Saturday, March 29, 2014

So like, uh, what have I been doin' these past seven or so earthspins anyway? What else but (once again) trying to get over the miasma of  having to live in a post-gulcheral 21st-century environment by resensifying myself with hotcha rockism-oriented reading material to accompany my evening musical listening excursions, THAT'S what! For me that means scraping up every shard of pertinent rock 'n roll-oriented reading material that had yet to graze my eyes and print it up for those pre-beddy bye hours when I'm just too tired to gaze at a computer screen but too mentally (and physically) active to actually go 'n hit the hay. Y'know, slip some late-sixties/early-seventies musical offering that has something to say as far as what a wretched fanabla I might be while reading some still-pertinent words written five decades back that seem to contain all of the meaning and knowledge I need to get through life, and if you can think of a better way to spend your evening hours other'n watching GILLIGAN'S ISLAND reruns then hop to it! And leave me alone while you're at it because frankly, I'd rather be spinning PARADIESWARTS DUUL while reading Nick Kent or some other worthy rockscribe that MATTERS!
Speaking of Kent, I've discovered a whole load of his classic NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS scribblings that I do not have to pay ROCK'S BACK PAGES' steep costs for (a nice site they may be but man, music is for THE PEOPLE and this writing should be free to all at least if you want to use hippie terminology to back up your pallid argument). I just did a little googling and came up with some classic writeups that I didn't have to spend a dime for (other'n for toner and electricity) including a pretty funny putdown of Pink Floyd circa. WISH YOU WERE HERE as well as some choice words pointed at Lou Reed and Iggy that were uttered a good eight or so years back when everyone else was singing their hosannas to high heaven because---well, they were Lou Reed and Iggy Pop.

And while I'm at it, Kent's old galpal Chrissie Hynd(e) did a good job herself not only with that by-now famous Eno article where he discusses the pornography of the world but a review of the Velvets' 1969 LIVE album that's almost as good as the one her former Ohio buddy Peter Laughner did for the short-lived underground rag ZEPPELIN. Y'know, I really wish that Hynd(e) would have given up her musical endeavors and stuck to rock screeding on a permanent least we wouldn't have been inundated with her band's rather fallow musings for lo these many years.

Like just about everything else connected with that once-driving and nerve-rattling world known as rock 'n roll, it's sure life-reaffirming to read these thirty-plus-year-old opines which sure make more sense'n anything that's been written since, including my own pissy prattle for a world long-dead if I must say so myself.  And as the years drag on and those high energy sounds seem more and more a relic of a time when music like this mattered on a first-hand basis, you know that the scribblings of Kent, Hynde, Bangs, Murray and so forth reverberate a whole lot more in our heart of rockist hearts now more than ever. Maybe it's time I crack out the check book and pay for another year of ROCK'S BACK PAGES because hey, I need Nick Kent TODAY a whole lot more'n ROCK'S BACK PAGES need the pittance I will have to pay ransom to get hold of their captive articles!
I know I shoulda mentioned them when they first hit the blogosphere, but some of these stories might have been flying even lower 'n that Malaysian plane to the point where they even zoomed past me! So in order to at least fulfill some sort of imaginary duty that I might have to you, the perhaps not-so-discerning BLOG TO COMM reader, here are a couple of obituaries that I thought I'd better pass your way lest I end up looking like a total stroon...

The passing of Scott Asheton, or "Rock Action" of Iggy and the Stooges fame did catch me off guard, because head-buried-in-the-sand me didn't even know the infamous drummer for the band had suffered a stroke a few years back marking his exit from the revamped group in the first place. But yeah, I will say that Asheton's death was a big one in the world of true rock 'n roll (and yeah, we can bicker about what that means to me as a pure rock fanatic and you as a dabbler at a future date), a bigger loss than that of such other pounders as John Bonham (a mere piddler in comparison) and Jeff Porcaro, a guy who certainly gets the kudos from mainstream rock-bred dolts but not ME! Keith Moon came really close, but gets notched a few points for having a big prog rock gong in his early-seventies set up. Ditto Mani Neumaier of Guru Guru fame, although both he and Asheton were obviously listening to the new thing drummers from Sunny Murray and Milford Graves on which reverberated in their playing. And allow me to stick my neck on the guillotine one more time, but I still think that Asheton coulda played drums on a whole slew of free jazz sessions and sound just in place as Don Moye, and the fact that he didn't might have been one of the greatest losses in the avant garde jazz world since Eric Dolphy died strictly because he didn't take drugs or drink booze unlike his more inebriated fellow musicians.

Although just about every "classic rock" aficionado would definitely up snoot at Asheton's stylings, those of us on that sainted "lower" plane have always reveled in the fact that Asheton's entire approach seemed like he gathered all of his knowledge regarding the drums by listening to Elvin Jones and replicating what he heard while behind the traps. A wild and primitive sound to match the subhuman antics going on from the rest of the band, and at a time when critics were writhing in pain over the rise of heavy metal and all of the base sludge that music in its better form was infesting across the amber waves of grain, the Stooges were taking that basic groan and making it sound even lower to the point where the music had gone from one chord to none. It was a strange sideshow music, a real ass-rape to the phony peace and love generation antics that were getting all of the accolades and money-go-round support, and although things wouldn't really flower until a few years later you can't deny it was the Stooges who helped edge this new decadence along. And of course Asheton's drum prowess was a huge banging oil can vibrant thud component to it all.

Whatever, another great in the true world of rock 'n roll has died, and like I really do feel like my own folks did back when their old timey faves were dropping like flies throughout the sixties and seventies. Rest on Scott, and say hiya to the other Stoogesmen who beat you to the punch.
While I'm at it, would this really be a blog that didn't know its duty (or should that be "doody") by neglecting to mention the recent passing of actress Mary Grace Canfield? I mean, who could forget that face which was proudly splattered across television screens throughout the sixties? Yes, none other than Ralph Monroe herself has gone to that big workshop in the sky (and as Brad Kohler said, "Now the Douglas's closet will never be finished!") and of course I couldn't be any sadder. I mean, this was one lady who really got around on tee-vee back then, and not only that but she appeared in a whole load of top-notch high-energy comedies from THE HATHAWAYS (the one where Jack Weston and Peggy Cass lived it up with the Marquis DeChimps in a boffo early-sixties Screen Gems Production that somehow foreshadowed BEWITCHED on a whole slew of levels) to THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW not forgetting more'n a few sitcoms (and even serious shows) that used to light the pre-prime time syndication cathodes until they got replaced with snoozeville entertainment news programs. Heck, as I mentioned she even turned up as Miss Grundy on that strange (because it had little to do with the actual comic) ARCHIE pilot, and if I could think of any actress other than Canfield to play the eternally spinster teacher it would have to be...Minerva Urecal but I don't even know if she was still alive at the time.

