Sunday, December 24, 2023


As you can tell from the above jolly photo it's Christmas (once again time to post another one of these Adolf as a natural down home kinda guy who likes kids and animals pix), and to that let me add a hearty so what! Like I've already said on most if not all of my holiday posts these past twentysome years (pardon my redundancy but you guys need to be reminded), has Christmas really meant anything ever since them days when kids actually appreciated getting them toys because they didn't have everything tossed at 'em like they do these sad 'n sorry times? And with alla them "in service" days and placate the ethnics holidays that we have (I mean, what big deal is Columbus discovering Ameriga anyway? --- I know, you thought I was gonna pick on Martin Luther King and Juneteenth!) even Christmas vacation really doesn't seem to be that much to roar over like it usedta. Them kids today need some real good LIFE and FUN tossed at 'em tho, the kind our parents and grandparents grew up with back when little things sure meant a whole lot, and no jokes!

But well, here I am after quite a spell, and I have a whole load to say so if I come off even more gasbag than usual well, you can always read this post in part and come back to it later. Pardon the long-windedness but like the Monkees I have something to say and if you don't like it well, you can do to me what you've already been doing these past umpteen years!

Otherwise since this is undoubtably going to be the last big deal post of the year (and perhaps the last post PERIOD) let me say that I am rather happy to have survived it all. It was a fair year. Oh, nobody I loathe died or anything else that would make me happy like that, but despite the usual monkey wrenches tossed into this soft machine I managed to end up feeling somewhat human throughout it all.  That's something I should be at least a smidgen thankful for. But live through it again? You must be joking!


I'm only reprinting the above FERD'NAND strip because it reminded me of the track on Charles Gayle's UNTO I AM where, after singing whilst playing drums Gayle grabs his tenor and duets on it the same way Ferd'nand does above, without the bubbles of course.

I'm so glad that I crawled out from under my rock to discover a rather unique blog written by some rather talented individual who calls himself Peter Stanfield (see the roll call directly to your left). Never heard of the man before (I think his name just wooshed by me since he's been mentioned in UGLY THINGS a few times and maybe even interviewed in their pages by someoneorother), but I'm sure glad I stumbled across this 'un, for that particular fanabla pretty much has the same tastes and passion for the type of sounds and furies that I've been obsessed with for a fairly good portion of my rather subdued existence. A writer of some stature too with a few books under his belt (some of them, like THIRD GENERATION ROCK & ROLL, seem custom made for my own take on this mostly horrid sound they call "rock music"), Stanfied seems to be one guy who knows his potatoes, and while I'm positive that he 'n I would get into a massive row had we been locked together in the same cage his maddening writing devoted to everyone and everything in the Velvets/Stooges/Meltzer/younameit realm really has me scouring his blog whenever I have a little smidgie bit of free time in my life. Plenty of Mick Farren revelations here not to mention some Lillian Roxon for all you New York sophisticados and man, it's so refreshing to read someone who can not only write his way out of an entire supermarket full of paper bags but has the kind of musical tastes that I love to sink into like a pair of copulating kids in a vat of tapioca pudding. I'll tell you one thing and that is that I sure wish I had Stanfield's vast knowledge as well as his writing abilities, but then again very very few of us are as erudite and as on target as this guy which makes me appreciate him all the more! Worth the while for each and every one of you to spend some Sunday afternoon crawling through, especially during these cold 'n wintery days when you'll be hard up for a whole lotta fun things to do that aren't immoral.


Another internet discovery --- a site called JAY KINNEY'S CLINIC OF CULTURAL COLLISION (see roll call on left as if you didn't know) which was set up by none other'n the infamous underground comix creator, fanzine regular and WHO PUT THE BOMP artistic director Jay Kinney as if you couldn't discern that yourself. I agree with Greg Shaw when he wrote that Kinney was one of the few undergrounders with a steady hand and a brain to match, which is but one reason I decided to link his site up and hopefully give it a little more well-earned (and who knows, perhaps even needed) exposure. This 'un has everything related to the man from a linking up of his favorite political websites (surprising choices, especially for horse-blindered extremists like yourself) as well as some really good examples of his cartooning abilities done for everyone from SCREW to DR.WIRTHAM'S COMIX AND STORIES. Highly recommended are "Fifth Grade Confidential", "Too Real" and "Dry Ice". See link at left and don't be surprised if you don't learn something that you've never wanted to learn before!


Also found within the realm of the internet is a Youtube channel that has a few episodes of the shoulda been legendary television series THE GREAT ADVENTURE, a long forgotten rarity which is finally being made available after years of being locked up in CBS's vaults for whatever reasons there may be (mostly them not being profitable enough to syndicate). Some of you more ancient readers might remember this show which consisted of re-enactments of various moments in Amerigan history as portrayed by some of your favorite stars such as Lee Marvin, a guy who was really busy during the fantastic 1963-64 television (and moom pitcher) season what with LAWBREAKER, TWILIGHT ZONE, KRAFT SUSPENSE THEATERTHE KILLERS and this 'un (yes, I go on IMDB too!). Probably had some hefty gambling debts to pay off as Bill Shute once surmised. If I'm not mistaken the folk at AMERICAN HERITAGE were consultants so you know this just ain't typical tee-vee revisionism (just historical revisionism), that's for sure!

Kinda recall this 'un lighting up the cathode when I was but a mere turdler but the memories are somewhat fuzzed out. Still, hope the entire series will be downloaded after years of obscurity if only so I could see the debut episode about the infamous Civil War submarine the H.L. Hunley, especially noted for having both Pyles, Jim Nabors and George Lindsay that is, as crewmates on the ill-fated vessel. Gaw-lee!


I promised no more AI-induced pics on this here blog, and there won't be 'cept for a few created for posts which might be in need of some pertinent illustrations. However, the recent conjuring up of an AI Beatles song had me wonderin' whether or not this trend could be used to create some lost music that people like us would want to enjoy. Take the Velvet Underground and the wealth of lost sounds that have reached legendary status at least amidst the throngs of serious rockists out there. Perhaps if some enterprising soul could get John Cale and Maureen Tucker to give some input we could finally get to hear more of those "Sister Ray Part Two"'s that were performed during the group's spring 1968 tour. Or maybe Iggy could help in the creation of such lost Stoogian efforts such as "Way Down in Egypt" or those early Hawaiian guitar screeches that Pop himself compared to the Melvins! Maybe AI can improve on the sound quality of surviving tapes that sound absolutely dreck-y which would really be a boon considering some of the tapes extant that sound like they were recorded within the chasms of Ondine's colon. Who knows what previously lost media could be restored with the help of this new technology which, so far, has resulted in whacked out pictures created by doof bloggers such as myself out there if only to get a li'l notice. Just as long as whoever is involved with these musical projex doesn't use that same AI I've been using that comes up with all of them whacked out pics.

