This is the second album from this 90s influenced indie rock band from Saint-Etienne, France. While the album starts on a melancholic note reminding of the French 90s pop punk scene with “Albuzy Wings”, it gets much more exciting with the second song “Pagan Crap” that delivers some cool tight glammy rock’n’roll full of energy. These guys are into SENSELESS THINGS and MC4, it is quite obvious when hearing the guitar melodies and vocal harmonies in songs like “My Precious Friends” (you’ll hear some great Jerry Lee piano in this one) or “Eternal Sunset”. Sometimes early PLACEBO is not that far (“Out Of Time”) but the band also gets into more adventurous Britpop territories in “The Gift”, “You Got To Live” or “Half of Us” and its MANICS vibe. On the other hand, VANILLA BLUE also offers us some sunny pop punk in “Again and Again” and “In an Empty Seat.” The good surprise is the psych-punk tune “Panic” featuring POISON IDEA‘s Jerry A. “Sweetheart” is one of the catchiest songs on here and “Darker Than Blue” leaves us with a post-punk note. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.
“They are not Liberals.
That is what they call themselves, but they are not Liberals.” (-Clifton Duncan)
“Monday Night Football – It is now impossible to watch sports in America without constantly idolizing the military and war. The US has transformed completely into a totalitarian war machine. The cultural infrastructure is used to promote militarism.” (-Garland Nixon)
REVOLUTIONARY BLACKOUT NETWORK
“Americans really believe that this war started in February, came out of nowhere and for no reason, other than Putin is a movie evil villain that decided to try to take over world.
Our Gov’t can make us believe just about anything, and steal billions from us while doing it.” (-Black In The Empire)
“Twitter has suspended the account of Palestine Online, one of the most influential Palestinian news outlets on Twitter, to prevent them from conveying the truth of Israeli apartheid to over 80,000 followers.” (-Geoffrey M. Young US House candidate, KY-06)
“Ukraine shot missiles into Poland and tried blaming it on Russia
Missiles supplied by our tax dollars.” (-Jake Shields)
If you think it’s nuts that Ukraine will get tens of billions more from NATO after bombing a NATO member state, then you’ve obviously never heard of the USS Liberty.” (-Primo Radical)
“Zelensky is a war criminal and NATO is his enabler.” (-Danny Haiphong)
Danny Haiphong on Twitter: “Want to attend a New York Times event where featured speakers include the top instigators of nuclear war and the coming recession? That’ll be $2,400. https://t.co/FVXW0iHXor” / Twitter
Ajamu Baraka on Twitter: “Why are so many liberals turning into authoritarians? Do they not see how dangerous it is to characterize opposing views as beyond the pale & worthy of official suppression? Are these the liberal values we hear so much about?” / Twitter
What has always been interesting was that we all were supposed to pretend that this actor wasn’t acting and actually had independent thoughts & positions. This irrational insistence represents the real Zelensky – someone out of their depth from day one.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
Ben Norton on Twitter: “The US government has long supported this fascist, Nazi-saluting Bolivian gang Washington funded these anti-Indigenous racists to destabilize Bolivia’s socialist government and break up the country with Santa Cruz separatism @KennardMatt documented this: https://t.co/6JG23CcTUS https://t.co/WnLSbbR9NI” / Twitter
“This is the colonial mindset of Black petit-bourgeoisie. She decided to capitulate to the sensitivities of whiteness while her husband smashed universal healthcare, expanded AFRICOM, attacked & destroyed Libya, started wars in Syria & Yemen – in other words – serve white power!” (-Ajamu Baraka)
The Washington Post on Twitter: “First lady Michelle Obama considered wearing her hair in braids while living in the White House. But then she thought of the American people. “Let me keep my hair straight,” Obama said of her mind-set at the time. “Let’s get health care passed.” https://t.co/uF1peWIj29” / Twitter
“It really would not matter if she retires because democrat party has no credible moral & political leadership waiting in the wings to step forward. The party is intellectually & morally bankrupt & unable to rise to the historical task to eliminate the capitalist dictatorship.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“Text Of Pelosi Speech : Warmongers such as me are bent on nuclear human extinction. I can count on the squad to support Nazis & promote the lies necessary for such a horrific ending for humanity. Who cares about the future, there is none.” (-Garland Nixon)
PAPA OOH MOW MOW
My 15 year old woke me up singing the 1963 closet classic “Surfin’ Bird” outside my bedroom door about 4:30 this morning and has only paused singing it to do some early morning Badfinger while I wash dishes. I’m trying not to be in a bad mood so I gotta make some coffee.
ALIEN SEX FIEND
Man ya know way back in my heavy Cramps and Gun Club phase when I had my Tower records co worker Erika bleaching my hair and shit, I thought Nik Fiend was like the koolest rockstar on the planet. He probably still is. I used to live with a girl who ran his U.S. fanclub and we always dug all their art and crazy sounds. When I used to holler for some long forgotten basement goth gangs, this is who I ripped my whole look offa. They were too much fun. I wish Nik and the Mrs. Fiend all the best things always. Coolness, personfied!
I never met the Asheton brothers but my second drummer knew ’em real well and talked about ’em all day at the old hippie used record store I worked at in some Mayberry farmtown in the eighties. Once my fabulous furry freak brother Dave Andra got me into the Doors and the Stooges, ya know, that was it for me. We used to read “Black To Comm” magazine. Old “Creems”. “Well, alrite!” Ashton brothers wre just like us, from the same exact kinda place, we got into all the same kinda jams, growing up, ya know at the resevoir and in detention, smoking under the bleachers and meeting girls at church and sneaking into the drive in and shoplifting heavy metal magazines and probably some underage drinking and getting put in the juvie hall. I was not wild about “The Weirdness” but was happy those guys, a little like Killer Kane, got to have their happy ending before they left the planet, they wanted to return to the stage as the Stooges and Iggy finally made that happen. God bless ole Iggy. He does the right things more frequently than most rich or famous people.
JIM JONES REVUE
If you’re anything like me, you need that daily dose of real rocknroll just to keep trudging onward in this wicked swamp of bullshit lies, propaganda, fabrications, backstab scoundrels, all the violence and horrors and creepy cannibal capitalist scum warcrimes. Cleanse your psychic pallette with some hell ya allright motherfuckery from the best of the best. The baddest of the bad. Jim Jones is the crawling king snake, man. You know how I always think I’m a better rocknroll hellion than all these other frontmen? I don’t think I’m anywheres close to Jim Jones. Or Eddie Nichols. I love those guys.
SOME BANDS I LIKED
TARGET PAYS LESS AND EXPECTS MORE
Yeah I worked at Target for about a year when my youngest son was small, fuckedup my knees from all the bending, merchandising endcaps four hours a day. Eating suburbanite shite at the register for the other four. All the moms there buying sour patch candy cheap to take to overpriced movie theater next door want to teach their kids how to pay so here come the baggies filled with pinnies and nickels. Target sucks so bad. They’d keep you on call, send you home early, make you come in during the blizzard, I don’t drive, so that job was a real pain in the ass hardship for my wife with a newborn baby, driving me to work, having to come back and fetch me two hours later-they really fuck you around at that place and I never got a raise. Okay, they did give me a dime raise. A fucking dime. I hated Target-it was worse than Wal Mart for workers and you can never be promoted to management without a four year degree, in spite of all the feelgoodist marketing aimed at Karens and mandatory asskissing policies. Did you see this article about Target targeting goths? I mean are those comic con cosplay Lady Gaga splatter people even GOTH? I got chased outta school by zero tolerance admin hardons for looking like this in the eighties, now all the mainstream people say they like punk and goth but I think they mean Lana Delray and Pink 182 and trendy vacuum cleaners they saw coupons in the Sunday paper for but it was bait n switch-Target may have advertised all that patio furniture for $100 but there was only one in stock and now you have to go stand in the customer service line to get your raincheck. They only have one $39 Dyson Spaceage Dust Sucker 5000, yeah I know you got a coupon, want me to call the manager on my walkie talkie, he’s not here on Sundays.
