Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 26 - Happy 72nd birthday to Jet Black

Jet Black played drums with The Stranglers.
His first name is Brian Duffy.
The Stranglers were a little older than most bands I saw. The bass player had that scary stratt noise that felt like someone was twanging your rib cage. And I don't mean tickling. I think I remember hearing that the singer had been to prison. It took me a few pass bys to actually stop in and see them close up. I don't know what I was thinking. It wasn't like they were the only criminals we knew. And after all, it was well known that the Sex Pistols had nicked David Bowie's gear... Maybe I heard something of a childcatcher in Cornwalls' growly voice.
Had I known the drummer owned 4 ice cream vans and an off-licence in Guildford, called 'The Jackpot' and also owned one of the earliest home brewing equipment companies, at the time of a vogue in home brewing (thank you wikipedia), I would have said, "oh well then..." and strolled right on in.

Mr. Black met Hugh Cornwell after reading an advertisement in the Melody Maker and joined The Stranglers in 1974.

Mr. Black was 72 last week. Happy returns of the day to him.

Here's some good footage of a bright sunny day out in Battersea Park in 1978. I can't say I was there either. Anyway, there's a bit of everything. A zoom in on our birthday boy at the drum kit; Mr Cornwall's guitar solo (pardon, Yes, a guitar solo. The seventies weren't over yet); some pogo-ing in the audience, Mr Brunel takes his bass for a walk and there's a good leap; and a bit of a pre-Glastonbury sing a long.

If you wondered what happened to them - well, they managed to stay out of jail and appear on The Other Stage at Glastonbury this year. (see below the Battersea clip)

NOTE: the crowd arrives in silence in the Battersea youtube clip ... hang in there... it's worth it to see Jean Jacques Brunel's trousers and how many people in the crowd hadn't got their punk hair cut.

Note: The Glastonbury Stranglers are NOT the original Stranglers. Hugh Cornwall has hair.

Monday, August 30, 2010

anthrax - gang of four

John Peel Session - ATV second session 1978

Before ATV evolved into another band of interesting characters called The Good Missionaries, Mark had written this song. This is from the second John Peel session, some time in 1978. The Good Missionary. I can't listen to this lying flat on my back with my eyes closed. Not all the way through. Maybe you can.

John Peel Sessions

John Peel was a late night DJ on radio 1 when BBC radio only went up to 4. If you weren't on a night bus coming back from a gig, you'd be listening to this friendly funny Liverpool Lad. He was like the one who was allowed the airspace because the men with their suits and their day jobs had gone home. He even allowed bands into the BBC to play live. And he had bands play who weren't even on records yet.


Sniffin Glue and The floppy disc

oooOOOOOooooh, the tongue in the cheek of it.
This song was released as a floppy disc of vinyl that revolved at 45rpm on your turntable. It was given away with the last issue of Sniffin' Glue. I remember I was at Mark Perry's Headquarters the day Janet Street-Porter came striding in all furry pink coat and bright hair and large teeth and glasses raving about this song. JSP had a show on television for the "Yoof". I like a bit of reggae myself. How about you?

Mark Perry

Mark P started writing a zine called Sniffin' Glue in 1976. One issue had a hand drawing in it of the fingering for three different chords on a guitar. And it said something like - "look. here are 3 chords, why don't you get a guitar and learn these chords and when you do you can start a band". And after 12 issues of the Glue, Mark Perry started his own band called ATV. (Alternative Television). Amongst some of his greatest hits on my turntable are "How Much Longer" and I liked what "electric warrior" has done with his visuals.

You can get all of the Sniffin Glue magazines in one handy coffeetable book. a ref: http://www.amazon.com/Sniffin-Glue-Rocknroll-Essential-Accessory/dp/1847729738/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1283230631&sr=8-1]

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

throbbing gristle










23 August - Keith Moon's birthday

Meanwhile in the Vortex in Wardour Street, London 1977...

[wavy lines and wobbly music]

It was a warm August night, 1977.
Mark Perry said he'd meet me at the Vortex on Wardour Street, London W1.

The Vortex Club was like a secret. You went through the pub, past the pool tables and down the stairs at the back. At the bottom of the stairs there was another bar and a stage and a backroom where you could sit and talk (and probably do drugs - but I only heard that later).

The night I'm talking about I remember it was very dark and I got there before Mark. The first band came on - Teenage Jesus and the Jerks.
From America.
The drummer had one drum, one cymbal and played standing up.
He was great.
There were 3 in the band in silhouette in this white light shoebox of a stage. The girl in the middle on guitar was as high as her guitar was wide in her hands.They were mezmerizing.

After they played, I still didn't see Mark so I went back to the stairs to see if the man with the guest list was there. He wasn't there but reclining on the stairs - pretty much glowing because he was all in white, white t-shirt, white jeans, white blond hair - was Billy Idol.
I asked him, "Billy, have you seen Mark?"
He said, "No. I haven't."
The bloke with the guest list came over, checked the list and saw Mark wasn't there yet.

