TEN GROUPS/GIGS I SURE WISH TO HECK I COULDA SEEN!
1) VELVET UNDERGROUND-Actually any gig of theirs not counting the '93 reunions (after buying a ticket to see 'em, I couldn't afford the disposable lighter to "flick" in appreciation) would have been worth my while, but an emphasis on the Cale period, particularly of the 1964/65 variety which seems even more of a mystery even after the release of those early demos, would be especially tasty.
2) DEVIANTS-Ditto, though the Devie's '66/'67 days when they were amongst the first groups to heavily borrow from the Velvets and perhaps the only ones in Britian extant to do so sound enticing enough to me. Of course, any public appearance made by Mick Farren, especially during his Stiff Records days (see left) should be just as engrossing...
3) RED TRANSISTOR-Really, almost any '77/'79 no wave band counts (especially the groups considered "too wild and primitive" for the NO NEW YORK disque such as Daily Life, Terminal and the Gynecologists) but of the batch I've heard I'd say that Red Transistor would be the most desirable. Mars comes a close second, and naturally (the) VON LMO (band) should pop up in this category somewhere. Even Kongress other'n the gig where Geofrey Crozier threw the pigeon dust into his cauldron thus driving the entire audience at Max's Kansas City out the door would have been exciting...
4) ROCKET FROM THE TOMBS-Of all the Cleveland "first wave" groups who seem to have gotten their just desserts (coconut cream pie?) thirty years after the fact these are the guys I'd most love to have seen, either in their original "comedy" version or of the later high-energy variety best known to us from a number of bootleg records and tapes that have been floating around ever since the Rocket crash landed in 1975. The only other first wavers I would have really enjoyed lending an ear to would have been Milk with Brian Sands and Dennis Carleton (as well as Al Globekar and Dave Alexy) who certainly put a nice twist on the ol' Cleveland Pop movement that was taking the world by storm at the time (and debuting at a Circus gig at the height of their popularity in 1973 was certainly a smart coup!). It's too bad that these guys continually get left out of the Cle underground saga because Milk were every bit as important to the development of an original music scene in Cleveland and as high-intensity as Rocket and the other local underground units, even though the idea of an original music high-energy rock band in Cleveland seemed about as popular as a Studebaker with flame decals. I mean, that's cool as well, but not to the bong-headed Pantsios-reading nimnuls who permeated the burgh at the time with WMMS continually stuck into their ever-deafening ears if you know what I mean...
5) THE STOOGES' DEBUT, HALLOWEEN 1967-Yeah, just about any Stooges gig (even the reunion ones with Mike Watt of all people subbing for a departed Dave Alexander!) would be worthy of mine eyes and ears, but I still wonder what the very first Stooges show with Iggy playing a rented Hawaiian guitar and blowing out the amps in the process would have sounded like. The descriptions that survive are incredible (read Julian Cope's unabashed praise of Iggy's own account of this show recounted in the Ash Ra Tempel chapter of his KRAUTROCKSAMPLERSCHPIEL book) and I have the sneaking suspicion that tapes do survive along with more early Detroit high energy wonders out there (Seventh Seal, Power of Woman...) I've been yearning to hear for more than just a few years. All I gotta say is...paging Bomp Records!!!
6) THE PLANETS' 1975 LINEUP-Believe-you-me, there would be plenty of gigs happening on the New York Scene throughout the late-sixties until even today that I woulda loved to have been front and center for (sample list...any Manster appearance as well as any of those legendary and undocumented heavy metal groups that would scatter amidst the CBGB and Max's Kansas City schedules during the late-seventies/early-eighties such as Sorcerers, Junior Birdmen and Cold Steel...), and amongst the reams of unheard and probably ne'er-to-hear groups (as you can see I've pretty much limited this list to bands I am already familiar with just so's I wouldn't go off on a tangent mentioning a thousand or so groups out there I would love to hear at least once before clocking out for good) in that big burgh of En Why See I must say that eyeballing the classic Planets lineup woulda done me more'n just "some good". I dunno how the original glam-era group woulda come off and a tape of the post-Tally Talliafarrow lineup that I have sounds rather "straight" and almost Frampton-esque in spots, but the "famous" '76/'76 version of the band with Binky Phillips doing his Townshend trip while Talliafarrow is front and center doing the best black punk strut extant (with Anthony Jones on bass and Steve Korff on drums) might have been the wildest yet most commercial thing going on the New York Scene at the time, with a strong Who meets Stooges meets Cleveland power-pop sound and a clear-intensity that might have even rivaled Rocket From The Tombs for sheer ear-bursting power! There's a nice and detailed article on these guys (complete with the obligatory rare pictures!) that appeared in the twenty-second issue of BLACK TO COMM in case any of you blog-perusers are interested in educating yerselves.
