Free Assange! You Gutless, Evil MF’s! What a fuckedup, sad time to be alive and watch all the good ones lose and get disappeared, while all the malevolent assholes win big forever. (-By General Labor)

The older you get, the more your life becomes miserable-the people you’re brought up with die. Your grandparents and parents die. Your dog dies, your energy diminishes. There are fewer books to read, no more groups to discover. You end up a barren wasteland, trying to find something new that never occurs. The sad thing is there’s nothing worth doing, there’s nothing you truly enjoy, and there’s no purpose in your life.”  (-Richie Edwards)

“The real story of this material is that it’s war, it’s one damn thing after another. It is the continuous small events, the continuous death of children, insurgents, allied forces, maimed people.” (- Julian Assange, Frontline Club Press Conference on Afghan War Diaries, 2010)

DOWN WITH THE DUOPOLY

“What does censorship reveal? It reveals fear”. (- Julian Assange)

“Julian lives in us. He lives through us and he’s fighting for us. So yes, you are all guilty if you don’t do something. Julian already did the risks for you. You are not really risking anything.” (— Slavoj Žižek, DiEM25 Advisory Panel member)

“US corporate media has provided glowing coverage to Paul Gray, a notorious American white nationalist fighting in Ukraine. A DHS document warns he’s not the only US fascist drawn to Kiev.

As the United States undergoes a national mourning process over a spate of mass shootings, American white nationalists with documented histories of violence are attaining combat experience with advanced US-made weapons in a foreign proxy war.

That’s according to the Department of Homeland Security, which has been gathering intelligence on Americans who have joined the ranks of the more than 20,000 foreign volunteers in Ukraine.

The FBI has indicted several American white nationalists associated with the Rise Above Movement after they trained with the neo-Nazi Azov Battaliion and its civilian wing, the National Corps, in Kiev. But that was almost four years ago. Today, federal law enforcement has no idea how many US neo-Nazis are participating in the war in Ukraine, or what they are doing there. 

But one thing is for certain: the Biden administration is allowing the Ukrainian government to recruit Americans – including violent extremists – at its embassy in Washington DC and at consulates across the country. As this report will show, at least one notorious extremist fighting in Ukraine has received extensive promotion from mainstream media, while another who is currently wanted for violent crimes committed in the US was mysteriously able to evade FBI investigators looking into war crimes he previously committed in Eastern Ukraine.

According to a Customs and Border Patrol document released thanks to a May 2022 Freedom of Information Act request by a nonprofit called Property of the People, federal authorities are concerned about RMVE-WS’s, or “racially-motivated violent extremists – white supremacy” returning to the US armed with new tactics learned on the Ukrainian battlefield.

“Ukrainian nationalist groups including the Azov Movement are actively recruiting racially or ethnically motivated violent extremist white supremacists to join various neo-Nazi volunteer battalions in the war against Russia,” the document states. “RMVE-WS individuals in the United States and Europe announced intentions to join the conflict and are organizing entry to Ukraine via the Polish border.”

The document, which was drafted by Customs and Border Protections, the Office of Intelligence, and other Homeland Security sub-agencies, contains write-ups of interviews conducted by law enforcement with Americans en route to Ukraine to fight Russia.

One such volunteer interviewed in early March “admitted to contacting the Georgian National Legion but decided against joining the group as they were accused of war crimes,” according to the document. Instead, the volunteer “ hoped to obtain a work contract with the Azov Battalion.”

That interview was conducted nearly a month before additional war crimes committed by the Georgian Legion were reported by The Grayzone. However, the volunteer’s allegation may also refer to the illegal execution of two men who had attempted to break through a Ukrainian checkpoint, or an additional, unreported crime known to insiders within volunteer networks.

One key “intelligence gap” listed in the document speaks to the US government’s complete lack of oversight in the proxy war it is sponsoring in Ukraine. NATO arming campaign which has offered no assurances that Western weapons won’t fall into the hands of Nazis. “What kind of training are foreign fighters receiving in Ukraine that they could possibly proliferate in US based militia and white nationalist groups?” the document asks.

Property of the People shared the document with Politico, which sought to downplay and even discredit its explosive contents by inserting the caveat that “critics say” the Department of Homeland Security document “echoes one of the Kremlin’s top propaganda points.”

But as this report will illustrate, the presence of hardcore American neo-Nazis in the ranks of the Ukrainian military is far from a deception cranked out by the Kremlin’s propaganda mills.”

(-Alexander Rubenstein-Gray Zone)

“Something I don’t see being discussed: how a whole industry emerged around school shootings, an industry of consultants and experts that have fueled nightmarish, abusive drills around the country, terrorizing students — and to what end, exactly? What have these people given us? And now these experts are talking about how this outcome in Texas was inexplicable. Was it? Or could it be that all of their rhetoric and training and “expertise” are worthless, and that they have been fleecing a terrified nation for the last two decades while delivering nothing? We need to get cops out of schools. They are not a deterrent to violence. Today, the wider school security industry peddles everything from bullet-proof whiteboards to facial-recognition software to transparent backpacks. Worth some $2.7 billion.” (-Puff The Magic Hater on Twitter)

“I have a 120K followers & use to see hundreds & thousands likes & retweets. Now I barely see a hundred retweets. I understand the game. All of the “left” forces who give ideological cover to the colonial/capitalist project have not experienced any problems.” (-Ajamu Baraka)

“Our Gov’t is waging an economic war on the American people.” (-Black In The Empire)

“Newly revealed documents show the US government believes “in times of emergency” they have the right to revoke due process under the law, privacy rights, and any right to communicate via phone or internet. Can we please make Orwell fiction again?” (-Lee Camp)

“Biden voted against the 1991 Gulf War, then quickly said he was mistaken. He transformed into a top Iraq war hawk. During nearly 50 years in public office, Biden has seldom seen a U.S. war he didn’t support or help facilitate.” (-Jeremy Scahill author of Blackwater and Dirty Wars)

“No other nation in the world is producing this many mass shooters because no other nation in the world has a political and economic system that breeds as much inequality, terror, and violence as the United States.” (-Ryan Knight)

“I know how you feel about life…I share your views…Every artist that passes touches me more…The passing of Andy Fletcher hit home…Felt the same when founding member of Cabaret Voltaire passed…The dying of scenes or clubs ..The sickening youth culture Tick tock Youtube influencers Logan Douchebags have killed my passion for the arts.. It used to be you had talent or stuck to your convictions that garnered respect and fan loyalty but things have changed..Truly a culture based on Money for nothin….” (-Neen Youkhana)

“In a better society, a socialist society, baby formula wouldn’t be sold by private interests. It would be provided free of charge to every family and yes, the government would make it. The “market forces” which we are told solve every problem actually create very serious ones. In this country even the effort to provide infant formula to all, regardless of income, is yet another means of supporting monopoly capital.

The Women Infants and Children (WIC) program provides exclusive contracts with just two companies in exchange for discounts. The handful of companies providing formula get rich but the market does not do a good job of caring for kids. Formula doesn’t provide a big enough profit margin to be of interest to corporations. This market we’re told to believe in with semi-religious fervor doesn’t provide for other needs very well either. Only public outcry from desperate parents got the needed response after months of shortages.

Even cynical politicians eventually pay attention when babies’ lives are at risk, but this problem is not unique. Higher education should be free or at the very least inexpensive as it was before neoliberalism turned the country into a failed state. Health care should also be free but the one promise Biden has kept is to make sure that doesn’t happen. The very term “medical debt” is an abomination yet it is the reason for most personal bankruptcies. It seems that baby formula is the canary in the failed state coal mine.

This time the crisis is about feeding babies but there are more to come. Food shortages and rising prices, gasoline prices, and voracious hedge funds snapping up houses are all symptoms of a very big problem.

Of course, capitalism creates all these crises but levels of indoctrination are so high that very few people make the connections. While all fingers should be pointed at the market forces which create so much misery, some people prefer to shame women who don’t breastfeed. Others are angry that babies in immigration detention get the formula that the law requires them to have.

Pete Buttigieg isn’t alone in cutting off any discussion of alternatives. The “socialism doesn’t work” trope is quite effective. Even as the quality of life diminishes in a myriad of ways, there is little  improvement in the willingness to reject American exceptionalism and its many lies. The cognitive dissonance required to face these many predicaments is too great for many people to experience, even as their expectations of basics such as a steady supply of infant formula crumble around them.

This particular crisis will ease but it will be followed by more. There is still $1.9 trillion in student loan debt incurred by people who only wanted to improve their lives. After allocating $30 billion for policing, the Biden administration is telling states and localities to use unspent covid stimulus funding for the police, who apparently can’t get enough public money. Covid hasn’t disappeared and neither have any other health care needs that could sorely use this funding. Of course, the Ukraine cash cow has to be milked to the tune of an additional $40 billion.

When the next calamity hits the fan the true villain has to be named. Regardless of other symptoms, it is capitalism that causes our problems.” (-Margaret Kimberly)

CAPTAIN OF HER HEART

     So yeah, like I mighta told you before, I did not come from a rocknroll town-in fact, the little villes I grew up in were all about sports and patriotism. Sports patriotism. I stood out like a middle finger. Stand up like a nail and get hammered. There were a couple of faux surfers though, who had like, little bleached wrestling mullets their moms got ’em in the big city, two and a half hours away in any direction. They wore their Ocean Pacific Painter pants rolled up like Tom Sawyer, Vans, multiple Swatch watches, Polo golf shirts with the collar turned up, Polo fuckin cologne, tried to get sun tans at the country club pool. One kid who mighta been named Kevin moved there from outta town-you could tell. He spoke with the same Valley Boy accent as the rest of the Ohio Surf Squad, and Beavis n Spicoli metal dudes, but was a little less of a dickhead, because wherever he came from, they had punks. He’d even heard of Suicidal Tendencies and The Cure and started dating this chick named Beth who was like the head of the Spirit club. She was always brimming with peppy ENTHUSIASM! I can’t remember if she was a cheerleader but she probably should’ve been. She had a Belinda Carlysle appeal. Their big love song was that Double cocktail jazz shit, “The Captain Of Her Heart”. She used to write me letters in class on GUESS jeans ads she’d pre torn outta like Details magazine in silver marker and fold them into elaborate origami shapes. I think she sensed I liked the New Music, and she was positively koo koo for like, the B-52’s. That was who she was sorta trying to be with the oversized rhinestone sunglasses and postcards and Judy Jetson toys and trinkets and jelly shoes, and fifties housewife pink capri pants, rubber bracelets and garish flower prints and the like. I also remember her talking about Wham! and Baltimora and Belouise Some. I remember going to a carnival with the two of them at the Catholic school. She was telling the tall new kid who might’ve been named Kevin how he looked like Simon Le Bon and Sting and Billy Idol. Her own big claim to fame was when she became the only teenager in our tristate area who somehow got ahold of a “Frankie Say Relax” t shirt that she would wear to teen night at the downtown preppie bar where one of my older pals, Bobby, was the superstar DJ. She’d slowdance with her bleach tipped surfer beau to “Careless Whisper”. I think I may have once slow danced there myself, with the bombshell love of my young life, most likely to Duran Duran-“Save A Prayer”, but you know I’ll have to ask her someday, if that really happened, as I very well may have just dreamed it. You kill as many braincells in the eighties as I did, once you start getting old, summa your careless memories start to blur with songs and hazy half forgotten dreams. 

    Most nights, I’d sit up in the DJ booth with my homie Cowboy Bob, and try to get him to play wilder, edgier sounds. Some nights he might play something by Ministry or Bauhaus or Skinny Puppy or Thirwell or Einstürzende Neubauten and clear the whole dance floor. They were not even really ready for “What You Need”, or “Oh, Sheila”. All the sports-patriots wanted to hear was like, uh, Madonna, Journey, Bon Jovi. Metallica was big. Later on, it was Pearl Jam, Kid Rock, and Korn. We’d have waitresses bring us epic trays full of shots and watch the kids dance on the floor way down below. I dunno what happened to their Trendy Love, but B-52’s Beth moved into this place we called the Airplane Hanger, or Airplane House, a splinter faction of moody boys from rural townships in long trench coats with the sleeves rolled up, Miami Vice style, paisley shirts from Chess King in the mall buttoned all the way to the top, stonewashed black jeans and combat boots, foo foo haircuts, in the words of Mojo Nixon. One chick named Kris who lived there was a sexy dancer who always wore all white and loved Inxs and Love & Rockets so that’s the one I kinda liked to makeout with in her room. The other chicks were into like, visiting cemeteries and that movie The Lost Boys, they were trying to be hip n cool, but were just sorta mainstream margarita bimbos. Destined for middle age in big white houses with big white kids and big white trucks parked out front. Future winebox moms.