Billy pointed to a person standing right next to me in the dark corner. I hadn't noticed him. He was ever so sweet. Only as tall as me (5'4) wearing black jeans, black t-shirt but this terrible (I thought) black pudding bowl haircut. He looked so nervous, bless him. He couldn't stand still like he was on a stationary treadmill. I immediately assumed that with that hair, this had to be his first time at a punk club and Billy was trying to make him feel at home so I joined in. I liked being a punk. I thought everyone should come and see all these bands and dress up etc. It was fun. Some people think punks were angry and rude, but we weren't. We were all very in this together. The more the merrier.

Billy said, "have you met Keith Moon?"
"No," I said. "what a nice name. Moon. Is that your real name?"
He looked a bit surprised and said, "It's my real name, why would I have made it up?"
I thought he should be in the know so I told him, "noone uses their real name these days. We all make them up. You know, Johnny Rotten, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible. Billy here. Billy's not really Billy Idol are you Billy? Tell him your real name."
Billy says, "it's William Broad."
The new boy joked, "ha ha ha if you were called Arthur you would be A Broad." I thought that was funny.
He asked me my name. It was noisy now and he heard me say my name was Daisy Human which it isn't but I thought was funny too, I liked this lad. He was trying. And I couldn't get over what a lovely name Moon was. "My mum's favourite song is Blue Moon, do you know that song? Have you ever heard it by Elvis Presley?" and just as I said that, Danny Baker announced over the microphone, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis Presley has left the planet."
I gasped.
"Elvis Presley died?"
I didn't know what to feel.
I may have gone into shock.
Maybe I was ashamed of myself.
Here I was trying to show off and give the impression that I was such a good punk (or whatever I was trying to prove) -- I couldn't believe I'd just been talking about my mother AND Elvis Presley in the VORTEX... Elvis Presley wasn't a punk... He was fat and old and wore FLARES. His wore a white suit with fringes on it. If you wanted to wear white and be cool you should look like, well, like, Billy. Surely.
I even started to cry.
Mr. Moon was very nice.
He put his arm round me and said, "don't worry, rock and roll will never die" and then he said, you might want to go to the ladies and (he pointed to my face). Let me get you a drink."

In the ladies I saw my mascara had streaked all over the place. Phew. Saved. I went back. He'd got me a vodka/orange. Then maybe Mark showed up. We watched I think the Jam might have played later on. I think I saw Paul Weller or Bruce Foxton in the back room. Maybe there was another stage back there and the Jam played in there. I don't remember. Anyway …. The next day….

The rest of the night Elvis Died story...

So the next morning, I get on the bus, upstairs, and there's a lot of traffic.
The bus gets to the top of the hill and it can't go any further.
The two old ladies in the seat in front of me are like Monty Python characters.
One says to the other, "oooer, the golf course [at the bottom of the hill] is flooded, we'll not get through to the shops, look at all the rain" and the other lady says, "it's the angels crying for Elvis, innit."
We all have to get off the bus.
Go home.

NEXT NIGHT, I'm on my way to some gig or other and there's this Big brick wall somewhere along the route and there's these HUGE letters - someone must have needed a ladder - it says ELVIS LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS. Amazing to see.
Especially with all that rain. Must have been oil paint.
BIG WHITE LETTERS as high as your garage door.
A couple of weeks later, a giraffe at London Zoo gives birth.
Ah look at the little Giraffe.
They call him Victor.
Next night on the news, uh oh, victor is a bit stumbly.
A couple of days, is it a few weeks maybe,(?) I forget but anyway, (children look away) Victor dies.
And the next time I bus by the wall Elvis is crossed out with one great big diagonal white line and someone has painted VICTOR so it now reads: VICTOR LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS.
A few weeks go by. Groucho Marx died and Victor is crossed out and above Victor, was painted GROUCHO, so it now read GROUCHO LIVES ON IN OUR HEARTS.

It was December when I went up the bus stairs on the way to see somebody good. By this time I'd been going out with Mark Perry and he was saying, bloody hell everyone looks the same, everyone's wearing the same stuff, people aren't looking different anymore, and as I came up the stairs I remember thinking, yeah - look at this lot. All the seats were taken, everyone was reading the NME (music paper) and they were all wearing black blazers, skinny ties and as we came round the corner, I looked at the wall and there was a new name. KEEF.
I gasped.
“Keith Richards died?”
"naaah" says some lad, looking up from his paper.
I'm like, - where have I heard that name before?
I ask “Who's Keith Moon?”
His friend said, "Only the greatest rock and roll drummer in the whole world, that's who"
I'm like, “what band is he in?”
(I swear to God, I didn't know.)
Someone said, “The Who”
I immediately heard his voice: "Don't worry - Rock and roll will never die"
And I sat down.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Pop Group 2010 - tour dates announced

How tres fantastique for Paris, molto bene for Turin and Jolly Lucky for Londoners that The Pop Group will be playing a few shows in September.

Patti Smith 1976 live

did you know Redondo Beach was a beach where women love other women? News to me. Love this song:

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Peter Laughner: August 22, 1952 – June 22, 1977

Peter Laughner was a founding member of Pere Ubu. One of my favourite bands of all time.
I never met Peter Laughner. He died of acute pancreatitis brought on by drinking and drugging. I understand that this song may have been recorded a few nights before he died.