7) ANY GIG BY LES RALLIZES DENUDES FROM 1968 UNTIL THE LATE SEVENTIES OR SO-Actually, just about any gig from the likes of the Denudes guys or their current-day emulators would be boffo for me, but I really woulda dug experiencing the Denudes way back when they seemed to be at the height of their avant-garde crank und strum which was roughly from the late-sixties (when Takashi Mizutani and his cohorts seemed to be closest to a Velvet Underground-inspired garage tap root) until the late-seventies which in retrospect were the final years of their peak efforts. Frankly I'd love to see just about all of the early-Velvetesque noisemongering aggregates of the late-sixties on (though I have a FAT CHANCE of ever doing so!), but given that these guys thankfully have some wonderful recorded material out and readily available Les Rallizes Denudes don't have to be on my atonal energy wish list any longer!
8) MX-80 SOUND LIVE PRE-RICH STIM AND DAVE MAHONEY-Now don't get me wrong, I really dig the effort and energy those guys put into the classic MX-80 recordings and all, but dag-nabbit if the two available tracks recorded by the original version of the group (top-splat guitarist Bruce Anderson and throb-bassist Dale Sophiea with dual drumming from Kevin Teare and Jeff Armour) have my appetite whetted for experiencing an entire concert from these instrumental atrocity mongers in some Bloomington Indiana student watering hole sometime on a muggy 1974 summer weekend. Original reports of these guys having a Mahavishnu Orchestra influence had me shying away from wanting to hear this stuff, but "Spoonfight" off the BLOOMINGTON ONE sampler was jarring enough to have me thinking more Sharrock than McLaughlin (believe me, I was expecting Anderson to toss flowers into the audience, not sharp metal filings!) while that track on DAS LOVE BOOT or whatever it's called (can't find the thing which makes it tough for me to come off looking all researched and proper like I should being such the gifted rock scriber that I am!) was equally spaced out with a heavier emphasis on free jazz avant gardities and less on DOWN BEAT-sanctioned fusion mush. I sure could use an entire album of this stuff, and I only hope that Anderson or Family Vineyard or whoever releases MX-80 Sound wares these days chances upon this blog and decides to take my earnest yearnings to solid fruitation!
9) CAN-Naturally when I say "Can" I mean the original high energy punk rockish Malcolm Mooney variation, but anything up to the mid-seventies would suffice. As far as other krautrock acts go, Amon Duul I would probably be a massive treat, as would Ash Ra Tempel (at least judging from those live CD's which had almost immediately gone out of print).
10) UMELA HMOTA (ANY VARIETY INCLUDING UH 2 AND UH 3)-Perhaps my favorite Czech underground (in the purest form considering the governmental crackdowns that made them international cause celebres in the late-seventies) band. And in case you're still puzzled as to why Umela Hmota ended up on this list when there are probably a lot more "famous" bands who should have, its because that of all the Czech underground aggregates I've heard o'er the years (and that includes biggies like the Plastic People of the Universe), these guys were naturally the punkiest of the batch attempting to do for Prague what groups like the Imperial Dogs and Simply Saucer were trying to do for their local scenes. Umela Hmota 2 have a two-CD set out which is definitely worth latching onto, mainly because its an all-encompassing collection of a huge hunkering portion of '76/'77-vintage studio and live goodies recorded when these guys were coming strangely close to what such non-Czech aggros as Pere Ubu not to mention a buncha British late-seventies explorers were doing a few years later! You can hear some Umela Hmota 3 numbers (this spinoff being led by Josef Vondruska, legendary poet and shattered artist) on the CD which comes with BLACK TO COMM #22, and those numbuhs have a striking similarity to their sister band, perhaps with a stronger Detroit influence that should earn UH 3 more followers amongst the same aficionados of the form who made bands like Radio Birdman cult heroes way back when. And I guess seeing either of these groups or the original Umela Hmota with Alfred, Dino and Vondruska sharing the leadership chair blasting forth from some clandestine barn or non-government approved wedding reception would have been more of a "rock & roll experience" than sweating it out in a small, safe "alternative" club catching the latest watered-down unoriginal "original music" band which is something that I had more of my share of in the past and frankly don't want to experience again!
Anyway, do any of you BLOG TO COMM readers wanna SHOW ME UP??? (One groups I did leave outta the mix in case you wanna chastize me...the Sonics!) If so, howzbout sending in your own fave fantasy gigs in order to spice up this entry, hmmmmm?
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