With Just A Hint Of Mayhem

Music trivia, useless info, extra added random stuff and the odd rant from me

East Village Punk ‘n’ Rock Tour (NYC) from Rock Junket Tours – Saturday 29th December 2018 January 8, 2019


As a part of my birthday jaunt to NYC my wonderful wife Catwoman (a.k.a Catherine) booked a rather intriguing East Village Punk ,n, Rock walking tour of New York’s East Village from Rock Junket. Our host and Rock Junket Head Honcho was Bobby Pinn (not his real name) and it was a pure delight to spend a couple of hours in his company. I pride myself on knowing an awful lot about rock music, but I bow to the vast encyclopaedic knowledge of Mr Pinn. I learnt so much on this tour.

We saw the apartment block where Joey Ramone (a.k.a. Jeffrey Ross Hyman and also a.k.a Jeff Starship!) lived. Not far from there is the spot where the iconic photo of the Bruddas that adorns the cover of their first album was taken. Take another look at that picture, in particular the subtle way in which Joey is bending his knee and Dee Dee is standing on tip toes just so that the vast gap between the pair of them does not appear so vast.

Whilst I didn’t try one until later in the week we learnt what an Egg Cream drink was. The drink is immortalised in song by Lou Reed and apparently one of the best spots to buy one is the Gem Spa, a one time haunt of the New York Dolls. Strangely enough the Egg Cream beverage contains neither egg nor cream! Go figure!

I already knew a lot about Bill Graham’s venue the Fillmore/ Fillmore West in San Francisco, but I knew next to nothing about the Fillmore East in New York. Many great acts took to the stage there from the Allman Brothers to Frank Zappa. The most appearances by any artist or band was by the Grateful Dead.

Apartments that were once home to a young Madonna and tortured jazz giant Charlie Parker were encountered. Charlie Parker even has a street named in his honour. Now that is not bad for a suicidal junkie who died aged just 34. But that was just a part of his story and it is impossible not to recognise the towering influential, pioneering genius of Mr Parker. Also who knew that Madonna’s early live appearances were as a drummer for her then boyfriend’s band? I certainly didn’t!

I I hadn’t been on this tour with Bobby Pinn I am certain that I would have walked right past the building that features on the front cover of Led Zeppelin’s 1975 double album ‘Physical Graffiti’. The building was the home of Jimmy Page’s drug supplier who lived on the fourth floor. That floor is conspicuously missing from the album cover after a real cut and paste job by artist Peter Corriston. The very same tenement block was used in the video for the Rolling Stones 1981 single “Waiting On A Friend”.

The tour ended at the site of the now defunct CBGB’s; the iconic 1970s New York punk venue. I took the obligatory pictures outside and even ventured into the ridiculously expensive and rather disappointing shop that is now on the site. That said, the Captain Fantastic pinball table was stunning!

In this post I have tried to give you a flavour of this magnificent tour of some classic rock landmarks in the East Village. I didn’t want to add much more and therefore spoilmyour enjoyment when you take it. Make sure that you go walking around New York with Bobby Pinn next time you are in the Big Apple. You will not regret it. Click here to check out the Rock Junket site and to book your tour.

Apart from the Rock Junket header all pictures were taken by yours truly, apart from those that feature me which were taken by the most wonderful person that I know, Catherine Adamson. If you were wondering which landmark birthday I was celebrating it was 18 with 42 years of experience. 😉

 

“Averageism EP” – Tax January 21, 2018

Filed under: Review — justwilliam1959 @ 1:21 pm
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Sometimes you have to make a choice as to which gig you want to go to when there is a clash. Last Friday I went to see Absolute Bowie at Fibbers in York, sadly this meant that I missed a great line up put together by Northern Radar at another fabulous York venue; the Crescent. Who did I miss? The Televangelist, Dvsk, Tax and the Honey Smugglers, that’s who. But I did meet up with Northern Radar Head Honcho Simon Pattinson after the show along with some of Tax, including the drummer and Millie (with an i, e) who isn’t their manager but perhaps should be! Millie gave me a copy of the new Tax EP ‘Averageism’. I promised to take a listen to it and maybe review it for this blog. What some of you don’t know is that if any singers or bands give me some of their music to review I will always listen to it, but I will only review it if I like it. Personally I don’t think it is fair to lumber upcoming bands with a negative review. But this is most definitely NOT a negative review!