I only saw the Throbs live one time-they were pretty sensational, though. Sweetheart was from Canada and grew up immersed in Canada’s dynamite punk scene, briefly played guitar in a band that featured future Skid Row rockstar, Sebastian Bach, I think it was called Vo5? Early Throbs “Proud To Be Loud” stuff sounded like the Ramones. “It’s a nucleur attack, baybee, and I aint never comin’ back, baybbbee…” He moved to NY, formed an over the top glam gang with Roger Erikson from Smashed Gladys, Danny Nordahl from Angels In Vain, and Ronnie Magri from Sweet Pain. “The Language Of Thieves & Vagabonds” was hyped as the East Coast answer to Guns N Roses, it was produced by Bob Ezrin, had that epic old Alice Cooper concept album feel, guest starred Little Richard. They were in all the magzines, had a couple vids on Headbanger’s Ball. I dunno why they never became mainstream stars, they seemed to have all the right pieces in place, but showbiz is all a big mystery to me. I still really have no idea how any of that works. I mean I know there’s payola, shit like that, but still…! Somebody said they released a second lp called “SECOND” but I never heard it. I thought their big first record sounded an awful lot like Zodiac Mindwarp & The Love Reaction, quite honestly. They’ve grown on me over the years. I really like that song “Underground”, I can really relate to that one somehow. I think I always appreciated Sweetheart cause he did not sing in that obligatory Iron Maiden high metal screech like Waxl and Jason McMasters-ya know I can’t tell you how many guitar players I tried working with in the metal years who were all bummed out I could not belt out the high note like Bruce Dickinson or Queensrhyche or whoever. I’m just not a metal guy, never have been. I mean, I like Van Halen, but I come from more of an underground punk tradition. I like vocalists like Stiv Bators and Steve Leckie. Jim Carroll. Jim Jones. The kids in one of my online glam groups are all still crazy about the Throbs. I think they still have reunion shows every few years, Ronnie Magri lives in New Orleans. I remember when they kickedout poor ole Ginger-that wasn’t very nice! Ya know sometimes band chemistry is a very elusive, mystical thing-you can like all the same records and both wear a polka dotted scarf but not have that sorta natural unspoken connection. I had dinner and drinks with a former Throb named Pete Pagan once when he was forming a band that was supposed to be bankrolled by Bas; and my friend, the World Famous Ratboy dragged me along! We used to see Danny Nordahl boppin’ along on Second Ave. all the time. I met him when he was in the NY Loose, really fun guy.
$8.99 through Amazon:
FASTER PUSSYCAT TO RELEASE A NEW 45 ON GOLDEN ROBOT! “LIKE A GHOST” b/w “PIRATE LOVE”
I always say upfront I never, never liked their dumb Beastie Boys rap song or all those years of Taime with a revolving door of blackhaired dudes doing all the loony techno tributes to Marilyn Manson, whatever that shit was, but ever since ex Throb/NY Loose bassman, Danny Nordahl joined the Pussycats, they seem like they’ve gotten their old sleazy punkroll asskick back. Danny’s a real rocker and I always liked summa the scroungier, sleazier, AC/DC meets Joneses type Pussycat stuff. So all their old school fans oughta be pretty excited about their newish single in late November, on transluscent blue vinyl, no less.
The James Calvin Wilsey bio by Michael Goldberg is by far one of the best rocknroll books I’ve ever read. I can’t stop reading it. You’ll want to again and again. The writer is impeccable and knew Jimmy personally and really effectively tells the story. It’s like a movie. Author Michael Goldberg pours so much heart into this careful study, I feel for Waylon n Winter. (RIP) Jimmy He really was one of the most exceptional, innovative, creative guitarists on the face of the earth. Up there with like all the greatest guitarplayers ever. I’m a singer/songwriter so ya know I’m ALWAYS seraching for a cat who can play with that kinda graceful nuance and subtlety, spooky, edgy soulfulness and danger! My friend Paul K would’ve loved this book, but of course, he is also dead, everybdy’s dropping dead now, all the good ones, all the soulmen. Jimmy had some flaws for sure-he lied to everybody all the time, probably even started believing his own lies himself, and like a lotta junkies, he lied about shit he never had to lie about-he was a bad junkie with lifelong depression and hardcore habits, but boy could he play guitar.By the time I saw Chris and his band live, Wilsey had been gone for awhile. I think he left the band around “San Francisco days, which was the last of his records I really loved. I saw Chris on a daytime bill with Human League and Duran Duran but the whole day wa kinda ruined by the usual drunken herds of buffoonishly loud, idiotic sports fan fratboys who go see anybody famous in those stadiums and just scream shirtlessly like it’s the Big Game all day. Summa those fuckers kept like stepping on us and shit, some loud mouthed soroity girl yelled at me for asking her not to drunkenly step on my oldest kid. That whole state is a hellhole. I’m sure Wilsey’s former manager/producer and Silvertone bandmates know deep down they kinda fucked him over on the songwriting and publishing credits, same shit happened to half of Generation X, I feel bad for Bob Andrews. I see why he’s bitter. Some people in showbiz are in it for the money. Other people make music cause it bleeds outta them all the time, like almost involuntarily. Wilsey “The King Of Slow” was a real special player. His solo album goes for like $200 now. I aint got no bread to buy shit, but I sure do love the Wilsey sound, I love Isaak’s early work to tears, he’s one of the best singers in the world, his songs about heartbreak and despair and how nobody loves no one influenced by own songwriting-what an entertainer, what a band, his drummer is amazing, too. I will treasure this book about JC Wilsey, you should get yourself a copy if you’re an Avengers or Chris Isaak fan.
“The faster you drive, the less you can feel
The lights on the road, are strange and unreal
When there’s nothing to lose, there’s nothing to win
In a night without day, on a road without end, darling
Kings of the highway, we will be…”
BEEN LISTENING TO A LOT OF OLD JEFF DRAKE PUNKNROLL MUSIC FROM THE JONESES TO AMANDA JONES!
His autobiography is real good. Mandy should get back ro makin new music with Jeff! I wanna see that unreleased video the Joneses made at that hotel and hear some unreleased Amanda Jones songs like the one they co wrote with Iris Berry!
“There is no left wing in the US government. The US is led by sociopaths. They intentionally kill children & other innocent people on a daily basis. Stop acting like these are serious & rational adults.” (-Lee Camp)
“Congress can’t find the $ to lift millions of kids out poverty, get health care to ~70,000 who die each year for lack of it, or house 1/2 million without shelter.
