Friday, December 31, 2021

I gotta admit that for living in a post-rock 'n roll-oriented world I managed to get through 2021 musically well. Of course I know that rock 'n roll for all practical purposes has meant very little (despite all of the lip service given it) since the advent of hippie anti-mentalities in the late-sixties and really nothing since the valiant attempt to overthrow the "Classic Rock"/stoner boxboy arena rock mentality fizzled out for good sometime in the early-eighties, but for an old fanabla like me at least the malady lingers on. And true, I am to 2021what those old Fire House Dixieland types of groups were to the aging clientele of, say, 1980, but at least I, like those old guys pumpin' away on their tubas, still have some sense of dignity that defies trends and shucks of the week. Too bad there ain't some cheapo television series for PBS to air inna mornings showing the old rockers in their rest homes banging away like there were for fans of the old jass beat a good thirtysome years back.

An' yeah, I gotta face up to the fact that the more we drift away from those "days of the underground" the more I feel lost, alienated and generally out of touch with everything from my duty as a human being to reality for that matter. Pretty much like any broken down old man who was born in a world of relative ease and happiness and ended up in a sewer of a life that was not of his own making.

'n really --- why should we really care as much about music, an idiom which has let us down for most of our lifetimes what with the pallid sputum that once roared mightily just being nothing but a huge embarrassment to anyone who championed the cause hack when it was relatively younger, and fresh for that matter.

Anyhow, here's my best of list for the year, one which I am glad to see in the rear view mirror as I trudge along in life, even though I get the feeling that 2022 is going to make '21 look like a mere walk in the park.

ALBUM(S) OF THE YEAR!-Sex Tide-OHIO (Feeding Tube), Greg "Stackhouse" Prevost's SONGS FOR THESE TIMES (Mean Disposition)


ALBUM REISSUE OF THE YEAR!-Remko Scha's GUITAR MURAL 1 FEATURING THE MACHINES two-LP set (Black Truffle Records), which proves that Lester Bangs was right when he said the machines were taking over.


RE-ISHED SINGLE OF THE YEAR!-Ethix's "Bad Trip"/"Skins"(Mary Jane Records), a real wild trip into that part of the sixties that didn't quite jibe with "Kumbaya".


FOLKIE RELEASE OF THE YEAR!-Myrian Gendron's MA DELYRE (Feeding Tube Records)


CEE-DEE OF THE YEAR!-Edgar Breau's SHADOWS OF ECSTASY  which shows you that maybe thirty years ain't that long of a wait after all.


CEE-DEE REISSUE OF THE YEAR!-Tim Buckley's STARSAILOR. This album'll cost you more today than it woulda had you got it in the 49 cent bin in 1972, but then again were you alive in '72? I was but do you think I even had 49 cents back then? For that matter do you think I even KNEW that STARSAILOR even existed? Do you think I would even have been allowed to play this in the house back then?????


CEE-DEE-ARE ALBUM BURN OF THE YEAR!-KABALAH FUCKEN SYRINGE---actually from 2019 and actually recorded much earlier, but boy has the concept of time mutated as of late!


MOOM PITCHER OF THE YEAR!-SHOCK CORRIDOR...really woulda liked to  have seen this 'un and THE SADIST battle it out for best pic of '63 at the Oscars!


BOOK OF THE YEAR!-PUNKZINES a good 'nuff traipse into rockscreeding past which undoubtedly has nothing to do with rockscreeding present, or future for that matter.




ROCK 'N ROLL DISCOVERY OF THE YEAR!-Johannis and his Pale Boys


SO LONG TO A GOOD THING!-THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOL. 29, a  fine wrap up to one of the best comic strips to have hit the boards.


TELEVISION PROGRAM OF THE YEAR!-a tossup between the RAWHIDE and WAGON TRAIN reruns that have popped up on fetv and insp as of late.


HOPE OF THE YEAR!-Eric Zemmour. Here's hoping that he and Marine will bury the hatchet and team up to make France the place it was before Focault, Sartre, Genet and the rest of those degenerates ruined its name seemingly for good!

DEATH OF THE YEAR!-Mike Nesmith.


RELIEF OF THE YEAR!-the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict. Kinda makes me wish I was still steadily blogging so I could rub a few readers who were so anxious to see him spend his remaining days in prison noses in it.

Might re-start this blog up plenty soon, though at this time I don't see any reason why I should. After all, what is there out in soundsville these days that is worth any true hard-edged rock 'n roller's attention anyway?

Saturday, November 06, 2021


It is my perhaps not-so-sad duty to inform you that BLOG TO COMM will be going on a perhaps extended (who knows?) hiatus dur to some rather pressing personal happenings in my life, not to mention the fact that both the quality of the blog has been sagging as of late perhaps due to a lack of stimulating sounds and reading to give the brain that necessary cranial massage. As soon as things get back together I should be resuming BLOG TO COMM, but as it stands in the here and now I will be taking a welcome holiday away from alla the rat race things like this can dump into my existence. 

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

COMIC BOOK REVIEW! LOONEY TUNES #167 (Dell Comics, September 1955 issue)

Here's one I gotta admit I would have snatched outta any flea market pile during my avid comic book collecting days, not necessarily because I am a great fan of the various Looney Tune and Merrie Melodies characters as portrayed on the printed page, but because this book came out smack dab inna middle of that quite sainted decade we all know and love as the fifties. When I was approaching adolescence I thought the fifties were a great time, not because of any of the nostalgic drivel that was beginning to make its way into the media back then, but due to the fact that back when people knew better there weren't any creeps and general sickos lurking around to soil the purity of the mid-Ameigan experience.  Not only that but the television programs that were hitting the rerun circuit sure came off way more entertaining and downright suburban ranch house smooth than the just pre-disco offal that one tended to be inundated with during those best/worst of times.

