“The Story is old, I know, but still it goes on…” (-The Smiths)
“We’re not allowed to know who’s calling what shots behind the veils of secrecy. All we’re allowed to see is our governments continually advancing the same imperial policies over and over again regardless of who’s in office. They never let us see who’s actually making those calls.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“The Democratic Party rehabilitated George W. Bush. The Democratic Party rehabilitated Dick Cheney. The Democratic Party rehabilitated the FBI and the CIA. The Democratic Party has used Trump as an excuse to bury the anti-war movement after Obama killed it.” (-Danny Haiphong)
“The US regime continues to show its blatant neocolonialist practices, ordering sovereign countries in Africa not to trade with Russia. Imagine being this arrogant. The US empire truly thinks the entire world is its property.” (-Benjamin Norton)
“Starting when it investigated Trump for a fictitious conspiracy with Russia, the FBI has given media outlets a lot of free content, and profit. I don’t understand why FBI brass don’t just cut out the middle man and launch their own news network.” (-Aaron Mate)
“Your US tax dollars are paying to flood Europe with heavy weapons and one of America’s top networks regrets investigating the issue. With special apologies to Raytheon and the Ghost of Kiev. Look how desperate neocons are to enforce silence on the Ukrainian military’s copious crimes, including dumping petal mines on Donetsk civilians Zero attempt to debunk our entirely factual report on the many opposition activists kidnapped and/or murdered under Zelensky’s watch Many Americans were upset that $90 million of their money was spent on Pelosi’s reckless junket to Taiwan, which deliberately escalated conflict with China and accelerated the process of unification, but consider this: that’s $90 million that won’t be spent on Ukrainian neo-Nazis.” (-Max Blumenthal)
TRAGEDY! TEENAGE HEAD WERE ONE OF MY TOP 5 CANADIAN BANDS! (RIP)
CORPORATE PROPGANDA IS FAKE NEWS! THE INDIE PRESS IS THE REAL FREE PRESS! I THOUGHT YOU KNEW! DUH!
MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE BELIEVE DICK CHENEY HELPED FIX THE BUSH SELECTION, BUILT GITMO, HIRED BLACKWATER REGIME CHANGE MERCENARIES, AND STARTED ENDLESS WAR BASED ON LIES AND FALSE FLAGS, HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES HIS DAUGHTER SAYS TRUMP IS BAD!
MintPress News on Twitter: “Despite the power of Julian Assange’s enemies there is a giant movement standing with him which now includes the Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Lowkey and Assange’s father John Shipton discuss the case this week on The Watchdog. https://t.co/vXgtMBffVq” / Twitter
“Following a coordinated freakout by the Ukraine lobby, CBS self-censors a report stating the obvious. Amnesty International has also issued a bizarre half-apology for issuing a single report (out of 40+) on well-documented abuses of civilians by the Ukrainian army.” (-Max Blumenthal)
President Barack Obama weaponized the Espionage Act to prosecute those who provided classified information to the press. The Obama White House, whose assault on civil liberties was worse than those of the Bush administration, used the 1917 Act, designed to prosecute spies, against eight people who leaked information to the media including — Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake, Chelsea Manning, Jeffrey Sterling and John Kiriakou, who spent two-and-a-half years in prison for exposing the routine torture of suspects held in black sites.
Also under The Espionage Act, Joshua Schulte, a former CIA software engineer, was convicted on July 13 of the so-called Vault 7 leak, published by WikiLeaks in 2017, which revealed how the C.I.A. hacked Apple and Android smartphones and turned internet-connected televisions into listening devices. He faces up to 80 years in prison. Assange — although he is a publisher and not a U.S. citizen, and WikiLeaks is not a U.S.-based publication, was indicted by the Trump administration under the Act
Obama used the Espionage Act against those who provided information to the media more than all previous administrations combined.
