Saturday, December 19, 2009


Yeah, that title does sound nauseating enough for a rough and tumble manly blog such as this, but I guess it might appeal to the more "effete" members of our society and why should I ignore 'em especially in these all-inclusive times? Or maybe I took the "bait" hook line and flowery language!!! Whatever, I hope that it draws at least a few more readers in!!! And no, I am not proud copping two Dave Lang quotes for post titles two weeks in a row, but I must admit that I've always been at a loss for coming up with even the weakest puns for these things. Maybe I should be ashamed, but I am not of this weekend roundup which I think at least equals some of the better ones I have provided you with these past five-and-a-half whopping years.

Anyway things are picking up around here...just got an order in from Forced Exposure that I've been building up on for a good six months or so and that's keeping me even more occupied than that time when I was a kid and discovered how fun it was peering into neighborhood windows with those binoculars and periscope that I got at a garage sale! Expect some hopefully juicy reviews upcoming in the next few weeks, especially a couple dealing with the recent Norton Sun Ra and Kim Fowley collections that certainly got my mouth salivatin', amongst other body parts. And once they send me a bill I'm anxiously awaiting a package from Volcanic Tongue which I'm sure will contain a lotta classics that I'm plum positive would have made my "Best of '09" list, only they'll probably arrive this Janvier at least to soothe me out of my winter doldrums. Well, I gotta do something during those months other than sit around in my room re-reading old issues of BOSTON ROCK (which I do when I'm in a "penitent" mode).

Before I get to far and since this is the Christmas Season, I thought I'd better link up this particularly informative and perhaps thought-provoking piece relating to this time of the year written by one of my fave living political commentators Thomas Fleming. I'm sure at least a few of you irregular readers might find this particular piece just another example of rampant paranoia or perhaps even downright offensive (but then again, since when was anything outside of MR. ROGERS not supposed to be offensive at least on some level?), but I find that it sums up a whole lot of the same thoughts I've had on the subject of these last days of the ots more than anything else I've laid eyes upon, more or less. Now if I can only dredge up Fleming's piece regarding George Reeves, Christopher Reeve and the entire concept of celebrity worship (a downright winner despite Fleming's obvious dislike for the Superman of television notoriety).

Roxy Music-FOOL PROOF LP (Korneyfone bootleg)

For some odd reason I don't recall seeing this one popping up in the bootleg bins of the day, but given its Korneyfone imprint I'm sure it was to be found in the best around-the-corner used record and trade-in shops nationwide. Taken mostly from a SIREN-period show in Boston 11/75, FOOL PROOF is fortunate enough to also include a hefty portion of an earlier gig during the COUNTRY LIFE era which certainly sates me fine enough given my love of that particular period in Roxy history. Sound is very clear FM quality (must have got an early pressing) and the performance exemplary at least until its time for the older tracks which seem to be performed kinda draggy and flop around a bit despite the group's attempts to inject a li'l fresh plasma into 'em. I was surprised by the frequent use of Eddie Jobson's electric violin playing which I think was one of the post-Eno group's better assets (though if Eno had only studied that instrument and applied his own non-musical credential to his playing of it who knows what would have transpired!).
NANCY by John Stanley (Drawn and Quarterly, 2009)

Really, the last thing I would have expected would have been a hardcover edition featuring comic book reprints of the late-fifties Dell version of NANCY! At least for someone like myself who spent a good portion of my early/mid-teen years leaving no flea market or garage sale left unturned these definitely non-Bushmiller etched comics weren't exactly whatcha'd call flying off the tables even if artist Dan Gormley could do a reasonable facsimile of the kinky-haired character and writer John Stanley (of LITTLE LULU notoriety) had a keen enough if off-kilter Bushmillerian sense mixing the banal with the obtuse. This version of NANCY, which I must admit was superior to the various hands who have attempted the comic strip in the wake of Bushmiller's demise (with the possible exception of Mark Lasky), was more or less a creation of its own not as bad as the KRAZY KAT comic book and animated cartoons were from the newspaper original mind you, but for diehard fans of the comic pages they just didn't jibe even with a below-average way underachiever like myself and perhaps even you!

But then again these comic book stories were perhaps meaningful enough in their own fashion/world, and since I came to like the Dell Comics version of PEANUTS (written and drawn by Charles Schulz's assistant Jim Sasseville) why not the imitation NANCY as well? Imitations can at least reflect some of the better qualities of the original (see Stan Lee's ultimate NANCY swipe, the original version of his LITTLE LIZZIE!) and if it's all supposed to be junk and disposable fun meant for nondiscriminating six-year-olds why should I complain? (Then again, why didn't I get a six-year-old to write this review???)

