Wednesday, July 26, 2017

FANZINE REVIEW! VULCHER #3 (vulcherfanzine@gmail.com)

I never woulda guessed (I mean...who woulda?) that the third issue of this new and exciting fanzine would have kept up with the same high status of top quality rock writing, general teenage anarchy (created mostly by guys in their sixties!) and good ol' snooty rockist attitude guaranteed to offend not only the old 'n stuffys but the young 'n liberated! Yes, the latest ish of VULCHER is here and you can bet that upon reading it I flashed back to them days when the newest NEXT BIG THING or KICKS would penetrate the sanctity of my fart-encrusted bedroom giving me something to dive deep into 'stead of re-re-reread some old comic book or joining the fambly in front of the set to watch THE FRIDAY NIGHT MOOM PITCHER only to get sent back to my room when something a li'l salacious would hit the screen! (Believe it or not but this did happen a few times when THE IMPOSSIBLE YEARS and THE LOVE GOD aired during my young and publetically potential days!)

I sure do miss the era of hand-pecked fanzines printed via spirit duplicator and collated in some dingy basement while records would spin on endlessly, but man is this one yet another SOLID GOLD ROCK 'N ROLL READING AFFAIR even if it is printed up on glossy paper and holds in your hands like an old issue of NEWSWEEK. Another girlie of unknown origin graces the cover (I'll bet it's one of Kenne Highland's old lays, or maybe Eddie Flowers' younger cyster) but that doesn't really prepare ya for the innards of this thing which contains SOME OF THE BEST ROCK 'N ROLL READING TO BE SEEN SINCE THE DEMISE OF THE ORIGINAL GOLDEN AGE OF ROCK BLABBERING IN THE SEVENTIES (or somewhere thereabouts)!!!!!!!  Just a glance at the table of contentment page'll give you an idea of what kinda cool is to be found for those of you who've had more than enough Christgau in your lives...Obnox, Umela Hmota, Craig Bell, Danger (a frog/Canuck glam band of the seventies), Dolphy, Ornette, Joe South, Peter Tork, the Turtles, the Mothers, Coltrane, Jim Dickinson 'n I can go on (but I won't)...that's what kinda cool's appearing here, and you can bet your bottom dollar that these names 'n more are bound to make any true blue fan of the past sixtysome years of manic record buying and worship from afar just run to the bathroom to relieve themselves from the unbearing pressure of whatever out there is passing for the new Justin Beiber (is he still around....alive???) these sad 'n sorry days.

The writing is fantastic enough, even the contributions from some of them upstarts I know nada about rock out like Bangs and that's sayin' something good y'know! Or at least its good enough to make me wanna check out this Obnox guy who has previously performed with the likes of Ex-Blank-Ex and is now a solo star in his own right, not to mention check out the acts mentioned in James Marshall's piece on those Dickinson-produced single sides which proves to be one of the many highlights of this issue. I'm particularly primed to give a listen to the Dickinson "aided" group the Jesters, Sun Records' answer to the mid-sixties garage band onslaught who not only had a lead guitarist who was committed to the booby hatch for swingin' around the swords that he bore and a lead singer who turned to a life of crime when rock didn't cut it, but Sam Phillips' own son on rhythm guitar! Sounds like a pretty boffo lineup if you ask me, and I didn't even mention the Coltrane OM cartoon (!) or the article on new Spanish rock 'n roll (written by the busier than who woulda ever thought Lindsay Hutton!) or the funny Tee-Vee Guide-styled listings* and foto funnies that read more lysergic 'n guffaw inducing but...what would you expect from an alchemist such as Flowers???

