LIKE BURT REYNOLDS ON A MAC DAVIS INCOME by
great man lives in such a way that his existence is a
sacrifice to his idea.' -- Oswald Spengler
was screwed before I even began.
the words of my lady Tina....'Listen to the story now...'
was the summer of 1980 and I needed a lunchbox, since
I was about to start the third grade. I was refusing to
have one because even then I wanted to be different from
my peers (how cute/stupid). I was down with the idea of
carrying my food stuff to school in a plain brown sack,
but my mom wasn't having that and called my dad to bring
one home from where he worked at the supermarket. Imagine
my disgust when he came home that night with a (Gasp!
Horror!) BeeGees lunchbox under his arm. You can't blame
the guy for trying though. He knew I was a weird kid with
no interests whatsoever except pilfering through my brothers'
record collection when he wasn't at home. Little did he
know what I was listening to was anything BUT The BeeGees.
We're talking the usual suspects of The Pistols, Clash,
etc. But my brother was adding a new wing on to his collection
dedicated to the newer, harsher sounds coming from the
west coast of our very own country. Anywhos, I took the
lunchbox and soaked it in dishwater until the BeeGees
hologram-like image wore off. After that I promptly found
a blue magic marker and drew a huge blue circle on it
and scrawled 'What We Do Is Secret' underneath it. It's
a true story hoss and you can axe my bro. Eventually the
magic marker would wear off and the lunchbox became just
some big yellow object (I suppose I was permeating a Flipper
vibe without knowing it) but man oh man, the circle of
one that The Germs wrapped around my young, impressionable
dome is something that won't wear away to this day.
months to a year later, I got my first moving glimpse
of The Germs on a teen talk show that was on Nickelodeon
(!). Film director Penelope Spheeris was being interviewed
about her documentary on the L.A. Punk scene entitled
'Decline of Western Civilization'' and they showed clips
of most of the bands that appeared in the film. Germs
vocalist Darby Crash had already offed himself by a delibrate
heroin O.D. by this point, but this didn't diminish the
impact this footage had on me. Young angry pimply faced
bald dudes beating the hell out of one another and Darby
staggering around like some self appointed demigod while
slurring his famous line of 'Gimme a beer!'. Yes! You
can say this is the point in my life where I never looked
back and made a sincere effort to be and stay a freak
for the rest of my life. Thanks a lot Nickelodeon!
later, I finally got a hold of a copy of 'The Decline...'
on video and that wasn't even enough for me. Old issues
of Flipside and other L.A. Punk 'zines passed down from
my brother and some of his friends helped out, but just
twisted the knife of interest even more. All my nerdboy
research lead me to believe there was something about
The Germs that I would never 'have'. I could have their
gut churning sound on vinyl anytime I damn well pleased,
but the actual, factual chaos that buzzed around them
like so many mohicaned bees, I could not. It figures I'd
have to wait until I was a fat, bald slob to get the basic
wordage I needed to feel closer to the intangible.
The Fast Times and Short Life of Darby Crash and The Germs'
is the bible I wished would of fallen from the sky as
I sat on the floor of my brothers' bedroom, starring for
hours on end into the off center blue circle emblazened
on the cover of the bands' sole l.p. The base level pleasure
recieved from the off-color anecdotes and 'Hollywood Babylon'
like he-said-she-said claptrap in this oral bio is worth
the price of admission alone. Not to mention the photo
of a teenaged Kira Roesller done up in flesh revealin'
floosy punk duds. Yowza! But the insight buried underneath
these words is what gives real explanation to the fucked
idiocincracies of Darby and his crew. To find out Germs'
guitarist Pat Smear was a Yes fan explains alot (Especially
the guitar intro to 'No God') To find out he and Darby
were taking acid and speed at the age of twelve with the
daughter of a pornographer takes the legend I built up
in my mind to a whole other level.
Hitler was one of the first rock stars. Look at some of
his films and see how he moved. I think he was quite as
good as Jagger." -- David Bowie
Beahm (A.K.A. Bobby Pyn A.K.A. Darby Crash) was a troublesome,
Bowie obsessed, LSD gobbling teen attending an 'alternative'
high school steeped in Scientology. It was here he would
learn the art of rhetoric and use it later when he transformed
Ziggy Stardust like into his shamen/manipulator persona
of Darby Crash. As The Germs turned from joke of the blossoming
L.A. Punk scene to the leaders of a new drunken facism,
Pauls' demeanor changed. His first assumed punker name
was Bobby Pyn and the state of mind linked to it was niavely
Brit Punk inspired and goofy. When he morphed into Darby
Crash, he became more fucked up on intoxicates and Oswald
Spenglers' 'Decline of the West'. His desire to control
people grew and worked in his favor. He got the drugs
and respect he wanted, but there still was a void that
couldn't be filled. Darby was confused about his sexuality.