Thin book (only 150 pages, just a little bigger than those Dell NANCY specials that cost a quarter!) is actually printed on slick paper even if it does imitate the old-timey yellowing newsprint which does make for a strange effect that is perhaps "nostalgic" on one hand and "cute" on the other. Not original, but I kinda like it a tad bit just because it does bring back the old warm and toasties. Maybe if they could reproduce that aging newsprint smell those old flea market memories would come a'tinglin' back, but I figure that the people who put this out did add a strange sort of sartorial elegance even if it is in reissuing these comics I'm sure many people have tried to forget on purpose.

But these stories ain't bad esp. when compared with the dross passing for comic strips today, most of which are being created by eighties softhearted leftovers lost in the new millennium and seem even less relevant than FERD'NAND. And these NANCY's thankfully do have a sense of humor to 'em that at least tries to ape the Bushmiller ideal, and even if the artwork is not as tip-top as I would have liked thankfully Gormley didn't attempt to re-create that fuzzhead in his own image like the artists who have tackled the strip in the wake of Bushmiller's demise.

First story features the debut of the not-so-strangely Wednesday-esque Oona Goosepimple who injected a bit of ADDAMS FAMILY whackiness into these comics a good seven years before the ADDAMS/MUNSTERS craze had even the Flintstones scrambling for horror hipster points. Sluggo's grumpy neighbor Mr. McOnion has yet to make an appearance, but Fritzi's boyfriend Phil Fumble surprisingly pops up in one saga and strangely enough judging from these comics Rollo the Rich Kid has a dowright upper-crust mean streak to him I never saw in the dailies! Maybe these comics emanated from the mad, occult side of Bushmiller's obviously twisted psyche he so hard tried to keep from the public at large???

One minor beef tho...if this is supposed to be "John Stanley's NANCY" then why all the drawing of the Bushmiller one adorning the inside cover and title page?
Vernon Wray-WASTED CD (Big Pink, South Korea)

For quite a long time I've wanted to own an actual slab of vinyl released on Link brother Vernon's own Vermillion imprint. I do have the boffo YESTERDAY AND TODAY which was Link's attempt to mix some greatest hits with his new '69 sides that came out on the Music Factory label (which I assume was a Vermillion subsidiary), but as far as anything released on Vermillion proper goes I just guess I'll have to settle for this Cee-Dee reissue of a 1972 solo Vernon Wray offering until I do happen to latch onto a real one! Unfortunately, Vernon did not heed the lesson that Link did on his Polydor debut, for this 'un's more or less pale introspective folk-y rock with hefty backwoods country overtones that dredge up not only some standard new country moves but more early-seventies relevant bantering that certainly doesn't bode well lo these many years later. I shoulda seen the cover with Wray in long-haired/beard mode as a tipoff...the Wray Brothers'd better keep this one under wraps lest the Norton Records crowd give 'em a good what for!

Link fans might want to note that this disque opens with a version of "Facing All The Same Tomorrows" which Link originally recorded as a demo in '65 and Norton released as the b-side of a single in '90, but by this time in history the song had lost any of the mid-sixties folk rock fun and games it had and sounds like it could have been yet another Nashville churnout. Hey Big Pink, how about some of those other Vermillion albums like that ultra-rarity LINK WRAY SINGS AND PLAYS GUITAR or even that Shorty Horton tribute???? Some of those would liven up the boudoir here quite a bit!



The Hound said...

"or even that Shorty Horton tribute???? "

Does that really exit? Has anyone actually seen a copy? It's often listed in discographies of Roy Buchanan, are their early tracks of his on it? In 30 plus years of looking I've never seen a copy, or even a photo of a copy....

Christopher said...

Who knows? I've seen it mentioned in Wray discographies and I have the feeling whoever compiled them knows more than I! It would be an eye-opener if someone actually did an article on Vermillion complete with a discography just to enlighted lumpen peons like myself!

The Hound said...

As far as I've been able to piece together Vermillion itself issued no 45's and the following LP's
#1924- Link Wray- Great Guitar Hits
#1925- Link Wray Sings & Plays Guitar
#1153- A Tribute To Shorty Horton (if it exists)
#1972- Wray Vernon- Wasted
Other Ray Vernon owned labels might have been:
Record Factory (one release) LP #1929 Link Wray -Yesterday & Today
SSMAK (one release) cassette #99- Ray Vernon (again, I'm not sure if this really exists).
Rumble (three 45s):
#1000 Link Wray- Jack The Ripper/The Stranger
#1349 Ray Vernon- Evil Angel/Danger One Way Lover Affair (a side re-issued on Cameo)
#1347 The Kid (Bobby Howard) Sleep Tight/True Love Is Hard To Find)
Heavy (one 45) #101 Link Wray- Rumble '68/Blow Your Mind
Mr. G. (one 45) #820 Link Wray-Rumble'69/Mindblower
Maybe somebody out there can add to this, or provide scans of the Shorty Horton LP and/or Ray Vernon cassette.
Most of the above tracks appeared on the Norton Missing Links 1-4 series.

bathmate said...

very nice blog......
i like your posting ,this is the better blog.


Christopher said...

bathmate you fooled me! I thought you were for real. Shame on me!