But to sustain war in Ukraine, they can’t give it away fast enough.” (-Dr. Jill Stein)
“When you are rogue state you can just make up any excuse to invade a nation to prop up your puppet govt. Nothing to see here but Western values at work!!” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“The thousands of tech workers being fired from these Billionaires without notice should remind each and everyone that your Job is NOT safe without a Union no matter what the industry is don’t wait from join up!” (-Christian Smalls)
“RECYCLED NATO FRAUD: The entire Western media and Slavoj Zizek promoted a UN envoy’s claim that Russian soldiers were on a Viagra fueled rampage in Ukraine. That UN envoy now admits she had no proof, and was influenced by an ex-Ukrainian official who’s confessed to lying.” (-Max Blumenthal)
“So, a police officer has been found to have sent an image of Grenfell on fire to others, titled “The Great Muslim Bake off.” As someone who was there and saw armed police on the streets that night, I am not suprised.” (-Lowkey)
“Ukraine suppressed opposition parties. Ukraine abolished collective bargaining and unionization. Ukraine has prevented Western media from covering Kherson while it publicly tortures “collaborators.” This looks a lot more like fascism than “democracy.” (-Danny Haiphong)
BUT WE GOT STARS UPON OURS
“The lesson from yesterday should be that one small mistake has the potential to end most life on earth.
Every sane human being should be calling on leaders on both sides to hold peace talks now, and not continue down an escalatory rabbit hole that can only lead to nuclear winter.” (-Primo Radical)
Russell Brand on Twitter: “Today on Stay Free with Russell Brand: “The Dark Truth About Bill Gates”💭 Join me LIVE on Rumble from 12pm EST / 11am CST / 5pm GMT https://t.co/OLLcLh3C2M https://t.co/G0QAGeCJT3” / Twitter
Max Blumenthal on Twitter: “Repulsive episodes like Mnar’s cancellation happen when the Palestine solidarity movement courts Beltway climbers like @PeterBeinart and plays respectability politics. It’s also symptomatic of the role @JewishCurrents plays as liberal gatekeepers who shun Arab anti-imperialists.” / Twitter
Dr. Jill Stein🌻 on Twitter: “While our elections shed no light on the dangerous, destabilizing war in Ukraine, here’s an event that will. Join Corbyn, Prashad, Medea, Becker & yours truly for a hefty dose of empowerment for peace, Sat. 11/19. https://t.co/qvlIJMuvhN” / Twitter
“So now, the same people who flooded the country with fentanyl hope to make additional billions on vaccines that will supposedly solve the problem they caused. This is a tried and true business model for Pharma. You can’t make this stuff up.” (-Robert F. Kennedy Jr.)
I NEVER SAW THE DAMNED
but I saw the Phantom Chords-they were good. Vanian and company were a main influence on almost every real rocknroller I ever knew, still going strong all these years later, God love ’em, God bless ’em. This song says it all for me right now. I just feel trapped and controlled and angry/anguished this morning. Not a good vibe. The Divided Staes Of Gotmo Amnesia is a real motherfuckin’ buzzkill and almost everybody I know has memorized The Script. Makes me laugh when punks say they hate hippies-everything the fuckin Damned ever did was fucking heavily influenced by hippies. Ya ever hear of Arthur Lee? Naz Nomad sure has! The real punks and real hippies know what’s up, all fight the same systems of bullshit and oppression. The real resistance culture is not celebrity worship or rulebook mongering. “I just can’t be happy today!” It’s a miracle the original Damned lineup is scheduled to reunite in the UK this year, you know those guys all have really big, cantankerous, clashing personalities but there is something real wonderful, special about seeing the originators doing it together again. Goth, punk, fifties croonsome Elvis from hell, retro garagey pyschedelia? These are the badass granddaddies of it all!
THE PITBULL PEOPLE ARE EVEN WORSE
So I been reading a book here by a famous underground cult figure I grew up loving and much to my surprise, he mentions an interview I’d forgotten about doing with him for a national magzaine I used to write for when I was stll living with my two middle children and their mom what seems like 100 years ago. He did not use my name in his book but he remembered the title of the article which was also a lyric from one of my unfinished, unreleased, but still seemingly widely circulated, old songs. A friend of mine made a youtube video to that old song but I asked her to take it down cause I never got to record a real lead vocal, and what she hears is the guide track I did for the rhythm section, a scratch take. Anyways, yeah, I used to write for a famous magazine in the late ninties, early double 0 zeroes. That magazine had a whole mission statement in the beginning about being a no holds barred, free speech platform, but when I started writing about the race riots in the bad town I lived in and the murderous police and their known ties to hate groups, the editor started censoring my shit. That became a pattern, I’d write for some punk mag, and they’d incrementally keep censoring, or altering, or otherwise kinda diminishing my work, cause they were all run by in crowd fame hags who just wanted to keep it on script, as to never offend the famous red carpet celebrity, book signing at the museum people they wanted the approval of. How punk is that? Not really punk, at all. Sucking up to rich people is not my mission in life. I can’t stand the fucking suckups, man. Just horrible. Fuckoff. Media professionals might as well just call themselves liars and whores for war, cause that’s all you’re allowed to do on corporate airwaves or imperialist print media-there is no real underground here, anymore-they all just wanna build brands, sign deals, get money, marry up, Have More stuff, and be famous on Tiktok as scab members of gentrified namebrand headliner Gotham City cover bands. Anybody with a decent job in media nowadays is Controlled. I used to like Jeremy Scahill’s work, he wrote the book about Blackwater, Dick Cheney’s oligarch friend, Eric Prince, the secretive, plausible deniability proxy army, corporate mercenaries and white billionaire, faux Christian jihadists, who can freely mass murder Iraquis and operate outside any international laws, or basic human rights dignity, and be billion dollar black ops paid by the Pentagon for overthrowing governments, or helping the secret police murder foreign heads of state, or crush any native resistence to endless Nato invasions and brazen plundering of their country’s natural resources, like in Iraq and Syria and Yemen and Afghanistan and Libya, Obama and Hillary’s war, but now he’s like, writing these Bush/Cheney official narrative cover-stories for the billionaire who owns the Intercept and it saddens me, same with Amy Goodman at Rockefeller financed Democracy Now, she has sadly become just another imperial stenographer, serving up lockstep official narrative propaganda in “an old hippie voice” in the memorable words of Max Blumenthal.
Wokeup pissed, we got too many cats, they wake me up at all hours, last night, motherfucker knocked down on all my wife’s fancy dishes she was trying to sell on Ebay, broke some shit, they circle me like sharks meowing before I’ve had my first cuppa coffee and the teenager starts yelling “meow, meow”. One of these needy, neurotic cats has psychological issues. Middle class people care way way way more about their fucking cats, your cats, his cats, her cats, any cats, way, way more than they ever, ever, ever will care about a human being. I can’t help but notice how few of these cat crazy people are capable of sharing space with other people, ya know they don’t have peer relationships-middelclass people aint really able to acknowledge others as equals. They suck up to the powerful and reserve the right, think they got some kinda license, to just mistreat, smear, slander, exploit, plaigirize, or otherwise rob the poor. They are fucked up fucking shitlib capitalists. ‘Racist woman I know hates people of any hue, aside from honky Wonder Bread whiteness, she always supects Mexican people are stealing at her store, can barely contain her seething hatred of others, esp. if she aint got enough fucking middle class prescription pain pills, but man she never shuts up about her cats and cat problems and gives them all these people like, detailed, cinematic biographies, like this one’s a movie star and that one’s a cowboy, and of course that one there is always the reincarnated Cleopatra, every shitlib has one. Cat with different colored eyes named Bowie. The pitbull people are even fucking worse. “I always say he rescued me!” is a tiktok meme joke my kid quotes but it aint no lie, the crazy pitbull people where I live say that everyday, exactly. I used to go on walks by the riverside and all the batty new age ladies who talk to themselves and get off intimidating people with their leashless pitbull duo say the same script out loud to no one in particular, everyday.
