Thursday, April 30, 2015


What sorta guy would wanna go to this nude restaurant? Maybe one who ain't that interested in looking at hotcha nude waitresses. Viva has all the sex appeal of Cloris Leachman and couldn't even turn on a Japanese soldier who's been hiding in some palm tree for eighty years! At least Bridget Berlin is slimmer here than she was in alla those seventies snaps we saw. Well, with nude gals like that its no wonder why their biggest customer just happens to be none other than the ultimate flaming faggot hisself Taylor Mead!

Was this film the inspiration for CHEERS? Ya'd kinda think so given the lack of any discernable plot and no real cohesion to the thing. Ah but that's the charm, and if you're frazzled enough to like one of those raging Andy Warhol extravaganzas you'll certainly wanna gobble this period piece (called so because both of the actresses were having periods at the time hence the presence of g-strings) that sez more about the sixties than an entire leather bound volume of ROLLING STONE ever could!
She be bad lady. She smoke.

Highlights from this Warhol tossout include Mead playing the harmonica, singing and making goony faces while Viva does her opening monologue, some guy playing some really good outta tune acoustic guitar accompanied by his equally outta tune singing, Viva chatting it up with some guy who's half-American Indian and has this wild tattoo covering his back, and Mead talking about the antiwar movement with a real-life draft dodger who actually believes that Mead is sincere about said dodger's cause! This portion of the flick is kinda funny because although Mead seems interested in the plight of the resistor he's so dunderheaded that you get the feeling that he couldn't even find Vietnam on a map!

Should be an easy enough snatch-up in case you wanna show this in your run down digs complete with all of the antique furniture falling apart pretending yer at a REAL LIFE underground film showing circa. 1967, but one thing about this nude restaurant bizness really bothers me and bothers me good! That is, I sure hope they scrubbed them seats of the booths and bar stools REALLY good! I mean, ugh!,  'specially on those hot and sweaty days when you seem to dribble no matter how hard you wipe ifyaknowaddamean...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The "rock star" formerly and still to be known as Prince once did say "sometimes it snows in April", and he was right about this year that's for sure! Here it is Thursday morn in late April 2015, and as I look out the window of my formerly fart-encrusted bedroom (got a new paint job) I see them snowflakes fluttering down just as if it was still winter and all I hadda look forward to was a good three months of staying huddled inside watching old tee-vee show dee-vee-dee's, reading old fanzines, comics and whatnot, and listening to some pertinent hot sounds on my bedside boom box (too cold to venture down to the basement where my vinyl 'n turntable reside). Hmmm, after all that the only thing I can say right now is snow, keep on comin'!

Been doin' very little as of late 'cept the usual work/eat/snooze game, though maybe I should relay to you the fact that I (once again) made it through the entirety of that classic and oft poo-poo'd television series SUPERCAR and in one piece as well! Haven't touched my Dee-Vee-Dee set of this classic "Supermarionation" series (which was definitely one of my fave pre-school/socialization period programs) since 2002, so watching this 'un once again was quite a thrill and, given my sieve-like head, was almost like watching a new series considering I totally forgot about 75% of the shows presented therein.

But man, it's always great and downright LIFE REAFFIRMING watching a series like this which really reminds me of them days when tee-vee was certainly my best friend and not the cowering stranger it has since become. Believe-you-me, when I settle back and watch SUPERCAR I immediately zoom back to my funtime turdler years when the boob tube was perhaps my only real contact with the "outside world" (unless you count the funny pages!) and shows like this (and THE JETSONS, yet another show I can recall watching during its original Sunday evening prime time run) undoubtedly pointed the way towards a shining technological future which extrapolated on all of the fun comforts and energy that the early/mid-sixties had to offer. Sheesh, when I was a kid I thought we'd all be driving Supercars at least by the mid-eighties (around the same time we were supposed to be landing on Mars according to most scientific stroons in the know) which makes me wonder in retrospect..."wha' th' fanabla 'app'd???" Anyway, next stop...FIREBALL XL-5!!!

Here are the revooz for this week, and boy are they doozies! Got a couple of sure-fire winners here too, and if it weren't for Paul McGarry sending me these platters I probably never would have knowed they existed, let alone head them!!!! So it's YOU I thank Paul, and if you were here I'd give you a thousand hugs 'n kisses for sending these wonderful recordings my way! And if you were here, you'd probably bash my head in for doing just that, right??? Of course sweetie, but then again, aren't these records to die for???

Wand-GOLEM CD-r burn (originally on In The Red)

Hmmmm, this breed of hard rock heavy metallic prog stew is rather enticing. Thought I would hate it for dredging up some of the worst memories of seventies record bin ruminations but this act does 'em all up fine with the proper dose of tension and patented thug riffs tossed in to make it all the more worthwhile. The blitzed-out female vocals also add a particularly potent touch to this hard grind (though I coulda personally done without the seventies synthesizer growl), and if Kenne Highland were still doing his hard 'n heavy version of the Robert Christgau Consumer Guide (which appeared in GULCHER and other pertinent pubs of the day) I get the feeling he woulda given GOLEM a hefty "A+" and nothing less! But I could be wrong.
The Maharajahs-YESTERDAY ALWAYS KNEW CD-r burn (originally on Low Impact)

These Swedes look so old that I kinda get the idea that they were playing rock 'n roll even before you or especially I were born! They're still at it when others have petered out and gone the Coconut Inn on Rt. 47 way, and although they might have been charter members of the Flamin' Groovies fanclub for all I know they sure put out a good 'un. Maybe it is a little tiring in spots, but really hardly anybody has rock 'n rolled like this in a long time. Kinda like the Groovies with a touch of Feelgood and some of those eighties acts that got lost in the madness of it all, and the best thing about it is they pull it off so suave w/o looking like a buncha smug knowitalls who like to smirk at those who just ain't of their same sainted wavelength. Sheesh, when I get to be their age (which'll probably be a few years plus or minus) I sure hope I'm as cool and as snarling as they are!
THIS IS THE SONICS CD-r burn (originally on Revox)

Wow I can't believe it! The Sonics have recorded a new album after all these years (not counting the faux Sonics release on Bomp! which was a killer in itself) and boy is it great! There's none of the Jerden-era pop moves here (no matter how tasty they were)---just prime head-on hard Northwest Rock that puts 99.999% of the competition to shame now as well as then! Gerry Roslie still sounds as raw-throated as possible (perhaps even more---after all he's had a lifetime of screaming to contend with) while the backing band (which I presume consists of the Parypa brothers and some new hired hands) keep the old Sonics flame a-goin' with that hard rock fervor that used to get the Sonics tagged in the whole "there wouldn't be any new wave if these guys weren't around" hype back in the late seventies! Beyond-hot covers and treacherous originals including an ecological number you'll never hear Joan Baez doin' in a millyun years!
WIRE CD-r burn (originally on Pink Flag)