Nice li'l snat mag ya got there Chris, and although in NO WAY do the stories here capture the mad anarchy that you found in the animated cartoons they're still good enough to capture your attention. 'n yeah, alla the front line WB cartoon characters are here from Bugs and Daffy and Sylvester and Tweetie to Elmer and Porky getting into the usual Dell-approved mischief that made a whole load of parents heave a big sigh of relief at the idea that there kids weren't getting gored out by a buncha EC-styled mishaps. Kinda makes ya wonder how the folk of them times woulda reacted to GENDER QUEER : A MEMOIR but I wouldn't want any of them to die of sexual liberation shock.

One item did catch my attention and that was the "Mary Jane and Sniffles" tale, the series of which I had only heard about via various comics-related reading o'er the years. Sniffles was of course that little mouse of the classic early/mid-forties Warners era who did this rambling talkschpiel swiped from Florence Lake's character in the Edgar Kennedy comedies, and he (it?) was a rather entertaining character whose various cartoons (especially the Christmas one where he fights to stay awake in order to see Santa) still resonate in my slobbish being. By the mid-fifties the Sniffles shorts were long gone but the character did live on in the books, this time teamed up with a blond girl who not only is friends with the mouse but has some super powers allowing her to shrink to his size. Now that I've finally read one of these stories all I gotta say is that, well, I read one! Awww, actually they do have somewhat of a charm to 'em that is sorely missing in today's cyborg world.

Yeah, this is a nice book that'll keep ya busy for some time. And if you can find a copy with all sorts of weird stains, torn pages and a nice funky smell to it you might just be gettin' yourself a bargain next time you go to the flea market!

Saturday, October 30, 2021


I wonder if anyone else out there in this thing we call the world has the same passions and emotions regarding not only the concept of sound pattered in certain ways to induce happiness but the truly free press (ie the rock fanzine circuit or what's left of it) that I do. Sheesh, I gotta admit that I still can be overcome by feelings of joy and happiness when I encounter not only the kind of music that strikes deep into my core of belief but a rock prose that can match that euphoria, conjuring up everything and anything for that matter that I have extracted from these sounds for years on end. Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who can still exude pangs of pleasure when encountering a seventies-vintage fanzine done up in that Meltzer/Bangs/Saunders style of expression along with those sounds that seemed birthed from various opiate-riddled mid-sixties experiments that --- thankfully --- went totally awry.

The annals of fanzinedom are filled with many brave attempts, some successful while others rather dudsville, to combine frequency and quality with some succeeding but most flopping about. The comic and sci-fi fanzine world are filled with many stellar examples of product that came out with a startling frequency and top notch reproductions...THE ROCKET'S BLAST/COMICOLLECTOR being but one example but as far as music goes it seems as if a regularly-produced fanzine with a comparatively professional look and a longer-than-usual lifespan is quite hard to find.

I can point to one good example of a music fanzine that came out on a bi-weekly schedule and actually was able to exist for a few years, and that was JAZZ INFORMATION which, besides having such polar opposites as Ralph J. Gleason and Ralph de Toleando on its board, produced slick issues with a cover scheme swiped from LIFE before eventually collapsing under the pressure of such a Herculean task. Unfortunately the rock 'n roll world did not have such equal unless you could the early ROLLING STONE as being a fanzine (as John Sinclair once wrote in GUITAR ARMY) or the newsprint issues of CREEM (as Nick Kent did in a a Detroit area roundup in NME). I dunno if  LITTLE SANDY REVIEW counts as a rock fanzine??? Maybe. 

Oh yeah, some subsputum species out there will definitely want to point to MAXIMUM ROCKNROLL or FLIPSIDE as examples of rock fanzines that were able to make a reg'lar go at keeping a schedule whilst keeping uppa-date re. the music as it stood in the here and now, but we're talking rock 'n roll here, not some eighties derivative that basically became nothing more than hippie schmooze Mark Two!

I will give SLASH, SEARCH AND DESTROY and THE NEW YORK ROCKER their dues as far as fanzines that made good on their promise to keep the train movin' without derailing much (other'n when the music faded away as was with the ROCKER's case) while over in France ROCK NEWS INTERNATIONAL and PARAPLUIE (which was referred to as a fanzine in UGLY THINGS and who am I to complain?) were able to come out with the same accuracy as Mussolini got the trains to run, but other'n that what was there?

FLASH actually was planned to come out  on a monthly schedule starting with the April 1973 issue and if so that would have been a grand boon to the entire rock gonzoism movement that had been sprouting up around the same time. But other'n that what was there other'n the ill-fated SHAKIN' STREET GAZETTE and its spiritual offspring  entitled FOXTROT?

OK, who's the
wizenheimer who
messed up my
That was the effort of various ex-SSGers including Bernie Kugel as well as editor Phil Bashe, and I'm sure some of you heard about how the mag collapsed because of the inner tension between Kugel and Bashe over the concept of rock gonzoism a la CREEM versus the more journalistic (and perhaps stuffy) ROLLING STONE approach favored by Bashe. But while it lasted (throughout most of '76) this fanzine came out on a monthly basis, a tabloid on newsprint making for some mighty interesting reading, once you filter out the journalism and get to the gonz that is.

The creme de la whatever it was that was good about mid-seventies rock appears within these cracklin' pages with a good amount of press being devoted to the fresh up 'n comers along with the snoozers of the day, and once you get done filterin' everything. Kugel's writing is up with the other stalwarts of the rock fanzine strata and of course it's sure fun reading about the up and comers of the day written as it was happenin' rather'n n-generations down the line like ya get on this blog!

Kugel's scribblings on the likes of the CBGB scene really does send ya back while even things like the infamous Gary Sperrazza reviewing a live Peter Frampton show sure makes more sense than the same material would in the hand of some college paper flittery gal getting all pant gooey over the mere fact that she's within a good thousand feet away from her idol! 

And hey, Kugel's various fanzine histories are quite reminiscent to my various attempts to keep the memories alive to the point where I sure wish that I was still in touch with the guy so's I could beg for some photocopies of the rarities that I'm sure remain in his collection lo these many years later. Unless those were the ones he loaned to that college professor in order to clue him in on the more outre examples of rock pressitude and the guy actually THREW THEM OUT because he found them worthless next to the way more nobler musical visage of the likes of...what other'n ROLLING STONE! I hear the prof felt guilty about his actions and gave Kugel an "A" anyway.