My first imaginary band consisted of me, and about four other middle school heavy metal hoodlums I met in the special needs behavioral classroom named Deke, Dustin, his older brother “Don’t Fuck With…” Danny who was like my main protector back then; J.R. who was also sometimes known as “The Rat”-not because he snitched on anybody but he had one of those halfassed Joe Dirt mustaches and wore a satin jacket from Spencer Gifts in the mall with the RATT logo on the back of it, him n Deke were inseparable chainsmoker metalheads, like Bill N Ted-twin Spicolis talking about the Michael Schenker Group and Gary Moore, Carlos Cavazo and Warren Dimartini. They were both like deedle deedle guitar heroes in training. I was mostly into like Adam Ant, Culture Club, Prince and Duran Duran who they thought were gay, and I wore glasses which were a real no-no in the Future Villain Bands of young Amurkkka. Also, Deke probably wanted a better looking blonde haired guy with a Robert Plant or Bruce Dickinson vocal range. There was some older guy in town like that, I think he wanted to join like, the older rich kid dickhead bully cover band who played like KISS and Zeppelin and stuff, I think they were called Attack? Anyways, it was us, and sometimes, a kid in a Member’s Only jacket named Chris, who was the school psychiatrist’s son but his dad refused to buy him drums, Dustin was forbidden from hanging out with me or Dekan and used to have to change his clothes on the bus-he wanted to wear rebellious spiked bracelets and checkered Vans and parachute pants and black concert t shirts like the rest of us, but was forced to wear the preppie pink Izods that were the unofficial school uniform at the rich white suburbia school we went to. Mostly we walked around on the dirt trails, went to Music Land to look at records, loitered in front of the arcade, smoked Marlboros, sneered a lot. Dekan impressed everybody with learning “Eruption” and “Crazy Train” before the older rich and popular kids did. We played covers mostly, like “Livin’ After Midnight” and “Round And Round” and “Aint Talkin’ ‘Bout Love” out there at the Ross family, ranch style home when the parents were gone. Oh yeah, then we brought in Dave, cause Dustin and Dan were not allowed to come around that often and always got in some kinda trouble if they did. Dan had to sneak his guitar out of the house, he ran a stolen BMX chop shop in my basement. Those guys came from these strict military families that wanted them to hunt, and gave ’em guns and crossbows, but did not like them making music, cutting and pasting together homemade xerox art, anti-school fanzines with grotesque caricatures of admin and coaches and wrestling team dickheads, or painting crazy logos on t shirts. I wore feather earrings, string ties, homemade punk shirts, painted on jeans, was always like crazy gluing broken bits of mirror onto my suitjacket lapels, you know like an even lower budget Duckie from “Pretty In Pink”. Total new wave loser with the paisley suspenders and old man dress shoes. You probably already heard the one about how I told the army recruiter my career goal was the become the male Patti Smith. You shoulda seen the horror and dismay on the faces of the army guys when they saw my big Pegasus Trapper Keeper overflowing with pinups from Smash Hits magazine of Iggy and Ziggy and Flesh for Lulu and Pete Burns and Marilyn and Boy George and all that New Romantic Blitz Club & Batcave shit. I was always being after school detained, paddled, Saturday Schooled, or suspended, or having to get pink notes signed by my parents for dress code infractions, it was really the eyeliner they were mostly just nuts over. You know that’s when I discovered “Scary Monsters & Super Creeps” and “Hunky Dory” and “Ziggy Stardust” and had less and less patience for those fucking authoritarians who worked so hard to belittle me and mock all my creative endeavors and hassle me all the time. I got in trouble for drawing Flesh for Lulu and Cure logos in my textbooks, they sent me to bible school, detention all, juvenile probation, diversion, curfews, special extra dresscodes, haircuts, the whole nightmare, just Dr. Phil’d me for years on fucking end. When I got contacts, that’s when it ALL CHANGED. Girls. More than a couple, more than a few. Girls galore. Deke looked like a cross between Billy Idol and Colin from GBH, as we got older-his mom gave him some kinda flash sports car and he started dating a goth chick named Diane, who’s only friend was my goth girlfriend, Steffani. We were already drifting apart. They were almost all recruited into the military at 18. We never even got anything really off the ground, but that was where it all starts, guys in jean jackets with little Billy Idol and Van Halen and Guns N Roses and Hanoi Rocks buttons and black leather jackets hanging around each other, listening to Ozzy and Van Halen and saying they’re a band.