Wire's latest release sure drives that whole "post-punk" rigmarole home and nails down the door like shoulda been done years ago! Nice drone here which does recall the better moments of 1980 non-hardcore desire, coupled with hefty thank yous to the Velvets, Pink Floyd and of course the original Wire themselves. This actually had me zoning back to various old Rough Trade arrivals to my abode and the joy (and eventual dissatisfaction) I had with this particular breed and era of sound. But I'm sure this one'll stick around for a long time.
Lava Sutra-HARD AND HEAVY (WITH MARSHMALLOW) CD (Whitehouse Records)

Here's a forgotten favorite from the graveyard of gangrened goodies that I shoulda been playing a whole lot more o'er these past twenny years than I have. Co-led by former fanzine magnate Anthony Illarde, Lava Sutra might seem like more of that nineties grunge that you either couldn't get enough of or got way too much of, only I espy more of an early seventies heavy metal vibe to it that at least tames the more alternative rock instincts to a respectable low. The Badfinger/Raspberries pop moves also help enshrine Lava Sutra more in the early-seventies camp than it does the feigned nihilism of the nineties, and the Seeds references on "What You Gonna Give" still sound refreshing considering just how hated that band had been for years on end. It's got a little bit of something for everyone...who appreciates the grittier, less polished side of rock 'n roll that is.
Various Artists-KICKIN' THE QUEST AROUND CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Hmmmmm, this 'un kept me in rock 'n roll jollies more'n I would have expected! The Hanna Barbara theme songs were boff enough for this spiritual suburban slob turdler, but the rest? Well, the Lorin Frank Productions radio ads were quite inspiring, reminding me of the days when classiness was the norm as far as the ol' commercial push goes, while the Neil Young and Crazy Horse track shows that although the former sounds as if he's turning into Walter Brennan the latter can still cook hot rock and they shoulda dumped Young ages back and become the Rockets again. Oddly enough my favorite tracks were by th' Faith Healers (pretty good electric drone indie rock that don't offend even if they have a typically indie-sounding gal singing on some of it) and the Ping-Pongs (strange neo-garage band sound that has this Ray Davies on ether feel---research sez it just might be one of those "song poems" that are all the rage in certain circles these days). The version of "Hey Ba Ba Re Bob" that closes the thing is a hoot...and gee, I never knew that it was such a dirty song!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015


When Ernie Bushmiller capsized into the dreaded inkwell of eternity back in 1982 the comic strip world really lost a heavy hitter. I mean, here was a guy who had been drawing the adventures of that curly headed mulatto NANCY for nigh on almost fifty years by that time (and Aunt Fritzi a whole lot longer) and all of a sudden he was missing for good, his absence becoming a noticeable blot on the once-funny pages of the day. And really, who could have replaced such a stellar name inna world of comics as Bushmiller just as who could have replaced Al Capp, Chester Gould or even that guy who drew MR. MUM? Not Gary Trudeau that's for sure!

Yeah, many a strip out there has survived the loss of its creator (usually with disastrous effect) but in this case the creator (Bushmiller) was the strip and even the stoopidest of doopidest people out there gotta admit that trying to continue NANCY after Bushmiller's demise wasn't exactly as easy a task as it was to keep yet another top notch fave such as FERD'NAND going. But continue on with this big bucks bonanza United Features Syndicate did, but who out there could have taken on such a Herculean task of tackling a strip that looked so primitive yet took a whole lot more skill'n I'm sure even Michelangelo would have been able to muster up?

Turns out that the person who was up to such a task was none other than Bushmiller assistant Mark Lasky, who from what I would gather had been responsible for much of the daily NANCY output during Bushmiller's final days. (Though I must admit that some of the strips that were appearing in the early-eighties looked as if Bushmiller was giving 'em a go on his lonesome despite his stroke and diabetes...really bizarro primitive work featuring Nancy eating spaghetti in the bathtub for a super-droll punchline.) And if I must put my two scents into the mix lemme say that I think that Mr. Lasky did a really good job of it, at least when he was directly copying from the old Bushmiller-era strips which is no big deal since Bushmiller used to di it himself.

True that certain Bushmiller sense o' suburban slobdom isn't exactly rearing its pockmarked head in these strips, but then again these funnies do capture that weird transitional mood that affected me throughout the early-to-mid eighties. Yeah, that was a time when a whole lotta the joy de vivre that was kiddom was being replaced by something a whole lot less palatable and perhaps downright sophisticado from tee-vee programs to music as well as general slob living. Sheesh, looking back on those days I only wish that I was around to say goodbye to Bushmiller because hey, when he passed on he sure took a whole lotta twentieth-century GOODNESS with him!

Since I doubt that the Lasky-period strips are gonna be reprinting in some slick Library of American Comics collection any day soon here are just a smattering of 'em. Some do show a particular primitive nature to 'em but considering the duty that Lasky had towards his readership of six-year-old kids and aged fanablas like myself I'd say he did a way more impressive job 'n what I'm sure the majority of NANCY-mongers out there woulda thought:

Needless to say Lasky's '83 death from leukemia threw United Features into a pants down tizzy, what with their rushing a troubleshooter in to do the strip for a short while the suits went looking for a new artist to handle their still potent property. Needless to say this fly in the monkeywrench didn't go unnoticed not only to us comic strip readers of the day but the general world as well (heck, I even remember none other'n NPR's Nina Totenberg breaking the early morning radio sphere after pulling a midnight shift with a story about NANCY's current travails!). It was but a short time this artist who didn't sign his work (for professional reason I'd gather) filled in the gap between Lasky and the artist who would eventually take up the strip, but I still gotta credit whoever it was doing this for at least trying to capture that great forties/fifties/sixties thrills and feelings in an era that really didn't capture much of anything for me:

By '84 the strip was taken over by the execrable Jerry Scott, definitely a member of the post-seventies comic strip set who managed to take everything that was fun and ranch house out of NANCY and turn it into yet another one of those imitation PEANUTS strips that had been floating around since the mid-fifties. Another nail into that coffin holding all of those fun frolics of youth that were now either forgotten, mocked or (worse yet) banned. The re-appearance of the NANCY of original intent in the mid-nineties after United Features had the good sense to knock Scott on his fat butt off the strip did give me some hope for the return of good ol' cheapo gulcher in an ever-yuppified world, but even that move turned sour after the brothers found out they couldn't aspire to those stellar Bushmillerian heights and went their own way after a few months of some super copycatting. 's funny, but if Lasky could pull it off maybe 75% of the time and the unknown troubleshooter at least half of it, why couldn't any of these modern day people who you think would have had the technology, talent and BRAINS to re-create NANCY's original spirit? If man can find a cure for sideways turds you'd think he could create a decent comic strip, eh?

