(-REVIEW by Moses Midnight)
ATTITUDE AND SOCIAL CHANGE
1983 was the year we first formed our goth gang. We were dirty and sweet untamed youth, a loose collective of much hated misfits, new wave poseurs, Smash Hits magazine readers, and Baby Bowies, discovering new music and makeup and styling products, just kissing to be clever. The only thing more unforgivable than androgyny, in the macho midewestern culture of rigid conformity, non-stop violence, and sports competition was, poverty. We were condemned for both, from an early age. The Lords Of The New Church were outside of society sovereign kings unto themselves, and their songs taught us about history revisionism, propaganda, psy-ops, and the true nature of authentic rebellion. That post-apocalyptic poster that came with the first Lords record made an indelible impression upon our tortured little psyches. We knew there was no place for us in the fix-is-in mainstream world and that we’d eventually have to create our own subcultural kingdoms and take up residency in the bonfire light of no man’s sand. My old sidekick gave me my Dead Boys skull tattoo the year before he went to med-school. “Disconnected” is still my favorite record besides “Mystery City” and “Into The Valley Of the Dolls”. The Lords Of The New Church taught us to see through the smokescreens of goose-stepping totalitarianism, perverted religious zealotry, and controlled-media propaganda. They made us believe it was possible to create a new society away from the bigotry, hate, paranoia, and us versus them social control, programmed into us since birth, by the honky death machine. Everything Stiv warned us about in 1983-a dystopian police state, and Orwellian torture gulags, and endless war, has long since come true. Gimee some of that old time religion! “I’ll recruit a ragged army/why let your hatred scar me?” He was like a time travelling messenger from the future.
I was a sucker for all that lively and colorful MTV escapism-I loved it all-Boy George and Cyndi Lauper, Prince, Psychedelic Furs, and Flesh For Lulu, but when my space pirate new romantic icons Duran Duran started glamourizing the Reagan/Thatcher lifestyle of safaris and acquisition, cocktail parties on yachts with coked-out models and pink pastel Miami Vice suits, the Lords Of The New Church were already prophesizing about secret societies, totalitarian regimes, the deep state permanent government, and the one percent elite’s ominously secretive movements towards global slavery and corporate prison states; while pointing us towards a more righteous and free, alternative vision of truth and soul, steely-eyed clarity, and egalitarian values. While Bowie and George Michael were making big cash grab commercials for Diet Coke, the New Church were sermonizing that television is nothing but lies, the prison’s filled while the rich still rob, to be here now, throw-away youth you gotta make a stand, no one’s gonna help you but yourself, start your gang, etc. I answered his call. When many of my former peers were into RATT and Mötley Crüe, or grunge, or unreality tv lifestyle programming, I was a down in flames detention hall sonic reducer, already ready, anytime, ready to snap! A choirboy at the New Church. He informed my core values, entire belief system, and life’s work. Sometimes it’s felt like not enough people really heard the message. For a mighty long time, it felt like the congregation had dwindled to almost nothing. Most of my lunatic fringe dancing old friends are long dead. I mean, me, I’m still seething with sedition, my old lady’s anointed with wisdom, and my old fun hog, road buddy just wants to duck walk on the rubble of shock doctrine, shock and awe, imperial disaster capitalism, but very few gadget guided I-Phoners and rah-rah warpig consumerist zombies of rightwing Murkkka really seem to have any desire to open their eyes, anymore. Like I said, nearly every grim and dreary thing Stiv warned us about-the dystopian police state and military and prison industrial complex and Orwellian torture gulags and panopticon surveillance has all come true. There are brown babies in cages. Racist gestapo. Poison in the water. War all the time. Robot muzak. It is harrowing to behold. Most of my countrymen are too bamboozled by cable tv diversions and too busy Keeping Up With The Kardashians to even notice, let alone, give a fuck. Luckily, this crucial, must-have DVD, and some of his old pal’s various other projects have created a renewed interest in his music that is probably more important and meaningful now, than ever before. A whole new generation of black haired scarf wearers are discovering his always heartfelt and provocative and thoughtful songs. Stiv lives in the hearts of the musicians and outlaws, the artists and rastas and dreams.
The impeccable and sensitive film-maker, Danny Garcia shines through, once again, with a really lovely and poignant and often hilarious valentine to our beloved alley Bator. If you are anything like me, you will only wish it was a ten part series. I never get tired of hearing first hand Stiv anecdotes from his intimate apostles, loves, and collaborators. Many of my favorite rocknroll super heroes, like Ray Hanson, Neal X, Nicky Turner, Dave Tregunna, Frank Secich, Jimmy Zero, Cynthia Ross, Nina Antonia, and Eddy Best share unseen photographs, rare music, and intimate reflections about the King Of The Brats. If you ever loved the Stiv Bators band on Bomp!, Dead Boys, Wanderers, or Lords, you will want to own this dvd and watch it again and again. To my little crew of merry pranksters, lostboy mischief makers, and snotty glam kids, Stiv was like Alice Cooper, Iggy Pop, Bill Hicks and Joe Strummer rolled into one. Join The New Church!