Brad thinks that Canfield's finest moment was that ANDY GRIFFITH episode where she plays Gomer Pyle's blind date and he runs off after gettin' a good eyefulla her, but that's only because he forgot to buy her a corsage like Andy and Barney did for their gals and the two of 'em end up partying it up in the living room anyway while Andy, Barney, Helen and Thelma Lou spend their evening thinking that Gomer was being nothing but a turdburger. Of course that's before Gomer espies Opie skinny-dipping across the way with the moonlight reflecting on his buttocks and highlighting them in a rather resonating way, accentuating his smooth mounds and cleavage and...oh that Brad really does have an active imagination because none of that really happened! In actuality right after the date Gomer did his usual Saturday night rounds at the Mount Pilot Greyhound bus station and YMCA acting extra friendly to the lonely boys striking out for fame and fortune in the big city...I mean, what did you think???
And now here's something I hope you really like! Gotta say that I've been pretty busy writin' up the revooze this week, and as you can see I've been inundated with a wide variety of boffo wares this go 'round that I will admit put a smile on my face and a song in my heart which is something that hasn't quite hit me in quite some time! Anywah, I get the same sneakin' feeling you'll be cozyin' up to these writeups as well given the plethora of hotcha information that's being spewed forth from my mental loins, and hey, if you even get aroused by my scribbles enough to latch onto one or more of these disques (some which still may be available!) I will be quite surprised. Y'see, I don't think anybody really reads this blog!

Simply Saucer-"Bulletproof Nothing"/"Bulletproof Nothing" (live) 45 rpm single (The Mammoth Cave Recording Company, Canada)

Big surprise of the week's this nice little single that reminds me of all of those other small-label self-produced singles I've been getting sent for a longer time'n I can imagine, if only because this 'un's a much better effort'n most of that ilk! Yes, it's a "new" one from perennial faves Simply Saucer, the fantastico "Bulletproof Nothing" done twice with the a-side being the familiar track from the always boffo CYBORGS REVISITED album while the flipster's a live take that sounds as if it could have been taken from the portable tape recorder of Imants Krumins himself. If I have to tell you how great and essential this is, you definitely must be a troll. One of the best pairs since Dolly Parton as they used to say, and a definite must for those of you (like me) who still seem stuck in a seventies underground rock whirl if only because just about everything else that came in its wake is but mere putty next to the original thrust of it all.
THE CHILD SEDUCERS, written by John Steinbacher and narrated by John Carradine CD-r burn (dunno what label it was originally on ???)

Do you (like me) think we've been screwed up beyond redemption what with all of the rampant decadence and libertine behavior permeating even our own tri-state area (which I'll admit has always been filled with its share of  uppercrust WASP-y social reformer types and their fellow buttlappers)? If so, just give a listen to this 'un and tell me that the sickness hasn't been lingering on for quite along time before Ameriga had become a haven for bringing out the worst in man. John Carradine narrates John Steinbacher's etapoint text regarding the steady slope we've been sliding down for quite a long time, and given that these bizarre occurrences and factual displays of depravity were going on in our schools (and entertainment industry) even as early as the late-sixties it's a wonder that not only the nation, but the entire planet itself, hasn't spun outta control right into the sun if only to purify itself. I can't argue with anything that's been revealed on this platter, but considering how narrator Carradine had just finished filming his part in MYRA BRECKENRIDGE when he recorded this 'un don't you think he's being just a little more than hypocritical on his part???

Well, I must admit that I love it the way he reacts after mentioning a magazine article from some pervo-sexo rag entitled "Does Penis Size Matter?"!!!! UGH! indeed!
MASTER PLAN INC. CD-r burn (originally on Jazzman)

Mid-seventies funk ain't exactly the thing that lights my pilot, but I gotta admit that the self-produced music made by this Chicago outfit is slightly engaging. Maybe its because these songs aren't glopped over with major label gloss that didn't always work out that well. Perhaps its due to the fact that some of these compositions are actually fine jazz-soul hybrids that don't sound like they're aimed at the same teenyboppers who voted "Kung Fu Fighting" the #1 song of all time on CKLW back '74 way. Maybe it's because there ain't a trace of disco beat to be digested. But mostly it's because none other than Paul McGarry sent me this 'un and if he likes it it gotta be good? Yes, I am not ashamed at taking the easy way out by resting on the laurels of someone whose tastes I really do admire!
Silvio Gualda-PERCUSSION CD-r burn (originally on Erato, France)

Not so surprised that this 'un slipped past my feelers, but better now'n 2100. Gualda leads a rather bang up ensemble through two sides of Moderne music that's not as plutonian as Xenakis yet strong enough to get your pop flipping out worse'n the time you accidentally played "Our Bizarre Relationship" in front of Aunt Prudy at the confirmation party. Maurice Constant's "14 Stations" reminds me of a percussion backing for an AACM album (the tubular bells coming off veddy similar to Anthony Braxton's CCC work) while Stockhausen's "Zyklus" is so sparse you kinda think John Cage would have been suing. I plan on getting the recently-released Max Neuhaus version once I get some scratch together...dunno if these two "realizations" are anything that can be compared side-by-side but by gum, I sure am up to the job if I do say so myself!
Matching Mole-BBC 1972 cassette tape dub (originally on B13)

Nope, dint buy this one, though I will say I was tempted. But hey, it ain't like I can have everything that I want, and for that matter I don't think I'll get everything that I need despite what Mick Jagger might think. But at least I got a dub of this thanks to Robert Forward via cassette tape with Leroy Jenkins' FOR PLAYERS ONLY on the flip. Nice to see you thinking about me Bob, but I already bought the latter with my hard-begged a short while ago a review of the actual vinyl which can be read almost directly below give or take a few writeups. But yeah, it's the thought that counts, and I gotta admit that it's grand to see that SOME people think only nice and precious thoughts about your humble reviewer while others certainly have the mental daggers forever aimed at a good and virtuous person such as I. But as we all know, that's the price ya pay for TELLING THE TRUTH!!!!!!

Robert Wyatt's post-Soft Machine effort doing the live thingie on the BBC with a future This Heater as well as some other Canterbury types whose other efforts escape me. Pretty hot in that early-seventies Soft Machine sorta way---jazzy yet nowhere near creating those knights in shining armor fending off dragons images that acts like Return to Forever and the Mahavishnus made a whole wad of dough with. In the reserved English avant jazz style that came up with more than a few import bin winners back in those days, and good enough that I might even comb through a few hundred boxes of cassettes to find my copy of LITTLE RED RECORD which I haven't spun in quite awhile and always considered a fairly feh effort in itself.
Smegma/Blood Stereo-GUFF VOUT MULCH LP (Nashazphone, available via Forced Exposure)

Yet another amazing Smegma collaboration, this time with English beret and stale doritos eaters Blood Stereo making a pleasant racket that doesn't sound that different from the past thousand Smegma releases. But that doesn't matter a bit like you thought I thought it would. Pre-recorded bits of everything from old 78s and teach your parrot to whistle instruction discs intermingle with neo-free horns and patented tee-vee sitcom quips. Extremely engaging even if it doesn't exactly hit you over the head, and if you're patient enough you'll even get to hear some nice neo-Velvet Underground riff drone on side two, and I mean that in a positive, pre-Velvet cult of alternative drivel sorta way!