“Working class unity will not be achieved as long as the collaborative settler-left continues to evade dealing with its’ internalized pro-West, normalized white supremacist worldviews that are buttressed by the imperialist rent that corrupts workers movements in the West. The U.S. & its colonial allies prepare plans to invade & occupy Haiti violating its territorial integrity & sovereignty but gets a pass while the G-20 issues its hypocritical condemnation of Russia. Hey U.S., Iraq asked you to leave its territory but you refuse & so did Syria. The arrogant colonial mind is so pathological that it doesn’t comprehend that the real world – not the 10% that make up the U.S. & Europe – see the incredible hypocrisy of the U.S. with its world-wide military force & intelligence units subverting, attacking & destroying nations? “
“The Dems are gonna do everything they can to get people to not pay attention to what comes out about Hunter and his Daddy, as if enough hasn’t come out already. Don’t worry Democrats, there are enough corrupt Republicans that are dirty enough in Ukraine with your Biden buddies and yourselves to make sure no investigation goes too far.” (-Black In The Empire)
“Is it objective reporting when your side represents objective positions and the other side’s positions are propaganda? Shouldn’t that be an assessment made by the consumers of your reporting? Shouldn’t they determine what is “baseless” from evidence produced by the reporting?” (-Ajamu Baraka)
BORN AGAIN TO LOSE
To most people, rocknroll was never their real calling, true passion, or way of life, it was more like their side hustle when they were younger-a way to meet chicks or hobknob with celebrities. Only people I know still even bothering to really make new music are like, trust fund artsies, people with Very Nice Hats and parents in publishing. A few boomer hobbyists in silly skinny jeans and Hot Topic costumes stealing younger people’s copyrights, or old punks who made it big with their band in the seventies of eighties, whose old band name still has some kinda marquee value, even though they are the only remaining member. Some guys who wrote fistfight books and became 12 step stars with vintage automobiles. I mean, ya see any unfamous people who aint rich, having any access to recording studios or rehearsal spaces anymore? Not where I live. It all costs too much, nobody can afford $100/hour. Are you kidding me? I can’t even afford cigarettes. I had to quit smoking and now, I’m just angrier all the time.
So ya know I did not end up where I thought I’d end up and I have very little security where I am now, it all hangs precariously by a thread here really. Not much space to be myself, requires a lot of shutting up and taking shit, doing mundane and tedious busywork almost all day everyday, with no space or time for getting down, and letting nutty bullying rich people always have the lengthy anecdotal last word, always, always about their own genius, superiority, and philanthropy. I’m aware of having been caricatured, one dimensionalized, written off, or otherwise dehumanized by the old gang, the old crowd. I’m just like a scarecrow in a Ramones t shirt in the eyes of the joiners and belongers, never real, not flesh and blood, just like a symbol of a long lost cause and long obsolete subculture. I aint got no vintage echo machine or tube amp or smoke machine or record collection or purple motorcycle, ya know? I got some good songs, though. Love my family, wish the music had gone different so I could give them more stability and mobility, choices and security. Sometimes in life you can make plans, do your homework, engage in lengthy prolonged negotiations with former associates, employers, and friends, and the obligatory network of friends of friends, though many of us recognize that in capitalist culture, by say age 27, everybody’s already kinda redefined the definition of friends to mean people you went to school with who you compete with on Instagram. Look at my boat, my booze on the beach, my smiling blonde kids on vacation. Namaste. You think you’re gonna move somewhere free and tolerant, hip and groovy, and do your thing, but that kinda enclave is shithoarded by the filthy rich people and you end up in an entirely unforseen set of circumstances of which you had almost no control. I’d been planning on relocating to a certain bohemian artist colony where some like minded musician friends had settled and it seemed for quite some time like the promised land, but then things changed almost overnight like they do if you are an immobilized slave at the bottom of the capitalist hierarchy and none of our seemingly well researched and thought out out, master plans could be implemented anymore, due to a variety of reasons including the pandemic hysteria, jacked up gas/groceries/utilities and rent, the intense distrust and antipoor paranoia of the haves-with the subconscious notion they all seem to harbor, that poverty is contaigious-they’re always telling my old lady she should buy real expensive stuff to prove she does not have “a poverty mindset”, see, this whole time she just needed to “think abundantly” so some male who has a big fortune will “manifest”. Me, I don’t drive, got no wheels, have an eighth grade education and a checkered work history as a dishwasher/entertainment weekly columnist/plantation go-fer indentured servant/record store guy over twenty five years back, there’s an old eviction on my background check, a loud kid with special needs, and what with the ever shifting agendas of some former associates who may have gotten cold feet, second thoughts, or even plausibly sabotoged our endeavors from behind the scenes, I’m kinda stuck between the big machine and the whims of wealthy landhoarders. Narcissitic powertrip bosses who think of themselves as saintly indie martyrs but push all their employees around insensitively and talk down to us like we’re fools. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.
Can’t tell you how close I’ve been to reaching that “next level” of bargain basement independent punknroll records generating, I dunno how many times. I been this close at least four times, with a cool band, in the studio, good tunes, glowing reviews, offers to open for big bands and the whole thing comes crashing down again cause ya gotta have shit tons of money to grease the wheels like almost every step of the way, everybody wants a fast buck handout and a free lunch and a plane ticket and a hotel room with a hot tub and their selfie with Steve Conte or that chick from the West Coast “Barbed Wire Dolls”. I don’t know anymore what really happens when shit goes off the track, for no logical reason, least none that makes any rational sense to my little pea brain, and people say I can be paranoid. Usually feels like greed, envy, mutiny, competition, money. If you dunno why shit went wrong, it’s almost always money. One wouldbe collaborator’s entrouge seemingly determined I was just not as famous as he was, therefore, I’d be somehow second hand getting some kinda social cachet popularity currency I do not deserve if we were to work together, his wife felt like I might soil his merchandising/fame brand with my working class attitudes and belligerently rebellious power to the people class consciousness, something like that, lotta those rich people require I not exist in their zipcode so THEY can be the lone blackhaired working class rebel with a big house and a motorcycle and a buncha spare rooms full of flea market finds all neatly bagged and alphabetized for Buddhaism, Science and Genderfluidity or something, and I chuckle at the whole notion, cause I see so many people actually doing those kinda jiveass, disingenuous, social climbing suckup song and dances, maybe I’d be distrustful of people if I was in his position making big money playing at famous fame festivals and shit, Joan Jett says once you’re famous everybody’s nice to you all the time, I dunno, but you’d think if he’d really read anything I wrote or sang about, over the course of the past thirty years, he’d have some idea of what I’m about and what I stand for. It aint for backstage laminates or selfies with the rich. I see an ex friend who got rich has all these parasitical suckup money grubber assholes from our hometown always posting all their family’s Gofundme shit to his social media like it’s his job to pass out all the alms for the poor cause we went to school with these people thirty five years ago, even though I don’t remember very many of them being very kind to us at all back then. I would not want to be in his shoes with all the dysfunctional relatives and disabled nieces and nephews and horny stepfathers and other emotional blackmailer extortionists–all those people clamoring for a piece of his fortune like he owes them, but after he deals with all the impressed by money suckup gimee gimees kissing his ass all day, ya know he aint real interested in hearing from me, which is too bad cause we used to be real cool, complimented each other, enhanced one another, did comedy together, were friends. Everybody else wants something from him, of course, he sadly thinks I’m only here to shake him down, too. I think he thinks I’ma wait in line to ask him for a favor at his daughter’s wedding or some shit like in “The Godfather”. Nahh, I gone this long without those guys, I might as well ride it out alone. Rich people are crazy and they guard their territory with like a fanatical surveillance tech skittishness. We know a dude who keeps cameras on all his female employees all day, records their conversations at the cash register, brags about how his properties are all wired so he can see every room at any time on his I-phone, knows what his dog is doing. He’s one of those dudes that gets inappropriately giddy around any female. He kept trying to rent one of his places to my wife and family. He can’t keep employees cause he shits all over males, abusing his authority, insulting them in front of customers to assert dominance or whatever-thinks that insulting and demeaning other dudes is alpha wolf, winning quarterback behavior, that it impresses the chicks, and all the chicks you see at the crosswalk downtown who used to work for him all quit and are filled with rage over him disrespecting or sexually harrassing them, and the dude is married. Keeps offering jobs to me or my wife, thinks he can buy his way into a divide and conquer scenario with his secret spy cameras, minimum wage, and mighty might big truck ownership. Come ON, now-how dumb do we look? Rich people think you’re stupid if you’re poor. People are crazy, crazy times. Old men are creeps. I avoid sports fans and big truck owners.