Me and Dave stuck together and eventually found some other guys. First we got this popular kid who was older-him and me were like the town’s token new wavers-but he was a star for being a DJ and was really good looking, whereas I was like a punching bag for being strange and really not so good looking. That guy showed up at my apartment one day with a scarf on and a Dogs D’Amour record and a big bottle of Jack Daniels and he was in. He loved INXS and Duran Duran and Prince and Circus Of Power and Mother Love Bone and played with us for about a year and a half, but then he left the band to play with all these guitar teacher, mainstream Journey type guys, who had real equipment, and he became the singer of Who’s Drivin’, a lame top 40 cover band that played at a pizza place called Parrason’s in the mall. So we had to find a replacement for him. The unlikely next bassist was sortof a jock, but not really, he played sports but did not have the same dumbfuck sensibility the others did-he hung around some guys who weren’t really rednecks and weren’t really jocks, they were like the John Goodman character on that sit-com, LARGE men who drank beer and played poker. Bowling team type of personalities. He became our bassplayer. We drank a lot of beer together and I got him into the Deadboys and Iggy. Kid from Catholic school marching band came in on drums, an older guy from a nearby town was the second guitar player and he knew all about old music so we started sponging up all kindsa diverse new influences from his elaborate closet filled with records. Bands we’d never heard of back then, like Theater Of Hate and The Fast. I had become obsessed with Hanoi Rocks and Generation X by then. Those characters really imprinted on my damaged teen psyche. I kinda never got over any of ’em. Some of ’em are dead now, it’s really heartbreaking.
MORE ON DEADEND BANDS IN NOWHERE TOWNS
I had these metalhead friends named Ron n Kelly, they were troubled youth. They were both really into horror movies, combat boots, dead cats, serial killers, the occult, anything offensive or shocking to squares and prudes. Remember that cat from “Bloom County” comic strips-Bill the Cat? We all used to draw him on our school folders and shit. We used to ride around in Kelly’s shitty hatchback car with all the stupid bumper stickers on the back, playing WASP, really loud. I remember them liking Dangerous Toys and Alice Cooper, too. They were super psyched when they got a copy of that old Charles Manson record, “Lie” from a record store in Columbus. You know those really dumb looking, whole forearm spiked leather bracelets some death rockers used to wear? That was Kelly, and the River’s Edge trailer park vermin obligatory army surplus coat with heavy metal pins on it and pentagrams drawn with black sharpie that reeked of cigarettes and reefer from across the street. Ron was a bit more sensitive cause his mom was gone, he was a painter, painted big portraits, my mom still has one he did of me in a graveyard. Ron also got a guitar and dyed his hair black like ours and attempted to join one of our many punkroll garage ruckus beer bands. We were both really into that first L.A. Guns record back then and I remember very vividly jamming to “One More Reason” and “Electric Gypsy” with him up in my infamous purple apartment while drinking 12 packs of Budweiser, back in the day. We had a big poster of the Hendrix experience in one room, a big poster of Bowie‘s “Aladdin Sane” in the other, a vintage mirror with pink flamingos from my grandmother’s basement that sadly got broken, a zebra print chair, a stinky couch and a boombox and a record player. We also had that first White Zombie lp borrowed from a grumpy older dude down the hall. They were a little bit like Beavis and Butthead, like Kelly always sorta picked on Ron, and for some reason, Ron being a sweet natured, good egg, he just kinda took it. I think Kelly later ended up goin’ out with my witchy death rock girlfriend for awhile. He eventually had a mohawk after graduation and a pet rat and was actually pretty fuckin’ radical for that town, back then. Poor Ron, he got better and better as an artist and guitarist, but like so many of our blue collar brothers raised by one parent in the deadend Midwest, he was fed into the military by the system. He was one of the few who joined the army who did not seem to regret it, he learned some technical photography skills and now, he has his own thriving adult-world, commercial photography business with his wife, God bless him.
Penelope Spheeris mighta intended her “Decline” movies as cautionary tales, but when me and my friends watched them, it just made us wanna relocate to Hollywood. We could all identify with Guns N Roses and Faster Pussycat, esp. “Out To Get Me, they were just like us. Burntout little Hanoi Rocks fans. We were all a little bit punk and a little bit metal, there really was no punk scene where we came from, just some misfit kids who liked Suicidal Tendencies and The Dils and New Order and those first two Motley Crue records. I don’t know what happened to Kelly but it usually went bad for anybody who stayed in that town. Several of my teenage new wave friends killed themselves, or were murdered there. The town screws really went out of their way to bootcamp and humiliate me until I had no real choice but to flee that part of the country-they just never let up, once they get you on their list. It was the anti-rock PMRC era, and the rich suburbanite sports moms were hysterical about my corrupting, corrosive new wave influence upon their lily-white children. I gave everybody books and records and shit. At least one friend who made in big in straight society has said I was a crucial part of that. When I stupidly returned to that part of the country years later, it was the same exact shit, all over again. You can not change that fortunate son ruling class sports hierarchy in the flyover states. The Kendoll rich boys in their big white mama mansions will always be above the law celebrities, and the working-class weirdos will always be targets of the screws. Of course, the ones who got the hall pass from the ruling class, or who were assimilated into the corrupt sham never even wanna know the truth of how things are for their “uneducated” or “dysfunctional” former peers, but I saw how that injustice system broke more than a few of my allies. The ones who weren’t herded into the marines or married into wealth went through a never ending gauntlet of multi-generational alcoholism and depression, factory life hell, probation, piss tests, DUI’s, 12 steps, psych ward, holy roller churches, back to the assembly line, sixteen hour days, meltdowns, pressure, judgement, evictions, crackpipe, freakout, suicide. Of what survivors remain, I’m not really in touch with any of ’em. I think a couple might still have some kinda Louie Louie Wild Thing Animal House garage band. None of ’em seem at all activated or radicalized. Probably one or two of ’em say they Dislike Trump, that’s as punk as they get, but are conspicuously silent when Biden does all the exact same shit, caging kids, sucking up to Israel and the Saudis, drug war, gutting social safety nets and just blaming it on rotating villains. Censoring the internet, escalating the warpig provocations. I’m still anti war, anti racist, anti fascist, pro free speech, pro working class, pro creativity, pro human rights. I get a sad pang inside when I think about my lost lads who are dead now.
