Archive for the ‘The Gun Club’ Category

Thomas Wayne

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

thomaswaynetragedyuka, Thomas Wayne, Twinkle, The Shangri-Las, American London,

Listen: Tragedy / Thomas Wayne
Tragedy / Thomas Wayne

Both sides are a childhood memory record. And I had all but forgotten this one until there it was in the collection I’d bought from Tony King. Certainly not representative of the general sound I ultimately went for until years later, unsure if it was the very first record I had someone buy me, but it was certainly one of the first.

Possibly ‘Tragedy’ is what planted that seed toward favoring violent death and horror records like those by Jimmy Cross, Twinkle, The Shangri-Las, Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages even The Gun Club. Thomas himself died in a car crash.

thomaswaynesaturday, Scotty Moore, Elvis Presley, Thomas Wayne, Fernwood Records, London American,

Listen: Saturday Date / Thomas Wayne
Saturday Date / Thomas Wayne

Like Side A, the flip, ‘Saturday Date’ was produced by Scotty Moore, one time Elvis Presley guitarist. Why it wasn’t included in the AMERICAN GRAFFITI soundtrack is beyond me. Lyrically, you can’t capture the era better. Speaking of guitarists, Thomas Wayne was indeed the brother of Luther Perkins, who played lead for Johnny Cash.

A side scan from Tony King’s collection, B side scan is my original copy from the day.

X

Saturday, October 1st, 2011

Listen: The New World / X
The

I saw one of the greatest bands in the solar system tonight at Irving Plaza in New York, and one their greatest shows ever.

X

Seen them many times, worked with them at Elektra, was a fan prior. But let me tell you, there is no other punk band in the universe from the era that a) still exists in the original lineup and b) can even begin to compete. They have scared off all the competition. Deservedly so.

X are presently touring, performing the LOS ANGELES album in it’s entirety, plus a ton of greatest hits. Yes, be relieved, they have survived the hump from has beens to legends. And thank God they did. We lost The Cramps, The Ramones and The Gun Club. The White Stripes and L7 threw in the towel. Only Suicide can stand proudly next to them.

If X come to your neck, don’t fuck up your remaining years on earth and miss this one.

Thankfully, tonight they played ‘The New World’. Funny listening to the recorded version now. It’s so much faster and, dare I say, pop or slick. Still, in it’s day, who was speaking out about injustice and corrupt politics. Maybe there were others. I only remember X.

Elektra UK had half a brain then. Unlike the US side, they released ‘The New World’ as a commercial 7″ (in the US it was serviced as a promo only 12″). Half a brain? Yeah, in the era of picture sleeves, how could the company not house this in one? The UK never took to X. Their loss.

A very rare 7″, but as it probably plays out, not as rare as finding a person that wants one.

Yes, we vinyl collectors are dying off. Someday this 7″ will be in the Smithsonian. Neither of us will be around, but my bet is, it’s a Mona Lisa.

Richard Hell & The Voidoids

Sunday, January 30th, 2011

Listen: (I Belong To The) Blank Generation / Richard Hell & The Voidoids
(I Belong To The) Blank Generation / Richard Hell & The Voidoids

The other day at a friend’s office, I noticed a recently compiled anthology, punk or CBGS’s themed, or both. Can’t remember, but the packaging caught my eye. Very striking black and white design with bold, jungle red font. The real surprise was the inclusion of those most commonly eliminated bands: The Cramps, X, The Gun Club and Richard Hell & The Voidoids. I’m forever baffled that anyone with two brain cells to rub together could omit those four bands from punk anthologies, yet they do. I almost wanted a copy of this one, but having rid my life of new cd’s, I set it down and kept moving. Did make me think, will these final years of compact disc releases become collectable, as fewer and fewer get manufactured.

Richard Hell & The Voidoids ‘Another World’ was one of the first Stiff singles, the seventh (Buy 7) to be exact. That initial Stiff handful, probably issues 1-10, got worshipped by everyone. It was like a complete set, everybody needed to own the lot. With two songs on the B side, Richard Hell & The Voidoids’ seemed real value for the money. The original Craig Leon produced ‘(I Belong To The) Blank Generation’ doesn’t top the later Richard Gottehrer album and US single version, mostly due to Robert Quine’s more timid solos. I wouldn’t want a record collection without this recording though.

