FOLLOW US ON: follow us in feedly
GET THE NEWSLETTER
CONTACT US
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…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
11.16.2017
08:29 am
|
‘Woodshock ‘85’: Richard Linklater’s first short film featuring a young Daniel Johnston


By the time we got to Woodshock we were half a dozen strong…
 
Before it became “The Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin, Texas was home to an alternative music festival known as Woodshock. A quip on the “Aquarian Exposition” of a similar name, the punk rock beer-bust was first held in Waterloo Park in 1981. Fourteen local Texan bands played for over six hours, which was interrupted by a massive sprinkler raid indicating the park’s curfew. The event’s inaugural poster was designed by a pre-Jesus Lizard David Yow, who desecrated the classic Woodstock dove by flipping it upside-down with XX’s in its eyes and a toe tag. Peace and Love, my ass.
 

 
In 1983, the event moved to Hurlbut Ranch in Dripping Springs, located in the hills just outside of Austin. The site had once hosted events like the 1972 Dripping Springs Reunion, initially dubbed the “Super Bowl of Country Music” until low attendance proved it to be a massive commercial failure. Willie Nelson, who played the Reunion, was inspired by the event and hosted his first annual 4th of July Picnic in Dripping Springs the following year. Unlike its site predecessors, Woodshock would bring with it a different element from the Texas music scene: the punks, freaks, and weirdos that, as the popular local bumper sticker says “Keep Austin Weird.”
 
The uneven dirt roads that led to the Hurlbut Ranch made Woodshock a festival that was nearly impossible to get to. Some could say its inaccessibility was a blessing in disguise, as isolation and expanse, in addition to access to legendary watering holes, encouraged a certain free-form insanity that in ways mimicked the spirit of Woodstock itself. This must be what it felt like to take the brown acid.
 

 
Woodshock 1985 included performances by local (and otherwise) musicians Daniel Johnston, Texas Instruments, Dharma Bums, the U-Men, Glass Eye, Cargo Cult (fronted by Biscuit of Big Boys), The Reivers, Poison 13, and the festival’s unofficial mascot, The Hickoids. Several of the groups were part of Austin’s growing post-postmodernist, or “New Sincerity” movement, considered to be reactionary to the ironic outlook of punk rock and new wave. David Yow’s Scratch Acid appeared on the original Woodshock lineup, but didn’t perform until the following year for reasons unknown. What really set 1985 apart from previous and future years, however, is the short film that was created by a local filmmaker named Richard Linklater.
 

 
Running at just seven minutes long, Woodshock is a 16mm satirical homage to the hippie movement at Woodstock and the experimental psychedelic films of the era. Linklater, who would go on to direct such celebrated Hollywood films as Dazed and Confused, School of Rock, and Boyhood, was a film student at Austin Community College at the time of filming. The short was the first ever to be completed by Linklater, along with co-creator and future collaborator, Lee Daniel. The two would later recreate the landscape of Woodshock in the “Moontower” party scene of 1993’s Dazed and Confused.
 
Similar to Heavy Metal Parking Lot, which was released in the same year, Woodshock is a documentary short about the music fan and not the music itself. Rather than focusing on the bands of the festival, Linklater focused on the revelers, the fucked-up weirdos fried on acid and drunk off Lone Stars. Despite its punk rock notoriety, Woodshock ‘85 was about the moment and the thrill of it all.
 

 

 

 
The only musician featured on-camera was outsider artist and proud McDonald’s employee, Daniel Johnston. Here the unknown 24-year old musician can be seen during an awkward exchange where he promotes his tape, the infamous Hi, How Are You. It was around this time that Johnston began to receive some national acclaim, although it would still be years away until Kurt Cobain wore a Daniel Johnston t-shirt. Ironically, this would not be the last time Johnston would solicit his demo tapes in a Richard Linklater film. The director’s first feature length, 1988’s 16mm experimental masterpiece, It’s Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books, also boasts a brief Daniel Johnston cameo.
 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Bennett Kogon
|
11.09.2017
08:02 am
|
Crucial punk doc ‘DOA: A Right of Passage’ FINALLY restored for a hi-def DVD release
11.08.2017
08:16 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
If you’re anything like me—and since you clicked on this to begin with I’d expect there are decent enough odds that you’re more or less in the zone—chances are that if you saw DOA: A Right of Passage, your viewing lived up to its subtitle (disregarding the right/rite thing). It’s a 1980 documentary/celebration/post-mortem of Punk Rock’s first wave, and it centers around the Sex Pistols’ disastrous 1978 US tour, cut with interview and concert footage of other key and not-so-key UK bands.