They were basically hounded into the grave by the same system everybody pretends is so fair and peachy keen, s’long as they get to keep their own special-class privileges.
I know the college safespace shitlibs cancelled Dr. Seuss, like they do everything in their cloistered elitist shitlib feelings, special preference gentrification world, but he got it all right on the money with the Starbellied Sneetches. The same exact people who retroactively disapproved his racist WW2 era cartoons, they are all jumpin’ up n down like drunk Buckeyes fans cheering for Zelensky, blaming all their personal shit and inflation on “RUSSIANS!” The Republikkkans been similarly trained to Blame China. They keep saying China took our money or China took our jobs, when in fact, Wall Street stuffed shirts gleefully sent all the manufacturing to Chinese sweat shops and Murkkka never even paid ’em what they are owed, so now the Murkkkans want war on everybody-even their own people Twitter cop accused of pre crime or Wrongthink. All madness, all the time, and Israel wants to steal Iran. End the wars. Rich people suck.
Here’s one more band I totally loved back in 89, that last year before I left town. We used to cover this song.
IDOLS AND DOLLS
I’m on a different schedule than my family so I’m probably spending too many hours alone everyday which always kinda causes me to drift back into the past since any kind of groovy future was stolen by the billionaires and neo-cons. Had a friend named Mike Mindless, he sadly is dead (RIP) but anyways he was really into alot of the same stuff as me-Misfits, Deadboys, NY Dolls, Mexican wrestling and comic books and thrift store retro black velvet painting type garbage and like Godzilla flea market subculture. He was also kindof a progressive activist, maybe not as radical leftist as I was, but he understood how we were all being played by the good cop/bad cop bullshit culture war duopoly. Mike had so many good stories about kinda roadieing for the Deadboys and shit. He had a band called The Skulls and my older guitarplayer, BAM, friend used to buy all the $1 vinyl from the cutout bins and we played that record to death and also, “Keeping Up With The Joneses” and the Little Kings. Man, the eighties had such a cool underground scene, you know? NYC was still like a bombed out Mad Max counterculture anarchist paradise! You could just hangout in the park all day and meet cool people. Hollywood had that whole goth and cowpunk scene with The Gun Club and Horseheads and we used to read all those punk magazines from the coasts and dream of relocating there and signing to Slash records. Many of my local pals from that horrible town were less hated and maligned than I was, like a couple of my friends had brothers who were jocks, or mainstream popular status quo catholic school girlfriends, or just fit in, more than I did because they did not wear black leather pants or makeup and shit. It took them longer to wanna leave that place. We did road trips whenever we could in these rundown, unreliable vehicles we bought cheap from Little Ceasers delivery guys from small farm towns who all went to this mechanic trade school. Also, one of my heavy metal girlfriends, the female bassist of a Metallica covers band, her mom’s boyfriend ran the speed parts shop. I remember when we got that Smack cassette from an Indianapolis record store. That really was a major moment that totally electrified me. That singer and that sound, was at once urgent and haunting-kinda goth, kinda glam, little bit punk and as Viv on “The Young Ones” jacket said, “very metal”. I knew that was what I wanted to do. Like I said, summa my collaborators were more orthodox, one guy was into like, the Chili Peppers, one guy was into Minor Threat and Fugazi. I think my best pal Dave was still really into Steve Vai and just discovering that first Peter Murphy record, “Love Hysteria”, which we all thought was pretty fantastic. The older geezer down the hall was digging Big Black and the Amphetamine records bands. All I knew was I wanted to get the fuck outta that place. Groups of older jocks would follow me outta the mall, ya know, and knock the Icee outta my hand, knock me on the pavement, “fag! fag!” It was old hat by then, I’d been sorta traumatized by these same suburban assholes since the fourth grade. I was really getting sick of it. Some of those other guys liked to talk about being some kinda hooligan street gang tough guys, but some of ’em RAN anytime