Saturday, April 18, 2015

ANOTHER WEEK ANOTHER SOMETHINGOROTHER...: welcome back back my friends to the bloviating that never ends, and if you're disgusted by that reference to noted prog schmoozers Emerson should go jump in the Lake with Palmer (copyright 1973 DENIM DELINQUENT magazine) then you'll undoubtedly be totally stomach-churned by what indeedly follows! Again it's been a rather creepathon week here at the BTC orifices and between this, work and whatever funzie time I can scrounge about there really hasn't been much that I could all stimulating happening between these four walls, or any other four walls I happen to be occupying at the time. Hopefully this will all change for the better, but then again hopefully I'll fall into a few billion dollars that'll tide me over until payday.
WEIRD ROCK 'N ROLL DREAM TIME!: haven't been having many of these particular dreamies as of late, but the one  I experienced only a few evenings back was not only elongated beyond the usual dream timespan of aseemingly minute or so but rather strange even for a suburban slob such as myself!!! At the beginning of it I was hanging out in Youngstown Ohio around the university area and I decide to blow off seeing the Rollins Band (had tickets) to take in Ella Fitzgerald at a large auditorium nearby! Ella even drove me home and was acting nice about it too! Then all of a sudden I'm in a strange place which turns out to be CBGB (though it now looks like some sorta abandoned warehouse turned into a flea market) and somehow my mind is relaying to me that this is that "new" place where CBGB used to be but they're having a CBGB reunion night of sorts!

And guess which song I hear when I trot in...."I'm Really Not This Way" by Manster! Yes, Manster had reformed for this gig and they did a good rendition of the famous number offa LIVE AT CBGB's though I remember the closing guitar solo being restrained in comparison with the original. I then trotted over to the stage to see expected they were now all old guys in their sixties, kinda wrinkled skin-wise yet looking rather neat in their suits and ties, and they were playing really good that night to the point where I sure wish I had a tape recorder handy! The singer (whose hair was grey and kinda wiry) had fun at our expense by shaking a bottle of Coke and spraying it all over the front of the crowd (including me!). He also shot some whipped or shaving cream on me and of course I fell to my knees laughing as well as feeling honored that the guy would target me with his aerosol can!!! A good time was had by all, and naturally dreams like this just make me wanna hear more of the real thing wherever that may be. But hey, without dreams like these I sure have a lot less!
Maybe there will be some "further ado" before we get into the review portion of today's program. First off I gotta thank Paul McGarry for a good portion of the burns, none of which I felt I got "burned" over ha ha hee hee, and Bill Shute for the sampler (one of a bazillion) of rarities combed off of the internet. Heap heavy hunkering thanks go to Bob Forward for the Nin "album" which was a total surprise because for some reason (joke presented in opening line of review notwithstanding) I thought this was gonna be some modern group doing the industrial crank game! (BTW this a platter that I will admit sounds just as good at 33 as it does at fact play it at 33 because it will last longer and sound even spookier just like one of those old Chrome records which urged you to do the same!)

OK, no more ado for me!

JD McPhearson-LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL CD-r burn (originally on Rounder Records)

A lotta this revival blooze chooze never did settle well with my rather delicate stomach, but since this guy's not Robert Cray it ain't like I'm gonna be complainin'. In fact this is pretty hot stuff that sounds rather pre-scuzzy white kids slick it up at times, a bit commercial perhaps but still varied enough to keep this short-attention-spanned reviewer occupied for the entirety. IMPORTANT NOTE: the title song is not the Huey Piano Smith and the Clowns classic nor is it the Cars late-seventies classic rock schmoozer but an original, so don't be let down once you plunk this one on the laser launch pad expecting one or the other finding out that its neither!

The Bossmen-PERSONALLY YOURS CD-r burn (originally on Lion)

A pre-Alice/Lou/etc. Dick Wagner got his chops chopped up in this mid-sixties Detroit band, and if you want to hear the roots of all of those seventies guitar god grinders that he cranked out way back when well... It ain't like you're exactly gonna hear any of 'em here! But you'll like it more'n enough knowing the voracious appetite of some of you six-oh rock fans and followers.

From the early Beatles cops to the white enough take on soul to the Yardbirds-inspired hard blues noogies the Bossmen really captured their era well, and if you're still hungering for more of that NUGGETS crunch this might help you out at least until the next outta-nowhere exhumation. For fans of that BOMP! issue with the Detroit history (I think it was the one with the Groovies onna cover) that you still refer to when the ol' memory fails.
Tav Falco-COMMAND PERFORMANCE CD-r burn (originally on Stone Blatt)

Sheesh, who woulda thought this guy was still around? But he is, and frankly I remember him sounding a whole lot rummage sale 'n this back in '81 when the first Panther Burns album came out. But it's sure nice giving Mr. Falco a listen to all these years later even if he does sound like he got a stuffy nose. A lotta this does kinda suffer from a post-postmodern slickness and it ain't like the originals are anything to toss the cornflakes about, but this stew does entertain a whole load more'n most of the free download snoozeroonies out these days. And hey, why should I moan about it because I got the thing for free (unless you wanna count the big humongous Christmas gifts I give Paul McGarry not to mention the loads of postage it takes to trek the package all the way to Waterdown)...
INTRODUCING THE NEW PICCADILLYS CD-r burn (originally on Sound Flat)

One of those "revival" kinda bands that actually strikes me good whether it be because of their authentico 1963 look or their faithful renditions of early-mid-sixties cusp garage rock craziness that really made those years special in more ways than one. Taking cues from everyone from the Trashmen to the Ramones even and all British Invasion points in-between, the NP's have released a record that would have rated with any long player to get the wrecked needle play on your older sis's portable back mid-sixties way. Not only that, but the high-pumping pressure this one exudes only proves that no matter how much the snobbish Pantsiosites out there in sophiticado "rock" land may pout about it the Big Beat continues to live on! I probably won't be spinning this 'un on a nightly basis like I do some of my stone cold faves, but it sure does bring back alla those turdler-era spells of tee-vee fun and car radio ramalama!
Anais Nin-ATLANTIS INCEST one-sided 12-inch 45-rpm (no label)

Whew! For a minute I thought this was gonna be some sickoid story about a guy thinking he's sodomizing his new born infant only to find out it was the fambly dog alla time! Turns out that it ain''s just the soundtrack to the Ian Hugo 1952 film BELLS OF ATLANTIS which features famed pornographer Anais Nin reciting a portion of her own HOUSE OF INCEST while this beautifully gurgling and burbling music (sounds like a buncha tape loops and audio generations set for the heart of the sun) predates a whole lotta seventies underground rock accomplishment that might've made it to the Nurse With Wound list had this only gotten out more.

You can hear it for free on youtube if you wish (while watching the pre-psychedelic explosion of color that just might creep inside your frazzle) but this is a nifty package and a gosh darn wonderful artifact of early hipster expression and alla that Jackson Pollack nonsense we've been inundated with for years. Methinks that the same people who pressed this one up (color xerox cover pasted onto black sleeve, color one-sided vinyl) also did the very similar Velvet Underground CHELSEA GIRLS, AGENTS OF MISFORTUNE and Sun Ra on church organ releases that had been coming out for well over a year, but I just can't be sure of such things. Sure looks similar tho...
Various Artists-DEADEND PLAYBOY BUTTERBALL DEEP CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Bill is showing marked improvement with these newer efforts. Not that the old ones were exactly turdballs but there's more of a mind-expanding variety with these efforts. Or something like that but hey, these made for great listening whilst I was reading the newest issue of BULL TONGUE REVIEW (see last post) so don't go givin' me any lip!