Furthermore, there’s a good chance that even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve still seen bits and pieces of it. That famously sad Sid-and-Nancy-in-bed interview was culled from DOA, as is the footage you’ve probably seen of the Sex Pistols’ calamitous Texas gig, and the San Francisco performance at which they broke up—some of that footage later turned up in Julien Temple’s The Filth and the Fury. Some famous footage of X Ray Spex playing “Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” is from DOA as well. But despite being one of the most important punk docs, it’s also sometimes been one of the most difficult to see; before the era of everything existing on YouTube, it was a hard-to-find videotape, and it went out of print so fast that legit copies today can be prohibitively priced. The one time I ever saw it all the way through in a sitting back in the day was on an nth-generation dubbed videotape full of sound drops and those acutely VHS-y tracking glitches that seem retro-charming now but were annoying as fuck back then. It made it to the art houses for screenings in the late ‘80s, but though it came to my town’s cinematheque, I missed it for reasons I can’t even remember anymore. Amazingly, there has never been a soundtrack album, nor has there been an authorized DVD, except for one almost a decade and a half ago, released and region-coded for Japan only.

That last bit—about the DVD, not the soundtrack album—is at long last being rectified. MVD Rewind is releasing a restored hi-def Blu-Ray/DVD set of the film bundled with a hefty booklet by Punk magazine’s John Holmstrom, and a making-of documentary. The value of a hi-def version of a doc shot on hand held 16mm shaky-cam is debatable, but I’m looking forward to seeing the thing both in its entirety AND with a semblance of visual and sonic clarity.

A terrific feature of the doc is the inclusion of vox-pop interviews with audience members at the Pistols’ shows—a valuable primary documentation of just how incredibly polarizing polarizing punk was when it was new. This clip, provided exclusively to Dangerous Minds by the American Genre Film Archive (thanks, Bret), collects some of the best of those moments:
 

 
Much more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
11.08.2017
08:16 am
|
You too can own a promotional Ramones ‘switchblade’ from 1977!
11.03.2017
03:58 pm
Topics:
Tags:


 
In January 1977 the Ramones released album number two, entitled Leave Home. It was another high-quality slab of straight-ahead punk in the acknowledged Ramones style. The album had fourteen songs, the longest of which clocked in at 2:42. Six of the songs, sublimely, didn’t even make it to the 2-minute mark. This was rock and roll at its purest and simplest. The most famous song on the album is probably “Suzy Is a Headbanger,” which, interestingly, was not released as a single. “I Remember You” was the first single off of the album, but “Swallow My Pride” as the only single from the album to crack the singles charts anywhere in the world (#36 in the UK).

The band got into some predictable minor trouble over the song “Carbona Not Glue” due to the fact of Carbona being a registered trademark. On later pressings the song was replaced with “Sheena Is a Punk Rocker.”

To promote the album, Sire made a special switchblade-style letter opener with the words “Ramones Leave Home” on it. A letter opener is not as cool as an actual switchblade, but the real thing most likely would have been highly illegal to give away to antisocial punk rock fans. And switchblades actually were a part of the Ramones’ daily life. According to Marky’s memoir, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone, in 1980 there was an incident after a show at Six Flags in New Jersey in which Dee Dee “pointed” a switchblade at Marky, to which the drummer replied (after wresting the weapon out of his hands), “Do it again, ever, and the knife’s going into you.”
 

 
An auction has popped up on eBay for one of the switchblades. It’s not in mint condition—far from it—because the letter opener actually saw use at the offices of Punk Magazine. As of this writing, after 13 bids the price is at $305—the seller indicates in the body of the auction that there is a reserve of in excess of $1000 in effect.

The switchblade is not the only amusing Ramones promotional item in existence. In 1976 Sire created special Louisville Slugger baseball bats to promote “Blitzkrieg Bop.” (Sire publicist Janis Schacht wanted the bats to publicize “Beat on the Brat” but someone at Sire sensibly realized that might be one step too far.) Above is a picture of two of the bats, located at the Ramones Museum in Berlin, which I didn’t know existed until today.
 
Pics after the jump…...
 