Reconstructive facial surgery is definitely not in Blood Stereo's health package.
Leroy Jenkins/the Jazz Composers Orchestra-FOR PLAYERS ONLY LP (JCOA)

The writeup of NO ANSWER a few weeks back prodded me to get this by-now forgotten platter from '75 featuring noted AACM violinist Leroy Jenkins leading the Jazz Composer's Orchestra through two sides of free form brilliance that sorta represents where jazz was during those uneasy times between sixties freeform radicalism and late-seventies loft. Basically the Revolutionary Ensemble plus fifteen more musicians, Jenkins leads not only his fellow ensemble mates Sirone and Jerome Cooper but the likes of Anthony Braxton, Dewey Redman, Charles "Bobo" Shaw and Dave Holland among other worthies through some aural terrain that's surprisingly moving and engaging, not necessarily free metahonk splat but intricate and dare-I-say enveloping textures that can actually get you nice and relaxed while you still enjoy the form of it all. Definitely a must for AACM freaks as well as people like myself who sorta went head first into the new jazz via purchases of everything from the Creative Construction Company and Art Ensemble of Chicago with my hard begged money on the basis of some backpage CREEM magazine reviews and nothin' but!
Kid Congo and the Pink Monkey Birds-HAUNTED HEAD CD-r burn (originally on In The Red)

Surprisingly wow-wee effort from Mr. Powers, the same guy who played for the Cramps, Gun Club, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds as well as a number of other groups I'm too tired to google at the time. If you (like me) thought the whole "garage band" idiom (whether it be revival/primitive rock/Anastasia Pantsios' asinine usage of the term to describe early Rush) was a dead and buried affair prepare to re-think your position after hearing this behemoth! A rehashing of old hoary riffage and ideals that don't sound like the latest bit of rockcrit fodder. Mature and maybe even erudite, yet retaining the boffo sub-schlub levels of punkitude that had me happily hopping through all sorts of bins for a good twenty years of my flea market existence. And I ain't just sayin' that because the leader of this group's a follower of this here blog!
Various Artists-FRIED DENNY SUMMERTIME FOCUS CD-r burn (via Bill Shute)

Some famous artists (Booker T., Jimi Hendrix, Blue Cheer) mingle with the likes of Denny McLain at the organ on this new platter of strangeities culled from all over the web. A nice mix of soul, blues (and yeah, I do mean Jimi whom I should loathe for technical reasons only) and hard rock (Crazy Elephant, an act that I think could have developed into an underground contender with a little putsch), with the likes of Rodney and the Blazers, Lord Rockington's XI and Eddie Miller and his Oklahomans (doing the original version of Engelbert Humperdink's "Release Me"!) scattered about. Also included are both sides of the DENNY McLAIN AT THE ORGAN platter where the hits of the late sixties are played on the Hammond for your own personal pleasure. Dunno about you, but when I heard this 'un all I could think about was hitting the Rockshore Lounge on Route 87 for one of their Friday night all-you-can-guzzle seafood 1967, that is!
See you mid-week? So like I even have to tell ya???

Thursday, March 27, 2014

BOOK REVIEW! ELVIS DIED FOR SOMEBODY'S SINS BUT NOT MINE, a lifetime's collected writings by Mick Farren (Headpress, 2012)

Like Lenny Kaye, Patti Smith or Lester Bangs, Mick Farren was one damn rock writer who epitomized the best that the mid/late-sixties had to offer (which I will ashamedly admit consisted of more hippie musings than I ever would have given those lice-infested mutants credit for in the past) merged with the nascent underground energy and fury of what was being brandished around as "punk rock" during the early-seventies. All of which coalesced into something that was so interesting that even a suburban slob such as I hadda turn away from the HOGAN'S HEROES reruns once in awhile in order to pay some much needed attention.

Past + Present was always supposed to = Future, and although the eighties never did pan out as the ultimate culmination of rock 'n roll as it was supposed to stand for us as that International Youth Language at least hunting down long-gone Deviants albums and Mick Farren books was one good way to beat the squeaky clean gush that was that decade. If anything this is one reason I revere Mick Farren even if everything about him should have me rushing away from him like hillbillies from a bar of soap. And here, just in time for Farren's own skeedaddling from this mortal slinky came this book (actually a year in advance) which collects his writings in a nice little package which is something we all could have used a good decade or three back. But hey, why is it so sparse???

I guess it's because there just ain't enough of the Mick Farren we want in this book and just too much of the one we get! Mick was a whole lotta things to a whole lotta folk from a hippie provocateur to proto punk leather hood as well as a Science Fiction writer and all 'round kultural kritik whether it be political, societal or (best of all) musical. Even tee-vee, which is something you wouldn't have thought afro-haired  rabble rousers watched. But it's all here and although ELVIS DIED does hunk out a good cross-section of Farren's scribing for a wide array of publications it just doesn't satisfy you the way I'm sure that issue of THE NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS did to all you English kiddies once you got hold of the latest issue and rushed to the comfort of your fart encrusted boudoirs and read the latest scribblings courtesy Farren et. al. with unbridled teenage glee.

Speaking of NME I sure coulda used more of Farren's rants for that paper of record and tape because frankly there just ain't enough to satisfy me here. We do get some choice articles including a pretty high-larious one on Frank Zappa conducted during a time when Zappa was suing the Royal Albert Hall because they wouldn't let him perform "Penis Dimension", while the one with Chuck Berry is also a top notch must-be-read-by-everyone bit, especially the point where Berry tells Farren (and with a straight face at that) he was never ever in prison! Not once in his entire life which is a point I'm sure Farren coulda easily counteracted though really, how would it have looked if he got in a barroom brawl with one of the originators of rock 'n roll anyway??? I mean, this sure wasn't gonna be Lester Bangs going tootsie-to-tootsie with Lou Reed and although I wouldn't have minded reading about a possible Farren/Berry kerfuffle it is nice to know that Farren had a sense of caution about him!

This is the Farren I plunked down my precious kopecks for and I sure wish I coulda read more of his rock-oriented odysseys in them thar pages.

Not that his LA READER,  CITYBEAT and TROUSER PRESS material was anything to kerchew at, but by the eighties I guess everybody was getting worn out. And with the quality of music sinking oh-so-fast it wasn't like raving buckets over Pebbles was akin to the pioneering screech of Richard Meltzer's review of Jimi or Lester Bangs rhapsodizing over Count Five albums that were never made. But while Meltzer lost faith in the rock aspects of sound after the capitulation of late-seventies underground and Bangs died probably because he saw the future and it was Chuck Eddy, Farren managed to exist as a bonafeed rock writers for quite some time after most thought the entire game was dead and gone. Of course he was writing about subjects that weren't always within the mindset of your average punque wannabe but hey, if you hadda read an article on David Bowie or even Michael Jackson better it be from the pen of Farren than the Glade Air Freshener prose of your typical college paper glitzy who gets her oh-so descriptive adjectives from tampon boxes. Farren's eighties work is so good and beyond the dimension of press sheet hype you get the feeling that he's still trying to cling to the wild rampant rockism of the seventies until they pried it from his stiff, dead fingers.

Of course Farren's more politically-oriented opines don't always jibe with me, and it ain't exactly because I really don't see eye-to-eye. Sometimes I do believe-it-or-leave-it, but when Farren talks politics he comes off about as patented left groove as many mainstream conservative pundits fall into their own comfy enclaves. His admiration for Che Guevara rots even more now that the truth about the motorcycle longhair being a rock 'n roll hating guy who shot twelve-year-olds and bashed heads with shovels has come out, and while his critiques of the cagey politicians who make up the Amerigan "conservative" movement do ring true at least when he isn't getting into a kultural revolution snit he sure does his best keeping his eyes closed to some of the atrocities being perpetrated by those on his side of the Great Political Divide. I will give him kudos for seeing the political worth of the Ron Paul Revolution no matter how little of a threat it may be at this time in history, but you can read similar-minded takes and fits on-line just about anywhere you look now, albeit none of the writers would have a rock 'n roll rapsheet as long and gnarled as Farren's.

