The Industrial Jazz Group-HARD CORE CD (Ugly Rug)
Y'know, I wouldn't be taking the imminent demise of CBGB so hard if I hadn't been in touch with their three performing stages thanks to the miracle of cybercasting. But no, I hadda go upscale in the world and more or less re-acquaint myself with the vast array of musical styles (some good, most sucky) that are traipsing around the alternative muzak world, and whaddya know but I got HOOKED. So, thinking of a future where there's no CBGB and thus nothing to tune into on some lonesome evening when even the records ain't curing the blahs seems pretty bleak indeed. Sure most of the time there was nothing to choose from other'n some alternative mewl or folkie whine, but when the energy was being brandished about the whole place seemed to be on the brink of total eruption!
However, as I've said, perhaps my favorite CBGB moments o'er the past half-decade of tuning in have been the live avant garde jazz shows that were going down at the CBGB Lounge on Sunday/Wednesday nights. True they had a number of less 'n appealing acts there but then again the aforementioned eruption was more'n likely to have happened during one of the many great avant-jazz sets featuring the legendary alongsides the nobodies, and since I couldn't name for you a truly duff act to have played the Freestyle Series (now taking place at Jimmy's Restaurant) off the top of my thinned-out head that must PROVE that the entire shebang had a whole lot more good going for it than bad! Anyway, I only have to thank Dee Pop for his hard work and effort getting all of those great bands and long-ignored acts onto the stage of the lounge, not only helping out a lotta deserving avant meisters but adding fuel to my own mad musical obsessions in the process!
Anyway, I remember when this El Lay-based jazz act was front and center for the CBGB Lounge stage sometime before Hilly Kristel asked Pop to vacate the premises in a vain attempt to drum up public support for the place with a lotta high-profile shows. Personally I don't see how anything can be more high profile than brain-searing avant jazz, but I guess Hilly knew what he was doing. Anyway, I believe I decided not to tune in the Industrial Jazz Group after I read on the web somewhere that they seemed to owe a lot to the Zappa UNCLE MEAT sound which I gotta say ain't lighting my fire even when done by various krautrock jazzsters, and judging from their debut CD I don't think I missed that much given this band's meshing of mid-fifties West Coast cool jazzster roots with tads of avant sprinkle here/there and of course the large freak quotient that might have satisfied me in my mid-teens but seems like old hat unless old hands like Captain Beefheart are doing the mangling. Maybe I'm mis-judging them (I have done that on ultra-rare occasions) and I gotta say that there is a lotta merit to the Industrial Jazz Group sound, but like Bill Shute once told me ages back, "Why would anybody want to listen to Jim Morrison after they've heard Kim Fowley?" And after hearing a whole slew of modern day avant music that has been documented at the Freestyle Series I dunno why anyone would wanna listen to this! Oh well, it'll probably soak in one of these days. Ask me in a year.
MORE ON McGUIRE: having the luxury of my own internet weblog has guaranteed me at least one thing, and that is that more people have the potential to come in contact with my works via the web than they do through the printed matter, which of course is fine and dandy in its own form and transcends the computer screen on many an occasion, but the plain unmitigated FACT that there's now a bigger potential for me to find out about obscure bands that I've longed to know about for years or perhaps get in touch with former fanzine moguls surely sends thrills down my spine. That's why I was certainly buzzed when I got a little missive from a fellow who, having tuned into my Wayne McGuire post (a writeup that I must admit I'm very PROUD of), actually 'fesses up to that fact that he actually knew the guy and has allowed me to print (anonymously) his personal recollections which you can easily enough read below. Anyway, thanks must go to the email-writer who has helped clear up at least a little bit of the mystery surrounding McGuire although many questions do remain...like what did Wayne look like, and what books and magazines did he read and what records laid about in his collection as well as many more pertinent points that'll surely hit the grey matter as time rolls by. Anyway, read on for some interesting revelatory facts:
i 1st met him working at the Paperback Booksmith warehouse in the late 60s. he was interesting (altho no one could quite figure out what he was talking about with his "life cell" stuff), but difficult & often belligerent. i sort of like to make a project of penetrating the defences (or whatever) of such people, so we became friends. i used to visit him & Catherine in Somerville. btw, Kit is/was smarter than Wayne; he always tacitly accepted what she said (which wasnt much though). she was a fascinating woman in many ways, and she was his rock. she had a great influence on me. and he toughened me up with his sporadic attempts to destabilize my opinions; to make me see that i hadn't really thought them out (he failed). i have to say that he could really be very nice most of the time, but seemed to have a demon at other times. i enjoyed knowing him and considered him a friend.
misc facts: he went to Colby college in Maine and got straight A's, then transferred to Harvard. i lost touch after that, but i think he decided Harvard wasnt worth it. and he had started writing music reviews and fooling around w/ Macintoshs... we went to V Underground concert in the Boston Tea Party (??), and we visited Lou Reed back stage. Lou stared intently at me, which i think was his intent to hit on me. i'm not of that persuasion, and in any case for me it was a study of people who thought they were at the very center of things (an illusion).
i have no idea what happened to him after that.
Try back this weekend for a fresh update.