Another bit of AI fun...asking Bing Chat silly questions and getting earnest if obscure answers in return. One I submitted amounted to something along the line of "is Nancy really the daughter of Fritzi Ritz and is her father black?" while another was pretty much along the same lines..."is Swee Pea really the illegitimate son of Popeye and Olive Oyl?" I was going to ask about Poopeye, Pepeye, Pupeye and Peepeye, not to mention Huey Dewey and Looie and their parentage, but I don't want to press my luck. Still, the answers I get to my put on inquiries are funny if a tad condescending but that ain't gonna stop me from asking whether or not Ralph Monroe from GREEN ACRES ever posed for nude photos!


Interesting comment from a guy who calls himself "Field Hippy" regarding Jim Goad's next-to-latest post in COUNTER-CURRENTS:

The best interview with a rock star I know of is with Johnny Ramone, in the zine BLACK TO COMM, around 1994. What I remember most is his concert-going prowess. Every rock act, you name it, that played in the NYC metro area in the late 60s/early 70s he saw, and many of them multiple times. It was funny that the interviewer stayed diplomatic while Johnny praised the likes of Hendrix, Clapton, and Zeppelin to the skies, with these acts being irrelevant or anathema to the punk aesthetic of the zine. Finally the interviewer laid it on the line and asked Johnny about the Velvet Underground, the interviewer’s by-far favorite band. Johnny laughed and said something like “I’m sure we saw them and heard their records, but it was like, Why? These guys can’t play.” That was really funny considering Johnny’s simple style and that no one would call him a virtuoso. Great sound, though, so he should be remembered like Angus Young or Lemmy of Motorhead.
To which I say how come this interview somehow escapes the vast caverns of my mind?

Interesting (and undoubtedly false) claim made in the first issue of TROUSER PRESS...according to gossip guru Rona Barrett none other than Deviants/Pink Fairies/Lightning Raiders bass guitarist Duncan Sanderson was engaged to onetime Ameriga's Sweetheart Maria Schneider of LAST TANGO IN PARIS fame! Considering how the Pink Fairies used to engage in "sandwich sex" with a certain follower named "Gigi" maybe I can see the attraction. Just hope the bread and meat's well buttered for a rather tasty experience.


Worth your while's the fourth issue of FAUX WOOD PANELING, the only fanzine left in this world and there's no exceptions whatsoever to that pure and simple fact! Wade Oberlin didn't outdo himself with this one and he didn't have to, because each and every one of these is everything that a self-produced publication venture is supposed to be. Good personalist musings to be found here as well as music reviews and things going on here and there in the Southwest portion of Ohio that you might not have known about or have cared about for that matter. But they're here and I'll betcha you'll have more fun reading this than a fourteen-year-old boy locked in a bathroom with the entire run of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

I was surprised to read a review of the early-forties LI'L ABNER feature for Astor Studios which I now know enough to avoid given Wade's less than appreciative tone! Well, maybe not given that Buster Keaton during his height (which to me is that period all them film snobs HATE) appears as Hairless Joe's injun cavemate Lonesome Polecat which should be good for a hoot! I mean, his appearances in forties zilch-grade movies like this and THE VILLIAN STILL PURSUED HER really brightened up some films that otherwise might have been just eh! 

Awaiting the arrival of FAUX WOOD PANELING really is a glorious event here at the BTC orifices 
and it should be one in your very own fart encrusted bedroom as well. And Wayne, thank you for the Spud Gun which is neat but given how expensive food is well, maybe I better put a more economical use to it. One that isn't disgusting, that is.

You heard it here last...RIP rock writer Jane Suck (a.k.a Jane Solanis and Jane Jackman) who actually passed on last January only I found about it this afternoon. She was one of the better ones, so shed some tears unlike you will when I hit the big record shop in the sky. 


In other news (don't worry Kyoko, I will get to the record reviews more later than sooner!), I thought I had the correct email address in order to get in touch with onetime Velvet Underground Fan Club head Constantine Radoulovich who's now residing in Annadale Virginia ( Radoulovich is a man who I really wanted to talk about regarding his involvement in the club as well as the planned Velvets fanzine he had in store back 1971 way, but the email got bounced back to me which I will admit is slightly disappointing. Hey Connie, if you're out there why dontcha get in touch even though I sincerely doubt you would given the way you've been avoiding people these past fifty years!


I guess if other people out there in computerland can post their fanzine want lists so can I! Not that I get the inkling that anyone would even know about any of these mags and if they did they'd figure why bother, but here goes anyway. If anything, the following will once again prove (just like my playlist below) just what an erudite, knowledge seeking and totally on-the-ball music aficionado I am at least making me feel good in the process. Lowest prices paid for these titles, and (naturally) wonky xerox copies are more than welcome just as long as they're unreadable:

BILGE (rock fanzine from 1972 or so created by "two crazy girls")

CHUCKLEHEADS GAZETTE (mid-70s English fanzine with articles on Can and the Deviants --- probably never got published but who knows?) 

DAVID'S GIRLS/STAR SPECIAL (Terri Ferris' David Cassidy/glam rock fanzine --- any issues prior to the one mentioned in this article are most definitely wanted, or any after if they did indeed make their way into the world of fandom!)

GROOVE ASSOCIATES #2 (or any other after #3 if, like in the case of the fanzine above, they were published)

HYPERION, any prior to their Autumn 1972 issue

JUNGLELAND #'s 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 (the Scottish mag by that guy who was later in Oasis, not the Springsteen one)


PANACHE #'s 1 and 2 (these go for bazillions so photocopies would be acceptable)

SLADE PARADER #s 1 and 2

SPOONFUL issues #1 and #4 (and any others after that is if --- well, you know the drill)

TEENAGE NEWS #1 (the one from Montreal, not Hamilton)

NEW HAVEN ROCK PRESS-any of the early 1967/68 vintage issues



Okay, this has a few repeats from previous playlists but I think I scoured the stacks a whole lot more diligently than usual. There's some revisiting of old friends and who knows, maybe a few old enemies at that. The best thing about digging into the collection is that, since my mind is such a sieve, a whole lotta these sound like brand new never before heard offerings to me! What a great way to save money especially in these inflation-laden times!!!:


Frank Lowe Quartet-OUT LOUD 2-CD-r set (originally on Triple Point Records)

Various Artists-ONE STRING BLUES MASTERS CD (Delta Cat Records)

Gavin Bryars & Christopher Hobbs-ENSEMBLE PIECES CD (GB Records)


Pink Floyd-THE MIDAS TOUCH LP (Wizardo Records bootleg)

John Cage/Kenneth Patchen-THE CITY WEARS A SLOUCH HAT CD (Organ of Corti Records)

John Cage-MUSIC FOR KEYBOARD 1935-1948 2-CD set (Sony International Records, Japan)


Lennon/Ono-ALTERNATIVE TORONTO MIX AND MORE... CD (Goblin Records bootleg, Australia)

The Beatles-WHAT A SHAME MARY JANE HAD A PAIN AT THE PARTY 12-inch single (no label bootleg)

