Wednesday, July 07, 2010


I know that you avid BTC followers awlready know who Lou Rone is, especially after reading his various Von Lmo reminiscences in the latest (last?) issue of my very own crudzine, but are you familiar with Lou Rone, the man? I consider Mr. Rone to be a friend, or about as much of a friend that one can be via emails and telephone (like, we never went out for pizza together, y'know?) and his assistance with not only the last issue of my rag but this very blog has been what many would call "monumental". And compared with you, Rone's been what'cha'd call a mover and shaker in the underground scheme of things...he was there at the very beginning, or at least his group Cross was important enough to perform at the infamous CBGB Summer Festival in '75 where none other than Debbie Harry was front and center taking their entire act in. Cross also shared a bill there with the Best featuring former Koala cum Magic Tramps/future Joe Perry Project singer Jay Mala which should turn on at least a few light bulbs in the more metalically-inclined minds out there. He was also front and center for Kongress at their Elgin Theater gig and of course sat in with the Von Lmo group (David Bowie and John Lennon were doing the front row bit at the group's X-mas '79 gig at Max's, sitting through the whole thing with expressionless looks on their faces!) for about a good year or so before getting into his own bag for quite some time. Really this guy should have been famous but for now he's nothing but a sidebar, and although a number of releases since have been helping to rectify things at this point it's like, well, you know... Really, it should make your blood boil to see men like Rone get poo-poo'd by the mass of music mongers out there while relative effetes like Joe Satriani get their mugs plastered all over the cover of GUITAR TECHNICIAN magazine and rake in more bucks than you or I ever will!

Since it was Lou Rone Night here at HQ I decided to first play the DVD collection of the first half of the first season of THE UNTOUCHABLES that Rone gave me for Christmas a few years back. Now that there's a workable DVD player here I can now enjoy a good backlog of disques that have been moldering away, but I had a hard time getting into that famous television series even if it did come outta the "Golden Age" of fun trash circa 1957-67. The idea of glorifying men who were in effect denying people of their own personal freedom of guzzling hooch, dabbling in narcotics and playing hide the salami with buxom broads to me is beyond the pale. As Murray Rothbard once told Joseph Sobran, at least the mob provides people with services they want as opposed to the government, which forces services on people whether they want them or not! (Sobran had a good counter-response saying that both deal in their own version of a protection racket, something that Rothbard actually concurred!) If the show was about the brewers, distillers, pimps. prostitutes and dealers who were fighting for their right to make a decent living despite the draconian measures of John Law then yeah, I really would get into it. Maybe that's one of the reasons that THE DUKES OF HAZZARD rubbed some people the wrong way, and I don't mean the Northern snobs here who hated that whole "good ol' boy" image!

After about a half-hour of that chicanery I decided to do myself better and slapped on a DVD that Rone made years back of his last ever group, Triple Cross (though it may be his prior band Funhouse intermingled in there), performing at two noted NYC hotspots in '86 and a good five or so years later seemingly having a hard good time of it as they crank out their rather unique take on the heavy metal idiom. Now as you may know I do have an affection for at least the better moments of HM proper...not exactly the stuff that was passing for metal in the eighties but its earlier, less developed and generally more primal sound. And Triple Cross for the most part took the better moments of v. early-seventies metal and merged it with jazz influx and the rock technology of the day resulting in some pretty good music that should have made it bigger than it did but you know that the musical listening public of the day was too entrenched in the more superficial fuzz to even give the good music its proper dues.

Rone's playing's just as hard-edged rough as the stuff you heard him do with Von Lmo or his various solo platters kinda coming off like Jeff Beck had he joined up with the Stooges. The rest of the band ain't no slouch either as they keep up with Rone's frantic pace through a lotta tricky twists and turns which might just surprise some of you few readers who are unfamiliar with the various Rone groups and their work. Material is mostly instrumental, though we do get to hear Rone belt out the Don Nix classic "Going Down" doing a mighty snarly job at it too. Vid quality varies with the older stuff having a less-clear sound and slightly runny visuals, but the energy and might extant still comes forth full blast.

Overall quality is akin to those old CBGB cybercasts; one-camera in/out zooming usually from a high perch. Really, I can't see any regular BTC reader not being able to exude even the slightest enjoyment out of this.

Anyway, here's a sweet taste of at least one number from the '85 Limelight gig:

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