You get lyrics, chapters from a variety of Farren novels and even a forward from Charles Shaar Murray. Unfortunately you don't get such wanted wonders as Farren's articles on STAR TREK or Kenneth Anger let alone some of his early record reviews for IT or even that great piece on the El Lay hardcore scene that popped up in an '81 NME, I guess we should be thankful for what we've received (like the prophetic "The Titanic Sails at Dawn") though man, I sure could have used some more rockist action and less El Lay schmoozing that's for sure!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Here are just some of the old-timey fanzines that have been making my acquaintance for the past few months, and if you must know I think they're a pretty good batch as far as these home-paste jobs tend to be.

Anyhoo, a while back, in fact in the previous fanzine fanabla, I mentioned the acquisition of a certain little publication that was going by the moniker of TEENAGE RAMPAGE. It was a fun-packed low-budget affair with no pix or snaps of any kind, filled to the brim with real snotty fanzine-styled rants 'n raves regarding the favorite records of some guy who was writing under the nom-de-typewriter Ricochet. I ingested it a lot, and I sure as shooting wanted to find more of these which, in this day and age, is all but an impossibility unless you just happen to know someone selling old fanzines or get just plain get lucky.

But I wasn't getting lucky with Groovytunesdays, who kept ignoring my request to purchase an early issue (a two sheet debut if I remember correctly) which only goes to show you that they probably want to do business with me about as much as they want to volunteer for exploratory sphincter stretching research (and who knows,given the people who run the business' moral fiber maybe they do!). However, as luck would have it none other than Ricochet himself was doing his own blog entitled GROWING OLD WITH ROCK & ROLL, a nice li'l read that seemed to take up where his fanzine has left off way back sometimes in the late-seventies. And back when he was closing up shop this past December 31st he was requesting from his readership just what they'd like to see in the blog's final days, spotting an opportunity to fill them missing gaps I asked if he reprint some of his old TEENAGE RAMPAGE material for us, either on-line or in the pulp and you know what, the man actually did!

Or at least two issues, in fact the following two (see directly below) which I had already received via a lucky ebay auction, but I was still grateful to get 'em because y'see, these new ones looked so crisp and fresh and besides, I think that the ones I bought had some missing pages and as you all know I am a completest when it comes to seventies rock fanzines. So even if I am still missing some of the mag's run at least I got hold of these to help fulfill my quest for seventies greatness, and as you'd expect I am feeling rather perky myself!

The issue which is numbered 606 is the smaller of the two, and contains lots of potent musings that despite their low-fidelity and near-crudzine appearance really do prove this mag to have been a spiritual descendant of BACK DOOR MAN if not CAN'T BUY A THRILL. Included is an interesting opening bit urging everyone out there to latch onto the NEW MUSICAL EXPRESS (Ric mentioned how he turned down an offer to be their midwest correspondent!) because of the writings of Charles Shaar Murray, Mick Farren and (now get this!) Tony Parsons and Julie Burchill which stymies me to no end because I loathe Burchill with a passion and y'know, I woulda thought that Ric'd know better'n that! But y'see, Burchill gave TEENAGE RAMPAGE a hot mention in one of her columns and that sold Ric on her, which only goes to show you what one good plug could do to an otherwise sane person! I mean, a few people have praised my own rockscreeding these past thirtysome years, and you know how much love I have for humanity at large let alone people who have been writing about rock 'n roll (or what passes for it) for quite some time!

But all kidding aside (I mean, I am treated with about the same amount of respect as a rock "writer" as Brad Kohler is treated as a serious artist), this particular ish of TEENAGE RAMPAGE is all the rage even though it is a four-sheet, one-sided read. Yes its got poetry and a piece on an imaginary radio station that plays ONLY the hot rock items (a station I'd sure like to listen to on a dark and lonely summer's night at three inna morn!), but it also has bits 'n feces on the likes of DMZ, reviews of the debut Clash and Sex Pistols albums, and even a writeup of the Wayne Kramer jail single that was even getting mentioned in major "respectable" mags who'd forgotten the MC5 years ago! And yeah, you could have read all about it in the latest British weekly or CREEM if you so desired, but sometimes it just comes off better hearing it from the likes of some suburban fanabla just like yourself!

The ish with Fred "Sonic" Smith doing his Pete Townshend guitar whomp (#505) probably precedes the above ish, but it sure seems like it came after not only because it has more pages, but because this 'un sports a couple of contributors of fanzine worth. One of 'em is Nancy Foster, the same lass who once ran the boffo NEW AGE and GROOVE ASSOCIATES 'zines back in the seventies and early-eighties. The other is Lisa Baumgardner, a Clevelander best known to the world for her BIKINI GIRL fanzine as well as having been one of many cohorts of the late Peter Laughner which should give her some rockist brownie points somewhere in a more just universe. Baumgardner's contribution to this issue is a review of a live Dead Boys performance while Foster rants on about her own personal faves of the day, most notably Starz and Piper (gotta get their records if only to hear them unreleased Sidewinders tracks!).

Ric does his part well too with his piece on Thundertrain, Tom Petty, the MC5 (in yet another "heartfelt appreciation") and other late-seventies upstarts who probably didn't get to go as far as they thought they could. Great fannish writing (so good you know that nobody involved would ever be invited to write for ROLLING STONE), and once again everything is so straightforward and energetic in a way that is hardly seen anymore which does make me wanna shed a li'l tear if I wasn't already cried out after the cancellation of LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. After putting this down all I wanna do is go and spin all of my class seventies single and album sides 'till I can't take it no more. Can't think of anything else a fanzine really should do now, can I?

A final note, along with my fresh and crisp copies of TEENAGE RAMPAGE Ric sent me a bonus, an ORIGINAL first edition issue of the mag which was a large one-sheet run off on one of those old-time xerox copiers that came out kinda blurry and on rough if glossy looking paper! A neat effort too considering all of the information that was to be found on two sides of  10 X 14 paper (I'd love to reprint it for you here but my scanner is just way too small...and I'm not sorry about it at all). It's got the bop too, what with a pic of the Up's Gary Rasmussen, a bit on how Ric and his workcrew sang "Dominance and Submission" at an eatery at two inna morn, and reviews of a variety of recent releases including Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed"! And tell me, what could you or I manage to muster up with just two pages of paper at our disposal???

I've possessed the second issue of LA BEAT for quite some time, so I must say that finally getting the first ish of this lost-in-the-shuffle mag was something that fulfilled my inner rockist spirit if only for a few nanoseconds. It sure is refreshing to go back to them days when new wave still meant something exciting before the moneybags commercialized the entire genre beyond recognition, and although you might think that groups such as the Stranglers, Generation X, the Zippers and of course the Mumps are/were just more of the same old I still find them about as refreshing as a gulp of ice cold water on a hot summer's day. Can't say the same about a good portion of groups that were coming out at the time, but the way I look at it it's either this or Chuck Eddy's favorite classic rock bongbusters and it ain't like I'd ever care to listen to another spin of "Heard it From a Friend" as long as I live!

This ain't some throwout crudzine but a well-produced effort and real fan-oriented t'boot. The phone interview with Hugh Cornwell from the Stranglers is a hoot since he's coming off as gruff and as narcotic-induced as his image has lent him to be, while the rest of the interviews and writeups on the groups in general are just as fannish and as down to your level as many of these late-seventies El Lay-area fanzines were. Consider it a "nicer" version of BACK DOOR MAN or DENIM DELINQUENT and you're about halfway there.
I think I first read about SNEAKERS in the first issue of KICKS...maybe not, but this sure seems like one of those fanzines that Billy and Miriam would have loved the dickens outta while loathing all of those "punk rock" rags that people were sending 'em! Funny, this one seems just about as punk rock as the rest of those mags B&M were getting hold of, but maybe they were talking something a little more "esoteric", like "punque" or "pUnk" rather than "punk". But still, SNEAKERS was a boffo rag in the tradition of all of those crazy French fanzines from ROCK NEWS on, and between the great print job and nice saddle-stapled look this 'un ranks with many of the winners on the scene from BACK DOOR MAN and DENIM DELINQUENT on...too bad it's all in French because I can't read the thing too well!