READ ON
Posted by Martin Schneider
|
11.03.2017
03:58 pm
|
Glenn Danzig’s hand-painted Misfits gloves can be yours—opening bid $10K
10.06.2017
09:00 am
Topics:
Tags:


Glenn Danzig, pictured here wearing the hand-painted gloves that could be yours if you’ve got $10K+ burning a hole in the pocket of your leather pants.
 
Glenn Danzig’s hand-painted gloves “marking the end of the Misfits era and the beginning of the Samhain era” are currently up for auction. The opening bid is a princely ten thousand dollars.
 

 
The auction is being handled by punk memorabilia dealer and archivist extraordinaire, Ryan Richardson. We’ve written about Ryan here before at Dangerous Minds. He’s the Internet saint who has made the entire print runs of several crucial ‘80s punk zines available online.

The gloves come directly from the Austin musician who Danzig gifted them to someone on September 23, 1984. The identity of the owner has been kept confidential, but if you follow ‘80s Texas punk rock, you will have heard of the band he was in. According to Richardson’s website which is hosting the auction,  a full history and signed provenance statement will be provided to the winning bidder.

Ten thousand dollars might sound like an insane amount of money for this beat up pair of gloves, but rare Misfits-related items have a history of fetching high sums. Some of the most valuable records ever sold on eBay have been Misfits records. In 2008 a first pressing of the Misfits “Horror Business” single went for over $14,000. The year before that a slightly tattered show flyer made by Glenn Danzig sold at auction for almost six thousand dollars. The Misfits enjoy one of the most rabid fan bases of any group in history and apparently some of those rabid fans also have fat wallets.

Bid hard HERE.

Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
10.06.2017
09:00 am
|
Why can’t you read the punk history ‘American Hardcore’ in California state prison?
09.28.2017
07:53 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
If you get sent up the river in California and you like to read about music, better stick to biographies of Tommy Dorsey and Rudy Vallee. State prisons have banned the book American Hardcore: A Tribal History on the grounds that it “shows obscene material displaying penetration of the vagina or anus.” That’s false, says the book’s publisher, Feral House: “Not a single risqué image in the whole book.”

American Hardcore, now in its second edition, is the popular history of hardcore punk that was the basis for the 2006 documentary of the same name. Earlier this week, Feral House’s Facebook account posted a letter from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to the book’s author, Steven Blush:

Dear Steven Blush-Feral House Publishing:

This letter is to advise you that your publication entitled, American Hardcore, A Tribal History, Second Edition, by Steven Blush has been placed on the Centralized List of Disapproved Publications by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and will not be delivered to CDCR inmates statewide.

This decision is based on the violation of the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 15, Section 3006, Contraband. The publication shows obscene material displaying penetration of the vagina or anus and shall not be delivered to the inmate(s), as it violates Department policy.


Last year, the Virginia Department of Corrections banned the GWAR coffee-table book Let There Be GWAR, which at least includes some pictures of genitals and bodily fluids that might keep a reader company during the cold penitentiary nights. As I recall, the worst obscenities in American Hardcore are musical, along the lines of Discharge’s Grave New World or SSD’s How We Rock.

“Hardcore.” They must have mistaken it for a book about porn, you think.

Continues after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Oliver Hall
|
09.28.2017
07:53 am
|
CRASSCAR: the mashup no one asked for
09.22.2017
07:48 am
Topics:
Tags:


 
Let’s see… things I am and am not a fan of: The UK anarcho-punk band Crass? Yes, I am a fan. NASCAR? No, but my parents seem to like it quite a bit. The fetishization of the Confederate flag? Nope, not a fan. Mashups? Not generally, but...

I guess every now and then there’s a mashup that is so exceedingly clever or well-done that it gets a pass based on those merits.

The CRASSCAR shirt is not one of those.

Still, though… I have to admit, this thing did make me chuckle. Quite a bit, actually. It’s like “who is the audience for this?”

This shirt with the Crass logo done in a confederate flag style with the stencil lettering (based on lyrics from Crass’ “Reality Asylum”) “Earnhardt died for his sins, not mine” is certain to piss off both racing fans AND peacepunks alike.

I guess that’s why I sort of love it. It’s just obnoxiously wrong on every level.

More after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Christopher Bickel
|
09.22.2017
07:48 am
|
Their gender has everything (and nothing whatsoever) to do with what made the Slits so great
09.20.2017
03:13 pm
Topics:
Tags:


Typical girls?

