Down To Rock #8 (November 2012)

My name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk and Trash rock and roll news from the Golden State and the streets (and gutters) of Hollywood, California! From the Valleys to the alleys, I’ll find the coolest bands to report on and let you know what’s up from the Rock and Roll capital of the world!
The summer in Los Angeles and Hollywood was full of some good rock and roll shows and glam events!!!
The Return of The Glitter and Glam Fest
The Glitter and Glam Fest returned after a 10 year hiatus, sponsored by Deadline Records and presented by Tim Yasui at the World Famous Whiskey A Go Go. The Fest featured old school Hollywood bands that have continued to perform on a regular basis: Willow Wisp, Spiders N Snakes/London and Rebel Rebel (all Glitter and Glam fest vets from the Coconut Teazer days), along with newcomers like Tramps Like Us. The Highlight for me was when London singer Nadir D’Preist, filled in for Lizzy Grey, who did not make it to the show from Las Vegas. They played Spiders N Snakes and London classics and the crowd really enjoyed seeing the true old school Hollywood Rockers. According to Tim, the Glitter and Glam Fest will be presented whenever a date at the Whiskey A Go Go can be secured. Disclaimer, my band Rebel Rebel tore up the stage, which was really my highlight of the Glitter and Glam Fest!!!!
Hedwig and The Angry Inch
Another cool Glam event took place when the play Hedwig and The Angry Inch was presented for a week run at a local Hollywood Playhouse. The lead was played by NYC actor Adam Enright, who was fantastic, not only with his dialogue performance, but he really tore up the vocals with the band. Another disclaimer, I played bass in the Hedwig band, but the whole performance was fantastic and clips can be seen on YouTube here: www.youtube.com/user/jrkeon1 Note: There is currently a week long run of Hedwig at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood with Donovan Leitch in the lead, but tickets are too expensive for my like.
LA Guns Hollywood Listening party
Being part of the “media” in Los Angeles has some perks, such as private parties and elbow rubbing with rock stars. Since I knew I’d see one of my favorite singers at this event, I brought my GIRL “Do You Love Me” 45 record for Phil Lewis to sign, along with a live in Japan Girl CD, which Phil was surprised to see. The LA Guns new CD, Hollywood Forever, was played on a loop while we all consumed the free libations, courtesy of Deadline Records and Tim Yasui. There were a lot of the local and national rockers there to see what the new LA Guns record was like, and we were all pleasantly surprised. Ran into a hometown rocker from Albuquerque, Lorraine Lewis from Femme Fatale, and offered my guitar services for the reformed band. We were in bands that played around Albuquerque together, before Femme Fatale and Durtie Blonde moved to Hollywood. See my first band Girlfriend here for a taste of the Glam scene in Albuquerque in the early 1980’s!!! http://www.nmmusic.com/history/girlfriend/index.html
Live at Hollywood Park Concert series
The local horse racing park has been kind enough to present some good bands during the summer, when the horse racing ends on Saturday nights. To make it even better, they have all the best food trucks show up so you can stroll in and eat, grab some drinks and then watch bands like Joan Jett, X and The Jesus and Mary Chain. I was lucky enough to see one of my favorite noise bands ever, Jesus and Mary Chain (heavily influenced by the NY band Suicide), and they were as noisy and sloppy as ever, even when playing the hits, what a great show and treat, as this band rarely tours. Was also able to see the best Los Angeles punk band, X, perform, who had the biggest pit going that I had ever seen at a punk gig, and who sold so much merchandise, that the line to buy merch never let up right up to closing time. Hollywood Park is a nice and comfortable placed to see good, cheap ($10) shows when visiting Los Angeles in the summer, they do it every year.
Crash Diet/Glamour Punks live at the Whiskey in Hollywood
Old school meets new school in Hollywood. The Glamour Punks opened for Crash Diet, who are hot in the USA right now, judging from the sold out crowd, and they were musically tighter now than they have ever been. The Punks were loud and powerful with Alley Useless, ex Rebel Rebel bass player, filling in for the missing bro Dizzy Damage!!! Crash Diet are very cute and polished and with the aide of sample backing vocals and tracks, they are arena ready, much like Steel Panther. Not my cup of tea, but they sold out the Whiskey, so cheers to them!!!
Bands to look out for:
No Sympathy-Dolls With Balls
This band took 25 years to get their first release out there, but the guys are good friends, Gary and Catfish, and the tunes are cool and catchy glam gems, so show your support!!!
Spent Idols-For Your Ears Only
This San Diego based punk rock band was the shit back in the day, and their stuff is now available on CD. I’ve included this band on the DTR tip as a memorial to this band being kick ass, but also to the memory of drummer Jesse Spent, or Jesse Atom as he was known when he played for Rebel Rebel, who passed away this summer from cancer, RIP brother. Get it at Amazon.com
If you want me to review your music or write about your event, send it all to:
Teddy Heavens
27750 Firebrand Dr.
Castaic, Ca. 91384
Ftwrecords@aol.com

Glamour Punks

In a perfect world, the news that the GLAMOUR PUNKS are playing again and re-released some of their songs should be on every national television around the world. Hated by millions, loved by Veglam, we had to know more about it all. Skitzo A.K.A J. Sinn (Guitar) answered our questions…

Can you tell us about your release “One Sick Posse” on Demon Doll records?