The Tom Petty piece doesn't exactly light up my life (gotta admit that I like what I've heard of his first long playing record but after that when he became a classic rock monger I just couldn't take his more singer/songwriter rant), but I thought that the Peter Hamill "blind test" was interesting, or at least what I could make out of it (he was played a nice variety of tracks from the Music Machine's "The People in Me" to Syd Barrett's "Octopus"). Also interesting are pieces on Buddy Holly, Dave Edmunds and of course Eddie and the Hot Rots, and not only that but a whole slew of records that I remember looking at lovingly at the local shop (as well as those too obscure to make it there) are reviewed giving me those late-seventies record throb thrills that I most certainly desire. And how could anyone hate a mag which features on their back cover the "Free Wayne Kramer" drawing that is pictured on the right anyway? The people who put this mag out really had a great love for rock music and it shows on each and every francophonic page!
It's always great reading fanzines put out by high school kids, some of them surprisingly readable and thought-provoking while others showing the need for mandatory remedial thinking classes. MAKE IT IN THE BUSINESS WORLD is one that came out of late-seventies New York, and for a bunch of teenage rock 'n roll fans all I gotta say is that these guys did what I would assume most teenagers with an access to a typewriter and photocopier would do. A nice job, that is!

Layoutwize this is similar to the various Solomon and Jay Gruberger offerings that have been making their presence known since at least the mid-seventies. Loads of cartoons (both original and "Bazooka Joe") fill the pages which also happen to be filled with articles and reviews of acts on the MAKE IT IN THE BUSINESS WORLD faverave list such as Blondie and the Ramones. There are even some short stories included which I gotta say seem too esoteric and heady for a kid to have written. But hey I could be wrong...I mean, as I told Don Fellman there are no kids today, and maybe that was the case thirtysome years ago only nobody bothered to tell any of us.
Here's an old one...VIBRATIONS began life as a fairly accurate imitation of the original CRAWDADDY before it morphed into a Boston/underground paper with the typical altruistic outlook that you could find in just about any other teen dweeb political project of the day. This particular issue in question (#61) is a good case in point, a slim volume with the standard New Left politics and only a little bit on rock, in this case part one of a Keith Richards interview that originally appeared in VIBRATIONS' "sister" publication ZIGZAG. There's also a review of an appearance by John 'n Yoko on DAVID FROST as well as something on Alice Cooper's Boston debut which concentrates more on the group's sexual shock value and very little on the music which is described as being "Zeppelin-esque". Can't say that I got as much outta Jon Kreidl's efforts with this one as I did with the material appearing in his earlier efforts, for this is the sound of a movement running out of so much steam that you couldn't even hear the put-puts of the once-roaring engine anymore.

The next issue (#61-A) is a return to the mag's early fanzine roots, albeit printed on one-sided mimeo as opposed to the offset and saddle-stapled look of the originals. A Dylan special so-to-speak with nothing but a wide array of articles relating to the recently-released Tony Scaduto bio. Not much here other'n loads of standard early-seventies theorizing with the usually lofty and romantic reminiscences regarding Dylan as well as Suze Rotolo of FREEWHEELIN' fame, and if you could find any real information or spark in whatever was printed on those eleven pages I certainly do congratulate you!

Maybe if one-time contributor and valid rock scribe in his own special way Jonathan Richman had only stuck least his teenage-intellectual opinions and style acted as a counterbalance against the more heady ruminations to be found in mags like VIBRATIONS and FUSION (another Boston worthy) at the time. Maybe not, but I sure find those late-sixties scribblings of his on everything from the Velvet Underground to the Rolling Stones to be a whole lot more valid'n what the fin-de-la-hippie writers were pouring out of their vapid souls at the time.
COLLUSION's an interesting fanzine. Well, let's just say that it ain't a fanzine in the fanzine sense, but it's interesting nonetheless. If anything, I would call COLLUSION a fanzine written by English intellectual types who are into all sortsa things and who decided to put their writings into print. So you get more or less of a "World Music" bent here, not to mention contributions from the likes of such English avant gardists as Steve Beresford and Lol Coxhill writing about a wide array of subjects from Japanese Enka music, Bollywood, African music, Amerigan soul sounds of the sixties, Cajun zydeco music, Carol Kaye, the Dennis Wilson/Charles Manson/Kenneth Anger connection and loads more. There's even an interview with Gavin Bryars and (now get this!) an article by Simon Frith on longtime English fan fave Gracie Fields (she was the one who was married to the horrid Eyetalian comedian Monte Banks, the only guy I know of who made a comedy short about wife beating!).

With the likes of the aforementioned writers (not forgetting David Toop of Obscure Records fame) you might expect COLLUSION to be kinda dry and it is, but I for one enjoyed the reams of information and general atmosphere it exuded, and I kinda wish that more fanzines that were trying for the innerlektual crowd woulda been as well put together and as streamlined as this. Who knows, if I bothered to keep that term paper on electronic music I wrote during my Sophomoric year in high school (the one where my typist sister mis-spelled "Sun Ra"), it might have appeared in the pages of COLLUSION!
I wasn't rich enough to gather up all of the KICKS-inspired fanzines that thankfully sprouted up throughout the eighties and nineties, so coming across a mag like BROWN PAPER SACK really does thrill me to no end! A nice product too with slick cover and nice layout (reminds me of the higher quality sci-fi and comic book fanzines of the sixties), BROWN PAPER SACK was devoted to Southern garage bands of the sixties, a subject that was certainly worthy of scrutiny considering just how many of these bands remained a mystery to most of us for a longer time than any of us could imagine.

The cover story on the Five Canadians (of "Writing on the Wall" and "Never Alone" compilation fame) get their fifteen minutes (and what a good fifteen minutes it is!), while other Southern treats like the Bad Roads and Oedipus and the Mothers also get their just dues. The piece on New Orleans garage bands was also a hoot, especially since one of my psycedelic favorites the Greek Fountains not only get mentioned but also get pictured, and boy did they look 1966 long hair rock group creepy enough that your grandpappy woulda gotten his shotgun out if he saw 'em trouncing the front lawn!

Interesting note... the Fountains' psychedelic masterpiece "An Experimented Terror," a track which not only the liner notes to BEYOND THE CALICO WALL but my own ears would have led us to believe was a direct swipe of the Red Krayola's "Free Piece", was actually recorded an entire year before that infamous GOD BLESS THE RED KRAYOLA track! Also revealed is the origin of the group's supposedly stoic name...nothing esoteric here, since "Greek Fountain" is fraternity slang for puking! And if it weren't for BROWN PAPER SACK do you thin we would have known any of this? I sincerely doubt it, pard'ner!
Now let's talk about some "serious" fanzines, even more serious than COLLUSION. By this I mean the kind of 'zines that weren't as frolicky frivolous as the ones who were clearly feeding on the teat of Bangs, but the ones that were a whole lot more studious or intellectual or just plain ol' STODGY! Y'know, those that were less punk and more progressive which isn't anything evil mind you, it's just that these mags never did make for a funtime sit-yourself-down read the way many of the mags mentioned above did.