Quicksilver Messenger Service-LIVE IN SAN JOSE LP (Groucho Records bootleg)

Wizzard-MASTERS OF ROCK VOL. 11 LP (EMI/Harvest Records, Germany)

Boy Dirt Car-HEATRIG CD (Koala Foreskin Retraction Records, Australia)


Art & Language & the Red Crayola-CORRECTED SLOGANS CD (Drag City Records)

Ornette Coleman-SKIES OF AMERICA CD (Sony Records, Japan)

Les Rallizes Denudes-CABLE HOGUE SOUNDTRACK 2-CD set (Univive Records, Japan)

Gary Wilson-MUSIC FOR PIANO LP (Feeding Tube Records)

Can-UNLIMITED EDITION 2-LP set (Harvest Records, Germany)

The Flamin' Groovies-'70 LP (Eva Records, France)

Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention-MEAT LOVERS VOLUME 2 7-inch 33 rpm EP (Hoffman Records bootleg)

GROUP INERANE CD (Sublime Frequencies Records)

Crawlspace-SPHEREALITY CD (Sympathy For The Record Industry Records)

Various Artists-THE EARLY SOUNDS OF GARAGE ROCK 2-CD set (Not Now Records)

Smegma-MIRAGE CD (Important Records)

Siouxsie and the Banshees-THE SCREAM CD (Geffen Records)

Various Artists-MOBILISATION GENERALE CD (Diggers Digest Records, France)

James Chance and the Contortions-WHITE CANNIBAL CD (ROIR Records)

John Fahey-THE LEGEND OF BLIND JOE DEATH CD (Takoma Records, England)

Sanctum-NEW YORK CITY BLUSTER LIVE AT CBGB's CD (no label but of Swedish origin)

Various Artists-THE HARVEST BAG LP (EMI/Harvest, Spain)

Frank Zappa-ROAD MUSIC #1/1 LP (bootleg)

CLUSTER AND ENO LP (Sky Records, Germany)

Iggy Pop-ZOMBIE BIRDHOUSE LP (Animal Records)

Love Child-OKAY! LP (Homestead Records)

Tuli Kupferberg-TULI AND FRIENDS LP (Shimmy Disc Records)

The Red Crayola-LIVE 1967 2-CD set (Drag City Records)

The Red Crayola-PARABLE OF ARABLE LAND 2-CD set (Charly/Snapper Records, England)


Frank Zappa-FREAKS AND MOTHERFUCKERS LP (Swingin' Pig Records bootleg)

Richard Landry-A FIRST QUARTER LP (Chatham Square Records)

Frank Zappa-PIGS 'N' REPUGNANT 2-CD set (Vulture Records bootleg, Italy)

Spirogyra-ST. RADIGUNDS CD (Repertoire Records, Germany)

The Cramps-1976 DEMO SESSIONS LP (bootleg)

Can-OPENER LP (Sunset Records, England)

Tangerine Dream-ALPHA CENTAURI/ATEM 2-LP set (Virgin Records, England)

The Necros/White Flag-JAIL JELLO 12-inch EP (Gasatanka Records)

The Thirteenth Floor Elevators-ELEVATORS LIVE LP (Decal Records, England)

The Sonics-UNRELEASED LP (First American Records)

KRAFTWERK 1/KRAFTWERK 2 CDs (Germanofon Records, Germany)

Bern Nix/Sabir Mateen/Jeff Shurdut's Impossible Beauty Trio Orchestra-THE DREAM OF A RIDICULOUS MAN CD-r burn (No Label Record Label)

John Cage-WORKS FOR PERCUSSION Volumes 1 and 2 CDs (Hungaroton Records, Hungary)


Sunny Murray-SUNSHINE CD (Sunspots Records, Italy)

Charles "Bobo" Shaw featuring Joseph Bowie & the Human Arts Ensemble-P*NK J*ZZ LP (Muse Records)

John McLaughlin-DEVOTION LP (Douglas Records)

Amy Sheffer-SANCTUARY MINE LP (Iamshee Records)

Velvet Underground-1966 LP (bootleg)

15 Kinder and Peter Brotzmann, Fred von Hove, Han Bennick-FREE JAZZ UND KINDER LP (Tochnit Aleph Records, Germany)

Edgar Broughton Band-DEMONS AT THE BEEB CD (Hux Records, England)


Time for them reviewz what get a good portion of my readership tuning in, at least when compared to my various book review and other "weekday" posts. Got quite a few donations, one from P.D. Fadensonnen that I got last Christmas but only now found in the rubble that is my bedroom and some from Paul McGarry and maybe even Robert Forward if only I find the time (and the disques)!  Feeding Tube even sent a spinner which must prove that I am a man of importance and worth, or something like that because I don't think I'm either! One of the items up for scrutiny is (now get this!) a Brad Kohler Christmas gift, and if you can guess which I'll send you absolutely nothing! Hope you find a whole load of good hints as to what you should be spending your Christmas gift moolah on here but if you don't well, what else is new?

Hawkwind-SPACE RITUAL 10-CD plus Blu-Ray box set (Atomhenge Records, England)

Hey, I'm such a generous guy that I even bought myself a Christmas present as if any of YOU ever would think of doing just that! But really, is this worth the money and bother to purchase given, in five years, there's probably going to be an even newer version that'll put even this multidisque monstrosity to shame?

Well the answer is YES even if you already have each and every other SPACE RITUAL reissue extant. First off, how do you know that you'll even BE alive five years from now and besides, this box set is so good not only due to the space age sound and previously unheard material but because of the hotcha booklet and other niceties enclosed. Yup, this'll make you so happy you hung around long enough to enjoy this throbbing batch of electronic space music the way it was supposed to be done --- that is, without all the frilly Tolkien puff and prog rock preen that only took away rather than added to the entire rock appreciation mode so needed not only then but now!

OK, I will admit that only the more serious of us Hawkwind fans will enjoying sitting through ten platters (one more if you have Blu-Ray) of shows taken from the same tour and recorded within days of each other but hey, I don't mind. I can listen to these tracks over and over and not only that, but there are some minute differences that will undoubtedly catch your ears and like, you don't hafta listen to this all in one sitting like I'm doing!

I never thought, ever since I first saw that pair of squeezies on the cover starin' at me from the racks of the National Record Mart at the Eastwood Mall, that SPACE RITUAL would eventually worm its way not only into my collection but my crazed out brain as well. Fifty years down the hatch and it perhaps has even more of an overall smashed against the walls effect on me. And like well, I know I've grown and "matured" since then but sheesh, it's sure fantastic that the better moments of seventies under-the-underground decadent hard-edged sounds continue to live on, at least within my beyond addled mind. 


Melted Men-JAW GUZZI LP (Feeding Tube Records)

"Fontana Mix" goes rhumba. Or something like that, but this (9th release from these guys) takes the dada soundsplats heard on many of these Feeding Tube efforts to its usual (?) conclusion and what a conclusion it is! Try to imagine "Revolution 9" covered by Smegma --- well, not as good as that but still fine. Worth it for more than just the side "A" label showing a snake suckling from a cow. If you've been in on the Feeding Tube lifeline since its inception I'm sure you'll be able to comprehend, and you can dance to it as well!