   One night, the extremely cheerful B-52’s chick showed up at my place unexpectedly with her other friend-the only semi-cool girl from my original middle school and high school I’d been expelled from, and she just started kissing me. It was good times. Patti. Loved her. What a cool girl she was. Took a lotta guts to be her at that school, too, cause it was all Mean Girls and Dumb, Fat Fratboys and future Rush Limbaugh and Dick Cheney loving Republikkkans From Hell. So Yeah, Ohio Sucks. Don’t believe the hype about the Pagans and Pere Ubu and Electric Eels and Rubber City Rebels. It’s so rightwing there, my thrash bassplaying girlfriend’s, mom’s biker boyfriend, who was always very kind and hospitable and protective of us kids and therefore seemingly nice, he had some relatives from the deep South, who had been in the facking white supremacist hate groups. That’s why so many of the good Amurkkkan college grads who went to OSU, solemnly pat each other on the back for being, Thank Obamas. Or for liking, “Bust A Move”. Or that “Big Butts” song. Thank Obamas all like that awful Diddy song that sampled Diana Ross. Diddy was the rapper who could not rap, dance, write or produce, so naturally the anti-music machinery made him a big celebrity. Thank Obamas love a man in a white suit.

    Obama is their proof that they are not racist, like their uptight white parents. They like Chelle, and Will Smith, too. Of course, nobody ever told the Thank Obamas about his wars or overthrowing Libya, indefinite detention and end to due process, warrantless wiretaps, or the disposition matrix-they just know he likes basketball, and they like basketball. He likes Beyonce and Jay Z, and they like Beyonce and Jay Z. He speaks carefully with genteel manners, they speak carefully with genteel manners. They are practically RELATED! I lost touch with most of the Airplane House people when I turned twenty and left town, they were called the Airplane Dancers because they danced in circles with their arms flailing about like airplanes, I think they were trying to be like Michael Stipe. My bassist, the celebrity DJ used to play some Dead Milkmen and Violent Femmes for them and they’d GO WILD. I’m sure they all grew up and became Thank Obama Buckeye fans. Game Day and Stuffed Crust Meat Lovers Pizza and Cinnamon Sticks. One of the other chicks who moved into the airplane house was named Cindy-she was a senior when I was a Freshman, she lived on the corner and her brothers threw the biggest party one time any of us had ever seen, on the dirtbike trails behind their corner house–they had kegs and a big P.A., she’s actually babysit me in the fourth grade. By the time I was eighteen and she was maybe 21 or 22, we shared the briefest infatuation, I kinda had a full dancecard already, but it was thrilling when she fancied me for a minute. She had a twin sister named Sandy and they had a big mural of the one tone, ska hitmakers, the Bleach Police in their garage, which, for my town, was just about the edgiest thing ever. DE DOO DOO DAH. There was one gay bar in that town we’d all go to on Sunday nights cause we liked the music they played and I’m smiling now remembering when I was trying to tell my gay friend, a genius, beautiful piano player named Jeff Jerome, that there is just NO WAY that George Michael is gay! Ha ha, his songs like “Kissing A Fool” are what I listened to while mooning over The One girl I was always mad for. So yeah, most everybody in that town was pretty square and there were maybe thirty, forty kids who’d really even been exposed to commercial MTV music, tops-Most of ’em never really even had a teenage music phase-they all knew about Madonna and Michael Jackson, of course, but mostly, they focused all their attentions on owning cars, namebrand clothing, expensive tennis shoes, and sports and looking forward to going away to the big city of Columbus where they would paint their faces and chests orange and gray and drunkenly scream for their home state college football team. They all kinda thought the Beastie Boys were the ultimate band. The Chili Peppers socks on dicks thing never went outta style there. It’s all still bongwater and baseball caps. So besides rooting unconditionally for their home team colors, I really think the main things they learned at Sports Patriotism U were to never, never, never question authority, because that would be unscientific, and if any information ever makes them uncomfortable, they can either seek to have the sources deplatformed, or just dismiss them as conspiracy theorists. You’ll always know a Thank Obama by their appalled reaction when you bring up Julian Assange. If Hillary says he is a baddie, that is THE SCIENCE. They love being lied to, it’s comforting to them. They were raised to follow orders. Mention BUILDING NUMBER SEVEN and they leave the room, or wish they could have have you tasered like when a honor roll student mentions Skull N Bones and the Bush selection Florida hanging chad recount upended by the Supreme Court, to John Kerry at a college lecture. Ask ’em about Michael Chertoff or Eric Prince, or Klaus Schwab or the World Economic Forum or CFR or what does Haarp do and has it been decommissioned, or Drunk Aunt Pelosi’s ushering in the cashless society chip paperwork, and they will change to subject to like Katie Perry, Taylor Swift, or The Simpsons. They call that, “keepin’ it classy”. I knew all these stoner college grads who watch Bill Nye The Science Guy and any topic you might bring up, from hackable Diebold (rebranded as Premiere) voting boxes, to the Kennedys, and they’ll always tell you the Official Story is “SCIENCE” and any lingering question is just a “conspiracy theory.” I got acquaintances who attended posh colleges in big cities on the coasts who talk about safe spaces and shit. Where we came from, nobody was at all, ever shocked for one minute by Donald Trump. They are almost all exactly like Trump there-the country club men and racist coaches and ill tempered history teachers and zero tolerance juvie judges, all the old males are flatulent, coarse, salty, arrogant, sadist, narcissistic, Jabba like blubbering tyrant blowhards. Love it or leave it. I left and hope to never return. I still love George Michael, though!

“We said Russiagate was a joke from day 1 – We were proven right. We said Ukraine is a proxy war – We were proven right. We said there were no WMD in Iraq – We were proven right. We said there was mass surveillance of US citizens – We were proven right. We said blackbox voting machines were a bad idea – We were right. We said climate change is real & critical – We were right. We said there was no Syrian chemical attack – We were right. We said there’s no accountability for the Trillions dumped into the Pentagon – We were right. We said collapsing Libya was a bad idea – We were right. We said the US was using torture – We were proven right. We said Israel is an apartheid state – We were right. …Maybe it’s time to listen to the independent journalists the mainstream media attacks.” (-Lee Camp)

“The greatest purveyor of violence globally is also the greatest purveyor of violence domestically.” 

(-Dr. Jill Stein)

“Liberals & latte-left are pissed at Trump. While they slavishly support agenda of U.S. transnational capital, Trump’s opportunism is drawing lines of demarcation between neoliberal global agenda & “national interests.” Proto-fascist, of course, but democrats are enabling him.” (-Ajamu Baraka)

“Liberals long ago sold their soul and abandoned their most basic principles to line up behind a bankrupt Democratic Party…They sit placidly on the sidelines as the Democratic Party leadership betray every issue they claim to support.” (— Chris Hedges)

“Year after year, Australian prime ministers and officials have been asked to stand up for Julian #Assange. They’ve done nothing. They’ve colluded. “By failing to act,” says Stella Assange, [they are] not just negligent; it shows that whoever is in office is not fit for office.”” (-John Pilger)

“You’ve got to graduate from an Ivy League university and read all the latest reports from the most esteemed think tanks to get smart enough to understand why it’s a good idea to fight Russia and China at the same time.” (-Cait Johnstone) HA HA HA HA HA! MAN, I LOVE THIS SOUL SISTER!

“People who accuse you of having Kremlin loyalties when you question or criticize the US empire are admitting that they don’t care whether statements are true or false, only whether they demonstrate loyalty to our rulers. That’s the lens through which they examine the world.” (-Cait Johnstone)

‘If the Home Secretary certifies the US request to extradite Julian Assange it will violate the prohibition against torture and set an alarming precedent for publishers and journalists around the world’ (-Amnesty International)

WARM COKE BEE STING

“Sit tight and listen keenly while I play for you another musical biscuit!” (-Big Audio Dynamite)

   Man. Most of the people I’d like to converse with on a windy day like today are already gone on to the other side. I’ve been binge watching a survivalist show about individuals dumped off in hostile natural environments who start to disintegrate emotionally after being forced to confront their selves without the usual distractions. I know what that shit’s like, cause all my amigos been gone forever. Most of the time, it’s just me and these old memories. Middle school, grandparent’s house for the holidays, the Dairy King and old drive-in. Duran Duran videos. Meeting girls underneath the underpass near the old Pony Keg. Missy who used to carry her brush around, even at night on clandestine rendes vous with dubious hoodlums. Building forts with lumber appropriated from old building sites, friends breaking limbs doing BMX tricks. Hours spent listening to old homies learning how to play “Talk Dirty To Me” or “Livin’ After Midnight” on guitar. The dreaded schoolbus with those older twins Sindy and Sandy in the backseat with Melanie and whatever her sister’s name was-they all smelled like hairspray and bubblegum, ya know? The good old record stores, man it’s all gone. Holidays are a trigger for me cause all my kids spend holidays with somebody who ain’t me. You’d think I’d be used to their absence, by now. I’m not though. There’s a hole where they should be, in my life. In “The Curse Of The Black Pearl”, Will Turner struggles to accept that his father Bootstrap was a pirate and a good man. I worry for those kids out there in this cold world. NWO media tells them they are free to choose which tyrannical overlord executive they like more.

 Raytheon, Thiokol, Northrop, Lockheed, General Dynamics, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Bayer/Monsanto, Black Rock and Vanguard profits are what matter to your so called reps. THE SQUAD not only dropped the whole topic of healthcare for everyone or reuniting families kidnapped in the immigrant border gulags, they approved the proxy regime change war billions on Russia’s frontdoor in the Ukraine. THEY DO NOT ADVOCATE FOR THE RELEASE OF JULIAN ASSANGE. They are just empty words sayers. Halfhearted tweeters. Pelosi obeyers. They, like most capitalist got-mines, mainly care about their own mimosas, glamour shots, and red carpet celebrity privileges. Not your health or well being, not regular people in the Ukraine, or teachers and kids being slaughtered in schools.  How sad is it to behold mf’s still actively rat racing, all the way in to their fucking sixties? How many people you know think they gonna get to sit with the jocks at the lunch table if they just parrot bullshit cable slogans dutifully enough? I really can’t relate to many people at this point. All the brave and righteous ones like Mike Gravel (RIP) and Glen Ford (RIP) and my personal amigos who were faithful and sincere to me, seem to have all gone on to whatever awaits us all, Julian Assange is still being tortured by the empire in the belly of the beast at Belmarsh prison and not one of your fakesass bullshit politicians has the integrity or guts to speak out about this inhumane injustice. That’s how you know it ain’t real. NOBODY from “the Squad” or the “McResistance” believes in free speech or freedom of the press. They are all just empty pants-suits, lyin’ ass spokesmodels from Central Casting. Books are better than Tik Tok. READ A FUCKING BOOK:

https://www.penguin.com.au/books/a-political-odyssey-9781583228265

https://bookshop.org/books/julian-assange-in-his-own-words/9781682192634

NEVER BEING BORING

“I always thought in spite of dreams, you’d be sitting somewhere here with me.” (-Pet Shop Boys)