He despretely wanted to fuck boys, but he was afraid it
would destroy his image as a menacing force in the scene.
some of the finest U.S. Punk of all time and starting
a nasty heroin habit (Like there's such a thing as a good
one...) Darby found a few fat rich girls who were more
than happy to pretend they were his girlfriend. As long
as said girls kept Darby in good supply of china white
and cool punk clothes, he would stick around. He also
found a few boys he could have sex with on the d.l. One
of them was Tony the Hustler, a big time Hollywood male
hooker with plenty of celebs in his john stable, including
Hollywood Square Paul Lynde. Somewhere inbetween the junk
and hidden man sex, both Darby and The L.A. Punk scene
started to crumble apart. The infiltration of skinheaded
suburban types from the prosperous beach towns of the
South Bay turned the rather moderatly small scene into
a seething cauldron of pus and testoserone. Pointless
violence became the norm and drove the first wave of L.A.
Punks away to let the youngsters take over 'Lord of the
Flies' style. Darby broke up The Germs and ran off towards
England for a month to develop a beyond confusing Adam
Ant fixation. Upon returning, he started The Darby Crash
Band to compensate for his habit, but the band fell on
its' face with the new L.A. Punk scene. Must have been
the warpaint and the mohican. Darby felt like a has-been
at the age of 22. He needed to act fast if he was going
to perserve his legend. To confirm his place in the rock
tragedy hall of fame, he reformed The Germs for one last
show (Reportedly their best gig ever) and O.D. four days
would mention Darby Crash and 'divine inspiration' in
the same breath." -- Alan Licht
abundance of information in the pages of this book are
wonderful to have, but I'm still sorta shakey of it's
affect on me, even at this late date in my life. If this
book came out back when I was pineing so hard for its'
info, it surely would of fucked me up real good. Nowadays,
I'm more of a navel gazer, and all these first hand tales
from Darbys' friends and enemies just makes me wonder
more about him. In some ways, he looks to have taken the
easy way out to become a cult hero. He wanted to be the
punker L.Ron Hubbard, but became just another cliche'
in our culture. And that's where I sorta feel sorry for
the guy. I don't feel all too 'cosmic' in these present
times, but I guess the easiest way out of this pomposity
is to come to the conclusion that Darby really had no
choice. Just like all our fave dead rockers, he stomped
this chunk of dirt we call a planet for a reason. To live
fast, die young and leave a corpse with green clay plastered
on its' face.
I HAVEN'T HEARD THE NEW DEAD C. BUT THIS STUFF WILL MOST
LIKELY KICK ITS ASS...
by Tony Rettman
Slaughter are a loose limbed improv unit from NYC
who seem to change their aural plan of attack everytime
I witness them live. From foggy trips into the mountains
of the moon and mind to full-blown Psych Rock overload,
the trio of Dave Shuford, Marc Orleans and Carter Thornton
are into traveling a long, endless road of sound. Their
pursuit isn't to necessarily find a place to set up camp,
but rather to see the sights and make their presence felt
with the pulse they emit. Their first commitment to vinyl,
entitled 'On Sunday' (Conduit Creations/Sound @ One) catches
them in mid-wander. Between the gray shafts of dense abstraction
lies a tiny little hole where mandolin and banjo strings
braid together to create an Appalachian trial that leads
directly towards a massive swamp of cough syrup. Check
out 'Side Beast' and tell me it doesn't sound like Biff
Rose and Wall Matthews on a higher grade of pot. Go ahead.
Tell me. Hopefully their more 'rock' creations will find
their way to vinyl or tin foil soon. For now, this'll
do. Guest appearence by Keith Connolly noted and accounted
for. Available from www.yod.com
Detour label out of the U.K. has been doing great services
as of late. Firstly, they released a double lp of archival
material by The Cigarettes, one of the early 80s' most
obscure Mod-like bands to come out of the U.K. Now they
have set up a side label named Bin Liner which
is dedicated to the unsung heroes of U.K. Punk from the
same era. I suppose the two volumes of compilations they've
released entitled 'Bored Teenagers' is their version of
'Killed by Death' except for A) The bands are actually
aware of their songs being released B) They look and sound
excellent and C) They don't suck. I've never heard any
of these bands' names mentioned by any of my Punk single
collecting pals, and I think I know the reason for that.
Much like the dreaded Psych collector, dudes who collect
Punk singles are only interested in the obvious. None
of the bands on this compilation have songs about sodomizing
the handicapped or mainlining Drain-O and thus their greatness
is lost on these prick lookers. The time frame in question
finds most of these bands in primitive power pop mode
or Pre-Oi! mid-tempo boot stomp. UXB and Knife Edge stand
out in the former category, Disorder and The Negatives
in the later. The thing comes with a pretty informative
little booklet telling the full history of most of the
bands. This is a nice change of pace from the usual lack
of information that accompanies these sorts of compilations.
