Friday, December 20, 2019

BRIAN HOGG on ROY A. LONEY and his significance in this particular universe!

Roy A, Loney, Miriam Linna, Don Ciconne - NYC 1979 - Photo: Tom Bessoir 

I never met Roy Loney, nor to my regret, did I see him onstage, but as a member of the Flamin’ Groovies he played a vital role in my life. Yet, despite such a forthright statement, I can’t exactly recall how I first became aware of the group. I’m fairly sure it was via Lester Bang’s review of Supersnazz in Rolling Stone, but at that point I paid scant regard to his opinion – this was the man, after all, who’d panned Kick Out The Jams – which is perhaps why there’s some dubiety over the timeline. However, that same Groovies’ album was on my radar in 1970 and, during a fetish for the unknown, I opted to order an import copy, unheard, alongside the debut from Dan Hicks And His Hot Licks. I felt then, as I still do now, that it’s a patchy collection but it was one I kept returning to, sensing a hidden potential.

True fandom kicked in the following year when Flamingo and Teenage Head were paired for British release. There’s little point in extolling just how great these records are; if you are reading this you know it already, but their distillation of Detroit high-energy, rockabilly, garage bands and British R&B was utterly captivating. Roy’s vocals, almost Zelig-like, could be Dr. Ross or Mick Jagger, but they were imbued with his unique swagger and poise, tongue slightly-in-cheek, yet always affectionate. I was hooked and would play these records at any opportunity; at home, at friends and in Bruce’s Rose Street branch where I worked part-time. It was while there I discovered via United Artists that Roy had parted company from the band he co-founded, but that a revised line-up would move to the UK and record here. A package containing ‘Slow Death’ duly followed, as would ‘Married Woman’ some months later  -  I also saw them live at the mudbath that passed as the Bickershaw Festival.

And so it continued. In 1974 I travelled to London’s Rock On stall to buy the Skydog releases and was in Paris the weekend Sire unleashed Shake Some Action into the world, although that was a coincidence – honest.  This, however, takes us a bit ahead of the tale. These years were not quite as bleak as Pop orthodoxy now determines, but there’s little doubt music’s overriding tenor then was that of sullied complacency. Contemporaneous compilations of 1960s’ material such as Nuggets, the Creation’s 66-67 and Mersey Beat ’62-’64 teemed with an inventiveness, purpose and excitement so lacking in most mid-70’s releases. Fired by their content and inspired by Who Put The Bomp and The Rock Marketplace, I laid plans for a fanzine to celebrate the era. As always with such matters, choosing a name took forever. Several pop art-type options were tried but rejected and I instead found myself drawn towards song titles found on records never far from my turntable. Cue the Groovies.  Perfect! Here was a band I was passionate about condensing everything I thought great and so it was decided - the fanzine would be called Yesterday’s Numbers. It stayed that way for around a week, but I gradually thought that too specific and wanted something punchier. Having pulled Supersnazz from the rack, my eyes immediately fixed on the penultimate track and from then on in there was no question – the magazine was now Bam Balam.

Issue 1 appeared in February 1975, fourteen in all would trickle out until 1982 after which I began writing liner notes, often for labels run by people - Andrew Lauder, Roger Armstrong - I’d first met on the trail of Flamin’ Groovies’ releases. As for the band, they had continued under Cyril Jordan’s unbending stewardship but, much as I care for those late 70s' recordings, they increasingly showed signs of stylistic paint and corners. It was also sad to hear members deny their early work and, by extension Roy, when much of it was at least the equal of that which followed. Indeed a succession of archive releases from the period, live and studio, as well as a repackaging of Sneakers, the group’s magnificent debut, confirmed just how special this first line-up was. Any difference between the two was of emphasis; Cyril wanted his music to be of a time while Roy preferred to celebrate it. That he would continue to do, beginning in 1978 with the excellent Artistic As Hell, maintaining it over the years with various aggregations, notably The Phantom Movers and The Longshots. Perhaps he never regained the artistic heights of the Groovies’ halcyon period but, to quote Joseph Heller when asked why he hadn’t written something the equal of Catch 22 – who has?