Sundays have always sucked for me. Monday mornings are almost even worse. My thing was rocknrollin’, ya know? I write songs and try to photograph my experiences with words and sounds. Most all my old cohorts though, have either died, were seduced to the dark side of the force by vampiric, godless, evil rich people, or just got so reindoctrinated by capitalist hierarchy culture you can’t communicate with ’em no more. They sadly lack the capacity to just be honest and sincere. They’re like fucking commercials. And not even cool commercials like say, 1980’s Juicy Fruit or Sunkist commercials–they’re warpig commercials, winner takes all fascists, obedience mongers. Narrative managers. Fuck. Somedays ya wanna pack up the old stagecoach with the rockin’ chair and jukebox on top, and makeoff down the lane for some freer place, but ya know they killed the California Dream, they killed everything. The fuckin’ elective surgery mansion dwellers and their awful music festival idiot children. Like yesterday, I was sitting in my old girlfriend, Lisa’s pad on Rivington Street, circa 1984 thumbing through a Smash Hits magazine from Gem Spa, looking at pictures of Nik Kershaw and Specimen, ya know, and dreaming of forming a crazy, spacedout new wave/post punk band of my own. I loved all that lot-Boy George, Adam Ant, Sue Catwoman, Bow Wow Wow, Sigue Sigue Sputnik, Public Image: “hello, helloo…” When I’d hear that Pet Shop Boys song, “In Suburbia”, I’d think of my true fine love who I’d written a sophomoric early song about called “White Suburbia” about how foreign and farout it seemed way out there in the deep burbs where she grew up, beyond where I’d gone to school for about four years, from fourth through eighth, with all the big houses and tall trees and all the leafy green yards and blonde children ringing bells on their tricycles and running around on streets all named for woodsy tree nymphs or something. Oakleaf Lane. Everybody was named ya know, Kirk Woodhome or Tommy Elmhaven, ya dig? Very white and woodsy and elven. I was already full on the rank outsider, with my spiky hair and ripped Andy Taylor jeans and feather earrings and cowboy boots. Nobody wore no shit like that, out there. I had an ugly girl’s bike painted housepaint gray. Even my bike was ugly. I was so impossibly smitten, though, there was a girl, she was all I ever dreamt about. It’d take me about two hours to peddle out to her house on that fuckedup girl’s bicycle. If her parents weren’t home, I could come indoors and hold hands and read lyric sheets and listen to The Smiths or U2 with her. I wrote alot of songs about that era. It was so exquisitely golden, dreamlike. You know that song by The Pretenders, “Birds Of Paradise”? That’s what it was like. Heavenly. “Old House” by The Smiths. “All I Want” by U2. “Somebody” by Depeche Mode“. All those old songs are still in my head and in my heart, forty years later. It was like some imaginary, Ken & Barbie Dreamhouse idyllic Shangri-La out there, cheerleader paradise, blue suburban skies, but one of these things were not like the others. You could see me coming from miles away. I never belonged there. I was just visiting. Sometimes, if I close my eyes, with a slight buzz, ya know, I can listen to “More Than This’ by Roxy Music and be right back there, chatting away with that girl about Prince and Paul Westerberg and Pete Burns and Martin Gore. She was like Tinkerbell, we just had these Neverland Hearts back then. Those were more innocent times.

MAN OF GOLDEN WORDS

     So yeah, all through the eighties, I loved so many different bands. From the Psychedelic Furs and Jesus & Mary Chain to Hanoi Rocks and Circus Of Power. Fun Boy Three, King, Madness, Dexy’s, Human League. I liked Warrior Soul-great lyrics, sang with emotion. “LOVE” by The Cult was one of my alltime fave records. The Four Horsemen were so much like my gang and I….had we only found a good producer who loved the hard rocknroll. I remember being surprised by the original sound The Pixies had on their first two albums. When we met the Flaming Lips and they gave us their address and invited us to come open for them in Norman, Oklahoma, it’s a bit stinging to recall how some band members of mine  felt like, they were just too busy. They had like, beer to drink and low wage jobs to fuss over. By the time I’d escaped the midwest, I was still enjoying the Dogs D’Amour and Mother Love Bone, I met all those guys, even had a little friction with the Love Child, but by the end of the night we had exchanged phone numbers and addresses and loud laughs and hugs and high fives and were gonna stay in touch. He was wearing a big yellow leather hat that night and a Circus Of Power t shirt. Onstage, he was amazing, shuckin and jivin’ and swaggering and sashaying like a wild cross between David Lee Roth and Steven Tyler. His ep was fabulous and we waited and waited for the debut full length. I have always been a lyric man, ya know, like trying to work with 4 sets of brothers in bands over the years-somebody always wanted to pen the lyrics and the brother took the swing vote. Coulda joined  a band with some of the most talented people in L.A. at one point, but I don’t join bands to interpret other people’s lyrics, that’s what I do. My department. I write my own songs to sing, in style or not. That’s meant not getting to sing in a band for a long time now, but I believe in my songs more than almost everybody elses, but certainly I took my hat off to L’Andrew, he had it all-melody, soul, comedy, pathos, bravery, showmanship. His songs just meant the world to me: “Bone China, my friends…Let the summer come again”.  That’s right up my alley, “Gentle Groove”, all those tunes. Loved that band! Once we made it to the big city, we were discovering bands like Killing Joke, New Model Army, The Waterboys, and The Jacobites. Sisters Of Mercy kept making fantastic music. I was influenced by all that stuff, but my teenage friends and me were drifting apart. Summa those guys were doing some kinda music I wouldn’t even know how to properly describe except the drums were good, it was fast, Thunders solos for eight bars in the middle. A guy singing in an Elvis impersonation on top but you could never understand what ever he was singing about. Something bout money and being a monarch-not my jam at all. My main lead guitarist started playing with like, these foxy Fiona Apple style ingenues and in a corny Hard Rock Cafe style blues band. The others were into the grunge shit, but I was not, at all. I liked Soul Asylum I guess. Maybe two Soundgarden songs? Just not my scene, man. Mark Lanegan had a nice voice though, wrote some good songs, I just could not stand some of his friends. So yeah, I loved a couple local bands during grunge like Scarce and Morphine, a crazy punk band called Facts About Rats. Mazzy Star-I liked them. I did not care for grunge at all, or much from Lilith Fair or Riot Grrrl or white boy rappers. No one really touched my heart like Andy Wood, though. So here’s a moment of love and silence for Andy and Xana. Love ’em.

FASTER

After that fiery revelation, Mother Love Bone had done it all with so much grace and soulpower, I was simply not at all into the moaning beagles who became so grunge famous, after that. It was all a big shrug to me. From Nirvana to the Velvet Revolver, Alice In Chains, none of that shit spoke to me. Certainly not any shit like Tool or Pantera.  I immersed myself in Sinead O’Connor and Bob Dylan, in those years. Still kept making my own original music with a small circle of talented people I’d met in Boston-a talented guitar player who was into Love and T Rex joined our band and made our little Dogs D’Amour songs sound more like The Crybabys or Hollywood Brats. Me and the rhythm guitarist wrote about fifty songs in a dirty basement, that people still cover in four or five different cities. We loved the Beasts Of Bourbon, The Comatones, Pillbox, The Waldos, Ronald Koal, Imperial Drag, and Hello Disaster, but the main band that came along after the big grunge glut, who genuinely made a real difference for me and my little crew was MANIC STREET PREACHERS.

Even back in Ohio, as a kooky new wave and D.I.Y. low budget punk teenager, I’d already been mocking all the spandex party bands for years, especially the songs sung in some over earnest, power balladeer voice that said nothing, cause the vocalist was dumb and really just had nothing to say. I’m thinkin’ bout “Something To Believe In” by Poison, for instance. The corporate metal wankers only got signed cause somebody looked like a lifeguard or knew a moneybags producer or drug smuggling manager. After grunge/”Alternative”TM became as ubiquitous as hairbands, it was like people no longer even cared if music was any good, or had anything to say, at all. It was like they killed it dead, on purpose. All that awful moaning. There were some bloated, suit wearing fratboys going through the motions, who some people were willing to pretend were relevant, because they wanted to be around their cocaine, but no one was being honest about music anymore. Spin and Rolling Stone been promoting Spice Girls and Bieber and Adriana Grande and those women with the surgically enhanced big butts for all these years. After the fake as fuck hoax of “Alternantive”TM, it was just years and years of shit like Creed and Matchbox 20, Bush and Nickelback. Foo Fighters became the only band. Just horrible. I liked maybe two songs by the big Brit-Pop bands, maybe three songs by Buckcherry, but really and truly, it was just the Manic Street Preachers. They also had such a broad spectrum of ideas and styles and songs that said real stuff, ya know? AND they knew how to pissoff all the NME and Melody Maker fey and twee K records and Beck and grunge devotees. They were real entertainers, even better songwriters, punk rock provocateurs who loved Magazine, Guns N Roses AND The Clash, and sincere as fuck. I really believe they were the last band that really meant something. 4 Real. 

“It says so much about the state of western academia that it’s treated as a major scandal if university professors don’t unquestioningly regurgitate what their government says about international affairs.” (-Cait Johnstone)

APOCALYPSE GIRL

“You and I! Go back in time, from the very start, but now I, I never tried to break your stupid heart!” (-THE HUMPERS)


One of my bad mistakes was going back to the midwest in the grunge gross mid 90’s to be near my kid. I had no way of knowing that even the fast food shitjobs were tightly controlled by a spiteful, uncool network of locals who leveraged them to blacklist or reward people. All the same rules from my fuckedup teenage years were still at play there, even though they still had a couple record stores-they were owned by rightwing greedhead dicks. The jocks and preps, the mooks, and nerds, everybody you never got along with or wanted to be around in middle school, those kinda dorks were all still there in flyover states, monopolizing every resource, ruling the roost with their lousy gimmick bands and money to burn. Me and them clashed for about three years, pretty much on a daily basis. When I still had enough money to buy magazines, that first year, though, I was being courted by SHANE THE ROCKNROLL BANKROBBER WILLIAMS to be a columnist for Flipside, to basically just rant about music and my life, and the world around me, but of course, the deciders at the top of the masthead had never heard of me. My time in L.A. had been a dismal failure. I did make some great friends there who were still being regularly written about in Flipside. Bands like The Ultras, Tommyknockers, Glamour Punks, and Miniskirt Mob. I met Gio and Divo while passing out fliers on Melrose. Loved those guys. So Flipside was still a real important part of my little personal underground subculture, even if the college town grunge bellowers were cocaine pocketed fatsos passing other people’s songs off as their own, and basically paying everybody to pretend-like them. My big discoveries back then were Hello Disaster who were the short-lived Amurkkkan equivalent of Manic Street Preachers, Celebrity Skin, who were a fab pop band, and The HUMPERS from Long Beach, California who had been previously known as Suicide Kings and were blood related to THE JONESES!!! The last remnants of my sleazy bluespunk torch n twang operation opened for them when they toured through our unfortunate part of the country. The fanzine writer who was road managing them back then, dismissed us as a “glammish band” in Flipside, cause he just wanted to talk to the lousy three piece girl band on the bill, and all the private school hipsters who hated me for scoffing at their pay to play, Fauntleroy-social hierarchies showed up to kinda boo my band. An ex guitarist named KY Mike came to see us play that night, but was so belligerently wasted on drugs (“one beer aint gonna kill ya”, he always said. RIP) he ended up almost getting his ass kicked, for stealing The Humpers beer.
Last time I ever saw him, sad. Some guys I knew from the fanzine scene traveled into town to see us perform that night but never properly introduced themselves. They thought we were doing “an Oasis thing”, which is probably a compliment in a way, particularly being as how him and his brother never really liked me, either, so he probably meant it. We were a ramshackle operation even on the best nights, as I said, we were diehard Comatones and Beasts Of Bourbon and Tex And The Horsehead and Fleshtones devotees, but this was not our best night. The HUMPERS, I dunno if you’ve ever seen ’em live, but no one wants to be on a bill with them, except me, because they come out and just rock the whole place like motherfuckers-they really are “Fast, Fucked, and Furious”, they shake the whole block, get everybody in the room popgo dancing, it’s just unbridled mayhem when they let loose, plus they dressed cool and wrote great fucking songs like “HEY SHADOW”, “SOUL SURGEON”, “ROCKET & THE RETARDS”, “DRUNK TANK”, “ANARCHY JUICE”, “MURDER CITY REVOLUTION”, etc. etc. WE made friends with the band that night and the band’s manager gave me and my cronies gas money to follow them to Chicago, and we did just that and while we were there, supposedly my car just magically caught on fire and had to be towed away. The midwest is evil. Don’t go there, it’s where they manufacture the fratboys. The Humpers, man. They’re like Rose Tattoo! They can’t be beat. 


https://youtu.be/fPdMa9WLizY

In Loving Memory Of The Manic Street Preachers (-by General Labor)

JUST SAY NO TO WHORES FOR WARS!

You were born in the middle of the most sophisticated and expansive mass-scale perception management operation that has ever taken place.

The news media is propaganda and schooling is designed to condition us to accept that propaganda.

Public understanding of what a normal moderate position looks like and what a radical extremist position looks like has been warped to the most insane extent possible.

Noam Chomsky is not a radical and is in fact far too aligned with establishment power on far too many issues.

The difference between an AOC Democrat and a true anti-imperialist socialist is greater than the difference between an AOC Democrat and a Republican.

The difference between the mainstream media narrative about the world and actual reality is greater than the difference between the mainstream media narrative about the world and literally any work of fiction.

You’ve been lied to your entire life about your nation, your government, your nation’s official enemies, your society, and your very self.

Your brain and your senses were evolved to keep your evolutionary ancestors alive, not to tell you true things about the nature of reality.