Everyone has something—that ONE THING—from their youth that they wish they had kept and still had today. Mine? The most regrettable thing I’ve ever loved and lost? A nearly lifesize cardboard cutout “standee” advertising the Cut album by the Slits. All three of them, covered in mud and at least 4 1/2 feet tall. In pristine condition, too. Yep, I used to own that. I can psychically feel the envy of several of you reading this. I bought it for eight pounds at the Portobello Market sometime in 1983 and carefully dragged it home via the London underground back to my squat on Coldharbour Lane in Brixton. I loved that thing. It was unquestionably my prized possession at the time. Problem was, when I moved to New York in late 1984, there was no practical way to get it across the Atlantic that wouldn’t have been prohibitively expensive to then 19-year-old me without bending it and fucking it up too much. It was too fragile and unwieldy for anything other than fine art shipping, so I ruefully gave it to a friend who was more than happy to eagerly take it off my hands.

I’m bummed out just thinking of it. It sucked then and it still sucks today, some 33 years later. Don’t think I haven’t scoured eBay for years searching for another! Can you imagine how much such a museum-level artifact of punk would go for today? SHIT!
 

 
I bought Cut when it first came out and I saw it filed in the “import” section of the local mall’s Musicland store (the same bin where I’d also discover X-Ray Spex, Henry Cow, Peter Hammill and Tubular Bells). Its punky reggae sound was very, very appealing to me straight off the bat. I’d read about the Slits, in books like Caroline Coon’s 1988 and in the few issues of Melody Maker that made their way to my rust belt hometown, but they were probably the last of the formative punk bands to put a record out. When I did finally hear them, Cut was a bolt from the blue to my teenaged, rock-crazed brain and the Slits more than lived up to the larger-than-life idea that I already I had of them. It sounded exactly like I expected it to, in other words. The Slits were, to my young ears, amongst the most sonically “far out” and experimental of the post-punk groups, in the same category as Public Image Ltd. (who were my #1 favorite band) in terms of the astonishing originality of their music.

For the Slits’ sound was like none other, a perfectly melded hybrid of playfully loopy, almost itchy punk, dub-drenched reggae and Afro-pop with the riotous white-Rastafarian-cum-St. Trinian’s-girl-run-amok front woman in the form of Ari Up (who was all of fourteen when she joined the group). Truly the unruly, inspired, nearly uncategorizable MUSIC of the Slits deserves a better place in the history of modern music than it’s been accorded thus far. Of course, their gender has everything and nothing whatsoever to do with what made the Slits so great.
 

 
One reason for this disconnect between their by now historically well-established reputation as formative feminist icons of British punk and how amazing and special their actual music was, is clearly the fact of the relative unobtainability of Cut‘s arguably better follow-up Return of the Giant Slits. That album was never released in America at all. Additionally, for the better part of 26 years it was only ever available from 2004 on as a pricey Japanese import CD until it was finally reissued in 2008 by Blast First. Sadly, to this day few people know the album, including no doubt many, if not most, of the people who profess to love its more roughly-hewn predecessor.

Return of the Giant Slits represented a huge leap forward for the group who were joined on drums and percussion by Bruce Smith of the Pop Group. Aside from Ari’s almost childishly obnoxious vocalizing, there was precious little in common with their first album. The shambolic, off-kilter feel of Cut was replaced by a lighter, more nimble sound. Viv Albertine’s guitar sound went from being (perfectly) plodding to scratchy, skittish, skipping, full of uniquely oblique angles and wonderfully complemented by Smith’s complex Afrobeat-inspired percussion and Tessa Pollitt’s rubbery bass. Much credit is deserved by the noted British multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford whose tripped-out, atmospheric sound effects, melodica and trombone contributions—he’s all over the album—elevate the proceedings to another level entirely. Once I was able to get my hands on some “real” (Jamaican) dub, I was disappointed that it seldom lived up to the psychedelic standards set for me by Return of the Giant Slits.

Take a moment, won’t you, and LOUDLY play “Earthbeat,” the incredible lead off track from Return of the Giant Slits:
 

 
Much more Slits after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Richard Metzger
|
09.20.2017
03:13 pm
|
Stuck in the Mudd! Four decades later, the doorman of the wildest nightclub in NYC lets you in!

dcgvgj
Here’s a drink ticket—enjoy the post!

