Category Archives: Music

David Bowie, “Rock and Roll Suicide”

From 1973! It’s hard to believe that this music was made over 40 years ago, isn’t it? By the way, who is making music like this anymore? When was the last time anyone was making music like this?

Until my last breath on this blasted Earth, I will always love David Bowie.

It’s been two years now, but it seems like forever.

RIP Starman.

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Filed under Glam, Music, Rock

David Bowie, “Ziggy Stardust”

Want to see God? Well, here you go. Ziggy Stardust from the album in 1973. People do not realize that this guy was actually not popular at the time. To be into Bowie in 1973 was to be a freak, a weirdo. No one was into him except for some freaks and weirdos. A lot of them were stoners. This was basically very hardcore super-underground drug music for drug culture types.

Most of these types were seriously outside of society. All the men had very long hair and lived lives that revolved around sex, drugs and rock and roll.

There is so much more I could say about Bowie, but will be all for now. Maybe later.

 

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Filed under Dope, Glam, Intoxicants, Music, Rock

John Lennon “Crippled Inside”

You can shine your shoes and wear a suit
You can comb your hair and look quite cute
You can hide your face behind a smile
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

You can wear a mask and paint your face
You can call yourself the human race
You can wear a collar and a tie
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog’s life ain’t fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
You can judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die

One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

Well now you know that your
Cat has nine lives
Nine lives to itself
But you only got one
And a dog’s life ain’t fun
Momma take a look outside

You can go to church and sing a hymn
Judge me by the color of my skin
You can live a lie until you die

One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

I always loved this song. It is off the second album, Imagine. It got poorer reviews than the first album, which got rave reviews. This first album was good, but I always thought Imagine was better. He really hit it out of the park with that one. God, Working Class Hero, Jealous Guy…wow! John Lennon is too much on that album. It’s as good as the late Beatles, as good as the White Album or Abbey Road. That voice, those lyrics, so much pathos and feeling. That album is almost painful to listen to – it’s months of the most intense psychotherapy jammed into 40 minutes. He packs it all in and lets it all hang out for all to see in a way that few modern musicians ever have.

This song is very good. If you want a life lesson from someone who lived it – yep, if you are seriously crippled inside – you can’t really hide it at all. No matter how hard you try,  as long as your brain/mind/psyche/whatever is a serious mess, everyone’s going to figure it out and sooner than you think too. It won’t get past a soul, and once people get alone with you, it’s one of the first things they are going to remark on – you’re fucked in the head.

If you can pull out of it and put a pretty good shield on, you can fool most people though.  Although I would argue that once that shield is on/up, you’re not all that screwed up anymore, because the purpose of the shield is to blind you to your own pain or problems and make it seem like they don’t exist. So if you blind yourself to your problems, are they still problems? Let’s call in the philosophers!

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Filed under Music, Philosophy, Psychology, Rock

Talking Heads, “Wild Life”

More great music from this all-time great band. Not sure if they kept getting better and better as that was not even really possible looking at Fear of Music, but they definitely stayed good for a while. This is from 1986, 32 years ago!

Check out the cameo by Prince at 2:17. You will be missed, my Brother! Prince is God!

N.B. Yep, John Goodman can actually sing. Incredible, isn’t it?

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Filed under Music, Rock

Talking Heads, “Road to Nowhere”

From the 1985 album Little Creatures, which I am not familiar with. This is as good as Fear of Music (1979).

Great music! When they came on board, they bridged the 1970’s and the 1980’s. They were called early punk rock because no one could think of anything else to call them. I prefer to call them Art Fag Rock. I mean they came out of Art School, what else do you call bands that come out of a venue you like that. I actually interviewed an early LA punk rock group called the Art Fags. They were really cool! And they weren’t gay at all of course (this was 1979, remember?) although nowadays they would have to be.

I saw them in 1979 at UCLA in one of their first US performances. Oingo Boingo was there! It was great! Outdoors concert. I will have to look it up to see the date. You guys missed it. A legendary great early punk rock show at UCLA, of all places. The ghost of Jim Morrison was looking on from the second floor of the Art Building. He was smiling because his voice was still alive in the City of Night where he started it all so long ago.

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New York Dolls, “Looking for a Kiss”

The New York Dolls! From 1973.