Listen: You Gotta Lose / Richard Hell & The Voidoids
You Gotta Lose / Richard Hell & The Voidoids

‘You Gotta Lose’, a track never to make the album, nor it’s subsequent cd reissues, might just be one of their best. From a time when guitars were the required lead instrument, Craig Leon and band certainly knew how to get those tones down right and documented well. As on the later re-recorded version of ‘(I Belong To The) Blank Generation’, the jagged Robert Quine style might have single handedly invented industrial. It wouldn’t surprise me to find Gang Of Four were fans.

Listen: Love Comes In Spurts / Richard Hell & The Voidoids
Love Comes In Spurts / Richard Hell & The Voidoids

The best punk pout I can think of and if ever there was a better play on words, let me know.

The Gun Club

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Death Party / Gun Club

Death Party / Gun Club

Listen: Death Party / The Gun Club GunClubDeathParty.mp3

Did you ever get to see The Gun Club live? I hope so. I was simply taken with Jeffrey Lee Pierce, his guitar playing and especially his voice. Funny thing was, I didn’t notice for at least ten years that he never really sang in key. But his style was so powerful, it worked.

I have many favorite songs by them, and I was bumping into myself trying to decide which one to post. So I’ve settled on ‘Death Party’. It’s probably a more obscure one, and I’ve certainly never seen copies of this 7″, other than the two I own. It also represents their live sound, that raw, jagged, perfectly sloppy groove from beneath hell, as JLP once said. And it’s around the time of my favorite Gun Club lineup, with Kid Congo, Terry Graham and Patricia Morrison. Even though they’re not on this, they delivered a live sound and a recorded one (THE LAS VEGAS STORY) precisely like this record’s.

I recall the time, after they played a local club show in August of ’84, which I made an audio recording of, the only live show I ever recorded in fact, that they all came back to my place to watch a video they had made of that night’s performance on a clumsy video machine the size of an air conditioner, as they were known to be then. In very un-RnR style, we sat and devoured a chocolate cream pie and drank tea. A great memory. Please check out the whole song. It is relentless.

Kid Congo Powers

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

CrampsGoo, The Cramps, Kid Congo Powers, Lux Interior, Ivy Rorschach

CrampsGooB, The Cramps, Kid Congo Powers, Lux Interior, Ivy Rorschach

Listen: She Said / The Cramps CrampsSheSaid.mp3

There are not near enough Cramps singles with Kid Congo Powers. There are many members who traveled through the band’s revolving door of a rhythm section (which in the early lineups redefined the term ‘rhythm section’ to mean drums and 2nd guitar/avant noise inventor), but very few were real Cramps. Others might contest my statement, including Ivy herself – and if anyone would know, it would be her. But this is my opinion – and other than Congo, Bryan Gregory, Nick Knox, Slim Chance and Harry Drumdini, there were no other REAL Cramps beyond Lux & Ivy. Well maybe Candy Del Mar, maybe.

The shows I saw with Kid were all priceless, for everything else there’s Mastercard or some such smart ass slogan. Hair, clothes, swirling on stage tornado – he will never be topped.

And talk about a lovely person, with a gentle smile and the sweetest sense of humor. Kid Congo is just a higher form of life.

‘She Said’, Kid’s first 7″ with the band, is so Cramps – it almost out Cramps The Cramps. Like the rest of the band, Kid stripped his contribution to the song of every excess not needed and documented the raw, naked power of primal purity.

CrampsCrusher, The Cramps, Kid Congo Powers, Lux Interior, Ivy Rorschach

Listen: The Crusher / The Cramps CrampsCrusher.mp3

PSYCHEDELIC JUNGLE was my favorite of the early few albums, a hard and unsteady position to take when you’re tampering with a few of the wonders of the world. But, yeah, if forced to choose in front of a firing squad, I’d go with PSYCHEDELIC JUNGLE.

‘The Crusher’ was one of the two singles from it, and like ‘Caveman’, will time travel you back to their live shows from ’80/’81- or sadly inform you of what you missed.

CrampsKick, The Cramps, Kid Congo Powers, Lux Interior, Ivy Rorschach

Listen: New Kind Of Kick / The Cramps CrampsKick.mp3

Have a look back at my L7 post from May 4th, 2010. It ends with the following few lines:

“………a song as good as ‘Drama’, which also has one of the two best guitar solos ever committed to tape. EVER. And the other one is..coming soon.”