Anyway here's one for you to look out for if you, like me, really miss that hard-driven seventies Golden Age of Rock Screeding style and loathe the current touchy feely style of rock "criticism" that's being written by college co-eds who should be out looking for husbands rather'n crank out alla that putrid prose about how some old Velvet Underground or Patti Smith record relates to the gal's sister's best friend who was living with a biker who eventually went to junior college and got arrested but she eventually made good of herself while the two would spin MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD while talking about their innermost feelings and...hey, am """""I""""" still awake?
I never knew that Paul Welsh, the guy who gave us all of those issues of the essential fanzine PENETRATION with loads of hot info on the kinda groups that MELODY MAKER used to snivel at, was also involved with an earlier publication goin' under the title PURPLE SMOKE. It's a pretty nice fanzine too dating back 72/73 way, a lo-fi xerox affair from the look of it up to snuff with that under-the-counterculture mindset we all know and love as well.

You could say that PURPLE SMOKE was more of a personalist fanzine than PENETRATION, having those everyday sorta vibes you'd see in a whole buncha eighties/nineties fanzines where some girl would spend pages talking about her personal life and how her latest no-good boyfriend dumped her and how she's on the rag so she can't do any world saving right now, only Welsh thankfully has a tighter head on him and better taste in overall funtime gulcher as well.

These two mags in my possession feature everything from sagas on Marc Bolan and Warhol to encounters with Jesus Freaks after attending a performance of GODSPELL and heck there's even a moom pitcher review of the infamous INCREDIBLY STRANGE CREATURES...  amidst an appreciation of Marvel Comics, a recipe for something called "Monday Pie" that sounds rather dee-lish as well as shots of shameless hussies showing off their suckems. What more do you spiritual thirteen-year-olds want in a fanzine now, anyway?
A more recent fanzine, and one of a quite different nature is CROHINGA WELL, a Belgian publication printed in the English language which tends to concentrate of the more aerie faeire aspects of music. If you're a rough 'n tumble rock 'n roller don't let that get to you, for there's plenty of high energy thrills to read about in these mags from a detailed Hawkwind history (serialized into umpteen parts!) to tons of reviews of platters which even YOU (not necessarily me) might consider buying! I found a few interesting surprises from a review of Von Lmo who is described as sounding like what the Velvet Underground woulda had they stuck around (!) to a li'l bit on Third World War, a band that I'm starting to appreciate despite years of finding them rather iffy-like.

Speaking of which, the TWW ref reminds me of a time inna late-eighties when Al Simones of Purple Panda records was trying to sell me an original copy of that group's debut and I passed after hearing about a minute, a poor choice on my part I wish I could have rectified but hey, that was long ago and moolah was scarce! (Ditto for his attempts to sell the Edgar Broughton Band's second LP, the US pressing even, and the Hot Poop album...boy how I wish I was a trust fund millionaire kiddie back then!)

And speaking of Simones, one of his longplayers gets the shaft in these pages if only because of the price tag placed upon it which the writers felt was abhorrent...sheesh, what kinda reason is that to dismiss a record that might have been of some worthwhile value as if it costs mere pennies to put these things out. I say that the price of any object should be commensurate with the hard work, toil and intrinsic value of the item at hand and like, who were they to judge.

Oh might get a kick outta these mags which are worth a little effort to track down.
Here's an English "punkzine" from '77 entitled CONFIDENTIAL, which only goes to show ya that the blokes who put this effort out were unaware of the muckraking mag that got itself into much hot water back in the fifties! Or maybe they did know about it but just didn't care, which I would think is probably the case as if anyone really does care one way or the other.

Actually this CONFIDENTIAL is a fairly good read, nothing spectacular or as all-encompassing as such rivals like WHITE STUFF were but still good enough what with an appreciation of the likes of the Ramones, New York Dolls and offshoots, the usual English suspect and the various up 'n comers who sounded rather dreadful once 1980 rolled around. The writers shoulda spent more time reading the various weakly paper hotshots in order to pick up a few pointers on style 'n taste. Biggest complaint --- the promised piece on Third World War mentioned onna cover appears nowhere!
While we're on the subject of English "punk rock" fanzines mebbee I should mention this particular issue of KINGDOM COME. It's a good one too more in the tradition of the early/mid-seventies punk advent efforts what with just enough Slade and Blue Oyster Cult mixed in with the newies, and it pretty much reads like one too. None of that cheapo everything that's old is hippy music no future waah! junk here. Writing is fine to and encompassing of a a whole lotta things that were good during them days from the reams of reissues to those new acts that sounded so enticing even if I could never afford any of their records but eh, I eventually did so nothing that much was lost other'n a few years.

Writing is good and it sure brought back memories reading alla those reviews of old Radar label acts (and it was kinda funny reading that review which praised Radar for giving new acts like THE GOOD RATS a chance!), and seeing writeups of everything from DATAPANIK IN THE YEAR ZERO to that Flamin' Groovies 12-incher that I lusted after but never did snatch up sure makes me wanna thumb through my record collection in order to stie them embers of seventies record funzies up to the point where I'm on the hunt for old Seeds albums at some flea market! Only problem with this ish is that it's shrunk down and printed two to a side page-wize a la the earlier NEXT BIG THINGs and JUNGLELANDs making toilet-time enjoyment most difficult.


I'm always game for the throngs of mostly small-statured hawkwind fanzines that have been fluttering about over the past few decades, and the ones that feature off/on frontman Robert Calvert really tend to tug at my own personal rockist tendencies. This special Calvert ish courtesy the longstanding HAWKFRIENDZ mag is but the latest in my collection of various Calvert-oriented mags and as usual it's a goodie. Yeah almost all of it consists of the usual fodder copped from the English "weaklies" and fliers but otherwise for a guy who never could get hold of alla that quap this does make for fine and BRAND NEW TO MY BRAIN reading material. Contains a rare interview from BEAT magazine and the text of a play featuring a meeting between Jimi Hendrix and Noel Coward. Enchanting.