This is off the first album. I can’t believe this goes all the way back to when I was in my sophomore year in high school.  First time I ever heard this band, I think it was 1974 or 1975. I was working as a janitor at a school and one of the fellow janitors pulled up and he had the second album blasting away, and I thought, “Jesus Christ, if that isn’t the loudest, noisiest damn music I ever heard!” It was just pure, raucous noise!

I heard it again in the summer of 1978 when I had a job as an ice cream truck driver (which doubled as a drug-dealing (pot) operation like something out of Dragnet. One day I went into a record store on my route and there was the 2nd album blasting away again. It still sounded like the wildest noise, but it sounded better then because I was more used to that type of music. I asked the clerk what it was, and he told me. The band had broken up three years ago, and I was just hearing it for the second time.

Really no one was into them way back then. It was just a few “underground” types. The Glam Rock scene was very small. I didn’t really know anyone who was part of it. This was a very underground scene that hardly anyone knew anything about, and you almost never met anyone who was into it. Those who did know about it often hated it, I believe due to homosexual connotations.

Most of us were big into heavy metal back then. Metal was the big thing. Also progressive rock – Yes, Genesis, Emerson Lake and Palmer, etc. This music is widely hated now, but boy was it popular back then. I also think that prog rock made a lot of very good music. It just wasn’t necessarily real hard rock and roll. It was more akin to classical music if anything.

Lyrics:

When I say I’m in love, you best believe I’m in love, L-U-V

I always saw you just before the dawn
When all the other kids were just draggin’ along
I couldn’t believe the way it seemed to be
Rememberin’ the things you used to say to me

About you know I can’t be wastin’ time ’cause I gotta have my fun
I gotta get some fun
I got to keep on movin’,
Can’t stop ’till it’s all done
And never done

Well, listen when I tell ya got no time for fix
‘Cause I just gotta make it, can’t afford to miss
And there’s one reason I’m tellin’ you this
I feels bad
And I’m a-lookin’ for a kiss

Well, wontcha tell me why those kids are movin’ so slow
Is it just that they don’t have a place to go?
When the day starts breakin’, the sun is gonna shine
It’s hard to sleep if I been cryin’

And all the old ladies they are on their way to church
You go to church
I’m beggin’ will I be a-roamin’ while I’m looking, got to tend to my search
I keep on searchin’

Well, listen when I tell ya, you got no time for fix
‘Cause I just gotta make it, can’t afford to miss
If there’s one reason I’m tellin’ you this
I feels bad, bad, bad
And I’m lookin’ for a kiss

Well, I been lookin’ for a real hot kiss
Come on, kiss me!
Aaaaah-ooooh!

You think it’s bad, but you know it’s true
So why won’t you just let me live, baby?
When I’m lookin’ for a kiss

When everyone goes to your house, they shoot up in your room
Most of them are beautiful, but so obsessed with gloom
I ain’t gonna be here when they all get home
They’re always lookin’ at me, they won’t leave me alone
I didn’t come here lookin’ for no fix
I-I-I know I been houndin’ the street all night, oh late baby
Just-a lookin’ for a kiss

I need a fix and a kiss
I need a fix and a kiss
I need a fix and a kiss
I been looking for a kiss

I didn’t come here lookin’ for no fix
I-I-I know I been haulin’ booty all night long, baby
Just lookin’ for a kiss

If you are wondering what the song is about, this is as good as anything else out there:

When he says he’s in luv, you better believe he’s in luv, L-U-V. He’s looking for a kiss, he’s NOT looking for a fix.

To better understand this song, we need to go way back to the 1960’s. In the early 60’s, we got the ORIGINAL bad girls of rock. While the other girl groups would curtsey and sing about sunshine, soda pop, and rainbows, The Shangri-Las came to kick ass (of course they did it in a semi-appropriate 1960’s girly sort of way.). While they’re tame by today’s standards, they paved the way for Joan Jett, L7, Betty Blowtorch, Crucified Barbara, etc.

The Shangri-Las had recorded a song called “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”. It’s about a girl falling in love with a guy who is the “good’ sort of bad”, not the EVIL sort of bad.

When the NYD’s recorded this in the early 70’s, ‘shooting up’ (usually heroin) was fairly common. David Johansen, who wrote this song, is giving the view from a male’s POV of the Shangri-Las song. He says (paraphrasing), “I don’t want a girl who’s a goody-goody church goer, and I don’t want a girl that’s strung out, I want a girl that’s the good kind of bad girl, not the evil sort”.

