Sunday, October 17, 2004

From The next issue of UGLY THINGS (#22) is tentatively scheduled to hit the streets by the end of October, and it again looks like another stellar issue: "First of all there is the epic - and we do mean EPIC - third installment of The Misunderstood story. Co-headlining is the story of 'The Other Them': The Belfast Gypsies by Richie Unterberger. We have also eye-opening exclusive interviews with Ace Kefford of The Move and Chris Youlden of Savoy Brown, and features on The Wild Cherries and The Twiliters. Plus 'The Prehistoric Pretty Things': the scoop from their pre-Viv Prince drummer, Viv Broughton, complete with drop-dead cool, never-before-seen prehistoric photos. As with every issue we trip around the world to uncover stories on bands like The Matadors from Czechoslovakia, The Checkmates from Singapore, The Speakers from Colombia, Nigeria's Fela Kuti and France's own Plastic Bertrand."

In other exciting news on The UGLY THINGS front, currently in the very early planning stages is a CD compilation of The Bush / Bushmen. According to Mike Stax, "So far there are four acetate tracks, all from 1966. The Bushmen tapes are probably from 1965, and there may be more Bush stuff from 1966-67, plus of course the three singles on Hiback." We'll provide more information as it becomes available.
No Elvis, Beatles or the Rolling Stones in the November issue of Mojo but look out for an eight-page farewell to the Ramones comprising of an appreciation of the band by Charles Shaar Murray, an eyewitness account of the sessions for End of the Century, and one of Johnny’s last interviews. Add an article about the proto-punk significance of the Saints, complete with a side-bar that cites Rocket from the Tombs, Dictators, Radio Birdman and the Hammersmith Gorillas (inc. picture), plus a short feature about the One Hit Wonder status of the Barracudas and you have something worth visiting WH Smiths for ... apart from gawping at male “lifestyle” magazines. Hey, not me mister!

Talking of El ‘Cudas, the boys were on fine form the other night at the Borderline just off the Charring Cross Road in London. Their hour-long set began with thirty minutes of surf/punk material while the second half hour added a primed Chris Wilson with the emphasis on later period tunes. How old is Wilson? 53? 54? 55? ‘cause he sure is looking fit and well for someone who has done a lot of rock’n’rolling and imbibed the odd dram of whisky. Bounding onto the stage wearing a big shirt and an even bigger semi-solid guitar he tore into “I Can’t Pretend” and in so doing brought the sort of perfectly balanced twin-guitar attack that you rarely witness but often dream about. While Wills concentrated on chords, Wilson added tasteful fills and would occasionally hit the neck of his guitar or the whammy bar for sheer devilment. Jeremy Gluck was on great form too and made the occasional foray into the decent-sized crowd while the two guys from the Scoundrelles built the musical foundations upon which Wills and Wilson launched themselves effortlessly. Pure magic for those of us who still believe in this kinda stuff. If someone had said to me at the Hope & Anchor in ’84 that “…in twenty years time you’re gonna see this band again and they’re gonna be every bit of good, if not better,” I would have demanded a pint of whatever they were drinking. Paris, are you ready?
Joe Bonomo, the chap researching and writing a book about the Fleshtones, has tipped us to a nice little photo gallery that contains lots of moody black and white shots of acts such as the Chesterfield Kings, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, Tav Falco, Gun Club, Per Ubu etc taken by Derek von Essen. With regards to his book, Joe is still working away and has now interviewed such revered figures as Andy Shernoff, Handsome Dick Manitoba, Billy and Miriam at Norton Records, Marty Thau and dozens of other people that readers of NBT will be familiar with. Unfortunately, Debbie Harry put the phone down on Joe but what would you do if were an international sex symbol and someone rang up saying : “Hi, Ms. Harry, it’s the guy who’s writing the book about [the] Fleshtones.”? Whatever, Joe remains on the look-out for a publisher and would dearly love to hear from any interested media moguls. If one doesn’t come forward soon then it might have to be another case for NBT International Publishing, so be warned. The text holds a wider message than simply being the account of yet another obscure RnR band and will slot nicely alongside your growing collection of books about the Ramones.
So you’ve grooved to the Nuggets boxsets and now want to delve deeper into 60s garage punk but have heard all kinds of rumours about the bootleg quality of Boulders and Pebbles. Then why not head over to the MP3 section of the Garage Rock Radio website and dig into approximately 50 prime cuts by the likes of the Paragons, Romancers, Zakary Thaks, Bad Seeds, King’s Ransom, Starfires and all? The files are free and your work colleagues will thank you.
So long Rockin' Granny. Cordell Jackson dead at 81...

Ace/Big Beat is about to unleash a revamped 25th anniversary edition of the Damned's Machine Gun Etiquette album w/ truckloads of extras.
Rob Jovanovic's Big Star: The Story of Rock's Forgotten Band will be published on November 1st.

Talk about NOT having one's finger anywhere near the pulse... how can one of yer favourite bands of all time have an album come out on Evangeline Recorded Works and do a show at The Borderline in London and you not have a scoob about it until three weeks after the bloody event? Well that's the situation I find myself in regarding The Blasters 4-11-44 which allegedly came out on 4-10-04. Anyway, more on that when I get to playing catch up... you can however do that now by hitting the Blasters listing in the sidebar yonder.

I'm gonna play on the Freeway Blog now... (thanks for the tip off Marty!)