Your mistakes don’t matter and neither do anyone else’s.

The self is an illusion and all beliefs are false.

The world is so much more beautiful than you realize.

You are so much more beautiful than you realize.

The world is secretly perfect.

You are secretly perfect.

It is safe to relinquish all labels and let all of life be ineffable.

It is safe to relinquish all identity and let yourself be ineffable.

The universe is forever out of control, and that’s a good thing.

There is nowhere to fall to.

This is all infinitely supported and profoundly cherished.

This is all meaningless, gratuitous, astonishing, and delightful.

We are dancing together in the heart of eternity.

Your every molecule is intimately embraced by all that is.

Everything in existence says yes to itself.

Everything in you says yes to everything in existence; even your “no” is made of yes.

You are beloved.

You are love.

(Caitlyn Johnstone, Rogue Journalist)

“The weaknesses of what passes for a left wing movement have been fully exposed ever since Russian troops entered Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Of course many people who are called leftists and even those who consider themselves as such are in fact just liberals. They do not stand against imperialism as any leftist ought to do. The eight-year long U.S./NATO scheme to use Ukraine as a weapon against Russia should be universally condemned by anyone claiming to be in that cohort. Leftists can have principled disagreement about Putin’s decision, but they should not ignore the culpability of the U.S. and NATO and their support for the 2014 coup which overturned an election and put neo-Nazi groups in power.

Their confusion on Russia and Ukraine is emblematic of their confusion about so many other issues. The faux left are a highly problematic group, making common cause with the democratic party wing of the war party, and ignoring the war crimes committed by Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, and now Joe Biden. Not only do they fail to ask, “What about?,” but they have no critique of the U.S. role which instigated this crisis. They say nothing about the U.S. and its NATO allies refusing to engage in negotiations which might end the suffering of the Ukrainian people they claim to care about so much.” (-Margaret Kimberly)

“The immorality of U.S. policy in Ukraine is once again on display with the cynical policy of instructing Ukrainian leadership to take a hard-line with Russia. U.S. policy-makers know Ukraine will not win this war but bleeding Russia is more important to them than Ukrainian life.” (-Ajamau Baraka)

 MANIC STREET PREACHERS “LET ROBESON SING!” 

I dunno how you feel about any of it in these dismally dark days. Me, personally, I was CONDEMNED to rocknroll. If I ask you to name the last truly Great Band, you might recall some good times you had during the Oasis hour, or even jumping up n down to that Cocaine song by Buckcherry that Steve Jones played on, but come on, if you dig a little deeper, you probably know, in your heart of hearts, that the last sincere and meaningful, super talented band with substance and intelligence and poetic depth and an egalitarian punk rock point of view was, obviously, the Manic Street Preachers. man, when I hear all that corny recycled, tenth hand formulaic shit people are forcefed through repetition until they start expecting me to go along with it, I just kinda roll my eyes and think fuck that shit and yearn to hear moving and powerful and courageous and insightful songs like, “Why So Sad” and “Rewind The Film, “You Stole The Sun From My Heart”, “Kevin Carter”, Everything Must Go”, “Ocean Spray”, “Design For Life”: (“libraries gave us power, then work came and set us free, what price now, for a shallow piece of dignity?”) Ya know? I mean, top THAT, motherfucker. I sure haven’t come close, and I try my little heart out, almost everyday. With all the warmongering and ceaseless cold war red baiting and Rachel Maddow fake left Russiagate bullshit where anything we don’t like is automatically classified as, “Russians!” I mean, what the fuck? It’s almost as if media dupes of the USA USA just somehow forgot all the innocent people murdered in Libya and Iraq and Yemen and Afghanistan in wars for control of oil based on known and proven falsehoods. So I been thinking about the Manic Street Preachers who were among the Last True Rocknroll Artists Of Conscience who sang about anything that mattered and how much I miss that shit. This song about Paul Robeson makes me think of poor Julian Assange rotting in Belmarsh while all your former peers think about unreality shows, made for tv psy-ops, and sucky stripper-pop. I know it’s hard to keep trudging through the muck and it can seem real hopeless when so much of society has given up and joined the stormtroopers of the empire, but we gotta keep struggling for truth and soul, brothers and sisters and friends of the revolution. Compassion is everything. Even the people who you think oppose you in the media induced culture wars also live in an environment of unprecedented censorship and fear peddling, divide and rule propaganda, and most likely are tools and suckers of the Dick Cheney darkside establishment Honky Death Machine, we’ve all been lied to our whole lives. Have mercy!

“I gotta learn to live like you, sing like you….”
I meet rich people as I walk through this life and am frequently surprised by just how plain stupid, illiterate, and uncivil they are. Just today, I was walking around a very poor town and nodded to a lady who was obviously just checking in on one of her multiple deteriorating, neglected, empty surplus former rental properties and ya know, I just smiled and said hello, cause I’m a neighborly human being, it’s a sunny day, and that’s how I was taught we are supposed to act. This nutty broad could not even find it within herself to acknowledge my simple hello. That’s the state of this world. People who believe they are “liberal, educated, scientific, sensitive progressives” don’t really even invest a few moments of their day to read past the internet headlines. They are just invested in identity politricks, where they will call Maxine Waters and Deb Halland “Aunties’ without really knowing anything about their policies, donors, or actual voting records, it’s all just blind belief in empty tokenism. Five highly visible mansion dwelling women of color promoting the same old Bush/Cheney imperialist bullshit is not improving the quality of “Black Lives”. You’d think all those college sensitivity studies mf’s would get that. They don’t remember anything, either. Not what Obama said about the Water Protectors. Not what happened to Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, or John Crawford III, they just know they like AOC because she tweets against Trump and Tucker Carlson and she looks vogue with her empty slogans at the devilish Met Gala. They don’t remember watching any of those Michael Moore movies or “Iraq For Sale”, about how the whole war on terror was launched on the basis of fabricated bullshit lies. They never learn from history, because they never learn history. They just think our country spreads democracy and commies and Muslims are coming for their good jobs and make believe benefits that barely exist. I don’t think they think about much, beyond whatever they hear on the Kardashian, Obscenely Rich Housewives Of Wherever, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s talk show, or “The View”. They all think they are “woke”, though. Everybody blindly believes either Fox, or CNN, and none of ’em think they are brainwashed, or lied to by their preferred cable millionaires. Just, “The Others”. Those gullible, stupid others.

If you own a lot of shit, tattoo shops, and record labels and N.A. celebrity hot rods and lord over extravagant collections and play shows on boats for ten grand a night, you probably wonder sometimes why some grouchy old punk rock dishwasher keeps asking more stylish people online to post longwinded rants about civil liberties and the death of the free press and corporate media lies, on music oriented websites. Well, let me tell you, if this Nato manufactured war “over there” keeps escalating, with everybody in the states just dumbly watching Pentagon controlled tv, and mindlessly cheering for actors like they do partisan-politics and pro wrestling, and it goes nuclear, it aint gonna just be you and your brunch-band ordering shit from Amazon all day like John Bolton assures you it will be, there ain’t gonna be no champagne on super yachts for you, either, no matter how many famous people, who got lucky in the seventies that you might know, fourth hand, who will put you on the guest list at the whoop dee doo Ramones covers ball on Saturday night.

They kicked our deeply appreciated kindred spirit, motherfucking truth telling,  leftish standup comedian, LEE CAMP (!!!) off the airwaves, a fantastic and courageous comedian in the noblest tradition of Bill Hicks and Dick Gregory, but gullible mainstream puke consuming, gentrified, mean ex liberals think that’s just outright okeydokey, since they’ve all embraced and celebrate mass surveillance-techlord censorship because they don’t like Chapelle, or Rogan, or Robert Kennedy Jr,. or Dr. Judy Mikovitz, or Alex Jones or Dr. Robert Malone, or Russell Brand. Anything that does not primarily elevate Hillary and Kamala’s reputations as saintly saints is discarded as Fake News. The way you can see that most citizens are brainwashed in the land of the free is that they all care way more about protecting their fave tv celebrities and superstar politicians than they do their blood relatives, former friends, or the guy on the street who aint got nothin’.

 If you have a platform, you should be using it to amplify voices from the peace movement like David Swanson and Ray McGovern, Col. Ann Wright, Cindy Sheehan, Code Pink For Peace, Black Alliance For Peace, Courage To resist, and the Answer Coalition, and human rights whistleblowers like Daniel Hale, and and truth telling journalists like Max Blumenthal and Aaron Mate, not just dumbly echoing million dollar propaganda whores’ programming campaigns and feeling self congratulatory about it. As Stiv Bators said thirty years ago, “truth can’t be found on the television.” Read a fucking book. Everything is not as simple as Fox is fake news/MSNBC and CNN are the gospel truth for Science and Diversity. Notice how there is ZERO discussion in big media about all the Displaced Millions who can not pay that bullshit greedhead Goldman Sachs/Blackrock impossibly jackedup rent. No one is talking about all the food stamp recipients who are simply not recieiving their food stamps right now. WHERE are all the poor people who used to live in your hispster enclave? Ever think about that? Also, there is little to no discussion about all the ridiculous price gouging at the grocery store by Wall Street’s cherished corporations. Nobody’s talking about all the different ways children have been pushed back into devastatingly deep poverty, all you hear about is the gas prices, which tv people just blame on Putin, or Maduro, or the unthird boosteds. Easy peasy. Or the conveniently rotating villains-Sarah Palin, Rand Paul, Mike Pence, Manshin and Sinema, etc. It is not hyperbole, or exaggeration, or conspiranoia, anymore to suggest that no one, not even established stars, is allowed to really participate in Mass Media in the USA, unless they are willing to read the teleprompter and do what they’re told, promote The NWO Agenda and mock anyone who ever asks intelligent questions. Even iconic eighties millionaire new wave bands I love are being used for cheap war propaganda now, it’s so tawdry and unbecoming, and I really don’t think they have a choice. 

   I’ve said for years (and years, if you really know me) that the big bands that used to rock me, sadly, mean almost nothing to me now, cause they got almost nothing real to say. Nothing, whatsoever. Just cash grab namebrand victory laps, gouging the rubes and letting sports morons pay to shake their hands at fucking book signings. The smaller bands I hear are, approximately, as useless. More say nothing genre hags just forever recycling the past and usually just so poorly. I’m trying to give even half a shit about this heavily hyped, playedout, mainstream nostalgic pushead, Guns N Roses Thor soundtrack song, but when I think of them, I think of ten narcissistic, overpaid, self absorbed, boring careerist people on stage, pretending that Slash never knew David Geffen and David Bowie, growing up, that they were just these nobody street rats, Waxl looking like some kinda gold bling Shady, No Izzy, no Adler, Duff thinking about real estate and making money, “knock knock knockin’ on Heaven’s door, haay haaay haay haayyy..” and I’m just so over it, have been for decades, ever since they lost Adler after Farm Aid, but I saw the Brand Name Owner’s new employee, Fake Amerikkkan Idol Skid Row replacement singer #x09786432-x2.O cover “Night Train” with his unfamous high school crony on youtube a couple days ago and was taken straight back to 1987 when both of those bands really mattered to me and all those fortified wine guzzling, denim clad, black t shirted, attic smoking, long lost beloved friends of mine. There’s only two of us left who did not die or go straight. WTF?! Ya know? One of my favorite old bands vanquished all the dysfunctional addict personalities and replaced them with eager beaver, studio pros who show up on time to punch the clock and take credit and cash checks and bask in all the third hand, vicariously reflected glory, but the weirdness has gone missing, it’s become slick and formulaic and assembly line. Total professionals. Still the best in the business, but that aint my business. I’m looking for the young soul rebels, some poor doomed fuckers who can’t help but tell the truth. The next Richey Edwards, ya know?

by Kevin Cummins, C-type colour print, 30 April 1991

 The people in celebrity fame bubbles just get too pampered and genuinely disconnected all the way from us everyday people to really have much to offer us. Their newer shit just says nothing about our lives. It’s all gentrification celebrity red carpet reminiscing about punk rock at the museum or CBGB’s airport restaurant while eating a thirty five dollar Sid Burger or talking about that time they saw Jesse Malin signing autographs at the Roberta Bayley or John Holmstrom exhibit at John Varvatos. It’s all obviously decades removed from any real danger or can’t pay the bills, or threat of evictions, or even just walk down the street common folks sincerity. That new documentary about “Paralell Lines”, “Blondie’s NY”, is the shit, though. So good I watched it twice! Man, I love Blondie, that “Save The Bees” concert they did had me buzzing, too. “Do You Love Me Now” is such an amazing song. That shit gripped me by the heart.