The Shangri-Las were best known for the song, “The Leader Of The Pack”. As with anything new, the world was not ready for them, which meant they had to work twice as hard, and eventually they quit. I won’t say they were defeated, because they weren’t defeated. In a sense, they started an army which defeated those who opposed the “bad girl” persona. Many of the greats, males and females, from pop to punk to metal and beyond, credit the Shangri-Las as a big influence. Obviously they had an impact on TNYD’s as well, which you can hear by listening to this song and then listening to The Shangri-Las – “Give Him A Great Big Kiss”. I hope that helps.

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Filed under Glam, Music, Pop Culture, Rock

New York Dolls, “Subway Train”

God-damn that is some good, fine rock and roll. From 1973, ladies and gentlemen, the greatest rock and roll band ever, the New York Dolls!

That’s me. I’m the New York Dolls. That’s me on the cover too. No wonder people used to think I was gay. I’m a straight androgyne. So sue me!

PS All the Dolls were straight, 100% completely straight, believe it or not. Nowadays they would have to all go bi or pan or trans or genderqueer or nonbinary or some bullshit, but back then, you can be a straight man and dress exactly like that. I think dressing up like chicks was just part of their gag, their shtick. But did they even dress up like chicks? Not really. No woman dresses like that! That get-up was just a huge transgressive fuck you to society, nothing more, nothing less.

Of course it helped that they were all ultra-masculine street tough gang types straight off the streets of New York. That combination of extreme masculinity and femininity is awesome! Reminds me of Jagger, Iggy Pop, the Stooges, Queen, Mott the Hoople, Lou Reed and some others. Glam rock FTW! Glam rock forever!

Here they are live in San Francisco! That’s even better. It’s like Rolling Stones transvestite punk rock. Love it!

Lyrics!

I can’t ever understand
Why my life’s been cursed, poisoned, condemned
When I been tryin’ every night
To hold ya near me
But I’m a-telling you
It ain’t easy

Ever since I been ridin’
Right on the subway train
You can hear the whistle blowin’
Ya might think I’m insane

And now your friends
They’re fillin’ up my car
But you’re so busy readin’ Suzy Says
Ya can’t look now
You didn’t see your lovers
They’re all dressed in rags
Ya know ya had us pushin’ up roses
Just tryin’ get your fare

‘Cause we was all ridin’
Right on the subway train
And you can hear the captain shoutin’
He thinks I’ve gone insane

‘Cause I keep on ridin’
Keep on ridin’
‘Cause I keep on
Ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’, yeah

You stop and you stare
As I’m leavin’ my favorite place
We have no regards
You can’t even find a trace
Ya gotta get on back to Daddy
That is all it’s gonna be
He got the poison black arts of the pimps
But don’t ya st- st-

I seen ’em travel
Right on the subway train
And you can hear the captain shou-ou-tin’
He thinks we’ve all gone insane

‘Cause we keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’
‘Cause we keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’
Keep on ridin’

I see the train gettin’ on an open track
Well I’m a-hopin’ it’s gonna bring my baby back

‘Cause I guess I said
Dinah wontcha blow
Dinah wontcha blow your horn
Dinah wontcha blow
Dinah wontcha blow your horn
I said someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
I know whoa, whoa, whoa
I said someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
I just know
I keep on ridin’, ridin’, ridin’

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Filed under Glam, Heterosexuality, Music, Punk, Rock, Sex

Bob Dylan, “Idiot Wind”

Some truly great music from the truly great Bob Dylan off the truly great album Blood on the Tracks (1974), one of the greatest rock albums ever made. This is where Dylan really made his comeback. I think he had just turned Christian, but no matter really. I doubt if the Jews will ever forgive him for that ultimate transgression.

Actually this take and these alternate lyrics are from something called the New York Sessions which preceded the album. I know little about these sessions. There are a number of different versions of this song and the others on the album that were recorded in these sessions. The version on the album has very different lyrics and is the one people know best. The lyrics below are from this alternate take, which is actually nothing but an outtake!

There is a lot of discussion about which lyrics are better. I think that the final version on the album after he had rewritten the lyrics a number of times is better, but people go back and forth. The album version is acoustic, nothing but Bob, an acoustic guitar and a harmonica. This one has a bass and an organ. Some like it better and some don’t. I think the two new instruments add a great effect that actually makes this haunting version better than the one on the album. There is a bootleg version, perhaps on The Basement Tapes, that is said to be the best one of them all. Nonetheless, this session take is interesting and of course it’s important for Dylan completists.

