Archive for the anniversary Category
It was 31 years ago today that The Damned released ‘New Rose’
Written by Brian James, a first class chap who was good enough to give up some of his Sunday to speak to me about the history of ‘New Rose’.
“I’d had part of the song for a while, and even been jamming it with my earlier band Bastard, who were into The MC5, The Stooges and The Pretty Things, but it was when I played the riff with Rat(Scabies) – who drummed like no one else I’d ever played with, that the energy of Rat’s drumming and his style fitted the riff so well that the song came together and was created out of that moment
Jake (Riveria) signed us after seeing the Damned at Mont De Marsan, on the strength of ‘New Rose’ and saw it as a single straight away even though Captain (Sensible) wanted ‘I Fall’ as the first single. There’s no demo’s for it we didn’t really bother with things like it we just went straight in the studio and recorded it.”
Is there a real life Rose? “No, it’s not about a girl, it’s really about what was happening at that time the speed and the energy of the movement – The Damned were always about the energy.”
We also covered all sorts of other areas during our chat – guitars, previous bands, current gigs, and future projects all of which I’ll be logging in the blog soon.
I love the Pistols and their two fisted filth and fury (even though they booted the The Damned off of the Anarchy tour). But New Rose snapshots the mood, the moment and the DIY ethic of early London/Brit punk more authentically than anything else from this explosive era.
Crash! Go the drums. Thrash! Goes the guitar. Rev up the riffing and they’re off like Bash Street brats out of hell and God help anyone who gets in the way. The Damned ram raided the UK charts by releasing the first punk single and album and even appeared at the first Punk Festival in Mont de Marsan (attended by a pre Joy Division Ian Curtis, and held a month before the 100 Club Punk Festival). But it was the impact of New Rose, and The Damned being the first UK Punk band to tour America that sent a Punk rocket to the epicenter of the States causing a sonic bang so explosive that the fallout is still being felt today.
The Sonics, The MC5, Iggy and The Ramones may have already been grinding out garage anthems and had some success in their home towns – but none of them raised more than a blip on the ‘punk-o-meter’ across the States. The Damned blew the bastard thing to smoke and shrapnel.
Consider this – what speed do the first wave of US Punk bands – The Dead Kennedys, The Dickies, Bad Brains or Black Flag – play at, Damned or Pistols tempo? From here you go to Hardcore to Thrash Metal to Metallica to Guns N Roses(who covered New Rose) and Nirvana (who ripped off Life Goes On for ‘Come As You Are’). Not all this may be your type of tune, and not all of it’s my type of tune, but it’s undeniable that it all leads back to the Damned and New Rose.
“I thought the Damned caught the true spirit of Punk, as understood by Punks, better than their rivals. They devoted less time to striking attitudes & never forgot, as many historians have that Punk could be quite funny as well as exciting.” John Peel – 29/05/02
New Rose – Peel Session
Recorded 30/11/76 and broadcast 10/12/76
Brian is currently remixing The Lords Of The New Church back catalogue at Abbey Road (more on this soon). And will be playing the 100 Club on 31/11/07 with Lords Of The New Church for a Halloween Night Special – only 350 tickets are available for this special event so grab them while you can.
A special thank you goes to Brian James for his insights into New Rose, Punk and all things Damned, and also for allowing the use of Mp3’s in this posting
It seems appropriate to bookend this 30th anniversary weekend with another Marc Bolan moment, and only the seventies could bring you a moment like this.
Light Entertainment meets Glam Rock, as Marc Bolan and Cilla Black duet on Cosmic Dancer from the Cilla Show. Unfortunately the old spoilsport who uploaded this video hasn’t allowed embedding so you’ll gave to click on the “Marc and Cilla” link above to view it.
And if you’ve got time why not have a peep at this mini documentary. A six minute summary of Bolan and Glam with contributions from Sandie Shaw, Captain Sensible, Mick Rock, Johnny Marr and Marc Almond
One of the things I’ve noticed over the 3Oth anniversary of his death is how many blogs and bloggers with impeccable record collections, impossibly rare or tastefully trendy downloads haven’t just written about Marc Bolan, but have written enthusically about Marc and his music without irony or Rock Snobbery, as Marc Bolan and T.Rex fans.
Two of the best pieces I’ve come across are below, and both are based around visits to the Memorial site yesterday.
It seems even 30 Years after his death, Marc Bolan is still as cool as ever.
“Me I funk but I don’t care
I ain’t no square with my corkscrew hair ” – Telegram Sam
“Goodbye from all the boys in the band, David (Bowie),everybody,all the cats you know who they are” were his final words on TV.
I won’t blab on about Marc Bolan, there’ll be stacks of facts flying around this anniversary weekend. Instead I’ve picked 2 clips that show why, at just over five feet tall he towers above any of todays pop pretenders.
I’ve also popped a couple of T. Rextra bonus rarities/obscurities at the bottom for download. Slider or Tanx are my recommended Albums if you enjoyed these T.Rex treats and fancy digging deeper.
20th Century Boy – from Beat Club
This is the best version EVER!!!! of 20th Century Boy, where Marc swishes like a star,and struts like champ. Grinding his guitar all the way
Next To You – from The Marc Show
Bowie and Bolan (the Dynamic Duo of Glam) duetting on a some demolition riffery in Marc’s final TV appearance. This is one of only 2 songs that Bowie and Bolan wrote togther. Bolan had to be stood on a box to get in shot with Bowie, but he takes a tumble at the end.
Look out for Herbie (who wrote the bass line for Walk on The Wild Side)Flowers on Bass he also played with Bowie and Lou Reed. Tony Newman on drums, who’ll be on Funky Friday soon. And spot the Raleigh Stryker T Shirt.
T. Rextras – offline at the moment
Get It On
– rocking version, of a work in progress studio run through as Bolan gives directions to the band
Sunken Rags – an .alt version slightly punchier take of Sunken Rags
Raw Ramp – brilliant overlooked B side
Thunderwing – should’ve been a single.
Instead of adding to the flood of anniversary facts, theories and opinions about Elvis on the ‘net – I’m going let the music speak for itself, by listing 5 tracks (and the albums they come from) which really capture the essence of Elvis for me
Hound Dog – A Golden Celebration
This the version where Elvis bump-and-grinds himself into TV history. Stunning.
Can you imagine how shocking this must have been back in the black and white 50’s?????
Baby What Do You Want Me To Do? – Memories-The ’68 Comeback Special
While most musicians of the time were becoming strung out stoners. Elvis was back in black leather.
Only The Strong Survive – The Memphis Record
Soul, Gospel, Raw Blues, Bacharach tunes, – Its all here. Elvis goes Northern Soul on this track
I Didn’t Make It On Playing Guitar – Essential Elvis Vol.4: a Hundred Years from Now
Undubbed, and unedited. Elvis and the band tear it up live in the studio, without the usual choir of angels backing vocals or sugary strings.
I’ve Got A Feelin’ In My Body – Essential Elvis Vol 5 Rhythm and Country
Elvis in full funk mode. And there’s country, folk and acoustic – all recorded at Stax studios. He may be a bit wobbly on a couple of tracks. But, Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues, and For Ol’ Times Sake are his best ballads ever.