This five track EP is without a doubt, bloody awesome. It was produced by Liam Watson, and as many of you know his cv includes the White Stripes. Tax, from York, are refreshingly original, but in terms of influence I can hear some heavy punk and post punk vibes, the Adverts, PiL, the Fall, the New York Dolls and early 70s Glam Rock. The EPs title track is probably my favourite after the third listen, any song that mentions James Last, Ian Brown, Burt Bacharach and uses the words moron and twat in the lyrics is alright with me. Aside from the tightness of the band what really impressed me was the lyrics; “Out For Lunch” has a brilliant couplet in “I’ve got a handshake like an earthquake”, play the track loud enough and it might even move the gauge on a Richter scale recorder. “Clone” sounds like something the Adverts TV Smith might have recorded in the late 70s, very LoFi but with more balls than the usual LoFi sound. The EP is completed by the excellently titled “Piss” and “I’m A Presenter On The TV”. If you haven’t seen Tax or heard them then I suggest you do something about that right now! But careful how you search for them, you might end up reaching some pretty dull accounting sites! Click here to find them on FaceBook and click here to find them on Soundcloud. Personally I can’t wait to see this lot play live now!

 

 

“Today’s the day when I see clear, a tiny thread of smoke appears” April 8, 2010


This is a post to mark the sad passing of Malcolm McLaren earlier today aged just 64. Rather than write thousands of words about him I thought I’d just pick a few tunes of bands he managed his own stuff. Enjoy! Goodbye Talcy Malcy. (The BBC obituary of Malcolm is very good, click here to see it) 

Malcolm McLaren outside the infamous Kings Road Shop 'Sex' he set up with Vivienne Westwood

“Jet Boy” – New York Dolls -McLaren was their manager in the early 70s for a period 

Anarchy For The UK” – Sex Pistols – Malcolm came to prominence by bringing the band together and managing them until their demise in 1978 

C30 C60 C90 Go” – Bow Wow Wow – Malcolm took over as manager of Adam and the Ants and fired Adam, he the brought in Annabella Luwin aged just 14 as the singer 

Double Dutch” – Malcolm McLaren – This song annoys many people I know, but I love it! 

Madame Butterfly” – Malcolm McLaren – I don’t like opera so why do I like this?

 

“You just took for granted that I want to skinny dip” March 17, 2009


Hello everybody on this glorious Tuesday 17th March, well the weather is glorious where I am anyway. Firstly did everyone see the reports about Francis Rossi of Status Quo in the press last week? He finally had his hair cut short, yes he has had his pony tail chopped off. His hair had been receding considerably at the front too, so perhaps he should have done it ages ago, but at least he’s done it now. Personally I really don’t think old grey haired men with receding hair lines and pony tails is a good look. But then maybe I suffer from hair envy as I do have a head like a billiard ball and I have also been likened before to Sam the Bald Eagle from the Muppets, so what do I know! Anyway you can read the story and see the pictures in an article from the Guardian by clicking here (or should that be clicking hair?). Either way it really does have the same shocking effect as seeing Elvis getting his hair cut for the Army in 1958.