I think there is a backstory to this. He’s obviously ranting at his enemies for some reason or another. It’s a great song if you’re feeling paranoid (I do not recommend this) or if you are in a mood for hating your enemies (I recommend this, but not all the time please – heart attacks are forever). It’s also good if you are in one of those rare moods where you hate the world and just want to go back to bed and hope it all goes away like a bad dream whenever you wake up many hours later. Thankfully, these moods are rare. Or is that how too many of us feel most every day? I don’t even know anymore. Life is so confusing. I feel like I am living in a Samuel Beckett novel:

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.

– Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho, 1962.

Then again, I’ve been feeling that way most of my life even before I read Molloy, had a life-changing experience, and saw God radiating through a marijuana haze in my college apartment in 1980.

I must go on. I can’t go on. I’ll go on.

– Samuel Beckett, The Unnameable, 1949

If you ever read that and think, “Story of my life!” I think we were probably separated at birth.

See you all at the re-runs, the sequels, the encores. After that, one for the road, the farewell tour, the curtain call, the taps, the wake.

The good ones. The best ones. Bob Dylan forever and ever the best. Never one better ever. Bobby Dylan, always.

Take a bow, Robert Zimmerman!

Someone’s got it in for me
They’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out
But when they will I can only guess
They say I shot a man named Gray
And took his wife to Italy
She inherited a million bucks
And when she died it came to me
I can’t help it if I’m lucky

People see me all the time
And they just can’t remember how to act
Their minds are filled with big ideas
Images and distorted facts
Even you yesterday
You had to ask me where it was at
I couldn’t believe after all these years
You didn’t know me better than that
Sweet lady

Idiot wind
Blowing every time you move your mouth
Blowing down the back roads headin’ south
Idiot wind
Blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

I threw the I Ching yesterday
It said there might be some thunder at the well
Peace and quiet’s been avoiding me
For so long it seems like living Hell
There’s a lone soldier on the hill
Watching falling pouring raindrops pour
You didn’t know it to look at him
That in the final shot he won the war
After losin’ every battle

I woke up on the roadside
Daydreamin’ about the way things sometimes are
Hoofbeats pounding in my head
At breakneck speed and makin’ me see stars.
You hurt the ones that I love best
And cover up the truth with lies
One day you’ll be in the ditch
Flies buzzin’ around your eyes
Blood on your saddle

Idiot wind
Blowing through the flowers on your tomb
Blowing through the curtains in your room
Idiot wind
Blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

It was gravity which pulled us in
And destiny which broke us apart
You tamed the lion in my cage
But it just wasn’t enough to change my heart
Now everything’s a little upside down
As a matter of fact the wheels have stopped
What’s good is bad, what’s bad is good
You’ll find out when you reach the top
You’re on the bottom

I noticed at the ceremony
That you left all your bags behind
The driver came in after you left
He gave them all to me and then he resigned
The priest wore black on the seventh day
Waltzed around while the building burned
You didn’t trust me for a minute babe
I’ve never know the spring to turn
So quickly into autumn

Idiot wind
Blowing every time you move your jaw
From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Mardi Gras
Idiot wind
Blowing every time you move your teeth
You’re an idiot babe
It’s a wonder that you still know how to breathe

We pushed each other a little too far
And one day it just jumped into a raging storm
A hound dog bayed behind your trees
As I was packing up my uniform
I figure I’d lost you anyway
Why go on? What’s the use?
In order to get a word with you
I’d have had to come up with some excuse
And it just struck me kind of funny

I been doublecrossed too much
I think I’ve almost lost my mind
Ladykillers load dice on me
Behind my back while imitators steal me blind
You close your eyes and part your lips
And slip your fingers from your gloves
You can have the best there is
But you it’s gonna cost you all you love
You won’t get it for money

Idiot wind
Blowing through the buttons of our coats
Blowing through the letters that we wrote
Idiot wind
Blowing through the dust upon our shelves
We’re idiots babe
It’s a wonder we can even feed ourselves

 

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Last Known Photograph of Johnny Thunders

Johnny-Thunders

Last known photograph of Johnny Thunders.