Another outta town target destination wouldbe employer was clearly not super comfortable with the fact that I was distant friends with his famous ex girlfriend who admired my old music and writing stuff, so anyways, it is hard to move with a family in this kind of bullshit rich get richer economy, when every fucking landlord wants to charge maximum rent shamelessly, and also requires you always grovel and assure them they are the saintly martyr greatest, for doing you an unrepayable favor, so you are obliged to be forever in their debt. I am not anywhere close to where I expected to be after all the years of grinding on any level but fucking hell, summa my old pals just unexpectedly up and “died suddenly” these past two years, so I guess I gotta be grateful I’m above ground and have shelter from the cold, even if it’s not where I expected I’d be and have somewhat limitd access to music making, free speech, or any kind of real genuine, artful revelry. We did catch a break from some unexpected quarters, and that aint always how it’s gone for me so I’m trying to not complain. I have heat and I am thankful. I keep having to reiterate to multiple old homies how I aint in the position to offer them any kinda financial assisatnce or provide any living space or livelihood to them, it’s insane. I got nothin’, and what little my wife has belongs to her and our disabled kid, not my fellow adult slaves, aint no underground railroad here, I wish there was. Where can one flee to get free from the evil empire clampdowns and dystopian pyramid schemes? Let me know if you find out. I feel bad for the Cubans, still being fucked with by the bully capitalist scumbags. One friend of mine’s talkin’ bout visiting that place, the Flats they made a movie about, looks to be a real lawless Road Warrior/Planet Of The Apes/Welcome To the Jungle like vibe to me there, he could probably do well. Not me. I’m a smaller person, not a wrestler or bar brawlin’ man. This whole world is looking more and more like one of those eighties apocalypse movies ya know? “Escape From NY” or “The Warriors” or some shit. People I know are all just waitin’ for the society to just hurry up and finish disintegrating so they can run wild like in those riots from a few years ago. My kinda anarchy involves like volunteering to contribute and help out, not just pillage the gas station. You’re supposed to bring something to the bonfire besides your entitlement and appetite. Capitalists are just all wrapped up in their own private ego trips, they don’t share what’s theirs, they want what’s yours and then it’s on to the next sucker/victim/host. The shameless takers will suck you fuckin’ dry, hell, they pretend to be you. Like the Ultras sang, they all just wanna “eat your face and be you”. This is not a civilized country-it’s all corruption, bribery, hate groups, bullshit, media control, surveillence tech overlords ushering in a cashless microchip society, fake liberals, fake elections, fake medicine, fake everything. lies for war, torture, inhuminity and shameless excessive greedy shithoarding and some people like are cool with all that shit-the TSA and dudes in camo busting down somebody’s door for reefer or fireworks or some shit, that’s all just been normalized here. The brutes are applauded, revered and celebrated-alphabet gangs, mercenaries, paid thugs and trained killers, bouncers and bullies are looked up to. I don’t support the USA USA plundering other people’s oil. I oppose that shit, don’t care how much pinkwashing or woke bullshit they try to cover up their crimes with-a female torturer or a female drone operator or a gay deep state spook aint no cooler than a honkified “cys born” dude one. Civilization is supposed to be civilized, but the media hypnotized everybody with empty security theater and bogus identity politrickis-a black suave droner in chief toppling Libya for his Wall Street donor class Goldman sachs bosses, that kinda shit. You ever see that movie, “IRAQ FOR SALE”? Well ya should, cause the warmakers are using the exact same playbook in every country now targeted by the WEF and bankers and weapon makers and oil barons. I’m not one to romantisize big dummy violence, here or abroad-how many times a day do you read about cops killing the wrong guy? People I grew up with wanna be the cops. I can’t believe friends of mine actually joined the police or military-that is some batshit kooky brainwashing. I view things from more of a Cuban like perspective-invest in helpers. I can’t rely on my barbarian big stick to take somebody’s lunch. That’s jail behavior I aint no good at. I aint no caveman, aint no Terminator Road warrior motherfucker though I’ve often been stereotyped, or manipulative guilt tripped as if I am, I just like the Standells and the Deadboys. Mostly, the Coma Tones and Beasts Of Bourbon. Rocknroll was not my side hustle. It’s my whole thing.
COAT TAIL RIDING REPLACEMENT MEMBERS OF NAME BRAND BANDS
love to spew official narrative empire propaganda, like it’s some kindof rebellious act, and can sadly even influence their been famous too long celebrity bosses into echoing the staus quo. UGH! Fuck those people. One self appointed suckup, vicariously second hand popular by association deputy of truth and “science” even told his bosses band’s fans to social media unfriend themselves if they refused to spout the preferred slogans of the one percent. No problemo, backstage boy. Ciao. VIP room celebrities and their overreaching bigmouthed employees still suck. Everybody was a foo foo fighting….
