The US Festival did not return for a third edition in 1984, and it was reported that Wozniak lost $20 million dollars of his own money on the event over two years. Barry Fey regarded it as the “The most expensive backstage pass in history.”

Steve Jobs thought Wozniak was crazy.

More after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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01.03.2018
02:23 pm
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An amazing collection of classic straight edge fliers
01.03.2018
09:36 am
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Though it was a massively polarizing movement, you can’t say straight edge didn’t have a lasting impact. It’s one of a handful of rock genres that’s distinguished solely by extra-musical criteria (see also: riot grrrl, queercore, Christian rock)—any given straight edge band sounds like any other hardcore music of its era, but it was set apart by an *ethos* expressed in the lyrics and lifestyle choices of its practitioners rather than any discernible musical difference, and you hardly needed to be an initiate to know what that ethos was: avoidance of drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and sex.

Brought into existence by and named for a song by Minor Threat—literally a 45 second laundry list of behaviors of which that band’s vocalist Ian MacKaye disapproved—the straight edge movement blew up in the early- and mid-‘80s, and depending on where you stood, either offered an exemplar and support system for clean living to hard luck kids who may otherwise have been lost to substance abuse, or offered a gang-like milieu from which holier-than-thou meathead boys could violently act out against people who weren’t like them. Obviously, Minor Threat never intended to spark an international youth movement, let alone be seen as guilty by association with its violence, and it’s interesting to see OG straight edge bands distance themselves from the sometimes appallingly judgmental later-wavers. Seven Seconds’ Kevin Seconds, for just one example, has articulated discomfort with the movement. Which makes sense, as his was one of the more positive bands—their “Walk Together, Rock Together” was a specific call for unity and tolerance.

Though it’s a smaller movement now than it was in the ‘80s and ‘90s, straight edge still persists, with consumption of animal-derived products often joining the list of prohibitions, and with social justice advocacy becoming more central to the code. It’s a long-lived, crucially important, and storied scene that deserves a deep dive, and fortunately, straight edge finally has its own Please Kill Me—the new book Straight Edge: A Clear-Headed Hardcore Punk History is a 350+ page oral history of the genre/movement, told in first-person by the scene’s movers, with a foreword by Gorilla Biscuits’ Anthony “Civ” Civarelli:

Straight edge isn’t something I take lightly—that’s why I’m thirty years into it. I still don’t need a drink to get loose or wild. I don’t need drugs to feel comfortable or fit in. Straight edge gives me strength to deal with things head on, with no buffers, crutches or masks. I have no clouded judgments or excuses to hide behind; just brutal, clear-headed reality. I guess that might be why I come off as an asshole sometimes, with little patience for bullshit, but I’m not perfect. I’m just Civ.

As a component of its exhaustive history of the scene, Straight Edge is profusely illustrated with performance photos and a metric shitload of classic concert fliers. The fliers, like the music, avail themselves heavily of various hardcore tropes—there’s a familiar cut-up ethos at work in the genre, and the distinctive crustiness of the era’s copy machines both dictated and dominated their overall feel. The book’s publisher, Bazillion Points, was extremely cool about letting us share a generous lot of them with you. Clicking on an image spawns an enlargement.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…

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Posted by Ron Kretsch
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01.03.2018
09:36 am
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Helen Wheels, NYC punk bodybuilder, Blue Öyster Cult songwriter and UFO abductee
12.29.2017
07:29 am
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Helen Wheels by R. Crumb (via Wild Dog)

Helen Wheels (née Robbins) wrote the lyrics to “Tattoo Vampire,” the B-side of “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper.” The song memorializes the time Warhol superstar Eric Emerson pulled a knife on her and her boss and made them tattoo his unconscious girlfriend, as Wheels explained to writer Martin Popoff:

There was this guy, Eric Emerson from The Magic Tramps, an early glitter rock band from the New York Dolls era. He was also in some of the Warhol movies, and I acted as an assistant to a tattooist known as Ernesto Tattoo that had tattooed Eric and his girlfriend, who Eric had us tattoo at knifepoint later [laughs]. That was pretty crazy. We were all partying hearty into the night and Eric was reaching a new manic level of behavior, insisting with a big kitchen knife that now it was his girlfriend’s turn, even though she was unconscious and Ernie was all sails to the wind, high and drunk. Ernie protested that he couldn’t even draw a straight line, but before you know it Eric had him at knifepoint, rolling B’s lifeless body onto the table, stripping her clothes off and tattooing “ERIC” in six, seven-inch letters across her side, hips and tush. She lay there snoring like a beached whale, never waking as the huge tattoo proceeded in thick, wavy red letters. Ernie looked about to cry, knowing he could hardly keep it together. Eric’s glee mounted as the square inches of bloody red letters scarred across B’s backside. Then it was done, the knife put down, B’s butt bandaged up, and still snoring, she was rolled to another location.