I've bleated a few times about how I've bemoaned the existence of a Velvet Underground fanzine being created if not during, but shortly after the band became a facet of Steve Sesenik's definitely Reed-less vision. Too bad Constantine Radoulovich, the guy who would have been the most likely to put this concept to fruition, did a quick bail-out from Velvets fandom. Well, at least we got Phil Milstein's excellent WHAT GOES ON which certainly exuded that seventies fanzine spirit (the ones edited by MC Kostek seem quite professional and don't quite feel as fanzine-y comfy as the earlier ones...still a boffo read tho) and later on this lesser known effort courtesy Sal Mercuri simply entitled THE VELVET UNDERGROUND a ndi t was a pretty good cooker of a fanzine as well.

Kinda slick what with the gloss that surrounds the thing but still good in that fannish way where you get the idea that the people who are writing for this are fans of the old gnarly fashion and not the newer ones of limp milksopdom. Nice articles, nice repros of rare pix and although many of you might think it's old hat fandom I find the entire effort pretty cool in that teenage all this music hitting ya from all directions sorta way that made record buying such a fun prospect way back when.

Now, I don't like alla the reprinted articles by then-recent (1996) "rock critics" who ooze none of the excitement and tension of the Olde Tymey Greats. Sheesh, after reading some Big City Newspaper crit's rehashing of things rehashed for ages I just gotta grab some Mick Farren or Richard Meltzer in order to cleanse my system. Otherwise I find this read pretty good even if for a dude like me it's all old wawa under the bridge. But it's the ginchiness that counts.

The mag works especially when Mercuri does what none of the sycophantic types would dare do and critiques his subject matter in the most cutting ways, as he does when digging not only into the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame but the then-surviving ex-Velvets for their attitudes doin' a strange about face regarding that mausoleum up there in Cleveland. You might think its more nada about even more nada, but I think it's fantastic and one reason I can heartily recommend you searching out these fanzines whenever you can.

By the way, didja know that there was another fanzine called THE VELVET UNDERGROUND only this one was dedicated to famed cocaine queen Stevie Nicks? When doin' your shopping details, don't be fooled by cheap imitations!  


I've written about FAT ANGEL before and while this particular ZIGZAG spinoff didn't always flibben my jib it wasn't like I loathed the effort given the care and consideration that was given to the nova music acts along with the usual West Coast mutations that editor Andy Childs seemed to bank his bucks on. This very early issue from 1971 is rather good in that Childs' tastes are even more widespread 'n the average longhair record buyer of the day would have dared to dream. 

This issue is more in the old fanzine tradition with typewriter print and amateur art, and although the likes of the English underground groups of the time are held in high esteem there's just enough space devoted to the underground precursors to get one's salivary glands working overtime. From reviews of HIGH TIME to the latest on the Pink Fairies, there's enough in FAT ANGEL to make more'n a few of you reg'lar readers perk up amid the reviews of ELP and Jethro Tull. I liked the Brinsley Schwarz article even though for the most part I'm supposed to hate that band (not that they're big faves 'round here, but they sure do come off fresh when compared to some of the bin stuffers that permeated the record shops of the seventies) like some have told me to for ages.


It might seem rather strange to some of you that there were people way back when who were publishing various fanzines simultaneously which someone like myself would  find not only time, but MONEY consuming. And hey, sometimes these fanzines were given out for FREE which really boggles the mind of a guy who hadda sell records and cash in aluminum cans found on the street in order to get enough scratch together to put one of my own crudzines out! What's even more amazing is that many of these multiple fanzine publishers went on to bigger 'n better things such as Lenny Kaye and today's star Greg Shaw, a guy who put out perhaps hundreds of various Sci-Fi, Tolkien and music magazines during the course of his youth, KARNIS BOTTLE'S METANOIA being just one but one of the more famed of the titles that he cranked out on his homebound duplicator which really does amount to what I would call a hefty backlog of high quality reading!

METANOIA was a boffo mag t'boot, a genzine in that this was a mag that might have had a Sci Fi look 'n feel to it but covered a wide range of personal subject matter. Hey, don't let the William Rostler artwork fool ya, METANOIA was as much of a rock fanzine as it was of any of the other fan substratas of the day and a pretty hotcha one at that what with Greg writing about everything from the recent bootleg albums comin' out to the neighbors and television programs affecting his life.

Once you get down to it, this fanzine really makes more like a face-to-face chat with a guy ya wanna play Monopoly with while MR. ED plays on the television just like inna old days. It gets pretty high-larious at time, especially when Shaw talks about some Eyetalian neighbor who actually put the moves on wife #1 Suzy!

The likes of John Ingham and boffo underground cartoonist and fanzine regular Jay Kinney pop up here and there along with letters from some of the bigger names in fandom like Dick Lupoff, and the mingling of such talents along with the general spirit mixed with the kick up yer feet 'n havesome fun feeling to these get down and talk TO ya's make METANOIA a whole lot more down home 'n THE PRARIE HOME COMPANION ever was!

You can read some of these pages in the various BOMP! collections that are easily enough obtainable via their site (see link on the left) and I have heard that there are plans to have these collected on their lonesome! Yet another one that might be worth holding your bowels in for because when it does come out boy, will it be toilet time for you!
Here's one that just might not be a fanzoonie in the strictest sense but eh, it's an interesting addition to the rock mag collection here at the BTC orifice. It's Japanese too, a nice printed up package calling itself ROCKADOM and like the other Japanese seventies rock mags seen around here it sure reads pretty rock worthy! Not only that but the thing came out in late-'76 when punk rock was just starting to wrap its testicles around more and more unwary teenbo specimens making the oncoming excitement so thrilling in retrospect. 

The Damned pop up on the cover and the innards mostly consists of features etc. on punk rock, both of the sixties and seventies varieties which I know should make not only you Seeds fans happy but the spiky haired contingent as well!