You can get more guitar tuning assistance from myspace.com/peterlaughner.

Sylvia Plath was never too good at math

But they tell me that she finished at the head of her class

C#m C#m
And if she lost any virginity

She didn't lose it too fast

A A A G#
They couldn't hold any dress rehearsals for Sylvia Plath.
Sylvia Plath came into Manhattan

She had crawled out one cocoon where there was absolutely nothing happenin

She said "If I'm gonna be classless and crass,

I'm gonna break up some glass".

A A A G#
Nobody broke anything sharper than Sylvia Plath

C#m C#m B B A A B B

There's no romance in excuses, there's just a dance in the aftermath

And when you check out of this hotel Jack, you're nothing but an autograph

The desk clerk wakes up around seven

And he tosses it out with the trash

A A A G#
But he might keep around a couple of letters return-addressed to Sylvia Plath
Sylvia Plath woke up and turned on the gas

Then she put her head down and completely forgot about lighting a match

C#m C#m
The rest of the details

Are just too boring to attach

A A A G# E
But let's see you do one thing as graceful as Sylvia Plath

A A A G# E
Aw, let's see you do one thing as graceful as Sylvia Plath

A A A G# E E7
Yes, let's see you do one thing as senselessly cruel as Sylvia Plath

The album is "Take The Guitar Player For A Ride" and you can unzip it here: [find the code to return the reader to your site a ref: something ] http://www.box.net/shared/o9m9a7mc37

Where are they now? Two Clash members are Gorillaz.

Paul Simenon (the handsome one in The Clash) joined Damon Albarn and Mick Jones ( The Clash) on the third Gorillaz album "Plastic Beach". Mr. Simenon also played bass in the Gorillaz live band, along with Mick Jones on guitar. The band headlined the 2010 Coachella Festival and took the Friday night on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury when U2 pulled out (25 June 2010). Albarn became the first performer to headline Glastonbury two years in succession. There was a special appearance by Lou Reed.

Gorillaz kicked off their first ever world tour on 20 July 2010 at Byblos, Lebanon. They are coming to America in October, Europe in November, and finally through Australia, New Zealand, and one date in Asia in December.

In 25 July 2010, Gorillaz performed a concert at the Citadel of Damascus in Syria. They are getting around, aren't they?

Joe Stummer: 21 August 1952 – 22 December 2002

21st August is Joe Strummer's birthday

I think Joe liked New York....

20 August was Andy Czezowski's birthday

Last Friday, Andy Czezowski turned er, hold on a minute... 61 years old? He was born in 1949.... can that be right?? I do know that he founded The Fridge - a night club in Brixton, London that you can buy for three hundred thousand pounds according to http://www.caterersearch.com/Articles/2010/07/22/334372/Brixton39s-Fridge-nightclub-up-for-sale-again.htm

Happy Birthday Andy. I hope the sale goes according to the best for all concerned.

cranked up

If you want to know what it was like to be in the audience at The Roxy Club, there is a movie you can get called "The Punk Rock Movie" 100 days at the Roxy. The filmmaker is Don Letts. He was a DJ at the club. He would play lots of reggae - Dr. Alimantado, and others that Vivien Goldman could name for you, but of course, he wouldn't play many punk rock singles. There weren't many.

Here's a punters' view of Slaughter And The Dogs singing Cranked Up Really High. Hmmm. What chew fink ee's singing about, then? Answers on a postcard, please.

The Roxy Club and Shay Grrrr Vara

Most clubs weren't expensive to get in. The Roxy Club was expensive. I didn't know why until I saw this clip on uTube (see below). It was over one pound fifty pence to get in. I think you had to be a member. You came in the door and there was a pool table. And you went down a rickety staircase. The "stage" was under the staircase. There was a bar. There were toilets where you went to get the rest of your outfit on, a drink from someone who had brought a bottle of something in, some more safety pins pinned in your outfit, more eyeliner, a haircut like one of the punters if you didn't like yours, and later on in the evening a dunking in a sink for a coating of sugar water on your mohican to stop it falling over. You might even spend a penny. Apparently the "tired" people sleeping on the floor had bought heroin in there. I had no idea. I heard a welsh accent once and assumed they were tired from their train trip to London. You might be able to use to the loo but you might not because people might be shagging in there. I always thought the worst bit was when Don Letts got this really bright spotlight and shined it into the crowd. He was the DJ. I found out later, of course, that he was filming. But it was a bit bright for me. History buffs might like to know that The Roxy was in the same space as an underground (literally) gay (remember when being gay was something secret?) disco with a name that sounded like Shag A Rama's that was a play on the name Che Gerr Vara who was that handsome Cuban bloke on a t-shirt that you could buy in the hippie market bit of High Street Kensington. I didn't know who he was. But I knew he was a revolutionary. Punks liked revolutionaries. Revolutions. Not wearing flares was being revolutionary. Patti Smith sang about revolutions. Revolooooootions. oops. I digress. Here is Andy, the owner of The Roxy: