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

Kevin Cahoon & Ghetto Cowboy

Actor, glam rocker… Kevin Cahoon has just released his first and amazing album “Doll” under the name Kevin Cahoon and Ghetto Cowboy. Kevin tells us more… Can you introduce yourself and the band? Why the name “Ghetto Cowboy”?My name Is Kevin Cahoon and I am the lead singer/songwriter for Kevin Cahoon and Ghetto Cowboy. Ghetto Cowboy comes out of my history being from Texas originally and spending a lot of time in the country and having lived in New York for most of my adult life. ‘Urban Cowboy’, of course, had been used, so here we are. I also thought there was something funny about it. Our first song was a punk cover of Anne Murray’s ‘Could I Have This Dance’, so I thought this all made sense.
Are you satisfied with your album “Doll”, when did you start working on it?I am thrilled with it. We started putting it together about two years ago, but due to time constraints, it arrives now. I felt that it was ready to put out in the world. You can’t futz with something forever. you have to let it walk on it’s on feet.You played Hedwig in the “Hedwig & The Angry Inch” play, do you think that it influenced your album? Were you into glam rock before?

I have always loved glam rock. It is so theatrical in it’s conception and has always pushed the boundaries of Pop Culture. ‘Hedwig’ gave me the confidence that this was a way for me to express myself, through fronting a band, writing my songs….Hedwig,what a brilliant text and score. Mind blowing really.

Do you think that living in NYC also had an influence on your writing?

Oh, absolutely. This record has NY in it’s blood. Observations I have made, things I have experienced, this album would have never happened if I didn’t live in NY. I don’t think I could live anywhere else.

Like acting, glam rock has always had the comedy and tragedy elements in itself, do you think that these common points attracted you to acting/singing?

Well, to me it’s all about expression and the ways to do that. I was an actor before I was a musician,but they both allow means to tell stories. One from my own voice, being a musician, and the other as an interpreter, as an actor.

We can feel strong 70s glam influences in “Doll” as well as pop punk ones on the songs “Doll”, “Bitch” or on “Could I Have This Dance”? Here’s a few famous band/movie names belonging to the glam or punk worlds, what do they first bring to your mind?

– Marc Bolan: completely innovating, barrier breaking, planted the seeds, more of the world should know who he is!

– Rocky Horror Picture Show: Awesome. Fun. Had the opportunity to do the revival on Broadway. The film made this form accessible to the masses in the greatest possible way. When people went to the film , it was dangerous, exciting, and everyone had a role. Everyone had a place at the table.

– Ramones: The real deal. Their ability to craft a song was unlike any other. At the end of the day it will still be The Ramones who charged a generation of musicians.

– Ziggy Stardust: Words cannot express. The ultimate. Just listen to the music, that’s all you need to know.

– Sex Pistols: Awesome. There is something very communal about any experience with The Sex Pistols. The energy and community reminds me of Rocky Horror in a way.

– New York Dolls: Electric, alive.Incredible.We certainly wouldn’t be here without them. You must see the new documentary about them.

– Velvet Goldmine:Loved everything about it……those music sequences are incredible and perfect.

How is the NYC glam scene nowadays? What are the best places/clubs to go to? Bands to check out?

Well, I think it’s alive and well. I recommend Lisa Jackson and Girl Friday whenever they are playing. Completely exciting. You’ve got to search, but it’s there. It’s a shame Squeezebox is not around anymore, but my friend Zach Schaeffer is working on a documentary on it. So fingers crossed.

How often do you play there? Have you played outside NY yet?

We play as much as we can, would love to play more. We haven’t ventured outside NY yet, but soon.

What are your projects?

Well, ‘Doll will be in stores in February, finishing my run as The Childcatcher in ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ on Broadway New Years Eve, and will soon be playing George in ‘The Wedding Singer’ first in Seattle this winter and then Broadway in the spring.