Sometimes these 'zines broke out of their supposedly self-imposed studious credos and did make for excellent reading whether in front of the stereo on plunked on the toilet. EUROCK was one fanzine that could balance gonz and journalistic especially when they had Hot Scott Fischer writing for 'em during their earliest days. But these 'zines at times tended to be quite serious and academic, and that doesn't quite serve the music being covered even if it is serious and academic.

IMPETUS is a good example of a fanzine that tended to be quite refined which at times might have suited the subject matter at hand. An English publication, IMPETUS existed at a time when a "new music" that was part past avant garde accomplishment coupled with seventies innovation certainly needed as much exposure as it could possible stand, and despite the at-times formal feeling I will admit that they did a passably good job of it. Coming off like a house organ for a seventies college radio station all-night playlist, IMPETUS at least knew how to hit the right buttons with their mix of avant old and new where the likes of articles on Gyorgy Ligeti and Olivier Messian could intermingle with Can and This Heat, and while you're at it throw some of the new jazz of Carla Bley and Keith Tippet in for good measure.

Yeah, the interview with Irmin Schmidt was a bit dry (and no new light was shed on Can in the process) but it was a good enough effort especially for long-hungering fans who certainly weren't reading about the group in the pages of CIRCUS. The articles on important figures in the new jazz were mildly engaging even if CODA did a better job of covering the jazz avant garde without succumbing to pseudo-intellectual gaga. And really, I gotta admit that reading about some of my more "underground" rock favorites does sound better when its coming from the typewriters of serious music aficionados rather'n some hippies who couldn't tell a Modern Lovers from a New Riders or an amerindie College Dork class of '89 who funneled his entire knowledge of rock music through the butthole of Parke Puterbaugh. It doesn't always work that way, but here it does.

While IMPETUS might have been intellectual it was also quite professional. FACE OUT on the other hand was more in the traditional fanzine style of mimeo/xeroxed single sheets of pecked out paper with perhaps a neet drawing to decorate the page a bit.

Comparisons with the original EUROCK would also be worth of mention if only that there seemed to be a fannish appreciation of the music (in this case mostly the German expressionists) and the impression that these pages were being written by the peoples in the audience rather than those in the classroom. The simple drawings on the cover also hearken back to the old Science Fiction and Fantasy 'zines of the thirties onward, and in many cases you can see a direct line of influence between those early self-produced efforts that these showing that maybe not that much had changed in the past forty years.

Great pieces whether they be appreciations or reviews appear too, proving once again that it is the schmuck banging these articles out in the dead of night who has the right approach to music as that magic save-all as opposed to most of those big-city rockcrit types who thankfully lost their jobs around the times the financially-strapped newspapers hadda do a great deal of cutting back. And although a tad bit of an intellectual air does tend to seep through at times, I'm in it for the rock 'n roll point of it. Meaning, I get more excited when I read a reference to the first Faust album sounding like a cross between METAL MACHINE MUSIC and "Sister Ray" or the umpteenth comparison twixt Can and the entire oeuvre of the original Velvet Underground. But I guess that's just me---you might find your own instant pushbutton thrills in FACE OUT if you just look hard enough.

Hmmmmm, a fanzine from Western Pee-YAY and from the mid-eighties, and it ain't mine either! Not only that' but the thing's actually named after a Velvet Underground song which does show more imagination than naming 'em after Stooges or MC5 ones. And Gerry Goffin and Carole King are on the cover too---should be a nice historically balanced read with articles on rock 'n roll accomplishments past and present, eh? Well, I was wrong about that because Goffin and King are nowhere to be found on the insides, but what is doesn't quite jibe with my own "horse-blindered" musical tastes.

Face it, WAITING FOR THE MAN is just one of the million hardcore-era punk fanzines of the day, complete with local scene reports and reviews of the latest hardcore/underground releases. Stuff which might jibe with the MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL audience but seemed a tad outdated once the mid-eighties rolled in and people like myself discovered that all of those hardcore punks were nothing but hippies with cry-over-a-broken-flower emotions. Awww, it's a nice effort for what it is even though this one dates back to an era in rock that didn't seem all that I hoped it would have been cracked up to be which might just be my problem but should have been yours as well.

LIQUORICE was a short-lived (though lasting a good eight issues) English fanzine that I once bought for an interview with a Kilburn and the High Roads-period Ian Dury, but I thought it was generally a stuffy sort of affairs which is strange considering how many of these early-mid-seventies English rags were pretty lively affairs. The John Cale interview featured on the cover of this second issue (released "Summer 1975") certainly hooked me and it is a fairly good 'un even if nothing special is revealed other'n the fact that the landlord at John and Lou Reed's Ludlow Street digs used to pick up the rent toting a gun. Other'n that, this is an OK sort of mag dealing with some of the bigger names on the up 'n coming English music scene such as Be-Bop Deluxe and Canterbury prog rockers Hatfield and the North. And, proving that extremely bad ideas never do go away, there's also a huge interview with some act calling itself "The Women's Liberation Rock Band" which only reinforces my attitudes and beliefs towards what had become of the once snazzy female gender. After reading this one I get the idea that if any dogs were to come up to the band and sniff away in their usual fashion they'd all keel over dead within one good inhale.

As far as other mid-seventies English rock 'n roll fanzines go PENETRATION certainly hit my bullseyes with their great mix of late-sixties accomplishment meets early/mid-seventies high energy, something which did point the way for the late-seventies eruption which the mag was fortunate to cover at least for a few issues. Although I have most all of this mag's run available via xeroxed copies, originals are mighty hard to come by these days which is why I'm glad that I got hold of this third issue which, besides featuring a boffo interview with long time English underground eccentric Steve "Peregrine" Took, also's got pieces on the Velvet Underground, Captain Beefheart, Kevin Ayers and some hip BBC "musical presenter" named Mike Sparrow who had a radio rock talk show which must have seemed like a good idea what with the place and time.

Again there ain't much we haven't already known to be found within these pages (other than Took's mentioning  of a single featuring himself and some Pink Fairy and Hawkwind types going under the name "The First Eleven" who dressed in cricket gear) , but back in 1975 I'm sure just about any stories regarding the Velvets or Beefheart would have been welcome in any self-respecting pimplefarm's fart-encrusted boudoir to be happily read while said denizen played these acts' records for the very first time. A good place to experience a whole lotta British (and Amerigan) underground worship as well as that strange nether-region between the whole Pink Fairies/New York Dolls/Stooges rage of '73 and the various hard-gunch sounds that were to catch everybody by surprise a good year or so later.
In closing I thought I'd mention this interesting piece of nonfiction that I picked up under the guise that it was an actual fanzine. It's more like a fan club newsletter, since  SPARKSOUNDS is the "organ" for the International Sparks Fan Club, and this '97 issue does its fanclub doody well with a rundown on the then-recent Sparks REWORKING album. Eight pages of blue fannish flailings and straightforward sparksy answers to fanclub members earnest questions. Did you know that Ron Mael drove a VW Kubelwagen? Most interesting thing about this 'un appears on the inside spread reprinting a Sparks piece from a Glasgow newspaper...the piece is standard professional goo of course but that photo...Ron and Russ look like half of Kraftwerk from a 1975 photo session...I mean, you can just feel the Nazi aura which I will admit even gives a strong-stomached seen-it-all kinda fanabla like myself the creeps! So until then, see you in the interrogation room!