 Another guy who’s still got it is Billy Idol: “Now I am running through streets that are frightening”. Yeah, right? Wish I could find my own Steve Stevens songwriting partner. I keep running into all these dangerous crazies on the desert trails. Creepy dudes gawking at all the out of towner females on the avenue near the tourist trap ripoff hipster hives. Frowning bums in Hollywood Planet jackets and little transistor radios and wobbly stolen bicycles drinking 24 ounce cans of ICE beer on the riverbanks next to the wooden cross and statue and toys memorial for a young kid killed by a crackfiend parent. Nevermind all the aggressively domineering new age divorcee psychic bathrobe women strutting down the middle of the road with their leashless double pitbulls to get back at whoever intimidated them some fucking lost youth, fifty-five or sixty-five, years ago. I’m beyond tired and weary. The last person I tried making music with promptly pivoted to wanting to steal all the copyright credit and publishing and reduce me to some “content provider” for hire employee, it’s a sick world. Gets me down.

It’ll break your heart until you can barely stand to mosey on down the path in the evening hot winds. As I just confided to my old confidante, fellow traveler, kindred spirit, and former seamstress for the band, “I know pretty much all relationships are hard in these trying times, especially between any of us older, been burned a lot, distrustful, damaged  survivor type o’ people, how does anyone let down the walls again and put down the weaponry and allow one another to just be ourselves without the same old mainstream leveraging hierarchies and authority trips and standard manipulating to extort desired behaviors or ‘get stuff’ from others? I don’t wanna joust with nobody no more, fuck Chess, I don’t like their tactics-the Hillary style lawyer evasions or new age psychiatric self help Dr. Phil double talkin gobbeldygoop-certainly not the chest beating jail behaviors of midwestern males-I’ll just gut out what years remain sticking to my own old school punk rock pirate codes, even if it means dying with no meaningful recordings or never returning to being a star of stage or screen ha ha, I just can’t stand the disingenuousness and social jockeying and gratuitous bullshit scams of most people at the bottom or middle of this backstab culture. ” We gotta keep trying to get along with the neighbors cause when the grid goes down, we’re gonna be relying on each other, and not famous people we never even met. No billionaire motherfuckers are coming to rescue you. No billionaire motherfuckers are coming to rescue you. No billionaire motherfuckers give a fuck about you. I hate the Big 5 Juggernaut Heavy Rotation Culture. Dave Grohl is like, the worst, man. What a goober, I was never a big Cobain fan, but that guy just could not be more generic or ubiquitous. Courtney is an abraisive megalomaniac too, but she called it with Dave Grohl. The Absolute Triumph Of Mediocrity. Just keep it. You’ve really lowered your standards, if you are a Dave Grohl apologist. Come ON! His music says NOTHING. Glorified cover bands. Ruthless gung ho, just out for themselves, corporate rawk, fame whore, money chasers still suck so bad. They’ll step on your face for a Whole Foods gluten free artisinal doggy treat to feed their luxury pet who they believe deserves more human rights than these untidy and coarse and offesnsive, uncultivated human beings panhandling at the off-ramp cause they were kicked out onto the streets by their landlordly peer group and bankster superiors.

If you were a human rights activist, someone organizing on behalf of the homeless online, or just an individual hoping to hold powerful institutions to account-like fake political parties/primary rigging/fictitious sleazoid-dossier manufacturing fixer operatives, captured regulatory agencies, murderous police, Wall Street mortgage shysters, or outta control monopolies like Blackrock and Vanguard; or just an old time new wave, glam, or punknroll enthusiast, who used to be friends with me on social media, you already know they had me Facebook jailed for years, or were severely limiting my algorithms reach, what with all the bogus fact checks, and nonstop censorship of conversations, interviews, and links to articles unapproved by the techlords at Davos, benefiting big business, the soldout DNC and entrenched power structures. Twitter, Youtube, they’re all in cahoots fucking over the entire Left-Jimmy Dore, Abby Martin, Oliver Stone, Michael Parenti-everybody’s gone! All the shitlibs got as giddy saying, “it can’t be censorship cause Zuck aint the government” as they did saying any other empty slogans they were college programmed with, but obviously, we’ve never, never seen so much ballsout propaganda and censorship of all dissident voices, like we’ve seen these past three years. Only the preferred narrative of the one percent billionaire establishment is allowed online, or on the airwaves. Nader, Glen Ford (RIP), Hedges, Assange, Whitney Webb, Sibel Edmonds, Greenwald, the Convo-Couch, Scott Ritter, Ben Norton, everybody on the Real Left tried to warn us about our very dire, boiling frogs, dystopian police state rollout, but it was too late, cause all the privileged gotmine office classers just lost their minds with personal privilege and hating Trump and Q Shaman more than they care about civil liberties, the Bill Of Rights, genuine democracy, or poor people here, let alone, poor people being slaughtered by design in designated sacrifice zones like Afghanistan and Yemen and Palestine. Mostly, shitlibs love feel good celeb pinups, and stay busy unconditionally worshipping all these manufactured marketing hoax puppets and media false prophets like Obama, Zelensky, Mayo Pete, AOC and that Juan Guaido guy they tried to install upon the people of Venezuela, against the will of those same people. I gave up on whole cities of people I used to know who just knowingly, consensually promote false bullshit all the time, or who just fell so hard for the latest thing slogan of the day bullshit and hoopla, you can’t talk to them, all they can say is, “Fauchi good/Trump bad”. They are still thanking Obama for walking behind Chelle, keeping it classy. “Ladies First” They love this Zelensky Marvel Comics Avenger even more than their last media assigned saintly “self made” heiress  or tennis shoe designing satanic rapper or justice tweeting supermodel fake messiahs. Repost the flag they were told to. That’s as deep as they ever got or ever will, they rarely even skim past the headlines, and then, it’s back to bragging about their hype beast name brand luxury items, or gentrification hipster businesses, or legal reefer in wealthy white people zipcodes, or fake ass copycat music played at homeless hater hipster bars. Man, that’s why I am still living in the eighties. Democracy is in a coma and no one like the early Manic Street Preachers is even allowed anywhere near the microphone anymore. 

STOP WATCHING TV! IT REALLY DOES MAKE YOU STUPID!

https://theintercept.com/2017/01/30/obama-killed-a-16-year-old-american-in-yemen-trump-just-killed-his-8-year-old-sister/

https://theintercept.com/2022/04/14/russia-ukraine-noam-chomsky-jeremy-scahill/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/04/19/dear-auntie-deb-dont-sell-us-out-be-voice-has-long-been-silenced

Down To Rock #13

My name is Teddy Heavens and I’m bringing you the latest Sleaze/Glam/Punk/Metal 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!

Check out my Glam Punk website at http://www.ftwrecords.com

 

The state of Los Angeles rock and roll:

Whiskey A Go Go

This venue has been having a lot of cool hard rock shows: Wed. 13, LA Guns, Adler, Glitter N Glam nights, Krokus, Faster Pussycat, Tom Keifer, Black Oak Arkansas, Slaughter and the Dogs, Fear, Stryper, etc., with a lot of cool shows coming up. Definitely the place to be for visiting rockers on any given night, and things will be picking up even more since the House Of Blues just shut down.

Loaded-Metal Sanaz shows

Metal Sanaz is putting on some cool heavy metal shows at the Hollywood Blvd. club Loaded. She is a fair promoter and the club is straight up rock and roll, with killer live room and sleaze DJ out front and super cheap drinks. Nice place to get the down and dirty Hollywood rock and roll vibe from back in the day. The place to start or end your evening.

Lucky Strike Jam Nights

Chuck Wright runs the popular Wed. night Lucky Strike jam nights in Hollywood, that is all the rage right now for local Hollywood Rockers. The jam puts local and visiting rock stars of all levels together to jam hard rock and heavy metal cover tunes, and it is pretty amazing how good some of the players are. Place has been getting more and more packed recently and the rock stars are getting bigger and bigger. It’s a lot of fun and a good place to see a lot of your favorite players in one place, check it out when in Hollywood.

Cathouse Festival-Irvine, Ca.

This is the debut of the festival that pays homage to the glory days of the Sunset strip with the glam and hard rock bands that were kicking around in the late 80’s. Bands like LA Guns, Faster Pussycat and Pretty Boy Floyd are all representing at the festival and with any luck the event will be successful so that it can continue and include more bands from the day (signed and unsigned) that tore up the strip, like featured on the Hollywood Rocks Box set. Keep an eye out for the reviews and videos if you were not able to make it!

CD Reviews:

Frank Dimino-Old Habits Die Hard

Frank is one of my favorite singers, and Angel in the 70’s and 80’s was one of my favorite bands. I got the Angel release, In The Beginning, in the 2000’s and was lucky enough to see Frank and Barry in Angel, play in L.A. around that time. Seeing those guys play all the Angel hits was awesome and a dream come true. I also had the pleasure of seeing Frank perform in Las Vegas with his cover band, also featuring Jimmy Crespo (Aerosmith) and Johnny Lust (Creature), which was awesome, as they played The Tower and other Angel classics. Now Frank has a solo release and it hit me like a ton of bricks, because his voice is just as good as it was back in the day, with the same tone and vibrato that he is know for. Playing those covers and Angel tunes in those bars and casinos in Vegas was Frank’s best move, as it preserved his voice for this very “comeback” release, as well as keeping him lean and mean looking.
The release opens with “Never Again”, which is very much in the vein of classic hard rock Angel tunes. Next up is “Rocking In The City”, a contemporary hard rock song that showcases Dimino’s voice with a closing scream rivaling the best Deep Purple track. “Can’t Stop Loving You” is a Zeppelinesque tune and “The Rains About To Fall” has a big Montrose/Mountain riff showcasing Frank’s influences and songwriting style (honed at the Berkeley School Of Music as a youngster), and the power pop ballad “Even Now” is a direct cousin to the songs from the classic Angel Sinful release, complete with ending from that period.
Frank has many guest stars on this release including Punky Meadows, Oz Fox and Ricky Medlock, but the songs and Frank’s voice are the stars of this release. “Tears Will Fall” is the modern day “Tower”, the track that is closest to Frank’s past, and “Mad As Hell” is another nod to influences Deep Purple/Rainbow, with the Track “Sweet Sensation” bringing the sleaze rock opening riff to the party. “Tonight’s the Night” kicks out a Darkness/Status Quo vibe, adding to the variety that this release has, along with the top notch musicianship of all the players supporting Frank. “The Quest” opens with a Pantera riff, but turns into a keyboard driven fast pace number, featuring Giuffria period sounding keyboards, and the closing “Stones By The River” is the perfect cap to this perfect release, a real 70’s vocal driven number with Punky Meadows (my guess) adding guitar, proving old heroes don’t go away, they just get better and show how it’s done time and time again! This release will be my pick for album of the year, great songs and vocals, and top notch musicianship from all the backing players, can’t wait for the tour to hit Los Angeles.

Spiders N Snakes-Year Of The Snake

These guys are L.A. Glam Rock legends, going strongly for over two decades. Lizzie Gray is a survivor from the Hollywood music scene, who has seen and done it all!!! I want to write a book about this guy someday. He started London, who spawned a lot of big name rock stars, starred in the classic Decline 2 movie (currently now available as a box set trilogy) in the 80’s, and has rocked L.A. with Spiders N Snakes since then. Drummer Tim Yasui is another Hollywood survivor, along with guitarist Chris Sheridan and bassist Phil St. Vincent. This CD release also features guest appearances from some of my favorite players, including Rik Fox (Steeler) and Betsy Bitch (Bitch).
All band members take turns singing lead vocals on various tracks, but the standout song is “Kawasaki City”, with Tim on Lead Vocals, a song about his good times partying it up in Japan. The band also pulls out the Angel version of “Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” with duel vocals from Tim and Betsy Bitch, with Rik Fox on bass, Bad Ass!!!! I had the pleasure of seeing this line-up perform the song live at Loaded and at the CD release party a few months back.
Overall, “Year of the Snake” is a killer release of hard rock, Glam Pop songs with top notch musicianship. Fun and Raw, the way Hollywood rock and roll should be! Buy it now!!

Billy Idol Live review- The Wiltern in Los Angeles, Ca.