Wish I could read it, because ROCKADOM sure comes off like a wowzer publication what with alla the snaps presented and the loads of reviews etc. Plus I kinda wonder how "gonzoese" reads in Japanese and I get the feeling that there were plenty of Far East variants on the likes of Meltzer and Adrien over them ways. Whatever it sure looks great and you might find a few things out even though I kinda get the idea that whoever put this 'un together got hold of a few issues of ROCK SCENE, THE VILLAGE VOICE and NME and sorta winged their way through it trying so hard to decipher those weird western letters'n all. Either that or there actually was a group called "Audition Showcase" that played CBGB every Monday night for years, and I never knew that the Shangri-Las' or Denmark's Gasolin' were punks but I learn something new everyday. Run this through one of those Japanese to English translators you find online and get even more laughs outta it than you could Anastasia Pantsios!
with all of the Kirk/Spock, MAN FROM U*N*C*L*EBLAKE'S 7, STARSKY AND HUTCH and WILD WILD WEST amateur fiction that has exploded o'er the fanzine scene these past thirtysome years, it just hadda happen! After years of speculation by many-a-confused adolescent boy in home ec, the first Pyle/Carter slash fanzine, none other than CALL OF DUTY has arrived in the boudoirs of many a Candy Striper so confused about his status in the bathhouse hierarchy! Authoress Tocklas B. Mills details the close and personal relationship between the hardened Marine Corps sergeant Vince Carter and buck (naked) private Gomer Pyle as the two explore their most innermost thoughts and desires whether it be behind the obstacle course or in confinement at the Hanoi Hilton for that matter. You too will thrill (amongst other things) to the passionate displays as they strive for endurance and withstand the cruel tortures of the Viet Cong. Don't miss the harrowing tale of survival "Last Gulp", the dilemma of "I Like Him, But I Don't Love Him" or the surprise ménage a trois in "Duke Walks In". Some wonky fan poetry appears in the form of "From the balls of Montezuma to the sores of Tripoli/We will sate our roaring urges on the land and on the sea". Word has it that Mills is working on some new fan fiction dealing with the Friday/Gannon relationship in the sixties DRAGNETs entitled HANDCUFFS ARE FOREVER.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021


Other'n ANDY CAPP I know just about nada about English comic strips. So this collection of BUCK RYAN comics was a nice slice of comical education for me. Too bad I gotta say that I really didn't cozy up to this for a number of reasons on which I will exemplify on further down the ol' page.

Don't get me wrong, I like adventure comics and this World War II 'un with Ryan fighting the Big 'Un in the South Pacific sure seemed like the kinda comic romp that a fellow like myself really could go for. However, the end results come off more like some quickie cash in on the whole TERRY AND THE PIRATES genre that one would have seen distributed by one of those picayune syndicates that seemed to handle the dross. Artwork isn't anything to crow about (has more of an early-thirties fine pen look that at times reminds me of the early SUPERMAN) while the sagas presented just don't have that gut-gripping nervewrack that a fanabla such as I prefers in his classic comic strip reading. Creators Monk and Freeman shoulda studied up on some of the more successful comics of the day before setting out to do a contemporary comic that was bound to capture the imaginations of many a thrillseeker back during those hyper times.

Oddly enough, BUCK RYAN actually continued into the early-sixties and was revived a little over five years ago so I guess there were fans out there. But count me out because I find this strip rather sedate to the point where FERD'NAND came off amphetamine-fueled in comparison. Is it me, or is it the English?   

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Be thankful. Amid all of the hassles and anxiety-riddled goings on in these quarters (drat that real life!) you should be thankful that you've got another BLOG TO COMM post to enjoy this presumably pallid weekend. Between the usual madness that I have to endure I was able to crank out this particular missive which I think you might be able to ooze some information, or perhaps even some enjoyment outta. Thanks again to Paul and Bill, not to mention Peter Crowley for the Max's offering. When I find Fellini's Basement, it's in the mail for ya bud!

Various Artists-MAX'S SKANSAS CITY CD (Jungle Records, European Union)

As many of you know, I never was whatcha'd call a follower of the Caribbean musical genres that have captured the imaginations of many of secluded suburban hipster wannabes. However, it's not like I can't appreciate these traipses into the ska realm despite some rather iffy records by the likes of acts such as the Selector as well as a few others that were actually able to get some major label hype back inna early eighties. Here's a collection of various Max's-related ska efforts, some which have appeared elsewhere over and over while others sound new to my ears. You're probably familiar with the likes of the Terrorists and the Offs, while Roland Alphonso adds a strong sense of authenticity to the entire shebang which would figure since he was one of the innovators and not a clinger on. Now if the folk at Jungle could do a Max's comp featuring some of those obscuro regulars who never did get their chance to shine in the sun!
Ducks Deluxe-ALL TOO MUCH CD-r burn (originally on Skydog Records, France)

Heh, it's English thud blues from the mid-seventies and can anything really go wrong with that? I mean, what else would you expect from this infamous pub group that was so important in its own sphere of fans that they even accrued a number of serious admirers over this way! I believe these are the Skydog tracks from the seventies with a few newies added to make the thing   LP-length. I kinda go for it in my own mid-seventies import bin conscious way and if you remember combing through the racks seein' alla those wild covers that were different from the US versions you just might too.
RORY GALLAGHER CD-r burn (originally on Capo Records)

Not exactly one of the best platters of '71, but it sure beats alla that TAPESTRY gunk for sheer rawness. A must for those English (or in this case, Irish) seventies blues types that's exciting enough to keep you from exerting your punque pride, and it comes with a boffo straight ahead rocker ("I Fall Apart") complete with those descending power chords that were all the rage at the time. You can hear where Peter Laughner got a lot of his own prowess from. Cee-Dee reissue contains two bonus efforts including a straight-ahead blues romper and a Muddy Waters backwoods slider that I'm sure Laughner once played in the middle of some desolate night.