Dunno why Bill slapped guitar snoozer Al Caiola on here (probably because he knows I hate him!), but he sure did good here. There are also such "oddities" as Grasshopper's "Pretzel Bill" (some of that new avant musique concrete I believe which oddly enough conjured up nightmarish vision of the early-eighties cassette culture) and some other equally mesmerizing into the pit of despair track I never was able to find the name of (track listings get all goofed up because of the boffo radio commercials stuck in without any prior warning)..Come to think of it, the entire platter seems to ooze some strange spell that comes off like one of those drug-induced dreams I have which come off so real to the point where even years later I still wonder if what I had dreamed had actually happened or not. I'm sure some of you serious narcologists would know what I'm talking about but gee, I'm just a tippy-toe dabbler compared with some just about every one of you guys!

Oh yeah, the inclusion of Quincy Jones was totally unnecessary, and listening to Harry James go late-sixties top 40 hip is about as digestible as watching Pat Buttrum with long hair and a mod kerchief. But listening to these things just had me fantasizing that it was the seventies, and the hopes of a Gizmos EP was just around the corner...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

MAGAZINE REVIEW! BULL TONGUE REVIEW #2 ( Exposure has 'em as well)

Remember them days, y'know, them days when you'd wait patiently for whatever fanzine you had sent away for to finally show up at your doorstep and you'd eagerly (if carefully) open the manila envelope, remove said not-so-periodical from its sheath, and then lock yourself in your fart-encrusted bedroom and read the whole dang thing cover-to-cover until it was either time to relieve your number one or mom was calling for you to come eat supper?

Yeah them were the days...and now you can relive them about as well as you can here in the tepid teens with the latest issue of BULL TONGUE REVIEW! Yes, with those sixties/seventies/eighties underground thrills just slipping away faster'n hair from Eno's scalp a mag like this comes in mighty handy! For not only do editors Byron Coley and Thurston Moore round up just about whatever's left of that once-blazing underground and report it all to you in a nice, concise and ya-just-gotta-get-hold-of-a-copy-even-if-the-thing's-been-sold-out-for-months sorta way, but they got a whole lotta stragglers from said underground to tell us about their recent fave books, activities, recordings, tee-vee programs and other things you didn't think pseudo-boho types cared about one bit! But these people ain't pseudo-bohos so once again you don't know what you're talking about and why are you reading this nize li'l downhome blog of mine in the FIRST place you "poseur" you!

All kidding aside, Byron and Thurston do a pretty spiffy job of layin' on the line what has popped up in what's left of underground punkdom. The A MINUTE TO PRAY period Flesheaters reunion review that was undoubtedly Byron's bailiwick read grand especially from a guy who had been all-out supportive of the group ever since the day (or actually, long before) "Chris D's Carnal Knowledge" (a whopper of a piece if there ever was one) appeared in the pages of THE NEW YORK ROCKER. It's kinda like he was born to write about the Flesheaters in any way shape or form and hey, I'd rather read about his personalist opines on the guy than I would some certain West Coast tinytoon's given the fact that here it is 2015 and just about anybody can come off looking like a total asshole given they got the right technology in their hands.

However, to be honest I think I'm gonna pass on trying to get hold of most of the wares Coley and Moore were pitching to us this time, perhaps except for a new Rolling Stones fanzine out there called what else but STONE AGE! Yeah I know what yer thinking---who'd wanna buy let along read yet another Rolling Stones 'zine these days?!?! Well, this one's different since it features nothing but various celebs (big name or not) writing about just how much Mick Jagger and company have influenced their otherwise pitiful lives! The thing comes outta London England, but it might be worth the pences to pick up especially if you wanna read the personal Stone takes of such big names in the rock 'n roll biz as Sylvain Sylvain, James Williamson and Henry Rollins?!?!?!??

The main meaty portion of the rag is boffo enough for my tastes as well. Some new additions to the growing cast of characters (welcome aboard Eddie Flowers!) join the reg'lars, and for the most part the reading is just as swell as you'd find in just about any down-to-earth fanzine of the early-mid-seventies that dared to mix its Genesis with its Seeds. Once again Donna Lethal cracks me up with her spin on "Youtube Tutorials" while Richard Meltzer (remind me to do a seventieth birthday trib to him onna blog) does a moom pitcher-tee-vee roundup that reminds me of those columns he used to do for FUSION and RAUNCHY ROCK way back when! Only it's in the here and now and the landscape has changed but fortunately not the prime oomph!

Other personal faves include Lili Dwight on belly buttons (a current subject swirling in my mind because I have come under attack for saying that the navel on a nize looking lady is just as va-voom as her bullseyes and the mounds they rest upon), Charles Plymell on the recent rash of Norton Records/Books output, Joe Carducci on Sam Peckinpah's short-lived WESTERNER series (with Brian Keith long before the days of FAMILY AFFAIR, caught an episode when the Western Channel was being shown free for a week and it was almost as boffo as the early-hour-long GUNSMOKE that sure made the later ones TV Land run look pale) and Ira Kaplan on "37 Birds I Prefer to THE BIRDMAN (2014)"! Loads more too, but I'll let you pour your peeps over your own copy and decide what pieces you think make this 'un a magazine to be dealt with.

Oh yeah, and the art is fantab, especially the Savage Pencil drawings that pop up throughout this potent periodical. Reminds me of those little cartoons that Jonh Ingham and others used to do for NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS and WHO PUT THE BOMP! which only shows that the more things stay the same, they change, or something like that.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A REAL BOSS ROCK 'N' ROLL SHOW I ATTENDED LAST TUESDAY EVENING!-I'm talkin' about the Moody Blues at Akron's B. J. Thomas (hah!) Hall, and boy was that one a proverbial mofo as they say!!! The Moodies started off with this high energy rocker called "Once Upon a Time" which was highly reminiscent of the Stooges back when Iggy slipped into a heavy duty smack jones and began smelling like that dog poop that I mistakenly ran over with the lawn mower and splattered all over the place. Total annihilation. Then they roared into an old favorite entitled "Tuesday Afternoon" that sounded just like the Seeds back around the time they were recording "Up In Her Room". After that came a whole string of numbers that really hearkened back to those crazy days of sixties decadence like "Nights in White Satin" (a dead ringer for the Flamin' Groovies), "Melancholy Man" (a resensifier if there ever was one!!!) and "Ride My See Saw", which a few fanablas out there say is a direct swipe from the Deviants' "I'm Coming Home". The show ended in a wild orgasmic free form freakout that really turned crazy when the gal flute player got nekkid and started dancing to the primal rock 'n' roll beat of it all!