Eric has long since died; rode his bicycle into a truck in New York traffic. But yeah, I wrote that song in the Cafe Figaro on Macdougal Street on a paper bag, and boy, it made me the most money of all my stuff.

 

 
Helen Wheels fell in with Blue Öyster Cult in 1967, when she was a student at SUNY Stony Brook and BÖC was still called Soft White Underbelly. Albert Bouchard says he first met her at a Ravi Shankar concert at the college.

Both The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s: A Secret History of Jewish Punk and Richard Meltzer’s Autumn Rhythm stress how quiet and sweet young Helen Robbins was, but when she first appears in one of Meltzer’s stories in Blue Öyster Cult: Secrets Revealed!, she’s already something of a firebrand. Meltzer claims that, in ‘69, her paperboy-style mescaline dealing caused a member of the Underbelly to quit:

It’s funny, this guy Andy Winters was the first one to quit the band. One of the reasons he quit the band was that Helen was selling drugs. It was a band that did so little drugs in the early stages. Maybe they would smoke pot once in a while and maybe each member of the band took acid once. In any case, all of a sudden in the fall or winter of ‘69, suddenly Helen was selling mescaline; without telling anybody, she’d started this business. And she worked part-time at a liquor store. She’d tell these kids, ‘If you like gin, I know something that will really get you high.’ So like, 11 p.m., knock on the door, in a suburban neighborhood, a bunch of rich people, like a very upscale suburban neighborhood, and two strangers knock on the door, ‘Where’s the mescaline?’ [...] And you know, Helen, this is a bad idea, selling drugs to strangers in this neighborhood, come on. She wouldn’t give it up. So Andy quit. It was like, fuck this. You’d hear a siren in the distance, and it was like, this is it, they’re going to lock us up and throw away the key.

(In the same book, Bouchard denies it was “a dealing situation,” and says he mostly recalls taking the drugs Helen stole from her job at a pharmacy, not selling them.)
 

 
Handsome Dick Manitoba of the Dictators gave her the name Helen Wheels in the mid-Seventies, when she was the band’s costumer; Dictator Scott Kempner later played in Helen Wheels Band. She kept pet snakes and claimed UFOs “regularly” abducted her during her teens and 20s. In an interview with ROCKRGRL published the year before her death, Wheels said she no longer knocked over people’s drinks and stuck knives in their tables at shows because exercise and “writing about body building, UFOs, motorcycles and magic” helped with her anger.

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.29.2017
07:29 am
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Jello Biafra stripped nude by rowdy punks in mega-early Dead Kennedys footage
12.29.2017
07:19 am
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What we have here is some of the earliest Dead Kennedys video footage I’ve ever seen. The only clip older than this I’m sure I’ve seen was one of their first shows from August 20th at Sproul Plaza. This footage is from the following month at the Mabuhay Gardens.

There are only four songs and the sound quality is less than ideal but the set is interesting because, in addition to DK standards like “Man With the Dogs,” “Holiday in Cambodia,” and “I Kill Children,” we get to hear a rare recording of the “lost” song “Kidnap”—a song which appears only on their first demo and on a couple of live recordings. 

What’s really interesting about this footage, however, is the end of “I Kill Children” in which Biafra dives into the audience and comes back with less pants than he originally had on. His trousers are eventually totally ripped off and he proceeds to rock out with his cock out, completing the song and the set.

This wasn’t the last time Biafra finished a set after having his pants removed by the audience. Famously, a year later, supporting The Clash at Kezar Pavillion, Jello lost his pants which infuriated promoter Bill Graham to the point of needing to be physically restrained from “beating the crap out of” Biafra.

If you want to skip to the sexy part, go to about ten and a half minutes:
 

 

Posted by Christopher Bickel
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12.29.2017
07:19 am
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The superstars of Lou Reed’s ‘Walk on the Wild Side’
12.28.2017
08:56 am
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The Portuguese release of ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ (via Discogs)

In 1993, the BBC documentary series Arena devoted four episodes to “Tales of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” The third of these focused entirely on the real-life figures in Lou Reed’s most famous song, “Walk on the Wild Side,” collecting footage of and fascinating biographical detail about each superstar sketched in the song’s verses—Holly Woodlawn, Candy Darling, “Little” Joe Dallesandro, Sugar Plum Fairy and Jackie Curtis.