Well It’s like this…We all kind of got tired of listening to the terrible sounding demo that we did in the early 90’s. A few years ago I suggested to Mandie that we should re-record the songs so that we have something decent to listen to. It started out as just wanting to archive the songs and give them the production they deserve.
Releasing the finished product on Demon Doll Records kind of came as an afterthought. We went into the studio and rocked it out Live. Quick and Dirty…Exactly the way the songs were always meant to be played. In the end the finished product is exactly what we’ve been wanting to hear for twentyyears.

You reunited for some shows, how did that happen? What’s the band line-up?

Getting back together for the shows wasn’t something completely out of left field. When The Glamour Punks broke up…. That wasn’t where it ended. Me, Alley and Mandie have worked on lots of projects together since like 1994. Alley and I have had a Punk Rock cover band called SkumBag for 15 years that does shows every once in a while… Something that a lot of people probably don’t know is that Me, Alley and Mandie were roommates together until we were well in to our 30’s. Mandie used to sing songs with us in SkumBag and we even had Fly from the original version of The G-Punks join us on stage to play Roach Motel.
So in a sense The Glamour Punks never really went away…We just played under another name and purely for our own enjoyment.
As far as the current line-up? It’s me on guitar…Alley Useless on Bass…Mandie on Vocals and Spazz on drums….Nothing different than it was 20 years ago except for Alley being on bass…He’s always been there anyway…So…No big shocker….

Are there many people that used to come and see the band in the early 90s coming to your shows now?

Yes! Tons of our old fans are coming to the shows. A lot of them have to really go out of their way. We have people traveling from all over the world to see us play. We appreciate our fans more than anything else because with out them?… We are nothing…Obviously I have to give all of our new fans props as well…It’s definitely a trip to have kids coming to our shows and knowing the words to every song when they weren’t even born when the band broke up….That totally blows my mind!

How did you first join the band?

I was living in NYC and playing bass in a band called The Love Tribe when I first heard of The Glamour Punks. I instantly knew that I would fit in to the band perfectly. I decided to pack my bags and take a bus to Los Angeles. I was in LA for about 3 weeks and I heard that The G-Punks were having some internal problems and might be looking for a guitar player. I walked straight up to Dizzy and said I’m gonna play guitar for The Punks. He said WHATEVER! You’re a bass player! I just basically said Fuck Off! I’m pretty sure I can handle two more strings…It’s not BRAIN SURGERY. One thing lead to another and although I don’t remember the exact details…He ended up shoving a large safety pin through my arm…Then he told me I had balls and said “If you can play the songs? You’re In”….
I didn’t own a guitar or an amp at that point so I borrowed one from a good friend of mine and auditioned playing along to a cassette tape in Dizzy’s bedroom while him and Mandie stood there snickering at me while I rocked out all by myself…Hahahaha! That night we celebrated by drinking a half gallon of Jim Beam and somehow it ended with all of us on the roof of an apartment beating the shit out of each other while Helicopters hovered over and yelled at us to get off of the roof. We ran from the cops and I threw up while falling down a flight of stairs….The next morning I woke up in the back of a car in Hollywood with a note pinned to my chest. It had directions for me to get back to where I was staying at the time. I walked home battered and bruised…Dizzy called 5 minutes after I walked in the door and said “How’s it feel to be a punk?” I remember thinking to myself “It doesn’t feel all that great”.

Do you remember the first GLAMOUR PUNKS show you played?

It was at The Whiskey…I’m not sure of the exact date…

What about the last one before the reunion?

The last official G-Punks show was at The Troubadour…Not sure what the date was for that one either.

Best live memories? Worst ones?

All of our shows were fun…I don’t have a favorite. The worst show was definitely the last one we played at The Troubadour. It just sucked loving a band so much but knowing it just couldn’t work with the way things were going internally. By the time the last show rolled around we were way to volatile and In a state of constant chaos.
Looking back and knowing what I know now? We could have fixed it and gone on to reinvent ourselves in a way that really could have worked but I don’t think any of us had anything left. It was just time to defuse the situation before one or all of us got hurt. We were just always cranked up to ten. Settling down and saving our energy for the long haul wasn’t something that any of us really knew how to do…

There was a lot of competition in those days on the Sunset Strip. What bands did you feel close to?

I’ve been asked about the competitive nature of the Sunset Strip quite a few times..Honestly? I personally never felt that Rock n Roll was a competitive type of activity. Some people treat everything in life like a sport and try to always make everything a competition. I don’t…. I’ve always just found that playing a bunch of songs with your friends to crowd of people that really want to hear them is a great way to have a good time. There’s enough room for everyone.
I’m not gonna say that bands didn’t try to compete with us though…They did and it usually ended badly for them. It’s hard to compete with a band who simply doesn’t give a fuck and that was us…We just didn’t care… As far as bands that we were friendly with? We hung around a few people from a few different bands. It seemed like there would be one or two people from a band who got what we were doing while the rest of their band didn’t so if they wanted to hang and have a good time… They would come kick it with us.
We mostly hung around with the guys in The Roofies, The Brats, Swingin’ Thing, BlackBoard Jungle, Bad Blood, The Dum Dums, Alleycat Scratch, Roxy from Tryx, The Beautiful Destruction, Yesterdays Tear, Life Sex and Death, The Jerusalem Cruisers, The Hate Breeders…. Maybe a few others…

Do you think there’s any special reason you guys didn’t get a record deal in those days? Do you think that it was mainly because of the band’s lyrics?