The Untamed Youth-LIVE FROM THE FABULOUS LAS VEGAS STRIP CD-r burn (originally on Estrus Records)

I heard a lot of the Youth during their Norton days, so this later-on effort really did fill me in on what I've been missing since. Which is not much, and that is great enough for me! Y'see, while other groups have "evolved" and "mutated" into creatures that just don't figure in well with my personal sense of musical appreciation the Youth remain youth and seem quite satisfied snuggled inside of their mid-sixties suburban ranch house frame of mind. Listening to this, it's almost like the Beatles never did set foot on these shores which, in some weird perverse kinda/sorta way, is fine by me!


Heh, sounds better'n when I first heard it. Maybe that's because the angular new wave sound doesn't seem to irritate as much as it did after massive overload in the eighties back when it looked as if everybody was putting out duff albums including those acts which we had come to love and admire. Features some intriguing Mideastern raga ("Hello My God") while the rest seems to fit into the latterday New York underground neo-Television style snugger than a boy scout in his scoutmaster's sleeping bag. If you miss the 1981 brand of underground rock that went out of style once Pere Ubu got cheerful this platter should come in real handy.

The dB's-PARIS AVENUE CD-r burn (originally on Monkey Hill Records)

There was a time when I woulda thrown a huge hissy fit if you shoved the dB's in front of my chin, but nowadays I find 'em a nice 'n refreshing change from the usual ruckus that passes for entertainment these sad 'n sorry days. Their post-Chiltonesque mid-South pop, albeit toned down from the original source a bit, still has enough of a spark to keep my attention from drifting off into thinking about alla the jerks who've given me grief o'er the years. This '94 release definitely was out of place for the time, but considering some of the offal being pushed it sure comes off like the kinda platter that I might have given a fair review of had I snatched it up way back when. Not bad, really.


Various Artists-GEMINI JEMIMA ANTIQUE HASH CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

A nicety from Bill starting off with a radio ad featuring the now-canceled Aunt Jemima before getting into some hotcha garage band rarities not to mention the usual bits of country and other esoterica that always seem to pop up on these burns. If you're on a diet it best not be in your best interest to hear Johnny Cash singing about "Houston Hash" lest you start runnin' for the fridge in a mad and crazed dash. Good thing Bill also stuck a Bromo Seltzer ad on. And it all ends with the Gemini Five trying to make us think this single was actually recorded in front of a live audience.


It's that time of the year...wha' th' heck, EVERYTIME is that time of year to pick up copies of BLACK TO COMM for the best in rockism reading that'll put a whole lot more'n whatever it has been that you've been reading right into your tiny little brain. C'mon, pick up a passel and find a better way to spend your evenings 'stead of spinning your Content Providers platters incessantly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021


This short-running title from SUPER-MYSTERY COMICS over at Ace really does deliver on them Golden Age thrills the same way all of your favorite titles of the just-pre World War II Golden Age did. And hoo-boy, does this comic have it all, from international intrigue and sabotage to the special guest good looking gal of the month not to forget Q-13's own secret agent abilities and methods to worm his way outta even the most dangerous of situations what with alla these bad guys ganging up on him ready to kill at a moment's notice. Funny, but I get the idea that if any of the weak and meek boys who read this comic had tried the same tricks on a gang of toughs he'd be bashed into the ground even harder.

The artwork ain't anything to crow about but it coulda been worse (and it usually was), and the overall splash and verve that I liked outta those early Quality Comics titles featuring those masked SPIRIT types who didn't last quite as long sure pops up plentiful! These sagas do hold one's attention enough that sitting through the entire run covered here sure makes for a better way to waste a Sunday afternoon than watching some self-help guru on PBS!

Kinda wonder why the series deep-sixed so fast, what with the Big One just about to burst all over the place. Maybe there actually WAS a concluding episode where the bad boys finally caught up with Q-13 and gave it to him real hard like. Only Ace decided not to publish it because --- well --- what would the kids say?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Hiya. Had a pretty excruciating week the details I will not get into. After all, why should I bore you more than the reviews which are up and comin' at'cha? But despite some major boulders being tossed my way I was still able to crank out this post for you not only in order to put on some sort of façade of being so tip top and with it, but because I know you readers have waited all week to read this and why should I disappoint you faithful frolickers out there anyway? I mean, here you are after a long week at the salt mines just waiting for a brief respite from your daily travails, and who am I to let any of you darlings down anyway? So lap it pards, 'cause its either this or ROLLING STONE


Brad Kohler mentioned in last Saturday's comment section --- r.i.p. Dee Pop. You can read my interview with him here.


Got some goodies this week that I think you might wanna chow down. Once again the lion's share of burns came courtesy of Paul McGarry while Bill Shute contributed one little straggler to be found at the tail end. Plus a few are oldies from my collection that I decided to dig up after years of neglect. Something which I must admit will become quite a staple of future BLOG TO COMM's because, well, frankly now that I'm getting old I gotta think about my financial situation and saving money for luxuries like food and heat considering that one day the gravy train is gonna dry up really fast. 'n besides, with the medical bills I've racked up its better that I just live on my largesse, or is that "large ass"??? In all, I'd said this one was --- adequate.

The Rolling Stones-RAW POWER CD (Dragon Records bootleg)

Here's an oldie from the collection which I purchased for obvious reasons. There's nothing that new to the ears on this one what with the  Camden Theatre and L'Olympia shows having been bootlegged to death already, but if you ain't got 'em there here for ya. The studio seshes with half of what would become Led Zeppelin might be of some hysterical importance to a few of you readers, ditto the "rough demo" of "Going Home" with Mick and Keith on their lonesome working out that infamous extended track that influenced a whole load of upcoming goodies. You can probably make yourself a copy of this with various free online sources.

Hawkwind-SOMNIA CD-r burn (originally on Cherry Red Records, England)

It's amazing that Hawkwind sound just as mid-seventies space rock-ygood in the here and now as they did back when their platters were getting distributed by Atco over here. Sure these guys might sound a little too polished in spots but maybe they did even then, and the cosmic ooze of the music is enough to make you glad you never did cash in all of your Astral Monetary Credits for punk rock platters. Dave Brock with a whole bunch of newer-than-new members as well as the return of Tim Blake after quite a number of years wallowing among the asteroids.