Danny Haiphong on Twitter: “The U.S. occupies 30 percent of Syria’s territory, looting the country of wheat, water, and more than 80 percent of its oil. Now the US Central Command is building a new military base to escalate its decade-plus dirty war on Syria. Watch more here: https://t.co/jg6DmWY2tq” / Twitter
THE INFLAMMATORY JACKET THAT CAUSED ALL THAT HICKTOWN HAVOC & CONTROVERSY
When I was about 17, my old partner in crime, former eighties punk/rocknroll guitar hero, Dave W painted the back of my leather jacket with the phrase “SEX GOD” in a biker club sorta tattoo tapestry on the bottom panel of the jacket and the black and white sillhouette of the chick with the gun from the cover of the Jonese “Criminals” album, some skulls on the sleeves he copied from an old Lords postcard on the front porch where our hellion rhythm guitarist lived and we hot glued some leopard fabric into the frontpanel by the zipper and all along the belt. This fucking jacket caused such a ruckous in the hyper conservative 700 Club, tank plant weapons of war building town we went to school in, it was like a swastika to the hicks and preps-the audacity of a gawky Ramone kinda guy, pale and scrawny, having the nerve to strut around in a jacket that said, SEX GOD! It even infuriated our own so called friends. It’d been autographed by several members of Dogs D’Amour, the Mike Monroe band and Circus Of Power. I loved it alot-we’d been covering some Cramps and Gun Club songs and whenever I wore that jacket with no shirt underneath and some rosaries, maybe some Nik Fiend clown white kabuki makeup, I felt just like Bryan Gregory or Jeffrey Lee Pierce, like I got my mojo workin’ and wanted to dance around the bonfire like a screamin’ tribesman, burnin’ like a voodoo man with Lords skulls on his sleeve. That jacket got stolen outta the back of Dave’s woody station wagon while we reluctantly applied for convenience store jobs in Harvard Square. I was crushed, it had become part of our deadend band, hicktown mythology-when aging outsiders at the hometown record store tell the stories of what few public performances we played around that part of the state back then, it’s always a little exaggerated, there was never a real “riot” like people claim, but the jacket was considered unforgivably provocative by the Nascar rednecks and golfers, while me and my precious few faithful punk rock supporters, most of ’em from Wapak, we just thought it was wholesome rocknroll fun. It’s a fuck you Sunday in the ghost town I live in, got cats running around like crazy, my wife and kid are gone to his sometimes employer’s house. She’s giving the boss’ wife some English lessons. He’s playing with their new puppy. I got no landline, no one to call. My friends are dead, and the couple of folks I still talk to either live in Canada or the UK, France or Australia, or they don’t talk on phones, they just text, and I don’t know nothin’ bout texting, just not my thing. Plus the wife and kid are night owls, whereas, I still wakeup on my grandparent’s old Kentucky farmer schedule, so I only see other humans for a few hours a day, roughly 2-7-ish. Kinda makes me weird, I used to go on walks, now, we moved to like the middle of meth country and I have no desire to fuck with the drug crazies, gun nut rightwingers, or their perpetually unleashed junkyard dogs, so ya know, I read a bit, walk around the yard, think about my dead friends, wish I had a band, or at least someone to talk to who was not tv bamboozled, type some crazy shit about the long gone past that’s never coming back, repeat. I take pictures of the sunup and sundowns except when my second hand camera stops working, like now. My make believe band is called the Loneliness. THE LONELINESS MAXIMUM TORCH & TWANG. Sortof like Chris Isaak if he sang more like Lux Interior. Aint no punk rockers around here.
“Volodymyr Zelensky will make the case for continuing and expanding the $80 billion+ proxy war alongside George W. Bush at the George W. Bush Center in an event sponsored by CIA regime change spinoffs Freedom House and the National Endowment for Democracy.” (-Max Blumenthal)
sarah on Twitter: “The man who invaded Afghanistan and Iraq on lies, and the man who destroyed Libya, Syria and Yemen on lies, want to lecture us about disinformation. https://t.co/wq9p5w9Xjt” / Twitter
“The Ukrainian government’s order accuses CNN and Sky News of having “carried out information activities in the city of Kherson even before the completion of stabilization measures.”
In other words, they risked broadcasting more scenes like this to a Western audience. Just hours after CNN broadcasts footage of a Ukrainian soldier sieg heiling from Kherson, CNN is banned by Ukrainian authorities from filming in the city.” (-Max Blumenthal)
Ivan Katchanovski on Twitter: “CNN & Sky News journalists are stripped of their accreditation for reporting from Kherson: “media representatives without the consent of the relevant commanders and public relations services of military units carried out information activities in Kherson.” https://t.co/TII7APb5MI” / Twitter
“Ukrainian authorities pulled press credentials of a number of Western press outlets from reporting from Kherson. The reason given was that they had not been given permission. The reason was that authorities wanted ensure images like these were controlled.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
Don’t Extradite Assange – #FreeAssange on Twitter: “Come and see @Stella_Assange this Friday at @soholondonfilm and vote @IthakaMovie for the Audience Choice Award! ‘Friday Block 4’ ticket: https://t.co/A23ZQf1ewh 18 November, 7pm #SohoLIFF #FreeAssangeNOW #Ithaka #PressFreedom #FreePress https://t.co/hT0pAPXEJP https://t.co/Fff6gj0doO” / Twitter
“It wasn’t enough for the system to stop Corbyn – he has to be totally crushed. It’s sending us a message – there’s no prospect of serious progressive change in the UK from within the current party/parliamentary/media system.” (-Mark Curtis)
MintPress News on Instagram: “The DNC & the GOP both protect the status quo. Now Andrew Yang is starting a new political party to represent the center between the two parties. So he’s making ANOTHER status quo party. @realleecamp LINKINBIO”
NINETIES SLEAZE METAL REVIVAL
So yeah ya know I never connected with much in the way of grunge/alternative after Mother Love Bone and Thee Hypnotics, the nineties were a nightmarish blur of like ugly piercings, dumb goatees, junkie drugdealing richkid superstar celebrities, and rich people I could not stand making bad muzak that was sadly always derivative of Sonic Youth, Seattle, or the Beastie Boys. I had foolishly revisited the loathsome midwest to say involved with my kid, but it was not my kinda place, not my kinda scene, I did not fit in there with the trust fund people or frat bros, at all. A few of ’em were doing some tenth generation, spazzy, Hot Wheels garage punk ala New Bomb Turks but cargo shorts and baseball caps are not for me. I found some metal kids-a Kentucky born L.A. Guns fan who had heard of Pussy Galore and liked to drink all day-he was a bit Elvis-ish in his own way, had a Southern gentleman charm in spite of flagragntly running around sloppily swigging from a fifth of Jack all day wasted, early Slash style. He was a charming rogue and a drunk driver whose hatchback was always running out of gas or getting stuck in the snow. He was always getting too wasted, permanently fucked up. I taught him summa my old band’s “hits” and started co-composing some new ones, we stumbled upon a slacker grunge suburbanite who had a bad attitude and played bass and loved Mother Love Bone, and Cheap Trick, and had been a founding member of the local retro punk band that had a single out on a national hipster label. He knew a guy with a rich kid drum kit and a pink bandanna who liked to twirl his sticks like Riki Rocket and Tommy Lee, so we tried workin’ with that guy for awhile. An even richer lawyer’s son who lived in a mansion but saw ghosts and said he had a government listening device implanted in his neck showed up somehow, he was a medicated schitzophrenic but allowed to drive a vintage 67 convertible and played guitar like a metal gawd, deedling all over our very fast two and a half minute angry punk songs, it was all I could come up with in that backasswards sports town. I had met the famous rich kid with the smoke machine and big record collection and he promptly nicked our initial drummer who was more like a Ramones dude. So it was pink bandannas and medicated rich kids who saw ghosts, for a while. We played at dork suburban bars for people in baseball caps and they only vaguely connected to what we were doing cause they recognized the furiously fast deedle-deeedling of the spook seer and the stadium metal theatrics of the Tommy Lee guy as reminiscent of eighties hair metal. The L.A. Guns guy quit the band and started kinda sucking up to the fat grunge playboys who owned shit and was on his way, but he died on the West Coast with his indie rock band, like almost overnight. My original sideman hellraiser motorcycle cowboy and allnight rocker Nasty B. got out of jail for his old warrants and joined me in the hellish sports town and we resumed making loud music. Got rid of the pink bandanna guy, found a nutty bartending motorcycling drummer named Boogie Jack The Bad Joker, “Your Personal Mixologist”, back North in Flag City who loved to laugh and shared our enthusiasm for partying and things started looking up a little. We’d opened up for some nationally famous punk bands and were hosting after hours parties at an old poolhall the sleazy sideman had rented up North. A famous bassplayer who’d worked with Neil Young and Marrianne Faithful was even coming to our jams.