Les Rallizes Denudes-BAUS '93 CD-r burn (originally on The Last One/Tuff Beats Records)

The 90s-vintage Denudes sounded downright pro when compared to those distorted seventies live outings, or at least they did until those blasts of feedback proved that things are relatively quite the same and I shouldn't worry about the group adapting to the sick 'n sorry times one bit!

As far as I can tell this is an all new ne'er before released recording and as what else can I say other'n it's sure up front, powerful and a welcome addition to the throngs of Rallizes releases that have made their way to my ears these past twentysome years.

You get familiarities like "Night of the Assassin" and "Fallin' Love With" sounding as nervegrind as ever even with the improved sound techniques, and you'll definitely go for the two newies (at least to my ears) "Reapers of the Night" and ESPECIALLY "Darkness Returns" with its standard use of the familiar '70s-era downward riff mode taken to even more maddening heights as Mizutani takes his guitar into territory I never heard from even him before! Comes off like a grittier re-arranged version of Hawkwind's "Down Through The Night" that you never want to end! Definite must-get if you have any moolah left after splurging on the SPACE RITUAL set.

Anthony Braxton-LIVE OCTOBER 25, 1969 PARIS CD-r burn

Dunno if this live b-cast has ever been issued either legit like or as a boot, but Youtube got it 'n it's there for you. It's the classic late-sixties Braxton band line up with Leroy Jenkins, Steve McCall and Leo Smith, and I wish I could tell you more about the whys and wherefores but I have nothing to go on. You know what these guys are gonna be up to so why bother with the re-rehash --- loose heavily percussion-laden AACM-styled remake/remodel of the Great Black Music. This is perhaps a bit more "classical" than the Art Ensemble but it still swings in its own new thing fashion. Whoever sells contrabass clarinets oughta give Braxton some cash the way he helped popularize the thing!


Embryo-ROCKSESSION CD-r burn (originally on Brain Records, Germany)

These guys are probably the krautrock group that I'm the most unfamiliar with outside of Popul Vuh, a group of whom I own exactly zero recordings. I own Embryo's Ohr debut which gave us a radically different band with a totally different style than what these guys became best known for in the annals of import bins, but other'n that I'm a rather sniveling neophyte when it comes too all of their albums that came out on United Artists and Brain. So this burn courtesy of Paul McGarry sure helps out swell, and from even one listen to this it's obvious that Embryo's idea of fusioin was perhaps closer to Miles Davis's than Chick Corea's and for that we better be thankful! 

You could call it standard seventies jazz somewhere to the left of Return to Forever with a few stops on the corner and you might be right. But only halfway there given the strong essence of Teutonic glow that exudes passion in the violin and guitar lines. Yeah it might not get me hankerin' to seek out the rest of the Embryo catalog but t'was a nice backdrop to a sunny if cool Autumn afternoon.


NEEF 23 EP CD-r burn (originally on Independent Project Records/Iridescence Records)

I forget the specific reason I asked McGarry to dub this 'un, but whatever it was I'm sorta glad that I did. These late-seventies and beyond art rock projects can get a bit too stilted for enjoyment and this one does as well, but the noisesquall does have somewhat of an interesting appeal. Not exactly a steady diet sorta grog for the ears but if you (like me) thought that Pere Ubu and Swell Maps were going to revolutionize the entire concept of not just music but sound itself you might like this. For fans of Bomis Prendin and the Wayside Music catalog and who reading this review isn't?


Jim Pepper/Bob Moses-DEVOTION 1967 CD-r burn (originally on Re-Kalem Records)

Hoo bwah! White guys doing the free jazz thing --- betcha that got some of the black power players of the day rather mouth frothing if I do say so myself! Maybe Pepper and Moses (along with their sidemen including Davie Liebman making an early appearance) would have been spared the wrath of the budding African consciousness of the day if the bros gave this 'un the once over. Definitely riding the mid-sixties Archie Shepp and John Col-train to free sound bliss, Pepper et. al. play like Patrice Lumumba himself is hot on their trail machete in hand. Three wowsers for sure including "Custer Gets It", a musical reimagining of Little Big Horn that I don't think even Sitting Bull could have fathomed back on that fateful day. 


Metal Virgins-ANIMAL PEOPLE CD-r burn (originally on Thrash Metal Records, Germany)

As far as this nimble mind can tell, this is the final Steve Hall recording at least until he got on his Jesus trip a few years later. If this is indeed Hall's final "real" effort (did his Jesus recordings ever get a release for that matter?) it sure is a fine goodbye from a guy who put out quite a slew of top notch efforts under such monikers as the Afflicted (Man) and Accursed.

Well it ain't anywhere near the overpowering attack of the Accursed's "Going Down"/"I Didn't Mean It" (which was THEE greatest over-the-top single since the MC5's "Looking At You" or even GG Allin's "Gimme Some Head") but it is way better than some of the grindhardmetalcore or whatever it was being called which was coming out during the mid-eighties. Melodies and PASSION can be discerned amidst the guitar pyrotechnics (far better'n the sped up John Schaum Book One etudes that Eddie Van Halen made his stoner dough with) and even if it all can seem but a big blur there is still a metallic passion that could be called Sabbathian at one point and even Stoogeian the next. Total HM eruption compacted into sonic matter with a mass comparable to those neutrons that pass through with the speed of light and get stuck somewhere in the earth's core.

The surprise winner of the post, but be prepared to dish out the collectors prices when copies do pop up. Or do what McGarry did and cop it off Youtube.


Wayne Marsh and Susan Chen-BALLADS CD-r burn (originally on Interplay Records)

Let me be the first to tell you (as if you didn't know) that I am not whatcha'd call a fan of the more refined and straight ahead forms of jazz that seem to be extremely popular with more than a few tie 'n tux aficionados out there. While Cecil Taylor played his piano like an 88 piece drum set, Frank Lowe scraped the canyons of his soul with his sandblasted tenor and the AACM guys stretched boundaries the way most of you readers stretch your sphincters I find music such as the kind performed here lacking in any soul-twisting drive and energy. For fancy dining purposes only. By the way, did you know that saxophonist Marsh was the nephew of the great Mae Marsh of DW Griffith fame?