The early sides from those seventies glam rock monsters shows 'em starting off in rather pedestrian yet pleasing neo-Liverpudlian ways (the Vendors) before getting a little more rambunctious yet still slick enough to bug you in their Steve Brett and the Mavericks days. The 'N Betweens seem to be more in the swing of things (as far as gritty English rock went) and if you're a big fan of the big beat done up mop top style this one just might be for you. Personally I think the only people who'll be scarfing this one up would be alla those seventies rock fans who were purchasing Slade albums back when they were poised to be the next big thing but never did quite make it in the USA.

Ty Segall-SLEEPER CD-r burn (originally on Drag City Records)

Another pleasant outing from Segall, who continues on his Bolan worshipping ways in ways that might actually get you to light up your own joss stick. Acoustic rock that doesn't get all granola on ya, with the same underlying current of energy that kept the better troubadours of the sixties going strong while the rest flittered about. If Donovan had testosterone pumped into him he woulda sounded like this. 


The Fugs-LIVE FROM THE SIXTIES CD (Fugs Records)

Nineties-era comp of classic Fugdom covering their sixties lifespan from their first gig at the Peace Eye bookshop through BELLE OF AVENUE A  which did seem quite a comedown come to think of it. Lotsa weirdo psycho screech can be heard in between the intellectual William Blake filtered through McCarthy loathing with a slight Burroughsian intent. You'll still get a whole load of fun outta it even if you were in remedial English and didn't care one whit about Swineburne back in your high stool days.


Various Artists-DIGGIN' FOR GOLD VOLUME 12 CD-r burn (originally on Busy Bee Records)

Another one of those collections featuring old sixties local rock records that somehow just don't hit the same feverish pitch that the likes of those early PEBBLES and BOULDERS did well over forty years ago. Let's face it, most of these groups just don't strike you out the same way that acts like the Litter and the Sound Barrier among a few thousand more did back in the eighties when we were all younger and not quite as jaded about life as we are now. One thing about this effort that I do wonder --- were the group called "the Jormas" who do actually spry enough song entitled "Locomotion" (not the Little Eva smasheroo)  named after the famed Jefferson Airplane guitarist? Makes me wonder...

Various Artists-WHITER JOHNSON IMAGE SOLO CD-r burn (Bill Shute)

Some mighty mix 'n match on this one, from a Lou Harrison composition for tenor bells to some pale ale gnu wave from Shox that works on a seventies pop rock level to an Anthony Braxton/David Rosenboom effort that merges the jazz and classical in ways that woulda had NMDS puzzled as how to market this 'un. The faux Beach Boys sound from Stevenson's Rocket conjures up images of mid-seventies English gals dressed to a "t" and might just even appeal to someone like yourself. There are some other hoots here including a mishmosh of live Vegas Elvis to some gal ranting about at a PIL concert (a bore to end all bores) but you'd probably go for the rest including some teenbo cryslop to Tuli Kupferberg singing "Marching Through Georgia" among other things. And of course the Portsmouth Sinfonia sounding like they actually did some practicin'!


Do any of you fanablas even read this far down the post? Here I am, offering you precious back issues of BLACK TO COMM and do I get any orders? Nah! C'mon, you know you need these classic old fanzines to beef up your rock 'n roll knowledge so delaying purchase is only hurting you in the long run. Hurry up before they're all gone. After all, these are limited edition magazines, limited to the space in my cyster's basement that is.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

BOOK REVIEW! THE EARLY YEARS OF MUTT & JEFF BY HAM FISHER, EDITED BY JEFFREY LINDENBLATT (Nantier * Beall * Mimoustchine, no date given as to year of publication!)

Being an olde tymey comic strip fan I gotta admit that the few twenties/thirties vintage MUTT & JEFFs that I have read were of superb quality and funny enough to warrant quite a few hosannas from this corner. The Sundays that were done during the Golden Age of strips taking up an entire page with all sortsa fun crammed in were on par with most all of the other greats competing for the attention of kiddoids nationwide, while the humor was quite on-target enough to elicit at least one of those "I'm laughing --- in here" pointing to throat with index finger that Mr. Kotter's prospective manager hid behind a stone face. 

But really, I gotta admit that these early examples from the strip's run are dryer than the Sahara or my sense of humor, take your pick. Yeah, I know that a lotta these early comics could get rather one-beat and lose their joke after a very short period of time (I mean, think of that one-gag classic FOXY GRANDPA which kept on despite repeating the same gag over and over) but these M&J's can become rather predictable and even dareIsay dull what with some cornballus yet staid dialogue resulting in a rather fizzled punchline and usually a beating at the hands of Mutt. 'n really, I hate to write this (I do!) because when compared to the strips of the here and now these comics are vastly superior from the fine-lined artwork to even the gags themselves --- I mean, when was the last time YOU saw an honest to goodness laughable or even smirkable for that matter joke presented in the present day comic section! Intentionally that is. For all intent purposes these early strips have the current crop heat all hollow, and while I'm at it I suggest that you keep up with the M&J reprints that pop up on Gocomics daily. Those can get to be a real hoot sometimes.