The internet was buzzing with all these new sleaze rock bands from like, Sweden and shit, who looked like us, but had access to like the epic production value of major label heavy metal-ya know? Bands like Backyard Babies, Hardcore Superstar, Turbonegro, Vains Of Jenna, Black Halos and Crash Diet were all the rage in faraway places so we started thinking maybe we stood a chance of being discovered again after two or three years of being studiously ignored or blacklisted by the indie hipster mafia. We made a demo in a crazy crackhead’s old seventies country music studio. It was good-we did not have much money so we had to work fast, the drummer broke the snare almost immediately and had no replacement so we had to come back a second time, but we got about five songs on tape. Crazy country music dude added some real cool honky tonk piano to our sound it gave it more of a glammy, Dollsy, Joneses feel. I wish I still had those demos now, but no tapes survived all the hard years of moving and divorces and shit. Everybody in the band had like one copy of our songs on cd, but everybody went through spells of homelessness and living in cars and being arrested for vagrancy and shit, so I aint heard any of those tunes in years and years although some city slickers we were associated with in the early nineties had learned those songs and decided on performing covers of them and even using one of our old band names, which we thought was almost comedic at the time. Like, really??! I knew a lot of our songs had promise-they were mostly all uptempo rockers a bit like say, the Romantics. Meets the Humpers. We were pretty confident we’d be discovered by one of those labels that were putting out 45’s by bands like the Candy Snatchers and Teengenerate and the Mummies and D-Generation. The first demos were almost like basement tapes, really raw sounding, but catchy songs were there, that could easily be elevated with a better production. They weren’t polished-they sounded like basic demo tapes,but I sent ’em out to some fanzines anyways. One compared us to Dramarama and the Hangmen, okay, that was flattering. The big magazine with the glossy cover compared us to the Humpers who we were friends with, and the Turbo A.C.’s who we’d never heard, but knew were a popular band in the big cities. One of those songs, “Ultraviolet Girl” was very popular in our little glamour punk circles, so even if one of the dudes in bands that covered our songs is probably trying to steal the copyright, everybody knows I wrote it about a hard partying, purple haired stripper I used to drink with at the old junkie dive bar named L.A., it was reviewed in multiple magazines years ago, and it is well known and established that those old tunes are mine-I lived ’em, wrote ’em with my friends, about my friends, so ya know, it’s unfortunate that all those dudes in bands who covered our songs somehow convinced their wives or selves that they actually had some hand in writing them rather than, at best, adding a break to their cover version and calling that an arrangement revision, wanting to cut me out of some publishing/copyrighting scam. People always liked our songs even if they personally disliked me or the guitar player or bratty bassist or wildass drummer. So I was looking forward to doing some more recordings, but the guitarist and drummer were rival bartenders on Main Street in a small town so they started having competitive friction, were sniping back n forth all the time. Mutual accusations being leveled back n forth about how the other one was doing drugs or sleeping with someone they maybe should not have been, non stop, back n forth, jealous rivalries, petty gossip hissing celebrity bartender shit. Big fish in the small pond issues. An amplifier I had borrowed from some famous friends of mine came up missing. Some other internal band conflict and “creative differences” (me being hurled onto the cement by the musclebound sideman) were appearing, as various band personel were kinda having their own personel fleeting hot minute of local limelite bar stardom, and got a bit dazzle drunk on their own press for a year or two, I think the guitarist’s girlfriend was telling him he should be the singer. He found some locals and started bossing them around, recorded a cd that opened with one of our tunes, him singing. I decided I needed a break from that dude after the amp disappeared and I was thrown on the cement. By this time, five bands were covering material I wrote. Not all of ’em emphasizing who the real author was. One rendition of my old songs was cut at the fat grunge guy’s super suave high end recording studio and even if the singer changed my lyric to something dumb, sang some sub-Crue shit in the middle of it I would never sing myself, the sound of it was epic, it really sounded like some “Appetite For Destruction” quality tune, and my ex partner, the famous rawk critic, put that band on a glossy import magazine compilation where I thought one of my bands belonged, but that’s showbiz. A couple years back, I had a publisher wanting to publish my memoirs but I decided that discretion is the better part of valor and all that, felt it was still “Too Soon”, ya know? I never hear from her anymore cause I ain’t been makin’ no new music, so I think she lost interest, there’s always another semi-reformed old reprobate storyteller with bad tattoos willing to spool out their sordid misdaventures. I think I probably missed my chance. I’ve been good at that in this lifetime. About twenty years ago, though, there were three different record labels saying they were gonna release my record but ya know, the bands all mutinied when the records were only halfway finished. We fucked around so long that a famous power pop kid band kinda stole the title of our record, and another glam band wanted to steal my old band name, and wrote a song about my fanzine. Me? I could only get dishwashing jobs, but it seemed like every motherfucker, every housepainter, office tech nerd, everybody got to have a band in the “altenative” era…except me. I knew I could write songs and other people kept doing only so so versions of ’em. East Coast dude even paid hotshot famous people to play on his recorded versions of my old tunes. You can’t make this shit up. I had my own tribute band before Wire did. Not me, but a simulation. Had a couple of those, really. A gunge kid in the suburbs was even doing my songs with my ex bassplayer. Whacky, right? Bassist got an inheritance, blew it overnight, became homeless, but not before bankrolling some other kid going into the expensive grunge studio to record, yep, you guessed it, a cover rendition of my fucking song. My old pal Paul K went through a lotta shit like that, too. People would cover his songs without really saying he was the actual author. One story had it a band got signed to a hipster label by doing his back catalog and some Motown peppered in and the label honchos just weren’t hip to none of those tunes so it seemed like really prolific songwriting-Paul K and Smokey Robinson, Holland-Dozier-Holland–ya know?
The jovial drummer of my constantly disntegrating blues punk guttersnipe band was still gung ho though and insisting we should soldier forward minus the surly guitar player for awhile, so a record label mogul we were pen pals with suggested I try out a dude from a semi famous band I’d known way back in the eighties, and we got together and it was real positive for awhile, we were able to pretty much instantly start writing pretty good songs at an effortlessly efficient pace. He was into most of the same old bands and records that I was, so he totally understood where I was coming from, and what I was trying to do-make music in the spirit and tradition of Hanoi Rocks, Generation X, the Clash, and Lords Of The New Church. That fella was Detroit based so we sent tapes back n forth, did a lot of talking on the phone, and I’d ride the bus up there on weekends, for a couple of years. We drank all night, sang, wrote, told each other stories, he introduced me to a lotta good people, some of whom I’m still friends with, some of whom have sadly died, or become too famous to consort with lowlife hoodlums such as myself now. He found a local rhythm section and they’d get together and work on tightening up the songs, even when I was not around. I had a couple of kids at the time, and a soul draining nine hour a day job at a corporate bookstore, so it could not yet be a fulltime band thing, but I had ambitions and a friend of ours said they might be able to get me hired on in the office of the Detroit entertainment weekly, so I started trying to negotiate with my baby mama to relocate with me to the Motor City. Everybody liked our songs and we kept writing new ones. A famous filmmaker who made like the definitive movie about the legendary Boston garage rock/ seventies punk scene showcased and awarded all around the world,at film festivals and shit compared my singing to John Felice from the Real Kids, while our own rocknroll heroes compared my singing to Stiv, so I never fretted much about summa the scratch vocals on some studio bed tracks not sounding like I wanted them to, they are scratch vocals for a reason, guide tracks. Motherfuckers who spent hundreds of hours polishing all the real emotion outta some vocal of their own, ya know can say I sounded hoarse or off key on this demo, or that bed track, but that don’t mean I suck, these same Simon Cowell pitch critical motherfuckers get drunk and misty eyed listening to the fucking Replacements, ya know? I don’t get people at all anymore, except I think they’re all rat race competing, even with their friends they are supposed to be supporting. It’s a mad, mad world, this last stage capitaislism, whoever dies with the most stuff wins mentalities, so I always kinda mope back to my lair real disappointed in humanity, everytime I get involved with the schemers and the scenesters, and the hustlers and the fame hounds, the knows some dead rockstar’s girlfriend and the coat tail riders. I’m an outlaw singer not a fuckin apple polisher. Like Tex Perkins sang, “I know I stand alone.”