Various Artists-JUNETEENTH SPECIAL CD-r burn

I don't know how you celebrated "Juneteenth", but on KORC-LP in Corvallis Washington it was done pretty snatly on one (I assume there's more) of the "community station'''s jazz programs that I'm sure proliferate the airwaves. Good selection of spinners were to be heard too from some early Sun Ra to Sonny Sharrock ca. ASK THE AGES with John Carter and Arthur Blythe thrown in here/there. Given the wide array of seventies free play involved I kinda get the idea that most people who would celebrate this recent national holiday would not approve of the dissonance that was being presented on this program but eh, this is something that I gotta say sure puts a positive spin on Afro-American cataclysmic sound approaches a whole lot more'n Li'l Jinx or whatever his name ever did.
Charles Tyler Quintet-WKCR ARCHIVES STUDIO 3 12/8/74 CD-r burn

Forward sent me this along with the above, and although this IS Charles Tyler with a rather copasetic band (including the aforementioned Arthur Blythe) I don't find this radio sesh to be as slam bang as I would have wanted it to be. Oh, Tyler's is a top notch post-Ayleresque player and I won't say anything nasty about his comrades, but the fuse seems to fizzle and the playing doesn't quite "coalesce" especially when lined up against other new players of the same strata. Get hold of it after hearing Tyler's ESP efforts, SIXTY MINUTE MAN as well as David Wertman's KARA SUITE which features some swinging playing not only courtesy Tyler but Red Transistor on/off member Ken Simon (as if you didn't know given all the name dropping I've done regarding this under-rated saxist!). 
Sun Ra-STANDARDS LP (Vorgmusic Records)

Early Ra rumblings with the core of his Arkestra standing close by. The vibe's nearer to Ra's late-fifties efforts as opposed to his sixties madness, the type of jazz that fans of the fifties new thing from George Russell to Miles Davis etc. should appreciate rather snat-like. Comes in dandy see-through orange vinyl too if that sorta stuff tingles your toes (it used to when I was but a mere teenbo and all agog about such trivialities but nowadays --- eh!)
Abdul Wadud-BY MYSELF LP (Bisharra Music Productions)

Cellist Wadud does fine without any of his BAG compatriots getting more music out of his instrument than any of you doofs woulda ever imagined. At lower register he's reminiscent of Malachi Favors and at upper Leroy Jenkins, and Wadud bows, plucks, strums and who knows what else with his axe at times even making some rather flamenco-styled moves that almost got me donning a pair of castanets! Heck, I even glommed some John Fahey vibes on the closing track "Happiness" if you can believe that! If you like what Anthony Braxton did on his solo saxophone pieces you just might appreciate this 'un as well.


Ernie Sheldon and the Villagers-BIG MEN, BOLD AND BAD LP (Columbia Records) 

This is definitely the kind of folk music that people who got their information from watching too many episodes of HOOTENANNY! would appreciate. Given the amount of early-sixties tee-vee that I've been taking in as of late (including many an old western) I can understand and enjoy this more than any of you sniveling communist folkie wannabes out there ever could. For a guy who I'm sure was down and dirty for the struggle (at least his association with SING OUT! would imply so), Sheldon delivers on some pretty commercial folk for the casual listener...I guess he was only trying to get 'em oiled up for the real deal by presenting these tunes in a fashion that would have appealed to the SING ALONG WITH MITCH crowd. Downright enjoyable, and it even includes a bonafeed Woody Guthrie song namely "Pretty Boy Floyd"!  


It may be too late to give out back issues of BLACK TO COMM as Christmas presents but it's not too late to send a belated batch to the one you hate and really give him a dose of holiday jeer!

Saturday, December 09, 2023


Well, here are a few more fanzines that have slipped inside my house as they passed by, and although none of 'em 're what I would say top on my want list at least they're adding to that pile of mags as well as pertinent pieces copped off the internet that's building up in the corner of my otherwise farted up bedroom. Sheesh, ya woulda thought that quite a few editors of such old and long ignored publications like SPOONFUL and TB SHEETS would be bustin' down the door with mags galore hopin' for some better late than never notoriety, but sadly that is certainly not what's goin' on 'round these parts! (At least Dan Feiner/Jesse Farlow was on the ball enough to get in touch 'n good for us all!) 

Methinks that these former publishers are either ashamed of their long-ignored efforts or, heaven forbid, are long dead 'n buried and their descendents (no sic) could care less. Most probably they've been deterred by all of the bad rants that certain individuals have directed at me and my efforts, since that was always one HUMONGOUS stumbling block as far as BLACK TO COMM gettin' any sorta positive notoriety or even decent distribution and ad revenue. And you wonder why I loathe certain people out there!

Prized possession of the post's gotta be this early piece of prime APA (or more specifically, Frank's APA) pounce entitled ROCK, YOU SINNERS which eventually grew into a real-life fanzine called (as if you didn't know) WHO PUT THE BOMP! Frank's APA was Jonh Ingham's idea and from what I read via some old Lester Bangs review in CREEM t'was the proverbial doozy what with Lenny Kaye's contribution being a book of matches tied to a paper inscribed "Light My Fire" and Meltzer's an old textbook with some new and with-it San Francisco and the Jefferson Airplane rock-related title printed specifically on it by the man himself. I'd go check out that article to get the specific details of that mailing, but who in heck knows where that ish rests withing a good fortysome years of rock mags 'n related jetsam piled up all over the place?

The usual suspects can be found here what with the mandatory Jay Kinney cartoons and letters from the likes of Meltzer, Ingham and Metal Mike Saunders puttin' their two pennies in...and not much else because I thought that the entire proceedings coulda used more of a beef up in order to capture my short attention span! Probably not enough mentions of the Stooges (at least as far as boffo early-Seventies fanzines go) to keep this 'un afloat! Still this is the pick of the litter if only because it is a Greg Shaw offering with contributions from some of the better names in this sordid thing that we call rock fandom.

Maybe if I took this in along with the rest of the APA I would have absorbed that heavenly fanzine wonderment that still keeps me glued to my old DENIM DELINQUENTs and NIX ON PIX even after eyeballin' 'em a good few thousand times apiece --- I'm such a picky reader, y'know.

I've obtained a few fanzines from the British Front that just might appease my cravings for that long gone form of offensive rockscreeding that seems to be so out-of-fashion in these bizarro world puritan times. In all honesty I doubt it, since it seems that even then (y'know the good ol' days of  rock 'n roll fandom) there was a lack of the truly "gonz" style to be found even in those fanzines that I woulda sworn were written by guys who used to comb through every issue of NME or SOUNDS extant! Sheesh, it's sure dismal living in a world where you know that what passes for rock "criticism" these days is way more influenced by the likes of Parke Puterbaugh than it is of Meltzer.