In actuality it was a typical baby boomer money grabber that I attended only because my cyst-er got some free tickets for pledging to the local PBS station (we got the PBS seats way up high and I got a spontaneous [translation-no picking] nosebleed to prove it). And, needless to say, I was bored silly by it all. Well, it was kinda fun (if not a little sickening) watching all of the old leftovers standing up and applauding or holding their arms up while yelling "THANK YOU!" as if this were some sort of tent revival meeting. The only song I really liked was "The Story in Your Eyes" which wasn't any "Go Now", but better than the rest, even that psychedelic one about the butterflies flying all over the place. I couldn't sleep too well that night, though that may be because of the Mexican dinner I engaged in at some chi-chi yuppie eatery prior to the performance. I also told cyst that next time she pledged she should just take the Julia Childs cookbook and be done with it.
As  for what else I've been doing this week, I must admit that I've been spending a more than inordinate amount of time on's NATIONAL LAMPOON site gathering up a whole slew of past issues for our modern-day perusal and guffaws for that matter. It's sure swell to see someone put these classic magazines up for the reading (and nothing but!), and of course it's sure boffo eyeballing alla those great comics like DIRTY DUCK and even some of the NUTS that didn't make it into book form considering just how downright goodie they can be. And of course the bad taste for bad taste's sake attitude is sure refreshing just like those old Bangs and Meltzer (not to forget TEENAGE WASTELAND GAZETTE) pieces are here in the beyond cyborg and Nazified 'teens. If you want to know where I got at least some of my powers, look no further than here. Personal fave story espied so far..."All In De Fambly" which is, as they say, guaranteed to offend (the people who deserve to be offended, that is!).
The recent death of STAN FREBERG did affect me a certain way, maybe in a way where its' finally sinking into my thick skull that it's now 2015 and all of those child/teen-hood fave types who made the fifties and sixties so funtime are now passing on into eternity, perhaps taking along with the entertainment they had created with them. Of course I didn't even know who Freberg was until the early-seventies when I picked up a copy of INSIDE MAD and read the guy's "backword", and the discovery of A CHILD'S GARDEN OF FREBERG being advertised in the back pages of HELP! had me begging my mother to snatch up a copy for Christmas which was an impossibility since by this time the platter had been out of print for over fifteen years. (But don't worry, I found a nice mint copy of it a good decade later and I even reviewed it in the fifth issue of my very own crudzine!). But whatever, I kept an eye out for Freberg even though I did NOT realize at the time that all of those crazy commercials I saw on tee-vee (Ann Miller's GREAT AMERICAN SOUPS, the Shakey's Pizza one which had a Col. Sanders lookalike downing a slice which earned that now-deep sixed chain a nice lawsuit from the KFC head honcho...) were Freberg creations so it was like I was enjoying the guy for years without even knowing who he was!

If I could, I would photoshop the pic to make Freberg read an
old issue of BLACK TO COMM. But I can't, and come
to think of it he wouldn't.
Of course over the years I began spotting a whole load of boffo Freberg platters (as well as a cassette at a local supermarket!) and scarfed 'em up like potrzebie! In an age of unfunniness as the norm these spinners were the most...they were har-har inducing in that cool fifties way (even cooler'n the tepid Steve Allen) that oozed from the works of Harvey Kurtzman and could be spotted even in those supposedly kiddie-oriented Hanna-Barbara cartoons that were dragging the oldsters in front of the set just as much as they were the turdlers. Freberg's 1962 Chung King-sponsored Chinese New Year tee-vee special (which was written up in my rag as well!) was a big play around the BTC offices in the mid-90s and would be today if I only had a working VCR player. And who could forget those high-larious spoofs of DRAGNET, "The Great Pretender" and Elvis. Never did get to hear any of those anti-Vietnam war PSA's that I understand got Freberg on Nixon's Enemies List (though I can't find any concrete proof of that), but I'll bet those are a hoot as well (the "Vietnamamatic"???? Har!).

So it's so long to you master cartoon voice, tee-vee funnyman (remember when this unabashed rock 'n' roll hater was on THE MONKEES???) and yet another cool fifties/sixties guy with glasses (along with Bill Cullen and Alan Ludden!). Sheesh, somehow I now feel a whole lot older than the four-year-old I always envision myself as!
Well, do ya think I have created a spiffy batch of reviews here now...c'mon, do YA??? Well, yeah, the selection coulda been better, but given the past week I'm surprised I was able to crank out this much. One oldie, one recently bought and the rest donated. Who sez one can't live on a mere five dollars a week anyhow?


Neglected debut ESP spin from the equally neglected Simmons, who plays not as ferocious as the big names but good enough to make you forget some of those not so exciting performers who used to pop up in the eighties and nineties. An as-you'd-expect new thing session featuring the beautifully droning trumpet of Barbara Donald, John Hicks doing standard Bley-isms on the piano, Teddy Smith on bass and Marvin Pattillo on percussion. Best of the batch; "A Distant Voice" which has Simmons wailing alto over one of the most beautiful mid-east drones heard at least since LaMonte Young, and who am I to lie to you?
Jake Starr and the Delicious Fullness-TASTES GOOD CD-r (originally on AM)

Typical garage revival platter that similar to most of the ones we've heard ever since the seventies. Good cheap trasho organ sound coupled with reconstituted tough teenage vocals. Not bad at all but really nothing that might have excited me the same way these sorta shenanigans did back when Moxie Records was in business and BATTLE OF THE GARAGES seemed like the ultimate in underground rock expression especially compared with alla that new wave-o gunch that was siphoning money away from our trust funds. For 99th FLOOR readers, and maybe a few fans of the early BLACK TO COMM as well.
Moondog-RARE MATERIAL 2-CD set (Indigo)

Before they had outsider music, they had outsider music. And this guy (along with Harry Partch, Conlon Nancarrow and some hip relic I'll find out about tomorrow) was one of the earliest practitioners of the form to the point where he was considered hepster material long before Janis Joplin covered his "All Is Loneliness". Heck, even Marlon Brando used to sit in with him slapping the bongos, and I remember reading in some old issue of BUCKETFULL OF BRAINS where Moondog himself said that none other than Lenny Bruce showed an interest in his work, but we won't talk about overrated unfunny junkies who think they have something important to say about society especially when they don't.

Rather upfront collection this is, with stuff from those really old albums Moondog did in the fifties as well as some newer extravaganzas ranging from Big Band strut to introspective renaissance-type thingies. It all fits in well when you're in the mood for something that's jazzy then emotional then kinda Amerigan rustic. And, like the best of this original outta nowhere music it doesn't have a SHARD of artistic pretension the kind you've seen outta the billions of performance artists and underground rock types who think they're being creative when they're aping the likes of Lydia Lunch a good thirtysome years after these mattress gal types shoulda known better.