Thursday, March 20, 2014


I remember seeing these Hembeck comic mags advertised in the Rather Ripped catalog along with all of those other underground comix that seemed so enticing to a not-so-wayward teenbo such as I, but never in a millions years did I ever think that I would actually own one (if only one) of these once-mysterioso titles! I never thought about it because frankly I didn't really desire to own any of 'em inna first place, but since I now have one I figure why not settle back and read, digest, and conjure up some funny-ish things to say about the thing given that hardly anybody out there really could give a hoot what with all of the wondrous things passing for entertainment these rather snoozeville days.

Fred Hembeck's comic vision almost mirrors my own which is one reason I take to his critiques and compliments regarding a whole load of Golden, Silver and Bronze-Age characters he meets up with in these rather high-quality pages. Really, it's always funzy to be reminded of some of those mid-sixties turdbombs which were plunked down on the world of comic books like the ones that came outta the Myron Fass stable (the best known being the version of Captain Marvel who used to split apart in order to fight crime) not to mention other flash-by-you occurrences in the shady world of comic book publishing like Larry Leiber's mid-seventies Atlas Comics line of not-so-clever imitations. (And yeah, I still pride myself on avoiding those Marvel ripoffs like the proverbial AIDS, even though when I first espired 'em you could say that I was mighty tempted.)

Well, I gotta admit that it's all a better distillation of comic book history into a fortysome page oversized comic than some of the boring dribble I've read online and elsewhere over the past fifteen years! And not only that but its sure good to (re)discover all of those mid/late-sixties comics that I and undoubtedly you missed out on such as SUPER GREEN BERET and be glad as all heck that we did because if otherwise it mighta just ruined our taste for comic books and for good. And you wouldn't have wanted me to end up reading LITTLE WOMEN now, would you?

It's great to have those kiddoid comic book memories come back to you faster'n the Flash and Quicksilver racing to get a peek at Wonder Woman taking a bath, and Hembeck's hilarious depictions of then-current comic biz chicanery (such as DC's frustration that bats and lightning bolts were not copyrightable material as well as the long-forgotten fact that DENNIS THE MENACE was once part of the Marvel Comics stable---and where does that leave PETER THE LITTLE PEST????) does put a humorous light on a biz that seems about one step up from organized crime. And humorous it is...after all, where else are you gonna see a rendition of none other'n "Brando" from the notorious PEANUTS swipe SHRIMPY that was mentioned in last Saturday's post other'n in these pages???

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Don't tell Don Fellman, but the publication pictured on the left is gonna be his birthday present come this upcoming week! Of course if you do tell him afterwards it won't matter, mainly because he would have received it already and thus your tattlin' won't do you any good, you spoilsport you! But here it is in its entirety, the forty-third issue of ARCHIE'S JOKE BOOK (cover dated November, 1960) and if you don't think I was gonna take a sneek peek at it before handing it over to the erstwhile phoner-upper then you're even stoopider'n I originally gave yez all credit for!

Longtime Archie staff artist Harry Lucey did the cover art, a fact which doesn't hit it with me because I always thought he was the lesser of the batch who were drawing for the Archie Series at the time. Certainly nowhere near Dan DeCarlo or Samm Schwartz even if those two could never reach the lofty heights of the guy who started it all, Bob Montana. Of course by that time Montana was nowhere to be seen in the comic book (in fact, his version of ARCHIE and the comic book were almost like dueling universes where some characters existed in different form if they even existed at all) but when you're operating a business as big as Archie Comics it's pretty hard to keep things such as continuity straight, as if these things really mattered in the first place.

The three to four panel-length gags that permeate this issue read like they were written by the same guy who used to think up stories for Bazooka Joe (Pud was too sophisticated for this crowd!), while most if not all of the artwork comes off so slapdash especially when compared with the lush beauty of Montana's renditions of the swimsuit-clad female form that you wonder if these renditions were created under the auspices of the Comics Code Authority in order to prevent Junior from rushing into the bathroom with the latest BETTY AND VERONICA snugged under his shirt. If I didn't know better I'd assume that a grand portion of the art appearing here was created by guys whose renditions of the characters were spotted in Tijuana Bibles and like, they probably work for peanuts and so what if they had nada in the way of style or class goin' for 'em anyway???

(By the way, I got this issue for Fellman because from what I could deduce one of these tales entitled "Horsing Around" was purportedly dilineated by his close friend and the author of THE FILMS OF BELA LUGOSI, the late Richard Bojarski. Given there could have been more'n a dozen Archie comics with that title floating around throughout the character's run I hadda nail it down to the year or so he had freelanced for the company, and with the miracle of internet working in my favor I came upon the same titled story in this particular issue! It could be "Bojack" who drew this particularly deadened story true, though since the artist's style seems to reflect everything else drawn this ish I must say that I do have my doubts. Still, this one is a curios for fans of the man, and I know Fellman will enjoy seeing his late friend's artwork unless he's a big fat INGRATE!)

As a strange "bonus",  none other than Archie's blonde galpal Betty submitted an article on noted guitar slinger Duane Eddy, a man whose talents I certainly can't deny though next to hard-edged fifties rockers like Link Wray or Bo Diddley he just doesn't figure in to any early rock weltanschauung on my part. Unfortunately this piece certainly lacks the swing and sway of any top-notch rock writer one could think of offhand, and as far as copying text straight from the hypesheet to the typewriter Betty really was ahead of her time, the Anthony DeCurtis of the early-sixties if you can believe that! Frankly I thought more of the oft-ignored blonde bombshell than to think of her as a typical rock hack, but I guess this sickening breed existed even back then and that the past forty year trend of zilch-dimensional  rock scribing definitely stretches back a whole lot further than I ever thought! Maybe they shoulda gotten Jughead to be the resident rock critic. He woulda been gonzo enough.

One nice surprise in this ish, besides the absence of the one-note PRISCILLA'S POP ripoff "Li'l Jinx", was the appearance of two "SHRIMPY" comics. You may remember SHRIMPY as an outright no-doubt-about-it swipe of PEANUTS, and as far as the many imitations and emulations of Charles Schulz's creation go this 'un is most definitely the swipiest of the batch! From the puffy dresses, button noses and ankles almost as long as the actual front of the foot to the not-so-sly knockoffs of established PEANUTS characters (I think Brando is a clever enough Pigpen as a beatnik swipe even if that gal seems unsure as to whether or not she is supposed to be Lucy or Violet), SHRIMPY just reeks as much a steal of the original goodie w/o coming off as a carbon copy, sorta like what THE FINEHEIMER TWINS were to THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS in years gone by. Close, and we're still deciding on the cigar.

Still, I'd most certainly want to read a SHRIMPY collection more than I would one of TIGER, WINTHROP or any of the mid/late-sixties PEANUTS knockoffs that were popping up in your local paper, usually at the expense of old tried 'n true favorites as FRECKLES and WASH TUBBS which I sure coulda stood reading back when I was beginning to pop into the double digits. And since such not-quite-up-there Archie Group entries as ARCHIE'S MADHOUSE have received the royal reprint treatment why not these forgotten faves on nice slick paper between a sturdy hard cover? I'd probably be the only one to buy it, but given how fast it would be remaindered I'm sure to save a bundle!