they saw my usual wouldbe assailants. Anytime I set foot out in the public eye, these brainless karate kid fuckers in the rising sun muscle shirts and big boofy Bon Jovi hair would stop their Transmaros and get out to chase me around or insult or assault or otherwise slander, smear and intimidate me, it was becoming real psychologically torturous, but my more popular friends with like the pretty relatives and shit, just did not get it, the desiore I had to escape, cause they weren’t really sharing the same experience. I hated those fratboys. I did not want to win their acceptance or learn how to fit in with them, which was the main diff between me and summa my former bandmates. I wanted to runaway to California and meet The Ringling Sisters. I wrote letters to people I found in the classifieds of “Maximum Rocknroll” and “Flipside” magazine. I had a lotta pen pals from outta state-we’d write each other pained letters about our outcast status as weirdo punks from nowhere places, all us no ones making crazy xerox art and trading heartfelt compilation tapes. “Psychocandy” was a real big influence. Then, “Darklands” came out and made us want to write better songs that were more introspective and melodic instead of just loud fast complaining about the juvenile authorities, dummy sports people, Reagan, the malls, and Tipper Gore.
If you aint already hip to his stuff, you need to checkout this guy, John Dissed, he’s sort of a modern day Billy Bragg.
“Zelensky’s immaturity & fascist tendencies are once again on display with his irrational call for stigmatizing all Russians. But this is the morality of the “collective West.” (-Ajamu Baraka)
“If Trump broke the law then he should face the consequences but I am so tired of one man being a bigger story than the corrupt capitalist system that we live under which puts the endless greed of corporations and billionaires over the basic needs of the people and planet.” (-Ryan Knight)
“Westerners think they are free because they can criticize their president or PM, when a small amount of research quickly reveals that those officials aren’t the ones calling the shots on any issue of importance. Westerners aren’t even allowed to know who their real government is.” (-Caitlin Johnstone)
“There’s no Russian imperialism. There’s no Chinese imperialism. There is only ONE imperialism and it’s led by the United States.” (-Danny Haiphong)
t all just keeps vanishing! Wish I had some whiskey! (RIP)
Yeah you know, me and all my friends liked The Smiths and The Cure and Echo and Sisters Of Mercy and all that stuff, but FOR YEARS, this New Order record was such a big part of our teen subculture, it would be difficult to overstate it’s importance, ya know when they threw me into that cold cement solitary confinement closet at J.D.C., it was playing in my mind from start to finish. When I was alone at various older people’s apartments in NYC running up phone bills and eternally missing and mooning and swooning over some beautiful blonde first crush Smiths chick, this was always playing in the background and in our hearts. “Oh how I cannot bear the thought of you…” I’m sentimental about all those kids and all that music.
“Westerners say “In that tyrannical regime over there they’re not even allowed to criticize their government!” Okay, but at least they’re allowed to know who their government IS. They get to know who’s calling the shots in their country. In that sense they’re freer than you are.” (-Cait Johnstone)
JOHNNY THUNDERS MEMORIAL, ENTER THE WORLD FAMOUS MISTER RATBOY
I met Ratboy at the Thunders memorial and we became fast friends, we even had a band for a minute and a half, in some low rent rehearsal space in alphabet city he played, I sang, his Piss Factory ex wife played bass and so did a French guy I think and a drummer who may have been from The Lunachicks. Then he got Chris Barry and I went back to Boston and did the Imitations who became The Bastards. Jim Rinn just found some old basement demotapes of me and The Bastards from back then that were shocking to hear after so many years have passed. But Yeah, both Motorcycle Boy and Pillbox had a huge impact on me and all my closest friends. I loved everything about both of those bands. I learned so much from Chris Barry and Ratboy, they will always have a special place in my heart.
Another band I was really into were The Nymphs, it felt like Inger Lorre was a real kindred spirit, we were both into the same kinda vibes. And hats. and feathers.