Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Dunno how this obscurity got lost in the vast array of CREATURES ON THE LOOSE and LITTLE LOTTAs that clutter up my bedroom, but better late'n never for this high priced (five bucks!) info/entertainment-packed comic book that's bound to be one of the best reads between 32 and 100 pages around. And what's more, there ain't any ads for finishing high school or selling GRIT to be found anywhere in its pages, (though the ads that do exist expired November 9, 1963 which I know must have been a grand day in my life even if I can't remember how many times I moved my bowels that very day).

Yep, it's the whole KICKS/NORTON RECORDS story done up comic style and pretty nattily at that which would figure since hey, why not do a comic book about the real prime movers and shakers in rockism while those other hippie rock comic book types re-tell the Beatles story for the zillionth time? And really, isn't it wonderful that a comic book version of the whole KICKS story with Billy Miller and Miriam Linna along with their many pals even exists in the first place? You gotta admit that things really are getting strange around here when such underneath-the-underground pillars of pure rockist desire (distilled into nice flashy vinyl and even Cee-Dees at times!) as these two become the subject of their own comic book...its almost as if they're acting as the Crypt Keeper and Old Witch for the music set now, ain't it?

But whatever the ghastly case may be, the book is done in whatcha'd call an "underground" fashion (frankly I woulda preferred something more befitting, like the mid-sixties DC house style) by an Ari Spivak who's pretty good even if his Ricky Nelson and Richard Nixon don't look anything like the real deal. But hey, who cares since the rock tales (all true!) that are being spewed forth in the comic are just as exciting and as nerve-tingling as it was reading the old KICKS fanzine or listening to the myriad asst. of Norton platters, or settling down in front of your tee-vee to watch REAL McCOYS reruns while everybody else was shaking their rump to the funk 'n like, you knew you were the avant garde one even when you were fourteen and you didn't even know what avant garde was!

Nice seeing a lotta the long-bantered about stories that B&M have been spewing for ages get visualized, like the one about the time Billy and famed flaming voolah Esquirita met up with none other'n Al Sharpton and the latter two got in a heated argument as to who knew James Brown best! (Again Spivak's Sharpton ain't the bulbous butter-haired eighties figure who was always standing next to Tawana Brawley on the evening nooze, but maybe he didn't wanna tear open old race-baiting wounds or something.) Folks we've first read about in KICKS  come alive right before your floater-filled eyes as the sagas are once again trotted out for those of us who thought that it was no later than '68 when the big beat died for sure, and not a second later!

Really, all of your faveraves who made the Norton roster in one way or another are here from Iggy and Johnny Thunders in their peen-age pre-fame combos, to those once-obscure rockabilly guys whom you probably thought Ron Weiser had invented in the fertle reaches of his awopbopaloola mind. Even some surprise sagas pop up such as the one recounted in Kim Fowley's LORD OF GARBAGE where none other'n Sky Saxon snuck up behind a dancing Fowley at some Las Vegas sixties a-go-go romp and knocked him silly before jumping on-stage with the A Bones to rant some timely Christmas poesy! Gene Vincent even gets a whole page to himself, while Jack Starr rates two whole panels! Roky Erickson one!!! Screamin' Jay Hawkins's fatherhood fables are even trotted out again and the tally now reads up to 75 siblings spawned by the Father of the Century which only proves that the man was a walking billboard for Vigero!

And like, what's keeping you from snatching this 'un up like right now??? (Last time I looked Norton was stocking 'em albeit at an even higher price'n you woulda hadda pay a good four years ago!) You gonna wait until they reprint 'em in an 80 Page Giant'r somethin'?

I just hope there's gonna be a second ish to this one, since I gotta see just how Spivak's gonna handle such not-so-delicate subject matter as the time the Zantees asked to open for Robert Gordon only he wanted them to supply him with some special stimulation for the honors, or better yet the infamous Miriam meets Robert Christgau back-and-forth which I oh-so-dearly wanted to publish verbatim in one of the final issues of my not-so-saintly crudzine! Well I guess they couldn't publish that because it's be too wild to earn a seal of approval from the Comics Code Authority what with all of that violence, but just thinking about it sure gives me the hot tingles all over! Just as long as they leave the Louis Prima, Keely Smith and some Vegas blackjack dealer saga that Nick Tosches recounted in one of the later issues out, since that one really ruined any appreciation I may have had of the former two and ruined it for good (eck!).

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