In my experiences, bands are hard even if you grow up together, so many different reasons people get into music in the first place, for the girls, for the beer, for the therapeutic release, for the time on stage, to travel, some people just like the recording studio, others are extroverts who crave attention, some people are like processing all their childhood trauma in song, you know, and everybody at a certain age has other stuff to contend with like kids, girlfriends, health insurance, house payments, ripoff rents, etc., etc. Back then, in the late nineties, there was not enough real straightup, genuine, or sincere communication between me and summa my bandmates though, cause by their mid twenties, people stop sincerely communicating, or maybe I just could not hear them, but when I really tried to make the big push to move to the big city fulltime with my family, as to be better poised and supported by our faithful supporters and ardent fans up there (and we really did have some faithful supporters and ardent fans) that would have required my booj ex wife selling her house and shit, my main dude would keep joining more other bands that were able to tour overseas, leaving less and less time for our little project and he was steadily becoming less able to host visits from outta town rock singers with kids, and upwardly mobile wife problems. Some dude in one of his other bands disliked our bassplayer, insisted he could not play properly, so the whole dynamic was sortof dissolving. Plus, I think the guitar player was ready to become the singer in his mind. He had been the sideman in several groups and I think he was ready for top billing. Meanwhile, at home, I quit the bookstore job cause I was being paid as a columnist in the paper, but the beautiful wife at the time was waitressing at an upscale, high end, rich people restaurant in the rich part of town and being hit on by all these rich males who owned shit. All her friends and former business partners were wealthy, buying big mansions, buying nightclubs, flying around. So yeah, we got back in the recording studio, with the help of a boutique label honcho who I kinda thought was gonna be our manager back then, and laid down what, maybe 11 bed tracks, but then, my newest guitar dude vanished with his more established bands, the chick ditched me and took my kids, moved a preppie dude into the home, my grandfather died, and I was out on the streets again. All that in less than a year. A famous DJ friend offered to put me on the air at his Louisville radio station, he was gonna give me my own radio show where I could play my kinda music free format and talk about politics and have call ins and shit-sounded perfect for me, so I spent some time on his couch in Kentucky, drinking with our famous songwriter friend, crying over my broken home. Wrote some good songs about it all. Still having troubles getting many of them recorded correctly. I’m waiting for the cable guy right now, we live in the boondocks and the prior tenants never had cable out here, so they gotta get permission from the neighbors to trespass on their property to rig up the telephone poles or whatever, and no one has ever seen the neighbors, they might live outta state. If we do get cable again soon, I plan on downloading some recording software so I can hopefully get more tunes archived before I die. An old collaborator wants me to do an “American Prayer” type of cinematic poetry album. Feels like I’m runnin’ outta time. So many of my old pals keep “dying suddenly”, just dropping dead in their fifties, who knows how much time any of us have left? It’s complicated having any houseguests around, even if they are just there to hookup the cable, cause it kinda triggers my rambunctious kid.I have developed social anxiety over the past couple decades, don’t really like having to fuck with people much at all anymore. I’m becoming more antisocial everyday. So yeah all my bands crashed and burned and it was a bummer. The last couple had so much promise, at least in my head. How could those guys not recognize our songs were awesome? An old amigo unerathed a scrappy demo of a tune I co wrote with a guy I don’t talk to anymore that sounds like a Joe Strummer & The Mescaleroes outtake. It still stands up like, twenty years later. I can’t believe we never recorded it or took it on the road together. I think the rocknroll people would have really connected to that song. I still believe in summa that old stuff. Not all of it but the real good stuff’s still good.
Only saw that Motown guitarist one more time after that, after he kinda split with his many other bands to go on tours, when I showed up at his door unexpectedly with a bottle of booze and a case of beer, accompanied by my next girlfriend and we watched some Andy McCoy movie and an Elvis concert, he did not seem hospitable or bon vivant any longer, there was no more loud laughs, making plans, enthusiastic all night merry making, and I recognized he’d sortof moved on, like the wealthy chick I’d had two kids with. Sheesh. He did summa the songs we wrote together on a series of solo 45’s and cd’s. His record label guy finally sent me one or two. He’s in a famous band now. So yeah that was a bad couple of years for me. The chick moved my kids across the country, without my permission, but I was busy taking care of my grandmother, so I was not really able to put up much of a fight. My grandmother died, my new old lady had an emergency appendectomy while pregnant with our child, and it took me a couple more years to relocate my new family out West where my kids wer taken. By then, the kids had been bonded to my Colorado ranch owning replacement, were confused, seemed like they’d forgotten me. Hard times. I guess overall, you could say I missed out on the nineties “sleaze rock revival”. American Heartbreak sounded a LOT like us, so did Black Halos, really, people compared me to D-Generation all the time, though I was never a fan of that band aside from the lyrics to “Helpless”. I just never got to finish my vocals on that motor city record, so that was that. I started another band with another former guitar player, and his Midwestern college town record collector friends, we put out a 45 that received shit tons of positive praise in magazines, then there was a scandal during my divorce when I was unavailable to perform at an AC/DC cover night, and then we brokeup, too. My youngest kid was diagnosed with Autism and I became his primary caretaker. When my middle kids turned eighteen, we left that town of shitlib gentrifiers and fraud squad worshipping Hillarybot landlords, cause we never really saw or heard from the children anymore, in spite of spending ten years in that overpriced hipsterville and going into deep debt, to be in their proximity. Now I’m a hermit in the desert and almost never talk to people. Aint heard a word from one of my own kids in about seven years now. One of the ex guitarists was thoughtful enough to at least ask me first about recording some of our old tunes with his rich and famous people band in the big city. Says he’ll make sure I am properly songwriter credited. I appreciated that. The mightabeens can kill ya, if ya let ’em. If only this woulda gone like that, if only that woulda gone like this. I been awake so long the coffee got cold, I’m bored, restless, resentful, kinda caffeine crashing into depression, really struggling to just sit perpetually in a dumb swivel chair by myself in these dead sober rooms silently all my days, starts to feel like captivity. I can’t fuckin’ relate to nobody-they’re all on a different frequency now. I’m still more like an eighties person-I never did grunge, adult cartoons, sit coms, unreality tv, I-phones, techno, festivals, brunch, rental property hot tub, any of that bullshit. I’m not gentrified-fluid.