This is kind of a trick question…Because the question isn’t exactly accurate…At first… I think it was just that we weren’t main stream enough and by the time we really started to get noticed? The big record companies had already signed, shelved and lost their asses on so many “Hollywood” type bands that they decided to stop just handing out deals to anyone who could draw a crowd.
Things were changing and everyone including the A&R guys knew it… BUT…For the record …. before we disbanded we did a private showcase for a major label who decided to pass on us without ever seeing us play to a real crowd. Not long after that The reps from the same label saw us play a real show and completely changed their minds by offering us a deal. By then it was just too late, we all called it quits and had no interest in reforming just for the sake of a contract.

What are your favorite GLAMOUR PUNKS songs to play live?

Anti-Social, Roach Motel, U Should Be, Bad Attitudes, Reasons to hate, D.I.D…..All of our songs are fun to play or we wouldn’t play em….But the straight ahead balls out songs are always my favorite to do live. It’s easier to go ballistic and break shit when I don’t have to think about what I’m playing…

Any special memory of Dizzy you’d like to share with us?

All of my memories of Dizzy are special. He was a great kid. We were brothers and he went to his grave with the scars to prove it….. One time while we were hanging out drinking as usual, somehow something got broke and I cut my hand open and was bleeding everywhere. Dizzy says “That’s a lot of blood! We should become blood brothers!” I grabbed his hand and not realizing how sharp the peice of glass that I had picked up off the floor was…I went entirely too deep and opened up a slit across the top of his hand that was huge and should have had major stitches. Anyway, we held our hands together and bled into each other and all over everything else in the kitchen. I like to think that maybe even all of these years later there’s a little bit of Dizzy coursing through my veins.

Favorite punk albums?

It’s too hard for me to nail down particular albums. So I’ll just keep it simple and tell you particular bands that in my eyes were “punk rock” and changed the way I thought about music. I spent a lot of my time skating half pipes when I was a kid and the bands that I loved listening to are… The Stooges, The Subhumans, D.R.I., S.O.D., Agent Orange, RKL, The Dead Boys, The Ramones, Motorhead, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, Social Distortion, The Exploited, GBH, Circle Jerks, Agnostic Front…. I love a lot of really heavy Death Metal and Thrash type stuff as well… Just too many names to list…..Basically if it’s LOUD and OBNOXIOUS? I’m usually gonna like it.

Favorite glam albums?

This is a tough question because I’m not even sure what “Glam” music is…So I’ll just list bands that had a cool image and were influential to me. The New York Dolls, Hanoi Rocks, Lords Of The New Church, Dogs D’Amour, T-Rex, David Bowie, Slade, Faster Pussycat……Honestly I’m not a big fan of 80’s “Glam Rock/Metal” So I suppose these bands will have to do….For Me? Trying to make a list of “My Favorite” anything is impossible. My preferences change from day to day…..

What did you do when the GLAMOUR PUNKS came to an end? In what bands have you played after that?

This is another one of those questions that could take me an hour to answer completely and I just don’t have that kind of time…I’ve always been kind of a band whore…I’ve done a lot of session work…Played on a lot of recordings…filled in for people live and done a lot of work for FILM/TV. A couple of the bands that stand out as being the most fun to play with through the years are SkumBag, The Draggs, Krakwurx and Dead Girls Corp. I’m a huge fan of Electronic/Industrial Music and have had a lot of cool little projects with members of Orgy, Linkin Park, Rob Zombie, Danzig, Wino from the Obsessed, Marilyn Manson, Nine inch Nails…Etc…Etc….The list goes on….Like I said before….Too Many to list…

I read somewhere that you also played in STARS FROM MARS for a little while?

Yeah…I met Stars from Mars when they came to NYC and opened for The Love Tribe. I had gotten in to a fight with someone at the club after we played and the guy hit me in the face with the base of a cast-iron mic stand. The next thing I remember was all of the guys in Stars from Mars just came running up and we all just stomped the shit out of the guy… After that they helped me get to the hospital so I could get my face stitched up…That’s how we became friends. When I came to L.A. I instantly hooked up with them and we played a show opening up for The Glamour Punks. I liked the guys but the music just wasn’t hard edged enough for me so I left to join The G-Punks.

Are you going to play more shows with the GLAMOUR PUNKS? Any plans to come to Europe?

Yes! We are definitely gonna continue playing shows….I would love to come to Europe…But…We’ll just have to wait and see what happens….anything is possible….It all just comes down to what the other members wanna do…I’m always down to do anything….I’d leave to go on tour today without any hesitation…That’s just me though…

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