I finally found my copy of that MESSTHETICS CD which featured a spacious sampling of what was going on in the world of the English cassette culture made up of local (yet potent enough) acts who performed in school basements and traded their tapes with groups in a similar sort of nowheresville straits. DAMN LATIN was a mag that I thought woulda documented this era of a DIY that deserved to have been remembered, but it really skirts that whole scene and just blebs on like any half-hearted fanzine one could come up with, my own efforts included  

Eh, it ain't that bad but for a publication that said it was devoted to the  up 'n comin' cassette scene it coulda done better. Maybe I am crabbin' too much since acts such as the Sea of Wires and the Sinatras are worthy of further examination. Maybe the other issues of DAMN LATIN deal more closely with this short phenomenon, but until I find any I guess I'll just have to keep searchin' for that particular MESSTHETICS that was been playin' hide 'n seek with me for quite awhile.
I also bought this issue of ZIGZAG (the fanzine that made good and still kinda/sorta remained one throughout its existence) because of the article on a certain group of mid-late sixties renown whose name I dare not even think of let alone mention lest images of fortysome years of precocious youth in funny hairdos and plastic jewelry come gushing into my mind. (Note: this was pecked out before the naming of that certain group in question was somewhat begrudgingly lifted!) If you're the kind of person who thinks that the cult of seventies under-the-radar music from the Stooges and Roxy Music to Patti Smith and Suicide (etc. and so forth) gave way to some mighty pallid carbon copies once the eighties rolled in I think you will sympathize with me.

No, I am not going to make
the obvious joke --- no way
So I won't mention the article on this particular band and'll just concentrate on the rest. Or most of it at least but eh, it is no wonder why a good portion of the seventies English fanzines took their cue from Pete Frame and company. Even with the shaggy dog West Coast musicians these guys thought the tits there's the proper air of true fandom to be found here, with pieces written by guys who grew up with the Big Beat in their hides and never did totally eschew it all for cocaine karma and alla that BLESS THE BEASTS AND PAMPERED UPPER-MIDDLE CLASS BRATS hippie moralizing that proved that when "rock music" came of age it took on a whole passel of phony moralizing with it. I used to think that is was strange that the same people who grew up with Gene Vincent on the stereo and who cut their teeth on the Rolling Stones before diving straight into the swamp of hippie narcissism could ever even remotely retain some sort of punk consciousness, but these people have and that's probably why these old ZIGZAGs still have the original power and might lo these many years later while some of those very late issues have that pseudo artzy taint to them which date 'em even worse'n a collection of Cheech 'n Chong drug jokes.
'n speaking of ZIGZAG here's their li'l cyster publication FAT ANGEL, more in the old-style fanzine mode, and in many ways closer in layout to those old English rockabilly fanzines which were mostly illustration-less with pages full of text usually written in the driest ways one could imagine. Still, this early FAT ANGEL does have its value even though it seems to follow the usual early-seventies English fanzine tradition of concentrating perhaps a little too much on the late-sixties/seventies Amerigan West Coast leather goods and Buffalo Bill lookalike downhome nausea that still happens to repel this writer. A KSAN-FM interview with Jerry Garcia printed in full should give you at least a scant idea of what was in store with this and many other early-seventies English rock fanzines.

Yet editor Andy Childs does have some good taste left in him given his rah-rahing for the likes of the Flamin' Groovies and that Arnold Corns record that I'm sure Brad Kohler will now want to pay me hundreds of dollars for, not to mention the viola player for that band I shudder even mentioning anymore due to the aforementioned plastic jewelry and faint moustache above the lip gang.  But I did learn something from that piece, and that is a fellow bandmate once said that this person will be remembered as "the Beethoven of the next century" which is THIS century so like, where are the statues of him anyway? Eh, they'd probably find something "wrong" with the aforementioned viola player and when they did they'd topple the thing and melt it into a George Floyd memorial. I mean, what else?
The Mod Revival of the early-eighties had about as much of an effect on me as conversion therapy would have on Britney Griner and thus I had tried to steer clear of any of them fanzines that were devoted to the cause, but DECEMBER CHILD seemed different. Maybe it was because of the promise of something other'n the usual sunglasses and snatty suit pose that drove me to this. Who knows, but I copped this 1980 debut issue and well, thought the thing was a pretty halfway-there fanzine effort which, while not tingling any nerve nodes of mine, still had a worth to it what with an article not only on the Creation but Pop Art and Syd Barrett included in this debut.

Writing ain't anything that captures you like the best of the gonz efforts did, and the inclusion of poetry is about as appealing to me as the crop of scabs I used to acquire during my single digit days. The Creation article was mostly the same ads you've seen reprinted for years with a fraction of text while the Barrett piece just seems like yet another in a long line of praise on a guy that has been written about ad infinitum and after Nick Kent's mega-opus why bother. The Pop Art (as related to English rock) 'un did have some spirit even if it does read like a term paper. One that got a good enough grade but still...

Eh I'm getting picky because, in my own downhome golly ned way, I gotta say I like DECEMBER CHILD perhaps becaue it does succeed in its own low fidelity bedroom publication way. Might be worth your while to latch onto one if it does wiggle a bit under your nose.
I've reviewed a whole slew of OUTLETs before and this ninth issue is a nice enough addition to the pile. Maybe it ain't as deep dirt fact digging as the others and the tendency to be more discography-oriented than a real fun genzine detracts some, but it still stands well with pieces on Joe Meek and early Todd Rundgren before he made too much of a fool of himself. Each of these OUTLETs is worth the time and effort to find, and if you snoop around long enough you just might get your chance to experience this rather nifty if oft ignored fanzine that shoulda made a bigger impression than it did.
Now for a switch of hemispheres and a trip to a place in which at least one of the most hideous, unappreciative (of all I've done for him which I know he has forgotten about) and evil people I've ever come across beings on earth resides...namely Australia. Now despite the presence of this specimen (who last time I looked tipped way over into the realm of socially conscious hackdom) the continent has been known for producing some pretty sharp bands at least since the specter of the Detroit late-sixties underground began nudging its way into the local scene, so it would figure that a mag like DAS REICH would have shivved its way into the fray. After all, its's a fanzine with an eye out for the groups that helped make Australia something akin to Michigan South back when the likes of Radio Birdman and all of the groups in their wake were giving some of us northern hemisphere types a li'l bit of hope.

Dunno if you could call DAS REICH a "crudzine" even if it does fit some of the production, no illustrations, and really no new info to be dispensed, but I still like it. Perhaps that's only due to the subject matter at hand which I would probably read about in earnest no matter who's writing about it, and better some unknown fanablas like the guys who put this out over any of those bigtime rock critics of the eighties who seemed to go from writing about rock 'n roll to mewling about everything from such haute causes as the glories of urban youth who can do no wrong running wild in your local Walmart. I'm a sucker for things like the MC5 anyway, so I'd give these guys an A+ if I were Dean Christgau, but thankfully I'm not so I'll just tell 'em to stay after school for one hour, and no chewing gum!
Back to Merrie Olde. The Ultravox thingie pictured on the left appears to have been a special edition of the English IN THE CITY fanzine, and for a one-off it sure did itself whatcha'd call swell. Now I gotta admit that I am not exactly total bonkeroo over Ultravox but I really do like their earlier material and this mag sure sates any curiosity I do have about the group and their humble origins. This ish really packs the info to the point where any curiosity you might have had about the act would be instantly sated, with bits about their early Tiger Lily days well into John Foxx talking about his new solo career which (at least for me) really puts a cap on the entire Ultravox saga. If there are any Ultravox aficionados out there well, I'll betcha already have this by now!