Still reading through it...the stuff on Johnny Kannis and Big Boy Pete sure looks salivatin', and how can I pass up an article on Craig Bell even if Dave Laing has been givin' me the cold shoulder as of late. Maybe I WILL get into the Dancing Cigarettes more'n I have one of these days and it's sure good to know that Bruce Mowat is doing more these days than selling televisions to bored lumberjacks. While I'm at it, who out there can resist finding out about a band like the Embryonics who do a song entitled "My Problem are Bigger Than Your Tits" an' I hope they ain't singin' about Carol Doda! Send all the money you have, put it in a box and mail it to these guys because you need this more'n you need all of those OTHER up and coming fanzines trying to be high minded and hoity toity! Like Jerry Rubin or was it the Pink Fairies said don't think about it, just DO IT! and like the sooner you do the better you'll be sleeping for at least the next few months until #4 comes out!!!
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Gotta say that I was a bit surprised to find out in these pages that none other than famous "street rocker" DAVID PEEL has sung his last high hoot a short while back (and was buried with full military honors after being admitted to a V.A. hospital t'boot!). Really was a sad 'un to find this 'un out if only because it's just another testament to the fact that one of these days it's you and I who are gonna be hittin' the carbon cycle due to advanced age 'n alla that rot that we always said we'd never let get the best of us but we shoulda knowed better. I sure do remember David Peel back when THE POPE SMOKES DOPE hit the bins and was automatically banned in like 23 countries or somethin' like that. I naturally thought it was banned for political/religious reasons though the fact that every review I read of this was a knockdown maybe it was for the sake of taste. I don't know...never did get that one given how rare it has become o'er the years. I eventually did buy HAVE A MARIJUANA and THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION much later in my existence (since like, when I was a kid I woulda had a hard time sneakin' those two into the abode!) and liked 'em a whole lot even though both of 'em got pissed on a whole lot as well. Of course by that time my tastes were well honed by the primitiveness of the Fugs and Stooges so like, the whole thing fit in with my listening parameters like perfect what with their cheap guitar sounds and Peel's nasal rants goin' off about everything and everyone that was related to "the man" 'r at least sumpin' like that!

Oh, and I gotta say that when I was but a mere adolescent and saw the cover of the recently-reissued package of the first two Tyrannosaurus Rex albums a short while later I thought that the sticker notes pasted on the back were written by DAVID instead of John Peel which goes to show you what a stupid fanabla I was and shall remain! Maybe not, but it does make for a fun aside.

But back to the meat at hand. Peel really was a New York under-the-underground icon just like Tiny Tim and Moondog and Max's Kansas City and all of those things we used to take for granite until they were all kaput and a few years later boy did we miss 'em! A musical madman with the dorkiest voice of the counterculture who was a gadfly and annoyance and someone who never could be liked by anyone with a "real" sense of rock 'n roll. Or so I got the impression from reading all of those writeups previously mentioned. I knew better of course and have enjoyed him whether he was singing his up against the wall mantras or capitalizing on his Lennon connections for years even if Lennon tossed him over like a hot potato and by all means Peel shoulda been mad! Yeah you could say he was a cheap radical hanger-onner type with a band who sounded like they picked up their gear only a week back, but Peel sure was a whole lot more early-seventies real than James and Carole and the rest of those mellow out bores who the kids were stamping over Peel albums to get to, that's for sure! And fun too, if that makes any heckuva lotta difference to ya especially in these unfunny cyborg times.

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*My personal fave...BRAVO: The Big Gang Bang Theory Sheldon and Mr. Sulu time-travel back to a 1976 San Francisco bath house. Anal hilarity ensues (lavish musical comedy). Or howzbout this? TBS: The King of Kings (1970 Movie) Jesus H. Christ-Sky Saxon, Judas-Kenneth Anger, Mary Magdalene-Merry Clayton. Don't like it? Well then just take a gander at this cube I have here in my hand...

2 comments:

Eddie Flowers said...

Thanks for the review, Chris! The cover is the young Melanie Coffee in the late 70s. She's the current Gizmos bassist and wife of Rich Coffee.

darwin layne said...

The Stigliano seal of approval still carries a hefty weight! Thanks, Chris!!