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

L.A Guns “Hollywood Forever”

LA Guns have gone back to the future in every way on this new release, from using long time producing master Andy Johns to the sound and placement of the tunes on the disc, but most importantly to writing some good hard rocking tunes with Phil Lewis doing what he does best, some good glam punk rock and roll screaming. The song “Hollywood Forever” has Phil belting out the song and giving Blackie Lawless a run for his money and it features a cool Iron Maiden type guitar solo. “You Better Not Love Me” is a catchy poppy hard rock number with Phil’s vocals harking back to his first band GIRL days, which was my favorite era of Phil Lewis. The band pulls off a cool Gary Glitter drum beat on “Eel Pie”, which fit’s the English theme of the tune as well as with the Glam street rock anthem “Vine Street Shimmy”. “Sweet Mystery”,Burn” and “Underneath The Sun” are well played slow tempo songs, but the highlight of the disc is “Dirty Black Night”, which is the modern day companion to “Sex Action”, with it’s similar sound, structure and subject matter! Also standing out is the very British sounding GIRL style boogie woogie song “Queenie” and the sung in Spanish “Arrana Negra”, which is another old school Sweet/Slade sounding track. This CD has it all, good production, good song writing, good playing and most importantly, Phil Lewis’ voice is in rare form circa his GIRL/Torme days. Old school fans will rejoice and new school fans will rediscover as Hollywood Forever is a good mix of old members mixing with young blood.
Teddy Heavens

L.A Guns @ JBs, Dudley, UK 24/2/04

Back in his native UK with yet another new motley band in tow and a new album in the works Phil Lewis is greeted with a rapturous welcome in the cock-rock loving Midlands. In return the famously temperamental rocker seems in good humor tonight and treats the sizable turnout to a lengthy and lively set.
Opening with ‘Over The Edge’ from ‘Hollywood Vampires’ the band set the tone for the evening, clad in black leathers and iron crosses for this tour and looking mean and moody they showcase largely the darker side of their repertoire tonight. Early tracks like ‘Electric Gypsy’ and ballad ‘Crystal Eyes’ feature heavily alongside newer ‘Waking the Dead’ material, while punkier tracks like ‘Some Lie 4 Love’ and ‘One More Reason’ punctuate the shadowy mood of the set.
A new addition since last April’s ‘Waking The Dead’ tour is a smattering of cover version, taken from a forthcoming covers album, these include ‘A Whole Lotta Love’ and ‘Search And Destroy’. Even after the torment of a 10 minute long drum solo from original skin-basher returned to the fold, Steve Riley it seems fans can’t get enough of the Guns, or at least Phil assumes either with great egotism, or typically perceptive humor, this is so. “So”, he says at the end of the planned set “this is a the bit where we go off stage and you chant ‘L.A Guns!’. Well I can’t be bothered with that, I’ll stay here, you chant and we might do a few more numbers”. “Ballad of Jayne” someone shouts. “Oh of course”, Phil replies “We don’t get paid unless we do that one”, and accordingly launches into the classic track.
Apparently only improving with age L.A Guns are as compelling an act as ever, returning for no less than 5 encores at the sold-out London show the following night, and even then halted only at the promoters discretion. One of the few old cock-rock groups still to have any relevance today. /Alison.