Well come it has – the world’s other greatest guitar solo ever committed to tape. Yes, it’s the great Kid Congo Powers break on ‘New Kind Of Kick’, B side to ‘The Crusher’, above. B side!!!!!

If I am unfortunate enough to be inflicted with Alzheimer’s Disease, I hope it doesn’t erase my memory of Kid letting it roll out of him as though he were having a simple drink of water, seemingly something anyone could do. When the band launched into ‘New Kind Of Kick’ live for the first time, I stood in anticipation and wonder: how is he gonna pull this one off. Wow. He showed me.

This particular occasion was at the old Peppermint Lounge on 44th Street, the last week of that club’s lifespan at said location. And thank the heavens above – I have a tape of it. So powerful was that show – I’ve never even needed one listen to relive it’s force.

GunClubBeastPS, The Gun Club, Sympathy For The Record Industry, Jeffrey Pierce

Listen: Walking With The Beast (Single Version) / The Gun Club GunClubBeast.mp3

When Kid decided to go back to Jeffrey and The Gun Club, I was not happy. And I doubt I was alone. There was no place for Kid in The Ramones or Suicide, so the only other seminal, world great band, The Gun Club, was the logical move. Their album, THE LAS VEGAS STORY, is flawless, scary almost in it’s greatness. ‘Bad America’, ‘Stranger In Our Town’, ‘Give Up The Sun’, ‘Eternity Is Here’ – forget it. And the US tour in support was debilitating to those not ready, even those of us that were. Kid played flawlessly, all the while swigging from a bottle of…..Pepto Bismol.

It doesn’t get any more Kid Congo than that.

I’ll never forget my lucky date seeing that show: 8/8/84. Another one I have a tape of, now a file, and in between, a cd. When I need to be swept into oblivion, I put it on.

Here’s the 7″ version of ‘Walking With The Beast’ and a very different version from that on the album. You need both.

Duane Eddy

Monday, November 30th, 2009

DuaneEddyRebelUKA, Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood, Jamie, American London, Reprise, RCA

Listen: Rebel-Rouser / Duane Eddy & His Twangy Guitar DuaneEddyRebel.mp3

Did you know that Duane Eddy combined single-note melodies by bending the low strings and adding echo, a vibrato bar (Bigsby), and tremolo – thereby producing a signature sound unlike anything that had been heard prior – the sound that would be featured on an unprecedented string of thirty four chart singles, fifteen of which made the Top 40 and sales of over 100 million worldwide? Me neither. I read it on Wikipedia.

He was not alone in the creation. Then disc jockey Lee Hazelwood became his partner in 1954, taking on role of producer and co-writer. ‘Rebel-Rouser’ is one of those songs that probably every last human being has heard, but didn’t know it. Well I hope so at least. Peaking at #6, it was also his biggest chart success.

DuaneEddyStalkin, Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood, Jamie, American London, Reprise, RCA

Listen: Stalkin’ / Duane Eddy & His Twangy Guitar DuaneEddyStalkin.mp3

It’s B side, ‘Stalkin” is a whole other story. Now this is more the dark side sound that helped invent one of the most potent threads in music, a line followed by The Gun Club, Tav Falco’s Panther Burns, The White Stripes and most importantly, The Cramps. And of those bands alone, there were endless unsuccessful imitators.

It just oozes of girls in tight sparkly capri pants and spiked heels, slowly grooving their hips to the the record as it spun in the jukebox at a local malt shop.

DuaneEddySurfinPS, Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood, Jamie, American London, Reprise, RCA

Listen: Your Baby’s Gone Surfiin’ / Duane Eddy DuaneEddySurfin.mp3

Everyone jumped on the surf craze in the early 60′s. For Duane Eddy, it actually was a perfect fit. He kind of invented the sound, a seamless musical transition from rockabilly to the white kid, carefree, silver spoon lifestyles of surfers. Despite ‘Your Baby’s Gone Surfin” hardly denting the Billboard Hot 100 (#93), I remember it vividly. Even bought the single, or had someone buy it for me more likely. Little did I know, his band, The Rebels, had become Phil Spector’s regular studio outfit. Makes perfect sense then that The Blossoms, also vocal backup regulars on Spector sessions, provided all the singing here. Yes, that’s Darlene Love you’re hearing, just as you might be suspecting.