Interesting, fack---these SHRIMPY's are credited to a fellow named Joe Harold, a member of the ever-suffering ARCHIE bullpen of whom I could find practically nada about via the web regarding his career whether it be inside or outside the confines of the former MLJ group. However, considering just how much of a swipe SHRIMPY was I get the feeling Harold'd prefer to remain about as anonymous as he has been these past fiftysome years considering just how much the man "lifted" from the original while getting away with it. If you're in the mood for more SHRIMPY why not click hereherehere and maybe even here if you feel so inclined to do so, and if you still want to believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery you got my vote!

(Next time, Archie Comics' PAT THE BRAT versus Marvel's PETER THE LITTLE PEST...which was the best DENNIS THE MENACE swipe????)
Well here it is, yet another reason to dread the weekend! Anyway, I gotta admit that I have a nice selection for you to chew on today including some recent finds as well as some old faves that slipped between the cracks, not to mention a few Bill Shute finds (don't worry Bob and Paul---I'll be getting to your submissions eventually). Overall the listening scene is pretty flatline if you ask me (I've been tempted to give a spin to some of those "new" groups like Wooden Shjips and Moon Duo even if they have been championed by utter morons which just  goes to shows you just how hard up I am), but with some of the recordings I've been spinning this week the energy really shines through. And really, who needs "modern" rock when efforts from forty, fifty and sixty years ago is far more engaging and enveloping than anything being put forth in these cold, cyborg times?

 Various Artists-BONEHEAD CRUNCHERS VOLS. 1 and 4 LPs (Belter)

I liked the one with the tits on the cover a whole lot, but these now-obscure volumes from the BONEHEAD CRUNCHERS series really don't flibben my jib in a downhome punk rock sorta way like I sure hoped they would. The first 'un's perhaps the worst of the lot, a collection of locally-produced Amerigan singles that owe much more to the likes of Grand Funk and Mountain than they do the Stooges, and if it weren't for me getting to once again hear Left End's now-rare "Sunshine Girl" single (which got hefty AM airplay back '72 way, at least in the Youngstown Ohio area) this woulda been a total loss pocketbook-wise.

The fourth volume is better, a collection of "continent"-oriented acts who might have had a dose of that Detroit madness infused into their sound, only the more commercial moments of hard rock both of a European and Amerigan flavor just hadda get inna way. Still, much of this volume ain't anything spectacular either, especially next to some of the hard pounders (or proto punk as some would call it) that were coming out both here and abroad during those days people say the Sex Pistols saved us from! Laugh of the week---two Krautese gals singing about "The Hound of the Baskervilles" to the tune of "Paranoid".
Moebius & Plank-RASTAKRAUTPASTA & MATERIAL CD; Mobius-Plank-Neumeier-ZERO SET CD (both are on Sky Records)

Nice little dredge ups from the collection these. The first one's a post-kraut era early-eighties release featuring former and future Cluster member Hans Moebius with longtime krautrock producer Conny Plank while on ZERO SET former Guru Guru drummer Mani Neumeier joins the duo for even more Teutonic hijinx! Pretty decent listening too even if there may be a bit of  an eighties "taint" to it giving me the kind of feeling I used to get listening to various seventies legends' eighties recordings which seemed about as out of place and confused in the new musical clime as I was.

But the offerings do work wonders despite their confusion and at times escape into amazing brilliance---I'm still wondering just how Neumeier coulda laid down the drums that he did on "Speed Display" which I guess is where they got the title of that particular track! Sure it comes off total denouement after hearing the brash punk-drive of the early-seventies kraut scene, but these platters hold up a whole lot more'n many of the discs some of our old new wave faves were making around the same nanosecond.
ALI AND HIS GANG VS. MR. TOOTH DECAY CD-r burn (originally on St. John's Fruit and Vegetable Company)

When Bill Shute sifts through the virtual thrift store for items picked over by thousands of eager vinyl enthusiasts on the lookout for that elusive copy of THE JOHN KENNEDY MEMORIAL ALBUM this is what he comes up with! A flashback to those times in the seventies which we've been trying to extricate from our memories, ALI AND HIS GANG comes off like that ABC AFTERSCHOOL SPECIAL that got you mad because that meant there was gonna be no GILLIGAN'S ISLAND or LUCY SHOW reruns for you to watch, and after you dashed off all of your homework at that!

The guy who does Ali's voice sounds like the same character who sang "The Fonzarelli Slide" on that HAPPY DAYS exploitation album while the kids seem to be about as excited making this record as they would be performing a school play at Dachau. Even Frank Sinatra and Richie Havens pop into the mix which is strange because none of 'em had any teeth for the last forty years of their lives!

Of course for the ultimate in cultural carbon dating the entire schpiel is narrated by none other'n Howard Cosell which lends an easily identifiable enough stench to the proceedings. But in all I will say this one does capture that lost, ennui-filled feeling that used to overcome me a whole lot during those oft-maligned days...after listening to this I was actually scoring the tee-vee channels for a rerun of THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN!
Major Chill-"Underfended"/"Tear Me Up" 45 rpm single (G&P)

Always being on the lookout for hotcha New York-area underground artifacts of the past, my interest in this one was piqued after reading a Ken Barnes review in one of those NEW YORK ROCKERs that Stephen Painter sent my way a short while back (see last weekend's post for more info). The comparisons to Roky Erickson being backed by the Bubble Puppy or something like that seemed too good to be true, but in this case they come closer to the truth the whole truth and nothing but than a whole lotta the rock hyperbole that's been brandished around these past five or so decades. A really outta time single from this short-lived act which sounds more like a 1969-1974 timewarp into proto-punk concerns rather than an artifact of the New York which was transmorphing from Von Lmo to Madonna. Maybe this ended up on one of those KILLED BY DEATH types of samplers? If not both sides are definitely big time contenders for the next one that might be fermenting in some frustrated collector's mind.

An oldie true, but a gooey. Eddie Flowers and crew really knew how to spew the confusion on this 2000 release, sounding like nothing short of that version of Smegma we sure wish would get the vinyl treatment, or is that the Grateful Dead ca. 1969 turning into Swell Maps (at least on disque opener "Tantric Beehive")? I do swear that some of this sounds like those Can outtakes that appeared on UNLIMITED EDITION, and not just those "E.F.S." numbers that came off like primitive folk numbers for cultures that exist only in Flowers' fertile imagination. Whatever, it's a crazy toss and turn of sound masquerading as rock 'n roll about 1000 light years ahead of the original Crawlspace tapes Flowers was sending off to anxiously awaiting knowitalls back '85 way. And that stuff was Gizmos redux so you can imagine what transpires within these grooves!
Various Artists-BLUE ARABIAN BARNYARD OASIS CD-r (courtesy of Bill Shute)

Along with Bill's patented pre-Barbara Mandrell country 'n western twang, the man tossed on some great instrumental-era musical numbers that really zoom me back to the Golden Years of Existence (tracks include the Wailers' boffo tit-squeezer "Driftwood" without the recording glitch at the beginning!) and a top of the heap bloozer from Garry Goodgion and Stan Holder entitled "Blues Party"! Nice punch to this one even though I thought it was a bit too heavy on the western music which doesn't quite excite me as much as it does him...Bill even used some old Peter Pan record recording of "Git Along Little Doggie" and "Lone Prairie" to pad the thing out which certainly made me feel like some toddler dressed like Leon outta THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW only without the Peanut Butter 'n Jelly samwich!
Think you'll stick around for a midweek review of some weird item I happened to find in the house? I sincerely doubt it!