“If you’ve been standing here for more than ten minutes you’re not coming in” announces Richard Boch in a stern but cute, almost teenaged stoner way. Don’t get me wrong, he means it. This was how “normal people” were greeted much of the time at the door of the Mudd Club (and many other ultra hip clubs in New York City at the time). This made getting in a huge badge of honor and being turned away a major disgrace. Imagine riding on THAT possibility just to pay to go into a nightclub? An anonymous “sniper” refused entrance once even hit Boch with a dead pigeon from a few yards away and sped off in a taxi cab!

Back then these normal people showing up at Manhattan nightclubs were mostly referred to as the “bridge and tunnel” crowd (Queens, Jersey, Brooklyn) a term not heard much these days, but once heard hundreds of times every night in NYC clubs. Some were 9-5ers, some wealthy disco-types expecting to stroll in on the doorman’s view of their Rolex or hot girlfriend. These regular folks were basically told to cool their heels or fuck off while an 18-year-old kid like me dressed to the hilt in what may have looked to them like idiotic rags, parted the seas and strolled in like I was Mick Jagger. This was not Studio 54 as they would find out soon enough. What it was, though, was a trip into known and unknown galaxies of hip culture throughout history, like a living, breathing museum/funhouse/drug den/concert hall/discotheque, mixed with nitroglycerine and LSD and thrown into a blender to create the unknown. The future. THE NOW!

The Mudd Club was almost literally unbelievable. Inmates running the asylum on an outer space pirate ship. This vessel was founded, funded and schemed by Steve Mass, who was on every side of the street all at once. When I first met Steve, he was roommates with Brian Eno and got that input, but he STILL drove me out to my parents’ apartment in Queens to help pull my record collection from under my bed, my parents shrugging their shoulders until reading about us a year later in the New York Times, thereby making it “Okay.” But really he was always very curious, constantly grilling me, getting inside my head. I once told him I thought he should round off the corners and ceiling of the Mudd Club like a giant cave and have live bats flying around the club. He actually considered it! He did this with certain other kids, rock stars, Warhol superstars, models, designers, Hollywood royalty, junkies, freaks and lord knows who else. We all had a bit of our heart and soul in that place.
 
sdfghjk
Mudd Club owner Steve Mass. Photo by Kate Simon

The above mentioned Richard Boch is the author of a incredibly well-written new book from Feral House titled The Mudd Club. Boch was the main doorman there and the book is his autobiography or a coming of age story told in pretty much the aftermath of the glorious Sixties during the truly, in retrospect, harsh, dark, real version of what was hoped for, but lost in that previous decade. Richard’s story is all of our stories, those of us lucky (or unlucky) enough to have grown up or wound up in New York City’s grimy punk/art/drugged musical and historical mish-mosh. It was the Velvet Underground’s songs come to life after waiting a decade for the world to catch up to it, or crumble to its level.
 
To quote Richard:

I’ve always referred to the Mudd Club as the scene of the crime, always meant as a term of endearment. It was the night that never ended: the day before never happened and the day after, a long way off. There was nothing else like it and I wound up right in the middle. I thought I could handle it and for a while, I did.

 
lkjlkjlkj
Author Richard Boch. Photo by Alan Kleinberg
 
Boch was given marching orders orders early on to avoid bloated seventies superstars and the limo crowd. On one of his first nights of work he was faced with a huge, loud, and very sweaty Meatloaf. “Definitely not something I wanted to get close to, physically or musically,” Boch says, and ignored him. My first ever DJ gig was early on at the Mudd Club and I was told told by Steve Mass to do things like play Alvin and The Chipmunks records when it got a bit crowded, to “make everyone uncomfortable,” including myself. Of course I had the record. I also gouged a 45 with scissors insuring the record would skip horribly and then pretend that it wasn’t happening. Just long enough to get the asylum to freak out a little bit.

Later this stuff went out the window but it was quite a formative experience. Humor filtered through even to the most deadly serious moments there. The Mudd Club was a place where twenty people could literally have had twenty different experiences on the same night during the same hour as there was just so much happening on different mental/pharmaceutical levels and different floor levels. Everywhere you turned there was someone amazing. From the way I had grown up, seeing Andy Warhol, John Waters, David Bowie and the Ramones within a twenty minute span was “my” Studio 54. Watching Screamin’ Jay Hawkins while standing next to Jean-Michel Basquiat, seeing the Soft Boys, girl groups like the Angels and the Crystals, Frank Zappa, Bauhaus, Nico, the Dead Boys, Captain Beefheart, John Cale, a Radley Metzger film presented by Sleazoid Express or an impromptu freakout by Warhol Superstar Jackie Curtis, well this was my dream come to life!