As Madonna said about some seventies foreign film, "I like it because it's real"...
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS CD-r burn (originally on East Side Digital)

Average (in fact, kinda ho-hum) country rock that at least has got a definite pounce to it. Gets points for making an attempt to merge deep south grit and suburban slob rockism, but just doesn't hit the mark like similar efforts by the Kama Sutra-era Flamin' Groovies let alone pre-glitzout Stones. Still, the tracks heard here sure do make for a whole better listening experience than alla that new country popschmooze that I hear every time I enter into Dollar General to pick up a bag of pork rinds.
Fossils-FOR BRIAN RURYK CD (Kendra Steiner Editions)

Crazed collage of musique concrete roar, huddling somewhere between Smegma, Nurse With Wound, Orchid Spangiafora and that dream you had one night having something to do with a high school science class and severe constipation. Rather extreme at times but nothing that will want to make you upchuck, and quite mesmerizing even when the sound seems to be going off into tangents that would make Sun Ra's various space explorations seem like first class travel complete with the comfy slippers. Pretty snazzy stuff if you must know, and something that I'll bet a whole slew of anal retentive geeks will be studying to death 100 years from now because hey, what else will there be for them to do?
Various Artists-I SAW HER STANDING NEXT TO IGOR CD-r burn (BS)

I enjoyed it. The thing's got a pleasing mish-mosh of obscurities from sixties soul (the Bronzettes, Betty Davis before she married Miles) to familiar faves missing the charts big (Brenda Lee, Bill Medley) to British Invasion rave (the Boy Blues) and forgotten garage bands (the Snaps). Oddly enough I actually owned The Paniks' Batman spoof entitled "I Can Beat Him Up" at one time, but I think it got dumped somewhere (maybe might still be snuggled in my collection somewhere). My faves of the lot just happen to be this Mexican-themed novelty about Christmas south of the border entitled "Burrito", Zacherle's horror grossout "Igor" and Nat King Cole plugging some cheapo wine via a promotional platter sent to local booze shops. Dunno if they still bottle this "Arriba" stuff, but if you got a bottle of MD 20/20 or Thunderbird handy it just might go swell with this 'un.

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Haw! It figures that the very first MAD paperback collection was entitled THE MAD READER so why not CRACKED's debut on the spinning bookcase display be a direct swipe anyhow??? Considering what an alternate dimension version of MAD CRACKED had been for way too long a time wouldja think they were gonna call this thing anything but???

I gotta admit that although I cringed whenever I saw this mag at the stands throughout my MAD-loving days I do find this smattering of some of the earliest CRACKED stories ever to be printed to be rawther entertaining. Even funny at times. John Severin's art was perhaps at its post-EC best (and even the "serious" piece contrasting tee-vee western characters and their real life counterparts was pleasing enough for my eyeballs to behold), and although Jack Davis wasn't putting as much fine-lined detail into his art like he did in the MAD spectacular "Let's Go For a Ride!" (as well as his TRUMP and HUMBUG contributions) his stories were at least as good as it got compared with some of his later slapdash crankout. Even Bill Elder does some of his great comic strip parodies which are always amazing even if I don't think the POPEYE panel that pops up here really captured the various MAD (let alone PANIC) versions he previously gifted us with.

Whoever was scribbling the text for these stories was sure doing a better job than they were in the CRACKEDs that I used to sneak peek on scant occasion. Sure a good portion of the turds they popped out might have seemed trite compared with the main competition, but the timely spoofs dealing with such astute subject matter as beatniks, BAT MASTERSON, SEA HUNT and Bridgette Bardot still make for funtime reading especially in an age where comedy more or less has become loudmouth assaults on whatever target of self-righteous ire some sideways turd of a human being may harbor these days.

And between you 'n me dontcha think we can sure use a whole lot more real har-hars these days whether it be a Gavin McInnes or Jim Goad column somewhere online or better yet one of those DIVERSITY CHRONICLE articles that keep me laughing from here to Fanabla because it's like 2015 and you're not supposed to laugh at these things like you could have even a good ten years back!

One final note---it is interesting (though not exactly surprising) to see that even in these early issues the CRACKED writers were poking fun at their main inspiration with blatant references to not only Alfred E. himself but EC boss Bill Gaines (the latter even being pictured with his face unobscured unlike old Neuman's). Yeah I know that Alfred E.'s visage had been spotted in a variety of MAD knockoffs in the late-fifties (and even in TRUMP), but when I was a kid I was once shocked to see a CRACKED cover where mascot Sylvester P. Smythe was seen sticking pins into a voodoo doll who looked suspiciously like you-know-who. Somehow to an adolescent pus-package such as myself this seemed like a horrid blasphemy, but considering most of the blasphemies that are accepted and whole and true these days it's like well, what else is there gonna be to shock and offend me these days, eh? (or is that yawn...). Still it was quite a surprise for me, and although I hadn't heard of any lawsuits regarding the use of MAD's very own Esky/Playboy bunny I was sure as shootin' under the impression that one was gonna be just around the corner!

But then again when I was an adolescent I thought that anybody who was famous and on tee-vee alla time was an automatic millionaire, and when you're twelve you do see the world kinda skewered, y'know?

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sheesh, I'm still trying to down some rather wretched Christmas candy that's still lying about the abode (some sorta chocolate-covered dog feces dried to a nauseating chewable texture) and now it's Easter---I mean, can you believe it??? Given my luck with holiday candy I'm probably going to have to spend the next six months or so trying to down alla those horrible fruit 'n nut eggs my mother buys because she thinks I like 'em (of course only she does and she ain't fooling anyone one bit because the last thirtysome years have been filled with hints for vanilla fudge and coconut ones!) which certainly does not add up to any tasty sweets gobbling on my part, that's for sure!

Anyway, this particular Easter had me reminiscing of those holidays past undoubtedly because I was much younger then and could appreciate cheapo candy thrills even more, and for some not-so-surprising reason I keep recalling perhaps the most vivid Easter of all. Twas the one from when I was but a little single-digiter, about nine or so but anyway, the entire fambly had returned home from church that Easter morn and what did we find but all of the Easter baskets pilfered! Torn into with candy and boxes chewed up and scattered about the parlor floor amidst the Easter hay with what could be called primal abandon. Upon further discovery we found our dog Sam lying at the bottom of the cellar stairs deathly ill whilst moaning his guts away! Y'see, dogs and chocolate don't exactly go together---we didn't know that at the time---and here Sam snuck into the forbidden parlor area on the hunt for food, ate all of the goodies he could stand and was sick as what else but a dog because of his misdeeds!

I still chortle over that even all these years later, and even though Sam might have learned his lesson I sure didn't because I would give the pooch a piece of my Hershey's bar whenever he would beg and maybe if a li'l bit didn't hurt him that much I'm sure his mind remembered that sunny spring day when he certainly did bite off more than he could chew! Or should that be digest... But its those kinda memories that I cherish most even if the wretched ones about school and being banged into that round hole with a mallet usually take center stage in my sometimes not-so-rheumy reminiscences.
Kinda slow new-disque-wize this go 'round, so other'n the obligatory Bill Shute effort at the end the platters being reviewed are all oldsters that were rescued from within the vast reaches of Cee-Dees that could be found on various boxes sitting on top of my bedroom bookcase (which is filled with even more Cee-Dees if you can believe it!). Just random pics of platters that I might have spun a few times and forgot, or even those I've ignored for whatever reasons when I first snatched 'em up or was given 'em by people who thought I would review the thing post haste! Whatever, here are some spins that I think you'll appreciate reading about (hah!), and if I've convinced any of you to go out and search a copy or two of these I'll REALLY be surprised. I mean, some of you reg'lar visitors to this blog are kinda brain dead, y'know???
Oh, before I get into the good stuff, can anyone direct me to some English translations of any Yves Adrien articles that might be floating about out there in the ether we know as internet???