Although wary of such get-togethers, I was genuinely excited at the thought of seeing Roy reunited with Cyril to take Teenage Head on tour earlier this year, perhaps even shaking his hand to say “thank you.” Alas, it was not to be, but any personal disappointment pales into insignificance with the sad news of his passing. 2019 was already a bitter year for the Flamin’ Groovies following the death of Mike Wilhelm but the loss of Roy Loney has extinguished the spirit which forged them. I will hear those early records a little differently now but will always love the music within and be thankful for the personal paths they introduced.

Brian Hogg, December 2019


Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


The Nomads on the Radio in Mexico City on November 22nd (2019). They're on around 18 minutes in.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019



Saturday, November 09, 2019

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Tuesday, October 08, 2019

Sunday, October 06, 2019

Friday, October 04, 2019

Wednesday, October 02, 2019

Friday, September 27, 2019

Thursday, September 26, 2019

IT"S A HIT! Picked by Joe Presedo

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Monday, September 23, 2019


Wreckless Eric's tribute to his friend...
Larry Wallis.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019



Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Saturday, August 03, 2019

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Sad news that the man behind the legendary Groucho's record shop in Dundee had died. 

From The Courier

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Thursday, July 04, 2019

Friday, June 28, 2019

Thursday, June 06, 2019


Tuesday, June 04, 2019


My poster is in a frame on the wall and the
glass is reflecting so I pinched this one
from the web.

Where to begin with Roky? 

The first time I heard The 13th Floor Elevators “You’re Gonna Miss Me" on Nuggets was the introduction and I’m fairly sure my reaction was much akin to your, the first time you heard that voice, that otherworldly purr. This would have been 1972 when the import of the Elektra comp appeared at the record store I worked in.

I became an instant fan but those records weren’t easy to access. It would really be the advent of his 70s resurgence that would make them available. When he played shows and got in tow with The Aliens was when it really hit warp speed.

As incredible as those early recordings were, he really hit his stride when the songs that would make up the CBS album in 1980 were taking form. When that record came out, it caused a ripple that should have been a tsunami. Whatever his mental state, he was crafting beautiful ballads worthy of Buddy Holly and epic, ripping rock n’ roll songs. He was a devil angel from an alternate universe or plane or wherever the heck such rarefied creatures dwell.

As time went on, more and more material became available. Often the same songs with different arrangements and takes but we hoovered it all up There was a documentary that I know some people rate but that I found very disrespectful. You get one chance to do something like that and this was not celebrating the subject to my mind. It merely gave precedence to the man being a weirdo. But not in a good way.

Thankfully, somehow it became possible for the demons to be reigned in and Roky was able to perform across the world. Those first few outings were particularly transcendent. I regret to this day not seeing them play with The Nomads but those that did make it were treated to something akin to what a religious experience might be like.

The only time I saw him was at the Royal Festival Hall in 2007 where I got something in my eye several times. I met him too thanks to Bill Allerton lending me his pass. My friends Bigor and Viva were there from Ljubljana and I managed to get them a ticket autographed during that brief encounter.

It was great that he got to roll in the thunder these past years to catch a glimpse of how important he was. That he was able to function at all to the degree that he did was nothing short of something that could rightly be called a miracle. Particularly following how he was depicted in the film. The recent clip of him performing “Night Of The Vampire” with an orchestra and choir was a hell of a testament to that song and I bet I wasn’t the only one that hoped we might hear more of his songbook tackled in the same manner. Does anyone know if anything else was recorded?

It’s another sad reminder that our heroes are disappearing and they really are not being replaced by individuals with anything like the chops. His music will live on far beyond all of us provided that there’s still a planet to hear it on. 


Monday, June 03, 2019

Saturday, June 01, 2019

Friday, May 31, 2019


Here's the scoop...

October 31st
November 1st and 2nd

TICKETS ON SALE - THURSDAY JUNE 13th AT 21.00 (SPANISH TIME) via these links. That's 8pm UK time.