I was lucky enough to get VIP passes for this show from BI bassist Steve McGrath, so I was stoked to have some elbow room and a cool drink to witness one of my favorite artist live. Billy has a top notch band, featuring Steve Stevens, who is able to replicate all of the cool guitar tones and sounds from the 80’s hits (and he is also an impeccable rock and roll dresser).
Billy Idol has tons of hits, and he played them all, but the crowd went off for “Eyes Without a Face”, “White Wedding” and “Rebel Yell”. Billy looks good, he’s in perfect shape and has complete control of the stage, never overdoing it, but simply doing the “Billy Idol” thing, which is Elvis 2015!
After reading Billy’s autobiography, I was amazed to find out that he was smacked out on heroin all during the time he was at his biggest in the 80’s and 90’s, but it’s a testament to his talent and survivability that even today he’s still the ultimate punk rock star, looking and sounding better than ever.

Manic Street Preachers Live review- The Ford Theatre in Los Angeles, Ca.

Anytime MSP tour the US I have got to see them, as I am amazed they have not broken big in the US. But that allows me to see them in small up close venues, the 3rd time so far! MSP were touring as a 3 piece to commemorate the “Holy Bible” release, so they played all that record in its Gloomy entire glory, which was cool, but a little too downtrodden for me, so I was glad that they encored with multiple hits from the last two decades. My highlight is always gonna be “Motorcycle Emptiness” and “If You Tolerate This” and “Love’s Sweet Exile”. I love the early Manics stuff and James is such a good and underrated guitar player. When they first came out, I read an interview where they described themselves as a cross of Hanoi Rocks, Guns N Roses and Public Enemy, so of course my interest was peaked, and I have loved them the same through all their releases. I hope this is not the last time I see them live.

The Dictators/Prima Donna live review-Billy O’s in Ventura, Ca.

Rebel Rebel had the pleasure of opening for the seminal NYC punk rock group The Dictators, featuring Ross The Boss and Handsome Dick Manitoba, with legendary producer (Ramones) Daniel Rey on 2nd guitar. Also on the bill were L.A. favorites Prima Donna, who are now a slimmed down 4 piece. PD are a tight music machine onstage, the years of major world touring show in the playing, and interaction with the crowd. You can tell these guys love playing live rock and roll, they will play anywhere at any time! They have a new release out now that you should pick up, called “9 Lives and 45’s“, support this hard working band and share with friends.
The Dictators hit the little Billy O stage like it was CBGB’s in the 70”s, and played all the Dictators faves. Handsome Dick is a funny ass cleaver front man, interacting with the crowd and hitting on good looking chicks in the crowd that were digging on him. These guys play a lot of huge festivals in Europe and back east, so it was a treat supporting them and seeing how an OG NYC punk band does it! The highlight of the set was the song “Baby Let’s Twist”, with HDM singing from the middle of the crowd and passing the microphone around to the crowd to sing the chorus. Cool night to remember and I added a Dictators pick and set list to my collection.

Acoustic Saints Live review-Twisted Oak Tavern in Agora Hills, Ca.

This band features Chuck Wright from Quiet Riot and Giuffria on bass and Stan Bush on vocals and guitar, along with a mando/fiddle/guitar player that is off the chain talented. Stan had a solo career in the 80’s and Chuck runs the popular Wed. night Lucky Strike jam nights in Hollywood, that is all the rage right now for local Hollywood Rockers. The AS play classic rock in the acoustic format, with Chuck playing a fretless bass, and the place is always packed out as these guys are top notch players. The set list is always changing, but staples are 70’s hard rock like Eagles and Zeppelin tunes, played with expert musicianship. These guys are a must see when visiting the L.A. area.

Cool bands I’ve been listening to:

Royal Blood

Two man bands are now a novelty, usually guitar and drums or synthesizer and vocals, but bass and drums, that’s a new spin on things and RB have the sound down. Hard rock with strong pop melodies played by lead vocalist/bassist and drummer, with a full sound. The bass is heavily effected, but still sounds original and contemporary. Big in Europe already, but fighting to break the US currently, check them out with open ears.

The Montecristos

This is the new band from Neal X ex Sigue Sigue Sputnik. He plays surf guitar and sings, much like he did in the last version of SSS. This band is mainly surf/rockabilly sounding with a stand up bassist and horns, but the songs still pack a punch. Neal X has been busy through the years playing with Marc Almond, and his signature sound is in tack-big holly body Gibson guitar with a lot of echo and delay. This band is a cross of The Cramps/Dick Dale/Eddie Cochran and Sigue Sigue Sputnik. They have been playing a lot of gigs in Europe and Spain and I’m praying they come to the states.

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
http://www.ftwrecords.com
ftwrecords@aol.com

Manic Street Preachers “Rewind The Film”

Alex-Lake3

(-review by Geordie Pleathur)

“I have two rules in life – to hell with it, whatever it is, and get your work done. You have to know how to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”
(-Ray Bradbury)

“I’ve never understood why CONservatives despise the idle poor, but worship the idle rich.”
(-Peter Crowley)

“The hardest job I ever had in this country was being a homeless person with no money. ”
(-A. Razor)

“Yesterday’s weirdness is tomorrow’s reason why.”
(-Hunter S. Thompson)

“The Tea Party is low hanging fruit—Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz, Michelle Bachman were all literally invented by the Empire as persons for the “left” to loathe and ridicule as Obama and Hillary serve these purposes for the “right.” Can we focus on the root and quit hacking at all these branches? The only reason I ever mention any of these people is to point out the hypocrisy and fraud of the Empire.”
(-Cindy Sheehan)

“We are not good at anything else anymore… can’t build a decent car or a television, can’t give good education to the kids or health care to the old, but we can bomb the shit of out any country…”
(- George Carlin)

“First the terrorism-industrial complex assured Americans that they were only spying on foreigners, not U.S. citizens…Then they assured us that they were only spying on phone calls, not electronic communications. Then they assured us that they were not spying on American journalists. And now both [major political] parties and the Obama administration have assured us that they will not detain journalists, citizens and activists. Well, they detained journalist Chris Hedges without a lawyer, they detained journalist Laura Poitras without due process and if allowed to stand, this law will permit the military to target activists, journalists and citizens in an unprecedented assault on freedom in America.”
(-Carl Mayer)

“Rebels have always been a small minority of the young, even in the 1960s. A lot of the men were in college to escape the draft and being sent to Vietnam. People did turn out for occasional large peace marches, but in between most of the organizing was done by a small number of people, while the rest of the young focused on getting their degrees and qualifying (they thought) for the middle class. Which does not rebel because it’s too comfortable. And because they don’t know anything, including the college graduates.”
(-Lynn Porter)

“What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”
(-Ralph Waldo Emerson)

“There is not even a lone voice of dissent straining to be heard over the chest-thumping, war drum-banging, and jingoist palaver within the self-referential bubblescape of the U.S. corporate media. Nor, it seems, is there a member of the political class, who is endowed with any political power or clout, who even holds a scintilla of deference regarding the will of the people — the vast majority of… whom stand overwhelmingly opposed to U.S. military involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Yet: The machinery of empire trundles towards war, as the media truckles to authoritarian power on bended knee and promulgates a 24/7 propaganda campaign in its behalf. Why is this so? The populace of empire sups on the blood of the colonized, thus empire’s operatives feel zero need to garner our consensus regarding how empire is sustained. They believe that they have the public’s implicit support, so there exists no need for consultation; we have granted the elites the power to wage war by the plebiscite of our appetites, by our feelings of entitlement insofar as maintaining our way of life.

The nation’s elite, unlike the toxically innocent general public, possess the ruthlessness to be frank with themselves: They know that the soil of empire is fertilized by blood, its gaudy, bloated mansion is constructed upon a mountain of corpses. But they will never publicly admit to such a thing; no one will who is allowed to be part of the mainstream dialog would dare to venture such an utterance. To even ever such a thought would be cause for instant and permanent banishment.”
(-Phil Rockstroh)

“School is the advertising agency which makes you believe that you need the society as it is.”
(-Ivan Illich)

“What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open
their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the
stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men
weeping in the parks!
Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the
loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy
judger of men!
Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the
crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of
sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment!
Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose
blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers
are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo!
Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows!
Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long
streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories
dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose
smokestacks and antennae crown the cities!
Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch
whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch
whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch
whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen!
Moloch whose name is the Mind!
Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream
Angels! Crazy in Moloch! Cocksucker in
Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom
I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch
who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy!
Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch!
Light streaming out of the sky!
Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs!
skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic
industries! spectral nations! invincible mad
houses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs…”
( –Excerpt from Howl, Allen Ginsberg )

Alex-Lake1

“Feeling a bit of cognitive dissonance today between twerking, Miley Cirus’ pathologically-desperate-MSM-fuelled-need-for-attention, Chelsea Manning, Syria, chemical weapons, and a nation that has seriously lost its moral high ground between Iraq, secret rendition, torture, GTMO, and the NDAA. I feel stretched to extremes inside, and a little bit hollow. It’s hard to be sane, while living in an insane time. I just want to remind myself, and others, that it’s ok if you feel rather odd today. Or regularly.”
(-Tangerine Bolen)

“A whistleblower who exposed US war crimes just got sentenced to more jail time than murderers, slave dealers, and people who sell nuclear weapons to terrorists.”
(-Abby Martin)

“I don’t even know what American liberalism is anymore in the era of Obama. I don’t know what set of principles and beliefs they’re adhering to when you see so many liberals on a network like MSNBC lashing into people like Edward Snowden and defending the NSA. I don’t understand what liberalism is when they’re defending endless drone warfare. It really seems to me like Obama has dragged liberalism along with him and dragged it into this kind of abyss where it’s become hollow.”
(-Max Blumenthal)

“I was a top student in college. They feed the egos of such people until their sense of identity depends on being smart and they equate smart with being able to regurgitate official academic explanations of everything, for the ‘benefit’ of the ‘un-educated’, of course. Advanced indoctrination is a difficult handicap to overcome. It’s basically the ‘teacher’s pet’ syndrome internalized and carried beyond the school walls– easy to see past if you’re not the one– difficult to get over if you are.”
(-Martin Truther)

“The sentencing phase of Manning’s trial revealed that contrary to the claims of pundits and politicians, Manning had no blood on his hands — the Departments of Defense and State were unable to tie his releases to the deaths of any U.S. informants…”
(-The Young Turks host, Cenk Uygur)

“A man searching for paradise lost can seem a fool to those who never sought the other world.”
( Jim Morrison)

“The blood-sodden Neo-Con agenda trundles forth, with Syria in the crosshairs, and Iraq and Libya reeling in the kind of tumult and terror required for the imperial plundering of a nation’s resources by ruthless, foreign interlopers.

Empire’s nasty, little secret: Denied of the militarist-enabled stealing of resources,… the U.S. empire would collapse within weeks. This is why it is essential that the minds of the rabble (that would be you and I) on the homefront remain colonized. A collective sociopathic mode of mind must be maintained. The knowledge that the structure that sustains what is termed our lifestyle is, in reality, a deathstyle that could cause members of the general population to have a bit of difficulty swallowing their hormone-bloated, antibiotic-ridden slabs of animal flesh at family outings at their local Applebees. First, as a starting course: What is required is.to swallow whole the lies of empire.

For example, crackbrained casuistry, such as the following: Those will be humanitarian bombs tearing to shreds the bodies of Syrians when the U.S. Military makes its move on the nation. Sure thing, bestowing humanitarian values are the abiding concern of the leadership of imperial powers. The people of Iraq would simply love to testify as to the beneficence of the forces that invaded and occupied their nation. Strange isn’t it, that no one, possessing power and influence, in the U.S. seems interested in soliciting their opinion on the matter?”
(-Phil Rockstroh)

SINGING WITHOUT A PERMIT….