I don’t know how the producers managed to keep Bono out of this documentary, but somehow they were able to limit the show’s interview subjects to people who actually had some business talking about this scene, such as Factory resident Billy Name, photographer Leee Black Childers and Reed/Warhol biographer Victor Bockris. Their perspectives are interesting. For instance, where many sources now identify the Sugar Plum Fairy as Joe Campbell, the former boyfriend of Harvey Milk whose character in My Hustler was called the Sugar Plum Fairy, Billy Name says this is too narrow an interpretation:

If you’re in the world of music or drugs, there is always a Sugar Plum Fairy: the one who delivers, who brings the stuff to you. Now, during this time, from ‘64 to ‘70, there were two individuals I knew who were called the Sugar Plum Fairy, as a nickname. Neither of the individuals who were the Sugar Plum Fairy were important to remember. Their only significance is that they became that character at that point. Lou, in “Walk on the Wild Side,” took poetic license. The Sugar Plum Fairy. The man, like in “Heroin” or “I’m Waiting for the Man.” The guy who delivers to you, the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Certainly there are worse ways to spend the holidays than lounging in bed with Holly Woodlawn and Andy Warhol.

Watch it, after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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12.28.2017
08:56 am
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Torch of Mystics: Sun City Girls on Lebanese News
12.11.2017
07:31 am
Topics:
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Sun City Girls was brothers Alan and Richard Bishop with Charlie Gocher on drums. The group formed in 1981 in Phoenix, AZ, during a time in which bands like J.F.A, The Feederz, and Meat Puppets invigorated their Southwestern capital. Having played their first show with Black Flag and toured with JFA, you would think that SCG fit in well with the hardcore kids. As it turns out, the punks hated Sun City Girls.
 
In 1999, Richard Bishop was interviewed for Popwatch Magazine and had this to say about his band’s relationship with punk rock:
 

Though the shows were always with punk/hardcore bands, it was still the only outlet for our kind of performance and it was quite enjoyable to play in front of that type of crowd. It was easy to develop sort of an anti-audience attitude. Much of the time it was us against the crowd, and the more they hated us the more we relished the fact that we were controlling their evening by purposely putting them in an environment that they were uncomfortable with instead of it being the other way around. The music we were playing was foreign to them and on many occasions we would just do Cloaven Theater with no instruments at all. Some nights we got pretty damn demonic with them, other nights we didn’t even acknowledge their presence. Either way we were pulling the strings and they were at our disposal. We enjoyed that and we still do whenever we feel it’s necessary. We just did what we wanted to do without a care in the world.
 
At the time, it was the same “punk” attitude that the audience had, except it was used with intelligence instead of stupidity. The audience can be your best instrument, especially when they’re out of tune or out of touch with what you’re throwing at them. So all in all, it was the best way to begin.

 
Over twenty-six years, the group of merry pranksters released an unsurmountable catalog of music, varying from extensive improvisations of jazz and mangled rock & roll, experimental surfrider, rambling beat poetry, and exotic song styles ranging from South America, to the Middle East and Asia. Unconstrained and mysteriously expansive, their lyrical content delved into an interest of the mystical, paranormal, esoteric, and extraterrestrial. Each record was unpredictable and the infrequent live performances were costumed and bordered ceremonious performance art. In 2007, drummer Charles Gocher passed away from cancer, bringing an end to the Sun City Girls. At the end of their career, the group had released 50 albums, with 1990’s art-rock record Torch of Mystics regarded by many to be their crowning achievement.
 

Torch of Mystics
 

 
After Charlie’s death, the Bishops toured the world as the Brothers Unconnected, a dedication to their fallen friend and the band they shared together. With dates throughout the US, Canada, and Europe, Alan and Richard played songs from SCG, along with sets by their own projects, Alvarius B and Sir Richard Bishop. In 2010, the new-era SCG had just two shows scheduled – and those were in Beirut.
 

Poster for Sun City Girls in Beirut
 
Growing up in Michigan, the Bishop brothers spent a good amount of time with their grandfather, a Lebanese Freemason and master oud player. Friends and family would often frequent his house for overnight jam sessions; experiences that would reconstruct Alan and Richard’s perception of culture and musicianship. This inspiration would eventually lead to the creation of the rare foreign-sounds record label, Sublime Frequencies, in 2003.
 
The quest for undiscovered artifacts from the unknown has brought the Bishops’ to bizarre cultural landscapes…

Continues after the jump…

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Posted by Bennett Kogon
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12.11.2017
07:31 am
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