Crazy Horse-CRAZY MOON CD (Raven, Australia)

The unreleased '78 album sounds about as instant bargain bin as any late-seventies album could, but even I must admit that CRAZY MOON comes off like a much better potential cutout classic than all of those Arthur Fiedler Boston Pops platters you hadda tread through to get to the Monty Python. Sure it's got a whole lotta that El Lay fringe and denim in its slickly-produced sound (I can just see the men behind the control panel engaging in a little extra-curricular activities up their nostrils while this was being recorded) , but beneath the ROLLING STONE-approved comfy jeans candor there's a rather gritty affair that just might appeal to even the more punkier of thou. At least in part, but those parts just might be juicy enough for you to digest.

Hokay I know you're gonna conjure up all sortsa Doobie Brothers vibes in your brain whilst listening to "Dancin' Lady", but I think you might be able to get around the occasional lapses into mediocrity once in awhile.

The tracks from the '72 AT CROOKED LAKE album are more to my liking even if I find CRAZY MOON quite palatable (West Coast at its gutsier---guess the patchouli hadn't sunk into their brains yet) at least to the point where I might seek out that particular platter once I get the review over an done with. (NOTE---I checked into what was available and decided to hold off because of $$$ constraints, which is as good enough an excuse as any!) And of course the Rockets tracks which were included to sweeten the pot so to speak are better'n the rest of the tracks combined, but if you've been reading this blog long enough you wouldn't have to ask (if you were to, that is).
Led Zeppelin-CABALA 5/6 2-CD set bootleg (Osoz Italy)

Bought these two final disques taken from one of those superduper bootleg box sets if only for the inclusion of the LUCIFER RISING soundtrack which appears on the first 'un. Turns out this ain't the rather boffo Jimmy Page take which appeared on the legendary (and recently restored) LUCIFER RISING PART ONE version of that film but the better known Bobby Beausoliel soundtrack that comes off about as Zep-oriented as Mantovani (actually it reminds me a whole lot of just-pre-DARK SIDE OF THE MOON Pink Floyd). Prison really did a lot to alter Beausoliel's musical capabilities because this proggy stew is a looong way from Arthur Lee, and if I were you I'd keep an eye out for the Page version.

The rest that transpires ain't much to chew on either, with rather coked up performances taken from various Amerigan tours which I would assume really brought out the beast in the group (at least to the point where they were sloshing through their sets thinking about the entertainment they were gonna be in store for once their entertaining was over for the night), and while I'm at it the El Lay '77 soundcheck featuring the band hamming it up on old fifties hits doesn't have the joy de vivid that even the more jaded Lennon and McCartney woulda worked up during the same time. Of course by that tour it would all come (deservedly) crashing down so what else would you expect from these major league burpers anyway?

At least those '69 live shows had a lotta the snazz and groove that their first LP was lacking, even to the point where you can easily hear some tangential sixties punk rock styles merging into seventies accomplishment. But this particular quaff's only for the downed out zitfarm greaseatron who used to bag your groceries in between tokes in the back of the supermarket. If you're nostalgic for backseat puking this is the boot for you!
The Chesterfield Kings-SURFIN' RAMPAGE CD (Mirror)

I've been neglecting the Chesterfield Kings for quite awhile so this 'un did come in handy even if I was looking for their Rolling Stones "tribute". The best of PEBBLES VOLUME 4 cum the BOMP! surf issue mooshed up for an audience who wants a li'l more in their surf sounds than the local lounge act doing their usually sterile version of "Wipe Out". Surf obscurities from the Usher/Christian and Brian Wilson collections mingle with a few originals and heck, even your Unca Fanabla might remember hearing "Little Honda" on the radio way back when while changing stations to get to the new Bert Kaempfert single on E-Z listening. A better tombstone to the glory that was post-World War II/pre-hippie living than anything the seventies/eighties cooked up for "nostalgic" (yawn!) baby boomer consumption.

Given my recent DMZ obsession I thought this would be a good 'un to give a reappraisal to even if Jeff Conolly's later-on band didn't quite measure up to the original bunch (at least not in my own humble opinion). Never fear, for the raw approach to plenty of covers and even a few originals had me jumping up and down like Elton John on a prostrate synthetic son of his. More six-oh organ-dominated than DMZ true, yet it captures that mid-sixties era from a suburban slob viewpoint more than most of the other "garage revival" acts that were cluttering up the scene at the time. For some reason it reminds me of all of those family trips to a cold, damp, rainy New England, and that includes the boffo drive in restaurants that served up a whole oceanfulla delicious 'n greasy seafood as well!
The Red Crayola-LIVE 1967 2-CD set (Drag City)

Here 'tis, or is it here 'tare, the legendary Red Crayola (the original batch, not the ones Mayo Thompson had been trotting about since the late-seventies) recorded live and elsewhere during their notorious San Francisco romp back July 1967 way. Total free-form sound both acoustic and electronic done in front of an audience (some who actually seems to appreciate their free form freak outs---guess the drugs hadn't gone to all of their frazzled heads yet) and in their hotel room playing some of the freest music (let alone "rock") to have been heard at that time.

There's even a track with none other than John Fahey sitting in which still makes me wonder whatever happened to that lost unreleased album the group did with him during their West Coast jaunt. But this is great on many levels, not only for the wonderful ahead-of-their-time avant-rock explorations that would come to fruition with the advent of Throbbing Gristle and Nurse With Wound, but for the fact that the band of Thompson, Cunningham and Barthleme were really upsetting more'n a few peace 'n love applecarts with this sonic barrage that seems to go 180-degrees against the prevailing winds of the time. And of course killjoy me just loves that to the end!

Nice foldout poster/insert with this one which reprints a whole load of press regarding the band's stay in the Bay Area. And as you would expect not all of it is positive. There's even that brief if infamous mention of the Crayola that appeared in Jonathan Cott's opening schpiel in ROLLING STONE's tenth anniversary special edition where he pretty much dismisses 'em as an awkward miss in an otherwise beautiful world of youth kultur hits. Strange, but wouldn't you think a guy who cozied up to those early John and Yoko albums woulda found the Red Crayola to have been positively smashing, eh?
Lambsbread-WATER DAMAGE CD-r (Maim & Disfigure)

This 'un's almost ten years old but I'm just getting to the thing now. Maybe I was put off by the guy on the cover's tattoo and earring (I get that way sometimes) but once I got over the body modification I figured wha' th' hey. Pretty neat electronic squonk here too with atonal guitar scrawl and who knows what else, and although you might say it's just a couple of guys jagging off with their gear I say so what! Sorta like a bedroom tape version of what acts like Ascension and maybe even High Rise have been doing for the past few decades. Only fifty numbered copies, and I got #3!
Iggy and the Stooges-OPEN UP AND BLEED! CD (Bomp!)

