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Good news kids, Lou Rone's ALONE CD is finally out and available on the Gulcher label, an occurance which is a total surprise not only for me but for you and probably Lou for all we know considering how there were all of these OTHER Gulcher releases being planned for years (the Gynecologists come to mind) and somehow Rone's stepped up to the front of the line ahead of 'em all! Their loss and Lou's gain I guess, but anyway if you want to hear some pretty good guitar histronics without any of the big macho preening that usually comes with the territory give this winner a try. Lou played all of the instruments on it which doesn't make him Todd Rundgren but makes him Lou Rone, and even the heavy metal yob told me he'd take this one over Queensryche anyday! And given yobbo's sometimes questionable tastes that's saying something! Yob, please don't hurt me! But whatever you do, DON'T read the press release that accompanies this mid-oh-oh's masterpiece...you'll gag!
While combing the web for some interesting reading late last night, I came across this article originally printed in THE WIRE way back in '96 that you Amon Duul fans (of both the I and II variety) would certainly want to absorb into your cranial chasms. I've been playing my Captain Trip reissues of the early-seventies Amon Duul discs a lot lately (after YEARS of thinking them subpar to the bands' first three releases which remain all-time kraut classics at least as far as a BLACK/BLOG TO COMM anti-aesthetic goes) and find that they sound better than even I had remembered/given them credit for way back when...now, I didn't quite cozy up to CARNIVAL IN BABYLON when I first got it via the once-sainted cutout rack during the summer of 1976 (I remember telling one of the football coaches at school about this disc when he espied me carrying it around, and coach told me that in his history class he was going to be teaching about Babylon and this platter might come in handy...I had the sneaking suspicion that he was ribbing me but really, wouldn't you like to have been in a classroom fulla gawky and goofy kids being inundated with "CID In Uruk"???) but I find its percussive clang meets late-sixties San Fran aesthetics w/o the hippie drivel rather inspiring especially considering how stuck-in-neutral this disque could have been. Sorta like the best experimental moments of those early sprawling Amon Duul II 2-LP sets condensed into a single album with the highlights emphasized and accentuated. WOLF CITY remains a fave after almost thirty years perhaps because it squooshes the best ADII moments even more, adding a hefty amt. of mid-Amerigan trash aesthetics into the mix for added effect. It's (dare-I-say?) pleasant hearing the group swing from Wagnerian monster movie rock ("Surrounded By The Stars") to Psychedelic Mystical Indian Music Drone long after anyone cared ("Wie Der Wind Am Ende Einer Strasse") and then to Velvet/Stooges proto/pseudo-punk (the title track and "Jailhouse Frog") especially with that frighteningly ethereal Choir Organ sound permeating the platter (read the article linked above for more on this strange and legendary instrument). I hated VIVE LA TRANCE when I first latched onto that one not only because it seemed so straightforward but I guess my music tastes were beginning to change, but at this point I can understand perfectly even if it is lower keyed than the others. TRANCE still has that strange mid-eastern spirit-conjuring sound (for wont of a better term) filtered through early-seventies German Youth rebellion and although it ain't as "punk" as I would like it to be, it sure does have more than a few moments. LIVE IN LONDON's the weirdie, one of those bootleg-sounding budget discs that the UK labels seemed to love tossing out there and only there leaving us import freaks inna USA having to pay three times as much for a cheapie that would cost our UK counterparts only 1.99 pounds! (King Crimson's EARTHBOUND, a particulary muddy cassette recording that Island somehow felt worthy of issue, also comes to mind.) As a document, it serves its (dubious?) purpose as far as these things go showing Germany's answer to the Jefferson Airplane (or was it the Grateful Dead...or the Velvet Underground?) to be even rawer and more energetic even without the studio gimmickry and guest musicians culled from the cream of krautrock. If you're hot on getting hold of some of these discs (as well as other Amon Duul platters, both of the I and II variety), try Gulcher or even Slippytown...they got PLENTY!
On a related note (considering the obviously similarities between the above aggregate and this batch, and I don't just mean the same record label!), I got hold of a CD of Hawkwind's HALL OF THE MOUNTAIN GRILL album, not only because of Garry Sperrazza!'s review in THE SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE, but because I still don't have a working turntable and wanted to give this one a spin after umpteen years of neglect. This was the first Hawkwind album I owned and got rid of soon after back in 1979 before purchasing another copy long after, and although HALL doesn't have much of the zip, zing and zest of the earlier Hawkwind albums let alone Robert Calvert's masterpiece (and clandestine Hawkwind concept) CAPTAIN LOCKHEED AND THE STARFIGHTERS only a short year away it still has the typical Hawkwind space-sway whether they be re-re-rehashing psychedelia ("The Psychedelic Warlords") or romping full-force into Mick Farren's crunch vision ("Lost Johnny"). As for "Paradox," I don't think this one sounds as "Detroit" as Sperrazza! would lead us to believe despite some classic drone riffs, but given how (I believe) Dave Brock wore an MC5 t-shirt in the insert of QUARK STRANGENESS AND CHARM maybe this was a homage of sorts? Not the best place to start (as I found out), but still a disque to get hold of (along with WARRIOR ON THE EDGE OF TIME) after you hear the biggies (including the later-on Charisma-period QUARK which happens to be one of my all-time faves).
For a fun chuckle you may want to read this videotape want list! Unfortunately this selection of boob tube must-haves is not all-inclusive, since Mr. Goubler left off such desperately-needed items not only he but we could sure use a viewing of such as the infamous "coming out" episode of STAR TREK, HAGGIS BAGGIS (Lindsay Hutton's Scottish gourmet cooking program, formerly known as THE BRITISH BOILER), HINMAN'S HEROES (war prisoner blogger Jay Hinman and compatriates save Occupied Europe from "boring" Hampton Grease Band MUSIC TO EAT albums and "no talent" VON LMO and Plastic People recordings despite the best efforts of Col. Chris and Sgt. Shute), and of course that lovable old chestnut DAVEY THE BUSH KANGAROO so if anyone can help him...
Another interesting aside...Maureen O'Hara's new autobio is reportedly a big hoot with lotsa REVEALING facts, including a stalking John Ford, a crotch-scratching Sam Peckinpah, and strangest of all the time she was working in Australia and caught none other than co-stars PETER LAWFORD and RICHARD BOONE entering into a BOY BROTHEL, not saying a word about it to anybody in order to be nicey-nice, but Boone still treated her like a jerk which only goes to show you just how ungrateful some Hollywood Big Names (like certain rock fandom-types) can be! Lemme tell you, I'll never watch another episode of MEDIC, HAVE GUN WILL TRAVEL, THE RICHARD BOONE SHOW or HECK RAMSEY without thinking back to this probably true anecdote. (As for Lawford...I believe it about him...being married to a Kennedy would drive ANYBODY insane!) The big question remains...are boy brothels legal in Australia (or were they in 1952 when this film was made?) and if so, were any of the Australian "males" we know and "love" somehow involved with/employed by these houses of ill repute? Kinda gives the term "junior achievement" a totally new meaning, and perhaps there are some men out there who, because of their sordid past, undoubtedly should have a little shame in 'em, if you know what I mean.
Sunday, May 22, 2005
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