Comic strip historians (if there are any left who could bear what has happened to the page between the classifieds and department store ads) will probably lap it up, but for my current bowel moving distractions I'm relying on some old BEETLE BAILEYs I discovered in the room. No actual har-de-har-hars with those but they were engaging enough to occupy my privy time. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Sorry for yet another didn't throw my heart and soul into it post, but there have been various extenuating circumstances as they say. I have been keeping myself very busy with real-life travails, enough to the point where I haven't had the time to search out those Kilpig tapes which are somewhere in years of accumulated mess piled up around these environs. I did find the Fellini's Basement CD for Peter Crowley tho and it should be on its way by the time you lay your peepers upon this very post. Hopefully somewhere down the line I'll be able to cop a whole lot more time for relaxation, which is something I really could use at this time. Maybe a dose of Covid would help ---  that might keep me outta action for a LOOOONG time.
If it weren't for Paul McGarry's latest package (not to mention some straggling Bill Shute burn) there probably wouldn't even be a post this week. And of course I pulled a few oldies and neglecties outta the box in order to re-evaluate some efforts that sorta got noodged in the pile. As far as the lack of fresh bait goes well, 1) my medical bills have shot through the roof this month (far exceeding my last paycheck) and I don't want the collection agency to come pounding at the door and 2) there really aren't that many spinners out there that I would prefer to dump my precious lucre on. There are a few items that I wouldn't mind hearing such as the early John Brannon recordings with his first group Static, but at this point in the game there are loads of people with their palms stuck out and well, I guess such frivolities as records have gotta wait until more of the long green comes a'flowin' in. In other words, BUY MORE OLD ISSUES OF BLACK TO COMM!!!! (See link below, and don't be stingy.)

Leaf Hound-GROWERS OF MUSHROOMS CD-r burn (originally on Repertoire Records, Germany)

Early-seventies hard 'n heavy English rock always coulda struck some sorta communicative chord in my system and this bunch really are no different. Like alla them Sabs/Purps type groups Leaf Hound were even able to jazz 'n blues things up when the mood hit which made for some nice 'n sublime moments of skronk. There's even a bit of early-seventies Who tossed into the title track which might make a few of you reg'lar readers somewhat excited, not to mention a b-side piano ballad which probably won't. The Repertoire reissue (reviewed here)  has three bonus tracks that woulda put a smile on any stoner box boy with a crop of pimples to have adorned your local supermarket circa. 1973.
Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell-DON'T HEAR IT CD-r burn (originally on Rise Above Records, England)

An almost decade-old  issue of rock that sounds almost a half-century (if not more) old what with the usual sixties-unto-seventies hard doom and depressing hard rock that was pretty rage-worthy at the time. Well, next to some of the hippoid expressions in music at the time I guess dirges like these woulda been a welcome relief but anyway, Heavy PARANOID vibes should keep some of you fans well 'n happy
Ronald Shannon Jackson and the Decoding Society-EYE ON YOU CD-r burn (originally on About Time Records)

Released just in time to capitalize on the En Why See funk punk movement, EYE ON YOU's the debut spinner from Jackson and his Decoding Society and a pretty hotcha way to start out a long 'n respected aggregation at that. With the likes of such free jazz heavy mitters as Billy Bang and Byard Lancaster (as well as future Living Colour Vernon Reid), this 'un features a good smattering of  comparatively short but definitely not sweet post-loft jazz meets funk trackage which has that sorta lilting drive that typified a good portion of the new thing that was coming out at the time. This and the German ones on Moers Music are definitely the ones to start with before tackling the mid-eighties efforts which might not slap you so hard inna face.
Paul Bley Quintet-BARRAGE CD (ESP-disk/ZYX Music, Germany)

Haven't spun this ESP classic in quite some time so like, maybe the time is NOW. Bley might not have had the same piz that the likes of Cecil Taylor or Muhal Richard Abrams glooped onto their various efforts but he's still in gear, and in fact is improved on by the addition of a big name backing group including Sun Ra standby Marshall Allen and drummer Milford Graves. Results are a pretty striking mid-sixties sesh in which "the artists alone decide what you will hear" 'stead of some airhead higher up still in the bowtie 'n tux realm of jazz expression.
The Velvet Underground-SWEET SISTER RAY'S MURDER MYSTERY CD-r burn (originally on Brand New Beat Records)

Didja know I bought a copy of this 'un about twenny-seven years back from one of those flybynight bootleg dealers and actually returned it because my copy had suffered from rust which I guess was a common ailment with this particular title? Sheesh, I musta been a doof to think they would replace the thing but anyway, here's yet another copy of the infamous extended "Sister Ray" prelude that was done during the Velvets' Spring/Summer '68 tour for you to osmose without having to search for your delicate CAUGHT BETWEEN THE TWISTED STARS collection. The additional live '69 take on "Sister Ray" with "The Murder Mystery" sandwiched in-between is also worthy of your ears (along with the live "Story of My Life") and even it you've heard these gems ever since they first popped up on the tape lists they still sound as vital and engaging as they did the first time. At least they do for me --- dunno about you...
The Dum Dum Boys-LET THERE BE NOISE CD-r burn (originally on In The Red Records)

I reviewed a quickie burn of this back 2018 way but it looks as if there has been a legitimate reissue since those not-so wondrous days. Therefor there is NO EXCUSE for you not to have this high energy masterpiece in your probably lacking for some true meaning collection. Of course even if you do have this album in its original configuration like I do you don't have the keeno interview that caps the thing, so why wait gettin' a fresh copy for yourself?


Nicer'n usual sampler from Mr. Shute, this one starting off with a post-garage neo-psych effort from a Wisconsin act called Fresh Air and continuing on through various trajectories that might even satisfy a stuck up fanabla like you! Nice hearing things like the Diodes (who remind me of what this punk thing was s'posed to sound like before it decayed into punque and got all Yohannonesque on us) not to mention a rare side from the Honeycombs of "Have I The Right" fame and of course that legendary attempt by Roy Orbison to get down with the late-sixties "relevant" crowd  with a whole lotta "MacArthur Park" passion on "Southbound Jericho Parkway"! There's even more soo-prizes from a radio broadcast regarding the hippie movement and how they bring the rats with 'em wherever they go to a single by one-time teenbo heartthrob Jack Wild that should make alla you H. R. PUFNSTUF fans quite happy. Of course Bill also hadda stick on some interesting bits of abstract avgarde classical cum jazz done up by someone called Andres Elstein,  on entitled "3=4", the other "Nunca" but I guess he did it just to make the thing look a li'l dignified...

Don't worry. I'm only putting this back issues of BLACK TO COMM schpiel at the end of this post in order to beef the thing up a li'l. Nothing else really. Just forget you saw the thing, you always have.