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

Francis auditions for the Bay City Rollers in his younger days

On with the usual stuff now starting with just a couple of birthdays. Firstly today is the 42nd birthday of Billy Corgan from the Smashing Pumpkins. Whilst he is younger than me we do share the same first name and hairstyle! Billy was (and presumably still is) a big baseball fan. He played for his school and whilst there he also built up a collection of baseball cards that reached 10,000. Wow that even makes my CD and comic (sorry graphic novel) collections look tame! Corgan also dated Courtney Love before she came into Kurt Cobain’s life. Corgan even shared some songwriting credits on Courtney’s band Hole’s album “Celebrity Skin”. Incidentally you should check out Courtney on MySpace, in my opinion she has a fantastic presence there and uses it really well. The Smashing Pumpkins broke up in 2000 but reformed in 2006. In the ensuing period Corgan formed the rather short lived Zwan and also released some solo material. In my opinion the Pumpkins 1997 album “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is one of the best albums to come out of the 90s. Check out “1979” from Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by clicking on the song title.

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Billy appeared to be (s)lightly cross

Today is also the 34th birthday of Justin Hawkins off of the Darkness and Hot Leg. Since the Darkness split up and before Hot Leg came to be Mr Hawkins was quite a busy boy. He issued a solo single, a cover of the Sparks song “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us”. He took part in the competition to represent the UK at the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest. I’m glad he didn’t win that, the voting is so political and territorial that the UK is unlikely ever to win it again. In the Film ‘Telstar’ which is based on the life of the late great (finally those l’s & g’s make a return!) Joe Meek, Justin will be taking on the role of the wonderful English eccentric, the late great (with a vengeance, l & g’s ra ra ra) Screaming Lord Sutch. I saw the Darkness live at the Reading Festival twice. Firstly in 2003 when they were about 4th on the bill and still relatively new, they were absolutely fantastic one of the best bands of the whole festival that year. However they went on to headline the following year and personally I don’t think that they were ready. Their second album still hadn’t been released and they tried out some of the new songs which seemed under rehearsed. In my opinion they were one of the worst Reading headliners that I have ever seen and I have been going for a long while, the fireworks at the end were the most exciting thing about their set that year. I reckon they peaked way to early. However I do feel that Justin Hawkins is immensely talented. I loved both the Darkness albums and the current Hot Leg album is pretty damned good too. Here is the Darkness classic “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” and a future Hot Leg classic “I’ve Met Jesus

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

Justin had asked one of the audience to change the channel on his flat screen crotch TV

On this day in 1976 Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers appeared at New York’s CBGB’s club. The Heartbreakers were formed in 1975 when Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan quit the ‘New York Dolls’ and Richard Hell left ‘Television’. Hell left in 1976 and went on to form the Voidoids. The Heartbreakers were invited to appear on the bill of the Sex Pistols Anarchy Tour in 1976, although most of the dates were cancel thanks to the massive overreaction by much of the British press and many local councils. The invite may have come about because Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren had previously been the manager of the New York Dolls and he knew Nolan and Thunders quite well. The Heartbreakers are certainly unlikely to reform since Thunders died in 1991 and Nolan in 1992. My favourite Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers song is “Chinese Rocks” check it out and tell me what you think, to me it’s a punk classic.

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

Johnny didn't think Sid was particularly vicious

The CBGBs club opened in 1973 in Manhattan and sadly closed down in 2006. The initials stood for Country, Blue Grass and Blues although strangely enough it is most associated with punk. However it’s full name was CBGBs & OMFUG the second set of initials stood for Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers. I must confess that I haven’t got the foggiest as to what Gormandizers means, do you? The final show at CBGBs was by the fabulous Patti Smith. “Elegie” was the last song ever played at CBGBs, a very sad moment indeed

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

The CBGB bathroom/ toilet, moderately better than most festival toilet facilities

And finally on this day in 1997 US singer Jermaine Stewart died of liver cancer which was believed to have been complicated by HIV/ AIDS. He had a UK number two hit in 1986 with “We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off“. He also worked with Shalamar, the Temptations and Boy George amongst others, largely providing backing vocals. He provided many of the backing vocals on Culture Club’s “Colour By Numbers” album. His first big break was becoming a dancer on the iconic US TV show ‘Soul Train’

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

Jermaine regretted falling asleep in the road just as the line painters arrived

 

 
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