IMG_5565_ALEX_LAKE_0America has no visible artists like the Manic Street Preachers, perhaps they could have had some, before the media consolidation, but now, all our would be gutter-poets, prophets and whistle blowers are wearing hairnets and sandwich artist golf shirts and trying not to get fired from Subway and Arbys. Our entire controlled media is corrupt. Industry has captured the regulatory agencies. The medical establishment might as well be the mafia and no one wants to face it until it’s there own grandma who dies because of naked malpractice, otherwise suffering some bad side effects (the ones everybody now knows from http://sideeffectsofxarelto.org/xarelto-lawsuits/, for example). University campuses harbor torturers and war criminals like John Yoo and David Patraeus and war machine recruiters have invaded our gutted public elementary schools.
Congressional approval rating was only 6% in June. Psychologists tell us that about 6% of the population are sociopaths, while war profiteer-owned big-media claims that 9% of Americans are pro war in Syria/Iran/Etc., so you gotta figure in that six percent, plus another three percent probably comprised of private mercenary families, military brass, weapons building families and big-oil shareholders, but my gut says even that 9% statistic is high. Nobody wants America to spill more blood in the middle east for G.E., B.P., Exxon, Halliburton, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin, but the orders have already come down from the chain of command, from high above Obama.
Besides the willfully and diligently uninformed, soy chai tea latte sipping, Prius drivers who believe you affect positive change by wearing shoes shaped like your toes, juicing, and sitting on pink pillows, oh so many of us understand we now live in a full fledged, clampdown, Beyond Orwell, Beyond Kafka, fascist surveillance, war horny, police state; where graffiti artists can be tasered to death over the price of a coat of paint. For writing the letter “r”. Thugs will laugh and high-five over his body fully certain that the cop union will protect their jobs while rightwing state radio does a number on the victim’s good name.
Cops use military grade chemical weapons on peaceful demonstrators and get paid forty thousand dollars for the stress of the negative publicity. Secret agents search every cavity, it’s stop and frisk, non-stop. Everyone is demoralized, except for those in dedicated flight from reality; or these eager blue-gloved and badged participants of state violence—the steroid drunken tough guys who use pain compliance holds on waifish, peaceful protesters, fire-fighters and seniors, who are assembling in public spaces and standing up for their pensions; and public schools, standing up for THEIR right to organize, standing up for the right to know what’s in their food, but the chairs are on the table for democracy. Dennis Kucinich tried to impeach the Bush administration, so they gerrymandered him out of office. Dr. Cornel West has said that justice allows suffering to speak. Ever since the Bush gang’s corporate coup de tat and the Murdoch media-grabs, loudmouthed liberals like the Dixie Chicks or Sean Penn are relentlessly pummeled by the Ann Coulter whores for war, while belligerent blowhards for fascism and state violence are reWARded with cushy jobs in bullshit broadcasting. Rich people treat the rest of us like objects.
Female academics can still speak sometimes, as long as they keep to the approved script of gun control, gay marriage and abortion, but otherwise, the lower classes are kept away from the microphones, and expected to stay quiet in our little boxes, or face the wrath of the Pinkerton brutes. The middle-class has been trained by their universities and cable brainwashing subscriptions to identify with tyrants and slave owners and blame the poor for the crimes of the rich. Only property is sacred. In Columbia SC, homelessness is illegal. In Raleigh NC, it is now illegal to feed the poor. Diane Feinstein wants to narrowly define a journalist as a paid flack for war-state propaganda. She also wants to make it a crime to say anything critical about the NSA spying. Teacher’s salaries are tied to standardized testing in over-crowded class-rooms, while oligarchs install overpaid administrators to slash funding for public schools, lay-off employees, and scapegoat educators. This push to privatize is a fully bipartisan effort on behalf of the plutocrats who shape our destinies-the Koch brothers and AIPAC. Bill Gates, the Heritage Foundation, CFR, and Rahm Emanual. The Walton family and the shadowy ALEC business group, who writes the nation’s laws. Rahm Emanual closed sixty schools in minority neighborhoods and is building gigantic sports stadiums and prisons, and sic’ing his uniformed goons on students and teachers, exactly like Koch whore, Scott Walker, in Wisconsin. He gives raises to cop brass willing to oppress their community. We live in a society that allows one man to make fifteen million dollars A DAY while a low-income mother gets $4.50 for food, and much of Congress and many of your own misinformed friends wants to slash the $4.50.

WELL SO LONG, LIBERTY, LET’S JUST FORGET YOU DIDN’T SHOW…

With more and more of our most vulnerable and powerless citizens being typecast, slandered, demonized and disenfranchised, with the bully culture mass-media, lack of jobs, foreclosures, cuts to food-stamps nation wide, the bulldozing of community recreation centers, the greed of all the juicer-crazy, ex liberal, yoga mat homeowners who refuse to rent to low income families on government assistance, the planned absence of affordable housing in a post-Nafta, deindustrialized war economy, with frequent police attacks on Food Not Bombs and other charities who nurture, feed, and advocate, on behalf of our meekest populations, people are feeling the fear.
The drone lobbies are instructing the corporate media not to use the word drone. Talk-radio trains the enforcer class to talk tough, and indiscriminately “intimidate and dominate”(Viper team TSA motto) like the Nuge and Bill O’Reilly. The Pentagon is staffed by war machine lobbyists and Raytehon lawyers, who keep gifting local law enforcement with these gigantic tanks and Lrad weapons of war that all have “Rescue” painted on the side! Even ex punks spew hateful venom at the vulnerable populations while sucking up to fascists and white collar criminals. As a pal of mine says, if you want to do a lot of cocaine, you have to wear very expensive, pin-striped clothing and own a fine time-piece, because only poor kids with small amounts go to jail. But the criminal class in office have promised their private prison shareholders with manufacturing contracts a fresh wave of “new offenders”. Cops are registering croc-wearing college dude partiers who urinate outside of crowded festival porta potties as sex offenders at Burning Man.
I warned you ten years ago they would come also for the middle class. We’re seeing hundreds of armored vehicles being moved around the so-called homeland. Rabid enforcer class bureaucrats and frothing monsters call for violence against advocates and activists for the poor and still call themselves “Christians”. Uniformed hard-ons will mace and taser anyone, indiscriminately at most anytime, but generally, if you look rich, or drive a newer vehicle, they give you a wider berth. The rich can drink in the streets at sidewalk cafes and craftbeer stocked coolers at summertime softball games in the parks and at their drunk-driving, tailgate parties, and out-of-town vendor, summertime wristband public-intox orgies. A poor person with an unapproved beverage in a brown bag on a hot day, gets twelve cops responding to the scene to mace and cuff him for open container and always the bogus resisting arrest. Local office professionals see no problem with this. Ten thousand raging football fans drunk and shirtless, screaming, fistfighting? They call that All-American. A couple of dreadlock hippies sharing a joint under a tree? The police state calls that criminal, a justification for a beatdown and arrest. Honor students asking war pigs like Kerry and Patraeus uncomfortable questions on university campuses? Tasers, beatdowns. Punk rockers questioning classist bigotry spewed by rightwing punks? Avalanche of hate mail from fame worshipping fanboys hoping for a backstage coke and stroke with their idol. If you live long enough you may discover your blessings become a burden if your “Got Mine, Jack” Donald Trump programming prevents you from sharing them. It takes a lifetime for some privileged folks to figure it out. Who needs love when you have enough high-quality, legal, white people prescription drugs? Who needs friends, when you can hire employees and interview personal assistants? Who needs mercurial bands when you can manufacture underage beta slaves to lip synch to slutty techno excrement? Who needs Republicans when you have Obama and Biden, Clinton, and Kerry?

TWERKING, USA…

While the NDAA indefinite detention prez and the AIPAC lobby drags the nation to always more dirty wars based on lies, most Americans are STILL all a chatter over Hannah Montanna’s tongue wagging, fly catching performance; or Justin Timberlake’s klieg lit mediocrity. Where were you when N SYNC replaced the Replacements? Glen Ford calls Obama “the dreamer with the kill list” because he gives a vague, feel good Bill Clinton speech about Martin Luther King Jr., one day, then bombs brown children, the next. The powers that be, who force us to live like we do, are banging drums for more wars, based on dubious and quite possibly manufactured threats. The ocean is a radioactive soup from the Tepco spill that’s still being covered up by the media. B.P. destroyed the gulf and the government sent in mercenaries to hide the damage. Nobody has any disposable income anymore and the few who do are climbing the evil pyramid, claws first.
They poisoned the food and water supply. These “smart-readers” they’re installing in our apartments are dangerous, but the oligarchs obviously mostly fear YOU SMART READERS, the NSA follows your every move. Meanwhile, most of the cable dizzy and hate-radio programmed people are still sleeping. “Shhhhhhhh….Los Angeles is sleeping….”: Hello Disaster sang that line in the 90’s, and it still rings pretty true, as all our best writers, screenwriters, songwriters, and truth-tellers have gotten either shut-out by the Big Machine, or sidetracked by wanting to rub shoulders with bikinis and cigars. I know you know some of the TV people, who just spew non stop Bill O’Reilly talking points and outdated-for-decades bullshit platitudes about how free America is, and all the shining opportunity that awaits us all, if we’ll just take out a mountain sized college loan, and piss in a cup, and jump on George Jetson’s 9-5 treadmill. Don’t you wish you could mute the programmed TV people? The “People” magazine and “Entertainment Weekly” subscribers? It’s only the peace makers and unions and whistle blowers and victims of fracking and Corexit who have been silenced. The really heinous part about growing up in the empire of lies is that most times, no actual black clad adjustment bureau government agency needs to neutralize a critical thinker, the conformist parakeets of the bourgeoisie will do that, just instinctively. They really are Agent Smiths. That’s what all those so-called reality shows are about. Boot camp conditioning, shaven heads, cult brainwashing, weeding out the weird. They promise the khaki class all the privileges of membership. You can be a celebrity DJ for a day. The biggest hot tub, a wraparound sundeck, the V.I.P. pass, CABLE! Maybe that inside job Alex Jones dude is a blowhard, but he’s right about a domestic propaganda war. We’re now seeing anti-war activists accounts suddenly suspended on the Fascist-Crack surveillance grid, as the so-called social networks are being used as effective tools for consciousness raising and peace activism by the waking masses. Homeless people are being vilified and criminalized, even as low wage workers stand up for a living wage in the slave-class retail and food service industries. Nowadays, those heartless robots who yell “get a job” out of their speeding cars are clearly willfully oblivious to the fact that homeless people are competing for minimum wage jobs with college grads, retired people, and former home-owners.
The people that scapegoat the poor, these haves who have no compassion, who brag about their own achievements, while slandering those less fortunate, are sadly everywhere. Sometimes it seems the women are even worse, hissing that third hand Rush Limbaugh shit. Bukowski said a free soul is rare but you know it because you feel very good around those people, most of us adults are so scarred from abuse and baffled by ratrace bullshit, we can’t even tell a friend from a foe, anymore. Roseanne Barre, Rosie O’Donnal, Charlie Sheen are all blacklisted for questioning 9/11 and the Patriot Act. Phil Donahue, Keith Olberman, Cenk from the Young Turks, Dan Rather, they’re all banned from the mainstream airwaves.
How long until they retire Letterman for speaking the truth about the hideous perils of FRACKING? Everyone who still has cable, or reads those shitty corporate rock mags tell me about all the horrible music of today and I can’t believe they think I’m ever gonna like Kanye West. Last bands I liked begrudgingly at all were shit like, oh…Towers Of London, Red Star Rebels, These Animal Men, Tsar, that kind of thing. Forgotten gangs. Boys From Nowhere and Forgotten Rebels, Throbbing Purple. Rock anthems to lost causes and honest punk rock rebel songs. Mostly, I still listen to vintage trash like Mink Deville and Jim Carroll-gutter soul. Some country. Kristofferson and Hank The Third. Jello Biafra & The Guantanamo School Of Medicine. You ever drive around, wondering who these people are, who still own all those big houses? Some are doctors, lawyers, pharma reps, stock brokers, computer wankers, heirs, bean counters, yes-men, accountants, but many others are just snitches, corrections officers, goon squads and agents of organized violence. These people are not to be respected, these roughmen who shoot you in bed. The enforcer class don’t even know they are slaves to the pharaohs.
Others still have Hope & Change stickers on their cars even as Obama and Kerry and Clinton hang around Henry Kissinger planning more coups, more regime changes, more wars. Why are they sharing all our e-mails and phone calls with a foreign government? Really, pause for a second and consider that.