DuaneEddyShuckin, Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood, Jamie, American London, Reprise, RCA

Listen: Shuckin’ / Duane Eddy DuaneEddyShuckin.mp3

B side ‘Shuckin”, you gotta love the song titles, sounds like a routine jam with the sole purpose of churning out a flip to ‘Your Baby’s Gone Surfin”. Even so, the natural groove makes it a keeper. How many of these would they knock out in a day? I’m scared to reckon. Somewhere there are tape vaults….

DuaneEddyGuitarWasMadeUSB, Duane Eddy, Lee Hazelwood, Reprise

Listen: This Guitar Was Made For Twangin’ / Duane Eddy DuaneEddyRepriseUSB.mp3

Once the Nancy Sinatra success train was powering full steam ahead, on her Dad’s Reprise label, with Lee Hazelwood ably handling all production and songwriting, my guess is he suggested Duane Eddy be added to the roster. A seemingly under thought covers album of then current day hits, THE BIGGEST TWANG OF THEM ALL, allowed for one original ‘This Guitar Was Made For Twangin”. Despite a basic instrumental re-write of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’, he retains full writer credit, well at least as far as the label copy reads. I have to believe behind the curtain, there was a handshake share with Lee Hazelwood, writer of ‘Boots’ – or maybe not. He was the producer, it didn’t sell, and who cares anyways. Luckily the track was issued as a single.

Cyril Davies & His R. & B. All Stars

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

cyrilpreachinuka, Cyril Davies, The Rolling Stones, Pye International

Listen: Preachin’ The Blues / Cyril Davies & His R. & B. All StarsCyrilPreachin.mp3

cyrilsweet, Cyril Davies & His R. & B. All Stars, Pye International, The Rolling Stones, John Mayall,

Listen: Sweet Mary /Cyril Davies & His R. & B. All StarsCyrilSweet.mp3

I’m just so happy I own this. I only got it off eBay a few years back, and was rather excited thinking it was the same song I knew from The Gun Club – but it is not. No big deal, it’s a nice one to have still. Like Alexis Korner and John Mayall, Cyril Davies is often credited with helping to establish skiffle into purist blues, the form so many of the soon-to-be historic bands became addicted to. After his Blues Incorporated lineup that included Charlie Watts disbanded, The R. & B. All Stars were formed with many a member from Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages. They recorded five tracks for Pye’s new ‘R&B’ imprint (basically a logo on the stock sleeve). These are two.

The Incredible String Band

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

incrediblethismoment, The Incredible String Band, Elektra

Listen: This Moment / The Incredible String Band IncredibleMoment.mp3

incredibleblackjack, The Incredible String Band, Elektra, The Gun Club, Steeleye Span, The White Stripes

Listen: Black Jack Davy / The Incredible String Band IncredibleBlackJack.mp3

Acquired taste. Okay, I agree. During the late 70′s folk boom and the accompanying blind acceptance of, I didn’t know what to make of some of these acts. I don’t think anybody did. The Incredible String Band were English so I put the time in to find some positives. I mean everyone needed a few essential folk genre bits for the collection. And they did have some happening album covers. Seems they released several in very short order – so many that I never ended up buying one out of confusion. Then I LOOKED UP came out and started to get a few plays on the local college station, Syracuse University’s WAER. I took the plunge and bought. My two, by far, favorite tracks (‘This Moment’ and ‘Black Jack Davy’) were A and B sides in the UK. How handy.

Shortly thereafter, the SU Concert Committee booked them into a weird part chapel/part venue joint on campus. It was usually reserved for jazz events, don’t remember the name, but I did see The Soft Machine there. Most likely, they could be considdered jazz if you stretched it – and I’m glad they did – wow, great show.

Anyways, The Incredible String Band were spectacular. Featured the expanded (Mike and Robin plus girlfriends Rose and Licorice) lineup from I LOOKED UP and the about to be released U. In hindsight, the girlfriends were a bit of a Spinal Tap move sans tambourines. Still, we loved it.

Whoever Black Jack Davy was, many a song has been written about his folklore reputation. This version is not to be confused with other excellent ones of the same title by The Gun Club, Steeleye Span and The White Stripes.

And the above ‘This Moment’ (3:19), to my knowledge, is a 7″ vinyl only version. Every LP and CD contains the full 6:09 minute take.