The French have been known for their etapoint rock fanzines which fortunately mirror their exquisite taste for an underground credo which never did coalesce in these here United States. ROCK INFO! was but one of these, a nice li'l home-produced effort which I'll bet was just brimmin' fulla that Gallic rock greatness I sure wish I grew up amongst back when it was all going down. I say "bet" because well, besides the shrunken type (akin to that found in many an issue of my crudzine) the text is all in French and I'm having enough trouble mastering English as it is! 

But despite the expected barriers I gotta say that ROCK INFO!, which from what I can decipher sounds like a rock history with an underground French bent to it, sure looks swell what with such mentions of various French faves like the VU, Dolls, Patti and TV interspliced with a few unexpected entries such as the Dead, 'plane and Mayall, sometimes on the same page if you can imagine! No illustrations other'n  drawings of guitars and records in the margins, but it sure comes off a whole lot swanker'n some of those anarcho-drivel efforts (mostly done by communists pretending to be anarchists because they're ashamed 'r somethin') that've come out in droves a good four decades back!
For a switch here's an Amerigan fanzine up for inspection, and although it's a bit outside the realm of the Golden Age of Rock Fanzines (1971-1981), the 1997 publication from the El Lay area does capture some of the fun 'n jamz that could be found in other locally produced efforts that came outta that burgh a good two decades earlier. Now that's an accomplishment especially when you consider just how terrible the entire area had become since those days of yore when decadence sorta oozed its way into bald-faced disgust thus losing any of the allure it mighta had back during the days of DENIM DELINQUENT and BACK DOOR MAN.

 can get pretty West Coast industry when it wants to, but fortunately that doesn't get inna way of its overall excitement. Lotsa commercially viable (read: music way outside the scope of this very blog) coverage to be found here true, and any mag that would contain a Debbie Gibson interview is probably headed for the paper shredder pronto! But this rag supersedes any kind of wariness one might get what with the mega-article on the best live albums of all time (with some surprises and of course the usual glaring omissions) and all of the special features such as "The Ron Wood of the Month" and the live reviews covering everything from Iggy Pop to Black Sabbath tribute band Sabracadabra with loads of surprises in between. 

I wouldn't call  FRUITBASKET UPSET a top notch event in the annals of rock fandom, but considering a whole lotta the self-conscious and self-fixated efforts that have come out these past fortysome years (need I say more?) it sure reads a whole lot smoother and more honest at that than a good portion of those home-produced items that are supposed to cater to my own (and who knows, maybe your) personal musical tastes!
And now for the non-music section of this post, starting out with the third issue of the famous (at least in comic fandom circles) effort entitled FANTASY ILLUSTRATED. Yeah the re-use/imaging of the old EC cover scheme became hackneyed in comic book fandom after awhile (not counting its usage of album covers and underground comix throughout the seventies) but since this ish came out in 1964 I'll do the slack cuttin' if only this time.

At least editor Bill Spicer was so keen on EC's high standards that he wanted to continue the tradition, and few can deny that everything from the artwork to even the paper used showed what kind of loving and warm 'n toasties devotion went into this effort. The overall results are finer'n fine what with not only an authorized Tarzan story based on an Edgar Rice Burroughs original but a whole lotta tender lovin' somethingorother and craftiness to be had all around. Sure the art is clearly in the amateur ranks (don't think any of 'em were ready for the Marvel Bullpen at this point in time) but that doesn't matter one iota given how something along the lines of FANTASY ILLUSTRATED surpassed many of those comic book crudzine efforts tossed out by fourteen-year-olds who thought their "Captain Caca" character was gonna overtake the world of fandom faster than the Flash could have a premature ejaculation! 
A few of you people out there know just how much of an admiration I had (and still do even!!) for Lenny Kaye even to the point where I sure wanted to look like him (long hair 'n all) when I was a teenbo admiring his cool posture, guitar playing for Patti Smith, putting NUGGETS together 'n alla that. That's why I am plum proud to have this debut issue of OBELISK in my collection. Yes, the first ish of Kaye's very own SciFi mag done during the man's very own teenage years back when he was living in New Jersey contributing to various amateur pubs himself while amassing what I would take to be a big huge hulking bunch of 'em in himself.

It's whatcha'd call your typical SciFi 'zine with the same standard layout and all of those illustrations that look like the kind you get in just about every other mimeo of the same strata. Nothing in here really appeals to me given that the incestuousness of this is pretty much on the same par as that of the rockzine realm of the eighties and nineties where everyone knew each other and outsiders GO HOME!, but hey it is a Lenny Kaye production and his DNA's probably all over this as well! Sure would like to see his early rock 'n roll fanzine efforts which I'm sure even predate MOJO NAVIGATOR and CRAWDADDY! which would make readin' 'em all the more GNARLY.
And finally a fanzine that I'm sure some of you readers would be surprised even exited, one dedicated to the early days of cinema titled what else but THE SILENT PICTURE! For a guy like me who has taken a huge interest in old tyme mooms ever since the days when those silent comedy compilations would pop up on the cathode connection entertaining people whom I'm sure saw these flickers when they first came out, THE SILENT PICTURE's a publication that I can settle down to read and totally devour within one of those extended and uninterrupted evenings when there's nobody around to bother me and I can play the ol' bedside boom box as loud as I please because well, maybe the neighbors DO have an appreciation for LaMonte Young after all!

The D.W. Griffith tribute was a nice bit of writing even if I already knew just about everything that was mentioned here, and the interview with Griffith regular Mae Marsh was particularly enjoyable given that she (no doubt about it) was one of the more expressive actresses to have popped up on the early pre-twenties screen.  Sheesh, the chemistry and electricity she and Griffith fave Robert Harron emitted on celluloid was pretty much unparalleled as far as filmic magic went, and I'd rank the two as perhaps the greatest romantic couple of cinema ever or at least until the advent of Shemp Howard and Christine McIntyre a good thirty or so years later. But still the way those two lit up the screen with their expressive acting (I still love their rather touching segment in Griffith's 1914 classic HOME SWEET HOME) is definitely one of the highlights of the pre-flapper film era.

One interesting turdbit that shows up here deals with the great mystery of whatever happened to a whole load of them old films that for one reason or another seem to have been lost to time. For an answer that just might get on the nerves of some of your more serious old movie fans, here's the caption to a picture of a man smashing up something out of range with piles of film cannisters behind him: "What becomes of old or damaged films at the Douglas Fairbanks studio. The reels are chopped into small pieces to prevent use of the material for exhibition purposes by unauthorized persons. The shredded film is then sent to a refinery to get silver salvaged out of the emulsion. This lot probably netted $75 to pure silver." I do feel that I might be somewhat of value if only my molar filling contains a fragment of some lost gem that will never be viewed by the eyeballs of this realm ever again. But as far as serious fans of classic cinema go, boy could I just see the rivers of tears flowing away at the mere thought of such legendary films lost for all eternity, and for the sake of a few pithy bucks at that!