Thursday, May 30, 2019

Sunday, May 26, 2019


Since the start of April, I've posted something here every day. It's time to take a break from that for one reason and another. It's still a surprise that folks still come by here so for that reason alone, I'll try to get back to it within a couple of weeks. Maybe sooner.

Gracias for continuing to visit. I'll leave you for now with this.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019




            Joey Ramone Birthday Party

Sunday, May 19, 2019


I've no idea what the story is but I approve of the subject matter. It doesn't seem to be available anywhere but via this link...

Friday, May 17, 2019

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Friday, May 10, 2019


The latest Wreckless Eric sonic mini-series is called "TRANSIENCE" and he’s currently traversing the length and breadth of this sceptic isle in support of its being let into the world.  Picking up the psychedelic beat shapes of "Construction Time & Demolition", “Transience” continues Eric’s soundtracking of imagined kitchen sink dramas that take place across continents.

I’m no audiophile but I feel like he’s continually breaking new ground in the exploration of fusing several generations to arrive at something way more fresh than we’ve been used to by artists that are still making new music. The inclusion of Kevin Coyne’s “Strange Locomotion” is timely, it could well be a description of the content therein.

I hope he can keep up these instalments. It’s like the sonic equivalent of Better Call Saul. These eight songs run concurrently and need to be consumed in this sequence for maximum effect. As the guitar in this season’s finale hits the discordant peak you just wonder what’s next. There’s not resting on your laurels and there’s creating ground-breaking musical art but seldom are the two melded so seamlessly. Hear it, see it, feel it and be relieved that the quality control department out in Catskill has been working tirelessly to bring you the toppermost in entertainment.

Sunday, May 05, 2019


Via Colin Duff via Allan Cunningham...

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Thursday, May 02, 2019


Wednesday, May 01, 2019


I’ve no idea if you noticed but something was posted on here every day during April. Partly to prove that I could discipline myself to do so and also to mark the 42nd anniversary of NBT. There were no lengthy rants or reviews or any of that, the days for doing that are more or less over but maybe there’ll be some opinion here and there as time rolls on. 

I haven’t decided or indeed given it any more thought beyond typing it just now. The traffic here is way down but I’m surprised there still is any at all to be honest. So thanks for persisting with stopping by. I’m not interested in hashtagging and trying to drum up hits any which way. Fuck that. If anything, I’m trying to extricate myself from all of this. Maybe not completely but the further the better. Here we are om May 1st 2019. Who'da thunk it?

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Friday, April 19, 2019


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Monday, April 15, 2019

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019

RIP - GARY STEWART (Rhino Records)

If you don't know the name then here's why you should.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019


Twin Temples practice "Satanic DooWop" as brought to my attention by Mr Colin Duff. 

NSFW if that is still a thing where you reside.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Thursday, March 07, 2019

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019


“Oh By The Way it’s Natalie Sweet” is the solo album from the former Shanghai on Surfin’Ki. It’s killer Josie Cotton type perennial pop. This stuff never goes out of season and I’d be surprised if it didn’t actually paint a proper smile across your face. ‘Good Love’ has a wee nod to Lulu’s shout. Did you know that she based her version on Alex Harvey’s rendition? 

The band is Travis Ramin, Curt Jorgenson and the one, the only Morten (Moss Rock City) Henriksen. I don’t think you need any further info to send you scurrying to the Ki-shop for a piece of this action. 

Channelling Stockard Channing in ‘Pizza Man’, she creates something that gives Lenny and the Squigtones a run for their money. The skirl of “I Don’t Want to Need You (Tonight)’ is the perfect mesh of glam and post Brudders-pop while ‘Eye Candy’ is primo Toni Basil. ‘Don’t Worry Baby’ closes the show with a Glitter band approximating the Bobby Fuller Four and it’s all over. 

Proving conclusively that she has the stuff, Natalie is sweet by name and sweet by inclination.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Friday, January 04, 2019