I for one would like to know more about these bands other
than that their records are as rare as tight pussy...I'd
like to know why the bass player of Disorder left a shit
in Faye Fife's dressing room. Tell me, tell me!!! www.detour-records.co.uk/binliner
cuts? The pet rock? What's the difference? At this point
I'm too fucking drunk to care, but I'll tell ya something...this
split 12" 45 released on the White Tapes label between
Fantasy Roxx and The F You Two would sound
fine even if it was pressed on pie crust. Fantasy Roxx
serve up a low-key/low-fi electronic entaglement that
will find Sir Dylan Noukis searching the situations vacant
for a new gig as a window washer/cum plumber. You heard
it here first. The F You Two is a collabritive effort
between Ben Chasny (6 Organs of Admittance) and Russ Waterhouse
(The S.B.) with a member of The Golden Calves Money Band
(Deceased?) thrown in for good measure. The side starts
out with Ben's contribution of beyond red fisted grinding
guitar assault. The sort of thing that would send the
average 6 Organs fan running for a patchouli enema and
his or her's Stone Breath CD. Somewhere in the middle,
his scorch catches up with Russ's yelping electronics
and the two elements wrestle playfully with each other.
In the same fashion you'd imagine a puppy dog and professional
wrestler would. Someone leaves the phone off the hook
and a catastrophe is overtedded. Aren't you happy? Like
most lathe cuts, this thing is in a very limited quanity.
I suppose it makes this review a waste. Not unlike yourself...
current re-interest in my Hardcore past scares me a bit.
Tons of records I sold off years ago have appeared once
again on my want list (Anyone wanna swap a copy of 'Black
Woman' for a skate park edition of the 'IQ32' 7"?) Am
I in the midst of an early mid life crisis? Am I merely
as confused and angry as I was in my youth? Am I trying
to find familiarity in sound after years of 'research'
in all things unknown? Well, I might have to take a day
off of work and give these questions a good, long think.
For now, I'm looking for happiness wherever I can find
it. I've found a lot of happiness in a Bad Brains
bootleg I discovered named 'Band In D.C.' The majority
of this boot is from a live set recorded in the Spring
of 1982 in Washington D.C. The sound is beyond sonic (this
has to be from the soundboard) and I can't help but feel
special for owning this. Do I hear Ian MacKaye asking
for his rabbit's feet? (sic) Is that former Bad Brains
roadie John Joseph asking for more drums in the monitors?
God damn, it was way more fun to fear getting kicked in
the teeth than it is to sit on the floor and smoke dope
to some AMM tribute band. Please shoot me...soon.
alotta folks have been making sideways comments about
the debut lp from The Suntanama on Drag City. What
else can be said but, FUCK 'EM. I suppose the fact that
one half of this band consists of members from The No
Neck Blues Band makes people grumble. For one reason or
another, NNCK's name always seems to get people in a tizzy.
Never have I seen a band raise such a commotion just from
existing. The funny thing to me is how these people scorn
NNCK and their various side projects as being anomalous
self-indulgent slop of the 'anyone can do that' variety.
Now it seems these folks have a problem with The Suntanama
playing a conciously 'down home' style of straight ahead
rock that shows their talents. I've got no time for this
sorta bullshit, and anyway, this is a Suntanama review,
not a NNCK one. It would be easy to just write that this
sounds like someone got exiled in a big pink house on
main street, but I won't (and man that sucks, 'cause I
really want to get to bed). These guys have gone so far
beyond the boogie rock barriers the stupes have put on
'em, it's both shocking and warming. The overall feel
of the record is of a slow burn, but it certainly ain't
lackadaisical. It's a tight ship and the production from
NMH is pristine, but it doesn't deter from the album's
curling early morning smoke. The rhythm is solid and of
its own and Keith and John's acoustic/electric combo is
a good un and the lead taken on 'Song Inside A Shell'
makes the sun burst through the proverbial clouds everytime
I indulge in the tune. Darren's voice is full of ache
and hope (just like his words) and if this record doesn't
even raise a few brows around the town, than I guess we're
just doomed to witness more 'wacky' No Wave revivalists
with clever masks and costumes with matching silly hats.
Who? Me? Spiteful? No Way!
swaying beards to angry asians....hey, what are you gonna
do? Alotta punker nerdboys like to debate who came first
in the thrash sweepstakes. Some say it was L.A.'s Middle
Class while others swear up and down it was the aforementioned
Bad Brains. What about Osaka Japan's S.S.? These
fellas have been toted as being heavy duty stuff by plenty
of Punk-Know-It-Alls, including former Benson & Hedges
smoker Tim Yohannon. The only thing available by them
was some super-limited one-sided deal of a live set recorded
in the Spring of 1979 that got snapped up really quickly.
Well, someone just did the thing up again in a higher
number of 900 copies and I really don't know what to say...Japan?
1979? This shit is delivered with more velocity, severity
and angst than anything produced by the supposed Hardcore
'groundbreakers' who came along three years later in the
game. I keep playing this thing over and over again, one
hand scratching my head in disbelief, the other punching
out anything in front of me. To think what would of happen
if The Teen Idles got ahold of this rather than the 'Nervous
Breakdown' 7" is enough to cripple what little intellect
I have. To think how many H.B.'s could've raised holy
hell to this rather than harass Exene Cervenka is another
brain burner. Best not to give the matter too much mind.
Just throw the thing on at your next Oren Armchair Appreciation
Society meeting and watch the lips twitch.
column is dedicated to the memory of Frank 'Skip' Candelori.
LOAD RECORDS...what is this shit?