Monday, December 04, 2023


Yup, here's the third and I believe last of the Marvin Townsend paperbacks that the smarter turdburgers in school spent their begged pennies on. Like with LAUGH OUT and GHOSTLY GHASTLY CARTOONS, you know what's in store which is mainly a whole lot more of them great badgag panels done up by a guy who I believe only had one other admirer not counting his mother and that's me for doggone sure!

Being the kinda guy who still has a soft spot in his even softer brain for POOCHIE, another dose of Townsend sure takes my mind off the fact that I'm existing in a world where comics like these are outright scorned while people of my generation fondly wax reminiscence upon the works of Lynda Barry. Some mighty good snickers are in store for ya here with even a few that I think were good enough to appear in a few bigname mags. Who knows, but I get the idea that maybe one or two of 'em would have snugly fit into any seventies-vintage NEW YORKER perhaps getting the same amt. of chortles that one could outta Sam Gross! Well, they coulda gone down swell with the upnosed sophisticated ones that even read the wretchy Ellen Willis columns that usedta appear in it.

This book's also noted for a few hippie gags which, given this 'un came out '74 way, were a wee bit outta the timeframe and thus were what the "cool" types woulda called "not relevant". Well, I don't think that Townsend was about to do any glam decadence-oriented generation gap cartoons, though his handling of some Karen Quinlan situations woulda brought up a few chuckles 'round here. 

A nice collection that might make you forget that things like ZITS and BABY BLUES exist. But I doubt it.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023


My recent review of THE FUNNIES not only rekindled (hah! --- as if it ever went away!) the strong passion I held for the funny papers during my single-digit days but had me scurrying to ebay to get hold of some ALLEY OOP collections. The OOPs that were reprinted in that particular BORM conjured an interest in that strip which I must admit is somewhat strange considering I never really gave it the time of day. Just didn't appeal to me other'n for its even then antiquated style which harkened back to hem days when finely detailed comic art, which even at the cusp of the 60/70s was in rather short supply, seemed to rule the roost to be cornball about it. 

Perhaps the concept of a time-travelling caveman didn't quite make sense even in a comics world where one already had to suspend a whole load of logic and reality and just get down to the matter of enjoying them. Maybe the attempts to be relevant to the current events of the day were just too stilted and half-baked for the senses of any midclass suburban slob what with the references to flower children and hippies --- as satire or commentary such strips just didn't work so swell, coming off exactly the way the older generation perceived the youth of the day while failing miserably in the process. At least Al Capp was able to spoof the youth to the point where he rightfully enraged a whole slew of people who DESERVED IT!

Well, OOP was runnin' at a time when I had nada appreciation of continuing storylines other'n the ABNER and DICK TRACY sagas that really were capturing an imagination that didn't have much to capture. I'm sure that if I were some depression-era kid (I was receiving depression-era wages that's for sure!) the lack of other stimulation woulda have me following the strip with a raving eagerness, but as it stood ALLEY OOP just didn't spark anything inside my comics-saturated soul. It was something for the old folks the same way that Jimi Hendrix and the Jefferson Airplane were for the big kids 'n not little turdburgers like myself.

Now that I AM an old folk maybe it's time that I tried again and so I did. Sure woulda loved to've read this strip starting at the very beginning but with the variety of reprints available both fan-oriented and legit, and with the somewhat exorbitant prices they've got tagged on 'em it is rather hard to know exactly where to start.

This Kitchen Sink book does help out somewhat. Starting in '47 we're treated to three Oop arcs. The first one deals with his cranial impressions of ROBINSON CRUSOE projected onto Professor Wonmug's "View Screen" and man do they turn out quite differently than the actual novel what with Crusoe being a sexy blonde, much to the dismay of Oop's galpal Ooola who has enough goin' for her as well. Then Oop's flung back to the Kingdom of Moo where he's in deep trouble for beating up a cute femme who, as they all do, was just lying about the whole kaboodle (some things never change). Afterwards Our Hero and the somewhat shady Oscar Boom travel via the fourth dimension to ancient Arabia to check out the legend of the golden fleece getting into some mystical experiences which eventually get the two into some rather strange circumstances when their thoughts actually become fleshed out so-to-speak. Sure glad that didn't happen to me when I was a mid-teenbo or I'd still be in detention!

They are somewhat appealing what with that great hatchworked and detailed art that looks as if each panel took a good half-hour to delineate. The actual adventures ain't anything to complain about neither...sure they could have been somewhat more intense but I'm not exactly complaining mind ya. Well, these sagas sure kept my attention going about as strong as it would have had this book come around back when I was eleven, and even without me being too familiar with the previous storyline ins and outs it was easy enough for me to somewhat fit into the tongue and groove without having to resort to reading the first fourteen years of the thing!

Oh yeah, as far as the cover story goes  --- well, we all have read various SciFi sagas about time travelers who change the past making for a way different place to be found when they return to the present? Well, this particular time-traveling caveman is one fellow who actually MAKES the history when he zooms to the Middle East a good ten thou years back and helps create the Egyptian Dynasty by leading some wandering tribe in the Sahara to the Fertile Crescent. The people are so grateful that Oop's face pops up on the (now get this!) Sphinx! The possibilities of Oop changing the course of history are endless, such as if he just happened to be at the Texas School Book Depository on November 22 of 1963 or maybe with him posing as a clutzy doctor who attempted to deliver a number of future political figures who just "happen" to be stillborn, or accidentally dropped on the floor, or fed to the dogs for that matter. 

Like another once-legendary NEA Services strip CAPTAIN EASY, there is a balance between adventure and humor that yin/yangs a whole lot more'n casual perusers could possibly fathom. Overall, these strips make for good lazy afternoon reading that brings back those comic strip memories of an obsession that practically ruled my life. But hey, better it be comics than all of those stoopid things the other guys were involved in like sports, race baiting, self-abuse...

After pecking out the typically abysmal gunk this blog is renowned for directly above I discovered that (wonder of wonders!) there's actually a new series of ALLEY OOP daily reprints that have begun to creep into the comics anthology world! I dunno how long this endeavor will last (I get the sneakin' suspicion that it's gonna eventually peter out the way all of those LI'L ABNER attempts have) but it at least is a smart start and any OOP fans there are left out there in funny pages land better rejoice with their hearts, or any other bodily organs that might be at hand.

Even if the series eventually flops, at least it's a start and as far as comic strip history goes these are indispensable (even the original run drawn for the soon-to-be-even-more-extinct-than-the-Fellmandon Bonnet-Brown syndicate pop up!). These pre-time travel stone age sagas that appear (most of which seem to center around a love/hate relationship between Oop and King Guzzle similar to the Popeye and Bluto situation) keep you tuned in more'n any episode of RING-A-DING-DING SCHOOL ever did that's for sure! It's no wonder why this 'un became a big hit with the depression-wages era kids (who at least had an excuse for the pittance they earned!) and if you're really that interested after all of this schpiel why dont'cha write to and see what wonders await.