This is the last known photograph of the great rock guitarist and singer Johnny Thunders, famous for being in the New York Dolls and later in his own band, the Heartbreakers, a seminal early punk rock band. In fact, the Heartbreakers were playing what I would call punk rock or proto-punk rock in 1975, before the Sex Pistols even existed! Thunders was a long term heroin addict, a junkie, and also liked to shoot cocaine. Like most junkies, he died young at age 38.

In this photo, he looks like death warmed over. It was taken between April 9-15 in Thailand, where he went to buy some silk suits. He also shot up a lot of heroin while he was there.

There are videos of him playing his last recorded shows in Japan around January 3-6. He looks surprisingly good in that video, but towards the end of his life, he was using a lot of makeup to cover up the yellow spots he had all over his face. One day he would look fine and another day he would look like the walking dead. He went to the famous Henry Wong’s tattoo parlor in Bangkok where he got a tattoo. This is one of the most frightening and deathly photographs I have ever seen of any ambulatory human being.

From April 19-22, he was in Berlin recording songs. His manager relates that they walked around Berlin and Johnny was giving away wads of cash to every bum and street person he saw. Only three days later, he would be dead. It was as if he knew he would be dead soon.

On April 21, his manager saw him leave on a plane for New Orleans where he was going to record some music. His manager said he had a terrible feeling as he watched Johnny departing on the plane. It was as if the manager knew he would be dead soon. In fact, he would be dead two days after the manager saw him on leave on that plane.

He stayed in a hotel there next to Link Wray’s house exactly two days. He was found dead in his room two days after he checked in. He had leukemia and he also had methadone in his system. However the amount of methadone was not fatal and the leukemia had not progressed enough to kill him either. His death was called “death by misadventure.”

He stayed in his room two days after his death and when he found, his body was twisted into a pretzel shape by rigor mortis. Furthermore, his body was found under a closet. In addition, $10,000, all of a huge supply of methadone, his passport and many other personal items were gone. There had been a robbery at some point when he was staying there. A good theory is that he was robbed and then killed by the robbers, possibly by giving him a large shot of methadone. After he died, they shoved his body under a closet. A couple, a man and a woman, both junkies, are suspected in the crime.

However, New Orleans police never investigated the crime as a murder, instead calling it a drug overdose. Broke junkies come into New Orleans all the time and die there, often of overdoses. Johnny Thunders was just one more down and out junkie who came into New Orleans and overdosed on heroin in a cheap hotel. The NOLA police saw this sort of thing all the time and it was considered to be not a matter worth investigating.

These crimes may have been seen as what cops called NHO crimes, for No Humans Involved. The victim(s) and the killer(s) are such scumbags that the police don’t even care to investigate the crime much. Some crimes like this are also called by the police Public Service Killings, when some scumbag or criminal gets killed. No one cares that he is dead and it’s as if the murderer committed a public service by killing this scumbag.

Johnny’s terrible appearance is due to leukemia which only he knew that he had, long term heroin and cocaine abuse. We have recently heard that he also had Hepatitis C and there is a good rumor that he was also HIV-positive. So those two things added to the night of the living dead appearance in that photo.

This is one of the saddest damned photographs I think I have ever seen. It’s heartbreaking to even look at it.

This is a very rare photo. I am glad to have stumbled upon it, as horrible as it is.

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Filed under Celebrities, Crime, Law enforcement, Music, Public Service Killings, Punk, Rock

Lynn Anderson, “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”

Great country music! It’s hard to believe this is even country, it’s so damn good. I don’t even like country music, but I think this goes to show you that despite all of the bickering and stone-tossing and worse between genres, there’s really only one kind of music:

Good music

And it transcends all genders. Hell, I’ve heard some great elevator music in my time. Faddists, get lost! Your head is in the sand and you don’t have a clue!

Lynn Anderson from 1969! Great music from nearly half a century ago, 48 years ago to be exact. Gotta dig those 60’s haircuts and outfits. Along with everything else, it tells the simple truth about love and too many are too defensive to acknowledge.

No pain, no gain. If you want the highs, you’ve go to buy the lows at the same time: it’s a package deal. That’s just the way it is. You don’t like it, you can check out anytime you like. You can’t fight the Truths of life. Mother Nature always bats last, and dreamers all die alone.

Live dangerously!

PS. Lynn Anderson RIP. Sorry about that, Lynn.

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