My dream hasn’t changed in 40 years. I’m still in awe that it happened. And in the middle of all that I was allowed to put on my own demented conceptual events with friends (“The Puberty Ball,” etc.) and be a regular DJ. The people I came to know in the punk world who wanted more found it at the Mudd Club. Our mad obsession with the Sixties, especially the Warhol/New York sixties, informed much of what we did, and at the same time the Warhol Factory itself became more corporate. The Superstars were by then getting older and pushed out, but they were looking for more themselves, and they were looking to us to inform them, making for some extremely insane morality and immorality plays coming to life before our eyes. Mudd had the pull of what the press called “downtown,” and for the downtown types, well our voices were about to be heard loud and clear.
 
jhgfd
David Bowie and Dee Dee Ramone. Photo by Bobby Grossman
 
jhfndbf
Howie Pyro deejaying at Mudd

Richard Boch understood all this, and was also an artist himself so he knew who everyone in the art world was, as well as all the new punk stars and celebutantes, no wavers, new wavers, culture vulture gods and the ones who would become gods themselves in a year or so. In the book he talks about being nervous about starting working there but man, he was the one for the job. In the pages of The Mudd Club, Boch’s quite candid about everything you’d want to know (gossip but not mean gossip: sex, drugs, more drugs, and getting home at ten AM, having done every drug and a half dozen people along the way—normal stuff like that). It reads in one, two, or three page sections, my favorite kind of book. You can put it down in ten-minute intervals or read it in any order you want, IF you can put it down at all. I have literally read certain sections backwards for 40-50 pages while looking for something and didn’t really notice. It made me laugh out loud, and it brought tears to my eyes. It’s kind of like “Please Kill Me, the Day After,” though it’s not an oral history as such, as it is written from Richard Boch’s point of view, but it has the same immediate anecdotal feel.
 
kuyhd
‘TV Party’ at Mudd. Photo by Bob Gruen
 
The club’s benevolent benefactor, Steve Mass, was responsible for making this incredible witches brew keep bubbling and kept the happenings happening. He was willing to do anything, just for the sake of doing it. Steve originally owned an ambulance service. For my 19th birthday they had a huge party for me on the second floor of the Mudd Club. Since Steve had medical connections, and since we were ALL junkies (well, a good 85% of us were), he furnished a massive cake with dozens of syringes with the plungers & needles removed so they could put the candles in the open syringes. This of course turned into a massive cake fight with the participants looking like the Little Rascals (with pinned eyes). Steve was always down for this sorta stuff. As for the main floor, the bands, writers and performers that I saw in a single month’s time was staggering! More than some people see in a lifetime.
 
From the book:

January 1979. The Cramps freaked out The Mudd Club with a loud Psychobilly grind that included such hits as “Human Fly” and “Surfin’ Bird.” A few months later, the “big names” started to appear…

He goes on to say:

The legendary Sam and Dave got onstage a few weekends later, and it was the first time on my watch that I got to see the real deal. By late summer, Talking Heads took the stage while Marianne Faithful, X, Lene Lovich, and the Brides of Funkenstein waited in the wings.

There were so many great performances: Scheduled, impromptu, logical and out of left field. The locals and the regulars were the staple and the stable and performed as part of the White Street experience. They included everyone you could imagine and some you never could. John Cale, Chris Spedding, Judy Nylon and Nico, John Lurie and Philip Glass were just a few. Writers and poets such as William S. Burroughs, Max Blagg, Cookie Mueller, and “Teenage Jesus” Lydia Lunch all wound up on the Mudd Club stage. The talent pool was so deep and occasionally dark that even Hollywood Babylon‘s Luciferian auteur Kenneth Anger got Involved.

Steve’s willingness and generosity along with his guarded enthusiasm offered support to a local community of artists, musicians, and filmmakers. Together with Diego (Cortez)’ and Anya (Phillip’s) short-lived but “dominating” spirit, the Mudd Club became an instant happening, a free-for-all with No Wave orchestration and very few rules.