SHOW ME THE WONDER…

RewindTheFilmI know they are all probably a bit older than me, but the Manic Street Preachers were all my generation really had, aside from Sinead O’Connor, New Model Army, and rap, in the way of provocative, intelligent, socially conscious music. When I first got the “New Art Riot” vinyl, I was like ho-hum. Preachy politics and stenciled shirts, the American suburbs were already teeming with lamesass Clash wannabe boy bands who were heavy on the Murray’s pomade and skint on ideas, or any messages beyond, you know, we like to dress cool. I fell in love with them when I first laid my ears on the “Stay Beautiful” e.p. They had a really fabulous pop feel like Gen X, almost; smart lyrics, but I was still unconvinced about the guy with the Freddy Mercury pipes singing the guy who couldn’t play but gave all the interviews’ lyrics.
They were dreamy pinup boys for kids who missed Sputnik, but also a bit like Cheap Trick, two models and two Regular Joes, all with a Marxist bent, teaching the more erudite and scholarly outcasts of the world about history and literature and persuasively convincing Smiths fans that Guns N Roses and Public Enemy were important. “R.P. McMurphy”, “Motown Junk”, “Motorcycle Emptiness”, “Little Baby Nothing”, “Condemned To Rocknroll”…the Manics started peeling off hits like a stockbroker at a stripclub, they made it look so easy, gave courage to my goth gang who were all taking our own early stabs at songwriting, now we had a reason and I’m still waiting. They were warning us about the banks, the warmongers, the media-fed consumer-zombies while the rest of the world was still in their fecking shiny, happy ska phase. Next, came “Generation Terrorists”, Richie’s slashed arm, and an American tour that failed to ignite the enthusiasm of the “alternative” festival attending, Fox tv discovering population.
The Manic Street Preachers became more experimental after their landmark debut full length, that was too literate for macho sports fans and too rockin’ for college radio Lemonheads dweebs. I’d have to say, they were probably the last band who really influenced my own little clique of heartbroken punk rock losers. This time of year, I always find myself missing those early days, when we wrote our first hits in grimy basements, our hearts seemed to beat in time with that long lost Gabba Gabba Hey spirit I always lament the death of, of former possibilities, faded loves and tarnished dreams. Hiraeth is a homesickness for the home that never was, but damn well should have been. Choose your poison to get to paradise lost.

“Playing all the records
Praying that they’ll never stop

There is too much heartbreak
In the nothing of the now
I want to see it all
Never going to let you down”

…We continued to follow them, as we got older and ruined our lives with pills, bad wives and cursin’, usually identifying with their melodic testimony and defiant upstart objections. Dumbfuck Murkans still don’t know what to make of a Welsh rockgroup who sings something like, “and If I can shoot rabbits, then I can shoot fascists”.
Richey went missing, some of my gang died, some of us fell apart and spent a decade and a half trying to pick up the shattered, missing pieces of our former selves. Early on, our own personal fortunes seemed to rise and fall with Bradfield and company, but whereas they gained entry to epic recording studios and the big media, we splintered off into various factions, and watched in horror, as most everything the Manics, and the Clash before them, warned us might happen, happened.
Now, some of us are getting older, facing death, still asking questions, and the Manic Street Preachers continue to grow and ache along with us. We are often reminded that the past is past, how we had our window of opportunity and blew it, and now we should shutup and die quietly, but some of us remain haunted, just like the Manic Street Preachers.
They are always able to convey these difficult to articulate, hard truths about life, love, pain, other people’s pain, war, exploitation, and alienation in songs like “Sorrow 16”, “Spectators Of Suicide”, “From Despair To Where”, “Everything Must Go”, “Kevin Carter”, “If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next”, “Let Robeson Sing”, “Show Me The Wonder, “Nostalgic Pushead”, “You Stole The Sun From My Heart”, “Design For Life”, “So Why So Sad” and the new title track, “Rewind The Film” that similarly longs for those fleeting precious moments when we still had friends, we laughed ourselves stupid until the dawn’s early light, rocknroll seemed possible, and we were dumb enough to actually try it. “Rewind The Film” is a heavy, challenging, tough album for some of us fatally flawed lost souls to absorb in autumn, in the midst of our annual depression, where we involuntarily find ourselves tediously still wringing our arthritic hands about a long loathed youth we can not alter, nor revisit, and an ill-starred destiny we can not escape, as we watch on, in sheer horror, as our loved ones are fucked over by their doctors, lawyers, and insurance companies; as the last shreds of democracy and human rights are trampled in the name of glorious winners take all greed-head fascism, genocidal depopulation, and unprecedented income inequality. We see a nation where a little less than half of the population are still enraged by the mere idea of a half black Commander In Chief, while the majority are content to overlook his broken oath to defend the Constitution to prove that they somehow AREN’T racist, that they are down with the hip-hop yo, that they are “post racial”, while Black America is still under the heavy boot of the private prison profiteers and the bogus drug war.
Only nowadays, white poor people, and their family pets, are also being shot everyday, by an insanely militarized 5-0, for no reason. We feel a burning awareness that we have a finite amount of time left, and more dead comrades than living ones, and the leaves crunching beneath our duct taped Creepers only serve to remind us of how we were always alone and that shining moment when we were still part of an optimistic gang of seemingly like-minded rebels was just a smoke ring, a soap bubble, yesterday’s buzz.
Some will call “Rewind The Film” a departure, but attentive longtime listeners will instantly recognize the maudlin mellowness as this once angry young band has always been extremely versatile, and much more nuanced than the familiar Beatles Meets Queen big U.K. radio hits. It’s the voice of weary experience, stamina and fatigue, of grief and longing, compassion, regret, bitterness, defeat and perseverance, and genuinely earnest concern for the generation to come. Maybe James Dean is comfortably ensconced in some posh studio on the beach somewhere but this is one old punk who still has it, he still gets it, he’s not afraid to remember: “It’s the longest running joke in history to kill the working classes in the name of liberty.” Just goes to show that even the losers really do get lucky…sometimes. “Not in MY time, but in our sons and daughter’s times, if you get the feelin’, call…and you got a room.”

http://www.manics.nl/site/literature.htm

Press shots by Alex Lake.

“I LOVE YOU ALL THE SAME”:

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/19527-lets-get-this-class-war-started
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0BszHshieSc&feature=youtu.be
www.frackingourfuture.org
http://www.tepco.co.jp/en/nu/f1-np/camera/index-e.html

studies showing that power increases the likelihood of hypocrisy here,
http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/5/737.abstract that wealth increases the likelihood of reduced empathy here, http://pss.sagepub.com/content/21/5/737.abstract and finally that conservatives are more likely to make up facts to justify their beliefs here http://www.classwarfareexists.com

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/10/28-signs-that-west-coast-is-being.html
http://www.conspiracy-watch.com/2013/10/it-is-legal-for-media-to-lie-to-people.html
http://dissenter.firedoglake.com/2013/09/22/student-protesting-david-petraeus-punched-in-head-swarmed-by-dozen-cops/
http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2013/09/poverty_and_cognitive_impairment_study_shows_money_troubles_make_decision.html?fb_ref=sm_fb_share_chunky
http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/356229#ixzz2ednWraok
http://rt.com/usa/barrett-brown-gag-order-423/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pTBJmWVXhA
http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/6/iran_contra_redux_prince_bandar_heads
http://www.activistpost.com/2013/09/6-important-stories-silenced-by-syria.html#pgYOUFwLiXLQqU51.01
http://blackagendareport.com/content/dreamer-kill-list
http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/18539-the-last-chance-to-stop-the-ndaa
http://www.activistpost.com/2013/05/authorities-never-have-issues-with.html
http://www.mediaroots.org/academia-and-the-war-department/
http://www.nationofchange.org/pack-questions-about-boston-bombing-1369145289
http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17978-under-nixon-reagan-or-the-bushes-we-wouldn-t-have-tolerated-obama-s-surveillance-state
http://inthesetimes.com/article/15028/how_the_government_targeted_occupy/

Educate.
Organize.
Mobilize.
Resist.
Rinse and repeat until the corporatocracy burns to the ground.

Generation Manics

From the early 90s debut as a working class glammed-out punk band influenced by The Clash, Guns n’Roses, Public Enemy as well as writers/thinkers such as Albert Camus, Valerie Solanas and Guy Debord to the 2000s’ stadium pop rock band playing in Cuba and shaking hand with Castro, the MANIC STREET PREACHERS have always divided people: either you love them or hate them. We have asked a few people from the glam/punk/rock’n’roll scene to express their opinion about the Welsh band…

“We just want to clear everything away. Maybe, after us, music won’t seem as important as actually changing the world” (Richey James, 1992)

Adam Becvare (LUSTKILLERS)
Accept for such bands as Hangmen, Green River, Dogs D’Mour, I had all but given up on rock bands in 1990 and was for the most part uninterested. I was warned of Manics by my good friend at Sony Music and sent the advance copy. The energy was there, the recording over produced, the anthems a bit cerebral, awkward and even clumsy. the biggest crime was the obvious drum machine. Ironically, all I was writing and recording with were machines at that time.

Nonetheless, Manics were still sexy to me and so I was invited to the Chicago show at METRO. 1 of only 5 dates on their first US tour.

I dont recall the opening act but i remember my anticipation for them to get off the stage. Even my goth contingent were anxiously awaiting to be impressed by the band being touted as Rock’s new saviours.

We sat like gods in the theater box of balcony as Manics strutted out to a only half full venue. Except for Wire, we agreed the band were comically short. There was a great vulnerability and the band were clearly intimidated. I’m sure they opened with Slash n Burn and the sound was perfect as Metro always is. The drumming was embarassingly bad which explained the drum machine on the CD. I seem to recall Richie was not even plugged in, but he was super cool with his F-hole tele slung low. We all wanted to love the Manics but were broken hearted that these were indeed not the new Saviours.

The greatest part of the show was Wire’s frustration which ended in him bursting a feather pillow on the last number. There was no encore except that the feathers of that pillow reached the ceiling of the club into the balcony down 2 flights of stairs and out to the street! Pure Genius.

Afterward we all awaited downstairs in the bar for Manics meet and greet. They never came out. I am sure they were ashamed. Wire met a northshore chicago girl that nite that became his wife. There was plenty of swag all over the bar…..still got my generation terrorists cocktail napkings and stickers. We still wished them well but were convinced there would be no second cd.

Then, as I stood with manager and band mates, down the stairs came Michael Schenker. I could barely believe my eyes. It clearly made no sense why he was there but there he was. I talked and shook hands with my childhood hero and yes i trembled. Manics thought they were so rock n roll but here was a man who lived/died and survived it all by age 21…Drugs/booze/fights and emotional breakdowns.

I never gave Manics much attention again until “this is my truth…” cd PURE GENIUS. and yes it is an entirely different band…..thank god. I met with them in Berkeley, Ca and saw the most brilliant show in SF. I will never forget that show or cd.
so many people make heros of the past. They build a legend from what never was. Richie looked cool but had too many problems. The true heros are the survivors. that is my truth.

‘O’ (Undercover Slut)
What influence did the Manic Street Preachers have on you or your band ?
Absolutely none whatsoever! But a huge respect to that Richey James era! I was living in England when “Generation Terrorists” came out & you had to be blind & deaf to miss ’em… At that time, they were way different from everything that came out in the U.K.

Do you still see them as the same band as before?
Fuck no! They were unique & became fuckin’ boring! Money… money… money…

What’s your opinion on the Richey James’ case?
… Blame it on the U.F.O.’s!

Shari (Black Velvet Magazine)
To be honest I don’t think the Manics had much influence on me. Having said that, they’ve been my second favourite band for the past 12 years. But I’ve never been inspired to do anything because of them. I’m not the sort of person who reads certain books because they do or does anything just because they do. I’ve always been my own person. That said there are a lot of things that I really like about them, both as individual people and as a band.

When did you first hear about them?
In 1992 when a pal of mine (Karen Gray who wrote the first Manics book, ‘For Real’) sent me a tape of ‘Generation Terrorists’. I then went to see them on tour later that same year and haven’t looked back since.

What makes/made them special?
I like that they are their own people. They don’t do anything because anyone else does. I like for example that Nicky’s never taken a drug in his life and that he’s a loyal husband to Rachel. There aren’t many guys in the world that are faitfhful these days, especially guys in bands, so that’s one thing I think is really cool. They’re very down-to-earth, they don’t act like superstars despite being one of the biggest bands in the UK. Then there’s their intelligence. How they say things in their lyrics. It’s more mature and intelligent that just boyfriend-girlfriend type songs. They make you think and take note. The songs in general are great – whether it be ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’, ‘You Love Us’, ‘From Despair To Where’, ‘A Design For Life’, ‘You Stole The Sun (From My Heart) or ‘Masses Against The Classes’. The music was what attracted me to the band initially and is what’s kept me as a fan all along.

Do you still see them as the same band as before?
Before what? When Richey was in the band? Of course not. Most people and bands aren’t the same as what they were ten years ago. It makes you wonder what they’d be like if Richey was still here though. Would they be as they are now with Richey here? I think they’re still the same people underneath it all, they still have the same beliefs and interests. They’ve just matured and their music has matured with them.

What’s your opinion on the Richey James’ case?
… I don’t know. I really hope he’s out there alive somewhere. But I don’t know. It’s been so long now.

MANIC STREET PREACHERS Official Website

Other recommended sites:
Stay Beautiful
Black Garden
Manics.nl