Yupyupyup, I've heard these tracks via many a source ever since the floodgates of RAW POWER-era Stooges burst forth like vomit from an AIDS-riddled streetbum but sheesh, it's always great listening to these melodies over and over again no matter what form they happen to come in.

The CBS rehearsals with the future Blue Gene Tyranny on piano begin the disque followed by a portion of the Latin Casino and Whisky-A-Go-Go shows before its back to rehearsals with the always engrossing "She Creatures of the Hollywood Hills" and "Rubber Legs". It's all kinda together enough to appreciate as a "whole", and not only that but it'll sure brings back old Stooges tingles to you people who were in on the game from the get-go!

If you were one stroonad who was ostracized for listening to the Stooges and Dolls in a world of Cat Stevens and Melanie it might not rectify anything in the long run, but think about all of the fun you'll have at the high school reunion when you see alla them dunderhead folkie types waddle their way up to tell you just how superior they still are and always will be as their colostomy bags spill all over their gowns!
Various Artists-VULGAR LIME BOATMEN VIBRATING CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

In between snatches of brilliance (Bo Diddley, the Sunrays) Bill globs on a whole lotta tossaway gunk that an't even fit enough for your retarded cousin's basket-weaving class!

But I like it, everything from "vanity entertainer" Dora Hall's "Engine #9 to Hank and Jimmy doing the late-fifties singing due schtick in the most pedestrian manner imaginable to a Japanese take on the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows". Sure the obv. BATMAN cop entitled "Chickenman" (who certainly ain't no Batwing I'll tell ya) flops all over and how many versions of the "Third Man Theme" do you need, but at least we get some fun li'l turdbits like a Chuck Berry medley and a neato instrumental by an act called the Eagles who don't reek Southern California cocaine karma like I know you thought they would.

Funniest track---Angelina's "He Forgot His Rubbers" which is double entendre enough for you, me and your high school English teacher because it was taken from an album fulla durty songs with titles like "All The Girls Love Big Dick" and "My Pussy Belongs To Daddy"! A great way to celebrate the Easter Holiday, dontcha think? Now you know what to get Aunt Mabel and Unca Ferd for their anniversary, and if they brain ya don't come cryin' to me!

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

BOOK REVIEW! THE CREEPER by Steve Ditko (DC, 2010)

After pouring through all of those Steve Ditko comics I wrote about three weeks back, I figured that I needed more of the man's comics in my life. So I did what I thought was best and latched onto this recent collection of every Ditko delineated CREEPER story that appeared under the DC imprint from the late-sixties until the late-seventies. There really weren't that many of these tasty tales made (the original series ran about seven issues and his Ditko-manned reappearances in the seventies only nine) so let's just say that this tome for our times makes for a nice 'n handy collection, especially for those of us who never did get enough of that good ol' ranch house fifties-sixties-seventies living and wanna make up for lost time before we're stuck at the Abundant Life rest home in a coma and the stoopid doctors there are pumping in disco day and night because that's what they think us old timers like!

Yeah the Creeper just ain't as legendary as that other Ditko creation SPIDER-MAN, but at least he left the Stan Lee-approved angst and imperfection back at Marvel where it belonged! Jack Ryder's a recently-fired tee-vee host who, while undercover at a mob costume party dressed up like a refugee from a gay pride parade, gets brutally stabbed when discovered. An Iron Curtain scientist who is been kidnaped by the badboys saves Ryder's life by injecting a new serum that causes not only the wound to instantly heal but a big upkick in strength, agility, energy and other superhero qualities. Oh, and before that wound healed the good doc slipped in this much-coveted device which can make Ryder's identity change from the costumed crimefighter into his real self (later on it's revealed that the Creeper costume is stuck on him and for good!) with the mere click of an activator making those quick-changes a whole lot more easier'n they were on THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN. In all a pretty neato origin story regarding a hero that I believe Ditko later re-vamped as Shag!

There's very little of the infamous late-sixties Ditko editorializing that you found creeping into his latterday SPIDER-MAN work or even the BLUE BEETLE title at Charlton (let alone Ditko's more commercial comic book friendly take on MR. A. entitled THE QUESTION). The only whiff of socio-politico pontificating I can locate is in the origin story where the still employed Ryder is poo-pooing Dr. Clayton Wetley, a thinly-disguised (I'll betcha!) take on Fredric Wertham who is going on an anti-violence tear that seems rather sympatico with the same line of thinking that got DICK TRACY dropped from the local paper back inna late-sixties. Oddly enough Wetley doesn't make it beyond this story like I thought he would (he does come off as a standard Ditko do-gooder type who woulda made for an irritating aside in the comic's run) and neither do the standard Ditko gadflies who popped up in the reams of his personalist work...I do find it really strange reading one of these sagas where the Ditko protagonist doesn't give a dying criminal a discourse on "A is A" as he slips into the sleep that knows no dawn, but I kinda get the feeling the Comics Code Authority wouldn't have gone for that!

These stories are better'n the usual late-sixties DC standard superhero sagas which at times were suffering from the ol' run down and let's try to copy the Marvel Comics format feeling. Even the ones where Denny O'Neill (the mastermind behind the short-lived and tres-relevant GREEN LANTERN/GREEN ARROW early seventies revamp) took over the writing chores ain't as righteous as I thought they would be after reading those Ditko/Robin Snyder newsletters which stated otherwise. And hey, even though the series barely made it into 1969 I will say that what was done in these comics and done in such a relatively short time does rank with the better moments of Silver/Bronze Age funnybook hijinx and that include the top notch stuff that Marvel had been doing at least up until Stan Lee decided to retire and suddenly it seemed as if SPIDER-MAN had become nothing more than a spokesman for Hostess Pies.

I didn't have much hope for the seventies CREEPER revival but the ones here seem to pick up as if there weren't a good eight or so years between stories. A little clarification was in order---the mysterious burgh that Jack Ryder/Creeper were working in was none other than Gotham City (I guess this was brought out in a non-Ditko scratched issue of THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD where the guy teamed up with none other'n Gotham's really favorite creep Batman) which kinda makes me wonder how the same hero could work in the same city at least in the old DC universe! But in Gotham City he was, and I will admit that it sure was great to read something in a late-seventies DC title that didn't try too hard to be cutting edge or just plain down pat retread (not that it's any worse than the social consciousness-packed dribble we are still constantly bombarded with even at a time when these people should know better...).

So if you like to read about a clean-cut early-sixties savvy kinda guy who lives in a world of sideburns and caterpillar mustaches and turn into freaky mop-topped hero with the click of a switch this 'un might the the one to pick. One for your goof off time reading list, and it does go well on a day off from my mid-Amerigan responsibilities along with the usual old time tee-vee shows and a spin or three of NUGGETS...who sez late-sixties suburban slobdom is dead!