Thursday, October 19, 2017


Here's another one of those who woulda guessed? books to actually reach fruition, 'specially when you consider that not only does the subject matter fail to elicit hoots from the better than thou crowd but that there already was a book on the rock group Suicide called NO COMPROMISE written quite awhile back. Is the world ready for another tome on this legendary if obscure (to smaller "rock" minds that is) book? I for sure thought that one book woulda been it and ne'er would we have the opportunity to read about this infamous sound machine again in book form no matter how long we managed to waste precious air.

Well, there was a time when I thought that one book on the Velvet Underground was gonna be the ONLY book on the Velvet Underground and time proved me wrong, so what's two books on Suicide in one lifetime after all? At least these two books don't suck like a few of the Velvet Underground ones do, and in this definitely anti-rock 'n roll as a suburban slob anthem time that's sayin' somethin' good!.

It's grand that Kris Needs (one of the better scribes to pop outta seventies England---a guy on par with all of my favorite Britsters pro or otherwise and miles beyond the fetid likes of Julie Whazername) wrote this book not only because he is an utmost-mode Suicide fan, but because ol' Chris's also one of the more talented survivors of those rather florid days who knows how to translate fan-level emotion and intellectual critique into type! While the biggies of the day like Charles Shaar Murray and Nick Kent seem to have been making themselves rather scarce (not that I've been exactly looking, and subscriptions to LIBERATION sure do cost plenty) it's sure pleasing to the mental palate that a man like Needs is spreading himself thicker than Cheez Whiz on crackers. Hey, who else is writing about rock 'n roll on all hooves these days rather'n rehashing Sony Records promo sheets which seems to have been the norm in rock "criticism" circles since at least 1982.

Great detective work here what with Needs uncovering a whole load of previously-unknown info regarding the team of Alan Vega and Martin Rev---and that's including their early days and upbringings and even little heretofore unknown bits about everything to Rev's "Reverend B" jazz group to Vega's early attempts at an act with that guy who later ended up as the third Suicide member. Y'know, the guitarist who eventually left in a haze of fear??? Of course there are a few things in here that I wish I didn't know about like how Vega scrambooched from his wife in order to live on the streets and be a music-mad bum, but I never thought that any of my faves were perfect. But whatever the situation is, Needs presents it to you in a way that actually puts you up front just as if you were in the same room when these various happenings and downright epiphanies were transpiring, like the time Vega got a two AM phonecall from a friend telling him to turn on the Allison Steele show because she was playing the first Stooges album!

A few misses here and there such as the ones regarding the various late-seventies/early-eighties Suicide side projects (no mention of the Blue Humans!) but if people can accuse me of not being thorough then I guess Needs can be too! Believe you me, this will remind you about EVERYTHING that got you hot, bothered and excited back inna seventies and I ain't kiddin' one bit!

No comments: