If push absolutely came to shove, and I had to pick my three favorite punk songs ever, I'd go with "Loud Fast Rules" by The Stimulators, The Misfits anthemic "Horror Business" and this lil' gem called "Solitary Confinement" by early LA punk band The Weirdos. Formed in 1976 by brothers John and Dix Denney, and originally called The Luxurious Adults (genius!) the band released precious few records in their five year period of activity before splitting in 1981, but when they did, they made it count. This track is the B-side of their Dangerhouse Records 7" We've Got The Neutron Bomb which, if any of you are still around when I kick the bucket, please place it in my casket with me. No wonder that label became legendary, with releases like this on it, how could history have played out any differently?
As far as the clip itself goes, it just showed up on You Tube one day and no one seems to know or agree what it's exact origin is. There is a voice over by a confused (and/or dissapointed) announcer about halfway through, which in this case only aids in giving it some historical context. Punk was once weird, confusing and completely outside of anything that could be considered remotely mainstream, God bless it!
One of the highlites of an already great car show in Santa Cruz yesterday was Los Chilaqz, a young and almost too much fun band from LA. Notice that the first annual (I hope!) Concrete Massacre was actually held at a huge concrete facility, it never gets boring in California folks.
Labels: Top 5
The Golden State Warriors held a special Draft Day event at Oracle Arena today, and, just like any other time I've had a chance to go to anything NBA related for free, I went. Things didn't quite work out too well for me, or apparently anyone else, at this somewhat less than stellar event. I'll spare you the gory details, but highlights included a guy in an ill-fitting chefs hat yelling, "FOOD'S ALL GONE!" right as I picked up a plate after waiting in an alphabetically arranged line for 45 minutes, 95% of the crowd leaving the second The Sacramento Kings took DeMarcus Cousins with the 5th pick (the Warriors choosing Ekpe Udoh 6th was met with neither applause or boo's, just total indifference) but perhaps worst of all was this kid who would NOT give anyone else a turn on this nice, vintage 1981 Ms. Pac Man machine. i gotta admit that he WAS wearing the right jersey though, as he hogged this video game the same way Corey Maggette hogs the basketball. The new court did look great though, and better days are surely ahead... and if not, there's always next season... again!
Every time that April rolls around, I can’t help but think about Tim Yohannan. Tim died on April 3rd 1998 at the way too young age of 53, and it’s hard to believe that it’s been 12 years already. For those of you that don’t know, Tim founded Maximum Rock and Roll in the early 80’s, and was the guy that gave me my break as a journalist. Well, it goes a bit deeper than that even, he was actually the one that put the idea into my head that I could even be a writer. Standing outside of 924 Gilman, the legendary East Bay punk club that he also founded, on a fateful July evening in 1987, Tim told me that I should be a writer. When I told him that I’d never been to college for even five minutes, he simply said, “If you just write the way that you talk, it will be fine” and went on to tell me that if I actually did move to California, he’d put me on the MRR staff. 14 months later when I pulled into San Francisco, he made good on that promise. Writing for MRR lead directly to me writing for Thrasher, which lead to my column in RIP, all of which ultimately lead to me combining my love for car culture and punk rock and creating Gearhead Magazine. It might be a stretch to say that without Tim, there would be no Gearhead, but then again, maybe not. One things for sure, Tim showed me the blueprint for doing my own thing, exactly how I wanted to do it, and without compromise.
I loved that he drove a Volvo station wagon by the way, because it suited him perfectly. He constantly had places to go and things to do, and needed the most practical and reliable vehicle possible for these endless tasks. In the end, that’s really what I admired most about him: in a town that can be flaky beyond belief, if he said he was going to do something, he did it. Starting a legendary fanzine, a syndicated radio show, opening an all-ages club and a volunteer run record store along the way. He never took a dime for himself either, it was all about showing people how to build a truly independent community, working together, and without ego. Never flashy, just hard working and dependable… just like his Volvo.
One of the many amazing gifts from an even more amazing 45th birthday party, once again held at Ricky's in San Leandro (where else?) last Friday night. Thanks Courtney and Susie, and um, this seems as good a time as any to give Court's business, the infamous Lucky Mule, a plug too.
During my recent and ongoing obsession with Aliquippa Pennsylvania's favorite son, the one and only Pistol Pete Maravich, I uncovered these gems from the early 70's. Even during the "afro mandatory" ABA era, at least the suits at Vitalis thought that Pete had the "best hair in the League." I wonder what the good folks at Afro Sheen would have to say about that?
Sure, Ike Turner's soul left this spinnin' ball o' mud we call the planet Earth a few years ago, but that's no reason not to remember this R&B badass on his birthday. This pic seems to say, "We got Soul, fuck you" and somehow, I couldn't agree more.
The raw version of the next Gearhead cover: all hail the genius of WEESNER!
Before there was the Angry Samoans, there was VOM. Featuring two future Samoans (Greg Turner and “Metal” Mike Saunders) and rock critic Richard Meltzer on vocals, they only released one EP in 1978, but damn did they make an impression. I could go on for hours about this band (no kidding, I really could) but I’ll just say that they are probably one of the best examples of what this "crazy new thing called punk rock” was before the “rules” about virtually everything slowly fell into place. Lines like “so retarded they were genius” actually do them a disservice, so I think I’ll just settle for “genius” and leave it at that. Enjoy.
Well you come to the letter “U” and you think, I could get cute with this, The Users, UXA, UXB, Urban Waste, The Unnatural Axe even, but to not post a clip of Northern Irelands finest, The Undertones, would be downright blasphemous. I don’t need to say too much about these guys, as they have rightfully established themselves as one of the all time great bands in several genres really, and despite the departure of singer Feargal Sharkey in 1983, in 1999 they reformed and are still at it. This clip falls under the “way too great not to share” category, it’s them in 1978 actually recording their most enduring song “Teenage Kicks,” which somehow never sounds dated. Have no fear blog readers, the letter “V” will be much more obscure.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I'll fight anyone who doesn't give the Jackson 5 the respect they deserve, and I've been that way for decades. I can't speak on how Michael behaved as an adult, or the things he did or didn't do. All I know is, from 1969 to 1979 there was THE VOICE, and now it's silent. Luckily there is the music, the videos of the TV appearances, even the Rankin-Bass produced J5 cartoon had soul. It's all a huge part of my life, and probably is for anyone that grew up in the 70's. How much cooler were the Jackson 5 than the Osmond Brothers? There is literally no comparison, they stood alone, and we stood in awe.
I never met the guy, but I always believed Lisa Marie Presley when she said he was a completely different person in private. A guy who drank, swore and joked around a lot, just like any other guy in his 40's from Gary Indiana. The world will never really know for sure, and he'll always remain an enigma, but I for one will miss him. Rest in Peace bro, you earned it.