Diego described the Mudd Club as “a container, a vessel, but certainly not the only one in town.” What made the place unique was its blank-canvas emptiness. When the space filled up, IT happened and everyone wanted to be a part. A living, breathing work of art, it was beautiful and way off center, a slice of golden time.

I was lucky, and soaked it all in.

 
dfkujnbd
Nico playing her wheezing harmonium. Photo by Ebet Roberts

All of us who got to be there were lucky. This was a timeless world of it’s own. A world that could be compared to any and all magical artistic movements, scenes or spaces. Dada. Warhol’s Factory, the Beats in NY and SF, Surrealism, etc.—times, places, people all endlessly written about as there’s just so much to say. Everyone involved had a unique experience, true to themselves. This wasn’t just a nightclub, it was so much more. It almost seemed like a private place where, on the best nights, people’s lives and fantasies were put on display and the public was allowed to watch. The public who just came to do coke and dance (as we all did) but who accidentally got touched by a bizarre and wonderful world that lived in the shadows of the city then, usually just brushing against them like a ghost in the night. Whether they even noticed or not, well, who cares?

This first book on the subject (I guarantee it will not be the last) is Richard Boch’s own experience, peppered with those of us who he interviewed for the reminders. This book is about his eyes opening, his chain-wielding power stance, his blowjobs, his drinks, his drugs, all of which are plentiful. It includes a little of most of us, the people we loved, the ones we lost, the games we played, and the love we shared of each other and our mutual history. Still though, there are a million stories in the Mudd’s microcosm of the naked city, this is just one of them.

And what a glorious place to start: right at the front door.
 
ljkhgdbhfnjg
 

The trailer for the book
 
More Mudd Club after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Howie Pyro
|
09.19.2017
02:47 pm
|
Rare concert photos of Blondie, Zappa, Iggy, Fugazi and more, from the Smithsonian’s new collection


 
In December 2015, the Smithsonian Institution began an ambitious crowdsourced history of rock ’n’ roll photography, calling on music fans to contribute their amateur and pro photos, launching the web site rockandroll.si.edu as a one-stop for accepting and displaying shooters’ submissions. One of the project’s organizers, Bill Bentley, was quoted in Billboard:

We talked about how it could be completely far-reaching in terms of those allowed to contribute, and hopefully help expose all kinds of musicians and periods. There really are no boundaries in the possibilities. I’d like to help spread all styles of music to those who visit the site, and show just how all-encompassing the history of what all these incredible artists have created over the years. What better way than for people to share their visual experiences, no matter on what level, to the world at large.

The project, sadly, is now closed to new submissions, but it’s reached a milestone in the publication of Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen, authored by Bentley. The book is a pretty great cull of the best the collection had to offer, full of photos rarely or never seen by the public, chronologically arranged, and dating back to the dawn of the rock era. Some of them are real jaw-droppers, like the concert shot of Richie Valens taken hours before his death, Otis Redding drenched in sweat at the Whiskey a Go Go, Sly Stone looking like a goddamn superhero at the Aragon Ballroom in 1974. From Bentley’s introduction:

Although the sheer breadth of the offerings was overwhelming, that fact only underlined the importance of an organizational strategy. The publisher sorted through the submissions, categorizing them by performer and date to create a complete historical timeline of rock and roll. Approximately three hundred photographs are included in the following narrative, many of them by amateurs whose enthusiasm and passion for their subjects are here presented to the public for the first time. The balance of the photos were taken by professional “lens whisperers,” whose shots were selected to flesh out this overview of rock and roll. The results, spanning six decades, aim for neither encyclopedic authority nor comprehensive finality, but rather an index of supreme influence.

Smithsonian Rock and Roll: Live and Unseen isn’t due until late in October, but the Smithsonian have been very kind in allowing Dangerous Minds to share some of these images with you today. Clicking an image will spawn an enlargement.
 

Blondie at CBGB, New York City, 1976. Photo Roberta Bayley /Smithsonian Books
 

The Clash at the Orpheum Theatre, Boston, September 19, 1979. Photo Catherine Vanaria /Smithsonian Books
 

Frank Zappa at Maple Pavilion, Stanford University, CA, November 19, 1977. Photo Gary Kieth Morgan /Smithsonian Books
 
Many more after the jump…

READ ON
Posted by Ron Kretsch
|
09.18.2017
11:00 am
|
Page 1 of 130  1 2 3 >  Last ›